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Saranac Irish Red Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 168 | Ratings: 307
Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
4.44/5  rDev +31%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed on 10 November 2010.

Beer paired with a stuffed pepper. Poured into standard American pint glass right from the fridge, pours a deep copper with touch of red, 1-finger head, average head retention and lacing. Aroma and taste actually come out with the same notes and levels of toasted malts, slight caramel and slight toffee. There isn't much more to say, other than this beer is extremely drinkable and smooth. It does not numb the palate, nor overpower the taste buds. This is top-shelf stuff for a cheap 4.5% beer (believe it), and I would happily stuff my fridge full of these for relaxing days if I wasn't so into tasting and reviewing all kinds of other beers. BUY THIS BEER.

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.34/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the Twelve Beers a Falling Collection 2011 12oz bottle.

Pours a clear copper red, with deep white foamy head that dissipates quickly.No lacing of the glass. No aroma to speak of. Taste is excellent, caramel malt with the lightest touch of hops to balance. One of this brewery's better offerings!

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Photo of Utica_Brew_Review
4.31/5  rDev +27.1%
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.

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Photo of TDWynne
4.22/5  rDev +24.5%
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.

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Photo of hopsgirl35
4.05/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: reddish copper color with a medium white head.

Aroma: A nice hint of sweet malts with a small amount of hops scent.

Taste: Sweet bitterness with a caramel malt toasted flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a dry finish.

Overall: I enjoyed it out of the 12 Beers A Fallen pack during a football game. :)

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Photo of utopiajane
4.02/5  rDev +18.6%
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 tugdriver7
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice deep amber to red in the glass; decent head with some lacing. Malt (lightly roasted) in the nose and in the initial taste. Little hops flavor, though the hint of bitterness helps balance the beer nicely. Great body, perfect carbonation and a nice dry finish make it easy drinking. Enjoyed it a lot. Another winner from Saranac. Happy St. Patty's Day.

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Photo of dmamiano
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark reddish pour....nice tan head that leaves a sticky lacing
hints of caramel,toffee and perfectly kilned malts
taste is nice as in feel. Sweet malts prevail...malty and nice. Caramel, toffee ..some roastiness but slight.
One of my favorite style....love the malt!

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Photo of CountJustinian
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearace is dark amber red, almost brown. Nice thick creamy head with slightly above-average retention. Nose is sweet and more sweet. Caramel and sugar flavors take center stage, with some secondary candied apple. Light bodied and low carbonation makes for a very drinkable ale. Overall, a pretty good showing in a generally unremarkable class.

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Photo of Jon_Hendricks
4/5  rDev +18%
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.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.99/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another nice hook-up from local trader, tone 77, who keeps me in bottles so that I don't get CANQuested (TM) away.

From the bottle: "Did you know that Irish Reds get their deep garnet color from generous amounts of Crystal Malts? Carefully selected batches of 2-row malts are specially kilned to develop their sugars and then roasted to produce the wonderful caramel and toffee notes that accompany the rich color. You'll find the complexity and drinkability of Saranac Irish Red Ale to be second to none. Enjoy!"

My pour left me with two dense fingers of tawny head with decent retention. Color was a deep coppery-red (with NE-quality clarity) that makes me think of former G/Fs and women with that natural hair color that speaks to the reptilian/neanderthal part of my brain. Goo. Bup. Nose was much hoppier than I anticipated and now I cannot tell you whether that is good or bad. I like hops, sure, but necessarily in my IPAs. Mouthfeel was full and creamy and I got hops initially on the tongue, but quickly followed by a biscuit maltiness. Finish was more malty than hoppy, so it all worked out in the end.

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Photo of bsend
3.93/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint.

The beer pours a rich, deep amber red. A proper pour provides a 1 finger soapy white head. It stayed with the beer for most of the drink.

The smell was light but I got a bit of caramelized and roasted malts back by yeast. Nothing spectacular, but standard for the style.

The taste was pretty good. Though not my favorite style, I enjoyed this Irish red. Plenty of roasted malt without a metallic aftertaste that you can experience with some of the mass produced styles.

The mouthfeel was average but adequate. It was light but coated the mouth.

The drinkability on this one was what really stood out. This beer was great for a session (unfortunate they don't give you more than 2 in the mix pack!). It was smooth, and light. I wish I could grab a twelve of this.

Final Thoughts - My current favorite of the mass produced Irish reds. Definitely pick up the mix pack and give it a go.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.92/5  rDev +15.6%
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 cyclonece09
3.92/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 9 oz glass. Pours a reddish amber color with a light brown head that dissipates quickly but leaves nice lacing. Smells of dark roasted malt and a small bit of floral hops. Tastes of roasted malt, but does not have the hop tone that the smell gave off, as is expected in this type of beer. This beer has a great finish, but seems to have a little bit too much carbonation. Overall, a very good beer.

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Photo of smibroncos
3.92/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Poured a clear dark cherry amber, with a reddish one finger disapating head. Good lacing on the glass.

S. Roaster malt, carmel, oats, leaves.

T. Sweet malt up front, some sweet maple, brown sugar. Lightly bitter floral hops followed by a sweet aftertaste.

M. Medium bodied, lightly carbonated almost fizzy.

D. A real good red ale I will have some more of these as they have just been released for the fall.

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Photo of BostonBrewins
3.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear, ruby amber. Tan head with decent head retention. Does not appear to be alot of carbonation. Looks like an irish red to me.

