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Saranac High Peaks Series Imperial IPA - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac High Peaks Series Imperial IPASaranac High Peaks Series Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

392 Ratings

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Ratings: 392
Reviews: 269
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 15.04%
Wants: 3
Gots: 19 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Kendo on 12-23-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 392 | Reviews: 269
Photo of Calvert_Bobola
5/5  rDev +39.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1. A: Light Amber
2. S: Bright, Tropical, Mango
3. T: Citrus, Tropical, Resinous, Pine
4. M: Medium
5. O: Juicy, hop-forward with some malt balance; moderate bitterness; dirnkable

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.59/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a Pilsner glass (not my choice) from a 12oz glass.

Appearance: Golden brew with slight darkness to the body with light haze. Head after a hard pour comes off a nice natural white rising to maybe half an inch at best.

Smell: light hops.

Taste: Hard citrus and sweet grapefruit. Complex with the sweetness and bitterness.

Mouth: Comes of a bit dry, slightly chewy and just not as sticky as I would like it to be.

Overall: Not a bad brew, have had better IPAs but still not a disappointment. Grab a glass and enjoy..salud

Photo of hophugger
3.26/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

pours am amazingly clear tangerine-gold color. Nice fluffy head and great, sticky lacing. Aroma is both malty and hoppy with some citrus presence. The hops come out upon tasting, but IMHO, the malt overwhelms and the bitterness at the end is not all that pleasant. I see that this one is over 4 months old and I am assuming that the malt overtake is because of this. OK IIPA...

Photo of HamdenHector
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: slight haze; burnt orange in color; 1 finger off white head that receded quickly to a thin collar; very nice lacing;

S: ripe orange and grapefruit; a little marijuana;

T: follows the nose with the ripe, sweet orange and grapefruit; light bitterness hits just before mid-palate, but pretty much fades away by the finish;

M: medium bodied; lightly carbonated;

O: no complexity; OK;

Photo of unclejazz
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Seems like a noble hopped Imperial, and a well executed one. It doesn't stand out in the current market of boutique hopped beer with late hopped additions/dry hopped, etc. Great mouthfeel.

Photo of ksimons
3.74/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Probably the best I've had from Saranac.

Photo of Phigg1102
4.07/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Easily the best beer I've had from Saranac.

Photo of NickTinyRace
3.54/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bitterness outways the flavor. Nothing makes it stand out over anyother ipa.

Photo of scottbrew4u
3.59/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hops had a good showing in this beer. I was pleasantly surprised! Pretty balanced for the style.

Photo of mackeyse
3.36/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is going to be a snarky review but my past experience with Saranac always left me underwhelmed if not downright offended.
I have never been driven to write a review for a beer but I was motivated after finishing this beer. Not because it transcended Imperial IPAs. Not because it was the tastiest or was a "Heady" or "Pliny" clone. I simply decided to review this beer because I have never-ever-ever had a GOOD Saranac beer until now. OK maybe Saranac Legacy IPA was OK (just OK) as well. This may even have been the first Saranac I have ever finished and didn't immediately have another beer to erase the taste and memories of the Saranac.
This is far superior to the previous incarnation of High Peaks Imperial and the one I drank today had a different label than shown on BA (it's still ugly as hell but all Saranac's labels are bland and unoriginal but don't judge this beer on its label).
Everything about this beer does nothing to stand out from the pack BUT it also does not offend or taste like the rest of Saranac's line (which all seems to taste the same regardless of the name or beer type: I've had 12 pack samplers where it tasted like I bought 12 of the same beers). If this was an early offering from a new brewery I would think the place had potential. Knowing it's a Saranac means it's likely an outlier, never to be matched again, and the 2015 version will be boring.
But if you ever have the urge to try or revisit Saranac this is the one beer to try. A 4-pack ran $9.99 by me in NY which was a good deal for a GOOD DIPA.

