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Saranac Pumpkin Ale - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Pumpkin AleSaranac Pumpkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

1,078 Ratings
THE BROS
77
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,078
Reviews: 428
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 26
Gots: 148 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,078 | Reviews: 428
Reviews by Chuck_25:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Hendry
4.34/5  rDev +28%

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.

Photo of oberon
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Admittedly I am not a fan of pumpkin pie but I always look forward to the fall pumpkin beer each year,this poured a light copper with a 1/2 finger white head that was gone quite fast seems to be quite carbonated and somewhat spritzey.Pumpkin spice mainly in the nose cinnamon and mace stick out mainly a hint of nutmeg and an underlying toasted grain character,a sharp even light mouthfeel didnt like the feeling of that much.Subdued spice flavors not over the top quite pleasant nutmeg and cinnamon mainly even a touch of butter.Not bad flavors but the thin sharp mouthfeel is undesirable in my mind and it takes away from its drinkability,not bad but wont seek out again.

Photo of chOAKbarrell
2.4/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

You know how badly beer tastes if you drink it right after you brush your teeth? Well, the first time I had Saranac Pumpkin Ale, that's how it tasted - except I hadn't brushed my teeth before drinking it. I felt maybe something else was wrong, so I waited until I had my second bottle - this one - to review it.

It's a bit darker colored than I'd like it. Perhaps an effect from too much pumpkin? I'm not picking up very much in the nose. Too much pumpkin, or not enough spices - probably a bit of both problems. The taste was a big letdown. I was hoping for something generously spiced and lively, but unfortunately, this beer has the same cardboard/packing materials flavor (and scent) as Wild Goose's Pumpkin Patch. It's not as bad, or strange, as the aforementioned beer, but it is certainly not fun to drink, either.

I dont want to finish the 6 pack I bought, and hopefully I can find people that like it that I can give it to.

Photo of lordofthewiens
2.66/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The beer was a dark amber color with a thin white head. It had a vaguely spice aroma. Taste was pretty much all cinnamon and clove. Couldn't really appreciate anything else. The beer was too spiced and not enough malt to be very good. Won't drink it again.

Photo of generallee
2.8/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: It has a deep amber color with very good clarity. Its head is thin, white in color and fades quickly leaving a few bubbles on top and no lacing.

Smell: A strong spicy aroma hits you in the nose. Cinnamon and clove are the stand out spices.

Taste/Mouth feel: Wow this starts off with a big spicy kick in the mouth. Allspice, bitter cinnamon and clove overpower the malt that has some toasted and caramel notes. The pumpkin flavor is really hidden deep under the spicy character of this beer. A more apt name for this beer would be Saranac Spice Ale. The spicy character fades off a touch and hop bitterness picks up before slowly fading off into the finish. Its palate is smooth and slick with mild carbonation inside its medium body.

Notes: Overall it's a little bit too unbalanced on the spicy side.

Photo of Nature777
3.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was a light pumpkin ale. It had a decent flavor, but it was very artificial. It tasted like someone took a lager and poured some pumpkin spice syrup into it. It wasn't bad, but not nearly as good as other pumpkin ales that I've had. This is one of my favorite styles of beers, and even though it's not my preference in this style, I seem to find myself drinking it more often than others in the category. I stocked up on this last fall and enjoyed them all summer. That was a good life decision.

Photo of Jason
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

LOOK: Dark tawny

SMELL: Vanilla, licorice root, all spice, mild pumpkin meat

TASTE: Crisp, lighter body, spicy, clean grain, root beer, faint pumpkin, dark bread, herbal

Not half bad, perhaps not at beery as I was hoping for. The spice does not get annoying at all and there is enough malt flavor to keep things interesting.

Photo of Billolick
3.49/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. W/O any freshness or bottling date info that I can find.

Pours near clear darker amber, typical khaki head, thats on the small side, larger bubble and fading quickly. Leaves a moderate collar and middling strands of thicker lace.

Just a hint of cinnamon on the nose.

On the thin side both body wise and flavor wise. Has some typical fall spicing on the palate, but also a slight artificial flavor note. Plastic? Ehh...definatly not my favorite pumkin beer....

Would likely work fine to quaff a few on a nice fall day, decent to try with a newbie getting into better beer...but there are plenty of better pumpkin beers out there

Photo of MisterDeeds
3.18/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not too strong of an odor, but that could be a good thing when it comes to Pumpkin beer. The taste is pretty balanced between cinnamon and nutmeg, but it isn't overpowering or grainy like some other Pumpkins I have recently tried. Overall it's a pretty decent brew, and I could see myself having a few this season.

Photo of tigg924
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First pumpkin beer of the season. On tap at Union Ale House.

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, dark orange-brown in color, clear, moderate carbonation

Smell: cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin

Taste: cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin--light bread and caramel

Mouthfeel: sweet, moderate carbonation, medium/light bodied

Drinkability: Not usually impressed with Saranac but this was surprisingly good. This was not too bitter nor too sweet. The spicing was done well. As a seasonal, I could do six of these easy.

