Saranac Maple Porter | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
85 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 85 | Ratings: 118
Photo of dadonabike
1.7/5  rDev -52.6%
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.

 630 characters

Photo of santanas95
2.11/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Dark brown, bordering black, but not quite there. Slight off-white head and decent lacing

S: I poured this into a nonic and walked across the room to rinse the bottle... and the aroma followed me. I was reminded of pancakes as a child. Upon returning to my glass, the maple aroma was all that I could discern

T: Again, I was brought back to my childhood, when a buddy and I realized that the Home Econ. kitchen had these flavored extracts that contained alcohol. One of them was maple extract. After 7th grade, I swore I would never touch maple extract again...I guess I lied to myself. There was a very slight perception of burned toast towards the back of the taste. Otherwise, I was assaulted by fake maple flavor.

M: Medium mouthfeel that somehow managed to be overly sweet at the same time. I thank an unnamed deity that I don't have sugar issues.

D: I forced myself to finish the glass. It wasn't a horrific beer or anything, just overdone on the maple and residual sweetness and underwhelming with the lost potential to be a good beer. As is, I find it barely mediocre.

 1,083 characters

Photo of dsa7783
2.38/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Copped as part of a twelve-pack winter variety sampler... Certainly not your conventional English porter... Watered-down taste and flavor... Weak output...Few hints of maple if any in the overall flavor profile... Not impressed with this offering... I have often looked down on Saranac beers as macro in taste... Average stuff and not recommended...

 349 characters

Photo of Gambrinus1184
2.52/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Mickey's pint glass.

A: Poured a very clear amber brown color with hints of burnt orange and a thin veil of white bubbly foam which left little lacing. An odd looking porter to say the least.

S: Smells faintly of roast caramel and toffee malt with a slight herbal bitterness.

T: Flavor is very light and "fake sweet." By that, I mean the malts are weak and give little sweet character to the brew, but a thin syrupy maple flavor seems like an afterthought in the weak makeup of this "porter."

M: Mouthfeel is medium bodied but still quite watery, so where does that feeling come from? Hmmm.

D: I had to move on immediately after one, but Saranac is smart like that. They give you two of a kind in each of these seasonal packs so if one brew is forgettable (i.e. this porter) you can mosey on to the next variety. This porter just has no legs to stand on.

 896 characters

Photo of mikereaser
2.73/5  rDev -24%
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

 337 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
2.97/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a beautiful dark brown color, nice off white head to it with plenty of lacing. One of the more appealing pours I've seen in a while. The taste was a little disappointing for me. Has an alright mouthfeel but there's really nothing special taste wise about this one. Barely even a hint of maple and not much of the usual roastiness found in a porter. Drinkable, but not really memorable for flavorful for me.

 412 characters

Photo of Fnerk
3/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

 1,093 characters

Photo of airheadmtrcycle
3.05/5  rDev -15%
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.

 1,414 characters

Photo of VTaler
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

 520 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.15/5  rDev -12.3%
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...

 582 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.15/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours brown, light for a porter - weak looking - but, it does have a mapleish-colored look and a nice, creamy white head that stays and leaves lacing.

Smells more of an English nut brown than a porter - nutty, slight roast - with a touch of maple syrup. Nice enough, though. Fairly mild.

The taste is sweet - sticky maple syrup dominates - backed by caramel, nuts, some chocolate. A touch of English hops (Fuggles and East Kent Golding, as per label on the neck) give some slight spiciness and dry balance, though it remains sweet throughout and lingering. Sticky sweet maple syrup lingers well into aftertaste.

It's on the weak/watery side for a supposed "robust" porter. Maple syrup hangs on for long time considering how thin it is. A tad more thinness or bubbles and it would fall apart. It does have enough body to "pass" but that's about it.

Weak, but "different" and not "bad". The maple, though balanced slightly, does dominate, but really, in the end it does get tiresome after the bottle is done and it's just too sweet without much body or depth. Still - if you like maple syrup it's worth giving it a shot.

 1,123 characters

Photo of mklinger
3.15/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a shaker pint glass. A very thin head developed that dissipated remarkable quickly. Color was a brown with deep red highlights. It was very clear, but lighter that I would prefer my porters.

