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Saranac Irish Red Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac Irish Red AleSaranac Irish Red Ale
320 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 320 |  Reviews: 171
Photo of FrankShirley
3.21/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

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.

 388 characters

Photo of StaveHooks
3.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz served into a Dogfish Head pint glass.

A - Pours a clear chestnut brown with an off-white head. Bubbles form a collar with little to no lacing left on the glass.

S - Sweet crystal malt, some raisins, yeasty, toasted caramel, dried grass.

T - Slightly roasted grain, sweet and nutty, simple sugars, apple and plum undertones, faint citrus, grassy hops on the back end.

M - Soft fizzy carbonation, thin body, finishes wet.

Aroma was pretty good. Would have liked a little more ummpgh in the flavor department. Nothing bad but nothing too exciting. I would definitely drink this again.

 593 characters

Photo of yesyouam
3.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Saranac Irish Red Ale is a very clear amber ale with a small off-white head that fades. It has a malty, grassy, slightly sweet, fresh aroma. It's pretty light bodied and very carbonated. It's simple and crisp. It's pretty nicely balanced-- starts a tiny bit sweet, but the finish is dry. This is squarely a session ale.

 319 characters

Photo of busterthecat
3.19/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a SA perfect pint glass. Served at 45 degrees.

A- Pours a caramel water hue that sits a clear amber in the glass. A decent cream color fizzy head. Good amount of carb present that leaves wisps of foam and ring.

S- Lots of rich sweet toasty malts. Fresh baked bread, spiced rum cake, figs and candied apples. Smell is pretty appealing.

T- Sweet and semi- sharp apple cider with spice in the end. Falls away from the aroma profile in many aspects. The rich notes detected in the aroma are so faint, they go unnoticed.

M- Too thin and watery to hold the flavors. Sharp and sweet notes linger for a bit on the palate.

O- A drinkable Irish Red Ale, but could really use a bigger body to give it more depth. Nothing special and would only drink again if not much else.

 796 characters

Photo of BeerSox
3.17/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle into pint glass.

Crystal clear copper hue with some honey highlights. A thin light tan head quickly settles to a thin cap.

A little bit of burnt caramel and only a slight touch of very herbal-like hop aromas.

Very light toasty malts, not as much caramel in the flavor as I expected. The hops add a light amount of bitterness, and add a very grassy and smooth flavor in the background. Medium bodied with high carbonation.

This is an okay Irish Red, maybe a little light on the flavor.

 497 characters

Photo of Stimack
3.16/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Seeing that this was new I decided to pick up a 6 pack. The brew pours to a nice copper color with a thick off white head that has good retention and has left a nice amount of lacing. The aroma is malt, slight caramel and sweet along with a aroma that seems to come with a majority of Saranac brews, must be from their yeast strand. The flavor is very similar to the aroma, caramel though you do get a toffee note. Besides what was mentioned I am not picking up much more. This is a fair brew from Saranac, good for the price. The one thing that I notice is that I get a lot of the same aromas and flavors from a wide variety of their brews.

 641 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.15/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a 12 fl. oz. bottle no. 4122274000716. Sampled on March 14, 2009.

The appearance is a translucent deep ruby red with virtually no head. Malts are the key aspet of the aroma followed by something sweet. Medium mouthfeel. The malts were not as evident in the flavor as that of an overripe fruit, weak hops and a dry finish. Adequate.

 337 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.15/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

 574 characters

Photo of mnrider
3.15/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz. brown bottle. No freshness date.

A: Bloodish red color with thin white head which does not last long. No lacing.

S: sweetness from the malts with grains and a bready smell.

T/M: Well balanced and medium bodied. Nothing stands out really. Hops and malts are small but there. Smooth but a bit watery.

D: easy drinkability. Still nothing i'd get again. Not bad just decent.


 389 characters

Photo of mjaskula
3.13/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass. Pours a clear dark amber red with a thin tan head that disappears. Aroma is bready malty and sweet. Flavor is mild, smooth, sweet, malty with a bit of carmel. Mouthfeel is light and carbonation is pleasant. Easy drinking, but nothing to write home about.

 278 characters

Photo of rangerred
3.13/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Photo of Jwale73
3.11/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle served in a standard pint glass. Pours a translucent copper with a loose, half inch, tan-colored head that quickly disperses into a tight, bubbly band around the edges - no lacing on this one. Nose is almost non-existent but suggests a light, malty body (perhaps caramel malt) and a slightly metallic quality. Taste consistent with nose; however, a slightly skunky quality is expressed towards the middle and the metallic character resurfaces at the finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied with a lively, assertive (almost prickly) carbonation and some astringency. It's definitely drinkable, but really not all that impressive. A swing and a miss - no need to try this one again.

