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Saranac Red IPA - Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Not Rated.
Saranac Red IPASaranac Red IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

199 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 199
Reviews: 63
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 13.49%
Wants: 0
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: plaid75 on 10-29-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Our Red IPA is a twist on a traditional west coast IPA featuring a deep red color from European dark caramel malts. We brew with generous amounts of American hops including Calypso, Palisade and Chinook to give this IPA a distinctive hop aroma. You'll notice a strong hoppy flavor with caramel malt undertones and a unique color that gives this IPA a whole new personality!

63 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 199 | Reviews: 63
Photo of woodychandler
3.59/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I am now committed to reducing, if not eradicating, my backlog of bottles. This one was part of a local, in-person trade with tone77.

From the bottle: "Our Red IPA is a twist on a traditional west coast IPA featuring a deep red color from European dark caramel malts. We brew with generous amounts of American hops including Calypso, Palisade and Chinook to give this IPA a distinctive hop aroma. You'll notice a strong hoppy flavor with caramel malt undertones and a unique color that gives this IPA a whole new personality!"

I will readily cop to being a big fan of F. X. Matt B.C. and their Saranac series of beers. The price point is friendly and the beers are always at least serviceable.

I popped the cap and got the aggro pour going right away. The pseudo-cascade started right up and netted me two rocky, tawny fingers of head with good retention. Color was a deep-copper (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity. I once had a girlfriend whose coarse red hair was this shade. I miss you, Lou! Hell, between a new, short hairdo for her and another bottle of this and I would be down at the local recyclers to see how much copper is currently paying out. Nose was much more caramel malt than hops. It also had the brand's characteristic yeast-driven tang. Mouthfeel was soft and creamy and completely unexpected. The taste seemed skewed in favor of the malts on the tongue, at least initially. Letting it roll around, though, produced a light citrus bitterness. I kept thinking back to an earlier EIPA, however. Finish was semi-dry, still more malty than hoppy. I disagree with calling it a Red Ale as it was more than that, but I would not call it an AIPA, either.

Photo of generallee
3.84/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Appearance: The pour produced a tall light tan head over an amber colored body with great clarity and some nice visible carbonation.

Smell: There are nice juicy citrus hops and some lighter sweet malty notes jumping right out of the glass.

Taste / Palate: Mild hop notes and sweet bready maltiness mix up front with hop flavor and bitterness building up on the back end. It’s middle has just a touch of caramel and toffee sweetness. The palate is classic Saranac medium body and average easy drinking feel with balances carbonation.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.87/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Saranac Red IPA
12 oz. brown bottle, code "BB JUN 30, 2014 3503 1047"

Appearance: Wow, it has protein floating in it. It appears to be permanent chill haze. If I move the glass back and forth the proteins move with it, and if I spin the glass and then stop it, they'll keep going in the direction I've sent them in. I don't care, clarity isn't necessary in a hoppy beer in my opinion, it's just that I've never seen that from a Saranac beer. I doesn't even say it's dry-hopped. Maybe it's not. (Ahh, I checked another bottle and it's just the sediment stirred up and held in suspension by the malt). Moving forward, it's still moderately clear, and it's got a beautiful ruby-accented dark copper body. The head is a creamy yellowed beige, and it holds fairly well but should be better. The lacing is better just slightly better than average as well.

Smell: Hoppy. Bright and fresh. It's slightly citrusy, but not overly so, and a bit candyish... slightly grape-ish maybe. It must be the hops. I'm not familiar with Calypso or Palisade hops, but I do get a whiff of piney-ness from the Chinook. Oddly, those hops aren't even listed on the bottle I have. There's some apricot to it as well, and - a very nice bit of very lightly sweet dark caramel.

Taste: As is quite often the case, the flavor basically mirrors the aroma. The malt is fuller, and the hops are intertwined in it. I don't find anything candyish or grape-like upfront, but I do get it in the burp! Odd. It's an interesting addition to the other flavors of pear, apple, apricot, and gently resinous pine. It's really nicely balanced, and I don't really get the whole effect of the 63 IBU's of bitterness until the finish where it lingers. Either the alcohol of the hops add a bit of spiciness to it, and it's quite dry. Surprisingly, most of the malt and hop flavors fade pretty readily.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Moderately carbonated. Delicately crisp and then smooth... I think it could use a little more bite myself, although I guess that would change the balance by accentuating the bitterness a bit.

Overall: An interesting beer, and one that's surprisingly drinkable, but also with a bit of complexity to it.

