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Saranac Caramel Porter - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Caramel PorterSaranac Caramel Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
72
okay

668 Ratings
THE BROS
63
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 668
Reviews: 433
rAvg: 3.12
pDev: 22.76%
Wants: 6
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-05-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 668 | Reviews: 433 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HappyHourHero
HappyHourHero

Indiana

2.7/5  rDev -13.5%

Poured a nice tan head that left a decent amount of thin lace. It smells like caramel popcorn. Very dark brown in color, just a little light makes it's way in through the bottom of the glass. Liquid caramel corn flavor fades is cut half way through by a bit of hop bitterness, but it's still there. If you like caramel corn you'll love this beer. It tastes really fake, and it's incredibly sweet.

11-15-2003 06:05:05 | More by HappyHourHero
Photo of Beastdog75
Beastdog75

New Jersey

3.33/5  rDev +6.7%

(Saranac "12 Beers" sampler, 2002 edition)

If I wanted to make this a very short review, I would just say: good if you like caramel, bad if you don't. As trite as that sounds, it is true. The label says to "look for hints of caramel" in this one. Understatement of the year. Period.

This beer pours a medium-dark amber color with some reddish hints to it. A one finger light tan head forms and lasts for around 30 seconds. The smell is of buttery caramel, with some actual hop aroma present too. The mouthfeel is thin with some light carbonation. As mentioned, the caramel dominates here. It has somewhat of a butterscotch quality to it as well. There is a surprisingly decent amount of hop bitterness in the finish. The aftertaste has some continuing caramel and some dryness, and finishes off with very little alcoholic warmth.

This seems like a novelty beer to me. I happen to like caramel, hence the decent score I gave it, but it isn't hard to imagine strongly disliking this beer. This probably would go well with a desert, maybe even ice cream. All in all, this is probably one of the sweetest beers I've ever had.

11-07-2003 06:09:48 | More by Beastdog75
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

3.33/5  rDev +6.7%

Marks all over the board on this one. It pours a brown / burgandy color with a reasonable off-white head. Some lacing developed on the glass during the drink. The aroma blows your doors off - strong sweet caramel with some light roasted coffee tones. The flavor is as loud as the aroma, but less enjoyable as it sports a very sweet mouthfeel with tons of caramel flavor. This is definitely one of the more flavorful Saranac beers I have sampled. Drinkability is way down below average as every time a took swallow, my sense of smell and taste were overpowered by caramel. The first quarter glass was interesting, the remainder seemed to get old quickly. This would be great in a 4 oz bottle.

11-07-2003 01:20:53 | More by Gavage
Photo of BigSipper
BigSipper

Pennsylvania

2.1/5  rDev -32.7%

The package of Saranac Caramel Porter I picked up read "limited edition". I wonder if the brewer realized after the fact that he had made a grave mistake and has solemnly promised not to make another batch.

The beer pours beautiful dark brown with a hint of redness, and produces a nice head. The smell is very sweet with hints of a chemical solvent. The flavor is excessively sweet with some maltiness and a touch of unpleasant astringency. Neither hop bitterness nor alcohol content is sufficient to counter the unappropriate sweetness which lingers as a sticky aftertaste.

Next time, less "caramel" and more "porter", please.

11-02-2003 23:30:48 | More by BigSipper
Photo of UnionMade
UnionMade

New York

2.95/5  rDev -5.4%

The beer pours a transparent coffee brown, topped with a thin, broken beige mist of head. The head pretty much disappears about halfway through, maintaining a couple thin islands of mist clinging weakly to the side of the glass.
The aroma is dominated by a sweet, sugary caramel. Moderate butterscotch diacetyl, with a vague, distant herbal hopping, and a touch of toasted malt. A light suggestion of fig or date esteriness.
The flavor starts with a bit of roasted malt up front, quickly consumed by a sweet, cloying caramel sweetness. Some butterscotchy diacetyl in the middle, riding through into the finish. Some light estery date flavor in the middle, barely penetrating the caramel. No apparent hops in the finish, with little to no bitterness or balance. The flavor is a bit thin in the middle, riding on some diacetyl flavor, with the caramel kicking back in in the finish. An overly sweet caramel/butterscotch aftertaste. Medium bodied, with smooth, small bubbled carbonation.
Not terrible, or even bad, just kind of dumbed down, with little complexity. The caramel sweetness got overbearing about halfway through. Some more robust, bittersweet maltiness would have helped, or perhaps something in the way of hops, to even the brew out somewhat.

