Saranac Belgian Pale Ale - Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac Belgian Pale AleSaranac Belgian Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

152 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 152
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 16.07%
Wants: 0
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery 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
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 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 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 JoeyBeerBelly
4/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

L - clear golden color with a white head that thinned out leaving a thin sheet of lacing.

S - yeast and some spice.

T - starts out sweet and yeasty with a hint of bitterness before turning sweet on the finish.

F - light/medium body with a crisp feel.

O - a good example of the style.

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 stella77artois
3.97/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottled poured into pint glass.

A - Pours a pretty and clear amber, with a fair amount of carbonation visible. 2" head formed, which dissipated slowly, and left a good amount of lacing on the glass. Nice looking beer.

S - Mild malts and the typical Belgian Ale aromas up front - apricot, peach, slight hint of grapes. Very slight hint of hops at the end.

T - Pleasantly suprised. Quality tasting Belgian Ale. Toasted malts, apricot, peach, dark fruits and sweet tobacco up front. Perhaps even a bit of smokiness. Not in a bad way, either. Slight sweetness in aftertaste, followed by a very slight bite of hoppy bitterness.

F - Crisp and clean with a little bit of fizz. Extremely drinkable and easy on the stomach and throat. Very slight dryness, no stickiness noted.

O - This is a pretty darn good Belgian Pale Ale. I was very pleasantly suprised. Saranac makes some great beers, and some not so great ones. This is one of their stronger efforts. Great Belgian taste and aroma combined with excellent drinkability and mouthfeel. Highly recommended.

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 micromaniac129
3.85/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Matt's beers I found are hit or miss in alot of different styles but this is pretty decent.
The beer has a golden amber hue with lots of carbs but only a small ring of a head.
Aroma is nice too with nice malt aroma and spicy yeast. A good sip I get sweet and spicy malts peppercorns and yeast. A crisp bitter finish this beer is easy to drink and refreshing.

Photo of tbruchey2112
3.83/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Trying this out of the Winter 2012 Sampler. Nice bottle art for a winter beer. Kind of a dark(er) color for a "pale" ale. Real sweet pine smell. First taste is typical of a Belgian pale, cool, crisp, and refreshing. The aftertaste is what is really special on this beer. Nice, kind of sweet vanilla-ish taste. This is only the third beer I've tried out of this sampler, the Black Bear Bock and the 4059' Porter, and I have to say it is my favorite so far.

Definitely would buy this one independent of the sampler pack.

Photo of Kremlock
3.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: dark straw to low copper in colour. Head has low stability with medium-low lacing. Very clear with no particles.

S: Bready malt aromas present, malt forward with hints of fruitiness. Some spiciness when warms up a bit.

T: Bready and malt forward. Bitterness is low and no hop flavours. Slight pear taste comes in in the aftertaste with a low dryness in the finish.

M: Medium-low body with proper carbonation. Has a clean finish that leaves this dry pear flavour in the mouth.

O: I'm impressed with this beer. This brewery seems to be hit and miss and I would say this is a hit.

Photo of watermelon
3.79/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a nonic pint glass Bottle says best by march 31st 2014.

A: Poured a clear golden color with a white foamy head that retained well and left lacing down the sides of the glass.

S: Fruity smell with spicy undertones of pepper as well as some smokey notes.

T: Taste follows the nose, with a bit more citrus and hop bitterness coming through.

M: Great mouth feel nice and crisp with a bit of bitter twang.

O: This is a really good example of the style. I could drink these all day. I got this in the Saranac winter sampler and was very impressed with it.

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

12 oz. bottle from winter sampler pack. Best by March 31, 2013.

Mostly clear golden tangerine body. Nice half inch of thick, whipped, long-lasting head. Nice lacing too. Sweetish wheat malts, banana, clove, a little tropical fruit, and some spicy, peppery hops on the nose.

Toasted grains and nutty-ish malt up front. Estery, fruity flavors follow. Mild sweetness. Banana and a little tropical fruit. Yeasty clove. Dries out toward the finish in the presence of spicy, peppery hop bitterness. Moderate body, with a lively, sparkling feel. An easy drinking BPA, and a tasty one at that.

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

the previous review is spot on. this is a highly sessionable belgian pale, lacking the depth and complexity of say, ommegangs offering, but yet a beer im sure ill find myself going back to all winter. it pours really pale apple juice color, with a small but already fading white head. the nose is more like a hefe, with banana and clove from the yeast being really prominent, very light euro malt body on it too in both nose and taste. i taste the fruity yeast first, which is a little sweet, but becomes more spiced as it progresses, almost too delicate on the malt flavors, and not quite as quick a finish as id like, but theres some decent hopping back there, floral and bright. carbonation is spot on, really intense, perfect for the style, and a majorly light body, which achieves what they set out to do here, making a sessionable flavorful belgian ale. this is that, not outstanding, but darn good for what it is. maybe saranacs best belgian style beer, these usually let me down pretty hard, but not this.

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 TheMarkE
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Amber pour with a big head of foam and quite a bit of carbonation.

Smell: Fruit, yeast, malt.

Taste: Biscuit, fruits, clove, and bubblegum.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, dry, and slightly sticky.

The Verdict: Not bad. A standard take on a Belgian ale. Saranac seems to have a propensity for making standard brews that fit the bill without doing anything to make it stand out from the crowd.

Photo of TeamMathis
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Yellowish orange. Slightly cloudy. Small lace remains from minimal head.
Smell: Honey, hay, pear, and a bit of banana.
Taste: Honey, some citrus.

I don't know what to think of this. It's enjoyable, but the taste is probably the least valuable player here. All around it's ok and quite drinkable. It's quite spritzy, and that dominates the taste. The smell has more qualities to it. All in all I would certainly drink this again, but wouldn't buy this by itself.

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 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 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.

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.

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