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Saranac Irish Stout - Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Not Rated.
Saranac Irish StoutSaranac Irish Stout

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BA SCORE
84
good

105 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 105
Hads: 188
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 6.49%
Wants: 2
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Dry Stout |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-03-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 105 | Hads: 188
Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A sweeter version of a dry Irish stout. Black body with a creamy head. A whiff of smoke. Not so dry, and in fact a decent tastiness and drinkability. Half decent mouthfeel, a tad watery and a bit of caramel to give it some feel. If stuck, I would have it again. Thanks Radek. (275 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark amber (near black) in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that quickly died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are faint aromas of coffee beans and roasted malts in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of coffee and dark malts; a slight amount of bitterness is present in the finish.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a slight amount of dryness.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and packs in quite a bit of flavor. (612 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.09/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

below the increasing quality of recent saranac beers this one, a thin and slightly off irish stout, not as dry as it should be, lacking any meaty body, and frankly just not all that appealing. lighter brown for the style, more of a brown ale really or a light porter than a true irish stout in looks. and the flavor is similarly watered down, the body is real thin, and there is a peculiar metallic bitterness all the way through it. i may be a little biased as this was my last beer in an evening of several world class ones, but i was still let down by this seemingly lazy offering. anyone who sips this notices inadequacies right away, namely the lack of body, but also the longer semi sweet finish, the minimal carbonation, and the partially oxidized taste in the finish. saranac has really been coming out with some top notch stuff lately, inventive and well executed, but this is the worst ive had from them in some time, and is probably at least part of the reason true beer geeks keep bashing this brand. barely passable as the style it proclaims to be, just a bit better as a dark ale, but not one i need to try again for awhile. (1,138 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a nice looking dark brown color. It's almost black in color. The head was a nice creamy looking tan color and left a decent lacing. The smell of the beer had the musty earthy roasted aromas going on. The taste was nicely toasted and left a pretty nice bitterness behind. The mouthfeel was a little thin. Overall I feel that the beer was decent, the body could have been a bit darker, it was almost see through. Just about everything was mediocre but drinkable. (484 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

"Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat."

--Alex Levin

Burnt sienna that probably would not be opaque if the sun was above the horizon. One smooth pour produced almost three fingers of khaki colored foam that features several soft divits in its upper surface. This is pretty much what an IDS should look like.

Other than being on the weak side, the nose is fine. Pale (not appreciated) and roasted malt (appreciated) combine with Northdown and Goldings hops to provide the typical chocolate and coffee aromas of the style. Hops don't add much, which is no surprise.

Given the brewery, Irish Stout tastes and feels like it was expected to taste and feel. The brewery's website contains a graphic that puts each of their offerings on a scale of light-medium-heavy based on... color! This brew falls in the heavy range, presumably because it's dark brown-black.

Needless to say, Irish Stout isn't the least bit heavy. Nor does it have a ton of roasted malt flavor. Specifics include bittersweet chocolate, black coffee, dark caramel and a modest herbal hoppiness. Let's go with slightly above average and round up.

The body/mouthfeel is also slightly above average, but will be rounded down. The beer wanders away too quickly after tongue contact, which is usually due to a lack of malt. The carbonation, although a bit fizzy, is acceptable.

At this point, it's unlikely that The Matt Brewing Company will surprise me in either direction. Irish Stout is a serviceable Irish dry stout that was worth a single bottle purchase. A second bottle? No thanks. (1,627 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a small, caramel colored head of bubbly foam. It left minimal lace.

S - It smelled very roasty with chocolate and toffee notes. Slightly floral, too.

T - Really surprised me. This was a really tasty Irish Stout. Good roasty chocolate flavor. Nice burnt toast flavor with caramel and toffee.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This was a surprisingly good Irish Stout. I'd get some more for a good, inexpensive, sessionable stout. (533 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

very dark brown, basically black with no light shining through on this one at all. Rich looking head of tan on the top hung around for most of the session. The aroma was a bit light. Lots of roasted malts, with just a hint of cocoa underneath it. Really dry taste, but a little bland for me. Light cocoa and roasted malts, but it lacked alot of depth to put it over the top into another cateogory. Still though it was a decent little stout with a nice feel, and a 5.5 percent very drinkable. Not sure I would go here again though. (530 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Guinness tulip pint glass.

