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Saranac Pale Ale - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Pale AleSaranac Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,221 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,221
Reviews: 627
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 13.45%
Wants: 6
Gots: 99 | 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
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,221 | Reviews: 627
Photo of Jayli
3.3/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This ale poured a golden/dlight amberish color. A thick white inch head was at the top and gave way to a thin lacing. 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. Body is pleasant - goes down easily. It is definitely a drinkable pale ale, nothing too overwhelming in taste.

Photo of hobbes2112
3.38/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very bubbly copper with tons of head. The head sticks around quite a while. Smell is pretty subtle, light hops and malt both present. Not very intense flavor either, but it is well balanced. The carbonation was pretty high and I felt it detracted from the experience. Oddly the aftertaste is the best part of this beer, the hops do linger for quite a while (in a good way)

Overall it is a better than average beer that would be a good choice when options are limited. This is probably a good "bridge" beer also, for people learning to like better beers.

Photo of dfillius
2.4/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Served in a pint glass. This was one of the first craft beers I ever had, back in 2000. Revisiting it now that I'm back in NY to review it

A: Aggressive pour yields 2 fingers of off-white head with good retention. Copper colored liquid.

S: Herbal and spicy hops with some very sweet sugary smell. Caramelly smell from malt.

T: Off metallic flavor - not good tasting. Some okay maltiness, but green banana and cooked veggies mostly. Would this beer be better straight from the tank? Has it been abused?

M: Astringent and lots of flavors that clash. Some heat as well.

D: Very low. I want no more than 3 sips. First sip: ugh. Second sip: It can't really be that bad, can it? Third: Yes it really is.

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

It is what it is. Pours copper without much head, which I believe is a function of my favorite stolen pint glass (thats a whole nother story) lightly carbonated from a bottle with very little head and no lacing. Not much nose, either, but that is probably a function of my lack of smell. A reliable beer for a decent price, though the IPA from Saranac is better

Photo of Reagan1984
3.75/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well clearly this is the Saranac item that I've enjoyed the most.

Nice thick creamy head that showed a great deal of retention. Very clear amber colored beer that had a surprising amount of visible carbonation. Quite a bit of lacing remained throughout the glass as I consumed the beer.

Aroma was fresh and of nice grains and some fruitiness. Very nice aroma..

Taste was rather well balanced and also fresh in flavor. Some light caramel flavors and also some cracker. Toasted grains...(not so dark to be roasted...not burnt at all) Got some fruit flavors just before the subtle hop bitterness came in. More cracker like than bread like. Pretty nice.

Mouth feel was nice and light. Fairly smooth....

Very drinkable.. Like I said, my favorite Saranac to date.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.48/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear dark amber/red color with a fluffy white head that leaves lots of lace on the way down. Smells of citrus and pine needles, some grainy malt and a touch of caramel in there too. Taste is not what the nose tells you its going to be. Bitter and astringent up front little fruity in the middle, a little malt and crisp carbonation in the finish. Soapy mouthfeel make the mouth water a bit. Crisp carbonation medium body. This is a weird little pale ale. Smells pretty good, but the taste let me down a bit. I looked to see if I had an old bottle or something, but they don't appear to be dated.

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

Poured into a pint glass.

4.0 A: New motor oil in color. Two fingers of frothy head that leaves plenty of lacing.

3.5 S: Very fruity, ester-laden. Toasty malt, little hop character.

3.0 T: Fruity and biscuity, bready malts with floral hops. Dry finish. Not bad, there is just a lack of complexity.

3.5 M: Light bodied but not too much so. Smooth, but a little too much carbonation.

3.5 D: Not what I'd prefer to drink, but not bad in a pinch.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.41/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice clear darker amber with a creme head. Nose is like old squash. I don't want my beer to smell like squash. Flavor is an odd tangy bitter mix. Earthy and citric, but it just doesn't mesh. Gets better the farther you go though. Still kind of too tangy the whole time. Slightly biting carbonation. Thicker liquid feel. This starts out rough and ends just slightly better.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.18/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a beautiful marzen with burnt orange highlights. A light fluffy and well aerated beige colored head sits atop, solid, and 1 finger high which was moderate in retention slowly sliding down while leaving a broken ring lacing around the glass rim. There is a very noticeable turbidity of suspended yeast particles lazily drifting about. Visible carbonation was light.

