Saranac Irish Stout | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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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

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Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 194
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, dark creamy chocolate, some coffee and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with a hearty roasted malt character up front. Then some mildly sweet flavors of dark chocolate and black coffee come in along with some creaminess in the background. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a pretty decent mild stout that is worth drinking for a long time if you're in the mood for the style.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

"Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat."

--Alex Levin

Burnt sienna that probably would not be opaque if the sun was above the horizon. One smooth pour produced almost three fingers of khaki colored foam that features several soft divits in its upper surface. This is pretty much what an IDS should look like.

Other than being on the weak side, the nose is fine. Pale (not appreciated) and roasted malt (appreciated) combine with Northdown and Goldings hops to provide the typical chocolate and coffee aromas of the style. Hops don't add much, which is no surprise.

Given the brewery, Irish Stout tastes and feels like it was expected to taste and feel. The brewery's website contains a graphic that puts each of their offerings on a scale of light-medium-heavy based on... color! This brew falls in the heavy range, presumably because it's dark brown-black.

Needless to say, Irish Stout isn't the least bit heavy. Nor does it have a ton of roasted malt flavor. Specifics include bittersweet chocolate, black coffee, dark caramel and a modest herbal hoppiness. Let's go with slightly above average and round up.

The body/mouthfeel is also slightly above average, but will be rounded down. The beer wanders away too quickly after tongue contact, which is usually due to a lack of malt. The carbonation, although a bit fizzy, is acceptable.

At this point, it's unlikely that The Matt Brewing Company will surprise me in either direction. Irish Stout is a serviceable Irish dry stout that was worth a single bottle purchase. A second bottle? No thanks.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz.

Pours jet black. Fine tan head retains well.

Smells smokey and of toasty bread and brown sugar like malts.

Tastes mildly bitter with coffee and chocolate notes.

Feels moderate, maybe on the fuller side, with mild carbonation on the tip of the tongue.

Decent stout, above average I would say. I would drink this again. Maybe too heavy to drink a lot of though.

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Photo of BranfordBound
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle purchased as a single. Poured into a DFH pint glass.

Pours pitch black with a half finger tan head. Head fades to a whispy covering. Leaves silky lacing, though.

Smells of roasted malts. Some dark fruits poke through. Maybe a coffee in the back. More smell than expected from an IDS.

Strong coffee and roasted malt note at first. Very similar to SA Cream Stout but without the creaminess. Mild chocolate in the middle which transitions into the roasted aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin, with a very small carb tickle. A little less smooth than normal dry stouts. Not overly dry, either.

Pretty drinkable, very similar to SA Cream Stout. Doesn't have the drinkability of other Irish dry's like Guinness, though.

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Photo of tigg924
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: minimal head, dark black color

Smell:burnt malt and coffee

Taste: burnt malt, black coffee, and touch of cream

Mouthfeel: dry, light body, moderate carbonation, semi-sweet

Drinkability: Could have two or three of these. One of Saranac's better offerings. Nice, dry, and true to style.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- pours a verrry dark brown...essentially black...with a half finger mocha colored head. Head fades quickly, but what little head there was laces nicely.

S- dark coffee and roasted malts. Aroma, a little weak. Would like this to be stronger.

T- huge burst of coffee to start...not strong coffee though, more of a standard pot you'd make in an office. Tastes good though...a little watered down, maybe.

M- decent thickness, but again, theres a watery quality to

D- pretty drinkable. A lot like Guinness without the body

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Photo of tchenery
3.02/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. The color looks good, very dark. The offwhite head does not stick around like I had hoped. Thin lacing around edge. It smells heavy of raisins and dates and also smells slightly sweet.

It tastes of dark malts, but with nothing spectacular. There is some of the raisin-y taste to it but not much. It is bubbly on the tongue and does leave you dry. It's smooth, but just kind of basic.

It's a very approachable stout. There are no overwhelming flavors that would turn someone away.

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Photo of tone77
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a small head. Smell is of malts and coffee. Taste is like the smell, roasted malts and coffee. Feels full bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this makes for a fine quality beer.

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Photo of biglite351
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - some red around the edges. Tall off white hard that falls a little fast but leaves lacing.

S - mild, and a little sweet, which is odd for a stout. Maybe even a little fruity.

