Saranac India Pale Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

938 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 938 |  Reviews: 548
Photo of beerphan
3.2/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle -> american pint glass
no date

Pours a light burnt orange almost amber, pretty dark for an ipa. One inch cream colored head. Medium carbonation present.

Nose: Piney hops with a tinge of malt.

Taste: A nice malt hop balance upfront with a bitter stinging bite. Not as hoppy as i'd like, and the aftertaste is sometimes unpleasant.

Mouth is medium with plenty of carbonation.

Not a bad beer, but not my first choice, not even close.

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Photo of greebsnarf
3.95/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rich gold color with a tall off-white head and good lacing; these guys really know how to put a head on their brews. There's a nice hop fragrance, fruity and spicy: sweet apples, cardamom, and some lavender. A soapy yeast smell is also present. Overall, actually, it smells sort of like really fragrant soap, the kind that smells so good you want to put in your mouth but then it tastes gross and you regret it. Or maybe that's just me.

The taste is a little weaker but along the same lines as the smell and not bad at all. Fizz and sweet apples gradually give way to the long-lasting bitter hops which are accompanied by a subtle maltiness in the finish. Hop lovers beware, it's nowhere near the hoppiest IPA I've had, but it's tasty and well rounded, and it does a good enough job of satisfying my sudden hops craving tonight.

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Photo of dansm
3.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-Pours Clear golden with a decent off-white head.

S-Mostly a citrusy/piny hop aroma, with a hint of sweet malt.

T-A hint of sweet malts gives way to an almost floral hop bitterness.

M-Light bodied and slightly watery. Decent amount of carbonation.

D-Not a bad example, not at all hard to drink.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a Golden Amber, plenty activity, 1/4" thin white head with decent retention. Leaves some pretty nice lacing behind.

Smells of Flower-green hops, mildly sweet hop.

Taste starts off seriously hoppy. No, not a 3X hop attack, but a very nice mild hop that is only mildly bitter with a decent amount of hearty malt. The flavors are very bold and rich, much better than I had anticipated. The complexity is very nice. I'm very impressed with the hop flavor here.

Feels very crisp and clean with a good bite on the palate and yes,'s pretty refreshing.

A nice complex hop dominated flavor that is hearty and bold, not on the "extreme" side of the hoppy family, but very nice. Easy as heck to drink.

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Photo of rarevos
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of the Trail Mix Six-Pack

Poured into Imperial Pint glass.

A: Good head, decent retention. I'm assuming the hop oils encourage the sticky trails? Os is that a malt feature? It seems IPAs have better sticky trails than other beers. Anyway, it's a golden amber color with lively lines of bubbles. Pillowy head went down to lacing after ~2 minutes.

S: Even pouring it at arm's length I got hops & bananas. Close, it was faintly piney.

T: It's not terribly characterful, but it's nice to see if you're working your way through the Trail Mix 6-Pack. Has a hop finish, but it's a mild ale as IPAs go. I'm not a huge hop lover, and I wanted this to be hoppier. What hops are there are fruity (grapefruit), and moderately piney in the finish. Mostly malt.

M: Light.

D: Lower abv than many IPAs, I think, and lower hoppiness, too. Went well with spicy food. Very, very mild.

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Photo of briman
3.48/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours a fairly clear medium amber color. Big, fluffy off-white head, excellent retention. Lots of lacing.

Aroma is all citrus hops, but milder than you might expect from an I.P.A....oranges, & tangerines come through.

Taste is surprisingly mild. Hoppy, but not big & bold. Oranges lead out, with some latent malt sweetness. This gives way to a dry, but only mildly bitter grapefruity finish.

Medium body, moderate carbonation. Crisp, refreshing, but maybe a touch thin. Balance seems ok, just not really as punchy as some other I.P.A.'s. Certainly drinkable, and would be decent as a session beer.

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

Obtained this as part of a Saranac mixed six-pack at Harris Teeter in Durham, NC for $4.99.

The beer poured a nice golden color, with a head that consisted only of some thin patches of bubbles that surfaced immediately after the beer was poured and disappeared soon thereafter. The smell is typical of India Pale Ales: there was a very "clean" aroma with a hint of hops. It's certainly not overwhelming.

I find the flavor a tad thin for my taste. There is a nice bitterness to it, and the finish is quite dry.

I believe the mouthfeel is typical for American IPAs: not sticky or chewy, just quickly coating the mouth and producing that bitter, dry texture.

For the price, I'd drink this again, but compared to many examples of the IPA style I've tried, this is a little weak.

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Photo of zeff80
3.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours out a golden/amber color with a white, 3-finger head. It left lacing.

S - Smells mainly of hops and grass.

T - The malt flavor is nicely complimented by a spicy/bitter hoppiness.

