Saranac Red IPA - Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Not Rated.
Saranac Red IPASaranac Red IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

63 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 63
Hads: 200
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 6.98%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 63 | Hads: 200
Photo of mikeg67
2.5/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle from a verity pack. Pours amber with a long lasting white head and good amount of lacing. Aroma is of orange, citrusy hops and caramel malt. Body is medium and crisp. Taste is citusy, herbal hops and some caramel malt. Finish is long and unpleasant. It was 3rd bottle from the pack I had to pour out. (313 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.54/5  rDev -26.2%
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. (846 characters)

Photo of 401J
2.54/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a nice 1 finger midget thumb head that hung around and laced long..

Not a whole lot going on with the nose,....nothing pleasant.. I keep getting a faint wet sneaker smell.. Hoping it for some reason is the glass.

Not what I was expecting from an IPA.. Would never have guessed thats what it was.. A bit of malt finished with light hops, i guess. Long, unpleasant finish.

So unimpressed with this craft pack so far.. Hope it improves (442 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.64/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Part of the Saranac 12 Beers of Winter variety pack - $13.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

"BB MAR 31 2013"

Appearance: Pours a deep, amber-tan body with a lofty, foaming, off-white head.

Smell: Pale malts rounded out by some toasty notes. Hops yield notes, albeit somewhat wimpy notes, of florals, resins, and citrus.

Taste: Pale malts, slight toast, even slighter brown sugar with a low sweetness. Floral, resinous, citrusy hop flavors follow, but they're muted, just depositing some aspirin-like bitterness and fleeing the scene. Drying, lightly bitter finish with most of the flavors long gone by this point.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-light carbonation.

Overall: It's like your old man banged on the door and told you to "turn that IPA DOWN!" Parents just don't understand, man. You ain't the boss of me, Saranac! (848 characters)

Photo of GiantMidget
2.68/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2nd beer I had out of the Saranac winter variety from Wegmans.

Poured into a tulip pint glass.

I had higher expectations for this but I'm not sure why.
I do like a good red beer and I'm a huge IPA guy.

Floral notes emanated from the pour right away with the caramel scent.

Drank this relatively slowly to try to savor it and give it a good chance.
The sad part is, the hops just aren't where they need to be for an IPA. Maybe a good 'beginner' IPA just to experience what you may have read about IPA's, a first step.
But it should be much hoppier and dryer than it is. No "bite" to speak of whatsoever.

An OK effort, balanced mouthfeel and it wasn't 'bad' just not where it should be. (689 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle appears to be 12 fl oz volume. Brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap acquired as part of Saranac's variety box at Argonaut Liquor in Denver and served into a nonical pint glass in me gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are average.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 2.5 finger beige colour head - quite thin - devoid of cream and of above average retention. No lacing. Body colour is a transparent translucent copper with red hues. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Certainly appears more red than most IPAs, so it seems right on point for their style designation of "red IPA."

Sm: Floral hops, biscuit malt, soapy notes (too long in primary?), and clean underlying generic malts. A strangely hopped IPA (is it the calypso?), but a generally appealing aroma. The soapy notes have me worried, though. An average strength aroma. No yeast character comes through, nor does any alcohol.

T: Sweet up front, with a strange caramel and candy sugar/sugarcane body. Hopping is also strange, with obligatory floral hops but also a strange herbal/medicinal character as well which evokes some sort of spice that doesn't belong in the flavour profile; it's not ginger but it certainly seems a cousin thereof. I wish I could put my finger on it but it's illusive. Hints of biscuit malt. Sweetens on the climax, highlighting one of the primary issues with the build: the flavour emphasis is on the malts rather than the hops. As a result, the balance is off. It doesn't lack flavour and I wouldn't call it bland, but it does leave a lot to be desired - especially in terms of complexity and subtlety. It's pleasant to drink, but it's not a great example of the style. I don't get any yeast character or alcohol.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some cream on the open. Slightly overcarbonated. A touch too thick for what would be a refreshing flavour profile. Complements the flavours decently, but it's certainly not custom-tailored to them.

Dr: Drinkable but a poor example of the style (whether we're talking "red IPA" or simply IPA). The malt emphasis and overdone sweetness coupled with the lack of balance and complexity makes this one beer that I'll easily finish but which I wouldn't seek out again. I wouldn't recommend this to friends, and while I'll happily have another from the variety box, it's far from exemplary. Perhaps worth a try for Saranac fans. I doubt it'll draw outright hostility from anyone; it's certainly a drinkable brew in spite of its flaws. Lacks sufficient hop character to satisfy most American-style IPA fans.

(2,694 characters)

Photo of wvsabbath
2.96/5  rDev -14%
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. (914 characters)

Photo of claspada
2.98/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark copper color with a decent size foamy white head that recedes to leave some above average lacing.

Aromas begin with some light citrus, herbal, grassy hoppiness. As it warms you get some of the light caramel and toasted bready maltiness.

