Saranac Caramel Porter
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac Caramel PorterSaranac Caramel Porter
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American Porter
Ranked #1,150
Ranked #46,923
3.2 | pDev: 21.56%
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States
Saranac Caramel PorterSaranac Caramel Porter
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Reviews: 462 | Ratings: 821
Photo of BrewMaven
3.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep, clear garnet with a fleeting head..Ring remains. Winter sapped me of any sense of smell I normally have (not much). Flavor is dominated by Caramel. Not too sweet, slightly sticky in the mouth Carbonation (mild) is just right in my opinion. Tasty if a bit simple. I'd enjoy sessioning this.

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Photo of EMH73
3.41/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium brown with a well retained inch and a half tan head that left some spotty lacing. Smells of caramel, bread and noble hops. Taste is dominated by sweet caramel (I wish it was more subdued), light roasted malts, vanilla, noble hops and a bit of chocolate. Light bodied and watery mouth feel for a porter, light carbonation.

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Photo of asspiration
1.88/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was really looking forward to having a great caramel porter! After drinking this, I still am. Where's the caramel? It tastes more like an IPA than a porter. Very disappointing.

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Photo of Brian_L-2056
4.24/5  rDev +32.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium brown color with plenty of frothy head and carbonation. Smell is sweet. Taste is sweet with the abundant flavor of caramel, marsh mellows and only slight hops, the feel is not thick like I expected, very smooth. The more you drink the milder and more pronounced the sweetness but not overwhelming. Overall, I love this beer and can't wait to get another growler of it

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Photo of LANManic
3.54/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I was only a sparse drinker of Saranac beer before this came along. This beer was the reason I began exploring more adventurously into craft brews. It was different and showed what variations outside of malts & hops can do. Particularly satisfying to me was the levelheaded exposure of caramel flavor and the malt/alcohol-induced peppery finish. While in the beginning, it was a 5, other releases have heavily shadowed this brew into a niche. Nice to come back to periodically, though.

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Photo of HoppingMadMonk
3.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Nice red/brown color,a little thin and below average on carbonation. Aroma is all caramel,as is the taste. I'm sure the malt and hops played into the taste but the caramel win hands down. Very sweet,a decent dessert beer but that's the only time it would work for me

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Photo of teromous
3.49/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't see a bottle date but on the neck it displays: "2797 10:12"

Appearance: The body is a beautiful shade of ruby red and brown. The head is thick with a light khaki color. It has good head retention.

Aroma: There is a light noble hop aroma which is nice. There is also just a light touch of caramel malt scent.

Taste: Right off the bat the beer has a clear caramel flavor. It tastes just like the caramel that might be squeezed on top of ice cream. There is just a faint nutty flavor to the beer which is a bit stronger towards the end of the sip.

Mouthfeel: It feels light bodied and a bit thin at times. Although the beer doesn't have much texture it is refreshing to drink.

Overall: It certainly is an enjoyable beer to drink. The label advertises this beer as a caramel porter and while it sits on the lower end of the porter spectrum it certainly has a great caramel taste. I would recommend it to those looking for a sweeter beverage. I might drink it again from time to time.

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Photo of HorseheadsHophead
3.79/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Comes in a clear, dark brown. Looks almost black, but it's clearly dark ruby or dark brown throughout most of it. There's a small white head with good rention, which leaves quite a bit of lacing.
The aroma is sea salt, caramel, milk chocolate, creamy sweetness, toast, and a little bit of black cherry and raisin.
The taste offers caramel, milk chocolate, toast, vanilla, root beer, and a light vanilla sweetness. Hints of black cherry, fig, and raisin.
The mouthfeel is pretty light, with moderate carbonation. Slightly watery, but pretty smooth through. There's a slight mineraly character as well.

A decent session porter if you prefer your porters on the sweet side.

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Photo of udfan07
4.84/5  rDev +51.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I am surprised that people don't like this beer. This is one of my favorite beers from Saranac. I love the caramel taste and the bitterness that comes with the beer. It's like drinking a caramel candy in a beer and I enjoy drinking it each time I have it.

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Photo of The_Beer_Guru
3.78/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This porter is very drinkable because of its light body with a decent taste. I like this beer but I don't get any caramel maybe a hint of it but, still not much caramel flavor with surprisingly no sweetness. Not a bad beer but, Saranac didn't do a great job displaying a caramel flavor. Drinks like a brown ale more than a porter.

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Photo of hophugger
3.06/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Smelled like caramel hard candy, very excited !.Color is deep and head was light and no where what I was expecting. Taste was a touch offputting and artificial and the sweetness overpowered what should have been a better balanced beer. Sugary candy was too much and malt, hops and other significant flavors were subdued and lost

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Photo of q33jeff
1.78/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75


Where’s the Caramel? Where’s the porter for that matter. This seems to be a medium brown ale with a little extra coloring to disguise it as a porter. Aroma is vegetable. Dark brown color, small white head. Taste is grass, veggie. Something like raisin in the finish. Low carb.

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Photo of gutterpunktarzan
4.23/5  rDev +32.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Really good offering from saranac. I purchase at least a 6 pack every year. I'm not sure why some reviewers would buy this if they don't like the caramel flavor.

It has a nice light roast flavor with some sweet caramel after taste. Lots of caramel flavor as others have stated. More of a desert beer for me, one and done. But I still go back to it every year!

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Photo of jlindros
3.03/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light fizzy head that fades semi quickly, super dark molasses brown color.

Nose biscuity toffee, big fake caramel, syrupy sugar, molasses like, little dark toasty malt, imitation vanilla.
Taste brings more fake caramel and imitation vanilla, cola syrup a Mr Pib like cola, sweet syrup and little biscuit malt, toasted brown malt. Sticky syrupy finish, more imitation caramel and cola syrup.