M - It is crisp and light-bodied.

D - This is a pretty good American IPA. Not as hoppy as some but still pretty good.

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Photo of JayQue
3.66/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A fairly good tasting beer but not a great American IPA. Looks good, pours a clear amber color with a nice sized head that quickly recedes to just a covering on the glass. Good lacing. Has the right aroma for an IPA but not enough. Taste is pretty good, some hops bitterness but nothing like SNPA or even Harpoon. Some malt aspects as well. Goes down real smooth, mouthfeel is about right and, aside from a slight metallic aftertaste, the flavor holds up. Drinkability for this beer is good. Has some IPA qualities but not overpowering and fairly low ABV. This would be a great beer to introduced someone to IPA's, but a regular IPA drinker would probably want something with a more pronounced flavor. This beer is more like an English IPA or APA than an American IPA.

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Photo of Kendo
3.75/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Smith's imperial pint glass, Saranac IPA was a coppery amber with a 1-finger frothy white head. Very little lacing and the head settled into a slight white foam.

Smelled predominantly of Cascade hops: floral and citrusy, though there was a slight bit of sweet malt peeking through.

Taste: Floral and fruity at first, but with a fairly dry, bitter metallic finish that lingers. The caramel malt taste becomes more pronounced as it warms, and the Cascade hops really stay with you. A decent balance, but frankly I think this beer is closer to a traditional English IPA or American Pale Ale than the modern American versions of an IPA.

As for mouthfeel, this beer is not highly carbonated at all (despite the frothy white head on the pour). I thought it was slightly thin and finished with a tad bit metallic or slick feel to it.

As for drinkability: Saranac beers in upstate NY are reasonably priced and solid; I often use this and their Pale Ale as my "house beers." As a result, I've sessioned the IPA numerous times without problems (except maybe for the next morning).

All in all it's a pretty good beer.

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Photo of akorsak
3.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 12 oz bottle of Saranac IPA served in an Ommegang Witte glass. The ale is cold.

Appearance: The ale has a light brown/pale amber color with a smallish head that has laced well.

Smell: The ale has a light citrusy hop aroma that has hints of citrus.

Taste: The ale has a grainy malt body that has hints of caramel. The hops again are fairly subtle for an IPA, but they provide a sufficient level of bitterness to keep it in the style.

Mouthfeel: The hops are good, but could be better...

Drinkability: Very drinkable, this is a good gateway into the sometimes scary world of IPAs and DIPAs.

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Photo of bjohnson
3.03/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled 07/01/06. Review from notes.

A: golden amber color with a one and a half finger white frothy head. Good retention—nice lace.
S: Floral grassy fruit hop notes. Biscuity malt flavor. Slight metallic smell.
T/M: Grassy hops with a bready malt backbone. Dry bitter taste. Sharp biting bitterness on the tongue. Slick mouthfeel that waters down towards the end. Slightly sticky aftertaste. Light body, but not bad..
D: Drinkable, but there are better ones out there. I wouldnÂ’t choose this first if it was in front of me. Not a very fascinating or intriguing beer, but worth a try.

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Photo of plaid75
4.3/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger pillowy head. There was good retention and very good sticky lacing.

The smell was dominated by a citrusy and peppery Cascade hop aroma.

The taste was also dominated by the citrusy and spicy hop presence. There was a subtle biscuity backbone, but certainly secondary to the hop. There was slight flavor of apple peel as well.

The mouthfeel was full and a bit chewy. Good carbonation and a very dry finish.

Overall, a nice rendition of an AIPA. I enjoyed the spicy hop profile and modetrate ABV. In my opinion, an excellent session beer.

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Photo of blackie
3.38/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance: The pour gives a 0.4" whate head that soon becomes a ring around the glass and a decent layer on top. The beer is a light orange-amber in color.

smell: Green, somewhat floral, and grassy hop aromas upfront. Some grainy caramel malt aromas provide a little sweetness. Pretty decent, alot better than the taste.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the border between medium and high, and the body a light medium.

taste: Light caramel and other barely toasted malts with a "muddy" hop flavor. Moderate bitterness. Not enough distinct hop flavor for an American IPA...the hops provide more bitterness than flavor. The flavors seem pretty one-dimensional.

drinkability: Pretty easily drinkable, but an average or so beer.

The last of a mix pack

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Photo of ommegangpbr
3.97/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As far as IPAs go, it's a little watery, a little thin, but for the most part pretty good. Looks like one would expect. Has a solid, malty/hoppy odor. There's also a solid citrus/piney hop flavor with enough malt sweetness to keep it from being too bitter.
For what one is likely to pay for this, this is a good IPA. Even within the spectrum of IPAs this isn't too shabby. It does the job.

