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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
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 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 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 Utica_Brew_Review
3.56/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great dark red amber color with a bit of head. The carbonation looks great through the glass. Hoppy aroma characteristic of IPA, with floral and citrus notes. Taste follows the aroma with a bit more depth. Notes of caramel, flowers, and accentuated with bitter hops. Definitely more depth and character than a standard IPA. Drinkability is also great. Finishes with more depth and floral notes. Main criticism is that we feel it might be just slightly too bitter. (463 characters)

Photo of u2carew
3.89/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz longneck
A) Pours with a finger thick head then settles to just a subtle lacing at the edge of the glass. Clear mahogany body. Thin semi-sticky lacing on the drink down.
S) Caramel. Toffee. Subtle floral and evergreen notes.
T) Hop bite up front followed by a drowning of malts. Finishes with a spicy spruce kick that lingers in the aftertaste. Biscuits. Caramel. Spruce.
M) Crisp. Dry. Medium body.
O) A solid red ale with a nice hoppy twist. I'd drink more of this. (472 characters)

Photo of AmitC
3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A very average and run of the mill stuff. Doesn't even deserve to be called an IPA.

Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Almost copper red color. About one finger thick off white colored head with decent retention. Excellent lacing. Few bubbles seen rising up. Clear appearance.

Aroma doesn't have enough going on there. Some weird herb and slight flowery nose. Strength is mild to moderate. A good amount of caramel malt backbone but nothing that comes off great.

Taste has a lot of malt character and body. Very slight bitterness towards the end. Bitterness hops are earthy, piney and very mild. Finish is just about bitter.

Mouth feel is medium to slightly light. Somewhat water like. Moderate carbonation. Easy drinking. (738 characters)

Photo of vicg12
3.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 1.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice head, decent aroma of hops, but is mulled a little by the malts. Has a good flavor but could use a little more refinement. Pretty much everything about this beer is decent but nothing really outstanding about it. Kind of an ugly color, less red and more rusty dull brown. Way less biter/hoppy than most other IPAs, think a lot of this is because the stronger flavor malts cover up the hops a bit, or that they used less hops so you could taste the malts, idk but the balance between the two is not spot on. Can't hold a candle to the White IPA, but still good and worth a try. People who don't like IPAs might actually like this beer, gateway drug to more hops. (666 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.8/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into my Dogfish Head Ale glass.

A real simple off white head just over a finger is produced on the pour. Body is a real nice Amber red, a little bit opaque, with some faint carbonation to be seen. Head settles nicely with a little bit of creamy character, but pretty small. Still a solid looking brew.

Nose is floral a bit, soft hop bodied. Hints of caramel sense kick in just a little bit. That herbal sense with some sweetness kicks in nicely also. Pretty inviting but without a lot of classic IPA bitterness.

Palate leaves a little bit left behind. First sip is pretty uninteresting. Swallow brings a little bit of sweetness with the caramel malts slowly coming behind. The flavor though is more apparent in the aftertaste. The bitterness slowly creeps up with floral hints, and potpuri. It really lingers, and is a nice mix with the caramel like action. The mouthfeel though is just a bit watery though and doesn't hold the beers character for very long.

Overall on first sip this seems ordinary but after the first gulp it's actually quite enjoyable. Not a bad alternative, but it's also quite fleeting flavor wise. (1,147 characters)

Photo of CloudStrife
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Rigorous pour for the hell of it yields a great 3 finger off white head. This sits overtop a clear ruby red body. A decent amount of carbonation. Leaves some good lacing.

S: A blend of piney hops and a spicy hops with a solid malt backbone. A bit of soapiness to it and a hint of metal. Malts provide some carmel tones.

T: I can see the whole cone hop approach to emulate some of the better west coast IPAs but it falls just a little short. The hops provide a good bitterness but lack a bit in flavor. The sweetness of the malt does come through as they had planned and it does compliment.

M: Medium body with a good amount of carbonation. Mostly clean finish, pretty easy drinking.

Overall not a bad brew but nothing noteworthy either. Saranac tends to have a somewhat carmely taste to me and they incorporate that into this style nicely. (884 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap 2/7/2013 at British Beer Company in Walpole, MA, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a coppery red color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, floral hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts with a strong hops bitterness and then some mildly sweet flavors of caramel and citrus come in. The malt character is hearty and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to pound down for a while. (729 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 RblWthACoz
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Don't know what the goal was here, as I didn't read the description here before taking notes. An amber and an IPA hybrid? Regardless, it's decent. Some spice to it from hops. Fairly smooth feel. Easily drinkable. Wouldn't mind things kicked up a notch, but it works. Consistent also. (283 characters)

Photo of hoppytaps
3.41/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

From the bottle of Adirondack Tour pack.

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

It's a medium body.

The taste is much like the aroma with a lot of grains and a slightly lingering hop finish.

I think for the price $9.99 for a 6 pack this is a great beer choice! You can drink it all night.

It definitely has drinkability and for the low cost I give it high marks. I live in NYC so I know the water is the best in the country and this beer proves that to me.

The fruity character I got on the nose is not as noticeable in the flavor. Good bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

OVERALL SOLID CHOICE for a night out. (665 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 Kremlock
3.36/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Dark copper in colour. Head was present while pouring and then collapse. No lacing. There is a considerable amount material in suspension. I don't think it's yeast so I assume hops.

S: Bread, caramel and a nice floral bouquet

T: Some caramel with grassy hops present. Hint of bread but the hops overshadow that.

M: Low-med body, good carbonation. Bitterness is well balanced with the malt. Finish is hoppy and dry.

O: Not a bad IPA at all. I would prefer a bit more malt to balance the hops but other then that ti's a good basic go to IPA. (547 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 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 micromaniac129
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours with a ruby amber color. It has a small head dense and decent retention. Has good carbonation and is somewhat hazy in clarity.
In the aroma I got most a sour smell sutle but sour like a sour ale might smell. Some sweet caramel malts and fleeting hops at the begining.
Taste was strongly bitter with caramel malt and barley husks. I did notice low levels of diaceyl in the taste. It felt corse and artingent on my palette with a bitter aftertaste.
This beer wasn't really that bad it just had small little issues that adds up after a while. (555 characters)

Photo of IronLover
3.36/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reddish orange in color with good clarity. Poured with a thick, dense foam with good staying power that left sheets of sticky lacings on the glass. Light citrus, floral and pine hop aromas with sweet bready malt beneath. On the thinner side of medium bodied with rich aggressive carbonation up front leaving a slightly watery feel on the back end with a crisp yet sticky feel at the finish. Caramel and toasted malt flavors struggle to coexist with the hop bitterness up front. Its a bit messy. Hop flavors are not discernable and come across simply as bitter. Bitterness tapers through the middle to the end. Finishes crisply with a bitter pine aftertaste. (657 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 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 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 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 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 patre_tim
4.28/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown with a red tinge. 1 finger of beige head fades to nothing. Little visible carbonation.

S: Fruity, peach and pineapple, heated hops and mellow malts. Fruit cocktail.

T: Not the sweetness I was expecting. I get a light and not overly hopped IPA taste with the pine and grapefruit with the addition of the fruit cocktail mentioned above, but not sweet and not overly hopped, quite mild and pleasant.

M: Light to medium body with low to medium carbonation.

O: Quite pleasant and good. Very versatile, and could be drunk with spicy foods, hot foods on a cold day, soups and stews. (593 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)

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