Mouth is med bod, lighter carb.

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Photo of Brew_42
3.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Dark brown with a tan head

Smells good. Caramel and malts. A little butterscotch.

Taste follows the nose but not with as much intensity as one might hope. Also a hint of Apple that I didn't pick up on the nose.

Medium body.

Not a great beer.

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Photo of josansbury6
3.86/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pilsner glass.
Good dark brown to blackish color. Formed a nice brown head.
Don't remember much in terms of a distinctive smell.
Tasted malty and sweet.
Went down smooth.
Overall not a stand out beer but a good Porter none the less.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.22/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours brown with honey and amber hues in it. A ruby glint will show you good clarity but as the beer drinks you will notice this pale malt color bleeding through. Amiable tan head of foam that fell well and left lace. Strong scent of caramel like you just unwrapped a carmel. Roasty malt notes fall to the background but do creep froward as the beer warms. Taste is strong caramel. Earthy hop with plenty of herbal and spice. The hops are more pungent than you realize but it's a ton of caramel. Crisp carbonation and a medium dry robust finish. There is some residual sweetness and it's a quite a bit but not gross.

I do not prefer this beer. I think that allowing the caramel to dominate the flavor is just too much for me personally. It's well made but I dislike the flavor. The porter has the roasty darker flavor forward and usually the caramel is a secondary flavor. it clashes with the beer all that strong caramel and even the colors appear to clash in the glass. Finishes overly sweet with no roast to linger , no fruity esters.

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Photo of CNoj012
3.39/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a brown color with ruby highlights and a nice khaki head. There is nice retention and spotted lacing. Smell is very strong caramel and sweet malts. Taste is the same, way too sweet. Feel is very light for the style and almost creamy. Overall too sweet and not a fan.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.57/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours a nice tan head that dissipates very quickly. The beer itself is an opaque brown. The overall look isn't bad and is actually kind of nice to look at. Although, it definitely resembles more of a brown ale than any porter I've seen before.

The smell is pretty nice if not overly simple. There is a very, very strong caramel note that dominates the aroma but is offset a bit with a nice hop bitterness that easily gets lost in the smell.

The taste resembles the smell but is much more balanced than the smell. The caramel sweetness is still pretty strong though. The hop bitterness is much stronger and does a better job of balancing out the sweetness. Although,it's probably a little hard to drink anything else directly after this.

The feel is nice if a tiny bit syrupy. The beer has a very dry finish and very little carbonation.

Overall, I think that this is a very decent beer and worth trying. At the very least, it's a very nice beer to finish off an evening with.

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Photo of MECove
4.62/5  rDev +44.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this one surprised me! It sounded enticing as a seasonal flavor, and I've appreciated several other Saranacs, but it was still better than my expectations. It's got a decently thick head that lingers (1/3 of an inch). It's only 5.4% but so delicious that you can drink plenty of them. It can be a dessert or an evening delight. It's got a calm roasted after-taste, a sweet aroma, and a slight hint of sparkle as it goes down. It's almost like drinking a cold, carbonated caramel coffee!

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Photo of AngryDutchman
4.73/5  rDev +47.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

After reading the scores and reviews, I wonder if I was even drinking the same beer.

I thought it was delicious, smooth, malty and sweet and found it very easy to drink one after another after another...I'd been a huge Saranac fan but last year's Chai brown ale really turned me off. I'm glad they brought this out. I'm inclined to run back to the distributor to get the other case they had on the floor.

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Photo of momof8fay
4.86/5  rDev +51.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is by far my favorite beer. Despite what is said elsewhere, this is a seasonal beer and was sold out throughout my area (Syracuse) by the time I went back to attempt to buy more of it last spring. It was also sold out at Saranac (I would have driven 45 minutes to buy them out ).
Some flavored beers are over-flavored; this one is not. Just the right amount of caramel flavor in my opinion.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
2.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a finger of off-white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Nice aromas of slightly bready, roasted malt, caramel and brown sugar. Not much in the way of any other aromas though. Smells quite a bit on the sweet-side, almost cloyingly.

Taste: Only ok. Lots of roasted malt up front, followed by strong, sweet, flavors of caramel. However, the caramel tastes fake, like it’s from a syrup or extract, rather than real caramel. It’s not a bad beer, but not a real good one either. It is however, disappointing.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and very, very smooth as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 5.4%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is only an ok porter. Good idea, great idea, actually, but poorly executed. The caramel comes off as fake and chemical, rather than natural and delicious. I’d pass on this beer if offered again. Saranc needs to take this back to the drawing board and come up with a better recipe.

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
2.35/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Fairly dark brown, although a bit lighter than a typical porter. There's a finger of golden-brown head that hangs around for a few minutes.

S: Reminiscent of a typical brown ale, with lots of toasted malt, and a little bit of hops. There's also a hint of cola, which surprised me.

T: Not good! I'd thought this would be at least decent based on the look and a smell, but this tastes really bad. Sure, there's the Bready malt I expected, but there's also a cloying sweetness and a chemical taste that's really off-putting (artificial caramel flavor?) and ruins the whole experience.

M: I didn't even notice -- the taste has my full attention.

O: A drain pour, after 2 sips (I don't know why I didn't stop at one).

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Photo of Mrbseward
3.7/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured a dark brown with a cream colored head. Has the typical warm smell of a porter with notes of caramel. Taste is good, not strong like some porters and goes down easy. Overall very good beer.

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Saranac Caramel Porter from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 74 out of 100 with 821 ratings