Saranac Pale Pale Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac Pale Pale AleSaranac Pale Pale Ale
179 Ratings
Saranac Pale Pale AleSaranac Pale Pale Ale

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

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-18-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 179 |  Reviews: 102
Reviews by Alemmon3:
Photo of Alemmon3
4/5  rDev +17.3%

More User Reviews:
Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.03/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Saranac APA 4.7% alcohol... not expecting much due to the price tag on this one.

A- Pours a solid copper colored fluid with massive off white head that lingers around leaving a good share of sticky lacing.

S- Danky hops and yeast upfront with a mild and light husky malt back on the nose.

T-M- Taste is predominitly a danky malt thats almost tea leaf like in flavor with light but there citus hop twang. Mouthfeel is wet and active in carbonation leaving the aftertaste of this brew on the tongue for a good bit.

D- Its drinkable but nothing i'd look for next time for any drinking occation. Slightly boring.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
2.84/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #53 (June 2011):

Big dollop of off-white head; filtered clarity of a pale golden hue. Citric zest with a hint of grain seem to be the only traits noticeable in the nose. Crisp, light-bodied ale; pulling dryness. Maltiness tries to hold this beer together, while faint juicy fruit and even fainter caramel in the front quickly give way to the dryness. Hops chime in with citric but earthy flavors of bark, tobacco and wild herbs. Hints of fruit and ale fermentation twang. Super-dry finish. The dry- ness and extra hop push leave this brew a bit off balance—perhaps that was the intention, but it takes away from its potential drinkability.

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Photo of generallee
3.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The bottle has no date or abv%.

Appearance: As advertised the body has a pale yellow gold color with a light and fluffy foam head. The head fades to a thin wisp of lace that hangs on top of the beer to the last sip. There is very minimal lacing on the glass as it is slick and just slides down the sides of the glass.

Smell: The aroma is delicate and has mostly hopy notes with pale biscuit/grainy malt underneath.

Taste/Palate: Like the aroma its flavor and palate are delicate as well. This makes for a very refreshing and easy drinking beverage. Its base has a light biscuity flavor that mixes with and then quickly gives was to modest leafy/citrus hop notes. The finish has light hop bitterness fading off of the tongue.

Notes: Overall it's a nice refreshing drink that could also make a good cross over beer for BMC drinkers who would be overwhelmed by more hopy complex beers.

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Photo of westcott
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.56/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Decent amber appearance. Aroma, that of a bad ipa, minimal hops, wood and stale smell.

Taste, more wood, minimal hops. Bland. A little bit of a sour feel, maybe lemon. Very light body duped by the graininess. A very conservative beer, something you give the plebian drinker who has graduated beyond BMC, but hasn't got beyond SA yet.

Pricey for what it is, not enjoyable. Definitely on the bottom 25% of all APAs I can think of.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.97/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Super pale as the pale pale nomenclature would entail, this is quite easily paler than the helles of Saranac's that I just drank from the 12 Beers of Summer. Crystal clear light golden copper tinted hue with a bright white head forming thin but fine and even lacing around my chalice. Aromatics offer up sharp centennial citrus rinds including pink grapefruit and pine and earthy notes. Marris otter malt brings the funk with an earthy nuttiness, but I really like the aroma on this one overall. Flavor shoots straight toward the alpha acids with barely any malt balance it really drives the citrus peel and earthy hop components. Reminds me of Philadelphia Pale Ale from Yard's in alot of ways. Bitter dry finish on the mouthfeel with sturdy carbonation flowing nicely, very light body as well as the alcohol. Drinkability is sessionable all the way it has flvor and refreshing appeal going on.

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Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this at Nail Creek in Utica on 7/2/11.

