Saranac Belgian Pale Ale - Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Not Rated.
Saranac Belgian Pale AleSaranac Belgian Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
79
okay

42 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 42
Hads: 152
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 6.4%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 42 | Hads: 152
Photo of micromaniac129
3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
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. (358 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
2.81/5  rDev -18.3%
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. (1,733 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.21/5  rDev -35.8%
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.

(1,123 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.11/5  rDev -9.6%
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. (1,049 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.75/5  rDev +9%
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. (294 characters)

Photo of MadScientist
2.66/5  rDev -22.7%
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. (571 characters)

Photo of tbruchey2112
3.83/5  rDev +11.3%
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. (520 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.6/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (789 characters)

Photo of alexgash
3.75/5  rDev +9%
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. (587 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.55/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (1,013 characters)

Photo of Gmann
3.2/5  rDev -7%
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. (925 characters)

Photo of tdm168
3.55/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (570 characters)

Photo of mikeg67
3/5  rDev -12.8%
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. (291 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4/5  rDev +16.3%
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. (321 characters)

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.12/5  rDev +19.8%
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. (372 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +16.3%
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. (601 characters)

Photo of plaid75
3.97/5  rDev +15.4%
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. (485 characters)

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Saranac Belgian Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.