Saranac Maple Porter | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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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

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Reviews: 85 | Ratings: 118
Photo of BeerlyHuman
4.82/5  rDev +34.3%
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 KenC411
4.72/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a deep mahogany with a thick 2 finger head. Leaves lacing on the side of the glass.

Smell: Maple syrup and honey with notes of malt.

Taste: Initially sweet, followed by hints of chocolate, with a kiss of maple. Further sips reveal a deep maple body and subtle taste of chocolate. Hints of subtle hops dance in the background.

Mouthfeel: A bit light, low on bubbles, expected it to be creamy.

Drinkability: A brilliant beer. I want more.

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Photo of mempath
4.45/5  rDev +24%
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 mwa423
4.42/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A selection from the Saranac 12 Beers of Winter Mixed pack. Just what I'm in the mood for!

A - Pours a dark brown that is quite clear with hints of red when you hold it up to the light. A small off white head quickly dies down to a thin lacing.

S - Nose filling maple smell that also has hints of whiskey barrel. The end of the smell has some sweet malt and toffee.

T - The taste hits the tongue like a lighter version of Canadian Breakfast Stout. This is by far the best Saranac beer I have ever had. There is lots of maple flavor, coffee, sweet malt, and toffee. Excellent flavor!

M/D - Drinks like a well made porter, smooth and creamy. I'm almost upset that this isn't out year round in 6 packs, I would keep this regularly when I am in the mood for something dark but shy of a stout.

Again, by far the best beer I have ever had from Saranac.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
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 GeoffFromSJ
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An incredibly tasty porter. While at colder temperatures, each sip starts with a bit of sweetness and then explodes with roastiness and maple syrup in the finish. As the beer warms, the tastes become more mellow and the beer becomes smoother. The maple syrup taste lingers a bit longer.

The mixture of tastes of maple syrup and chocolate malt is what will make or break this beer. For my money, this is just an excellent pairing of tastes.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a Saranac mixer. $12 for 12 beers, 6 styles... hell yeah!

A- A nice roasted chestnut brown, thick, creamy head that takes its time to settle. I am impressed.

S- Lagerish, malty, beer-riffic aromas. Closer the maple is a bit more evident, but nothing too intense. This too is a pleasant surprise.

T- Maple comes through like gangbusters. Very intense, very tasty. Quite possibly the most flavorful thing Saranac has ever created. Not overly sweet, candied maple sugar complements the toasty malts to make a very rich, satisfying beer.

M- Pretty good, medium body, good carbonation helps the sugars along.

D- I'd have a few of these. Quite possibly the best Saranac I've ever had, I was impressed with this one. They should put it into the 32 oz mini growlers I see their black forest in occasionally. I'd buy 'em for sure.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
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 tlinner
4.17/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a little light-colored for a porter, with minimal head, as is indicative of the Saranac brand. The smell promises chocolate and a faint hint of maple (duh). The taste delivers. While most porters and stouts taste like dark chocolate, the maple in this brew softens it, making it sweet and delicious. I've long thought of Saranac as a half-assed brewery for it's thin, watery beers, but now I'm starting to think that maybe they do it for a good reason. Not everyone likes a strong, high-APC beer, and for those among us with softer, more sensitive palates, Saranac's maple porter is about as good as it gets.

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Photo of someoneintheroad
4.13/5  rDev +15%
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 PangaeaBeerFood
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a St. Bernardus Watou glass and enjoyed over a dinner of ham and macaroni and cheese. Figured the maple notes in the beer would compliment the sweet glaze and smokey meat of the ham nicely.

Appearance is unimpressive, particularly for a Porter. Light, translucent brown color with little to no head that dissipated to nothingness very quickly. Reminds me of a bit of an undercarbonated Brooklyn Brown with less head, only you have those expectations going into a Brown Ale. Going into a Porter I expected something more robust.

It smells lovely. A lot of smooth roasted notes with no bitterness or harshness to be found. Also no hops to be found, but that's to be expected from a Porter. Slight bit of maple at the tail end of a sniff, but it might just be power of suggestion. The maple is very faint.

First impression upon sipping is that I wish they didn't call this a Porter. I actually really enjoy this beer, but it closer to a roasty brown ale or a bock in terms of it's flavors. It lacks the boldness that a classic English Porter puts out. That being said, its by far the best I've had from Saranac. It's smooth, with a comforting roasty chocolate flavor that isn't at all bitter or harsh. There is some sweetness in the forefront, but it finishes very dry, without that lingering syrup sweetness you get from most maple-infused ales. It's nice because the dryness, combined with the roasted malt flavors, really gives you an atypical example of maple. The maple flavors are mild, earthy, dare I say, slightly leafy, but in a good way. Very nice.

The mouthfeel is a bit light and watery. Again, I wouldn't take issue with the mouthfeel if it weren't for the fact that they labeled this a Porter, which sets up certain expectations.

