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Saranac Pale Ale - Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Not Rated.
Saranac Pale AleSaranac Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

622 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 622
Hads: 1,252
Avg: 3.45
pDev: 13.33%
Wants: 12
Gots: 128 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2001

Malt Selections: Crystal English Pale Ale
Hop Selections: Cascade, East Kent Golden
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Saranac Pale Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 622 | Hads: 1,252
Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
3.77/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz can into a mug.

LOOK: A clear, golden amber with about a finger of off white creamy head. Lots of bubbles are streaming to the top. Spotty lacing is left behind.

SMELL: Grapefruit pith, orange marmalade, pine, toasted malt, flowers, and earth.

TASTE: Starts off with grapefruit and orange peel, turns into a woody, floral bitterness accompanied by some toasty biscuit in the middle, and then finishes somewhat watery, but with a brief aftertaste of citrus bitterness.

FEEL: Medium-light body with moderate carbonation, and a sticky hop aftertaste.

OVERALL: Pretty good. I wouldn't turn it down when thirsty for a hoppy yet easy-drinking beer.

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Photo of Ken05
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am impressed. 30 years ago FX Matt sold the most vile, putrid vomit infected water you could buy. And it was in a beer ball. Because of these memories I have been reluctant to try any Saranac.
However now I have tried the Black forest which is very nice and this pale ale which is also very nice and one of the better English pale ales out there.
This brewery has matured very well and now offers a world class beer.

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Photo of GordieF
4.6/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Saranac has crafted a smooth pale ale that is a consistent pleasure to consume. Great balance that is lighter on the hops than some, but a unique powerhouse in it's own right.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.29/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Best by 6/30/15.

Pours a hazy dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, earth, pine needle, and slight citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with earth, pine needle, and slight citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable, but fairly boring and forgettable for the style.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of plowe70
4.51/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Saranac Pale Ale is one of the best beers. Period. It has the most perfect golden amber color. It pours with a mild head and just the right amount of carbonation. A mild bitterness with no aftertaste.

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Photo of timontheroad
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Copper color, pretty thin head that laced Ok. Light aromas of orange and biscuit. The taste was pretty thin as well, with some subdued citrus flavors. Not much punch in the background- like an un-hoppy session IPA. Mouthfeel was fairly light bodied. Overall it was not too good, probably would only drink it if it was the only beer available

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.16/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: slight haze; burnt orange in color; 1 finger off white head that receded to a wispy cap; OK lacing that didn't last long;

S: artificial orange and a sugar sweetness with grapefruit and lemon in the distant background;

T: tastes like weak orange soda; a hint of lemon toward the end; light bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; dry finish;

O: not sure where the flavor and aroma came from; no recognizable malt profile; only thing that reminded me of hops was the hint of bitterness;

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Photo of Bryan0Leavey
3.74/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really not bad for the price, I find the flavor mirrors the style of a true English pale ale; that is the malt and hops are in harmony. The Cascades shine through more than the EKG's, making this a truly American "English" pale ale. I am quite pleased with its simplicity.

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Photo of oldirtycaffrey
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Pours a light amber color -- very slight head with little lacing along the glass as you finish. The smell is mostly of hops -- and a surprisingly pleasant yet very subtle nutty aroma. The taste is very solid -- hoppy, a little bit of fruit, a little bit of caramel, sligtly malty. Nice dry finish. Recommended.

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Photo of delta490
3.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured out a beautiful, almost clear, amber. A thick creamy white head settles down and retains well. There is some sticky lacing left behind. The aroma is mild and has just hints of the crystal malt sweetness and a little pine hops. The taste is more malt forward, with befitting its English-style, and the hops play a complimentary role. It grew on me as it warmed. The body has a nice thickness but just a little too much carbonation. This is good and with a little tweaking could be a great English Pale Ale.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.54/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a slightly hazy pale orange color with good clarity and vision of tiny bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Toasted grains, pale malts, slight citrus and herbal hops.

