Saranac Pumpkin Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

438 Reviews
Read the review
Saranac Pumpkin AleSaranac Pumpkin Ale

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

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by JackStraw22 on 09-01-2005

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 438 | Ratings: 1,174
Photo of Hoagie1973
1.46/5  rDev -57.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A horribly overspiced mess. Flavored way too heavily with nutmeg and allspice. It masks any favorable attribute to the brew. Terrible bitter aftertaste that lingers forever. A real disappointment. Not what I was expecting from a brewery that usually puts out a decent product.

 276 characters

Photo of bowersdm
1.49/5  rDev -56.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle. drank straight from the bottle.

A - orange/amber color. lot's of carbonation, but i don't think it would have given the beer a head. (the color was noted as i was pouring it down the drain.)

S - pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger?, cloves, metal

T - very metal overly spicy pumpkin taste. the spices are the same as listed above. (this description of the taste is the best I could do as I did not want to keep this wretched liquid on my palate for any extended period of time....drainpour)

M - lots and lots of carbonation, which kind of made the beer seem more bitter.

D - awful. just awful. i LOVE pumpkin anything and I love spices, but this was an abomination to beer and to pumpkins everywhere.

 716 characters

Photo of spacecake9
1.5/5  rDev -56.5%

Poured into my favorite Pumking Goblet.

A - Nice looking amber orange appearance, with a tight foamy head that quickly dies down to a appealing ring.

S - Sharp on the nose with a hint of pumpkin. Almost a little sour. Not the kind of aroma that gets you excited to taste the beer.

T - My initial reaction was this is a not so good beer with some pumpkin flavorings. I'm not sure if the pumpkin flavor is just that or real pumpkins. The bottle suggests spices but I can't pick out any specifically.

M - This beer is on the thin side, watery in the mouth. After each mouthful the flavor leaves very quickly.

O - This is not a good pumpkin beer because it's not a good base beer. Adding pumpkin flavor to a bad beer just creates a bad pumpkin beer. I've not had any other offerings from Saranac, but I think these folks would be better off not brewing a pumpkin beer.

 876 characters

Photo of Rock_Glenn
1.79/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.75

This will probably be the only Saranac beer I bother to rate, I've had almost all of them and regretted it every time. They're just not good beers. There is something amateur tasting in all of them, like a bad, stale yeast. This beer is particularly terrible. Way too thin, and I mean no body for an autumn brew. The pumpkin flavor is way too heavy and not pleasant in any way. All those autumn spice flavors are in there, and as I taste them I wish I had one of the German purity beers without all this junk in there.

 518 characters

Photo of BSharpy
1.95/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.25

I was excited to try this selection for the Halloween season. I was very disappointed. I poured bottle into a glass. I could not taste pumpkin or any other spices at all! It was as if I were drinking a bad Rolling Rock. Would not recommend this to my friends.

 259 characters

Photo of AltBock
1.98/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle with a label that's black in color and with a grinning Jack O' Lantern. To the left of the Pumpkin is that bar code and Deposit and to the right of the Pumpkin is the Govt. warning. Information about the beer along with a picture of pint glass filled with beer can be found around the small neck label. No date can be found anywhere on the label. It's just an average simple non- threatening non-offensive Pumpkin Ale label. This makes for my very first Pumpkin Ale review.

Appearance: When poured into a Beck's American Pint glass, the beer was a dark chestnut brown color with a skim of white foam that just disappeared in front of my eyes and left maybe some white rings that lasted only few seconds and no lace around the glass.

Smell: The smell was that of very subtle spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice), hint of cloves, with a background of burned canned pumpkin. I really didn't care for the aroma in this beer. Not good.

Taste: Very little Pumpkin taste in this, if that. There were more spices like nutmeg and cinnamon then a pumpkin taste. The best way I can describe it is, if you make a pumpkin pie with all the spices with a pinch hops and then when it's done you remove the pumpkin. That's what this beer taste like. All you get a a touch of pumpkin. At least there was some pumpkin flavor to this beer.

