Saranac India Brown Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac India Brown AleSaranac India Brown Ale
93 Ratings
Saranac India Brown AleSaranac India Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Brad007 on 10-18-2008

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 93 |  Reviews: 70
Reviews by almychristopher:
Photo of almychristopher
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this beer pours a nice reddish brown color with an off white head that fades to sticky lacing. the aroma show's off the hops immediately with a bit of caramel malt in the background. the taste follows with a bit of hops upfront with a dry finish. the mouthfeel is decent with a nice bit of carbonation over the medium body. a pretty good brown I think.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of generallee
3.74/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: It has a reddish-brown amber colored body with good clarity and a thin of white colored head. The head fades out quickly and makes no lacing at all.

Smell: The aroma has a very mild malt scent in the background with good solid citrus hop notes throughout.

Taste/Mouth feel: Its flavor has mild malt flavor with some faint nutty notes and a solid citrus hop presence. The finish has a good bitter hop fade and the texture is smooth with a good balanced carbonation and a medium body.

Notes: Nothing really stands out as it is a rather simple and safe beer with good drinkability.

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Photo of Kraken
3.35/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes-

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Firm pour elicits a 1/4 inch head that fades rapidly and leaves a very spotty light lace. Light brown in color.

Nose- Mild notes of caramel, light pine.

Palate- One of the better of the winter sampler. A faint nuttiness, with some caramel notes followed by an ever so faint bit of citrus, pine and herbal notes. A little thin, mildly dry finish.

Mouthfeel- Actively carbonated, tart and dry.

Drinkability- Very Good, too bad there are only 2 in 12 pack.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.24/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

got this in a winter sampler pack. poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. pours a very clear dark amber brown color with an off white to tan head that has some pretty nice retention, as well as some decent lacing. hardly anything going on in the nose at all. a little bit of caramel, possibly some dried fruits and a tiny bit of hops. the taste is a little metallic, some caramel malts in there perhaps some chocolate with a rather subtle hop finish. the taste kinda reminds me of a hoppy winter ale, like winter hook, or never summer ale, definately not as good as those 2, but close. rather light mouthfeel which is prolly why i drank it so fast. medium amount of carbonation. its definately a drinkable beer, not too bad, but there is room for improvement.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.98/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Color wise I can't even call it a brown ale maybe a mahogany with a blood orange glow to it forms with a light khaki head and fine intricate even lacing sticks to my imperial pint as it dwindles down. At first whiff I'm getting pure hop dominance with citrus and herbal hop qualities mild lemon peel and blended into a green tea bag. Though as it warms up a bit some roasty malts with some toasted nut qualities arising it does show it's true colors. Flavors however don't work out as nicely as the nose did the hop profile is brash with bitterness kicking in where malts are competing the roastiness and hops collide with each sip. A brew like this just makes me want to turn to one of my Celebration ales sitting in the case I just bought. Mouthfeel is rich in hop bitterness in the finish but lacks finesse, medium bodied ale with sturdy carbonation pushing along trace hop oils. Nothing spectacular but nothing I absolutely can't stand, again in the drinkability scale it ranks heavily in mediocrity.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into glass. Reddish brown copper color with an average off white rocky head. Aroma of hops at first with an afterthought of malts. Hints of caramel. Very well balanced flavor, a great style of beer. Being a huge fan of IPA's and also a brown ale fan this one is great for me. Hints of chocolate and caramel malts, earthy hoppy finish. A little rough on the palate, good carbonation but slightly astringent. Overall I am VERY happy that they took the IPA to the next level and I hope more companies follow suit.

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Photo of alesaram
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Damian74
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of cliff1066
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of russpowell
3.85/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Picked up at Goebel's in Wichita, review based on notes:

Pours cooper/caramel with 1 finger of sand colored head. Good lacing & head retention

S: Toasty malt & breadyness, plus slight smokeyness once warm

T: Toasty malt, dryness& citric hops up front. Light brown sugar, chalky dryness & plus biscuitty malt. Finishes dry, toasty, with slight breadyness & citric hops

MF: Light bodied & a bit over carbonated

Drinks easy, nice training wheels take on the style

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Photo of sdj5
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of puboflyons
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on Super Bowl Sunday 2009. Poured from bottle no. 2668-C631 into a thicker weight pint glass.

