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Saranac Amber Ale - Matt Brewing Company

Saranac Amber AleSaranac Amber Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

65 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 65
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 14.08%

Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: JoeyBeerBelly on 01-23-2010)
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Ratings: 65 | Reviews: 23 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ngeunit1


3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear amber-copper color with a finger of frothy off-white head. The head has okay retention, reducing down to a thin layer, leaving behind some lacing on the glass.

S - Aroma is of sweet roasted caramel malts with some other sweet dark fruits mixing in. Only a touch of hops in the background.

T - Starts off with some roasted toffee malts and some bread flavor. Lots of caramel and a bit of dark fruit sweetness. Through the middle some deeper malt flavor and some more bread flavors comes through. The finish has a mix of the caramel sweet malts and some bread flavor that lingers for a while.

M - Medium to medium-light bodied with a moderate light carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel overall, finish is sweet and a touch dry, but fairly refreshing.

D - Pretty drinkable. Overall, well balanced and fairly smooth. Could use a bit more flavor through the middle, but otherwise some nice balanced flavors.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2011 18:25:32 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of Duhast500

Rhode Island

3.43/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

The color is a clear amber with a finger of foamy off-white head and some thick lacing left on the glass.

The smell is sweet with a malted barley aroma and some dark fruits like raisins.

The taste is again, sweet malt with some biscuit flavor and a slight sugary flavor as well. There is a clear doughy flavor with some fruit flavor.

The feel of this beer is nicely medium bodied and has a nice refreshing drinkable feel. It goes down smooth and has just a touch of bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2011 00:39:21 | More by Duhast500
Photo of nukem5


3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice copper color with a great looking head of tan foam nice lacing on glass.

S: Carmel and malts lighly roasty and sweet.

T: Front is a malty carmel splash with the back coming in with a slightly metallic flavor.A
nice balance of hop and malt.

M: A nice medium body with a smooth finish a bit dry.

D: Yes, drinkable but nothing spectacular just a nice balanced crafted beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 07:28:56 | More by nukem5
Photo of Rayek


3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours into my Perfect Pint glass with a lightly hazed amber color and vigorous carbonation. A rocky cream tinged cap slowly settles to a blanket of foam while leaving good lace behind.

The rest of the experience doesn't quite matching the quality of the look. Like the last beer I reviewed, the mouthfeel is a little too fizzy. Pepper, toffee and straw are the flavor theme here. The bitterness is moderate and peppery. A light astringency wanders into the finish.

This is an OK amber, but nothing special. It looks great, but everything else doesn't live up.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2011 22:12:46 | More by Rayek
Photo of MrHurmateeowish

New Hampshire

4.33/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle purchased as part of the "What Ales You" mixed 12pk. Pours a copper-amber with a good inch of off-white head that dissipates slowly leaving nice lacing. Smells malty, with toasty sweet caramel and toffee. Tastes pleasantly malty sweet - toast, chocolate, caramel, toffee... Ample carbonation with light to medium body. Super refreshing and drinkable. One of the better ambers I've had. A nice showcase for the malt.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2011 00:51:26 | More by MrHurmateeowish
Photo of IPAescotch


3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Crisp, bubbly some slight lacing and mediocre head retention. Still overall probably the best looking beer out of the sampler.
Smells like woodchips and fall rain.
Tastes a little dissapointing. Some tartness, some hoppiness, but no real kick
A little bit watery but with sharp carbonation and a little bite.
Quite drinkable

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2011 23:06:48 | More by IPAescotch
Photo of tchenery


3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very thin head - off white to tan color. The body has nice visible carbonation and is a reddish/orange hue.

Smells malty. For the homebrewers, it smells like DME. There is a sweet smell and slight hoppiness as well.

The first taste is caramel malts. It's followed by a drying bitterness and then a nutty flavor. It's very highly carbonated.

It leaves you a bit dry, but it's kind of refreshing. This would be a nice spring or fall beer.

Completely drinkable. It's a Saranac.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2011 23:15:08 | More by tchenery
Photo of Cylinsier


3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Pours a brownish red with a fine medium off white head. Good retention.

Smells of malted barley and a mildly sweet like dark fruits.

Kind of a dark fruit or caramel sweetness to the taste, balanced by barley malts. Maybe a hint of hops in there.

Feels moderate, mild tingly carbonation throughout.

Easy to drink, interesting taste. Kind of unique. Worth a try. I wouldn't turn this down again in the future although I'm not sure I'd seek it out either.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2010 23:01:00 | More by Cylinsier
Photo of biggred1


3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear, pumpkin orange amber with a huge, foamy light tan shaving creamy head that leaves spotty lace on the glass. Caramel malt and herbal hop notes in the aroma. Toffee and caramel malty flavors with an earthy, somewhat steely hop flavor that dries out in the finish. Medium bodied with crisp carbonation that perfectly balances. Another decent but unimpressive brew from MBC. It would be cool if they made an extreme, tasty beer but that is not who they are. They make high quality everyday brew and are consistently slighty above average.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2010 01:41:40 | More by biggred1
Photo of generallee

New York

3.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: It has a beautiful deep amber colored body with very good clarity and a tall, thick foamy head. The head is beige in color and it hangs on well making some cool lace rings on the glass.

