Saranac High Peaks Series Imperial IPA (Dec 2006-Sep 2014) | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac High Peaks Series Imperial IPA (Dec 2006-Sep 2014)Saranac High Peaks Series Imperial IPA (Dec 2006-Sep 2014)
365 Ratings
Saranac High Peaks Series Imperial IPA (Dec 2006-Sep 2014)Saranac High Peaks Series Imperial IPA (Dec 2006-Sep 2014)

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

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Kendo on 12-23-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 365 |  Reviews: 258
Photo of blackened1339
5/5  rDev +40.1%

Photo of rab53
5/5  rDev +40.1%

Photo of billybob
4.78/5  rDev +33.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

pours orange copper with a light tan two finger head which holds to about half with excellent lacing to the finish. floral, citrus, piney aromas, toasted malt, citrus, spice, and pepper hop taste finish. medium body, good carbonation, with a dry hop, after taste. if it was not for the 8.5 abv i would drink it all night, oh what the hell who cares. keep pouring.

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Photo of Derek
4.6/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle stamped 0467 1613.

A: Copper-bronze with an off-white head, good retention & lace.

S: Pine, citrus, floral and grassy hops. Not over-the-top, in-your-face hops, but a very pleasant depth of aroma. Some caramel, bready & nutty malt, cotton-candy fruity esters.

T: For 85 IBU's this seems incredibly well-balanced. Must be a lot of low cohumolone hops, with a little residual sweetness. Pine, grass, grapefruit, orange, peach, spice, bread, nuts, light caramel, toffee. cotton-candy-like fruity esters and some amarillo asprin in the finish. Under all these flavours, the alcohol is very subtle.

M: Moderate body & carbonation (well-attenuated for its weight), slight acidity.

D: It doesn't seem as big as it is... drinkability is very good.

I'm seriously impressed. With 10 hops & 10 malts, nothing is in-your-face... instead it is incredibly well-rounded. Not at all harsh for the style (though it still made my wife say 'yuk').

Get it while you can!

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Photo of yesyouam
4.6/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I actually used the word "perfect" to describe the appearance of this beer. A small, fleeting white head atop an absolutely transparent amber. The aroma is very hoppy. Pine and citrus dominate the smell here. The hops are crushingly bitter with not only citrus and pine, but a few herbal and grassy notes in between. It has a soft, oily texture and leaves the tongue a bit chalky feeling and exhausted. Brilliant!
(rated Jan 30, 2007)

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Photo of Pencible
4.52/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a clear golden brown with light tan head. It smelled like mild lemon and pine hops with some malt. It tasted like a nice blend of strong copper and pine hops with some malt for balance. It was moderately thick with a bit of carbonation and a surprisingly tolerable bitter aftertaste. There was no noticeable alcohol taste, despite the ABV. Overall this was quite good! It was easy to drink, had a nice flavor, but wasn't too strong like other Imperials. (If anything it was too weak!)

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Photo of JT99125
4.5/5  rDev +26.1%

Photo of FirstBrewsoon
4.5/5  rDev +26.1%

Photo of saintwarrick
4.45/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark cherry red with a lacy white head. Hoppy and bitterly sweet aroma with a lot of citrus and a bitter grapefruit and light orange are prevalent in the taste. A sweetness comes from the malts and mixes very well with the a hop oil taste that leaves a pleasantly bitter aftertaste.

A damn good DIPA, extremely drinkable for the style. Saranac has always had a bevy of solid brews, but this is the first "great" one I have had from them.

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Photo of Greenlabel
4.45/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The best Saranac product I've tasted to date - maybe not quite an "Imperial" IPA but one which I thoroughly enjoyed. It began right at the start when the strong hop aroma intrigued me and then the amber pour with exellent lacing further attracted me.

The taste is piney with plenty of hop bitterness but no harshness of note. Hops dominate the flavor but a dry finish leaves no unusually bitter aftertaste. The alcohol level seemed about right to me for this type of product.

My only complaint is that it's apparently only a seasonal product and a fresh bottle is now becoming harder to find. Hope it returns soon.

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Photo of caminiti
4.42/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

IPA the way its suppose to be.
A beer that will be great as it ages, but great fresh too.
Pours an orange/amber with aroma of hops that jumps right out at you, even a dedicated hop head.
Carbonation level is a bit light, which makes the beer more drinkable than it should be, especially with a high alcohol content.
An IPA worth investing in, even at nine bucks a six, drink a few now and stow away the rest for next winter.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.42/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glowing orange copper body, couple carbonation streams, topped by a fistful of level bone-china white froth.

