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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.
BA SCORE
77
okay

283 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 283
Reviews: 162
rAvg: 3.35
pDev: 13.73%
Wants: 1
Gots: 5 | 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)
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Ratings: 283 | Reviews: 162 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nms1987
nms1987

North Carolina

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

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2009 03:03:09 | More by nms1987
Photo of TheTrevor
TheTrevor

New York

3.05/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured copper with reddish highlights and a thin head. The smell is pretty subtle, just a tiny bit of malt and yeast. The taste starts off with a bit of caramel malt and that's about it. Not unpleasant, but incredibly one-note. The mouthfeel is a bit watery but there's enough carbonation to keep it crisp. I can't help thinking that this beer may have been made specifically to drink in large quantities on a certain March Holiday.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2009 21:11:22 | More by TheTrevor
Photo of SqueeCantCook
SqueeCantCook

Kentucky

3.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving: 12 oz Bottle into a pint glass.

Overall: I bought this while mixing a six pack at a local beer store. I had seen it around for a few months and decided to give it a shot. Being a fan of Saranac beers and a bigger fan of Irish Reds, I had somewhat high hopes for this beer. But alas, I wasn't impressed. Not saying its a bad beer, but its not a great beer either.

Appearance: Against the light, it has a very nice rust orange/copper/amber color. Caramel-y almost. Very little white creamy head that fades quickly. Little to no lacing. Head fades to a thin film on the top. Visible carbonation.

Smell: Not much on the nose here. Fairly clean. Slight yeast. Some metallish notes, but not in a bad way.

Taste: Some maltiness up front, but overall, not much going. Finish hangs around for a bit. After tastes of caramel and malts.

Mouth feel: Pretty nice mouth feel. Creates a nice coat on the tongue that sticks for about a minute or so after you've tasted it.

Drinkability: Its not heavy. One could drink a few of these without realizing it I would say. Goes down easy, not very filling either.

Give it a shot.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2009 04:27:41 | More by SqueeCantCook
Photo of mpyle
mpyle

Maryland

3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

App - brilliant amber color, great clarity. Pours a nice white head with good retention.

Smell - Caramel malt aroma, but mostly clean.

Taste - Bland maltiness upfront, but never overly sweet. Finishes gently bitter. A bit of copper penny late. Doesn't have the distinctive diacetyl of some of the more interesting examples. Not as malty, either.

Medium body and med-high carbonation. A bit spritzy, but otherwise nothing too notable in the mouthfeel.

Not a very distinctive beer, but Irish Red isn't really much of a style. Probably too bitter and insufficiently malty - not unpleasant to drink, but nothing exceptional about it.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2009 23:41:59 | More by mpyle
Photo of u2carew
u2carew

Massachusetts

2.9/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(A) Copper in color. Pours with a mellow head that fades and settles to the outside of the glass. Visible carbonation.
(S) Mostly yeasty with a slight caramel aroma.
(T) No overtly distinct flavors. Mild malt sweetness, with a touch of caramel. Finishes dry with a toasted grain aftertaste.
(M) Some tannin feel present. Medium bodied brew.
(D) A decent brew, but not stand out.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2009 21:32:35 | More by u2carew
Photo of bsend
bsend

Massachusetts

3.95/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint.

The beer pours a rich, deep amber red. A proper pour provides a 1 finger soapy white head. It stayed with the beer for most of the drink.

The smell was light but I got a bit of caramelized and roasted malts back by yeast. Nothing spectacular, but standard for the style.

The taste was pretty good. Though not my favorite style, I enjoyed this Irish red. Plenty of roasted malt without a metallic aftertaste that you can experience with some of the mass produced styles.

The mouthfeel was average but adequate. It was light but coated the mouth.

The drinkability on this one was what really stood out. This beer was great for a session (unfortunate they don't give you more than 2 in the mix pack!). It was smooth, and light. I wish I could grab a twelve of this.

Final Thoughts - My current favorite of the mass produced Irish reds. Definitely pick up the mix pack and give it a go.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2009 21:11:40 | More by bsend
Photo of philbe311
philbe311

Pennsylvania

2.88/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - One fingers worth of pure white thick, lush, and fizzy head... The head fades and leaves an beautiful lacing... A minimal amount of slow carbonation... Light to medium brown in color with signs of a reddish hue when held near light...

