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Saranac Caramel Porter - Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Not Rated.
Saranac Caramel PorterSaranac Caramel Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

441 Reviews

(Read More)
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Saranac Caramel Porter Alström Bros
Reviews: 441 | Hads: 751
Photo of dtivp
2.71/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear ruby brown with half a finger tan head that fades quickly, no lacing.

Aroma of sweet caramel and chocolate.

Taste was extremely sweet, dominated by the caramel, I couldn't taste anything else.

Mouth Feel was light body, very light carbonation and Sweet that as it came to room temperature, it got sweeter.

Overall you could say this is a desert beer, however, it is way to sweet for my taste.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.35/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark black, vicious in color with a half inch of mocha colored head. Decent.

S - Wow like liquid caramel chocolates. I get strong sweet sticky caramel and mild milk chocolate.

T - Good at first the sweetness really doesn't get to me and it drinks like a sweet porter but about half the glass my tongue can't take it and I couldn't even consider having a second. Like drinking pure flavor extract in water.

M - Was pretty light to medium body but flavors get cloying

Overall at first I was considering getting a case but I can't believe how cloying the beer gets. Would be nice to have a six pack though as a nightcap.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

it sounds so tempting but the execution of this brew is off a little to me. pours dark and enticing, but smells like an artificial caramel than the real butter and burnt sugar authentic article. taste is the same, like a nice porter meets a sugardaddy. lousy caramel on a stick... the texture of the porter is really smooth and the mouthfeel of this beer is quite good. overall it is a nice winter beer from time to time, defnitely too weird to be sessionable. i would love to try a different caramel porter, but this is the only one i have ever seen, so bonus points for originality.

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

A- dark ruby brown with a 1 finger head of light tan.

S- super caramel aroma with alot of sugar to it. smells way too sweet.

T- Caramel and malts with a tinge of alcohol.

M- mid body and smooth with a little bite on the finish.

O- Its an ok beer but it kinda grows on ya if you give it a chance.

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Photo of wac9
3.36/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

what can i say this beer taste great there something in this beer that i havent tasted before i think i got a buy a case , looks like a regular dark beer nothing new there the smell is up lifting a good smell but its the taste its great thank you old man who leaves beer out for his mailman

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into goblet.
Dark brown color, with thin off-white head.
Caramel, sweet, malty aroma. A bit over carbonated for my liking. Sweet, caramel, malt flavor...seems somewhat lacking, but not undrinkable. Not my go to porter, but somewhat unique...I guess...meh.

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Photo of engagechad
3.79/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this beer on sale at kroger so it may or may not have been sitting around for a while.

A - Brown. Looks like a brown ale really
S - Smells awesome, caramel and bitter
T - Initial hit is caramel, then it just lingers like a brown
M - Not much going on
D - I thought it was quite drinkable, but I really like dark beers

Rereviewed - fresh i think.

Looks great, pale porter traditional. decent head and lacing.
Smells sooo good.. great caramel on the nose.
Taste is fresher this time, nice body. light drinkable porter.
Feels smooth and overall this was a much better beer fresh.

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Photo of bubseymour
2.28/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance- Brownish purple and very dark with a 3 finger nice head.

Smell - Extreme caramel smell like candy and nothing else. Has no resemblence to a beer smell.

Taste - yuk..followed by crisp bitterness

Mouthfeel - Actually very full bodied and creamy.

Overall - Very poor beer. Weird tasting and not pleasant.

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Photo of beachfirebrews
2.46/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

After having Saranac's Vanilla Porter, I was pretty excited to try their Caramel Porter. Comparing it to the vanilla porter, I was pretty disappointed. The caramel flavor seemed very fake, almost like the taste you get when caramel syrup is added to coffee. The caramel flavor also out-powered the maltyness of the porter. Also, the smell was overpoweringly sweet and not very enjoyable.

Overall, unimpressed. Guess I'll just have to look forward to my Vanilla Porter in the 12 Beers of Winter!

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Photo of rdub
2.5/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Part of the 12 beers a fallin. Best by January 2012. Poured into my Duvel tulip. Dark brown color with minimal head and not much activity. Sweet caramel syrup smell. Sweet caramel syrup taste. Way too sweet. Wow is this sweet. Quick to shotgun due to the relatively low ABV, low carbonation and light body. Super sweet. Maybe I need to pair the last one with dark chocolate.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.65/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a New Belgium globe glass. Color is a deep rich mahogany, too light for a usual porter, yet too dark for a brown ale. The head is a fluffy pillow of cream that dissipates to a wisp of bubbles across the top. Sticky, random lacing. The aroma of sweet caramel dominates. The taste is very simple and straightforward: roasted malts and tons of sticky sweet caramel. I'm not detecting any sort of burnt malt porter taste anywhere though. The mouthfeel is just about right for a porter. Overall, this beer is one of those overly sweet dessert beers that goes down way too smooth because of said sweetness. If the ABV was higher, you could really get in trouble here, but it's okay at 5.4%. I probably should have bought a single bottle of this instead of a six pack, because the cloying sweetness is just too much to session with. I also didn't feel like I drank a porter, at all. I'll call Saranac immediately and ask them to re-name it as Saranac Caramel Brown Ale!