Aroma and taste were both all about maple without much else going on. It's not that there were any flaws with what else was going on; it's just that it was all kind of bland. The maple aroma and flavor tasted so strong it had to come from artificial maple extract.

The only thing I will say was that it went down smoothly and was easy to drink because it was very cleanly brewed making it pretty drinkable.

 611 characters

Photo of CHickman
3.16/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear chestnut brown with a 1/2 inch creamy beige head; smells of maple syrup, brown sugar, roasted malt, caramel, grass and some light hops, with the maple syrup being the dominant aroma. OK lacing that doesn't grab the glass too long.

Tastes like it smells, with strong maple syrup up front, brown sugar, roasted malt, caramel, grass, light hops, with the malt and syrup sweetness taking up the middle until a slight bitter end assumingly from the hops. It's very light for a porter and seems more like a brown ale, as it has a very smooth creamy feel on the tongue and slides down easy. The carbonation is very light, to the point of being watery. The aftertaste is a mix of vanilla, malty chocolate and once again the maple syrup. While the maple syrup is the foundation for this beer, and the maple syrup taste is not bad, it just seems to be overkill as the recurring theme doesn't allow the other ingredients to show off or add any flavor.

This beer is surprisingly light, easy drinking and goes down smooth, but it's a tad too sweet for my liking. It was OK and I'd have it again if it came in a Saranac variety pack, but I would never buy a six pack of this beer. Nice effort and experiment by Saranac, just not my cup of tea. It might be a good breakfast beer if you were out all night, but not a session beer.

 1,330 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.26/5  rDev -9.2%
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).

 457 characters

Photo of aerozeppl
3.27/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Fairly clear mahogany color with less than a finger of white head. A touch of white lacing.

S: You do get a touch of the maple in there. You get some very sweet malt in there as well. Very sweet smelling.

T: Not that bad. A little bit sweet A little too sweet in the finish.

M: Light to medium bodied.

D: Not too bad but a little too sweet too be drinkable. The maple is there but too sweet to make it a very drinkable beer.

 431 characters

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

 650 characters

Photo of drperm
3.31/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

 635 characters

Photo of generallee
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

 1,327 characters

Photo of TheTrevor
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a copper color with a small head. The smell is mostly candy sweet with a little maple character but not a ton of toasted malt. This is a little on the weak side for a porter, but it certainly doesn't taste bad. The maple isn't as present as I expected, and doesn't overpower the beer. The mouthfeel is a little watery with some crisp carbonation. Not what I expected when I first saw it, but not in a completely disappointing way.

 447 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.34/5  rDev -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.

 1,436 characters

Photo of Amalak
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had out of a 12 ounce bottle.
A- It's black on top and redish-brown on the bottom, similar to a half and half. Good foamy head and good lacing. Semi-opaque.
S- Has a strong, bitter hop scent.
T- It's extremely sweet. The maple completely comes through and even has a candy taste to it. A tad too sweet for my likes.

 317 characters

Photo of magnj
3.37/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - brown with red highlights when held to the light. Frothy white head.

S - slightly roasty backed by sweet caramel and maple syrup.

T - right up front is a rich dark almost burnt caramel; like toffee. Coffee in the aftertaste, I wouldn't say maple syrup so much.

M/D - Medium body, sticky. Easy to drink;1. I like it but wouldn't get it again probably.

 357 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

 689 characters

Photo of KickbacksSteve
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

 304 characters

Photo of Gosox8787
3.42/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance is medium to dark brown with almost no head or retention. Smell is subtle maple, roasted malt, and a hint of burnt sugar. Pleasantly aromatic. The taste is less balanced. Burnt sugar is the forefront and gives makes the beer seems very heavy and unbalanced. The maple doesn't really shine through here. Some nice hints of roasted malt are present but seem watered down. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice bite of carbonation to lighten it a bit. Drinkability is average. The ABV seems higher than it is, but the flavors are light enough where this could be sessionable.

Overall, a somewhat unbalanced porter where the flavor profile does not present as much maple as burnt sugar. An interesting take on a porter, but not my personal favorite.

 839 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Saranac Maple Porter from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.59 out of 5 based on 118 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!