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.15/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a nonic glass from a 12oz brown long neck bottle with crimped cap.
Clear,deep medium amber color witha 1' froathy white head,fair retention,looking on the flat side as far as carbination goes.

Pumpkin spiced nose,faint to moderate with hints of nutmeg,allspice,cinnamon,and clove. No real standout well blended. Had somewhat of a soapyness to the aroma.

Light spicy tastes,a watery feel, the spices are well blended nothing overpowering with some cinnamon,allspice,nutmeg a bit of some malt taste with a clovey fade.

Light and zesty mouthfeel. Good pumpking beer,not a standout,easy to drink go session beer for a halloween night.

Photo of wattoclone
4.32/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber orange color, mild spice aroma and nice head. Excellent balanced smooth flavor with plenty of real pumpkin flavor and malt, lightly spiced with pleasant aftertaste of mostly pumpkin. An easy drinking, low ABV pumpkin that is consistent every year.

Photo of ChadwickHines
3/5  rDev -11.5%

Awesome pumpkin

Photo of Kraken
3.72/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Purchased a sixer simply because I have never seen this offering before. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Firm pour yields one finger of head that diminishes to a wispy topping fairly quickly. Color is very interesting. Kind of a light topsoil.

Smell- Pungent nose on this. Vanilla, clove nutmeg, cinnemon, all-spice. Like a pumpkin pie minus the sweetness and pumpkin.

Taste- Pretty good. Mild caramel and toffee. Major amounts of vanilla, a little bit much. Nicely carbonated. Nutmeg all-spice. No sweetness, which I think is nice in a pumpkin beer, very clean finish. Perhaps a little over spiced.

Mouthfeel- Very clean, zippy carbonation, somewhat dry.

Drinkability- High. Could put back quite a few of these sitting by the fire.

Photo of dogfishandi
3.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle pulled out of the fridge poured into an imperial pint glass. no freshness date.

pours a chestnut brown/ amber color, similar to an oktoberfest in appearence. the color seems to have a changing effect. nice, slightly off white head that slowly fades to a thin layer and then eventually a ring. hardly any lace.

has a fairly vibrant aroma. pumpkin pie, clove, cinnamin, and spice meld with a strange kind of beef stew like seasoning. different.

a subtle example of the style. has all the makings of a well rounded pumpkin ale, just doesnt have huge flavors jumping out at you. very tasty non the less. clean pumpkin pie, clove, cinnamin and other holiday spices meld with a caramel, munich malt base. non of that off beef stew aroma transfers to the taste.

mouthfeel is good, but not the greatest, light to medium body, maybe just a little bit too much carbonation. has that usual saranac astringent mouthfeel, but not as bad as some of their beers.

this is a staple pumpkin ale for me during the season. it has great drinkability, one of my favorites to session in the fall. nothing to special about this brew, but they got the basics right. fairly cheap sixer compared to most pumpkin ales out there. if you can find it, its worth giving a chance.

Photo of far333
2.87/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper-caramel color with a frothy but low off-white head that doesn't rise up much and then recedes very quickly. Aroma of sweet malt and cinnamon. Flavor is initially cinnamon, followed by some sweet malt, and then a strong nutmeg flavor. Clara Peller would probably taste this beer and say "Where's the Pumpkin?" I honestly don't detect any. There's a hint of buttered corn in the finish, followed by a misplaced peppery bite that lingers. The taste is not bad, but I'm scoring it low because it's missing the main ingredient. Mouthfeel is smooth, full, moderate carbonation. It's fairly drinkable, but why bother? There are so many other better pumpkin beers.

Photo of BadBadger
3.93/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a rather tasty pumpkin ale. It pours a nice "amberish" color. The head is plentiful, and lasting. The aroma is nicely spicey. The taste is pumpkinish, pleasantly spiced. While not overwheling the spices are enough to limit the drinkability of this ale. This is certainly a pumpkin ale worthy of your time. Enjoy!

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.05/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears an amber caramel hue with a large creamy off white head and it leaves nice bands of even lace around my nonic pint glass. Aroma is perfect with soft mellow spices including cinnamon, all spice, and clove...of course the famous gourd, the pumpkin presence is there as well and it does justice to this often overdone style. Flavor has caramel malt presence with light but evident we get the point doses of spice and everyone's invited to the party with the pumpkin pie spices and and earthy vegetable tone we have ourselves some pretty good stuff here...balance equals good in a pumpkin ale. Mouthfeel is medium bodied slight syrupy character with even carbonation flows very nicely glass empties itself. Drinkability...this should be the standard for the style flavorful yet doesn't make my stomach wrench after the first pint of it.

Photo of FredTheSeal
3.79/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A - 1 finger fizzy white head that dissipates quickly but leaves a thin layer on top. Medium brown-red in color. Crystal clear.

