1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Saranac Pumpkin Ale - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Pumpkin AleSaranac Pumpkin Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

955 Ratings
THE BROS
76
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 955
Reviews: 411
rAvg: 3.4
pDev: 15.88%
Wants: 25
Gots: 78 | 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
Ratings: 955 | Reviews: 411 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of botham
2.93/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

bottle poured into a tasting glass. pours a brownish amber coolor with a single finger of light tan head that has decent retention and leaves no lacings.

aroma is heavy on the spice with nutmeg, allspice and a touch of cinnamon. a light caramel note is present as well. too much spice in the nose.

taste is more of the same, unfortunately. like a piece of pumpkin pie; heavy on the spice to the point of detriment to its drinkability. needs to mellow out a bit.

mouthfeel is medium bodied and spicy with a maly texture and a spicy finish of residual malt and nutmeg.

drinkability is decent. the brew is just too heavy on the pumpkin spices. it tastes like pumpkin pie, but in all the wrong ways. the malt does not back up the spice enough to be very palatable.

botham, Sep 09, 2009
Photo of Brenden
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The color is a clear amber-brown. A dense head sits at one finger for a while before dissipating, leaving behind one or two light patches of thin lacing.
A lot of spices and a little sweetness on the nose with, obviously, the pumpkin.
This one's got a stronger malt backing that I thought it would, with a strong presence of spices that is supportive rather than taking over the malt. There's cinnamon and definitely cloves, with vanilla in the finish and something almost like nutmeg. Without the overbearing sweetness that some brewers may be tempted to crowd out the other flavors with, this one's more like a good pumpkin bread than pie to me. Spices are well mixed and not overbearing. There's a tangy twinge to this one, though, and without it this is a really nice beer.
I didn't find the body to be as full as it claims to be, but it's not thin. There's a nice crispness in the mouthfeel.
I expect more from some of the more notable efforts such as Pumking and DFH punkin', but this one isn't bad and is worth a shot in the season.

Brenden, Sep 08, 2009
Photo of bminor7
3.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle picked up from Savemore Beverage in Clifton Park NY on 9/6/09.

Yesterday I finished a bottle of Pumking, from Southern Tier...this is a stark contrast. Though Pumking is highly rated in its class, this beer is much more accessible from an availability and drinkability standpoint. Color is a dark amber, with little head formation and lacing after the pour. Smell is faint but is spicy (cloves, allspice, cinnamon - but Saranac apparently uses ginger and vanilla in addition) with the slight pumpkin aroma. Wheat malt complements this spice in the taste, which has a good ale background, reminiscent of Saranac's standby beers. The pumpkin taste is more inferred by the spice mixture than detectable by itself. The Cascade hops appear in the aftertaste.

Not the most complex offering in this category (not Saranac's strong point), but an all around good sessionable beer for the fall. I agree with CharmCityCrab that a seriously pumpkiny beer would be very exciting.

bminor7, Sep 08, 2009
Photo of MaxBrews
2.95/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation 12oz bottle, into a pint

Appearance: Less then inspiring head, virtually no lacing. Clear reddish brown in color.

Smell: Strong scent of allspice, natural vanilla and cinnamon. Some english ale malt behind all that spicery.

Taste: The first taste is overwhelmingly sweet and strong. If you truck on though. the sweetness goes away and you get something that resembles an american ale with a lot of added sweetness and spice. The allspice, cinnamon and vanilla are highly prevalent. Hardly any pumpkin comes through. Keeping this beer all together is the malt which is much like an english pale although apparently they used wheat.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation and bitterness. Medium body. Very sweet.

Drinkability: First pumpkin ale and well anymore then one of these would be unpleasant. It doesn't get a super low score because I understand the brewers reasoning, but its really just a basic ale with some spices. Hope all of them aren't like this

MaxBrews, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of lordofthewiens
2.65/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The beer was a dark amber color with a thin white head. It had a vaguely spice aroma. Taste was pretty much all cinnamon and clove. Couldn't really appreciate anything else. The beer was too spiced and not enough malt to be very good. Won't drink it again.

lordofthewiens, Aug 29, 2009
Photo of tj4288
4.28/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

poured from bottle into tumbler pint glass

a- is a rusty translusent brown, nice 2-3 finger off white head that recedes to a small cap that hangs around. spotty lacing.

