1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Saranac High Peak Series Single Malt Scotch Ale - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac High Peak Series Single Malt Scotch AleSaranac High Peak Series Single Malt Scotch Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

36 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 36
Reviews: 11
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 10.9%
Wants: 1
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: CaptDavyJones on 05-08-2014

According to the brewery this Single Malt Scotch Ale is a blend of a Scotch ale and a Scotch ale aged in Whiskey Barrels from the Tomintoul distillery in Scotland.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 36 | Reviews: 11
Photo of Boone757
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Pencible
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A: This poured a cloudy dark copper with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like nutty and earthy malt and sweet butterscotch, with some copper hops.
T: It tasted like sweet caramel and butterscotch, with some nutty malt and a hint of earthy heather and salt. It had a clean mostly sweet aftertaste.
M: It was watery with some carbonation. Fairly thin body.
D: This was a decent scotch ale, but the single malt character didn't come through as much as I hoped. The scent and taste were good, but the body was a little weak. The finish was smooth with well hidden alcohol, so it was easy to drink. No need to age, or try more than once.

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.19/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a tulip glass at fridge temps. I believe this is from 05/2014.

Appearance: poured a nice dark orange with some yellow peaking through the sides. There was some sort of a head but it dissipated very quickly.

Nose: heavily malty, cherry pie, strawberries and other fresh fruit, no hop nose at all, no barrel age smell either, fruity English Ringwood yeast aroma, maybe some DME from the brewing process to boost the gravity.

Taste/Mouthfeel: very smooth with a fair amount of carbonation, malt forward with some spicy hops in the finish, very drinkable for a 9% Wee Heavy. I do not get any barrel aging in this.

Overall: So, this is a pretty good scotch ale but I really don't get any barrel aging like it is marketed to be. I'm a fan of Scotch in general and I was really excited to see it used in beer. After all, scotch is distilled beer.

Photo of Beejay
2.89/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

A: A dirty medium brown in color. A very full tan head.

S: Light caramel and bread. Perhaps a touch of orange peel in there as well. Something slightly earthy in there, but I don't get a lot of the whisky.

T: Bready, earthy and a touch of smoke. There is a little bit of a wood flavor, and a hint of whisky. There is an earthiness to this that doesn't really mesh well. There seems to be a weird mix of flavors that don't necessarily go well together. Seems harsh and a touch bitter.

F: Medium light body, with a fairly dry finish.

O: Overall this seems like an odd amalgamation of flavors. Not enough of the whisky character to single malt in all caps on the label, the bottle says rich, malty, and sweet, and the beer I'm drinking simply does not go with that description.

Photo of Cfeezy
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of mikerems
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Kimbo1318
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of carlmoberg
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of fscottkey
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%

A: [4.25] Golden color with a hint of red color. Forms a 1 finger head - mostly dense tight bubbles with a few larger ones. Clearly lists ABV (9.0%). There is a date code that I can't translate. When the beer is tilted there is clearly alcohol legs.

S: [3.50] Smokey wood and toffee and caramel.

T: [3.25] I taste alcohol front to back. I taste some vanilla, toffee and caramel (these are subdued below the alcohol taste).

M: [4.25] This has a full body. It is smooth and creamy with no sense of carbonation.

O: [3.75] The alcohol is not hidden. It is front and center. This beer tastes like a a spirit more than a traditional beer. The alcohol hides the other flavors. I think there are definitely other Scoth Ales that I would reach for first.

Photo of McBraniel
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Yoda22
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of threedaggers
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%

Bottle purchased at Premiere Gourmet in Buffalo, NY.

Pours out a light amber, much lighter than I would've expected for a BA Scotch Ale. A small head forms, that descends into little islands of foam on top of the beer. No lacing.

Smells like peaty whiskey, caramel, oak, caramel, and vanilla.

I'm surprised how good this one tastes considering it's Saranac/Matt. It's not the boldest scotch ale you'll ever have, but it's still tasty. Smoky scotch flavors, with a bit of peat, sweet caramel flavors, oak, vanilla, and the smallest alcohol burn. The flavor is slightly thin and watery at times- this is Saranac, after all- but the flavors on each side of the slightly flat middle are really solid.

