Saranac Irish Red Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac Irish Red AleSaranac Irish Red Ale
336 Ratings
Saranac Irish Red AleSaranac Irish Red Ale

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

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-19-2008

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 336 |  Reviews: 175
Reviews by IPAescotch:
Photo of IPAescotch
3.37/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Something like whole oats and dry hay in the aroma
Tart and foamy, nothing to hate, not a hell of alot to get excited about. A little bit watery though not exactly thin. If i knew more about irish reds than i may have a different opinion, but this is kinda plain. Crisp like a lager almost, only the malts have apresence. My bud says he tastes soy sauce but i dont know about that.
Easy to drink but not very inviting

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More User Reviews:
Photo of utopiajane
4.02/5  rDev +19.3%
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!

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.41/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice-looking beer. In a pint glass, it was a cherry amber color with a thick off-white head and a bit of lacing. Aroma a little bland, just some sweetness. Better taste, like a caramel apple. A little on the tart side. I found it to be refreshing, and would drink it again.

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Photo of generallee
3.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The bottle has no freshness date or abv% listed. I got this as part of the Saranac "What Ales You" 12 pack.

Appearance: The body has a rich amber color with a slight reddish hue and good clarity. On top sits a small cap of off white foam. This head quickly fades to a ring of lace foam that is slick and sides down the sides of the glass.

Smell: Its aroma is very light with only very slight hints of biscuit like malt and herbal/dried leafy hops.

Taste/Palate: The flavor is very simple and safe. There is a modest bready and biscuit like maltiness with some light hints of red apple skins and caramel like sweetness. Mixed into the malt is a weak dried leafy hop presence. The finish is fairly dry, quick and has mild hop bitterness with just a slight acidic touch. The palate feels light to medium bodied with a smooth mild carbonated texture.

Notes: Overall it's not bad but to me, it is rather simple and light.

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a typical Red through and through it poured deep red in color is has a very nice color but absolutely no head remains after a few seconds much like a soda. The aroma is of malt and grains but nothing distinctive. The tastes begins sweets and as the carbonation builds it drys and leaves a grain taste on the tongue. For the price its drink increases but overall doesn't stand out.

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Photo of TimoP
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Magister_Beav
3.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.75/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of Milkysunshine
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.35/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Kinda like training wheels in craft brew, Saranac is great for getting beer drinkers ready for more complex and diverse beer styles. However they tend to keep it pretty safe, which isn't a bad thing. Appears a traditional deep caramel red hue with light beige head forming nicely above the rim of the glass. The head retention is decent and comes complete with minimal scattered lacing. Smell of this brew carries mild metallic qualities witha mineral water like quality. The cereal grains amongst the party carries caramel and biscuity wheaties notes with a touch of herbal hop in the finish. Flavor is mild slightly tart and metallic with a touch of acidity amongs a sweet rolling malt profile. Mouthfeel is light bodied a tad heavier than most michelob "craft" styles. Drinkability overall is solid something I would buy due to affordability and quaffabillity definitely falls in the session beer category all adorned with an Irish flag on the six pack holder.

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Photo of chinchill
3.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle served in a snifter

Pours a clear, reddish mahogany, with a skimpy and short-lived off-white head.

Has a pleasant if rather light and unremarkable aroma of medium roasted malts. The flavor is much better and richer than this nose leads one to expect. There's an above average strength and quality of malt flavor, with a nice touch of spicy hops and hints of toffee and caramel. Fairly even sweet/bitter balance.

M: a bit light; even a touch watery, but with some crispness from the carbonation (and hops?) and a really nice dryness that starts even before the finish.

O: A pleasant surprise. Easy to recommend, particularly as a rather inexpensive brew.

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Photo of glid02
3.36/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very nice clear dark amber color with a one-finger light tan head. The head dissipates into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of metallic hops with hints of caramel malts coming through.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though the caramel malt flavors are now at the forefront. Like the only other Saranac I've tried to date - the Pale - this one seems to have too much sweetness. It's not that it's cloying, it's more of a grainy sweetness.

Mouthfeel is good. Above average thickness with good carbonation.

Drinkability is good. If it weren't for being too sweet this could be really easy to drink,

Overall this is close to being a really good beer, but if you haven't learned already, I thought it was too sweet.

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Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Brenden
3.6/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one is a bright, clear coppery orange color. An mild off-white head forms, resting at just under one finger. It dissipates somewhat quickly but does leaves a touch of thinnish lacing around.
Caramel malts with grainy notes and a touch of hops and yeast notes make the aroma, along with earthy, grassy hints.
The same goes for the flavor. It's a straightforward red that could use a bit more strength and depth but certainly isn't bad. A decent hops presence balances the grainy malt. There's a touch of light fruits in the flavor as well.
The body is medium with a crisp bite and a modicum of smoothness. Carbonation is moderate.
While this one isn't stellar and could use more depth, it's a solid representation of the style and quite drinkable.

