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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.

1,088 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,088
Reviews: 613
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 13.74%
Wants: 4
Gots: 32 | 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)
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Ratings: 1,088 | Reviews: 613 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.63/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark golden/ light amber color with a nice white head that lasts. It aroma is of malty sweetness and noble hops. 6 specialty malts make up it's grist; giving it malt character that is well balanced. The mouthfeel is low to med. and very drinkable. It's not the best pale ale I've had, but it's not the worst either. Worth a second look.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2003 13:56:18 | More by WesWes
Photo of far333


2.95/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Light copper color with a beige frothy head. Light aroma of malt and citrus. Mouthfeel is smooth, even, and crisp, but I find the flavor severely lacking. This is more pale than ale. It's a bit flowery and a bit citrusy, but the malt doesn't come through very stong, and there is no detectable hops in the upfront, the finish, or the aftertaste.

Serving type: on-tap

06-06-2003 10:12:15 | More by far333
Photo of Stingray5

New York

3.03/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden yellow with a substantial, well-behaved white head. Mild citrus hop aroma. Pleasing. Mouthful is nice, if a little watered. Taste fall a bit flat at first, but it finishes with a tangy bitter hoppiness that hangs around and plays with the insides of my cheeks. Quite dry at the end as well.

This beer looked good and smelled good, but the taste just didn't measure up. Good value for the price, but not enough to recommend it. So far I'm finding Saranacs to look better than they taste.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2003 20:48:36 | More by Stingray5
Photo of longpondbeerman


3.95/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This pale poured a nice, lusty amber with a full light tan head. Lots of hops in the initial smell, but not a whole lot of complexity otherwise. The taste, though, was a little more intricate; it was tart and had light citrus tweaks--nothing overwhelming, but it also faded quickly. The mouthfeel was smooth enough. Not a great one, but good for a warm spring afternoon. I got this pretty cheap at my local supermarket, which definitely put it higher on the drinkability quotiant.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2003 14:46:20 | More by longpondbeerman
Photo of AtLagerHeads


3.2/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another great looking Saranac that lets down after the look. Clear amber body is nicely topped by 2 fingers of ivory head that settles into a quarter inch of lacing engine. The aroma is more to the hop side than to the malt. The flavor is strongly hops with plenty of malt background. The body is nicely moderate and the ending is crisp. The final hop sense is grapefruity and lastingly bitter. Long bitter aftertaste. Not as enjoyable at the finish as it is at the start.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2003 20:54:01 | More by AtLagerHeads
Photo of Tballz420


3.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A bright golden brown color off the pour. A nice sized, creamy white head, with bits of foam sticking to the sides of the glass. There is a nice taste of bitter hops in this one, with a caramel taste and smell to match it. This is not a bad drink at all.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2003 22:10:32 | More by Tballz420
Photo of rabidawg


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

Appearance: Golden brown bread crust color with a nice off-white head. Left lace on the top two fingers of the glass.

Smell: Floral hops dominate, with slight yeasty, fruity background. Malt profile minimal.

Taste: Grapefruit hops hit the tongue, settled by the non-American hops. Definitely tastes like an English pale to me. Dry in the finish and quite drinkable. Slight tea flavors lurk in the background.

$4.99/sixer. Great beer for the price, not a bad brew overall. Solid but not spectacular, like most of Matt Brewing's line.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2003 21:30:25 | More by rabidawg
Photo of nomad


3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a light orange amber color, with a steady but quiet and tiny carbonation. Had a creamy almost frothy head, no lace, but stained the glass well. Nose had a very fruity profile, a light malt, and floral hops scent. Wish this beer's smell was stronger. Taste was a very tart fruit, bitter from a good blend of hops, and dry. The bitterness was almost chewable. In general, fairly tasty with a decent malt body. Had a crisp and quick finish, with very little linger – mostly simple hops and bitter cream. All of these finishing qualities helped make it easy to drink. Good session beer and cheap.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2003 08:18:46 | More by nomad
Photo of Stubbie1


3.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This ale poured a golden yellow. A thick white head was at the top and gave way to a thin lace. The aroma was sweet malt, a touch of caramel with a slight presence of hops. The taste matched the aroma, with slight bitter finish at the end. A drinkable pale ale, nothing to overwhelming in taste. An Average pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2003 05:56:30 | More by Stubbie1
Photo of RBorsato


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

Copper color with a nice tannish head, good carbonation, and decent lace. NIce fruity hop aroma at first but fades fairly quickly. More malt than hop flavor but a good balance with malt leaning to the "not-so-suprising" saranac caramel side. Light-medium bodied.