10-21-2003 06:07:39 | More by UnionMade
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

1.78/5  rDev -42.9%

Didn't know what to expect out of this one, the beers from this Saranac sampler pack being so up and down in my esteem. But if you're doing a porter, do it right, that's all I ask. Seems like they went into the project with a bad understanding of what a porter actually is, and screwed it up every which way from then on in.
Clear, reddish brown color, brief, nothing of a head.
Aroma: OOF! POW! BAM! Butterscotch all up in y'all! Nothing but butterscotch, and far away from caramel. Hints of vanilla, and over- carbonated.
Taste: sickly sweet to the point of offensiveness, candyish, cloying, coca-cola-like.
Extra-ordinarily thin body, no texture, no finish.
I give up, it's just bad, and lacks just about everything a good beer should have.
No sir, I do not like it.
I am so very itching to get my hands around a good porter after this!
(And were do they get the cojones to call it "robust"? )

06-25-2003 21:38:54 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of garymuchow
garymuchow

Minnesota

3.28/5  rDev +5.1%

Malty aroma of slight roast, a little sweet, like brown sugar. Eventually the caramel presents itself and dominates. Head is small, then leaves quickly. Dark brown with reddish hues and clear. Caramel is pretty strong in flavor, espeically middle to end. Maybe a little too strong with not quite enough blending for my taste. Mild hop bitterness. Average mouthfeel, but appropriate for style. ' Appreciate the attempt for something different, but this is just not a great combination for my tastes.

06-02-2003 20:03:35 | More by garymuchow
Photo of RBorsato
RBorsato

Virginia

3.1/5  rDev -0.6%

Dark brown (auburn/ruby red to light) with a nice light brown head that leaves nice lace. Big "real" true Kraft caramel aroma; candy-like. Sweet caramel flavor like candy -- A bit too sweet (I could only drink one). Medium-full bodied (leans Medium) and smooth.

Label states: "Robust Porter" & "Dark Caramel malt" & "Fuggles and East Kent Goldings hops" & "HInts of real caramel used in brewing"

05-13-2003 12:21:16 | More by RBorsato
Photo of Scoats
Scoats

Pennsylvania

3.13/5  rDev +0.3%

The first thing you notice from this beer is the smell of caramel. There definitely is a very strong caramal taste which brought back childhood memories of those Kraft Caramel squares.

Drinkabilitywise, this beer seems more gimmicky than good. It took me the whole bottle (drank from a glass of course) to decide if I liked it or not. At the end of 12 ounces, I decided "not really". What starts off as a semi-interesting curiosity becomes a bit tedious. One bottle is enough for me for this lifetime.

04-08-2003 05:21:41 | More by Scoats
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev +13.1%

Pours a clear, very deep mahogany body with crimson highlights. The creamy, light-tan head holds well; and it even leaves some spotty lace. But it's not the appearance that gets your attention so much as the sweet caramel and cake-icing nose! It really smells like a dollop of rich vanilla/butter/sugar icing! It's clearly from an extract; and it's a bit odd, perhaps, but not off-putting. The body is medium; and it's smooth and creamy in the mouth due to a very fine and moderate carbonation - anything else would work against the sweet maltiness that's present in the flavor. The caramel that's promised is certainly delivered, although I wonder where the porter side of things went? There are some toasty notes, and a mild chocolate character; but its more of a sweet, winter dessert beer than anything else. Hop bitterness is present but minimal, and it finishes with a lingering maltiness. Quite unusual and interesting, but very one-sided. Still, I can certainly imagine lingering over one following a large Thanksgiving dinner.

03-31-2003 18:57:44 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.35/5  rDev +7.4%

Got this in the holiday variety 12-pack,thought it would be alot better than it was.Poured a dark/amber color with with a medium tan colored head.True to the name caramel was the dominant smell I got almost overpowering,the taste like the smell was very caramelly with a little chocolate/earthy tone but I would have liked more balance there.A good try but not one of the best porters I have had.

03-24-2003 06:51:38 | More by oberon
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
GreatPondBrewer

California

3.95/5  rDev +26.6%

I definitely liked this beer and I am not one who is big into exceptionaly sweet beers. It poured very dark, but had some red showing through at various points. The head was rather light and about 2 fingers thick that receded into a kind of slick on top of the beer with some lace around the edges. There was a very obvious caramel smell with hints of a sweet malted taste. It tasted much like it smelled with caramel being the overbearing taste, but it also had some sweet notes of chocolate and mocha. My only complaint(and this is true of most saranacs) is the odd carbonated mouthfeel I seem to experience. Perhaps it is personal taste, but regardless, this is an interesting brew to try.

02-17-2003 22:47:44 | More by GreatPondBrewer
Photo of nomad
nomad

Kansas

3.53/5  rDev +13.1%

A supposedly “limited edition” beer (whatever that means) that is very dark brown color, with a frothy but fastly dissipating head and negligible lace. Extremely pungent dark caramel nose with highly saccharine scent and tiny spice tint. Taste-wise a roasted nut at core, softly bitter on roof of mouth at first, residing in glands over time. A perfect balance of hops (Fuggles and E. Kent Goldings) and malt (Dark Caramel), so that the roasted malt entices your nose and the hops salivate your tongue without drying it out or destroy the flavor.

