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Saranac Pale Ale - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Pale AleSaranac Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,111 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,111
Reviews: 614
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 13.74%
Wants: 4
Gots: 39 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Malt Selections: Crystal English Pale Ale
Hop Selections: Cascade, East Kent Golden

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,111 | Reviews: 614 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

2.95/5  rDev -13.7%

I assumed a Fresh bottle at a brewfest. Thin mouthfeel on yellow colour with lace. Weak for a pale. I did not sense the several malts and aggressively hopped nature of the advertising.Moderate carbonation, think English pale.Sticky, nothing garbbed me.

03-12-2007 15:55:35 | More by Sammy
Photo of djrn2

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -12.3%

12-01-2011 23:23:14 | More by djrn2
Photo of nmann08

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +17%

11-26-2011 17:34:36 | More by nmann08
Photo of metter98

New York

3.35/5  rDev -2%

A: The beer is clear light amber in color. It poured with a thin white head that has good retention properties; a thin layer of bubbles consistently covered the surface. A moderate amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: There are moderate aromas of grainy malts with some notes of caramel and floral hops.
T: The taste has a good balance between malty sweetness and mild hop bitterness; the finish is slightly bitter.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate.
D: The beer is rather easy to drink but the flavors aren't that interesting so I'm not sure if I would want more than one of these in a sitting.

07-10-2010 00:56:49 | More by metter98
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.03/5  rDev -11.4%

Slightly hazed golden amber with plenty of orange. The head is a little darker than cream, average in size, frothysoft and leaves lace in tries-to-be rings. The nose is a combination of earthy-spicy hops and pale malt, with the hops winning out.

Taste follows aroma, but is too weak. This beer needs a serious flavor boost. What makes its way to the palate is sweet, biscuity malt countered by spicy-earthy hops. The finish is short, leaving the taste buds seemingly untouched.

The beer isn't exactly crisp (the brewery, via the label, says it is), but it's clean and tends toward dry. Unfortunately, a graininess sneaks in on the back end. The mouthfeel, while not horrendously thin, is too light for the style.

Saranac Pale Ale is average to slightly above average at best. It isn't hard to drink, but neither does it make me want to grab another. More flavor and a more substantial body would help move it into the 'respectable' category.

03-28-2004 01:17:55 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of zestar


3.25/5  rDev -5%

08-22-2014 06:58:19 | More by zestar
Photo of acurtis

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -12.3%

03-03-2013 20:37:30 | More by acurtis
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.05/5  rDev -10.8%

Bottle: Poured a dark copper color ale with a nice bubbly white head with good retention. Aroma of English hops is clearly identifiable. Taste seems to be a bit overpowered by the bitter hops, which is a bit surprising for English pale ale but doesn’t deter this beer from being quite enjoyable. Another BBS/summer beer from Saranac it seems.

08-16-2005 19:41:05 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect


3.2/5  rDev -6.4%

Eeeh, it's servicable and maybe good under dire circumstances. Caught between copper and golden with an abundance of co2, forms a tan-ish fizzy head that fades quickly. Smells moderately malty and more lightly hoppy than desired. Light bland aroma, almost of baking soda. Tastes malty as a Pale Ale over the same bland, solvent-y flavor. Hops seem a bit oxidized and mild flavored. Obviously an English Pale Ale with the hops and malt profile. Almost papery and copper-like in the body. Fizzy texture dominates the fruitiness and spiciness. Fades away quickly with an over malt and paper finish. The flaws are light, but present. Too noticable to give a high rating, but not flawed enough to be considered bad.

04-04-2006 01:20:14 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3/5  rDev -12.3%

Saranac Pale Ale

Got me the Adirondack Trail Mixed six pack from Saranac, because, well I had only had one of them before, so thats a good enough reason for me. First up is the Pale Ale.

A - Poured a nice rich orange amber, very clear. Nice off white head upon pir, did not stick around long. Some decent lacing down the glass and a touch of carbonation rising off the bottom.

S - Earthy and bready, with a slightly bitter aroma thrown in. Not overly strong, a nice average pale ale aroma. Lots of malts in here. A touch of ceral grains as well..

T - Classic ale. A bit muted on flavors. Its trys to make a bit of a hop splash, especially in the finish, but it is just not there. Lots of muted earthy grains, a slight watery taste, needs to be bumped up a bit in the flavors.

M - A Little slick for me, a nice light ale. It had some depth to it as it wasn't too light. Smooth but lacked carbonation on drinking it.

D - Ehh, its definatly a session beer, but perhaps a forgettable one at that. I could drink these like water, but dont know how often I would actually turn to it. Easy going down and a full body, however just a little too slick.

