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Saranac Pale Ale - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Pale AleSaranac Pale Ale

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1,221 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,221
Reviews: 627
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 13.45%
Wants: 6
Gots: 99 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2001

Malt Selections: Crystal English Pale Ale
Hop Selections: Cascade, East Kent Golden
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,221 | Reviews: 627
Photo of mattcrill
2.63/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Label states that it's an English style pale ale.

Appearance: A golden copper colored pour. Sticky white and tight foamy cap develops.

Smell: Tea-like hop bitterness. Fruity notes and touchs of metallic notes as well. The hop presence is nice.

Taste: Bread-like, slightly fruity, then turning a touch citric. I keep tasting the cracker-like quality of 2-row barley that dominates this.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a touch overcarbonated. Slightly watery on the finish.

Drinkability: eh...so much other good stuff out there. Move along, move along...

Photo of kmo1030
3.72/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

coppery amber with a tan head with decent retention.
lots of floral hoppiness with a hint of citrus. toasted caramel malts and a bit of grainyness. some vegetable aromas come out as it warms.
the taste has a pleasing and also surprising citrus flavor. sweet caramel and grainy qualities balance a substantial amount of floral hop bitterness. there is a bit of a harsh tang at the finish.
a little bit of a light body, but nothing to really complain about. middle of the road carbonation.
all in all, a respectable pale that is better than many of saranac's offerings.

Photo of scooter231
3.82/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Rusty. Looks rusty. Minimal head, some lacing. Rust I say! Nose is surprisingly earthily hoppy with some citrus and some malty backbone. Not as offensive as I thought it would be- always a pleasant finding.

Taste isn't as great, but nowhere near offensive. Lots of breadyness and malts going on. Again, more hops than expected- a nice change. I guess some floral-type things too- definitely deeper than I expected. Mouthfeel is a bit soapy, oily, not unpleasant. Very drinkable on the whole, I'd say. Tasty, simple, goes down easy- a good APA if ever there was one. An easy choice.

Photo of unknownlamer
3.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on the 272nd day of 2005.

Poured a nice deep clear amber with a slowly fading white head that left a good bit of lace that slowly slid down the sides of the glass. The aroma was of sweet caramel malt and floral hops.

The flavor was well balanced with a caramel like sweetness to start things off, and a mild piny hop taste mixed with bready grain for the finish. It wasn't terribly bitter, and the taste was fairly subdued. The aftertaste was weak and faded quickly, but the carbonation and body were good.

Not a terribly complex pale ale, but still interesting and very drinkable.

Photo of wcudwight
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber color with a thin fizzy head that disappears to a ring around the glass. Smell is fruity and piney, but not as bold as I would like. Taste is well balanced. Fruity to earthy and piney. Feels very crisp and fresh in the mouth. Overall a good drinkable session beer. A buddy raved about this beer and I admit my expectations were low. But, it has far exceded them. I recommend you go get a sixer and drink it tonight.

Photo of Enola
4.15/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow!! This beer is great!!!

The beer poured out a nice reddish hue. It had a pretty decent head that has lingered around. The taste is great too. You can taste the hops without being overrun by them. A nice, well balanced pale ale. The mouthfeel is exceptionlly smooth. Not a bit of harshness. There is a bit of lingering hoppiness on the tongue. The drinkability on this one is almost second to none. I could drink these long after the sun goes down. This was the final beer in my Saranac sampler. You can bet I will look for more by this brewer. Every beer I tried by them was exceptional.

Photo of mynie
2.82/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

That's a sad APA pour. Light redish with no head. Carbonation is very slight. like dark tea.

Smells weakly of dry hops, must, and adjunct grain. Nothing to write home about...

Watery flavor. Nice hops up front, very dry and slightly sweet, giving way in the middle to watery emptiness and a bland macro lager taste and ending dry and flat. Not good.

Photo of coasterfreak75
3.06/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The pour was quite odd for a pale ale, instead of the standard pale straw yellow it was a copper red with a one finger head that quickly dissapated and left a nice lace on the glass.

The smell was heavy in fruit and florals with a mix of apricots and floral scents.

The drink started with a light malt sweetness followed by a quick hit of fruit and finishing with a quick kick of hops then a clean finish.

This is almost not a pale ale but the fact that it's so radical makes it well worth a try.