S - Overall the aroma is quite weak... There are hints of caramel, toffee, and a distinctive earthiness...

T - The taste may be even fainter than the aroma, but follows the noise... Perhaps there is a hint of spice as well...

M - A little bit of biting carbonation... Medium bodied... A very mild smokiness at the end... The flavors really didn't fill the mouth...

D - As a long time proponent of Saranac, I was rather disappointed in this brew... Aside from the appearance there isn't much going on in any of the other categories...

Note - There was a distinctive fizzy sound to the beer until the head settled...

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2009 01:14:34 | More by philbe311
Photo of Seanibus
Seanibus

California

3.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a coppery brown (not very red, but close enough) with a big fluffy head. The aroma has a solid malty, slightly roasted character. The flavor, however, is a bit weaker than one might hope - malty and toasty, with a little burn down the throat, but somewhat weak on the finish. The mouthfeel is sparkly and carbonated which makes up for the somewhat thin flavor.

Like most Saranac products - good, pleasant, but not great.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2009 20:57:17 | More by Seanibus
Photo of daliandragon
daliandragon

North Carolina

3.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This came as part of Saranac's latest mixed twelver. It's a few days after St. Patty's (I chose Beamish on the day) but it's still the right season. This one has a rusty orange color with very little head. The nose is a nutty caramel with a lingering touch of metal.

The initial taste is fresh and shows a surprising hint of hoops and plenty of carbonation. Shortly after, the malt kicks in and unfortunately, so does the metal. The aftertaste is refreshing at first but ultimately turns gritty. This is a reasonably decent interpretation of the style but not overly inspiring. Typical Saranac, really.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2009 02:47:46 | More by daliandragon
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2009 20:40:18 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.83/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright coppery color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, tea and touches of fruit and hops.

T: The taste is malty with mildly sweet flavors of caramel and some fruit. The hops presence is decent for the style and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, might not be the best Irish Red out there but it's a solid beer that is worth drinking for an evening.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2009 01:40:04 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.13/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a 12 fl. oz. bottle no. 4122274000716. Sampled on March 14, 2009.

The appearance is a translucent deep ruby red with virtually no head. Malts are the key aspet of the aroma followed by something sweet. Medium mouthfeel. The malts were not as evident in the flavor as that of an overripe fruit, weak hops and a dry finish. Adequate.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2009 01:20:03 | More by puboflyons
Photo of JayNH
JayNH

New Hampshire

2.58/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- pours a clear reddish copper with a large foamy head. Decent lacing left on the glass.

S- Call me crazy but I swear it smells just like a Pilsner lager. Though if you search hard enough you can detect a faint toasty malt note in the background.

T- The taste only hints a being an Irish red. Bland and watery, any maltiness is MIA.

M- Thin, watery and bodyless.

D- Drinkable only because it's so bland and watery. This brew is a dud...

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2009 17:45:57 | More by JayNH
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Saranac Irish Red has very little red colour to it, and it's only present when you hold the beer right up into the light. 'Saranac Irish Orange with a Concentration of Amber' would have arguably been just as accurate, if the name referred to colour and not to style of course. Some head can be found on top but it's nothing close to substantial.

Metallic, artificial and cloying are not the words you want coming to mind when you drink any beer. This smell of corn syrup and cheap malt extract should not be appealing to anyone. I'll be keeping my nose out of the glass. Is this a welcome to adjunct central?

Apparently with the flavour we depart 'adjunct central', but we end up in 'cheap malt extract west', which I suppose is somewhere in the suburbs? The grainy taste of wet, unmalted barley can't stand up to the cloying taste of corn syrup and stale adjuncts; I don't really want to taste either anyhow. I might of said a hint of dark fruit but that's really reaching.

Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of the style but I can appreciate every and any kind of beer given a well crafted sample (which come to think of it, for this style I've had only one - Three Floyd's Brian Boru). Thing is, I could drink this - I just wouldn't really want to, but if offered I wouldn't necessarily decline. Let's make that distinction clear: some (I find a lot) of macro breweries produce beers I can't drink. This isn't anywhere near that bad.

