Saranac Pumpkin Ale - Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Not Rated.
Saranac Pumpkin AleSaranac Pumpkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Saranac Pumpkin Ale Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 418 | Hads: 1,081
Photo of IPAGeorge
3.82/5  rDev +9.8%
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. (606 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.22/5  rDev -7.5%
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. (1,073 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.39/5  rDev -2.6%
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. (1,880 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 spacecake9
1.5/5  rDev -56.9%

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. (876 characters)

Photo of getkrunkhoe
2.69/5  rDev -22.7%
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. (754 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.31/5  rDev -4.9%
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. (563 characters)

Photo of yarnbomb
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

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. (158 characters)

Photo of Ryanm1
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

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 . (502 characters)

Photo of Lou22
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

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. (335 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

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 (803 characters)

Photo of utopiajane
3.3/5  rDev -5.2%

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. (597 characters)

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.45/5  rDev -0.9%

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. (344 characters)

Photo of microbrewlover
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

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. (687 characters)

Photo of hophugger
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

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. (258 characters)

Photo of BeerWizard
3.13/5  rDev -10.1%
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. (1,541 characters)

Photo of dacrza1
2.7/5  rDev -22.4%
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... (826 characters)

Photo of minterro
3.34/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Bought for a pumpkin carving party, had some leftovers.

A&S: Aroma consists of light apple cider & pumpkin smells, pale malts, and spices (I can't lay a finger on them but they aren't the traditional pumpkin spices). Lively transparent orange colored beer. Specks of lacing. Fizzy white head disappears quickly.

T&M: Lots of apple tastes, not so much pumpkins. Finish non-bitter with some spiciness. Crisp feel to this beer. Light body with a high sparkling water kind of carbonation.

Overall: Not much to say about this one. It wasn't very expensive from what I remember, so I'm not disappointed by the price vs quality of this beer. But I wouldn't recommend to anyone it or buy it again. Had some good quality pumpkin beers this year, this one might be the worst or second to worst, battling with Pumpkick from New Belgium. (829 characters)

Photo of BSharpy
1.95/5  rDev -44%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.25

I was excited to try this selection for the Halloween season. I was very disappointed. I poured bottle into a glass. I could not taste pumpkin or any other spices at all! It was as if I were drinking a bad Rolling Rock. Would not recommend this to my friends. (259 characters)

Photo of Boggdogg
3.92/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured a slightly cloudy amber/orange color with a small white head that leaves good lacing. Smell is an absolutely amazing combination of pumpkin and ginger. Taste is a good combination of fall spices. I can taste the cinnamon and ginger spices coming through. Had nice balance though, spices are not overpowering, not sweet or bitter...nice balance. Medium/light bodied. The aftertaste is where the pumpkin flavor kicks in. Great beer for Halloween Night! (457 characters)

Photo of watermelon
3.49/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

32oz jug poured into a pint glass.

A: Beautiful dark amber color with a off white head that went away quickly, and left practically no lacing.

S: Strong pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice notes.

T: Cinnamon and other pumpkin pie spices that I couldn't differentiate from each other. Dark malts prevail.

M: The carbonation is correct, however it is a bit waterier then I feel it should be. Drinks easy

O: This is my second pumpkin ale I enjoyed it plus I liked the 32oz jug it came in. I probably wont get this agin, but only because there are so many pumpkin beers and so little time. I recommend trying this. (611 characters)

Photo of mattkoon
3.36/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this pumpkin ale is ok. i went on a little pumpkin ale shopping spree and picked up several. i chose to drink this one first cause it was a huge 32oz bottle. the color is nice a slightly dark amber the smell has just a touch of pumpkin spice. the taste- too has just a touch of spices. i think this would be a good pumpkin beer for someone just beginning to cross the bridge from mainstream light beer into the craft beer world. (428 characters)

Photo of jhartley
3.02/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a shaker pint.
Pours a dark orange-amber color with a thin 1/2 finger head that dissipated quickly, even with an aggressive pour. Looking for lacing? Forget it.
Smells of clove, cinnamon, pumpkin and ginger. The label doesn't lie with this one.
Taste is an overwhelming amount of cloves, some pumpkin flavor in the middle and ginger on the finish.
A little too much carbonation at first but mellows out as it sits for a while. Spices just dominate the palate, but not enough to leave a lasting impression, kind of thin in body.
Overall, I wasn't overly impressed with this beer. Too much clove and ginger for me, would have been better if it was a little more balanced with the spices and pumpkin flavor.
Glad I didn't spend anything on this one as it was a gift from tupacksumore. (813 characters)

Photo of CFHMagnet
3.22/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I found another pumpkin beer to try. The brewers spit some heavy game on the label for this...

A quick pour gets me half a finger of thin, near-white head. This dissipates in seconds, leaving a thin ring around the glass. Lace slides down faster than it can really cling. The body is a light copper.

I smell pumpkin, spice, earthy hops and a light burnt aroma, like nuts or pie crust that has been overcooked.

Weak malt and pumpkin spice greet you up front. Pumpkin is there, but it and the clove seem tired out, therefore weakly conveyed. There is an earthy hoppiness near the end.

The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied. It washes down rather quickly and easily and leaves very little residue. Finishes slightly dry. (720 characters)

Photo of RickyMartin
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First beer I reviewed on here but it is a good session beer with a hint of pumpkin flavor. Missing the spices you get from some of the better pumpkin beers. Easy to drink and very reasonably priced.

Good "utility" pumpkin ale! For a beer to have on a regular basis during the fall and for your less "beer advocate" guests this is a great pick. (345 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Saranac Pumpkin Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 418 ratings.