Not bad but better session Pale Ales to be had.

Label states "Classic English Ale" and "Kent Goldings and Fuggles hops"

ABV: 5.5% per the book "Best American Beers"

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2003 11:59:37 | More by RBorsato
Photo of EmoBeerGuy

New Hampshire

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

Going to school right near Utica, this is just about the most readily avalible beer to me (its cheaper than Bud). This says that it is an English style pale ale but it seems to me to err more on the side of a West Coast Pale Ale.

Pours to a deep amber color. Hops on the nose. Taste is of an apply sweetness with slight malt and a nice crisp hoppy finish. I think this is a great session beer. Especially if your around Upstate NY and its 4.29 a 6-er.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2003 12:55:28 | More by EmoBeerGuy
Photo of NeroFiddled


3.63/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


4.08/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A solid, worthy pale ale. Hazy copperish-gold with as good a head on a beer as I've ever seen; lots of lace. A dry, malty beer that is just a tad more aggressively hopped than most British beers but otherwise is a dead ringer. Some butter flavors, bread crust, lots of caramel (trademark Saranac flavor if you ask me) with some spiciness derived from the yeast. A dry finish with some puckering on the tongue is chief evidence of hops; a bit of citric flavor in taste, and lots of hops in the aroma. This is a solid, underappreciated beer and if you're stuck on what to buy for yourself or your friends, this will not disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2003 15:01:14 | More by Thrasher
Photo of pezoids


2.83/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured out a slightly hazy amber orange color. The head was mediocre and stayed this throughout. From the beer, came a strange soap-like smell - almost citrus, almost grassy, but faint.

The taste was bittersweet and slightly cidery. The beer was light to medium bodied. Not too much here that stands out, but a good drinkable beer regardless.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2003 21:18:00 | More by pezoids
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

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

Clear copper body with under a huge breathing rocky head of bubbles of all sizes, which rise above the glass. Very sticky. Aroma is citrus and pine, akin to a low-key version of Sierra Nevada. It's good, but not too strong. Taste starts with some caramel, then the citricy hops sneak in, but neither overwhelms. You could say it needs more malt or more hops, but as it is, it is finely balanced. This is a nice middle of the road pale ale, walking the line between American and English. Relativily inexpensive also.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2003 20:35:53 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of francisweizen


3/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Decent for an English Style Pale Ale, but to me this seems like just another BASS clone! This beer poured a nice copper-ish amber colour with a bit of a head on it. This smelled like malts and hops...in a good blend and it tasted like more of the same. Boring, Bland, and 1 dimensional. This is probably a good beer to go camping with, but why drink this when you have so many other quality choices around?
This has an OK drinkability for me as well...
Hey, Saranac makes some very nice beers @ very nice prices...but this is not one of their best!
ciao for now,

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2003 06:37:17 | More by francisweizen
Photo of CharlesRiver


3.85/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another beer from the 12 beers of Christmas 12 pack. Pours copper in color with a small head and doesn't last. Compared to the rest of the Matt line-up that I have had, this one is okay. Nice malty smell with a hint of hops. The taste is similar only more hops coming through in the end. Smooth but not very complex. Aftertaste has hints of citrus from the hops. I am happily suprised. I would try this one again.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2003 16:05:57 | More by CharlesRiver
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.05/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


