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Saranac Caramel Porter - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Caramel PorterSaranac Caramel Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

743 Ratings

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Ratings: 743
Reviews: 452
rAvg: 3.14
pDev: 21.97%
Wants: 10
Gots: 57 | 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: 743 | Reviews: 452
Photo of silentjay
2.41/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

deep mahogany brown with a huge sand colored head that retains well and leaves average lacing.

aroma is of caramel and melted butter. maybe some light toffee, but caramel and butter are the strongest, and its not quite appetizing.

again, butter and caramel are most dominant with the saranac buttery metallic off-flavor that permeates their brews. a touch of roast hides beneath.

pretty light bodied, yet syrupy sticky with a touch of carbonation and some lingering butter flavors.

caramel isn't quite sweet enough to overcome the butter and metallic flavors to make this quaffable. luckily it was cheap, so if i don't finish it i wont be out much money.

Photo of emmasdad
1.89/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Picked this one up for my wife recently, and figured I go ahead and try it with her. Poured a deep, rich, dark brown, with a nice tan head. Unfortunately, all down hill from there. Aromas of caramel syrup, sweet cream and a little vanilla. On the palate, light bodied, sickly sweet caramel and little else. Never again.

Photo of Thorpe429
2.84/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a moderate caramel-copper color and really doesn't have any sort of head at all. It's a bit murky and there isn't any real lacing. The nose is actually quite nice with some very mild chocolate plus a good dose of toffee and caramel, leaning toward the former. The taste is a mess with the toffee really taking over and it tastes just like liquid candies. Feel is a bit too sweet and moderately cloying. Does not drink well and is just a bit too much of a novelty.

Photo of tchenery
1.98/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Deep brown color with slight reddish hue. No visible head with tiny lacing bubbles around edge of off-white.

Smells of hard, strong caramel. Nothing else gets through but the caramel. It's almost like what a caramel candle would smell like.

Not a pleasant taste to me. The caramel almost takes on a 'buttered popcorn' taste on the first sip. It's overdone in the entire sense of the word.

Dry finish, thin mouthfeel.

Not drinkable.

Photo of Haybeerman
3.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep, dark brown color; deep ruby on the edges in the light. Poured a 1 finger tan head that dissipated to an even skim. Laced in spots.

S: Definitely a caramel character; butterscotch in the background. Mild earth and grass hop character.

T: Big caramel flavor; masks about everything else. Some toast, coffee and toffee flavors. Very mild bitter.

M: Light body. Low carbonation. Smooth and silky.

D: Flavorful and smooth. Caramel is bit overbearing throwing the beer out of balance.

Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
3.25/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 2 November 2010.

Pours copper-gold out of the bottle, appearing dark amber in a nonic glass. Two-finger head, almost Guinness-like head retention, average lacing. The aroma is a little disappointing, with some roasted malts, heavy caramel character, but smells soapy with more than one finger of head. Letting the head settle down will rid of some of the soap. Same goes with the taste....something weird in the head that throws the taste off. The taste is not developed in this beer. However, I give credit that the taste is sufficient with this low, 5.4% beer. Caramel, roasted malts, but unfortunately followed by some buttery flavors, and that soapiness just won't go away. Once again, credit to a light-bodied beer with that much winter flavor and under 6% ABV.

Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.2/5  rDev +33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a clay beerstein the bber pours a nice dark golden amber color and builds a creamy beige light brown head.
It smells invitingly sweet and hints caramel and honey.
After tasting those aromas intensify to rich honey caramel and toffee, banana and a hint of coffee. great taste and combination. the mouthffeel is nice and creamy, not too much carbonation. A very rich and sweet beer, very drinkable for sweet beer lovers.
That is definetely one which I will buy again. great job.

Photo of tone77
4.42/5  rDev +40.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a very dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of sweet caramel. Taste is very good, caramel, malts, a touch of hop bitterness, lots of flavor coming through. Feels full bodied in the mouth and is highly drinkable. Overall this is a very good beer worth seeking out.

Photo of BradLikesBrew
3/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark chestnut body with a thin white head.

Aromas of caramel and a dash of cocoa.

Sweet caramel, tons of caramel, all caramel. No depth or balance here.

Thin body, not much of a finish.

A sort of fun beer, gimicky, too sweet and very shallow, but kinda cool. I won't be having another, but I could see many less demanding drinkers loving this.

Photo of bourbonbock
2.67/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a clean pint glass.

