poured a 12oz bottle into my official Saranac shaker glass. It came as
part of the "12 Beers of Winter" mix pack for $14.28 ($1.19 per bottle
or $0.10 per ounce).
Appearance: Pure amber hue, crystal clear body with carbonation visible.
Pours to a somewhat small, eggshell, soapy head which retains and laces
Smell: Surprisingly hoppy - light notes of citrus, flowers and a touch of garlic or onion.
Taste: Everyone loves hops and every brewery is jumping on the bandwagon
of making hoppy lagers these days including 125-year-old Saranac. I
have no problem with trendy beers as long as the quality is good and I
have to say "Decoction Concoction" lager is a genuinely good beer. It
drinks more like an American-style pale ale than an amber or
Vienna-style lager. That’s okay, because the net result is a
good-tasting, easy-drinking beer. Nothing wrong with that.
Hops are present here right away, imparting a solid pine-flavor
bitterness (rather ironic since the smell is so citrusy). The palette is
well-balanced with a strong malty character equally present throughout.
Pale, honey, and amber malts create for a slight confectionery
sweetness with flavors of toffee, caramel and maybe even some
butterscotch. Additional hop bitterness on the second half of the swig,
this time a bit more on the earthy/herbal side. Leaves a slightly
dry/slightly bready aftertaste. Overall, it’s pleasantly surprising and a
palette that’s versatile to stand up to a meal or enjoy solo.
Drinkability: Though Saranac Decoction Concoction is a lager, you would
never know this if you were to drink it blind. The mouthfeel is much
thicker and more tepid than most lagers and has no generic lager aroma
or taste to it all. It’s comfortable in the mouth and goes down smooth
with a decent aftertaste. It’s surprising to learn this beer is 6% ABV
since the body feels so much lighter than that. It’s tempting to session
this. But since you only get two bottles in a 12-pack you’ll be fine