Saranac High Peak Series Single Malt Scotch Ale - Matt Brewing Company
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Ratings: 24 | Reviews: 7 | Display Reviews Only:
3.95/5 rDev +5.3%
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.
08-29-2014 04:10:57 | More by GreesyFizeek
3.25/5 rDev -13.3%
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
08-14-2014 20:11:08 | More by ThisWangsChung
4.01/5 rDev +6.9%
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
08-06-2014 22:54:25 | More by brentk56
3.89/5 rDev +3.7%
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.
08-06-2014 02:28:42 | More by DrBass
4.16/5 rDev +10.9%
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.
07-09-2014 00:08:40 | More by JamieDuncan
3.48/5 rDev -7.2%
I should precede this review by stating my constant disappointment every time I try an FX Matt product.
But I do like this. Maybe the planet will start spinning backwards tomorrow.
Poured into trusty duvel oversized tulip glass. It doesn't pour dark, not even close to opaque. A deep amber color with no head that leaves no lacing. Smells only faintly boozy, and very sweet. Taste is sweet with no alcohol burn whatsoever, just the residual flavor of whiskey to remind me it was barrel aged. Not a letdown in terms of flavor, but a thinner mouthfeel and less bold than say, a barrel aged stout.
Staying safe once again, eh FX? Luckily it's $10/4pk, and at that price, a solid treat. Overall a nice example of the next super trendy style. This was cold when I poured it, and while I'm not expecting a journey through flavors as it warms, I'll keep my fingers crossed.
Cheers Utica, this is well done!
06-11-2014 22:31:35 | More by Marko84
4.08/5 rDev +8.8%
Bought a 4 pk from Beers of the World on 5/23/14. Poured into a nonic, served at ambient temp.
appearance: medium dark amber. shortbread colored head. decent lacing.
smell: light whiff of caramel corn and a whisper of alcohol
taste: sweet, caramel, heat from the alcohol
mouthfeel: slippery, soft and silky.
overall: surprising offering from Fx Matt. Decent, if unexciting strong ale.
05-24-2014 03:32:49 | More by fx20736
Saranac High Peak Series Single Malt Scotch Ale from Matt Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 24 ratings.