I am a tough grader and consider 3 to be a good beer (doesn't mean I would try it again just means I wouldn't turn it down if offered). So I gave it Low 3's. Puts it just north of good. Maybe Saranac is turning a corner here? I've seen positive things about their Big Moose Ale on BA so I might be inclined to try more Saranac based on my experience with this beer.

Photo of T-34-85
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%

An impressive upgrade over the previous version of Saranac's Imperial IPA from the High Peaks Series.

Extremely fruit forward hop aroma with a good level of hop bitterness to match it. Slightly on the sweet side in terms of the malt sweetness, but pairs well with the overall composition of this beer. If I had a negative remark on this beer, it may be a bit too fruit forward with the hops, but I'm guessing this would not be negative mark from most hop heads.

The best hoppy beer I've seen from Saranac to date.

Photo of thatbeer_dude
4.75/5  rDev +32.3%

12oz bottle in a 4pk. I cannot believe this beer. A total revamp of their otherwise malty imperial IPA. This new label and liquid is superb. Floral, hoppy and just straight up balanced and delicious. I suggest if you doubt these guys then you owe it to yourself to try this beer. I like their legacy ipa and pale (which has been tasting better lately too)

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.99/5  rDev +11.1%

Bottle. New label. Looks much better. The beer pours semi-hazed. Light head. Aroma is heavily citrusy. Some good tropical hop fruits. Citra comes out pretty noticeably. Smells sweet, too. The. Hops almost smell somewhat sweet. The flavor is more coercively hoppy. It still maintains that citrusy and fruity flavor. Sweet malt presence that is backed by some hoppy fruit sweetness. They must have changed the recipe for this beer because it's yummy and is much better than its rating. Fuller bodied. Pretty bitter. Mellowed carbonation. Some alcohol heat. I enjoyed this beer a bunch.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
2.94/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Bottle purchased as part of Wegmans mix a six pack.

Pours out a golden amber, with a one inch head, and some good long lasting lacing down the glass.

Smells very piney. I can tell this will be bitter.

Astringently bitter and piney. Some bitter orange and grapefruit peel provide some citrus flavors, but the dominant flavor is astringent, hard to swallow bitterness. A bit of a boozy sting, as well. The hops seem muddled and just thrown together for the hell of it- just to make a super hoppy bitter IPA. Not a whole lot of skill involved. There is a lot of very sweet malt flavor near the end.

Medium bodied, sticky and sweet mouthfeel. High carbonation.

A miss from Saranac, as per usual.

Photo of thierrynantes
3.91/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beer bottle (33 cl.) purchased from Bières d'ailleurs (St Herblain, Nantes), and tasted in 2014.

Appearance : dark amber color with white foamy head (w nice lacing).
Smell : malty and caramel aroamas.
Taste & mouth feel : hoppy flavors and dry bitter with a long duration.
Drinkability : a good beer in the Style Imperial IPA.

Photo of DoubleMalt
4.14/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This newly labelled Iperial IPA is way better than the version I rated a 2.75 last year. This one is worth a secon try if you were not happy with last year's recipe!

Photo of TeamMathis
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A cloudy amber.
Smell: A bit like strawberry preserves, smoke, and wood.
Taste: Bitter and malty. Aftertaste of cheap vodka.
Mouthfeel: Some thickness and carbonation.

This is definitely an unusual double. The hops are jumbled together with the malt. It doesn't seem to have hints of anything except maltiness, some bitterness, and straight alcoholic aftertaste. Having said that, I really like it. The drink is hardy and full. I probably wouldn't get it again.

Photo of TrappistJohnMD
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours amber color with white head in DFH IPA glass.

Smell is heavily malt with some citrus notes.

Taste is malt forward with some caramel and mild citrus. Mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied. Average carbonation.

Overall this was too malt forward and lacking any significant hoppiness.

