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
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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Photo of mikereaser
2.98/5  rDev -11.6%
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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Photo of MikeBrandman
3.27/5  rDev -3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Served in a bottle from the "What Ales You?" variety pack.

A - Obviously a Red ale. Pours a rich, deep amber/red. Translucent, not transparent. Very thin head, only about a finger even with a rather harsh pour and almost no lacing.

S - Not a lot to smell at all. A little bit of maltiness, but a pretty good amount of smell from the carbonation, I suppose.

T - Pretty good taste overall. Not terribly balanced, definitely more on the malty side. Very sweet, like caramel. Very little aftertaste to this, a good amount of sweetness in your mouth that lingers though. Enjoyable, not overpowering. Actually kind of underwhelming.

MF - Light and airy. You might even forget you're drinking something if it's served room temperature.

D - Definitely sessionable. Low taste, low ABV, low carbonation, definitely could go back for more, if the taste left me wanting more.

Comments: Definitely the most bland out of the "What Ales You?" pack. I'd have this as a third or fourth beer in the evening, when you're not so much drinking for the taste as the enjoyment. Goes down easy; not bad, just not that good either.

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Photo of albern
3.45/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

There's not much going on here and thus not much to comment upon either. It pours a reddish amber color with a decent slightly creamy off white head. Some retention and lacing going on too. The nose is sweet crystal malts and the taste follows suit. There is a roasted graininess and a slightly pricklish mouthfeel. It is a sweet malt, pretty low carbonation, not much else other than it is eminently drinkable and a decent beer that is none too complex.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.45/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours a nice reddish brown color with white foam that recedes instantly. No foaming down the side.

Smells of malty sweetness.

Taste is sweet as well - caramel, blended with a modest fruit hint. The malt dominates. Finish is sweet, very mild hop bittering.

Virtually no carbonation in the mouthfeel.

This is a good enough beer to drink more than one.

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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.

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Photo of yelterdow
2.65/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

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Photo of therica
3.85/5  rDev +14.2%
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 number1bum
3.46/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear reddish brown with about a finger and a half of ivory colored head. Keeps a mostly full lace and leaves some webbing on the sides.

Smell is pretty weak and bland, with a bit of toasted grain and caramel, a light floral hop note and some wet cardboard.

Taste also has some caramel and toasted grain which stand out more than they did in the nose. Likewise with some fruity hop flavor which provides some nice balance. Flavors are still somewhat muted but it's not bad.

Mouthfeel is a light medium body, crisp and pretty smooth with nice balance.

This is a pretty good Irish Red. Nothing spectacular but a solid and easy drinking brew.

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Photo of Amalak
3.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice color to it, amber, with a slight head and mild lace. Malty scent to it.

Kind of bitter/sour. Easy to drink, mild body...but lacks any real style to it. Out of Saranac offerings, I would put this on the lower end. It was too dry and lacked that malt kick that kind of came through wit the scent. Above average.

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