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Saranac Scotch Ale - Matt Brewing Company

Saranac Scotch AleSaranac Scotch Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

76 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 76
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 12.13%

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

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-06-2001)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 76 | Reviews: 61 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.15/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Jason's bottle from the six pack. Passable beer, but fairly weak for its style. No smell, looks alright its a light brown and lacey, with a lasting off-white head. Above-average carbonation. Only a faint whiff of scotch taste.Not all that drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2009 01:31:56 | More by Sammy
Photo of McClungbrew2

West Virginia

3.3/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Clear amber /tan.1/4" head.Small bubbles rise up from bottom of glass. Head falls to a thin bead covering the surface of the beer.

Smell- Faint malt nose. Partially attributable to the temperature of the beer. Still not very complex.

Flavor - Malty front, somewhat spicey and phenolic. Smokey aftertatse. Slightly sweet malt with some bitterness but no hop flavor.

Mouthfeel - Effrevescent, bubbley. Thin on body. Tingles the tastebuds.

Overall - Commendable.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2009 17:48:09 | More by McClungbrew2
Photo of yesyouam

New York

4.05/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saranac Scotch Ale is crystal clear and tawny dark amber with a frothy, oily, off-white mocha head that has good retention and leaves great lacing. The aroma is deep, dark, wooden, sour, earthy, sweet and medicinal. It smells pretty fresh. There is a lot of roasted malt here. Smooth and medium bodied, it is a touch syrupy at the end. The roasted malt tastes pretty resiny-- almost smoked. The hops are discrete and medicinal. The balance between deep sweetness and sourness, roastiness and bitterness is nice and round. This is somewhere between sophisticated and straight-forward. Love it.
(rated Dec 1, 2007)

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2008 04:15:01 | More by yesyouam
Photo of WVbeergeek


3.55/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appears a copper amber hue with a light khaki beige head, light speckled lacing. Aroma has a nice peated malt profile with caramel sweetness and alcohol coated ripened plum and apricots. Flavors bring semi sweet caramel infused with fruit and smokey peated malt accents, a real treat coming from Saranac. Mouthfeel is lighter bodied for the style carbonation is ample flows nicely with each sip. Drinkability is solid all around one that will be on most folks wish list for a regular or semi regular release from this season's 12 beers of winter.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2008 20:39:48 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of engisch

New Jersey

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

Pours a nice amber color with very little head. It smells very lightly of sweet toasted malts. I'm not expecting much before I taste it, but the taste is quite convincing of a scotch ale with malty character and a smokey aftertaste. Out of the winter 12-pack, this is the best. Although it isn't the best scotch ale that I have had (it is a bit thin), it is pretty decent and worth trying, especially as an introductory scotch ale. I would definitely try this again, if given the chance. Although I'm not buying another sampler just for this. ;)

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2008 03:13:58 | More by engisch
Photo of Pleepleus

New York

3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle to pint glass a clear copper color, much lighter than I expected with a 1/2 inch of white foam head that dissolved quickly and left some spotty lacing. Smell was of toasted malts and caramel but left something to be desired. Tasted the caramel up front with roasted malt flavors following. A bit thin for the style, almost watery really. This is a drinkable beer but is it truly a Scotch Ale? Seems more like a Scotch Lite Ale, not bad but not worthy either.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2008 03:35:43 | More by Pleepleus
Photo of marlinsfan4


3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this as a part of the Saranac 12 Beers of Winter ($11.99/12 Pack)

I was highly impressed by this one. Pours a beautiful copper,red color. Very malty taste with a distinctive smoky after taste which is a great kick to the end of a sip. I feel it could have been a bit stronger alcohol wise but I would try this again in a heartbeat.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2008 22:43:30 | More by marlinsfan4
Photo of Lexluthor33

New York

3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep reddish brown with a small beige head and a decent lace.
The aroma is basically roasted malts,caramel and hops.
The taste is sweet,smoky and malty.
The feel is almost bittersweet. Medium carbonation and body. A bitter finish.

