Saranac Red IPA | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac Red IPASaranac Red IPA
Liked This Beer
3.41 w/ 200 ratings
Saranac Red IPASaranac Red IPA

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

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Red IPA is a twist on a traditional west coast IPA featuring a deep red color from European dark caramel malts. We brew with generous amounts of American hops including Calypso, Palisade and Chinook to give this IPA a distinctive hop aroma. You'll notice a strong hoppy flavor with caramel malt undertones and a unique color that gives this IPA a whole new personality!

63 IBU

Added by plaid75 on 10-29-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 200 |  Reviews: 63
Photo of habaceeba
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of gregu2
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Brenden
3.32/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Oddly enough, this is one of the best-looking beers I've ever seen. Say what you will about the overall flavor or the substance, apparently there's plenty of malt in here and enough hop oils to contribute to a rich head. Speaking of, it rises to about two fingers atop a thick red-orange brew. The true beauty is that it barely settles and never fades, insisting on remaining until the beer is gone; not just a wispy foam, either, almost a full finger after it's diminished. A thick, consistent sheet of lacing curtains the glass all the way to the bottom. How? I don't know, but this is what my eyes are seeing.
So it makes little sense that this IPA isn't particularly strong. In fact, it's a bit strange. The fact is, only American varietals of malts and hops are used here. The combination of them, however, seems to work out to make for a beer that seems more British than American. There's a show of pine, though light, and possibly just a ghost of citrus, but most of what I get is a bit musty, downright herbal, and leafy, with a much earthier note than American hops employ. There's also a metallic note throughout.
The feel is good, mingling a brisk crispness that doesn't fade with a good smoothness underneath, ample but not overstated carbonation making for good drinking of an adequately medium-bodied brew.

 1,321 characters

Photo of micromaniac129
3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours with a ruby amber color. It has a small head dense and decent retention. Has good carbonation and is somewhat hazy in clarity.
In the aroma I got most a sour smell sutle but sour like a sour ale might smell. Some sweet caramel malts and fleeting hops at the begining.
Taste was strongly bitter with caramel malt and barley husks. I did notice low levels of diaceyl in the taste. It felt corse and artingent on my palette with a bitter aftertaste.
This beer wasn't really that bad it just had small little issues that adds up after a while.

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Photo of billybob
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of PGVG
3.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of IronLover
3.36/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reddish orange in color with good clarity. Poured with a thick, dense foam with good staying power that left sheets of sticky lacings on the glass. Light citrus, floral and pine hop aromas with sweet bready malt beneath. On the thinner side of medium bodied with rich aggressive carbonation up front leaving a slightly watery feel on the back end with a crisp yet sticky feel at the finish. Caramel and toasted malt flavors struggle to coexist with the hop bitterness up front. Its a bit messy. Hop flavors are not discernable and come across simply as bitter. Bitterness tapers through the middle to the end. Finishes crisply with a bitter pine aftertaste.

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Photo of claspada
2.98/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark copper color with a decent size foamy white head that recedes to leave some above average lacing.

Aromas begin with some light citrus, herbal, grassy hoppiness. As it warms you get some of the light caramel and toasted bready maltiness.

The tastes follow the nose with some initial grainy pale and sweet caramel maltiness. Then you get some astringent herbal and resiny hop bitterness that is slightly unpleasant and unenjoyable.

Mouthfeel is medium boided with medium carbonation. Finish is farily balanced but a but on the dry, bitter side.

Overall this was really just meh and I really did not want to finish it. It offered really no redeeming qualities, the flavor profile left me wanting more and falls into the "not worth my sobriety" category.

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Photo of alexgash
3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle.

Deep rose-hued orange body. Solid finger of dense, whipped light beige head. Good retention and lacing. Nose is a balanced mix of cookie, caramel malts and resinous, citrusy hops. Not overly fresh hop nose.

Toasted malts up front. Mineral water and herbal hop bitterness take over. Some pine and citrus add in. Fruity malt fills in underneath. Some caramel toward the finish. Hops become spicier and a little peppery. Dryish finish with lingering fruit. Moderate body with a lively feel. Not bad, but pretty forgettable.

 538 characters

Photo of kuhndog
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of GiantMidget
2.68/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2nd beer I had out of the Saranac winter variety from Wegmans.

Poured into a tulip pint glass.

I had higher expectations for this but I'm not sure why.
I do like a good red beer and I'm a huge IPA guy.

Floral notes emanated from the pour right away with the caramel scent.

Drank this relatively slowly to try to savor it and give it a good chance.
The sad part is, the hops just aren't where they need to be for an IPA. Maybe a good 'beginner' IPA just to experience what you may have read about IPA's, a first step.
But it should be much hoppier and dryer than it is. No "bite" to speak of whatsoever.

An OK effort, balanced mouthfeel and it wasn't 'bad' just not where it should be.

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Photo of ItsBeer4Me
3/5  rDev -12%

Photo of derekdenim
3.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.64/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Part of the Saranac 12 Beers of Winter variety pack - $13.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

"BB MAR 31 2013"

Appearance: Pours a deep, amber-tan body with a lofty, foaming, off-white head.

Smell: Pale malts rounded out by some toasty notes. Hops yield notes, albeit somewhat wimpy notes, of florals, resins, and citrus.

Taste: Pale malts, slight toast, even slighter brown sugar with a low sweetness. Floral, resinous, citrusy hop flavors follow, but they're muted, just depositing some aspirin-like bitterness and fleeing the scene. Drying, lightly bitter finish with most of the flavors long gone by this point.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-light carbonation.

Overall: It's like your old man banged on the door and told you to "turn that IPA DOWN!" Parents just don't understand, man. You ain't the boss of me, Saranac!