Smell: There is a sweet candy like malty aroma that fills the nose. Hop notes are very mellow and barley detected.

Taste/Palate: Just like the aroma the flavors character is full of rich sweet caramel, sweet doughy and bready malty deliciousness. The hops are, like the aroma, mellow compared to the maltiness and offers just some mild bitterness towards the finish. The body has a good solid medium feel with a smooth almost creamy texture.

Notes: This is another solid offering from Saranac.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2010 23:31:22 | More by generallee
Photo of Hoagie1973

New York

3.2/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice dark amber color with a medium foamy head which leaves a thin cap. Moderate lacing.

Nose is fairly well balanced between sweet malt and a bit of piney hops, but the flavor is way to the malty side. Touch of butterscotch and caramel. None of the hops in the nose come through in the taste. Sweet all the way through like a mild Scotch Ale rather than an amber. Flavorful, but the toasted malt is a bit too sweet, which hurts drinkability.

Medium to fullish body with good carbonation levels.

Not bad, just too damn sweet.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2010 21:56:36 | More by Hoagie1973
Photo of Kendo

New York

3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a pint glass. Body is copper-amber with a small (1/2-finger) khaki head. Some bubbles visible, though not many.

S: Faint. Some basic cereal grains is about it, but barely discernable.

T: Mild toasty malt. Caramel malt. Fruitiness at back of sip -- more noticed as it warms. Finishes with a decent bitterness that lingers on the palate, providing nice balance.

M: Tad bit too carbonated -- fizziness is felt immediately upon contact with my lips.

D: Very good. Goes down easily, decent balance between malt and hop bitterness makes it quaffable, though carbonation slows you down somewhat.

Notes: this is the 2nd beer from the Ales 12-pack that was too fizzy, not something I'd noticed in the past from Saranac.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2010 21:44:58 | More by Kendo
Photo of bassistbynature

New York

3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at a restaurant in utica, ny. It was served in a saranac pint glass

a: two finger head that dissipated to one fairly quickly. the one stuck around however, and left nice lacing on the glass. nice amber color, reds trying to peek through, not as dark as a brown and not as red as a... red. so amber.

s: the smell took me off-guard. notes of brown bread, fruit. Hard to describe but it smelled... sweet. Floral i guess?

t: Taste was predominantly toasted malt, hints of breadiness, maybe a slight fruity note. Initially pretty sweet, but mellowed out as it went down. To me, it tasted an awful lot like it was trying to be a brown ale, but not doing so well at it. Finish was a little more hoppy than initially but not a whole lot of hops going on.

m: fan-tastic. Smooth, a little thick, not too much carbonation but enough to make it enjoyable. I'm not sure why but it was special to me. mouthfeel is by far the highlight of this beer, to me at least.

d: idv'e had another couple of 'em, but i was driving. definitely drinkable. not my favorite but if it was available, i would take it over a macro any day.

notes: My pint cost me $1.75. It went well with my happy hour pierogies.... I'll drink this again, it had something special... not great, but special. My first drink at a bar! though definitely not my first drink :-)

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2010 06:42:14 | More by bassistbynature
Photo of mempath


4.5/5  rDev +32%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a cleveland brown transparent orange with nice, thick flapjack batter densifying on the top. very nice and consistent over the years. lacing nicely like something that's expensive. if it's NOT looking that way, you might want to practice pouring again...

slight toasty caramel/malts in the nose. good.

what makes this come through so incredibly flavorful is the near perfect mouthfeel of sudsy creaminess and un-overbearing carbonation. not flat in the least. not over-spritzy at all....which leads to a nice experience of a toasty sort-of english pale ale. not sure why, but it has that freshness i find in good pales (the not-so-hopped kind). actually reminds me of Fuller ESB for some odd reason as well. this isn't just another quickflash Saranac. whether by near-divine design or accident, it's a great session brew for ALL seasons. a solid go-to like other basic unassuming brews (sam adam's boston ale, sierra nevada pale...). this is a really perfect-for-what-it-is-and-maybe-beyond sort of brew. enjoy!

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2010 23:50:36 | More by mempath
Photo of scottbrew4u


3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from bottle to pint glass a clear amber colored beer with a one finger tan head. The beer left good lacing on the glass.

S: Caramel, toffee, fresh brown bread, dark cherries and roasted grains make up the malt character. Slight herbal and citrus hops.

T: Molasses, chicory, tart cherries, roasted nuts and roasted grains start the sweet side. Then the bitterness rises through the malt to balance. Hops are citrus, herbal, spicy and peppery.
Finish is bitter.

M: Medium body with tight carbonation and slight creaminess.

