Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Join The Buzz! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

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

419 Reviews
THE BROS
77
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 419
Hads: 1,089
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 14.08%
Wants: 29
Gots: 156 | 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
Reviews: 419 | Hads: 1,089
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)

Photo of stella77artois
3.72/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into wine glass.

A - Pours a dark brown without much carbonation. Showed some ruby when held to the light. A thick off-white head formed, which dissipated at a normal rate. Unique shape to the head, cool to see.

S - Dark malts and cinnamon up front. Lot's of cinnamon but not in an overpowering or annoying way. They played well off each other. A hint of cocoa too, perhaps. Also got some hints of giner and clove.

T - A solid Pumpin Ale. The dark malts were very noticeable, as was the cinnamon. Again, in a good way. Just enough sweetness without being too sweet. Hints of pumpkin spice and actual pumpkin flavor, ginger and even a unique bit of spicy pepper. Very, very light in the pepper, though. A slight general bitterness was noticeable in the aftertaste. Not really a hoppy bitterness, but almost a dirt-like taste. But not in a bad way at all. Just....unique, I'd say. Good beer.

F - Drinkable. Might even be sessionable, although might be a tad thick for that. Could see it being refreshing on a hot day. Feels like a fall beer. Does the trick in that regard.

O - A solid pumkpkin ale. They aren't really my style, but this is a pretty good representation. Not overly sweet, but slightly sweet like a pumpkin ale should be. This is a fall beer, and for what it is, it's pretty good. Not outstanding, but again, a good fall beer that could be greatly enjoyed in a late-season round of golf. (1,426 characters)

Photo of DavidGross
2.75/5  rDev -21%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Poured out of bottle into Sam Adams glass. No head and noticed my ale was nearly flat.
Smelled good. Various spices noted as expected.
Taste was really off due to lack of carbonation.
body and feel was hard to figure as well with lack of carbonation.
Overall I was of course disappointed as most Saranac beers are always enjoyable. I will look to trying this again and revisit this beer next season. (399 characters)

Photo of Catamount18
2.21/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

The Pumpkin Ale in the mini growler and appearance poured into the pint glass are the best parts.
A-Poured to a half inch frothy head. Burnt orange mixed with caramel. You can see bubbles racing to the top in the middle of the pint glass.
S-I didn't get any of the smell that makes anything pumpkin taste better- nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, cardamom. Just pumpkin.
T- A light ale with the pumpkin flavor. The lack in smell is the same as the lack of taste. Pumpkin by itself isn't tasty.
M- A fizzy ale, well carbonated.
Overall it was very disappointing. I had this beer last year and remember looking forward to it this year, especially after having Saranac's shandy this summer. (680 characters)

Photo of TeamMathis
3.24/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Orangish, caramel amber.
Smell: Spice, cinnamon.
Taste: Spice, watery, alcohol, and slightly skunky.

This is an okay brew. The smell is decent enough; almost like a spice nut bread. However, the taste is quite watery and has a skunky aftertaste. The most redeemable quality was that it came in a very nice, old-style quart jug. That was worth it. I'll still get it again next year...though I wouldn't if it was year-round. (438 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.49/5  rDev +0.3%
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 (649 characters)

Photo of Kooz
3.08/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Tastes light and spicy. It's not full-bodied but close, a little too loosely constituted. The aftertaste is bitter and there's too much cinnamon. The mouthfeel is lacking. Smells like cinnamon and pumpkin, which is okay, but it's somewhat artificial. Overall, it's not bad, but there's much better out there. (308 characters)

Photo of Brianmerrilyn
3.28/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I took this straight from a bottle at my wife's friend house & was not expecting to have beer at all so I jumped at the chance of trying something, particular pumkin as is the season, that I had not had before. The pumpkin style is growing each year & this version is the regular, not Imperial that southern tier, Weyerbacher & Shipyard is not known for. Had a 125 years on the neck of the bottle. The only lasting family brewery in the US and from Central NY, not bad.

A: from the bottle could not see
S: mild on the malt side
T: medium spice flavor but sweeter overall
M: medium to thick
O: Better than I thought & would drink again (635 characters)

Photo of teromous
3.07/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Mine came in a 32 oz jug-shaped bottle.

A: Light orange-brown with a small off-white head that doesn't last and leaves no real lacing. The beer is pretty hazy.

S: Familiar pumpkin pie spice scent along with the scent of pumpkin as well. It smells pretty good.

T: At first I get some pumpkin pie spice but it is very light. It is followed by a faint toasted caramel flavor. The caramel is nice but I feel like it could use more general flavor, including the pie spice. Overall it's pretty unremarkable.

M: The mouthfeel is pretty empty feeling. It just needs more body.

