Saranac India Pale Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

548 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 548 | Ratings: 937
Photo of thain709
3.08/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a clear copper body with two fingers of white head...the head fell to a full cap and left nice lacing

S - The nose had a mineral aroma to it that turned me off from the start...other than that there was a slight hop aroma, caramel, and stale bread

T - This one is mainly malt dominated...there is a lot of caramel coming out along with some biscuit herbal tea presence creeps in before the hops come through...the hops have a weird taste to them, but they do have a little bite

M - Medium bodied...too sweet for an IPA but it has some lingering bitterness

O - Definitely not the best IPA I've had...the mixed pack wasn't off to a good start with my first two offerings

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

A: Light clear gold with only a bit of visible carbonation. One finger white head with decent lacing.

S: Flowery, citrus hops; some light caramel malt.

T: Taste follows nose with the addition of some slight spicy hop flavors. Malt is a little bready.

M: Medium mouthfeel, not highly carbonated. Hang is hop bitterness but short-lived and not particularly strong. Mild alcohol presence.

O: This one is OK. Nothing off-putting but not great. Wouldn't go out of my way for another.

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Photo of SouljaSaia17
3.38/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have tried most of the IPA's in my local liquor stores Singles cooler, except for this and a few others.

A: Pours a beautiful golden, amber color with an orange tint. Has a solid 1 1/2 inch off white head which stays in a wide glass so hard to see the lacing.

S: First instinct is not a strong smell at all. I get a little bit of pine and some apricots at the front. Citrus aroma is minor but present on the back end and is complimented by some earthy notes as well.

T: Nice flavor that begins with a tangy citrus and pine at the top of the mouth, but not as much hop bitterness as I was hoping. The taste is followed by some sweet malts and a dry bready finish, but not strong there as well.

M: Mouth feel is tangy and crisp for this medium bodied beer. Moderate carbonation helps the taste a lot.

O: Overall, not a bad IPA if your expectations arent too high. Good for a beginner. I know Saranac is an over looked beer for the most part, but does a good job for some of their creations. As for their IPA, not as much Hop bitterness and overall flavor as I was hoping for.

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Photo of Maxwell
3.2/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours an apple juice yellow with the healthy look of dehydrated piss. The head is thinner and dissipates rather swiftly, but is nicely white with an ever so slight yellowing to it. The lacing is quite thin and droopy, however. The smell is sharply malty, which is odd for an IPA. There are some nice sharp citrusy hops smells in the initial waft, but the strong underlying backbone of the smell seems to be sweet and caramel sweet malts. The taste follows up the smell nicely, with a distinct malty flavoring. The hops are not all together lost though, as the nice crisp burst of orangy citrus seems to swim on the sides of the tongue. There is also a slight biscuitiness in this beer, which seems to come from the malts. It feels properly coarse on the mouth with bitterness, while leaving the tongue with a nice thin sheen of saliva and a thirst for more. It lacks the proper hops-taste that comes with the bitterness though. Carbonation bubbles nicely against the tongue, and the beers consistency seems nicely balanced. Overall this is a nice low hopped IPA, it is definitely more reminiscent of the old British IPA’s than of the American variants, but Sarnac’s more old-timey approach to beer makes this choice not too surprising. It’s not a hop lover’s IPA but it is a nice introduction to the style for those who have trouble with bitters. Decent beer.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.36/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Dogfish snifter

A- pours a nice, transparent shade of orange with a one finger white head that fades very quickly. The beer itself is gorgeous, but the head is a disappointment

S- weak aroma that smells almost like artificial peaches...a little strange for an IPA, but OK

T- mild sweetness, mild bitterness. Mostly citrus..not a ton of flavor, but unoffensive

M- very thin body

O- decent "starter" IPA for someone who isn't too well-acquainted with hops. Unfortunately, I am, so it falls short

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.6/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Into a pint glass:

A: light orange colored body with a one finger white head. No lacing showed and the head died within ten seconds. There was some slight carbonation seen rising.

S: centered around the pine and hops with the grapefruit trying to take center stage, some light malts and a earthiness came through as well.

