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Saranac Caramel Porter - Matt Brewing Company

Saranac Caramel PorterSaranac Caramel Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

645 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 645
Reviews: 432
rAvg: 3.12
pDev: 22.76%

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)
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Ratings: 645 | Reviews: 432 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BatsforBeer


3.58/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2010 03:26:51 | More by BatsforBeer
Photo of bossmanjg

New York

3.78/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

As far as porters go, not so good. But for what it is, I thought it to be an occasional beer.

Appearance: Dark to medium amber color. Not quite dark enough to call it a Porter. And the head was good, for about 2 minutes.

Smell: A very unique aroma that I’d yet to experience. And as it warmed in my grip, it only improved.

Taste: The taste was explosive. Lot’s of caramel, hence the name I suppose. As for any other flavors… No hops to speak of.

Mouth feel: This was not so thick. As a matter of fact, it was a little watery. A little creaminess came through, and yet not too silky a beer.

Drinkability: This could be, for me at least, a session beer. Provided a had a good meal, and didn’t want to have desert… Well traditional desert… This would do just fine for that portion of the meal.

I will partake of this brew again in the future. But it will only be on the right occasions.

And as always remember the immortal words:

“Beer is proof that God loves us, and wants us to be happy.”

~Benjamin Franklin

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2006 13:53:01 | More by bossmanjg
Photo of Rsobotka

New York

3.85/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= Dark with some frothy lacy foam.

S= caramel sweet and chocolately
T= Not bad...toasty and caramely...with abitter ending to it

M= Quite a bite to it...smooth going down but a sour aftertaste

D= Ive had these sitting around..they are good when switching between brews but i dont think i would buy a sixer and drink it

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2008 15:17:02 | More by Rsobotka
Photo of kenpo23


2.35/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: gotta say, i was pretty impressed...it looked great when i poured it. dark with a good head.

S: i could smell the nice porter but then got hit with the fake caramel smell. kinda ruined it for me but it wasn't overwhelming or anything.

T: again, i could taste the nice porter and then got hit with a fake caramel taste. this could have been a really good beer if they had used real caramel or a higher quality caramel flavoring.

M: glad i only had two of them to drink.

D: if you're looking for a good caramel taste to this porter you certainly wont find it here. the bad caramel taste made it hard to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2011 16:36:08 | More by kenpo23
Photo of CherylM


2/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This beer looked interesting so I tried a bottle.

Color was dark brown with little carbonation and a disappearing head. There was a strong caramel smell and the taste of "artificial" caramel was too dominate. It was too sweet and heavy for my taste. Perhaps this would be better as a dessert/holiday beer. Would not have another.

There are better Saranac beers and Porters out there!

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2005 14:49:27 | More by CherylM
Photo of javier


2/5  rDev -35.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2001 10:39:49 | More by javier

South Carolina

3.53/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle. I didn't rate the appearance accurately because the room was very dimly lit... I'll update later.

Aromas of caramel and slightly of toasted malt. Mostly a caramel scent.

Tastes a lot like candy corn (the Halloween snack). The caramel is very much present. A little buttery. Very sweet in the middle with an earthy, slightly tingling hop finish.

Mouthfeel is basically average with excess carbonation.

Definitely a session beer, but could be improved upon.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2004 20:18:37 | More by WOLFGANG
Photo of ams0286


2.78/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is the second time I have tried Saranac's Caramel Porter. The first time, off the tap, was much more memorable.

A - What looks like a watery porter with a reddish hughe yielded little to no head from the bottle, and a slight head from the tap.

S - Heavy caramel scent as expected, hard to smell anything else over that.

T - Deffinetly a dessert beer. The key is to serve a beverage as sweet if not sweeter than your dessert and this seems like it would stand up to pure sugar. Slightly syrupy and it almost seems like there is too much caramel adjunct. In the hop arena there is much to be desired despite the claim on the neck of the bottle that they use both Fuggles and East Kent Goldings.

