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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 NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.1/5  rDev -9.4%

Saranac Pale Ale is called the "classic English ale"

Pale Ale poured an inviting caramel/ orange-red with a creamy head that stuck to my face.
The aroma was of Hops and grain.
The taste was plain- hops and grains, wheat, a slight roasting.
Very smooth and finishes with a tinge of bitterness.

Pale Ale is a ho-hum, run of the mill pale ale. Not bad but there's plenty out there that are better!

11-30-2003 20:03:06 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of marc77


3.3/5  rDev -3.5%

Copper hue, with a slight mirk. One fingered, fluffy off white head yields sparse lace. Mild wafts of sugar sprinkled grapefuit along with subtle, odd hints of almond. Trace bready base malt notes arise as it warms. Prosaic aromawise. Light toffee sweetness incipient in flavor yields to a combination of moderate, quinine laced hop and bread crust like bitterness. Slight papery malt hints indicate fledgling oxidation. Well attenuated and dryish overall, but aptly dextrinous in mouthfeel. Hop flavor is expectedly of a pink grapefruit nature, albeit with a tinge of pine. Finishes with a brief surge of light caramel, but otherwise dry, with hints of citric tartness. A simple, no frills pale. Soft on the palate, indeed. Would be utterly innocuous if not for the slight oxidation. Respectable.

11-26-2003 20:16:54 | More by marc77
Photo of HappyHourHero


3.4/5  rDev -0.6%

Not much of an off white head. A tiny bit of lacing above the dark amber beer. Sweet and malty aroma, not really any hops. Medium body, with just the right amount of carbonation. Lightly sweet malt up front, a bit on tangy hops on the back of the tongue. Finishes just slightly bitter. A solid session beer.

11-25-2003 03:13:56 | More by HappyHourHero
Photo of winomark


2.85/5  rDev -16.7%

Appearance: Pours a light to medium copper with a fluffy off-white head and lots of vigorous bubbles.

Aroma: Mild malt tones and some hops present. NOt much going on in the nose.

Taste: Good malt profile with good hops offering balance in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Flavorful, but mild. Short finish, with some bitterness.

Drinkability: Not a beer tha I wold seek out, but a decent, easy-drinking brew.

11-23-2003 14:41:55 | More by winomark
Photo of CBFanWish

New York

3.48/5  rDev +1.8%

Saranac Pale Ale has a medium amber color that leads to a weak head that just doesn't want to last. The smell is fruity, hops are subtle. There is a very fruity taste. I can't quite pinpoint what fruit I taste exactly, but there is that taste. The hops are there, just not in abundance. It's not a bad beer, but it's not a great beer. What this is is a great starter beer. If anything will open the door to our (beer geeks) world, this could be it.

11-20-2003 21:41:35 | More by CBFanWish
Photo of shippos

New York

4.33/5  rDev +26.6%

medium amber color, actually darker than there amber, and a small but dense white head. dry floral hoppy aroma with hints of raisins and dried fruits. excellent mouthfeel with a good hint of caramel malts, excellent taste as the hops are there and the malt but they are in perfect harmony, an absolute classic pale ale. I love this beer gotta try more of it.

11-20-2003 14:02:51 | More by shippos
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

One of the 12 beers in the winter holiday sampler package. It pours a clear copper color with a medium head. The head dissolved within a few minutes. The aroma was not overly exciting, as some light malt and a faint floral smell was detected.

The malt and hops flavor were better balanced in the flavor department, but were both mellower than other pale ales. There was a slight fruitiness that lasted for a short time on the tongue. This was very smooth, had a medium body, but could have used a bit more hops. Very drinkable.

11-17-2003 23:02:05 | More by Gavage
Photo of vitesse


4/5  rDev +17%

served in 12 oz. brown bottle from "trail mix" six pack...
this is my favorite saranac brew. a very traditional pale ale. not far off really from its english forefathers. pours an orange/brown color. nice clarity. slight flecks of yeast in the foam. nice head. great lace on the glass. very appetizing appearance. malt comes through in the smell.
taste is very traditional. mild hops give it a traditional taste. very mild, but very good. not hoppy or overly acidic. biscuity/carmel balance in the malts.
could maybe tone the carbonation down just a notch, but otherwise a very good pale ale. i highly recommend this beer.

