Saranac Irish Red Ale
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac Irish Red AleSaranac Irish Red Ale
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Red Ale - Irish
Ranked #233
Ranked #48,613
3.4 | pDev: 13.53%
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States
Saranac Irish Red AleSaranac Irish Red Ale
Reviews: 178 | Ratings: 345 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of AccipiterofBeer
AccipiterofBeer from New York

3.95/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker.

L: 3.75 amberish red. Excellent clarity. Small white head that dissipates over time. Plentiful carbonation at the start that tapers off.
S: 3.75. Copious Bready malts. Rye. Dark fruits.
T: 4 follows the nose. The malt is toasty. Slight kiss of hops.
F: 4.25 nice and light. Thin to medium bodied. Ticklish carbonation. Sessionable.
O: 4. This is a fantastic take on the Irish Red Ale.

Mar 05, 2021
Photo of SmokySignals
SmokySignals from North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Early afternoon, cool cloudy Feb day...let's have a Red! Needed good cheaper beer this week. Liked Saranac German
let's go ! Saranac Irish Roots 12 pack for $15 at Walmart!

Look - 12 oz. bottle poured into pub glass for only an average/small dense head, sexy deep red copper, clear body. Great color. Head fades fast.

Smell -- Faint malty sweet toffee fruity aromas, and like the head: Very Pretty, but I want more of it to be there .
Nothing hoppy expected here and none present.

T---Follows nose, and in lacks presence there too. Good, malty, Carmel-y familiar "Irish Red" taste, and above the macro giants, but not by enough. Better than Killian's, easily. There's a finesse in Saranac beers, and hey, it's at Wally for big butt sudsers on the cheeps like me.

F----watery, with slightly underpowered carbonation , lighter than expected. Super sessional!

Overall, it's an above average cheap beer. Very easy to down quickly. One that's not to savor and discuss's a pretty simple affair. One of the grocery store bargains in the craft area. Right by the mainstream ones.
I could see repeating these, if you know what you want and know what to expect: A light red beer that is pretty decent for neighborhood norm core celebrations in March.

Feb 26, 2019
Photo of edward_boumil
edward_boumil from New York

3.69/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

L: ruby red/mahogany colored. Minimal head retention, though can be coaxed by agitation. No lace
S: dark sugars, get some raisin, toffee molasses, dark fruit overall.
T: repeat of the nose but with a mild earthy hop bite toward the finish.
F: pretty light and drinkable, though a bit cloying at times. Has a strong carbonation
O: solid red ale, easy to drink with enjoyable flavors

Feb 06, 2019
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.08/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Man I remember these Saranac step dad tier beers going back to the late 90s. This is one of the most elite new balance tier ones of the group. Pours in a brown and dark red color, 1/2" off white head, this looks pretty decent for style. Aroma of wet malt, wood. Levels of caramel and toffee are minimal.

Taste is a mild soft earthy malt affair. Carbonation seems higher than average. Bitterness is subdued, although ironically this seems about hopped to the same levels of their pale ale (woefully underhopped for style there). Even a raisin aspect in the mouth feel. This is the quintessential red ale that hasn't been part of adventurous palates for decades. But if your step dad comes over in his big dog tshirt, he might enjoy this on his riding mower that helps keep his new balance shoes from turning green.

May 04, 2018
Photo of Offa
Offa from California

3.54/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brownish amber, medium tan head steadily shrinks ti wisps and foamy ring.

Aroma mild wet wood, bread crust.

Taste is nice toasty caramelly bread, hints of wine, wood, earth. Moderate sweetness with mild bitterness. Feel is a touch thin. A simple but enjoyable beer.

May 04, 2018
Photo of hman43
hman43 from North Carolina

3.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Look: It pours amber with tinges of red. It is clear with a tan colored head with low head retention.

Smell: There is a light caramel aroma with a bit of grass. There are also low levels of toast and earth.

Taste: There are caramel flavors with low levels of earth and floral elements. It has a bit of grainy sweetness to it.

Feel: It has a medium light body and the carbonation is close to the high side.

Overall, it is a decent beer with the balance towards the malt.

Feb 23, 2018
Photo of Foyle
Foyle from North Carolina

4.02/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into schooner glass. A 1" off white head falls rapidly with some mild lacing. Color is mostly clear amber with abundant streaming carbonation. Aroma of malt, turned fruit, and yeasty bread dough. Mouthfeel is medium and slightly prickly with a somewhat damp finish. Flavors of cracker, bread crust, raisin, molasses with a mild earthy & herbal hop presence. Quite enjoyable.