Pours a very dark, nearly opaqe brown with about a finger of tan foamy head that leaves a bit of soapy lacing behind. The nose is light coffee, toffee, and dark wheat. The taste follows straightforwardly, with the coffee taking a darker turn and placing itself further toward the van, while the dark malts and wheat march in step behind. The finish features a slight cranberry flavor, not unlike the finish you'd find from a Guinness. The body is decidedly medium, with a good amount of carbonation and a smooth, dry texture. Overall, a solid, if somewhat ordinary, stout with a high level of drinkability. (646 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.01/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Saranac Irish Stout
12 oz. brown bottle, code "1411285131350"

Notes: A decent looking glass of "Irish" stout despite the lack of nitrogen (well, that was only developed in the '60's or something anyway, right?). Brilliant lacing and better-than-very-good head retention. "Black" body, dark tan head. Aroma: roast. beer. slightly nutty. I'm getting more out of it than Guinness. Flavor: similar to aroma. some twang. minor maltiness. balanced bitterness. surprisingly well put together. no flaws, other than the fact that the style itself isn't exactly "rounded" or "balanced". Finishes dry and subtly tangy and roasty. Overall, impressive. There are a lot of breweries that have taken a stab at the style, and many have missed the mark - not Saranac. (751 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, dark creamy chocolate, some coffee and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with a hearty roasted malt character up front. Then some mildly sweet flavors of dark chocolate and black coffee come in along with some creaminess in the background. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

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

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a pretty decent mild stout that is worth drinking for a long time if you're in the mood for the style. (829 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dark appearance, it does let some ruby highlights through when held toward the light. Tan khaki head builds up and lasts for a quite a few minutes before dwindling. After my fist sip even layers of fine lacing form and continue to trend after each sip. Aromatics are coming with the dark roasted malts, bringing out coffee and dark chocolate tones. Nothing about it is overbearingly sweeet, maybe a slight sour mash and an herbal hop presence. Flavor has iced coffee like presence, with herbal hops and a hint of chicory. Dark dry baker's chocolate and a tart sour dough finish. This is an excellent dry Irish Stout, I'm glad FX Matt attempted this. Drinkability is solid I hope to see full sixers of this, god knows we love the pricing of their beers especialy in WV. (773 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown to black with a creamy tan head that leaves uneven lines of lacing down the glass.

The smell is of roasted coffee, sweet chocolate and a hint of (sourish) milk.

The tase is of sweet dark chocolate with roasted coffee. Slight sourish undertone. Sweetish turns to dry in the roasty finish.

It has a creamy medium body.

Matt Brewing did well with the Saranac Irish Stout! (394 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark black color with a 1/2" tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry and creamy black malt scent that's earthy and coffee like. The taste is good as well. It has a stiff black malt bitterness that's dry and earthy. It goes down smooth and relatively light and finishes bone dry with a creamy coffee feel. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a solid Irish stout. It's not gonna blow you away, but it's true to style and damn drinkable. (530 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a case from Shangy's for $25 and shared it with friends around St. Pat's Day. Saranac did a good job of brewing a tasty Guinness-like beer, but I've had better Irish stouts. While there's a respectable sour/bitter tang, I would have liked more roast and chocolate flavor. I'm not saying it needed a lot. I'm just saying there was hardly any. Still, for the price it's totally worth trying if you like stouts. (418 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. A very dark brown with an off-white head. A little lace forms.

Smell: Roasted malt, bready.

Taste: A pretty good dry stout with a pronounced roasted character. Well balanced. A mineral water/metallic element is there but not detracting.

Mouthfeel: The high carbonation is the only shortcoming of this beer. Luckily the bar I was at had a Surger Unit (made for Guinness) which mellowed the mouthfeel out and made it smooth and creamy where it was once viscious.

Drinkability: Rates high. Certainly more flavorful than Guinness but lacks the creamy mouthfeel that is expected for the style. Still quite good. (669 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.44/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark brown-to-black coloring with light brown highlights around the edges and a thin, sparse, light tan coating on the surface. Aromas of mocha coffee, with a slight sugary ribbon to the chocolate character, and a touch of earthy characteristics. Flavors of roast and char initially, with a slick, bitter coffee backbone quickly following. Some bitter chocolate highlights, but not as much as the nose would lead you to believe. Aftertaste is rich chocolate and coffee, with a strong bitter undertone. Light, dry body with a slick, quick finish. True to the style, but a little more chocolatey and rich than you may be used to. Tasty. (689 characters)

Photo of plaid75
4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at the Nag's Head, Huntington, New York.

Poured a jet black hue with a two finger frothy tan head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a moderate roasted malt with a touch of coffee and smoke.

The taste was likewise full of roasted malt. Fresh tasting.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style with a lingering burnt grain.