Notes:It was well balanced and while not anywhere close to my favorite style it was drinkable and more suitable for the winter.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2008 16:41:22 | More by Lexluthor33
Photo of Durge


3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The color is light, clear amber with a medium off-white head and decent lacing. It has a malty spice aroma with some wheat bread mixed in. It brings a pretty strong sweet and bitter charcoal taste, fairly aqueous with tingly carbonation. It is a drinkable brew. A bit grapey and maybe some apple and cinnamon in there. Not bad, but a little too sweet to be a favorite for me.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2008 06:39:35 | More by Durge
Photo of hellomcfly

South Carolina

2.63/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A- Deep burgundy with a small tan head

S- Smoky malty smell dominates

T- Strong sweet malt taste with strong smoke flavor, kind of weird. Represents the style but something just seems off

M- full bodied medium carbonation

D- Not a big fan of this beer. One of my least favorite in the holiday pack. Used one of these to cook brats and they turned out pretty nicely.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2008 21:08:21 | More by hellomcfly
Photo of Rsobotka

New York

4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Reddish brandy like color...not sure if I should put this in a sniffer

S-smells almost like a brandy as well...sweet with smells of cherry and caramel

T-Srtong taste with a punch...sweet yet full of cherry alcohol

M-heavy and full in your mouth, more for sipping rather than pounding
D-Another good beer from Saranac...not my favorite but well done, with a great mix of flavors

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2008 14:09:32 | More by Rsobotka
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, garnet-hued body with a teeny, tiny, light khaki-colored head.

Smell: Sweet-smelling malt nose with a whiff of liquid smoke and fruit.

Taste: Toasted caramel with a hit of crystal malt sweetness. Dash of fruit syrup. There's an odd smokiness present, as if they poured in some essence of smoke in lieu of actually utilizing smoked malts. Touch of spice on the "smokey" finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Sorta watery.

Drinkability: I generally love scotch ales. This beer, though... whew.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2008 19:04:52 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of LumpyGuitar

New York

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

Picked this up in the Winter/Holiday pack.

Appearance was average, brownish red with mediocre head, nothing special here.

Smell was a bit sweet and malty, again nothing special.

Taste was good. About right on for what I would expect out of a Scotch Ale, sweet and hoppy with a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel consisted of perfect carbonation and a medium body.

Drinkability here is average for me. I like Scotch Ale but will definately drink others before this. Not a bad choice in a pinch.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2008 07:41:35 | More by LumpyGuitar
Photo of BeerCon5


3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark, reddish brown color with quite a bit of white frothy head.

S: A malt smell is the most dominant along with a toasty hop scent.

T: A little sweet, with a good bit of the toasty hop taste, also a bit sour at the end.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D: Fairly easy to drink. Probably the best I've had from Saranac so far. I could see myself buying this every now and again.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2008 21:07:12 | More by BeerCon5
Photo of shirfan

New York

3.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Coppery orange with fair lacing left down the glass.

Smell is slightly acrid, metallic, like a penny... but with mild peat smoke behind it.

Taste: In spite of all the wild-assed style interpretations that Saranac is infamous for, this is pretty spot-on as a scotch ale. Body is a touch lighter than it could be, but the flavors are there -- mild tea notes, some sweet caramel malt, and a touch of peat smoke in the finish. Some mild herbal hops in the finish that could be toned down just a touch.

One of Saranac's better efforts; I'd buy a six pack or two each season if it wasn't only part of the sampler.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2008 23:46:16 | More by shirfan
Photo of dacrza1

New Jersey

3.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Don't have a thistle yet, so I'll point out this was consumed in a snifter... reddish-brown transparent body with a substantial frothy white head that fills out the glass quite adequately... moderate effervescence... first notice in the nose is of malt; secondary aromas are of burnt something--nondescript otherwise... smooth--too smooth? a bit of energy at the finish; mellow overall... intense rush of malt and a hint of hops at the finish; little or no notes of alcohol... as a sampler, the ale's not bad... substantial presence but not smokey enough to satisfy the scotch part of the scotch ale, unfortunately...

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2008 02:34:42 | More by dacrza1
Photo of Beeryce


3.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 12oz. brown bottle to pint glass.

Two fingers of light tan/off white head with decent head retention and lacing, atop a clear copper-amber color.

Light nose is phenolic and steely at first, this fades to a light resiny, floral hop and bready malt aroma with a constant smoke undertone.

Taste is nice peaty smoke note throughout the smooth malt flavor. There is a real smokey alcoholic sourness towards the finish, so reminiscent of Scotch; it is crazy to think that it might be from the Scottish two row. Hops are not really pronounced, which is nice, but there is a tea like bitterness, in the finish that is pleasant and stylistically spot on.

