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Saranac Mountain Ale - Matt Brewing Company

Saranac Mountain AleSaranac Mountain Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
74
okay

77 Ratings
THE BROS
73
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 77
Reviews: 71
rAvg: 3.14
pDev: 15.92%


Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-30-2002)
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Ratings: 77 | Reviews: 71 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ClockworkOrange
ClockworkOrange

Pennsylvania

3.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my shaker glass and appears a clear amber color with barely half an inch of quickly fading off white head. Smells of berries, sweet grains, bread, grassy hops. Tastes of mild flavored mixed berries such as raspberries and blackberries, sweet malts and that's about it. A bit thin bodied with medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2009 15:24:58 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of changeup45
changeup45

Florida

2.25/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Well what can I say? It's a fruit beer. Pours an amber body with an average sized head and some lacing. Aroma is sweet, somewhat malty and full of berries. Raspberries, blackberries and pretty much whatever other berry you can think of dominates the flavor. It is pretty smooth though, but it's still the worst of the Saranac's I've tried so far. I guess I just don't like fruit beers... or anything that can possibly resemble a wine cooler.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2008 19:43:11 | More by changeup45
Photo of Procrastinator
Procrastinator

Florida

3.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle is part of 12-pack "Beers of Summer" I picked up while on vacation in north Georgia. Poured into Sam Adams pint glass.

Appearance: golden orange colored body with off-white head which quickly recedes into flatness. Would have liked that foaminess to stick around longer, but lacing does linger. Endless supply of carbonation bubbles to the top. Looks very refreshing.

Smell: subtle, tangy berry scents, mild sweetness and bready grains. Underlying sourness in the background.

Taste: upfront berry sweetness, blackberries, with sour blueberry finish. Lingering sourness of lemon after swallow. Only bittering qualities of hops, no real flavor.

Mouthfeel: active carbonation, thin-bodied with mouth puckering finish on bitter and sour notes.

Drinkability: one or two would be plenty at any one session. Nothing overly special.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2007 22:50:29 | More by Procrastinator
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
JoeyBeerBelly

New York

2.17/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Part of the "12 Beers of Summer" mix pack.

Clear amber color with a small white head that thins out quickly, leaves a bit of lace.

I didn't smell any berries, or any fruit for that matter.

I didn't taste any berries either, just slight malt/date taste.

It doesn't offend, very light bodied, mild carbination.

If this was all I had, I'd drink it because it is very light and goes down smooth, but I won't be stocking up on this anytime soon.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2007 22:02:40 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

1.68/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a weizen glass.

A: The beer is a light amber color with a very thin white head that fades almost instantly and leaves very little lace on the glass.

S: The fruity aroma is of berries, apricot, honey, caramelized malt and some hops.

T: The taste is dominated by a tart berry & apricot flavor that reminds me a lot of Magic Hat #9 (which I don’t like either). There’s a decent malt backbone and a faint hops presence. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp but not smooth at all, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, dry finish.

D: Not very tasty, doesn’t go down too easy, it isn’t filling which is the only compliment I can give. I didn’t like this beer at all.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2007 03:14:00 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of GeoffRizzo
GeoffRizzo

Texas

3.43/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light ruby red with some tan like highlights. The nose is sweet fruits—raspberries and zesty lemon notes. Another difficult aroma to pinpoint, without spending too much effort. Up front, light and tender hops, the stage is set for the berries—my palate says mostly raspberries, perhaps some blueberry offerings in there as well. Medium to full bodied, slightly carbonated; the body feels as if this were a berry-type yogurt, even with the yogurt-like texture. Decent fruit beer offering.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2006 19:47:59 | More by GeoffRizzo
Photo of edchicma
edchicma

Massachusetts

3.7/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pleasing light copper with a quickly dissipating head. Distinct honey and berry aroma..rich on the honey side. Honey remains in the taste, with some distinct berry tartness...not much on the malt or hops side...which would have improved the flavors imho. Mouthfeel is a taf chewy and full...honey out of the bottle? The honey texture adds to the smoothness of the brew, therefore drinkability is good. One of the better examples of a fruit beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2006 00:56:45 | More by edchicma
Photo of HugoGrim
HugoGrim

Pennsylvania

2.98/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.

Reddish gold body. Aggressive pour produced a nice head, but it was gone almost immediately.