Pale is definitely what this beer is, a clear light gold color that is quite bright despite the lightness of it. A small white head shows moderate retention and lacing, while certainly not massive, isn't bad at all.
Breads, light wheat malts perhaps, and a bit of caramel come off the nose, followed by a bit of citrus and herbal notes with a light spiciness from hops.
A bit of grassiness comes in under the hops and malts elements already eveident, with an additional light sweetness that really balances the whole thing out.
This is as light as expected with a bit more to it, almost medium, and keeps with the style well. It's also clean and has a nice crisp bite to it while maintaining a bit of smoothness.
Some may not like that it's not some weird sort of monstrous APA, but it's certainly a good example of the style and a good beer beside.

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Photo of nickthegun12
3.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First off this is not an american pale ale, this is an english pale ale replica!
light brown in color
smells like tea>>>due to the english hop selection
taste like tea>>>i can taste the english fuggles and goldings
decent lacing and smooth feel
i could drink a few of these beers
this company can make some beer! too bad they are all english styles, not really my style

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Photo of dacrza1
3.06/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Moment: spackling the kitchen is done...for tonight, at least...
Glassware: Kisatsky's Bar pint...
Appearance: pours a two-finger head that leaves a hair of tracing atop a soft yellow-orange glow--quite light in this lighting...
Aroma: light floral hops--not an impressive profile, but probably as advertised; once engaged in drinking, I expereienced a wafting in and out of the hops...understated...
Palate: rather smooth with fizz at the finish; buttery on the tongue but nothing to the teeth--less than understated?
Taste: light, pleasant, smoothly inoffensive ale; easy drinking and light-bodied; hops are indeed allusive...
Overall: Give Saranac credit for creating an ale that meshes with the summer sun; just enough flavor to keep the profile engaging, but too soft to be anything but a sessions player...

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saranac- Pale Pale Ale

A- Light copper orange with a small sticky lacing head.
S- Sweet juicy pine hops and a sugary caramel malt.
T- Light sweet sugary malt, hints of honey and caramel. Pine hops are sweet and juicy nice, but light.
M- Heavy carbonationup front with a sugary sweetness. Sweet hops turn slightly bitter in the end.

Overall- Starts off light and subdoed but eventually flavors pop out. Decent but not outstanding.

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Photo of asabreed
3.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Light yellow with copper color mildly coming through. Bubbles on the sides gurgling up the glass. Bright white fizzy head settles down after a minutes or two, leaving little on the sides.

Smell: Light grain, grass, and citrus, along with a mild herbal component.

Taste: Initially present but lighter herbal hoppiness, but after the grassy and citrus nature of the hops, which doesn't last long, there's a bit of a soda water component -- meaning that the flavor doesn't last long, and there's hardly any lingering.

Mouthfeel: Certainly lighter-bodied, but the carbonation's spritz makes it pleasurable enough and is not watery and also not overdone.

Drinkability: A lighter version of their Pale Ale, which I imagine is the point with this brew, but I have to say that the sheer drinkability factor is higher than I thought it would be. I could do this in the summer, in the backyard, while grilling, and considering it's summer, this makes sense. It's not the most flavorful beer, but for pretty much a light Pale Ale, this could hit the spot for a lot of people during the hot summer days.

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Photo of KenC
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of BamfBacon
3/5  rDev -12%

Photo of tdm168
3.94/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours a copper-straw with obvious carbonation bubbles rising to the surface. Any head quickly fades to nothing. Smells hoppy and a little citruisy. Taste is decent; nice hop character of flowers and pine add to nice bitter swallow; smooth malt character adds a welcomed sweetness. Nicely balanced. Mouthfeel is crisp and a little dry; decent carbonation; very drinkable.

This is a decent offering from Saranac. It definitely helps to save their Beers of Summer mix pack. I would definitely have this beer again.

