Saranac Scotch Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac Scotch AleSaranac Scotch Ale
80 Ratings
Saranac Scotch AleSaranac Scotch Ale

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

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-06-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 80 |  Reviews: 61
Reviews by buzzy:
Photo of buzzy
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.24/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a large nonic a clear deep copper with a tight clingy 1 1/2 finger slight off white head the appearance easily was the best thing about this brew.Swwet aromas like that brown sugar and some toasty grain and butter but really nothing sticks out much.Flavors start out sweet with light caramel and brown sugar notes turning toasty with a little butter in the finish.Eh pretty basic not a Scottish ale to measure up against,basic somewhat food friendly.Definently not in the Wee Heavy category.

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Photo of generallee
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Jason
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown description about the beer on the neck label, no freshness date found. “Wee Heavy” on the front label.

Appearance: Mild chill haze, rustic amber hue with a tight and white lace that looks quite impressive.

Smell: Rich malt sweetness, light whiff of alcohol and light twang from the fermentation. Light doughy malt with hints of caramel.

Taste: Big well built medium body, faint crispness from the moderate carbonation that provides ample smoothness. Quick bite of hop bitterness, then the malt kicks in … sweetness is plentiful ranging from caramel to a shortcake like flavour. Light presence of alcohol with a trace twang from the residual hop flavour. Two sided flip flop flavour between a sweet bready flavour and hop leaf warp up the finish.

Notes: Falls shy of a real beefy Scotch Ale, more of a Scottish strong bitter … needless to say a decent beer. Unfortunately this is one of their many one offs that they throw together for the “12 Beersof Christmas” twelve pack.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.57/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appears a copper amber hue with a light khaki beige head, light speckled lacing. Aroma has a nice peated malt profile with caramel sweetness and alcohol coated ripened plum and apricots. Flavors bring semi sweet caramel infused with fruit and smokey peated malt accents, a real treat coming from Saranac. Mouthfeel is lighter bodied for the style carbonation is ample flows nicely with each sip. Drinkability is solid all around one that will be on most folks wish list for a regular or semi regular release from this season's 12 beers of winter.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Don't have a thistle yet, so I'll point out this was consumed in a snifter... reddish-brown transparent body with a substantial frothy white head that fills out the glass quite adequately... moderate effervescence... first notice in the nose is of malt; secondary aromas are of burnt something--nondescript otherwise... smooth--too smooth? a bit of energy at the finish; mellow overall... intense rush of malt and a hint of hops at the finish; little or no notes of alcohol... as a sampler, the ale's not bad... substantial presence but not smokey enough to satisfy the scotch part of the scotch ale, unfortunately...

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out as a clear, copper-amber color, adequate bubbles which creates a nice two-finger head that's clumpy and sticky, slightly off-white. Nice retention but it eventually dissipates to almost nothing...but it takes a while.

Chocolaty-herbal malt, roastie grains, cabbage stew with a zesty, tangy hop nose.

The zesty and herbal spiced pop right out at ya, burnt caramel, slightly sweet that becomes very earthy and tangy with a dry-leaf hop ending and some slight smokiness left over. The balance is a bit askew with the herbal spices taking over, but the malt and hops is enough to make it pleasant.

Medium to full feel, starts out with a crispy bite but plenty smooth going down.

I really enjoy my Scotch Ale and this one is slightly above average in most ways.

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Photo of QXSTER1
3.66/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I like malty beers and this fit the bill nicely. Medium body and carbonation over the aforementioned smooth malt sweetness. Every beer can't knock your socks off, but if offered the chance to drink this one again I'd take it.

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Photo of Sammy
3.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Jason's bottle from the six pack. Passable beer, but fairly weak for its style. No smell, looks alright its a light brown and lacey, with a lasting off-white head. Above-average carbonation. Only a faint whiff of scotch taste.Not all that drinkable.

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Photo of cliff1066
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of edchicma
3.3/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light amber with a minimal head. Smell not overly distinctive, with mainly a light malt presence. Just average...sweet malt presence with a vague hop note. Slightly creamy mouthfeel. Similar characteristics made drinkableity slightly above average.

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Photo of nyrblue2
3/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of bluejacket74
3.51/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, part of the Saranac 12 beers of winter pack. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours a clear copper color with an inch off-white head. Lacing and head retention are both good. It smells like caramel, peat and bread, but the aroma is a bit weak. Luckily the taste is stronger than the aroma. It tastes similar to how it smells, but there's also some raisins and bitter hops in there too. Mouthfeel is medium, and the beer is a little slick. Drinkability is OK too, it is easy to drink. I think this is a decent brew, it's good but not great. With that being said, I'd definitely drink this again.