O: Overall it's an alright pumpkin beer in a pinch, but it just doesn't have enough flavor or mouthfeel. I wouldn't pick it up again. (707 characters)

Photo of JTBacon
4.1/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I think pumkpin ales, like any other beer that employs a non-traditionalist style, comes with some caveats. Like any beer that comes with a sweet taste or a spicy taste assumes only a few can be consumed before you sense of taste is overwhelmed and you need to switch. I think that holds true for the pumpkins. But of the pumpkins, this is one of the best, if not the best. Along with Smuttynose and Long Trail, I think these are best you can get. Its relatively smooth, great smell, good taste (great for a pumpkin), and has some flexiblity. What I mean, is a great mix drink to make with this beer is the traditional autumn drink of Makers Mark, Saranac Pumpkin, and Warm Apple Cider. Try it, you will thank me. (713 characters)

Photo of CloudStrife
3.47/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (639 characters)

Photo of MistahBeah
2.48/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Clear copper with a bubbly off-white head. Decently carbonated. No lace

Smells of pumpkin spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice. Earthy and slightly vegetal

Tastes generic. Like a lager with some artificial pumpkin flavoring added. Not saying they didn't use real ingredients - just doesn't taste like it. Not enough to speak of really

Feels light with some spice and a crisp bite of carbonation

Overall not very good in my book. Would not get again (458 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
3.4/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

32oz growler into a flute. 2013 release

Pours a dark copper/red color with a nice looking head. Attractive pour. The smell is very malty and has no hint of pumpkin whatsoever, it smells like a lager with maybe a TAD bit of spice. the taste is also quite malty with some nutmeg and cloves thrown in , but absolutely no pumpkin taste whatsoever. It doesn't taste bad though. Medium bodied, mild carbonation.

Overall not good as a pumpkin beer, but not bad if you consider this a lager. (485 characters)

Photo of Fergyx825
2.06/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Appearance: Dark amber beer, w/ some head, doesn't really dissipate. This is on the cusp of darkness from what i'd expect out of a pumpkin ale. A bit too dark, appears to me more like a lager.

Smelling: Spices and pumpkin fill my nostrils, exactly what i would expect from a pumpkin beer. Sweet pumpkin w/ a hearty smell.

Taste: Tastes just like run of the mill beer. No real pumpkin taste to it. I can taste the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Light beer, w/ a high amount of condensation. Not what i was expecting from a pumpkin ale.

Overall: Really disappointed by this beer. A bit darker than expected. Smell was exactly what i'd expect but nothing spectacular. Tastewise this beer just doesn't cut it at all. Mouthfeel just confirms the taste being sub par. (754 characters)

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 kell50
3.81/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I've enjoyed this beer many, many times since Matt Brewing originally released it back in 2003. This particular review is from a 2012 version. No freshness/expiration date is marked on the bottle.

A- Pours a hazy copper color with a soft white head that dissipates quickly leaving a bit of lacing around the glass.

S- Aroma is dominated by vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and other pumpkin pie spices. There is also a nice toasted malt breadiness and absolutely no hop aroma to speak of.

T- The taste follows the nose pretty well; vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and a bready crust. The spices work very well together, and it's not a super sweet pumpkin ale. I don't taste much pumpkin flavor, instead it's more of a vanilla-spice "pumpkin ale."

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate level of carbonation.

O- Overall, this is one of my favorite pumpkin ales out there. I really enjoy the drinkability and the tasty blend of fall spices. This too is a nice change up from the overly sweet, high alcohol, pumpkin ales. (1,030 characters)

Photo of neophilus
2.81/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Ruddy amber colored beer. Light aroma of classic pumpkin pie spices but no other scents. Allspice heavy flavor leads a pack of spices that dominate the flavor - no malt to be found anywhere. Dry finish with a ginger heavy aftertaste.

The body finishes much too dry to carry the spices. Lacks depth of flavor and complexity as the spices are the primary characteristic of this light, fizzy brew. (395 characters)

Photo of SmashPants
3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Slim 355mL bottle, funky label.

Appearance: lightly hazed orange-amber with light carbonation and a decent, thick head.

Aroma: rather sweeter than the (only) other pumpkin ale I have had. This smells much preferable - sweet pumpkin with nutmeg, cinnamon and light grains.

Taste: follows the nose almost verbatim. Perhaps a little stronger on the sweetness - don't think I could down one too quickly.

Aftertaste: the spices come through more strongly on the aftertaste. Really different, but quite nice.

Mouth feel: seems about right - medium-bodied with a light, fine carbonation.