Photo of Bitterbill
3.06/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks for the bottle, Jacob!

It pours a slightly hazy reddish gold with a very large head of foam that surprised me considering it came straight from the fridge.

I get light notes of citrus hops and grain.

Though hoppy, it's more of a bitter flavour going on than an actual citrus thingy; the malt tastes toasted and grainy. The 63 IBUs don't seem to working any magic. A pretty dull brew.

Medium bodied so mouthfeel.

The first Saranac that I didn't find a joy to drink. S*it happens.

Photo of wvsabbath
2.96/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Copper red, brown tint. Unfiltered floaters, 1/8 inch head, minor lacing.

Smell - Faint hops, Some malts, added sugars, very minor amounts of orange and grapefruit. A little bread and caramel malt shows up after it warms up some.

Taste - First sip is very standard to a amber ale. Buttery/toffee notes mixed with some faint orange and grapefruit hops. Malts are present and add the toffee/buttery notes that really make it taste like im drinking a amber ale.

Mouthfeel - Tongue gets the malts where the palate gets some artificial fruits. Aftertaste is a little malty, with some bitter fruits.

Overall - This is a basically a amber ale with some added hops. The taste is weak and generic. As usual with Saranac, there beers are very entry level, and most experienced craft drinkers wont want to waste there time. This isn't terrible, but something that's not worth my time.

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.54/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Impressive 63 IBU Red IPA from Saranace, deep ruby tinted copper hue with an off white biscuit malt head, their beers look delicious...they have some great technical brewing skills let's see how the other senses perceive this beer. The nose is pine needles, citrus, and alpha acids derived from the hop pellets, a bit of caramelized sugars accented in there as well. Where this and other hoppy IPAs from Saranac take a dive is lack of hop and malt balance. Hits with hints of caramel fades into a bitter sickeningly dry finish with citrus pith and highly acidic pine needle hop pellet induced hop flavor/bitterness. Mouthfeel is just lingering hop bitterness from the lack of balance of the malt and hop, it's an atrocious mess of an IPA. Overall Saranac needs to go get some lessons on the west coast for proper IPA brewing/fermentation lessons.

Photo of TeamMathis
3.42/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Reddish amber. Decent lace.
Smell: Pine, some citrus.
Taste: Pine. Bitter.

A nice looking drink. Surprisingly bitter. I have a cold, so there's that, but I pick out mainly bitter pine and citrus. I've had it before out of seasonal samplers, but I wouldn't get it again (or by itself).

Photo of dank203
3.56/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours reddish brown, off white head, very very hoppy. and bitter. still has a good clean taste and dry finish. its off balance, require more malt qualities, its mostly hops. I would still drink this, I like the medium body and clean feel, its drinkable if you don't mind the harsh hops.

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.43/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark copper color: I'd reckon closer to amber than red. The head is a little over one finger high, with a pale orange shade. Despite its slight rockiness, it features both good creaminess and retention. A goodly amount of lacing is left on the glass.

S: I really get a defined toastedness from the malts. They also seem to be lacking some of the sweeter elements (like caramel). I'm not picking up too much of the hops - some piny notes are there, but on the plus side, they're very well integrated within the malt backbone. After a while, it becomes faintly fruity. I'm sort of impressed, this is a very solid aroma, especially for Saranac.

T: At first, it's front loaded with a lot of herbaceous, piny bitterness. Right after the bitterness hits, I get a light (but VERY welcome) twinge of melon. Malts build up ever-so-slightly on the finish, but I still the back end is a little gutted in terms of flavor.

M: I like my red IPAs to be crisp and clean...and guess what? This is crisp and clean. It's almost bone-dry, but not quite. A touch of malt sweetness gives it a bit of body, so it's not a straight-up chugger. Still, this is easy to down thanks in part to zesty carbonation.

O: Not amazing, but definitely solid enough. I'd even go so far as to say this is the best of the bunch. When it comes down to it, getting six different beers in this 12 pack - all hanging around the average area, with only a small deviation (good or bad) between them - for a cheap price is a pretty good deal, especially considering that all of them were pretty damn drinkable.

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has an auburn color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell has some hops, a bit of sweetness to it. Taste is hoppy up front, malts kicking in at the finish. Well balanced and easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

Photo of KTCamm
3.86/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours deep reddish amber with light white foam. Deep caramel nose, hint of cherry. Taste is a malty sweet caramel with a firm bitter hop. Really well blended. Balances the hop and amber sweetness really well. Reviews on this were down, but I really liked it.