Mouthfeel: It was very light, little carbonation, and with a slight aftertaste of spice and burnt hops. Not much going on after the light pumpkin taste goes down your throat.

Drinkability: Basically this beer was a lot like the label. It was non-offensive, non threatening, and very little was going on. What can I say, at least it's cheap. I couldn't commit to buying a six-pack and only bought a single. I'm glad I only got one bottle.

 1,785 characters

Photo of Fergyx825
2.06/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Appearance: Dark amber beer, w/ some head, doesn't really dissipate. This is on the cusp of darkness from what i'd expect out of a pumpkin ale. A bit too dark, appears to me more like a lager.

Smelling: Spices and pumpkin fill my nostrils, exactly what i would expect from a pumpkin beer. Sweet pumpkin w/ a hearty smell.

Taste: Tastes just like run of the mill beer. No real pumpkin taste to it. I can taste the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Light beer, w/ a high amount of condensation. Not what i was expecting from a pumpkin ale.

Overall: Really disappointed by this beer. A bit darker than expected. Smell was exactly what i'd expect but nothing spectacular. Tastewise this beer just doesn't cut it at all. Mouthfeel just confirms the taste being sub par.

 754 characters

Photo of wampahoofus
2.15/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured fairly dark for a pumpkin ale. The aroma was very strong with the spices.

Yuck. The spice totally takes over in this beer. Also, I find the pumpkin in the flavor to be poor. The pumpkin somehow manages to stick out over the spices in a way that reminds me of the smell of my jack-o-lantern after it has sat in the rain for a week.

I will not buy this one again. I have tried a few other pumpkin ales. I like the style, just not this one.

 446 characters

Photo of Higravity
2.15/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Well this is not for the pumpkin lover, it is more spice than pumkin and over carbonated at that.

The beer is rather life less the head is there for about half a minute and then gone, poof. I t has a really deep copper color, closer to ruby. The smell is of ginger maybe a little nutmeg no pumpkin and the malt is killed by the ginger. Cold warm it matters not. The taste is over ginger ale with food coloring and some alcohol. The malt is hiding and wont come out and I can't blame it. The mouthfeel is that of soda, to much carbonation, yuck. No thanks, see you next year, maybe.

 584 characters

Photo of spiffylubes
2.16/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

From a 12 oz bottle, served in a pint glass, poured a decent copper/amber color with very little head that dissipated quickly leaving little to no lacing. Very lacking in the smell department, all I smell is basic sweet malts, no special pumpkin spices at all. Flavor was similarly lacking, slight sweetness, with the first taste the aftertaste had some basic pumpkin spice flavors (cinnamon mostly). After the first taste there wasn't anything there for me, however, and all I got was a very slight sweetness. Mouthfeel isn't bad, smooth, good amount of carbonation. Drinkable, but as many others have said, why would you bother when there's so many other better pumpkin ales?

 677 characters

Photo of gkatsoris
2.2/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Appearance is pretty much golden. A nice golden yellowy tint. Nothing overly impressive or out of the ordinary.

S: Smell actually had no notes of clove, pumpkin, or vanilla. The only smell detected was hops.

T: Very disappointing. There were no flavors of pumpkin, pumpkin pie, vanilla, cloves, or even maybe ginger. The beer was very hoppy and bitter. It was more like an American IPA, not a "pumpkin ale".

M: Mouthfeel was fine. Again nothing overly extraordinary.

D: Drinkability was a low rating because of the disappointment of the lack of ANYTHING pumpkin. Glad I only bought a 6 pack and not a case.

 621 characters

Photo of Catamount18
2.21/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

The Pumpkin Ale in the mini growler and appearance poured into the pint glass are the best parts.
A-Poured to a half inch frothy head. Burnt orange mixed with caramel. You can see bubbles racing to the top in the middle of the pint glass.
S-I didn't get any of the smell that makes anything pumpkin taste better- nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, cardamom. Just pumpkin.
T- A light ale with the pumpkin flavor. The lack in smell is the same as the lack of taste. Pumpkin by itself isn't tasty.
M- A fizzy ale, well carbonated.
Overall it was very disappointing. I had this beer last year and remember looking forward to it this year, especially after having Saranac's shandy this summer.