Overall just felt like this was lacking something. Not a bad brew, but I would have to put it down for average all around. Nothign really stood out and made me say Yeah!, It was just an average pale ale. A nice try and better tehn a macro in a pinch for sure.

07-18-2007 01:05:41 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Appearance: Pours a dark, golden-amber body with a full, fizzy, off-white head.

Smell: Carmel-scented maltiness with light layers of spice and citrus.

Taste: Pale malts with a slightly candyish caramel sweetness. Spicy hop character, maybe a bit of citrus, and with a medium bitterness. Drying finish with a light, lingering maltiness and tiny hint of grain.

Mouthfeel: Just barely medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: An average, simply pale ale that doesn't have the character or charm to really grab ya, but it gets the job done.

11-24-2008 01:52:55 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of jaydoc


3.25/5  rDev -5%

09-03-2013 04:02:31 | More by jaydoc
Photo of Knapp85


3.03/5  rDev -11.4%

This reminded me of a Fuller's ESB or a Belhaven in some ways. This beer pours out as a deep golden amber color with a fluffy white head on it that doesn't really stick around too much. The taste is like an English bitter, It's not overly hoppy like most American Pale Ales. This has more of a malt flavor throughout. The mouthfeel is smooth and a little dry. Overall this beer isn't too bad. It's drinkable but not my favorite.

04-19-2011 01:53:51 | More by Knapp85
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev +9.1%

Poured a somewhat hazy copper color with light to medium head,the aroma was pretty floral aroma with a nice malty background.Taste was very nicely balanced a sweet fruity malt base and a nice zesty hop finish.I think a well made pale,very nicely balanced.

06-21-2003 07:01:45 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591


3.3/5  rDev -3.5%

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Whoa, when did they can this beer? Has someone informed Woody? Regardless, it pours a clear amber copper topped by a thick finger+ of white froth. The nose comprises orange peel, light florals, and a tiny bit o' toffee. The taste holds notes of some weak hoppy bitterness, watered-down citrus, and a depressed vein of toffee. You don't get much more pale than this, I guess. ...Whatever that means. The body is pretty light, with moderate carbonation and a crisp finish. Overall, a decent, but thoroughly average pale ale. That isn't to say that it's bad, it's just not something I would really ever seek out with any perceptible vim.

07-01-2010 06:23:16 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of zeff80


3.33/5  rDev -2.6%

A - Poured out an amber hue with a one-finger head. It was highly carbonated. No lacing.

S - Malt and hops mostly.

T - It had a grassy taste to it. The malt flavor was also very noticable, too.

M - It is crisp and light-bodied.

D - It is a descent APA. Not one I would rush out to buy, but yet another solid Saranac product.

08-10-2006 04:43:08 | More by zeff80
Photo of NeroFiddled


3.63/5  rDev +6.1%

Pours a hazy, deep amber body with a frothy off-white head that holds well and leaves some very nice lace. The nose is perfumey (but without any distinct hops) with some caramel malt and a touch of sweet tobbacco. The body is medium and a very fine/moderate carbonation leaves it just slightly crisp on the tongue. The flavor displays a solid caramel-laced malt that's well infused with floral and gently spicy hops. The signature Matt's yeast plays a big role here, and it finishes dry with a lingering bitterness, but also somewhat soapy. Firm bitterness; decent balance; nicely rounded. Overall, it's a pretty solid offering - especially considering it's full maltiness - although the hops may let you down.

03-29-2003 20:03:48 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of RblWthACoz


3.43/5  rDev +0.3%

Pours a nice clear darker amber with a creme head. Nose is like old squash. I don't want my beer to smell like squash. Flavor is an odd tangy bitter mix. Earthy and citric, but it just doesn't mesh. Gets better the farther you go though. Still kind of too tangy the whole time. Slightly biting carbonation. Thicker liquid feel. This starts out rough and ends just slightly better.

09-29-2008 21:53:40 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

2.08/5  rDev -39.2%

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright orange color with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malt, some spice & smokiness and a little bit of hops.

T: The taste has pale hops & caramelized malt, but both are kind of faint, not a lot of sweetness either. There’s strong metallic & medicine-like flavor to it.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, very dry finish.

D: Not tasty at all, the fact that it’s not very filling is the only good thing I can say about this beer. This beer was part of a gift and I wasn’t expecting much from this beer, but I was still disappointed. I definitely would not buy more of it.

01-11-2007 03:52:27 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of nickfl


3.63/5  rDev +6.1%

A - One finger of off-white head on a clear, copper-amber body. The foam settles quickly but leaves nice lace.

S - A light aroma of malt with some yeasty red apple notes. A hint of musty hops in the background.

