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Saranac Session IPA - Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Not Rated.
Saranac Session IPASaranac Session IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

29 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 29
Hads: 98
Avg: 3.3
pDev: 26.97%
Wants: 1
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: JoeyBeerBelly on 04-24-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

We've created an easy to drink crisp, hoppy ale that is truly pale in color without sacrificing the hop character you expect in an IPA. To make a delicious "sessionable" beer, we selected citrusy centennial hops and an experimental variety from the Northwest U.S.. Look for this unique hop character balanced by the background nuttiness of Maris Otter malt. Not too filling, not overbearing-just laid back and drinkable!
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 29 | Hads: 98
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.8/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i thought this was really good, one of the better saranac hoppy beers ive had. the pour is clear and golden, standard looking, with an inch of white head on top that slowly dies down. the nose is really citrusy hops, grapefruit mostly, bitter and crisp. the flavor is a little more balanced, with some very light toasted american barley malt and just a hint of sweetness to calm the bitter hops down. the hops are quite fruity, centennial or citra or something must be. great hoppy finish. the body is really light, indeed a session beer, but i thought the carbonation was also a little light, which made it a little less drinkable than it otherwise might be. overall though, this is a tasty beer, one of saranacs best displays of hops to date in my opinion.

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Photo of Brad007
3.73/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A session IPA? The ABV is where it should be so this could go either way.

Pours a dark gold/almost copper with a thick, frothy head into my glass. Clean glass by the way. Lots of lacing.

Aromas smells of freshly-cut grass with a touch of sweetness from the malt.

Crisp and sweet with just the right touch of hops. "Grassy". Closer to a Pale Ale though. The only thing separating the two is a (slightly) higher hop bite.

Lingering sweet malt and grass make up the mouthfeel. Carbonation is a bit flat.

Easy to drink but to be honest, you might be better off sticking with a regular pale ale. Most IPAs are higher in ABV too.

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Photo of gcamparone
3.7/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

A- pours a clear, golden yellow. Medium head that quickly disappears but leaves some lacing.

S- floral, piney hops. Slightly citrusy

T- good balance of hops and malt, but there could be more flavor in this brew. Vanilla aftertaste?

M- medium carbonation, pretty drinkable ipa.

Overall, a good brew. Not awesome, but good. Not the most flavorful ipa but worth it for the price.

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Photo of fx20736
3.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

bought as part of Saranac's Summer Variety pack from Southtown Beverages on 4/26/13 for $ 7.99.

poured from a 12 oz bottle into a glass tumbler, served at fridge temp.

appearance: amber with just a hint of tangerine. thick 3 finger meringue of creme brulee head. adequate lacing.

aroma: candied ginger, honeydew

mouthfeel: a little thin.

taste: thick and bready with a melange of earthy hops and a hint of fruitiness.

notes: well done. Saranac is an inconsistent brewery IMO and this is one of their good examples.

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.65/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Best by September 2012:

Into my nonic:

A: light golden yellow colored body with a light one finger white head that dies within fifteen seconds. Soft white spider web lacing spots the sides of my glass and for as light as the body is, there is no carbonation seen rising.

S: some lightly spiced earthy hops with a slight bite.

T: all about the hops but still very light, just nothing else going on - almost as if they took an AAL and decided to hop it up.

M: very light, wow, the name defines it, which in turn, yes, is pretty watery, but not gonna knock the brewer because, its just livin' up to its name.

O: I do like this. This is a very worthy summer IPA, best taken during the summer months.

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Photo of Offa
3.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Although not really much by IPA standards, this is a good, enjoyable session beer with nice light but firm character.

Dark gold, it has a big off-white head steadily shrinking to thin ring, a tiny bit of lace.

Aroma is grassy and herbal hops, hint of lemon pith, apple and grain, like a hoppier, fuller cream ale type.

Taste is grassy-herbal hop, dryish with light peppery-grassy bitterness and light sweetness, some mineral with dryer, lightly bitter grassy finish. It is simple but nice, light and crisp, still tasty like a hoppier golden ale or cream ale type. Feel is firm, light but not watery.

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Photo of plaid75
3.6/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

The smell featured a light peppery hop together with the characteristic Saranac house yeast.

The taste consisted of a a light earthy hop atop a grainy pale malt.

The mouthfeel was certainly toward the lighter side of the style.

Overall a super quaffable ale that showcased enough flavor to keep it interesting.

