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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 Nipitato
3.67/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of a mixed 12 pack purchased at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: Good copper hue. Topped with a 1" + thick white head with good retention that drops down to about a ¼". Sticky lacing develops as beer is quaffed.

S: Restrained fruity hop aroma. Caramel malt aroma balances. Some sulfur like aroma, which US breweries rarely can achieve when make English style pales. Must be something in that fine Utica, NY water.

T: Hop bitterness is key characteristic here. Some grassy/resin hop flavors but not much. Malt support is also limited. Some sulfur tastes.

MF: Medium body with low carbonation - good mouthfeel for the style.

D, notes: Needs more balance between hop bitterness and malt sweetness. Beer is quite drinkable but balance would make this beer more so.

Photo of jordoo
3.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poored into a pilsner glass.

Light/pale coppery yellow colored with small off white receiding head. Looks to have medium carbination. Smells of malty sweetness and nice citrus and some floral hops. Taste has a very good sweetness up front from the malts and then the fruity citrus flavors hit followed by some bitter floral hop flavor. Sticks to the palet nicely with some oily residue and has a very good mouth feel, its an easilt drinkable beer, however there is really not alot to it.

Photo of JamesS
3.03/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice light copper/amber color with a bit of head that (mostly) goes away, with a fair bit of lacing. Good scent, a little sweet with some nice hoppy (beef jerky) tones to it. Clean and crisp scent, with a little bit of sweet at first, followed by a slightly eggy hoppy aftertaste. Goes down smooth. Not a bad English ale.

Photo of soupyman10
3.57/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Initially I had this as the first disappointment I've had from them, but as the beer warmed it improved tremendously. Appearance is okay, an amber color with a smallish head that dissolves slowly into nothingness. Nose is mild caramel malt, a slight saltiness, very ESB-like. Flavor is similar, although the hops come through a bit stronger. Tastes really only show through once the beer has a chance to warm. Definitely hints of toffee and some fruitiness. Overall, not bad at all taste-wise. Body's pretty good, with good carbonation. A solid brew.

Photo of toolbrew
3.06/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark copper color with a small white head. Decent head retention and little lacing.

Smells mostly malty with not much hop aroma.

Hoppier taste, but not overpowering. Good malt balance.

Light and easy in the mouth with moderate carbonation. The tip of my tongue gets the most sensation.

A decent pale ale. May be a good crossover beer.

Photo of cvstrickland
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12-ounce bottle aggressively poured into a seidel yields a clear golden brown body with lively active carbonation capped with a finger of white foam that reduces to a sheet rather quickly but leaves a little lacing.

Smell is lacking; a little malty with a note of Pekoe tea.

Tastes sweet and lightly malty with a little tang, a nice balancing bitterness, and a slightly minerally finish. A mild bitterness happily lingers throughout.

Medium-light bodied and refreshing; excellent drinkability... it seems like that's a description I put in all Saranac beers.

Photo of ghostmech007
3.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint.

Very pale off copper color. Head is off white which doesn't leave much behind.

Nose has a hop profile that is hard to distinguish. Caramel and toasted grains are present. Very pleasant nose.

Very, very smooth. Crisp finish but a nice bite in the mix. Hops make it oily smooth. Malts are there but don't really add much to the mouth.

The hops are the only thing to enjoy is this brew but I like that. Hop heads unite! I would definitely come back to this one. I just wish I could get it around here in something besides the sample pack they sell. Oh well.

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

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a warm shiny copper colored body with a creamy thick light tan head that starts to form dimples and turns rocky. There is a strong carbonation of big bubbles that support the head.

S- This beer has a note of pale liquid malt extract with an almost tin like smell to it. There is a soft green note that increases to more of a hop smell as the beer warms.

T- The soft taste of sweet caramel has a hint of biscuit malt and dry raw grain to it followed by a green hop bite. The bitterness at the finish increases as the beer warms and a soft sulfur note comes through. There is also a tin flavor that comes through as this beer warms.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a tight fizz at the finish.

D- The malt flavors are not bad but are pretty soft especially compared to the tin flavors, and the hops don't have much flavor but a lot of bite.

Photo of PatrickJR
3.21/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Transparent amber with nice 2 finger head, good retention, settles into thick-ish white cap. Great lacing.

