Saranac Pumpkin Ale - Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Not Rated.
Saranac Pumpkin AleSaranac Pumpkin Ale

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BA SCORE
79
okay

418 Reviews
THE BROS
77
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 418
Hads: 1,081
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 8.91%
Wants: 27
Gots: 152 | 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: 418 | Hads: 1,081
Photo of Utica_Brew_Review
4.65/5  rDev +33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Light copper amber color with decent head and moderate carbonation. Clove, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and especially pumpkin notes in the aroma. The notes in the aroma are reflected in the taste. Very balanced. Not heavy or too light. The very many flavor notes aren't overpowered by the malt, hops, or alcohol. This year is our favorite brew of this beer yet. Finishes with more flavor and less alcohol. Cheers! (411 characters)

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.55/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained at McKinnon's in Salem, NH. Pours a amber-brownish crystal-clear body with almost an inch of short-lived light tan head. Spices dominate the aroma, with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, but this aroma has just enough of the spice without being a spice-bomb. Spice hits the palate early, but gives way to butter, nut, caramel, toffee, and bready malt notes in great balance. On the heavier side of medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. A really well-done pumpkin beer - exceeds expectations. Balanced, complex but not a spice bomb only like many pumpkin beers, and there's enough other things going on in the beer to keep it interesting. Great - especially for the price! (693 characters)

Photo of tugdriver7
4.5/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

[Disclaimer: I love just about anything pumpkin; and I know fruit ales of any kind are an acquired taste--either you love them or you don't like them at all.]

This one is a keeper. The beer pours from the classic jack-o-lantern labeled bottle with a deep, rich dark amber/copper color and froths with a nice 1/2 inch tan head. The spice hits you in the nose, but it's mild. Just enough to hint at what you'll taste. And the taste is really very balanced and flavorful. The spice and malt are most present. Not much hop bite, but a nice tart aftertaste to balance the mild sweetness of the liquid. Very tiny bubbles finish the mouthful. Excellent.

I consider myself a pumpkin ale aficionado of sorts and find myself comparing all I can find to taste. This one is easily one of my favorites—at least of those that are bottled. Saranac/Matt does it again. This was a very pleasant surprise to see at the local store in August. Happy (early) Halloween. (956 characters)

Photo of wodanick
4.47/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely, hands down my favorite seasonal. No questions or debates. Rich amber color, a bit of haze, and a nice foam. Smell the pumpkin! The pumpkin is quite pronounced in this ale. The spices play a secondary role to the pumpkin. Malts, hops, all come secondary to the pumpkin. The taste... wow! Sweet, smoothe, a bit thick, creamy,... did I mention pumpkin? I could go on and on about this beer, but you need to try it if you are remotely interested in autumn-style beer. It's not for everybody, I will say that. But to those who it is for, you won't want the season to end. (578 characters)

Photo of thebeerdoctor
4.4/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I suspect that this is one of those beers that either you love or don't. After experiencing this seasonal for many years now, I must say I consider this Pumpkin Ale to be the very best American recipe, because the emphasis stays with the ale, rather than the spices. Compare this with Shipyard's Pumpkin Head, which takes on characteristics of a Christmas Wassail.
It should also be noted that Matt Brewing does the contract work for Brooklyn Brewing and their Post Road Pumpkin Ale, which is also a fine recipe, but I prefer Saranac Pumpkin. A delicious autumn reminder. (572 characters)

Photo of dakeynr
4.35/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love the spicy aftertaste of this one. Sweet at the start, nice spicy nose...it reminds me of the taste of pumpkin pie filling - before it's baked...lots of spice and I find it very nice...(sorry.)
I'm not sure it would be wise - from the standpoint of your aching head the next day - to go overboard on this one, but this is a great ale to enjoy as the leaves fall and we await the arrival of the Great Pumpkin. (414 characters)

Photo of msolar
4.35/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color- Deep amber, dark orange. Light colored head with consistent texture.

Smell – Pumpkin pie, cinnamon, nutmeg.

Taste – Pumpkin pie, cinnamon, nutmeg.

Not as sweet as I expected, and much more refreshing. My favorite fall beer is probably a tie between this and Smuttynose’s Pumpkin Ale. Very drinkable, very crisp, very delicious beer. (351 characters)

Photo of Cows
4.35/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I do not think I have ever had a Pumpkin beer, not being one for fruit/vegetable beers. But – this was in a 12 pack so I gave it a go. It has a delightful pumpkin/spice taste and an excellent balance to highlight that pumpkin taste. Not a big nose, but pleasant. I think it drinks clean and is a fun change. I am not sure you would want to have a six pack but to get you in the season it is a winner. (402 characters)

Photo of Hendry
4.34/5  rDev +24.7%

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. (2,095 characters)

Photo of wattoclone
4.32/5  rDev +24.1%
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. (260 characters)

Photo of AlHam
4.32/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If you like a spiced beer, this beer is a good bet. This and Sam Adams' Old Fezziwig are both fantastic complements to fall and winter meals. Either beer is perfect for Thanksgiving dinner.

