Saranac Belgian Pale Ale - Matt Brewing Company

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Saranac Belgian Pale AleSaranac Belgian Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
77
okay

152 Ratings
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Ratings: 152
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 16.07%
Wants: 0
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Our Saranac Belgian Style Pale Ale is made with 2-row barley and traditional European malts. Brewed with a perfect balance of malt and hops, this is a "sessionable" Belgian style ale. Look for a light amber color and a distinctive fruitiness from the Belgian yeast used in fermentation. Consumed by Belgians as an "everyday" beer, this style will quickly become your winter go-to!

28 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 152 | Reviews: 42
Reviews by Treyliff:
Photo of Treyliff
3.4/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a bright clear golden-straw color with a small fizzy white head with short retention and no lacing. Not the big rocky head typical with many Belgian pales.

S- fruity yeast with notes of banana and clove, some musty funk, a bit medicinal and some herbal notes.

T- some grainy husk up front with a somewhat thin malt body, transitions into some citrus fruity notes with a bit of clove, the finish is dry with some resinous yeast lingering on the palate

M- light body with assertive carbonation, foamy mouthfeel mid-palate, with a slightly creamy dry finish

O- the think malt body leaves this I've a little too thin and grainy for me. It did however have a nice yeasty finish.

More User Reviews:
Photo of MadScientist
2.66/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: a light golden with good clarity. The head is thin an quick to dissipate in to a thin ring.

S: All the aromas are pretty faint on this, in my experience the Belgian character improves over time. There is a light clover and pepper aroma with a slight spicy hops aroma. There is a slight malt sweetness.

T: A moderate clove flavor and moderate hops bitterness. The hops flavor is a light spicy and earthy flavor. The balance is fairly bitter with a dry finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A light prickle

O: An unbalanced and not all that enjoyable.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.34/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appears a bright orange copper hue with white bright head forming thick, fine speckled even lacing around the sides of my glass. Aroma orange bright citrus notes, hints of spicy yeast tones, clove, and coriander. A fruit bright character with a mild funky edge of the Belgian Pale Ale yeast strain, citrus rolling bitterness mainly from the yeast light biscuit malts slightly sour/wild notes. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied cloying yeast profile between sips, lingering dry spice character. Overall it needs some works, these brewers need to have a couple Orval Trappist Ales and then go back to the drawing board.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.52/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Best By March 31, 2014

A: Pours a clear pale golden with a dense white head. Just a touch of visible carbonation.

S: Reminds me of a light abbey dubbel. Hints of dark fruit and belgian yeast. Bit of a roasty aroma with a biscuity toasty feel.

T: Mild and balanced flavor. Isnt overly belgian but still has ample yeastiness and fruitiness characteristic of the big belgians. Malts add some sweetness and the hops some earthiness. Bit of spiciness too.

M: Medium body with average carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel, bit of a sticky finish.

Overall goes down easy and works well in the winter mix pack this one was in. Has strong American overtones for this typically Belgian style.

Photo of TheSixthRing
2.95/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Appearance - Pours crystal clear and golden in color, leaving a near two finger white head that dissipates in fair time, leaving behind a broken layer of suds across the surface. Small, spotty lacing with fair stick.

Smell - Light clove spice, biscuity undertone and some fruity esters make up the jist of the aroma.

Taste - Considerably lighter on the tongue than on the nose. Predominant clove spice, backed by weak notes of fruit and an underwhelming bready, biscuity malt presence. Finishes with spice and a slight metallic twang.

Mouthfeel - Light, near watery body with low carbonation. The weakest aspect of this beer.

Overall - A fairly bland, below average brew. Without the spice kick, this would be close to club soda. Will not buy again, and would not recommend.

Photo of tdm168
3.55/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - copper with a thin lacing of pure white head

S - faintly fruity with a big spicy, coriander and clove-like aroma

T - spicy up front with clove and coriander followed by a light appley fruitiness; the finish is spicy as well. A pretty clean, balanced flavor. The yeast shines here with just some faint malt presence.

M - medium bodied, crisp, well carbonated

This is a decent take on the Belgian Pale Ale style. It has a far more spicy yeast character than I would have expected from Saranac. This is definitely a beginners BPA but it's well done and worth a try.

Photo of bobquick
3.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chimay? Nope. But it is a nice representation of the style. Light head, starts smooth then the hops kick in. Don't think I could drink more than two in a single sitting. Even though it checks in at 5.4 ABV, the after taste limits how much I want to drink in one sitting.

Photo of tempest
3.75/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad stab at a Belgian for Saranac. I like the grassy, spicy hop finish and candied yeast aroma. However, this beer does lack the complex depth of a great Belgian ale. Still, there's a good balance of toasty barley, Euro hops, and a mild Belgian yeast character. Give it a shot if you can.