11-10-2003 20:08:48 | More by vitesse
Photo of Beastdog75

New Jersey

3.1/5  rDev -9.4%

(Saranac "12 Beers" sampler, 2002 edition)

The Saranac Pale Ale seems to be as average as a pale ale could come. All the aspects of a pale ale are here, but nothing is over or underdone. No "special effects" either. Kind of a no frills pale ale if you ask me.

This pale ale pours a light copper/gold color, that is somewhat similar to the Saranac Adirondack Amber. A 1 finger foam head forms and dissapears in under 30 seconds, leaving some whispy lace. There is some light malt in the aroma along with a good amount of hop fruitiness. I have to give mention to a previous BA (I think it was rangerdanger) who noted some cheesy aspects in this beer and I have to agree with him, as there is a scent in which I can only describe as cheesiness in the smell. The mouthfeel is thin and lightly carbonated. Taste had a light but decent amount of caramel malt flavors. Cheesy flavor is here too. Hop presence was quite assertive, with definite citric qualities and somewhat of a minty quality too. High-moderate amount of bitterness. Aftertaste has a lingering hop bitterness that lasts for a good amount of time and this finishes off with a very slight alcoholic warmth.

As mentioned, pretty average, and the cheesiness was the only "stand-out" feature of this beer. Pretty drinkable, and probably worth a second try if I get the chance.

11-05-2003 07:04:34 | More by Beastdog75
Photo of Ianhockey91


3.1/5  rDev -9.4%

Got it in a mix pack. Pours out a nice orance, decent head (appears to be hihgly carbonated) Tastes ok, hops seem to be very very prevelent in this one but not overly bittler, and the malt had a bisuity feel to it. I enjoyed this beer because it was quite smooth, but probably wont buy it again, the money is better spent on some SN pale or some otter creek plae ale.

10-28-2003 04:04:29 | More by Ianhockey91
Photo of taez555


3.8/5  rDev +11.1%

This beer poured a big fluffy white head with a clear amber body.

The nose was very malty. A slight hop smell, a touch of honey, caramel, fruit and some floral overtones. But for the most part it had a very malty smell.

The taste was rather interesting. Very highly carbonated for a pale ale. Caramel, biscuit and bready malt tastes. The hops were an interesting mix of an English/German earthyness with with a touch of purely american citrus. There's also this chalky bitterness to the whole mix of flavors.

It ends with a decent bitter citrus finish that fades quickly.

Overall it's a very drinkable beer. Nothing I'd go crazy about. A very unique mix of English and American Pale Ale.

10-25-2003 06:26:06 | More by taez555
Photo of scottum


3.1/5  rDev -9.4%

Served a pale amber with a short head. This was the dollar on tap at Three Needs in Burlington, VT. A decent pale ale, but nothing special. Quite the drinkable, but nothing unique about the flavor to draw one in. An average ale on all counts. Worth a shot when nothing is on tap, but nothing to order above other north east microbrews.

09-30-2003 00:12:10 | More by scottum
Photo of garymuchow


4/5  rDev +17%

Aroma has real malt/hops mix with a nice malt base then English style hops with a slightly grainy, grassy hay quality. I noted only slight fruitness which is different than advertised on the bottle.
Nice amber color, a head that thins on it's own, but fairly steady with some lacing.
Good mix of malt yet a biting hops and still remarkably smooth. Graininess with grassy hop qualities. Some fruit character as warms in the mid to finish.
Softness noted, moving to a nice ale smoothness as warms. Fullness from carbonation otherwise medium feel.
Pretty complex plae ale, with a little excess on the bite to be top class, but pleasing nonetheless.

09-06-2003 15:09:02 | More by garymuchow
Photo of goz


2.7/5  rDev -21.1%

Light copper with a medium white head, mostly diminishes to leave a light amount of lace. Aroma is bready, some sweetness, and lightly hopped. Flavor is a strange combo of sweetness, toast, and some mild hoppiness. Thin-medium in body, nothing really notable about this brew.

