Saranac Maple Porter | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac Maple PorterSaranac Maple Porter
119 Ratings
Saranac Maple PorterSaranac Maple Porter

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

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-07-2009

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 119 |  Reviews: 86
Reviews by drperm:
Photo of drperm
3.31/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the Saranac Winter Sampler pack.

A: Lovely dark red-brown, nearly opaque, with an antique-white froth that's thin but resilient.

S: (Let it warm up first!!). Maple sugar, brown sugar, sorghum, a hint of cinnamon, floral hops. A mild nose for all that.

T: Nice, but too sweet to be great. TONS of burnt caramel, and a huge maple hit right off the bat. Tone it down!

M: A bit sticky.

D: Clever, curious, original, and fun, this one's not a session beer for me -- it's just too damn sweet and mapley. One of them is fine, but then I'm ready to move on. Curiously, it improves with food. Spicy chipotle chili is a good companion.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass a mix of dark brown and ruby, a thinner off white head atop, leaving minimal lace as it settled quickly.Decent aromas mainly of roast and chocolate malt,a light leafy note shows through as the beer warms as well.A pretty balanced porter with good roast and earthy tones, mixed with sweetish chocolate and a hint of that maple syrup.A little prickly in the mouth but this a decent porter to be had.

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Photo of generallee
3.33/5  rDev -7%
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 Doomcifer
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of BlueHammer
3.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle out of the winter sampler pack. Brown color with hints of red. Moderately thick light tan head. Left minimal lacing as it faded. Smells of caramel, toffee, maple, and a hint of nuttiness. Tastes almost exactly as it smells. The maple comes through strongly. There is a flat sweetness to the initial taste. It finishes with a moderate bite that lingers after you swallow. I was somewhat surprised that the beer tastes better colder than when allowed to sit for awhile. Mouthfeel is truly average, as rated, it is sort of flat but not entirely unpleasant. Drinkability is dependent on your tolerance for maple. My only complaint is that it became slightly less enjoyable as it sat longer in the glass. Overall, not bad, but more than one in a sitting might be too many.

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Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: leather/reddish brown in color, 1/4 inch head, high carbonation, clear

Smell: maple, nut, and toasted malt

Taste: toasted malt, nut, and a big maple taste that starts in the middle and lasts through

Mouthfeel: smooth, dry, big sweet finish, high carbonation

Drinkability: A very solid sessionable beer. This is in a high tier of maple beer, probably just after, Tommyknocker and Kanc County. The maple is a tad artificial tasting, but not enough to throw off the enjoyment. This is my favorite in the winter pack.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The label brings back memories from my first job working tapping maple trees in the hills of West Virginia with a retired local surgeon. Collecting sap and boiling it down at the sugar shack, I love this process and outcome... true maple syrup is a godly creation. This porter pours a dark cola brown caramel ruby highlights. Large khaki tan head forsm thick with chunky lacing. Aroma has dark chocolate cocoa and an air of maple syrup about it nice sweet dark and roasty a good mix for the senses. Flavor is upfront with the sweet maple syrup additions with a nice straight forward porter with dark roasts bringing mild chocolate and coffee in the finihs. Herbal earthy hops come to play with a touch of bitterness really an English style porter with maple syrup flavoring. Mouthfeel is medium bodied moderate carbonation a bit cloying with the acidic nature of the finish with thos maple syrup notes. Drinkability overall is decent not a beer I'm dying to try again but very tolerable and at times straight up enjoyable.

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Photo of Brenden
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had a couple Saranacs on Christmas with my wife's cousin's husband. I made thorough notes, as I intended to review when I could.

The color is a deep, dark brown that has some clarity but is thick and dark enough that I can't see through it. A light brown head forms at less than one finger, lingers for a little while, and dissipates, leaving spotty lacing.
The aroma is heavily of malts, seemingly a few varieties, with a smokiness. It is a little nutty as well, with a little earthiness underneath it all. Maple is not as strongly pronounced as it could be, though present. A caramel note lingers as well. The aroma is fairly sturdy and makes for a decent presence, but lacks the strength, balance and complexity to put this with the big boys.
I couldn't detect anything in the taste that wasn't in the smell, nor did I fail to detect anything that was in it. It simply follows suit exactly. I have to say that the smokiness probably had the strongest presence after the malts, whereas most would expect the maple to maintain that instead.
The mouthfeel is neither impressive nor unimpressive. There's a little crispness, it's fairly smooth, and it's not too thin. It could, however, improve in all three aspects to make it more enjoyable. The body is medium to full and carbonation is light.
There's nothing holding me back from drinking this one again; in a room full of BMCs I'm definitely going for this, and in a room full of, say, Fuller's or Samuel Smith's (keeping with style), I'd reach for those instead.

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Photo of caddybuyer
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
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 NJpadreFan
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saranac- Maple Porter

(My 37th different beer from Saranac.)

A- Nice copper brown, clear, mild carbonation, and a thick heavy lacing head.
S- Good hit of sweet sugary maple syrup, molasses, and toffee malt.
T- Very sweet sugary/ sticky maple syrup. Nice hints of caramel/ toffee/ butterscotch, molasses, pecan nuts maybe and a touch of chocolate malt.
M- Sticky sweet with a maple spicy body and a earthy dry woodsy hop finish.

Overall- Very enjoyable, could use a little more Mmphh but another good offering from Saranac. This years Winter variety pack is quite a good buy for $14!