Aroma of slight fruits. Very sweet nose, with minimal hops. As it warmed the honey became detectable.

The label claims this beer is brewed with blackberries, raspberries, and blueberry honey. As I said, the honey is noticeable in the aroma, but none of this comes through definitively in the flavor. There is a sweetness to balance the minimal hops, but it's more of just a bland fruit element.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2006 03:38:49 | More by HugoGrim
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

2.5/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Rustic orange with amber edges. Multiple streams of lively bubbles ascend to a three finger cap of frothy foam that is somewhere between ivory and pale beige in color. Soft craters form in the upper surface of the head as a modest number of sudsy streamers of lace make their way to the glass. Not a bad look.

I would have had no idea that Saranac Mountain Ale contains blackberry juice, raspberry juice, blueberry honey and Cascade hops if I hadn't read it on the brewery's website. Not one of those aromas makes it to my nose. In fact, I'm not even able to tell that this is a fruit beer in a general sense. Bottom line: a whole lotta nothin' in the aroma department.

At least the beer is recognizable as a fruit beer when it comes to flavor. It isn't anywhere near a good one though. The base beer is a mildly caramel malty, grainy, modestly sweet affair that would have been better off if it had been covered up by all of the fruitiness that is supposed to be present, but isn't.

I suppose it's faintly berryish, although neither one of the berries is actually recognizable (by me at least). It isn't especially honeyish either, other than the sweetness. Bitter is at least as prominent as sweet; rarely a good thing in a fruit beer. Unfortuately, there isn't one shred of good Cascade flavor to go along with the bitterness. This is just a poorly constructed beer.

The body/mouthfeel is no great shakes either, but compares somewhat favorably to the rest of the beer's attributes by being inoffensive. It's light-medium in a general sense and doesn't benefit in terms of viscosity as some honey-added beer does.

Mountain Ale is yet another Matt Brewing Company beer that sounds halfway palatable on paper, but falls short when it comes to the actual drinking. I would think that an accomplished home brewer could come up with something better than this if given the same ingredients.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2006 12:48:26 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of JohnnyM2002
JohnnyM2002

Maryland

3.8/5  rDev +21%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of the Summer Beers variety pack; poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass right out of the fridge.

Pours a clear golden color with a smallish head. I wasn't expecting such a fruity smell...blueberries and raspberries with a malty-spice combo dominate the aroma. The malt and fruit are blended well with a grassy-wheat flavor. Goes down smooth and feels good with the medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2006 21:22:12 | More by JohnnyM2002
Photo of pootz
pootz

Ontario (Canada)

3.1/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle ( thanks Eric)

Poured a crystal clear amber ale in the glass. Modest cap with short retnetion and ligh lacing ability. Slightly spritzy carbonation.

Modest malt spine, light body, tart mouth feel, sweet and sour character.

Aromas are really subtle..light grain and cerial tiones with some sweetness and fruit tones from both yeast and fruit...but very subtle. Sweet without cloying up front with caramel malts then a sour fruit taste to balance..middle is like a pear cider with some biscuit tones. Finishes surprisingly quick and clean with light drying from the use of wheat.

Refreshing, pleasant and fruity-cidery made with real fruit and decent ingredients but there is just nothing really distinct about this brew that makes it stand out. I'd never turn one down though.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2006 23:11:51 | More by pootz
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

2.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Let this one warm up. I tried drinking this right out of the fridge and got nothing. Anyways...

Amber color looks nice, but the head is gone in no time like most Saranacs. I really have a hard time getting a discernable smell here. A touch of fruit, but not much. Tastes of bittersweet berry fruit. The fruit and honey don't do much, but at least there's a little bitterness. The bitterness makes it standout from alco-pops, and while its carbonated accordingly, I won't be drinking this again anytime soon.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2006 03:26:33 | More by tempest
Photo of RonfromJersey
RonfromJersey

New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fairly bright copper body...not really what I was expecting, but looks good. Small thin noisy head seems to be rapidly decaying.

Properly fruity aroma, a bit light. I do get raspberries, I'll leave the rest for others to sort out.

Taste is pleasantly light throughout. Starts off with a general malty sweetness, then the fruit arrives. However the fruit never overwhelmes, its extremely well integrated. Some fruit beers seem like a 50/50 mix of a mediocre American Wheat and fruit juice. This is definiely beer, and the fruit might have come from some new hop as easily as real fruit for how well it blends in. And there is enough hops to balance out any sweetness overload.

