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Saranac Pumpkin Ale - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Pumpkin AleSaranac Pumpkin Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,061 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,061
Reviews: 420
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 24
Gots: 126 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: JackStraw22 on 09-01-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Saranac Pumpkin Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 1,061 | Reviews: 420 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Trashcat
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Trashcat, Yesterday at 09:01 PM
Photo of OGShotzy
3.52/5  rDev +3.8%

OGShotzy, Yesterday at 03:36 AM
Photo of Alpha309
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Alpha309, Thursday at 08:46 PM
Photo of biegaman
3.36/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

biegaman, Thursday at 12:56 AM
Photo of donbet69
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%

donbet69, Tuesday at 03:10 AM
Photo of ChadwickHines
3/5  rDev -11.5%

Awesome pumpkin

ChadwickHines, Nov 22, 2014
Photo of bigschoolrecords
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%

bigschoolrecords, Nov 21, 2014
Photo of Lager-lover84
5/5  rDev +47.5%

Lager-lover84, Nov 17, 2014
Photo of newbeeraday
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%

newbeeraday, Nov 15, 2014
Photo of yaksurf
3/5  rDev -11.5%

yaksurf, Nov 14, 2014
Photo of Fievel
2/5  rDev -41%

Fievel, Nov 14, 2014
Photo of needMIbeerinMD
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%

needMIbeerinMD, Nov 13, 2014
Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.4/5  rDev +0.3%

BeerForMuscle, Nov 12, 2014
Photo of BigTwig
3.36/5  rDev -0.9%

BigTwig, Nov 12, 2014
Photo of Bmiller628
3/5  rDev -11.5%

Bmiller628, Nov 12, 2014
Photo of Hellpop65
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Hellpop65, Nov 09, 2014
Photo of WOSean
2.75/5  rDev -18.9%

WOSean, Nov 09, 2014
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.

Hendry, Nov 08, 2014
Photo of Mbertrand2
4.36/5  rDev +28.6%

Mbertrand2, Nov 08, 2014
Photo of AndreRus
2.5/5  rDev -26.3%

Really weak pumpkin taste. So-so beer.

AndreRus, Nov 06, 2014
Photo of pwdiamond
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

pwdiamond, Nov 06, 2014
Photo of NCMatt
1.5/5  rDev -55.8%

NCMatt, Nov 05, 2014
Photo of twillingthenoz
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%

twillingthenoz, Nov 03, 2014
Photo of Johnct
2.2/5  rDev -35.1%

Johnct, Nov 03, 2014
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Saranac Pumpkin Ale from Matt Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 1,061 ratings.