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: 108 | Ratings: 203
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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Photo of sdj5
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark black, can barely see into the glass. One-finger head.

S: Roasted malts, coffee

T: Smooth taste at first with a strong and bitter coffee ending. Think Guinness but more powerful. Aftertaste is pretty good too.

M: Not very bubbly, feels good in the mouth.

D: I could drink a few of these.

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Photo of u2carew
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz longneck. Consumed 3/13/10
A) Pours with a finger thick tan head. Slowly settles to a thin, sticky lacing. Opaque body.
S) Bready. Roasted grains. Caramel. Subtle hints of chocolate.
T) Slightly bitter up front. Then a bit dry and grainy sweet. Roasted grains. Smoky. The hops linger throughout.
M) A bit too bubbly. Full bodied but a little thin. Dry.
D) An alright stout.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Guinness tulip pint glass.

Pours a very dark, nearly opaqe brown with about a finger of tan foamy head that leaves a bit of soapy lacing behind. The nose is light coffee, toffee, and dark wheat. The taste follows straightforwardly, with the coffee taking a darker turn and placing itself further toward the van, while the dark malts and wheat march in step behind. The finish features a slight cranberry flavor, not unlike the finish you'd find from a Guinness. The body is decidedly medium, with a good amount of carbonation and a smooth, dry texture. Overall, a solid, if somewhat ordinary, stout with a high level of drinkability.

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Photo of hayesez
3.44/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a recent trade with Travduke.

Poured into my New Belgium globe. Pours a deep, dark brown that allows a fair amount of light through the periphery. A one-half inch light tan head reduces quickly, leaving generous amounts of thick lacing on the sides of my glass. Only a small cap of frothy head remains. By the end of this beer, large amounts of spotty lacing remain all over the inside of my globe. I am impressed with the appearance!

A strong smell of sweet chocolate leads the nose on this beer. A tiny amount of coffee follows, but the chocolate diligently remains. Roasty malts are integrated into both.

Upon swallowing, the flavor quickly disappears leaving me to wonder where the hell it went; it was gone so quickly! Roasty and malty, but really struggling to identify itself. There is a bit of chocolate in there and a small amount of metallic sweetness. At first I thought there was absolutely not bitterness on the end of this guy. But after several seconds, a gentle bitter aftertaste is left on the back of the tongue.

Light to medium-bodied with an average amount of carbonation. This beer isn't one to linger. Tipped back and gone, this leaves me wishing it would hang around a bit. I understand the dryness is related to the style, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I approve. Easy to drink, I suppose, but I'm definitely looking for a bit more.

Consumed: 3/8/2010

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Photo of tdmillerjr
3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: exactly what i expected from this style. dark with creamy head.

S: nothing too exciting about this one. little notes of darker roasted malts.

T: pretty good overall, doesn't wow you but its a nice stout.

M: good on feel, smooth all the way through

D: its very drinkable, but its not one I have to go out and get again.

overall - good beer probably best one Ive tasted from the saranac variety pack.

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Photo of ATPete
4.06/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of WesWes
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark black color with a 1/2" tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry and creamy black malt scent that's earthy and coffee like. The taste is good as well. It has a stiff black malt bitterness that's dry and earthy. It goes down smooth and relatively light and finishes bone dry with a creamy coffee feel. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a solid Irish stout. It's not gonna blow you away, but it's true to style and damn drinkable.

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Photo of Kendo
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
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 CHickman
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black (opaque) with a 1/2 inch creamy tan head, that looks like a Guinness - typical stout appeal; smells of roasted malt, coffee, hops, vanilla and chocolate. There was a hint of burnt wood in the nose that resembled bourbon, and was a nice end to the aroma.

Tastes like roasted malt, coffee, caramel (or molasses?) and charred wood up front, followed by vanilla, grains, and then some crisp citrus hops that lead to a dry finish where the before mentioned bourbon or cocoa peeks through. Reminds me of the Dogfish Head Chicory Stout, and is quite tasty as the sweet start has the bulk of the flavor, but the dry finish leaves a nice lingering taste of roasted malt and coffee. Mouthfeel is creamy, and the carbonation is very light and allows this beer to go down smooth and easy, almost to the point of being watery. The body feels medium to heavy, but the beer still goes down easy, much easier than a Guinness.

The lacing was mediocre at best, but this was a very good stout that was very drinkable. I recommend trying this beer if you like stouts as this is spot on for this style. Another solid addition to the Saranac seasonal collection.

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

A friend brought a 12 mix pack over for the USA/CAN hockey game. The Irish Stout was the first one I grabbed, as I don't think I've tried this one before. Poured into a standard pint glass. Dark brown color. Nice fluffy white head. Good amount of lacing. A great start to the first beer of the day from Saranac. Smell had a hint of milk chocolate. Taste was great, as it was dry and crisp, but also had a bit of sweetness of cocoa powder and sugary coffee. Not as thick as some stouts, but had enough body to satisfy me. Easy to drink, with a good mouthfeel and a moderate abv. I'd buy this for any St Patty's day if it came in six packs.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dark appearance, it does let some ruby highlights through when held toward the light. Tan khaki head builds up and lasts for a quite a few minutes before dwindling. After my fist sip even layers of fine lacing form and continue to trend after each sip. Aromatics are coming with the dark roasted malts, bringing out coffee and dark chocolate tones. Nothing about it is overbearingly sweeet, maybe a slight sour mash and an herbal hop presence. Flavor has iced coffee like presence, with herbal hops and a hint of chicory. Dark dry baker's chocolate and a tart sour dough finish. This is an excellent dry Irish Stout, I'm glad FX Matt attempted this. Drinkability is solid I hope to see full sixers of this, god knows we love the pricing of their beers especialy in WV.

