Saranac Caramel Porter | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

452 Reviews
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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:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-05-2001

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Reviews: 452 | Ratings: 803
Photo of forceten
4.88/5  rDev +55.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. I love this beer, and I look forward to it every year. I even bought a sixtel of it for the kegerator this year.

If you don't like sweet beers, this beer is not for you. It's not OVERLY sweet; no. It's got a great bit of sweetness though. It's brewed with actual caramel - you get the caramel in the nose, and in the taste. The porter base is a solid porter base.. somewhere between brown and robust porter, a tad on the brown side. No overly burnt tones. On tap, it adds a greater dimension of both nose and taste.

If you like Porters and like beers with a dose of sweetness - highly recommended. If you're more into hops, stay away.

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Photo of momof8fay
4.86/5  rDev +54.8%
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 udfan07
4.84/5  rDev +54.1%
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 Mollys2ltl
4.79/5  rDev +52.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Beautiful head. Delicious beer, the label describes it as having a caramel taste but it's more buttery than sweet. It has a molasses flavor but not too strong. The flavor is maintained throughout the glass as it warmed, we served it at about 45 degrees initially. We drank it with a spicy chili and thought it was delicious, and then had sweets afterward and it was still great.

We were lucky to get a case, apparently a regular shopper at one of our local PA beer distributors buys every case they get in their shipments. Two couples shared the case and everyone thoroughly enjoyed Caramel Porter.

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Photo of rohrbachsfan
4.73/5  rDev +50.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was an excellent porter. I could definitely taste the caramel overtones. I paired it with a bacon cheeseburger that I prepared on a gas grill and the two went perfectly together. I consider Yuengling Porter to be the benchmark of American Porters and I would have to consider this to be a few notches above it. I disagree with those that don't feel that this is a true porter. This is what a porter should be.

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Photo of AngryDutchman
4.73/5  rDev +50.6%
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 fitzy84
4.67/5  rDev +48.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with an amber-brown color but settled with a pretty dark appearance with some hints of amber in the light. The smell was out of this world: real caramel flavors at their purest literally permeated from the drink. The taste reflected that with the wicked sweet caramel flavor wrapped around every sip. The carbonation was pretty good, giving this beer a fascinating crispness that might loose some with its off-centered structure but might gain others with its uniqueness. Overall, this might not be for everyone but this is one of the best from Saranac and one of the best I have had.

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Photo of kbuldier
4.62/5  rDev +47.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Loved this beer! It has an amazing taste, look and feel to it. The malty caramel combo was perfect, especially during the winter. Plus the buzz I got from it was pretty nice. Definitely would have this again. It isn't available all year around so I plan on stocking up once it comes back.

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Photo of MECove
4.62/5  rDev +47.1%
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 tone77
4.42/5  rDev +40.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a very dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of sweet caramel. Taste is very good, caramel, malts, a touch of hop bitterness, lots of flavor coming through. Feels full bodied in the mouth and is highly drinkable. Overall this is a very good beer worth seeking out.

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Photo of Thrasher
4.32/5  rDev +37.6%
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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Photo of beerluvr
4.29/5  rDev +36.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a beige head over darkish red liquid. Intense caramel candy aromas in the nose. Taste is a wonderful mix of caramely burnt sugar, some light molasses and sweet malts. Finishes sweet and mellow. An offbeat but very enjoyable and drinkable brew...I wish this was a regular offering!

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Photo of williamherbert
4.29/5  rDev +36.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick dark brown. Totally opaque. Small layer of thin soapy head, which disappears quickly.

Amazing, sweet caramel aroma. Like candy. Overwhelming and bursting with sweetness. Aroma is not at all like beer, but like some delicious confection. Incredible.

Remarkable sweet taste. Like a caramel candy malt. Aftertaste does not disappoint. Might be too sweet for some (and sweetness is not usually my thing) but it's truly unlike any other beer I've ever had. Toasted with a tiny bite at the end.

Not very thick for a porter, but has a decent feel. Lingers on the tongue afterward. It's a delicious, sweet caramel brew (though to categorize it as a porter might be slightly misleading). Original and highly drinkable, especially on a cold winter evening.

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Photo of GFSchwab
4.26/5  rDev +35.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very very unique beer, the nose right off the bat informs you of it.
Rich aroma of the carmel malts used, very heavy scent, but goes along nicely with the character of the porter.

The taste is more subtle with th carmel floavor, where its balanced out by additional malts, with the alcohol barley making itself known.

The aftertaste was the only trace of hops and alcohol I got, and were sufficent for me, with the bulk of the beer's character in the nose and initial taste.

Really good on a cold day in warm house kind of beer.

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Photo of Quaffer
4.26/5  rDev +35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This was a dark brown beer that let plenty of filtered, red light through when it was held up to a lamp. A fizzy, light tan head rose up to only about a finger with an aggressive pour. It lost some of its coarseness and thickened up as it settled down. It dissipated rather quickly, though, and had dwindled down to just a thin ring of foam around the circumference of the glass before I had taken a drink. There was no lacing at all.

Smell: Any doubts that this was a true caramel porter vanished after a quick smell of the glass. The aromas of caramal and sweet English toffee were very strong. I found it to be rather pleasant, due to my love of both of these things. Lying underneath these two smells were notes of dark malt and a light hops aroma. A little bit of cherry came through as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a nice and creamy, somewhat coating, feel to it. There was a decent amount of carbonation tingle in the mouth and on the tongue, but it didn't make this beer too rough.