The mouthfeel is nice, resiny and slightly heavy with low carbonation level, fits well.

Drinkability is good, balanced pleasant taste and moderate alcohol make this a sessionable beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2008 02:53:02 | More by Beeryce
Photo of edchicma


3.28/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light amber with a minimal head. Smell not overly distinctive, with mainly a light malt presence. Just average...sweet malt presence with a vague hop note. Slightly creamy mouthfeel. Similar characteristics made drinkableity slightly above average.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2008 17:01:49 | More by edchicma
Photo of drumrboy22


3.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass. Beer was an amber color, with a medium, off-white, rocky head. Moderate lacing around the glass.

Aroma was nutty and caramel.

Taste was smoky, maple with a small hop bite. Has a syrupy taste to it. Not their best beer in the lineup.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2008 15:24:32 | More by drumrboy22
Photo of Lothar666

Rhode Island

3/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Foamy, off-white two finger thick head was set atop a mostly transparent copper colored body that got slightly darker near the top of the glass where the body and head meet. Retention was decent.

S- Crisp, slightly sweet barley malts and a subtle hint of hops- nothing spectacular.

T- Semi-sweet malts and roasted barley make up nearly the entire flavor profile, with a crisp and slight hop finish and a touch of sour in the afteraste after the first sip. Not very complex but not horrible either.

M- Very full body but not chewy like some other scotch ales I have had. Decent, all things considered.

D- Refreshing but a bit heavy at the same time. This is an uncomplicated brew that is worth a try, but nothing to write home about.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2008 05:23:27 | More by Lothar666
Photo of auxiliary

Rhode Island

3.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance - Amber color, with a small head, and some lace that didn't stick. After some time, it looks flat now.

smell - Sweet malt some alcohol present.

taste - Malt, with some hop present. Some bitterness in the taste.

Medium body, alcohol is present.

drinkability - Not a bad beer, was included in the 12 beers of winter. Not a strong ale, as compared to others in the category.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2008 02:07:24 | More by auxiliary
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.28/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a translucent brown color with a 1/2" offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a middle of the road crystal and roasted malt scent. It's light and dry with a slight caramel aroma. The taste is average. It's got a pale and mild crystal malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes dry. It's got to be the plainest Scotch ale I've ever had. The mouthfeel is decent. (It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a very drinkable beer. However, it's also not a good example of the style. It lacks malt character, it's light in mouthfeel, and it's way too carbonated.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2008 23:15:46 | More by WesWes
Photo of Rainintheface


3.28/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into SA glass.

A: hazy brownish copper in color. nice white head- 2+ fingers. quite a bit of carbonation

S: caramel strikes me the most. toasted grains and cherries?

T: malt backbone. some smokiness and ash

M: medium body but a tad watery. the carbonation is a little on the high side but I like. It lends some crispness.

D: Pretty decent brew. I find it rather light for a scotch ale but decent nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2008 22:51:45 | More by Rainintheface
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.23/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a large nonic a clear deep copper with a tight clingy 1 1/2 finger slight off white head the appearance easily was the best thing about this brew.Swwet aromas like that brown sugar and some toasty grain and butter but really nothing sticks out much.Flavors start out sweet with light caramel and brown sugar notes turning toasty with a little butter in the finish.Eh pretty basic not a Scottish ale to measure up against,basic somewhat food friendly.Definently not in the Wee Heavy category.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2008 22:37:36 | More by oberon
Photo of Risser09


2.1/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner - 2007 Bottling - Cellar temp

Appearance: Pours a transparent brownish orange copper color with golden yellow highlights. 2.5" light tan head. Good retention. Lots of sticky lacing remains.

Smell: Sawdust and cheerios. Smells like freshly crushed grain. Very little sugar sensation. Corn and buttered popcorn. Less than impressive.

Taste: Weird buttered popcorn flavor. Hay and wood. Not complex. Rather weird. Immature and tasteless. Not sure how this qualifies as a scotch ale.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and mild carbonation. Smooth. Slight sugar presence. Unimpressive.

Drinkability: This beer is way off from the style and from being a good beer. Not enough roasted flavor or dark fruit flavor. It tastes like there was corn or other adjuncts added to the recipe. Not so good.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2008 12:18:40 | More by Risser09
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Saranac Scotch Ale from Matt Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.