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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: 1,125
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Saranac Pumpkin Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 428 | Hads: 1,125
Photo of BeerWizard
3.13/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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Photo of dacrza1
2.7/5  rDev -21.7%
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...

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Photo of minterro
3.34/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of BSharpy
1.95/5  rDev -43.5%
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.

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Photo of Boggdogg
3.92/5  rDev +13.6%
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!

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Photo of watermelon
3.49/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of mattkoon
3.36/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of jhartley
3.02/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
3.22/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

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Photo of RickyMartin
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of stella77artois
3.72/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of DavidGross
2.75/5  rDev -20.3%
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.

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Photo of Catamount18
2.21/5  rDev -35.9%
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.

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Photo of TeamMathis
3.24/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of Billolick
3.49/5  rDev +1.2%
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

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Photo of Kooz
3.08/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

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Photo of Brianmerrilyn
3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
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

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Photo of teromous
3.07/5  rDev -11%
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.

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Photo of JTBacon
4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
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.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.47/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

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Photo of MistahBeah
2.48/5  rDev -28.1%
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

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Photo of Axnjxn
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of Fergyx825
2.06/5  rDev -40.3%
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.

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Photo of Utica_Brew_Review
4.65/5  rDev +34.8%
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!

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Photo of kell50
3.81/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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