Saranac Brown Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac Brown AleSaranac Brown Ale
323 Ratings
Saranac Brown AleSaranac Brown Ale

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

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by shirfan on 10-24-2006

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 323 |  Reviews: 240
Photo of Hibernator
3.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Saranac Brown Ale
12 oz brown bottle
Jet ink # on the side of the bottle - 2706 1655
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a light shade of brown. Slightly off-white head forms around the glass and transforms to a thin, circular lace.

Malty nose with whiffs of dairy and some hops in the background.

A tad nutty and robust with some hints of milk chocolate and a touch of sweet caramel drizzle coming through. Nice biting hop presence on the finish. Smooth and quite drinkable. Certainly one of the best out of the Saranac Winter Seasonal 12 pack.

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Photo of Gmann
3.12/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a brown color with amber tones, small head which dissipated quickly, no lacing. The smell is of earth, juicy, buddy hops. Has a strong hop taste, grape fruit like with malty caramel tones. The mouthfeel is light considering the malty look to it, good carbonation and no lingering bitterness. This ale went down smooth enough, good for a single tasting. This is quite hoppy for a brown ale, would have expected more of a nutty/roasted flavor to it.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saranac- Brown Ale

Appearance- copper brown with a small, heavy lacing head.
Smell- Nuts. Filberts, walnuts, and malt. Slight piney hop aroma too.
Taste- Pine hops, orange rind(IPA?) with a nutty malty body.
Mouthfell- Sweet with oily pine hops, malt, and dry nuttiness.

Overall- A very good 1. Saranac's best offering!

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a deep ruby amber copper hue with a large off white tannish beige head billows nicely presenting a biscuit appearance light cappucion colored evenly dispersed lace. Aroma has an awesome upfront citrus and herbal hop tone with chocolate caramel roasty tones...good stuff hop pellets. Flavor contains upfront herbal and citrus hop character produces some mild hop burps nice for a brown, mild light chocolate roasty nutty edge very nice moderately bitter, overall I'm liking it. Mouthfeel has a medium body some resinous note coming through with a moderate smooth carbonation. Drinkability is great a hoppy brown I love it, but why does their brown taste hoppier than their IPA does.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of the 2006 Winter pack.
Pouired a crystal clear medium brown color with off-white puffy head.
Smell is notable for roasted maly and caramel aspects.
Taste is more of the roasted malt, Caramel and toffee, And a a moderate hop presence.
Finish is a bit thin in the mouth with little taste rentention.
Another easy to drink, middle of the road Saranac beer.

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Photo of scarletfire79
3.51/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

so far this is the best out of the 12 beers of christmas pack. right off , the beer looks really good. nice brown with a creamy white head. the lacin does stay throughout. someone else said it before, but i too was very suprised by the taste. very hoppy tasting right in the start that lends way to a kind of grassy grapefruit-like taste. no caramel, no coffee. just not what i really expected out of a brown ale. that being said, this beer is highly drinkable and i'd love to ry this on tap. something i'm noticing about saranac beers as i get through the sampler is their lack of mouthfeel. or maybe it's that they all taste the same ? it's like they started with a beer and just added slight things to call it something else. kind of strange.

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Photo of AudioGilz
2.96/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Fairly reserved appearance, subtle yet a bit enticing with solid lacing. The aroma is surprisingly hoppy, with citrus notes coming through with only a tiny hint of malt sweetness. I would definitely prefer to smell more sweet malts in there as well as taste them. It's odd to me to drink a brown ale with this much hoppiness to it. At the same time, it's not really a turn off either, just not what I expect out of a Brown Ale. Perhaps it needs to mature a bit longer? This experience is really like drinking a solid American Pale Ale rather than a Brown. If you want a sweet and mild Brown Ale, go with an English one, however this is worth a try because it's still a smooth-drinking, citrusy/spicy hoppy brew.

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Photo of BagOHaZe
4.12/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Serving one 12 oz bottle from the 12 Beers of winter Sample pack

Pourd into a clean glass noticeable head with decent lacing Nose smelling
of roasted coffee beans mouth feel ok with very little carbonation

taste well i'll tell you it reminds me allot of Samuel Adams boston lager
when you get it on tap

Good roasty flavor after a sip followed by a polite helping of hops nothing overpowering altogether a surprisingly good beer by Saranac even though it does quite a bit remind me of a Sammy A

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.57/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Medium dark orange brown color with a 3/4 inch of tan-white foam. Medium low carbonation.