s- smell is predominatly cinnimon imo, followed by the vanilla. other pie spices are also present. the pumpkin smell itself is rather weak and hidden but imo this is very well balanced on the nose.

t- taste is more on the malty side. again cinnimon is def present. also i am getting notes of caramel, and brown sugar. overall very sweet and spicy.

m- mouthfeel is fairly light-bodied with just the right amount of carbonation. slightly watery but perfect for a session or satisfying a thirst.

d- great price, fairly low abv, and goes down smooth.... just the right balance between refreshment and flavour. yes, i would suggest this pumpkin ale and yes i will probably stock up on another six pack or two to save for winter and spring months.

cheers.

tj4288, Aug 22, 2009
Photo of BeerPhan86
3.8/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is one of my favorite session pumpkins. I generally divide pumpkin ales into two categories: sessionable (Saranac, Punkin, Smuttynose) and more of dessert style (Pumking, Weyerbacher Imperial). That said, this is one of my favorites because it is really decent and where I live (less than 20 miles from the brewery) it can be found for 5.99 a six pack and also in twelve packs.

A - I'm surprised how dark this one pours. Like a very dark brown ale but not completely opaque. Nice fluffy cream colored head.

S - Cinnamon, pumpkin, nutmeg, vanilla, other spices and malty.

T - Spicy up front with a lingering sweetness. Again there are hints of vanilla at play in this pumpkin that you don't find in others. My friend took this concept to another level and made a chocolate pumpkin ale thanks to Saranac's idea! This is really more about the spices of pumpkin pie than pumpkin itself but the lingering taste is pumpkin.

M - Oh this is silky smooth, almost chewy.

D - While I really love this beer and think it is a standout among what Saranac makes, I find it less interesting after a few. The flavor is complex and blands the palatte after too many. Still, for 5.99/six pack, I find myself drinking this into December each year and await its arrival each August!

Overall, a great representation of what has become my favorite seasonal beer, the pumpkin ale! Cheers.

BeerPhan86, Aug 16, 2009
Photo of smibroncos
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A. Poured a clear rustic brown the same color of iced tea. One fingered light brown head with good lacing on the glass.

S. Malt, leaves,

T. Malt, brown sugar, hops, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice. Sweet and spicy.

M. A little thin,Medium-light bodied, good carbonation.

D.I thought the flavor was not overbearing. Could have used some more pumpkin, and less of the pie spices

smibroncos, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of youbrewidrink
3.45/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I thought the clear deep amber color of this beer was perfect for the style. Head was dense and off white.

The aroma was a pumpkin pie all the way, maybe too much so.

The spice taste was a little much for me, but at least the sweetness from the malts balanced it out. If this had a higher hop level the spice would have been really bad.

All in all a pretty drinkable beer. Not a go to, but I would have another.

youbrewidrink, Aug 06, 2009
Photo of 2KHokie
2.7/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Nice head with a deep amber color. Initial nose of spice, heavy on the cloves. Light carbonation with a medium mouthfeel. Lingering spice taste that reminds me of mace. Taste is slightly off balance and the overall experience is somewhat lacking. Not terrible but I think you can find better examples of the style.

2KHokie, May 09, 2009
Photo of mattcrill
4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Light malty and carmel sweetness. Moderate spicy undertones. Munich-type malt base. No hop aroma.

Appearance: Clear, effervescent amber pour with a thin and wispy white head.

Flavor: More spicy and earthy flavors. Some light carmel and munich malt flavors. Light cinnamon note in the background. Finish is clean, crisp, and dry.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, high carbonation, and no astringency.

Overall impression: A highly drinkable, lightly spiced, pumpkin ale. One of the more balanced beers out there. Nicely done.

mattcrill, Mar 29, 2009
Photo of bsend
3.85/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this beer from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

The beer pours an orange/brown color with a 1 inch head. Reminds me of pumpkin pie.

The smell was a mixed bag. I got some great spices, and pumpkin which made me very excited to dive. There was a little draw back as I was smelling some definite metallic tones.

The beer had a great taste. Instead of tasting like pumpkins, it tasted like pumpkin pie. There were hints of vanilla, cinnamon, corriander, brown sugar, and bits of nutmeg. There was also pumpkin but the beer really highlighted the spices going into the pumpkin pie rather than the pumpkin itself. Slight metallic aftertaste but the sugar and brown ale masked most of it.

The beer had a decent mouthfeel. Not overly carbonated and a slight richness to the body could be noted it.