Photo of Hop_kulture
3.95/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: wonderful golden honey appearence. one finger head that moderately disappeared

s: smells close to a german wheat beer

t: citrus banana taste with a heavy malt character

m: good coating and goes down easy. the taste stays and progresses as it makes home in your mouth

o: not had many belgian pale ales but i do enjoy hefeweizens so i could have 4+ of these easy. i am bias due to my love for saranac simply because i hold the brewery close as a gateway craft beer drug ;)

Photo of HalfFull
3.35/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter/globe glass. Pours a light amber with a half inch of foam and more of a deep golden in the light and with just a toch of haze. Offers moderate retention with a somewhat light apparent carbonation level yet offers up a light cap through the glass.

Aroma is largely yeast driven with spicy pepper and a citric fruitiness but by no means riveting in nature. A bit of caramel/roast resides in the background lending a supportive rather than overwhelming role. Pleasant and with a decent amount of depth, and more robust with warming.

Taste is lightly sweet with a citric and biscuity grain flavor/texture. Yeast spice is prominent more on the finish and accompanied by some moderately complex malts and a touch of toast. Decent feel and depth, somewhat subtle yet approachable. Overall a bit thin in feel as the spritzy carbonation dissipates, a pleasant quaff nonetheless.

Photo of Gmann
3.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a short airy pure white head that settled into a ring.

The aroma is light and fruity. Some juicyfruit notes from the yeast. The scent is refreshing but not strong and doesn't really come close to a BPA.

The taste is of a light pale malt, perhaps a touch more bready than a Belgian made brew. Doesn't seem to use as much Pils malt. The flavor is light and fruity with some spice. A light juicyfruit but not much else. No real clove or banana flavor, no candi sugar presence. Besides the fruitiness, this beer misses the Belgian mark. No depth.

The feel is quite light and fizzy. Sweet on the palate with just a touch of grassy bitterness. It is well balanced and quite drinkable. Great session brew as it does have enough flavor.

It labeled itself as a sessionable Belgian brew and it is so I give it props. Quite light on the BPA flavors but much better than the Stella type peers.

Photo of puboflyons
3.71/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

The color is yellow to golden with a lingering white head and light lacing on the glass. Decent carbonation.

Nice aromas of sweet pale malts, yeast, caramel, pear, and minor hops. There is a kind of musky note on the nose that reminds me of a cellar.

The body is light and smooth.

The taste improves as it warms up with a subtle sweetness up front, biscuit, and low, lingering bitterness. The characteristics of a Belgian Pale Ale are there but all in in all it is more reserved than the one straight out of an Abbey. Still, I found it easy to drink.

Photo of beerthulhu
2.71/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

A: Pale orange with a pristine clarity, 1/2 finger chalky white head is creamy and sticks well to the glass walls. Medium carbonation factor rises to the occassion like beads of oil on a string. Decent length of stay retention wise leaving a milky speckled band lacing.

S: Light to medium sense of fruity hops, melon, cantelope, apples and pears.

T: The flavor begins with some fruity hops, again apple, pear, and melon with some fresh greenery, very vine like. Ends with a tart fruit sourness, touch of grassiness and some fruit skin. The finish kind of ruins it for me personally,with some moldy nature.

M: Tingly carbonation, frothy, tart fruitiness ending with some turing of sour fruit. Scratchy texture and moldy hop feel.

O: Overall had some potential in the beginning, fruity, light in character and fresh. Things started going downhill mid-way through the flavor. The sour fruitiness and moldy hop appeal made this a hesitant to finish. pass altogether on this one.

Photo of u2carew
3.22/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz longneck bottle
A) Pours with a very thin head, but still has visible carbonation. Clear straw colored body.
S) Classic Belgian aroma - hints of banana, cloves and floral notes.
T) Pleasant malts upfront which transition to a mellow hop bite mixed with earthy, pungent, floral tones. A linger graininess in the finish.
M) Light bodied. Crisp. Dry in the finish.
O) An alright Belgian pale ale. A bit thin on flavor and body.

Photo of smakawhat
4.02/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A real nice brassy dark gold colored body, with lively carbonation. Head makes a good two to three fingers with a shocking white color and soapy character. Retention is pretty good with a lot of creamy whipped up sense also, and some spider legged up lacing. Pretty decent looking.

Sticky malts, and hints of light candi sugar. Straight forward with hints of peanut butter also. Smells like a straight forward Belgian minus the creamy peanuts. Mild hints of grassy like hops.

Interesting flavor profile. Hints of crisp hop in the palate with a very lager like and malt taste. Belgian sweetness does come but also with a refreshing sense of grass. Chewy with a very bread like sensing malt like an American lager. Seems a good strong emphasis on barley compared to most Belgian pales. Carbonation is lively with a good palate feel. Lots of density here.

Overall it's different, but this is actually quite enjoyable. I'd have this again, pretty good beer for the style and a nice twist.

Photo of metter98
3.6/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high white head that quickly died down, leaving some lacing on the surface and down the sides of the glass as well as a thin collar around the edge.
S: There are moderate aromas of Belgian yeast in the nose along with some hints of floral hops.
T: Like the smell, you can definitely taste the Belgian yeast in the flavors, which also have some notes of grainy malts and some hints of spices towards the finish. There is a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink. The flavor is rather good and doesn't taste watered down so I would consider this beer to be sessionable.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.35/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear straw yellow color, hardly any head and no lacing.