Nice light mouthfeel. Easy drinking, no puckering here. Hey I had two of these back to back.

One thing, if the significant other is addicted to "coolers" this might be too actually beery for them, but let them try.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2006 04:52:24 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of gosurfobx
gosurfobx

North Carolina

3.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from beers of summer pack. Pours a light, clear brown color with a finger witdt head that settles to a film. Smell is malty with some hops and some berry/fruit smells. Taste is not as malty as I would have expected with berries in this beer being the main focus. Rasberries are the most aperent while the label says that black and blueberries are also used along with honey. There is some light hops also in the taste. The mouth is a little lighter than I would have liked while the carbination is good. A very drinkable beer, but nothing spectacular.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2006 01:35:55 | More by gosurfobx
Photo of sacfly
sacfly

Maryland

3.5/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz, part of the beers of summer pack 2006
Clear golden color. Highly carbonated. Thin head of white bubbles. Little if any aroma, what is there is a very faint fruity sweetness. Raspberry? Taste mimics the smell sticking with the faint Raspberry and maybe a hint of blueberry? Hell, what do you know. Reading the neck label, it lists raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry in this beer. Actually, its blueberry honey, but the flavor of blueberry still hit me. Can’t be much of any of these things in there, but noticeable. Good thing, because nothing else is going on here. Inoffensive, but on the boring side.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2006 18:46:28 | More by sacfly
Photo of barleywinebrewer
barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

3.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Working my way through the summer 12 pack it's time for this brew. Didn't look at what I was grabbing until after I poured it. One of the better ones in the 12 pack IMHO.

A - Surprise- a nice rich amber colour with a medium sized head atop to body.

S - wheat and malt with a steady ripe fruit aroma. A hint of hops?

T - semi artificial fruit and a more robust (for this 12 pack) malt and wheat undertone. A touch of tartness from the hops keeps if from being cloying.

M / D - light bodied and tasty. Nice that there were 2 to sample. good for the summer brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2006 18:45:19 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
MuenchenerKindl

Germany

3.55/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. Bottle to my 12 oz glass mug. Nice dark amber colored liquid with good carbonation and a big off white head. Fades slowly leaving some lace.

The smell is of fresh malt and some faint fruits, nice hop balence.

The taste is about the same nice fresh malts and fruits, very summery.

The mouth feel is good, nice carbonation and a good body.

Drinkability is also good, Nothing bad about this fine summer offering.

Prosit. MK

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2006 04:14:03 | More by MuenchenerKindl
Photo of ism
ism

New Jersey

2.78/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Light amber-honey orange body topped with a 2-finger white-orangish head that quickly disappears. Nose is full of berry sweetness, mostly raspberry. Slick mouthfeel with highly active carbonation in a light body, on the sweet side with berries and heavy raspberry and honey, even more evident on the way down, with relentless sweetness in the aftertaste. Not much in the way of hop bitterness and totally unbalanced, even lacking berry tartness. Not the more rugged brew I was expected with the Mountain name but even on its own metrics, too mind-numbingly straightforward. Perhaps for the crowd that would appreciate something like No. 9 (as I do) but lacking any semblance of subtlety and restraint. Even my friendgirl thinks it's too sweet.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2006 03:53:04 | More by ism
Photo of guinness33
guinness33

New Jersey

3.88/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was surprised to enjoy this one as it seemed like it was going to be overly fruity from its description.

It pours a decent amber colour with a medium sized head atop to body.

The aroma is of fruit and wheat primarily, with berries being a bit more dominant. Some sweet caramel is in the mix here as well, along with a touch of hops.

The flavour is more of the same. Fruit is again the leader but is not overpowering by any means. Malt and wheat break up the sweetness from the fruit and caramel nicely for a well balanced taste. Hops kick around in the back as well. Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing and fairly light bodied.