Impressive citrus aroma, heavy with oranges.

Thick rich deeply sweet malt slathers down a bedrock foundation. Juicy fruit flows over while a tingle builds along the edge of the tongue and mouth. That tingle becomes a ferocious bite at the swallow. Fruit and bitter tingle entwine in the aftertaste.

Nice smooth well integrated mouthfeel. Excellent drinkability.

Saranac comes out to play with the big boys, and makes the varsity. It's no HopSlam, but it's damn impressive and far exceeded my expectations.

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Photo of Kpasserell
4.41/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light Amber with lasting white head. Smells bright and light, but has a much fuller mouthfeel than you'd think. Packed with flavor! Juicy sweet hoppy yet very balanced and somewhat malt forward for an IPA. Love this 8.5 ABV'er!

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Photo of HerrBob
4.4/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

IPA is my favorite style. Initially this IPA was too bitter for me but I kept going back. It grows on you with time & I now enjoy the bitter kick of this brew. It is still a little short of my favorite IPA (Sweetwater) but is still excellent. To those who find the bitterness too overpowering, I suggest you sample it a few more times and I bet you keep coming back. It is very comparable to some far moree expensive brews & an excellent value.

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Photo of soundhole
4.4/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

WOW!!! For under $7/6-pack, how could this beer be beat. I found this at the local liquor store, figured that the dust on the bottles meant that it was ready to be drank, I did, and it was! Sometimes it pays to live in a "fill in the blank" Light town.

Deep orange/amber color with a semi-solid white head dissapating to basically nothing quickly. Bubbles rise within, really appealing. Smelled of piney-citrus hops, very nice, very bold. Taste was equal to smell, hops are the primary sensation then giving way to a subtle malty finish. Just enough bite for my taste without going to an extreme, just on the border of a barleywine to me. Mouthfeel was good as well. Felt like carbonation was right on target. Overall, glad I had this after it aged a bit. So far the best Saranac that I've ever had... can't wait to try the Imperial Stout!

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Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.38/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This has to be the best beer that I have ever had from Saranac. This seems to be very underrated here on beer advocate and a shame that it is retired.

12 oz into a pint glass....

A- Dark maroon/brown color. Different from the amber colored Double IPA's that I am used to. This one was more opaque. Beautiful two finger head and spiderweb lacing all over the glass.

S- Smell was malty and bready with a nice little touch of hops.

T- Well-balanced DIPA with a huge malt presence and a refreshing hop flavor. I got some caramel notes, bready-biscuity suttle flavors, and floral resiny hops. Huge flavors going on here and I like it.

M- Sticky as all hell. Thick but oily for a DIPA. Lips sticking together at times...

D- This one will creep up on you, but drinkability is high because of the well-balanced flavors. Great stuff!!!

Looking forward to more of high peaks series.

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Photo of TagoMago
4.38/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am surprised this beer isn't getting higher ratings, and I think a lot of people are reluctant to rate the beer higher, simply because it's made by Saranac and not Stone or some other acclaimed, top-notch brewery.

In my opinion, this ranks up with the best double IPA's.

What really gets me about this beer is that it's incredibly well-rounded and exceptionally smooth. The head-retention of this beer is astounding, and remains from pour to finish, leaving a nice lacing on the glass.

The aroma of this beer is of very fruity, floral hops.

Again, the flavor is perfectly balanced, and with very piney and fruity hop notes.

As far as the drinkability of this beer is concerned, its smoothness makes it near-quaffable, despite its 8.5% alcohol content, which can definitely pack a major punch if you're knocking these babies back like they're Becks.

I highly recommend this beer, so pick up a six pack or five while you still have the chance.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.38/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear orange amber color with better than a full finger foamy head that was able to stick around . Pretty active effervescence and impressive lacing patterns observed. I've gotta give the A - better than good because of the foamy artwork.

The aroma is classic. Fresh hop and yet a nice balance of sweet malt.

Medium bodied mouth feel with a nice ting from hops and carbonation. Very creamy and smooth.

The mouth complements the flavor quite well. The flavor has that sweet malty characteristic with great hoppy notes; quite balanced.

Put me down as a fan. Tell me again what i paid for this? The 8.5% is hidden well beneath a wonderful complexity. Matt Brewing invested in this one and they have my attention.