Taste: The taste matched up well with the aroma, though the caramel and toffee were more subdued in the flavor than they were on the nose. Upfront was a nice mixture of sweet caramel and dark roasted malts. The roasted flavor was not as strong as it is in many porters, but it still balanced out the sweetness well. A little bit of dark fruit lay underneath these flavors. On the finish, the sweetness still lingered, but the roasted component strengthened and became the dominant flavor. The combination of the two flavors left a nice, burnt caramel flavor in the mouth. Also at this time, a hops bitterness arose that also helped to balance out the sweetness.

I found this to be a very enjoyable brew. I am not a big fan of sweet things, and I really don't like sweet beers, but this offering had enough roasted malt and hops in the profile to keep it from being too much. It was nowhere near to becoming cloying. And, while I am not usually a big fan of sweet things, caramel and toffee are my favorite sweet flavors. So that didn't hurt either.

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Photo of wailingwench
4.25/5  rDev +35.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Eye Candy: Dark brown with amber highlights. Minimal head, thin that gave way to moderate lacing halfway through.

The Nose Knows: Sweet caramel. A hint of chocolate as it warmed. Reminds me of caramel topping at Friendlys.

Tongueland: Way to rich. If you buy the Holiday pack, save this for dessert. Deep rich caramel, nothing else. Warmed deepens the caramel.

Bender Factor: I can drink about a half and then pass it off to my girl (that way I can get the Roggen and the ESB). I know for a fact that the ladies love Caramel Porter. Suprise your significant other with a sixer (if you live in the greater Utica/Syr area) for your anniversary. I will honsetly say that I could see myself putting down a sixer in1 hour. Dangerous. I rated this brew for what it is and factored in all the comments from the ladies that have tried this.

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Photo of gutterpunktarzan
4.23/5  rDev +34.7%
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 Hopfenpeter
4.2/5  rDev +33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a clay beerstein the bber pours a nice dark golden amber color and builds a creamy beige light brown head.
It smells invitingly sweet and hints caramel and honey.
After tasting those aromas intensify to rich honey caramel and toffee, banana and a hint of coffee. great taste and combination. the mouthffeel is nice and creamy, not too much carbonation. A very rich and sweet beer, very drinkable for sweet beer lovers.
That is definetely one which I will buy again. great job.

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Photo of mralphabet
4.19/5  rDev +33.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into Pint Glass

A: Mahogany with hints of red... Little to no head and very little lacing, just a little ring as it works its way down the glass.

S: Wow just what it is called wonderfully sweet caramel...maybe some chocolate cake... and a touch of coffee

T: Sweet caramel, like chocolate cake with caramel on it. The sweetness is not over bearing and there is a layer of maltyness underneath... very nice....

M: Creamy yet has a crispness to the carbonation... ends a little thin with a smokiness. Not as creamy as most Porters.

D: Wow low ABV and fantastic tasting... should be a good session beer.

Next time I see this one I'll pick more up.

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Photo of lbkornlb14
4.18/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is excellent, the only beer I can think of thats better in the Sweet beer category is the Southern Tier Creme Brulee. BTIET. Definitely give this one a try if you come across it. The only thing with this beer is that it has that " I Smell better than I taste" thing going. It smells great, and tastes really good but its just not all the way there. If you like this style, I would recommend you seek out the Creme Brulee. you WONT be disappointed.

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Photo of dustylong
4.17/5  rDev +32.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yet again another Winter pack beer...Pours a dark brown color with a reddish tint (poured from a bottle into a pint glass). Had a decent head with little retention and some lacing. Smells like caramel (no way). The taste is also a very strong caramel, with a hint of toffee. Feels very heavy in the mouth, with good body. Overall, a good beer..very tasty...a very interesting taste, which everyone should check out...

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Photo of PatriotsRule
4.16/5  rDev +32.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow, the caramel is so real! Really though!
A: Caramely not all that dark brown with little head and light lacing
S: The best caramel beverage ever, really. Just caramel with a bit of hops
T: The caramel, if I haven't already said so. So sweet.
M: Sticky syrupy sweet, but well crafted and an overall nice balance
O: This is not the porter I would regularly choose, but has a nose that is beyond intriguing!

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Photo of Homebrew35
4.15/5  rDev +32.2%
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 djweso
4.15/5  rDev +32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I thought this was a pretty drinkable beer. I got it on sale (not being winter anymore) and was a little worried about taking care of my thirst on a hot day. Also having aged a few months in the bottle might have effected it.

I'm a fan of malty sweet beers, and this one qualifies. The caramel notes are definitely there but not overwhelming. I paired it with Red Beans and Rice because the beer was cold and I was thirsty. But it actually worked really well. The sweet work well with the spicey.

Over all I am looking forward to the couple I have waiting in the kitchen.

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Photo of carolinahophead
4.12/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first taste of this fall brew offering :
A: No head but does have a nice deep brown color
S: Caramel aroma with good roasted malt And do like the candy coming through
T: It's almost like a caramel candy in a liquid form . Do like the malt and the hop finish
M: A medium mouthfeel with good finish. Like the bitterness with the sweet
O: This beer is very acceptable but not outstanding. Fun to drink and could pair with food.

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Saranac Caramel Porter from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.14 out of 5 based on 803 ratings.
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