Photo of Hagbard
3.73/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pulled from the 12 Beers of Winter mix pack, this beer provided a very pleasant surprise. It's one of the tastiest APAs I've tried in a while. Its color is a fairly dark golden copper and a nice two finger white head forms. As it fades, a nice lacing is left down the sides of the glass. The aroma seems to be the weak point; there is a malty sweetness and, if you swirl it, a nice hoppiness comes out. The taste is delivered on the broad shoulders of a very nice malt base. Slightly sweet with a background fruitiness. A nice grassiness and florally hop element comes quickly and stays the whole time. It finishes crisp and slightly bitter. The mouthfeel is right on for the style and the drinkability is superb, as a pale ale should be. I really enjoyed this beer, a great regional pale ale.

Photo of HugoGrim
3.26/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint. Purchased as part of the 12 Beers of Winter sampler case.

A burnt golden color. Some laceing on the glass, though no head to speak of. Does have nice visible carbination throughout.

Scent is a fresh hop scent, with a slight malty tone.

Flavor is a crisp hop body with hints of fruit. A bit of alcohol flavor peeks through here and there.

Photo of hero27
3.25/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled as part of the "Saranac 12 Beers of Winter" variety pack.

Clear bronze color..decent off-white head but lacing is smeary and spotty at best. Smell & taste are dominantly diacetyl & toffee/buttery flavors. If you like caramel and pale malts, this might just be your new favorite pale ale..otherwise, it's skippable. Decent hop profile for a PA, but still nothing too impressive.

Photo of JISurfer
3.21/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Started out really hoppy, but the more the beer warmed, the less bitter it was. Appearance was the best characteristic of this one. Super fluffy head that lasted a short while, but then died to a thick laceing. Smell was fruity up front, with strong hops and slight malt. Overall an ok beer. Nothing to write home about though.

Photo of ghostwalker
3.73/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. One of the 12 Beers of Winter variety pack.

Pours a golden amber. 1 finger of very respectable white foamy head.

Nose is malty and slightly sour.

Medium malt up-front. More malt in the middle. Biscuits and butter, easy on the palate. Less hops than I care for on the finish. Overall, a nice middle of the road APA, but nothing to get excited about.

Mouthfeel is medium. Plenty of carbonation without overdoing it. Not watery.

Drinkability is pretty high. It's a little light going, but I could definitely session this and enjoy it. Probably won't, though. Plenty of other pale ales out there to sample and enjoy.

Photo of Naes
3.62/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is an amber colored ale with a small white head.
The aroma is quite inviting, hops are dominant, but there is a little malt presence as well.
Its flavor starts out malty sweet then becomes a tad bitter from the hops and finishes malty. It is a bit toasty and bread like throughout, but the hops remain dominant.
Mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied and is highly carbonated.

This is nothing amazing, but a fine brew indeed.

Photo of auntfloyd
3.15/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a chilled 12oz bottle from a sampler six pack.

A: Light golden-copper, not much head. Nice color.

S: Some malt, but overall, pretty empty.

T: Not bad, a little hoppy, with a little bit of spices thrown in for good measure.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation. Not watery, not too full. Good for its genre.

D: Good. Nice session beer, or good for friends who can't handle/don't like more flavorful craft brews. Not a bad beer, but not really up to the standards of discriminating BAs in my opinion. In other words, there's better beer for your money.

Photo of Jason
3.33/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

Photo of ommegangpbr
3.75/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A pretty good middle of the road pale ale... on the hoppy side of the spectrum as far as pale ales go; competetive with Sierra Nevada, even.
A very good bargain yet quality beer in my neck of the woods at $5 or $6 for a six pack.
Nothing very striking or exciting as far as pale ales go... looks and smells as it should and does those things well. Reasonabley well balanced over all. Hop bitterness balanced with some caramel malt goings on.
Not too shabby.

Photo of cooter
3.25/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 4

Looks okay, I guess. Clear maroon with a mediocre but tenaciously barely-lingering head. Smells oversweet but with some cool hop bite there too. Some unpleasant signs of skunk.

Tastes hoppy & a bit skunky, feels gritty on the tongue. A clean finish, certainly. Smooth. Perhaps the slightest grainy aftertaste/feel on the palate. Some nice floral-sweet flavors towards the front. Highly imbibable.

When shaken, hop notes much more evident in the nose. Needs a more sizable and durable head, but I can't elicit one. On the whole, it's a simple brew, with some significant but not overwhelming pitfalls. The hops and foam need more umph, the mouthfeel needs tinkering, (side note--i just burped and the burp-taste is phenomenally good! lots of intricate hop flavor) and my opinion calls for less smoothness in the quest for more robust body. More carbonation, certainly.

