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Saranac India Pale Ale - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac India Pale AleSaranac India Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

862 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 862
Reviews: 548
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 14.76%
Wants: 1
Gots: 24 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-19-2001)
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Ratings: 862 | Reviews: 548 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hero27


3.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled as part of the "Saranac 12 Beers of Winter" variety pack.

Pours a mostly clear, unimpressive yellowish-orange color with a decent white head. Aroma is light floral hops with grassy-herbal notes. Tastes ok..plenty of generic bittering hops and a light finish. Pretty drinkable. A decent stab at an IPA, but nothing that I'll be seeking out again.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2005 04:53:41 | More by hero27
Photo of Marty


2.45/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I could have sworn I reviewed this beer years ago when I was a student living near the FX Matt Brewing Co. We used to get it only once a year, when it came packaged with the 12 Beers of Christmas sampler pack by Saranac.

If I HAD reviewed it I would have said I was unimpressed. IPAs are supposed to have HOPS! Lots of hops. This beer has some, but certainly not as much as a beer like Sierra Nevada, which considers itself a PA, not an IPA. Furthermore, this beer seems kind of watery. It looks nice, has a somewhat sticky head, but doesn't smell like much and really tastes a lot like Saranac's Pale Ale.

I realize I shouldn't expect too much, since this beer is probably only brewed once a year for the 12 Beers of Christmas. On the other hand, Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale is only brewed once a year... and IT rules.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2005 22:23:12 | More by Marty
Photo of Enola

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out with a nice one inch head. The beer is yellowish orange color. The smell is of hops. The taste is a little watered down for an IPA. It is fairly smooth in the mouthfeel and is pretty drinkable. I would buy it agin. It is not as hoppy as some others but not a bad choice. A decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2005 02:15:13 | More by Enola
Photo of Stubbie1


3.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours almost orange in color with a nice white head. Decent lacing until the end of the beer. Aroma of pine and citrus, mild but present. Flavor is a mild malt feel with the citrus flavor of the hops taking over and giving it a bitter finish.
A good beer or better to say a mild ipa. This is the brew to get the macro drinker to convert to better beers. Nothing really special about this beer but nothing really to bitch about. A bit above average!

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2005 02:16:58 | More by Stubbie1
Photo of HugoGrim


3.6/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint. Purchased as part of the 12 Beers of Winter sampler case.

Golden and clear with nice carbonation. Sports a one finger head, which quickly dissipated, however it did leave nice rings down the glass.

The scent was quite strong with the aroma of fresh hops as you would expect from an IPA.

The flavor was predominately a crisp and clean fresh hop flavor. Very bold flavor which stood it's ground with the flavorful pizza I enjoyed this brew with. It had a slightly fruity almost floral finish.

A good IPA. Certainly nothing special to write home about, but good overall.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2005 14:28:52 | More by HugoGrim
Photo of Gritsak

West Virginia

3.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- deep gold with a nice white head that settles to a light film that laces well.

S- very light hop aroma. somewhat skunky smell which is kind of dissapointed.

T- fairly strong clove, pine, and spice hop presence.finish is a little unbalanced but i kind of like it that way. light malt also blended in.

M- medium body, mild carbonation. raw feeling.

D- not to bad. i could easily kill a few of these in one sitting.

overall- im kind of bias on ipa reviews because im a big hop head and as long as it has a strong hop presence, im happy. in the case of this brew i wasnt expecting much but it does have a pleasent taste. smell is lacking IMO and i could have a little more body/malt. not a bad offering though.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2005 18:54:04 | More by Gritsak
Photo of coasterfreak75

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pour was a yellow with just a slight orange tinge with a one finger head that slowly dissapated and left a thin lace on top of the beer and on the sides of the glass.

The smell was heavy in hop spice and a slight pilsner sour smell with just a hint of malt sweetness.

The drink started very smooth with zero hops in the front the hops kicked in the middle and were gone before the finish.

Not a bad IPA but also not a great IPA. To me it needs more hop tones and a more complex flavor. All and all not a bad beer, well worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2005 00:34:06 | More by coasterfreak75
Photo of mattcrill


3.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Part of a winter sampler pack.

Appearance: A honey colored clear golden pour with a white quickly fading head.

Smell: A musty hop aroma and a bit of vegetable smell that I can't quite place. Nothing terribly off but a bit confusing to the nose.

Taste: Bittering and floral hops dominate. Just a hint of carmel sweetness at the end. The bitterness continues to assault the palate. A touch on the unbalanced side.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied, crisp, and just a tad watery.

Drinkability: A bit harsh but it definitely scratches the hop itch. One of the better ones from Saranac. Would be a good intro to IPA's for a non-BA. Worth a shot if you can get it.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2005 19:45:54 | More by mattcrill
Photo of Sycodrummer


2.55/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the 12oz. brown bottle into a basic pint tumbler the beer was a dull golden/bronze color with a half finger of white head that quickly fizzeled out to nothing. Carbonation bubbles streamed up the glass but little lacing formed during the sample.

