Saranac Pale Pale Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac Pale Pale AleSaranac Pale Pale Ale
Liked This Beer
3.41 w/ 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
Photo of Anew
5/5  rDev +46.6%

Photo of spedprof
5/5  rDev +46.6%

Photo of Yekaterina
4.45/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I really hope that Saranac will bring this one back someday; when they do, I hope I will be able to buy a six pack of just the Pale Pale Ales. As far as I can tell, this beer was only released in the summer variety 12 packs. Although I always like the other beers in Saranac's seasonal twelves, I was buying a lot of the summer 12 packs this year just to get the two pale pale ales.
The pale pale ale is a perfect summer beer. It's very light, crisp, and clean. It's got a VERY DRY finish to it which tends to float my boat. I hope Saranac does the right thing ;-)

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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 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.

 1,717 characters

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.25/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

The beer is a golden yellow color with a huge white head that left a sheet of lacing. There is a nice soft citrus hop aroma. The taste is a well balanced blend of mildy bitter hops and sweet malt. Medium bodied with a clean, crisp feel make this a highly drinkable beer. I'd like to see this brew available in 6 packs, as I would enjoy this as a summer session beer.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

In my opinion it was the best out of the summer variety pack.

A - Pale golden yellow in color with a nice fluffy white head. Lovely.

S - Slight bread and citrus fruit sweetness. Mild hops.

T - Wow really enjoyed this one! The taste is perfectly balanced with a lemon fruit sweetness and finishing with a mild bitter bread. Awesome.

M - Prefect summer brew. Light and refreshing. Session-able.

D - I loved this beer. The bitterness was not overpowering like the Stegmaier or Serra Nevada pale ales. Really enjoyed the subtle sweetness of this pale ale. Great beer.

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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.

 485 characters

Photo of caroberts
4.05/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is great for someone not quite ready to take on a full pale ale or india pale ale (those afraid of hoppiness).

But this beer is still floral, smells of nice malts and tastes of a light pale ale base with rosewater almost.

Very fresh, very clean, I highly recommend for summer drinking. (Or anytime, I'm drinking it in January when it's 10 degrees outside).

But definitely worth a try and definitely the best of the Saranac beers of Summer sampler.

And remember, I'm reviewing this for what it is. Do I really think it's one of the best beers in the world - hell no. I think it's a shame that Kolsh, pale ales, lagers and other light not over the top styles can't get top ratings. For a summer seasonal though, this is top notch - it's not a wheat or fruit beer.

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Photo of JoKo
4.04/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Amber with a small head that faded quickly, lively carbonation.

Smell: Hops, piney, citrus

Taste: Definitely hop-centric, grapefruit notes.

Mouthfeel: Crisp with a clean finish, light to medium bodied.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable, overall, a good representation of the style.

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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 KenC
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of chrishiker1409
4/5  rDev +17.3%

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

Poured a nice clear amber with an ample white head about two inches tall. This faded and left behind a ton of lace. Good visible carbonation.

Very hoppy, lots of very sweet citrus flavors. A touch of sugar and some malted grains in the backend of it Very nice, and very hoppy. Had a very clean, cut taste. Not much of an aftertaste here, just straightforward hoppy pale ale. Nice grain fresh cut grass in the back.Silky smooth, albeit a little thin, but very smooth. Again very clean and refreshing, light.Very good. I could easily session this one all night ling. It was just a nice light IPA, or pale ale.

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Photo of heffnate77
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of Alemmon3
4/5  rDev +17.3%

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

I'm having a great summer with Saranac! Got the 12 Beers of Summer variety pack. Decent Beers and great price! $21 in my neck of the woods.

Presentation: gold with a slight chill haze and an off white head that laces nicely down the glass, retention is low however that is a characteristic of the style.

Aroma: an earth, citrusy, and slightly steely aroma from the hops. Has a sweet malt aroma underneath it all.

Flavor: A semi-sweet malt flavor which is slightly overwhelmed by the hops. Hop flavor is mildly bitter with some herbal and citrus flavor followed by a steely some what dry finish.

Overall: True to its name; Pale Pale Ale delivers on what one would expect from an ale designed to be refreshing on a hot summer day yet hoppy enough to satisfy the majority of beer geeks.

 787 characters

Photo of RBorsato
4/5  rDev +17.3%

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

Beer pours a dark golden color with a slightly sticky head that sticks around while the glass is being drained. A pleasant nose of mostly dominated with herbal and citrus hops with a nice touch of biscuit. The beer flows well--a little slick--across the medium bodied palate. The flavor is mostly bitter and grapefruit hops. Only the faintest hint malt is enough for acceptable balance.

This is a pleasant and highly drinkable ale. It is not overwhelming, but pleasing to the palate. Recommended.

 498 characters

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +17.3%

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.

 895 characters

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 jsprain1
3.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours just what the name suggests, a pale golden. Head is thin, but retains decently at a half finger. Slight lacing sticks to glass.
S- Pale malt, slightly citrusy, and I'm picking up something that is just faintly berrylike.
T- A bit of hoppiness at first, slightly citrusy and slightly grassy. Pale malt picks it up. There is a crackery element to it. Not much malt characte beyond basic cracker/bread. Simple, but well balanced.
M- Too light for the style, but I found it impressively smooth in the carbonation.
O- A rather good pale ale. It won't ever replace SNPA or similar as the best in the style, but this is a good, simple straightforward beer.

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Photo of squirrelpirate
3.9/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Saranac Pale Pale Ale pours a slightly cloudy golden hue with a small head that quickly vanishes and leaving a thin, bubbly lace.

The aroma consists of spicy and citrus qualities from the Centennial hops with certain grassy and light malt qualities.

Hop bitterness shines with little competition from the nutty malt sweetness. A slightly bitter finish with a light astringency and moderate mouthfeel and carbonation.

I love the Maris Otter malt in this beer, and it's not as extensively hopped as some pale ales I've tried. Could be a session beer, but not the most easy drinking.

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Photo of animalchin
3.87/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Looks like a pale should, yet the head retention is lacking a bit. A deep dark golden body with some decent carbonation.

S - A nice balance of malt and hops. Has a sweet musk to go along as well.

T - The malts make a big first impression. Having a hard time identifying the hop character, but the crispiness gives a little to go along. I'm also sensing some wheat-like characteristics as well.

M - You know...a pale ale mouthfeel. Not too overbearing - decent mobility.

D - A little more weight that I was expecting, but nothing anyone couldn't handle.

I'm not totally sure what they were going for with this beer. When I saw Pale Pale Ale as the name, I was expecting a lot more hop overall. It's a little more intricate than their pale ale. All around a decent brew.

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Saranac Pale Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 25.7% out of 100 with 179 ratings
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