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 maddamish
2.57/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Overall a verty weak offering from Saranac.

Like most Saranac beers this is very watery. Small head and almost no lacing afterwards. You can tell it is watery just by looking at it.

Tasting notes include a small hint of hops and orange peel. There isn't much here and I found it very boring. It took all that I had to finish this one.

Watery in the mouth with no body whatsoever.

Go ahead and pass this one up. You won't be missing anything.

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

Appearance – Inviting and alive, pale orange or copper color. Great head retention.

Smell – Brims with hoppy goodness.

Taste – Solid hop action up front. Grapefruit-like at first ends with a duller bitterness.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability – Dry, medium body. In the middle tier of the style I think. Only seek it out if you are really exploring the style. Good starter brew.

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Photo of Jredner
3.3/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hoppy aroma, but nothing extreme. Pale gold with a thin head. Middle of the road IPA that I have to admit kept pulling me back for sips. I’m not a big fan of IPA’s so I tend to prefer the less extreme IPA’s. This is just right for me and much more of a session type sipper than most IPA's you get these days.

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Photo of bditty187
2.91/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear, coppery-gold in hue, the color is fairly pale but the liquid still looks nice enough. White head, a sticky foamy mass created two fingers of head. The bubbles slowly faded to a soapy cap. There was a tremendous amount of organized subsequent lacing. When all is said and done, this is a good looking beer!

For an IPA, the nose isn’t very hoppy. I get little more then undercurrents of cheese, pine, and citrus. The aromas are far from rich. Not much malt, just a kiss of caramel sweetness. No ale fruitiness either. Simplistic nose; IPAs need some force, this one whispers plus it fails to say anything profound. Boring. Inoffensive… does that make it inviting? No.

The palate isn’t very bright. No not stupid. I mean it is not lively. The hops tickle me at the back of the throat but I want my IPAs to hit me hard on the tongue. I want to feel it. Sadly, I don’t. Minimal maltiness, kisses of sweetness, and some grain. In the middle I found it very metallic; this is annoying me. Hops are at the back, cheesy, citrus rind, some wood too. Boring, flawed IPA. Saranac Pale Ale is hoppier then this. Yawn.

Medium-light in body, watery at the back, low carbonation; the mouthfeel is lackluster. I need more body.

In a way, this is easy to drink but the metallic taste and lack of hops hurts drinkability. I have no desire to drink this again; when I drink IPAs it is because I need a hop fix. This IPA does not deliver the goods. I was expecting a decent beer, at least… and I didn’t even get that. This offering was part of a 12-beer sampler that I purchased in Lawrence, KS. It’s a bore, I say skip it.

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Photo of Phatz
3.98/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a great IPA it is smooth and gentle not too hoppy for me (a malt guy). It is nice and bubbly and pleasant in the mouth. I tend to find IPAs to be too hoppy to consider sessionable but this an easy going sessionable beer. Here is the breakdown:

Appearance: It pours a fantastic golden amber color and has a thick off whit-head. Moderate sticky lacing here and there.

Smell: From the moment I popped the cap I was very pleased with the gentle sweet aroma. It has hints of citrus but the grapefruit and pine elements are very laid back and not overpowering.

Taste and Mouthfeel: This beer is actually sweet not overly sour; though the tangy hop character shows its face it is more in the form of crisp and yet smooth mouthfeel. The malt character is also pretty quite but also present. This beer has a very nice aftertaste that is dry but sweet and only slight tangy.

Drinkability: I think the simplicity and balance this of this beer helps create its approachable and very drinkable nature. I would consider this sessionable and I am a person who can barely get through a good beer like the Celebration Ale, it is just too much for me. Saranacs India Pale Ale is so approachable I highly recommend giving it a try. Enjoy.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.03/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of the "12 beers of Winter" pack that I've been enjoying (if ya wanna call it that!) this week. I normally love IPA's and consider myself a semi-hophead, but this brew just doesn't have a lot of depth to it. That being said, this is decent for a Saranac offering, but seeing how I haven't rated any of their beers too highly, that isn't saying a whole lot...

Nice pour to it, big head that quickly settled down. Very strong Cascade aroma to it, and nice lacing down the side of the glass as well. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of depth or notes to this beer. Very faint citrus and metallic notes to this, and the dark golden straw color of the brew is nearly transparent, to go along with the less-than-full flavor. Not a lot of carbronation to this puppy either, and the aftertaste is lacking, for the lack of a better term.

One could do a whole lot better trying IPA's from Stone, Sierra Nevada, Victory, or Bear Republic. Those had depth, layers of flavor, and were worth savoring because they were hoppy up front and very flavorful in the back. Like most of Saranac's other offerings, this is too one-dimenisonal to be on par with the aforementioned beers. The 5.80% ABV is hardly noticeable, and sadly enough, the same could be said for this beer...