A. Average looking beer with a chestnut body and off white bubbly head. The head dissipates quickly to almost nothing.

S. Smells like a caramel coffee from starbucks.

T. Malt backbone with a caramel flavor upfront and a slightly bitter aftertaste.

M. Slightly syrupy and carbonated. Not impressive overall.

D. I will never buy this beer again. It's nothing special but I do give credit for the use of real caramel which this beer is very upfront about.

Photo of RankRefugee88
3.37/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into Sam Adams glass.

A - Appearance is a very dark color, but lighter then your typical porter. White, slightly tan head. When shone through light it looks like a reddish color.

S - Heavy butterscotch. Caramel is certainly present. Very sweet smelling, never smelt a beer quite like this before. I like it.

T - Tastes decent. Really heavy on the caramel, a little too much if you ask me. Brown sugar... just a very sweet tasting beer. Chocolate on the finish.

M - Warm mouthfeel. Chewy, dry. Light feeling for a porter. Overall good.

D - Has a decent drinkability. Its definitely smooth going down, I just don't know how many of these I would like to drink because of the overpowering caramel/butterscotch taste.

Pretty bizarre beer. Wasn't crazy about it, didn't hate it either. I would consider having it again just because of the uniqueness it serves.

Photo of soju6
2.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: A nice mahongany color with a moderate head and decent lacing.

S: Not a real caramel aroma, it seems to be more of a buterscotch sweetness. Not much else.

T: Has a sticky sweetness and some caramel flavor with a mild metalic finish and a lingering sweetness.

F: Light body, smooth and a lingering sticky sweetness.

D: Way too sweet for my taste.

Photo of charliedvrs
2.44/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a nice clear brown with some amber and gold streaks. Two fingers of tan head with good lacing. Good looking beer!

S - Very, very sweet. Candy-like with lots of butterscotch and caramel. That's about all I could get out of the nose.

T - Butterscotch overwhelms the pallate. Almost like one of those lolly pops you get at the doctor's office. Sweet and slightly toasted malts with very little discernable hop flavor. Chocolate starts to come through after a few sips.

M - Very smooth and creamy as expected, but with a buttery feel as well.

D - This just came out way too sweet for my taste. I love the caramel aspect of porters but this one was too overwhelming for me. If you like beers with a sweet candy-like flavor then this might be for you and you should definitely give it a shot.

Photo of puboflyons
2.52/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Sampled on September 2, 2010. The pour is too clea for a porter with a clear mahogany brown appearance with a thick two-inch puffy tan head. The aroma is full of cany sweet caramel, butterscotch and toffee rather than burnt chocolates typical of porters. The mouth feel is thin. The taste is just too sweet with its confectionary sugary caramel and butterscotch elements with a vague hoppy ending. Hard to drink.

Photo of sdj5
4/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle.

Appearance: Very dark brown, cannot see through

Smell: Faint smell of caramel, toffee

Taste: Slight bit of roasted malts, caramel, brown sugar, toffee

Mouthfeel: Well-carbonated but a good mouthfeel

Drinkability: Could have a few more for sure. Great tasting.

Photo of russpowell
3.25/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent chestnut tinged brown with 2+ fingers of fluffy tan head. Good lacing & average head retention

S: Some toasty malt, plums, not a lot else

T: Caramel, toasty malt & dryness, plus leafy hops up front. Roasty malt & dryness are up front as this warms, the caramel tastes a bit less fake. Finishes pretty sweet & dry kind of reminds of some iced coffees I've had over in Asia or Hawaii.. Almost pulled a 3.5, just too sweet

MF: Light/medium bodied with somewhat biting carbonation

Drinks alright I could do a few prior to moving or getting sick of the caramel. If in the right mood I could do this with some doughnuts at breakfast

Photo of VenaCarva
1.91/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

ok at first i didnt really taste the caramel, and i wasnt to sure about the smell, ...:

A: the was a nice head and a good color, nothing to special , but average,
S: a bit over whelming, and somewhat sharp.
T:well after taking a few swigs and getting my pallet nice and wet , ive decided that i taste the caramel, but not the way i though... its very faint, this was a rough one.
M:dindt dig it, nothing special..
D: i wouldnt have one after this one.