Taste: Definitely malt forward with mild hops and slight fruitiness in the background. A little bitterness too.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, medium carbonation, crisp, refreshing, and a little chewy.

Overall: A simple pale ale. Very traditional to the EPA.

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Photo of 18CGL
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%

A solid example of a pale ale. Not the best but for the price, you can't beat it. Flavor is very smooth with a decent balance between the hops and sweetness which makes it an easy drinker. The flavor doesn't last long however and lacks a certain depth found in higher quality brews. Certainly a beer to keep on hand for an "anytime" beer.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saranac Pale Ale brewed by Matt Brewing Company with an ABV of 5.5% This brew pours out a dark golden amber color with a small white head. Saranac Pale ALe is a filtered brew you can see right thought it. The smell is rich with sweetness and grains. There is nothing bad about this brew so far. Now for the taste, it is smooth at first with some bitterness at this end. This brew has a nice balance to it nothing overpowering in it brew. The mouthfeel is rich and full but this brew goes down smooth. Over all I'm giving this brew a 4 out 5. I would buy this brew again.

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Photo of Caveworm
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Saranac Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company. Yet another review out of their sampler pack. Poured from the bottle into a glass, this brew's got a 1.5 finger thick head, clear brownish amber body, and solid lacing.

I smell a lighter vibe going on here. Little bit of citrus perhaps. I about had to stick my nose in the brew to get a decent whiff. I wish it had just a micro-hair more presence in this category.

Tastes like roasted malts, earthy hops, and I taste the citrus but its more tart than sweet.

Mouthfeel is clean and slightly dryer. Nice work here.

Overall a 3.25 for Saranac Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company. It was "meh". Probably won't get this on its own.

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Photo of AmyfaceNYC
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I like this beer although I admit there's nothing that special about it. Flavors are fruity and ever so slightly grainy. Mouthfeel is smooth, maybe a little on the oily side but not at all unpleasant. Easy to drink with a slight taste of sweetness. Very little hops, and hard to pick up any malts at all. Decent easy drinking beer.

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Photo of Omnium
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Clear gold with a finger of foamy whtie head, little lacing.
S - Caramel malt, grassy hops, very weak aroma.
T - Sweet malt takes the fore on this beer, very little hops come through, slight earthy aftertaste.
M - Chewy and sticky, not clean and crisp like a normal APA.
O - Very malty and sweet not enough hop balance. This is pretty bad.

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Photo of Act25
3.61/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Saranac has either gotten much better or I am buying the hype of their new packaging.

A: Pours shiny orange amber with thin head of white foam that fell fast. Bit of lace.
S: Nose invitingly brassy, bright with floral and grassy hops. Hay, wet grass, earth. Nice. Perhaps a bit soapy.
T: Follows nose. Plus sweetness of malt and sweetbreat and tiny bit of fruit. Trends to Bitter. Hop forward atop a biscuity malt with enough sweetness to balance. A bit of pepper and a nice finish.
MF: Good weight for mass. I like the bitter long, long finish.

O: One of my favorites from this brewer. Peppery and not run of the mill.

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Photo of sanzenapocalypz
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

appearance: poured from a bottle, this beer has a dark orange amber hue to it. It did no have much head to it, which went away quickly.

aroma: not a very strong smell- has a malty smell to it with a bit of a hoppy smell on the end of the nose. I get a bit of a hay smell to it.

taste: has a toasty caramel to start out, with a tad bit of spicy hop flavor to it on the way down. has a fair amount of bitterness to it, but not too powerful.

overall: this beer is pretty alright for an English pale ale. It is not the most amazing beer I have ever had, but is pretty easy to drink, not too heavy of a body, would be a good beer to wash down after a good Italian dish or a pizza maybe. I like that it has a good toasty taste too it and maybe a TAD spicy hop taste on the way down, but nothing overpowering.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a fantastic orange amber with a lusterous shine and thin head of off white foam that fell pretty fast. Nose is bright with floral hops. Beautiful sweetness that does not get too fruity but just hints at fruit. A balanced herbal scent that suggests grass and hay. A malty sweetness that is grainy and a bit husky. There is a touch of mild soap on the nose but nothing egregious. Taste is lovely. Bitter. Hop forward without being too hop important. A nice biscuity malt with enough sweetness to rock those hops into submission. And a pungent little herbal to really quaff! OH!