The tastes follow the nose with some initial grainy pale and sweet caramel maltiness. Then you get some astringent herbal and resiny hop bitterness that is slightly unpleasant and unenjoyable.

Mouthfeel is medium boided with medium carbonation. Finish is farily balanced but a but on the dry, bitter side.

Overall this was really just meh and I really did not want to finish it. It offered really no redeeming qualities, the flavor profile left me wanting more and falls into the "not worth my sobriety" category. (769 characters)

Photo of CraftBeerTastic
3/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ba Review #242
Served On: 12/05/2012
Glassware: Duvel Glass
Labeled ABV: -
Date/ Code: Mar 31 - 2012

This was from the current '12 Beers of Winter' mixed pack.

Look: Poured a tall fluffy beige head. Lacing was very sticky. The color was a very clear redish copper. Carbonation was fairly aggressive.

Smell: Heavy English malts with some oniony hops.

Taste: Up front was the malty component that moved into the onion character. The remainder of the palate was very similar to the Saranac Big Moose.

This was basically Big Moose with a slightly different hop profile. (572 characters)

Photo of RoadLizard
3.01/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a nice looking reddish orange color with moderate head. Looks great! OK smell - earthy, grassy, and a little oak too. The taste of this was a little unsure of itself. I can detect the hops but they feel held back & mucked up a bit by a something? Im not getting any maltiness either to balance it out. I realize its got IPA in the name but the description hints at a more neutral overall taste. Has good mouthfeel and the right amount of carbonation. I was hoping this was better since it looked so promising. Not terrible, but I wouldnt get it again. (557 characters)

Photo of plaid75
3.06/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the 2012 12 Beers of Winter.

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

The smell featured dry caramel malts and an herbal hop aroma.

The taste consisted grainy malts, a slightly green sweetness, an astringent herbal hop and a touch of sourness.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side if the style with a dry finish.

Overall a raw, green tasting ale. Nice choice style wise, but a bit underachieving. (483 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
3.06/5  rDev -11%
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. (490 characters)

Photo of Treyliff
3.07/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

A-pours a dark amber color with ruby hues, creamy and frothy off-white head with great retention long after the pour

S- grassy hops with some citrus rind, some spicy notes, toasted bread with a bit of caramel malt

T- grassy and citrus hops are followed by an odd lemon-like tartness, reminiscent of a shandy. Mid-palate provides a bit if sweet caramel malt, but not much if a presence. The finish is dry, bitter and tart. The tartness just seems to throw off the balance.

M- medium body with moderate carbonation, mouthfeel is just a bit creamy with a smooth finish

O-I had high hopes after the pour and smell, but the taste was just all over the place. For the style, it was lacking a malty backbone. Not one I would seek out again. (738 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.12/5  rDev -9.3%
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. (744 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.13/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Hoppy amber ales and red IPAs share a link in common, and it seems that whatever the brewery decides the call the beer- it ends up tasting like the other. This is what happens here...

With certainly a crimson red hue, the brilliantly clear beer showcases well its mohogany shaddows and nearly golden highlights. It's an impressive looking beer, all topped with its moussy eggshell head and lacing by design. It's really hard to fault any aspect of the beer's appearance.

Aromas, on the other hand, invite a balance between citrusy hops and caramel malts. Where the aromas of grapefruit, pine needles, and grass are in abundance so are the rich caramel, toast, and nuttiness from malt.

Acting in reverse, its the flavor of toffee and nuts layer on a heavy coat of malt that seeps deep into the soft tissues of the mouth. It's cola-like sweetness makes it hard for the hops to balance at first, or to then command the beer to finish. It's taste of white grapefruit, citrus peel, pine, and grass is sharp, pungent, and pleasantly bitter but can't become the showcase that those hops deserve in an IPA. The malt and hops battle it out, leaving in its wake residual tastes of butterscotch, shaved wood, and pecan.

Medium bodied throughout, but the residual sweetness keeps the beer fuller longer than is desired in any IPA. Lacking the drying power from fleeting malts, the beer instead relies on its moderate alcohol and resinous hops for dryness, drinkability, and refreshment with only marginal success.

The beer's balance definately favors an amber ale although their proportions are higher. While the hops push upwards of IPA status, the malts do not- they become way too much a part of the profile. (1,704 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.2/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is slightly hazy reddish amber in color and has a light amount of carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that hardly died down and left some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of caramel malts and a mix of citrusy, grassy and herbal hops.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the hops are a little more prominent and herbal hops linger through the finish. Ther is a very light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little watery on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The lingering herbal hops in the finish of this beer do not make this one that is very easy to drink. (676 characters)

Photo of hosehead83
3.23/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Light, cloudy amber in color, with a decent head of off-white foam.
Aroma-Faint citrus hop note
Taste-Toasted malt, some citrus hops. Overall flavor seem a bit muddled and muted. That being said, its affordable and not a bad offering as an "intro" IPA. (307 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
3.24/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on February 1, 2013.