S: fresh pine needles, citrus, spruce with a light dried toasted caramel sweetness and fresh woodiness. Moderate in strength and would of liked to see more of this.

T: The initial flavor wad dry toasted grains, stale lemons, with a touch of sour malting. Puckering citrus, not much balance here and the flavor fails to deliver on such a promising nose. Just a bunch of citrus hopping with not much complexity or layering. Not particulary crisp or pale and displayed a over showing of hoppiness that was not well balanced in any way with the malting.

M: light, a little watery, sour citric and sour malting laces the tongue.

D: Not what I would consider session material, Don't waste your money on a sixpack here unless you have 5 naive friends.

Photo of sbe1
3.18/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A decent pale ale but that is all.

Appearance: Amber color with a light tan creamy head with lace on the glass.

Smell: Floral hops with sweet malt.

Taste: A little hop bite with hints of sweet malt, bubble gum, and even, strangely, a slight soapy taste at the finish, the finish is basically clean and smooth otherwise.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, light bodied, slightly carbonated.

Drinkability: Pretty good. A decent session beer.

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.57/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nothing out of the ordinary here. It's definitely an easy drinker with a nice hop kick an the characteristic Saranac frothy head. On par with some of the more well known/more expensive pale ales out there but not something you would jump for when you're beer shopping. Good if it's around.

Photo of superdedooperboy
3.29/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a gorgeous deep, dark copper with a thick, rocky, creamy off-white foam that slowly settles to a thick cap which leaves a beautiful sheet of foam running down the walls of the pint glass.

Mostly herbal hops in the nose, with a tiny bit of sweet aroma coming through as the beer warms up a bit.

Nice medium-to-full body, with strong piney hop bitterness engulfing the palate, revealing a tinge of burnt toffee before a long dry, bitter finish.

A nice Pale, but nothing too impressive that would make me pick this up over another, perhaps more well-balanced version.

Photo of changeup45
2.83/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amber color with a medium head and quite a bit of lace on the glass. This is a decent Pale Ale. This has a sweet hoppy flavor, some light caramel to it with a mild bitter hop finish. Somewhat watery but not bland. And at $5.49 a six pack it prices itself just under some of the competition.

Photo of sleazo
2.98/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A_Pours a slightly light brwin with a big off white foamy head.

S_Minimal odour. Light faintly toasted biscuit grains come through when you look fo rit.

T_As the smell indicates this is a rather light tasting beer. The biscuity malt start ends up as a grassy hop finish. Nothing off really, just not very flavourful

M_A little too watery and carbonated.

D_Not bad really, just way too light.

Photo of theopholis
3.56/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Clear amber, with two finger off white head made of small and medium bubbles, good head retention, medium lacing left on glass. Very inviting looking.

Smell- Quite light in the aroma section. Practically no maltiness, no malt sweetness, no hoppiness. There are some very slight hops notes of flowers ad a light breadiness, but that's it. Still....smells very light and refreshing.

Taste- Taste is better than the aroma by a long shot. Nice melange of suble malt sweetness, hop bitterness, flavoring ops and maltiness. A nice spiciness in there to. sprucy, piney,

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, ood carbonation.

Drinkablity = Nice, but not great.

Photo of Onenote81
3.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First off, I loved this beer.

It poured a beautiful copper amber color with a huge frothy head that lingered for most of the entire drink. The webbing/lacing on this brew stuck like glue. It was like rings on a tree the way you could see each sip I took.

The smell of this brew was not that exciting, but enjoyable nonetheless. Smelled the floral hops, sweet malt, and some caramel.

Taste was a little metallic at first, but not enough to turn me away. Tasting the hops with a perfect amount hoppy bitterness coming through. Also taste some vegetable that I can't place.

Very crisp and clean beer. This one is a pleasure to quaff down. I will turn to this beer again and again down the road.

Photo of cjgator3
3.76/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a dark orangish amber color with a creamy off-white head. Very nice.

S- The aroma is slightly toasted biscuity malt with some citrusy hops. Not bad but pretty faint for the style.

T- The taste features a pretty solid malt backbone for the style along with the hops in the finish.

D- Very drinkable, not overly complex or flavorful, but a pretty solid brew that I wouldn't mind drinking again.

Overall, Saranac Pale Ale is a pretty good Pale Ale that is worth a shot.

Photo of kinger
2.65/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Don't have a whole lot of positive things to say about this beer. Close to average at best for it's style. Good hoppy aroma, good appearance although the head could have been thicker. Thin mouthfeel and a weak flavor. Drinkable but sub-par, especially from this brewery who makes some very solid beers.