T: centered around the malts with the grapefruit and pine taking a second place, and then in third place came the hops

M: light, very sessionable, dry aftertaste and finish

O: not a bad IPA, but nothing spectacular, but this is still not something to scream about.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.27/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P- Thanks to my buddy Matt for this brew

A- light orange in color with a one finger head. poor lacing on the pint as well.

S-pungent grapefruit hops with light malt tones. A sort of earthy aroma as well.

T- the malt comes out stronger in the taste than nose. The hops are on the back end but not as dominant as i would prefer.

M- Light bodied and hoppy enough. A nic coating in the mouth.

O-Not a bad IPA but the malt tends to override the hops.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
3.36/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass

A: pours a crystal clear hay color with just the slightest amber hue and ample carbonation bubbles, pours with a finger of pure white head that is quite frothy and lingers nicely, leaves a nice amount of lacing
S: nice scent, not terribly strong or what i would equate to fresh but still nice, has a nice citrus hop note but that's about all that is discernible
T: now the taste is nice dont get me wrong, it begins with kind of what i would equate to a pilsner taste then the citrus hops kick in, just slight hop notes, nothing overwhelming just nice citrus hops and not much else, citrus hops linger on the palate for a long time
M: strong carbonation tingle up front, smooth and kind of creamy in the finish, leaves the mouth just slightly dry
O: i enjoy saranac on the whole, they make some very nice sessionable beers, your not gonna get a bad beer from them, always love to support my NY brews

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Photo of Beejay
2.81/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: A medium orange amber color, very clear. The head is white and fluffy.

S: Hoppy with a lot of sweetness. There is a little bit of tropical fruit thing going on. There is something else in the finish that I can't quite place... Perhaps a little syrupy.

T: Less hop flavor, and low on bitterness. For some reason the hops in this just aren't doing it for me, they almost come across as a touch astringent. This has a weird balance of malty sweet followed by astringent bitterness.

M: Medium light mouthfeel, plenty of carbonation.

O: Overall not a fan. Just seems like a very odd combination of flavors.

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Photo of TechTriumph
3.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No freshness date; Poured in a pint glass.

A - One inch white creamy head with pretty good retention; Semi-hazy orange hued copper color with lots of floating sediment and visible carbonation; Nice lacing left behind

S - Caramel and toasted toffee dominate the smell here with a blend of citrus and earthy hops more in the background

T - Pretty good balance here with no flavor outshining the other; Moderate presence of citrus, grassy, and earthy hops as well as caramel and toasted toffee malts; Pretty mild bitterness throughout the taste

M - Moderate carbonation; Medium bodied; Slightly dry finish

O - Overall, this brew wasn't too bad and proved to be pretty drinkable. The good balance of hops and malts was a nice change of pace for an IPA. That said, there aren't many qualities of this beer to distinguish it from the many other fine IPA's out there. I would have this again, but it's not one I would actively seek out.

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Photo of Luigi
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange color with a two to three finger head. The retention is good and clings to the glass.

Smells like cascade hops and a slightly malty back ground. Citrus and pine notes are balanced by the malt. Soft bread notes from the malt.

The taste matches up with the aroma. Fairly strong oily hops with a some faint bread malts and some sweetness from the alcohol. Has a dry hoppy finish. The bitterness from hops linger for a bit on the tongue.

Medium bodied and mildly carbonated.

Saranac is always good at capturing the basic characteristics of each different styles they brew. Nothing in you face kind of brews. Just good beer and a few dollars less. A solid brew that is always available and consistent in taste.

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Photo of rangerred
2.73/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance is a hazy dark yellow with a solid one finger head. Good lacing clinging to the sides of the glass.

Smell is heavy on the grapefruit with some caramel malt detectable as well.

Taste is really a bit muddled. A hint of grapefruit hop flavor followed by lots of bitterness. There is a decent caramel malty backbone but also this odd chlorine flavor that reminds me of pool water. Bitterness holds strong through the finish but little hop flavor.

