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

Presentation: Poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard glass pint glass, fairly warm (I'd say 45-50 F)

A: Like the bottle says, copper-amber color with off-white head that sticks tot he side of the beer glass. Slow to dissipate. Bubbles travel pretty quick through the beer.

S: Huge rich, sweet bready aroma, somewhat like fig-newtons. Very rich with some sweet dried fruit overtones. Very malty aroma, maybe a hint of hops (not much mind you).

T: Lighter sweet bread flavor than would be expected by the aroma. I keep expecting it to jump up into some hops but instead it fades silently to a slight herbal hoppiness followed by some dry bitterness.

M: Somewhat heavy with light carbonation.

D: A little too biscuity in my opinion, don't think I would buy another one or have another especially if there were different beers around.

Very underwhelmed by this pale ale. I suppose it fits the EPA style ok, but the hops are very little. This is not to say that there was no hops present but too minimal in my opinion. I had the beer a little a warm but doubt it would cause this effect. Seems odd that I would have such a different experience than most...people seemed to note more hops than I did. Still this was what I tasted and I just bought it from the store so shouldn't be any problems with age.

Photo of BricksandPorter
2.48/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ice cold into an American Pint glass.

Pour - quick, easy, no wait with a great steady head. Color is along the lines of a nice clay - brownnish-red with great clarity and crispness.

Nose - hoppy hoppy hoppy. Some floral hints with very little risk on this one.

Taste - a great bite, with good rounding bitterness. Notes of lavender, spice and pecans. Finishes with a dull nutty aftertaste, which is not appealing to me.

Mouth - smooth and creamy, not chunky at all, but the aftertaste leaves something to be desired.

Drinkability - not too risky, not too weak, middle of the road but I really just cannot get over that afterwards. Maybe i bought a bad batch...

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

A - Solid copper color with a hint of burgundy to complement the rest of the body. Head doesn't retain too long. Lacing follows along the surface.

S - Sweet hops with floral notes. Getting hit with some cherry as well.

T - Dry yet sweet. Hops are modest, followed along with some citrus as well. Sweet fruits on the way down. Not sure if it's the alcohol making an appearance as well - doesn't seem quite strong enough.

M - Soft and smooth.

D & Notes - Sits nice - wouldn't protest having another. This seems to be the staple of Saranac's beer's, and it's nothing to sneeze at. A great drink worthy for any pale ale fan.

Photo of bourbonbock
3.66/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found this on tap in a local establishment and ordered a pint. Dark golden amber in color with 2 fingers of white foamy head.

A. This looks pretty good color and head look good. Lacing on the glass is pretty heavy after finishing the glass.

S. Smell is muted for a pale ale. Slight hoppiness and citrus on the nose.

T. Taste is similar to the smell as it is slightly hoppy but not as much as other pale ales and slightly fruity. Overall a pretty balance flavor with a bitter ending.

M. Good carbonation with a creamy feel on the tongue.

D. Great drinkability and a good choice on-tap don't know about the bottle.

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

Pours an orange amber color with a nice cap of white foam.

Smells of grain and apple and sweet yeast aromas.

The taste is tart and bitter, a nice enought english hop.

Far from the greatest pale ale I've had, but not the worst of the sampler pack I purchased. I might drink this again on occasion.

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

A - Light copper with 1/2" off-white head that settles quickly to a thin cap, easily revived with a swirl, and decent lace.

S - A light aroma of malt, grass, yeast, and hints of sour apple.

T - Toasted grain and slight sweetness, a metallic twang, some fruity yeast, bubble-gum, and bitter hops. A strange sourness lingers towards the end.

M - Medium body, a bit oily with moderate-high carbonation.

D - Not bad, but not much going on here. An OK drink, but not something I would seek out.

Photo of L337ish
3.08/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours an orange amber and is very clear. Not quite white head fades at regular pace and laces nicely.

S: Mild tangy/citrus note amidst a decently hoppy and mildly malty scent. Kind of weak, but a nice smell nonetheless.

T: Less bitter than I was expecting and thus quite smooth. The tangy citrus from the scent is barely there but there.

M: Medium bodied with a surprisingly nice finish.

D: Fairly drinkable. Not the best beer but certainly not a bad one. I can see how people would like this beer, its just not for me. Definitely worth trying at least once.

One weird thing about this brew for me. I may have gotten a bad beer or something, but despite the ABV I was getting very strong tastes and odors of alcohol.

