Saranac Pale Pale Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
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.

Bros Score:
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 jaydoc
3/5  rDev -12%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.04/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

I always thought Pale Ale's were pale enough.. apparently Saranac didn't feel the same way.

Pours a light golden color.. memories of Bud light in a glass come to the forefront.. it has to at least TASTE better than that. Thankfully it does. Not surprisingly, it tastes like a watered down pale ale. Very light bodied, a tiny little hop kick to it with some nice bitterness in there. Definitely an easy drinker and not offensive by any means.. but just way too thin and light, even on a nice hot day. It's refreshing but I wish Saranac chose a better style to brew for their 12 Beers of Summer.. I vote no on this one.

 619 characters

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

 640 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Part of the Saranac Beers of Summer Box - $13.48 at Sherlock's in Marietta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a burnished bronze body with noted clarity and an initial flurry of active carbonation that forms an inch-high layer of soda-like suds.

Smell: Fairly mild nose, with gentle, breezy notes of sliced white hoagie rolls, cut lemons, and flower petals. Again, it's all rather mild.

Taste: Light touch of light pale malts with a small, meager hint of lightly toasted bread. Lightly sweet boost of caramel cookies. Light nuttiness underneath. Lightly citrusy with some soft florals and a very light amount of balancing bitterness. Light, clean finish simply alive with carbonation.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium-high carbonation (again, a bit soda-like).

Drinkability: Fairly innocuous and easy to drink. While I felt I would be mighty quick to dismiss this one, the two bottles ended up being a nice, light beverage (despite its soda-like tendencies) to drink while cooking up a batch of shrimp and grits (with chorizo).

 1,028 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.11/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From 6/9/10 notes. Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle.

a - Pours an amber color with 2 inches of white head.

s - Smells of floral hops and wheat.

t - Tastes of wheat, bready malts, and fading hops.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - Not a great pale ale. Not much going on here and would not look to have again.

 333 characters

Photo of BEER88
2.81/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 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.

 608 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Nearing the end of the Saranac summer mixer with this one (I think...). It pours a clear pale golden straw topped by a bit less than a finger of slightly off-white foam. The nose is a dichotomy of sweet caramel and hoppy florals, with a touch of orange zest trying to mediate things. The taste de-emphasizes the florals in favor of the orange, which itself is joined by some of its rind as well. The caramel is also not as sweet, but remains fairly pronounced nonetheless. The body is pretty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a nearly dry finish. Overall, a nice but only slightly above average PA, but rather easily drinkable.

 681 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.

 550 characters

Photo of stakem
3.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a standard brown bottle with no indication of freshness into a SA perfect pint glass. This Pale Pale ale appears a clear light yellow color with 2 fingers of white foam for a head that receeds leaving lace all over the glassware. Aroma has a pleasant mixture of herbal and citrus hops that come across a bit grassy. Taste has a the expected citrus hop character as well along with a faint grainy malt sweetness before the slightly bitter sweet finish that is quite crisp. This brew has a light body with moderate level of carbonation. Very faint but interesting mix of bready grain flavor coupled with the citrus bitter hops. Overall not bad, the entire time I am drinking this I can't get the thought of "light" pale ale out of my mind.

 749 characters

Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -12%

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 jwc215
3.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From summer '09 variety pack:

Pours bright golden with a nice foamy white head. Patches of lacing stick.

The smell is biscuity and grainy with mild herbal hop spicing.

The taste is of tea-leaf with Maris Otter maltiness and a balancing bitter touch. Mild, but pleasant - a nice English/American hybrid of English malt and American hops.

It has a crisp, light body (though not thin or watery) with a lasting pleasant aftertaste.

This is thist-quenching and truly a summer session beer!

 489 characters

Photo of tone77
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mainly of hops. Taste is good, well balanced malts and hops, slight bitterness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a pretty good quality beer.

 268 characters

Photo of Nichols33
3/5  rDev -12%

Photo of Gavage
3.36/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: golden color with a 1/2" head that lasts a while, but no lacing is produced. Plenty of slow rising carbonation bubbles too.

Smell: very little aroma here except for some floral bitterness and orange citrus.

Taste: light caramel, orange, hint of nuttiness, and a decent bitterness make up a very mild and light ale.

Mouthfeel: crisp throughout with a mild dry finish. Short aftertaste that seemed to focus on the bitterness. Lighter side of a medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: this came across as a decent ale that was somewhat crisp and refreshing.

 564 characters

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.

 463 characters

Photo of plaid75
3.87/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a light copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured an herbal hop and delicate doughy malt.

The taste was well balanced with a crisp malt and a lingering herbal hop.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side of the style.

Overall a tasty and very easy drinking pale ale.

 340 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a solid pale malt scent along with a mild hop aroma. It's dry with some light yeast esters. The taste is decent. It has a weak malt flavor with a decent amount of hop character. It's light and refreshing; just not that malty. It goes down easy with a dry, bitter finish. The mouthfeel is decent also. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a very drinkable APA. It's a solid session beer that won't fill you up and is great for the warmer months.

 581 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another bottle from the sampler pack, on to the beer:

Pale pale ale is indeed pale, with a pale orange color bordering into golde yellow territory. Head retention is good, and so is the amount of lacing left. Wait, this smells like a type of fruit...smells like apricots. Is this a Magic Hat #9 clone?

The flavor's key is on the back of the strongish estery fruit and funny apricot notes. There's little support of the hops or malt, so something weird must be in that yeast. Light solvent alcohol is whispered at times.

It's enjoyable enough. Easy enough to drink, but in the end I find it as a mere upgrade from #9.

 620 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
2.6/5  rDev -23.8%
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 puboflyons
3.57/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle marked 1109-0824. Sampled on May 24, 2009.

A - a fairly clear rusty-amber with almost no head and very little lacing.

S - Kind of pungent with its odd mix of sweet malts and fruity flavorings.

T/M - The mouthfeel is bit on the watery side and the flavor is very sharp and tart like sour malts. It has a slightly dry finish.

 353 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears golden with a small amount of soapy white head.

Smells like pale malt and subtle piney hop notes.

Taste is quite tame, slight bitter hop action with a light roasted character.

Medium bodied and smooth with a medium level of carbonation.

A decent overall beer. Nothing special, but enough hop flavor to get by.

 322 characters

Photo of RBorsato
4/5  rDev +17.3%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Saranac Pale Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.41 out of 5 with 179 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded 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.