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Saranac Pumpkin Ale - Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Not Rated.
Saranac Pumpkin AleSaranac Pumpkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

426 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 426
Hads: 1,115
Avg: 3.45
pDev: 26.67%
Wants: 32
Gots: 180 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: JackStraw22 on 09-01-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 426 | Hads: 1,115
Photo of the_awesometeer
3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice orange color with a lasting thin head. Aroma of pumpkin with a hint of pumpkin spice. The taste is similar. Nice Pumpkin taste hints of spice. Feels thin and not much carbonation. Overall a fine pumpkin beer just nothing about it stands out.

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Photo of theBubba
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice copper color and a decent 30 second head that turns to a slight ring of lace at the surface.

Taste? Well as one reviewer noted, Matt/Saranac was never known to be up there in taste. Tame, non offensive easy drinking stuff, and this addition is more of the same. To its credit it isn't over laced with pumpkin pie spices like most of that style and does convey somewhat of a pumpkin flavor, but it's nothing to write home about.

I'd sum it up as a decent but lackluster, thin in body easy drinking session pumpkin. Nothing to complain about nor rave about.

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Photo of Apellonious
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2015 version, poured from a 32 oz bottle growler purchased at HT.

A - Clear, golden orange with brown overtones. 1/4 finger that moves quickly to a thin lace.

S - Pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon

T - Follows the nose, with an almost end swig burst of pumpkin and brown sugar.

M - Thin and a touch watery. Carbonation is medium low.

O - Definitely worth a try for pumpkin fans.

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Photo of VincentJB
3.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Not bad. I've had really good pumpkin ales, and really terrible pumpkin ales. This one is somewhere in between. It really isn't bad, and I'll probably drink it again.

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Photo of TLWalsh
3.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours medium dark honey color with plenty of vanilla toned head. Has a very definite cinnamon spice aroma. The mouthfeel is a bit thin and there's plenty of clove and ginger flavors. Finishes malty and sweet. Not a bad pumpkin style but there are better ones.

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Photo of Nyg
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Another pumpkin ale. Like I said I'll try one of anything. Just like every other pumpkin ale. None stand out from another really. Didn't hurt trying. If u like this it's not bad

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Photo of 303beer
3.31/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Well I'm slightly skeptical due to the rating but here it is in front of me. It looks good. Carbonation turns to a rocky head about half inch tall. It's not bad but not full bodied. Has a pumpkin flavor with some spice just a little thin.

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Photo of fscottkey
2.75/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: [4.25] Dark copper to almost reddish color. Forms a small whit head that is thick enough to cover the beer - but not much more. The bottle lists the ABV (5.1%) and the IBU (15) and there is a born on date of (07/27/15).

S: [2.25] Immediately my brain is saying "something I don't like but with spices on top." Cinnamon? Banana. Those red hot candies.

T: [2.75] It doesn't follow the nose. It has a decent mild pumpkin flavor to it. There is a banana component to it too.

M: [3.00] Tingly carbonation. Low to medium in body.

O: [2.75] Not one I would repeat. The nose is not good. The flavor is better but still doesn't come off well. Overall I am just not enjoying this beer.

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Photo of IPAGeorge
3.82/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip

A. Pours a dark caramel color with a cappuccino colored 1 finger foamy head that subsides quickly.

S. Malts and spice. Def get some nutmeg and allspice.

T. Same as the nose i'm getting fall spices and malts. I think it's nice.

M. Kinda light bodied. 3 on a scale of 1-10. Nice carbonation that its the tongue and hangs around for a second after the swallow.

O. Not a bad ale for the season. i enjoy the spice flavors. It's kinda one dimensional but satisfying all together. It's also kind of thin. A nice sessionable seasonal brew for that time of year.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.22/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, golden/amber color with a quarter of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and formed wispy clouds that gathered in the center of the top of the beer.

Aroma: Malty up front, followed by pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices of cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, ginger. However, I get next to nothing in the way of hops.

