Saranac India Copper Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

161 Ratings
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Saranac India Copper AleSaranac India Copper Ale

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

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by generallee on 10-13-2010

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Ratings: 161 |  Reviews: 89
Photo of ToddT
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Somewhat hazy bright copper color topped with a large off white head. Head falls slowly and remains as a cap, it is pretty sticky as well. This one leaves some nice lace on the glass.

S- Nice grapefruit and grass hops, a little bit of caramel malt in there too.

T- Taste follows the nose, more malt upfront then a nice transition to a bitter hop finish. Nice balance, the hops are not overwhelmingly bitter nor is it overly sweet. Finish is nice and clean not oily hop residue on the palate.

M- Medium in body and decent carbonation. It has a nice feel in the mouth not viscous or oily at all.

D- Easy drinking not too extreme or bitter, the 6.0% ABV is well hidden too.

Nothing too special, but solid and well done.

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Photo of yesyouam
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saranac India Style Copper Ale is a pretty clear copper ale with a khaki head that fades to a bubbly film and leaves a nice sheet of foam on the glass. It has a hoppy aroma of pine, citrus and leaves. It smells fresh and straightforward. It has a lively medium body with a clean, dry finish. There's a nice, piny hop flavor with a hint of caramel and a bitter resiny finish. It's dry, simple and very sessionable. I suppose I'd call this a Red Ale. Nothing really stands out with this one, but it's unflawed.

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Photo of riversider76
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper brown with a fluffy head. Excellent retention and laceing. Aroma is of piney hops and bready caramel malts. Body is medium with carbonation. Taste is well balanced. Bready, but with hints of hop through out. Slightly bitter finish. Tasted more like a APA than a Brown. Very Good.

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Photo of projectflam86
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a nice copper color with a thick foam head that leaves some nice lacing.

S- Caramel malt dominates the nose. There is also some faint toasted grain and piney hops.

T- Fairly bitter upfront with some caramel flavors coming through in the finish. The alcohol is well hidden but there is a bit of a soapy aftertaste.

M- Medium bodied with decent carbonation.

D- This one is decent but the bitterness lacks any real flavor and it kind of takes away from the sweet caramel malts.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.98/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a nice copper color with two full fingers of thick foam that fades away slowly and coats the glass. Aroma is a nice mix of American hops - but pretty mellow. Malt is present in the nose as well.

First sip is... nice and full bodied. Decent hop presence, rounded out nicely by a biscuity malt flavor. Finishes a bit on the harsh side with the hop bitterness, but that is a minor complaint. One of the better Saranac beers that I've tried

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Photo of mnrider
3.39/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12. oz brown bottle

A: Pours a copper color with white head. Watery lacing on half of the glass.

S: Light hops with lighter malts. A little sweet.

T/M: Crisp and hopy. Bitter at first. Sweet with some citrus. Tingles on the tongue. Overall pretty good.

D: A good brew. Well balanced. Could use a more dominant taste, everything seems a little to blended.


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Photo of Kooz
2.93/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a Sam Adams pint glass. Nice foamy head, thick lacing on the glass; head sticks around. Nice color--copper-orange.

Smells strongly of hops, with a hint of sweetness.

Tastes too hoppy and bitter. Expected from an India ale, but there's something missing from this beer.

Good mouthfeel--nice thick foam, cut by an acidic, almost gritty. It's pleasant.

This is a possibly drinkable beer. There's a lot I like about this, but the taste isn't great to me. I am on the fence here, so I'm giving it a 3.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.03/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

This Saranac had a wonderful foam head (about 2 fingers) and great lacing on my glass. I had plent of flavor and relatively smooth with just a hint of hop bitterness. All in all its right on par with other American Ales and IPAs and its very drinkable. Another decent creation by Saranac.

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Photo of ngeunit1
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a slightly hazy amber-red color with a nice two fingers of creamy off-white head. Head has pretty decent retention and has pretty okay lacing.

