Saranac Pale Ale - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Pale AleSaranac Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,187 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,187
Reviews: 620
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 13.74%
Wants: 4
Gots: 73 | 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:
Malt Selections: Crystal English Pale Ale
Hop Selections: Cascade, East Kent Golden

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2001)
View: Beers (92) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Saranac Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,187 | Reviews: 620 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dantsbeats
4.25/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of brewmaster1257
4.25/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of poohbearzeccola
4.25/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of Bapplebaum
4.25/5  rDev +24.3%

4.25/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of PhillyNole
4.25/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of kbettenh
4.25/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of TheBeerdedCharmer
4.25/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of greebsnarf
4.25/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When you see the clear copper tint with an inch of white head and scattered lacing, you'll get a good sense of what you're in for: Saranac Pale Ale is a mellow drink that, like an old friend, doesn't try too hard to impress you but never really lets you down. No single smell dominates its mildly spicy, fruity and malty aroma, but there's a slightly acidic smell which reminds me of tomatoes, oddly enough. The flavor is pleasant though unremarkable and is mostly more of the same, if a bit more malty than the smell, with a pretty mild hops finish that's still lingering on my tongue twenty minutes after I finished the bottle. Great for drinking slowly and very pleasant to relax with, it doesn't really stand out, but it's soothing and goes down easy. I could have three or four of these on a lazy afternoon without getting tired of it.

Photo of Utica_Brew_Review
4.23/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Amazing golden, honey, amber appearance. Even balanced aroma, however not that pronounced. Hoppy, citrus, floral aroma. Great taste to start. Floral, citrus, earthy, and hoppy notes take center stage with a caramel depth behind them. Almost a yeasty / bread like base that supports the rest of the flavors.

This is one of (if not our favorite) pale ales.

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 dustylong
4.22/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another one from their Winter pack...Pours a nice copper color with a decent head, but it faded quickly, and had pretty much no lacing (poured from a bottle into a pint glass). Has a very strong, hoppy smell to it. Has a very smooth taste to it, with just the right amount of bitterness (in my opinion). Very hoppy, but also has a decent balance of maltiness. Thicker in the mouth, with a fairly good amount of cabonation. Overall, a pretty good beer...tastes good..good for the style, too.

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

nice amber color one inch head faded a little to soon with fair lacing. fresh bready citrus smell, taste is bready caramel slight coffee taste also nice hop up front with clean finish. light mouthfeel maybe a little light on the carbonation but it does not distract at all from this beer. i could drink a lot of this beer.

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

I drink a lot of this since the closest liquor store to my house has been selling it for the past couple of years for $4.99 a six. It's got a nice hoppiness to it, but is definitely an English-style pale ale. Very flavorful.

Photo of stella77artois
4.21/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Pours a nice darkened golden-yellow. Not much of a head, but some foam stuck around. Fair amount of carbonation noticeable. Slight lacing on the glass.

S - Malt and hops up front. A unique fruity aroma present afterwards. Not a whole lot going on.

T - Has been several years since I've sampled this brew, and it's so much better than I remember. Small amount of malt, and a more pronounced amount of hops noticeable. Noticed the same fruity taste as mentioned from the aroma. A blend of grapefruit, lemon and bitter orange. Don't taste any of them singularly, but that's the best way I can describe it, as those 3 combined.

F - Oustanding mouthfeel. Incredibly refreshing and smooth. A perfect amount of carbonation to quench your fizz thirst. No sourness, bad aftertaste or stomach bloat. Almost perfect.

O - An outstanding beer, could be one of the few beers I will session with. So much better than I remembered. An outstanding blend of quality taste and mouthfeel, yet still it's so crisp and refreshing. Lot's of great taste combined with refreshing qualities, makes for about a perfect summer beer.

Photo of QXSTER1
4.2/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Exceptional pale ale from a mainstream brewer. This ale stands up to many craft brewed examples. Rich, fruity body with a cascade like hop finish. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of this beer.

Photo of Brent
4.2/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very pleasant ale with an interesting aroma - first a quick hit of sweet malt in the nose, then a whiff of hops, and then to a sweet candy aroma. Malt was somewhat sweet, but not overly so, with a good balance of hops. Slight spicyness of alcohol slides in at the back. Very easygoing without being boring.

Photo of kkosmoski
4.2/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Longneck from the new 'What Ales You' mixed twelve pack served into a Saranac pint glass. Nice rough, pillowy, cream colored head atop a crystal clear amber colored brew. Head suctions to the inside of the glass all of the way around as it settles down. Aroms includes biscuit, toast, lemon, esters. Fruity yeast character to start followed by some piney/citrus hop flavor and bitterness with an underlying toasty malt dimension and finish. Medium-light in the mouth with a smooth carbonation and dry finish. Drinkability is great with this ale. It is very nicely balanced, delicious fresh on draft, and a very dependable pale ale in general.

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 ithacabaron
4.2/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm a damn sucker for this beer, if only for the fact I can't think of a day that at least one bottle didn't haunt my collegiate fridge. I know it's adjunct ridden, I know some would say its pedigree (or lack thereof) makes it worthy of slagging, but there's just something about this brew that satisfies me time and time again.