M - Again slightly syrupy, very full bodied. Lightly carbonated

D - This is deffinetly a big beer and by no means a session beer. More than two and you feel like you just gorged yourself on candy after trick or treating. A very good replacement for that piece of cake after dinner.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2008 03:39:32 | More by ams0286
Photo of L4t3rg4t3r


3.4/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Thin white head that fades quickly, pours a dark brown/amber.

Smell: loads of caramel and sugar, can't really detect much beyond those. Perhaps a touch of vanilla bean.

Taste: Definitely Caramel and a tiny bit of vanilla, although the flavor is somewhat artificial.

Mouthfeel: Medium, but the strong caramel sweetness makes it feel heavier.

Drinkability: Caramel flavor dominates, I have not often had such a strongly flavored beer. The flavor is a bit unbalanced and I don't think that I could have more than one.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2007 04:31:10 | More by L4t3rg4t3r
Photo of Bradthoc


4.05/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this one up on a whim, when I saw the words caramel porter. Seemed interesting enough.

The beer poured a very smooth dark brown, with a very thin white head, almost no head at all.

The smell from the glass was very pleasant. You notice the caramel scent immediately, followed with a slight smokey sting.

The taste only enhances the effect you get from the smell. Immediately you notice the caramel taste, that is perfect for the beer and not overpowering in the slightest. I was hesitant from the smell that it would be too sweet and something I'd have to pass off to my wife. Fortunately, this was not the case and I found it hard to keep out of my hands while I sat and enjoyed it. Along with the caramel you get a smokey taste, possibly some nut and goes down with a unique buttery aftertaste.

I found the flavors of this beer to somewhat lessen as the beer sat and warmed up to room temperature.

The beer was easy to drink, went down smooth and lighter than you'd expect from a beer labeled as a porter.

Definitely a beer I'd pick up and try again.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2011 18:01:40 | More by Bradthoc
Photo of fischerking

3.63/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Saranac Caramel Porter from Utica, NY.

This beer had a very strong, enjoyable caramel (artificial) smell. Good caramel, rich flavor. Very different from anything I've had.

I drank it on-tap in a 6-beer sampler at The Casual Pint in Knoxville, TN on 12/14/2012.


Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2012 01:06:32 | More by fischerking
Photo of JahNoth

New York

2.33/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This tastes like someone took a bad beer and melted a few caramels in it. How can they justify calling this porter? Very disappointing.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2002 19:46:34 | More by JahNoth
Photo of Stranger5582

New York

3.54/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Color is dark, dark brown. I nearly confused it for black.

Smell: Sweet.

Taste: I taste grain and caramel, but both feel understated.

Mouthfeel: Medium body . The finish is pleasant, but reminds me more of an ale than a porter.

Overall: I may have this beer again, perhaps in a float. Maybe not, on second thought, it tasted like a caramel-flavored ale. However, it was nice to have a Saranac that was missing the characteristic hop-laden flavoring that makes many of their beers taste like an IPA.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2014 05:41:44 | More by Stranger5582
Photo of Will46andbrew


2.17/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Dark amber, light brown with a decent head that reduced quickly.

S - Caramelly sweet, not enough Porter.

T - Caramel up front and on the swallow. No Porter to be tasted...kind of disappointed...

M - Light on the tongue, funny taste going down.

D - I can only drink one of these at a time...too sweet.

Overall I was not impressed with this beer. It's made well, just too sweet for me. Won't get it again.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2007 00:34:40 | More by Will46andbrew
Photo of pitweasel

New York

2.75/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This is the only beer from the 2007 winter pack that I wasn't too fond of. The beer poured with a nice two finger head, which lasted for only a few minutes before reducing to a thin lace. Everything about this brew screams caramel, with the porter part apparently missing in action. The aroma is heavy with the scent of the chewy little candies, and it's about the only thing that hits your tongue as well. For a porter, this seemed to be much more carbonated than most.