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

Appearance is dark brown, nice in the light. the smell is good and there is a hint of caramel, which is good. The feel on the mouth is good as porters go, finishes good. Taste, what a combination with this porter to have a caramel finish. Hay give me an apple with this beer. Overall this is a nice smooth porter that is good anytime when finishing the night. We have an idea, mix this half and half with a good apple lambic. Wow, you will not be disappointed.

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Photo of TheMultiYeast
3.03/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours very dark brown with a bit of white head.

Smells very sweet like buttery caramel corn. Tons of caramel and sugar.

Taste is way to sweet. Caramel overload with this beer. Very buttery and artificial tasting.

Mouthfeel is slightly thick and syrupy.

Wouldn't try this one again.

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Photo of CraftBeerTastic
3.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Ba Review #75
Served On: 10/10/2011
Glassware: Pint Glass
Labeled ABV: 5.4%
Date/ Code: Jan 2012

This was in the 2011 Saranac 12 Beers A- Falling mixed 12 pack.

Look: Ruby reddish color. Semi clear beer with little carbonation. Tan head that died down to a small ring around the glass.

Smell: Immediately I got a sourer apple aroma with some faint caramel and toffee. Smells extremely bitter - borderline artificial.

Taste: The taste was way better than the nose. Mouth feel was rather thin for a porter. First on the palate was a sweet caramel with a semisweet chocolate bitterness. The middle was a pleasant roasted malt with caramel lingering in the background. Finish was slightly bitter with the roasted quality retuning for a while.

Overall this was a solid brew with some interesting complexity. Initially I was a little concerned with the odd aroma - It almost reminded me of another gimmicky flavored beer. After sipping on it for a while, the palate became better and better. I still think there may be some artificial flavoring used in this one.

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Photo of tdm168
3.56/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown with 1/4" of dense, foamy, off white head. Great retention. The smell is like caramel candy. The taste is also similar to caramel candy with faint roasted malts and hops for balance. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, lightly carbonated, and very smooth.

Overall, this is a decent beer. It's different at least. The nose and taste are a little too sweet and candy-like. It's just a little too one dimensional.

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Photo of projectflam86
2.16/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle.

A- Pours a deep brown color with hints of red. A thick off-white foam head leaves good lacing. Surprised its not a touch darker.

S- This has to be the most buttery beer aroma I've ever smelled. Buttered popcorn and caramel.

T- No roast to speak of. More of an English style brown ale with loads of diacetyl. Not a totally unpleasant flavor but nothing that resembles a porter. Very sweet caramel malt flavor that reminds me of a homebrew that is underattenuated.

M- Medium bodied with ok carbonation.

O- This one wasn't for me.

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
3.73/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle from Twelve Beers a Falling 2011 collection.

Pours deep brown with ruddy highlights.Creamy but very shortlived head.Slight lacing of glass. Smells only slightly of caramel. Taste slightly of burnt caramel, malt, touch of hops. Slight lingering aftertaste. I've had worse.

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Photo of SickGnar
2.76/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Medium dark brown. Clear, but too dark to really see through. Fair sized, bur short lived, light tan / golden head. Just a few specs of lace.

S: Huge, very cloying Caramel type smell. Would smell pretty good coming from a desert or iced coffee drink - But this purports to be a beer. Smells almost exactly like those yellow butterscotch hard candies and some caramel chews. And really nothing else. Odd for a beer and one-dimensional, but not completely hideous.

T: Caramel and butterscotch remain very strong, but not quite as obnoxious. Still fake and cloying, but smoothed out a bit by some genuine malt sweetness. However, the sweetness feels a bit overdone itself. Once all the candy flavor and sweetness recedes, some normal beer notes emerge. Some toasty grain and roasted malt, hints of chocolate, and some ghostly faint herbal hops. Too little, too late. An stringent note also emerges that detracts. Thin overall, rather than the robustness that might make this work.