This was a nice thirst quencher on a hot summer day. Could I drink it all night? Probably not, but I'd be happy to sample it again.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2006 15:33:19 | More by guinness33
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

2.98/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appears a red toned amber with a fluffy, sticky white head. Streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of sweet berries and candy raspberries.
Taste is of the same aromas with a mild malt trying to break through the sweet, and perhaps mildly tart raspberries and blackberries and just a touch of honey.
Mouthfeel is light, sweet, and thin in the swallow.
This one appeals to chicks and college crowds alike.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2006 14:26:17 | More by weeare138
Photo of musicjustintime
musicjustintime

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev +22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a " 12 Beers of Summer" sampler case, and until now, have never tried a Saranac product. Let me first say that while they're not bad at all, they're quite "average" and only perhaps just a tad ABOVE average. AND, for $26.99 a case...they should taste like there's a LITTLE more quality ingredients than your average macro. That being said, here's my review on the Mountain Ale...

It's probably one of my favorites of the six summer brews. (The others are the Hefeweizen and the White.) It does have a very common amber hue to it, but that's not a bad thing. Smells kinda sweet, and after the first sip,...it IS a tad sweet. But then again, it's SUPPOSED TO BE, right?! It's very smooth, and the sweetness isn't too overpowering in my opinion. It has adequate carbonation...perhaps a bit too much, but that doesn't really bother me. I drink beer for the TASTE and for the fact that it helps to make my "life" (or lack thereof ONE!) feel oh-so-much better! Don't really spend too much time on "well...I think it has too many bubbles"...or "I think the color just doesn't suite me"...."I'm not drinking this swill!" No....I'm not an almighty beer snob, but I love good beer. Who the hell DOESN'T?! Anyway, this Mountain Ale is nice. Not too complex...or really, even complex at all. But then again, neither am I. It's do-able, tasty at times, and semi-sweet to the tongue. (Kinda like the girl of your dreams, huh?!) I would prefer this over the other 5 in the "12 Beers of Summer" and again, the Hefe and the White are right there with it. The Kolsch, Summer Ale, and the Golden Pils are very average, and just "ok" in my opinion. I wouldn't go back to those. I've never had a Saranac beer, so maybe their "regular" brews are better? I dunno. I'm not sorry I tried this summer variety pack, though. I've blabbed enough. Just finished my Mountain Ale and am ready for nite nite. Thanks for readin' my review. God Bless and cheers to all on here at Beer Advocate!

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2006 02:02:13 | More by musicjustintime
Photo of daliandragon
daliandragon

North Carolina

2.42/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Another pick from the Summer sampler. I like the idea of a mountain ale, even if I'm not too sure that Saranac can deliver on it.

Color is a gaudy amber, almost completely headless. The nose is fruity but minimal.

Taste is overshadowed by overcarbonation. Fruit is present but barely an afterthought. Aftertaste is decent but this still isn't real inspiring.

Good thing I like Saranac because this brew isn't going to hold up long on its own. Try again, boys.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2006 06:23:26 | More by daliandragon
Photo of bonbini26
bonbini26

New Jersey

3.13/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Purchased part of the Saranac Summer 12 pack (6 different beers)

Poured into a pint glass, not much of a head. Has a darker amber color.

Very fruity smell for a beer, I agree with other people about the name of the beer, it doesnt really go with the characteristics of the beer.

Taste was light and along with the berry taste it had hints of honey

As far as mouthfeel, it doesnt really leave a lasting impression in your mouth, almost watery

It is easy to drink because of the light body, the sweetness does not work well. Obviously a summer beer though

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2006 02:19:59 | More by bonbini26
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

2.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This was part of a summer sampler 12 pack. Some hits, some misses; this was one of the misses. It was a pretty red/orange color with a medium head that quickly disappeared. Aroma was all fruit. Taste almost all sweet fruit (way too sweet) with a tiny bit of hops. The label on the bottle says "look for balance between hops and fruit." I didn't find it.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2006 11:52:59 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

2.53/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a dark copper hue with a half finger creamy head. There was poor retention and lacing.

The smell was dominated by the raspberries. There was a noticable yeast element and a minor honey aroma.

The taste started off with a mild berry tartness, but soon morphed into an annoying honey sweetness. The taste would have been much better without the honey. This would have been a much better beer had the flavor stayed tart and dry.

The mouthfeel was average. The quick tart to sweet sensation was confusing and a bit unappetizing.

Not very drinkable. Again, too sweet. In my opinion, honey is not an attractive ingredient in beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2006 02:16:18 | More by plaid75
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Saranac Mountain Ale from Matt Brewing Company
74 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.