Saranac Pumpkin Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac Pumpkin AleSaranac Pumpkin Ale
1,182 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,182 |  Reviews: 440
Photo of jaydoc
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.97/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the classic pumpkin beer to me. in upstate new york, this beer signals that the season is here. a pours of rich coppery orange, nearly red in color, with a just off white lacey head. the nose is the perfect mix of pumpkin and spice, some clove, vanilla, cannamon, and allspice. flavor starts off with mellow spice and a lot of the pumpkin pie flavors, but not too much sugar. it moves to an english malty fruit bread sort of middle, and a nice heavier sweeter spice in the finish. this is the pumpkin beer i grew up on, and for that i will always love it. never too sweet, never too spicy, just balanced. lighter mouthfeel for what it is, and just right medium carbonation. this is a very sessionable pumpkin brew, and definitely on of the better ones on offer anywhere. i think it is grossly underrated here on BA.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.31/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Pours a hazy copper with a foamy khaki head that fades to nothing. Tiny dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and pumpkin pie spice aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, caramel, fruit, and pumpkin pie spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is nothing too memorable, but it is easy to drink for what it is.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of GRG1313
2.25/5  rDev -33.6%

Photo of Knapp85
3.1/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought a 6 Pack back in Fall 2007 and loved the design on the label. The beer was pretty good to start out but got kind of gross about half way through. Very strange how it took a turn for the worst once it warmed up. The aromas of spice and pumpkin are dominant. The flavor was the same way till about half way through and it started tasting very odd to me. The color was a nice amber tone with a pretty nice tan head. I drank all 6 and it didn't get much better as they went. Not sure what the deal is.

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Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally saw it at my regular beer store, a little later than the other seasonals but whatever.

I was impressed by this one. Pours a beautiful deep amber, a nice spice filled smell, and a great thick body with plenty of tasty spices. Very drinkable and well balanced and the pumpkin flavor is kept in check.... very good beer.

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Photo of metter98
3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half high dense off white head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: There are light aromas of toasted malts and pumpkins in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that there are more flavors of pumpkins and also some notes of nutmeg. There are some faint hints of malty sweetness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied bodied and a bit thin on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
O: Nothing really jumps out at me as being impressive about the smell or taste of this beer but it is quite easy to drink. This might make for a good pumpkin beer to try for someone who is just getting into craft beers and might get turned off by stronger flavors of pumpkin or spices.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.57/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A nice Pumpkin Ale that rides the fence of 'character' and 'mediocricy'. Saranac takes a moderate gravity and bodied base beer of an Amber Ale (probably), lightly hops it, and adds a lot of pumpkin flavor. The sun-kissed malt character brings on a bright caramel and grain taste that leads to a clean and crisp body. Pumpkin aroma and flavors hide right behind the malts and certainly provide a punch of vegital tastes. Spices however enhance the pumpkin and reaffirms the majority of what is preceived as pumpkin. A good amount of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and other flavorings do more than balance but give a spice-forward notion to the beer's flavor. I wish the beer held onto a bit more creaminess and body, as it fades quickly into a finish that prefers grain and sweet over malty and rich. Still a nice beer to drink with very little in flaws; just under malted and under pumpkin-ed (take note Webster).

Notes on appearance include a bright amber color with mild haze. Initial loosely knit head fades farily soon into a trace before holding firm. No lacing. An ok-to-less than average look.

Thanks ShadesOfGray!

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of zeff80
3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a dark, reddish, amber color with a one-finger, white, bubbly, head of foam. It had some nice retention and left thin rings of lace.

S - It smelled of pumpkin, cinnamon, and allspice.

T - Cinnamon led off the taste with a nice pumpkin flavor. Some good, traditional spices that come with pumpkin dishes.

M - It was crisp and smooth with a dry finish. A light to medium bodied ale.

D - This is a good pumpkin ale, but after drinking a bunch of Schlafly Pumpkin Ale...this one just doesn't compare.

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Photo of brentk56
3.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy copper color with a creamy white head that leaves dots and dashes of lace around the pint glass

Smell: Caramel backbone with hints of cinnamon, and alspice; also some pumpkin and vanilla peeks through

Taste: Caramel and some pumpkin flavor complemented by the spices up front; after the swallow the cinnamon and vanilla poke to the forefront; there is also a nice balanced bitterness from the hops that works well into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: One of the better pumpkins out there; a pleasant surprise from a brewery that has often been a disappointment to me

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Photo of Boone757
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear dark ruby color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of light pumpkin with notes of cinnamon and cloves more perceptible then I had expected. Taste is also dominated by cloves and cinnamon which are well balanced with pumpkin and light caramel malt. Body is a bit light for my own taste with good carbonation. Some additional character and more body would have greatly benefited this beer which is still very enjoyable.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.48/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear very dark copper to dark amber in color with light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall dense and fizzy white head that quickly reduces to a large patch of thick film and a thing ring at the edges of the glass. Minimal to light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of toasted and caramel malts with light hints of pumpkin.