3.85/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am a big fan of the genre of Pale Ale and this is a more than decent effort. Its pour was very nice witha rich, deep, amber color and a substantial off-white head. The smell was deep and rich with heavy notes of coffee, smoked wood, malts and some quality hops. The taste was rich and creamy with toasted malts and burnt flavors and just a little fresh goldings hops taste. This taste coupled with the fact that a 12 pack costs under 10 dollars makes the Saranac Pale a great choice. I would also recomend that the Saranac Pale and the Sierra Nevada be one that you slowly ween your more ignorant friends away from the macro swill, before they get the full blown beer revolution from some of the Victories and Rogues.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2003 09:33:09 | More by GreatPondBrewer
Photo of Kunsan90

North Carolina

3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I don’t consider myself a Pale Ale lover, but since it came in a sampler pack, I felt obliged to try it. Once poured, the color was clear reddish amber. A thick foamy head was present, but dissipated pretty quickly once a couple of drinks were taken. During consumption, head residue remained on the sides of the glass adding to taste of each drink. The taste was fairly balanced, no overpowering bitter or sweet taste, and went down very well. I didn’t experience any overpowering aftertaste and I found myself looking forward to the next drink. Two other individuals enjoyed one with me and they agree that they enjoy another, even at their expense.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2003 16:42:05 | More by Kunsan90
Photo of stegmakk

New York

3.23/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Average Pale ale.
Clear light copper color with off white head. Most head disappeared quickly but left some lacy bubbles on the edge throughout the whole beer.
It has a medium hop flavor with a very slight floral scent.
Goes down very easy. Nothing special or outstanding, but still a good beer. I will drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2002 15:15:04 | More by stegmakk
Photo of jtw5877


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

Pours a dark amber/gold hue, with the biggest head I have seen on any of the Saranac beers I have sampled. Nice hop aroma, and taste. Enough maltiness to hold it toghether, and enough hopiness to finish it up, a good gateway for the style #7 of the 12 beer sampler, is a keeper, not a legendary IPA, but not a bad one either, 1 more reason to buy the sampler.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2002 17:51:46 | More by jtw5877
Photo of BeerBuilder


3.1/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Copper in color with an off-white head. Leaves a good deal of lace-work down the glass. Aroma is fruity hoppiness, with a slight malt background. Sweet caramel malt flavors, and also the fruity, citric hop flavors. The bitterness is at a medium level in the finish. It is overall a relatively smooth drinking pale ale, nothing really sticks out in this one. It is pretty well balanced between the malt and hops, but seems more like an American Pale Ale than an English Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2002 06:15:33 | More by BeerBuilder
Photo of Riggo


3.83/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

For lovers of English-style Pale Ale in America, this beer is a great "bang for your buck". Not an outstanding brewing achievement but a nice, quaffable pale ale that goes for as little as $4.99 a six in my area.

A hard pour delivers a creamy off-white head with good head- rention. The creaminess of the head perhaps partially makes up in mouthfeel for a slight thinness in body and, in fact, in color; the pale copper color seems a little too pale and "thin". Nice hoppy floral scents burst forth and on the tongue bitter hops and floral, fruity, citrus notes dominate. The bitterness of the hops can seem slightly too direct and therefore almost mildy astringent or sour, but overall this is a very drinkable pale ale, a good thirst quencher for pale ale fans.

I tend to think of this as a poor man's Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from a brewery that deserves credit for putting out some fine beers, if not on the same level as people like Sierra, Victory, Anchor, etc.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2002 21:56:44 | More by Riggo
Photo of SchmichaelJ


3.58/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This English-Style Pale Ale poured a cloudy amber color, with rather surprising small particles of brown sediment. It had a small head with good retention and little, if any, lacing. There was a nice floral scent and a little bit of hop aroma, also. The hops really assert themsleves in the taste, and the malt makes a late appearance in the aftertaste. A pretty good taste overall. I'm usually a fan of hoppy beers, but for this review, the hops were perhaps just a little too assertive for me. The medium body and smooth tingle gave this beer a rather pleasant mouthfeel. This pale ale remains very drinkable. While I would perhaps reach for another English PA, or another style of beer if given the choice, I wouldn't be disappointed with a Saranac Pale Ale at any given time.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2002 11:32:26 | More by SchmichaelJ
Saranac Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 1,088 ratings.