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Saranac Irish Red Ale - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Irish Red AleSaranac Irish Red Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

288 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 288
Reviews: 162
rAvg: 3.35
pDev: 13.73%
Wants: 0
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 288 | Reviews: 162 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by tchenery:
Photo of tchenery
3.65/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours very bright. It has a thin slightly off-white head and when you hold it up to the light it does shine reddish.

On first smell I'm picking up roasted malts. It smells sweet.

The taste is an extension of the smell. It's very full flavored malty ale with some residual sweetness. Not much hops on this one but I wasn't expecting them due to style. It is probably as close to a lager as an ale will ever get in terms of smoothness and subtle flavors.

Mouthfeel is full but not too heavy. It's a very well rounded feeling beer.

Drinkability is very high. Much like the other Saranacs this one can be thrown back with ease time and time again.

tchenery, Jan 25, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.43/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice-looking beer. In a pint glass, it was a cherry amber color with a thick off-white head and a bit of lacing. Aroma a little bland, just some sweetness. Better taste, like a caramel apple. A little on the tart side. I found it to be refreshing, and would drink it again.

lordofthewiens, Aug 29, 2009
Photo of generallee
3.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The bottle has no freshness date or abv% listed. I got this as part of the Saranac "What Ales You" 12 pack.

Appearance: The body has a rich amber color with a slight reddish hue and good clarity. On top sits a small cap of off white foam. This head quickly fades to a ring of lace foam that is slick and sides down the sides of the glass.

Smell: Its aroma is very light with only very slight hints of biscuit like malt and herbal/dried leafy hops.

Taste/Palate: The flavor is very simple and safe. There is a modest bready and biscuit like maltiness with some light hints of red apple skins and caramel like sweetness. Mixed into the malt is a weak dried leafy hop presence. The finish is fairly dry, quick and has mild hop bitterness with just a slight acidic touch. The palate feels light to medium bodied with a smooth mild carbonated texture.

Notes: Overall it's not bad but to me, it is rather simple and light.

generallee, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of bishopdc0
3.2/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a typical Red through and through it poured deep red in color is has a very nice color but absolutely no head remains after a few seconds much like a soda. The aroma is of malt and grains but nothing distinctive. The tastes begins sweets and as the carbonation builds it drys and leaves a grain taste on the tongue. For the price its drink increases but overall doesn't stand out.

bishopdc0, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of TimoP
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%

TimoP, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%

BuckeyeSlim, Jul 26, 2014
Photo of Milkysunshine
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%

Milkysunshine, Sep 19, 2012
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Kinda like training wheels in craft brew, Saranac is great for getting beer drinkers ready for more complex and diverse beer styles. However they tend to keep it pretty safe, which isn't a bad thing. Appears a traditional deep caramel red hue with light beige head forming nicely above the rim of the glass. The head retention is decent and comes complete with minimal scattered lacing. Smell of this brew carries mild metallic qualities witha mineral water like quality. The cereal grains amongst the party carries caramel and biscuity wheaties notes with a touch of herbal hop in the finish. Flavor is mild slightly tart and metallic with a touch of acidity amongs a sweet rolling malt profile. Mouthfeel is light bodied a tad heavier than most michelob "craft" styles. Drinkability overall is solid something I would buy due to affordability and quaffabillity definitely falls in the session beer category all adorned with an Irish flag on the six pack holder.

WVbeergeek, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of chinchill
3.78/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

chinchill, May 17, 2012
Photo of glid02
3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very nice clear dark amber color with a one-finger light tan head. The head dissipates into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of metallic hops with hints of caramel malts coming through.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though the caramel malt flavors are now at the forefront. Like the only other Saranac I've tried to date - the Pale - this one seems to have too much sweetness. It's not that it's cloying, it's more of a grainy sweetness.

Mouthfeel is good. Above average thickness with good carbonation.

Drinkability is good. If it weren't for being too sweet this could be really easy to drink,

Overall this is close to being a really good beer, but if you haven't learned already, I thought it was too sweet.

glid02, Mar 06, 2009
Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -3%

acurtis, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of Brenden
3.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one is a bright, clear coppery orange color. An mild off-white head forms, resting at just under one finger. It dissipates somewhat quickly but does leaves a touch of thinnish lacing around.
Caramel malts with grainy notes and a touch of hops and yeast notes make the aroma, along with earthy, grassy hints.
The same goes for the flavor. It's a straightforward red that could use a bit more strength and depth but certainly isn't bad. A decent hops presence balances the grainy malt. There's a touch of light fruits in the flavor as well.
The body is medium with a crisp bite and a modicum of smoothness. Carbonation is moderate.
While this one isn't stellar and could use more depth, it's a solid representation of the style and quite drinkable.

Brenden, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of alesaram
3.25/5  rDev -3%

alesaram, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of ChickenBugg
1.08/5  rDev -67.8%
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.

