Saranac Irish Red Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac Irish Red AleSaranac Irish Red Ale
Liked This Beer
3.37 w/ 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 320 |  Reviews: 171
Photo of Augustiner719
3.87/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

 958 characters

Photo of ATPete
3.71/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

Pours a copper, amber, red color with a strong and sticky, foamy off white head. Caramel malt sweetness, a strange piney wintergreen note, and a strong musty, bready yeast aroma. Simple and pretty well balanced, no detectable flaws, crisp and highly carbonated. Very easy to drink, had 2 yesterday with a spicy chicken breast sandwich, dead on. Strong effort here from Saranac.

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Photo of Durchfall
3.8/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a nice amber red. Sweet caramel smell. Tastes of caramel and toffee, and maple syrup. Feels mildly smooth in your mouth. It's a good beer for drinking while eating food. The mild bitterness contrasts hearty meals very well. Not much foam when poured which is nice indeed. Overall a good beer.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.75/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Pours a clear bright burnt umber with a half-finger of ecru head that diminishes quickly and leaves a miniscule amount of transitory lacing behind. The smell is of figs, dark malts, molasses, brown sugar, and citrus. The taste emphasizes the sweet malts and adds a bite of spice and a healthy but not overwhelming dose of hoppy pine and bitterness. The body is a solid moderate and runs smoothly over the tongue, but the high carbonation detracts slightly. Overall, a tasty and drinkable brew indeed.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of cyberbmcd
3.75/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark orange/red, nice head that thins but lingers with no lacing.

Aroma is grainy with a hops twang. taste is very malty, almost bread like grain quality with a crisp hop bite to follow, smooth but not creamy...

A very good example of an Irish Red Ale.

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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.


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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Saranac Irish red has a ruby colored body with a small head that is made up of large bubbles; the head disappears pretty quickly, leaving no lacing behind.

The aroma has a bit of hops and a lot of toasted malt flavor.

The taste is better than I expected. Caramel and lightly toasted malts make up most of the flavor, but a little bit of hop bitterness balances it out. Overall I will say that this is a solid beer, especially for the style.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very low on the carbonation.

Saranac Irish Red is a fairly drinkability, enjoyable beer. A lot of beers around here have Saranac or macros to choose from, so I will always be happy to see this Irish Red on tap.

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Photo of RppIII
3.48/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12ounce bottle into a pint glass (no freshness date or batch number in sight)

Appearance- pours a transparent Irish red. A small head arises from the swirl of ale and carbonation in my glass. Retention is almost non-existent and what lacing does occur does not stick around for long.

Smell- Sweet malt, caramel, and a hint of earthy hop tones.

Taste- The taste has a tea like essence bitter but sweet at the same time goes well with the sweet semi roasted caramel malt flavour. I enjoy the hop overtones, slight bitterness, and malt presence.

Mouthfeel- Carbonation is what one would expect of this brew with a medium to thin body. Overall just a very generic mouthfeel.

Drinkability- A veritably drinkable beer on the upper echelon of being mediocre, defiantly worth a try.

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Photo of Hoagie1973
3.56/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice reddish amber color, but the head is a bit disappointing; only about 1/2 finger that doesn't keep, although it does keep a light froth/light lacing.

Aroma is fairly malty with a bit of graininess and a little bready sweetness.

Flavor is well balanced. Not a ton of flavor, but what is there is decent. Some crystal/caramel malt and a bit of herbal hop. Finishes clean for the most part; maybe just a bit earthy/grassy.

Mouthfeel is smooth and light.

Goes down easy, nothing off. Very drinkable, just not overly exciting.

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Photo of eventually512
3.86/5  rDev +14.5%
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 Tinfoilrcr
3.32/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber with a good head and good lacing.

I pick up a hint of earth and malt on the nose.

The taste is a mix of earth, malt, and subtle hops that mix well without any being particularly over-powering. The finish is refreshing with a lingering taste.

The mouth feel is medium bodied. With good drinkability.

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Photo of plaid75
3.33/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium amber hue with a one and a half finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured some caramel malts, a touch of smokiness and some metal.

The taste consisted of an earthy malt with a slight smokiness and herbal hop.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a decent ale.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.36/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Saranac pint glass.

A: Poured a deep, reddish amber color with good clarity and a frothy, two-finger head of light tan foam. Lacing is minimal and retention isn't the best.

S: Smells sweet and slightly herbal. A bit of buttery caramel and some earthy notes.

T: Flavor is slightly bittersweet at first followed by a healthy dose of two-row caramel malt. Flavor thins a bit but carries a slightly roasted flavor towards the mildly bitter and still sweet finish. A bit watery going down, but inoffensive.

M: Mouthfeel is medium bodied but the finish and palate is slightly watery.

D: One could session this red at 4.5% ABV, and with a pleasant-enough malt flavor and chuggable finish, it could score high amongst non-discriminating red ale fans. A forgettable option, but worth a shot if you're a Killian's drinker looking for a possibly more economic solution.

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Photo of Suds
3.57/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This bottle was a gift from a friend. The beer pours a reddish-amber color with a reasonable off-white head. The beer is reasonably clear, and the reddish color is moderately intense. The aroma is quite good...nice bread-crust and lightly roasted, crystal and caramel up front. This is backed with a little herbal hop flavor, but the malt dominates. The taste is initially sweet, with a continuation of the toasted-bread theme. Hop bitterness is pronounced in the finish. The taste has a metallic characteristic that's not fantastic, but is also not overly distracting. rinkable, but maybe a bit heaftier than necessary. Reasonably good overall.

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Photo of ToasterChef
3.75/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a cellar temperature bottle into a glass mug. The beer is a brown/ruby color and has a significant amount of head, made of small tan bubbles. The aroma is a good mixture of pine and herbal hops and toffee malts. The flavor seems to taste strongly of toast; I imagine the yeast ued to brew the beer has imparted itself to the flavor. There is also a hint of bitterness form the hops. It has a medium body and noticeable carbonation. It can be felt on your tongue as you swallow. This is a pretty drinkable beer. It isn't exceptional, so I would be tempted to order something else after the first round, but I certainly wouldn't complain if I was faced with a six pack.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.65/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours an amber brown in color with nice clarity and decent head retention.

Aroma is of toffee like caramel malts. Taste follows suit with a rich nutty malt character with a slight caramel sweetness. Earthy hop balances everything out.

The Saranac Irish Red Ale has a semi-dry moreish finish.

A beer of ideal strength for sessions. Has enough flavor to keep it interesting and is certainly very forward in the malt dept.

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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.

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

pours a medium brown or dark copper, short head leaving rings of lace with each sip. weak caramel nose. taste is sweet malt with a light caramel otherwise a little bland. mouthfeel is light and good carbonation. basic red ale nothing that grabs your taste buds and says this is really great.

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

Pours a four finger cream head that fades fairly quickly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Clear garnet color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Slight malty nose. Flavor is light caramel with the hops balancing. $1.55 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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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 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 auxiliary
3.68/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

appearance - Copper in color, thin white head that faded, but did leave some lace on the glass.

smell - Caramelized malts and some hops present.

taste - Nice balance beer, has a taste of malts that comes out sweet, and some hops are present here too.

mouthfeel - Medium body, Light.
drinkability - Nice tastey beer that wasn't that bad. Easy drinking beer.

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Photo of smibroncos
3.92/5  rDev +16.3%
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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Saranac Irish Red Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 20.6% out of 100 with 320 ratings
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