Feb 11, 2018
Photo of OzmanBey
OzmanBey from Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is the beer that turned me on to Saranac many years ago, I can't believe I didn't write a review for this particular beer, basically if you like Irish Red Ale's this one blows them all away. Great taste all the way through and even retains a nice amber after taste after that last and final swallow.

Sep 16, 2017
Photo of Brian_L-2056
Brian_L-2056 from West Virginia

3.61/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep reddish brown color with plenty of frothy off white head. Lots of carbonation as well. The smell is slightly hoppy and has that typical red ale scent. Initial taste is creamy and sweet, only slightly hoppy with a dry finish. Overall a very drinkable brew

Apr 23, 2017
Photo of thebeers
thebeers from Pennsylvania

3.62/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark amber with two thick fingers of off-white head that leaves heavy lacing.

Malty "lager" aroma with caramel malts, and very lightly floral hops. Very light spiciness behind, too.

The taste largely follows the nose, with some breadiness, pear and a kiss of honey added. It's still caramel-forward, yet manages to avoid being overly sweet. It's almost Marzen-like.

Medium bodied and slightly creamy with strong carbonation that leaves strong prickliness in the mouthfeel.

A fine session beer.

Mar 02, 2017
Photo of Jon_Hendricks
Jon_Hendricks from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a deep reddish brown color.

Overall: Aroma is very malty with hints of grain and caramel. Taste has a light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is light caramel with the hops balancing. An easy drinking and enjoyable beer.

Sep 26, 2016
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84 from California

3.36/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Best by 6/30/16.

Pours a clear dark reddish-orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, nut, and caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, nut, caramel, and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable, but the smell on this one is slightly better to me.

Serving type: bottle.

Apr 04, 2016
Photo of BrewMakeMeFeel
BrewMakeMeFeel from Connecticut

2.37/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Pours a crystal clear ruby red color with a quickly-dissipating cream head leaving some lacing on the glass.

Faint roasted malt aromas with a little bit of toffee, caramel and just a hint of herbal hops as well. The toffee comes through strongly, as do the roasted malt flavors. Sweet and roasty with only a bit of hop flavor to balance at the finish, which also contains a trace of graininess. Fairly light-bodied with low to moderate carbonation.

Disclaimer: Irish red ales aren't really my favorite style. That said, this beer hits all the style notes but, aside from its solid appearance, doesn't really do much to stand out. The finish and aftertaste in particular leave something to be desired. Not a bad beer by any means, and fans of the style my find considerably more to recommend it, but this isn't one I'll be seeking out again. Certainly not a standout for Saranac (which, from what I've sampled include the Bavarian Pils and Cloud Splitter).

Apr 03, 2016
Photo of Tsar_Riga
Tsar_Riga from Indiana

3.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A clear copper brown body, white head, a trace of lacing.

S - A apple fruit note, a hint of floral hops, but very quiet.

T - Follows the nose, with big apple elements, coupled with a distinct flavor of oversteeped tea, which carries into the close.

M - Moderate carbonation, mild drying in the close.

O - There are good notes here, but it seems there is not much going on to inspire a stronger reaction. Not unpleasant, just somewhat boring.

Apr 03, 2016
Photo of MichaelProcton
MichaelProcton from North Carolina

2.87/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Looks more like sweet tea than a red. Ultra-clear and hardly any carbonation, and what little head there is goes away in a hurry. Smell is weak, too, with faint malt sweetness being the only standout note to me. Things rebound a bit on the taste, but it's terribly simple, and there's an unpleasant, skunky note on the back end. Mouthfeel is average. Drinkable in that there's nothing about it that is offensive, but not really worth revisiting, either.

Mar 01, 2016
Photo of utopiajane
utopiajane from New York

4.02/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saranac has been strutting their stutf with a spring case that included a pilsener and this Irish red ale. Pours red. Copper fire with orangey tones. Absolute clear perfection. A tan creamy head that fell pretty fast but you don't mind watching. Nose is biscuit and caramel. A light nuttiness and a some light hop herbal. Woody earthy hops. Drinks so easily. Dry biscuit little bit of smooth caramel and that woody herbal hop. A light fruitiness that is faint enough to remain pleasant and not lend too much sweetness to the perception. A wonderfully mild beer with an easy bitterness that just finishes it off. Lingers a touch on the tongue. Malt finishes the beer. Gorgeous color!

