Saranac Pumpkin Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

437 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 437 | Ratings: 1,173
Photo of Brianmerrilyn
3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I took this straight from a bottle at my wife's friend house & was not expecting to have beer at all so I jumped at the chance of trying something, particular pumkin as is the season, that I had not had before. The pumpkin style is growing each year & this version is the regular, not Imperial that southern tier, Weyerbacher & Shipyard is not known for. Had a 125 years on the neck of the bottle. The only lasting family brewery in the US and from Central NY, not bad.

A: from the bottle could not see
S: mild on the malt side
T: medium spice flavor but sweeter overall
M: medium to thick
O: Better than I thought & would drink again

 635 characters

Photo of teromous
3.07/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Mine came in a 32 oz jug-shaped bottle.

A: Light orange-brown with a small off-white head that doesn't last and leaves no real lacing. The beer is pretty hazy.

S: Familiar pumpkin pie spice scent along with the scent of pumpkin as well. It smells pretty good.

T: At first I get some pumpkin pie spice but it is very light. It is followed by a faint toasted caramel flavor. The caramel is nice but I feel like it could use more general flavor, including the pie spice. Overall it's pretty unremarkable.

M: The mouthfeel is pretty empty feeling. It just needs more body.

O: Overall it's an alright pumpkin beer in a pinch, but it just doesn't have enough flavor or mouthfeel. I wouldn't pick it up again.

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Photo of JTBacon
4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I think pumkpin ales, like any other beer that employs a non-traditionalist style, comes with some caveats. Like any beer that comes with a sweet taste or a spicy taste assumes only a few can be consumed before you sense of taste is overwhelmed and you need to switch. I think that holds true for the pumpkins. But of the pumpkins, this is one of the best, if not the best. Along with Smuttynose and Long Trail, I think these are best you can get. Its relatively smooth, great smell, good taste (great for a pumpkin), and has some flexiblity. What I mean, is a great mix drink to make with this beer is the traditional autumn drink of Makers Mark, Saranac Pumpkin, and Warm Apple Cider. Try it, you will thank me.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.47/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Best by Jan 31, 2014.

A: Pours a clear golden amber brown with a thin slightly yellowed head.

S: Not an overpowering aroma but there is certainly pumpkin and spicing in this beer.

T: Fits in well in the pumpkin beer style. Has a decent ale flavor that reminds you its still beer and not a sweet pumpkin dessert. Some notes of graham cracker crust which lots of people look for in this style.

M: Medium body that is perhaps on the thin side. Low carbonation. Clean finish for this style.

Overall has a nice relaxed pumpkin spice flavor. Easy to kick back a couple in a row. Perfect for the season.

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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

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Photo of Axnjxn
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

32oz growler into a flute. 2013 release

Pours a dark copper/red color with a nice looking head. Attractive pour. The smell is very malty and has no hint of pumpkin whatsoever, it smells like a lager with maybe a TAD bit of spice. the taste is also quite malty with some nutmeg and cloves thrown in , but absolutely no pumpkin taste whatsoever. It doesn't taste bad though. Medium bodied, mild carbonation.

Overall not good as a pumpkin beer, but not bad if you consider this a lager.

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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.

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Photo of Utica_Brew_Review
4.65/5  rDev +34.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Light copper amber color with decent head and moderate carbonation. Clove, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and especially pumpkin notes in the aroma. The notes in the aroma are reflected in the taste. Very balanced. Not heavy or too light. The very many flavor notes aren't overpowered by the malt, hops, or alcohol. This year is our favorite brew of this beer yet. Finishes with more flavor and less alcohol. Cheers!

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Photo of kell50
3.81/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I've enjoyed this beer many, many times since Matt Brewing originally released it back in 2003. This particular review is from a 2012 version. No freshness/expiration date is marked on the bottle.

A- Pours a hazy copper color with a soft white head that dissipates quickly leaving a bit of lacing around the glass.

S- Aroma is dominated by vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and other pumpkin pie spices. There is also a nice toasted malt breadiness and absolutely no hop aroma to speak of.

T- The taste follows the nose pretty well; vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and bread crust. The spices work very well together, and it's not a cloyingly sweet pumpkin ale.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate level of carbonation.

O- Overall, this is one of my favorite pumpkin ales out there. I really enjoy the drinkability and the tasty blend of fall spices. This too is a nice change up from the overly sweet, high alcohol, pumpkin ales.

