Saranac India Pale Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac India Pale AleSaranac India Pale Ale
941 Ratings
Saranac India Pale AleSaranac India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-19-2001

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 941 |  Reviews: 548
Reviews by DannyS:
Photo of DannyS
3.81/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tulip glass, poured from a 12 oz. bottle.

A - Pours a very clean medium amber with a nice fluffy head that leaves a good bit of lacing.

S - A bit of resin and sweet malt, but mostly just a clean, simple hop and yeast odor. Lost a few points for a metallic twinge detected a couple of times.

T - A crisp, bright hoppy taste with a touch of citrus, melding with the bit of malt there, finishing very clean with only scant bitterness in the back of my tongue. Very mellow for an IPA.

M - Decent carbonation and light body. Slightly watery though.

D - I rarely think of session beer when thinking IPA, but this could definitely be a session brew. Good tasting with very light bitterness; I'd totally go through a few of these.

Overall - I didn't really know what to expect here, but I was pleasantly surprised by a subtle, well-rounded brew. I'd probably pick up a six-pack or two of this from time to time and stick it in my rotation of standbys.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear golden with a fluffy head that takes its time settling leaving a nice sheet of lace,mainly grapefruit/citrus in the aroma with a light tasted grain hint but its subdued.A pretty well balanced IPA some citruis and resin up front but a toasted malt flavor really comes thru in the finish to make this pretty well balanced.A pretty drinkable ale not complex and or big and bold but quaffable and I think a good session type brew.

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Photo of Marty
2.48/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I could have sworn I reviewed this beer years ago when I was a student living near the FX Matt Brewing Co. We used to get it only once a year, when it came packaged with the 12 Beers of Christmas sampler pack by Saranac.

If I HAD reviewed it I would have said I was unimpressed. IPAs are supposed to have HOPS! Lots of hops. This beer has some, but certainly not as much as a beer like Sierra Nevada, which considers itself a PA, not an IPA. Furthermore, this beer seems kind of watery. It looks nice, has a somewhat sticky head, but doesn't smell like much and really tastes a lot like Saranac's Pale Ale.

I realize I shouldn't expect too much, since this beer is probably only brewed once a year for the 12 Beers of Christmas. On the other hand, Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale is only brewed once a year... and IT rules.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.06/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This one's got a big 'ol pearly white head w/ massive bubbles. It fades fast but leaves a very sticky moderate lacing. The beer is translucent butterscotch. The nose is faint and of fruity and resinous hops.

This is a simple, light, slightly sweet brew with citrus, resinous, and herbal hop flavors and an alcoholic finish. The mouthfeel is thin and watery but helps drinkability.

I got this from a mixed pack, and it is almost as if the labels got switched on the Pale Ale and IPA. The latter being by far the easier to drink.

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Photo of ccapurso
3/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.06/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Saranac Ipa from mixed sixer. 5.8% alcohol.
Once again my be a wee old due to price tag.

A- Nice glowing orange fluid from light pour turning over a half inch head that sticks around leaving ultra sticky lacing.

S- Smell is of danky hops... grapefruit, oranges and lemons. Possibly some cut grass.
Mild malts in back of nose.

T-M- Taste is similer to smell but wet. Has a bitter sweet grassy hop oil flavor that opens to grapefruit and lemons. Malts are musky at the least and come through as slightly sweet carmel. Mouthfeel is watery and tea leaf like.
Low carbonation leaves the tongue soaked in danky hops and not so appealing flavors linger.

D- Not a drinkable beer if i may say so myself but maybe a bad batch or old.

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Photo of steelerguy
3.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours gold, with a nice white head. Pretty low carbonation so the head becomes just a covering as you drink.

S - A nice hop aroma...this almost over powered by malt? Very strange for an IPA. Not horrible, but more like a pale ale.

T - Nice malt profile, clean with a little caramel sweetness. Earthy hop presense with a bit of citrus. Wait...this is an IPA? No, this is a pale ale.

M - I'd like a touch more carbonation. Finishes a little too sweet which gives it a creamy texture that I don't want in an IPA.

D - Quite drinkable for a pale ale, but this is supposed to be an IPA. If I am looking for an IPA, this just doesn't work for me.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.16/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A ho-hum beer. I was expecting a little more from this purported IPA. It was a golden color with a thick white head. Faint floral aroma. Lightly hopped, just a little bit of citrus coming through. Pretty mild, not what I would consider an IPA. I enjoyed other selections in this 12 pack sampler a lot more.

