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

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Reviews: 168 | Ratings: 311
Photo of ChickenBugg
1.09/5  rDev -67.8%
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 happy4hoppybeer
2.29/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A= Dark-orange-amber to red with decent head,leaving behind moderate lacing.

S&T=Some toffee, lightly roasted malts, little else.

M=Very thin, with carbonation.

Not much to this beer, even though I have not had much in the style. And yes, I do have Irish in me, but I'll pass on this from now on.

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Photo of tippiecanoes
2.3/5  rDev -32.2%
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.

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Photo of mikeg67
2.37/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

From 12 ounce bottle (bought a 6 beers variety pack). Pours a mahogany color with a nice tall lacy head. Too dark for Irish Red. Aroma is sweet caramel malts. Body is thing but crisp. Flavor of sweet caramel malt in the beginning with barely noticeable earthy hops in the finish. Boring, characterless brew.

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Photo of BrewMakeMeFeel
2.37/5  rDev -30.1%
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).

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Photo of beerthulhu
2.41/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured a brilliantly clear bright ruby read with a foamy light beige capping. A light splotchy lacing was faint while a light visible effervesce was observed. Sadly this was the strongest point of the drink and was only average.

S: Hardly any aroma at all. Dried cherries with faint hints of dried powdery malt extract. Really weak and hardly any scent or incentive to intake makes this unimpressive.

T: The flavor faired only moderatly better with light tart cherries with a spritzy seltzer like presence. Tart dried apples skins and cores with a dried malting lacking much substance, flavor, depth, or complexity. Overall found the flavor to be plain jane, boring, and rather bland.

M: Moderate carbonation with a light body while finishing fairly watery. Again not much here, stripped of body, and lacking any memoriable calling cards.

D: Really hate to hit a beer when its down but came off as a very boring and bland drink deprived off body and flavor. Undistinguishable, unmemorable and cant honestly cant recommend. Easy enough to down but certainly lacks any incentive to do so.

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Photo of curasowa
2.44/5  rDev -28%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured with very little head that dissipated immediately. Has the reddish color I was expecting. Nothing too impressive on the nose; maybe some graininess and some strange sourness as well. Things don't get any better when I take a drink. Some initial sweetness and a tiny bit of bitterness, and then nothing. VERY thin, OK carbonation and a lingering graininess that isn't too pleasant. I live in NY and try and support my local brewers, but this beer isn't very good

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
2.53/5  rDev -25.4%
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.

 603 characters

Photo of JayNH
2.59/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- pours a clear reddish copper with a large foamy head. Decent lacing left on the glass.

S- Call me crazy but I swear it smells just like a Pilsner lager. Though if you search hard enough you can detect a faint toasty malt note in the background.

T- The taste only hints a being an Irish red. Bland and watery, any maltiness is MIA.

M- Thin, watery and bodyless.

D- Drinkable only because it's so bland and watery. This brew is a dud...

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Photo of yelterdow
2.65/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served at fridge temperature in a pint glass. One of eight Irish Reds facing off in a double-blind tasting with BA EPseja. This one didn't quite make the final cut for either of us.

Appearance- Sporting a finger-thick bone white head infused with just a hint of red, this is a deep amber red and relatively light-bodied. There's not much lacing at all here.

Smell- A faint metallic aroma mingles with a touch of grain, then the malt becomes more evident ten minutes into the review.

Taste- Sweeter and more cloying than almost all of the other players in this tasting, it lacks both the firm malt backbone and the spritzy hop character that really makes this style so enjoyable alone or with food. The malt and hops are there, but just barely.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Extremely fizzy and thin, the most macro-esque in terms of texture of the entire lot. The bubbles, though tiny, remain quite discernable the entire time, never easing up and becoming more smooth. This factor, more than anything, sinks the drinkability score.

 1,032 characters

Photo of Cakanator
2.71/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

bottle from a mix pack. Pours a red brown with little head. No real aromas, thin palate with little fruits. A little spice, maybe cinnamon towards the finish. Really average with what saranac puts out. I could drink another, but I have better options.

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Photo of Gmann
2.78/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber color with a small wispy light tan head that settles into a sparse cap.

The aroma is very light. Some sweet grainy notes as well as hint of caramel. Light metal flavors.

The flavor is of a steely caramel; sweet from the grain with bitter grain husks. Almost has an adjuncty flavor to it. Some grassy hops try to balance out the sweetness. Definitely rough around the edges, not exactly pleasant.

The feel is light with fizzy carbonation; quite crisp. Very dry on the palate and astrigent.

An average ale from a below average style. Lightly sweet but more dry and oddly bitter.

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Photo of skenyon1811
2.79/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottled poured into pint.

A: Not much of a head when I poured this and what did appear went away quickly. The color of this beer is great. A dark red color with a little brown, but super clear.

S: I really don't get much here. Nothing standing out to me. I don't get any hops, just a little maltiness.

T: Very heavy on the malt side. I instantly get the roasted flavor and sweet caramel note. Finishes with a slight bitterness and alcohol taste. Not really blown away here.

M: Medium mouthfeel. Mine was a little too carbonated.

D: The carbonation slows ya down a little, but it never feels too heavy. I would pick up a six pack for a night.

Side note: I went to see Umphrey's Mcgee this summer at the Saranac Brewery and in between sets they were giving out free Irish Red.

