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Saranac Irish Stout - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Irish StoutSaranac Irish Stout

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187 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 187
Reviews: 105
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 11.39%
Wants: 2
Gots: 0 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 187 | Reviews: 105 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of schoolboy
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There are some pretty ordinary Saranac brews, and some that try real hard. This one is not ordinary, and it tries real hard. Like some of the others, it generally works, but there is no way it's anywhere near best of breed.

What you have here is a unique, well made brew. The uniqueness seems to come from the water more than the coombinations of malts and hops, but those are well balanced.

Like any Saranac, these are worth drinking, if they are a good value.

Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Photo of IPAescotch
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice n dark very little head retention, very little head at all. well carbonated, very bubbly.
Soy sauce. this smells alot like soy sauce, probably as a result of the roasted barley. might have steeped at two warm a temperature/too low. somethings off here.
Tastes dry and well rounded as a matter of a fact. the soy sauce smells are covered up by the dryness and the sharpenss of the carbonation.
Tingles the mouth, glides down the gullet.
decent drinkability

Photo of obrendano
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice little find at my local 7-11

A - deep black, not much light at all, nice creamy head

S - dry coffee overwhelms, roasty malt and chocolate as well. I can already tell this is going to mimic Guinness quite a bit

T - suspicions confirmed on the Guinness worship....dry dark grain taste in the Irish vein, with just a little more body and "oomph" behind it than canned or draught Guinness/Beamish/etc. noticeable brush of hops towards the middle. not bad at all

M - full, slightly slick, no true complaints honestly

D - basically if you were to compare it to Guinness, I'd describe it as essentially the taste of Draught with (almost) the body of Extra. a nice middle ground. will buy this again

Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark chocolate bordering black with a coffee colored head.

In the nose is coffee, chocolate and spice.

Coffee flavors up front, then carbonation hits in the back with some bitter spice notes followed by a chocolate coating, then finishing dry with a hint of anise.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Photo of mikeg67
3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours dark brown with a thick, long lasting, tanned head. Nose is of dark fruit and roasted malt. Medium, very sharp body. Roasted malt, some dark fruit and some off sour notes fill the mouth. Long, espresso like finish. So, so stout as everything from Saranac.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Photo of Cylinsier
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz.

Pours jet black. Fine tan head retains well.

Smells smokey and of toasty bread and brown sugar like malts.

Tastes mildly bitter with coffee and chocolate notes.

Feels moderate, maybe on the fuller side, with mild carbonation on the tip of the tongue.

Decent stout, above average I would say. I would drink this again. Maybe too heavy to drink a lot of though.

Photo of BranfordBound
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle purchased as a single. Poured into a DFH pint glass.

Pours pitch black with a half finger tan head. Head fades to a whispy covering. Leaves silky lacing, though.

Smells of roasted malts. Some dark fruits poke through. Maybe a coffee in the back. More smell than expected from an IDS.

Strong coffee and roasted malt note at first. Very similar to SA Cream Stout but without the creaminess. Mild chocolate in the middle which transitions into the roasted aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin, with a very small carb tickle. A little less smooth than normal dry stouts. Not overly dry, either.

Pretty drinkable, very similar to SA Cream Stout. Doesn't have the drinkability of other Irish dry's like Guinness, though.

Photo of tigg924
3.78/5  rDev +5%
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.

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- pours a verrry dark brown...essentially black...with a half finger mocha colored head. Head fades quickly, but what little head there was laces nicely.

S- dark coffee and roasted malts. Aroma is...eh, a little weak. Would like this to be stronger.

T- huge burst of coffee to start...not strong coffee though, more of a standard pot you'd make in an office. Tastes good though...a little watered down, maybe.

M- decent thickness, but again, theres a watery quality to it...eh.

D- pretty drinkable. A lot like Guinness without the body

Photo of tchenery
2.95/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. The color looks good, very dark. The offwhite head does not stick around like I had hoped. Thin lacing around edge. It smells heavy of raisins and dates and also smells slightly sweet.

It tastes of dark malts, but with nothing spectacular. There is some of the raisin-y taste to it but not much. It is bubbly on the tongue and does leave you dry. It's smooth, but just kind of basic.

It's a very approachable stout. There are no overwhelming flavors that would turn someone away.

Photo of tone77
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Photo of biglite351
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - some red around the edges. Tall off white hard that falls a little fast but leaves lacing.

S - mild, and a little sweet, which is odd for a stout. Maybe even a little fruity.

T - smokey with a nice malty flavor.

M - a little thin with no real tingles or anything.

D - the smokey flavor makes this a very different brew worth drinking.