Pours a rich amber.

Smells spicey and rich.

Tastes distinctly of spice and pumpkin.

The mouthfeel is appropriately light for an ale, making it very drinkable. (352 characters)

Photo of NODAK
4.32/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First off, I love the label. Let's get that part out of the way.

The smell...it's an interesting one. A mix of pumpkin spice, nutmeg and cinnamon. Very seasonal, and pretty nice.

Carbonation seems low. Mouthfeel is somewhat heavy and creamy. Taste is spicy, with sweet cinnamon, pumpkin and nutmeg mixing together to create a tasty brew. The end result is a beer with a fairly high degree of sweetness, but not cloyingly so. There's almost zero hop bitterness here. Some cinnamon and pumpkin sticks around after the swallow.

It's pretty delicious, actually. It's like drinking a pumpkin pie, really. The sweetness and overall flavor profile probably prevents this from becoming anything I'd drink more than a couple of, but I think they accomplished their goal here. (770 characters)

Photo of tj4288
4.3/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

poured from bottle into tumbler pint glass

a- is a rusty translusent brown, nice 2-3 finger off white head that recedes to a small cap that hangs around. spotty lacing.

s- smell is predominatly cinnimon imo, followed by the vanilla. other pie spices are also present. the pumpkin smell itself is rather weak and hidden but imo this is very well balanced on the nose.

t- taste is more on the malty side. again cinnimon is def present. also i am getting notes of caramel, and brown sugar. overall very sweet and spicy.

m- mouthfeel is fairly light-bodied with just the right amount of carbonation. slightly watery but perfect for a session or satisfying a thirst.

d- great price, fairly low abv, and goes down smooth.... just the right balance between refreshment and flavour. yes, i would suggest this pumpkin ale and yes i will probably stock up on another six pack or two to save for winter and spring months.

cheers. (929 characters)

Photo of cooch69
4.3/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours into a pint glass a very dark coppery orange with some mahoganey highlights. It pours with a small head that's not quite a finger.
This beer smells very spicy and malty. Nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and caramel maltiness.
The taste is full of spices and malt, and is pretty medium bodied. Not strong but not watery. There is not much hops here but I think the spices in pumpkin ales do a good job substituting in these type of beers.
The mouthfeel is medium and pretty well carbonated.
I like pumpkin ales and I like this beer. It's very easy to drink with awesome pumpkin pie flavors and nothing much that get's in the way. It's light enough to drink a lot without being watery. (693 characters)

Photo of Applesauce1
4.28/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got the pumpkin ale at the Pit Stop Drive thru in Nelsonville, OH.

This is my first of pumpkin ales.

Poured this beer in my glass and got about a half inch head. The beer had a dark amber-brown color. It looked really good.

Smell- not overwhelming, maybe a fruity smell, maybe they used wood chips in brewing this?

Taste - awesome, this is a very unique tasting beer. The most noticable taste was the one I expected, pumpkin pie. The pumpkin flavor was mixed in really well into the beer. I highly recommend this beer, and wish that Matt Brewing could make this all year long.

Anyways, I will definitely drink more of these in the future. (654 characters)

Photo of JackStraw22
4.28/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Just saw this on the shelves. Cool looking Jack-0-Lantern on the front of a black label. The beer pours a crystal clear amber body with a good light tan head. Nice lacing too. This looks great in the glass, can't wait to serve some up when the leaves start changing.

Strong malt backing in the aroma. The spices take center stage, but they aren't too in your face. Very well balanced aromas, pumpkin (obviously), vanilla, cinnamon, cloves are all listed on the bottle, and you can really tell that they're in here.

Smooth rich mouthfeel, though a slightly dry finish. The pumpkin taste is really quite good. There's just enough pumpkin and spice to make it interesting, but not too much that you can't finish the bottle. A nice toasted malt backbone balances it well.

Great pumpkin ale, I'm impressed. Hopefully they'll role this out every year. (856 characters)

Photo of rustynosebleed
4.27/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this is an exceptional fall beer, probably the one i look forward to the most. in my opinion, it is the best of all pumpkin-related beers (which is strange bc it's probably one of the cheapest). it has just the right balance of beer and pumpkin taste, and doesn't have too many spices added so it just tastes like pumpkin pie. really enjoyable. (344 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.25/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - a darker than average amber pour. Start to build some head and then evaporates just as quick. Does manage a nice lace ring at the high water mark, though.

Aroma - mellow but spicy sweet, cinnamon and clove mostly.

Taste - a bready malt base quickly covered in seasonal spices. Fresh and flavorful, some pumpkin in tandem with the spice, striking a good blend of flavors. A brief smack of bitterness on the swallow, finishing with spices that leave an ideal residual flavor behind.