This beer tastes great during autumn. It provides that slightly sweeter kick for a great after dinner style beer.

Final Thoughts - My favorite pumpkin brew by a long shot. This beer is sweet, and reminds me of thanksgiving desert. The dark brown ale prevents it from being too sweet, and ultimately completes one good pumpkin brew.

bsend, Mar 10, 2009
Photo of bowersdm
1.45/5  rDev -57.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle. drank straight from the bottle.

A - orange/amber color. lot's of carbonation, but i don't think it would have given the beer a head. (the color was noted as i was pouring it down the drain.)

S - pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger?, cloves, metal

T - very metal overly spicy pumpkin taste. the spices are the same as listed above. (this description of the taste is the best I could do as I did not want to keep this wretched liquid on my palate for any extended period of time....drainpour)

M - lots and lots of carbonation, which kind of made the beer seem more bitter.

D - awful. just awful. i LOVE pumpkin anything and I love spices, but this was an abomination to beer and to pumpkins everywhere.

bowersdm, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of russpowell
2.65/5  rDev -22.1%
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

russpowell, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.35/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed on 8/23/08. Bottle. Pours a dark orange with a small white head. Aroma is pleasantly inviting- nice pumpkin spices (cinnamon, nutmeg). Flavor is of a watery pale ale with faint spices. Weak-bodied and very disappointing. I'm glad this was a free sample...
7/3/4/2/8 (2.4/5)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of mwa423
3.9/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a solid two fingers of head which quickly settles to lacing. Color is a dark amber which is surprisingly clear.

Smell is strong spice, will remind most of pumpkin pie batter (probably a good thing considering the style).

I was quite pleasently surprised by the very good taste, there was a muted pumpkin flavor with plenty of spice. Leave a pleasant aftertaste that makes the mouth eager for the next sip.

Mouthfeel was a bit watery for a pumpkin ale, but not at all bad. Overall, I doubt I would want to drink a session, but a few will do perfectly.

mwa423, Dec 15, 2008
Photo of yelterdow
2.42/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks once again to Epseja for the bottle, this one served at just over fridge temperature in a tasting tulip. No freshness date, just a 13-number string lasered at the base of the bottle.

Appearance- Bold and burnished copper red, this beer really holds your attention. As good as the three finger ivory crown looks, it laces even better. Sheets of clingy foam stick like glue to the inside of the glass.

Smell- Where the Arcadia goes a bit heavy on the allspice, Saranac showcases the vanilla big time. There's definitely clove and cinnamon, but the overwhelming sweetness clues you in on where this beer is headed.

Taste- Unfortunately, anything remotely "pumpkin" about this beer is bodychecked and blindsided by a massive cloying of vanilla, so much that it tastes artificial and more like cream soda. There is an atmosphere of mild hop bitterness after the swallow, but it does nothing to elevate this drinking experience for the better.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Remaining quite effervescent throughout its time in the mouth, it really doesn't add or take away anything from the fact that this beer weighs too heavy in the vanilla and not much in malt and hops. A real challenge to finish, it certainly isn't a craft beer lover's pumpkin ale IMO.

yelterdow, Dec 06, 2008
Photo of coldmeat23
3.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

GLASS: Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Nice, darker amber color. Good head that leaves a nice bubbly film. Decent lacing.

Slight detection of pumpkin. Nice spice notes. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Malty sweetness. Fairly typical for the style.

Slight pumpkin flavor. Not as much as I'd like. Pie spices are prominant. Allspice and nutmeg, mostly. Good roasted malt flavor. Slight sweetness of vanilla. Slight smokey note on the back end.

Too waterey and thin, IMO. Could be much better with abit more body.

Sure, I'd be able to drink this one, but I'd rather have something else, I think.

coldmeat23, Nov 24, 2008
Photo of summerlightning
3.9/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle drinking out of a pint glass

1/2 finger foam with heavy pour,lasted short duration. not much lace
Some spicing in the nose, lots of all-spice and cinnamon in the back.
Malty character primarily with feint touch of pumpkin. Mild hop taste.
Nice carbonation and mouthfeel. My first pumpkin beer of the season, good start. I would have another.

summerlightning, Nov 24, 2008
Photo of mooseisloose
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cool bottle with Jack-O-Lantern lets you know what this one is up front. Smells alot like a pumpkin pie: pumpkin, cinnamon, spices, sweet malt and some hops way in the background. Nice clear brown color with a good foamy head. Taste is well balanced, nice brown ale taste with pumpkin highlights. Good steady bitterness throughout, pumpkin comes through mostly on the aftertaste. Mouthfeel has good carbonation and body, no wateryness here like some flavored brews. This is a good brew, I was a little scared by the imposing Jack-O-Lantern and expecting a bold pumpkin flavor but it has just enough pumpkin to go with a strong ale backbone. A great beer, especially for the fall or holiday season.

mooseisloose, Nov 21, 2008
Photo of LordHammer
3.63/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 16oz glass.