Feb 15, 2016
Photo of tippiecanoes
tippiecanoes from Kentucky

2.3/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Saranac Red Ale is unbearable (at least on my palate). It's bitter and tastes like the inside of a cologne bottle. This is seemingly what some beer advocates like; the more bitter and unbearable the tastier it is? I don't get it. Maybe it's like cheese; the stinkier and more bitter the higher the review scores? That said, if you are a regular beer drinker like I am (I drink all different kinds of beers), then you most likely will cringe at the taste of the Red Ale. It's not a beer to drink in your Adirondack Chair; it's a beer to drink when you're already wasted from a few Landshark Lagers.

May 14, 2014
Photo of TDWynne
TDWynne from New York

4.22/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

This beer is a go to for me for the fall. I don't know why Saranac doesn't make this a stand alone seasonal. The flavor is full and smooth. It had a very clean finish which is to be expected from Saranac. One of my favorites. Very malty. Hops don't really come through which is fine. Overall one of the best Irish reds out there.

Nov 02, 2013
Photo of Gavage
Gavage from Nevada

3.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a copper color with a 1/2" head that breaks down quickly.

Smell: a light malt aroma is all you can detect here.

Taste:light caramel flavor with some red apple sweetness and a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp to start, less crisp towards the finish. Short lasting aftertaste. Refreshing.

Overall: a mild flavored beer where several can be easily consumed in a session.

Oct 06, 2013
Photo of 57md
57md from Pennsylvania

3.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper with two fingers of off-white head that quickly dissipated. The nose is lightly bready. There is some notes of caramel malt present in the flavor profile, but the taste is not very bold. There is a pleasant hoppy finish. This is a well-balanced red that is sessionable, but not terribly memorable.

Sep 03, 2013
Photo of jtw004
jtw004 from Maryland

3.39/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - A deep amber red clear enough to see the cabronation wonderfully

Smell - The smell is decent, what you might expect in the ways of a lager

Taste - A decent taste that is crisp and refreshing. It hits with a strong light beer start and finishes with a lingering yet enjoyable aftertaste similar to Guinness,

Mouthfeel - Excellent light carbonation with fantastic light taste

Overall - A fine beer but it misses the mark compared to other Saranac brews

Aug 23, 2013
Photo of Utica_Brew_Review
Utica_Brew_Review from New York

4.31/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper amber color with decent head and moderate carbonation. Hoppy, sweet, caramel aroma. Malty flavor. Flavors are very well integrated and balanced. Slight spice flavor and the floral hop flavor also comes through. Finishes a bit drier than it starts. Could be a bit sweeter.

Aug 21, 2013
Photo of magine
magine from Pennsylvania

3.48/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a deep cooper amber color. Fluffy light tan head. Head settles to patch layer and leaves good lace. Good looks.

Brew smells of caramel and light toffee, malt heavy nose. Pretty good nose.

Brew is crisp and bubbly up front, good caramel malts with light hops round things out. Semi sweet flavors and a biscuit malt backbone are noticed as you drink. A little watery feel; but that isnt such a bad thing for this brew. A buttery finish that mellows the finish. Pretty good brew here.

A solid red ale that is worth a session for a get together. Would please craft brew novices, but may lack the depth that some craft beer nerds (myself included) look for. Pretty good brew.

Nov 02, 2012
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson from Virginia

3.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a clear, light, copper-auburn coloring with a filmy coating of off-white head clinging to the surface. Aromas of roasty caramel and toffee malts that are rich, but balanced. Flavors are smokey and roasted initially, with a sweet, rich caramel backbone that is both tangy and slightly bitter. Sweet, buttery and caramel tangy aftertaste that leads to a slick, sweet, and slightly cloying finish. Not bad for the style, but overly sweet for my tastes. A bit more balance would make this one a great go-to for an Irish Red.

Oct 28, 2012
Photo of JOaikido
JOaikido from Canada (QC)

3.21/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Smallish off-white head. Coppery red with small bubbles rising in the beer after pouring. Leaves some lacing.

S- Malty up front, touch of floral hops, maybe a hint of sour berries.

T- Malt with a touch od caramel and roasted grain. Bitter flkash. A little too much sugar sweetness for the style.

MF- Medium light body. Well carbonated, but not overly.

O- Decent beer. Suffers a bit from too much sweetness.

Oct 10, 2012
Saranac Irish Red Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 78 out of 100 with 345 ratings