Taste: Malty up front, followed by some fruity pumpkin flavors and spices of cinnamon and nutmeg. There is some slight brown sugar-like sweetness as well as some interesting slight sour notes too. There is no hops bitterness to speak of, which I overall prefer.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 5.4%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a decent pumpkin beer, but it’s not great either. I’m not putting in on my list of pumpkin beers to get next year, but if it was offered, I’d certainly not turn it down either.

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Photo of biegaman
3.39/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

It's terribly cliche - and I've used the line countless times before - but Saranac Pumpkin Ale lights up like a jack-o-lantern. Honestly, its orange tone swells with highlights and, with the help of fluttering bubbles, almost seems to twinkle. More befitting (and even more corny) is that its top looks thick and solid enough that it'd require a sharp knife to carve out.

The label lists (in order) cinnamon, allspice, clove, and ginger but all I smell is a nicely balanced, tempered but still perfumed, general combination of baking spices. No one in particular. More aromatic, somewhat surprisingly, is a (presumably malt-induced) note of caramelized brown sugar. It reminds me of pumpkin pie, sure, but maybe even more so of glazed squash.

If there's one thing you can't ever accuse Matt Brewing Co. of doing it's over-delivering on flavour. Each sip is more of a disappointment than the last. All the pumpkin pie flavours - the holiday spices, the glazed sweetness - continue to fade incrementally whereas, really, they should be compounded. More and more this tastes like lightly-scented cinnamon water.

Like a crappy horror movie that gets worse and worse the further in you get, at some point this also makes you start to wonder why you ever thought it was a good idea to start in the first place. I've never tried a Saranac beer with any real amount of character to it - what was I expecting from this one? Don't get me wrong, it's pleasant - just painfully plain.

Saranac's is a pumpkin ale perfectly suited to those who drink the trends but maybe aren't so sure how they feel about the style in general. It's exceptionally mild and minimal, even as far as entry-level versions go, almost as if it were designed for children's consumption. There's such an anemic amount of grain and spices you'd think the brewery was under wartime rations. More trick than treat.

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Photo of Hendry
4.34/5  rDev +25.8%

The low BA ratings on what seems like most of the Pumpkin Ales can be deceptive. I found myself embracing the style this Autumn, and ignoring a lot of subjective reviews/ratings in the Ones and Twos (so many varieties rank in the Seventies likely due to many tasting their first ever Pumpkin Ale). That said, I grabbed the last 12 pack of Saranac Pumpkin Ale that Price Chopper had in the cooler at a very fair price of $13.99

Medium dark copper pour, an inch of fluffy head takes a dive quickly and laces the tulip nicely.

Aroma is of the sweeter Pumpkin Ale variety,all the usual suspects for spices blending in,some graham cracker crust part of the mix,and the ginger was dialed down where it should be,yet present.

Taste immediately starts out sweet,and sort of fades sweet/spicy: not getting any appreciable hint of bitter hop counterbalance, which is an element that is palatable to some, and not to others. In other words, this is more of a pumpkin pie ale less than an ale with pumpkin spices. I view the difference in the two styles as the brewer's interpretation. Saranac reminds me very much of Southern Tier Pumking (though Pumking is an Imperial), except lighter on the booze (8% vs 5.1%) and in a very wallet friendly 12 pack format. Hoppier Pumkin Ales are fine by me when done properly (i.e. Long Trail brush & barrel Imperial Pumpkin), just a different interpretation of the style.

Mouthfeel is medium and I understand the somewhat syrupy angle other reviewers have mentioned,but not a real detraction if the sweeter pumpkin pie spice bombs appeal to you like they do me. Not a beer I would care to finish more than 2 or 3 in a sitting personally.

Overall, my impression of Saranac Pumpkin Ale is quite favorable, and it might even be the second biggest pleasant surprise of the season (the first being the much maligned Wolaver's Organic Pumpkin Ale earning the GOLD MEDAL at the 2014 GABF amongst 52 competing entries, despite the dismal ratings here on BA). Lots of great Pumpkin Ales out there that don't even make it into the 80s for ratings, add Saranac to the list.