M: A bit over medium body with carbonation a touch under-matched. Finely textured bubbles and soft overall. Despite sweetness there is minimal sugary tack or dextrins. Slight drying effect from astringent note.

D: Looks alright and has an okay mouthfeel. The nose is just not right and the flavor is disjointed, unbalanced, as well as cloy and weak at the same time. Too much candy and not enough beer. Not terrible, but cheaply desert-like.

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Photo of carolinahophead
4.12/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first taste of this fall brew offering :
A: No head but does have a nice deep brown color
S: Caramel aroma with good roasted malt And do like the candy coming through
T: It's almost like a caramel candy in a liquid form . Do like the malt and the hop finish
M: A medium mouthfeel with good finish. Like the bitterness with the sweet
O: This beer is very acceptable but not outstanding. Fun to drink and could pair with food.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Dark black, one finger tan head.

S-Caramel, some roasted malt.

T-Very sweet caramel with some not much at all though roasted malt. Not much bitterness.

M-Medium bodied, not much carbonation.

O-A sweet beer, however there are much better porters out there. I had it last year but didn't review as apart of their Fall Sample Pack and this beer just isn't up to snuff.

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Photo of SisuPride
3.56/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

This beer looked a lot like a cola when poured - to complete the look all I needed was ice. Very small to nonexistent head. It smelled a little like Killians red to me for some reason which I liked. The mouth feel was dryer than expected with too much carbonation. Overall an OK beer - was hoping the caramel would be a little stronger.

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Photo of Brenden
3.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Caramel is in the color, a light to medium brown with an orange tint running through. A soft tan head doesn't quite make it to one finger tall, but struggles valiantly and doesn't fade too terrible quickly. A bit of thinnish lacing is dropped around.
Caramel is certainly in the nose, sweet but not cloyingly so, with a barley presence also notable. There's a touch of butterscotch; whether diacetyl or carryover from the caramel flavor, I'm unsure. It's generally a little weak and shallow.
A little more comes through in the flavor. This beer does indeed showcase caramel and barley-like grains remain in the foreground, but a bit of chocolate and a touch of coffee is in here, even offering a little nuttiness toward the end.
Mouthfeel is a little thin for a porter, and while carbonation isn't obscene it seems a little high for this beer. One good thing is that there is a very nice smoothness that rolls on the tongue all the way into a mildly lingering finish.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
2.5/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I've had plenty of Saranac stuff before, oddly enough I've never reviewed any. Kind of disappointed to start out reviewing with this one though, since some of the Saranac label beer is decent. Their mixed packs are a great value when you're looking for a varied selection.

Pours a dark brown color, reddish hues shine through when held up to the light, a small head comes forms but fades away in a blink of an eye, no lacing.

Smell has this really odd aroma that's hard to place but I'll try, burnt raisins with sugar added to cover it up, that's what I'm getting, hints of tootsie rolls.

Taste is not robust as they say but it is flavorful in an interesting way, very artificially candy like with it's caramel presence, the roasted malt presence that you'd expect is lacking, the body is fairly thin and fades from the mouth quickly, carbonation is spot on though and lends a nice softness and a bit of slickness, sadly it's wasted on this "Caramel Porter" which seems more like an oddly flavored brown ale.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i have been assembling full lineups from breweries and randomly doin these horizontal tasings with my family. The saranac one from a couple weeks ago was more then epic as it took months to gather all of these, but it was a hell of a fun night!

Poured a dark brown with a small tan head which faded leaving behind a nice thin film of lace on the top and long sticky strands down the glass. Smell was a tad light, but came through more as it warmed. Roasted malts, caramel, perhaps a touch of coffee were present. Maybe even a hazelnut as it warmed. Taste was great. First off the feel was silky smooth, almost shake like with perfect carbonation that just floated in your mouth. Smooth feel gave way to a full taste, lots of roasted malts and caramel, slight burnt coffee in the back and a dry hop like finish.

overall not bad at all, it had all the parts and just needed a bot more to throw it over the edge to excellence

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

For a porter, the nose here is pretty week. It does seem pretty sweet and buttery for style, however. Given the name, I'm not surprised.

The taste...well...who threw the Werther's Original in a beer?? This isn't the caramel taste you find in some pale ales or doppelbocks...this is a sweeter, creamier version that seems like candy. By far, this is the dominant taste in this beer. Mouthfeel is rather thin for style. Only at the very end do I get any glimpse of roasted malts and they're fleeting at best. Small bitterness at the end. Again though, this is a pretty sweet, candy-ish beer.

Well, it's different. Make that very different. It's not offensive but I don't think it's really what anybody thinks of when they think of a porter. Seems like a bit of a novelty to me.

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