Saranac Maple Porter
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac Maple PorterSaranac Maple Porter
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English Porter
Ranked #249
Ranked #39,649
3.62 | pDev: 15.75%
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States
Saranac Maple PorterSaranac Maple Porter
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Reviews: 86 | Ratings: 119
Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a mug, the appearance was a stiff murky dark brown color with a cap of a semi-foamy to fizzy white head that slid off fairly quick. Not much lace.
The aroma had some sweet maple syrup softening with some sweet biscuits, a dark roasty coffee and a dark chocolate nib-like sweetness on the back end.
The flavor was semi-sweet with some dark chocolate nib bitterness playing with some earthiness and the maple syrup. Pretty nice balance for the most part. All seemed to come together and add an ever so slight touch of vanilla extract in the aftertaste.
The mouthfeel was almost medium bodied as it seemed to sit just a touch under with a fair sessionability about it. Maple syrup wasn't cloying which is nice since many brewers tend to overdo the maple syrup in a fair amount of beers. Carbonation felt on par. ABV felt appropriate. Nice smooth maple sweet finish.
Overall, one of the better well constructed maple added porters on the market and another better offering by Saranac.

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Photo of someoneintheroad
4.13/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this beer with the Saranac winter mix. Really loved the strong, but not overpowering maple flavor with the slight bitterness of this winter beer. I would have really liked to have seen Saranac continue making this one. Great for enjoying on cold nights.

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Photo of dananabanana
3.67/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown, but not quite black. Thin layer of white foam, it almost looks like a Coca-Cola. Lacing is pretty strong (white spots, not streaky).

S: Dark malt and caramel. Strong coffee notes. A vague hint of cream or vanilla.

T: Perhaps a hint of bourbon. Strong malt, some coffee bitterness but not too overwhelming. Maple comes through at the end. The sweetness is too artificial in flavor.

M: The maple flavor makes it nice and smooth.

O: Heavy in the stomach, but smooth on the palate. Drinakble, but there are better porters out there.

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Photo of Bockrules
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a slightly used motor oil brown with bronze highlights. Only a few small bubbles rise to the one finger, tanish head. Head stays intact about halfway down the glass. Leaves behind a few splotches of lacing at the bottom of the glass.

S - Plenty of maple syrup smell with hints of chocolate and caramel. There are hints of earthy hops as well.

T - Maple syrup upfront. The body is ruled by chocolate and caramel malt with plenty of earthy hops. More earthy hop notes as the beer passes over the back of the tongue followed by a chocolate chip pancake covered in way too much syrup finish.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

The last beer from the Saranac winter back I bought back east as an undergraduate a few years ago. Despite being a couple years old, this beer tasted about as expected - like an acceptable brown ale-to-porter with a heap of maple syrup added to it. I'm still on the fence about adding extraneous ingredients to beers as this came off a little artificial tasting. I'd drink it again if I stumbled upon another Saranac winter craft pack for $10, but it's not something I would seek out.

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Photo of airheadmtrcycle
3.05/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From the Saranac Winter Sampler poured into a Sierra Nevada pint glass. I am really looking forward to this one. I love porters and this is surely a different twist, "with Natural Flavors".

Appearance is a bit lighter than most porters, brown with red hues. Acceptable head, but no lacing to speak of. After a few swigs though there's some nice lacing clinging to the glass.

Aromas are sweet, toasted malts and maybe a little sweetened coffee. I guess the sweetness could be a maple smell, but I'm unable to say for sure. But, upon the first sip, now I can say for sure; it's maple, sweet and sweeter. They really nailed the maple flavor. There's some coffee and toasted malts in the background that want to show themselves upon warming. The sips are bittersweet, or more precisely uber-sweet and a hard to find bitterness. I would have preferred quite the opposite, but that's a subjective call, and I want to give them credit for trying. And if you like the the idea of a sweet maple-flavored porter this could your thing. Frankly, the word cloying crossed my mind. The mouth feel is on the thinner side, but not really what I would call watery.

The last English porter I had was a Taddy Porter, arguably the quintessential English porter, and frankly there's no comparison. But as a novelty it's quite drinkable particularly if shared with another or two. I can't see drinking another immediately afterwards.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.26/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 2/14/2010. Bottle. Pours a clear dark brown with a thick light tan head. Aroma of sweet caramel malt, residual sugars. Flavor is quite full of maple syrup, which basically dominates the flavor along with some sweet caramel malt and brown sugar. Well, it is what it advertises. The aroma is pretty poor but the flavor is not too bad -- overall, a decent, maplely beer (although not a classic porter at all; it barely resembles a porter actually).