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Photo of spacecake9
1.5/5  rDev -56.5%

Poured into my favorite Pumking Goblet.

A - Nice looking amber orange appearance, with a tight foamy head that quickly dies down to a appealing ring.

S - Sharp on the nose with a hint of pumpkin. Almost a little sour. Not the kind of aroma that gets you excited to taste the beer.

T - My initial reaction was this is a not so good beer with some pumpkin flavorings. I'm not sure if the pumpkin flavor is just that or real pumpkins. The bottle suggests spices but I can't pick out any specifically.

M - This beer is on the thin side, watery in the mouth. After each mouthful the flavor leaves very quickly.

O - This is not a good pumpkin beer because it's not a good base beer. Adding pumpkin flavor to a bad beer just creates a bad pumpkin beer. I've not had any other offerings from Saranac, but I think these folks would be better off not brewing a pumpkin beer.

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Photo of getkrunkhoe
2.69/5  rDev -22%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

Not sure y, but, I had someWhat a high expectancy for this beer.

32 oz. Growler, about a month since I bought it; I opened it.

App- Nice orange/auburn glow and subtle red hues. Very inviting.
Ar- Classic nutmeg, cinn, clove, and pumpkin extract. yet smells as if it will lack.
Taste- mellow ass pumpkin and spices with sweet malt.
Mouth-feel - exTREMEly light. Hate to say watered down but it was close to that (if not; that). But super light which can be a nice change from the overly spice and concentrated typical Pumpkin brews you get, however the balance in this was... Not appealing. however, Im sure it pleases some palates .
Overall- a great cheap buy, great for entertaining but not to "wow". decent brew, great growler, and decent seasonal.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.31/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Pours a hazy copper with a foamy khaki head that fades to nothing. Tiny dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and pumpkin pie spice aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, caramel, fruit, and pumpkin pie spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is nothing too memorable, but it is easy to drink for what it is.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of yarnbomb
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

It comes in a 32 oz jug! How cool is that? I really thought it would be awful, but it's actually pretty good for your standard dusty pie spiced fall seasonal.

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Photo of Ryanm1
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%

One of those run of the mill pumpkin beers. You can find it in most places in the east coast but that doesn't mean you would put start fantasy pumpkin beer roster. It's more of a third tier flex option if you had to drink it because your main beers weren't refrigerated. It's a dark brown, hoppy at the start and finish. Not much lacing but spices are present throughout without the sweetness. Drink it of its on special and if you need a 6 pack for under $10 maybe grab it otherwise steer clear .

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Photo of Lou22
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Type: 32-oz. bottle
Glass: chalice
From: From my brother
Price: 4.99

Caramely-copper pour color, minimal head that dissipated pretty quickly.

Nutmeg, wintery spice smell, pumpkiny obviously.

Tasted like a watery pumpkin pie.

Medium body, caramel-ish tasting finish for me. Average carbonation.

Enjoyable, not a go-to beer though.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Pint mug
From: From my brother
Price: N/A
Purchased: N/A
Consumed: Sept. 8, 2014
Misc.: Best by Jan. 31, 2015

Poured a caramel, copper semi-clear color with 1-to-2 fingers of off-white, grayish head, which dissipated quickly. Minimal watery lacing on the sides of the glass. Minimal retention on the top. (Sight - 3.63)

Smelled dog food, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, light peppermint, molasses, other wintry spices, caramel, allspice and cloves. (Smell - 3.38)

Tasted a bit better than the nose. Got allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie, wintry spices, molasses, dry cloves, caramel, toffee and honey. (Taste - 3.50)

Medium body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Longer, spicy finish. (Feel - 3.63)

An average pumpkin beer. (Overall - 3.50)

3.50 | 80 | B

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Photo of utopiajane
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%