 680 characters

Photo of red1sox
2.22/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A- From a bottle, nothing special. Copper color, fluffy head didn't keep long.
S- This kept me interested. It was spicy, but hints that the taste might be a bit sweet too.
T- Well, so much for pumpkin beer. It tasted like clove beer, mixed with cloves, with a dash of clove spice for good measure. Was not expecting this.
M- Decent carbonation, probably should have paid more attention to this but I just wanted to get it down.
D- Not good. I actually did not mind this beer towards the end, but I was put off by the clove taste, if you could not tell from my previous comments.
Overall- I was pretty excited for this, it was my first pumpkin ale of the season. I was sorely disappointed. Not Saranac's finest showing.

 720 characters

Photo of j4mmin42
2.25/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

It looks decent when poured. I think that is its best attribute...

Smell is of a cheap, highly processed beer with spices and pumpkin.

Taste is of a cheap, light american beer...with spices and pumpkin.

Feel ls watery and leaves no lingering taste at all.

Overall, it is not great beer- it's cheap beer with spices in it.

 326 characters

Photo of Risser09
2.36/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
Appearance: Pours a red-orange color with a one inch head that quickly dissipates. Moderate lace clings to the glass and stays put. No carbonation is present.
Smell: Very strong cinnamon and nutmeg with a slight malt backing.
Taste: The taste mimicks the smell of this beer. The cinnamon and nutmeg flavors are overwhelming. I am struggling to get a hint of actual pumpkin flavor.
Mouthfeel: This beer comes up poorly in this category as well. A slight fizzle of carbonation.
Drinkability: This is not a beer I would buy again. It tastes like an ale that was injected with cinnamon. There isn't any complexity and there is very little, if any, pumpkin flavor.

 702 characters

Photo of chOAKbarrell
2.4/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

You know how badly beer tastes if you drink it right after you brush your teeth? Well, the first time I had Saranac Pumpkin Ale, that's how it tasted - except I hadn't brushed my teeth before drinking it. I felt maybe something else was wrong, so I waited until I had my second bottle - this one - to review it.

It's a bit darker colored than I'd like it. Perhaps an effect from too much pumpkin? I'm not picking up very much in the nose. Too much pumpkin, or not enough spices - probably a bit of both problems. The taste was a big letdown. I was hoping for something generously spiced and lively, but unfortunately, this beer has the same cardboard/packing materials flavor (and scent) as Wild Goose's Pumpkin Patch. It's not as bad, or strange, as the aforementioned beer, but it is certainly not fun to drink, either.

I dont want to finish the 6 pack I bought, and hopefully I can find people that like it that I can give it to.

 938 characters

Photo of marcpal
2.4/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle poured into pint glass. (Pretty cool bottle with mean looking pumpkin)

A: Pale for a pumpkin seasonal.

S: Contrary to other ratings, I thought there was an aroma of spices and pumpkin "pie" more than pumpkin itself. Sweet and sugary smell.

T: Malty but not really pumpkin there. More sweetened with sugar than anything else. Not really the cloves you would hope for but more cinnamon and an attempt at pumpkin pie which I am not a fan of.

M: What you would expect from this kind of beer. Nothing out of the ordinary.

D: Lowest drinkability of the sampler 6 pack - happy that I only had just one, didnt thrill me.

 626 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.42/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed on 8/23/08. Bottle. Pours a dark orange with a small white head. Aroma is pleasantly inviting- nice pumpkin spices (cinnamon, nutmeg). Flavor is of a watery pale ale with faint spices. Weak-bodied and very disappointing. I'm glad this was a free sample...
7/3/4/2/8 (2.4/5)

 282 characters

Photo of barleyroad
2.45/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Ok, this is a amber colored beer. The smell is very strong in cinnamon smell. As for taste this is very strong with cloves, to strong, it takes over the beer. Mouth is ok and acceptable. Over all we feel the spices take away from this beer overall. Nice beer with out the spice, but then again with out the spice it would not be a pumpkin ale with out the spice. Enjoy if it is your type of beer.