S - The aroma is a mild mix of toffee malt, grassy/floral hop, and fruity/citrusy sweetness. There is also just a touch of brown sugar. Overall, a little weak.

T - The taste kicks off with the carmel malt taste with some hop bitterness apparent right at the start. These flavors both build and eventually some citrus flavor, mostly lemon, come in to blend them a bit. The finish has more of the hop flavor, but a bit less bitter, with some hop flavor lingering. A bit unbalanced at times, with the malt, fruit, and hop combination.

M - Medium bodied with a moderate amount of fizzy carbonation. The carbonation keeps it very crisp without it being too watery. There is also a creaminess to it. The finish is also fairly dry which is nice.

D - Overall pretty drinkable. The mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing. The only downside is that the flavors are just a bit unbalanced overall, but the hops right off the bat and the finish is nice.

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

Pours a very pale light brown color, slightly hazy, with a small dense khaki colored head that disipated into a sparse cap that left some lacing on the glass. Lacking on the rich colors of an amber ale.

The aroma is of caramel malt, a touch bready, a hint of brown sugar and a very light grassy stale hop. Not much going on.

The taste is of a sweet caramel malt, some lemon and tea like flavors, then a fairly good shot of some grassy bitter hops. Not much hop flavor but definitely the hop bitterness. I am not wild of the flavor but the hops give the brew some character.

The feel is light, almost watery, with fizzy carbonation, drinks quite crisp. Finishes bitter.

Drinks very easy as the body is light and fizzy. Not the best amber ale out there but its got some flavor to it.

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Photo of asabreed
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith 12 oz. nonic.

Appearance: Not surprisingly copper-colored, nice bubbles, and good lacing and retention. The look of these Saranac brews lately has been pretty good.

Smell: The fruit esters mixed with the sour and citrus qualities are what's present the most here.

Taste: More bitterness than I was expecting overall, with a nice earthiness and grapefruit component, along with some sweeter fruit esters and mild roasted malts and bread notes lingering.

Mouthfeel: A little more medium-bodied, or so it seems, with a creamier yet more dense carbonation.

Drinkability: Another one in the 12 beers of winter I'm a fan of. They're not blowing minds, but there are some solid ones in there this year in my opinion, and this is one of them.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.29/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from the Saranac Winter Mix

A-Cloudy Amber, one finger foam head that lingers and leaves a nice lacing all the way down

S-Some hops, not much and floral notes

T-Floral Hops with some bitterness, interesting for an Amber Ale as the bitterness is usually not there.

M-Medium body, not getting any carbonation here.

D-It's drinkable, the hops, although not much, make it a good inclusion for the winer pack.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on December 12, 2010. It pours a nice looking amber-copper with a long lasting half-inch beige head that leaves thick lacing. Floral hops take command of the aroma with a backdrop of sweet malts. The body is in the medium range. The taste has a pleasing merger of caramel malts and bitter hops that makes it feel like a moderate IPA. Likeable beer.

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Photo of cnjohn19
3.83/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Description on the bottle reads: "Taking an India Pale Ale to the next level, this copper ale has the malt backbone to carry the hoppiness you expect in an "India Pale Ale." Carefully selected mals from North America and Europe are decoction mashed to highlight their character and the brew is complimented with generous amounts of Columbus, Cascade, and Centennial hops. Cheers!"

A - pours a clear, crisp dark amber with a half inch pillow head (literally like a pillow)...excellent

S - malts and hops, malts and hops, malts and hops...very balanced

T & M - the smell was slightly deceiving as the IPA dominated...hops were strong...pretty bitter, full of flavor...

D - left my stomach a little upset...i'm not sure i would have gone with this mix of first i really liked this beer but over time really got old...see what you think...

