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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.

888 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 888
Reviews: 548
rAvg: 3.31
pDev: 14.8%
Wants: 2
Gots: 34 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 888 | Reviews: 548 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Imbiber
3/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale gold, moderate carbonation, fair white head. Pleasant aroma of fresh hops, a little flowery. Taste is moderately hoppy, not very assertive at all. Quite well balanced but somewhat nondescript for an IPA. Moderately bitter finish. Much more an ordinary pale ale than an IPA, unimpressive but pleasant enough. Tame. This won't offend anyone apart from those expecting a more vigorous hop bite.

I doubt I'll bother with this again myself, though it may be a good choice for a 'stepping stone' beer for potentially converting macro swill drinkers to something better.

Imbiber, Feb 22, 2004
Photo of ark57
3.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I feel that this beer is a little light in color and should not have been filtered. It is a very clear golden color. It is topped with a long-lasting, soft head. The bitter aroma reminds me of freshly mowed grass with a little citrus. There is a slight caramel taste to the body, but it is a little thin. The finish tatse of fresh lemon rind, from the use of the Cascade Hops.

ark57, Feb 15, 2004
Photo of smcolw
3.78/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very light in color--golden. Nice two finger head that leaves a pleasant lace on the the glass. Slight chill haze.

Beautiful hop bouquet in the smell with just enough malt to keep it complex.

Taste: First to mind--lemony. Lots of flavoring hops, lots of aroma hops, almost like the time I took a hop pellet and sucked on it. Even though I'm a hop head I miss the malt balance. The malt is subtle that one needs to seek out. I like the body--just about perfect. The hop stays with me long, long after the swallow.

Perhaps I'll have a Scotch ale to clear my palate.

smcolw, Feb 13, 2004
Photo of TastyTaste
4.1/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note about this beer: IPAs are my favorite style. I saved this bottle for the last from my sampler pack.
Pours a medium gold color with a thick white head. There seems to be particles suspended in the liquid, which is kind of cool looking being held up to light. Smells good. Very bitter and floral with the hops, and there is a tone of alcohol in the background. Taste is overloaded with hops bitterness (I'm not saying that's a bad thing). After I have tried all 12 Saranac's, I will say this is the best one, even though it isn't the best IPA I've ever had.

TastyTaste, Feb 12, 2004
Photo of Charthepirate
3.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very standard, underpowered, underdeveloped IPA.

Poured a pale, almost fizzy lawnmower beer yellow. Big bubbles, but a nice lacing.

Smell knocked me back with a kick of DMS. This may have been a bad bottle, because the DMS dominated.

Flavor is strong on the hops, and some fruity esthers. Even with all that unbalance, it's far too weak in either department to be outstanding.

Easy to drink though, wouldn't make a horrible sesion beer.


Charthepirate, Feb 09, 2004
Photo of Shiloh
4.38/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice IPA, I enjoyed it, wish I had more.
The colour was a dark golden and very clear. Carbonation was light and the crown was short leaving to a minor lace and cling. The body almost full but shortly lacking.
The nose was mildly floral.
A heavy dose of cascade hops is the first to greet you and it sticks around for an impressive after taste.
IMHO, this brew could use just a little more balance...but not much.

Shiloh, Jan 28, 2004
Photo of Maestro
3.08/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice bubbly white head. Yellow with orange hints. The nose is quite hoppy and has some aromas of fresh cut grass. The beer is quite hoppy and the grassy notes come through in the first taste. The malt doesn't seem to peak through very much. Hops dominate the taste. The mouthfeel is quite dry and bitter. The drinkability is average. Not the greatest IPA, but not the worst either.

Maestro, Jan 25, 2004
Photo of Billolick
3/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

clear, straw color. not much of a nose, abit of cascade. Medium hops and minimal malt, Hops in the finish, abit of lime and grapefruit. Doesnt live up to its label " a hop lovers delight!". This really is more like a Pale Ale, not enough of a hop kick to get it up to style....$5.99 a six, I'd rather pay a buck or two more to get a non-watered down attempt at an IPA

Billolick, Jan 19, 2004
Photo of longpondbeerman
3.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice light amber ("golden straw" they call it on the label), very clear with a bubbly off-white head. Soft hops aroma with not much else, perhaps a little underlying wheat. The taste is uneventful--no where near the hoppiness I'd expect (again from the label: "very hoppy in both aroma and flavor") and a bit sweeter than I expected, too. The taste improves actually as the ale nears its finish, becoming more complex with a lingering balance of bread and bitter. I like the mouthfeel; maybe a tad overcarbonated, but not too thin at least. I'd drink it again.

longpondbeerman, Jan 16, 2004
Photo of masterbruewer
3.48/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a golden, slightly amber color with a decent white head of about a 1/2 inch. Little carbonation.