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Photo of caddybuyer
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifer. From a 09/10 winter pack sampled in August 10.

A-Deep garnet brown with a tan head that settles rapidly. Wish the head was bigger, but this is a nice looking beer.

S-Decent sweet caramel malts, but not picking up much else.

T-Wow...this is where this really shines. I had one of these on ice in the middle of the summer and was blown away. Sweet maple sugar and caramel malts melt across the palate with a slight lingering hop aftertaste bling, but the sweets and malts are what this is all about. This reminds me a bit of Lancaster's Sourghum Beer, but damn...this is much better than expected.

M-Well balanced all around

D-Holy crap this one took me by surprise...I always enjoy Saranac's seasonal offerings as they are usually well done, but lackluster. This is a nice beer when reviewed in style, in season, and in context. Well done!

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a Unibroue tulip. Dark ruby color with a beige head. Light lacing. Aroma is of coffee, sweet malts, ash tray and maybe a touch of peanut butter? Taste is mildly sweet, almost winter warmer-like, a bit thin, caramel malts and some roasted malt standing out. Not a bad offering.

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Photo of mikereaser
2.73/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours from a 12 oz. bottle on 12/23/09.

A - pours a very dark chestnut brown with 1/2 inch of tan foam

S - roasted malts, maple syrup sweetness

T - roasted malt, chocolate, maple syrup, dark sweet flavor, a bit too sweet for me, cola like flavor

M - good carbonation, smooth mouthfeel, syrupy

D - ok flavor, but no need to try again

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.34/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Years ago, a dear, old friend of mine purchased an entire six-pack of Saranac's Caramel Porter for me, as they thought it'd go over well with me. I like porters, I do appreciate caramel. What could possibly go wrong? All I recall is a harshly cloying sweetness and the fact that those six bottles lasted me a long, long time. Who knows, maybe they've tweaked it since then, and here's hoping this isn't a repeat of last time except with maple instead of caramel flavoring.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body with some dark amber tones to it - like fine, aged leather. Thinnish, ivory-hued head.

Smell: Sweet-scented aroma with a wry wink from Mrs. Butterworth. Notes of maple flavoring, Cadbury chocolate, and burnt grains and roasted nuts tossed with table sugar.

Taste: For me, the maple syrup additive doesn't really dominate, instead mingled in amongst the other strong, sugary sweet tastes of chocolate, sugar-dosed coffee, cola, and pecan pie filling. Minor bitterness derived from the leafy English hops. Light astringency lurking on the back half. Sugary, malty, crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Well, thankfully, it wasn't exactly the jarring experience I had with the Caramel Porter six or so years ago. The sweetness really bucks the overall drinkability of this one. A curious concoction, though I feel the two bottles in the winter 12-pack will be more than enough for me.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.22/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Just like a good, old-fashioned porter: dark, relatively clear coal-worker's brown; a bit of a Tiger-Eye effect when light oh-so-rudely pushed its way through. Speaking of coal, a good amount of toast comes through in the nose, some oddly satisfying combination of cooking smoke (as opposed to arson smoke) and dark pancake syrup. Damn, when they say "maple" they really mean it. Fair enow. Let's not forget the brown sugar and cinnamon in there as well, much less the possibility of nutmeg. At first, the spice rack is subdued on the tongue, with the sycophantic dark wheats receiving the favor instead. Not to be outdone, the spices roar back like the royal lion (rampant, natch), unseating those brown brown-nosers and bringing some winter oven goodness to the court. The king, he claps. The merriment is not too light, and the effervescence of the courtiers properly somewhat subdued, allowing the royals to soar above the room, leaving the whole land smiling beneath a short blanket of snow. And a hey-nonny-nonny.

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Photo of biggred1
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, dark ruby red with a creamy tan head. Roasted malt and maple syrup with a touch of earthy hop in the nose. Toasted malt and herbal hops are well complimented by the maple syrup richness. On the leaner side of medium bodied with effervescent carbonation. Finishes dry. A decent easy drinking porter.

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Photo of spartanfan
3.64/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz that was bottled on the 294th day of 2009

A: Pours a dirty brown color with a large, tight, off-white head. The head quickly dissipates to a thin layer and leaves good lacing behind.