I may have been a little overly harsh with my review, but the fact remains: there was nothing for me here. Most underwhelming micro breweries, including this one, make beers that are definitely drinkable, beers that I probably would have enjoyed a few years ago. As things stand now, however, I'll probably pass.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2009 20:55:12 | More by biegaman
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2009 18:14:14 | More by glid02
Photo of Celt44
Celt44

New York

3.73/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle label is certainly eye-catching - especially this time of the year (March)

Appearance is a clear, coppery orange. Nice head and a very thin lacing lasts throughout.

Aroma is big with malts up front. Sugar & Spice come to mind. Slight citrus.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

Taste is not bad for the style. The smoothness makes it head and shoulders above any macro Irish Red I've had. Big sweet malt character with tones of toffee - just as advertised.

Overall a good beer. Definitely one of the better beer claiming to be an Irish Red - whatever that means....

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2009 00:11:21 | More by Celt44
Photo of tugdriver7
tugdriver7

Maryland

4/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice deep amber to red in the glass; decent head with some lacing. Malt (lightly roasted) in the nose and in the initial taste. Little hops flavor, though the hint of bitterness helps balance the beer nicely. Great body, perfect carbonation and a nice dry finish make it easy drinking. Enjoyed it a lot. Another winner from Saranac. Happy St. Patty's Day.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2009 02:10:37 | More by tugdriver7
Photo of animal69
animal69

Louisiana

3.58/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a clear deep reddish-brown color w/ a thin off-whitehead which rapidly dissipates leaving a decent lacing in my nonic ; a rather weak smell, some steely, caramelish grain with hints of toasted nuts and a very faint dark fruit presence as it warmed ; taste is very similar to smell, but with a bit more nutty flavor w/ a bvery well-balanced hop-malt flavor, a slightly tart,yet crisp finish ; a light body, dry and very well carbonated ; a very drinkable brew, and much better than most irish reds available..

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2009 03:57:43 | More by animal69
Photo of NJpadreFan
NJpadreFan

New Jersey

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2009 23:03:55 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of curasowa
curasowa

New York

2.4/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured with very little head that dissipated immediately. Has the reddish color I was expecting. Nothing too impressive on the nose; maybe some graininess and some strange sourness as well. Things don't get any better when I take a drink. Some initial sweetness and a tiny bit of bitterness, and then nothing. VERY thin, OK carbonation and a lingering graininess that isn't too pleasant. I live in NY and try and support my local brewers, but this beer isn't very good

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2009 23:57:15 | More by curasowa
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2009 02:18:53 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Stimack
Stimack

New York

3.15/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Seeing that this was new I decided to pick up a 6 pack. The brew pours to a nice copper color with a thick off white head that has good retention and has left a nice amount of lacing. The aroma is malt, slight caramel and sweet along with a aroma that seems to come with a majority of Saranac brews, must be from their yeast strand. The flavor is very similar to the aroma, caramel though you do get a toffee note. Besides what was mentioned I am not picking up much more. This is a fair brew from Saranac, good for the price. The one thing that I notice is that I get a lot of the same aromas and flavors from a wide variety of their brews.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2009 02:05:33 | More by Stimack
Photo of riversider76
riversider76

New York

3.58/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with a redish hue. Fluffy white head with excellent and laceing. Body is thin and carbonated. Aroma is of sweet malts. Nice but on the weak side. Taste is a mix of sweet malts and fruits. Little bit of spice in the finish. Nice!!

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2009 01:27:00 | More by riversider76
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

3.53/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice amber color with a 1/4" offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry, roasted scent that boasts of pale and roasted malts. There is a mild hop bitterness as well. The taste is decent as well. It has a dry, crisp flavor that boasts of pale and roasted malts. It's pretty straight forward with a touch of hop bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is decent also. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an easy drinker that pretty close in style. That said, it's not a very interesting beer, but nothing Saranac brews is.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2009 00:52:39 | More by WesWes
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
JoeyBeerBelly

New York

3.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - more copper color than it is red, with a good sized white head of foam that left good lacing.

S - sweet malty aroma with that Saranac yeast smell.

T - sweet and malty from start to finish.

F - medium bodied with a mild smoothness.

D - at 4.5% abv it would be pretty easy to session this beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2009 21:49:15 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Saranac Irish Red Ale from Matt Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 283 ratings.