It seems like every beer I’ve tried with the name “summer ale” is
surprisingly boring. When consumers think of a summer beer they want
something flavorful, smooth and light-bodied, yet most summer-themed
beers only meet one or two of these requirements.
Summer Ale is mostly an obligatory inclusion to the Saranac “Beers of
Summer” mix pack. Sure, it compliments the theme of the sampler, but
it’s nothing to write home about.
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
I knew this beer wasn’t going to knock my socks off just by the way it
poured. It forms a miniscule head which quickly evaporates and leaves no
lacing whatsoever. There’s also extremely little carbonation action
happening. The beer is light copper in color so it could easily be
mistaken for a tepid glass of apple juice.
The scent is
virtually non-existent. There is a trace of citrus aroma which is
certainly better than the run-of-the-mill beer smell. However, half of
our sense of taste stems from our sense of smell. If I can’t smell the
beer, then it’s unlikely the taste is going to impress me.
TASTE AND FINISH
The good thing about bland beers is that they’re definitely drinkable.
Saranac Summer Ale is pretty average in taste, but at least it doesn’t
taste bad at all. You could easily go through quite a few bottles of
this brew on the basis of the fact it’s bland and smooth.
the discerning palate traces of citrus are evident, but they are not
very flavorful as is the case with Saranac’s Belgian White and
Hefeweizen beers. I’m surprised the brewery would skimp on taste with
the summer ale, but be so generous with the beers with the
At least Saranac Summer Ale drinks very
smoothly. As I mentioned, this beer is tepid with almost no carbonation
so its finish is clean.
Beers medium in
body are difficult to criticize. A beer with strong taste should be at
least medium in body, but one with a weaker flavor should be lighter. So
take your pick: is Saranac Summer Ale a good beer because it’s easy to
drink and less filling, or is it bad because it’s weak in flavor and not
is one of those beers that connoisseurs will find uneventful while the
average Joe Six Pack might think of it as a nice change of pace. Truly,
this is a beer whose quality is in the eye of its beholder.