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Saranac Caramel Porter - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Caramel PorterSaranac Caramel Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
73
okay

743 Ratings
THE BROS
64
poor

(view ratings)
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 beerthulhu
3.47/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a dark reddish-caramel coloring from the bottle, while in the glass up against the light appeared a dark crimson red with a good clarity. The head was sandstone in color, rocky and towering while standing 3 fingers high at its peak before slowly falling leaving a sticky and splotchy lacing. Visible carbonation was macro bubbles that quickly settled to an almost non-detect status soon after. A nice coloring, albeit maybe a bit off for a porter, but then again this is a caramel porter. The huge rocky structure head as well its retention gets some props here.

S: The nose was as sweet as perceived with a dark caramelized brown sugar sweetness. A nice breadiness adds some fullness. Semi-sweet traces of dry chocolate with loads of sweet toffee rounds out a pretty aromatic nose with a medium strong nature. Was pretty surprised here and a decent wiffer.

T: The flavor was sweet toffee and caramelized malting with a buttery popcorn touch. The beer progresses to a dried toffee and semi-sweet hints of chocolate. There is a slight nuttiness and cookie dough sweetness as well while the beer finishes off with some hazelnut coffee hints and a dry spiciness (nutmeg). The flavor started out pretty well but lost some of its luster along the way during the process never quite reclaiming the first impression. Overall this was well above average and worthy by all means. The flavor delivered all the sweet toffee and caramel sweetness that I hoped for then some.

M: light bodied, very slick with no carbonation. Leaves a alcohol warming behind. Unfortunately after a solid start the mouthful comes in as only average.

D: Overall average drinkability here, the overbearing sweetness limits this to a dessert beer or a novelty try. One of matts better beers with a big flavor, however as a whole the beer started out strong but ended up limpering towards the end (mouthful, drinkability). Worth a single purchase and a curious try and delivers as a dessert beer.

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

Notes from 1/2/11
Poured in to Duvel Tulip.

A - Bark black with once finger of bubbly khaki-coloured head.

S - Very sweet up front - so much so that it masks the roasted malts completely. Molasses, dark caramel and brown sugar dominate the nose.

T - Dark caramel, roasted malts. Sweet but not as sweet as the nose indicated.

M - Might to medium body. Moderate carbonation.

D - Decent enough but too sweet to have more than one of. The caramel takes over a little more that I would have liked.

Photo of Derek
3.62/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark caramel, light tan head, very little retention, initial hints of lace.

S: Dark caramel, nut, earth, some dark fruit & slight orange.

T: Caramel, nut, earth, orange, figs, dark (burnt) toffee, residual sweetness with a balanced bitterness.

M: Moderate body & carbonation; slight prickly acidity.

D: Very approachable, a little too sweet to session.

Photo of Bighuge
1.38/5  rDev -56.1%
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.

Photo of harpus
3.25/5  rDev +3.5%

Photo of vfgccp
2.01/5  rDev -36%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Abbreviated review: Simply isn't a porter. Should probably be called a brown ale, but still wouldn't be a great beer, just more aptly named.

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 atlbravsrno1
3/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Brad007
4.05/5  rDev +29%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a one-finger head. Aroma is nice and buttery, smooth like caramel usually smells. The caramel aroma in this beer has always been strong. I remember drinking it 3 or 4 years ago. Taste is strong and caramel-ish upfront with a sweetness that lingers at the back of the throat. The caramel flavor to me is not overdone because it's a beer that I could actually see myself enjoying. There's even a very mild butter toffee flavor at the back of the throat.

I can see why this wouldn't get consistently good reviews. It's obviously not for everyone but I cannot fault Saranac for taking a solid porter and adding caramel to it. It's just different for one thing and similar to how some people enjoy pumpkin or spiced beers.

Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, part of the Saranac 12 beers of winter pack. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours dark brown with an inch tan head. Lacing and head retention are both good. The aroma is very sweet, it smells like caramel and butterscotch. Caramel is the strongest taste in the beer, but there's also butterscotch and a bit of hops in the finish. It's a mostly sweet tasting beer, but the sweetness isn't overpowering. Mouthfeel is medium, with moderate carbonation and it leaves a slight coating on the tongue. Drinkability is good, it's smooth but could be better if the carbonation was cut down just a little bit. I like this beer, but then I like sweet tasting beers. If you don't care for sweet beers, then this might not be the choice for you.

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 DrDemento456
3.35/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of claspada
3.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The aromas are sweet caramel, butterscotch and some lesser notes of darker robust java maltiness. Caramelized brown sugar is the best way to describe it. A nice breadiness adds some fullness.

