Saranac Caramel Porter
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac Caramel PorterSaranac Caramel Porter
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American Porter
Ranked #1,150
Ranked #47,075
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
Reviews by dbrauneis:
Photo of dbrauneis
3.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours an opaque yet clear very dark brownish amber (almost black) in color with moderate amount of active visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and hints of garnet red highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy beige head that reduces to a large patch of mottled thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of caramel candies and toffee with a light aroma of roasted malts. Maybe the lightest hint of butterscotch.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of caramel malts with a light hint of roasted malts way underneath (int he background). That is followed by moderate flavors of caramel candies, toffee, and butterscotch. Light amounts of sweetness which lingers but is not cloying. No perceptible hop flavors.

M: Light bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin/watery.

O: Too sweet and too thin to be a beer that I would want to have more than one of in a single session. Not bad but not one I will be picking up again anytime soon.

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More User Reviews:
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 vfgccp
2.01/5  rDev -37.2%
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 charlesw
2.6/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

You know, it's with this beer that I come to realize that Saranac beers are light. No, it's not my first Saranac - not by far. But it's a porter. And I can see through it. And, you know, thinking back on it I could see through every beer I've had from them as well. And body? Well, yeah. No. Never had one with a lot of body... Anyway, enough editorializing, eh? On to the rest!

Pours a deep and dark amber. That's awfully clear. Very small head that's gone in a heartbeat.

Smells like caramel. Not caramel malts, no, but caramel. Sweet, sticky caramel. Weird. What? Why? Weird...

Ok, well, hmm. Light coffee. Smoke. Caramel (dry - like malts - and not sweet - like the smell). Dry chocolate... Maybe a bit medicinal in the middle. Interesting. Different. Hmm. Definitely worth a try - this might be just the combination that you're looking for... Lingering watery mouth - not really pleasant...

Fine body but, well, not drinking another, you know?

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Photo of Milkysunshine
3.5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of kmo1030
3.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

dark brown with a tan head. caramel and buttere dominate the smell. buttery caramel is the most apparent here, with slight hop bitterness, before finishing with a thick caramel aftertaste. medium bodied with good carbonation. this is a bit too sweet for my taste, but i can't really say that it's bad. i won't be rushing out for it any time soon, but if your in the mood for something different, it's worth a try.

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Photo of Lothar666
3.12/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- A two finger thick, tan foamy head was set atop a dark brown body that was semi-translucent with hints of deep red around the edges of the glass. This one had excellent head retention, but I am always disapointed when I can see through a porter.

S- I was pleasantly surprised to find a beer that actually smells as its name implies. Caramel and coffee were most present in the nose.

T- Sweet dark malts, with a hint of the promised caramel along with some hops in the finish, though not enough to balance out the almost sickeningly sweet aftertaste from the caramel. Overall flavor is not particularly complex, but tasty nonetheless.

M- Light, dry, and a bit crisp- nothing particularly remarkable in the texture, not even the stickiness that I would have hoped would accompany the caramel in this brew.

D- The pleasant surprise from the caramel on the first sip is great, but the overly sweet caramel after taste gets rather tiring once the initial novelty is gone. After finishing the first one, I would most likely reach for something else.

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Photo of derekdenim
4.75/5  rDev +48.4%

Photo of WesWes
3.82/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick tan head. The aroma is of sweet malts and butterscotch. It is quite creamy. The taste is rich with caramel and chocolate malts. There is a good caramel flavor to it. The mouthfeel is fair at best. For such a malty beer the carbonation is too high. This is a medium bodied beer and a good drinker; and excellent sessions ale.

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Photo of tdawgydog
3.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I received the Saranac 12 Beers of Winter as a gift. There were definitely a few that caught my eye. I thought I would first try the beer that I wouldn't traditionally drink. Those being the Chocolate Amber and the Caramel Porter.
The Caramel Porter poured very nice with a nice head and dark amber hue. On first sip you can easily identify the caramel but there is also a strong taste of butterscotch. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would and I could imagine myself drinking this beer again. I think it would best be enjoyed on a cold winter night while relaxing with friends and family.

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Photo of BigTrubble
2.75/5  rDev -14.1%

Photo of ybnorml
3.65/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A clean dark brown beer with ruby highlights. Has a nice creamy dark beige head with some lace. The aroma is ... yes you quessed it caramel with a nice bit of toffee in the background. The flavor starts with a kiss of sweet caramel on the tip of your tongue. Followed by a roasted malt bitterness and that nice toffee note and a bite of hops on the finish.

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Photo of nrpellegrini
3.69/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle poured to pint glass.

A: deep brown, 1 finger head
S: Coffee roast, caramel, sweetness
T: coffee, caramel, chocolate, little bit of syrup, small spice
M: very smooth, no bite or bitterness
D: so-so, a lot of sweetness

I am not a big fan of coffee but this beer was very good. The sweetness got to me a little. Its not a thick or heavy beer but not far from it. Good beer, try it.