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Photo of Walker8810
2.57/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pale orange hue, about an inch of foam. Aroma has a good flora hop note with hints of lemon and orange. taste is slightly sweet with a fair amount of hop bitterness but not as much as i'd like with an ipa. thin mouthfeel. finishes clean with a bitter aftertaste. overall an average ipa but i've had better.

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Photo of marvin213
1.91/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

As described on the bottleneck, the beer appears a golden straw color. Its head froths to 2mm thick at the pour, and then dissipates to thin, partial coverage. Not too bad, but nothing all that impressive.

A "generous" amount of cascade hops and I can't enjoy the smell? It doesn't stink or anything, but I really feel like all these Saranac/Matt Brewing Company beers smell and taste nearly the same. It's got some sorta wierd, bark-like odor that I smell in all these beers. Bark's my best guess but--whatever it is--it ain't that good.

I bought this beer in a mixed-six at Food Lion. Aside from maybe Longhammer, it's like the only IPA in that store. It has a peculiar, sour, acrid taste to it that is just short of awful. I acknowledge that this brewery offered some variety long before the craft beer explosion, but I can't give a whole lot of credit to longevity. There's a hint of bitterness in the aftertaste, but I consistently get sour vibes. I know it's not a bad beer issue because I detect this thru the whole Saranac line. Why review a beer I know I don't like? Hadn't had it in a while, saw IPA at the Food Lion, and wanted to give it another shot. Now I'll just have documented my thoughts on this beer.

The mouthfeel is tolerable. Juxtaposed against that sour bark is a bitterness that isn't pleasant. When I like beers like Ruination, why don't I like this type of bitterness? Where I usually experience malt backbone, I feel almost like I've got liquid bark in my mouth.

Drinkability is poor. I'll finish it just outta principle, so it's not so bad I'm going to pour it down the drain. As I contemplate the appropriate context to enjoy this one, I'm honestly at a loss. In every potential environment I can conjure in my head, there are far better beers to enjoy.

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Photo of generallee
3.9/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It pours a nice golden amber with a thin white head that leaves good lacing on the glass, but the hops are the main focus here. The aroma of hops fills the nose with a floral, piney and resiny bouquet. The palate is medium bodied with an earthy malt character that is subdued by the by the fairly strong but not overpowering hops. Hop notes on the tongue are piney, citrusy and a little bit floral. Saranacs IPA has a pleasant hop bitterness from start to finish and is very refreshing and easy to drink. Well done!

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.1/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden amber nice head of dense bubbles Earthy pungent hop aroma with a backing of caramel malts 3.5
The taste of this beer all bitter, slight caramel and pale malts to start as carbonation subsides the pale malts and earthy bitter enters its not overwhelming but that's all u get.
Its an easy drinking ipa and not harsh mouth but overall the taste is the worse part of this beer.

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Photo of TimoP
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Doomcifer
2.5/5  rDev -24.5%

Photo of Jason
3.44/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown longneck bottle with no freshness date, description of the beer and “American I.P.A.” stated on the label.

Appearance: Shimmering off white lace that leaves a web-like trail, the pancake of a head stays for a while floating above the bright golden liquid.

Smell: Slanted hoppy aroma of full on Cascades, sweet and floral with an oily citric note. Some malt is noticeable with suggestions of taffy and ripe pear, all in all this is a bit weak in the aroma for an American IPA.

Taste: Crispness gets a little lost when the moderate carbonation drops out, malt is hard to discern as the one way left-wing Cascade character tries to take over. Rind like citric tones are quick and the bitterness is a bit pungent. Finishes bitter and semi-dry.

Notes: Not bad if you like the taste of citrusy Cascade hops, weak in the malt department which shows in the body as well. Similar to Harpoon IPA but not as good.

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Photo of merlin48
3.03/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is, almost, a side by side tasting with Harpoon IPA, both from 12 bottle sampler boxes from their respective breweries. The Saranac pours a totally clear medium golden amber, with short lasting head. Subued nose, like the Harpoon, but the Saranac's nose is more bitter, less floral. Good chain lacing in the pint glass. Mouthfeel is ok, plenty of carbonation and nice hop/malt balance. Tastes like some pine resin got tossed into the mix. There is a slight peppery taste, and an astringent aftertaste. I think Saranac is trying to do too many styles at the same time, or it seems that way to me. This doesn't compare favorably to the Harpoon IPA.