Photo of dsa7783
3.83/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

32 ounce growler purchased from A&P Liquors in Hoboken for about $3.99... "Cellar Aged" on the bottle...
Pours a ruddy, dark-copper, deep amber hue with a minimal head that quickly receded and left a minor amount of lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Mild aroma with hints of caramel, vanilla, and candied sugars...
Medium-bodied mouthfeel along with a good level of drinkability...
Good depiction of the style...

Photo of nasty15108
3.51/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Pilsner glass.

A - This ale Poured a crystal clear amber color with a good amount of carbonation. The pour produced a creamy head of slightly off-white foam and excellent layers of cascaded lacing.

S - The smell was nothing too overpowering. Basic English ale. Malty with slight hints of caramel followed by a faint citric hop smell.

T - Malty and slightly sweet up front followed by a bitter hoppy finish.

MF&D - Decent example of this style and a very good session beer. I'd drink this one again.

Photo of JMBSH
3.62/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great deal of head from a hard pour. Light amber in color, giving off also light scent of hops. Not a lot of carbonation in the glass but the head stays a nice thickness through out the serving. Very easy to drink with the hoppiness being not overpowering. Coats the tongue to leave the flavor on your palate. I have to admit that not being a fan of the pale ales, this is a beer I could find drinking again.

Photo of Tbn2
3.64/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap in pint glass.

A-The body of the beer has a deep amber appearance. A good head settles to the top and laces most of the way down.

S-I couldn't get much from the smell for some reason. I could pick up some hops and some grains, but nothing that jumped out at me.

T/M-Much clearer taste than the smell. A good blast of piney/earthy hop taste comes at you first. As the beer goes down, some toasted and pale malts comes at you. The beer has a nice dry finish with a well balanced hop and grain flavor. The body of the beer is just about perfect and the carbonation is very good. There is a good crispness to this beer.

Overall, this is a good beer. Pick it up, you won't be disappointed.


Photo of boralyl
3.16/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - It pours about 1 finger of white head that sticks around for a decent amount of time. It leaves pretty good lacing on the inside of the glass. It has a clear copper color, with lots of carbonation bubbles rushing towards the top.

S- Citrus hops, and sweet caramel malts in the aroma.

M - It's a light-medium bodied beer with a medium amount of carbonation.

T - The sweet malts hit up first, followed by some citrus hops and ending with some slightly bitter floral hops.

It's a good session beer, but a forgettable brew. I'd gladly drink it again, but wouldn't actively seek it out. There just isn't enough about the beer to make it stand out among the rest.

Photo of Traquairlover
3.41/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A = Clear medium dark amber, lots of small carbonation bubbles, two finger off white head made of small and medium bubbles, good head retention, medium lacing left on glass.

S = A little too light in the smell, what is there is somewhat nondescript and a seeming blend of smells from what I expect from an English pale ale and from an American pale ale. I assume they used traditional English hops, but nonetheless there is a slight smell in this that yells American at me. There are light hops notes of flowers, a pretty solid malt smell of fresh baked sugar cookies.

T = Taste gives me the same thoughts as the smell, right up front I get a typical English pale ale taste of light fresh bread dough and light bitterness without overwhelming hops flavors. However, at mid-palate I have a jolt of flavors that make me think of a typical APA but one that has been aged so that the fruitiness of the hops have mellowed, I think it may be that it is a little crisper than a lot of the English ales I get, perhaps due to less (or simply different) minerals in the water with which it is made. At the back of the mouth it is a blend of lightly sweet cookies and light but definite hops bitterness in a medium long finish.

M = Medium bodied, decent mouthcoating, although there were a lot of carbonation bubbles in the glass, in the mouth it is pretty subdued and creamier than I expected.

D = This is a pretty mellow, light refreshing beer. Worth having to relax on a sunny afternoon.

Photo of Goliath
3.26/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with a large inch and a half of off-white head. Decent retention and a bit of lacing.

Aroma is uninspiring. Some piney hops and not much else.

Taste is, bland. A little grassy hops, with almost no bitterness. A little maltiness, definitely lacking flavor. Mediocre.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation.

Drinkability is moderate. Low alcohol makes this beer easily consumed, flavors however are lacking. This lack of flavor takes away from the drinkability.

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Saranac Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 1,221 ratings.