Pours orange amber, cl;ear, lager bubbles floating upwards. Creamy head of off white foam that lasted. Nose is cinnamon, ginger, biscuit, clove, breaddy allspice. Some pumpkin, not a lot, light caramel and faint hops. Taste is watery and thin, not too sweet. Cracker malt and moderate ticklish carbonation. Cinnamon, ginger faint pumpkin and a touch of hops in the lingering dry finish. Grass, dry biscuit and no slickness in the mouthfeel at all. Spices tame a bit as the beer warms and then the watery finish lets the flavor fade a bit too quickly.; Not great and needs a bit more flavor.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.45/5  rDev 0%

Better than I think it get's credit for. Appearance is a dark brown with a tan head that fizzes away quickly. The smell is pumpkin although a little subtle, with allspice and nutmeg on the nose. The taste is more spice than pumpkin and the mouthfeel is a little thin for me. But for the price I thought it was a very nice value for what it is.

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Photo of microbrewlover
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%

This brew pours a dark orange/copper which is darker at the top than the bottom. There is a nice fluffy white head and moderate lacing on the glass.

The smell is strong with nutmeg and coriander. There is also a thick roasted malt backbone here unfortunately, there is not much pumpkin.

The taste follows the nose with mostly nutmeg and coriander but very light on the pumpkin taste. There is a strong roasted malt backbone with a few light hops on the backend.

Overall this is a pretty good beer with deep roasted malts and spices but it fails as a pumpkin ale. If you make a pumpkin ale, pumpkin should be at the top of your list of ingredients. Still it is not a complete loss.

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Photo of hophugger
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%

good beer. Nose has the cinnamon and spices that are usually present with a pumpkin ale.. Color is very nice clear orange-deep yellow hue. good head. the spices are predominant and outdo the pumpkin. The beer is rather light and the carbonation is fantastic.

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Photo of BeerWizard
3.13/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

We've gotten this one in CO the past couple of years, but I didn't get any last year because I was pretty satisfied by the Tommyknocker and NB Pumpkick for filler between some of the better ones. This and Uinta was all I could find tonight though, so I decided to try the Saranac as I'd had the Uinta already.

The Saranac looks like a proper pumpkin, clear orange with an average head that dissolves after a minute or so. I must point out that it is (now) a 5.1% abv beer, not 5.4% as indicated on BA. Says so on the label. Otherwise the label pitches it as an ale brewed with pumpkin and spices and displays a festive jack o lantern.

Aroma is pretty typical as well, though I am not getting pumpkin so much as the spices, which I think is typical for a lot of pumpkin ales. Get cinnamon on the nose with some clove, and beneath that is just a grainy, macro-ish base. Pretty light bodied and not much in the flavor department - tastes malty and has a bit of fruit, and there is a little bit of tang on the back end from the spices which is nice. Not getting any actual pumpkin flavor from this like you do with the bigger ales.

Overall, pretty average, but glad to be getting back into the season and looking forward to some other offerings. I think this would be good to have at a party where everyone's not going to be real picky, and this'd probably be a good choice for a pumpkin keg. It's refreshing and probably really palatable for a lot of people, just don't expect to be wowed by it if you're looking for something more distinct.

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Photo of dacrza1
2.7/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

DATE TASTED: October 25, 2013 ... GLASSWARE: Wychwood pint... OCCASION: unwinding with some pre-Halloween pumpkin!... APPEARANCE: opaque autumn-brown body with a thin off-white head--but zero lacing?!... AROMA: distinct pumpkin waft and lightly toasted malts that take precedent over the pumpkin; spices are soft, subdued...PALATE: slightly warming, medium-bodied balanced ale that sits well in the throat; inoffensive but not impressive...TASTE: malty; solidly built with a slightly suggestive pumpkin/spice flavor--modestly autumnal...OVERALL: Situated among other pumpkin bombers and October brews, this beer finds itself slightly below the competition, if only because it offers little truly memorable qualities...not a bad thing, just not much of a thing like waiting for the Great Pumpkin instead of trick-or-treating...

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Saranac Pumpkin Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 426 ratings.