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Saranac Pale Pale Ale - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Pale Pale AleSaranac Pale Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

167 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 167
Reviews: 102
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 14.04%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-18-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 167 | Reviews: 102 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.55/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Decent amber appearance. Aroma, that of a bad ipa, minimal hops, wood and stale smell.

Taste, more wood, minimal hops. Bland. A little bit of a sour feel, maybe lemon. Very light body duped by the graininess. A very conservative beer, something you give the plebian drinker who has graduated beyond BMC, but hasn't got beyond SA yet.

Pricey for what it is, not enjoyable. Definitely on the bottom 25% of all APAs I can think of.

Beerandraiderfan, Apr 01, 2010
Photo of generallee
3.83/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The bottle has no date or abv%.

Appearance: As advertised the body has a pale yellow gold color with a light and fluffy foam head. The head fades to a thin wisp of lace that hangs on top of the beer to the last sip. There is very minimal lacing on the glass as it is slick and just slides down the sides of the glass.

Smell: The aroma is delicate and has mostly hopy notes with pale biscuit/grainy malt underneath.

Taste/Palate: Like the aroma its flavor and palate are delicate as well. This makes for a very refreshing and easy drinking beverage. Its base has a light biscuity flavor that mixes with and then quickly gives was to modest leafy/citrus hop notes. The finish has light hop bitterness fading off of the tongue.

Notes: Overall it's a nice refreshing drink that could also make a good cross over beer for BMC drinkers who would be overwhelmed by more hopy complex beers.

generallee, Apr 01, 2010
Photo of smerkinb
3.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm expecting good things from this beer after the other offerings in the Saranac Summer Pack.

Bottle describes as a "true APA" with Centennial Hops and Maris Otter malt. Such little details thrill me.

Pours with a beautiful pillowy dusty colored 2 finger+ head--big bubbles w/creamy top over a pretty orange-gold body. Clean, clear. Not "pale" but beautiful. Lacing was acceptable.

Citrusy hops indeed lead the aroma. The smooth sweet malt smell doesn't take a backseat, but instead balances the hops.

First taste is dry slightly estery hops, then a quick citrusy zing that is half sensation/half taste. The further I get into the glass, the later that zing shows up. Citrus, hops, then some spicy malt, then the zing and finishing with a dry slightly soapy aftertaste.

Nice carbonation carries through the sip and swallow but to me it's a smooth carbonation--not watery, but a nice soft texture. Slight bite near the swallow with a slightly dry finish.

I'm not a big hop fan (yet?) and thought this would be a nice shy introduction to that world of craziness. I can indeed see the potential for addiction!

This is a tasty and accessible APA--I expected some subtlety and was not disappointed. It was nice to be able to experience the hops instead of getting smashed over the head with them. I think Saranac did a great job with this and I will certainly be coming back for more.

*This review from notes taken on 6/3/09.

smerkinb, Mar 31, 2010
Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.03/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Saranac APA 4.7% alcohol... not expecting much due to the price tag on this one.

A- Pours a solid copper colored fluid with massive off white head that lingers around leaving a good share of sticky lacing.

S- Danky hops and yeast upfront with a mild and light husky malt back on the nose.

T-M- Taste is predominitly a danky malt thats almost tea leaf like in flavor with light but there citus hop twang. Mouthfeel is wet and active in carbonation leaving the aftertaste of this brew on the tongue for a good bit.

D- Its drinkable but nothing i'd look for next time for any drinking occation. Slightly boring.

wesbrownyeah, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of mjaskula
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass. This one looks really great. It pours a nice clear copper with a thick rocky head that thins to a film with lots of lacing.

Aroma is faint, with both citrus and florally hops and a malty sweetness. Flavor has a moderate amount hop bitterness with a decent balance of malt. Hop flavor is clean and crisp. A little bit of green apple flavor is present. Mouthfeel is nice and a bit dry. A pretty good APA, but not as inviting as the Sierra Nevada pale.

mjaskula, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of redsonja
3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A/ amber brown

S/ hops lots of it

T/hoppy with a hint of citrus

M/ dry hoppy taste good pale ale

D/ good beer nice to drink a bit chilled but not to mutch

good dry pale ale with lots hops and a nice citrus finisch like a good pale ale should be

redsonja, Jan 06, 2010
Photo of Yekaterina
4.47/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I really hope that Saranac will bring this one back someday; when they do, I hope I will be able to buy a six pack of just the Pale Pale Ales. As far as I can tell, this beer was only released in the summer variety 12 packs. Although I always like the other beers in Saranac's seasonal twelves, I was buying a lot of the summer 12 packs this year just to get the two pale pale ales.
The pale pale ale is a perfect summer beer. It's very light, crisp, and clean. It's got a VERY DRY finish to it which tends to float my boat. I hope Saranac does the right thing ;-)

Yekaterina, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of kegger22
3.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a clear yellow with a one finger head that faded to a thin skin. The aroma was weakly citrus. The taste was also a little on the mild side, but more citrus than malt with no bitter aftertaste. The feel was light bodied with sufficient carbonation. Drinkability was good. A safe choice in a beer, not likely to offend anyone.

kegger22, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of Onenote81
3.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into my pint glass a clear pale gold with a small ivory-colored head on top. Retention was weak, but there was some nice sticky lace on the glass. Smells of earthy malts and veggies. Some slight sweet scent on the finish. Moderate amount of carbonation gives this a decent body. Flavor is slightly bittering with the light hops used, but malt is the big guy here. Not the sweet malt profile, rather a dull earthy flavor. I like the low ABV as well. This would be a great one to session during a cookout or day in the yard.