Mouthfeel - good carbonation, a touch thin but with decent body despite.

Drinkability - great stuff - heading to a Halloween party near me... (639 characters)

Photo of treehugger02010
4.25/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this from a buddy of mine and poured it into a pint glass.
Appearance: A dark, dark brown with some bits that you can see through, a fair sized light tan head with great retention and super lacing.
Smell: Like a pumpkin pie, 'nough said.
Taste: Nice mix of pumpkin spices, but not too much pumpkin pie. There was a nice bout of pure pumpkin.
Mouthfeel: Super crisp and thick.
Drinkability: Wonderful.
Don't drink and review. (430 characters)

Photo of rohrbachsfan
4.23/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 Batch
Appearance: Color was reddish amber. Creamy head that reduced quickly.

Smell: Nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves, and malt.

Taste: Pumpkin and malt spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves.

Mouthfeel: Rich and creamy.

Drinkability: Saranac’s Pumpkin Ale is good example of a pumpkin ale with a medium body and well balanced mix of spices. Very drinkable! (377 characters)

Photo of funkengruven
4.23/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a pleasant dark brown with a white head that lingered. Smell is spicy, cloves and cinnamon. Taste is quite nice, to put it very simply, liquid pumpkin pie. This is exactly what I would expect a pumpkin ale should taste like. Goes down nice and smooth and quite easy to drink. Put simply, Matt Brewing has done it again, succeeding in delivering a good, easy drinking, well crafted brew. (398 characters)

Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
4.2/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark caramel color with a nice off white head and no lacing to be found.

S: Pumpkin, nutmeg, allspice.

T: The star of the show! Very impressive indeed. Nice hit of the pumpkin in the front and a balanced spiciness in the back. The carbonation is seriously what makes this from mediocre to way above above average.

M: Medium in body, great carbonation as mentioned above, and with an abv that is nonexistent.

D: Great drinkability altogether. Well rounded and complex. What took me so long to pick this off the shelf is totally beyond me. I will not look at Saranac the same way ever again. (605 characters)

Photo of darkmartin
4.2/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours to a dark, semi-translucent caramel-brown with a small, fizzy-white head.

Smell: Strong cinnamon and nutmeg spices, with some lingering subtle-pumpkin.

Taste: A mellow mix of the nutmeg and pumpkin come out first, followed by some minor cinnamon and hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a decent amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Despite the simple flavor, this really is a good pumpkin ale. The spices are not overbearing, and there is just enough semi-sweet cinnamon to keep the pumpkin flavor in check. Really quite good. (562 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.17/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yay, it's Pumpkin Ale season again! I am usually a big fan of these beers and it seems early for them, but who am I to complain? Time to drink the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. I must be out of my gourd.

From the bottle: "In celebration of the Fall harvest, here's an Autumn favorite that's as enjoyable as pumpkin pie. This hearty ale is brewed with cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. Look for a full body and an amber color. We're sure you'll enjoy this special brew. Cheers!"; "The perfect hint of pumpkin flavor, spiced right with cinnamon, allspice, cloves and ginger. You'll think you just drank fall!"; "Celebrating 125"; "Hey there ... To celebrate our 125th year, we're introducing our Legacy IPA, a beer inspired by a recipe crafted long ago by our founder, F. X. Matt. We're excited to share this new beer with our friends. Look for our Legacy IPA and CHEERS TO 125 YEARS!"; "From our family-owned brewery in the heart of Upstate New York, the third and fourth generations of the Matt family have been committed to the craft our great-grandfather brought to America 125 years ago."; "Sticklers for detail and suckers for a twist on tradition, our family is relentlessly committed to brewing excellence. The result is the Saranac family of beers. Uniquely identifiable. Refreshingly distinctive. Exceptionally drinkable."; "Our founder would be proud to know that his legacy endures. And we're glad that you chose to enjoy Saranac. Cheers, [undersigned] Nick & Fred".

My pour got me a finger of tawny head with good retention. Color was a deep copper with NE-plus quality clarity. I could see into the future through this beer! Nose was big with spiciness, especially cinnamon and clove, maybe even nutmeg. Boy, howdy, but I love that smell! Mouthfeel was full and creamy and the cloves really stood out in the mouth. The finish was more cinnamon in its spiciness, but the whole package reminded me of chewing a stick of Big Red gum while smoking a clove cigarette. Very tasty. (1,987 characters)

Photo of wangbruins
4.15/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep brownish, orange with almost no head but hung to the glass well

S- Pumpkin and cooked pumpkin with cinnamon and nutmeg

T- Pumpkin and what seems like strawberry...I say this because I actually taste strawberry rhubarb pie...weird

M- Light and thin without much aftertaste but the tastes blend wonderfully

D- A buddy and I have been picking up as many pumpkin beers as we can and I think this is the best so far (422 characters)

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Saranac Pumpkin Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 418 ratings.