Still mainly a nutty, dark porter in its old English roots, but thinner in taste and density than expected yet easy to drink a bunch in a row. Not the greatest in all categories, but I had a great night drinking a bunch of these while I played pond hockey in the middle of the night. The thinness was (for once) an asset in its refreshing-ness, as well as the sugar sweet made me feel all nice in between periods. But not one I'd drink when I want to relax and enjoy "a good pint."

02-17-2003 18:04:12 | More by nomad
Photo of DarthMalt
DarthMalt

Virginia

3.55/5  rDev +13.8%

I'll be damned if they didn't pour maple syrup or something in the bottles right before capping this one.

Sweet! Or, shoud I say, sweeeeeeeeeeEEEEET. Not a cloying sweetness, just dextrinous as all getout! Saranac doesn't purport itself to be a Reiney-heiney-stag-ee-bot brewery...so suspicions rise. But, if you take their bottle blurb to heart about "caramel malt" then you can dismiss the later blurb about, "look for hints of real caramel used in brewing this delicious brew."

So, did they use little Hershey caramels or not? My vote is: YEA.

Still a pretty slick beer--not to mention that "hangover-free" Saranac yeast (always a winner).

Truth told, it's got more balls than your average Saranac.

02-12-2003 20:30:54 | More by DarthMalt
Photo of RonfromJersey
RonfromJersey

New Jersey

3.3/5  rDev +5.8%

From the 12 Beers of Christmas pack

Brown body with red highlights, topped by a three-finger foamy beige head. Good lacing. Aroma: they did not lie. Hugh amounts of caramel, with a bit of toffee, and way in the back, a smidgen of coffee. However, all that caramel became strangely muted when first tasted. Some roasted malts at the beginning, joined by a light comforting blanket of hops, and at the end, a hefty dose of caramel, which carries thru the aftertaste. Creamy smooth mouthfeel. Drinkability? I might not want to throw back a sixer all at once, but I would drink this again. Fine for dessert or late night.

02-06-2003 20:47:20 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of CharlesRiver
CharlesRiver

Connecticut

2.7/5  rDev -13.5%

The smell is sweet, caramel and more sweetness. Pours very dark brown with a nice 1/4 inch head. The taste is overwelmingly sweet. The beginning is malt and roasted malt but the middle and ending are completely caramel. Maybe better as a desert beer? One that I don't think I will go back for. They call this a robut porter but I don't taste that.

01-23-2003 17:19:08 | More by CharlesRiver
Photo of jtw5877
jtw5877

Ohio

3.7/5  rDev +18.6%

Pours a decent brown color with a white head, Caramel smells and flavors. A lighter bodied porter, but a decent one none the less. Nice taste with hint of caramel. Purchased in a 12 Beer sampler, a decent collection. I'd recommend it as a cheap way to sample entry level versions of 12 styles of beers.

12-22-2002 16:37:14 | More by jtw5877
Photo of shirfan
shirfan

New York

3.68/5  rDev +17.9%

Dark garnet-brown but clear, decent tan head.

Smell is of caramel and roasted malt, a bit rough though.

Well balanced taste...starts sweet and malty, strong caramel tones throughout, ends with just enough bitterness.

One of the better offerings in the christmas pack.

12-18-2002 18:17:54 | More by shirfan
Photo of BeerBuilder
BeerBuilder

Minnesota

3.15/5  rDev +1%

Ruby color, with a light brown head that lasts. The aroma is of caramel, with a roast aroma as well. The caramel is evident in the flavor, along with a sweetness, and slight roasty flavor. The level of bitterness is pretty high as well. It goes into a dry bitter finish. It is a medium bodied brew, which is overall a tasty treat.

12-17-2002 06:13:17 | More by BeerBuilder
Photo of frank4sail
frank4sail

New Jersey

3.3/5  rDev +5.8%

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.

12-12-2002 12:28:39 | More by frank4sail
Photo of Scooter77
Scooter77

Ohio

2.65/5  rDev -15.1%

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.

12-11-2002 05:33:14 | More by Scooter77
Photo of Kwak
Kwak

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev +12.2%

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!

12-07-2002 00:37:44 | More by Kwak
Photo of kunzbrew
kunzbrew

Massachusetts

3.63/5  rDev +16.3%

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.

12-06-2002 13:24:30 | More by kunzbrew
Photo of ElGuapo
ElGuapo

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev +18.6%

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.

12-04-2002 09:08:13 | More by ElGuapo
Photo of IrishRedRock
IrishRedRock

Pennsylvania

3.65/5  rDev +17%

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.

12-02-2002 19:59:48 | More by IrishRedRock
Saranac Caramel Porter from Matt Brewing Company
72 out of 100 based on 668 ratings.