Saranac Caramel Porter - Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Not Rated.
Saranac Caramel PorterSaranac Caramel Porter

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441 Reviews

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Reviews: 441
Hads: 751
Avg: 3.13
pDev: 22.04%
Wants: 11
Gots: 66 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 441 | Hads: 751
Photo of frank4sail
3.26/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not much nose except for a smidge of sweetness. Deep purple color with a light brown 1/2 inch sticky laced head. Sweet chewy caramel taste. The brew is quite sweet with a bitterness to the finish that helps to round the sweetness. It does not completely do the job though.. and the beer is still left on the sweet side. This is a caramel chew for you! Drink it after a meal as a treat.

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Photo of Scooter77
2.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appears a dark brown with red highlights. Pours a thick tan head, which fades away slowly, leaving a sticky lace that clings to the glass. Smell of strong caramel is overpowering with very faint malt and hops undertones. Taste is incredibly sweet. Caramel dominates all other flavors. No other notable flavors where noted besides an extremely mild hint of hops. This was an o.k. novelty beer, but I don't look forward to trying it again.

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Photo of Kwak
3.59/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I like the head on this one great tan head very thick and sweet, hangs around for a while with nice syrupy flavor.

Body was clean but dark brown with an orange tint to it.

The aroma was outstanding sweet malt and caramel.

The taste was a different story. It had nice hints of caramel but no reel flavor, was looking foreword to this one but I was let down.
Not relay that bad but the overpowering aroma and the lackluster flavor should meet some where in the middle!

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Photo of kunzbrew
3.63/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper color with a tan creamy head that stays around for a little while. The coffee malt is not over bearing with little hints of caramel. I would like to have a stronger taste of caramel, but maybe next year. Over all not to bad, and it finishes nice.

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Photo of ElGuapo
3.74/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

an agressive pour gave me a good light brown head floating atop a dark beer. the beer looks to be a dark brown until you hold it to the light and find it to have some red in it.

i smelled caramel before i even put my nose near the glass. as you take a closer smell, you get malts and some hops. i love the aroma of this beer.

taste is full of caramel, so much that a lot of the usual roastiness of the porter is toned down. this is not bad, because the roastiness kicks in a little more at the end to round it out. also, a bit of bittering hops add to the flavoring of this beer.

the body is pretty good. it is thin for a porter.

in the end, it is an interesting brew. the initial aroma is excellent, and it is a different beer to drink. it is not great, but as far as the experience of a unique beer, i liked it.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
3.67/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown with nearly no head atop, smells strongly of caramel and butterscotch. I heard that this beer was extremely sweet, and from the aroma, I continued thinking this. However, I was surprised, and pleasantly at that, that the taste was not as sugary as I expected.

A little thin for a porter, but the flavor more than makes up for it. Caramel is definitely the dominant flavor, but the English hops come through also, which is a nice surprise. Could definitely be a dessert beer, but it also could be had at any moment really. I think it would be a great breakfast beer.

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Photo of Suds
3.27/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I have friends who rave about this beer. It's different, interesting, and worth a try....but when I'm halfway through a glass, I think it's also excessively difficult to drink.
There is nothing special about the appearance. It's a dark, almost black beer with very little head. The aroma, however, is notable. It's got a serious sweet, caramel quality. Also, there's an almost oppressive buttery smell....think "overwhelmed by movie-house popcorn butter".
There are roasted and slightly burnt grains here, and the mouthfeel is full, rich, and creamy. It's got an over-the-top sweetness, however, and doesn't have the complexity of a great porter.

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Photo of aaronh
2.44/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A mahogany red beer with amber highlights that pours with a one-inch tan head. The head slowly fades to just a thin ring of foam. The aroma is pretty much all caramel, maybe a hint of hops underneath the overly strong caramel aroma that was apparent while pouring the beer. The taste has some chocolate notes, strong caramel notes, and a bit of peppery spice. Not much bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is a little on the light side, with the carbonation very noticable on the palate. This does not remind me of a typical porter stylistically, and I would not purchase this beer again.

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Photo of Bighuge
1.38/5  rDev -55.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Ruby red in color. A brown rimming is all this beer offers for a head. Huge butterscotch, caramel and toffee on the nose. Overwhelming. This beer smells cloying, if that is at all possible. This beer swishes around the mouth like that gross, viscous medicine that you really don't want to swallow. This beer is just disgusting. One of the worst beers I've had in a while. Medicine like taste. Cloying caramel flavor. Astringent bitterness. No carbonation whatsoever. No porter like qualities in sight. This is the type of beer I could see ending up in the toilet in less than an hour if I drink it all.

