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

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Ratings: 119 |  Reviews: 86
Photo of BeerlyHuman
4.82/5  rDev +34.6%
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 +14.2%
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 +20.1%
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 +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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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
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 +2.2%
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 +3.9%
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%
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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Photo of buschbeer
4.07/5  rDev +13.7%
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 Tilley4
4/5  rDev +11.7%
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 beerphan
3.97/5  rDev +10.9%
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 CHickman
3.16/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

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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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Photo of TheTrevor
3.33/5  rDev -7%
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.

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Photo of stakem
3.71/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very clear dark amber color with a thin lace of slightly tanned head. Minor retension and a bit of spotty lacing around the glass. The color really threw me for a loop, to me it looks more like a brown ale than a porter. Nose has a sweetness similar to brown sugar mixed with malt and a touch of hops. Taste is sweet upfront but not malty sweet, more of a sugar-like sweetness I am guessing from the maple addition. Kinda bland tasting throughout the body to a minorly bitter finish. Light feel and moderately carbed, it finished quite crisp. It is not bad, the maple seems a bit much and overall nothing exciting.

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Photo of irishking1977
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Opaque dark brown/black with minimal head and little lacing.

S: Some roasted malt characteristics and faint maple scent. None of these descriptions really jump at me.

T: Mild roasted burnt malt and a almost undetectable maple finish. Not bad, but mild by comparison to other well known porters.

M: This brew is deceiving. It looks like it might be a bit on the heavy side, but this is perhaps the lightest dark beer I've ever had. That's not really a bad thing, but just not expected.

D: A quaffable porter. Just extremely light on taste and feel to really consider this an indulgent brew. But a pretty good light porter nonetheless, and probably a good introduction to someone wanting to try this style.

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Photo of MaxBrews
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Saranac Maple Porter

Presentation 12oz Bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a perfectly clear dark brown with a fluffy one and a half finger head. Head dissipated quickly but only into a fluffy and thick lacing. Once dissipated further swirly in the middle and clung to the glass.

Aroma: The aroma of this beer consists of Roasted Malt, Chocolate, Caramel, Maple Syrup and notes of must. The predominant aroma of this beer was roasted malt and Maple.

Taste: Notes of roasted malt come through first, followed by caramel sweetness. Notes of chocolate malt are voided by the heavy use of roasted malt. Maple syrup isn't evident in the immediate taste, but is present in the after-taste. The after taste of this beer is a complex mixture of roasted malt, caramel and maple.

Mouthfeel: The use of roasted malts gives this beer a very dry feel. Body is medium and the carbonation could be much lower for this style. Hardly any bitterness.


A very seasonable beer for someone looking for a beer with the coffee and chocolate flavors coming from roasted malt with the added sweetness of caramel and maple.

This is hardly a traditional porter by any means and the fact that you can really taste the roast of the malt may throw some people off. This includes me, I don't really feel you should be able to taste this much roasted malt. Also its missing the slight bitterness of many of the English porters I've enjoyed. Maple why not? An interesting idea and executed reasonably well, just wish this had more of the characteristics of a true porter.

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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 bltzburgh
3.44/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Another one in the multi pack I purchased.

It poured a little lighter than I expected and had a small head the left pretty fast.

Had a nice aroma strong in the maple which was way different than anything I had before; hints of cocoa and carmels shined through but the maple was pungent.

At first the maple put all taste buds on high alert but after a few drinks its blended well with the other flavors.

This is a good dinner beer or a night cap. Don't think I want to drink 6 or 7 of these.

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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 mtnbikerpa
3.44/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 ounce bottle. Rich dark color. Bitter sweet scents of chocolate, although it does smell kinda dry. Brown sugar, maple, chocolate, caramel flavors all combine together. This beer seems to be very chewy. Pretty drinkable as a desert brew. I split this beer with my wife, I don't think I could drink a lot of this.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.72/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 120z bottle.

A - Poured a deep rich cheery color with a thin bubbly head with loose lacing. The beer looks great, but does not look like a Porter at all...oddly reddish/amberish for a porter.

S - Chocolate dominates the smell. Strong hints of maple, coffee, toffee, and caramel. Very nice mix of sweet smells.

T - Interesting. Chocolate sticks out and dominates the flavor. You can definitely taste the maple as well as caramel and toffee.

M - Little sweet and thick for what I like about a Porter. A bit syrupy.

D - Better than the average Saranac, but not the best example of a Porter...a bit thick to drink many. Fortunately it is currently a part of the winter collection...2 seems right in the pack.

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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 santanas95
2.11/5  rDev -41.1%
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.

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Saranac Maple Porter from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 119 ratings
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