Saranac Single Malt | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

83 Reviews
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Saranac Single MaltSaranac Single Malt

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

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Quaffer on 12-17-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 83 | Ratings: 107
Photo of Huffs
2.83/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured to a reddish straw hue with a light, white head that faded quickly. Aroma was predictably malty with a sour note. Taste was dominated by toffee, caramel notes with hints of malt. Mouth feel was a bit light, not a lot there. Have always been impressed by Saranac's products, this is not one of their better ones. I do like the plaid in the label.

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Photo of thain709
3.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours with a clear, copper body and one finger of white head...the creamy head receded to a full cap and left behind some decent lacing

S - Roasted and toasted malts dominate the nose with notes of caramel and toffee...some floral hops linger

T - Again, this one is very malt forward but it cuts down on the sweetness suggested by the nose...there is a fruitiness in the middle that I was not expecting...hints of caramel and toffee are around...earthy hops come in at the end

M - Light bodied...needs a lot more, earthy hops and malt

O - This was my least favorite out of the mixed pack...there just wasn't anything exciting coming out of this one

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.23/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a copper color with a white fluffy head that dissipates fairly quickly. Smells of malt, but cannot pinpoint that exactly, as well as it being a little weak. Tastes of a malty beer, very nice. This medium bodied beer seems a little overcarbonated but still goes down alright. Overall, an average beer.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.02/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Poured a clear orange / amber color with a medium head. Nice carbonation.
S - The aroma some malts and grassy tones
T - The flavor was mostly sweet malt that developed into a fruit sensation on the tongue. This was medium bodied and smooth in the mouthfeel. The smoke from the Scottish malt was kind of distracting giving it a weird peat taste which I hate.

Overall one of the worst Saranac beers I ever had.

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Photo of chinchill
3.56/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

BB date of 6/30/12 on bottle. Served in a snifter. Tad of sediment at the bottom of the bottle added mid-tasting.

A: Clear; slightly dark amber; one finger of bone head; a good bit of splotchy lacing is left on the glass.

S: Light-medium roasted malt with hints of caramel and toffee. Pleasant, but mild and relatively simple.

T: There may be only one variety of malt in this, but there's ample quantity to produce a solid malt flavor, and a good one at that. Hints of caramel, toffee, floral hops and, in the finish, smoke. 3.75

M: Medium bodied: medium+ carbonation, lending some crispness. Semi-dry finish. 3.75

O: Although made with Scottish malt, this is not a Scottish ale. It is distinctive rather than run-of-the-mill, and does well representing the English brown style, especially as a lower cost version here in the U.S. 3.75

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Photo of rlee1390
3.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Clear amber, some carbonation, one finger head

S-Malt, caramel, toffee, not much else, the nose is kinda reminiscent of an Irish Red

T-Caramel, toffee, malt heavy, some peat like notes as it warms but not much.

M-Medium bodied with some carbonation

O-For a scottish ale there needed to be more peat flavors in my opinion.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.2/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from the What Ale's You mix 12pack. Pours a translucent orange with virtually no head. Some lacing. Aromas of malts, caramel, grains, and maybe a tiny bit floral. Taste is light with caramel malts and breadiness. A bit earthy with some floral hop notes near the end. A small amount of alcohol flavor i didnt expect too much since the ABV is low. Nothing special and not worth having outside of the mix pack.

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Photo of woodychandler
2.93/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

My local trade partner (everybody should have at least one), Tone77, brought over a whole buncha new stuff last week and this is my first opportunity to sit down and crack one open.

From the bottle: "To brew Saranac Single Malt we use 100% Scottish Maris Otter Malt, traditionally used in the distilling industry. The combination of the Scottish malts and slow aging process produces a unique brew distinctive as single malt whiskey with a subtly different flavor than any other beer. Look for a sweet malty taste with a background of floral notes from English Fuggle hops. Enjoy!"

My pour netted me two-plus fingers of thick, tawny head with great retention. Nose was malty-sweet, but it reminded me more of caramel or toffee than of whiskey. Color was a deep amber with NE-quality clarity. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium and the taste was initially malty on the tongue, but then I got a tanginess on the finish that was kind of unexpected. Altogether, it was not bad but nor was it all that great, either. This probably came out of one of their famous mixed 12-packs and if this were the only reason that you were buying such a mixed-12, save your money.

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Photo of cavedave
3.97/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, this ain't no brown, English or otherwise, and it sure ain't getting reviewed as a brown.