A: Pours a clear, reddish brown with about 1/2 inch of off white head that fades to a thin film.

S: Mostly sweet malty scents and spices, especially cinnamon.

T: Well balanced between malty, vegetal/pumpkin flavor, and a strong spice finish. Also a bit of citrusy, resinous hops at the finish.

M: Solidly carbonated, although a bit thin for my taste.

D: Pleasant, and certainly sessionable. I wouldn't have four, but two is certainly doable without palate fatigue.

LordHammer, Nov 13, 2008
Photo of jbphoto88
3.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A garnet ruby beer with a spongy off white head. A clear brew with light webbing and a hazy sheet of bubbles that rest on top of the beverage.

Smell is one of the must pumpkin-ish pumpkin beers I've experienced. A lot of the others have a more dominate spice nose while Saranac's is most like the gourd. Saying that, the spices do exist in the background but they are not the crutch of this beer.

Familiars like cinnamon and allspice are much more prevalent in the taste then in the nose. Combined that with a roasted malt, caramelized pumpkin and that pretty much sums up this beer. Deep in the finish is a light smoky flavor that adds to the details of this beer.

A creamy mouthfeel with a chalky dry cinnamon aftertaste bring up the rear on this brew. Close to the holidays this one really hits the spot. I like the subtlety of the spices and the roasted flavors. This one makes it into the top 5 of my novelty holiday beer lists. Worth a try if you are feeling whimsical and in the mood for something very fall-ish.

jbphoto88, Nov 09, 2008
Photo of bkilpatr
3.48/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. 11/05/08.

Pours a deep orange-copper color with a thin finger of fizzy whitish head. The head quickly dropped to nothing, no lacing or retention at all. Aroma is pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.

The taste doesn't entirely follow the aroma. The pumpkin is there, but much more subdued. The spices are more overpowering. Lots of nutmeg and clove and some cinnamon, with a hint of vanilla. A bit sweet, but not too much. Not bad, but I would like more pumpkin taste, being a pumpkin ale.

Feel is thin and watery. A bit over-carbonated and fairly fizzy. Dry finish. Drinkability is decent. The taste is alright and it's not too sweet.

One of the better pumpkin ales I've had.

bkilpatr, Nov 06, 2008
Photo of LumpyGuitar
3.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap at the brewery.

Poured a dark brown with a finger of white head. Lacing was minimal, head retention was short.

Smells very nicely of pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and light malt. Pumpkin isn't as strong as I'd think, spice really dominates.

Taste is all spice, little to no pumpkin. Strong cinnamon and nutmeg flavors with a very weak hint of pumpkin in the back. This really tastes more like a spice beer with a pumpkin note than anything else.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a bit sticky but crisp. Leaves me smacking my tounge. Carbonation is perfect.

Drinkability is average here. There are plenty of other pumpkin ales, and although this one isn't bad, it isn't the best. For the price though its great.

LumpyGuitar, Nov 06, 2008
Photo of philbe311
3.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Lovely dark caramel color... Speedy carbonation rising to the top... Foamy white head of various size bubbles... Attractive lacing throughout the session...

S - Spices... Cinnamon... Nutmeg... Clove... Soap... Malt... Grains... Very little true pumpkin to be found...

T - Spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove)... Malts, a wide variety... Biscuit... Dark grains... Pumpkin... Hoppy notes on finish with an ever so slight bitterness... Not much complexity...

M - Lots of carbonation... Dry... Slightly oily... Smooth... Light bodied...

D - Solid pumpkin ale... A little more umph in the aroma and taste categories would have been appreciated... Still respectable and enjoyable, but not overly rememorable...

Note - My favorite pumpkin ale bottle... I love the ferocious yet jolly pumpkin on the bottle...

philbe311, Nov 04, 2008
Saranac Pumpkin Ale from Matt Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 955 ratings.