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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.

426 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 426
Hads: 1,120
Avg: 3.45
pDev: 26.67%
Wants: 32
Gots: 180 | 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: 426 | Hads: 1,120
Photo of Frozensoul327
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid pumpkin ale from Matt Brewing. Poured out to a dark orange color with a dense head of about 3/4 of an inch. Medium level of carbonation. Aromas of pumpkin, cinnamon, spices and herbs fill the nose. Taste is comparable to aroma; pumpkin, spice, brown sugar, roasted malt and a minor hop presence makes this brew a bit more complex than other pumpkin brews. Mouthfeel was medium bodied yet retained a lager-like drinkability, making it light and smooth. Very drinkable, this is one of the better pumpkin ales I've had. Recommended. Thanks to connecticutpoet for the sample.

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Photo of Stimack
3.77/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brew poured to dull amber color with a smallish white head that does not have much retention but did leave some lacing around the top of the glass. The aroma is mostly of spices, but they are not as strong as I thought they would be. Seems to be tame compared to other pumpkin ales I have had this season, which is not a bad thing. The taste is nice, very smooth. Malt characteristics seem to dominate with the spices hitting the taste buds a little bit after the initial malt flavors. Over all this is a nice brew, one that I will get again next year if Saranac comes out with it again. Nice effort put forth by Matt's.

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

Looks good enough. In the layman's parlance, "I'd do 'er." Head dies to a hearty froth--more than i expect from a Saranac. Body is tinted with tan crossed with Coca-Cola red, very little visible carbonation.

Smells great! Vanilla and cream and pumpkin and coriander and crust and just a whiff of hops and banana. Potent scent, and enjoyable.

The taste delivers, not as much as the nose, but it does. Vanilla strongly, cooked pumpkin, sweet and smooth and a baked-crust aftertaste. Excellent mouthfeel except towards the very end, when it thins out. Until then, the humble but peppy, many-small-bubbles fizz works very well.

I've reviewed a few Saranacs this week, and drank several in addition to those I've reviewed. I get the feeling that their brewers are avoiding lingering tastes and full-bodied textures (more carbonation, thicker consistency) in order to be more session beers for bar boozers. This is well and fine, and this beer in particular does that well while still making for above-average overall quality, but I wish they'd grow some cajones if this is the case.

Oooh, peppery and some taste of ground cumin. Cinnamon galore and nutmeg too! Yowza. Like I said, very powerfully front-loaded on taste and mouthfeel, which drops off considerably (read: too much) as I let it linger or swallow it. I like it...but I see potential unrealized. God, what neat vanilla!

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.27/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer was a clear, deep amber brew with almost no head. The thin layer that did form disappeared quickly.

The aroma was all about spices... nutmeg, allspice, cloves. Some malt lay underneath, but it was definitely a supporting role. Like a nice pumpkin pie.

Oddly enough, I don't like pumpkins or pumpkin pie... but I love the smell, and because I am trying to sample all the Saranac brews I can, I decided to try this.

Taste was of nutmeg and cloves over medium bodied malts. A hint of caramel. There was no discernable pumpkin taste. This did not bother me in the least.

Mouthfeel was pretty good... not like one that I have had, which left my mouth feeling slimy.

Drinkability is a little below average... a little too heavy on the spices.

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Photo of Hagbard
3.1/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown with mahogany highlights. A very small head formed after an aggressive pour. The aroma is a very strong malt base with nutmeg, cinnamon, and other spices. Not much in the way of pumpkin, but everything you associate with the spicing of pumpkins. The taste is very spiced up. It starts with a pleasant maltiness. The spices, namely nutmeg and cinnamon, come in very quickly and take over. Nothing else is really allowed to come through. There doesn't seem to be any pumpkin taste. It seems like an amber that's been spiced to heck. Not bad per se, but not very good either. Not being a fan of spiced beers (winter warmer included), the drinkability on this is just not very good.