D: The malt is not too complex but everything does go pretty well together making it an easy drinking amber ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2010 04:17:15 | More by scottbrew4u
Photo of CHickman

New York

3.05/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear reddish amber in color with a small (1/4 inch) creamy off white to beige colored head that dissipates quickly; smells of sweet malt, faint caramel and grains, and maybe some citrus. This is a dull nose that really doesn't give off anything.

Tastes of sweet malt which is on the slightly roasted side, piney hops, faint caramel, crisp apple or grapefruit, grains, yeast and again some hops in the crisp clean finish. The hoppy finish leans towards the bitter side, but still manages to remain crisp. Very light to medium carbonation that has a crisp and light feel to the beer, in fact it's so light that it's almost watery, with a medium mouth feel and medium body that goes down easy.

It's very drinkable with an overall roasted malt and grain taste, but it's just not exciting at all and very average in every way. It's a good beer in the Saranac seasonal 12 pack, but I would not buy a 6 pack of this beer. There was no WOW factor with this beer, nothing to make it stand out from any other beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2010 02:18:38 | More by CHickman
Photo of Mardukk


3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color(imagine that!) with very small off white head that quickly dissipates. The smell is faint and bready.

The taste is thin, with a bit of tealike caramel malt with hop bitterness in the finish. This is probably more hop than malt which is suprising for the style. As there isn't much flavor, the alcohol taste is very apparent.

The mouthfeel is very thin with medium carbonation. The drinkability is somewhat high due to the light body and no off tasting flavors.

Overall, this is an average amber that I wouldn't turn down but wouldn't go out of my way to purchase.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2010 01:52:03 | More by Mardukk
Photo of billybob


4.22/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a nice deep amber color with a two to three finger head that holds well with a fair lace. smells of caramel and rock candy. sweet tasting strong tea and caramel slightly bitter. good mouthfeel and carbonation. equal to and as good as a english amber or brown ale import. i would buy again.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2010 00:46:01 | More by billybob
Photo of jwc215


2.9/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark amber/mahogany with a thin head that becomes a wide, thin patch. Thin lacing sticks.

The smell is of caramel, light toast, some fruitiness (pear/apple).

The taste is of heavy caramel. Starts sweet, becomes steely as it progresses. Finishes with a steely dryness, with some pear/apple mixed in. Claims, on label, to be a hoppy amber. Malt is overly caramelish, though...yet somewhat thin at same time. An odd brew. Some floral/herbal notes do come through, but steely caramel dominates. Slight alcohol shows.

It is almost medium-bodied, with some fizzy carbonation.

A rather dull caramelly (though not too sweet) amber.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2010 23:38:31 | More by jwc215
Photo of plaid75

New York

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

Poured a shiny amber hue with a one and a half finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a soft caramel, subtle herbal hop and a touch of diacytl.

The taste was well balanced with a moderate sweetness. Apple and pear toward the finish.

The mouthfeel was a touch thin and finished supeusingly dry.

Overall a decent ale. Nothing too remarkable however.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2010 03:30:02 | More by plaid75
Photo of mnrider


2.98/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12.oz brown bottle. no freshness date. pint glass.

A: Pours an amber color with a half finger of off white head which disappears very quickly. Light lacing.

S: Very sweet malt aroma. Caramel and some fruit.

T/M: Very bland taste. A weak blend of caramel malts and hops. Finishes on the dry side. This brew does however have a little bit of a hope bite, which is good.

D: Very easy to drink. Taste is on the light side, but is still enjoyable. Tastes like any other red ale really.


Serving type: bottle

02-05-2010 23:22:42 | More by mnrider
Photo of Beerisgood3

North Carolina

3.23/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: pours a transparent medium amber. The color of real maple syrup. About a finger of off-white with a touch of brown head which lasts only a moment. Leaves a layer on top and sticky lacing. Does not leave more lacing as you drink the beer.

S: sweet caramel malt with something bright in the background. Perhaps citrus-like.

T: the malts come in front with a touch of hops finishing it off. Also has a slightly lemon taste on the finish. The beer is pretty balanced, though i taste a bit more of the malt. Pretty crisp and clean finish. After swallowing I taste a bit of sweetness in the middle of my tongue and a bit of bitterness on the outsides. Letting it come to temperature a moment brings out the flavors significantly, especially the initial malts.

M: Fairly thin. Nothing noteworthy.

D: Very smooth. Could drink 10 of them if you wanted to.

Overall, the beer leaves a bit to be desired, though less so after it comes to temperature. Frankly, doesn't seem like anything special either way. I wouldn't turn one down but wouldn't seek it out.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2010 01:06:48 | More by Beerisgood3
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

Clear amber color with an off-white head that thinned out but still left a good amount of lacing behind.
The smell is mostly caramel malt with a bit of a woody aroma.
The taste is caramel malt upfront with some bitterness kicking in towards the finish.
Medium bodied with mild carbonation.
Goes down smooth and easy.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2010 00:12:19 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Saranac Amber Ale from Matt Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.