T - smokey with a nice malty flavor.

M - a little thin with no real tingles or anything.

D - the smokey flavor makes this a very different brew worth drinking.

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Photo of Schmidts
3.12/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours very dark with small head
Smell is of malt and Alcohol
Taste fairly Bitter and finishes bitter with a little malt in the taste
As far as mouth feel not anything exciting here just some more bitterness
One of these is enough I love a good stout but this one is taken over completly by its bitter taste.

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Photo of sluggermatt15
2.96/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Dark brownish in color with a light brown lacing. About 1-2 finger head after poured from a bottle into a 12-oz. glass.

S- Definitely some malts, you can sort of smell the alcohol too. Not really that impressive.

T- Grainy, some bitterness to it. The bitter taste comes in near the end. There is also some dryness.

M- Nothing impressive here, some carbonation, but not too much.

D- Not that drinkable. I would only have 1. I think if I were to have more than one, I would have to have a glass of water on the side to counteract the dryness of this beer.

Overall I thought I was going to be more impressed with this one. However, if you are a fan of Irish beer or Irish stouts, I would say give this one a dry. It has a little less alcohol by volume than I expected (in the 6 % range). I bought a six pack of this and I probably wouldn't buy it again.

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Photo of biggred1
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark ebony with a whipped creamt tan head that melts slowly leaving sheets of lace on the glass. The nose is good. Black malt and coffee roastiness. The flavor is spot on for the style, rich roasty black malts with a dry coffee like bitterness in the finish. Light bodied and slightly chalky with a dry finish. Slightly harsh carbonation is the only minor complaint. A pretty good version of the style.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.41/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with a tight foamy tan head. Lots of lacing.

Where is the scent in this one. I have to dig for french roast coffee and deep charred grain aromas. Some there, but hard to find.

A thinner/lighter flavor stout for sure. Dry for sure also. Deep dark malt, with some roasty hints of grain. Light sweetness in the background is overtaken by the bitterness, mild again, in the finish. I must say that though a bit weak, it is quite smooth. Nothing grainy or harsh, and the balance is right. Just turn up the intensity fellas.

Just right in the mouthfeel, with a lightness and tingle from the carbonation. Again, like all of their beers, they might have toned down the bubbles a notch.

An easy drinker, although you can do better. Much better than some of the brewpub I've had from the tap. An easy drinker for sure and nice to use as a comparison to others. Middle of the road, but actually ok.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. A very dark brown with an off-white head. A little lace forms.

Smell: Roasted malt, bready.

Taste: A pretty good dry stout with a pronounced roasted character. Well balanced. A mineral water/metallic element is there but not detracting.

Mouthfeel: The high carbonation is the only shortcoming of this beer. Luckily the bar I was at had a Surger Unit (made for Guinness) which mellowed the mouthfeel out and made it smooth and creamy where it was once viscious.

Drinkability: Rates high. Certainly more flavorful than Guinness but lacks the creamy mouthfeel that is expected for the style. Still quite good.

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown almost black, but the edges belie the opacity of this beer with a nice auburn hue. Minimal tan head after a fairly aggressive pour.

A nice roasty aroma, bitter chocolate and dark malt. This is all on the subtle side. The taste reveals hints of chocolate and coffee, a nice sweet and roasty malt presence with a dry roasty bitter finish that does dry the mouth out a touch but does not linger for long.

Smooth and creamy with a lighter body than many would suspect. Very drinkable Irish Stout from a perennial favorite brewery of mine.

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Photo of generallee
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
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 NightINgale
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a tulip pint glass...

A - Very dark brown body, with a frothy light-brown head. Good head retention and some lacing. Looks like a proper stout!

S - Lots of roasted, slightly burnt barley. Thus, the bitter chocolate and coffee notes. A bit of bread and earth in the scent as well.

D - This is quite dry and bitter. Starts out with a powerful roastiness, which then becomes the bitterness in the after-taste. Not much sweetness to it. Slightly sour.

M - Very carbonated for the most part. Medium-bodied, a bit too crisp for me.

D - Not bad. Not hefty, so quite sessionable for a dry stout.