This one is fairly light bodied for a BA Scotch Ale, letting the flavor fall flat at times, but it's also very drinkable because of this. There's a very low amount of carbonation.

One of the best beers Matt/Saranac has put out, they're stepping it up just a bit.

Photo of Morey
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber/copper color. The head is a finger high, with a pale yellow shade. Retention is okay, but the texture is amazingly creamy. Even better, a near perfect ring of lacing is left as the head recedes.

Smell: Aside from the rich caramel notes coming through, subtle hints of the barrel also appear. I'm picking up some oak, vanilla, and even a hint of peaty smoke. Saranac definitely played it safe with the whiskey quality, but I don't mind. Letting it warm up will bring some dark fruits to the table. Good complexity - surprising complexity, even, considering its Saranac - but it seems like it will be too sweet. Ah well, I'm enjoying this beer's nose.

Taste: Peat-laden notes jump out further than they did coming from the aroma. It starts with dark fruit flavors, but quickly the barrel takes over. Vanilla, oak, whiskey (or is it whisky, label?!), and a little alcohol appear closer to the back end. The whole thing - while far from bad - just seems a bit 'safe', while the base beer itself lacks punch.

Mouthfeel: Really dry - I'm really picking up a lot of the barrel tannins, and even a nice kiss of booze. Aside from some lingering sweetness, it drinks fairly easily for 9%. It doesn't really have the decadent richness I'd like from the style, though. Carbonation is soft throughout.

Overall: Not bad. Whiskey is shown off really well, while the beer itself stops just short of being glorified tannin water. Still, the base beer feels rather lacking. This whole 'safe' vibe is exactly what keeps it from being a great Scotch ale.

3.25/5: Solid enough scotch ale, but a bit boring

Photo of brentk56
4.02/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear and brilliant copper color capped by a three-finger head; excellent retention and lacing

Smell: The influence of the whisky barrel is quite distinct in the aroma, adding a peaty/oaky tone to the caramel that forms the backbone

Taste: Caramel and grain flavors, up front, with the peaty/oaky tones appearing in the middle; after the swallow, the smokey Scotch whisky character builds in the finish, though it brings only a little bit of heat

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation and some warmth in the gullet

Overall: A very nice beer that keeps the sweetness in check; nicely done; I am curious that the label uses "whiskey" when it describes the barrels and "whisky" when it describes the flavor - I always thought that whisky was the Scottish spelling and but I am not an expert in such matters

Photo of bleedsblu
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of DrBass
3.84/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Saranac High Peak Series Single Malt Scotch Ale
with an ABV of 9.0%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a glass vessel.

This ale comes off as a very potent liquor and malt mix. Sharp and bold. According to Matt Brewing the brew is a single-malt, high gravity scotch ale aged in whiskey barrels from Scotland. To me (especially after letting the last part warm up) it tasted very much like I was drinking a fine scotch, bite and all, that was slightly modified by a hop-less ale to create a heavier feeling blend. Any typical ale qualities were void from my palate. But, the combination of whiskey and ale make for a delectable after dinner refreshment. One 12 ounce cupful is plenty for this brew.

The aroma held only the same smell as when one sticks their nose right above the lip of a well made scotch. There were no notes of hoppiness or other ale qualities in the fragrance.

Photo of tony1017
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of brotherloco
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of JDrebel
5/5  rDev +33%

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Had this on draft at roast house in Frederick. Not a fan of Saranac but do buy their variety packs on quantity nights. Their making a big beer had me very curious especially a wee heavy which is a good style for me. Surprisingly good. I am rather surprised that they have a beer I can enjoy not just tolerate. Good flavor and hides the alcohol very well. Overall a quality beer from Matt Brewing, nice.

Photo of MrBoh
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of BryanK
3/5  rDev -20.2%

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Saranac High Peak Series Single Malt Scotch Ale from Matt Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.