This is pretty much candy in a bottle. If you love caramel, this is the beer for you. If you love porters, you might be better off looking elsewhere.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2007 16:44:49 | More by pitweasel
Photo of AutumnBeerLove


3.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A metallic smell to it and a dark appearance. The beer itself does not taste metallic however, but very sweet. I'd say it may even be too sweet, but I have a sweet tooth, so I'm not too upset. The immediate aftertaste is pleasant. However, the taste lingers and soon becomes not so pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2011 04:13:52 | More by AutumnBeerLove
Photo of BigSipper


2.1/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

New Hampshire

3.8/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep red color without much of a head, crystal clear. Smell was intensely of caramel with a little bit of malt, almost overly sweet. Taste was great. I know a lot of the other reviews are saying that it was too sweet, but I disagree. The caramel did overpower any other flavors but I still enjoyed it. Anyone drinking this beer should know that caramel will be the main flavor they get out of it. There was a little bit of malt flavor and no hops to speak of. Light mouthfeel. This would be a great after-dinner beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2005 04:33:39 | More by Zoh
Photo of cnybrewblog

New York

3.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It's got a great dark color, looks the part of a good Porter. The smell is great. You get that hit of caramel with hints of butterscotch and malt. The description on the side says that it has a bitter finish and I am not sure who they have writing those because there is a strong sweet caramel finish with a hint of bitterness up front.

It's mouth feel is nothing to write home about, and overall drink ability is ok a best. I have been drinking these for years before I got into real brew tasting and I was never a fan of this flavor, but even now though, I have a hard tiem getting excited about this Saranac.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2006 02:46:05 | More by cnybrewblog
Photo of forceten

New Jersey

4.9/5  rDev +57.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. I love this beer, and I look forward to it every year. I even bought a sixtel of it for the kegerator this year.

If you don't like sweet beers, this beer is not for you. It's not OVERLY sweet; no. It's got a great bit of sweetness though. It's brewed with actual caramel - you get the caramel in the nose, and in the taste. The porter base is a solid porter base.. somewhere between brown and robust porter, a tad on the brown side. No overly burnt tones. On tap, it adds a greater dimension of both nose and taste.

If you like Porters and like beers with a dose of sweetness - highly recommended. If you're more into hops, stay away.

Serving type: on-tap

04-08-2008 03:38:34 | More by forceten
Photo of oscplayr25


3.38/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- a very dark porter just like most porters. The head on the porter is a greyish white color.

S- a very strong smell. You can easily smell the caramel and the coffee in the beer. I could stand about 10 feet away from the beer when its being poured and still be able to smell it.

T- a strong coffee taste. it really feels that im drinking cold coffee that has a light caramel creamer in it.

M- Never really carbonates in the mouth it is real smooth kind of like a regular drink.

D- i can drink probably about 2 of these before i feel awake for the day then have to poop. Porters are not my style but i can deal with this one longer then the rest.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2008 03:24:34 | More by oscplayr25
Photo of Rick187


3.48/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Brown/dark brown small white head no lacing.

Smell is amazing. Caramel and kinda buttery.

Some caramel, buttery, but fairly thin and not as big as it smells.

Definitely doesn't drink like a porter, light bodied, decent carbonation.

Overall I like it and will probably buy again. At 7 for a six pack it's definitely worth it. But is it a porter? That's questionable. But definitely something that would be easy to put a few down.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2011 02:07:54 | More by Rick187
Photo of beachfirebrews


2.4/5  rDev -23.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2011 02:55:14 | More by beachfirebrews
Photo of VenaCarva

New York

1.9/5  rDev -39.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2010 03:08:43 | More by VenaCarva
Photo of rll52485

New York

2.75/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Aside from lack of head the beer has a nice dark amber body.

S - The smell neither smells like caramel or beer to me. Not quite sure what I smell but it is slightly off putting.

T - It has a slightly more butterscotch taste to it. Other than that it's slightly watered down tasting with a mild bitter finish.

M - It's lightly carbonated and goes down rather thing, not much body. It's just ok.

D - I wouldn't run out to buy it, but I wouldn't turn it down if it was offered to me.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 20:27:54 | More by rll52485
Saranac Caramel Porter from Matt Brewing Company
72 out of 100 based on 645 ratings.