S - Very generic blend of earthy hops and pale malt.

T - A little bland, but not bad. Minimal malt profile with some floral hops coming up near the finish, sharp but brief bitterness leaves a lingering lemon/grassy aftertaste.

M - Smooth and moderately carbonated, medium bodied. I would prefer this a little more crisp.

D - Bland enough to drink several in one sitting, but not interesting enough to keep me buying this brew as a session beer.

Another average but decent offering from Saranac. It's not the worst stuff out there, in fact it's not even bad, but with all the offerings on the shelves, Saranac's Pale Ale is just another face in the crowd.

Photo of Brencr
4.08/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall, a very nice pale ale at an affordable price. It pours a translucent tan with a thin head. It has an agreeable aroma with a very balanced hop flavor. While not the best in the pale ale catagory, it provides all that is expected without the extra dent in the wallet.

Photo of generallee
4.22/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Its defiantly not pal in color as it pours a beautiful golden amber color with excellent clarity. The head foams up thick and white then thins out to a small thin cap. The aroma is full of fine English hops that are floral and pleasing. The hops are up front on the tongue and give a nice citrusy and earthy character to the flavor. Malts are lighter and add just enough sweetness and toasted flavor to the beer. The palate is smooth with a medium body and a crisp finish that make it oh so drinkable.

Photo of Hoagie1973
3.44/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an attractive clear copper with a great foamy, uneven head. Head reduces, but hangs on. Highly impressive is the outstanding pattern lacing all the way around the glass.

Definitely a floral hop bouquet with a little malt in the background.

Flavor starts with a fleeting moment of malt sweetness which immediately gives way to fruity hops with a faint breadiness mixed in. Somewhat drying, but doesn't pucker your anus.

Pretty smooth, medium body with nice carbonation levels.

This is the Pale Ale I'm most familiar with due to the fact that it comes in a lot of Saranac variety packs. It's grown on me somewhat over the years to the point where I really enjoy it. Still don't know if I'd buy a whole six though.

Photo of xare
3.8/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Amber colored with nice head that laces somewhat - pretty good appearance for a pale ale. Very appealing.

Smell is of the British hops, floral and with citrus notes. It has a touch of malt at the bottom of the aroma but overall, a good blend that appeals to me.

Taste was decent, a bit lighter than I expected, especially with all the aromas coming from it. I'd have to say that it has touches of malts and a mix of hops that come at the end to clean up your palate, but overall it's weakened down from the aromas but is still a solid brew, just not above average for taste.

Mouthfeel was very crisp and clean. Hops bitterness just lingered for the right amount of time and then went away. No need to worry about the mouthfeel with this brew. Even when it warmed up slightly (I was drinking it outside in full sun), it still had excellent mouthfeel and didn't become too heavy. It isn't light but rather a happy medium.

Drinkability was outstanding. I was drinking this brew and keeping it in the shade outside on a beautiful day with full sun, while working on removing a bush. I kept looking forward to the beer waiting for me in the shade whenever I'd take a break for a gulp or two. Eventually, I finished it off and was unhappy that I didn't have another one to follow it up with.

Overall, I'd say seek out this beer for a change of pace. It isn't for everybody nor would it be approriate for all occasions but if you have something in mind and know what this brew does, then it's an extremely solid choice, especially at its price point.

Photo of ewright
3.64/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer pours a bright, clear amber finishing with 1" of fluffy white head. The head has fairly long retention and diminishes with a bit of sticky lace on the side of the glass.

S: Mild hops up front with very faint citrus notes, accompanied by equally mild sweetness from the malt.

T: Strong bitterness right up front, with faint notes of pine. The malt peeks through with hints of sweetness and something earthy I can't quite put my finger on.

M: The forwardness of the hops produces a bit of puckering in the mouth, but the malt helps ease that later on.

D: A solid pale ale, nothing outstanding, but you could do far worse than a 6pk of this beer.

Photo of philbe311
3.4/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Luscious copper and amber mix... Pour calm and rich... Little head

S - Attractive mix of fruit, mainly lime, and hops...

T - Grain and malt at first giving way to strong hops

M - Smooth and well balanced... Medium bodied... Too much fizz and new carbonation on the palette...

D - Solid, but unspectacular...

