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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.

428 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 428
Hads: 1,124
Avg: 3.45
pDev: 26.38%
Wants: 32
Gots: 183 | 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: 428 | Hads: 1,124
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 metter98
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half high dense off white head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: There are light aromas of toasted malts and pumpkins in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that there are more flavors of pumpkins and also some notes of nutmeg. There are some faint hints of malty sweetness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied bodied and a bit thin on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
O: Nothing really jumps out at me as being impressive about the smell or taste of this beer but it is quite easy to drink. This might make for a good pumpkin beer to try for someone who is just getting into craft beers and might get turned off by stronger flavors of pumpkin or spices.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the classic pumpkin beer to me. in upstate new york, this beer signals that the season is here. a pours of rich coppery orange, nearly red in color, with a just off white lacey head. the nose is the perfect mix of pumpkin and spice, some clove, vanilla, cannamon, and allspice. flavor starts off with mellow spice and a lot of the pumpkin pie flavors, but not too much sugar. it moves to an english malty fruit bread sort of middle, and a nice heavier sweeter spice in the finish. this is the pumpkin beer i grew up on, and for that i will always love it. never too sweet, never too spicy, just balanced. lighter mouthfeel for what it is, and just right medium carbonation. this is a very sessionable pumpkin brew, and definitely on of the better ones on offer anywhere. i think it is grossly underrated here on BA.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours an orange-copper color with a white head and a bit of lace. The nose brings forward nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and some mildly-sweet pumpkin. The taste brings more nutmeg and allspice without as much cinnamon. Some pumpkin in the background. Medium body with good carbonation and a nice spice-to-pumpkin ratio. Drinks fairly well and isn't overly spiced or overly pumpkin-oriented, which puts it above many in the style.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.1/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought a 6 Pack back in Fall 2007 and loved the design on the label. The beer was pretty good to start out but got kind of gross about half way through. Very strange how it took a turn for the worst once it warmed up. The aromas of spice and pumpkin are dominant. The flavor was the same way till about half way through and it started tasting very odd to me. The color was a nice amber tone with a pretty nice tan head. I drank all 6 and it didn't get much better as they went. Not sure what the deal is.

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Photo of brentk56
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy copper color with a creamy white head that leaves dots and dashes of lace around the pint glass

Smell: Caramel backbone with hints of cinnamon, and alspice; also some pumpkin and vanilla peeks through

Taste: Caramel and some pumpkin flavor complemented by the spices up front; after the swallow the cinnamon and vanilla poke to the forefront; there is also a nice balanced bitterness from the hops that works well into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: One of the better pumpkins out there; a pleasant surprise from a brewery that has often been a disappointment to me

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.57/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A nice Pumpkin Ale that rides the fence of 'character' and 'mediocricy'. Saranac takes a moderate gravity and bodied base beer of an Amber Ale (probably), lightly hops it, and adds a lot of pumpkin flavor. The sun-kissed malt character brings on a bright caramel and grain taste that leads to a clean and crisp body. Pumpkin aroma and flavors hide right behind the malts and certainly provide a punch of vegital tastes. Spices however enhance the pumpkin and reaffirms the majority of what is preceived as pumpkin. A good amount of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and other flavorings do more than balance but give a spice-forward notion to the beer's flavor. I wish the beer held onto a bit more creaminess and body, as it fades quickly into a finish that prefers grain and sweet over malty and rich. Still a nice beer to drink with very little in flaws; just under malted and under pumpkin-ed (take note Webster).

Notes on appearance include a bright amber color with mild haze. Initial loosely knit head fades farily soon into a trace before holding firm. No lacing. An ok-to-less than average look.

Thanks ShadesOfGray!

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear dark ruby color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of light pumpkin with notes of cinnamon and cloves more perceptible then I had expected. Taste is also dominated by cloves and cinnamon which are well balanced with pumpkin and light caramel malt. Body is a bit light for my own taste with good carbonation. Some additional character and more body would have greatly benefited this beer which is still very enjoyable.

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

Autumn leaves orange with butternut trim. A large sandstone colored cap was created on the creamy sounding pour. The foam is soft and featureless, perhaps gaining a hint of rockiness as it melts. Pumpkin Ale isn't bad in the lace department, solidifying the 'better than average, but far from spectacular' appearance.

I liked the nose better from afar than I like it from anear. It's decent, and easily idenitifies the beer as a pumpkin ale, but it lacks the wonderful combination of pie spices that read so well on paper: cinnamon, allspice, cloves and ginger. The first and third are the only obvious ones by my nose.

With October right around the corner, I thought the time was right to dig into the first pumpkin ale of the season. While this one isn't bad, it fails to light my jack-o-lantern. Curiously, there's no light shining from the eyes, nose and mouth holes on the label pumpkin. An omen? We'll see.