This beer misses the mark for me. There is too much bitterness but not nearly enough hop flavor and aroma.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance - A golden color; a bit lighter then the traditional IPA of ~ the same abv, which forms a foamy head that fades quite fast leaving a small amount of foam that persists throughout the drinking experience.

Smell - A citrus mixed with hay-like and floral aroma. Not super strong, but a nice blend none the less.

Taste - A very small amount of sweet maltiness first meets the tongue, but is then dominated and highly overpowered by a bitter citrus flavor of lemon and grapefruit which then go on to dominate the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel - A moderate mouthfeel. Nothing special, but not bad. Easy to drink.

Overall - Not a bat beer. If you are feeling something a little more bitter not a bad choice.

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Photo of kennylopez
4.01/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes:

Poured from a 12oz bottle I got in a brewery mixed six pack into a pint.

Appearance: clear golden yellow with a orange hue. A finger and half worth of head in the pour and fades to a film leaving loads of lacing.

Smells: a floral hop nose with a hay like note.

Tastes: a pretty bitter IPA that is flavorful from the floral and pine hop characteristics. I enjoy the tastes a little more as it warms in my mouth giving off more of a pine note.

Mouthfeel: the 5.8% is very well hidden. The high carbonation might play a part in that, but regardless it is a great ale.

Overall: I enjoyed this one quite a bit out of a variety sixer and I have to say this is one of my favorites from Saranac besides their High Peaks series IPA and the flagship P.A..

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Photo of SteelerNationGuy
2.91/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

NOTE: For consistency, all of bottle samples & reviews are done utilizing chilled mugs.

During my sampling of several Saranac (Utica, NY) brews, I came across their IPA. I found some inconsistencies from one bottle to the next, especially with the head of the brew. First bottle had a smooth head giving a pleasant mouthfeel, the second bottle was much flatter which resulted in a sharper feel to the pallet.

Color of this IPA was a nice dark gold, but the nose (smell) was lacking for something that should be "hoppy". The taste of this Saranac brew was not bad, this is where the hops came through in a well balanced IPA, although average for an America IPA. The ABV of 5.8% may suggest some bitter notes, but surprisingly there was not much of the lingering bitterness in the aftertaste at all.

All in all the SteelerNationGuy gives this brew a 3.0 - AVERAGE.

Keep 'em chilled!

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.38/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

really bitter ipa. smells and tastes the same, very citrus hop beer. i taste slight hints of lemon lime in here. its a bitter hop takeover to a point far beyond refreshment. i didnt like this one at all when i first had it years ago, but as i enjoy one right now i find my palate has evolved to appreciate it for what it is. mouthfeel is a little thin for all this flavor, but thats a good thing here i think. a good beer for bold foods as it can stand up to anything without filling you up. they put this one in most of their mix packs so its widely available. not bad, not amazing.

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Photo of ShawnKemp
3.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was ok...not an IPA that i would choose again though.
Rich maltiness and hop aromas allow this beer to sip well. Although the hops are overshadowed by subtle notes of coffee.
Not a bad brew...but have it cold and on will likely have a better brew.

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Photo of riored4v
3.38/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured in to a pint. 1 finger, white head with a clear copper colored body.

Aroma was off to me. Metallic with a maltiness. Some hop aroma that seemed to resemble floral and fruity aromas. Pretty weak aroma. Subtle notes of caramel.

Taste was a bit better. Some mild bitterness upfront that was floral with a mild maltiness in the middle. A bit metallic towards the end with a citrusy/grapefruit like bitterness.

Medium body, medium/high carb and a crisp finish.

To me, this seems more along the lines of a pale ale. Hops dont really shine and the flavors are very mellow.

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Photo of k1001001
2.84/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I got this beer as part of a sampler pack along with Adirondack Lager, Saranack Pale Ale, and Black Forest. I had a few sips out of the bottle, which weren't that great. I then served it into a pint glass, which improved it some.

I love IPAs. I do not love this one.

The aroma is nice and sweet, but that's about all this has going for it. The color is opaque, seems a little too hazy.