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Photo of alesaram
3.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of ChickenBugg
1.09/5  rDev -67.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

An Irish Red. Hmmm. Killian's tastes better than this (and at its worse, equal to).

This tastes like a glorified Coors product- almost nothing distinctive about it that sets it apart from some macro-brewed mekrob.

Appearance? Who cares when it tastes this bad. It could be a brilliant sunset red, and I wouldn't care six shades of effs.

Smell: Budweiser.

Taste: Coors Light.

Mouthfeel: live squid feels better.

It appears as though Saranac may have taken the "If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em" philosophy. So far, I have been wholly underwhelmed with all of their beers.

I can't think of anything nice to say about this, other than it is one of the many beers I would grudgingly prefer over Abita's Jockamo suckfest.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sweet sugary toffee notes--as the label declares--and buttery popcorn (?) softens the nostrils... handsome clear amber red body with thin, white head that embraces the pint glass... medium-bodied, effervescent--balanced around the mouth and tongue... a bit of roasted malt and sweet candied sugars produce a rather flavorful, American-style ale...not much difference betwen this "Irish" ale and the average American "amber"--mellow, compatible with many dishes, and easy drinking enough to pound--clever marketing for the St. Patty's Day rush? A nice surprise in the Saranac "What Ales You?" 12-pack...

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.38/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saranac- Irish Red Ale

A- Good clear golden amber with a fluffy head. Moderate lacing.
S- Sweet cherry licorice malt. Hints of caramel and butter.
T- Sweet buttery caramel malt. Sugary cherry licorice.
M- Moderate, not too thick, malt. Very sugary sweet with a grainy dry finish.

Overall- Not bad at all. I would by a 6er of this for a poker night.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
2.53/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This has a rather dull color for a "red". It's much more like a brown ale in appearance, right along with a thin, white head that forms and then falls apart pretty quick.

The aroma is very mild, with a muddy-malt aroma, semi-sweet, herbal balance in the nose. A very mild heat can be detected under that.

The flavor is a rather mundane maltiness, sweet on the herbal side, not hefty on the herbalness but the malt complexity is pretty thin and is very close to Brown ale. The feel is flat and very light bodied, but not lively. It's not really holding my interest.

Oh well, you can't dig 'em all.

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Photo of asabreed
3.41/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A nice-looking amber color with nice bubbles floating to the top. Head leaves decent clumps and drops of lacing and stays fairly frothy a 1/2 finger above the brew's body.

Smell: Standard malt aromas with mild fruit esters, earthiness, and possibly some citrus from the hops. Nothing more.

Taste: Good grains and earthiness, with lingering fruit esters, mild berries, and some citrus from the hops.

Mouthfeel: Lighter-bodied with some crisp carbonation, but nothing feels overly spritzy or watery.

Drinkability: This would go well as an easy-going session brew, or with some bangers and mash, but as far as a version you'll admire, it really doesn't strike that kind of chord.

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Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale amber with a reddish hue. There's a 1/4" of foamy head. Good retention. The nose has notes of caramel malt and a diacetylic creaminess. The taste is much the same; creamy, caramel, smooth. The mouthfeel is smooth, light, and mildly carbonated.

Not bad. Overall, well rounded and smooth. Not a bad take on the style.

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Photo of mempath
3.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours an bright amber with nice intricate lacing. smells of toasty malts...nothing spectacular, but fresh. full-bodied mouthfeel allows the tang of hops to accent, but allow the malt character to remain stage center. not bad at all. much better than Killian's....a bit dry, not one-dimensional, but not 3 or 4 either...good for quaffing something that has flavor.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.92/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear, crimson-chestnut body beneath a creamy head of bone white. Average retention and lacing.
Aroma: Clean and fresh. Yeasty fruitiness combines with caramelish malt that has a slightly roasty edge.
Taste: A moderate bitterness lets the maltiness shine. It's caramelish (medium to medium-dark) with a hint of brown sugar and a dollop of berry & apple-like juicy fruitiness. Some minor, leafy and subtly grassy (and almost mint-accented) hops add a bit of character. The finish is fairly short and dry.
Mouthfeel: Basic. Medium to medium-light in body with a standard carbonation level of around 2.5 volumes CO2/liter.
Drinkability: Pretty damned good. It's mainstream, but it still has some nice malt and hop character; and it's really nicely rounded and balanced. It's not the best Irish amber I've ever had, but it certainly hits the mark for the style. Surprisingly good. A great backyard BBQ beer!

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Photo of avisong
3.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of tempest
3.72/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Clark's Ale House in Syracuse. Appears a clear orange in my pint glass with an off white head that quickly disappears. This beer is not big on aroma or flavor, but I could drink the hell out of it. All of a sudden I looked down and my glass was half empty. Now I wouldn't call it bland, the flavors are just more subtle than most craft beers. There's a mellow caramel and white bread taste with a hint of spicy hops at the end. I guess this is more a local competitor to Killians - I pick this every time.

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Saranac Irish Red Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.37 out of 5 with 336 ratings