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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 biegaman
3.33/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Saranac Irish Red has very little red colour to it, and it's only present when you hold the beer right up into the light. 'Saranac Irish Orange with a Concentration of Amber' would have arguably been just as accurate, if the name referred to colour and not to style of course. Some head can be found on top but it's nothing close to substantial.

Metallic, artificial and cloying are not the words you want coming to mind when you drink any beer. This smell of corn syrup and cheap malt extract should not be appealing to anyone. I'll be keeping my nose out of the glass. Is this a welcome to adjunct central?

Apparently with the flavour we depart 'adjunct central', but we end up in 'cheap malt extract west', which I suppose is somewhere in the suburbs? The grainy taste of wet, unmalted barley can't stand up to the cloying taste of corn syrup and stale adjuncts; I don't really want to taste either anyhow. I might of said a hint of dark fruit but that's really reaching.

Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of the style but I can appreciate every and any kind of beer given a well crafted sample (which come to think of it, for this style I've had only one - Three Floyd's Brian Boru). Thing is, I could drink this - I just wouldn't really want to, but if offered I wouldn't necessarily decline. Let's make that distinction clear: some (I find a lot) of macro breweries produce beers I can't drink. This isn't anywhere near that bad.

I may have been a little overly harsh with my review, but the fact remains: there was nothing for me here. Most underwhelming micro breweries, including this one, make beers that are definitely drinkable, beers that I probably would have enjoyed a few years ago. As things stand now, however, I'll probably pass.

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Photo of glid02
3.36/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very nice clear dark amber color with a one-finger light tan head. The head dissipates into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of metallic hops with hints of caramel malts coming through.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though the caramel malt flavors are now at the forefront. Like the only other Saranac I've tried to date - the Pale - this one seems to have too much sweetness. It's not that it's cloying, it's more of a grainy sweetness.

Mouthfeel is good. Above average thickness with good carbonation.

Drinkability is good. If it weren't for being too sweet this could be really easy to drink,

Overall this is close to being a really good beer, but if you haven't learned already, I thought it was too sweet.

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Photo of Celt44
3.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle label is certainly eye-catching - especially this time of the year (March)

Appearance is a clear, coppery orange. Nice head and a very thin lacing lasts throughout.

Aroma is big with malts up front. Sugar & Spice come to mind. Slight citrus.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

Taste is not bad for the style. The smoothness makes it head and shoulders above any macro Irish Red I've had. Big sweet malt character with tones of toffee - just as advertised.

Overall a good beer. Definitely one of the better beer claiming to be an Irish Red - whatever that means....

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Photo of tugdriver7
4/5  rDev +18.7%
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 animal69
3.56/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a clear deep reddish-brown color w/ a thin off-whitehead which rapidly dissipates leaving a decent lacing in my nonic ; a rather weak smell, some steely, caramelish grain with hints of toasted nuts and a very faint dark fruit presence as it warmed ; taste is very similar to smell, but with a bit more nutty flavor w/ a bvery well-balanced hop-malt flavor, a slightly tart,yet crisp finish ; a light body, dry and very well carbonated ; a very drinkable brew, and much better than most irish reds available..

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.38/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saranac- Irish Red Ale

A- Good clear golden amber with a fluffy head. Moderate lacing.
S- Sweet cherry licorice malt. Hints of caramel and butter.
T- Sweet buttery caramel malt. Sugary cherry licorice.
M- Moderate, not too thick, malt. Very sugary sweet with a grainy dry finish.

Overall- Not bad at all. I would by a 6er of this for a poker night.

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Photo of curasowa
2.44/5  rDev -27.6%
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 WVbeergeek
3.35/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Kinda like training wheels in craft brew, Saranac is great for getting beer drinkers ready for more complex and diverse beer styles. However they tend to keep it pretty safe, which isn't a bad thing. Appears a traditional deep caramel red hue with light beige head forming nicely above the rim of the glass. The head retention is decent and comes complete with minimal scattered lacing. Smell of this brew carries mild metallic qualities witha mineral water like quality. The cereal grains amongst the party carries caramel and biscuity wheaties notes with a touch of herbal hop in the finish. Flavor is mild slightly tart and metallic with a touch of acidity amongs a sweet rolling malt profile. Mouthfeel is light bodied a tad heavier than most michelob "craft" styles. Drinkability overall is solid something I would buy due to affordability and quaffabillity definitely falls in the session beer category all adorned with an Irish flag on the six pack holder.

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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.

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Photo of riversider76
3.56/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with a redish hue. Fluffy white head with excellent and laceing. Body is thin and carbonated. Aroma is of sweet malts. Nice but on the weak side. Taste is a mix of sweet malts and fruits. Little bit of spice in the finish. Nice!!

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Photo of WesWes
3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice amber color with a 1/4" offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry, roasted scent that boasts of pale and roasted malts. There is a mild hop bitterness as well. The taste is decent as well. It has a dry, crisp flavor that boasts of pale and roasted malts. It's pretty straight forward with a touch of hop bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is decent also. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an easy drinker that pretty close in style. That said, it's not a very interesting beer, but nothing Saranac brews is.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.68/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - more copper color than it is red, with a good sized white head of foam that left good lacing.