My bias must be towards a lighter IPA, such as 60 Minute or Sierra Nevada. This beer falls into the "spicy" IPAs which I abhor (think Mad Hatter). I think the spices rob the hops of their flavor.

It's alright, but I wouldn't drink it again. Good thing the sampler pack only came with one.

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Photo of troysoy2
3.72/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured it into a pint glass. Looks pretty much like your average IPA. Decent head gives way to a sudsy surface covering. Lively bubbles rise to the top.

The smell is also pretty average, but slightly less hop forward than with most IPAs. This opens up the smell slightly more to the sweet, orange-y, grapefruit-y malt side of the spectrum.

The hops actually come out a little more clearly in the taste, which I think is quite nice. This is definitely no hop bomb, however, and I think they've struck a nice balance here. Sweet, citrus and pine comes out in the front of the taste, while crisp dryness is the focus of the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is just right, I'd say. Crisp, and it doesn't end up as a bunch of foam in your mouth the way some IPAs do.

A nice, balanced, if slightly unexciting IPA. I'm a fan.

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Photo of rodney45
3.31/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Light sunset yellow color. Bright white lingering head.

S: Malt dominant for an IPA. Light citrus or grapefruit hop aroma.

T: Has a distinct taste of blood orange mixed in with the citrus hops. Dominant malt flavor for an IPA. Whole wheat and rye notes.

D: Very light and non bitter for an IPA. Smooth, refreshing medium body. This would be better classified as an a pale ale, rather than and IPA

O: This beer is a non pretentious take on the classic IPA. Like most of saranac beers, its a good intro into the style due to its ease of reception

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Photo of rdub
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Acquired as part of a mixed case. Poured from the best by Jan 2012 bottle into my Duvel tulip. Orange-ish amber color with about an inch of white head. Aroma was citrusy hops but were somewhat muted. Taste followed the smell, kind of basic and light. Easy drinking and just ok.

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Photo of Mississipping
3.68/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a completely clear golden color with a massive, frothy off-white head that stick around forever.  After subsiding slightly, sticky lacing is left all over the glass.  

S: Really malty up front with a slight bready character and a nice sweetness with hints of caramel.  Hidden behind the maltiness is an earthy hoppiness that is somewhat subdued but does become more pronounced as it warms.  

T: Just as the aroma would suggest, the maltiness is apparent first.  Pretty sweet with caramel up front that fades slightly to a surprising hop kick.  Not overly hoppy, but it is amped up a bit in comparison to the amount of hops comprising the aroma.  Ends slightly bitter, and with a green olive-ish aftertaste that is very subtle, but there nonetheless.  

M: Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation that works really well for this beer.  Starts out slightly sweet and then transitions to a slightly bitter end.  

D: Although this wouldn't be one of my go-to IPAs, it's not bad.  It is not very complex at all, but what is there seems pretty well balanced, although there is an odd aftertaste that seems slightly out of place.  Refreshing and overall pretty tasty.  I'm glad I got to try this, although I wouldn't be too disappointed if I don't see it again.  

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Photo of ReelBigwigFish
2.97/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Golden color with a fizzy white head.

S: Citrus and grassy hops backed by a light grainy malt aroma.

T: Taste follows the nose, although the malt dominates. Grainy bitey finish with lingering grass hop flavor.

M: Crisp, easy to put down, bitey-high carbonation.

O: Tastes more like a good hoppy pilsner than an ipa. For the style it's kind of a dud.

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Photo of mastodonj
2.55/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Overall, another forgettable beer from Saranac. Not sure what
their deal is, but of the 4 varieties I've tried in 3 days, none
are notable. They are drinkable and they all go down easily
because of their clean finish. But that's maybe also a sign
of their simplicity, kind of like industrial-scale brews.

Like the others:

A - a patheticly small head with almost no lacing and a medium amber color.

S - some decent sized maltiness but not good enough

T - a little bitterness but not fully there and no complexity.

M - good feel and clean finish.

Overall, this just does not come close to where a decent
IPA should be.

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Saranac India Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.32 out of 5 based on 937 ratings.
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