Song pairings: Van Halen - "Jump," Steve Miller Band - "The Joker," Matisyahu - "King Without a Crown"

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.61/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased as part of the seasonal 12pk. Pours a copper-brown crystal-clear body with a good inch of khaki-colored head that dissipates slowly leaving some great lacing. Grassy hops pretty much dominate the aroma of this beer. Grassy somewhat citric hops dominate the flavor too with just enough caramel to make this not a hop-bomb. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Fairly drinkable. Not bad but a bit one-sided, even for being "India-style"- I've had IPAs that were more balanced. Not my favorite out of the bunch, but decent enough.

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Photo of letsgopens
3.31/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Well here I am, continuing my trek through the Saranac 12 Beers of Winter variety pack. Haven't had this one yet. Quite an attractive looking beer. True to the namesake, it shows a tarnished copper colored body with some lighter amber/orange highlights. The creamy full head displays a faded beige that holds its shape well and leaves some sticky pillows of lace behind. Slightly cloudy with some sparse rising bubbles.

Lots of sweet, moderately toasted malts. Caramel, toffee, and lots of nutty/toasty sweetness. Mild citrus notes: orange peel and kumquat. Notes of honey and vanilla. The hops are floral and struggle to surface over the dominant malt sweetness. Appetizing and definitely has that familiar, sweet/malty quality one gets used to with Saranac brews.

The initial flavors that come through in the first part of the flavor are very much similar to the nose. That path quickly changes direction and smacks you with a substantial amount of bright, crisp hop bitterness. Very herbal and floral hops fade to more soil-like earth tones. Pine and a hint of lemon zest linger behind. Definitely biscuity, and slightly burnt caramel notes mingle with the sharp, bitter citrus pith and herbal/floral hops. The sharpness fades in to noticeable booze warmth. Some continual metallic notes are definitely present. An assertive brew to be sure, and tasty, but a bit muttled in the flavor department.

Crisp and bright with a matted, dry/boozy bitterness that warms the throat and makes for a good cold weather, yet hoppy, beer in my opinion. Not sure of the ABV, I would guess moderate to high relative to other Saranac brews. An enjoyable addition to the winter pack.

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Photo of jsdunlop
4.35/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Darker amber color with a nice head that remains on top of the brew, and an abundance of carb bubbles dancing up to the top of the glass. Very malty in the nose, definite hop presence with piney and citrusy notes throughout. A strong malt taste mingles with a touch of sweetness, while a nice balance of strong hoppiness brings flavors of pine, orange, and lemon notes together nicely. A bit of cherry and alcohol round out the brew after each sip, while a nice spicey, dry and biscuity aftertaste make their way in as well. The body of this beer represents the perfectly balanced malt profile with a nice carbonation presence. Drinkability is high, as this beer blends the characteristics of an IPA with the basic profile of an amber ale.

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
2.9/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a dark copper/amber, not a lot of head on it.

S - Bright smelling--citrusy hops smell comes through nicely.

T - More hops than I actually expected. Citrus develops in the bottom of the mouth and spreads. Even a little bit spicy on the finish.

M - Not a lot of carbonation coming through, goes down pretty smooth. Thick coating on the throat--aftertaste a bit smokey.

D - Pretty easy to drink. It 'feels' heavier than it probably is on the stomach.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.16/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Received as part of my Beer of the Month club.

a - Pours a copper reddish color with one finger of fluffy off white head and moderate carbonation evident. The head lasts for a few minutes and leaves some nice lacing.

s - Smells of bready malts, caramel malts, hops, and light fruit.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, bready malts, fruit, and hops.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

d - An ok amber ale. Nothing really stood out in the smell or taste; it wasn't bad, just average. Wouldn't seek out again.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
3.54/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a nice, transparent, deep copper color, with a bit of off-white undulating head.

S - Smells of brown sugar, molasses, and a bit of hops. Not a strong smelling beer.

T - It has a decent malty sweetness to the body of the beer, with the hops coming through on the finish. It's not bad, but I don't find it particularly deserving of the title "India," since the hops seem more like an after-thought

M - The mouthfeel is pretty good, it's fairly thick and smooth but not heavy.