Onenote81, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of cbutova
3.75/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with a one finger head that fizzes out rather quickly and leaves good lacing behind. Smells of malts and citrus hops, a pretty good balance in the nose. The citrus hoppiness is more prominent than I expected. Taste starts off with a good balance of citrus hops and malts and then goes to hops. The after taste is a big malt backbone, pretty good for this light beer. Hops can be detected on the tongue after the beer is swallowed. As with other Saranac beers, the hops seem to fade leaving the tongue to a sweet, overly malty taste for the second half of the beer. Mouthfeel is moderate bodied with good carbonation on the tongue and no alcohol warming or taste. A good coat of aftertaste, mainly malts is left on the tongue. Drinkability is good. The taste is better than I was expecting, the price tag is pretty low on Saranac stuff. No real off flavors have killed it so far, meaning I could session it.

cbutova, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of skinny0ne
2.58/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

It has a fizzy head. The color is a good pale amber. The aroma is light, but of hops and malt. I don't get any citrus. Up front it is a bit sweet. Honey and malt. A bit of lemon hits in the middle. In the finish a bit of bitter hops. Nothing notable. And that's kind of how I see this brew. Not bad. But nothing really good either. Kind of like spicing up a macrobrew a bit. For a brew that wants to be the best pale ale you ever had (on the label), it totally misses that mark.

skinny0ne, Sep 04, 2009
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.4/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears golden with a small amount of soapy white head.

Smells like pale malt and subtle piney hop notes.

Taste is quite tame, slight bitter hop action with a light roasted character.

Medium bodied and smooth with a medium level of carbonation.

A decent overall beer. Nothing special, but enough hop flavor to get by.

Stinkypuss, Aug 28, 2009
Photo of Gavage
3.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: golden color with a 1/2" head that lasts a while, but no lacing is produced. Plenty of slow rising carbonation bubbles too.

Smell: very little aroma here except for some floral bitterness and orange citrus.

Taste: light caramel, orange, hint of nuttiness, and a decent bitterness make up a very mild and light ale.

Mouthfeel: crisp throughout with a mild dry finish. Short aftertaste that seemed to focus on the bitterness. Lighter side of a medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: this came across as a decent ale that was somewhat crisp and refreshing.

Gavage, Aug 24, 2009
Photo of OtherShoe2
3.75/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a darker yellow with a fair foamy white head and some lacing.

Decent notes of grapefruit and pine in the nose, some bread-like aromas as well.

Lighter in the flavor than I would have liked, but still plenty there. Decent citric rind bitterness, and some bready flavors and a little sweet grain. Finish is lightly bitter.

Well carbonated and medium-light bodied.

Overall, not too bad. Very very drinkable on a hot day, and a decent brew with food. I dug it.

OtherShoe2, Aug 17, 2009
Photo of squirrelpirate
3.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Saranac Pale Pale Ale pours a slightly cloudy golden hue with a small head that quickly vanishes and leaving a thin, bubbly lace.

The aroma consists of spicy and citrus qualities from the Centennial hops with certain grassy and light malt qualities.

Hop bitterness shines with little competition from the nutty malt sweetness. A slightly bitter finish with a light astringency and moderate mouthfeel and carbonation.

I love the Maris Otter malt in this beer, and it's not as extensively hopped as some pale ales I've tried. Could be a session beer, but not the most easy drinking.

squirrelpirate, Aug 08, 2009
Photo of BeardedBoffin
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours a dark golden color with a slightly sticky head that sticks around while the glass is being drained. A pleasant nose of mostly dominated with herbal and citrus hops with a nice touch of biscuit. The beer flows well--a little slick--across the medium bodied palate. The flavor is mostly bitter and grapefruit hops. Only the faintest hint malt is enough for acceptable balance.

This is a pleasant and highly drinkable ale. It is not overwhelming, but pleasing to the palate. Recommended.

BeardedBoffin, Aug 02, 2009
Photo of jwc215
3.78/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From summer '09 variety pack:

Pours bright golden with a nice foamy white head. Patches of lacing stick.

The smell is biscuity and grainy with mild herbal hop spicing.

The taste is of tea-leaf with Maris Otter maltiness and a balancing bitter touch. Mild, but pleasant - a nice English/American hybrid of English malt and American hops.

It has a crisp, light body (though not thin or watery) with a lasting pleasant aftertaste.

This is thist-quenching and truly a summer session beer!

jwc215, Jul 29, 2009
Photo of thespaceman
3.85/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass:

Appearance: Light golden hue on this, thick billowing head atop a bed of bubbles from the carbonation. Cloudy looking with awesome lacing and head retention.

