Saranac Pale Pale Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

BA SCORE
80
good
179 Ratings
THE BROS
66
poor
Read the review
Saranac Pale Pale AleSaranac Pale Pale Ale
BEER INFO

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

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.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
179
Reviews:
102
Avg:
3.45
pDev:
13.91%
 
 
Wants:
0
Gots:
4
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 179 |  Reviews: 102
Photo of prisdefer
2/5  rDev -42%

Photo of Durandal_777
2.25/5  rDev -34.8%

Photo of donkeyrunner
2.35/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Saranac Pale Pale Ale, for when a standard pale ale just isn't enough. Gold with a white head. Retention should be ashamed of itself.

Doesn't smell like much. Maybe some biscuity malt. Faint swampy hop character. Taste is biscuit malt and a little cascade spice. Nice Cali pale mouthfeel. Intensely soapy aftertaste, I was hoping for a nice porch beer but ended up with a bathtub beer. Bummer.

 395 characters

Photo of milesmayhem
2.38/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This came in the summer Saranac box of 12 beers along with Helles, Summer Wheat, Amber Wheat, Pomegranate Wheat, & Rye Pilsener. None of these really stood out but the Pale Pale was the only one disconcerting enough to review.

Pour was average, head was average, aroma showed plenty of malt but the mouthfeel and bitterness just did not sit right. I know the right bitterness when I taste it and this was like hops gone bad. Almost poured it out...and for me that is a big deal. I would like to try this on tap so I know it is fresh.

 534 characters

Photo of PatrickJR
2.41/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Clear, light golden with about 2 fingers of white head that disappears somewhat quickly before falling to a thin film. Mild lacing.

S - Weird dirty/earthy/citric aroma, what I associate with "dirty wheat." Some floral notes are hidden in there letting you know there were some kind of hops used at some point here, but they are smothered in a grainy/husky blanket.

T - I didn't think it was going to get any worse, but it did. Grainy sweetness akin to a macro or malt liquor hits immediately and then some crazy off flavors pop up like metal and wet dog. Really off-putting. Somewhere in this gutter-water mess is a dying reminder of hops, with some slightly citrus and earthy characteristics. Bitterness hits hard with a squeeze of lemon for flavor but little else. Moderate to high bitterness for the style and relatively blandness of the brew in general. Grain, lemon juice concetrate, and just a bit of that wet dog linger in the finish and aftertaste.

M - Not too much to talk about here. Relatively light bodied with spritzy carbonation. Comes across as watery at times.

D - I don't know what's going on, but Saranac's beers seem to be getting worse. This beer seems like little more than an American ice lager with a blast of bitterness. No harmony or balance, and nothing that shines from the malt or hop department. The wet dog thing seems to be going in and out, varying in intensity between sips, but it's still pretty gross. Not quite undrinkable, but walking a thin line.

 1,544 characters

Photo of dhep16
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of david18
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of slim2043
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of kelvarnsen
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of crashoveride
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of 160Shillings
2.51/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Aroma: Very faint fruity esters and mild citrus hop aroma, too mild for American pale ale. No malt or other aromas.

Appearance: Deep yellow to pale gold. A modest but lingering finely bubbled head. Crystal clear.

Flavor: Prominent, but not overpowering hop character with medium bitterness and a medium-light citrus lingering into the finish. Very faint malt sweetness in the front that blends well with the citrusy hops. No other malt flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body and carbonation. The finish has a mild lingering bitterness that is not quite dry.

Overall Impression: A very mild example of American pale ale that would make a good introduction for the drinker that is not used to more aggressive beers. A warning though, this beer is way too mild for the typical pale ale loving hop head as well as being rather one dimensional.

Comments: This beer barely manages to meet the standards for American pale ale. It has no faults with what it is, other than it may not be enough for those who prefer this style. I think it serves best as an introduction to the uninitiated and those who aren't too picky.

 1,115 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.56/5  rDev -25.8%
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.

 430 characters

Photo of skinny0ne
2.57/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

It has a fizzy head. The color is a good pale amber. The aroma is light, but of hops and malt. I don't get any citrus. Up front it is a bit sweet. Honey and malt. A bit of lemon hits in the middle. In the finish a bit of bitter hops. Nothing notable. And that's kind of how I see this brew. Not bad. But nothing really good either. Kind of like spicing up a macrobrew a bit. For a brew that wants to be the best pale ale you ever had (on the label), it totally misses that mark.

 478 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
2.6/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Good appearance of amber liquid, 1/2" white head, substandard retention. Aroma was not hoppy, just had an almost oxidized like cardboard malt aroma.

Again, more cardboard as the dominant flavor. Almost Sorachi like lemon notes. Even though the grain and cardboard aspect dominates, it still comes off as a thin body. Expensive for what it is, I can see why this is retired now, it wasn't doing anything ingredient wise. Malt and hops weren't providing good flavors. Neutral ale yeast and water was all you were left with.

 528 characters

Photo of DaKur
2.75/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of beerhast
2.75/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of Screwball
2.75/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of Danno48
2.75/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of jzlyo
2.75/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of BEER88
2.81/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Photo of BeerAdvocate
2.84/5  rDev -17.7%
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.

 682 characters

Photo of PhageLab
2.85/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Clear copper colour, nice head of froth, but poor retention. Some spotted lace.

S - Mild citrus hops in the nose, but not much else to report here.

T - Sort of acidic, and bitter, but not in a pleasant hoppy way. Some pine hops offer relief, but not much.

M - Light bodied, mild carbonation, watery feel and finish.

D - It's not terrible, but it is one of the weaker Saranac brews and pale ales in general.

 450 characters

Photo of BamfBacon
3/5  rDev -13%

Photo of EBeckett3
3/5  rDev -13%

Photo of dgeebs07
3/5  rDev -13%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Saranac Pale Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.45 out of 5 based on 179 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.