Photo of chiefgtx
3.56/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I would love to be able to say I never met a beer I didn't like but...This one just assaulted me with a bitter metallic dirty penny / tartness from beginning to end that must be an aquired taste because I just didn't get it. I enjoyed most of the other beers in this 12 pack assortment but I can honestly say I would drink from a can before I went down this road again. Saranac missed the boat on this one.

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

A - One finger of off-white head on a clear, copper-amber body. The foam settles quickly but leaves nice lace.

S - A light aroma of malt with some yeasty red apple notes. A hint of musty hops in the background.

T - Bready malt up front with just a bit of caramel. The malt character deepens in the middle with more toasted notes and a bit of fruity yeast. Finishes with light caramel and some spicy hops as well as moderate bitterness that just barely balances the significant malt.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Not bad. The malt character is nice, if a bit too big and dark for the style, and the yeast flavor is mild but significant enough to provide some pleasant fruity notes. The hops don't stick out too much and only provide modest bitterness in the finish. A slightly more robust hop profile would make for a more balanced and drinkable beer by balancing out the heavy malt. Not the most spot on example of the style, but drinkable and pretty good for what it is.

Photo of jsprain1
2.86/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- A nice copper color with a thin head and good lacing.
S- Smells of caramel and hop oil. A stange malt flavor. kind of strange.
T- a strange hoppy/caramel taste with this bizarre yeast taste.
M- Dry and husky. low carbonation.
D- a merely ok beer. nothing extraordinary about this beer.

Photo of mnrider
3.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. brown bottle. no freshness date.

A: Pours a pal copper color with a half finger of off white head. Leaves a good amount of lacing.

S: Wow! I was not expecting to get such a fruity aroma. Hops and malts are also there.

T/M: Very smooth and buttery going down. With a bready, fruity, sweet malt taste. Hops are there but kind of week. Finishes with a hop residue taste on the palate, which is on the dry side.

D: A very nice brew. Not sure how well it represents the style given, also could use more of a stronger hop presence. Still very drinkable and satisfying.


Photo of tjd112
3/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this in an Adirondack Trail Mix sixer. There's a lot better pale ales out there than this. Poured a copper color body with some decent, but fast dissipating head. I smell and taste mostly hop bitterness. The mouthfeel however is kinda crisp, which is something I enjoy out of pale ales. Overall, its drinkable, but nothing I'd go out of my way to buy.

Photo of hmk22
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really like this beer although I have to agree with many other reviewers about its being good but not spectacular. There is something missing from this beer -- it's like they stopped a few feet from the finish line, so that you taste the hops but it's not quite hoppy enough, it's flavorful but fades kind of fast, has some body but still a little thin on the tongue...you get the idea. Everything that's here is good, there's just not enough of any of it. All that acknowledged, it's still a fine go-to beer (that's somewhat local for me if you care about that stuff) at a fair if not bargain price (these days anyway).

Photo of dgilks
2.92/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very mild hops. I get a moderate malt aroma with a light caramel. Moderate fruity esters with pineapple the most prominent. Sulphur.

Clear copper colour with a small, short lasting off white head.

The malt profile is sharp. I get a metallic note through the finish. Hops are muddy and don't really come through. Moderately-strong bitterness is nice but the beer is a muddle and doesn't work for me. No malt complexity though there is a light toasty note in the finish.

Medium-light body with moderately-high carbonation cuts any body this beer might of had.

I don't really like this beer. It doesn't work for me and is yet another middling beer from Saranac.

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

Got this as part of a Saranac Sampler 6 pack.

It poured a slight hazy pale gold with a decent head and some lacing.

The taste is just that, very pale. Not as hoppy as I had hoped but for an american pale ale I found it very drinkable and smooth.

Slight floral aroma as well as an almost copper tasting undertone.

Not the greatest beer Ive ever had but it certainly is far from the worst.

Photo of AbiesIrishRose
3.61/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a- clear, pale amber w/ very visible carbonation, 1" dense tan head, reducing to thin layer that coats the glass

s- metallic, grape, slightly animalic

t- initially somewhat sweet, malty, metallic, followed by some bitter hops, toastiness, & a little yeast. Slightly sour aftertaste. Decent balance between sweet, bitter & tart.

m- smooth, medium-bodied, strangely the visible carbonation is not felt much, but residual head is.

d- not a thrilling taste, but not offensive either and more drinkable than a macro.

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

Poured into a nonic pint.