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Photo of dadonabike
1.7/5  rDev -52.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Picked this up in the winter sampler pack,

This beer looked nice, but not to style at all. It looks like a very nice (dark) brown ale. It looks nice and clear with the dark crystal malt the label claims but still seems too light colored for a porter. Nice head and lacing,

The smell was not good. Imitation maple. : (

The taste was not good. Imitation maple. : (

There are good qualities in the taste and smell; this would be a pretty good brown ale if it were not for the flavoring.

The same goes for the overall feeling for this beer it would be an OK beer with some good qualities if it were not for the awful fake flavor.

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Photo of mempath
4.45/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

looks good (nice lacing, dark ruby-brown), smells nice (toffee, honey, dates), tastes bourbon almost...very interesting...the maple bursts through but there is a charred oak vanilla bourbon thing going on that is really different...thought the mouthfeel suffers a bit from thin-ness, the taste makes up for it with complexity and uniqueness. though it has the maple syrup oozing through, the sweetness is held at bay with an odd sourdough note that really tops it all off. i guess a palate not used to this might simply hate it. nothing like that silly A-B stuff from bourbon casks. quite drinkable and i'd say change nothing. i think this would be killer on draft. nothing FAKE here...nothing contrived...very INTEGRATED. if you've got the palate to sort the bursts from the subliminals.


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Photo of avisong
2.5/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of cliff1066
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of hooliganlife
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pour is deep brown, almost black with a light creamy head

caramel, roasted malts, light sweet syrup

maple up front, a bit dominating, and then the roasted malts come out. hints of caramel. maple syrup aftertaste that lingers.

a bit too much carbonation but fairly full.

i dug this, and i enjoyed drinking it. being that it is pretty strong in flavor, could not see myself putting back too many. however, i thought this sounded good and it was. i enjoyed.

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Photo of chrishiker1409
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of russpowell
3.15/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a copper tinged chestnut with 1 finger+ of cream colored head. Above average lacing & average head retention

S: Maple syrup and not much else...

T: Maple syrup, a touch of caramel with leafy & a bit of metallic hops up front. Dryness & a touch cloying sweetness dominate as this warms, not falling in love with this. Finishes with slight astringency & more fake maple sweetness & a bit of roastyness shows up too late to save the cause...

MF: Light bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinks okay, but between the thinness & the fake flavor I'll pass on this one next time...

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
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 Gmann
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown color with some amber highlights peaking through. Big frothy khaki colored head that left some nice lacing on the side of the pint, settling into a nice cap. The aroma is of caramel malt and maple syrup, quite sweet. Some toffee and metal notes. Kind of like a coffee flavored candy. Very light roasted malt flavor, a touch grainy, maple syrup, burnt toffee, finishes with a lemony tart/bitterness. The feel is quite light with fizzy carbonation. The maple syrup sweetness would probably get cloying after one beer. An ok porter, probably could use some more body and roasted flavor. The maple isn't terrible but would probably be better suited with more of a malt body.

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Photo of hkyplyr73
4.06/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Kinsman
3.57/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A: A deep-dark reddish brown with a thin off-white head. Light in color than most porters available today, but certainly non uncharacteristic of a tradional porter.

S: Obviously a sweet maple aroma more than anything else

T: Based on the brewers notes on the bottle, I was surprised with this one. Saranac suggests you "look for hints of maple syrup flavoring used in this deliciously different brew." However there was no looking necessary and the maple was more than a hint. Not that this is bad for a maple porter, I guess I just underestimated the maple flavor in this brew. That being said, after the initial maple flavor, more subtle roasted malt flavors can be detected.

M: Not as thick and chewy as many other porters, making the feel of this brew unique in a pleasent way.

D: Overall a worthy porter suitable for your after dinner drink.

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Photo of mikerems
4.5/5  rDev +25.7%

Photo of puboflyons
3.57/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle marked 2659-1138. Sampled on November 12, 2009. It pours an opaque brown-red and is not as dark as traditional Porters. There is almost no head and what there is simmers down to nothing in no time. There is a notable maple scent with the malts and hops but it is not overpowering. The mouthfeel is of medium body. The taste has a more pure maple flavor than the aroma. The roadted malts and hops are almost secondary. I feel like I'm drinking a bottle of maple syrup but it is nowhere near as thick. Interesting beer although it seems more suited for early spring when the maple sap is flowing.

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Photo of akorsak
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottle from the 12 beers of winter.

A: The porter is a dark coffee color, a robust brown that resembles black. One when light shines through do the reddish brown hues become more apparent. A small head, less than 1/2 a finger, left thin spots of lace behind.

S: The nose is driven by a syrupy caramel aroma, far stronger than either the maple or porter aspects. The maple is mild, lingering behind the caramel.

T: The porter has a roasted grain flavor, warming and burnt. Paired with it is a syrupy melange of caramel and maple. Both are sweet with caramel standing out just a little more. The maple operates behind the scenes, subtly adding sugary sweetness.

M: The mouthfeel is sweet, driven by caramel and maple, until it hits the bitterness of the porter. The ale seems undercarbonated, allowing the sweetness to linger.

D: A good porter. It lacks the normal Saranac house flavor, which is unusual for one of their ales.

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Photo of someoneintheroad
4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
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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Saranac Maple Porter from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 119 ratings