ChickenBugg, Oct 08, 2012
Photo of dacrza1
3.53/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sweet sugary toffee notes--as the label declares--and buttery popcorn (?) softens the nostrils... handsome clear amber red body with thin, white head that embraces the pint glass... medium-bodied, effervescent--balanced around the mouth and tongue... a bit of roasted malt and sweet candied sugars produce a rather flavorful, American-style ale...not much difference betwen this "Irish" ale and the average American "amber"--mellow, compatible with many dishes, and easy drinking enough to pound--clever marketing for the St. Patty's Day rush? A nice surprise in the Saranac "What Ales You?" 12-pack...

dacrza1, May 03, 2009
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saranac- Irish Red Ale

A- Good clear golden amber with a fluffy head. Moderate lacing.
S- Sweet cherry licorice malt. Hints of caramel and butter.
T- Sweet buttery caramel malt. Sugary cherry licorice.
M- Moderate, not too thick, malt. Very sugary sweet with a grainy dry finish.

Overall- Not bad at all. I would by a 6er of this for a poker night.

NJpadreFan, Feb 23, 2009
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
2.48/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This has a rather dull color for a "red". It's much more like a brown ale in appearance, right along with a thin, white head that forms and then falls apart pretty quick.

The aroma is very mild, with a muddy-malt aroma, semi-sweet, herbal balance in the nose. A very mild heat can be detected under that.

The flavor is a rather mundane maltiness, sweet on the herbal side, not hefty on the herbalness but the malt complexity is pretty thin and is very close to Brown ale. The feel is flat and very light bodied, but not lively. It's not really holding my interest.

Oh well, you can't dig 'em all.

GratefulBeerGuy, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of asabreed
3.43/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A nice-looking amber color with nice bubbles floating to the top. Head leaves decent clumps and drops of lacing and stays fairly frothy a 1/2 finger above the brew's body.

Smell: Standard malt aromas with mild fruit esters, earthiness, and possibly some citrus from the hops. Nothing more.

Taste: Good grains and earthiness, with lingering fruit esters, mild berries, and some citrus from the hops.

Mouthfeel: Lighter-bodied with some crisp carbonation, but nothing feels overly spritzy or watery.

Drinkability: This would go well as an easy-going session brew, or with some bangers and mash, but as far as a version you'll admire, it really doesn't strike that kind of chord.

asabreed, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale amber with a reddish hue. There's a 1/4" of foamy head. Good retention. The nose has notes of caramel malt and a diacetylic creaminess. The taste is much the same; creamy, caramel, smooth. The mouthfeel is smooth, light, and mildly carbonated.

Not bad. Overall, well rounded and smooth. Not a bad take on the style.

tdm168, Oct 01, 2011
Photo of mempath
3.9/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours an bright amber with nice intricate lacing. smells of toasty malts...nothing spectacular, but fresh. full-bodied mouthfeel allows the tang of hops to accent, but allow the malt character to remain stage center. not bad at all. much better than Killian's....a bit dry, not one-dimensional, but not 3 or 4 either...good for quaffing something that has flavor.

mempath, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.93/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear, crimson-chestnut body beneath a creamy head of bone white. Average retention and lacing.
Aroma: Clean and fresh. Yeasty fruitiness combines with caramelish malt that has a slightly roasty edge.
Taste: A moderate bitterness lets the maltiness shine. It's caramelish (medium to medium-dark) with a hint of brown sugar and a dollop of berry & apple-like juicy fruitiness. Some minor, leafy and subtly grassy (and almost mint-accented) hops add a bit of character. The finish is fairly short and dry.
Mouthfeel: Basic. Medium to medium-light in body with a standard carbonation level of around 2.5 volumes CO2/liter.
Drinkability: Pretty damned good. It's mainstream, but it still has some nice malt and hop character; and it's really nicely rounded and balanced. It's not the best Irish amber I've ever had, but it certainly hits the mark for the style. Surprisingly good. A great backyard BBQ beer!

NeroFiddled, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of tempest
3.73/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Clark's Ale House in Syracuse. Appears a clear orange in my pint glass with an off white head that quickly disappears. This beer is not big on aroma or flavor, but I could drink the hell out of it. All of a sudden I looked down and my glass was half empty. Now I wouldn't call it bland, the flavors are just more subtle than most craft beers. There's a mellow caramel and white bread taste with a hint of spicy hops at the end. I guess this is more a local competitor to Killians - I pick this every time.

tempest, Feb 08, 2009
Photo of jheezee
3.25/5  rDev -3%

jheezee, Oct 03, 2013
Photo of chrishiker1409
3.25/5  rDev -3%

chrishiker1409, Dec 05, 2013
Photo of nms1987
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not a great beer, but a pretty good one.

Pours a nice rich amber color with solid head.

Not alot of nose. A little bit of sweet maltyness.

Taste is smooth and malty with just a bit of hops cleaning up at the end. Caramel sweetness is the biggest taste in the taste.
It is smooth and easy drinking. Not complex, and not a great beer... but, again, a real good one

nms1987, Apr 12, 2009
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Saranac Irish Red Ale from Matt Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 288 ratings.