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Photo of Billolick
2.98/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

clear, straw color. not much of a nose, abit of cascade. Medium hops and minimal malt, Hops in the finish, abit of lime and grapefruit. Doesnt live up to its label " a hop lovers delight!". This really is more like a Pale Ale, not enough of a hop kick to get it up to style....$5.99 a six, I'd rather pay a buck or two more to get a non-watered down attempt at an IPA

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Photo of Mora2000
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle provided by Cavie.

The beer pours yellow orange with a white head. The aroma is earthy hops with some citrus. Flavor is more of the same with earthy hops and some pineapple. Thin mouthfeel and low carbonation. A decent IPA, but nothing spectacular.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle from their Adirondack mixed six pack.

Poured into a nonic. Sturdy, creamy head piled high on a light amber body. Patchy webs of lace grace the top of the glass.

The nose is quite potent Cascade hops, sweet malt, and a slight pear or other fleshy fruit aroma. The hops give a nice grassy, fruity texture. There's a strange sweet aroma - call me crazy, but it reminds me of spicy pizza sauce - that is proving distracting.

Not a bad IPA, certainly quite drinkable, but the hops are a bit out of balance. The malt profile is certainly subdued, allowing the hops to come crashing in quite late, but leaving a leafy, citrussy blast on the tongue. The finish is bitter and long-lasting.

Crisp carbonation, slightly creamy feel - fine for the style. Feels like I just finished eating a hop cone.

A decent IPA, certainly accessible and worth picking up, but there have been others from the good ol US of A (and increasingly, Canada) which fit the bill just as well or better. A stronger malt profile and a more diverse hop spectrum would have made this brew quite extraordinary. Still, a good example of the style.

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Photo of jakester
4/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was from a sampler case. No date evident!

Pours a beautiful clear light copper/gold with a 2 finger off-white head of foam. Drops to a nice coating and lacing all the way down.

Aroma is strong lemons and grapefruit. Obviously Cascade hops are present. Also some faint bready/yeasty malts, but not much.

The first flavor is malt, but that is quickly overtaken by pretty darn strong hop bittering. Lemons and grapefruit flavors come next, with some light caramel malts also present. There is a final, pleasant, dry astringency. This is well balanced.

Mouthfeel is sweet malts, bitter hops, and soft carbonation which finishes the beer as clean and crisp.

This would be a pounder. Damn good session IPA, though a little strong, and definitely recommended. For the price, this is a real winner.

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Photo of westcott
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic,a clear light golden color.A nice creamy,rocky head. A few very tiney bubbles rising to the top with nice lacing,a retentive head.
The aroma was mostly hoppy,citrus and pine notes and very clean.The malt aromas were faint with hints of caramel and bisquit.
The taste was piney,grapefruity, a nice hop aroma. The maltiness was a bit lacking,a carmel taste,with a slight burnt taste at the finish.
The mouthfeel was medium,but light for an IPA,a light prickleness on the palate,with a nice dry,tartness a sweet edge at the finish.
A very drinkable beer,more of a pale ale rather than an ipa.
Not a bad beer,but leaves you feeling empty if your really in the mood for an IPA,

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Photo of Swedes21
3.62/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341 ml served in a chilled glass..

Appearance - The beer pours a nice golden yellow with 100% clarity. The head is a nice white head about 3 inches and slowly going down. The carbonation is minimal, but still there. Some decent lacing is happening.

Smell - I can smell some grassy under tones with a strong presences of hops. Hops do dominate the sent in my opinion.

Taste - Clean tasting beer, you can definitely taste the hops. There is a slight bitterness near the end, but nothing overwhelming.

Mouthfeel - Decent amount of carbonation adds to the hops and brings the grassy taste forward. I feel the beer maintains its clean feel on the pallet while offering a full body.

Drinkability - Nice beer to drink while watching the game! I enjoyed this beer, found the hops to have a great flavour and while not been strong, they are involved in the tasting.

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Photo of kingcrowing
2.36/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a DFH signature glass.

Pours a Dark am er with almost no head at all. Nose is very light, a bit malty but no hops or anything fruity...

Taste us also super bland, a bit malty but no real hop flavors, mouthfeel is light and a bit sticky. It's really dissapointing and bland.

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Photo of Bamabrew22
3.87/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice IPA. Straw-like or gold appearance with decent head retention and quite a bit of lacing. Aroma felt like I was in a pine forest or hop field. Loved the taste of generous hops nicely balanced with sweet malt. Enjoyed this at the beach and would gladly call this a good, sessionable brew.

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Saranac India Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.31 out of 5 with 941 ratings