Smell: Citrus aromas from the hops combine with some bread like maltiness. Grapefruit, citrus, plum, and other fruit elements are here with some grass like aromas. Very earthy and invigorating.

Taste: Hop characters exceed any maltiness applied to this brew, lots of slick tasting hop oils, citrus and a small tinge of malt backbone. Very pleasing on the palete, the small bitterness makes you pucker a bit combined with the hop presence. Overall, alot more hoppier then other APA counterparts on the market.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, good amount of bitterness here, very light on the palete, and refreshing to enjoy on a hot day.

Drinkability: Overall, light years ahead of the Saranac Pale Ale, combines alot more hops to please the hop heads, with a small backbone to smooth things out. Not an overall exciting offering but for what it is, it hit's the mark for sure.

thespaceman, Jul 14, 2009
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.3/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 05/27/2009. Bottle. Pours a clear light orange with a small white head. Aroma of bready/doughy malts, light citrus, and fruit hops. Flavor is sweet initially with a nice malty, bready finish. Slightly on the sweet side. Easy to drink, decent beer.

LilBeerDoctor, Jul 11, 2009
Photo of goblue3509
3.23/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark yellow slight orange color with a thick two finger head that gives way quickly to a half finger head. Lacing is visible but isn't big. The smell is of pine and hops. The taste is not as the smell would dictate. The taste is of a very slight hop with a little pine or citrus to it. The carbonation is fairly high, you can see it in the glass. The drinkability is okay, you could have one or two of these but not many more. It leaves you wanted some more flavor out of it.

goblue3509, Jul 08, 2009
Photo of auxiliary
3.75/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance - Yellow color, white pond for a head, and lots of bubbles.

smell - Some hops, bread, pale malts.

taste - decent balance of malt and hops here. Not too much hoppy here.

mouthfeel - Medium-light body.

drinkability - Not a bad drinking beer after a long day of cutting the grass. Worth a try.

auxiliary, Jul 07, 2009
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.93/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Super pale as the pale pale nomenclature would entail, this is quite easily paler than the helles of Saranac's that I just drank from the 12 Beers of Summer. Crystal clear light golden copper tinted hue with a bright white head forming thin but fine and even lacing around my chalice. Aromatics offer up sharp centennial citrus rinds including pink grapefruit and pine and earthy notes. Marris otter malt brings the funk with an earthy nuttiness, but I really like the aroma on this one overall. Flavor shoots straight toward the alpha acids with barely any malt balance it really drives the citrus peel and earthy hop components. Reminds me of Philadelphia Pale Ale from Yard's in alot of ways. Bitter dry finish on the mouthfeel with sturdy carbonation flowing nicely, very light body as well as the alcohol. Drinkability is sessionable all the way it has flvor and refreshing appeal going on.

WVbeergeek, Jul 03, 2009
Photo of u2carew
3.58/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A) Pours with a two finger head that is creamy and tight. Golden to bronze in color. Visible carbonation.
S) Malty sweet mixed with hoppy citrus notes. Light caramel. Pink grapefruit.
T) Mellow, malty nose. Earthy. Just a bit of hop bite in the middle as well as nutty in the middle and finish. A lingering dry, earthiness.
M) Fizzy. Medium bodied. Dry. Gritty.
D) A decent pale ale. I wouldn't have too many of these in a row - just not that attractive.

u2carew, Jul 01, 2009
Photo of AtlasBrew
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm having a great summer with Saranac! Got the 12 Beers of Summer variety pack. Decent Beers and great price! $21 in my neck of the woods.

Presentation: gold with a slight chill haze and an off white head that laces nicely down the glass, retention is low however that is a characteristic of the style.

Aroma: an earth, citrusy, and slightly steely aroma from the hops. Has a sweet malt aroma underneath it all.

Flavor: A semi-sweet malt flavor which is slightly overwhelmed by the hops. Hop flavor is mildly bitter with some herbal and citrus flavor followed by a steely some what dry finish.

Overall: True to its name; Pale Pale Ale delivers on what one would expect from an ale designed to be refreshing on a hot summer day yet hoppy enough to satisfy the majority of beer geeks.

AtlasBrew, Jun 29, 2009
Photo of DannyS
3.63/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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

A - clean, clear straw colored amber with a head that pours fairly thin but leaves lots of clingly lacing as it goes down.

S - Not a whole lot there, but i did detect some nice bready malts and grassy hops

T - Lots of tasty biscuity malt, punctuated by clean, slightly bitter grass/herbal hops. A fairly simple combination of flavors, but it's pulled off well enough. Finishes clean with just a twinge of bitter hops in the back of the tongue.

M - Has a little bit of weight to it, complimented by the fizzy carbonation, making this a smooth, fairly foamy drink.

D - The hop bitterness gets more noticeable as one drinks, but this is easily a session beer. I kinda wish I had slowed down when drinking this one; i plowed through it quick.

overall - It's a pale ale that drinks like a pilsener. I can dig it. So far, the summer beer pack from FX Matt has been pretty good, all perfectly decent thirst quenchers.

DannyS, Jun 27, 2009
Saranac Pale Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.