S - sweet malty aroma with that Saranac yeast smell.

T - sweet and malty from start to finish.

F - medium bodied with a mild smoothness.

D - at 4.5% abv it would be pretty easy to session this beer.

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Photo of tempest
3.72/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Clark's Ale House in Syracuse. Appears a clear orange in my pint glass with an off white head that quickly disappears. This beer is not big on aroma or flavor, but I could drink the hell out of it. All of a sudden I looked down and my glass was half empty. Now I wouldn't call it bland, the flavors are just more subtle than most craft beers. There's a mellow caramel and white bread taste with a hint of spicy hops at the end. I guess this is more a local competitor to Killians - I pick this every time.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gotta love the Irish flag on the main label and neck label.

12 oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

Pours a clear deep copper hue with a soft two finger off-white head that falls to a thin layer which lasts throughout. Nice thick lacing sticks on the sides of the glass. Aroma is heavy on the malts with bread and muted hops. Caramel and crystal malts with some toasted grains as well. Taste starts with some nutty flavors and sweet caramel followed by a slight metallic sting. Midway, watered down dark fruits and chewy grains emerge. Pale malts and dry earth in the aftertaste, better than Killian's, but still lacking on the tongue. Pretty creamy light to medium body with a mild carbonation. This is a session beer that I would have no problem enjoying on St. Patty's day. Hopefully it'll be an option on tap in bars around here come March. At $6 a six-pack, you can't go wrong.

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Photo of BWMKappaSig
3.68/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a pint glass

Appearance: Amber red color. Head is relatively thick and foamy when it pours, and diminishes quickly. There's a decent amount of lacing in the glass.

Smell: Sweet malts, relatively delicate smell. Slightyly fruity.

Taste: Standard to the Irish Reds. Malty with a little bit of hops bitterness and some peatiness to it. Not as sickeningly sweet as Killians. It falls in line with the Hooker or Sam Adams Irish Reds.

Mouthfeel: It's pretty smooth going down, despite a little bit of astringency after the finish, but nothing too offensive.

Drinkability: Sessionable and light enough not to be too overwhelming. This roughtly reminds me of a homebrew American-style Amber Ale I've made, in the Fat Tire style.

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Photo of wiseguy142
3.39/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not a ton of reviews of this so far- surprising. Been seeing it around for just a couple weeks.

Pours a muddy orange with a nice head that lasts long enough with good lacing and a nice thin film of head staying on top after a few minutes.

Aroma is fairly substandard- too much metal and soap for it to be appealing at all. No hop aroma and just a faint hint of crystal malt but both are comletely overridden by the smell of aluminum.

Taste is nice and creamy with a lot of the flavor coming from the middle-range crystal malts. I think this would be my perfect "3.5" where it's definitely above average, with a solid flavor coming form good use of the ingredients, but it falls just short of being really appetizing. A little bit of a wheat flavor in there too with the residual sweetness you'd find in German wheat beers.

Mouthfeel, while usually my biggest complaint when drinking Saranac, is pretty appropriate for the style. Not too much of a soda-like consistency like with other beers (although I am drining this beer at room temperature while all my other Saranac reviews have been of cold beers). Mostly a medium body that molds well with the hop bitterness and crystal malt flavor. I'm enjoying drinking it. It's not a half bad Irish Red and I'd like to order up a couple of these for my friends on tap if I ever see it.

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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 Brad007
3.68/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish copper color with a thick foamy head into my pint glass.

Aroma is light and full of sweet malt with a hint of caramel in the nose.

Taste is sweet with a hint of caramel upfront followed by a very light hop bitterness. Inoffensive and goes down easily.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin but the carbonation level is just right in this beer. Caramel lingers but otherwise, not much else at the back of the throat for flavor.

Let's see, smooth and easy to drink. Obviously a decent session ale. Even with the thin mouthfeel, this would be a decent beer to have a few of. I like it.

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Photo of kkosmoski
3.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Longneck poured into a Saranac pint glass. If I have their dating encryption figured out, this appears to have been bottled less than two weeks ago - nice. Airy off white head that appears to be falling at a decent rate on top of a perfectly clear light red colored ale. Some lively carbonation rising up. Aroma is dominated by malt - heavy caramel and toffee - hops are absent. Bready flavor to start off, followed by some sturdy caramel and toffee and balanced off with some bitterness. Mouthfeel is light and thin with medium carbonation. Drinkability is good - very light feel makes it go down easy and flavors are pretty laid back.

Have to say I was expecting more from this ale. It was definately on the light side of the Irish red ale spectrum. This was very fresh when consumed, but the flavors didn't pop like I thought they would.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.58/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Got try this as a part of the new "What Ales you?" mixed 12 pack.

Pours a nice mahogany color with a good amount of head and tons of effervescence. Smell is nutty with a touch of caramel notes in there. Taste is very smooth and has a creamy mouthfeel to it. Has a nice body, some nice bready and caramel tastes in there. Finishes clean and is very drinkable. While not spectactular, this Irish Red is well above average.. another solid addition to the Saranac line up.

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