The nose was hoppy and floral with a slight estery fruitty aroma as well.

The hop charachter was very apparent upfront but quickly quit the palate leaving only a mildly bitter sensation on the tounge. The other flavors struggeled to come through and this ended up being more of a bitter and bland pale ale rather than an IPA. Some mild floral notes, but overall a weak taste with little else to note.

Mouthfeel was moderate and crisp; well carbonated.

Not a great example of the style, rather bland and the hops (although there) struggle to keep your attention. There are far better IPA's available and it will be those that get my attention in the future.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2005 20:21:25 | More by Sycodrummer
Photo of jmz62565


2.17/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This pours a golden straw color,it looks like a lager, with a small head that disapears quickly.This really doesn't smell very hoppy,more like cooked vegatables.Saranac has made an IPA that hardly has any hops.This is pretty poor.Almost every other IPA I've tried is better than this.The m/f is weak and watery.I really don't want to bash this brewer,but I haven't had one good beer from Saranac.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2005 04:49:48 | More by jmz62565
Photo of Stimack

New York

3.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Brew is golden in color with a nice sized white head that has fair retention and left some lacing sheets down the side of the glass. The aroma is of hops, I think cascade with that familiar citrus like aroma. Very nice aroma from this brew, as it is not over the top like a number of the hoppy American creations that seem to have a solid following. The taste good, it starts sweet but that dissipates quickly leaving a flowery/citrus hop flavor that is very well balanced. This is one of my favorite choices from Matts, simple brew on many fronts but solid.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2005 02:18:09 | More by Stimack
Photo of daliandragon

North Carolina

3.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This Saranac six pack sampler has been a winner so far and historically I enjoy a good IPA so I have some high expectations for this brew.
Pours a light gold with a reddish tint and few signs of life on the head or lacing front, but that's par for the course with Saranac. The smell is all open, fresh hops. Singleminded but still good.
The taste is laced with hops but still finds some balance especially in the aftertaste. This is a fresh, open faced taste with nice texture. The hops run rampant, even for me. This will have too much hop flavor for some people. Not an everyday beer, this is is still refreshing and tasty.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2005 22:26:57 | More by daliandragon
Photo of tomthumbsblues


3.6/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of the bottle as a rich golden beer with lots of carbonation and an off-white foamy head. Smelled of fresh hops. Crisp flavor in the beginning yields to hoppy bitterness. Not as aggressive an IPA as I'm used to, but it has a good aftertaste. Mouthfeel is balanced. This is a good beer, nice going down, but if you want a true IPA, then I think you should look elsewhere.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2005 01:06:03 | More by tomthumbsblues
Photo of semihobo


3.73/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

More Saranac, those 12 packs are just so cheap...

Nice amber color, I think lightish IPAs are cool (and they aimed for a "golden straw color" and hit it pretty well). Crummy head, barely any lace although some drips down the sides of the glass.

Pretty faint scent, smells of typical Saranac malts and Cascade hops.

Quite tasty, whew. Lots of hops, with a sticky resinous finish. Hops at the beginning, middle, and end of the taste. Balanced very nicely with the malts, though, which makes this a nice IPA. The amber maltiness adds a much-needed dimension to the brew. The sweetness of the malt also works nicely with the citrus element of the hops to create a bitter fruit taste. The bitterness of the aftertaste is a little metallic and lingers.

Mouthfeel is great, pretty chewy and thick. Carbonation is perfect, strong but not overwhelming.

I drank this in a gorge (hey it's Ithaca) in the summer sun and it was very refreshing; it's also nice now on a rainy night or in the winter. This is a very sessionable IPA that is nicely balanced. Saranac's strong point is balance and hitting the style, and they succeeded on both counts.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2005 00:49:55 | More by semihobo
Photo of asabreed

New York

3.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Not even all that hazy, kinda looks like a pilsner, and no head and no lacing really. Disappointing.

Smell: I suppose as it warms I could realize it's an IPA from the aromas, but there's not really as much hops as there probably should be unfortunately. Some sweetness slightly and some hops slightly, but I was hoping for more of a semblance of some kind of oily hops.

Taste: As it warms it starts to balance out, though it still could be much better. Some extreme bitterness at first along with some sweetness, balanced out with some citrus and an even more bitter hop bite at the end.

Mouthfeel: A lot of carbonation, though it doesn't detract. Oily and slightly slick, and a light to medium body.

Drinkability: I wouldn't be opposed to drinking this, but there many other IPAs I'd stick with rather than this. Still, I suppose it's worth a shot if you're a fan of the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2005 23:37:50 | More by asabreed
Photo of bultrey

New York

3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

3.5's all the way around for this baby, which pours a pale golden with a thin head, smells like flowers and my basement, and tastes like citrus, pine, and some dirty socks. Mouthfeel is good enough, and drinkability is suprisingly decent for having some of the aforementioned aroma and taste elements. Everything good about this beer has something mediocre to balance it out. Still, as all Saranacs, an excellent gateway from swill to a number of craft beer styles. You can rarely find a six-pack of beer that tastes this good for this little money.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2005 03:38:01 | More by bultrey
Photo of tempest


3.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a Saranac Adirondack Sampler

Pours a golden amber with a fluffy 1.5 finger head that dissapears rather fast but leaves nice lacing.