S: Smells are at first of a sweet grain but the maple syrup character quickly makes itself known, and as the beer warms begins to take over. Perhaps a slight bit of roastyness and chocolate.

T: The chocolate is much more pronounced in the flavor of the beer than the aroma. Not surprisingly maple syrup is a predominate flavor in this beer, but as the beer warms it fades a bit. A light hop bitterness on the back end balances this beer well.

M: Quite thin. The level of carbonation is good and the flavors are smooth, but the body is just too watery.

D: This beer is smooth, well balanced and not too strong. Very drinkable, but I don't think I'd want many of these in a row.

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Photo of Fnerk
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

While the recipe for this beer has potential, the result is syrupy and heavy, giving credence to the notion that even the best recipe ideas can go south if the beer is allowed to boil down too much.

Appearance - pours a rich dark brown with a long-lasting head and good lacing on the glass.

Smell - Yum. Chocolate. Maple. Everything is as advertised but one gets the sense that from here on out everything will be too much.

Taste - and so it is. The chocolate, while possessing a fine taste, is cloying, and is not balanced with the other malts in the beer. Backing off on this a tad and allowing the other malts to mingle would have gone a long way in balancing this brew out.

The maple is also overdone. There should be just a hint here.

Mouthfeel - again, heavy/syrupy, rather than creamy. The carbonation is really quite good, there just needs to be a lot of it to cut through the syrup.

Drinkability - I could only get one down, and this is actually a good-tasting beer. While seemingly a paradox, this beer is an example of how less is more can often work with beers of this style.

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Photo of generallee
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. There appears to be no freshness or born on date on the label.

Appearance: Its body has a brownish color with reddish amber highlights. It produced a light beige, two finger thick head. It is a slow fading head that fades down to a just a ring of lacy foam. Lacing on the glass is spotty and slick.

Smell: There is a definite sweet maple syrup like aroma with a touch of toasted malt.

Flavor/Palate: It has a very sweet mix of thin toasted bready maltiness covered with maple flavored corn syrup. I also get some buttery notes as well. This flavor reminds me of a frozen waffle covered in a Log Cabin like breakfast syrup and butter. This one is all about the sweetness as there is only a very slight hint of leafy hops in the middle that tries in vain to add some bitterness. The finish has some maple sweetness and a bit more roasted maltiness fading off the tongue. With all this sweetness it is still fairly light on body and thin in texture. Carbonation is light as well and makes the thin texture somewhat slick.

Notes: For me this beer is way too sweet. I can not help thinking that I should be putting this on pancakes or something. Drinkability for me is very low, as I couldn't see drinking any more than one of these at a time.

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Photo of MikeBrandman
4.01/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours into a tulip sniffer with one finger of quickly receding head that doesn't leave much and has very little lacing to hold it up. Almost opaque body with deep brown colors and slight ruby tones. No visible carbonation.

S - Smells like maple syrup poured over pancakes. Really disturbing in the beginning, but goes from offputting, to intriguing, to delicious. Compliments the flavor very well.

T - Large maple sweetness with some coffee bitterness. Very breakfasty feel to this. The sweet and the bitter balance well and uniquely. No alcohol or yeasty taste.

MF - Very smooth, kind of watery for a porter.

D - Good drinkability from the mouthfeel, but the strong taste makes this more of a sipper than a session.

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Photo of ThaBobfather
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*Notes from Terre Haute Tasting*

Pours a murky brown-maple syrup like color with a decent topping of beige head.
Smell is lightly sweet-some malts and clear woody/maple quality.
Tastes like a McGriddle-honestly-grain, syrup, sweet, malt, and some caramel-exactly like a McGriddle.
Finish is pretty solid-wet with a taste of breakfast on my palate for a long time.
Drinks well here-no hang ups-goes down pretty easy-sessionable.

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Photo of BeerlyHuman
4.82/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pleasantly suprised at how much I enjoyed this brew. Being part of a variety pack may have been the only reason I made the purchase. Everything about this beer was great! Not too sweet, didnt have to search for the maple flavor or aroma, and real treat for sure. I would certainly buy it in a six if available as it was the biggest reason I bought a few more variety 12's.

Great Job Saranac!!

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Photo of kegger22
4.09/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saranac Maple Porter was brown in color with a moderate beige head that rapidly faded to a collar.

