Saranac Caramel Porter | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac Caramel PorterSaranac Caramel Porter
821 Ratings
Saranac Caramel PorterSaranac Caramel Porter

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

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 821 |  Reviews: 462
Reviews by RHB33:
Photo of RHB33
4.08/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I don't care about your error message. I like this beer, doesn't matter to me that others rated it lower. :-P

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More User Reviews:
Photo of teromous
3.49/5  rDev +10.4%
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 vfgccp
2.01/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Abbreviated review: Simply isn't a porter. Should probably be called a brown ale, but still wouldn't be a great beer, just more aptly named.

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Photo of oberon
3.25/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this in the holiday variety 12-pack,thought it would be alot better than it was.Poured a dark/amber color with with a medium tan colored head.True to the name caramel was the dominant smell I got almost overpowering,the taste like the smell was very caramelly with a little chocolate/earthy tone but I would have liked more balance there.A good try but not one of the best porters I have had.

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Photo of SuomiHobbit
1.25/5  rDev -60.4%

Photo of blitz134
2.19/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Starting with the usual. Very dark pour, although plenty of light coming through. Head disappeared so quickly I never got a chance to check the color out. It totally disappeared in about 30 seconds. Those two features brought the appearance numbers down.

The caramel smell is quite overwhelming. I was expecting hints of caramel, not a huge dousing of it. I might as well have a glass of caramel. I don’t pick up anything else in the smell, caramel covers all. I don’t know what to say about the taste except “bleh!” There is very little to this beer except for what seems like caramel flavoring added to an average dark lager. The caramel which is in here tastes overly sugary, not like a good toasty caramel. Mouthfeel is relatively thin, not like any other porter I’ve had. I’m having issues drinking any more than is necessary to write this review due to my stomach beginning to feel strange from all the sweetness. (shudder!!!)

I had high hopes for this. I was imaging a creamy full bodied porter with undertones of caramel coming into presence at the end. But there was none of that.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
2.66/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I'm not sure what they were trying to do with this beer, but it didn't work. It started out OK, dark brown color, small tan head. Not much aroma, just a little sweet. A porter taste, coffee/chocolate, but the damn caramel (or whatever it was, I couldn't tell for sure) kept intruding. It was medium bodied. Not a beer I'd want a lot of.

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Photo of heddar33
3.06/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of sponberg
2.96/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

And here, ladies and gentlemen, we have the Caramel Porter. Pleasantly dark ruby in color, with the patented Anti-Rapapoda Aroma of diacetyl and buttered caramel popcorn, guaranteed to have at least one resident of the five boroughs head go *POP*

Starts with a buttery, diacetyl hit far beyond anything Alan Pugsley's ever had in his wildest dreams. Once that passes, there are some roasty toast porter notes but they're swallowed up by the caramel mess. Thankfully there are hoppy ass beers in the fridge. If you love caramel sweet beers; we're taking Brach's Caramels sitting in fermented malted barley; this is the beer for you.

Does a fine job of keeping Rapapoda at bay, though. <g>

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Photo of generallee
3.67/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours dark brown with a deep red hue. The head is foamy but small with a tan color and nice lace. It has a sweet aroma of caramel covered white bread. The flavor is simple but good with a heavy does of sweet caramel and some toasted malts. The flavor is almost candy like and fades slowly into the finish. Its palate is medium bodied and silky smooth. I always enjoy the caramely sweet flavor of this simple and tasty porter.

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Photo of Doomcifer
2.25/5  rDev -28.8%

Photo of Magister_Beav
4/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.25/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Jason
2.71/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

A: Nearly impressive head retention and lacing, pretty light in color for a porter with a brown hue with reddish highlights.

S: Smells like a piece of cake, not beer but cake. Very sweet, after a few more sniffs it smells like a thick cream soda and butterscotch. Oh yeah all of this is saturated by caramel and lots of it.

T & M: Smooth and creamy, I’d be real disappointed if it was not this way coming from a flavored beer as some don’t even try.Cloying sweet, malt sweetness is there but then there is the caramel flavoring that just breaks the palate with sweetness. Hops? They are there but do little and are hard to find. Faint roasted and toasted malt add a mild chocolate flavor that just help the cloying sweetness along. Finishes with a long, long sweet flavor.