The smell is a little citrusy and grainy, but mostly hoppy.

The taste is pure cascade hops. Not much else, but I didn't find it overly bitter.

The mouthfeel is full, but not thick.

If you like IPA's this is a great example. If you don't like hops, stay away.

masterbruewer, Jan 16, 2004
Photo of UnionMade
3.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a rather lightish golden amber, topped with a thick white head. The head dies out to a thick mist after a couple sips, with lots of sticky lace completely coating the sides of the glass. Excellent clarity.
The aroma is rather subdued for an IPA. Hops are definitely apparent, although without the strength I'm accustomed to. Still pleasant. The hops are mildly herbal and grassy, as well as citric. Some maltiness comes through, mostly a toasty aroma. Faily clean, without much in the way of fruitiness. A doughy pasta-like aroma is evident in the malt, which is unusual.
The flavor starts with a semi-grainy toasted maltiness. Just a trace of floral esters come through in the middle before they're washed away in a moderate citric hoppiness. Some herbal and hay-like flavor comes through, after your palate adjusts. A bit of rindy grapefruit flavor is apparent in the aftertaste. Moderate bitterness. Medium bodied, with mild carbonation and a fairly smooth, albeit grainy mouthfeel.
Not half bad. Probably my favorite from the seasonal mix pack so far. I could do without the hay-like hop flavor. Pretty well balanced, with actual hop flavor and some bittering. A bit simple, but I could drink a pint of this after work.

UnionMade, Jan 14, 2004
Photo of taez555
3.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a white head with a rather clear tan/orange body.

The nose was a mix of bread, citrus, yeast, spice and biscuit malt. There seemed to be an interesting mix of hop smells, not just a cascade, maybe a mix of some others. I’d say saaz or maybe a german earthy type hop.

The taste was medium to light bodied. Rather bitter. A big but mellow bitter citrus. Biscuit malt, light caramel, caramel sweetness, some yeast. Nice big and malty. It finishes with a long mellow citrus bitterness.

Basically this beer reminded me of old school microbrews in the days of Sam Adams, Pete’s, before the time of the big craft brews. Just a simple, tasty, IPA. A great session beer, but not one I’d reach for if I saw it on the shelf.

taez555, Jan 10, 2004
Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.2/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Light golden hue, a bit cloudy, a thin creamy head, web lacing noted throughout. A decent hops aroma as well as some fresh fruit on the nose. Up front, rather nice, tangy citrus flavoring gives way to some Cascade hops. Soft, crisp and refreshing. Maybe light bodied, but that's alright. Tiny carbonation in the body, some grapefruit and apple notes, could have been hopped up a little more. A pretty good session IPA, could have been hopped up a little more.

GeoffRizzo, Dec 24, 2003
Photo of WesWes
3.78/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a golden color with a thick frothy white head. The aroma is hoppy and quite aromatic. It has a very powerful floral scent; very nice. The taste is good. It also boasts floral hop flavor. It however has a very plain tasting palate of malts. It tastes like only pale malts. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good drinking beer; a decent IPA.

WesWes, Dec 24, 2003
Photo of winomark
2.42/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours a light copper with a substantial foamy off-white head.

Aroma: Some hop citrus, but a slight sweetness is most noticable.

Taste: Malt and cereal notes up front with a slight hoppiness battling with the carbonation. Dry, bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Not balanced at all. Flavors going in all different directions. Carbonation dominates throughout.

Drinkability: Not an IPA in my book. Avoid if possible.

winomark, Dec 22, 2003
Photo of clvand0
2.5/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer poured a golden/yellow color with a small head that dissipated quickly. The aroma was mostly citrus with some malts and hops in the background. The flavor was citrusy with some hops and malts as well, but it seemed to be pretty watery. I didn't think this was a good representation of the IPA.

clvand0, Dec 19, 2003
Photo of mschofield
2.63/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Finishing off my Saranac Holiday 12 pack
Copper-orange with a tall bubbly white head, does lace a little, settles to a cap.
Citrus and pine notes with a tiny bit of green apple in the aroma. Citrus carries through to the taste as grapefruit rind, not enough malt in the flavor, none in the aroma.
Light medium, slightly oily body.
Not a terribly memorable IPA, or one I'd buy if there were other choices available, and there are a lot of better easilt available choices in the same price range.

mschofield, Dec 18, 2003
Photo of ManekiNeko
2.42/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle served chilled in a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear orange yellow (a wee bit pale for an IPA, to my experience and preference) topped by a healthy and frothy ecru head. Visible carbonation. Head recedes to a frothy film and leaves lacing appropriate to the style: big and billowy.