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Photo of dmamiano
2.9/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Deep dark brownisk black pour with a small head and minimal lacing.
Aroma had hints of metallic...oats, bready and hints of molasis.
Taste was smooth and fairly mild as expected.
A bit syrupy almast as if it was an extract brew.
Ok, but very mediocre at best. Will not buy again

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Photo of animalchin
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Solid black body. A light tan head that leaves behind some traces along the surface. Circumference has a light rocky and bubbly head remnant.

S - Not really getting much. Sensing some light malts and maybe the slightest deal of charred wood? Charcoal.

T - Roasted malts with cream and coffee. Slightly sweet and dry. Semi-sweet chocolate that lingers in the after taste.

M - Pretty dense yet controlled carbonation that is assisted by heavy cream.

D - Sits like an Irish stout would and should. Pretty solid take on this style by Saranac. There's room for improvement in the general body, but nothing to sweat over.

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Photo of plaid75
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
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 BeerVikingSailor
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
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 beerthulhu
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a black-opaque in the glass with an almond colored ½ finger fizzy head that dissipated soon after. The lacing was spotty at best, composed of small speckled dots and dashes that covered only a small portion of the glass. Overall a standard visual appeal.

S: A very soft roastiness along with bitter-sweet chocolate is first picked up on the nose. Light traces of powdery creamer is also detected.

T: Creamer laced coffee with a sweetness of dark roasty grains starts things off on a promising note. Sweet and roasty with juicy plums add highlights while the finish finds a blend of roasted caramel and juicy dark fruit. Overall not particularly dry per style, but I like what Saranac did here giving this a sweet and juicy aspect that compliments the well rounded soft roastiness.

M: The mouthful is medium bodied wit a good deal of tingly carbonation. A nice coffee lacing and roasty texture is felt when rolled around the tongue.

d: A nice drink, again maybe not as dry per style, but then again I think it plays to its advantage drinkability wise giving this a juicy and sweet flair on the tongue that gave me incentive towards the next sip. I could drink a few of these no problem and think matt did a good job.

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Photo of tempest
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a case from Shangy's for $25 and shared it with friends around St. Pat's Day. Saranac did a good job of brewing a tasty Guinness-like beer, but I've had better Irish stouts. While there's a respectable sour/bitter tang, I would have liked more roast and chocolate flavor. I'm not saying it needed a lot. I'm just saying there was hardly any. Still, for the price it's totally worth trying if you like stouts.

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Photo of MaxBrews
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured Saranac Irish Stout into a standard American Pint glass.

You can pour this stout straight in and should probably pour it that way as it creates a big but not overbearing a Tan two finger a fluffy head full of bubbles. The color of course is pitch black but towards the bottom a little light shows through revealing a slightly purple hue. Once the head calms down there's a slightly sticky and fluffy lacing.

The aroma of this beer is beer is full of roasted malts that evoke a mixture of chocolate, caramel, nuts wood and bread. There's a small sent of dark fruits raisins mostly. There's a bitter scent that's hard to identify but I assume it's from whatever hops are used.

The taste is very similar to the aroma. It's full of roasted malt which to some could taste like coffee. Coffee I suppose is the best thing to compare this beer to. The taste is primarily roasted and finishes with a very coffee like bitterness. Not quite complex as a well roasted coffee, but the similarities are there. If served cold the beer tastes of English malts. The finish is like an oversteeped cup of black tea with a tiny touch of chocolate.

True to style this beer is light in body, however going against style the carbonation is rather high. There is plenty of bitterness in this brew which I find pleasant. Combined with the generous use of roasted malts this beer leaves the mouth parched hence the term "dry".

This is a pretty simple stout and drinkable stout. If that's what your looking for this is a decent choice. How true to style is it, I'm not sure as I don't frequent this style and it's impossible for me to compare to it Guinness since I haven't had one since I've become vegan a couple years ago.

I would be interested in seeing what this stout would be like served over nitrogen; if served with nitrogen it may provide the low carbonation and smooth micro bubbles that this style is known for. However carbonated with CO2 the carbonation is too much for this style.

I wish it were a bit more complex in the malt taste. I am stretching it a bit, pulling all sorts of things out of its simple roasted taste. I could see this being better with slight hints of caramel, vanilla and dark chocolate. Through and through this is a highly drinkable and simple stout.

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Photo of mempath
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
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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Saranac Irish Stout from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.66 out of 5 based on 194 ratings.
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