Photo of billfear
4.7/5  rDev +37.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely love this beer. A nice crisp amber beer. They combined my two favorite
types of beer, Red & IPA. The "red" takes off the IPA edge. Very well done.
It classified as a Spring seasonal. I am hoping that they make it available year-round.

Photo of mvanaskie13
3.74/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into standard pint glass, color is deep amber, nicely translucent, very large head, light tan in color with some great lacing. Great looking amber ale.

Smell is mild malt flavors, hints of crystal, toast, very clean and light; hop scent is present, stronger than expected, fresh, floral, mix of fruity and piney.

Taste is similar to the scent, subdued, but with the right flavors, clean malts some crystal and toast, great hop bitterness, more on the piney side in the taste.

Mouthfeel is typical for a saranc brew, clean, crisp, slightly overcarbonated for an ipa/red/amber ale.

Overall, great tasting brew from saranac, a little much carbonation, but all the flavors are there, very clean and pretty fresh even being from the spring mix pack.

Photo of digitalflood
3.71/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Saranac Red IPA (2013) - When I first started drinking beer a little over a decade ago Saranac was the first beers I liked. It was my introduction to the micro-brew world and the mass production brews would no longer do. Every now & then around this time of year whether it be for nostalgia or maybe to just visit an old friend I see what Matt's Brewing is up to. This year the White IPA and the Red IPA were the latest brews. The Red is the one I was really waiting for. Average head with excellent lace retention. Deep red body courtesy of Euro Dark Caramel Malts. Good carbonation. Supple IPA smell-- hops and malt. Sharp bite first taste. IPA sting if you will. Calypso, Palisade, & Chinook US hops combine to create that effect. It fades fast to a mid-palate malts fest. Caramel and cream. A little sour note highlighting the end notes. Back mouth it goes all chocolate cupcake-- stout coffee like with red English ale malt. Little to no IPA hop note. Very different than the flowery white. Incredible in its unpredictable taste that ends up being easily drinkable. Light end. Little to no after taste. Again more subtle malt and hops. A little bitter. Not much. Just enough. If you are a fan of Guinness and Killian's this is about as close as you can come in a bottle. Brillant. Simply brillant. 3.75 out of 5. Very good.

Photo of Kendo
3.54/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Body is reddish amber with a small ivory head. A little bit of lacing after each sip.

S: Toffee and caramel malt; not really strong in the nose at all, and I get no hopes that would justify the "IPA" moniker.

T: It has that "Saranac taste" that I believe comes from the yeast they use. Not sure how to describe that other than to say it's a basic fruitiness that seems to inhabit nearly all their beers, no matter the style. . . . Anyway, it's got a solid toffee and caramel malt foundation, but then no real hop presence, other than a modestly minerally bitterness at the finish. Finishes with sweet malt again.

M: Good creaminess to the feel; carbonation is fine. Call it medium in heft.

O: OK. More of an Amber/Red Ale as it's labeled here than an "IPA" as it's labeled on the bottle. Like most Saranac beers, it's inoffensive, but not at all special.

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: A deep red with brown properties to it. The body is pretty heavy with bubbles. Head is slightly off-white rising to maybe 1/4".

Smell: The scent comes off like wet hops, that's really about it. You sniff and keep sniffing you aren;t really going to find much else.

Taste: A stronmg bitterness to it to hose who are not used to drinking IPAs, an easy beer to introduce to people. Strong pineyness to it, I don't feel the caramel though usually linked to "red" ipas. You do feel heavy bitter citrus, grapefruit please.

Mouth: Definitelty has a medium to full body, with a roast hop feel at the end not too bad at all.

Overall: It's good beer but wouldn't drive myself crazy looking for it but feels more like your warm weather IPA. Just hoppy enough....not bad after a long day of work. Salud!

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.71/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clean looking red/copper color, decent sized light tan head fades at a moderate clip, leaves some patchy lacing on the glass though.

Smell is more caramel malt than hoppy, even if they're advertising it as such, only the slightest bit of pine hop.

Taste definitely leans more towards the caramel backbone than the hops, a faint bitter aftertaste peaks its head before being subdued by the sticky malt sweetness, carbonation level is excellent with a nice creamy mouthfeel, does finish slightly stickier than it should.

Photo of CHickman
3.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a hazy reddish copper color with a 2 finer foamy beige head that faded slowly, leaving excellent wide foamy rings clinging to the sides. A fine looking beer.