It has a reddish-amber hue to it with good clarity and a lingering off-white head.

The aroma has a notable grainy start, a kind of vague fruit note, and a solid hop character to it.

Medium body.

The taste is much like the aroma with a lot of grains and a slightly lingering hop finish. The fruity character I got on the nose is not as noticeable in the flavor. Good bitterness. (438 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.26/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: Burgundy coloring with artifical light backing. Neat clarity with an impressive head of 2 finger statue that was whipped and frothy with a strong holding delight. Light spacious and leisure rise of visible carbonation.

S: On the nose was some piney and grassy hops with a touch of semi-dry grapefruit. The aroma strength is moderate, with some dry barley closing things out.

T: Flavor was grassy toasted grains. Dry grapefruit, pine, grassy hops come with an moderate detection and dry bitterness. A touch of sour dry grapefruit on the leave and a bit of sweet dry toasted speciality grains balance things out a bit.

M: Mouthful was frothy, a bit washy, alkaline and dry. A dry sour citrus twang fade.

O: Overall a decent show of hops, dry toasted backing and moderate complexity though could of been sharper in terms of hop identity, and malt backing especially on the mouthful. Still better then most of thier other offerings, though again comes off average by style, a bit coarse and unrefined and could use some polising around the edges. A C rating feels about right here. Not for the hardcore ipa enthusiaste. (1,125 characters)

Photo of Gmann
3.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear light amber, light brown color with a small wispy beige head that settled into a sparse cap. Expected the beer to be a tad more red in color.

The aroma is of steely caramel malts, tin, and some light grassy hops. Not very aromatic for an IPA. Perhaps a touch of citrus or tropical fruit if you try hard enough.

The taste is light but does have a nice hoppy flavor. A touch of orange and grapefruit and a hint of pine and grass. The malt doesn't do too much. It provides a metallic flavor and light caramel. Some tea flavors.

The feel is light and crisp. Good balance between sweet and bitter. Finishes just slightly bitter and dry on the palate. Refreshing.

An ok hoppy amber. The amber malt is fairly tame and the hops provide decent flavor. Drinks very easy. (778 characters)

Photo of CHickman
3.3/5  rDev -4.1%
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. (1,625 characters)

Photo of Brenden
3.32/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Oddly enough, this is one of the best-looking beers I've ever seen. Say what you will about the overall flavor or the substance, apparently there's plenty of malt in here and enough hop oils to contribute to a rich head. Speaking of, it rises to about two fingers atop a thick red-orange brew. The true beauty is that it barely settles and never fades, insisting on remaining until the beer is gone; not just a wispy foam, either, almost a full finger after it's diminished. A thick, consistent sheet of lacing curtains the glass all the way to the bottom. How? I don't know, but this is what my eyes are seeing.
So it makes little sense that this IPA isn't particularly strong. In fact, it's a bit strange. The fact is, only American varietals of malts and hops are used here. The combination of them, however, seems to work out to make for a beer that seems more British than American. There's a show of pine, though light, and possibly just a ghost of citrus, but most of what I get is a bit musty, downright herbal, and leafy, with a much earthier note than American hops employ. There's also a metallic note throughout.
The feel is good, mingling a brisk crispness that doesn't fade with a good smoothness underneath, ample but not overstated carbonation making for good drinking of an adequately medium-bodied brew. (1,321 characters)

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
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! (835 characters)

Photo of alexgash
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle.

Deep rose-hued orange body. Solid finger of dense, whipped light beige head. Good retention and lacing. Nose is a balanced mix of cookie, caramel malts and resinous, citrusy hops. Not overly fresh hop nose.

Toasted malts up front. Mineral water and herbal hop bitterness take over. Some pine and citrus add in. Fruity malt fills in underneath. Some caramel toward the finish. Hops become spicier and a little peppery. Dryish finish with lingering fruit. Moderate body with a lively feel. Not bad, but pretty forgettable. (538 characters)

Photo of rangerred
3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark brownish-red with a two finger off-white head. Really pretty impressive head retention and lacing that surprised me quite a bit.

The aroma is a nice mixture of piny hops and caramel/toasted malt. Hops are quite strong but not so much to overpower the malt. The one mark against it is a slight metallic note.

The flavor, unfortunately, doesn't quite stack up to the appearance and aroma. Pine is very subdued with a distracting metal flavor coming through. Lots of caramel with a slight hint of dark bread and light toast. Bitterness is quite high making this beer a little unbalanced. A little tartness on the tip of the tongue and an acrid bitterness on the back of the throat don't go together very well. Mouthfeel is quite sticky, more than I feel it should be.

Overall, this beer is really unbalanced and not too good. The bitterness is too high and doesn't balance well at all. Nice try but doesn't quite make the cut. (977 characters)

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Saranac Red IPA from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.