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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 plaid75
3.85/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a light copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured an herbal hop and delicate doughy malt.

The taste was well balanced with a crisp malt and a lingering herbal hop.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side of the style.

Overall a tasty and very easy drinking pale ale.

plaid75, Jun 27, 2009
Photo of KenC411
3.78/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A thin one finger head tops the tan translucent beer with a medium amount of bubbles marching towards the head, which disappeared in less than a minute.

Smell: Citrus and malt

Taste: Initial hoppy bite followed by a wave of sweet malt. It finishes with a light bitter kick. Very balanced malt and hops.

Mouthfeel: Its medium in thickness, crisp and refreshing.

Drinkability: In a sea of odd misfits, this beer really hits the mark. It has a little bit of sweet, little bit of hop, and a crisp refreshing taste. Definitely a welcome addition to my fridge.

KenC411, Jun 25, 2009
Photo of dbmcrorie
3.43/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. brown long-neck bottle with no decipherable freshness/bottling date.

Rich amber/orange body with a light khaki head, similar to standard pumpkin ales. Minimal head retention with a collar that leaves a bit of lacing clinging to the glass.

In my past few reviews, I've constantly asked, "Where are my hops?" ...I've found my answer.
Great floral bouquet. Hops provide fresh notes of citrus, pine, herbs, and very discrete spices. The soft caramel malt lays just below the surface, providing enough biscuity and sweet candy notes to balance the almost (but not quite) sour profile from the hops.

A bit less impressive than the nose. Weak malt profile provides faint biscuit, caramel, toffee, and bread notes. Allegedly six specialty malts were used, but I'm getting very little balance for the aggressive hop astringency in the back of the tongue. Lots of citrus (prob. the Goldings) and pine (prob. the Fuggles) along the sides of the mouth, with a very piny/spicy finish. Decent carbonation opens up the hop oils and resin, but gets lost somewhere in the end. Slick mouthfeel and rough carbonation makes this less of a session beer, and better for pairing with food.

Not a bad Pale Ale. I was excited when I saw how rich the color was, and smelled how aromatic the nose was. But unfortunately the taste let me down a bit. Decent PA for the price and availability, and wouldn't mind it again; maybe just if the pine flavors were toned down a bit, and the malt had some more backbone.
Because of the heavy pine/hop profile in this brew, this would pair greatly with anything smokey; such as bacon burgers, smoked gouda, smoked salmon, etc. Anything earthy/smoked that reminds you of the outdoors - this would go great with.


dbmcrorie, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of Gmann
3.58/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very pale brown color with a wispy white head that settles into a sparse cap. The aroma is of bread malt, light caramel, a touch of metal and spicy hop. A very light bready malt flavor with light caramel and hints of grassy and citrus hops. The flavors are quite light but balanced. I would like to see this more malty with a more pronounced hop flavor but if they were going for a pale pale ale, I guess they achieved it. The feel is light but not watery with airy carbonation; finishes sweet. A very drinkable ale with some light flavor. If they were going with a dumb-downed APA they hit it. No off flavors make this a very drinkable beer.

Gmann, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of TheFightfan1
3.3/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The last one in a summer variety case I bought. Pours a golden color with a very little sticky white lacing that pretty much disappears after a few sips.

smell is very sweet like caramel,skunky and a nutty aroma

Taste is kind of lemony but more a funky bitter grapefruit that sticks to the palate throughout the tasting and 10 mins afterward.

Mouth is light-medium bodied,crisp, with good carbonation that turns flat pretty late in the game.

Drink is good if you can stand that bitterness throughout but might be a good session beer.

TheFightfan1, Jun 06, 2009
Photo of akorsak
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle from Saranac's 12 Beers of Summer pack.

A: The pale pale ale is just that, wickedly pale with a solid yellow color, a goldenrod tone that is translucent.

S: The nose is malty, full of bread and caramel. A mild hop profile also hovers below the surface, peaking out at times.