Smell is primarily sweet malt, not much of anything else to note, only a slight clove aroma.

Taste is fairly straightforward, malt upfront with a slight grassy aftertaste, cold crisp carbonation with a dry finish.

Photo of plaid75
3.97/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 2012 12 Beers of Winter.

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

The smell featured a lightal malt and a suprisingly vibrant yeast ester.

The taste featured round bready malts with an herbal hop spice and active springy esters.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side of the style.

Overall a very tasty and user friendly Belgian style ale. Would make a nice year round selection in my opinion.

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.12/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Winter pack beer...
Poured from bottle into nonic pint glass. Pours a hazy golden straw, nice thick head. Great belgian yeast aromas, noble hop presence, and a bit of banana and clove. Taste is very smooth and creamy belgian...its super easy to drink and very enjoyable. Easy on the palate but full of personality. Really greaty brew and would reach for it again for sure.

Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow again not sure how I picked another Saranac beer with little reviews.

A - Very lively pale ale. Tons of carbonation bubbles on this golden amber color beauty. The head is an impressive 1/2 inch, sticky white and foamy.

S - Light hops, sweet malts, and a lively bubble gum like yeast.

T - Nothing mind blowing. Not too hoppy or fruity just in the middle with mild grains and a bittering finish. Actually quite good.

M - Light to medium I assume it's around 5% since it's easy to drink.

Overall this is the second beer this company has wow'd me with. Maybe they are getting their sh*t together.

Photo of spinrsx
3.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle from Wegmans Dewitt, NY for $2

Appearance - Clear yellow colour with a small size fizzy white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there isn't much lacing.

Smell - Corn, breads/grains, yeast, coriander/clove

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste corn, hops, and bread/grains. There are also some grassy/herbal notes, banana, coriander/clove, and some yeast.

Overall – A decent attempt at the style but far from world class. Worth trying once I suppose.

Photo of mikeg67
3/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle from variety pack. Pours golden with a long lasting, foamy white head. Aroma is of yeast, sweet malt and ripe pears.
Body is full and slightly crisp. Taste is yeast, bready malt, earthy hops and some fruit. Finish is short and slightly bitter. I guess you get what you paid for.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.6/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light clear gold, white foam and some lacing. Aroma of Belgian yeast and flowery hops. In the taste, biscuity pale malt sweetness and a solid presence of somewhat fruity Belgian yeast. Mild bitterness with a light sweet yeasty funk. Medium bodied, smooth and well carbonated. Nice American take on a simple Belgian ale. Easy to drink a few of these in a sitting.

Photo of kojevergas
2.21/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a nonical pint glass in me gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average.

Served straight from the fridge. Poured with standard vigor.

A: Pours a beige colour head of slight cream, nice thickness, and above average retention. Body colour is a transparent translucent pale yellow. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Pale malts, light candi sugar, floral hops, and a hint of lemon citrus. Soft and fragrant, but slightly artificial. An average strength aroma. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Pale malts, sweet candi sugar, traces of a lemon ester, floral hops, and unwelcome caramel. Imbalanced. Build is generic and bland, but it's still pleasant to drink. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Comes off a bit artificial. Candi sugar is dominant to its detriment; it's far too sweet.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Generic standard fare. Decent carbonation. A bit too thick. Lightly metallic, actually.

Dr: Drinkable but boring and bland. Another generic offering from Saranac.

D

Photo of BEERchitect
2.81/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

With the typical alterations that are made by American brewers to otherwise classic Belgian recipe- the Saranac Belgian Pale ale substitutes mild caramel-tasting malt for the fussy pilsner malt for a new attitude from which the fruit and spice play out.

Bright gold in color, the appearance is straight forward and abundantly carbonated. Capped with a foamy white topping, the bubbles shows firm staying power and laces the beer as you'd expect Belgian ales to do. With the yeasty haze filtered out, the beer looks odd, yet pleasant.

Slight apricot and coriander aromas balance out upon a terse caramel and honey base. The part grain, part malt character tampers down the spices and fruit before weaving in the mild alcohols. Lightly medicinal, the nose culminates in a very lemon-scented furniture polish kinda way.

Grainy-sweet to taste, the malts thin out and allow for an odd settling of soap and stemmy hop bitterness to assault the palate hardly into the body of the taste. Lemon and orange, peel become the fruit balance to the spicy bitterness of spice tannin and harsh hops. But light overall in taste, the off balance has nothing to hide behind and leaves the flavors naked and isolated.

Light bodied, the beer's short lived malt texture leaves the beer thin instead of dry and exposes the harsher mouth sensations that reveal hop and spice astringency and unnecessary bite. Finishing grainy and thin, the bitter taste of soap lingers deep into aftertaste.

I'm all for American brewers gaining inspiration from Belgian brewing technique and not trying to replicate their methods and tastes, but the trade offs here really disrupt the balance and causes much harshness, abruptness, and lack of character on many fronts.

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Saranac Belgian Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 152 ratings.