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

pours a very dark brown color with a quarter inch tan head that faded to a ring and a modest lace. smell was light and slightly sweet of roasted malt. nice roasted malt flavor with a slightly bitter finish. good carbonation and light to medium body. a lighter version of a guinness extra stout. would be a good session beer for me.

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Photo of mnrider
3.14/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. brown bottle. No freshness date.

A: Pours a pitch black color with a thin brown head. Little lacing.

S: Smells like a stout, but very subdued.

T/M: Like the smell it's very subdued for a stout. Still pretty good.

D: A decent stout, not great but still good. Nothing stands out and makes this brew better than any other of the average stouts out there.


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Photo of number1bum
3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a very creamy two inches of tan head. Retention and stick are excellent; Saranac typically does well on appearance and this is no exception. Keeps a full, thick lace and leaves beautiful webbing on the sides.

Smell is pretty weak, however, with some light roasted grain, a bit of cocoa and lactose sweetness, and a fruity hop note.

Taste has more flavor than the nose let on, but it's a little out of balance I think. Not a whole lot of roasted malt, but instead there is a big fruity hop character. Too much imo. I wish there was a bit more roasted flavor. Light cocoa-like sweetness as well.

Mouthfeel is a pretty creamy medium body. Carbonation is pretty soft, as it should be. This is quite smooth.

This is a pretty good Irish stout from Saranac. Would like it to have a bit more roasted character, which is overshadowed on the tongue by the hoppiness of the beer. A touch out of balance but not too shabby by any means.

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Photo of ericmunley
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Found a Saranac Irish Stout display at the local Wegmans, and I was curious. As a man of proud Irish heritage, I grew up on Guinness, Murphys and the such.

I gave Saranac Irish Stout some extra love in the "appearance" category because the bottle is really slick. I hope they get a picture on here...if they don't I will gladly send BA one. Aside from the bottle, SIS pours the customary jet black with a very light tan head.

Smell doesn't do much for me. I haven't had some of the higher end Irish Drys, but most I've tried have a light yet distinct aroma. The beer's roastiness is pretty much the only thing present in the nose here.

Taste is average...what you would expect from this style. It tastes a lot like the Guinness 250 Anniversary beer. I'd love to see some progression in this style.

Mouthfeel...lots of carbonation, could do with less. I also miss this style on nitro, whether its tapped with a nitro mix or bottled/canned with a widget type deal.

Drinkability was the best thing about this beer (besides the bottle of course). At 5.5%, SIS is a little higher ABV than this style usually tops out at. With that being said, it is still very drinkable.

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Photo of nasty15108
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Smith pint glass.

A - Poured black with a thick creamy head of tan foam. Great head retention from a non-nito product.

S - Slightly smokey and metallic.

T - Bitter and smokey with slight hints of vanilla.

MF&D - Medium bodied and creamy. Went down well, I would have this one again.

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown to black with a creamy tan head that leaves uneven lines of lacing down the glass.

The smell is of roasted coffee, sweet chocolate and a hint of (sourish) milk.

The tase is of sweet dark chocolate with roasted coffee. Slight sourish undertone. Sweetish turns to dry in the roasty finish.

It has a creamy medium body.

Matt Brewing did well with the Saranac Irish Stout!

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Photo of far333
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ruddy brown with ruby highlights and an oatmeal colored head that rises up minimally, but leaves a fine cap of foam.

Roasted malt aroma, some cocoa and root beer. Flavors of darkly roasted malt, some smoke and charred bark, cocoa and espresso. Hints of leather, moderate bitterness.

Even mouthfeel, not too full, a bit tingly and tannic. Tasty beer, pretty drinkable.

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Photo of Hoagie1973
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
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 ericlawton007
4.16/5  rDev +13.7%
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 ProudBeerSnob
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Heard Saranac had stepped up their game a bit, so I figured for the price...I'd give it a shot.

Poured intoa pint glass. Translucent dark brown with a very sparse head, even with a vigorous pour. Very little in the nose; very dry.

Style wise, overall a decent effort from Saranac. I'll give it another shot, but won't actively seek it out.

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Photo of RppIII
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12ounce bottle into a pint glass (freshness date nowhere to be seen)

Appearance- pours a dark cola with a billowing light brown sugar head that does not stop. Phenomenal retention the head doesn't allow for aerial views of this brew and lacing is solid and always reminding me of the where the beer had been.

Smell- Roasted barley is very present, un-sweetened cocoa and a hint of sweetness give this beer a subtle but enjoyable aroma.

Taste- A bitter roast character is very present in the beginning but gives way to a different bitter floral character. Un-sweetened chocolate and coffee give a wonderful contrast to the bitter roast character. The finish leaves a hint of un-sweetened cocoa to keep you coming back for more.

Mouthfeel- Medium body and carbonation that is creamy and aesthetically pleasing. Much like drinking a silky unsweetened hot chocolate that has been cooled a little below room temperature.

Drinkability- A well balanced brew with no overpowering flavours, everything I would expect of a beer in this style. The medium to light body and sheer silkiness of this beer lead to the ability to drink several of these in one sitting. I enjoy what Saranac has done in creating this generic but very drinkable, well made, tasty brew.

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Saranac Irish Stout from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.66 out of 5 based on 203 ratings.
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