Saranac Caramel Porter - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Caramel PorterSaranac Caramel Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
73
okay

748 Ratings
THE BROS
64
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 748
Reviews: 453
rAvg: 3.14
pDev: 21.97%
Wants: 11
Gots: 62 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-05-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 748 | Reviews: 453
Photo of Dirtydee5
2.65/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

It's ok nothing special, not bad

Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
2.35/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Fairly dark brown, although a bit lighter than a typical porter. There's a finger of golden-brown head that hangs around for a few minutes.

S: Reminiscent of a typical brown ale, with lots of toasted malt, and a little bit of hops. There's also a hint of cola, which surprised me.

T: Not good! I'd thought this would be at least decent based on the look and a smell, but this tastes really bad. Sure, there's the Bready malt I expected, but there's also a cloying sweetness and a chemical taste that's really off-putting (artificial caramel flavor?) and ruins the whole experience.

M: I didn't even notice -- the taste has my full attention.

O: A drain pour, after 2 sips (I don't know why I didn't stop at one).

Photo of Mrbseward
3.7/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured a dark brown with a cream colored head. Has the typical warm smell of a porter with notes of caramel. Taste is good, not strong like some porters and goes down easy. Overall very good beer.

Photo of Sonofalime
3.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Smells of rich caramel. Would probably taste better warmed up to about room temp. Nothing worthy to seek out though.

Photo of Ryan4120
3.89/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Has a nice caramel taste but overall just an ok porter

Photo of Antc2382
3.43/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

It's actually pretty well balanced. I don't get a ton of caramel in it. To be honest, it's too carbonated in the mouthfeel for the style. It has a rich taste, but the problem is the mouthfeel is not smooth enough. Decent beer though, it's drinkable

Photo of andrewswiden
3.94/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great flavor. Candy apple hint. Porter finish.

Photo of matty
3.61/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall pretty good and flavorful.

Photo of pjkelley82
3.1/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nothing horrible and there are a lot worse examples of beer than this one. One member said it should be a brown ale, couldn't agree more. It's okay, not something the craft aficionados would go Gaga over but something to bring to a party and others will enjoy.

Photo of shanegatter
2.64/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

It looks like a flat cola, and smells and tastes like it has gone bad

Photo of Beejay
2.59/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a rich brown, in the glass it is near black with a deep tan colored head.

S: Caramel.. sure is a lot of it. Smells a little on the fake side.

T: Meh. Could be a decent porter, but tastes like a bunch of sugar substitute caramel flavor was added.

M: Medium light in body, but with a syrup like feel. Carbonation is medium , and there is a certain amount of cling to the body.

O: I could see this appeasing the masses, but for me it misses the mark. Seems artificially sweet, and cloying. I simply don't think I can finish this.

Photo of vfgccp
2.01/5  rDev -36%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Abbreviated review: Simply isn't a porter. Should probably be called a brown ale, but still wouldn't be a great beer, just more aptly named.

Photo of Buzogine
3.5/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

To be honest I like it

Photo of A_Frayed_Knot
2.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

My first Saranac in a long time, there's been too many others to enjoy! From the bottle poured a cola-color with very light lace skimming the surface. The caramel has nowhere to hide, I might have confused myself with procuring candy for Halloween not porter as a mix sixer for New Year's. Complements the malt but risks overwhelming it too. Not really in disagreement with my palate but not likely a repeat purchase. Will be interesting to compare to another in the mix-six I selected purely by accident, Shiner's "Birthday Beer" a chocolate stout. Luckily accident though since I'll be spending 12/31/14 at a party hosted by a New Year's baby, hope his sweet tooth is in gear for that as mine was for the Saranac.

Photo of kmeinel
4/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice flavor, but prefer a heartier porter.

Photo of RHB33
4.08/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I don't care about your error message. I like this beer, doesn't matter to me that others rated it lower. :-P

Photo of Gajo74
3.74/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brown color with a nice thick head that showed good retention throughout; a nice frothy lace. Aroma was malty sweet and heavy on caramel and sugars. A very sweet taste that is balanced by a slight dry finish. Not much hops but just enough to counterbalance the sweetness. Decent feel; perhaps not as robust as other porters. In fact, this one was kind of light for the style. Light carbonation that does however sting the tongue a bit.
In an effort not to be influenced by other BA reviews, I either take notes or make a mental rating before posting here. Thus far, I find that my ratings are consistent with the general consensus. However, in this case I'm surprised by the negative rating and reviews for this one and find that it is one of the few cases that I massively overrated a brew as compared to the average. I'm really not sure what so many people are turned off by here. I could maybe understand how the sweetness is a turn off but not on such a massive scale. Granted this is not the best porter I have had by a long shot, however, I find it to be a pleasant brew that I would have no problem drinking again.

