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Saranac Pale Ale - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Pale AleSaranac Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,199 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,199
Reviews: 622
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 13.45%
Wants: 5
Gots: 84 | 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: 1,199 | Reviews: 622 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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

12 oz brown longneck sampled as part of the trail mix offering.

The beer is a dark copper with a tan head and decent lacing.

The hops are prominent in the aroma. The beer smell like fresh citrus and pine with a touch of bready malts in the background.

The beer is slightly bitter (less than I expected given the smell) with a bracing citrus taste. Toasted malts linger with a bit of metallic twang late.

The good carbonation helps overcome the slightly thin mouthfeel. Would be a fine session drinker and once that can cut the heat on spicy food. Well done!

Photo of sabrills70
2.82/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a medium amber with a very small head that faded quickly and almost non existant lacing. Faint smells of hops but not what I think a typical pale ale shold be. Some malt aromas as well. Tatses of a typical PA. Strong hop flavor and bitterness but I think its a bit too heavy, or possible weak on the malt side. Medium carbonation and a bit watery. A below average PA in my book, not horrible but below average.

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

Not the best of the PA genus, but for the money it's a pretty good beer. Pours a pretty amber color which begs "drink me" on a hot summers day. A moderate head fades to oblivion fairly quickly leaving behind a brew that smells citrusy from the hops. The hops are definitely in the flavor profile along with a nicely balanced malt backing. Not terribly exciting and missing the wow factor, but nonetheless, a solid, crisp tasting brew that's quite refreshing under a hot summer sun. I would be content downing a few of these.

Photo of kbnooshay
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice inviting amber/copper color with a great uneven head. Well with the smell the pine hops are there. Nothing like what you get with a southern tier i.p.a. but you can tell they are there. The taste has lots o' hops, not enough malt in my opinion. Mouthfeel is moderate. This is very drinkable though. It has a really friendly taste to it.

Photo of cubedbee
3.43/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pour a bright amber with a finger of white head with a thin cap being retained till the very bottom. Smell is piney hops with a little bit of butterscotchy malt mixed in. Flavor is pretty simple---malts and hops are the only thing which really get tasted, with the hops being bitter rather than flavorful, and slightly overshadowing the malt. There is also a slight metallic aftertaste. Mouthfeel was smooth, but a little on the thin side. Overall this is a decent pale ale, but given the large number of good beers in this style, it just isn't worth buying.

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
3.57/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A journey back to one of the first craft beers I remember having. Overall a nice beer from a brewery that produces a failry consistent product.

A&S- Saranac frames itself as a classic English brewer and I have to agree. Pour caramel red with a thin head, nice lacing. Pretty typical for your run of the mill PA.

S&T- Good. Pine and butterscotch. Earthy tones with a hint of mass-production.

M&D- Before I knew it, I was slugging these bad boys down. Light, easy to drink.

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

Appearance: It pours a copper amber colour. It is nice and inviting.

Smell: The aroma makes me thinking so much about tea and some fruits.

Taste: The flavours are a complex mix of malts with good hops synergy. You will also have lots of fun to discover all of them.

Mouthfeel: Very drinkable. It is thin, but it is still fun to drink.

Drinkability: This beer is not bad at all. That's funny, but I can't stop to think about tea / iced tea when I drink it. It got the colour, the smell and the taste! Overall, it is a very decent beer.

Photo of TheDeuce
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance-frothy white head tops a rather copper colored ale, decent sized head, not so pale though is it?

Smell-some malt, citrus hop combined with fuggles, not bad.

Taste-not bad, decent hop flavor balanced nicely with malt, no way I can complain about it, just doesn't jump out at me.

Mouthfeel-completely inoffensive, smooth leaving fuggles aroma behind, decent.

Drinkability-not too alcoholic, decent flavor and aroma, a nice sessioner.

Overall-a nice pale ale, especially for the uninitiated, for those that have had many it may seem dull, but it's inoffensive and a good stab by Saranac.

Photo of TinusTime
3.43/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber colour with a slightly off white head. Leaves a decent sticky lace on the way down. Nose is of a bit of floral, citrus hops with a bit of sweet malt thrown in the back ground. Some fruity ale like notes are also evident

Taste is fairly basic. Somewhat malty up front, with the hops lending some citus and a little bit of piney notes to the back. Nice fruity notes help balance the two. Nice easy mouthfeel, decent carbonation makes this very drinkable. Definately a candidate for a session beer when you are on a budget. Overall Saranac might not make you sit up and smack yourself, but for a inexpensive beer its hard to beat.

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

This one poured out an amber beer with a one finger, fast-dissipating head. Looked OK, for an APA.

Aroma was of pine-like hops, and it was rather light. A wisp of malts in there.

Taste was of bittering hops, a little breadiness, a little astringent.

Mouthfeel was pretty smooth overall, but thin.

I'd say this one was a little better than average, overall, but not too much.

Photo of TongoRad
3.08/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Slightly hazy amber with a rocky long lasting head.

Floral/resiny hops dominate the aroma, but there is also an unpleasant metallic quality. Caramel malt is deep down in the nose, as is a touch of alcohol, which seems out of place.

Flavors carry through on the nose- including that metallic quality- though the bitterness seems ratcheted up a bit too high. A touch of nuts and fruit on the finish keeps it interesting.

A flawed but decent enough beer.

Saranac Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 1,199 ratings.