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Photo of mempath
4.3/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

couldn't resist the new Saranac summer case since there were 5 of the 6 i had never had. but the pale-pale caught my eye.

ok, it pours a very carbonated frenzy of foam and fuss, but settles up and down very very quickly. little lacing...actually, a nice 'light' deep golden color, not 'pale' in the least. looks like a lager...

malts dominate the nose...not bad, but hoping for hops hopping about. i can sense them, but they must be saving their entry for the taste. nonetheless, there is a very satisfying smell here, a tangy, cirtrusy (not in the hop-citrus sense!), biscuity concentration. nice.

well, bust my buttons if this isn't a surprise. not alot of mystery, but this is a nice, quite hoppy, light presentation that certainly makes this a better Saranac (i still think, if i can remember, i prefer the IPA)...and certainly more lively than the regular pale. if anything, maybe more akin to the SN pale in this case. there is a nice bite that at least doesn't slur 'macro' here. not trying to amp this up into what it isn't. my benchmark for everyday APA or IPA is Torpedo. but this does a nice job and is fine as a session brew but would be a fine accompaniment to a meal. say, chili (any style...)!

i think the mouthfeel suffers a bit, too much carbonation makes the flavors slip away instead of lingering. that's visibly evident in pouring it. adjust this and throw in one more handful of hops...please.

edit: i amped up, slightly, some of the marks after spending another round or two with this over the week. it is more impressive as i drink it. actually very well balanced.

edit 2: a year later+ and it's still on point...the mouthfeel is still crazy bubbly, but seems creamier and more balanced.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
4.42/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Solid brown ale. Good color, definitely adequate with lacing, and foam as I remember.

Smell: A nice nutty sweetness. Brown sugar and honey with a hint of fruit.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Good flavors that mesh with excellent complexity. This is how a pale ale should taste. Nice creaminess as well.

Drinkability: Superb.

Overall: One of Saranac's best.

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Photo of Damian74
3.03/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of tempest
3.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had a bottle out of the summer variety pack. The clear, amber beer pours with a tall head and lacing. The aroma is a light, citrus pine scent and the flavor also focuses on the hops, but with a very mellow nutty undertone. Along with the rye pils and helles, this mix pack has some really solid options for craft beer lovers. I'd be happy to drink this in the summer or any time I want a more sessionable pale ale. Reminds me a touch of of the Southern Tier Pale.

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Photo of JohnFatAss
4.08/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a nice golden color. A little darker in color than I expected since this is called 'Pale Pale'.

Good head retention, left some lacing on the sides of my glass.

A good looking beer.

The Pale Pale Ale has a sweet citrusy smell.

Like all the other beers in the Saranac summer pack this is a mild beer.

Good flavor, mild hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is excellent.

Nothing earth shattering here, just a simple, well balanced beer that is clean crisp and refreshing.

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Photo of dbossman
3.43/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Redish brown with a full and steady head; lacing is mediocre

S: Subtle hop qualities balance out a candied malt presence; subtle tea leaves round out the aromas

T: Pretty balanced malt and hop presence; a bit sweet on the back end; a touch thin and watery too; something slightly funky in there as well as a strong burnt sugar taste

F: Fairly thin but beer does manage to sit on the tongue for a while

D: Quite drinkable, sessionable pale ale; not the best but okay

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Photo of chrishiker1409
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of DerekP
3.1/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pseudo cloudy, light amber gold.

S: Malty/bready undertones w/ hardly a scent of finishing hops in the nose. As it warms up, floral notes begin to play lightly.

T: Malty, with flat bittering hops. Toasty hints; muffled.

MF: Mild bitterness, light-medium body; noticeably attenuated.

D: Easy to drink, but lacking in depth & character.

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Photo of russpowell
3.1/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent honey color with 2+ fingers of cream colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Grassy hops, light breadyness once warm & honey malt notes

T: Grassy hops & light crackey flavor up front, some metallic twang too. Grainy notes, a touch of butterscotch & much grassyness as this warms.
Finishes with grainyness & metallic notes, plus slight crackery notes

MF: Light bodied, fairly firm carbonation, becomes a tad watery once warm. Balance is out of kilter, not enough malt base to pull together

Drinks alright to quench the thirst but not enough to hold my interest for long. Worth a try if you like them simple

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Photo of EBeckett3
3/5  rDev -12%

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Saranac Pale Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.41 out of 5 with 179 ratings