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Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - light gold; half of an inch of soft, white, dense, foamy head; great retention

S - citrusy, orange, herbal, spicy

T - orange, citrus, mild bitter hoppy finish, herbal, slightly piny, lightly nutty, a bit grainy

M - smooth, well carbonated, medium bodied

This isn't a bad beer, but it's not my favorite IPA from Saranac. The hops are a bit at odds with each other. The citrusy character is one-dimensional and immensely orangey. This could use a bit of balance and maybe a bit of a heavier malt character.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.57/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on May 18, 2012. It pours golden yellow with regular carbonation but practically no head or at least any head that lingers. On the nose there are floral hop notes and some citrus along with grainy malts. The body is about medium and slightly creamy. There is a harsh kind of hop bitterness to the taste so it does taste like an IPA should. There is also a white grape kind of flavor along with grains and a clean finish. If you are looking for a hint of character on a nice, hot day this should do the trick.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.56/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another of my local, in-person trader, tone77's latest drop-off.

From the bottle: The "Notes" have everything already. Good job!

Mmmm. The aroma of grapefruit was strong in my kitchen as I poured this into a glass. My pour produced two fingers of dense, foamy, bone-white head with great retention. Color was a deep golden-yellow with NE-quality clarity. I put my nose into the glass just to make sure and it was like being gassed with hops! The lacing that began to form as the head fell was very pretty. Mouthfeel was medium and the hops seemed to be saturating the beer, giving it a grainy texture. I did not mind it since I am a self-professed hophead, but it did not seem to conform to what they told me on the neck label. Finish remained hoppy and it was a decent beer, but I would prefer something with more Ooomph. I suppose that is the tradeoff for a session beer, but I would grow tired of this quickly, I think.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a clear lightly carbonated gold with a 1.5 finger puffy white head. Large bubbles. Head sticks around for a few minutes.

S: Lightly spiced earthy hop with some bite. Sort of a pure hop smell to it, no malt really gets through.

T: An almost medicine like hop that feels a little naked without much malt backing.

M: Light, real easy drinking. Maybe a little watery but I think thats part of the idea.

Overall another drinkable beer that fits well in the summer mix pack.

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Photo of Sharkophile
3.53/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Appears a pale golden color with a big white head that leaves rings of lacing around the glass. Looks great.

A: Some malt sweetness with a lemony and earthy (tobacco?) hop.

T: Some pale malt sweetness with an earthy, grassy and citrussy hop character. Grain husk and some nuttiness in the very dry finish.

M: Quite light in body with a lively carbonation. Enhances the dryness, which is quite pleasant.

O: Nice, light IPA. Serves it's purpose, methinks.

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Photo of KB24
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Light orange, one finger white head. Some lacing.
S - Light, some caramel and floral notes.
T - The hop presence is light, and not very bitter. There is a crispness to it, but it falls short in flavor. A very simple flavor, which might have been the goal.
M - Light with lots of carbonation.
O - As easy to drink as a light beer with flavors to remind you of the thicker, bitter IPAs. This would be great on the beach, or my deck on a hot summer day.

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Photo of washburnkid
3.46/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light carbonation gives me a small frothy head over hazy amber. Herbal aromas, very flowery from the hops. A little soapy in the flavors, which are really bitter and hoppy. Really not a lot of malty characteristics, just loads of herbs, which I'm really enjoying. Thin mouthfeel but well carbonated.

Paired the beer with a grilled cheese that had a bit of pesto and pecorino, and the beer went really well with the salty and sharp flavors.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.43/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: A little bit of a deeper gold, the head is white maybe 1/4" off the body.

Smell: Weak hoppy smell, wished it was more floral like.

Taste: Light hops, wish it was more bitter. I can tell you this for new IPA starters this isn't bad.

Mouth: Medium to heavy carbonation, very smooth.

Overall: Not a bad brew but don't expect much from it. It is closer to a hoppy pilsner than an IPA. Drink with confidence, Salud!

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.42/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Pours a golden hay color with thick foamy head. Nice mild hop aroma, but mostly malts. Taste is very malty with a forward bitter hop. Its a mild drinkable IPA...its almost like a Light IPA. Its ok, just dont go in thinking its a typical IPA.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.42/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with BB SEP 2012 on neck. Part of the 12 Beers of Summer Mix Pack. Pours a translucent yellowish orange color with no head. Some lacing. Aromas of caramel malts, spicy hops, floral and bready. Taste is mostly malts with some spicy and floral hop notes in the background. A bit bready with a lemon finish. Light mouthfeel and easy to drink. This isn't a great IPA, but its not trying to be. Overall, its a nice light IPA to have in the summer. Works well enough.