Overall: very different, and really quite nice. Not sure I'd have one too often, but for a change it is quite good. Particularly good since I picked it up for $8 a 6-pack since it was a failed "Halloween special" at the local. Mwahahaha! (832 characters)

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.64/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber with a fading head.
Nose shows authentic pumpkin, very vegetable-like. Cinnamon too, and nutmeg.
Sweet flavours, the spices are pretty full-on with pumpkin taking the back seat. Could use some more bitterness.
Nice moderate carbonation as body. (261 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.97/5  rDev +14.1%
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. (815 characters)

Photo of doktorhops
3.47/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pumpkin Ale number two for me - ooo, basis of comparison huzzah! So far Pumpkin Ales strike me as the type of experimental beers that give brewers the ability to try a various melange of spices within the confides of making the usually dull on its own vegetable that is the pumpkin. Flavours of which may include nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, vanilla, star anise and clove. If done well all in all it should be an interesting diversion from typical Ale/Lagers, however if done badly it's the sort of beer that will make you wish you had bought that typical Ale or Lager.

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a St Feuillien chalice. Yeah it's not the right glass, sue me.

A: Deep clear copper body with a light white lacing.

S: Aroma profile includes nutmeg, cardamom and clove spices on a pumpkin base with a touch of caramel providing a sweet high note. Not much on the pumpkin side but the spices really come through well.

T: Comes through exactly as expected on the nose; starting with caramel sweetness, nutmeg, cardamom and clove spices mid to back, hint of pumpkin in there somewhere and a slight pepper/sour/bitter finish. Finish is well balanced however the pumpkin is barely noticeable, so really it is more of a spiced-vegetable-malt beer.

M: Mid to light body with an almost creamy carbonation - drinks much like a flat hefe-weizen.

D: Not bad, not bad at all. Only let down is the seeming lack of pumpkin which makes this brew of "an homage to pumpkin" than an actual pumpkin ale. No matter if it tastes good in my opinion. Better than the Gage Roads version - this is more spiced and with a better mouthfeel.

Food match: Apart from the obvious pumpkin pie this brew would also suit festive foods like roast turkey with cranberry sauce, yams (roasted sweet potatoes), stuffing, sweet corn and squash. (1,820 characters)

Photo of ummswimmin
3.46/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this at the local bar while watching my Ducks play. My review is from notes.

They served this with a shaker pint glass. It was dark orange with some decent foam, which was cleaned off by a friendly bartender.

The bouquet has very light pumpkin and clove. You almost completely miss these minimal smells unless you pull in hard off the top.

The flavor is simple and clean. You get a little nutmeg and clove when you pull air across the beer. The pumpkin is there, but it isn't really strong enough.

Overall this is an easy drinking pumpkin beer made for the masses. (574 characters)

Photo of StaveHooks
3.4/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz served in a Southern Tier tulip

A - Pours clear ruby amber with 2 fingers of off-white head. Nice lacing with average retention.

S - Nutmeg, cinnamon, some sweet caramel, kinda smells like pumpkin pie.

T - Caramel malt and nutmeg off the top, cinnamon creeps in, a spicy bitterness comes through in the middle and grows stronger on the back end. Hints of buttery diacetyl. Finishes bitter and slightly astringent.

M - Aggressive carbonation, light to medium wet body.

The aroma is very good. The flavor on the other hand has some misses. It's not bad but it's not great. I would definitely drink this again. (618 characters)

Photo of cougznthebear
3.03/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - a v nice deep amber

S - Nutmeg, a little cinnamon with a sweet kinda caramel malt

T - Quite light flavors, follows the nose with Nutmeg, cinnamon and then finishs with a bready yeastyness and well balanced bitterness (Wheres the pumpkin?)

O - Glad to see some pumpkin beers land in oz. Ive only had one other pumpkin to compair this to (Gage roads) But this beer seemed to lack any trace of the core ingredent PUMPKIN! But to be fair its not bad. It finishs clean with a nice yeastyness. If only i could get other pumpkin beers here. (540 characters)

Photo of mattbk
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 32oz growler from Wegmans! Nice package!

Appearance: Reddish, tan, just slightly hazy, only moderately carbonated, looks a little thin. Fairly good looking.
Smell: Mildly, but prominently spiced, nutmeg and cinammon for sure. A little bit toasted, not major aroma, but this is decent for a pumpkin ale.
Taste: The taste not exactly like the nose, far more sweet, but with some hop bitterness to tame it. There is some spice to it also, but far more sweetness. Just a bit of diacetyl. The sweetness and bitterness don't meld real well together, the bitterness should be smoother. But, I like this beer, very sessionable.
Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel should be fuller too, sort of medium/light-medium. Carbonation is low. Could be better, could be worse.
Overall: I actually like this beer - I don't love it - but it may be one of Saranac's best. I'm sure there is no pumpkin in here, but this hits the mark on several of the attributes I look for in a pumpkin beer. (971 characters)

Saranac Pumpkin Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 419 ratings.