Drinkability is above average. Smooth. Comforting. No bitterness. No harshness. Low ABV. I could drink the shit out of these all night.

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Photo of kegger22
4.09/5  rDev +13.9%
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 buschbeer
4.07/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well, this beer is the whole reason I bought the 12 beers of winter. Let's see how it goes . . .

I poured into a pint glass to a modest tan head. This beer is reddish brown in color. It's a lot lighter than what I'm used to. The maple smell wafted to my nose immediately. After going in nose first I also got some milk chocolate, too. The taste is a little disappointing. It's good but not great. I get a sweet maple, chocolate taste. I would prefer it to be more pronounced. It is probably the best Saranac I've had to date, but that's like saying I took the cutest fat chick to prom.


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Photo of bob3701
4.07/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass. Clear chestnut brown color with a creamy light tan head that slowly dissolves into a thin film and laced well. Maple and roasted malt aromas. At first sip you get the roasted bitterness but it finishes with maple sweetness. Hints of chocolate and caramel in it. Made my lips a little sticky. Overall a really good porter.

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Photo of MikeBrandman
4.01/5  rDev +11.7%
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 tigg924
4/5  rDev +11.4%
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 ujsplace
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an over sized wine glass.

A: Dark, burnt amber. Thick billowing head that is tan/white in color. Leaves descent lacing.

S: Toasted maple malt, mildly bitter hops.

T: Nice mild hip bitters with sweet malts up front with a really nice maple finish that is not overdone.

M: Medium bodied, creamy and a nice level of carbonation.

D: Wow, I am pleasantly suprised with the flavor of this brew. Nice, I think this would be a good selection for gatherings. Definitely a case worthy selection.

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Photo of Tilley4
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Last bottle out of the 12 pk Winter Sampler to try.. Here it goes..

Pours an almost ruby red with a thick but quickly disappearing head... Looks almost like a Red... Hmmm..

Nice roasted malt aromas with a tinge of maple aroma as well.. I wasn't sure what to make of this brew but the more I smell it the better it gets. I'm digging on this one quite a bit...

Starts out very porter like with dark roasted malts but quickly turns sweet with that maple flavor in the middle and on the finish. Still.... I'm actually enjoying the hell out of this and I'm thinking that I'm actually pissed that I can't get this in sixers. I'd buy this and session it if I could. Not bad at all..

Overall, one of the better brews out of the Winter Sampler in my opinion. I liked it... It's a little sweet but not cloying and is very smooth...

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Photo of smibroncos
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Poured a dark, coffee brown with a nice one and a half finger tan head. Good lacing on the glass.

S. Chocolate, coffee, leaves, spice

T. This beer starts out slightly sweet, then goes to a bitter chocolte coffee, and finishes with a hint of maple syrup. Pretty complex and very tasty.

M. Medium bodied, medium carbonation, thick and creamy.

D. A very good brew from Saranac. Nice flavor the maple was not too overpowering, allowing the robust porter flavor come through.

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Photo of magine
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a maple colored brew, with off white head. Fluffy island with nice lacing.

Brew smells of maple, a sweet porter smell.

Has a very robust tasty flavor; can taste the malts has a sweet smoth taste.

This is yet another good saranac offering. Very nice.

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Photo of mnrider
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. Brown Bottle. Pint Glass

A: Pours a dark brown with a red tint. Nice one finger tan head. Which leaves a decent amount of lacing.

S: Maple is strong as is cocoa and a little bit of caramel.

T/M: Caramel leads to maple. Smooth and semi sweet. Also a bit nutty.

D: Very tasty beer. Different taste with the maple. A very fine brew form Saranac. I Enjoyed this one very much.


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Photo of yesyouam
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Saranac Maple Porter is a clear, orangish brown ale with a frothy, khaki head that has excellent retention and lacing. It smells very roasty, like coffee; lightly sweet and perhaps a touch wooden. It's medium bodied, bubbly, pretty smooth and dry. The finish is pretty dry. Like the aroma, it tastes very roasty, with notes of coffee and chocolate. It's excellently balanced with a bitterness that seems wooden. The maple comes at and after the finish. That's the flavor that lingers. This beer is well done, unique and very drinkable.

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Photo of beerphan
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle -> american pint
part of the 12 beers of winter 2009/2010
Product code: 2659 1523 is screened on the bottle

Pours a dark brown tinged with deep ruby highlights. A thick billowy head dissipates down to some rocky stacks of foam. Patchy chunks of lace cling to the glass and don't let go. Carbonation is robust and steady.

Nose: Syrup, some chocolate, cocoa

Chocolate smack in the face on the initial swig, this was quickly rounded out with a sweet touch of maple syrup that lingers and melds beautifully with the mellow bitter finish. A smooth creamy mouthfeel. Kudos Saranac!

Pissed I only have 2 of these.

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Photo of caddybuyer
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
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 mjaskula
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
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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Saranac Maple Porter from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.59 out of 5 based on 118 ratings.
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