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Saranac Irish Red Ale - Matt Brewing Company

Saranac Irish Red AleSaranac Irish Red Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

278 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 278
Reviews: 162
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 13.69%

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

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-19-2008)
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Ratings: 278 | Reviews: 162 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of TDWynne

New York

4.25/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

This beer is a go to for me for the fall. I don't know why Saranac doesn't make this a stand alone seasonal. The flavor is full and smooth. It had a very clean finish which is to be expected from Saranac. One of my favorites. Very malty. Hops don't really come through which is fine. Overall one of the best Irish reds out there.

Serving type: on-tap

11-02-2013 04:03:19 | More by TDWynne
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a copper color with a 1/2" head that breaks down quickly.

Smell: a light malt aroma is all you can detect here.

Taste:light caramel flavor with some red apple sweetness and a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp to start, less crisp towards the finish. Short lasting aftertaste. Refreshing.

Overall: a mild flavored beer where several can be easily consumed in a session.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2013 16:19:51 | More by Gavage
Photo of 57md


3.41/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper with two fingers of off-white head that quickly dissipated. The nose is lightly bready. There is some notes of caramel malt present in the flavor profile, but the taste is not very bold. There is a pleasant hoppy finish. This is a well-balanced red that is sessionable, but not terribly memorable.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2013 04:06:50 | More by 57md
Photo of jtw004


3.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - A deep amber red clear enough to see the cabronation wonderfully

Smell - The smell is decent, what you might expect in the ways of a lager

Taste - A decent taste that is crisp and refreshing. It hits with a strong light beer start and finishes with a lingering yet enjoyable aftertaste similar to Guinness,

Mouthfeel - Excellent light carbonation with fantastic light taste

Overall - A fine beer but it misses the mark compared to other Saranac brews

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2013 22:09:48 | More by jtw004
Photo of Utica_Brew_Review

New York

4.31/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper amber color with decent head and moderate carbonation. Hoppy, sweet, caramel aroma. Malty flavor. Flavors are very well integrated and balanced. Slight spice flavor and the floral hop flavor also comes through. Finishes a bit drier than it starts. Could be a bit sweeter.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2013 01:26:31 | More by Utica_Brew_Review
Photo of magine


3.48/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a deep cooper amber color. Fluffy light tan head. Head settles to patch layer and leaves good lace. Good looks.

Brew smells of caramel and light toffee, malt heavy nose. Pretty good nose.

Brew is crisp and bubbly up front, good caramel malts with light hops round things out. Semi sweet flavors and a biscuit malt backbone are noticed as you drink. A little watery feel; but that isnt such a bad thing for this brew. A buttery finish that mellows the finish. Pretty good brew here.

A solid red ale that is worth a session for a get together. Would please craft brew novices, but may lack the depth that some craft beer nerds (myself included) look for. Pretty good brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2012 01:11:42 | More by magine
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.13/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a clear, light, copper-auburn coloring with a filmy coating of off-white head clinging to the surface. Aromas of roasty caramel and toffee malts that are rich, but balanced. Flavors are smokey and roasted initially, with a sweet, rich caramel backbone that is both tangy and slightly bitter. Sweet, buttery and caramel tangy aftertaste that leads to a slick, sweet, and slightly cloying finish. Not bad for the style, but overly sweet for my tastes. A bit more balance would make this one a great go-to for an Irish Red.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2012 21:31:43 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of JOaikido

Quebec (Canada)

3.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Smallish off-white head. Coppery red with small bubbles rising in the beer after pouring. Leaves some lacing.

S- Malty up front, touch of floral hops, maybe a hint of sour berries.

T- Malt with a touch od caramel and roasted grain. Bitter flkash. A little too much sugar sweetness for the style.

MF- Medium light body. Well carbonated, but not overly.

O- Decent beer. Suffers a bit from too much sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2012 01:49:19 | More by JOaikido
Photo of ChickenBugg

1.08/5  rDev -67.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

An Irish Red. Hmmm. Killian's tastes better than this (and at its worse, equal to).

This tastes like a glorified Coors product- almost nothing distinctive about it that sets it apart from some macro-brewed mekrob.

Appearance? Who cares when it tastes this bad. It could be a brilliant sunset red, and I wouldn't care six shades of effs.

Smell: Budweiser.

Taste: Coors Light.

Mouthfeel: live squid feels better.

It appears as though Saranac may have taken the "If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em" philosophy. So far, I have been wholly underwhelmed with all of their beers.

I can't think of anything nice to say about this, other than it is one of the many beers I would grudgingly prefer over Abita's Jockamo suckfest.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2012 21:46:03 | More by ChickenBugg
Photo of DrinkSlurm


3.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into new belgium tulip. Pours a deep brownish amber color with a good amount of head gone quick. Nice sweet malty aromas, a hint of rye. All (most) Saranac brews seem to have a very similar aroma to me...
Taste is really creamy sweet caramel malts. Its smooth and easy drinker. Nice session brew, and really not a bad Irish red. There isnt much wow factor but its solid and drinkable...sometimes thats all you need.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2012 23:23:36 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of TheMultiYeast


2.95/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear dark brown/ruby with a small ivory head and decent lacing.