T: The ale is very light, focusing on the malt side. Bready with a soft caramel touch, the lighter malts take the focus of said caramel. The taste is very earthy without being hoppy. The malt flavor lingers long after the sip is gone, a rarity so such a mild ale. Citrus hops are present below the surface, adding flickering bitterness to the maltiness. A pleasant pale ale that needs some of the oomph that the pale ale brings.

M: The ale is light, reflected both in flavor and body. The relaxed atmosphere makes for a nice drink.

D: A decent light pale ale. I'd take its stronger brother 9 times out of 10, as it needs a little more strength.

akorsak, May 31, 2009
Photo of mempath
4.33/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

couldn't resist the new Saranac summer case since there were 5 of the 6 i had never had. but the pale-pale caught my eye.

ok, it pours a very carbonated frenzy of foam and fuss, but settles up and down very very quickly. little lacing...actually, a nice 'light' deep golden color, not 'pale' in the least. looks like a lager...

malts dominate the nose...not bad, but hoping for hops hopping about. i can sense them, but they must be saving their entry for the taste. nonetheless, there is a very satisfying smell here, a tangy, cirtrusy (not in the hop-citrus sense!), biscuity concentration. nice.

well, bust my buttons if this isn't a surprise. not alot of mystery, but this is a nice, quite hoppy, light presentation that certainly makes this a better Saranac (i still think, if i can remember, i prefer the IPA)...and certainly more lively than the regular pale. if anything, maybe more akin to the SN pale in this case. there is a nice bite that at least doesn't slur 'macro' here. not trying to amp this up into what it isn't. my benchmark for everyday APA or IPA is Torpedo. but this does a nice job and is fine as a session brew but would be a fine accompaniment to a meal. say, chili (any style...)!

i think the mouthfeel suffers a bit, too much carbonation makes the flavors slip away instead of lingering. that's visibly evident in pouring it. adjust this and throw in one more handful of hops...please.

edit: i amped up, slightly, some of the marks after spending another round or two with this over the week. it is more impressive as i drink it. actually very well balanced.

edit 2: a year later+ and it's still on point...the mouthfeel is still crazy bubbly, but seems creamier and more balanced.

mempath, May 31, 2009
Photo of PatrickJR
2.38/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Clear, light golden with about 2 fingers of white head that disappears somewhat quickly before falling to a thin film. Mild lacing.

S - Weird dirty/earthy/citric aroma, what I associate with "dirty wheat." Some floral notes are hidden in there letting you know there were some kind of hops used at some point here, but they are smothered in a grainy/husky blanket.

T - I didn't think it was going to get any worse, but it did. Grainy sweetness akin to a macro or malt liquor hits immediately and then some crazy off flavors pop up like metal and wet dog. Really off-putting. Somewhere in this gutter-water mess is a dying reminder of hops, with some slightly citrus and earthy characteristics. Bitterness hits hard with a squeeze of lemon for flavor but little else. Moderate to high bitterness for the style and relatively blandness of the brew in general. Grain, lemon juice concetrate, and just a bit of that wet dog linger in the finish and aftertaste.

M - Not too much to talk about here. Relatively light bodied with spritzy carbonation. Comes across as watery at times.

D - I don't know what's going on, but Saranac's beers seem to be getting worse. This beer seems like little more than an American ice lager with a blast of bitterness. No harmony or balance, and nothing that shines from the malt or hop department. The wet dog thing seems to be going in and out, varying in intensity between sips, but it's still pretty gross. Not quite undrinkable, but walking a thin line.

PatrickJR, May 28, 2009
Photo of puboflyons
3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle marked 1109-0824. Sampled on May 24, 2009.

A - a fairly clear rusty-amber with almost no head and very little lacing.

S - Kind of pungent with its odd mix of sweet malts and fruity flavorings.

T/M - The mouthfeel is bit on the watery side and the flavor is very sharp and tart like sour malts. It has a slightly dry finish.

puboflyons, May 25, 2009
Photo of WesWes
3.73/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a solid pale malt scent along with a mild hop aroma. It's dry with some light yeast esters. The taste is decent. It has a weak malt flavor with a decent amount of hop character. It's light and refreshing; just not that malty. It goes down easy with a dry, bitter finish. The mouthfeel is decent also. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a very drinkable APA. It's a solid session beer that won't fill you up and is great for the warmer months.