The aroma was actually a noticeable maple smell, very nice, and of course sweet (you can't smell maple without associating it with sugary sweetness, can you?).

The taste was toffee semi-sweet with a slight cola flavor. Warming enhanced both aroma and taste.

The mouth feel was medium bodied, lightly oily and a bit over carbonated.

Drinkability was good with a 5.30 ABV and a pleasant taste.

This was the last rating from Saranac's twelve beers of winter sampler. I have to agree with a forum topic a few weeks ago, about Matt/Saranac stepping up their act. They did a pretty nice job on this particular sampler pack.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Perhaps my favorite of the day I saved this one for last. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, I enjoyed this one considerably on 02/21/2010.

The pour was very well done. Rich, dark amber in color, pretty much a hazelnut brown in tone and a nice and thin head of white that came up and over and settled down nicely on the top of the glass. Letting itself settle down it then came in to a light, but interesting rocky crown. Aroma is sweet, maple, brown sugar, lots of roasted nuts and malts all coming through very clearly and evening here. Warming brings them out even more so. Very well done. Rich and warming taste, smoky with hints of maple and a caramel sweetness that really just seemed to push it together very, very nicely. Light touch of bittering hops in the finish and a smooth overall presentation led to a very fine representation of the style.

Overall a very, very solid ale and probably my favorite of the mix. I would have no issue at all with this one again.

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Photo of mjaskula
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass. Pours dark with red highlights. The tan head thins to a ring, and leaves some thin lacing.

I wasn't expecting much from this beer based on their carmel porter, what was completely unbalanced, but this one comes together nicely. The aroma is fairly roasty, with the sweetness of the maple showing through. The maple becomes more prominent in the aroma as it warms. The flavor is nicely balanced, the bitterness of the roasted malts and some hop flavor comes through strong in the beginning and it's followed up with a sweet maple and molasses flavor. There's a bit of tartness in the background as well.

Mouthfeel is nice, but nothing to remark about. Overall, I really like this porter.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of a bottle this beer was a brown color with some slightly reddish hues that appeared when it was held up to the light. It was light (in color) for a porter. The retention was ok and the lacing stringy. The aroma was of maple syrup, caramel malt and hints of chocolate malt. The flavors were also dominated by the maple flavor but it came off as quite artificial. As my friend aptly put it "It's like Aunt Jemima took over my beer!" The mouthfeel was a little watery, the body medium and the carbonation good. Very light for a porter and sadly very one dimensional as well. Just not what I think of when I want a porter and not one I'd recommend.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.66/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The pour produced a finger of deep-tan head exploding with CO2 bubbles. Color was a deep cola-brown with ruby highlights and NE-quality clarity. Nose had a coffee-like roastiness accompanied by a chocolaty sweetness. Mouthfeel seemed thin for a porter and the prevalent taste on the tongue was a roasted bitterness, almost coffee-like. The finish was when I really caught the maple syrup flavoring mentioned on the neck of the bottle. Frankly, as one of the six different beers in the Twelve Beers of Winter pack, I was satisfied. Viva la difference, especially for the price! On its own, perhaps not so much.

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Photo of spwalshesq
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a little thin -- not much foam/lacing. Color is of diet Coke after a few ice cubes have melted.
S: A nice smell to this beer. Slightly sweet toffee aroma. The maple is noticeable but not overpowering.
T: Not bad at all. A little on the thin side. The maltiness is medium. The maple is on the front of the tongue but dissipates with the swallow. It could use a little more body.
M: This beer doesn't fill your mouth with the hearty body that a lot of porters have.
D: A drinkable beer, but is that what you really want in a maple porter? IMHO, a good maple porter should satisfy you after one beer, preferably matched with some rich chocolate cake or a small bowl of maple walnut ice cream. This would be a good beer to introduce a neophyte to this style of beer without scaring the pants off them.

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Photo of VTaler
3.08/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - Dark brown with a small head that leaves a nice lacing. Suprizingly light for a porter.
S - Maple, hops, and roasted barely. It also has a bit of a caramel smell
T - First taste is that of sourness. Next taste is a caramel/roasted barely flavor, followed by the maple. It is surprisingly bitter for something called a maple porter.
M - very fizzy with a medium mouthfeel
D - Not that drinkable

Overall I did not like this beer. When I saw maple porter it sounded like something amazing but I was very disappointed.

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Saranac Maple Porter from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 119 ratings