Smell: Decent cascade hop nose, mildly grapefruity and piney. Detectable malts on the nose.

Taste: Sharp cascade hop bite. Grassy and metallic, not much of a malt backing, but not the worst I've ever had. Grapefruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a tannic-esque drying effect.

Drinkability: Lack of enough malts + tannic-like drying = unhappy kitty. Not horrible enough to dump down the drain, but not good enough to even want to try again - even on someone else's dollar.

ManekiNeko, Dec 09, 2003
Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.4/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A light amber body tending toward gold with a decent intial head of an ivory hue. The head flattens out to a thin layer fairly quickly and leaves spooty lace down the glass. The nose is of citrus hops with the faintest hint of malt as the brew warms toward room temps.

The tasty is of citurs hops with only a little malt background. Faint oiliness in the feel with a fair snap in the finish. The drinkability is pretty good but would be helped by a heavier malting.

AtLagerHeads, Dec 08, 2003
Photo of merlin48
3.03/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is, almost, a side by side tasting with Harpoon IPA, both from 12 bottle sampler boxes from their respective breweries. The Saranac pours a totally clear medium golden amber, with short lasting head. Subued nose, like the Harpoon, but the Saranac's nose is more bitter, less floral. Good chain lacing in the pint glass. Mouthfeel is ok, plenty of carbonation and nice hop/malt balance. Tastes like some pine resin got tossed into the mix. There is a slight peppery taste, and an astringent aftertaste. I think Saranac is trying to do too many styles at the same time, or it seems that way to me. This doesn't compare favorably to the Harpoon IPA.

merlin48, Dec 08, 2003
Photo of jed
3.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden, straw brown with a medium head. Excellent head retention, leaves behind a trail of lace.

Smell: Piney hop aromas dominate, oily and a bit astringent. Less of a citrus aroma then some more popular American IPAs. Hints of sweetness and malt.

Taste: Strong cascade hops with a hint of malt sweetness. Again, less citrus flavor than I would have expected. Chewy, woodsy aftertaste, dry and grainy. Less floral or spicy then Harpoon IPA or something like HopDevil. Very smooth mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: While this beer lacks the strong flavors of something like SN Celebration Ale, the lightness makes it very drinkable. A good session beer, although you might start to crave something more substantive.

Overall, a very enjoyable beer. This would be an excellent beer to suggest to macro drinkers as a very easy introduction to the IPA style. I can't see seeking this out regularly; I prefer Harpoon for a session IPA. Nevertheless an excellent if slightly weak brew.

jed, Dec 07, 2003
Photo of NJpadreFan
2.88/5  rDev -13%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Saranac IPA was #10 of my assorted 12 pack.

IPA poured a golden yellow with very little head.
the smell was slighty citrusy with a hint of hops.
the taste was very plain. Slight citrus, some floral, some bitterness.
The mouthfeel was bitter yet watery.

Overall, not an impressive IPA just an average brew at best.

NJpadreFan, Dec 06, 2003
Photo of HappyHourHero
3.6/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light tan head leaves a good amount of spotty lace. Light amber colored beer is transparent. Nice bitterly sweet hoppy aroma. The flavor is sweetly hoppy and quickly becomes bitter. The bitterness fades in the aftertaste and finishes fairly clean. I wouldn't mind drinking this one more often, too bad you have to buy a mixed 12 pack to get one.

HappyHourHero, Dec 03, 2003
Photo of marc77
2.85/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear light copper. Frothy, loosely packed cream white head leaves rough lace. Generic pink grapefruit Cascade hop nose, with a light caramel twang in aroma. Prosaic, but clean aromawise. The flavor mirrors the aroma, with a grapefruit and citrus rind hop presence dominating overshadowed caramel malt. Trace pseudotoasty Carapils malt emerges as it breathes, but there's insignificant malt depth here. Hop bitterness is moderate and due to the high attenuation, very little residual sweetness remains. Lean in body, and only a notch above watery in mouthfeel. Finishes with a fading acidic tartness and lingering sharp, pith like notes. Not an impressive brew. Saranac IPA lacks in malt and hop character, and is somewhat watery taboot. Would function quite well as a thirst quencher, though. Decent at best.

marc77, Nov 26, 2003
Photo of shippos
3/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

poured with a pale yellow color with a thick white head. very intense floral hop aroma, almost grassy...can't detect any malt at all in the aroma. very hoppy taste again with little malt to balance out the intense hopping of this beer. mouthfeel is kinda watery would have like it to be a little thicker. no depth to this beer at all just hops, hops, hops.

shippos, Nov 18, 2003
Saranac India Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 888 ratings.