The malt backbone is neither very sturdy nor very remarkable in terms of flavor. As well, the beer could use more pumpkin flavor. It's more like a mildly pumpkin-flavored amber ale than a pumpkin ale. The spices aren't very prominent either and their muddled nature makes picking out specifics impossible. I'll stop short of calling this one bland, but it's close. Who puts Cascade hops in a pumpkin ale? Can't taste them anyway.

The brewers think the mouthfeel is medium. I think it's light-medium on a good day. A proper amount of carbonation helps to give the beer a hint of light creaminess... that's gone in the blink of an eye.

There's nothing to hate about Saranac Pumpkin Ale because it has no real negatives. Trouble is, it isn't exactly bursting with positives. Unfortunately, the same can be said for most beer from these guys. Here's hoping my next pumpkin ale will have more fire in its belly.

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Photo of zeff80
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a dark, reddish, amber color with a one-finger, white, bubbly, head of foam. It had some nice retention and left thin rings of lace.

S - It smelled of pumpkin, cinnamon, and allspice.

T - Cinnamon led off the taste with a nice pumpkin flavor. Some good, traditional spices that come with pumpkin dishes.

M - It was crisp and smooth with a dry finish. A light to medium bodied ale.

D - This is a good pumpkin ale, but after drinking a bunch of Schlafly Pumpkin Ale...this one just doesn't compare.

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Photo of oberon
3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I grabbed this sixed from the store yesterday as I had not had it before and the price came in just about right for me. Served cold, right out of the fridge, I poured this one into a pint glass and enjoyed it on 10/28/2008.

The pour was fairly straightforward here. Nice and lightly hazed orange tinted amber was quickly encompassing the glass. A nice sized head of white foam then rose up over the top and reached a height of around two inches, excellent retention left behind a good deal of side glass lacing and some nice puffy white foam across the top.

The aroma was a touch lighter then I would have thought, but I would still say it was fairly decent. Nice touches of cinnamon and all spice, hints of nutmeg and a nice light grain and bready base to it. The flavor though was just decent. No really full profile here, lots of pumpkin spice and hints of cinnamon throughout, but other then that it just came across as far too weak for me. No aftertaste at all, and the quick and very clean finish was a little bit less then I would have initially hoped for. Decent carbonation on a somewhat thin body here. Easy to drink, though a touch light for me again.

Overall it was decent. Nothing terrible by any means, just a decent fall seasonal here. I would try it again, but not my favorite so far.

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

As is the case with almost all "pumpkin" ales, what we're really talking about here is a spiced ale. The use of real pumpkin pulp doesn't generally lend much flavor to the beer, but the spice does. The question then becomes, is it balanced? Well, yes it is. Matt has done an excellent job with this one, clearly laying out the pumpkin pie character, yet keeping it just on the edge of going overboard. The spice is clear and upfront in both the flavor and the aroma, with the cinnamon and all-spice very noticeable in the flavor, and the vanilla and clove more clear in the aroma, but not so much in the flavor where it's kind of drowned out - the all-spice and cinnamon dominate (although the clove follows close behind). The sweetness of the malt is just enough to support the spiciness, and it doesn't become "sweet". The bitterness is therefore kept low to achieve that, and really, it's not needed - the spice does the job! And I think that perhaps the vanilla, even though it's low-key in the flavor, is enough to stimulate the brain into thinking that it's sweeter and softer than it might actually be. So although I'm still not sure that there can ever be any real level of drinkability to a pumpkin ale, the Saranac pumpkin is at the very least one of the best "first" beers at Halloween (or anytime during the fall season), and may pass second-beer muster. Well done! Absolutely worth trying for those who enjoy pumpkin ales, or even spiced beers in general.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.57/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear medium amber with a fizzy whitish head that quicky evaporated into nothing and barely left any lace. Aroma is quite surprising. Strong, very pleasant blend of pumpkin and spices.

Taste is similar to the aroma but seems much more muted. That nice mix of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg is there but seems to fade out pretty quickly. The mouthfeel is fairly thin and fizzy on the back of the throat.

All in all, not a bad Pumpkin Ale from Saranac that actually exceeded my expectations somewhat. A nice aroma and lighter body help keep this guy fairly drinkable.

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Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bubbly fizzy head that rises to the top of the SA perfect pint glass about 2 fingers and fades semi quickly, over crystal clear amber reddish orange slight copper color.

Nose is pumpkin alright, some pumpkin extract and pie filling, light bready malts, hint of spices, light syrupy reddish malts, hint of caramel.