Drinkability & Notes: This should be treated as a dessert beer and that is all, this is too damn sweet. I looked for the sweetness knowing what was on the label and it smacked my palate around, it was hard to drink another after this one let alone another beer all together as it ruined my palate with that cloying sweetness and caramel flavor.

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Photo of merlin48
3.52/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My first Saranac, from a 2003 "12 beer sampler" box. Pours a dark brown with some hints of red, not as opaque as most porters I've had. Head disappears quickly without significant lacing. Nose is of caramel(no surprise) and a hint of smokiness. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, but seems somewhat watered down. Taste is sweet malted caramel, not much else. This one is worth sampling for the caramel that dominates from the nose to the finish. Very interesting, certainly, and its faults make it more drinkable for my tastes. Only a slight hops aftertaste which makes for a smooth experience if you can deal with all the caramel. Not at all a bad choice, but definitely different.

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Photo of Billolick
3.14/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Another very mediocre brew from the fine folks at Saranac. Pours dark brown and clear, minimal head/lacing. Nutty caramel nose. Taste is, you guessed it, caramel and sweet. Tastes sort of like a mix between sugary caramel corn and a bottle of miller. There is obviously much better beer out there to be consumed. Saranac seems to be trying to fill the space betwwen BMC and any type of decent craft brew, I'm sure there is pleanty of $$$ to be made in that zone.

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Photo of Homebrew35
4.15/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a one and a half finger head, a deep mahogany body, very clear as the medium carbing streams bubbles from the bottom which holds the gorgeous tan soapy head for quite a while. Tons of thick frothy lacing clings way up the glass. Smells of bready yeast, touch of caramel, toasted crystal sweet malts, some butter in the smell. The buttery taste is present in the body which I think works with the carmel/roasty/creme brulee flavors. A touch of bitterness in the finish keeps me drinking more. I find this quite drinkable but is a bit too thick and chewy for a session. I love this every year and think this is better than years past.

This is on the sweeter side of things out there and probably explains the overall rating on here. $1.85 a single. I plan to buy a sixer of this and enjoy it for the rest of winter. Its snowing outside right now and this brew makes me warm and fuzzy inside.

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Photo of reitzbrewing
4.25/5  rDev +34.5%

Photo of alyssa1224
3.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
2.09/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz. bottle. The wife got this for me for my recent birthday.

(Note to self: Please make sure wife knows favorite beer selections prior to purchasing any of said beer)

Pours a nice-looking amber-brown in color with a massive, creamy-smooth head. Nice glass lacing.

It goes downhill.

Aromas are over-the-top caramel. Not a pleasant aroma. An over-done, nothing else even comes close to making it through caramel funk. I thought a porter was supposed to have something resembling a roasted malt character...not here. Flavor is thin and watery caramel water. That's it. Horridly one-dimensional and not representative of the style.

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Photo of mjtiernan
3/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Milkysunshine
3.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of tuowl74a
4/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dogfishandi
2.2/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

i knew this beer wasnt going to be great, but i had a lot higher expectations for it. as soon as i opened the bottle it filled the room with an aroma of buttery caramel. it pours a dark clear brown color, that reminds me more of a brown ale than a porter. it had an off white head that faded almost instantly to absolutlely nothing. the aroma was borderline offensive. it had a very fake smelling caramel. and there was a strong buttery smell as well. thats about it. the taste was pretty similar with the strong fake caramel and the butter going on. maybe a hint of roasted malts but not much going on. this beer reminded me nothing of a porter and it was flavored with very artificial caramel that even a non beer enthusiast could easily notice. this was a really pour showing from saranac. i tried tons of their other beers and most of them were ok, but this one really sucked, i had a hard time finishing the six pack. definately do not buy this.

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Photo of Thrasher
4.32/5  rDev +36.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, the reviews for this are all over the place. Consider me in the "liked it" category. Liked it quite a bit, actually. FX Matt knows their malts and this brew is no exception. Dark amber/light brown translucent brew with light tan head that fluffed, then wisped away. First taste is malts, caramel. Some butter in the aroma, and in the near finish. Piney hops are very subtle and caramel sweetness brings this one home. To me, is reminiscent of a baltic porter without the licorice and currant hints. If you like sweet stouts or caramel malts this one is right up your alley. I can understand how others thought this was too sweet and candylike, but for me the lack of bitterness was no problem.

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Saranac Caramel Porter from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.16 out of 5 with 821 ratings