Appearance - Very nice brown with reddish tones and excellent clarity. Short-lived beige head but decent lacing.

Smell - Malts mainly and something a tad nutty or fruity. Vague hops.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouth feel that takes its time to breakdown into carbonation while swishing on the tongue.

Taste - Decent bitterness and good balance of hops. Slight aftertaste.

Nut Browns and other types of browns are probably my favorite style next to English Bitter. Not too heavy and well balanced. A positive experience.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, part of Saranac's "12 Beers of Winter" sample pack. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours a clear amber/brown color with a frothy off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both very good. The aroma is mainly piney hops, but there's also some toasted malt, nuts and brown sugar also noticable. The taste is similar to the aroma, but the malt comes out more in the taste. It tastes like toasted malt, pine hops, bready malt, nuts and some spicy and citrusy hops. Good balance between the malt and hops. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it seems thin but still a bit creamy with good carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's easy to drink and also quite tasty. I didn't know what to think at first when I saw this beer was called an India Brown Ale, but I liked this beer a lot. If Saranac ever made this in a 6 pack, I'd buy it. All in all I think it's a good beer, it's better than I thought it would be.

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Photo of philbe311
3.61/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A finger and ahalf of crisp white foam... Solid lacing... Intense swirling carbonation after pours settles leaving columns of medium paced bubbles... Light reddish brown color... Highly translucent... Coats glass exceptionally well...

S - Nice balance of muted hops and subtle malt... Simple and delicate... The scent is quite subdued, a little umpf would have been nice... Still looking forward to taking a sip...

T - Malt... Earthy notes... Biscuit... Mild hops... An ever so slight spiciness... Pretty tasty.l..

M - Medium carbonation... Lush... Sturdy medium bodied construction... Slightly dry...

D - Solid and quite drinkable... A well crafted brown ale with a near perfect balance of malt and hops... Nicely executed by Saranac... The gem of this season's winter variety pack...

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

rich brown with a huge creamy head and a huge lace down the side, this looks very inticing to say the least! Smell was of roasted nuts with a hint of hops. Caramel sweetness undertones as well, smells thick and very fresh. The taste was very full. Nice roasted tones and caramel was the predominant flavors. Very complex though as there was much hoppiness at both the beginning and the finish. The finish was very nice, very dry and left you looking for more.

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Photo of plaid75
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark amber hue with a two finger creamy white head. There was good lacing and retention.

The smell featured a husky malt, some caramel and a flowery hop.

The taste consisted of a light sweetness - perhaps a bit artificial, an earthy malt, some smoke and burnt grain and a grassy hop.

The mouthfeel was toward the thinner side of the style.

Overall a tasty and unique brown ale.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.76/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass. I'm excited to drink this because it will once and for all rid my refridgerator of the virus known as Saranac.

4.0 A: Looks great, which is typical of Saranac. The problem will ultimately lie in the paragraphs below. Amber brown color. One and a half fingers of thick head that retains well and leaves tons of lacing.

3.0 S: Weak aroma overall, but not bad. Hints of dark fruit and caramel and the smallest touch of herbal hops.

2.5 T: This beer drinks like a macro in a sense. The first sip is full of flavor, but each subsequent sip is progressively more bland. The tastebuds have never become tolerant so fast. A couple of ounces in it tastes like a watered down version of a decent brown ale.

3.0 M: Light body, too light to be any good. Smooth, but a little overcarbonated.

2.5 D: I don't even want to finish this one.

Well, hopefully I'm done with Saranac for a while. Most of their beers pissed me off in that they looked really good so the overall scores were way higher than the score for taste. Saranac is only good for one thing as far as I'm concerned: to convert the masses to craft.

BA: "Here, have a Saranac. It doesn't taste like much, so you won't hate it."

Masses: "Hey, I don't hate this. It so mild that it tastes like BMC minus the disgusting adjunct taste."