Photo of jmz62565
2.98/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is a nice coppery color with a two finger head.Pretty nice looking considering their other beers have smallish heads.The smell is a little light,some hops and a little floral,but not much.The taste isn't as hoppy as other pale ales.It's a little weak,some hops and spices,but a little watery.The m/f is too watery and light for my tastes.This is a beer you could drink all day,but it's just too weak and watery for my taste.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.48/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I could drink pkenty of these. Its a nice dark color and infact it is pretty bitter compared to other pale ales ive had. I also tried it fromt he sample pack and i enjoyed this one and the balc and tan the best out of this brewery. I enjoyed the fact that the aftertaste is plesant but stays for a while after sips.

Photo of daliandragon
3.87/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

My second effort at the Saranac sampler pack..what a great idea by the way, I wish more breweries would help us beer geeks out by issuing sampler packs.
This English pale pours a tall brownish reddish color with noticeable carbonation bubbles but no head. Its smell lends Kent Goldings hops and a fruity texture with an underlying malt presence. Not too shabby.
The taste is rich and lasting with a double barrel blast of hoppy bitterness that rides the length of the sip and continues into the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is clean and crisp, the carbonation isn't as strong as I feared. It'll be interesting to contrast this with the IPA, which is next. Reminds me of some of the old Cooperstown beers, also brewed in upstate NY and using similar hops. That's a good thing.
This is a highly drinkable beer..not a work of art but still a tasty, flexible beer great for sessions, ballgames, or whatever.

Photo of Gattopardo
3.18/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Good frothy head with strong retention and copper amber color, lots of carbonation.

Smell: Light malt aroma.

Taste: Strong bite of hops tends to overpower other flavors but hints of fruit and caramel present. Bitterness mellows after warming and aeration.

Mouthfeel: Medium body.

Drinkability: Decent and drinkable but not entirely memorable, very representative of its style.

Photo of cyberbmcd
3.7/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of my favorites. Saranac Pale Ale is quite charming. This caramel colored Ale has no head to speak of, as is the case with all Saranac's offerings. That said, everything else is wonderful. Very smooth feel, accompanied by sharp hops without being bitter. Smooth but not creamy. Tastes just as good if you left your glass sitting at room temp for a while or ice cold from the cooler. This is a beer to have while playing poker with your friends

Overall: Good beer, good friends, good times, enjoy,

Photo of semihobo
3.54/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Small head dies fast, leaves a few puddles layering over the top. Amber color is fine, somewhat blah. Some big bubbles drifting up slowly.

Smell is much more hop than malt. The bottle notes "aggressively-hopped" -- this appears to be the case. Nice of them to list ingredients. Hops are a little floral.

Simple little pale ale. There's a very pleasant woodiness/nuttiness accompanying a healthy but not intimidating amount of hops. Malts do the job, but nothing special.

A little overcarbonated, pretty crisp but a little thin. Leaves a sticky resin finish.

Nothing exciting, except that this is really very drinkable. Reminds me of Sam Adams fresh on tap at the bar, when you're thirsty, boy it's just good. This is "good," the sort of beer I could have a half dozen of during a party and not think about. A good workhorse beer, won't tax you and stays drinkable... think fishing or something where you still need tasty beer and hops but gotta keep it simple.

Photo of asabreed
3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another bottle from the mixed 6-pack I bought, and now of course it's the Pale Ale.

Appearance: Slight lacing, but a head that disappears quickly, unfortunately. Brownish yellow color (more on the yellow side). All of it could be better, but it's certainly not too bad.

Smell: An amalgam of hops and malts, but not too much is descernible. Some yeastiness is also present for sure. If it was more balanced it could be much nicer.

Taste: I wish it was hoppier, as the malts and yeastiness of the brew come to the forefront mostly. Some citrus at the back of the tongue at the swallow, more grapefruit-type than orange or lemon. It's the oily hop feel that I'm missing, though that's more of what an IPA is. But still, the balance and flavors call for much more than what's going on, as far as I'm concerned.

Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy, medium carbonation, and medium to full bodied.

Drinkability: With nothing being overly strong or present, somehow it works to this beer's advantage. I know there are much better pale ales out there, but this one's not too bad if you're looking to sip on one and enjoy it, and I imagine for some it would make a decent session beer.

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Saranac Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 1,221 ratings.