Clear dark amber, not all that thick looking, with some quick to go off white suds, that leave a bare inner glass.

Smell is med. strength, full of tart and fruity yeast, some floral hop, caramel sweet, some thin, neutral sweet, and hints of bitter hops.

Nice taste, it starts with sweet and tart, neither strongly, gets a rounded yeasty sort of biscuit flavor going, and some soft notes of grain husk and, ...well, fruitiness, but not reminding of any particular fruit. It ends with a sort of herbal thing going on, not bitter, or medicinal, just a bit of herbal root to it.

Very light in mouth, even for an amber, highly carb.'ed but not outrageously, decent juicy finish.

How this beer can get so raped is beyond me. Quite a refreshing and tasty brew. Nothing earth shattering, but another pretty good offering from a brewery that really has improved.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
2.29/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass

A: pours a light brown color that is entirely clear with a decent amount of carbonation bubbles, pours with a finger of fine slightly creamy off white head that lingers for a bit before leaving a nice amount of lacing
S: well, the scent is kind of odd on this one, smells like an adjunct, just kinda has that sweet slightly off scent, eh
T: welp, the taste isnt much, slight dark fruits which come in in the middle and linger on the palate afterwards, begins slightly sweet, perhaps im putting it up against too much but it just doesnt have the complexity or the depth of the other brown ales that ive fallen so in love with
M: slightly strong carbonation, smooth, leaves the mouth just slightly dry
O: a drinkable brown ale that doesnt really have much complexity or depth, id drink it if it was put in front of me but im not gonna seek this one out

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Photo of oriolesfan4
2.7/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Part of the "cure for what ales you" mixed 12 pack. Didn't have much for expectations going into this, and needless to say.. it performed pretty much as I expected. Pours a light brown color, not much head to it. Faint maco swill type aroma. Taste is light bodied, some nuttiness but very much like a watered down brown ale. To be honest, I think Newcastle has more taste and mouthfeel to this beer. Easily drinkable, but not really a good beer by any means. Meh.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
2.33/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured chilled in ale glass.

A: thin head; very carbonated; copper, clear color
S: malty; thin
T: astringent; thin flavored; what flavor there is falls on the hops and grain, but not much on the malt

Nope. Needs, for my palate, more body and flavor.

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Photo of beerme626
2.57/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Dark reddish amber with minimal head that basically never existed. Few bubbles at all make it look dead.
S: Very very malty, almost syrupy
T: Not impressed. A very malty taste, obviously, but not much taste there. Tastes a little sour.
M: Flat, dead. If you hold it on the tongue, it spices it up a little, but it's pretty dead.
O: Not impressed. Saranac has some good beers. Stick with the pale ale, the IPA, the Black Forest, and especially the White IPA. I would not recommend this one.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 fl. oz. bottle stamped: BB-JUN 30 2012-3551-07:01. Sampled on February 26, 2012. The pour is medium to dark amber almost maple syrup color. Although it is listed as a single malt ale the aroma is quite malty on the whole with a sweetness attached. The body is just off medium toward the lighter side. But it is also smooth. Lots of sharp bitterness in the taste with a clean, crisp hop ending. It is not as potent as traditional Scotch Ales but it does have its good points.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.35/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Saranac Single Malt

Pours a light brown with copper tints. Short livid, slightly off white head forms, and little to no lacing. Aroma of caramel, dark breads, and mild floral notes. In the taste, nutty malts, small roast, caramel, and a very small bitterness. Almost like a very watered down whiskey or scotch, in the beer sense, since there are some similar flavors. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with moderate carbonation and a more or less clean finish. Overall, not a bad session ale, simple and drinkable.

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a light brownish color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some malts. Taste is a bit unusual, malts, a touch of whiskey, very lightly hopped. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

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Photo of Gmann
3.23/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep honey toasted grain color with a short cream colored head that settles into a light ring.

The aroma is malty with a good amount of toffee and brown sugar sweetness. Has a bit of a doughy scent. Not much from the hops. Very sweet aroma.

The flavor is of a grain husk malt. Light honey and toffee sweetness. Lots of lemony tea flavors. Earthy bitterness from the hops. Some metallic notes as well.

Light to moderate body with fizzy carbonation. Starts off malty sweet but finishes dry with a light hoppy bitterness. Almost astringent.

Seems like a scottish ale to me. Not an overly exciting style but the beer hits on the main style characteristics.

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Photo of bubseymour
3.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

Appearance is very average. Looks exactly like iced tea with a small 1 finger head that disappears.