Photo of gnolan
2.31/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I'm a huge fan of Saranac beers but was disappointed in this Imperial IPA. I like a strong hop smell and finish and this had neither. It is very malty and the alcohol is taste is present and leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. Their Session IPA is much better.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into it's signature pilsner glass.

A: Pours an deep amber gold with a 1 finger white head. Lots of visible carbonation in the brew.

S: Get some hop notes but also a pretty substantial sweet malt backing.

T: Balanced malt forward approach to an imperial IPA. Would say this leans more toward an English Pale Ale with all of the sweet malts. The aftertaste lingers with sweetness instead of hops.

M: Medium bodied with average carbonation. Real easy drinking for the ABV.

Overall one of the maltier double IPA's I have tasted. Has a flicker of hops but seems to get lost in the 10 different malts.

Photo of CHickman
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper color with a 2 finger foamy light tan head that faded slowly, leaving very good lacing clinging to the sides leaving rings as it goes down.

Smells of sweet floral and piney hops to start, with grapefruit, caramel, cracker, biscuit, citrus hops, grains, flowers or herbs, and some earthy or grassy notes; good balance, but this is like an English IPA more than an American DIPA as the hops are just not that strong smelling, but it’s decent smelling overall.

Tastes like it smells with floral hops, strong piney hops, grapefruit, mango, caramel, cracker, biscuit, toffee, toasted grains, herbs, spices like pepper and coriander, grass, faint brown sugar and some earthy notes like peat moss; this hid the alcohol well and the finish was slightly bitter with a grainy sweetness that seemed to leave a hop oil slick across the tongue.

The mouthfeel may be the best part of this beer as it was slick and oily with very light carbonation, a medium body and a slightly bitter finish that seemed to bring out more complexities in the flavor and show great balance.

The 8.5% is very well hidden and this brew went down smooth. What it lacks in DIPA hop flavor it makes up for in drinkability. Give this a try and be patient as it grew on me more after each sip.

Photo of rlee1390
3.62/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Clear orange, carbonated, two finger head tries to leave behind some lacing

S-grass, pine, hops and some malt

T-All over the place, but not in the best way. Some dirt and pine, good deal of malt, too much for a DIPA, not much bitterness either

M-Medium bodied, carbonation but not that smooth.

O-A poor DIPA, too much malt and all over the place in flavors

Photo of jjchristiano
3.92/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I think Saranac themselves are very honest with this beer's description. They put 5 malts and 5 hops in this mixture and got a high aclohol sweet malty beer that has a citrusy lingering aftertaste.
But I like it. It certainly isn't bland and boring.
I'm sipping it from my oversize restaurant style water glass. It is definitely a sipping beer. If Yards(Philly,PA) added an IPA to their Revolution Series this would be perfect addition to the lineup.

Photo of wafers
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass

A: Pours a cloudy, tan-orange color, heavy foamy head, moderate lacing
S: Light grassy aroma, some oranges
T: Heavy on the citrus, somewhat sweet, flavors of sour peaches, some apple
M: Pretty thick, heavy, not something to down very quick
O: This one is definitely a sipper and also one of the better choices I have tasted from Saranac, definite hoppy character but also contains a prominent sweetness that blends nicely with the bitterness

Photo of NODAK
2.46/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Has a fairly tropical hop aroma to it, with notes of orange there as well...though it certainly shows its sweet malt backbone as well. Fair.

Pours and orangish dark golden color in my pint glass with a decent head...lacing is pretty good.

Taste...well it isn't what I'm looking for in a DIPA. It begins with a tropical hop profile that also has a peppery spiciness present as well. From there though, it turns strongly earthy and woody...and that just isn't pleasant to me in a beer of this style. The only real bitterness in the beer comes at the time of the swallow, where there's a fair bitterness, but it just isn't what one would expect from the style. At least, it isn't what I expect.

It may be cheap for the style, but i think you get what you pay for here.

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Saranac High Peaks Series Imperial IPA from Matt Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 392 ratings.