Photo of ToasterChef
3.77/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a chilly bottle into a pint glass. The beer has a dark brown color with some hints of ruby in it. There is a thick head of light brown bubbles. There is a little bit of lacing, but not much. It's too dark of a beer to see if there is any carbonation rising within. The aroma is a good mixture of roasted malts and caramel sweetness. The beer has a very strong caramel flavor, it overpowers almost everything else. It's not like a caramel malt, but more like the center of a piece of candy. It's a bit surprising, but enjoyable. The caramel hits you as soon as the beer touches your tongue and lasts until you swallow. Near the finish is a bit of toasted malt sweetness that is distinctly separate from the caramel flavor. All of the sweetness contributes to a tangible film that coats your mouth. There is a lot of carbonation that you can feel on your tongue. Having one of these beers is enjoyable; it would pair especially well with some chocolates. More than one may be a bit difficult; the high levels of sweetness and the thick mouthcoating would grow tiresome.

Photo of BatsforBeer
3.55/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Medium dark brown active stream of bubbles, half finger off white head, disappears quickly to thin film, no lacing.

S: Sweet Butterscotch, vanilla, caramel, roasted malt, touch of coco

T: Butterscotch vanilla, hazelnut, toasted malt caramel finish

M: Creamy a tad tacky and a bit watery, very nice mouth feel

D: Drinkable and fairly balanced. Not great but a solid brew.

Photo of weller1js
3.64/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: heavy dark color with red-orange undertones, limited foam with clean pour, no lasting residue on glass.

Smell: butterscotch smell is preeminent, no secondary scent present.

Taste: despite predominant butterscotch scent, it does not overwhelm in the taste; the strength of the porter is what you would expect from an American, moderately malty.

Drinkability: if you aren't deterred by the butterscotch-caramel touch they were going for, then it makes for a pleasant spin on a typical porter.

Photo of sirdrinkwell
3.26/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: pours a somewhat translucent ruby reddish brown with minimal head that fades almost immediately leaving only a hint of lacing.

s: i won't deny the overwhelming butterscotch scent when i cracked the bottle; once i poured it in a glass, i could still smell it from a couple feet away...no need to scratch my head and think hard about this one. not entirely unpleasant, but not entirely pleasant either.

t: the butterscotch is immediately evident in the taste but it is far more moderate than the smell led me to expect...bittersweet caramel toffee.

m: very smooth, carbonated but not overly acidic or dry.

d: i can see how this brew might turn some people off, but i didn't mind it...i could stand to drink a couple.


Photo of abar22
1.64/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

12 oz bottle into a DFH Signature Glass

Wow what a mess this beer was. While it looked fairly innocuous in the glass what was hiding in its depths was anything but...

Butterscotch. That's what it was hiding. Lots and lots of butterscotch. It dominated the smell and it dominated the taste. This is where diacetyl men and diacetyl women meet up to have little bastard diacetyl babies. If Saranac would change the label to Saranac Butterscotch Porter they would probably have an award winner on their hands because this sure as hell meets that description.

In a word... Terrible.

Photo of MunchkinDrinker
3.12/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Clear ruby-brown with a fizzy light cream head that dissapates quickly. No lacing.

S - Very very sweet caramel and mollasses. A little spicy, but it's kinda drowned out. Overwhelming and unpleasant.

T/M - Carbonation bites at first, and the caramel flavor is much more subdued and shows on the back (a welcome difference from the smell). It tastes like beer, not candy like the smell would indicate. Feel is clean but watery.

D - The smell gets in the way, but at least it's easily quaffable.

Photo of mjaskula
2.63/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark reddish brown with a thin tan head that disappears and leaves no lacing.

The aroma is all sweet carmel. The flavor is full of carmel, brown sugar and some sweet malt. Very smooth with little bitterness. Pretty much a one trick pony. Carbonation is fairly low with a medium body. If you like carmel this is fairly drinkable, but I wouldn't want to have more than one in a row.

Photo of drabmuh
3.06/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Beer is dark brown / black - you can see light passing through the beer but at first glance it is black, has a yellow/brownish head that falls away quickly leaving very little lacing on the glass. Smell is of caramel and alcohol. The smell is really kind of disgustingly sweet.

Sweetness / caramel / botterscotch is forefront in the flavor, some sourness in the midpalate, beer finishes nicely. There are no detectable hops in this beer. I would expect more roast from a porter, but the carmel / butterscotch is the primary and dominant flavor. Mouthfeel is fine, its a little thin but not terrible. Drinkability is average. I think you could put this away rather quickly and there is no aftertaste, nothing really impeding you from finishing, kind of an average beer.

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Saranac Caramel Porter from Matt Brewing Company
73 out of 100 based on 743 ratings.