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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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 179 |  Reviews: 102
Photo of biggred1
3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pale golden with a big fluffy white head of foam that melts slowly leaving scraps of lace on the glass. The aroma is nice, citrusy centennial hop notes with bready grain. Mild, piney hops and lightly rich and toasty malt. Light bodied with smooth carbonation. This beer is extremely refreshing and could be a go to session ale.

 327 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.

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Photo of DrewKid4
3.27/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served: Bottle into 16 oz tall glass

Appearence: Light brown-bronze with a finger width white head and more than moderate carbonation.

Smell: Wheat with a hint of hops.

Taste: Not a bad American Pale Ale, but after having many greats, it doesn't compete. It's not bad, it is a good brew under the somewhat unknown Saranac arsenal but doesn't have as much soul into it as many other breweries. I felt the bite and bitterness came from the carbonation rather than the hops, which were light for a pale ale.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied but too much carbonation for my taste.

Drinkability: Would be great for outdoor events, but not an everyday beer, which is what it's being marketed for.

Overall, this is not a bad beer, but it is an average Pale Ale. Not bad for a casual drink, but would not seek it.

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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 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.

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

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a clear dark gold. Head is relatively light but stays around a while, limited lace.

S: Some grassy hops and sourdough bread, cracked wheat in there too, relatively mild for the style.

T: Light amount of grassy hops, pretty good aftertaste - they come out more. Mild malt, carbonic acid makes a play which is never a good sign. Mediocre flavour.

M: Light-bodied, smooth for sure, creamy. Easy going down, but just so light in this style.

D: A very mild-mannered pale ale. Taste is okay, no outright problems, I simply need more hops, I'm hankering for some Anchor Liberty after this.

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Photo of Duhast500
3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

The color is clear gold with less then a finger foamy white head and some slight lacing.

The smell is light but a bit hoppy with some spicy/peppery flavor at first with a touch of some pair flavor.

The taste is a little bitter and has the same peppery flavor but does not bite too hard. There is just enough bitterness in the beer to let you there are hops but nothing too strong. Some slight orange flavor and a slight sugary flavor as well.

This beer goes down well and there is some interesting things about the smoothness. It has a nice silky flavor that is nice and has a pleasing mouth-feel.

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Photo of skenyon1811
3.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a pint.

A: Golden yellow color. Lighter appearance than most APAs. Pours really well, half inch of head that stays for a minute.

S: A light hoppy aroma. Piney and sweet. Its fairly subtle.

T: It does not have as strong of a bitterness as you would think from a beer called "Pale Pale Ale" I feel like this would be an APA Light. It has a nice earthy taste, but also a kind of sour taste.

M: It is very crisp and light with a very dry aftertaste. I don't like how it it makes my mouth feel a couple minutes after a sip.

D: It is a good session beer, however it is only sold in the summer variety pack, so its not really possible.

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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.

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Photo of 160Shillings
2.51/5  rDev -26.4%
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.

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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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Photo of donkeyrunner
2.35/5  rDev -31.1%
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.

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

I'm expecting good things from this beer after the other offerings in the Saranac Summer Pack.

Bottle describes as a "true APA" with Centennial Hops and Maris Otter malt. Such little details thrill me.

Pours with a beautiful pillowy dusty colored 2 finger+ head--big bubbles w/creamy top over a pretty orange-gold body. Clean, clear. Not "pale" but beautiful. Lacing was acceptable.

Citrusy hops indeed lead the aroma. The smooth sweet malt smell doesn't take a backseat, but instead balances the hops.

First taste is dry slightly estery hops, then a quick citrusy zing that is half sensation/half taste. The further I get into the glass, the later that zing shows up. Citrus, hops, then some spicy malt, then the zing and finishing with a dry slightly soapy aftertaste.

Nice carbonation carries through the sip and swallow but to me it's a smooth carbonation--not watery, but a nice soft texture. Slight bite near the swallow with a slightly dry finish.

I'm not a big hop fan (yet?) and thought this would be a nice shy introduction to that world of craziness. I can indeed see the potential for addiction!

This is a tasty and accessible APA--I expected some subtlety and was not disappointed. It was nice to be able to experience the hops instead of getting smashed over the head with them. I think Saranac did a great job with this and I will certainly be coming back for more.

*This review from notes taken on 6/3/09.

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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 mjaskula
3.86/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass. This one looks really great. It pours a nice clear copper with a thick rocky head that thins to a film with lots of lacing.

Aroma is faint, with both citrus and florally hops and a malty sweetness. Flavor has a moderate amount hop bitterness with a decent balance of malt. Hop flavor is clean and crisp. A little bit of green apple flavor is present. Mouthfeel is nice and a bit dry. A pretty good APA, but not as inviting as the Sierra Nevada pale.

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

A/ amber brown

S/ hops lots of it

T/hoppy with a hint of citrus

M/ dry hoppy taste good pale ale

D/ good beer nice to drink a bit chilled but not to mutch

good dry pale ale with lots hops and a nice citrus finisch like a good pale ale should be

 250 characters

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 kegger22
3.43/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a clear yellow with a one finger head that faded to a thin skin. The aroma was weakly citrus. The taste was also a little on the mild side, but more citrus than malt with no bitter aftertaste. The feel was light bodied with sufficient carbonation. Drinkability was good. A safe choice in a beer, not likely to offend anyone.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.43/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into my pint glass a clear pale gold with a small ivory-colored head on top. Retention was weak, but there was some nice sticky lace on the glass. Smells of earthy malts and veggies. Some slight sweet scent on the finish. Moderate amount of carbonation gives this a decent body. Flavor is slightly bittering with the light hops used, but malt is the big guy here. Not the sweet malt profile, rather a dull earthy flavor. I like the low ABV as well. This would be a great one to session during a cookout or day in the yard.

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Photo of cbutova
3.77/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with a one finger head that fizzes out rather quickly and leaves good lacing behind. Smells of malts and citrus hops, a pretty good balance in the nose. The citrus hoppiness is more prominent than I expected. Taste starts off with a good balance of citrus hops and malts and then goes to hops. The after taste is a big malt backbone, pretty good for this light beer. Hops can be detected on the tongue after the beer is swallowed. As with other Saranac beers, the hops seem to fade leaving the tongue to a sweet, overly malty taste for the second half of the beer. Mouthfeel is moderate bodied with good carbonation on the tongue and no alcohol warming or taste. A good coat of aftertaste, mainly malts is left on the tongue. Drinkability is good. The taste is better than I was expecting, the price tag is pretty low on Saranac stuff. No real off flavors have killed it so far, meaning I could session it.

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Photo of skinny0ne
2.57/5  rDev -24.6%
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 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 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

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