Photo of BigBry
3.25/5  rDev +3.5%

Standard pint at Buffalo's Tap House.
Pours a brownish copper color, thin floating cap of foam, no lace or retention.
The smell is unexpectedly nice, mild chocolate and lots of caramel cream sweetness.
The taste had lots of caramel and toffee, sweet and a touch cloying, but not over the top.
Creamy and smooth, nice malty porter base. Medium body and mouth feel.
I liked it, but one was probably enough.

Photo of LandonClark
1/5  rDev -68.2%

Awful.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours an opaque yet clear very dark brownish amber (almost black) in color with moderate amount of active visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and hints of garnet red highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy beige head that reduces to a large patch of mottled thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of caramel candies and toffee with a light aroma of roasted malts. Maybe the lightest hint of butterscotch.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of caramel malts with a light hint of roasted malts way underneath (int he background). That is followed by moderate flavors of caramel candies, toffee, and butterscotch. Light amounts of sweetness which lingers but is not cloying. No perceptible hop flavors.

M: Light bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin/watery.

O: Too sweet and too thin to be a beer that I would want to have more than one of in a single session. Not bad but not one I will be picking up again anytime soon.

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.73/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

I seem to like this beer a lot more than other people. The appearance is a nice dark hazel or brown with a nice head. The smell is sweet with a lot of the caramel as well as toasted scents from the malt. The taste is delicious with a full beginning with the toasted malt flavor and then ends on the sweet caramel. The only problem I had was it is a little thin for a porter. I might have nostalgia glasses on, but I still love this beer.

Photo of Foyle
2.52/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours a fluffy 2” off white head recedes slowly leaving faint lacing. Color is deep ruby red but mostly opaque, moderate carbonation bubbles visible.
Aroma: if you like caramel you should love the smell of this beer. Aroma is exactly like Brach’s caramel cubes with some toasted barley malt and earthy hop in the background.
Mouthfeel: Fairly light and watery, especially for the style. Finish is dry.
Flavor: caramel dominates along with licorice, toasted bread, mild hop presence
Overall: This is a good beer. Not outstanding but nothing here really excites me. Most memorable aspect is the caramel which I have never found more intense in any other beer. I love caramel, but in this beer it could use a little balance.

Photo of kbuldier
4.62/5  rDev +47.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Loved this beer! It has an amazing taste, look and feel to it. The malty caramel combo was perfect, especially during the winter. Plus the buzz I got from it was pretty nice. Definitely would have this again. It isn't available all year around so I plan on stocking up once it comes back.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

On tap at Marshall Street Bar and Grill. Have heard bad things about this one, but it was on special for 2.50 a pint, so figured it was now or never.

Pours a dark brown, almost black. No real head to speak of. No lacing, either.

Tastes palatable for about 3-4 oz, then gets weird and bad. Tastes like some sort of caramel extract you'd put into coffee. Overly sugary and cloying, making it a chore to get this one down.

The mouthfeel was boring. The body was thin, with low carbonation.

Not suggested unless you can get it for super cheap.

Photo of undeadozzy
3.51/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured vigorously into a pint glass, huge head retention. Deep brown color with solid white head. So far, so good.

S - Caramel. I could smell the caramel the second I opened this bottle, it's overwhelming. I can pick up on some saltine cracker and toffee, but the caramel is too dominant.

T - First I get some maltiness, a twang of some hop bitterness, and then a wall of gooey sweetness. It's overly sweet, by no means bad tasting. Tastes like a caramel-flavored baked good, like a cake. Very heavy and whole. Huge tones of pound cake and some maybe a hint of honey or molasses, but the big thing here is the caramel, and there's almost too much of it.

M - The thickness in the flavor adds a certain heaviness to the actual feel of the beer, a little too syrupy and thick for my tastes, but at least it's not watery.

O - All in all, not a bad beer, just proves too much is bad. Definitely a dessert or after-dinner drink, way too much for session drinking. I imagine it would be enjoyable on a cold fall evening with a piece of warm pie or some cobbler. Good dessert beer, bad session beer, but overall a good porter, albeit a little too sweet.

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Saranac Caramel Porter from Matt Brewing Company
73 out of 100 based on 748 ratings.