Smell - malty

Taste - Easy to drink but very bland flavors. Malty and a little hop crisp in the finish. Nothing much really going on here. Doesn't have any characteristics of English Brown Ales that I've sampled before.

Mouthfeel - one of the thinest bodied and watery 5.5% ABV beers I've had.

Overall - Its boring and not very flavorful, but still easily drinkable. Except for the cheap price there is nothing that would make me want to revisit this one.

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
3.74/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From twelve ounce bottle dated BB June 30 2012 "Limited Release".

Faintly floral aroma, pours a clear iced tea shade of brown with no head and a thin film. Taste is sweet and malty, barely hopped, if at all. Mouthfeel is like seltzer,mild. A decent enough ale!

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Photo of Darkmagus82
2.91/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance - Pours a copper/golden color with a nice white head that fades to a thin film.

Smell - Pick up mostly malty sweetness with a bit of whiskey aroma almost as though an ale had a bit of whiskey poured in it, although a little more artificial.

Taste - Pick up mostly maltiness at first. A little bit of caramel and toffee, but not too much, work their way in. A little bit of hop works its way in toward the very end, mostly floral and piney in nature. The whiskey taste is ever so subtle and present throughout the taste.

Mouthfeel - Relatively average of the standard american ale.

Overall - Right on par for an average american lager or ale, just with a bit of whiskey flavor and a little bit of hop.

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Photo of CraftBeerTastic
2.85/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ba Review #111
Served On: 01/20/2012
Glassware: Duvel Glass
Labeled ABV:
Date/ Code: 06/30/2012

This was from the 2012 'What Ales You' mixed 12 pack.

Look: Very clear copper with a vortex of carbonation bubbles blasting up from the bottom. Head was a minimal coating of white film.

Smell: Big malts with not much of a hop profile. The aroma was similar to Big Moose.

Taste: Started off great like a Saranac Big Moose but quickly morphed into a dry lagery biscuit. Finish was more dryness with the same aftertaste as their Pale Ale. I did start to notice some bourbon notes after the beer warmed up.

I was hoping for more of a spiced whiskey sensation with maybe some earthy vanilla - given the name of the beer. This was a little disappointing for a limited release offering. This was honestly the only reason I picked up the mixed pack.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.94/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz "Limited Release" bottle from the 2012 "What Ales You?" mix pack served in a standard pint glass.

1st of all the Saranac website has this beer listed as a English Style Brown Ale with 5.5% abv. I submitted the changes and will review for that style.

L - clear amber color with a thin off-white head that left a few spots of lacing on the glass.

S - nutty, toffee aroma.

T - sweet, nutty, malty flavor from start to finish.

F - medium bodied with a silky smooth feel.

O - a good example of a English brown ale.

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Photo of babydoc
3.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Waited until eight months after receiving the sampler to try this one- don't know if that has had an adverse effect on this bottle.

Pours clear amber with a fine foamy ecru head that disappeared quickly. No lacing appreciated.

Aroma was malty, sweet, with a bit of caramel. Something else, too- is that the fuggle hops? Taste was sweet and malty, too. Nice mouthfeel, light carbonation. Aftertaste is malty, with a bit of hops that sticks around longer.

Puttting aside whether or not this is a true Scottish Ale, it was drinkable and I'll try it again if it's available.

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Photo of Mitchster
2.9/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Brewed with 100% Scottish Maris Otter malt and English Fuggle hops.

Pours out to a clear orange-caramel, forming a good-sized light beige head with good retention and absent lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Aroma is somewhat sweet with overtones of caramel, vanilla, diacetyl (but in a pleasant amount)...not picking up on any peat or smoke. Somewhat candied aroma. Mild English hops are discernable. Taste begins with pleasant residual caramel sugars, followed by a ruddy, mild round earthen hop flavor with mild bitterness, a brief note of hop flavor...unpleasant fusels and isopropyls peek through in the middle with a touch of alcoholic dryness lingering through the finish. Finish is ruddy and soapy.

The least likeable of the Saranac beers I've had. Ruddy and earthen...just not my style. Pass on this one. Down the sink it goes.

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Photo of Jacobob10
2.87/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured out orange/yellow, slightly cloudy, with a 1 finger head that left no lacing. The smell was the best thing about this beer. It smelled citrusy and like lemons. The taste however was a little too watered-down and bland. Left your mouth with a dry feeling and wasn't really in the mood for another. Very plain, but a notch above most domestics.

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Saranac Single Malt from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.21 out of 5 based on 107 ratings.
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