Pours a translucent and translucent copper color with tons of carbonation. An incredible creamy and frothy off-white head emerges from the brew and leaves solid amounts of stringy lacing all around the glass. The aroma is a bit muted compared to other pale ales I've had. A good amount of malt is identifiable, but the hops are very subtle. Not too powerful in pine or citrus aroma, which is quite unfortunate.

Taste is very light overall. At first the palate is hit with slight hoppiness and malt sweetness, which then transitions into an odd pine flavor like forest pine needles, not hoppy pine. Towards the end was an undesirable sourness, not something I was expecting in the beer. No bitterness to the profile whatsoever, which is a bit surprising.

Mouthfeel is average - smooth and clean. Not much of a carbonated feel is also notable. Drinkability is fair, I suppose it would be a viable choice for one to have if selection is lacking. But overall I felt that this beer was poorly crafted and below average. I don't see myself revisiting this again.

Photo of wahhmaster
3.85/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Guinness-branded tulip pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a translucent tawny color. Has a thick, foamy head that dissipates slowly and leaves spotty lacing.

Smell: Smells of piney hops with a bit of citrus/grapefruit aroma. A little bit of a bready, oaty smell as well.

Taste: Starts hoppy and finishes slightly sweet with a bit of a buttery taste to it. Also has an unfortunate metallic taste to it, though it's not as bad as in some beers.

Mouthfeel: Very crisp and clean with an exceedingly dry finish.

Drinkability: An above-average pale ale. This one really is quite tasty and something I'll definitely look for in the future.

Photo of biggred1
3.3/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber with a finger of fine pockmarked foam that leaves rings of lace on the glass. The nose is lightly toasted biscuity malt and citrusy hops. Sweet and bready with just enough lemon oily hops to balance. Medium light bodied and easy to drink. This is good beer but a little underwhelming flavor wise even for an English pale ale.

Photo of ADZA
3.98/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a nice bright orange,copper hue with nice carbonation that leaves a two finger creamy head with nice solid lacing,on the nose the aromas are fruity hops and also a very noticeable toffeeish,malty aroma in the background,it has a nice mouthfeel with tastes of pretty much the same as the nose with a nice mix of fruity hops and caramel,toffee flavoured malts and the beer definately has a nice crisp finish to make you wanna go back for another sip,very sessionable.

Photo of JohnL9013
2.71/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Light amber with a small head. Not poured by me, so I can't say what the head would have been like.

S: A rather nonchalant smell with some hops and citrus notes here and there.

T: This beer has a huge lemon zest to it in addition to the hops. Whether you like this is up to you, but personally I did not like this beer and I thought the lemoney flavor was way overdone, overpowering the other flavors, which were already weak to begin with obviously. This is like a lower-grade Sierra Nevada with lemon flavor added, and overall it just seemed like a cheap beer to me.

M: Since this was on-tap, the carbonating was low, but it was almost to the point of being flat. Once again, this is out of my control so I'll give the beer the benefit of the doubt.

D: This is hardly drinkable to say the least. I was barely able to choke it down and, unlike most good beers, the taste got worse as it warmed up.

I would definitely never try this beer again.

Photo of craigo19
4.25/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a really good goto beer if you are in the mood for an American Pale Ale, cheaper than Sierra Nevada Pale Ale ($2.99/32 oz. growler) and a good substitute. You can taste and smell the hops, but they aren't overbearing. This would be a good beer to introduce someone into the Craft Beer World.

Photo of donkeyrunner
2.9/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Saranac is Iriquois for "cluster of stars." Just thought you should know.

Clear amber with a 2 finger white head. Poor retention. Smells like apple juice and tastes like it too. Minor hop hiccup in back.

Not a bad English pale but if you asked me if I wanted another I'd probably say no.

Photo of Natural510
3.95/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber-copper color with heavy amount of fluffy white head. Generous lacing coasts the glass after foam dissipation.
Smells of sweet malt with apple & raisin notes.
Heavy on the breaded malt with a sweet, fruity overtone and decided caramel character. Hop subtlety creeps in with a nice pine at the end.
Smooth, medium-bodied, in tune with the style.
A solid EPA, balanced but with a nod toward the malt rather than the hop. Drinks very well, and a steal for the price ($2.99/32oz growler).

Photo of yesyouam
3.93/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Saranac Pale Ale is a clear, sparkling, light amber ale with a fluffy, yellowed, off white head that shows excellent retention and lacing. It smells sharp and grassy, with notes of citrus and black pepper. It's smooth and medium light bodied. The finish is a little watery. It has a green, grassy, botanical bitterness with a hint of juniper. It's peppery and perhaps a touch sour. It's a very proficient session ale.

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