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Photo of sinistrsam
3.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The body of this beer seemed watery and unimpressive but gave way to an aroma of vanilla and spice. There was a VERY slight hint of a chocolaty-caramel-coffee I can't put myfinger on. There is more of that in the flavor which was suprising; vanilla and hints of caramel and cinnamon spice. The mouthfeel was mediocre; watery and almost a flat feel. Once again, I need to have more pumpkins to get a better feel of the style.

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Photo of maddamish
3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours nicely into a decent sized head. Walnut brown color. Good lacing here.

Smell: Pumpkin, cinnamon and spice notes.

Taste: Same notes. Not overbearing at all in the spice department. Slight pumpkin aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Light and creamy

Drinkability: Decent enough. Nothing special here.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought it at the liquor store after trying a few pumpkin ales that were too spicy. This one gets it right! Nice, dark brown color but the head could be a bit more frothy and inviting to the nose. Lots of malt up front with a hint of cinnamon, a stronger dose of vanilla, and of course, pumpkin underneath. Spice is light, no aftertaste unless one looks deep for the "pumpkin pie" that lingers after the bottle is finished.

Saranac beers tend to be pretty good and this one is no exception. Very smooth, warming on a cold, rainy night (such as this), and not too expensive nor cheap. A mellow take on a pumpkin ale worthy of a "second slice".

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

Purchased a six-pack and this bottle's being poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A lighter brown color, with a decent head, and some decent lacing. Your typical-looking pumpkin ale, I'd say.

Smell: Lots of malt with some subtle spices, some vanilla, cloves, and slight pumpkin.

Taste: Malt up front, with some slight hop bitterness also, complimenting it well. Spices are a little discernible in a way, but they're there, and it finishes pretty nicely.

Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy, slightly crisp, with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Pretty tasty. It may not be the ultimate example of the style, but I'd definitely buy it again. It's not overly spiced, which, to me, way too many pumpkin ales are, and that's what it makes it so highly drinkable.

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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 objectivemonkey
3.56/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle, a nice amber color. Little head, which was probably my fault. Smell wasn't readily apparent, though I could sense the cinnamon spices. On first sip, was a little taken aback, as it was my first 'pumpkin' beer. Second try, could taste the cinnamon and it was good. Good hints of vanilla and other spices were vaguely present. Felt like a normal beer, nothing too spectacular in that repect. After about half a pint, I thought the vanilla was overpowering a little bit. Should have had some food to complement. Definitely not a beer to sit down to and drink away, but paired with some good autumn-y food, I'd say this is a pretty good beer to drink once in a while.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
2.84/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

looks great. nice dark and crystal clear with sizeable head of medium density. aroma has a peppery spice to it, blended plethora of additives and subtle on the pumpkin essence. an even maltiness subexists. overall, excessively sweet tasting. heavy on the vanilla and sweeter cinnamon aspects.. mild pumpkin if any at all. a bit too light and bubbly mouthfeel-wise. tastes like dogfish punkin mixed with a bud light. noble effort but a failure in the grand scheme of fall beers.

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Photo of BadBadger
3.93/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a rather tasty pumpkin ale. It pours a nice "amberish" color. The head is plentiful, and lasting. The aroma is nicely spicey. The taste is pumpkinish, pleasantly spiced. While not overwheling the spices are enough to limit the drinkability of this ale. This is certainly a pumpkin ale worthy of your time. Enjoy!

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Photo of HappyHourHero
4.07/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quite the pumpkin pie aroma. Nice malty pumpkin base with spiced accents of nutmeg and clove. Poured a small, dark tan head thaht faded quickly to a thin film. Transparent, dark caramel colored beer that shows no signs of life. Light pumpkin pie spices mix with a solid bready malt and pumplin core. There is a bit of tea flavor in there, but otherwise the flavors simply meld into the finish. Mouthfeel is somewhere between watery and soft. Saranac beers tend to be light on flavor, but this one has more then usual and strikes a nice balance of spices and malt.

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Photo of Higravity
2.15/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Well this is not for the pumpkin lover, it is more spice than pumkin and over carbonated at that.