Photo of Schmidts
3.1/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours very dark with small head
Smell is of malt and Alcohol
Taste fairly Bitter and finishes bitter with a little malt in the taste
As far as mouth feel not anything exciting here just some more bitterness
One of these is enough I love a good stout but this one is taken over completly by its bitter taste.

Photo of sluggermatt15
2.95/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Dark brownish in color with a light brown lacing. About 1-2 finger head after poured from a bottle into a 12-oz. glass.

S- Definitely some malts, you can sort of smell the alcohol too. Not really that impressive.

T- Grainy, some bitterness to it. The bitter taste comes in near the end. There is also some dryness.

M- Nothing impressive here, some carbonation, but not too much.

D- Not that drinkable. I would only have 1. I think if I were to have more than one, I would have to have a glass of water on the side to counteract the dryness of this beer.

Overall I thought I was going to be more impressed with this one. However, if you are a fan of Irish beer or Irish stouts, I would say give this one a dry. It has a little less alcohol by volume than I expected (in the 6 % range). I bought a six pack of this and I probably wouldn't buy it again.

Photo of biggred1
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark ebony with a whipped creamt tan head that melts slowly leaving sheets of lace on the glass. The nose is good. Black malt and coffee roastiness. The flavor is spot on for the style, rich roasty black malts with a dry coffee like bitterness in the finish. Light bodied and slightly chalky with a dry finish. Slightly harsh carbonation is the only minor complaint. A pretty good version of the style.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with a tight foamy tan head. Lots of lacing.

Where is the scent in this one. I have to dig for french roast coffee and deep charred grain aromas. Some there, but hard to find.

A thinner/lighter flavor stout for sure. Dry for sure also. Deep dark malt, with some roasty hints of grain. Light sweetness in the background is overtaken by the bitterness, mild again, in the finish. I must say that though a bit weak, it is quite smooth. Nothing grainy or harsh, and the balance is right. Just turn up the intensity fellas.

Just right in the mouthfeel, with a lightness and tingle from the carbonation. Again, like all of their beers, they might have toned down the bubbles a notch.

An easy drinker, although you can do better. Much better than some of the brewpub I've had from the tap. An easy drinker for sure and nice to use as a comparison to others. Middle of the road, but actually ok.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown almost black, but the edges belie the opacity of this beer with a nice auburn hue. Minimal tan head after a fairly aggressive pour.

A nice roasty aroma, bitter chocolate and dark malt. This is all on the subtle side. The taste reveals hints of chocolate and coffee, a nice sweet and roasty malt presence with a dry roasty bitter finish that does dry the mouth out a touch but does not linger for long.

Smooth and creamy with a lighter body than many would suspect. Very drinkable Irish Stout from a perennial favorite brewery of mine.

Photo of generallee
4.18/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The bottle has no freshness date or abv% listed. This bottle was part of the Saranac "What Ales You?" 12 pack.

Appearance: The body is black as night and blocks out all light. On top of this dark opaque brew there is a light tan colored head which is tall (about 2 and a half fingers thick) and long lasting. It also makes great intricate lace patterns on the glass as I drink.

Smell: Its aroma is full of dark roasted and toasted barley malt with inviting deep coffee notes.

Taste/Palate: There is a nice mellow roasted barley and toasted maltiness with the same coffee like notes in the nose. There is only light malt sweetness here before the hops come in and adds bitterness and dryness along with earthy and herbal spice flavor. It is not bone dry but it finishes on the dryer side with nice hop notes and roasted notes quick fading off the tongue. It has a solid medium body, smooth texture and good soft yet active carbonation.

Notes: Overall this was good solid dry stout. I am a fan of Saranac but this one still surprised me. I would take this over a Guinness Draught any day!

Photo of NightINgale
3.15/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a tulip pint glass...

A - Very dark brown body, with a frothy light-brown head. Good head retention and some lacing. Looks like a proper stout!

S - Lots of roasted, slightly burnt barley. Thus, the bitter chocolate and coffee notes. A bit of bread and earth in the scent as well.

D - This is quite dry and bitter. Starts out with a powerful roastiness, which then becomes the bitterness in the after-taste. Not much sweetness to it. Slightly sour.

M - Very carbonated for the most part. Medium-bodied, a bit too crisp for me.

D - Not bad. Not hefty, so quite sessionable for a dry stout.

Photo of dmamiano
2.88/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Deep dark brownisk black pour with a small head and minimal lacing.
Aroma had hints of metallic...oats, bready and hints of molasis.
Taste was smooth and fairly mild as expected.
A bit syrupy almast as if it was an extract brew.
Ok, but very mediocre at best. Will not buy again

Saranac Irish Stout from Matt Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 187 ratings.