Taste comes on with pumpkin again but not overpowering. A bit syrupy and reddish malty flavor, some light bready malts, fruit tasting and candy as well. Semi sweet, pumpkin is lighter overall. Then the finish starts to get bitter as a few spicy hops come out, and a light sticky finish, and a bit syrupy, light spices and pumpkin, and almost flemmy. The finish kinda ruins it.

Mouth is med bodied, syrupy, and good carb.

Overall not bad, pumpkin is kept at a good level, no heavy spices, nice malt profile, just way to sticky and syrupy.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.97/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a rusty brown color with a thin off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves very little lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of pumpkin, spices, caramelized malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste is little spicy up front with sweet flavors of pumpkin, ginger, nutmeg and caramel. Then there's a mild hops presence that comes in but doesn't complement the other flavors very well. The malt character is on the thin side for the style. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly spicy.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Not very tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, not the best representation of style, there are many other beers in the style that I would go with before this one.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally saw it at my regular beer store, a little later than the other seasonals but whatever.

I was impressed by this one. Pours a beautiful deep amber, a nice spice filled smell, and a great thick body with plenty of tasty spices. Very drinkable and well balanced and the pumpkin flavor is kept in check.... very good beer.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked up a six pack at the PX at Ft. Indiantown Gap in PA.
Poured cool into a nonic
A - A slightly coppery shade of bronze w/ a full inch of off white foam. There is a relatively moderate amount of stickage.

S - Vegetal, nutty and spiced aromas w/ a hint of metallic scents w/ a clove/nutmeg odor.

M - Meaty, malty feel w/ a large quantity of carbonation and smooth biscuity and grainy textures and a sweet finish.

T - The taste of pumpkin is evident and the spicing is consevative. There is a slightly corny taste and a sugary sweet almost brown sugar in light form in the flavor.The taste also has a flat dull effect as it begins to warms, more or less the good flavors don't stick around for long. A hint of warmth of alcohol lingers in the background, but barely enough to distract. The sweetness becomes slightly cloying w/ an allspice and cinnamon note in the flavor as the sample gets close to the end of the bottle.

D - A pretty average pumpkin, the ale just doesn't provide enough of a foundation for the flavor. Dirnkability wise there are moments that are tasty, but it fails to wow me overall. I found it drinkable for the price at the PX since it was less than $6 for a sixer. I probably won't revisit the experience, though.

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Photo of Jason
3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear cola brown with almost no head. Nose is spiced. Flavor is spices and pumpkin. It's about typical IMO really. The only standout characteristic is the brown sugar tone on the back. Feel has a noticed carbonation that nibbles a bit on the tongue. Liquid is fine. This is a nice enough pumpkin ale.

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Photo of russpowell
2.67/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Picked this up in Wichita

Pours a super-effervescent bronze/amber with 1+ finger of cream colored head. Below average head retention & lacing

S: Metallic hops & pumpkin pie spice which dominates as this warms

T: Pumpkin pie spice, metal, & not much else up front. More of the same as this warms, plus leafy hops & nutmeg. Finishes with some buttery sweetness & cinnamon

MF: Light/medium bodied, fairly vigirous carbonation

Drinks slow, I expected more from these guys. Maybe this better fresher, but this needs some malt backbone for starters, disappointing

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.05/5  rDev +17.4%
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.

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Photo of smcolw
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours dark amber and clear. The head is mild and dissapates quickly.

Dark malt aromas with strong baking spices, especially cinamon. The pumpkin smell is quite light.

Nice pumpkin flavor which is surprising. Also, there is a noticeable hop finish which my nose could not detect. I like the body (full) and carbonation (moderate). This is a drier beer than many pumpkins are made. I tend to like this style more than the sweeter heavier malted beers. Still, there is some wonderful flavors and complexities here.

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Photo of jwc215
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with a one-finger head white head.

The smell is of pumpkin pie spiced with allspice, clove, vanilla and a touch of cinnamon.

The taste would be the same as in the nose, but it seems to fade in and out. A malty base seems to dominate it at times, with pumpkin flavor peaking in the middle then diminishing again. Finishes with a mildly sweet spiciness.

It has some creaminess to it, but a bit more "heft" would go a long way.

Not overbearing, which adds to drinkability. At least it has a decent "beer" base, other than just pumpkin, and it's not overly spiced. Worth checking out, but I can't see a true pumpkin ale lover going crazy over it.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sometimes it's just time to turn over the stuff at the back of the fridge. Poured into a chalice. Beer is brown and hazy with a thin head.

Beer smells like nutmeg and grainy.

Beer is light and spicy with a grainy aftertaste. It's mildly spicy. Eh, it's a decent beer. Not my favorite pumpkin beer but I would cautiously have it again if desperate.

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Saranac Pumpkin Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 428 ratings.