Saranac Our Forbidden IPA
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac Our Forbidden IPASaranac Our Forbidden IPA
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American IPA
Ranked #6,530
Ranked #42,372
3.47 | pDev: 13.83%
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States
Saranac Our Forbidden IPASaranac Our Forbidden IPA
Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 47
Photo of Omnium
3/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle > Mason Pint

A - Clear yellow straw color with a finger of fizzy white head, medium spotty lacing.
S - The aroma is bad on this one, smells like skunky cabbage, and other decaying vegetables, vienna malt, a little pepper, some other spices probly in there, its really weird, and mildly offensive to my nostrils.
T - This tastes rather skunky too, maybe I got a bad bottle? There's a very light malt base, some hints of pine kinda hop flavor wanting to poke through, but its buried by this weird flavor.
M - Watery and rather thin, unmemorable.
O - I could see why they call it forbidden. I'd be embarrassed to brew it. Legacy is a decent IPA, this is what I assume their take on a session IPA is, but its a brew gone horridly wrong. Granted I might have a bad bottle, but I'm guessing that this thing fresh isnt much different.
I really keep hoping for Saranac to surprise me each time I try a new brew of theirs, and it just doesnt happen.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saranac "Our Forbidden IPA"
12 oz. brown bottle, code "BB JUN 30, 1014 3473 1457"

An aggressive beer, and an interesting one, from Saranac/F.X. Matt. "Our FORBIDDEN ALE"... why is that? Is this the beer the employees are not allowed to drink after work? Or maybe they can't take it as part of their monthly "beer allowance"? Or is it just a good name for a beer, because I think it is? What I find more interesting, however, is the line that reads "ALE BREWED WITH NATURAL FLAVORS" - I wonder what they might be?

Anyway, it looks good in the glass. It's got a "fingerprint clear" deep-gold body that appears copper-ish in a full pint, and a frothy white head that holds pretty well and leaves very nice lace behind. Once the head drops it maintains a very solid whispy surface covering. Nice.

The aroma is what you'd expect of an American IPA: citrusy, fruity, and softly piney over gently sweetish doughy/bready malt.

I'm not finding any "natural flavors" here, so I'm assuming whatever they're using is in a limited dose. I'd imagine it's a fruity or pine-like flavoring (I'm guessing orange), but it doesn't stand out from anything I'd be expecting anyway, so who cares? Not me. It starts with a dollop of sweetish bready malt that's got a drip of golden caramel to it, followed immediately by piney, citrusy, and spicy hops. The 50 IBU's are quite apparent across the middle, and to be honest, it seems even more bitter than that. (I actually feel like the alcohol might be stronger as well... just 5.2% abv?). Not surprisingly, it finishes dry with lingering piney, spicy, and citrusy hops. It's woody as well, almost as if it had been oaked; and a nice bit of tangerine rises late. Pretty nice! It could be a bit more balanced for drinkability, but as a citrusy American IPA I'm pretty sure the market wants it this way - hoppy, bitter, raspy, and just supported by a fairly basic malt base.

I've been pretty impressed with the Saranac line-up for a while, but I think their most recent beers have been their best; not necessarily in choice of style and recipe formulation, but also in quality. Really nicely done beer. Worth trying.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Another bottle from Jacob. Thanks!

It looks a bit lighter than the Pale Ale but what I said aboot the foam and lacing applies to this beer as well.

Kind of a citrusy hop nose that leans more towards a lemon vs grapefruit nose. No, more than kind of. It's all I'm getting after many whiffs. Naught wrong with that imho.

The taste follows to a T what I just said aboot the smell. Lemon but also a very blood orange like flavour; I know if that's what they intended, they would have said that on the label but being a fan of the Moro, I stand by my assertion. Not much of a malt presence that I can taste but the hops are doing well enough for my liking.

Similar mouthfeel to the Pale..light side of medium bodied, lively carbonation.

Another brew that I consider a solid entry from Matt Brewing.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.56/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Best by June 30, 2014

A: Pours a clear amber golden with an average white head on top. Just a bit of visible carbonation in the body. Head dissipates in a couple minutes leaving behind a few spots of lacing.

S: Bittering aroma up front on this one. Don't get as much citrus as is advertised on the label but still a bit is present. Slight malting brings up the rear but the focus is certainly on the hops.

T: Mild easy going IPA that is pretty standard affair. Hops are the focus of course but they do not bring as much to the table as others in the style do. Just a hint of sweet malts rounds out the beer.

M: Medium body with ample carbonation. Certainly an easy drinking beer. Crisp and dry finish.

Overall seems like your run of the mill IPA. Won't blow you away with an intense hop profile but will help satisfy a hop craving.

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Photo of u2carew
3.21/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz longneck bottle
A) Pours with a finger thick head. Settles, leaving a tight lacing at the edge of the glass. Clear, bronze colored body.
S) Subtle citrus aroma, quite mellow.
T) Bitter from the beginning. Hints of caramel. Slightly nutty. Lingering mellow hop bite in the aftertaste.
M) Medium-light body. Dry. A touch chalky in the finish.
O) An okay IPA. You average run-of-the-mill IPA, but a little on the light side.

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Photo of wvsabbath
2.27/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Golden tan/brown, very clear with a 1/2 foamy head. Nice lacing.

Smell - Faint, skunky, dank hops. A little sugar note, but really that's about all.