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Photo of treehugger02010
4.38/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got a case of Saranac Imperial IPA from the Beer Yard in Wayne, Pa. I then poured all 130 IBUs into a flared pint glass:
Appearance: It poured about 4 fingers of head. The body was a nice amber color that was kind of light and a bit transparent. The head was a little off white. The rentention was medium, and the lacing was solid, a bit good, but not that abundant.
Smell: Kind of mild for 130 IBUs, but still decent. I was impressed with the complexities and nuances.
Taste: Again, not as much as I thought the bitterness was going to be. It was rather deep in them, however. I liked the idea that it should be super bitter, yet not offputting.
Mouthfeel: This suprisingly enough, had a very smooth feel.
Drinkability; This is certainly one of my faviorate beers.
Don't drink and review.

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Photo of TuckerCarlson
4.35/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a partly clear amber with reddish tones to it. A full finger of whitish-orange head slowly fades on top, leaving a ring of foam. Good lacing down the glass.

Full nectary and floral orange scent

This may be the juiciest DIPA I've had. Tons of citrus flavor without being overly sweet, enough malt sugars to suit my taste, and a strong but pleasant piney hop bitterness at the end. Incredibly well-balanced, and the alcohol provides a slight warming without intruding on the flavor.

Full, thick texture with just the right amount of carbonation.

DIPAs are highly subjective, I've come to realize, and I have to admit my bias - I lived in the Utica area for several years, so I have a touch of hometown pride coloring my view. I also tend to prefer a smoother, more balanced DIPA over something that's going to rip my tongue out with hop bitterness (Stone Ruination) or club me over the head with sugar and alcohol (Southern Tier Un-Earthly).

This doesn't have the complexity of Weyerbacher Double Simcoe or the puissance of Avery Maharaja, but it's my go-to beer for the foreseeable future (and at $25 a case, one of the best values in craft beer).

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Photo of cnybrewblog
4.32/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this off tab.

A: Amber color that was not much darker than the normal IPA

S: Now I have a bias here because I love hops and this was SWIMMING in them, so I have to say I loved it. There were some faint pine smells that really complemented the hops and gave it a great nose.

T: Way too smooth for a beer with that ABV. There was a nice hoppy snap to it with a hint of grassyness in the finish.

M: This was good, there was a nice dry snap to with the hops and a sweet finish. The carbonation was good.

D: I would go driving home after a couple of these, but otherwise this is a great beer, instead of getting pounded with alcohol you have an IPA that is just more nuanced.

Overall I am a fan. This is a great addition to the Saranac family and I am looking forward to what other brews they have in store.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.3/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

No idea why people are dogging this beer. It's fantastic, at 6.99 a six pack, a deal and then some. As many DIPA's are over-hopped, over-hyped messes, this one is balanced, low-key, complex, and what a DIPA should be. For the style its drinkability is outstanding. Just enough bitterness, to keep you guessing, just enough malts to make you want more. Rather fruity on the nose, show nicely in the glass, nothing outstanding, but hey, what is that isn't unfiltered and unpasteurized.

A little late to the scene, but lacking nothing. Outstanding!

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Photo of Mbarnes304
4.29/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a copper ton with not much of a head. The head is white and thin. The beer smell like it has been blended with at least two different aroma hops. I say that because I can't put my finger on the aroma pine or citrus? This being an IIPA I would think the hop aroma would be more prevalent. I think it has more of a malty smell. The taste also has more of a malt flavor then most IIPA's. The taste however is good and the hops and malt are well balanced. It leaves you with a crisp finish. It goes down a little thick, but it's an imperial what do you expect. Very drinkable, will drink again. The beer overall is well balanced. I think it needs more hops but, it's a good beer.

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Photo of Ig0r
4.28/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The pour is a clear dark straw with a bit of a head at first that quickly dissipates to nothing. The head is white with mostly small bubbles. The smell is a bit sweet and spicy but nothing overpowering. The feel is smooth with good carbonation and a bit heavy. Initial taste is a little tart with a very quick burst of hoppiness that lingers a long time. There is a slightly dry finish that leaves only the hops coating the mouth.

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Photo of drseamus
4.28/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This looks like a classic DIPA. It has a dark amber/red body with a white head that fell pretty quickly.

S: Again, classic DIPA. Powerful sweet grapefruit aroma. I could use a bit more grapefruit but I can't complain.

T: A bit more bitter than I expected which is actually a good thing. It seems like a lot of DIPAs have been tending more toward the sweet side than the bitter side and it's nice to see some good hop bitterness. The hop flavor is there as well and it's good. It does leave a slightly off aftertaste.

M: Good medium body fits it nicely.

D: My only complaint is that it leaves a bit of a weird aftertaste that I'm not crazy about. Aside from that it's a great example of a DIPA.

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Saranac High Peaks Series Imperial IPA (Dec 2006-Sep 2014) from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.57 out of 5 with 365 ratings