Simple crystal malts in the nose, grains, mild sweetness, not much going on.

Similar to nose, more caramel sweetness, really light herbal hop character.

Light body, light carbonation.

Not bad but not recommended.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2012 23:43:10 | More by TheMultiYeast
Photo of BeerKangaroo


2.58/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Into a pint glass:

A: chestnut brown colored body yielding a one finger white head. Some nice speckled spider web lacing appears and lasts for most of the drink. No carbonation is seen rising.

S: malts in front, some caramel comes in closer as the beer warms. some soapiness comes out a bit.

T: sweet and nutty and that same soapiness comes back in which I'm not too fond of.

M: light to medium with some soft tickles on the tongue. It finishes dry. I would say it is mostly drinkable.

O:, this is not one of the better offerings by Saranac/Matt Brewing, kinda glad I only have one more of these things.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2012 22:30:10 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of StaveHooks


3.23/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz served into a Dogfish Head pint glass.

A - Pours a clear chestnut brown with an off-white head. Bubbles form a collar with little to no lacing left on the glass.

S - Sweet crystal malt, some raisins, yeasty, toasted caramel, dried grass.

T - Slightly roasted grain, sweet and nutty, simple sugars, apple and plum undertones, faint citrus, grassy hops on the back end.

M - Soft fizzy carbonation, thin body, finishes wet.

Aroma was pretty good. Would have liked a little more ummpgh in the flavor department. Nothing bad but nothing too exciting. I would definitely drink this again.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2012 22:42:12 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of thain709


3.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear, copper tinted body with one finger of white head...the head fell to a wispy cap even with all the carbonation...decent lacing was left behind

S - Toasted malts give a sweet caramel aroma mixed with a freshly baked bread note

T - The malts present themselves very nicely...they have a nice sweet flavor to them bringing caramel and toffee flavors to the table...the middle is bready with that touch of sweetness...floral hops come in at the finish

M - Medium bodied...smooth, clean, goes down easy

O - Not a bad Irish Red...very easy drinking and clean...nice sweet flavors with a bit of earhtiness to the beer

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2012 15:08:12 | More by thain709
Photo of metter98

New York

3.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is clear reddish amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin but dense off white head that died down but never completely faded away, leaving a coating of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of caramel and toasted malts in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of toasted malts with notes of black tea leaves along with the slightest hint of bitterness.
M: It feels light-bodied and somewhat smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink and an average representation of the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2012 22:58:21 | More by metter98
Photo of cyclonece09


3.93/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 9 oz glass. Pours a reddish amber color with a light brown head that dissipates quickly but leaves nice lacing. Smells of dark roasted malt and a small bit of floral hops. Tastes of roasted malt, but does not have the hop tone that the smell gave off, as is expected in this type of beer. This beer has a great finish, but seems to have a little bit too much carbonation. Overall, a very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2012 01:05:34 | More by cyclonece09
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.78/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a snifter

Pours a clear, reddish mahogany, with a skimpy and short-lived off-white head.

Has a pleasant if rather light and unremarkable aroma of medium roasted malts. The flavor is much better and richer than this nose leads one to expect. There's an above average strength and quality of malt flavor, with a nice touch of spicy hops and hints of toffee and caramel. Fairly even sweet/bitter balance.

M: a bit light; even a touch watery, but with some crispness from the carbonation (and hops?) and a really nice dryness that starts even before the finish.

O: A pleasant surprise. Easy to recommend, particularly as a rather inexpensive brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2012 01:08:56 | More by chinchill
Photo of Arithmeticus


3.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured chilled in ale glass

A: copper-color, clear; lots of carb; med-sized head; modest lacing
S: light, orangish malt aroma
T: sweet, fruity ale; strong on malt, light on hops; orange-berry tones; reminiscent of a light bock

Not bad, esp. for game day.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2012 19:11:33 | More by Arithmeticus
Photo of cavedave

New York

2.9/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A clear and reddish-brown-amber pour is topped momentarily by a finger of beige foam. After settling, a few bubbles of lace cling.

Light smell, yeast and caramel malt, a bit of floral hop, a touch of fruitiness, even a lighter touch of spiciness.

Taste follows nose, except spice is more pronounced, and the sweet is less caramel, more candy. the bittering hop sneaks in to the mix as it warms, drying a mostly juicy finish just a bit. No roast to speak of in the taste.

Mouthfeel is med. all around, medium carb., medium viscosity, not too much cling, and middle of the road finish.