It pours a polished bronze, with what I might even call a creamy off-white head, full and proud.

Aroma is of Maris Otter malt, Caramel malt, (a little adjunct twinge, that I'll forgive them for [tastes like rice, but I can't imagine that's what in here])and an austere EKG and Fuggle fog of hops floating over it.

Taste is much the same, and its perfectly balanced presentation calls those that deign to imbibe into the "drink, don't think" school of imbibation. Those who would do so, however, and those who would be fooled by Saranac's cheap price tag, would miss what is, if not a perfect rendition of a Brit Pale, a very, very sessionable beer, and a fine ale to seduce potentially new BAs.

Mouthfeel is spot on.

Drinkability, as I noted, is wonderful here. When in Central/Upstate New York, this will probably become your fallback beer of choice at many bars. Learn its ways, love its ways, and realize it's so much more than you originally thought.

A classic.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a pint glass.
A: Excellent light amber color, with a tiny amount of carbonation visible on top which bubbles into a creamyish head. Quite nice.
S: A fairly fruity hoppiness persists, and there are some sugarier, breadier notes as well.
T: The hops persist throughout the taste, and a faint amount of malt sneaks in towards the end to round it out. Rather sweet, too. In later sips I detected some citrusy notes.
M: Pretty solid, but fairly bubbly up front, and a little dry in the finish. Doesn’t really detract from this beer since it fits the style.
D: This is a great session beer, since it’s easy to drink a bunch of these in a row, but it’s also an all-around good beer. Good taste and drinkability, a tough combo to achieve.
Overall, this beer isn’t that complex or challenging. It’s just a solid, drinkable pale ale that can be drank all night, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Photo of Schwarzbart
4.2/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: An impressive pour with a 2 finger head. Poured from a 32oz. growler bottle that I picked up in State College, PA. Absolutely awesome lacing that just covered the glass.

Smell: Dominantly a fresh hop aroma of grass backed with mild grains.

Taste: A nice grassy clean hop flavor that isn't overpowering, but it is the dominating character.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied with a crisp finish.

Drinkability: A very good beer at a great price.

Photo of WinthrHOPHEAD89
4.18/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into standard tumbler glass

A - Pours a bright 1.5 - 2 finger off-white foamy head that fizzles down slightly but regenerates nicely and easily by swirling the beer around in the glass. Head leaves some nice lacing on the glass. This Pale Ale is straight up copper in color, like a brand new penny, with medium effervescence.

S - This beer has pretty much the typical "Saranac" smell, with lots of maltiness and noticeable fruity hop esters. Slight caramel and pine scents seem to be present as well. Definitely smells like a walk into a forest.

T - This beer is one of the hoppiest Pale Ales I have ever had, but that is not to say that it is intensely bitter. The English Kent Golding's and Fuggles hops are definitely noticeable on the tongue. The hops don't linger for too long though, for the bitterness is accompanied by a caramel tasting malt character. As the beer warms the hops seem to become slightly harder to pick out, but all in all the beer remains pretty sturdy throughout in terms of taste.

M - The mouthfeel on this beer is super soft. The effervescence and medium body of the beer create a very pleasing pillowy feeling on the tongue as you are drinking it.

D - The drinkability of this beer is fairly high. Pale Ale and IPA fans should find this beer a pleasant experience to drink. This seems to be a pretty sessionable beer, and goes great with Spaghetti, Meatballs, and Garlic Bread, but overall, a pretty easy beer to drink.

Final Thoughts: Very Solid beer. One I would recommend and would buy a six pack of no problem. (This beer was part of a six pack sampler)

Photo of skenyon1811
4.15/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle poured into a pint.

A: Saranac Pale Ale makes me salivate just looking at it. It is clear with a orange-ish brown hue. About a quarter inch head that fell fairly quick.

S: A sweet smell with a little bite to it. A little flowery as well. It has your classic pale ale aroma

T: This beer has an all around great taste. I love the hop selection for this beer. It is is bitter with some grapefruit and flowery notes. It leaves an excellent aftertaste that compliments the next sip.

M: It has a medium weight mouthfeel, but very crisp. Does not leave your mouth feeling overly dry like some Pale Ales can.

D: I have made trips to the Saranac brewery where I drank nothing but Pale Ale. It can be a session beer. If you choose to switch to a different beer, you will still be able to enjoy it. The Saranac Pale Ale will not destroy your pallet to other beers.

This beer has been one of my favorites for years. It has never let me down.

Photo of Enola
4.15/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow!! This beer is great!!!

The beer poured out a nice reddish hue. It had a pretty decent head that has lingered around. The taste is great too. You can taste the hops without being overrun by them. A nice, well balanced pale ale. The mouthfeel is exceptionlly smooth. Not a bit of harshness. There is a bit of lingering hoppiness on the tongue. The drinkability on this one is almost second to none. I could drink these long after the sun goes down. This was the final beer in my Saranac sampler. You can bet I will look for more by this brewer. Every beer I tried by them was exceptional.

Saranac Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 1,187 ratings.