 396 characters

Photo of MistahBeah
2.48/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Clear copper with a bubbly off-white head. Decently carbonated. No lace

Smells of pumpkin spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice. Earthy and slightly vegetal

Tastes generic. Like a lager with some artificial pumpkin flavoring added. Not saying they didn't use real ingredients - just doesn't taste like it. Not enough to speak of really

Feels light with some spice and a crisp bite of carbonation

Overall not very good in my book. Would not get again

 458 characters

Photo of yelterdow
2.49/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks once again to Epseja for the bottle, this one served at just over fridge temperature in a tasting tulip. No freshness date, just a 13-number string lasered at the base of the bottle.

Appearance- Bold and burnished copper red, this beer really holds your attention. As good as the three finger ivory crown looks, it laces even better. Sheets of clingy foam stick like glue to the inside of the glass.

Smell- Where the Arcadia goes a bit heavy on the allspice, Saranac showcases the vanilla big time. There's definitely clove and cinnamon, but the overwhelming sweetness clues you in on where this beer is headed.

Taste- Unfortunately, anything remotely "pumpkin" about this beer is bodychecked and blindsided by a massive cloying of vanilla, so much that it tastes artificial and more like cream soda. There is an atmosphere of mild hop bitterness after the swallow, but it does nothing to elevate this drinking experience for the better.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Remaining quite effervescent throughout its time in the mouth, it really doesn't add or take away anything from the fact that this beer weighs too heavy in the vanilla and not much in malt and hops. A real challenge to finish, it certainly isn't a craft beer lover's pumpkin ale IMO.

 1,257 characters

Photo of rangerred
2.51/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy medium copper with a one finger head. Pretty decent head retention and lacing.

Aroma is mild pumpkin pie spice with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. There is a bit of a metallic note along with a little tart fruit.

The very mild spice carries over into the taste. In fact this really seems like an amber ale that someone put a dash of spice into. Hardy any presence whatsoever. Tartness is quite noticeable and really throws things off. A little bit of grass and grain along with a moderate bitterness. Finish is slightly sticky.

Overall, this barely deserves to be called a pumpkin ale. There is hardly any spice. It is more like an amber with a ton of off flavors. The tartness is bad and it is really just very muddled. Not worth the time seeking out.

 810 characters

Photo of mcallister
2.62/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Definitely one of the darkest pumpkin ales I've seen. Much more like a brown ale than a pumpkin. Head is a pearl white very thin and quick to fade.

Wow downhill from there. A horrendous nose. An odd funkyness to this that smells of worms after a long downpour in the midwest. Dirty and undesirable. Slightest bits of all spice and cinnamon with hints of pumpkin.

Ahhh back to normal. That nose was just wrong but that character displayed is not in the taste. Chewy malt character with a nutty approach with very minor flavors of all spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin. Highly carbonated and somewhat flavorless. Not a beer i'd drink often.

 643 characters

Photo of twaddlac
2.63/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Burnt orange/brown in color and clear. Spongy head that dissipates very fast, with a slight lace left behind. Many obvious nucleation points.

S- Strong malt notes, with subtle spices, specifically nutmeg and cinnamon with a touch of ginger. Some alcohol, and not much pumpkin.

T- Malts with a slight bitterness to them, not a hoppy bitterness either.. Aftertaste is full of ginger and nutmeg, not too much out of this as I was expecting.

M- Mild carbonation, dry aftertaste, medium-light body.

D- Not one of the better pumpkin ales I have had, but definitely more of an ale than anything. It isn't a bad beer by any means, I just prefer something that has more prevalent notes of spices and a better balance.

 715 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
2.66/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The beer was a dark amber color with a thin white head. It had a vaguely spice aroma. Taste was pretty much all cinnamon and clove. Couldn't really appreciate anything else. The beer was too spiced and not enough malt to be very good. Won't drink it again.

 256 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Saranac Pumpkin Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.45 out of 5 based on 1,174 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.