Saranac Belgian Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

289 Ratings
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Saranac Belgian AleSaranac Belgian Ale

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

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbnooshay on 10-27-2005

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Reviews: 235 | Ratings: 289
Photo of tempest
3.56/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another bottle from the 2005 Saranac 12 Beers of Winter.

Poured a hazy amber with a one-finger head that lasted only a few minutes. No lacing.

Smells like a nice belgian wit. Tastes like an average wit. A little fruit and wheat flavor.

A nice drink, but finished with some bitter off-flavors. Under-carbonated like all the other bottles out of the 12 Beers.

Not bad overall. I'd drink it again in a variety pack, but there are a lot of better belgians available.

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Photo of Billolick
3.83/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ouncer sampled, no freshness indication on the label. Pours cloudy dark peach flesh, off white head dissolving to a clumpy thin film. Some moderate tubular lacing left behind. Nose is of some cloves and what seems to be a Belgian yeasty wiff. Notes of light cloves, perhaps anise. Fairly fruity and warming. One of the better Saranacs in MHO, Drinkable, starter Belgian style brew.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
4.14/5  rDev +24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Smells inviting, a bit of plums, some caramel, and a bit of dough. Poured a small light tan head that faded quickly to a film around the edge of the glass. Transparent, bright copper colored beer with a few bubbles rising slowly through the center. Flavors of mildly sweet malt mix with a good dose of fruit and yeast. A slight bitterness balances it all out in the end. Light bodied, and easy drinking. As with all Saranac beers it's not the biggest thing in town, but there is plenty going on and I'm pleasantly surprised.

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Photo of Naes
3.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew is golden brown with orange hues. The head is a tall frothy white color.
Its aroma is candy sweet and has a bit of hop character too.
The flavor is mildly hopy with a presence of yeast, clove and a bit of raisin. Though it is a sweet beer, it mellows out as it warms. There is that distinctive Belgian flavor, but it is toned down quite a bit.
Mouth feel is medium bodied and mildly carbonated.

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Photo of Stimack
3/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this brew in the 12 beers of winter. Brew poured to an amber color with a small off white head that broke down quite quickly and did not leave much lacing. Noticeable spice and banana aromas that are nice. Taste is fair, quite basic with a finish of cloves that seems to dominate this brew. Over all this is a fair brew, not one that I would go out of my way to get but a fair try by Matt’s. Don’t expect a true Belgium Pale Ale experience.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I like the varieties Saranac comes out with, and the variety in their variety packs. This was from the 12 Beers of Winter pack, $9.99 on sale.

This one was a deep amber, and was slightly hazy. There was almost no head when I poured it.

Aroma was very faint... malt with a little bit of spiciness. Kind of like coriander and pepper.

Taste was initially a bit bitter, which lasted throughout. Some light roasted malt followed, although it gave the impression of being sweet yet not sweet at the same time. Can't describe it really. There was a hint of spiciness on the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel was somewhat thin. Drinkability was purely average. Not what I would consider a true Belgian pale ale. Still, I am glad to have tried it... I have more Saranac beers on my tasting list than any others. I look forward to their next offerings.

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Photo of InDreams
2.85/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I enjoy Saranac for their variety packs and for their reasonable (read cheap) prices. Other than that, I feel most of their beers approach the style without necessarily getting it head on, and few are exceptional. This particular beer came with their Winter Beer Sampler ($12 by me), and I poured it into a snifter.

First impression was a little bland. Poured a clear, amber color with very little head. Minimal lacing. The smell is very mild, but if anything it's not bad. Maybe a little fruity, maybe some spices. My first impression on the taste was American Pale Ale rather than anything Belgian. Second time around I got some hints of the Belgian style it was attempting, but nothing exceptional. Kind of dry, tastes of clove and malts. Somewhat sweet but the fruitiness of a Belgian is lacking. Very watery with a light body, but good carbonation. I'd say, for the price, and the fact that it's not offensive in any way, it's pretty drinkable.

All said, if you're looking for a real, quality Belgian Pale Ale, this is not your beer.

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Photo of LarryV
3.45/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from the Saranac 12 Winter Beer Sampler 2007. Pours an appealing orange-amber color with no haziness at all, very clear.
Aroma is very subtle, Belgianesque yeast. Taste is pleasant and avoids the clying sweetness and bubblegum flavors that a lot of other American attempts at Belgian style ales have. Hops are noticeably present and balance things out nicely. I enjoyed this beer much to my surprise.

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Photo of WesWes
3.03/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours an amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is average. It has a mild Belgian malt scent that is slightly sweet with a fruity yeast aroma. The taste is average as well. It has a dry, yet semi-malty flavor that goes down slow despite the low body. It lacks "real" Belgian beer flavor. Instead, it has a clove aftertaste and a damn dry flavor; not very enticing. The mouthfeel is also average. It is a low/medium bodied beer with good carbonation. It lacks a decent body and in turn lacks the authenticity of the style. This is a deflated effort at a Belgian ale. This is one for the scrap heap.

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Photo of kbnooshay
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well it is what it is. Saranacs bastardization the belgian ale style. What saranac does to this style is similar to what the macros do to pale ales and such...dumbed down yet it resembles the style sorta. 12 ouncer from the 12 Beers of Winter Pack, 2005. This poured a clear orange gold color with a thin-ass tan head. The belgian aroma was there with spices and malt just a tad mild. The taste consisted of a decent amount of clove and yeast flavor. Twangular. Mouthfeel is moderate. The fruityness is there, but again more would be nice. It just feels like a belgian light. I am usually not a fan of these half asssed attempts. But, i kinda like it. It is drinkable and pleasant, but a company like this shouldn't attempt such a style if they aren't going to do more than throw some clove in a clear as ass amberish concotion.

With all that said it is kinda enjoyable!

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Saranac Belgian Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.34 out of 5 based on 289 ratings.
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