The taste is sweet toffee and caramelized malting with a buttery popcorn touch. The beer progresses to a dried toffee and semi-sweet hints of chocolate. There is a slight nuttiness and cookie dough sweetness as well while the beer finishes off with some hazelnut coffee hints and a dry spiciness. The flavor started out pretty well but lost some of its luster along the way during the process never quite reclaiming the first impression.

Overall this was well above average and worthy by all means. The flavor delivered all the sweet toffee and caramel sweetness that I hoped for then some. Couldn't drink more than 2 or 3 in a sitting because of the style. Better in a mixed 12 pack vs. a whole 6er of this brew.

Photo of DefenCorps
1.65/5  rDev -47.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I found a single for $1.49, and my buddy Chris raved about this when he tried it, so I had to as well. I mean, come on, its got natural flavor and caramel color added to it, so it's got to be good, right?

The pour is decent, a clear deep brown with beautiful reddish highlights. A large light brown head caps the beer, leaving a little lace as it recedes. That's about where all good things end, 'cos the nose is one trainwreck. Artificial caramel flavor, sickly sweet (think Smuckers), brown sugar, and a malt characteristic more reminiscent of a brown ale than a porter. The palate opens sweet, with (surprise!) caramel, some sugar and malt with a little roast, before a long, dry finish with a metallic character comes through. Carbonation is high, making this fizzy on the palate, and this does not work with the metallic character of the beer. Just not worth drinking, this is a rather poor porter, and the addition of caramel just makes it rather horrific.

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 AngusOg
3/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.5/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of WOLFGANG
3.52/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Photo of Durge
3.32/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A thick dark brown color with very scant white head and minor lacing. A strong butterscotch / caramel aroma and a faint touch of piney hops perhaps. The taste is a smooth sweet caramel and orange blend. It has a dry finish with fine carbonation. There's a raspberry touch with a hint of smoke. Fair drinkability. Not a flavor I can sink my teeth into but OK if you can handle the sweetness.

Photo of Brenden
3.33/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Photo of RBorsato
3.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

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"

Photo of Jwale73
3.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a standard pint glass. Poured the color of rootbeer, with ruby red highlights when backlit. Dense off-white head settled gradually into a thin, consistent slick of foam with light, sticky lacing. Scents of carmel and malt. Taste similar to nose but much less intense with a hint of butterscotch at the finish. Mouthfeel was very, very watery and not particuarly lively. Alcohol was virtually undetectable. Might be a good choice if you are looking for a session porter, but the caramel scent can be a little too cloying in my opinion.

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Pours a deep brown color with a large tan head. The head had a moderate amount of persistent but eventually faded giving a medium level of lacing.

Smell – Carmel is quite potent in the nose. There is a butteriness as well giving a mix of toffee in with the caramel. Some vanilla notes are also present with an ever so light roasted malt aroma as well. Overall the nose is quite sweet and nice.

Taste – While the nose was very heavy in caramel, the initial taste was not. It was largely of more roasted malt. As the taste advance however, a caramel taste became more and more prevalent; intensifying throughout the taste experience. Toward the end, the caramel is quite strong and mixes with some vanilla.

Mouthfeel – The beer is quite weak in body for the style with a bit of a higher then average level of carbonation. These two characteristics really hurt this brew. The weak body does not meld well with experiencing some of the more roasty flavors that complement the caramel sweet well. Also the carbonation level is a bit too high for this style and pulls away from some of the flavors even more.

Overall – The smell of the beer is fantastic, the taste good, but the mouthfeel was a hit to the overall quality of the beer. While the mouthfeel is not the greatest, for the price you pay it is not a bad beer and one that is well worth a try.

Photo of francisweizen
2.5/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A lightly reddish/brown colour with a small head of offwhite/tan foam. The aromas are all sweet sugar, caramel, light malts, and where are the hops? The taste is too sweet up front and even sweeter on the finish. The mouthfeel is sticky and the drinkability is not good. Not one of Saranacs better brews.

Photo of DmanGTR
4.04/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - poured a garnet brown with 1" off-white head that left a ring

S - chocolate, maltiness, caramel, and slightly hoppy

T - floral, fruity and sweet with chocolate malt and bitter finish. Notes of caramel, bread and roasted malts are present as well

M - light bodied, medium carbonation. Holds together well

D - very drinkable

Overall - This is a well rounded beer fit for many occasions and meals. I would recommend this to accompany a meaty meal.

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