Nice hoppy smell, but somethings a little off. I think the malt doesn't come out right.

Not a complex beer, rather simple and light in taste but it has the hops and it good. Starts smooth and finishes bitter. Leaves a somewhat dry hoppy aftertaste to savor.

Surprisingly good mouthfeel. I think there's a little diacteyl in there that's helps make it go down fairly easy

Great for a cheap hops fix. This isnt a great AIPA, but its worth seeking if you want an easy drinking, cheap IPA. It may sound like a glorified APA, but its got some kick to it.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2005 22:38:07 | More by tempest
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS


3.48/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I really like this beer. I find Saranac a nice alternative to Sam Adams, at least in these parts. A very basic AIPA, but pretty darn tasty. Keep in mind I'm reviewing a Marco-mini.

App: Not fantastic, really lacking any of the traditional hues that make up IPA's. Slightly orange, almost translucent, very odd.

S&T: Very poppy, carbonation and initial taste are poppin' all over the place. Lots of spice in the aftertaste. Very fruity as well, lemon and grapefruit.

M&D: A decent offering from a decent brewery. Saranac thumbs up!

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2005 02:23:48 | More by FLAbeergutinMASS
Photo of lackenhauser


3.63/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very nice coppery gold color. Good aroma-very hoppy and floral. Some sweet malt in the backround. Ok hop and malt flavor. The two are balanced but not really enough of either to say "IPA". Faint soapiness in the whole mix. Somewhat astringent finish. Decent enough moutfeel. Overall a worthy effort. Loose the astringency and add a touch of malt and you got a decent IPA. Good cross over beer for a macro drinker.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2005 18:05:57 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of PBRstreetgang


4.1/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber/orange hue; fairly clear. A one and a half finger head retains well and produces some sticky lacing. Spicy hops and pale malt in the nose. Big bitter taste upfront, followed by a dry and sweet ester sweetness. Medium bodied with low carbonation and a clean finish. Smooth and well balanced for an American IPA, and very refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2005 04:47:32 | More by PBRstreetgang
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.05/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a nice copper/amber color ale with a medium head with good retention. Aroma of bitter hops is clearly identifiable. Taste is comprised of well balance floral malt and bitter hops. Body is above average without being too full. I guess this is a middle of the road IPA that can be quite enjoyable with BBQ on summer.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2005 19:32:58 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of granger10


3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear copper color with a medium white head. Moderate lacing. Aroma is really citrusy, must be lots of cascade in here, and then some honey and caramel notes. This might not be dry hopped, I'm not sure. Taste leaves behind the malts and there is almost no malt flavor. Instead I get a nice prickly grapefruit flavor. Bitterness increases towards the finish which is dry but still lingers in the back of my mouth. No acidic bite which I almost expected. A little spicyness in there as well as some yeast flavors which give earthiness at the top of the beer. Easy drinking and decent but not much more. I could drink a few of these I think.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2005 23:18:36 | More by granger10
Photo of tgbljb


3.78/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

purchased as part of sampler pack. Poured a clear golden color with medium puffy white head. Smell is dominated by hops but a citrus background texture is noted. Taste is strong with hop bitterness at first sip, but a sweet fruitiness starts to come through. Finishes with a dry bitterness, Decent drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2005 13:13:57 | More by tgbljb
Photo of Redrover


3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown longneck with no freshness dating.

The beer pours a surprisingly light colored copper. Small white head with decent lace patterns.

The cascade hops are what you first smell. They are backed by a bit of wheat cracker type aroma.

Taste is pleasant but not really biter enough to be a true IPA. Still there is some briskness and a bit of puckering citrus. The malts add a nice bit of balance. This one is a little under gunned to considered more than just above average. Don’t know, but I’m guessing the IBUs are in the 40 to 45 range.

The mouth is a wee bit husky which is fine. Easy enough drinker and this one could be a good intro to the IPA family of beers.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2005 02:31:38 | More by Redrover
Photo of jakester


4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was from a sampler case. No date evident!

Pours a beautiful clear light copper/gold with a 2 finger off-white head of foam. Drops to a nice coating and lacing all the way down.

Aroma is strong lemons and grapefruit. Obviously Cascade hops are present. Also some faint bready/yeasty malts, but not much.

The first flavor is malt, but that is quickly overtaken by pretty darn strong hop bittering. Lemons and grapefruit flavors come next, with some light caramel malts also present. There is a final, pleasant, dry astringency. This is well balanced.

Mouthfeel is sweet malts, bitter hops, and soft carbonation which finishes the beer as clean and crisp.

This would be a pounder. Damn good session IPA, though a little strong, and definitely recommended. For the price, this is a real winner.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2005 20:14:48 | More by jakester
Saranac India Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 862 ratings.