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Saranac Irish Stout | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac Irish StoutSaranac Irish Stout
208 Ratings
Saranac Irish StoutSaranac Irish Stout

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

Style: Irish Dry Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-03-2010

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 208 |  Reviews: 112
Photo of OzmanBey
5/5  rDev +38.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, an American beer company that actually gets the Irish Stout tradition of Malty flavor, heavy in the mouth, a stint of bitter chocolate on the tongue while yet making it refreshing and not a mere copy of Guinness and Murphy's. A must have for all Irish Stout lovers.

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Photo of schaffer9252
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of andyg2smooth
4.37/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown, almost black Coca-Cola like appearance with a 2 finger cream color head-4.0

S- Very nice roasted mocha smell 4.5

T- Tastes similar to the smell, very rich chocolaty with a coffee aftertaste 4.5

M- Creamy mouthfeel, very heavy and rich, but goes down smooth with a med-low carbonation 4.5

D- This is a very delicious beer, but very rich. I couldn't drink more than one. 4.0

Overall I loved this beer and give it an A minus. I compare it to a Guiness Stout, but a much better price and it is brewed locally here in NY.

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

doesn't have the 5.0 look of a Guinness, but nice fluffy head, big bubbles, some sheet-lacing...and dark as midnight during a new moon.

toasty burnt-ish nose that isn't overwhelming. caramel, too.

not as creamy-perfect as you know what, but quite similar. this has a little more 'bite' but still quite mellow and drinkable. carbonated to keep it a bit more crisp than expected (in a nice way), but still smooth and creamy. i like the snappy bite on the finish. a bit sour. a very drinkable stout that adds something different enough to stand out.

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Photo of AmitC
4.28/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A dark brown colored pour. Normal thickness. About one finger thick tan colored head that fades very quickly. Black inside the glass. Opaque. Decent lacing on the sides.

Aroma is of typical dry Irish stout type. A good amount of roasted malts. Dry feel. Dark roasted malts are prominent over all.

Taste is of very dark roasted malts. Dry hops that are very faint. No bitterness. Finish is dry.

Mouth feel is medium-light bodied with a lot of carbonation. No astringency. Drinks like an easy porter.

Style Rate: 4.25
Personal Rate: 3.5

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Photo of Bapplebaum
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of Kendo
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Poured into a Spirit Haus pint glass. Body is black. Notwithstanding a moderately aggressive pour, there's only a slight wispy film of a head. Does leave some splotches of lace, however.

S: Not terribly strong in the nose -- faint roasted barley is about it. Hint of cocoa powder.

T: Wow -- this is good. Flavor-wise, Saranac has hit the points I want to see hit in an Irish Dry Stout. Roasted malt, a touch of sourmash, even lactose is there. Cocoa powder lingers into the aftertaste. Finishes dry with a good bitterness.

M: Tiny bit heavier than light in heft, though not approaching medium bodied. Carbonation is a tad bit prickly; I'd love to have this on cask.

D: Excellent drinkability. Light in heft but flavorful -- in a balanced way between roasted barley malt and bitterness.

Notes: I bought the "What Ales You" 12-pack after grabbing a sixer of this and putting it back. Wishing now I'd bought that six-pack and had more than one remaining. Might just be the best Saranac beer I've had as far as nailing the style goes.

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Photo of BodiesLexus
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of woodychandler
4.21/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

When I began going through the latest drop-off from my local, in-person trader @tone77 I saw that he had brought over several Saranac bottles & I became intrigued. So much so that when I was browsing one of the many singles shops in the area, I bought up all of the Saranac beers with an eye towards today - New Beer Saraunacday (Week 661). I am going to knock out the Lagers first & then move onto Ales as I am able over the course of the day. This marks my first Ale today & another of @tone77 's drop-off.

From the bottle: "Fourth Generation Family Brewery"; "A dry stout with a smooth, slightly roasted taste that makes for an easy-drinking ale. Try mixing with our Irish-style Lager!"

Ah, no. There'll be no mixing on this day. I am segueing into this one following their Black & Tan, so to mix would be to gild the lily. I gave it the same slow, gentle pour that I have been employing today, followed by an in-glass swirl. The result was a finger of dense, foamy, beige head with moderate retention. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44) with NE-quality clarity & ruby highlights. Nose smelled of dark chocolate, but it did not have the extreme roastiness of many Irish Dry Stouts. This seems pretty palatable to me. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but on the approach. The taste had a spicy chocolatiness to it, kind of like Stone's Chocoveza, which was both unexpected and pleasant. It had a roasty dryness, sure, but at the same time, it did not have that sharp charcoal quality that often leaves me cold. I liked the way that the spiciness seemed to wend its way through this beer, never becoming assertive & overpowering, but more of a serpentine presence throughout. Finish lived up to its billing as "Dry", but not gaspingly so. I could definitely see cooking & baking with this beer & then serving it as an accompaniment. This was quite a nice surprise and a good way to wrap up the day.