 945 characters

Photo of neophilus
2.81/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Ruddy amber colored beer. Light aroma of classic pumpkin pie spices but no other scents. Allspice heavy flavor leads a pack of spices that dominate the flavor - no malt to be found anywhere. Dry finish with a ginger heavy aftertaste.

The body finishes much too dry to carry the spices. Lacks depth of flavor and complexity as the spices are the primary characteristic of this light, fizzy brew.

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Photo of SmashPants
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Slim 355mL bottle, funky label.

Appearance: lightly hazed orange-amber with light carbonation and a decent, thick head.

Aroma: rather sweeter than the (only) other pumpkin ale I have had. This smells much preferable - sweet pumpkin with nutmeg, cinnamon and light grains.

Taste: follows the nose almost verbatim. Perhaps a little stronger on the sweetness - don't think I could down one too quickly.

Aftertaste: the spices come through more strongly on the aftertaste. Really different, but quite nice.

Mouth feel: seems about right - medium-bodied with a light, fine carbonation.

Overall: very different, and really quite nice. Not sure I'd have one too often, but for a change it is quite good. Particularly good since I picked it up for $8 a 6-pack since it was a failed "Halloween special" at the local. Mwahahaha!

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.64/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber with a fading head.
Nose shows authentic pumpkin, very vegetable-like. Cinnamon too, and nutmeg.
Sweet flavours, the spices are pretty full-on with pumpkin taking the back seat. Could use some more bitterness.
Nice moderate carbonation as body.

 261 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

 815 characters

Photo of doktorhops
3.47/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pumpkin Ale number two for me - ooo, basis of comparison huzzah! So far Pumpkin Ales strike me as the type of experimental beers that give brewers the ability to try a various melange of spices within the confides of making the usually dull on its own vegetable that is the pumpkin. Flavours of which may include nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, vanilla, star anise and clove. If done well all in all it should be an interesting diversion from typical Ale/Lagers, however if done badly it's the sort of beer that will make you wish you had bought that typical Ale or Lager.

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a St Feuillien chalice. Yeah it's not the right glass, sue me.

A: Deep clear copper body with a light white lacing.

S: Aroma profile includes nutmeg, cardamom and clove spices on a pumpkin base with a touch of caramel providing a sweet high note. Not much on the pumpkin side but the spices really come through well.

T: Comes through exactly as expected on the nose; starting with caramel sweetness, nutmeg, cardamom and clove spices mid to back, hint of pumpkin in there somewhere and a slight pepper/sour/bitter finish. Finish is well balanced however the pumpkin is barely noticeable, so really it is more of a spiced-vegetable-malt beer.

M: Mid to light body with an almost creamy carbonation - drinks much like a flat hefe-weizen.

D: Not bad, not bad at all. Only let down is the seeming lack of pumpkin which makes this brew of "an homage to pumpkin" than an actual pumpkin ale. No matter if it tastes good in my opinion. Better than the Gage Roads version - this is more spiced and with a better mouthfeel.

Food match: Apart from the obvious pumpkin pie this brew would also suit festive foods like roast turkey with cranberry sauce, yams (roasted sweet potatoes), stuffing, sweet corn and squash.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.46/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this at the local bar while watching my Ducks play. My review is from notes.

They served this with a shaker pint glass. It was dark orange with some decent foam, which was cleaned off by a friendly bartender.

The bouquet has very light pumpkin and clove. You almost completely miss these minimal smells unless you pull in hard off the top.

The flavor is simple and clean. You get a little nutmeg and clove when you pull air across the beer. The pumpkin is there, but it isn't really strong enough.

Overall this is an easy drinking pumpkin beer made for the masses.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz served in a Southern Tier tulip

A - Pours clear ruby amber with 2 fingers of off-white head. Nice lacing with average retention.

S - Nutmeg, cinnamon, some sweet caramel, kinda smells like pumpkin pie.

T - Caramel malt and nutmeg off the top, cinnamon creeps in, a spicy bitterness comes through in the middle and grows stronger on the back end. Hints of buttery diacetyl. Finishes bitter and slightly astringent.

M - Aggressive carbonation, light to medium wet body.

The aroma is very good. The flavor on the other hand has some misses. It's not bad but it's not great. I would definitely drink this again.

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Photo of cougznthebear
3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - a v nice deep amber

S - Nutmeg, a little cinnamon with a sweet kinda caramel malt

T - Quite light flavors, follows the nose with Nutmeg, cinnamon and then finishs with a bready yeastyness and well balanced bitterness (Wheres the pumpkin?)