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Photo of Brent
2.7/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Freaky. That's what I kept thinking all the way through drinking this beer. I kept waiting for it to grow on me. It never did. I didn't really get much caramel flavor, either from the caramel malt or the real caramel used in the brewing, as noted on the bottle. What I did get was an odd, candy-ish background flavor that I just could not quite put my finger on. Cherry? Dr. Pepper? Not sure, but it did not work.

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Photo of ADR
2.11/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Clear dark brown, head is reserved and a skim after a minute. Jeez, I can smell caramel two feet away. Completely caramel flavor, overdone and heavy from beginning to end. Sweet, sweet, sweet. The English hops don't stand a chance in the bittering department. I take Porter style seriously and love some crazy experimentation -- but to me, this beer has a CARTOON of a flavor profile. Unbalanced and cloying, choking and gross, its like a swan dive into a cheap liquid candy bar, saccharine and unchanging.

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Photo of beerluvr
4.29/5  rDev +37.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a beige head over darkish red liquid. Intense caramel candy aromas in the nose. Taste is a wonderful mix of caramely burnt sugar, some light molasses and sweet malts. Finishes sweet and mellow. An offbeat but very enjoyable and drinkable brew...I wish this was a regular offering!

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Photo of Delirium
4/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice bubbles. What a great head, not to thick or thin and levels off in a nice thin sheet of fizz that comes along for the entire ride. A good looking beer.
Sweet caramel smell almost scared me away, but the overly sweet tones are quickly put in check by bitter hops in this surprisingly delightful porter.

I rate this beer only against others I have had with real caramel added... which is none.

*quench your sweet tooth*

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Photo of Thrasher
4.32/5  rDev +38%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, the reviews for this are all over the place. Consider me in the "liked it" category. Liked it quite a bit, actually. FX Matt knows their malts and this brew is no exception. Dark amber/light brown translucent brew with light tan head that fluffed, then wisped away. First taste is malts, caramel. Some butter in the aroma, and in the near finish. Piney hops are very subtle and caramel sweetness brings this one home. To me, is reminiscent of a baltic porter without the licorice and currant hints. If you like sweet stouts or caramel malts this one is right up your alley. I can understand how others thought this was too sweet and candylike, but for me the lack of bitterness was no problem.

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Photo of Andy
3.25/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep ruby brown color with a small head. Sweet winey & caramel toffee nose. Very buttery with high diacetyl level. Flavor is sweet, caramel and toffee with a deep base creaminess. Saranac's house yeast is present and the beer lacks a certain bitterness that would help balance out the sweetness

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Photo of beernut7
4.09/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This in one of the most unique beers around. If you are looking for a lighter bodied porter to have as a desert, this one is you target. The caramel aroma and flavor is quite profound and enjoyable in limited quantities.

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Photo of Murph
3.99/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours a deep amber color (a bit light for the style) with a nice off white fluffy head that holds pretty well. The smell is a delicious mix of roasted malt and caramel. The first and last taste to hit the tongue is caramel. It is almost like drinking some caramel candies. There is a nice roasted/burnt characteristic in the background of the flavor. The body is a bit thin for a porter. The moutfeel is creamy and smooth. The beer loses a few points in the drinkability because of its sweetness. This is not an everyday beer. Not something you would want to have to refresh you at all but it would fit in nicely as a dessert beer which is how I am currently enjoying it.

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Photo of QXSTER1
4.1/5  rDev +31%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Wow! Over the top caramel and toffee sweetness, but give Saranac credit for trying something different. Brewers should take chances with styles and go for broke and see what happens. I enjoyed this beer for what it was. Subtle hop finish balances a bit and I really didn't feel like the caramel was a cloying sweetness. Kudos to Saranac, try another!!

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Photo of xXTequila
1.42/5  rDev -54.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

The first thing i noticed was the smell. It smelled exactly like caramel. The taste though, was just like the butter used on movie theatre popcorn. Needless to say i didn't like this beer at all. I don't think i have ever tried a beer that just didn't taste like beer.

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Photo of pbrian
3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Three cheers to Saranac to have the balls to brew stuff like this, but it's not exactly someting you want more than one of (maybe that's why they only put them in their mixed twelve packs). I neither love it nor hate it. It just is what it is, and it's not bad at that. Got it?

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Photo of javier
2/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Didn't like this at all. I really like porters but this one just turned me off completely. Imagine a porter with no discernable bitterness and a melted rolo mixed in. The caramel flavor was too much, overpowering the brew and making it taste like a novelty beer cocktail.

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Saranac Caramel Porter from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
72 out of 100 based on 441 ratings.