WesWes, May 21, 2009
Photo of yesyouam
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saranac Pale Pale Ale is a very clear pale golden ale with a soft, fluffy white head that has great retention and lacing. It has a hoppy aroma that's almost sweet, with notes of grass and wood (pine). It is medium-light bodied and very smooth with a clean finish. The Centennial hops are apparent in the flavor with pine and citrus peel. It's dry and clean. An excellent American Pale Ale!

yesyouam, May 14, 2009
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.05/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

I always thought Pale Ale's were pale enough.. apparently Saranac didn't feel the same way.

Pours a light golden color.. memories of Bud light in a glass come to the forefront.. it has to at least TASTE better than that. Thankfully it does. Not surprisingly, it tastes like a watered down pale ale. Very light bodied, a tiny little hop kick to it with some nice bitterness in there. Definitely an easy drinker and not offensive by any means.. but just way too thin and light, even on a nice hot day. It's refreshing but I wish Saranac chose a better style to brew for their 12 Beers of Summer.. I vote no on this one.

oriolesfan4, May 13, 2009
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.38/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saranac- Pale Pale Ale

A- Light copper orange with a small sticky lacing head.
S- Sweet juicy pine hops and a sugary caramel malt.
T- Light sweet sugary malt, hints of honey and caramel. Pine hops are sweet and juicy nice, but light.
M- Heavy carbonationup front with a sugary sweetness. Sweet hops turn slightly bitter in the end.

Overall- Starts off light and subdoed but eventually flavors pop out. Decent but not outstanding.

NJpadreFan, May 11, 2009
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.25/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

The beer is a golden yellow color with a huge white head that left a sheet of lacing. There is a nice soft citrus hop aroma. The taste is a well balanced blend of mildy bitter hops and sweet malt. Medium bodied with a clean, crisp feel make this a highly drinkable beer. I'd like to see this brew available in 6 packs, as I would enjoy this as a summer session beer.

JoeyBeerBelly, May 09, 2009
Photo of Brad007
3.05/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a golden, light-copper color with a one-finger head into my glass.

Aroma is full of light floral hops and malt in the nose. Seems a bit "extra" as far as the aroma is concerned.

Taste is somewhat watery with only a touch of hop bitterness and malt upfront. Seems a bit peppery/buttery in the middle. Not what I was expecting.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering, but disappointing bitterness and malt at first. However, after I wait a minute or two, it seems to settle down nicely in the form of a nice touch of hop bitterness. Perhaps my taste buds were a bit off.

Definitely doesn't taste like anything I'd buy again but it's still a bit drinkable if you can get past the watery start.

Brad007, May 04, 2009
Photo of bsend
3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint.

Appearance: Upon pouring this beer, you notice the very light straw color to pale golden. Lot of carbonation rising to the top where no real head occurs. Holding it up to the light shows you how see through it is.

Smell: Light hops and yeast.

Taste: Very watery flavor. Small amounts of lager yeast move into faint hop flavor. Barely any alcohol flavor.

Mouthfeel: Light body with carbonation. Overall watery feel, which works for the style.

Drinkability: These can go down easy. Good for hot summer days, but any other time would be absolutely lacking.

Final Thoughts - Definite summer beer. Nothing special, but decent none the less. Try it in the mix pack.

bsend, Apr 23, 2009
Photo of Troy518
3.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed as part of the Saranac 12 Beers of Summer...

A: Yellow and Gold Hues, exceptionally clear. Almost non-existent lacing and minimal head.

S: Mild grain, grapefruit, citrusy.

T: Malt, light hopping, barely noticeably. Slight taste of grapefruit or some type of non-descript citrus fruit.

M: Nice carbonation, creamy mouthfeel.

D: Not bad, could definitely drink several of these. Nice session ales.

Not a bad beer from Saranac's twelve beers of Summer.

Troy518, Apr 12, 2009
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Saranac Pale Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.