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Photo of jfcaa193
1/5  rDev -68.8%

Photo of ark57
3.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I know this is not a premium beer, but there is something about it that I really like. It is ruby-black in color with a buttery sweet aroma. Its robust body tastes of sweet caramel and roasted malts. It is then rounded off with an English hop finish (Fuggles and EKG). It is a nice dessert beer that is not too thick. All too often many stouts that go well with dessert fill you up too much when you are already full, but this is a little lighter in the stomach for those times when you can't consume too much more, but need soemthing to finish off the meal.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.47/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a dark reddish-caramel coloring from the bottle, while in the glass up against the light appeared a dark crimson red with a good clarity. The head was sandstone in color, rocky and towering while standing 3 fingers high at its peak before slowly falling leaving a sticky and splotchy lacing. Visible carbonation was macro bubbles that quickly settled to an almost non-detect status soon after. A nice coloring, albeit maybe a bit off for a porter, but then again this is a caramel porter. The huge rocky structure head as well its retention gets some props here.

S: The nose was as sweet as perceived with a dark caramelized brown sugar sweetness. A nice breadiness adds some fullness. Semi-sweet traces of dry chocolate with loads of sweet toffee rounds out a pretty aromatic nose with a medium strong nature. Was pretty surprised here and a decent wiffer.

T: The flavor was sweet toffee and caramelized malting with a buttery popcorn touch. The beer progresses to a dried toffee and semi-sweet hints of chocolate. There is a slight nuttiness and cookie dough sweetness as well while the beer finishes off with some hazelnut coffee hints and a dry spiciness (nutmeg). The flavor started out pretty well but lost some of its luster along the way during the process never quite reclaiming the first impression. Overall this was well above average and worthy by all means. The flavor delivered all the sweet toffee and caramel sweetness that I hoped for then some.

M: light bodied, very slick with no carbonation. Leaves a alcohol warming behind. Unfortunately after a solid start the mouthful comes in as only average.

D: Overall average drinkability here, the overbearing sweetness limits this to a dessert beer or a novelty try. One of matts better beers with a big flavor, however as a whole the beer started out strong but ended up limpering towards the end (mouthful, drinkability). Worth a single purchase and a curious try and delivers as a dessert beer.

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Photo of hinemk76
3.5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of HappyHourHero
2.73/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a nice tan head that left a decent amount of thin lace. It smells like caramel popcorn. Very dark brown in color, just a little light makes it's way in through the bottom of the glass. Liquid caramel corn flavor fades is cut half way through by a bit of hop bitterness, but it's still there. If you like caramel corn you'll love this beer. It tastes really fake, and it's incredibly sweet.

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Photo of Lawnboy33
3/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of MisledTitan
4/5  rDev +25%

Photo of 99bottles
2.18/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Whew. I don't know if I can justify this with a full review. Pours a deep brown color, some light can shine through without much of a head at all. A thin lace soon dots the surface. One whiff and you'll know what this beer is about. Being fake. Loads and tons of carmel. Not carmel malt, but like boiled down sugar. Sickly sweet gooey carmel and not much else. The taste is much the same. A thin and soupy porter is steamrolled by syrupy tooth rotting sugar and carmel. I tried to find the acidic dark malts that ought to have balanced such a liberal dosing of carmel, but they were hiding in fear. Far too sweet and fake to be called a beer. Drinkable? That would imply this was a drink. Maybe you can put it on an ice cream sundae. Rather bad.

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Photo of tpauer
4/5  rDev +25%

Photo of Njstoutlover23
1.75/5  rDev -45.3%

Photo of katan
2.91/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a pint

A- Pours a brown to mostly amber hue. Not as black/opaque as most porter. Head formation is strong and very well retained with little lacing. Mocha in color. Not much carbonation visible.

S - Certainly has a caramel scent to it. Very aggressive. Reminds me of a caramel candy I've had in the past.

T - Starts off not with caramel or sweetness, but a very strong bitter bite. Surprising to me considering how the beer was presented. Rather than becoming more bitter, the mid-stream reflects a greater sweetness. Finishes with the caramel in a quick return, but is very much tied to a bitter backdrop.

M - A conundrum of mouthfeel, as the carbonation present here does give it some bite, but the beer itself feels thin and watery. The higher than expected IBUs leave behind a film.

D - My main knock of the drinkability of this beer is that it outright just doesn't taste right. I do have to say that the carbonation intensity of the beer does give it some fillingness.

An odd beer all the way around.

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Photo of philbe311
3.52/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Ever so slightly tan fluffy head... Nice lacing... Dark dark mahogony, teetering on black... Almost completely opaque except for a thin sliver of light that enters just below the head... Good lacing... Coats glass well with rings the entire way down...

S - Sweet... Caramel... Chocolate cake... Malt... Slight hints of coffee and roasted nuts...

T - Sweet, but not daunting... Chocolate cake batter... Bitter baker's chocolate... Caramel... Layer upon layer of malty goodness...

M - Creamy and silky smooth at start quickly turning quite thin and dry... Sweet but smoky at the finish...

D - Fantastic... Very underrated by the BA community at large... Not a gimmicky desert beer, but rather a very drinkable and solid porter... Quite sessionable...

Note - Never have I changed a review so many times... Continuity between bottles seems to vary greatly... I feel this "final" version of my review details the average of a recently finished six-pack.

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