T: The beer starts out with some moderate toasted and caramel malt sweetness that has some lighter notes of pumpkin and nutmeg. Light bitterness in the finish.

M: Light to moderate bodied with heavy amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin/watery.

O: Easy to drink due to the light flavors of pumpkin and spices but does not stand out to me.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.82/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As is the case with almost all "pumpkin" ales, what we're really talking about here is a spiced ale. The use of real pumpkin pulp doesn't generally lend much flavor to the beer, but the spice does. The question then becomes, is it balanced? Well, yes it is. Matt has done an excellent job with this one, clearly laying out the pumpkin pie character, yet keeping it just on the edge of going overboard. The spice is clear and upfront in both the flavor and the aroma, with the cinnamon and all-spice very noticeable in the flavor, and the vanilla and clove more clear in the aroma, but not so much in the flavor where it's kind of drowned out - the all-spice and cinnamon dominate (although the clove follows close behind). The sweetness of the malt is just enough to support the spiciness, and it doesn't become "sweet". The bitterness is therefore kept low to achieve that, and really, it's not needed - the spice does the job! And I think that perhaps the vanilla, even though it's low-key in the flavor, is enough to stimulate the brain into thinking that it's sweeter and softer than it might actually be. So although I'm still not sure that there can ever be any real level of drinkability to a pumpkin ale, the Saranac pumpkin is at the very least one of the best "first" beers at Halloween (or anytime during the fall season), and may pass second-beer muster. Well done! Absolutely worth trying for those who enjoy pumpkin ales, or even spiced beers in general.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.47/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A – Orange copper body. Loose white head with lose lace and retention.

S – Orange with a whisper of booze. Pumpkin sweetness with savory allspice and a touch of nutmeg.

T – Big ginger bread note opens the profile and lasts through a long center. Orange zest and malt on a sweet backend. Very light on pumpkin flavor, but what’s there is layered in the gingerbread in the middle.

M – Bright carbonation up front with a medium body. Round, sweet finish.

O – Good drinkability and a nice flavor profile, but low on the pumpkin that I’m looking for.

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Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bubbly fizzy head that rises to the top of the SA perfect pint glass about 2 fingers and fades semi quickly, over crystal clear amber reddish orange slight copper color.

Nose is pumpkin alright, some pumpkin extract and pie filling, light bready malts, hint of spices, light syrupy reddish malts, hint of caramel.

Taste comes on with pumpkin again but not overpowering. A bit syrupy and reddish malty flavor, some light bready malts, fruit tasting and candy as well. Semi sweet, pumpkin is lighter overall. Then the finish starts to get bitter as a few spicy hops come out, and a light sticky finish, and a bit syrupy, light spices and pumpkin, and almost flemmy. The finish kinda ruins it.

Mouth is med bodied, syrupy, and good carb.

Overall not bad, pumpkin is kept at a good level, no heavy spices, nice malt profile, just way to sticky and syrupy.

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Photo of paulish
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of zestar
3/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of Gkruszewski
3.48/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of smithj4
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of oberon
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Admittedly I am not a fan of pumpkin pie but I always look forward to the fall pumpkin beer each year,this poured a light copper with a 1/2 finger white head that was gone quite fast seems to be quite carbonated and somewhat spritzey.Pumpkin spice mainly in the nose cinnamon and mace stick out mainly a hint of nutmeg and an underlying toasted grain character,a sharp even light mouthfeel didnt like the feeling of that much.Subdued spice flavors not over the top quite pleasant nutmeg and cinnamon mainly even a touch of butter.Not bad flavors but the thin sharp mouthfeel is undesirable in my mind and it takes away from its drinkability,not bad but wont seek out again.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.97/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a rusty brown color with a thin off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves very little lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of pumpkin, spices, caramelized malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste is little spicy up front with sweet flavors of pumpkin, ginger, nutmeg and caramel. Then there's a mild hops presence that comes in but doesn't complement the other flavors very well. The malt character is on the thin side for the style. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly spicy.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Not very tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, not the best representation of style, there are many other beers in the style that I would go with before this one.

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Photo of billab914
3/5  rDev -11.5%

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Saranac Pumpkin Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.39 out of 5 with 1,182 ratings