Not my favorite of "What Ales You" mixed twelve pack, but a decent if kinda boring and not all that tasty red ale. Price point is the only notable feature of this one.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2012 21:44:55 | More by cavedave
Photo of BigPlay1824

New York

3.4/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass

A: pours a deep amber/red color with some carbonation bubbles and is perfectly clear, pours with a finger of fluffy light tan colored head that has a lot of texture to it and lingers nicely, leaves a nice amount of lacing
S: not much in the nose other than sweet caramel malts and i pick up a slight cinnamon note at the end
T: actually, i was fairly surprised by the taste on this one, nicely sweet, has some great malt notes which become nice and sweet towards the end and linger on the palate just slightly
M: slight carbonation, creamy, leaves the mouth slightly sticky
O: tastes nice enough, i would be happy to see this in a six pack as i dont really love a few of the other offerings in the what ales you mix pack

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2012 00:39:51 | More by BigPlay1824
Photo of Gmann

New York

2.75/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber color with a small wispy light tan head that settles into a sparse cap.

The aroma is very light. Some sweet grainy notes as well as hint of caramel. Light metal flavors.

The flavor is of a steely caramel; sweet from the grain with bitter grain husks. Almost has an adjuncty flavor to it. Some grassy hops try to balance out the sweetness. Definitely rough around the edges, not exactly pleasant.

The feel is light with fizzy carbonation; quite crisp. Very dry on the palate and astrigent.

An average ale from a below average style. Lightly sweet but more dry and oddly bitter.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2012 00:27:32 | More by Gmann
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

3.08/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Moderate one finger plus head of light tan coloration, evaporates too quickly to really dimple, mostly smaller bubbles, the lacing appears a thin sheet which drifts quickly down the side of the glass. Copperish color to the liquid, very clear with a horde of loose bubbles rising inside, more bright orange around the rims. Pralines, candied nuts, brown sugar, molasses, kind of grapey with date, fig, banana aspects, does have a bit more grains and hoppiness than expected, gives it better posture in the nostrils. Light-bodied, would likely feel flat were it not for the quite aggressive carbonation which keeps it sloshing around the mouth. Here you get a light metallic aspect along with quinine and more indistinct herbaceousness. Not as sweet as the nose would suggest, however, you do get caramel, cane sugar, molasses, bubblegum notes along with Challah bread. The fig, apple, pear fruit basic enough, supplemented by some orange peel. The nuttiness helps flesh out the finish. All in all, not bad for what it is but not something I’d seek out per se.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2012 02:26:54 | More by farrago
Photo of busterthecat


3.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a SA perfect pint glass. Served at 45 degrees.

A- Pours a caramel water hue that sits a clear amber in the glass. A decent cream color fizzy head. Good amount of carb present that leaves wisps of foam and ring.

S- Lots of rich sweet toasty malts. Fresh baked bread, spiced rum cake, figs and candied apples. Smell is pretty appealing.

T- Sweet and semi- sharp apple cider with spice in the end. Falls away from the aroma profile in many aspects. The rich notes detected in the aroma are so faint, they go unnoticed.

M- Too thin and watery to hold the flavors. Sharp and sweet notes linger for a bit on the palate.

O- A drinkable Irish Red Ale, but could really use a bigger body to give it more depth. Nothing special and would only drink again if not much else.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2012 02:05:02 | More by busterthecat
Photo of bubseymour


3.85/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very nice clear and red beer with 1 finger head.

Smell - malt and crackers. Smells pleasant but ordinary

Taste - Is this an ale? Tastes like a lager. Nice malty bready flavor, crisp hop finish with a dryness in the finish. Tastes much stronger than 4.5ABV..seems closer to 6%ABV

Mouthfeel - fine

Overall - A fine beer by Saranac. I haven't had many of this style so I'm not to fond of the dry finish, but the flavors are pleasant and its quite sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 01:08:25 | More by bubseymour
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.68/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance - A deep red-brown color which formed a nice billowing white head upon pouring. It persisted for some time before giving way to a thin film on the brew, leaving just a bit lacing on the glass.

Smell – A light sweet aroma of caramel and a bit of malty breadiness. The aroma is relatively light and not too potent.

Taste – After sampling the aroma I didn’t think it would be too much, but actually this had much more flavor then I would have expected. Biscuit maltiness, mixed with a slight bit of caramel starts the taste. The caramel flavor intensifies as time goes on. A nice flavorful beer at only 4.5 % abv. The caramel maltiness makes it very tasty.

Mouthfeel – The thicker caramel and bready backbone of the brew seem to bolster this beers body making it relatively creamy. It has a very nice level of carbonation, which when combined with its body makes it very drinkable and enjoyable.

Overall – This is quite a nice brew. Very flavorful and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2012 01:46:16 | More by Darkmagus82
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Saranac Irish Red Ale from Matt Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 278 ratings.