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Photo of digitalflood
3.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Saranac IPA (2013) - Thick foamy head. Excellent lacing. Straw body with very active carbonation. Vibrant IPA aroma. Flowery hops and copper ale overtone. Sour nose. Lemons and hops. Hoppy mid-palate with perfectly timed bitter note. Copper ale back palate. High hop note simmers down into a mild bitter skunk. A bit of pepper spice. After taste is very clean. Lingering pine, copper, and bitter daisies. Very nice. Nothing stand out, but a good standard bearer for this brew type. 3.25 out of 5. Good.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.38/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have referred to many IPAs , and other beers for that matter, as sessionable. However, to my knowledge, this is the first brew I've ever seen actually refer to itself using that same adjective.

Bronze colored body with a thin wispy eggshell colored head and lace. Nose is thin and has brief citrus hops but could use more beef. The flavor itself is more balanced but does have some spicy and floral hops throughout and a clean, satisfying finish. It's a little dull for the style, but yes, it is easy to drink.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.38/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the new additions to the Beers of Summer mixed pack. Kind of confused by this one, I've always liked my IPA's as they are.. no need to make a 'session' variety in my opinion. This tastes like either an unbalanced pale ale, or a too light IPA. Besides the beer style identity crisis, it's still pretty damn drinkable beer with a nice hop kick to it. Easily drinkable, and great for the summer, just not sure the style makes too much sense.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. About two fingers of head. Color was honey caramel golden, a bit like apple juice or dehydrated urine. Bubbly gray-white lacing that pleasantly lasted for a bit. Foamy gray lacing on the sides that lasted throughout.

Smelled spicy piny hops. Kind of a lemon-lime whiff with a spice in there (maybe pepper?) Bitter on the nose. Good smell overall.

Still that piny taste in the hops, but more watery than I thought it would be. Also some honey in there. Lime citrus hops as well. Very bitter finish.

Medium body. Thin, watery texture. Below average carbonation. Long lasting bitter finish.

Started out well but the taste and feel were the weak points. The Rye IPA that I had in the 12-pack of summers was much better.

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Photo of tone77
3.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some hops. Taste is also kind of light, some hops, not nearly as much bitterness as I would expect. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a mediocre beer.

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Photo of Kendo
3.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Body is clear dark golden with a small whitish head. Small bits of lace cling to the glass after each sip.

S: Hops - slightly citrusy, though more green (piney/grassy) or even earthy. Also that Saranac house yeast smell, which is hard to explain but if you drink Saranac beers enough, you understand - as they all start to smell (and even taste) alike.

T: Light crackery malt followed by a touch of bitter (lemony) hops and a metallic/minerally taste. Some grassiness lingering on the aftertaste, but then that fruity yeasty taste counteracts the bitterness with sweetness. Overall impression is that it tastes more like a slightly bitter APA rather than an IPA, but given the "session IPA" moniker, I guess the line between those two styles is bound to get blurry.

M: Carbonation is a bit over-active, but at least it's fine-bubbled and gentle, not harsh on the palate.

O: Like so many Saranac beers, this one tastes mainly like Saranac. Buy a mixed 12-pack of their beers and drink them all back-to-back and you'll see what I mean.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.05/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from the 2012 12 Beers of Summer variety pack served in a Saranac pint glass.

L - clear golden color with a white head that thinned to a ring leaving some trails of lacing behind.

S - earthy background with some citrus and floral hop aromas.

T - solid nutty flavor with a tease of citrus bitterness turning nutty sweet on the lips.

F - light/medium bodied with a refreshing feel.

O - this beer was ok but I prefer others in this style.

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Photo of Lordquackingstic
2.84/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottled poured into a tulip.

A: Bubbly dark gold with a finger and a half of white head. The lacing is pretty sticky (which is what bumped this up from a 3.0 to a 3.5).

S: Really lacking in aroma here. To be honest, I'm not sure I can smell anything. The only thing I smell is a little hay or something. I'll give it a 2.0 only because my allergies might be affecting my perception.

T: Even though this is an IPA, malts definitely hit the tongue first. After that a spicy/lemony flavor hits the palette. The spiciness is actually more noticeable than the hop presence. Not bad, but not great.

M: Medium carbonation with a nice spicy finish that lingers a little bit. Nicest part of the beer.

O: This is an easy drinking IPA, pretty refreshing for a hot summer day, but not full of flavor. Wouldn't really look for this one again.

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Saranac Session IPA from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 29 ratings.