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Saranac Irish Red Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac Irish Red AleSaranac Irish Red Ale

Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States | website

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-19-2008

User Reviews
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Reviews: 167 | Ratings: 306
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.36/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Best by 6/30/16.

Pours a clear dark reddish-orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, nut, and caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, nut, caramel, and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable, but the smell on this one is slightly better to me.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of BrewMakeMeFeel
2.37/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Pours a crystal clear ruby red color with a quickly-dissipating cream head leaving some lacing on the glass.

Faint roasted malt aromas with a little bit of toffee, caramel and just a hint of herbal hops as well. The toffee comes through strongly, as do the roasted malt flavors. Sweet and roasty with only a bit of hop flavor to balance at the finish, which also contains a trace of graininess. Fairly light-bodied with low to moderate carbonation.

Disclaimer: Irish red ales aren't really my favorite style. That said, this beer hits all the style notes but, aside from its solid appearance, doesn't really do much to stand out. The finish and aftertaste in particular leave something to be desired. Not a bad beer by any means, and fans of the style my find considerably more to recommend it, but this isn't one I'll be seeking out again. Certainly not a standout for Saranac (which, from what I've sampled include the Bavarian Pils and Cloud Splitter).

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.47/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A clear copper brown body, white head, a trace of lacing.

S - A apple fruit note, a hint of floral hops, but very quiet.

T - Follows the nose, with big apple elements, coupled with a distinct flavor of oversteeped tea, which carries into the close.

M - Moderate carbonation, mild drying in the close.

O - There are good notes here, but it seems there is not much going on to inspire a stronger reaction. Not unpleasant, just somewhat boring.

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Photo of MichaelProcton
2.87/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Looks more like sweet tea than a red. Ultra-clear and hardly any carbonation, and what little head there is goes away in a hurry. Smell is weak, too, with faint malt sweetness being the only standout note to me. Things rebound a bit on the taste, but it's terribly simple, and there's an unpleasant, skunky note on the back end. Mouthfeel is average. Drinkable in that there's nothing about it that is offensive, but not really worth revisiting, either.

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Photo of utopiajane
4.02/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saranac has been strutting their stutf with a spring case that included a pilsener and this Irish red ale. Pours red. Copper fire with orangey tones. Absolute clear perfection. A tan creamy head that fell pretty fast but you don't mind watching. Nose is biscuit and caramel. A light nuttiness and a some light hop herbal. Woody earthy hops. Drinks so easily. Dry biscuit little bit of smooth caramel and that woody herbal hop. A light fruitiness that is faint enough to remain pleasant and not lend too much sweetness to the perception. A wonderfully mild beer with an easy bitterness that just finishes it off. Lingers a touch on the tongue. Malt finishes the beer. Gorgeous color!

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Photo of tippiecanoes
2.3/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Saranac Red Ale is unbearable (at least on my palate). It's bitter and tastes like the inside of a cologne bottle. This is seemingly what some beer advocates like; the more bitter and unbearable the tastier it is? I don't get it. Maybe it's like cheese; the stinkier and more bitter the higher the review scores? That said, if you are a regular beer drinker like I am (I drink all different kinds of beers), then you most likely will cringe at the taste of the Red Ale. It's not a beer to drink in your Adirondack Chair; it's a beer to drink when you're already wasted from a few Landshark Lagers.

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Photo of TDWynne
4.22/5  rDev +24.9%
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.

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Photo of Gavage
3.47/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of 57md
3.43/5  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.

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Photo of jtw004
3.39/5  rDev +0.3%
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

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Photo of Utica_Brew_Review
4.31/5  rDev +27.5%
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.

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Photo of magine
3.48/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.15/5  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.

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Photo of JOaikido
3.21/5  rDev -5%
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.

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Photo of ChickenBugg
1.09/5  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.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of TheMultiYeast
2.94/5  rDev -13%
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.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Photo of thain709
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
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

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Photo of metter98
3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.92/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of chinchill
3.75/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of cavedave
2.88/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
3.38/5  rDev 0%
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

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Saranac Irish Red Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.