Smells of caramel, grains, piney hops, wheat, herbs, light citrus and some spices; nothing really stands out in the nose and it’s mostly the caramel, grains and piney hops which are present throughout. Lame for an American IPA, but nice and malty for a Red/Amber Ale – subject to opinion since BA lists this as an Amber/Red Ale and Saranac states Red IPA on the label.

Tastes like it smells, with caramel, toasted grains, roasted malts, piney hops, wheat, herbs, light citrus like lemon zest or dry citrus hop leaf, some spices like cinnamon or allspice, dry grass, biscuit and burnt bread crust; the malts really dominate the flavor with the hops acting like herbal accents. It was OK, but much better cold versus the flavor after it warmed up; as it warmed it was more like toffee and burnt pizza crust that trailed off bitter. There was a quick sweetness, but that fades and gets replaces by roasted malts.

Mouthfeel is slick, with light fizzy carbonation, a medium almost chewy body and a bitter aftertaste that comes with a wave of roasted grains, not a sweet hop blast. It almost seems balanced, but the malts always seem to win out and drive this away from IPA territory.

Overall it was alright; good as part of a mixed 12 pack, and best drank very cold, but I’m not sold on this one. Saranac makes a whole bunch of better beers, but I’m glad they keep cranking out new creations and stick with experimenting and promoting the craft movement.

Photo of WesWes
3.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a deep amber/red color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a nice mix of caramel malts and piney hops. It's bone dry with a mild bitterness. The taste is decent as well. It has a smooth, malty flavor that boasts of pale, roasted, and crystal malts as well as piney hops. It's well balanced with a good amount of hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a solid offering, but there are more IPA's I'd rather have.

Photo of beergoot
3.36/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Thick, foamy head sits atop a dark amber body; nice rings down the glass. Excellent floral and citrus hop notes in the aroma with bits of sweet malt hints. Subtle malt flavors and a medium-strength hop bitterness make up the bulk of the flavors. Smooth bodied, clean and dry.

A very nice looking red IPA and very good aroma. The taste didn't quite live up to the looks or smell, but it's still quite enjoyable overall.

Photo of fx20736
3.77/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

bought as part of Saranac's Spring Variety pack from Beers of the World on 4/6/13 for $ 8.77.

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

appearance: sunset red medium amber with a chunky sandstone head. Nice lacing.

aroma: ruby red grapefruit, bready malt.

mouthfeel: just short of full.

taste: bready malt with some grapefruit, some lightly scorched caramel.

notes: as much as their standard IPA is a fail this is one is good. While not a world beater this is pretty good beer.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Best by 3/31/13.

Pours a hazy reddish-orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and some fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with nail polish remover and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that has a promising smell but the flavor comes across as somewhat harsh.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.12/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a vibrant, mahogany coloring with a frothy, off-white head that slowly settles into a filmy coating all over the glass and the surface of the brew. Aromas of sweet and rich caramel in the background, with a wet, resiny, pine-scented hops presence. Well balanced nose, and far from overpowering. Flavors are very balanced, and more on the sweet, amber side. Light, crisp body with a caramel and chocolate backbone. The hops presence in the nose almost disappears on the palate. Subtle bitterness at the end, leading into the aftertaste. More pepper spiced and resiny in the aftertaste, with a slick, bitter, slightly drying finish. Decent beer, but a bit of a misnomer as far as the IPA goes.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

LOOK: Pours a reddish copper with a white foam that leaves some webbed lacing on the pint glass.

SMELL: Perfumy, fruity hop bouquet kind of like fruit roll ups, and just a touch of sweet malted grain.

TASTE: Bitter, earthy hops lead the way, pretty heavy presence. The malt body has a faint caramel note, but this is all about hops. Hops flavor of earthy pine, grapfruit and a bit of lemongrass like flavor.

FEEL: Medium bodied, a bit thin, ample carbonation.

OVERALL: Pretty decent little beer here with aggressive hops. A bit harsh, but still drinkable and worth the try.

Photo of CaptMaelstrom
4.25/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark red color, poured a good head.

S: Big whiff of hoppy bitterness, but some slight caramel, bready notes, as well a tiny fruit aroma.

T: Malty complexity up front balanced by big hop aftertaste. Bready, grassy, bitter, fruity, floral.

M: Chewier than most IPA's, probably from the darker malts used. Still quite refreshing, slightly sticky.

O: This beer delivers what it advertises. It's not phenomenal, but it's well balanced, easy to drink, and a little different than your everyday IPA.

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Saranac Red IPA from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 199 ratings.