BA: "Good, now try this (*insert good beer*), it's like Saranac only it tastes good."

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Photo of saradad
3.67/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another offering from the 12 Beers of Winter, and now for something completely different as brown ale (which I enjoy) meets IPA (not my favorite) Poured into my 12oz "pint" glass forming a 1" head over a brown body with lots of carbonation. Lots of citrus in the nose, a little caramel and some bread or grain notes. The taste is first a bit of the bread and caramel then erased by the citrus it finishes with a dry peppery citrusy aftertaste. The mouthfeel is nice, just nice, not overly full yet not watery, nice. As fr drinkability, ain't bad, a bit hoppier than I'd like in an english brown ale but not as hoppy as the regular IPAs every brewery seems to want to throw into their mixed packs. The balance overall is pretty decent and it's tastier than a light beer but I doubt that I'd buy this in anything other than a variety case.

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Photo of bsm80x
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Vendetta
2.83/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark sparkling brown with a foamy, soapy head that hints at hoppiness. Nice, lasting, soapy hop lacing.

Aroma is not too powerful. Hops, not much else.

Nice hop bitterness, but I fail to detect any real brown ale flavor here. It's more of an IPA with a touch of caramel.

Mouth feel is above average. Nice and creamy, the hops are not too strong and it doesn't finish all that bitter. Carbonation is adequate, maybe a little overdone, but not enough to hurt the overall score.

This is a good effort but really nothing special.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
4.27/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle into a pint glass.Pours an amber color with decent carbonation,nice off white color heading half inch thick that settles very quickly.Smells very hoppy with a nice roasty smell.Leaves a very nice lacing and goes down very smooth with no bad aftertaste at all.To me the best Saranac has to offer.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've seen a lot of discussion on the forums about how coffee beers should be their own category but I think if anything Indian Browns could be the next new style. I've found they can be satisfying and complex. This one pours a medium brown with nondescript head and lacing. The nose is malty with floral and citrus notes to the hops.

The malt backbone is solid but fairly basic. The late breaking hops feature notes that match well with the nose. The texture is a bit thin and finishes chalky and dry but the aftertaste is reasonably clean. I could drink this in quantity but there are far better examples of this nascent style.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served at cellar temp.

Pours good head that hangs around for awhile before leaving. The lace does the same. Crystal clear reddish-brown color.

Smells like amber malt, hops, and allspice. Similiar to Saranac Pumpkin Ale, just not as strong.

Tastes like an average brown combined with an average English pale ale. The nut brown sweetness is there as is some bitter hops but neither is particularly pronounced. I would like to have seen more of both.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.15/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish brown color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, nuts, spice and some hops.

T: The taste is malty and spicy with sweet flavors of caramel, spices and nuts. There's a decent hops presence that comes in next and remains strong into the finish, but not strong enough to give the beer a hoppy flavor. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, not one of the better brown ales that I've had and it's yet another mediocre Saranac beer.

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Photo of jwc215
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of winter variety pack (6 beers - 2 of each):

Pours orange brown with a nice foamy tan head that leaves lacing.

The smell is nutty/toffeeish with a pine/citrus which is there, but a bit overpowered.

The taste is metallic at first, which subsides to the back as it progresses. It has a "brown" maltiness - towards chocolate. The "generous" hops that were promised on the label...there, but I suppose "generous" is relative. I've had a couple browns that pull off a "hoppy" interpretation of the style without clashing. This leans towards borderline. There is a pine/resin but somewhat plastic-y. After the initial metallic character subsides (pretty quickly, fortunately), there is a maltiness with a pale ale hoppiness mixed in, giving it a nice pine touch.

The carbonation is medium to aggresive. It leans towards the light end of medium bodied, but is coating, and pretty smooth.

It grew on me as it progressed. A decent attempt at a hoppy brown that works to a degree - have had better - could be worse. In the end, a drinkable beer that is malty but with a hop touch that can be appreciated a bit more once the metallic touch goes to the back.

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Saranac India Brown Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.56 out of 5 with 93 ratings