S - Smellls very sweet. Lots of toffee and caramel.

T - Very bready, toasty too. Lots of caramel flavor initially, but sadly this fades away as the beer starts to warm a little.

M - Low to medium carbonation and medium bodied. Nice mouthfeel, to style.

D - A very enjoyable and sessionable irish red. Not overly sweet which serves to enhance the drinkability. A nice example of the style.

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Photo of mempath
3.88/5  rDev +14.5%
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 scottbrew4u
3.88/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into pint glass a clear amber to red color with two-finger tan head. Head stays nicely and great lacing on glass.

S: Roasted grains, fresh baked bread, toffee, caramel, and husky aromas of fresh grains. Hops are floral and grassy.

T: Smooth, light and caramel roasted grains, sweet toffee and cream with a touch of honey. Hops balance with bitterness and some floral characteristics.

M: Medium body, slightly creamy with light fluffy carbonation.

D: Nothing wrong with this beer at all and IMO one of Saranacs best made beers!

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.88/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had maybe a half-dozen Irish Red Ales in my time and this is one of the better examples. It has, I feel at least, a little more substance than the others.

Deep burgundy hue in the liquid, with a light touch of that color ending up in the head. Volume of head is quite abundant. No significant lacing to mention. Clean, rich appearance.

Bit of a weak aroma. I'm not expecting much in the way of smell from this style, but I found myself straining to pick up whatever was there. Malty and subtly sweet, however, quite subdued.

Takes a few sips to really settle into the flavor, but once I did I found it simple yet satisfying. A cakey maltiness forms the backbone with some caramel notes and I swear the tiniest of almost toffee or cinnamon richness at the back.

Has some body to it. Not as thin as I anticipated or as compared to other examples like Killian's, Guinness Red, McSorley's or Smithwick's, for instance. Drinks clean and fairly smooth, carbonation largely absent.

All in all, this wasn't half bad. I see this best as a beer to enjoy along with a meat pie, burger or simple grilled chicken sandwich and some fries.

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Photo of Augustiner719
3.87/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a SA perfect pint.

Appearance: Deep reddish brown crystal clear color. champagne colored head that dissapates rather quickly but leaves moderate lacing. Not fizzy at all, moderate carbonate evident.

Smell: Smells very pure and has a rich nutty vanilla component. Pretzel like malty aroma comes through with brown sugar backnotes.

Taste: tastes a bit one dimensional. Nice nutty flavor, almost like peanut shell flavor. Good acidic midpalate followed by a slightly sweet finish. Bready malts come through with citrus hops bite. No bitterness, just acidity. A little off balanced but good nonetheless.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation but true to the style. Nice rolling flavors from dry to sweet, malty to acidic, and finishes just a touch sweet.

Drinkability: This is a great low abv session beer. Perfect for St. patties day and will make an appearance in place of Killians any day of the week! Great effort and sessionability.

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Photo of eventually512
3.86/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I decided to try this ale after hearing some good things about it. I am quite impressed with it, overall. It certainly isn't earth shattering, but is a very enjoyable drink. It produces an off white head that, unfortunately, dissipates fairly quickly and leaves only a small amount of lacing. The color is an inviting and rich amber/red. It smells very pleasant ans mildly sweet. The mouthfeel is "average", fairly smooth and slightly heavy. The balance of malts and hops is very well executed creating a very satisfying experience from the start to finish of each sip. As the beer warms it does take on a slightly more malty taste. The aftertaste is also malty and lingering (in a good way). It is a very solid ale that is certainly worth trying.

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Photo of biggred1
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear amber with a creamy tan head that leaves some fine lace on the glass. Caramel and roasty malty aroma with a touch of floral hop. Sweet and malty upfront with some minty hop bittering in the finish. Medium light bodied with plenty of carbonation. This is one of the better examples of the style IMO. It won't blow your mind but would any Irish red?

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Photo of therica
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much more impressive than a Killians or comparable. Somewhat more like an amber APA.

A= brown-amber, fair off-white head.

S= lots of hops florals up-front, whiffs of caramel & sweet malts.

T= hops florals galore, enough bitters to please an APA fan; fairly rich caramel malts.

M= clean, light bitters, plentiful florals.

D= very drinkable for most occasions and in-session.

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Photo of bubseymour
3.83/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very nice clear and red beer with 1 finger head.

Smell - malt and crackers. Smells pleasant but ordinary

Taste - Is this an ale? Tastes like a lager. Nice malty bready flavor, crisp hop finish with a dryness in the finish. Tastes much stronger than 4.5ABV..seems closer to 6%ABV

Mouthfeel - fine

Overall - A fine beer by Saranac. I haven't had many of this style so I'm not to fond of the dry finish, but the flavors are pleasant and its quite sessionable.

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Photo of sixerofelixir
3.82/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, deep copper. Lots of slow carbonation. Off-white film. Smell is equal parts mineral & toasted malts. Taste starts off bitter, morphing into semi-sweet crystal malts and finishing sort of nuttty and tannic. Feel is flat & smooth. Decent.

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Saranac Irish Red Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.39 out of 5 based on 307 ratings.
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