09-05-2003 02:04:43 | More by goz
Photo of kevinl6

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +17%

4s all the way for me on this one. A good beer. Appeared amber/golden in color. Smelled very malty, with some definate fruit aromas as well. Tastes fruity and sweet. A little bitter on the palate, but still good. Good drinkability as well....I could have had another. Pale ale is by no means my favorite style, but I'll purchase this one again. A good beer.

08-05-2003 15:49:56 | More by kevinl6
Photo of LiquidBreadMan


3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

As far as Pale Ales go, this one's better than average. It pours a nice golden color, with a semi-thick head (short-lived). The smell is pretty much par for the Pale Ale course: hoppy, fruity and somewhat pronounced on all fronts. Taste is nicely crisp and pleasantly hoppy, with a faint orange-lemon aftertaste. This one goes down easily as well.

07-25-2003 15:30:11 | More by LiquidBreadMan
Photo of GeoffRizzo


4.13/5  rDev +20.8%

Light amber, borderline orange, one finger head, incredible lacing throughout, nice aroma of fruit and some hops detected, superior first impression beer. Initial taste is a well balanced blend of hops and malt flavor, in the background are some orange peel and coriander notes. Medium bodied, slight creamy, slightly dry, decent character, just needs a little hopped up to make it a great pale ale, still an above average pale ale.

07-12-2003 04:17:07 | More by GeoffRizzo
Photo of avylover


3.95/5  rDev +15.5%

Nice golden brew with a frothy light tan head. less than $5 a six pack. Nice maltly smell. This more like an english pale ale with a nice dose of american hops. Mild, but still interesting and enjoyable to drink. A nice bitter english hop bite to add to the taste. A great low cost pale ale, and very worthy of the price. A steal.

07-11-2003 18:31:26 | More by avylover
Photo of kbub6f

New York

3.95/5  rDev +15.5%

Bought at a gas station on the interstate north of Syracuse, NY, half a day in the trunk of my car, a couple of days in the fridge.

The head is big, cream-colored, dense and slow to settle. The color is a darkish amber, slightly reddish. Nice full, sticky, blotchy sheets of lacing. The smell is nutty, a little fruity, a little hoppy. The front is sweetish and nutty, with some obvious hops. The middle is malty, with a little fruit, but is also a little sour. The nutty finish is very dry with a little sour alcohol. Very tasty bitter hoppiness, though.

This isn't bad. It's a little light on the malts for a "Classic English Ale", I think, though the malts do come out more at temperature. Nice.

07-01-2003 07:53:04 | More by kbub6f
Photo of FranklinPCombs


4.03/5  rDev +17.8%

This ale has a beautiful reddish golden color, and a wonderfully foamy head. The head recedes slowly into a single layer, leaving a very thick lace around the glass. I was hit with the aroma of hops on first smell, along with a crisp citrus rind smell and a touch of yeast. The mouthfeel is light and slightly carbonated, and quite pleasant to have in ones mouth. The flavor is at first a smooth malt, but it quickly builds to a mild bitter marked by hops, and the citrus rind lingers through. THere is also a very slight hint of burnt earthiness. The sip leaves a interestingly dry feeling in the mouth, and as I usually like, left a desire to drink more. Quite a good ale.

06-27-2003 15:17:44 | More by FranklinPCombs
Photo of steelreign

New York

3.73/5  rDev +9.1%

Fruity, hoppy, zesty and totally refreshing example of this style. Typical light golden orangy color. Scent of hops and yeast in the nose arose from the white foamy, lacy head. Citrus notes are present and add to the attraction of this brew.

Slightly above average mouthfeel, enjoyable and smooth. Very mild hop bite finish, despite its relatively full hop flavor, much less bite than say, Sierra Nevada P.A.... This is a perfect lawn mowing session beer which could be consumed over many hours in the summer months. Excellent!

06-26-2003 07:58:13 | More by steelreign
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 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
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.63/5  rDev +6.1%

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.

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


2.95/5  rDev -13.7%

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.

06-06-2003 10:12:15 | More by far333
Saranac Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 1,111 ratings.