 687 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.1/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours reddish copper with a head that soon disappears. Virtually no lacing sticks.

The smell is of light caramel, some grainy notes and a hint of toast.

The taste is of light caramel - a hint towards light toffee, with an earthy, slightly toasty, thin finish.


Easy enough to drink. Sweet touch, but not too sweet. A thin, mild interpretation of the style.

 373 characters

Photo of farrago
3.1/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Moderate one finger plus head of light tan coloration, evaporates too quickly to really dimple, mostly smaller bubbles, the lacing appears a thin sheet which drifts quickly down the side of the glass. Copperish color to the liquid, very clear with a horde of loose bubbles rising inside, more bright orange around the rims. Pralines, candied nuts, brown sugar, molasses, kind of grapey with date, fig, banana aspects, does have a bit more grains and hoppiness than expected, gives it better posture in the nostrils. Light-bodied, would likely feel flat were it not for the quite aggressive carbonation which keeps it sloshing around the mouth. Here you get a light metallic aspect along with quinine and more indistinct herbaceousness. Not as sweet as the nose would suggest, however, you do get caramel, cane sugar, molasses, bubblegum notes along with Challah bread. The fig, apple, pear fruit basic enough, supplemented by some orange peel. The nuttiness helps flesh out the finish. All in all, not bad for what it is but not something I’d seek out per se.

 1,061 characters

Photo of hosehead83
3.1/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Clear, amber/copper in color, with a moderate head of off-white foam.
Aroma-a bit grassy and grainy
Taste-Faint toasted malt, artificial tasting caramel, sweetish and watery, a bit of a metallic finish. A bit of a dissapointment. Certainly much better Irish reds to be had out there.

 338 characters

Photo of TheTrevor
3.08/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured copper with reddish highlights and a thin head. The smell is pretty subtle, just a tiny bit of malt and yeast. The taste starts off with a bit of caramel malt and that's about it. Not unpleasant, but incredibly one-note. The mouthfeel is a bit watery but there's enough carbonation to keep it crisp. I can't help thinking that this beer may have been made specifically to drink in large quantities on a certain March Holiday.

 442 characters

Photo of Mbarnes304
3.08/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer had a medium creamy tan head with a very dark red body. The smell didn't have much of a hop aroma. I was picking up a slight yeast smell, but also toffee. This beer is lightly carbonated witch fits well with soft undertone of Carmel and toffee. I believe the toffee is however more noticeable. The beer seems like a light Irish RED or watery to me. I was expecting this beer to be bolder. This Irish Red is drinkable, but not something I will buy again.

 463 characters

Photo of zebco
3.06/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured to a red-amber color. From my vigorous pour I received a thick, tall head which dwindled quickly but stuck around from there on. Sweet malt on the nose. Sweet flavor as well. Hints of sweet caramel. Develops into a light hoppy bittterness in the finish. This was an average beer for me. Nothing really stood out for me. It wasn't bland. Just a sweet beer with no real strong flavor. Probably won't get this one again.

 424 characters

Photo of Mardukk
3.04/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a transparent red color with a quickly dissipating off white head.

The smell is slightly bready no hop that I can detect.

The taste is somewhat thin in all areas although the malts are the most obvious. The mouthfeel is very very thin, as thin an irish red as I can remember. The drinkability is pretty good as there are no off flavors and the carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is a bland thin irish red that I would not return to.

 443 characters

Photo of JamesS
3.03/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a decent mid-red color, with just a bit of initial head and no lacing. Clean malty scent, but that's about it for the aroma. Decent clean malty flavor, as well, but without much of anything else; did not have that nice extra sourness red ales from Ireland have. Goes down smooth. Not a great beer, but a drinkable one. I'll not buy another six pack but I wouldn't turn down a free one.

 391 characters

Photo of robebo44
3.02/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of bourbonbock
3/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a clean pint glass.

A. Orangey and red amber color with about a finger of white bubbly head.

S. Smells of malts and some hops with a little bit of caramel in there.

T. Rather average taste with a body of malt and some nice subtle hop flavor with a nutty undertone.

M. Clean and crisp on the tongue with very little aftertaste.

D. I could put a sixxer of this away without a problem at a party. Not an extrodinary beer but an average red ale that I wouldn't look past at the store.

 516 characters

Photo of LJWalker
3/5  rDev -11%

Photo of JohnQVD
3/5  rDev -11%

Saranac Irish Red Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.37 out of 5 with 320 ratings
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