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

One in a 12 pack sampler. I think they were all relatively good beers. This was an amber color with a thick white head that left a lot of lacing. Not much in the aroma: a little floral and a little malt. Lightly hopped, mostly a grapefruit taste. A decent, middle of the road beer.

Photo of hwwty4
2.56/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into my smokestack goblet. The beer poured a reddish amber with a big white head that left ample lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma of the beer is mostly floral hops with just a bit of caramel. The taste is just...off. While hops come off in the aroma, they are just not present really in the taste. There is an odd soapy taste to it. It is not an unpleasant taste, just not something I would expect in a commercial brew. The mouthfeel is a bit thin, and light carbonated. If someone offered me one, I wouldn't turn it down but I don't think that I would seek this beer out to purchase again.

Photo of Drew966
3/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Saranac Pale Ale pours a light copper color with a white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma has very little going on. There's a touch of biscuit malt and a bit of floral hop, but it's very mild by any standard, American or British. Inoffensive, but fairly low in flavor.

Photo of rgb2807
3.21/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish amber color. Doesn't smell very nice in my opinion, I can't put my finger on it, it just doesn't smell nice and doesn't really reveal anything about the taste. The taste is alright, it has a pretty standard body, and a floral/fruity after taste. I could drink these every once in awhile, but I would never strive to pick them up.

Photo of dmamiano
2.8/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a hazy golden with nice head and lacing.
A mix of hops and an almost metal smell permeating the nose..I am guessing its a mix of hops producing this .
Taste was mildly hopped and a grainy maltiness balancing. Hops were earthly in character.
Ok beer, but I am not buying again

Photo of Lexluthor33
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A bottle from my local supermarket. I had tried other Saranac beer and this one reads like this:

Look- Golden Amber,medium head with some lacing.

Smell - Citric, Slight of hops & grain.

Taste - Decent taste of fruits and hop,some malts but not much.

Feel- Dry,Dry, Dry but not so much in a bad way. Some metallic notes.

Drink - I feel this is a beer you should not mind having especially if it is easily available for a low price. I actually like it but it does not get me excited.

Note: First time I poured this beer into a beer mug and there was no head and the taste was off. Second time I used a new glass for ales and it was perfect.

Photo of cbleary
3.21/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed from a 12oz glass into a pint glass.

The beer poured with a nice mild amber color with a robust white head. The beer tasted like a very good interpretation of the style, with a tasty sourish malt backbone and a good amount of British hops. Unfortunately, the beer got kind of vomity tasting as it warmed. Still, not bad.

Photo of PhageLab
3.92/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Transparent golden amber coloration, small bit of head that eventually reduced itself to a thin soapy layer, very nice lacing.

S - Very sweet citrus aroma with a nice pine hop nose.

T - Well hopped yet balanced pale. Decent malt backing with a mild bitterness and nice dry finish. Very crisp and refreshing, and although while there is nothing outstanding here, it is a very enjoyable brew.

M - Light bodied, mild carbonation, crisp feel.

D - Very good, I could easily enjoy a sixer of this and be happy. Overall I'd say this is a simple yet impressive brew, and could recommend it with confidence.

Photo of Proteus93
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A fat, two finger light amber head (a bit of a pale orange, really). Good lacing, decently sticky.

S: A nice hop and malt balance here. The aroma is floral, sweet, with a hint of citrus in it all.

T: Decent, not terrific, but not horrid. Some of the tastes I have found with 4 other Saranac brews are not noticed here (a metallic, biting off-taste). I'd almost see it as being a touch hoppy for an English Pale Ale, not that it's a bad thing, but that might just be my tastes.

M + D: About average. I could likely do another without being too persuaded, I suppose. The body could have been a little more... something. Almost like it wanted to be a little more slick or full. I can't quite place a finger on it. Nonetheless, not bad, not great, about average.

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

A - Pours clear and copper with a little more than one inch of head. Retention was good. Lacing was good.

S - Citrus hops dominate but get followed quickly by a caramel and brown sugar aroma. Not much else going on with this one.

T - Combonation of caramel and hops with a slight bitterness on the end. Has a very clean taste. Pretty much what I would expect from a good English Pale Ale.

M - Medium to light bodied. Carbonation was average and beer was smooth.

D - Drinkability is good. I would have no problem drinking several of these. Tends to be clean, light, and smooth.

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