Finishes wonderfully and balanced well although slanted a bit toward hops. No presumption in this one just a slightly bitter tonic that growls a bit.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks, Jacob, for the bottle!

It pours a deep golden colour with a very firm 1" head of foam that leaves excellent lacing behind.

The smell is on the sweetish side with just a bit of some bitterness noticeable to my nose.

The taste does a good job of representing an EPA. Nice sweetish notes from the malt...not earthy nor grainy, just a pleasant sweetness. The hops show up mostly in the finish where it gets a tad bitter but overall, a very enjoyable brewski.

On the light end of medium bodied, good carbonation, this is a well brewed beer. I like.

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Photo of BucBasil
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked this one up at a restaurant in my neighborhood in Shanghai China.

A: Poured from the 330mL bottle into a standard pint glass. The beer is a bright amber color that is clear. Head was off-white and reached a finger and a half and then fizzled out to a layer of foam.

S: Biscuity malt and some toasted grain and caramel in the malt zone. Has a nice bright fruity hop aroma as well. Nicely balanced.

T: Solid floral and spicy hop taste with toast and caramel backing everything up. Great balance throughout. Great drinkability - not crazy but also not boring.

Overall: Good bar drink - won't get in the way of a good conversation but tasty enough to keep you wanting more. I'd pick this up again (or 2 or 3) for sure.

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Photo of illpass78
3.17/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear gold with a short white head that recedes quickly. Lacing moderate. It's sort of on the cusp of a golden and a pale ale.

Aroma: This has a more powerful nose than I expected, and it's kind of a mixed bag. There's toast, grassiness, fruitiness and other inviting aromas, but it's also kind of sour smelling. It's not off-putting but also not perfect.

Taste: Pretty standard pale ale flavor. Some decent hop bite to go with malty sweetness. The taste mostly follows the nose.

Mouthfeel: It's somewhat light of body but easy to drink.

Overall: This is very average. It's the kind of thing I'd get at a restaurant that otherwise only had BMC stuff. It's a decent pale ale, but it's not distinguishable from the pack.

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Photo of wvsabbath
2.79/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Copper tan/brown, 1/4 inch head, minor lacing.

Smell - Pale ale malts, a little hop note, some added sugars. Not getting much else.

Taste - Starts out with some caramel malt and a little nut flavor. Minor hops providing a sour/bitter flavor. Added sugars offset a little bitter note left behind from the hops. Really about all that's going on.

Mouthfeel - Tongue gets the malts, where the palate gets some hops and a little sugar. Aftertaste is dry, and a little sour.

Overall - Pretty weak and boring. The caramel malts make up most of the flavor, where the hops are not very fruity, just provide a bitter note. Nothing worth drinking since there are lots of better pale ales out there.

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Photo of dank203
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

alot of alcohol on the nose , a little light citrus, not too strong. taste is bitter, good spice notes in the back end with a clean dry finish. a little alcohol burn. a little too harsh for my liking on a pale ale. a little more burn than I expected. a tiny bit off balance but clean

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Photo of Diggitydustin
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2nd one I drank out of the spring sampler. Definitely a good IPA. Good look, good smell, good taste. Better than the Forbidden IPA, in my opinion. I enjoyed this from the first tilt into my mouth to the last swallow. Good after taste. A very decent IPA. I'd recommend it.

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Saranac Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 622 ratings.