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Photo of fitzy84
3.59/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out with a amberish-brown appearance. The head thinned out really quickly and you could see the carbonation be really active in the glass. The smell was not overpowering but took awhile to differentiate. I could smell malt if I tried hard enough but it seemed too watered out. However, I was surprised with the taste which did take advantage of its simplicity by crafting something really smooth, lightly sweet drink. Its carbonation is heavy, making you think you are drinking soda or something. Overall, a lightly flavored but pretty good scotch ale.

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Photo of BeerSox
2.76/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into nonic.

A deep amber color, moving more toward brown. This one seems a little on the lighter side for a Wee Heavy. A one finger light tan head builds up quickly and takes a while to fade, leaving behind some stringy lacing.

Toasty malts with a hint of caramel in the aroma. Only enough hop aroma to make itself present. Not a very rich aroma.

The taste has the normal burnt caramel flavors but they seem muted, and the overall flavor seems watered down. Medium bodied with average carbonation. The finish is fading malts.

I expect a Wee Heavy to be a rich, full bodied, malty beer. This one came up short. The looks gave it away: they were bland, and so was the rest of the beer. Not recommended.

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Photo of Murph
3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I must agree with Jason here, there brews always seem to be just short of being really good. This one is no exception. Pours a dark copper color with a creamy head. Smell is a nice malty alcohol aroma but a little thin. Nice sweet malty taste and some alcohol as well but it is again a little thin and there is also another slightly off flavor that I can't quite make out. The brew is nice and creamy though and pretty drinkable. All in all not a bad brew at all, solid session beer, just not great. This brewery seems to be stuck here. Hopefully they will bring it up another notch and make the beers really good.

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Photo of MmmIPA
3.83/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice rustic looking body that sits beneath a white thick 2 finger head.Thick lacing is left as the head goes down.

Sweet,smokey and roasty(slight) notes.

Smokey taste,nice taste,im not used to this taste.
I cant really taste any hops here.

The only downfall I can tell is the mouthful gets watery.Clean aftertaste,all but a bit of smokeyness.

This beer isnt bad but I would like to taste a better made beerfrom the style.

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Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of blackie
3.21/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: Pours a one finger off white head, receding to a thin layer. The beer is a deep amber in color.

s: Considerable dose of tea-like English hops on the nose, pretty dominant for a beer in which I expect malt to be the standout. Toasted, biscuity Scottish malts give a light-moderate sweetness. Reminds me more of a decent amber than a Scotch ale.

m: Low-medium carbonation, and a light-medium body. A big light.

t: Moderate-light sweetness and a nondescript, big tea-like hop flavor. Bland Scottish malts with a subtle roast flavor. Decent bitterness and aged hop flavors in the finish. Toasted, hard biscuits linger. Nothing off, but pretty standard and boring when judged against some better examples of the style. The hops are also a bit too much for this particular beer. Kick the malt up a bit and it'd be quite good.

d: okay...a decent beer (amber maybe?), but a lame Scotch

from the Saranac winter mix

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Photo of auxiliary
3.62/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance - Amber color, with a small head, and some lace that didn't stick. After some time, it looks flat now.

smell - Sweet malt some alcohol present.

taste - Malt, with some hop present. Some bitterness in the taste.

Medium body, alcohol is present.

drinkability - Not a bad beer, was included in the 12 beers of winter. Not a strong ale, as compared to others in the category.

 390 characters

Photo of JohneHoodlum
3/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of Lexluthor33
3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep reddish brown with a small beige head and a decent lace.
The aroma is basically roasted malts,caramel and hops.
The taste is sweet,smoky and malty.
The feel is almost bittersweet. Medium carbonation and body. A bitter finish.

Notes:It was well balanced and while not anywhere close to my favorite style it was drinkable and more suitable for the winter.

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Photo of BeerCon5
3.3/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark, reddish brown color with quite a bit of white frothy head.

S: A malt smell is the most dominant along with a toasty hop scent.

T: A little sweet, with a good bit of the toasty hop taste, also a bit sour at the end.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D: Fairly easy to drink. Probably the best I've had from Saranac so far. I could see myself buying this every now and again.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.5/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark bronze-ish amber with a nice beige, light brown head that leaves decent lace. Full malty carmelized aroma with hints of smokiness and roastiness. Tastes much like it smells. Medium-full bodied, creamy, and smooth with a warm felling.

Label States: "Wee Heavy", "Roasted barley and Scottish 2-row malt" & "East Kent Goldings and Fuggles hops"

Available in Saranac Holiday Pack: 1999, 2000, 2001
Tasted: 03/26/03

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Photo of xXTequila
3.06/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was a bit let down with this one. I was expecting a heavier ale than this was. There wasn't much flavour when i first tasted it but i think it was to cold when i poured it. After letting it sit and warm the flavour started to come through. The malt was alittle to sweet for me and the carbonation was lacking. Maybe i just got an off bottle.

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Saranac Scotch Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.38 out of 5 with 80 ratings