 848 characters

Photo of milkbone_underwear
4.25/5  rDev +24.6%

Photo of hosehead83
3.23/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Light, cloudy amber in color, with a decent head of off-white foam.
Aroma-Faint citrus hop note
Taste-Toasted malt, some citrus hops. Overall flavor seem a bit muddled and muted. That being said, its affordable and not a bad offering as an "intro" IPA.

 307 characters

Photo of patre_tim
4.28/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown with a red tinge. 1 finger of beige head fades to nothing. Little visible carbonation.

S: Fruity, peach and pineapple, heated hops and mellow malts. Fruit cocktail.

T: Not the sweetness I was expecting. I get a light and not overly hopped IPA taste with the pine and grapefruit with the addition of the fruit cocktail mentioned above, but not sweet and not overly hopped, quite mild and pleasant.

M: Light to medium body with low to medium carbonation.

O: Quite pleasant and good. Very versatile, and could be drunk with spicy foods, hot foods on a cold day, soups and stews.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle appears to be 12 fl oz volume. Brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap acquired as part of Saranac's variety box at Argonaut Liquor in Denver and served into a nonical pint glass in me gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are average.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 2.5 finger beige colour head - quite thin - devoid of cream and of above average retention. No lacing. Body colour is a transparent translucent copper with red hues. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Certainly appears more red than most IPAs, so it seems right on point for their style designation of "red IPA."

Sm: Floral hops, biscuit malt, soapy notes (too long in primary?), and clean underlying generic malts. A strangely hopped IPA (is it the calypso?), but a generally appealing aroma. The soapy notes have me worried, though. An average strength aroma. No yeast character comes through, nor does any alcohol.

T: Sweet up front, with a strange caramel and candy sugar/sugarcane body. Hopping is also strange, with obligatory floral hops but also a strange herbal/medicinal character as well which evokes some sort of spice that doesn't belong in the flavour profile; it's not ginger but it certainly seems a cousin thereof. I wish I could put my finger on it but it's illusive. Hints of biscuit malt. Sweetens on the climax, highlighting one of the primary issues with the build: the flavour emphasis is on the malts rather than the hops. As a result, the balance is off. It doesn't lack flavour and I wouldn't call it bland, but it does leave a lot to be desired - especially in terms of complexity and subtlety. It's pleasant to drink, but it's not a great example of the style. I don't get any yeast character or alcohol.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some cream on the open. Slightly overcarbonated. A touch too thick for what would be a refreshing flavour profile. Complements the flavours decently, but it's certainly not custom-tailored to them.

Dr: Drinkable but a poor example of the style (whether we're talking "red IPA" or simply IPA). The malt emphasis and overdone sweetness coupled with the lack of balance and complexity makes this one beer that I'll easily finish but which I wouldn't seek out again. I wouldn't recommend this to friends, and while I'll happily have another from the variety box, it's far from exemplary. Perhaps worth a try for Saranac fans. I doubt it'll draw outright hostility from anyone; it's certainly a drinkable brew in spite of its flaws. Lacks sufficient hop character to satisfy most American-style IPA fans.


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Photo of MadScientist
3.51/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A medium-light copper with good clarity. Produces a good head stand with persistent, off-white bubbles.

S: This is a middle of road aroma for an American IPA, not great but not bad. A moderate piney hops aroma with a bit of citrus and a somewhat grassy note. The malt has a light sweetness with a slight caramel note. There is the a bit of the ale yeast fruitiness.

T: The malt sweetness is kind of up with the moderate hops bitterness coming along the back. There is a moderate citrus hops flavor. The balance is somewhat bitter. There is a light alcohol sweetness and a touch of fruitiness. The finish is off-dry and the aftertaste is of a somewhat lingering bitterness.

M: A medium bodied with moderately-strong carbonation.

O: I'll scored this as an American Red, but I wouldn't have scored the flavor too high is it was listed as an IPA. I want a more aggressive hops bitterness in an IPA.

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Photo of dgeebs07
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of WizzardOfHops
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of jmw4437
3.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of Brad007
4.33/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful copper color with a thick head into my glass. For something that's supposed to be an IPA, it's not classified as such on here. That may be half-right and it is probably is a hoppy red ale?

Lots of pine tar from hops followed by a slice of buttered bread. Not so assertive. Reminds me of Roxy Rolles from Magic Hat. That too, was a nicely hopped red ale.

Definitely right as far as pine tar and buttered toast are concerned. Very chewy. The hops leave a decent coating on the mouth. Some would say it's average. I think it's quite alright.

Mouthfeel is excellent overall. Piney. Starts to dry up a bit.

Not bad! I'd love to see Saranac try a beer with NZ hops next.

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Photo of rangerred
3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark brownish-red with a two finger off-white head. Really pretty impressive head retention and lacing that surprised me quite a bit.

The aroma is a nice mixture of piny hops and caramel/toasted malt. Hops are quite strong but not so much to overpower the malt. The one mark against it is a slight metallic note.

The flavor, unfortunately, doesn't quite stack up to the appearance and aroma. Pine is very subdued with a distracting metal flavor coming through. Lots of caramel with a slight hint of dark bread and light toast. Bitterness is quite high making this beer a little unbalanced. A little tartness on the tip of the tongue and an acrid bitterness on the back of the throat don't go together very well. Mouthfeel is quite sticky, more than I feel it should be.

Overall, this beer is really unbalanced and not too good. The bitterness is too high and doesn't balance well at all. Nice try but doesn't quite make the cut.

 977 characters

Photo of bluntedboywonder
3.75/5  rDev +10%

Saranac Red IPA from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 28% out of 100 with 200 ratings
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