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Photo of BeerVikingSailor
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just tried this last night (comments from notes taken while consuming), almost St Pat's Day and wanted to try this new one from Saranac....

Bottle pour into Guinness pint glass...looks a lot like Guinness!

I liked this one a lot, very dark malty chocolately goodness, some decent head and lacing, good carbonation...

I am glad I bought a 6'er of this while out of state, have not seen it around OH as yet....

A very enjoyable Irish Stout, nicely done, Matt bros!

Seek this one out if you like stouts, esp. Irish stouts, at $6.99 / 6, a great value and I much prefer to the Guinness I have had lately!

Happy St. Patricks's Day!

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Photo of generallee
4.18/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The bottle has no freshness date or abv% listed. This bottle was part of the Saranac "What Ales You?" 12 pack.

Appearance: The body is black as night and blocks out all light. On top of this dark opaque brew there is a light tan colored head which is tall (about 2 and a half fingers thick) and long lasting. It also makes great intricate lace patterns on the glass as I drink.

Smell: Its aroma is full of dark roasted and toasted barley malt with inviting deep coffee notes.

Taste/Palate: There is a nice mellow roasted barley and toasted maltiness with the same coffee like notes in the nose. There is only light malt sweetness here before the hops come in and adds bitterness and dryness along with earthy and herbal spice flavor. It is not bone dry but it finishes on the dryer side with nice hop notes and roasted notes quick fading off the tongue. It has a solid medium body, smooth texture and good soft yet active carbonation.

Notes: Overall this was good solid dry stout. I am a fan of Saranac but this one still surprised me. I would take this over a Guinness Draught any day!

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Photo of plaid75
4.18/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at the Nag's Head, Huntington, New York.

Poured a jet black hue with a two finger frothy tan head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a moderate roasted malt with a touch of coffee and smoke.

The taste was likewise full of roasted malt. Fresh tasting.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style with a lingering burnt grain.

Overall a very good DIS. I wish this was a year round offering as I fear I enjoyed one of the last kegs around. in any event, it is good to see a Saranac beer of tap on Long Island, as they are few are far between.

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Photo of dirtyharry2489
4.17/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.17/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep black with subtle brown hues at its edges. A half-inch cream colored and creamy-looking head settles quickly and barely holds in the form of a thin slip.

S: Acidity with a light scent of tart darkfruit. Plenty of roasted and burnt malts. Hints of espresso and burnt black coffee. Woody and leathery scent. Creamy milk chocolate in the background. Quite nice actually, and on point for the style.

T: Espresso and wood at the outset, biting acidity in the background with a tart grape and cherry taste. Old coffee, bitter dark chocolate. Perhaps a touch of grassy/herbal hops, but they are very hard to distinguish. Touch of leather. Dry, of course. Finishes with aggressive roasted and burnt tastes and a wave of dark chocolate.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied, but very full, very creamy, and very silky. Light but sharp carbonation adds a bit of a crisp bite. Tight astringency from the roasted malts. Great mouthfeel.

O: This beer has two things working against it coming out of the gate: First, it's an Irish Dry stout, a style of beer that most Americans don't seem to understand or appreciate. Second, it's brewed by Saranac, a brewery that doesn't get a lot of love and has a reputation in the craft world for underachieving and making mediocre beer. For these reasons, I don't expect it to get a lot of love. That would be a damn shame though, because this is an excellent beer. In fact, this is one of the best examples of the style I've had to date. Attractive mouthfeel, highly drinkable, very tasty and textbook for the style; it's everything you could ever want. A case might be in order next St. Patrick's Day.

 1,692 characters

Photo of ericlawton007
4.16/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Really felt the need to review this beer as I was surprised by this solid offering from Saranac. Their High Peaks line is quite good, but everything else to me has been quite average. This Irish Stout surprised me in all regards. The color is pitch black, with only a thin amount of head on top holding in a slight coffee/nutty scent. The taste is of toasted barley and coffee, and is balanced extremely well. The carbonation is barely there in the mouth, as I like my stouts. What is truly great is the drinkability. The fourth beer is just as tasty as the first. What will put this above other stouts for me is the price. Easily as good as other crafts that are $4 more per six pack.