O - Glad to see some pumpkin beers land in oz. Ive only had one other pumpkin to compair this to (Gage roads) But this beer seemed to lack any trace of the core ingredent PUMPKIN! But to be fair its not bad. It finishs clean with a nice yeastyness. If only i could get other pumpkin beers here.

 540 characters

Photo of mattbk
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 32oz growler from Wegmans! Nice package!

Appearance: Reddish, tan, just slightly hazy, only moderately carbonated, looks a little thin. Fairly good looking.
Smell: Mildly, but prominently spiced, nutmeg and cinammon for sure. A little bit toasted, not major aroma, but this is decent for a pumpkin ale.
Taste: The taste not exactly like the nose, far more sweet, but with some hop bitterness to tame it. There is some spice to it also, but far more sweetness. Just a bit of diacetyl. The sweetness and bitterness don't meld real well together, the bitterness should be smoother. But, I like this beer, very sessionable.
Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel should be fuller too, sort of medium/light-medium. Carbonation is low. Could be better, could be worse.
Overall: I actually like this beer - I don't love it - but it may be one of Saranac's best. I'm sure there is no pumpkin in here, but this hits the mark on several of the attributes I look for in a pumpkin beer.

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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.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a clear, copper-amber coloring that is bright and vibrant, with a sparse touch of off-white film on the surface. Aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg, with a smooth, malty sweet backbone. Well balanced nose. Flavors are rich and spicy, with a smooth and sweet pumpkin backbone supporting the cinnamon, nutmeg, and other harvest spices that blend and highlight the brew. Roasty and earthy tones make this beer a touch more dynamic on the palate. Roasty, richly sweet aftertaste leading to a smooth, slightly spiced finish that is clean and sharp. The body is a bit light for all of the flavors, but the beer is decent overall. Tasty seasonal brew!

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Photo of Flounder57
3.62/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

This beer poured a one finger head that has reduced to a thin layer. It is a copper color with great clarity and bubbles coming up the glass non-shalantly.

This beer smells really spicy, vanilla, bready notes, and caramel malts. The taste follows along the same lines, but the flavors are extremely weaker than the aroma. Blended well, but was expecting more from the nose.

Mouthferl is a bit light and watery, medium bodied, smooth, and medium carbonation. I am overall pleasantly happy with this. Even though it does not compare with others, the generic flavors of most pumpkin beers don't kill you on this one.

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Photo of chefhatt
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

When i poured thsi beer into a pint glass, it had a nice light copper color body with a nice couple of inches light tan color foamy head, that hangs out for a good while. The smell is of clove and cinnamon. The taste has the spices but doesn't have any pumpkin flavor to it. The mouth feel is a little weak for me and overall i'm not impressed and i think it is ok but i won't be getting this one again.

 403 characters

Photo of kneeland
3.64/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

There's something different from the first sip. A bitterness not typically found in pumpkin ales. The pumpkin flavor seems a little watered down. There's spices in there, but they don't seem to work too well together. At least it does have a distinct taste. Overall it's a good beer, just not a great pumpkin ale.

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Photo of claspada
3.51/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy copper color with a creamy white head that leaves splashes of lacing around the glass.

Aroma is dominated by loads of sweetness and spices, mostly vanilla and a lot of cinnamon. There is a touch of toasted breadiness and caramel as well.

The taste follows the nose pretty well, but not as much as I prefer. The spices are there, with cinnamon and clove being the most dominant. I don't get very much pumpkin though, more caramel than anything.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finish is semi-sweet and slightly spicy from the obvious pumpkin pie spicing additions.

Overall this is a decently good pumpkin ale here. I wish the pumpkin flavor was more noticeable, but the spices made up for its limited presence. Not bad to find on draft but I won't seek it out yearly.

 809 characters

Photo of SolipsismalCat
2.98/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into a glass mug.

A: Clear orange-brown with two-finger, white, foamy head that lasted a couple minutes. Not much lacing.

S: Very subtle pumpkin. Smells like a wheat beer which is not a good thing.

T: Light sweetness and light bitterness. Pumpkin and spice. Not bad.

M: Light bodied with soft carbonation. Watery.

O: The smell and mouthfeel were off-putting to me. The beer was nothing special to look at, and the taste was only mildly worth it. I've had much better pumpkin ales.

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Saranac Pumpkin Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.45 out of 5 based on 1,173 ratings.
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