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Photo of Ricochet
3.05/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured lighter orange, with little head and little to no lace. Smell was generic. Not a lot of the pale ale fruitiness. Mouth was better than average, had a little bite going down and a little bitterness on the tounge. Middle of the road taste. The hops were very strong, the alcohol made itself known over the small malty profile. I wish I could find something that stands out, maybe a little licorace and long after, grapefruit , otherwise, a very average IPA.

Drinkability, decent because of price, 5.75 for a 6 pack, but it didn't stand out enough to seperate it from the pack.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.13/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle

Pours a very nice golden straw color. A fluffy white head forms and thins. Sparse lacing.

Aroma is more mild than many IPA's, but still a nice cascasde hop aroma. Reminds me slightly of SNPA.

Taste is slightly bitter and hoppy upfront, but loses steam halfway up the mountain. Finishes a bit bland with a lingering bitterness.

Body is very thin...Unsatisfying....

Eh, not the worst attempt at an IPA ever....This sucker just has no heart....

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Photo of gestyr
3.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I got it from a case of Adirondack Trail Mix. When I opened the bottle I could smell the hops faintly, not as strongly as I would expect from an IPA. Pouring it into a straight pint glass revealed a nice golden color and a creamy head. The head did not last long and left lacing around the top of the glass. I sniffed it in the glass and detected a faint hops aroma. Tasting made me more aware of the hops with piney and citrus character. There was not a lot of malt character to it and the body was a bit watery. Overall, it was an adequate IPA but might be described as an IPA "lite". I did like it but it was not quite what I was expecting from the description on their homepage. Perhaps they should have used a different type of hops to bring out more flavor. I would drink this again, but now I know what to expect of it.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.06/5  rDev -7.8%
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 clemtig76
3.06/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a beautiful golden amber color with a nice thick head that quickly fades away leaving just a little sticky lace. Aroma is a little on the weak side for an IPA, faint, piney hops with just a little maltiness in the background. Taste is also on the weak side, the dominate hop pressence bite that you expect from an IPA is just not there. While this in one of the better offerings in the "12 Beers of Christmas", it just doesn't stand out in my book.

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Photo of mynie
2.82/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours like flat ice tea, slightly orange with no head of which to speak.

Smells like rotting plums and ribbon candy. Very sweet. No hop, really. Light caramel becomes present as it warms.

Pretty lame taste. Slight hint of citrus hop upfront, moving into a dry macro middle with hints of metal, and ending on some decent fruit that taste more like a pilsner than an APA. Err--IPA? Really? Wow.

Yet another mediocre beer from the folks at Matt Brewery. It really shouldn't take me two months to get through a mix 12 pack, but I guess I'm glad I did. In a way, it's something to brag about. Like getting through boot camp.

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Photo of cracgor
2.96/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It pours out a beautiful beer with a tall head that recedes to a nice thick film and great caking to the glass. It is an amber color. As soon as I open the bottle it has a strong salty hoplike smell that hits me in the face. It is very floral and reminds me a lot of their pale ale, which I am quite fond of. It tastes less hopped than it smells. It is actually quite a bit maltier than I might expect. A nice smooth and deep, earthy malt. Just not much in the way of the beautiful floral hop I smell. It is an okay beer with a lot of potential. The flavor brings it down just a little in my book Other than that it is an average to good beer, but don't kid yourself, taste is what it comes down to in the end.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.78/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Gold with a one finger head that dissipates within about two minutes. Specks of lacing spot the glass.

S - Faint, but I get mostly pine hops and some grain (corn aroma) underneath. I can't put my finger on it, but there is something else I find unpleasant in the odor.

T - Some malt, but not much, mostly a bit of pine in the foretaste. The aftertaste is slightly malty and only a little bitter.

M - Carbonation is too high, the beer is a bit thin and leaves the mouth pretty gummy feeling.

D - Well, there isn't a lot there, the mouthfeel is kind of gross and that's a big turnoff. Aside from that it is a mediocre IPA. For the price it isn't bad though. I don't want it again largely due to what it does to my mouth.

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Photo of beerphilosopher
2.75/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard pint glass from a 12oz. bottle.

A - Golden honey and decent cabonation. Skimpy head with no retention. Sporadic lacing inside the glass.

S - Hmmm ... a watered down IPA. No strong hop nose here. Non-descript maly and hop character.

T - Just as suspected. The hops just aren't assertive enough here. This beer does taste watered down. As if it could have been a good IPA if it didn't have a bucket or two of water dumped in the fermenter before bottling!

M - Pretty thin. Not at all well balanced on the tongue.

D - Can't say I'd drink it again. Not the worst IPA I've had .. .that dubious distinction might belong to Sierra Nevada ... but not a good one either. Not recommended.

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Photo of LucaBrasi
3.47/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Every time I drink an IPA I wonder why I don’t drink more of these.
Anyway. This one poured golden and clear with a small white head. The head will diminish but stick to the side of the glass for a short period of time.
Smell is hoppy and slightly spicy.
Taste is crisp hoppy with a slight citrus aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is clean with a tiny carbonated tingle as it goes down.
Drinkability is good a decent IPA and worth a try.