Taste - Starts off with a very artificial hop flavor, tasting somewhat like orange, lemon and toast. Some fruit additives like orange peel and coriander remind me that beer is appealing to the blue moon fans that don't have the refined palate for a real ipa. Very bland and boring with a rather sour aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Cheap, bland fake hops coat and ruin the tongue. Palate gets more of the same mess. Aftertaste is dry, sour and bland.

Overall - It got worse with each drink, very bland, artificial tasting, and not a pleasure to drink. So many better beers out there. It wasn't balanced or smooth, just a waste of my time.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.77/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Copper body bright slightly off white head billowing above the rim of the glass, this IPA is picture perfect...fine speckled lacing. Aroma has bitter citrus notes, hop pellets, hints of pine notes but really focuses on the citrus aspect of the hop spectrum. Some perceived sweetness from the fruit characteristics of the hop additions with minimal biscuit malt notes. Flavor has a sweeping bitterness for only 50 IBUs it's an onslaught of off balanced hop pellet additions and grapefruit pith/crushed aspirin acidity. The mouthfeel pretty much fills the whole palate with citrus peel, it's like snorting Grapefruit peel puree, ridiculous unbalanced levels of bitterness on the palate, make this one of the most frustrating IPAs I've ever had. West Coast IPA is great for the hop flavor, high bitterness, and malt presence the combination of the three not the pure raw chewing on hop pellet alpha acid aspect of the beautiful IPAs out there.

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Photo of Brad007
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another IPA that is riding the wave of citrus-forward IPAs.

Pours a dark gold with a frothy white head. Lots of bubbles. At 5.2%, a good way to start off a lazy Sunday afternoon.

There is indeed a good dose of citrus on the nose. It's light and playful, with more orange than grapefruit.

The aroma translates into a burst of bright citrusy hops on the tongue. Crisp. The added citrus helps to mellow out what would likely be a bitter, metallic IPA.

Finishes very clean. Very thorough.

A refreshing IPA from Saranac.

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Photo of TeamMathis
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Yellowish orange...or tea. Leaves a decent lace.
Smell: Biscuits, pine, floral, and grapefruit.
Taste: Grapefruit, pine. Very light on both.

This is a decent IPA, though I would have guessed it to be a Pale Ale. The smell is enjoyable, mixing a floral attribute with a citrusy one. The taste is nearly the same, and adds a bitter quality to it that lasts the whole drink; a lot of carbonation too. I'm not sure if I'd get it again, but I sure am enjoying it.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.74/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I picked this up at Giant in Linglestown, poured chilled into a goblet from the 12oz brown bottle.

The color id medium amber with very good clarity and thin white head with fine bead. The smell is good with some piney hop odors with fruity yeast and light malt aroma with slight lemon zest scent. The feel is decent with a good bitter entry with medium carbonation with light sweetness and zesty dry finish with light astringency.

The flavor is very good with good citrus zest and lemon with a hint of grapefruit form the hops with mild caramel malt adding body and foundation in the background with flavor that flattens leaving a residual bitterness w/ slow fade and floral tinge. Overall I like this -pretty high drinkability for the strength with fresh flavor, better than I expected with interesting hop taste.

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Photo of dank203
3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

pours a golden color with a white head. good floral hop presence on the nose. a bit of caramelized sweetness. mouth has a lot of citrus, jasmine, lemon peel. very juicy and wet. nice and clean. not hating this one. not as harsh as some of the other saranacs

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Photo of Diggitydustin
3.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bought a 12 pack spring sampler. This was the first one I drank from it. Looks good. Tastes good. The smell isn't really anything to write home about. Pretty common beer scent. Nothing really to distinguish it from most other beers, though. That's not a bad thing though. Tastes sorta like a yuengling lager, but fancier. Goes down smooth. Feels nice on the palates and the throat. I definitely like it. All in all a pretty decent brew. Not the best, by far from being the worst. I can dig it.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.98/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear honey color. The head is a one finger off-white shade with a soapy texture. Retention is reasonably decent, and so is the lacing left behind. Points for the absolutely gorgeous color.

S: Well...I don't get much, bad or good. Maybe it's faintly herbaceous and citrusy. I also seem to get the faintest 'ping' of cookie-esque malt. As it warms, some berry notes TRY to pop up - key word, try. Disappointingly mild, especially for an IPA.

T: Just like the nose indicated, the hop profile is herbaceous and even minty. Not as fruity as the bottle suggested, though. The good news is that the malts stay nicely out of the way. The bad news is that so do the hops. But more good news - it stops short of being generically bitter.

M: This is a real trend with Saranac brews, isn't it? It's ridiculously crisp, light, and dry, but at the cost of seeming somewhat watery. Carbonation is just right, not too strong or weak. It becomes slightly less dry as more is imbibed.

O: Nothing intrinsically wrong with this, it's just boring. Like many Saranac products, there's too much of a 'please the masses' vibe to it. It's not necessarily the equivalent of opening up a treasure chest and and finding out it's loaded with fool's gold, but it IS the equivalent of opening up said treasure chest and ending up with a bunch of dimes. "HEY GUYS, I THINK THIS HAS ABOUT $63 WORTH OF DIMES, WE CAN BUY A SINGLE XBOX ONE GAME WITH IT."

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Photo of plaid75
3.59/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a bright brassy hue with a one finger foamy white head. There is good retention and lacing.

The smell featured fruity esters and an herbal hop.

The taste offered a full herbal bitterness atop a grainy, earthy sweetness. Herbaceous aftertaste.

The mouthfeel was toward the thinner side of the style.

Overall a decently bitter IPA.

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Saranac Our Forbidden IPA from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 47 ratings