T - Bready malt up front with just a bit of caramel. The malt character deepens in the middle with more toasted notes and a bit of fruity yeast. Finishes with light caramel and some spicy hops as well as moderate bitterness that just barely balances the significant malt.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Not bad. The malt character is nice, if a bit too big and dark for the style, and the yeast flavor is mild but significant enough to provide some pleasant fruity notes. The hops don't stick out too much and only provide modest bitterness in the finish. A slightly more robust hop profile would make for a more balanced and drinkable beer by balancing out the heavy malt. Not the most spot on example of the style, but drinkable and pretty good for what it is.

02-11-2010 06:17:34 | More by nickfl
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.05/5  rDev -10.8%

This one deserves about a sentence for each category, because it's trying to be a good beer but it ends up getting lost in mediocrity. The amber copper tone it pours with a decent off white head leaving haphazard tracks off lace down the glass nothing uniform in the appearance. The bottle says a bouquet of hop aroma, but I am going to guess and say my flowers have wilted. No but seriously the hop aroma is there and semipleasan only it is so faint. The taste is smooth and refreshing, but the bitterness is not really that bitter for a pale ale. This beer is also lacking any kind of a balance in the wannabe hop flavor nothing is here to offset it. I better quit drinking Saranac losing respect fast. I like the way it feels like it expands to feel fluffy in the mouth and the hops spread across the tongue reaching the back of it as I swallow allowing the optimal bitterness to reach my palate. Th overall drinkability is so so, but nothing here is realing me in. I am just not sold on this one, and that's about it.

02-04-2003 23:07:44 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Jason


3.3/5  rDev -3.5%

12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

A well frothed lace leaves a few rings of lace behind, very clear pale copper hue.

Hints of citric hop, fruity and taffy like ester and a lightly sweet caramel and toasted grain aroma.

Smooth mouth feel and a bit crisp as well, bitter bite up front with an oily herbal and earthy hop flavor. Malt has a decent flavor but never really sparks the taste buds to go “Wow!”. I am still trying to find a solid malt flavor and all I get is dry graininess with a taffy, almost bubble gum yeast by-product taste. Finishes dry with a bit of husk on the palate.

Oily hop is the only savior of this brew, other than that there is nothing much to it. Not something I’d never drink, just not a choice pale ale for me.

11-18-2005 18:38:16 | More by Jason
Photo of russpowell


4.03/5  rDev +17.8%

Pours amber with a 3 fingers fluffy white head. Some lacing & head retention

S: Piney hops, then some fruittyness

T: Slight floral hops folowed by big fat fruittyness. Finished fruitty & dry

MF: Medium body, great balance & carbonation

Drinks very easy, reminds of an English style PA. Worth a try & pretty affordable

08-29-2006 04:15:36 | More by russpowell
Photo of Kegatron


4/5  rDev +17%

16 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with 2-3 fingers of foamy eggshell-white head. This retains with a thin creamy layer of froth, with a rich flare-up that leaves back sticky swathes of lacing. The aroma is a mix of citrus and malt, with a bit of a deep earthy tang to it, which is surrounded by some floral and spicy accents on the side. This is pretty straightforward in the nose.

The taste is crisp and biting on the tongue with bitter rind, some peppery spice, and refreshing grapefruit juice which splashes the tongue. The English Pale malts sweeten this up just enough across the back of the palate, as hops linger in the finish with green citric notes and earthy dryness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a crisp smoothness to the feel that enables this to flow just so easily here, yet this still has some presence in the mouth.

While I would have liked to have felt a little more malt activity going on here overall, the hop profile and body just gave a top-notch refreshing drinkibility to this that can't be overlooked. This was a no-brainer to put into cans. I think that summer in the Adirondacks just got a little better...

08-02-2010 16:11:40 | More by Kegatron
Photo of feloniousmonk


3.35/5  rDev -2%

Appearance: clear, dark amber color, shirt, white head.
Aroma: negligible at first, small fruit, slightly soapy, but somethow opens up and shows hoppier and fruity by the second, perhaps as it has time to warm, or to enter the air. Citrus, peach, grapefruit, dinstinctly hoppy.
A coppery tang takes charge on first taste, flinty and minerally. Hops are much less prevalent in the flavor than their presence in the nose would have led us to anticipate. Body is medium. Flavor holds mostly malt, and feels just right.
Clearly, my hophead gears need to be recalibrated, for this is not that kind of brew, it's more like a mild ale, or even close to an English brown, than an Americanized Pale. Nothing wrong with that!
Drinkability is good, no doubt, but I need a little more pizzazz in my ales, to make them worth my while.

06-21-2003 02:24:45 | More by feloniousmonk
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Saranac Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 1,111 ratings.