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Photo of LPorter33
2.35/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from the Holiday 12 pack.

This is a pretty disappointing and below average IPA that reminds me of the Alexander Keith's that I recently tried. It's just weak and flavorless, like they're trying to create an IPA that will appeal to macro drinkers. Everythign is toned down and watery, the hops just don't make a strong enough presence and the malty aftertaste is too similar to a cheap macro lager. This is not a good example of the style and not one I recommend.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

golden amber with a thin white head. looks a little on the light side
smells very floral while the head lasts, and then turns a little malty with some caramel after the head fades. so far so good.
the taste has herbal hop bitterness and a little caramel, before we come to the trait that is pervasive in so many saranac beers, the harsh finish. it has sort of a sour metallic flavor that really turns what is sometimes a promising beer into just another saranac with that weird flavor. it seems a bit stronger here than in some of the other offerings. the only redeeming quality is that the floral hops clean up the aftertaste a bit.
the body is a little thin, but nothing to reall complain about, with fairly delicate carbonation.
drinkabiltiy is ok the metal at the end doesn't ruin the beer, but certainly cuts into the drinkability and flavor scores.

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Photo of beerislove
1.9/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle received as part of the winter seasonal 12 pack.

The beer was a light gold color that had me double-take to the bottle to make sure that I had actually opened the IPA. The head was thin and quickly faded with very little of the oily lacing that I love in IPAs. The smell was equally weak like the color with a very faint hop aroma and no noticeable malt presence.

After failing the appearance and smell tests, the taste lived up to my newly reduced expecttions. There is very little hop bite, no malt flavors, and any initial tastes that are expected in an IPA fade immediately to an unpleasant finish. The carbonation and thickness of the beer seem to be in the ballpark of an IPA, but that is about the only "compliment" I can find.

I drank a third of the pint and gave up as additional sips showed no improvement. This beer is a drain pour.

For a brand like Saranac that is making a name for itself and trying to strengthen its reputation, I really expected a bedrock beer like an IPA to be above average. Utterly dissappointing.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.36/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a one-fingered white head that fades quickly but leaves a good lace. Crystal clear amber color. Floral nose. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Starts and finishes hoppy with a bitter, lingering after taste another typical IPA. 12oz bottle in 12 pak $9.99 Market Basket Concord, NH.

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Photo of unknownlamer
3.05/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear amber with a good sized and slowy fading head that left a nice sticky lace down the sides of the glass. The color was a bit weak, and was actually lighter than the Saranac Pale Ale (my dad wanted a glass of that so I had them side by side). It smelled similar to the Pale Ale but stronger. There was less grain and more noble smelling hops (as was to be expected).

The taste was fairly rough. The hops started biting as soon as it entered my mouth with the malt not quite balancing it. There were a good bit of floral, the requisite piney, and a small bit of citrusy hops; and the bitterness levels were low, but the hops were fairly rough especially in the finish. The carbonation was good, but the body was a bit thin, and there was the aformentioned roughness.

This wasn't amazing, or even terribly good. The color was really weak for an IPA, but the sticky lace and nice large head helped to balance that out. I won't be seeking this IPA out again, but I won't mind finishing the other bottle of it that I have either. It's something that I would drink if it were put in front of me.

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Photo of nlmartin
2.08/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured from the bottle into a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer looked alright in the glass. The beer was golden colored with ruby highlights. The head was just briefly there and then gone. A small ring of foam surounds the top of the beer.

Smell: Smells slightly of spicey hoppyness. No sweetness or maltyness noted.

Taste: Very little hops and no spicyness or maltyness to be found. Leaves a biter back taste in the mouth.

Mouthfeel: The beer has a nice creamyness but the back taste is terrible. This beer is out of wack. There is not enough hoppyness or maltyness.

Drinkability: This was almost a drain pour.

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Photo of HoorayBeer
4.18/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a nice little brewery, slowly making its way around the Tri-State area. Pours an orange haze with a slight head and slight lace. Very hoppy scent, very powerful. First taste was nice, very hoppy. Sweet citrus notes, very nice after taste. Delightful beer.

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Photo of ism
3.05/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark straw with orange hues, topped with a thin, white,half-finger head, leaving webby lacing behind. Floral and pine hop in the nose, assertive but not overpowering, with a touch of citrus like ground orange rind. Light carbonation, a thin body, clean and refreshing, sweetness not evident at all, mostly dominated by pine-like flavors. Goes down smooth with pine, but a citrus-grassiness emerges and lingers.

Fairly hoppy, but rather uncharacteristic and uninspired. Plenty drinkable, but I wouldn't want to.

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Photo of JISurfer
3.06/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

IPAs aren't really my cup of tea, but it came in the Holiday sample pack, so I figured I would drink it and review it. Had a very sticky head, that left lots of residue around the glass. The head faded into a spotty laceing. Smell and Taste was average for this style. Hoppy up front, with some citrus fruits, and faint malts in the end. Overall an ok beer. If you like IPAs, you might like it.

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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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