S: Smells fresh, with spicy malt and earth. Noticeable hops are present, giving this one a unique twist.

T: Lots of roasted grains, dry hops, mild pepper and spice. Malt character is minimal, but present, and adds a steping stone for the higher profile of toasted earth and hops.

M: Nothing special. A touch of bite from the hops, but otherwise mildly bubbly and rather average.

D: Not bad. This one was different from most brown ales, which l liked. Could use a touch of tweeking, but could easily be an innovative brew. Worth trying.

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Photo of oberon
3.82/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Another new offering from Matt and I really like where they were going with this one.Poured a medium chesnut brown with a thinner but well reatined off white head,ahh nice hops in the nose Pacific NW cascades give off a healthy dose of pine and grass intertwined with some chocolate malt.The flavors dont quite live up to the nose but it has its own character quite dry and resiny with lighter chocolate and caramel tones.Good to see Matt push the bar a little with this one nice hop profile and very drinkable.

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Photo of Billolick
3.85/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 2006 Winter Seasonal Pack. 12 ouncer, no freshness indication. Pours a warm shade of darkish amber, clear, dart tan head, scattered lacing upon a gentle swirl. Nose is caramel malts, light pine needles and orange. Flavorful Brown, maple malt o'pleanty, I agree with another rater that this is one of the best in the box...which is not saying a great deal, but this is a pretty tasty and worthy brown ale...

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Photo of sraimondi
3.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 2006 Winter Sampler. Interesting take. IMO not really on style but one of the better selections in the Sampler. Look is right on style with very good lacing which keeps for entire drink. Not much aroma, but the taste is what is most surprising. The first thing you taste is the hoppiness of the beer, which almost immediately gives way to a licorice flavor. No chocolate to speak of but a hint of roastiness, not much hop bitterness on the finish. Mouthfeel is good and the drinkability is ok. While not a traditional take, very good nonetheless.

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Photo of BBM
3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well, this beer is an odd one. When I think of brown ales, I think of nice caramel malts with coffee and chocolate flavors, and really this doesn't deliver that at all. But it's not a bad beer. The beer pours a dark transparent brown color with a medium tan head. The aroma is of... citrus hops and nuts? Alright. A good smell to be sure, just unexpected.

The taste is more of that citrusy and grassy hops, with a distinct nuttiness in the background. Very little malt character. Blindfolded you could almost mistake it for a pale ale in my opinion, the hops were that prevelant. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't an awful beer, but I was expecting a brown ale and this sure didn't taste like one. Mouthfeel was chewy and full. It's a fairly drinkable ale. Really it's not bad. Just not what I was expecting, and not a good example of a brown, in my opinion.

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Photo of dustylong
3.9/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Winter pack beer....Pours a dark brown color with a big, thick head with good retention and lacing (poured from a bottle into a mug). Has a fairly malty smell to it...with hints of fruitiness, and nutiness. The taste goes along with the smell..suprisingly malty with a definate fruitiness and nutiness. Not very bitter. Has a lighter feel in the mouth with a good amount of carbonation. Overall, a good I would suggest to others...

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Photo of akorsak
3.23/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From the 2006 Winter Seasonal Pack.

A: The ale is a deep brown color with a vigourous 2 finger head that retains nicely and laces in the glass.

S: The ale has a grainy malt aroma that has just a hint of nuttiness.

T: The body is a grainy malt with nuts and toffee as the primary flavors. The hop body is minimal and the graininess of the malts is fairly thin. The ale also has a fruity sweetness that I've often found in Ringwood yeast.

M: The mouthfeel is somewhat thin, with a grainy flavor that never quite brings through the nuttiness.

D: I have noticed that all Saranac beers taste somewhat similar, and that disappoints me because I have held Saranac in high esteem since my earliest introduction to craft brewed beers. I will continue to give them a shot in hopes of a turn-around.