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Photo of digitalflood
4.12/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Amateurbrewmaster
4.07/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got it out of Saranac Irish Pack. Poured into a Sauvin Beer Glass
Look: Dark, but not black with a chocolaty head
Aroma: Coffee, dark roasted malts and a touch of chocolate
Taste: Much more coffee and chocolate. Not too dry.
Feel: A little bit thin. More like a porter. More carbonation than others in the style
Overall: Delicious stout. Not as dry as a Guinness, not too bitter. One I'd recommend to someone trying to get in to the style. Will buy again

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Photo of GiantMidget
4.07/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got in Saranac spring variety pack.
I'm a fan of most of Saranac's beers that I've had, none too disappointing, but not spectacular.

Poured this into a mug.
Immediate sweetish coffee scent balanced with malt.
About 1 finger head that stayed throughout drinking.

It's a very good stout. Irish characteristics. Like a very dark coffee, sweetened slightly and mildly fruity.
It's a solid beer that I could see drinking more of on an Irish drinking night.
The mouthfeel is a little weak. While there is some mild carbonation and the flavor is good, it's not quite as balanced as it could be.

A solid effort.

 608 characters

Photo of ATPete
4.06/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle

Pours a deep brown color with a 2 finger and strong tan head, a very nice looking stout. Some roasted grain, chocolate, cream soda, sweetened coffee and that standard Saranac musty aroma in the nose. Light in body with a semi creamy almost buttery texture, chocolate and roasted malt a slight bitterness late palate does its job into the finish. No complaints with this one here, this may be my new favorite Saranac offering. Very drinkable, absolutely sessionable, thought the Irish Red was good, another very strong seasonal effort from Saranac.

 560 characters

Photo of Hoagie1973
4.05/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opaque with a one finger tannish-brown head. Reduces quickly to a thin cap with a little stringy lacing.

Aroma of roasted malt and coffee. Maybe a touch of chocolate. What's lacking is that signature Saranac smell. Nothing in the aroma gives away where or by whom it was brewed; smells great actually.

Tastes pretty nice. Good robust malt character with a little dark roasted coffee bitterness as well as a mild hop bite. Very nicely balanced. Goes dry in the finish but then transitions to a mild lingering sweetness. I think this is one of Saranac's better efforts.

Mouthfeel is smooth with light, even carbonation. Hefty & full bodied.

All things considered, I think this is excellent. Only loses a couple points in the head retention department.

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Photo of obrendano
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice little find at my local 7-11

A - deep black, not much light at all, nice creamy head

S - dry coffee overwhelms, roasty malt and chocolate as well. I can already tell this is going to mimic Guinness quite a bit

T - suspicions confirmed on the Guinness worship....dry dark grain taste in the Irish vein, with just a little more body and "oomph" behind it than canned or draught Guinness/Beamish/etc. noticeable brush of hops towards the middle. not bad at all

M - full, slightly slick, no true complaints honestly

D - basically if you were to compare it to Guinness, I'd describe it as essentially the taste of Draught with (almost) the body of Extra. a nice middle ground. will buy this again

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Photo of fx20736
4.02/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

bought as part of Saranac's Spring Variety pack from Beers of the World on 4/6/13 for $ 8.77.

poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, served at fridge temp.

appearance: looks black as coal,only emits a tiny sliver of ruby when under bright sunlight. thick, 3 finger mocha head. Nice lacing.

aroma: richly roasted malt, some chocolate with a whiff of earthy hops.

mouthfeel: decent, seems appropriate for the style.

taste: slightly charred, faintly smoky with a touch of caramel and a kiss of hops.

notes: fun, easy to drink, a winner for Matt Brewing, IMO.

 568 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.01/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Saranac Irish Stout
12 oz. brown bottle, code "1411285131350"

Notes: A decent looking glass of "Irish" stout despite the lack of nitrogen (well, that was only developed in the '60's or something anyway, right?). Brilliant lacing and better-than-very-good head retention. "Black" body, dark tan head. Aroma: roast. beer. slightly nutty. I'm getting more out of it than Guinness. Flavor: similar to aroma. some twang. minor maltiness. balanced bitterness. surprisingly well put together. no flaws, other than the fact that the style itself isn't exactly "rounded" or "balanced". Finishes dry and subtly tangy and roasty. Overall, impressive. There are a lot of breweries that have taken a stab at the style, and many have missed the mark - not Saranac.

 751 characters

Photo of TimoP
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of Walleybeer
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Saranac Irish Stout from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 208 ratings
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