S - Balanced blend of pumpkin and spices. The bottle says "cinnamon, allspice, and vanilla". I'd say allspice is the prominent aroma.

T - Pumpkin? Check. Spices? Check. Pumpkin and spice is balanced pretty well. Cinnamon is much less pronounced than in other pumpkin ales. Slightly smokey.

M - Medium-heavy body, Moderate-high carbonation.

D - Considering the body and abundance of flavor I don't think I could have more than 2 in a session.

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.67/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

ST: 12oz bottle poured into a wine glass.

A: Light chestnut brown with a light tip of a finger nail white head, the beer leaves nice lacing. When held to the light, the beer has a dark orange hue and one can see slow carbonation.

S: Pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and slight bread (almost a hint of metal).

T: Cinnamon and nutmeg begin the beer on the tip of tongue, and then the flavors shift to pumpkin and bread. The finish is not long, and it is dominated by pumpkin and bread, though there is a slight hint of cinnamon.

M: Medium and a little creamy.

D: Smooth and easy to drink, the beer does not have overly strong and taxing flavors.

Overall: It was time to clear out my fall beers before it was too late. A nice surprise from Saranac, this pumpkin beer has some nice flavor and balance. It is not as extreme as other pumpkin beers I had this fall, but that is not necessarily a bad thing (after all, it is not nearly as expensive either). This beer is a nice seasonal for a nice price; however, if you want a lot of spice, do not buy this pumpkin beer.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A garnet ruby beer with a spongy off white head. A clear brew with light webbing and a hazy sheet of bubbles that rest on top of the beverage.

Smell is one of the must pumpkin-ish pumpkin beers I've experienced. A lot of the others have a more dominate spice nose while Saranac's is most like the gourd. Saying that, the spices do exist in the background but they are not the crutch of this beer.

Familiars like cinnamon and allspice are much more prevalent in the taste then in the nose. Combined that with a roasted malt, caramelized pumpkin and that pretty much sums up this beer. Deep in the finish is a light smoky flavor that adds to the details of this beer.

A creamy mouthfeel with a chalky dry cinnamon aftertaste bring up the rear on this brew. Close to the holidays this one really hits the spot. I like the subtlety of the spices and the roasted flavors. This one makes it into the top 5 of my novelty holiday beer lists. Worth a try if you are feeling whimsical and in the mood for something very fall-ish.

Photo of Brenden
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The color is a clear amber-brown. A dense head sits at one finger for a while before dissipating, leaving behind one or two light patches of thin lacing.
A lot of spices and a little sweetness on the nose with, obviously, the pumpkin.
This one's got a stronger malt backing that I thought it would, with a strong presence of spices that is supportive rather than taking over the malt. There's cinnamon and definitely cloves, with vanilla in the finish and something almost like nutmeg. Without the overbearing sweetness that some brewers may be tempted to crowd out the other flavors with, this one's more like a good pumpkin bread than pie to me. Spices are well mixed and not overbearing. There's a tangy twinge to this one, though, and without it this is a really nice beer.
I didn't find the body to be as full as it claims to be, but it's not thin. There's a nice crispness in the mouthfeel.
I expect more from some of the more notable efforts such as Pumking and DFH punkin', but this one isn't bad and is worth a shot in the season.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.47/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Best by Jan 31, 2014.

A: Pours a clear golden amber brown with a thin slightly yellowed head.

S: Not an overpowering aroma but there is certainly pumpkin and spicing in this beer.

T: Fits in well in the pumpkin beer style. Has a decent ale flavor that reminds you its still beer and not a sweet pumpkin dessert. Some notes of graham cracker crust which lots of people look for in this style.

M: Medium body that is perhaps on the thin side. Low carbonation. Clean finish for this style.

Overall has a nice relaxed pumpkin spice flavor. Easy to kick back a couple in a row. Perfect for the season.

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.22/5  rDev -5%
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.

Photo of caddybuyer
3.92/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A re-review of the 2009 release. I think 2008 was a bit better but a pretty decent effort overall.

A-Clear dark amber, moderate offwhite head that
settles quickly

S-Clove predominates, allspice and a touch of cinnamon

T-Very well balanceed without being cloying or having an oppressive finish like many pumpkin ales. Decent malt and hops here, with the clove continuing in the taste as well as the spices. The 2009 release has a strange aftertaste that I can't quite put my hands on, which is a shame, as I did not pick this up in the past. This has traditionally been a pretty solid pumpkin ale. and I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt and not downgrade it.

M-Well balanced in carbonation and feel

D-Very drinkable overall. I think Post Road is a better beer, but you can't go wrong with this one. One reviewer once wrote that Saranac Beers are like "comfort food". I agree entirely. Are they the best? No. Do they satisfy the average beer thirst? Absolutely

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Saranac Pumpkin Ale from Matt Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 1,078 ratings.