Overall a very good DIS. I wish this was a year round offering as I fear I enjoyed one of the last kegs around. in any event, it is good to see a Saranac beer of tap on Long Island, as they are few are far between. (590 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a black-opaque in the glass with an almond colored ½ finger fizzy head that dissipated soon after. The lacing was spotty at best, composed of small speckled dots and dashes that covered only a small portion of the glass. Overall a standard visual appeal.

S: A very soft roastiness along with bitter-sweet chocolate is first picked up on the nose. Light traces of powdery creamer is also detected.

T: Creamer laced coffee with a sweetness of dark roasty grains starts things off on a promising note. Sweet and roasty with juicy plums add highlights while the finish finds a blend of roasted caramel and juicy dark fruit. Overall not particularly dry per style, but I like what Saranac did here giving this a sweet and juicy aspect that compliments the well rounded soft roastiness.

M: The mouthful is medium bodied wit a good deal of tingly carbonation. A nice coffee lacing and roasty texture is felt when rolled around the tongue.

d: A nice drink, again maybe not as dry per style, but then again I think it plays to its advantage drinkability wise giving this a juicy and sweet flair on the tongue that gave me incentive towards the next sip. I could drink a few of these no problem and think matt did a good job. (1,234 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a small head. Smell is of malts and coffee. Taste is like the smell, roasted malts and coffee. Feels full bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this makes for a fine quality beer. (254 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is that of a solid black, may seem even more so than Guinness but not as creamy looking. Very little head. Smells of mild toasted malt and mild chocolate and espresso. Taste is actually drier (like the style suggests) than expected but full of roasted malt and mild coffee. Mild hops help this beer finish creamy. Mouthfeel is pretty medium bodied and drink ability is also very good since I love stouts. A very solid brew. (434 characters)

Photo of Brenden
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is, just as it should be, a thick, black stout. A creamy light brown head settles just under 2 fingers high with some sturdy hold to it, retaining itself well before fading to a strong foam that leaves thick lacing at the top of the glass in rings before dropping off to spotting.
Smoke and roasted barley are prevalent in the nose with plenty of malt backbone, a bit of wood, and some coffee. This one's a tough call; it's a 4 in quality but just doesn't quite have the strength and gusto it needs to reach it.
The beauty of this one is that it gets the balance and all the smoky, roasted barley and coffee it goes for with no harshness or astringency and offers a nice, strong bitterness that remains malt-centered. There's nothing off here. Soy sauce, I assume, would imply infection and seems to be more of a problem in roastier stouts. There's nothing of the kind here.
I'm completely impressed by the initial smoothness that just rolls off my tongue and flows beautifully. That does taper out as it goes and, as it warms, more carbonation comes through when it was perfectly attuned before. Still, a very nice mouthfeel overall in a rich, full-bodied Irish stout. As it should be.
This is one of Saranac's better offerings and a great take on a lesser loved style. (1,275 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear deep brown with a dense, frothy two inch cappuccino head that dissipates slowly, leaving thick sheets of lacing.

Caramel, toasted nuts, and roast malt form the initial aroma. Notes of chocolate and coffee are subtle.

Flavor follows suit, with roast malt fruitiness segueing into a toasted malt backbone, finishing dry and fairly roasty. There's a coffee bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste.

Body is smooth and creamy, a touch full, with minimal carbonation. There's a bit of astringency present.

A fairly dry, roasty beer, with lots of malt dominance. There's a bit of an acrid character that is a touch offputting. (639 characters)

Photo of tigg924
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: minimal head, dark black color

Smell:burnt malt and coffee

Taste: burnt malt, black coffee, and touch of cream

Mouthfeel: dry, light body, moderate carbonation, semi-sweet

Drinkability: Could have two or three of these. One of Saranac's better offerings. Nice, dry, and true to style. (300 characters)

Photo of Bung
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. Fairly black pour, not necessarily the thickest, a nice white head about a finger thick.

Aroma, peaty malt, light roast. Smells a lot like Guiness.

Dry roast, malty, a tinge of sour or light prune. Caramel, mild dark chocolate. Finish with some roast and cocoa, fairly dry.

Body is light, but not as light as I expected actually. Carb is a little too high to be creamy. Drinks fine though.

Not sure on the age of this, but it still seems ok to me. Maybe not for long though. Probably a little better fresher. (519 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

Black color with a tan head that thinned out to a ring and left a few spots of lacing.
The aroma is roasted malts and a milky sweetness.
The taste is good with roasted malts upfront and some sweetness midway through finishing dry.
Medium bodied with a smooth feel.
Easy to drink. (325 characters)

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Saranac Irish Stout from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.