D - This is real easy to drink. Nothing offensive in the taste, a fairly low ABV, it's a drinkable beer.

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Photo of CHickman
3.26/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours clear copper in color with a foamy 2 finger beige head that faded slowly and left very good lacing rings and a creamy layer on top; bubbles race up this beer, and overall it's a fine looking brew.

Smells of sweet malt, caramel, wet bread, toasted grains, faint hops and light syrup; seems to be a mild spice aroma as well.

Tastes like sweet malt, light citrus hops, grapefruit, caramel, toasted grains, toffee, light syrup, grass, cinnamon, grass, wheat bread and a metallic penny like finish like a Belgian ale would have; almost tastes like a pine tree or spruce and lacks any real hop punch.

Mouthfeel is light, crisp and on the creamy side, with medium carbonation, a medium body and a semi-dry finish on the bitter side.

Decent beer that I was glad to try, but not one that I'd seek out; glad only 2 came in the Saranac 12 pack as this was just an average beer.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Website says American Amber, label says India style Copper Ale. Interesting regional brewer jargon or just rock solid good beer. Appears a beautiful bright copper hue when held up toward the light slightly off white head comes of light cream colored. Aroma hits with spruce tips/citrus rinds/ and floral notes all C notes going on here with Columbus, Centennial, and Cascades. Sugary coated hops a touch of caramel malt, nice mix of olfactory sensations going on in my glass. Flavor offers up a nice bitterness coated with enough malts to balance out the party still lands on the abrasive bitter side of things but there's still some poetic justice going on within the malt/hop mixture in the glass. Citric hops/floral notes make it through with a nice semi dry malt crispness making it through. Mouthfeel is a bit oily actually brings the hops, carbonation is sturdy maybe too much so. Finishes pretty dry espcecially with the hop burps coming back up between sips. Drinkability overall is solid hoppy offerings from a small rebuilding regional brewer who's hearts are in the game totally. Don't believe check a couple of the Matt guys giving verbal reviews of these beers on their youtube site.

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Photo of tone77
3.41/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has an amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some hops are present. Taste is hops up front, followed by a good malt balance. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

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Photo of argock
3.01/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Purchased as part of a winter sampler 24-pack at Sam's Club (Charlottesville, VA) for $19.99.

A: Appealing copper-brown with healthy 1-2 finger off-white head with decent retention and a few lace formations.

S: Aromas are of cardboard maltiness with herbal, leafy hops

T: The hops are most prominent and are very herbal and tea-like in nature, but the hops component unfortunately meets an inadequate maltload to fade off the palate very fleetingly and the brew finishes with a papery, cardboardy bitterness.

M: The feel is too thin and watery, and I wish (like many others) that Saranac would put about twice as much malt in most of their beers as it would probably double the enjoyment drinkers get when they have their brews.

D: This brew kind of sums up the Saranac main line of beers: average and muddled with too few ingredients. I think this brewery has the know-how to make better beers (see Black Forest and Bohemian Pilsner) but they have hit the mediocre bar a few too many times.

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Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
3.29/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 20 November 2010. Lunchtime beer!

Poured gently into a Sam Adams Summer Ale glass to give a nice 2-finger head that transforms into a seemingly permanent film on the top of the beer. Lacing is extremely sticky -- this has not been the case with lots of other Saranac beers that I've been trying. Color is clear amber-red. Aroma is nowhere near as nice as the taste. Aroma is a little soapy in nature with only SOME bitter hops, sweet malts and almonds. Taste is not so nice in the first few sips, but eventually coats your mouth with standard pale malts. Some wet leather is also present on the tongue, as well as some nutty characteristics. Besides the sweet malt left on the palate, this beer is quite bitter from sip to sip. If you can handle the bitterness, this is a nice winter session beer, but I'll pass. I would recommend this beer to be paired with food rather than to drink on its own.

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Saranac India Copper Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.49 out of 5 based on 161 ratings.
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