 786 characters

Photo of jsprain1
2.79/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- Pours on the red side of copper, thin tan head disappears quickly. Minimal lacing.
S- Smell is caramelly, slightly nutty. Simple but decent.
T- Caramel, a bit of a tea-ish character. Slight metallic character.
M- Completely undercarbed. I suppose it's standard body for style. Lack of carbonation leaves kind of a sticky finish where it shouldn't be.
D- This was a completely underwhelming Irish Red. Didn't particularly care for it, and not a good representation of the style.

 481 characters

Photo of MarvinSnyder
2.86/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

3-25-10 - poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass - 12 Fl. oz. capped bottle

Appearance: Pours an auburn red with a bubbly, creamy, tan head. It also has some noticeable lacing.

Smell: Aroma features metal, hops, some grainy notes and a slight hint of caramel apple. However, the aroma never really develops and is exceptionally light.

Taste: This beer has a slight metallic taste. Also, a hint of tea and a mostly unremarkable bready malt flavor surfaces. Like the aroma of this beer, nothing truly distinguishable about the taste ever really surfaces. There is no complexity, as the taste never really goes anywhere.

Mouthfeel: Mild to moderate carbonation. The feel is light and thin, but overall the sensation is decent on the palate.

Drinkability: Although this beer has the appearance and feel to go down easily and smoothly, with so many quality beers to reach for I probably will not choose this one again.

Comments: Overall, this beer presents some good attributes, but other key components seem to be missing.

 1,027 characters

Photo of u2carew
2.87/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(A) Copper in color. Pours with a mellow head that fades and settles to the outside of the glass. Visible carbonation.
(S) Mostly yeasty with a slight caramel aroma.
(T) No overtly distinct flavors. Mild malt sweetness, with a touch of caramel. Finishes dry with a toasted grain aftertaste.
(M) Some tannin feel present. Medium bodied brew.
(D) A decent brew, but not stand out.

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Photo of MichaelProcton
2.87/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

 458 characters

Photo of philbe311
2.88/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - One fingers worth of pure white thick, lush, and fizzy head... The head fades and leaves an beautiful lacing... A minimal amount of slow carbonation... Light to medium brown in color with signs of a reddish hue when held near light...

S - Overall the aroma is quite weak... There are hints of caramel, toffee, and a distinctive earthiness...

T - The taste may be even fainter than the aroma, but follows the noise... Perhaps there is a hint of spice as well...

M - A little bit of biting carbonation... Medium bodied... A very mild smokiness at the end... The flavors really didn't fill the mouth...

D - As a long time proponent of Saranac, I was rather disappointed in this brew... Aside from the appearance there isn't much going on in any of the other categories...

Note - There was a distinctive fizzy sound to the beer until the head settled...

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Photo of tzieser
2.88/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: pours a deep dark brownish red color with a two finger off white head that settles quickly.

S: almost no nose here. a bit of caramel malt I guess. underwhelming.

T: pretty thin flavor. a bit of caramel malt, maybe some maris otter in there too. little to no hop flavor. ehh....

M&D: thin mouthfeel; ok drinkability.

Not a bad beer but not a good one either. Ill pass.

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Photo of emmasdad
2.88/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a six pack of this one at Logan Liquors today, simply because of the great price. Poured a dark copper color with a generous light brown head. Aromas of caramel, toasted malt and toffee. Medium bodied and sweet, with toasted malt and caramel.

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Photo of cavedave
2.88/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A clear and reddish-brown-amber pour is topped momentarily by a finger of beige foam. After settling, a few bubbles of lace cling.

Light smell, yeast and caramel malt, a bit of floral hop, a touch of fruitiness, even a lighter touch of spiciness.

Taste follows nose, except spice is more pronounced, and the sweet is less caramel, more candy. the bittering hop sneaks in to the mix as it warms, drying a mostly juicy finish just a bit. No roast to speak of in the taste.

Mouthfeel is med. all around, medium carb., medium viscosity, not too much cling, and middle of the road finish.

Not my favorite of "What Ales You" mixed twelve pack, but a decent if kinda boring and not all that tasty red ale. Price point is the only notable feature of this one.

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Photo of projectflam86
2.91/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle.

A- Pours a reddish copper color with a medium sized head that leaves scattered lace.

S- The nose is semi-sweet malt with some vegetal aromas. Maybe some spice as well?

S- Much like the nose with maybe a tad more caramel. Malt upfront with little to no hop presence. Possibly some spice and an earthy quality in the finish.

M- Light bodied with ok carbonation.

O- Eh, I've had better and probably won't go searching this one out again.

 452 characters

Photo of jmarvin4189
2.94/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - dark amber color with minimal head

Smell - very malty

Taste - smooth and slightly bitter... nothing special

Mouthfeel - goes down smooth

Drinkability - goes down easy but definitely have to take my time with this beer

Overall this is a pretty basic irish red, nothing really stands out from this beer but for 3.99 a six pack I might find myself drinking it again since it has some flavor to it.

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Photo of TheMultiYeast
2.94/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear dark brown/ruby with a small ivory head and decent lacing.

Simple crystal malts in the nose, grains, mild sweetness, not much going on.

Similar to nose, more caramel sweetness, really light herbal hop character.

Light body, light carbonation.

Not bad but not recommended.

 281 characters

Photo of mikereaser
2.98/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - pours a clear reddish brown with 1/4 inch of tan foam

S - caramel and grains dominate, sweet malt, caramel & peach

T - very light sweet caramel malt flavor, seems awfully watered down to me.

M/D - decent carbonation with a slightly bitter finish, nothing to exciting with this one and I don't know if I'd have it again

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Saranac Irish Red Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.39 out of 5 based on 311 ratings.
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