The beer is rather life less the head is there for about half a minute and then gone, poof. I t has a really deep copper color, closer to ruby. The smell is of ginger maybe a little nutmeg no pumpkin and the malt is killed by the ginger. Cold warm it matters not. The taste is over ginger ale with food coloring and some alcohol. The malt is hiding and wont come out and I can't blame it. The mouthfeel is that of soda, to much carbonation, yuck. No thanks, see you next year, maybe.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.87/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a copper/amber color, mostly clear. One finger off-white head shrinks to a thin cap and weak lacing. Cinnamon and allspice aromas, with only traces of toasted malt . Similiar taste, with the spices making up much of the flavor. Fresh pumpkin, vanilla extract, and a strong ginger character take the lead, complimenting the lighty toasted malt and well balanced hops and ending with a semi-dry phenolic aftertaste. The smooth, low carbonated, medium body finishes with some pleasent clinging spiciness. The appeallng taste and drinkability make this a good choice for a fall session ale.

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Photo of semihobo
3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I remember reading something about this being a one-batch one-shot beer. Pretty, cheap, sixers were $5.23. Should be very fresh.

Looks good, head starts off well and wears okay. A clear burnt-pumpkin orange brown ... appropriate. There is a goofy jack-o-lantern cackling on the bottle.

Smells malty and spiced. The bottle says "allspice, cloves, and vanilla." I think I smell 'em all, that's good. Can't smell any hops, maybe there's pumpkin that I'm confusing as malt.

Taste is not what I expected. Not that sweet -- malty, yes, but not sugary. Spices are subtle, pumpkin meshes very well with the malt and isn't detectable on its own. It just makes the malt taste different. Malt all the way through with a trace of hops. As it warms, the pumpkin and spice power up, and it tastes a little more like pumpkin pie. If you like the Adirondack Amber you'll like this.

Mouthfeel is crisp at first, nice for the fall, but carbonation dies quickly. Smooth.

Boy this is pretty light on the pumpkin and spice. I figured it would be a one-time novelty brew, but I could session this easily, and in all seasons. It got better as the beer warmed and the missing pumpkin flavor cautiously emerged.

I prefer most styles of beer as cold or colder than suggested but I strongly encourage letting this sit for 10 minutes outside of your fridge... I had a 3.5 for the taste at first, but it's a 4 when it's warmer.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"My advice to you is to start drinking heavily." Oh wait, that was Bluto in Animal House. My advice to you is to let this puppy warm up to near room temp to let the flavors come out. Everything is severely muted when cold, seemingly moreso than other beers. Don't get it.

Anywho. Pours a deep copper colored amber with lots of bubbly carbonation keeping the thin ring of lace around the top. Signature Saranac house yeast is immedialty present in the nose with notes of cinnamon, allspice, clove and pumpkin. Upon sampling this cold, it's like drinking thick water. Medium to full bodied and rather smooth but lacking in flavor. This changes as it warms, as the soft maltiness begins to unearth itself, balanced with a touch of hop bitterness and spices. Cinnamon burps follow and are left there in the aftertaste.

I'm glad the boys at FX Matt decided to do this, and am a bit surprised it took them this long. While there are certainly better examples of the style, if Pumpkin Ales are your thing, this is certainly worth a try.

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Photo of chOAKbarrell
2.4/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

You know how badly beer tastes if you drink it right after you brush your teeth? Well, the first time I had Saranac Pumpkin Ale, that's how it tasted - except I hadn't brushed my teeth before drinking it. I felt maybe something else was wrong, so I waited until I had my second bottle - this one - to review it.

It's a bit darker colored than I'd like it. Perhaps an effect from too much pumpkin? I'm not picking up very much in the nose. Too much pumpkin, or not enough spices - probably a bit of both problems. The taste was a big letdown. I was hoping for something generously spiced and lively, but unfortunately, this beer has the same cardboard/packing materials flavor (and scent) as Wild Goose's Pumpkin Patch. It's not as bad, or strange, as the aforementioned beer, but it is certainly not fun to drink, either.