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Photo of sacfly
4.07/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Winter seasonal pack
Highly carbonated, almost overflowed in my pint glass with a moderate pour. Appealing red hue with a very large thick head of big tan bubbles. Aroma catches me off guardÂ… A bit of a centennial(?) hop nose. Light sweet grapefruit? Taste is rich with a nice blend of the citrus hops and a bit of chocolate malt. Lingering pleasant bitterness in the aftertaste. No where near what I was expecting. A very pleasant surprise. A departure from the same old sweet/burnt/musty brown ales, but not quite the same as a regular pale ale or hoppy amber. Great beer.

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Photo of Gavage
3.71/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of the 2006 Holiday variety 12 pack.

Appearance: pours a clear brown color with a thick long lasting 2" head. Spotty lacing develops.

Smell: caramel and bread are detectable.

Taste: caramel with hints of nuts and chocolate. Overall a bit bready and bitterness is very mild. Simple but not one to blow the tastebuds away.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start and smoother towards the finish. Very brief aftertaste. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: decent brown ale that can be considered a session beer. Not a flavor cutting edge brown ale, but a solid offering worth trying.

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Photo of phisig137
3.78/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

New for the 06 winter seasonal pack, this beer pours a beautiful medium brown color with ruby highlights. One finger head has decent retention, and leaves behind some nice lacing.

Aroma is nicely balanced between malt and hops. Both are fairly muted and mild, but they are there. Slight sweetness from the malt, and a slight grassiness from the hops, as well as a tinge of alcohol.

Flavor is nicely malty up front, with a bit of caramel and some chocolate as well. I'm not sure if it's psychological from reading the label, or if it's actually there, but I taste it. Hoppy finish is a little grassy, and pleasantly bitter. Mouthfeel is a little thin (as are most of the Saranac beers), and drinkability is good.

I think Saranac may have a winner here in their mixed twelve. this is by far one of the best of the twelve, and one of their better offerings. It is not a fantastic brown, but I'd consider it a nice, light, session beer. It's good enough to enjoy, but not complex or interesting enough to make you really think about it. Fairly generic as brown ales go.

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Photo of maddogruss
3.19/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured 12 oz bottle into a glass mug. The appearance was quite nice; a full-bodied, dark brown color with a off-white head. The head was so thick that I had some problems smelling the contents of the beer. A slight tilt towards the nostrils exposed the hoppy smell. At first, all I tasted was hops but about a quarter to halfway through the beer, the slightly chocalate malt began to show itself, being balanced off by the hops. The mouthfeel was not as thick as I had hoped it to be. Once you get into the beer, it's pretty drinkable, but the hops hit you on the first sip (about as hoppy as a pale ale).

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Photo of tempest
3.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A hoppy brown ale from Saranac, who'd expect that? It's not up to an indian brown, but the hops are on par with at least an average tasting pale ale. The brown does get a little lost in here. There's a hint of malt in the aroma, with a little sweet caramel and chocolate in the flavor, but grassy and citrus hops dominate this brown. That not necessarily bad, but this beer would stand up better with more of a malt profile to compete with the hops.

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Photo of plaid75
3.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a soft chocolate malt with some nice spicy earthy hop.

The taste was subtle and balanced A soft malt with hints of cocoa and mild coffee was complimented by a peppery hop. Some light sweetness detected as well.

The mouthfeel was light.

Overall an easy drinking brown ale. A step up from the nut brown.

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Photo of treehugger02010
2.66/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Not very good. I poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. There was a ton of head with a good retention time that left lots of sticky lace. The smell was very sweet, and reminded me of wisky. The taste was also sweet too, but not that bad, the malt wasn't blended very well. Don't drink and review.

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Photo of shirfan
3.62/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a different brew than the Nut Brown Ale, new for 2006's "12 Beers of Winter".

Per Saranac's website, this one is made with American Two-Row Pale, Victory, and Chocolate malt, and Cascade and Columbus hops.

Poured a clear but dark blood red with a thick cream-colored head.

Big aroma of pine, hints of spiced apple.

Flavor starts dry and piney, moves into a leafy, earthy and dry malt profile. Finishes with some pepper, more resinous but dry pine, and a moderate bitterness.

I like sweeter, maltier brown ales, but this is an ok example of a quite dry, moderately hopped one. A decent addition to the winter sampler.

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Saranac Brown Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.38 out of 5 with 323 ratings