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Saranac Pale Ale - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Pale AleSaranac Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,210 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,210
Reviews: 624
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 13.45%
Wants: 6
Gots: 95 | 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
View: Beers (94) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,210 | Reviews: 624 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of cracgor
4.2/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is by far my favorite beer under $1/bottle. It is widely available. The hops are piney and almost citrusy, and come across both in the taste and smell. Not overwhelming and very well balanced with the malts. Clean, light to medium in body. Refreshing. This isn't over the top on any level, but it is so delicious. I love this stuff. The first beer I started on, and drinking it today reminds me I don't drink it often enough.

Photo of tempest
2.93/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour a nice, but quickly disappearing head with a hazy light copper body. Leaves enough lacing to count, but its fairly thin.

Slightly floral aroma which is nice, but there's something off here. Its almost as if there's something wrong with the malt.

Tastes pleasant but is just too weak. There's a little hops, a little malt, and not enough of either. Really, where the hell's the taste? I keep drinking but I just can't find it.

Very easy drinking, but a little too easy. Goes down like a lager. While it will beat any maco-adjunct, that should go without saying. This beer basically needs some more cajones.

Photo of MuddyFeet
2.41/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I think I licked the inside of a flower pot. The hops in this beer are too floral and the malts provide very little balance. Malts have very little prsence and I can only taste them without looking at the back end of the finish. Hops are very present and completely floral. taste is rather dissapointing, I was expect something a little more drinkable from Saranac. I wince with every sip. Mouthfeel is very light and oily.

Photo of orfeu
3.3/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber-copper color topped by a 1-1/2" head that quickly dissipates to about 1/2". Aroma is mostly fruity esters with a hint of caramel malt.

Taste is floral hops, mild sweetness, and...metal twang? Not the first time I've had this beer, and the taste has always been better than this -- maltier.

Lacing is decent; mouthfeel: lightly carbonated and smooth.

Halfway through, the metal aftertaste disappears, and I'm getting more floral hoppiness.

This is usually a good brew, perhaps it was served too cold...

Photo of PBRstreetgang
2.96/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a copper amber hue, with translucent clarity. Three finger head holds very well, even for an ale with lots of hops and leaves good sticky lacing. Fruit esters and noble hops in the nose. Strong Hop bitterness and lingering aftertaste overpower a distant roasted malt flavor. This unbalance hinders the already undercarbonated and medium bodied mouthfeel. Even an aggressively hopped APA should feel smooth and dry, but the hop finish turns abrasive and residual.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.05/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of granger10
3.58/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This Saranac offering has a strong red copper color with a sturdy medium tan head. Aroma is fruity and a little bitter. Taste has a lot of balance. Really fruity up front but that soon moves to being more of a pale malt flavor then yeasty. Really rich body. Thicker than most pales and buttery too. The diacetyl is high but it works nicely here. Hops seem weaker than many pales I have tried but give a nice balance and another element to the beer. This was obviously British in style and made well to style. Another solid well made Saranac offering.

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

Purchased as part of asmpler pack. Poured a medium amber color with great white head that quickly fell to a thin ring. Smell is a bit malty with some caramel noted but on the light side. Taste is slightly malty with minimun hops. Finish is mostly malt. An OK beer.

Photo of jakester
3.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was from a sampler case. No date!!

Pours a beautiful clear deep copper with a one finger off-white head of small bubbles. Some carbonation evident. Decent lacing.

Aroma is fruity herbal/grassy hops, light brown sugar, slight bready malts, very pleasant. The smell is clean.

The first flavor is grassy hops, then pineapple, caramel candy, maybe a little diacetyl. Pretty good level of bittering for an APA. Long grassy/herbal aftertaste. Nice.

Mouthfeel is fairly crisp and clean. Pretty good tingle from carbonation. Balanced and well made.

There's pretty much going on here, and I could drink this all day if I had to. I've heard this described as a small version of the IPA, but that's inaccurate. The IPA is grapefruity/lemony, and this is herbal grassy. This is also more malty.

Photo of Ricochet
3.52/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Talk about a trip up. The label says this is a classic english pale ale, well, it was a cheaper beer selection, and well, I know why.

Started very nice from the pour, traditional lighter amber with nice head that left after about a minute in the glass and smelled very much like other bottled APA's with a flowery hop ending. Good.

Mouth was little better than average, foaming nicely, no nasty "rust" flavors and a slight winey note. The taste was, well, not so exciting. I compare APAs at this price level with JWD's Pale and while I score this for hoppy taste and bitterness, maybe a little more flavor than JWD's. Maybe a little less drinkable than JWD because the bitterness in this seemed a little odd, hard to explain.

Okay beer as a change up or in a sampler.

Photo of Bierguy5
3.48/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear light amber color. White foamy head with good retention. Slight fruity aroma, hint of citrus, grainy and husky smell. Hint of caramel malt, some fruitiness follows. Citrusy, earthy hop flavor, fair amount of bitterness. Somewhat grainy. Medium body, moderate carbonation. Not bad, but a bit grainy? Pretty easy to drink. Not a bad offering.

Saranac Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 1,210 ratings.