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Saranac Belgian Pale Ale - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Belgian Pale AleSaranac Belgian Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

151 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 151
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 16.07%
Wants: 0
Gots: 5 | 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:
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 added by: plaid75 on 10-29-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 151 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.34/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Best before 3/31/14.

Pours a clear honey orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, spice, and Belgian yeast aromas. Taste is much the same with spice and Belgian yeast flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice 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 with a solid Belgian yeast aroma, but the taste isn't as good in my opinion.

UCLABrewN84, Mar 26, 2014
Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -10.7%

djrn2, Nov 06, 2013
Photo of acurtis
2.75/5  rDev -18.2%

acurtis, Nov 21, 2013
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.

metter98, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of BEERchitect
2.78/5  rDev -17.3%
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.

BEERchitect, Jan 03, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
2.5/5  rDev -25.6%

GRG1313, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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 pale gold body, a little less than clear, and topped with a goodly-sized layer of white froth.

Smell: Notes of Wonder Bread, cracked grains, cracked peppercorns (both black and white), barest hint of fruit, and a little coriander.

Taste: Pale malts, a bit bready, a bit grainy, along with a hint of crunchy wheat. Light golden syrup sweetness. Vague touch of citrus, with bits of ground pepper and coriander. It does have a bit of bitterness to it, though. The pepper accent and graininess hold onto the near-crisp finish. A whitewashed Belgian ale.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: Many of these Saranac beers are like getting socks for Christmas, it's not what you really wanted, but you don't get upset about it, and it's something you can at least utilize. OK, so Uncle Saranac bought me another pack of tube socks, big deal. Hold 'em up for the camera and feign a smile.

ChainGangGuy, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.33/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

WVbeergeek, Nov 28, 2013
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.

StonedTrippin, Nov 29, 2012
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.25/5  rDev -3.3%

DrunkinYogi, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of kojevergas
2.18/5  rDev -35.1%
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

kojevergas, Jan 02, 2013
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev +11.6%

oriolesfan4, Dec 03, 2012
Photo of tempest
3.78/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

tempest, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.61/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Stinkypuss, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of smakawhat
4.01/5  rDev +19.3%
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.

smakawhat, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of plaid75
3.98/5  rDev +18.5%
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.

plaid75, Oct 29, 2012
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.

tdm168, Nov 16, 2012
Photo of beerthulhu
2.68/5  rDev -20.2%
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.

beerthulhu, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of tobelerone
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%

tobelerone, Feb 17, 2014
Photo of GraduatedCashew
3/5  rDev -10.7%

GraduatedCashew, Feb 03, 2014
Photo of vfgccp
3/5  rDev -10.7%

vfgccp, Nov 01, 2012
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.

DrDemento456, Nov 02, 2012
Photo of spinrsx
3.41/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

spinrsx, Jan 13, 2014
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.

puboflyons, Feb 01, 2013
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.

Gmann, Nov 18, 2012
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Saranac Belgian Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 151 ratings.