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Photo of scooter231
3.81/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruby/golden color, quite clear, some head, some lacing. IPA. Nothing amazing. Smells like an IPA should. Tastes like an IPA should. Good mouthfeel. Drinkable. A good IPA- nothing particularly noteable, and more enjoyable than most Saranacs. A decent IPA.

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Photo of brentk56
2.96/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a modest head a some splashes of lacing

Smell: Sorry, but this smells soapy and grainy

Taste: Unfortunately, the soapy flavor shows up at the outset; after the swallow, the beer provides a grainy bitterness along with a perfumy quality that mixes with a resinous character but overwhelms the malt

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with good carbonation

Drinkability: There are so many great IPAs out there it hardly makes sense to waste one's time with this one; the flavors are not well-balanced at all

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Photo of clickpush
4.04/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour: 12oz bottle to pint glass. Comes out an amber, lager-ish color with a half inch of white head which goes down quick but leaves a hefty ring around the glass and slight lacings. Calm, visible carbonation bubbles within.

Nose: Smells of hoppy bitterness and apricots - very inviting! I can smell the alcohol in the depth of the aroma and get a bit of a grassy pilsner smell.

Mouth: Excellent full balance of flavors - dominated by the IPA bitterness. Lightly sweet, like hay, on the intake, sour notes of apricot tartness as it moves back, and finishes with a wonderful lasting hoppy bitterness and a hint of alcohol on the exhale. It enters with strong carbonation and this lasts all the way to the back of the mouth without creaming out. This effect carries a sweet banana flavor down the throat with it while swallowing. This beer really is refreshing and tasty!

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

Clear golden-orange with a sticky head and medium carbonation. Light oily citrus hop aroma. Cascade hop flavor with a fairly bitter citrus rind finish coats the mouth with astringency. Pretty one-dimentional overall but at least the flavor has some kick to it. Not much in the malt department. Crisp, dry mouthfeel and easy to drink.

A straightforward cascade dominant IPA.

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

The beer pours a light clear gold with a whithe head that laces well. The aroma is floral hops. The taste is a little malt and a lot of floral hops, with a bit of a bitter finish. The feel is medium and oily. Pleasant enough and well within the style, but nothing extraordinary.

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Photo of rabsten
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Orange-amber. One inch head, disipates quickly. Marginal lacing.

Smells bitter, with a lingering sweeetness.

Taste is bitter hops. Not any malt to speak of. Strong aftertase.

Tangy mouthfeel, fizzy. Refreshing. More drinkable than I expected.

I found this for $4.19 a six. At that price it's a great choice. However, if I'm really looking for something that represents the style, I pay the extra $2 and get a six of Harpoon IPA.

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Photo of jwc215
2.62/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was the last of the variety pack that I tried. Like the others, it was a bit disappointing because it was watery.
It poured a straw gold with a white creamy-looking head that became thin, but lasted throughout. It had medium, steady carbonation.
There was not much to the aroma. Some hints at hops.
It was, like I said, watery. The bottle states that it is a hop lovers delight, but I found that the hop flavor was there, but more in the aftertaste than in the taste itself. It was a bit overpowered by the water. It wasn't bad tasting, just thin.
It was somewhat drinkable because it wasn't offensive, just insubstantial.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.6/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this Saranac better than most from the variety pack. Though you won't brag about this one to your friends, it's a basic, nice brew. A moderate malt profile withdraws underneath the bittering and flavor of spicy American hops. The hop flavor shows light esters with a light boquet to the nose and taste. Lightly grassy and piney, yet remaining sweetly spicy. Moderate and bitter to the mouth with a hint of grain-husk astringency. Finishes bitter and dry with a light sweetness. Good, but I probably won't remember it in a week.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.9/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Another solid staple from Saranac. Wish these were in Detroit. Pours out to a pumpkin orange / bronze color with a head of auburnish white foam. Medium level of carbonation, and lot os lace. Aromas of hops and malt are delivered, and are suprisingly noticeable. Far better than most at this price range. Taste is generally good albeit easy to anticipate; grain, hops, roasty malt, citrus, teas. Mouthfeel is ok, very watery, lacking hop oil and that "slickness" that many other IPA's have. Good drinkability. Special thanks goes out to conneticutpoet for the sample.

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Photo of arizcards
3.15/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another gift from Mr Doyle's BOM club. Looks like this one was shipped in October 2005.

Beer poured a nice golden color with a nice white head leaving a generous lacing. Residual head is just floating. Nose is of English hops. Taste is unbalanced, not much in the way of malts, leaving a large presence of the hops to dominate. Mouthfeel is thin for the style. Drinkaility is average, definitely better than the macro stuff but pretty low on the micro playing field.

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Saranac India Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.32 out of 5 based on 938 ratings.
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