I dont want to finish the 6 pack I bought, and hopefully I can find people that like it that I can give it to.

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Photo of tomthumbsblues
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was copper colored and produced a lovely off-white creamy head which lasted throughout sampling. Good lacing too. Light hints of pumpkin and malt in the aroma. Tasted of light pumpkin and spice akin to a pumpkin pie, but not as dramatic or pleasing. Felt good in the mouth and was nice going down. Worth the try, but nothing too exciting.

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Photo of PSUDREW
3.27/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well, it ain't Punkin' Ale, but it ain't trash either. This beer affirms my idea of Saranac being a great middle of the road brewery, a decent conversion brew, but nothing more. I like this beer, but not in love with it. Of the 3 pumpkin ales I have had, this is #3

Nose is a nice malty odor with some spice. Vaugely pie- like. Looks somewhat watery, and a amber-brown color.

Over all, this is nothing to write home about. It has a pumpkin flavbor, but it doesn't stick around, kinnda watery even. some spices and hints of hops in the after taste. There is a mix of malt as well, both it all just kinnda mixes. It does well in the mix, but, like I said, nothing overly impressive

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Photo of Gavage
4.12/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Limited edition. Pours a clear orange / amber color with a nice 1" head. The head falls quickly to a spotty surfacr foam. Very minimal lacing. The aroma is surprising spicy - allspice, cinammon, and vanilla. The flavor is mild compared to other pumpkin ales, but quite enjoyable. Nice maltiness is balanced with allspice, vanilla, cinammon, pumpkin, bread, and mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel is mild crisp at the start and finish. The finish is slighty dry, and the spices softly lingers on the tongue. Very nice drinkability, as this is a little lighter bodied than some other pumpkin ales. I was surprising impressed, as this is one of the better Saranac brews I have sampled.

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Photo of ithacabaron
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep tarnished bronze into my glass...some sections seem black, some lighter amber, it all swirls together. The appearence along makes the psychological suggestion of a deep malt profile. Alluring.

Smell is a balance between the crisp and sweet. On one hand, a clean yeast and stoic (if minimized) noble hops provide a backbone, while the naturally sweet vanilla bean and significant allspice (far more than any other spice) shows up to dance around. Not bad at all.

Taste is smooth, and much drier that I would have thought from the taste. There is nice a milk-caramel element to the malt, which is kept in check by the spices, pumpkin and hops. Would like perhaos just a bit less vanilla. Additionally, this doesn't have as significant a pure pumpkin "vegetable" flavor as say, Smuttynose's Pumpkin Ale does, but neither does it overkill on spice. Everyone plays nice here, and no one gets hurt.

Mouthfeel is even and minimized. Stays out of the way, and that's probably a good decision. A bit thin, but done on purpose.

Drinkability is very good -- I ended up buying a case, and while I'll give a few bottles away, this is pretty solid. The spices don't send me screaming towards something else, but rather melt well into the rest of the brew. Had two or three over a few hours last weekend -- makes a good sessioner.

Is this the best pumpkin ale I've ever had? No. It is, however, much better than many others, and a surprising statement by a less than "glamorous" label. This brew is not a Saranac "pretender,"as some have derided certain offerings by this company, but rather a beer that must be taken seriously as one of the better pumpkin ales on the market, no reservations.

Nice work, Saranac!

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Photo of Naes
3.72/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one is a nice dark amber colored ale with a small off white head that quickly recedes to a thin layer on the top of the brew.

Its aroma is similar to pumpkin pie. Spice and clove are the main players in the nose.

The flavor starts off malty, and then moves into the spice, pumpkin and clove stage then finishes with a hint of hop presence. The vanilla seems to be most noticeable in the aftertaste.

Mouth feel is medium-full bodied and nicely carbonated.

Not the best pumpkin ale that I have had, though it is up there on my list.

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Photo of Applesauce1
4.28/5  rDev +24.1%
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.

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Saranac Pumpkin Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 426 ratings.