Saranac Caramel Porter | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

802 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 802 |  Reviews: 453
Photo of Hoagie1973
2.9/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Color and clartiy remind me more of a Brown Ale than a Porter. Too light. Head is nice though. About 1 & 1/2 fingers of rocky foam that retains well and leaves good lacing behind.

Aroma whacks you in the nose with a bag of brown sugar. Crazy sweet caramel/vanilla that you can smell before even lifting the glass to your schnozz. A little malt comes through; no hops; a hint of alcohol.

Flavor is dominated by caramel and brown sugar. Some malt and light grain, even a smallish hop presence, but mostly candy sweetness. Reminds me of vanilla creme soda. The label says "look for hints of caramel." I'm here to tell you that there's no need to look. The caramel pretty much will not be denied your full attention. The finish has a hint of roasted bitterness and slight alcohol warmth.

Body/feel is medium with crisp carbonation (a little too much).

This is definitely a dessert beer. It doesn't actually taste bad, but if you can drink more than one, you have way more of a sweet tooth than me.

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Photo of Lexluthor33
3.17/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours medium brown with red highlites. The head is quite surprising and settles to a decent lace.
The Aroma is of sweet caramel cream and malts tones. The taste is sweet,caramel and then one feels roasted malts with hints of hops in the background.
The finish is smooth,creamy and has hints of cocoa in the finish.

Notes: So this is not an everyday beer and certainly not to be had for sessions,yet I thought it was not too bad. A bit too sweet and this is my major complaint. Rework it and it could be something.

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Photo of mflamar
3.19/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of twelvsies
3.2/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got a 12 pack mizer of Saranac the other day. This is quite a unique beer. It appears fairly dark brown, but as dark as your average porter. Smell and taste are both, well, very very caramely. VERY caramely. It's a nice flavor, don't get me wrong, but I'm not so sure it belongs in beer. The sweetness almost overpowers the malts, and forget about tasting any hops in this beer. A little to "flavored" for my tastes, but a nice try.

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Photo of happygnome
2.79/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a: dark pour eigth inch of tan head that dissapears fast leaving no lacing
s: sweet, actually very sweet caramel and lots of it, cant even detect any roasted malts
t: all caramel and sweetness not very enjoyable there is no hop presence to balance this out and i really wish there was
m: medium bodied beer not overly carbonated

overall this is a dissapointing beer it tasted way too sweet kind of like a kool aid beer

 425 characters

Photo of theboozecruise
3.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A friend brought me some of these from Alabama... I was certainly excited to give it a try. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass... dark brown color, light creamy head, but nothing special.

The smell was dominated by caramel and butter... quite sweet. The taste was more of the same.

Not a bad beer, but not great either, just very mediocre, to be honest.

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Photo of bconsidine
3.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of tviz33
3.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Atlas1
2.84/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

An interesting beer, this Saranac Caramel Porter. Pours a deep dark brown color with a thick off-white head that holds some shape and leaves a nice lace. Crimson red hues shine through when the beer is held up to the light. I think this is a very pretty porter. Aroma is sweet; almost too sweet. Caramelish notes are oddly mixed in with burnt coffee smells and butterscotch. I'm strangely attracted to this smell and repulsed by it at the same time, hence the 2.5 grade for smell. Definitely rich and malty aroma, with no real sense of hops. The taste simply adds to this bizarre experience. I expected this beer to be sweet up front, but it's not. It's bitter up front, and the caramel/vanilla sweetness emerges in the middle, and is followed up again in the finish by a bitter-tart burnt coffee flavor. Weird stuff here. A thin mouthfeel, but not offensive. I'm not entirely sure I would call this a "drinkable" beer, but I'm glad I tried it. It might go well with dessert; maybe a creme brulee, or a rice pudding. But otherwise I wouldn't wholeheartedly recommend this beer unless you like strange sweet/bitter beers.

 1,120 characters

Photo of fizzyted
3/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of shirfan
3.68/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark garnet-brown but clear, decent tan head.

Smell is of caramel and roasted malt, a bit rough though.

Well balanced taste...starts sweet and malty, strong caramel tones throughout, ends with just enough bitterness.

One of the better offerings in the christmas pack.

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
3.79/5  rDev +20.3%
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 BeerNinja007
3.73/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$6.29 for a 6er at Consumer Beverages on Elmwood Ave in Kenmore, NY.

A: Dark brown brew that reveals mahogany highlights when held to the light. 1 finger head of dense bubbles that refuses to dissipate. Leaves frothy lacing behind as the glass is swirled.

S: Smells exactly like a bag of microwavable caramel popcorn I had once upon a time. Nothing else discernable.

T: Neckband on the bottle states "Look for hints of caramel used in brewing this delicious brew!". Well, I think there's more than a hint. It's not something I had to search for or wouldn't notice if the bottle hadn't told me to look for it. The caramel flavor and aroma is quite prominent. Although it is strong, fortunately I don't think it's to the point of being overpowering. Caramel is present throughout with some maltiness up front and in the middle, bitter hops chiming in toward the end and lingering in the finish.

M: A tad bit of sugary slickness. Alcohol slightly apparent in the aftertaste. Carbonation level is appropriate.

D: I could easily toss a few of these back, though it is moderately hearty and filling.

I woudn't rate this as an excellent beer, but it is something I can picture myself drinking regularly. I guess what I mean is that I can understand, objectively, why others might not like it, but something about it appeals to me personally. Decent stuff overall.

I think what I don't like about it is the fakeness of the caramel. It's obviously something that's been intentionally added, not naturally occuring in the basic ingredients of beer (hops, malt, water, yeast). I typically do not like beer that has fake stuff added to it, but for some reason this seems alright to me.

 1,698 characters

Photo of Syraquse
3.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of tugdriver7
4.1/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark and rich. Extremely dark and extremely rich. With a bit of sweet in the aftertaste. The first few sips were a delight. After that, it became a bit too sweet and the dark carmel flavor came through like liquid English Toffee candy. Combined with the smoky flavor of the porter, it was a bit much for me. But wow what an incredibly delightful mixture of tastes (albeit for a short few sips). Not quite drinkable enough as a session beer, but to impress and to enjoy during the holidays (for instance), a keeper.

 514 characters

Photo of Citadel82
3.55/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Creamy slightly tan head,. Some thin lacing as it withdraws. Deep reddish mahogany in color.

A dark and bold caramel sweetness. Toffee Butterscotch aroma takes over .

A pretty big caramel flavor to start with a bit of roasted maltiness. There's a some hop bitterness that mellows with the buterscotch/toffeee/caramel and then becomes a memory. A syrupy caramel and slightly hoppy aftertaste.

a good amount of carbonation to balance out the sweetness.

almost too sweet to be called a Porter, more like a sweet brown ale.

 532 characters

Photo of NoProblem
3.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of skriv
3.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of charlesjwinkler
2.77/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of ManekiNeko
1.75/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle served at cellarish temperature in a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark brown, clear by the looks of it. Topped by a short-lived khaki head that leaves small amounts of lace. I generally expect my porters to be pitch black or thereabouts, thus the smackdown.

Smell: Caramel candy aroma dominates the nose and doesn't know the safety word. After a bit of hesitation, I took a closer whiff...well, some toasted malt can be sensed here.

Taste: The caramel syrup taste continues its assault on my person. Some bittersweet coffee and toasted malt undertones and mild hopping on the finish. Overall, I'm reminded of a caramel machiato from you know where. Unfortunately, I hate that concoction for both taste and nomenclature reasons.

Mouthfeel: Solid medium body, slightly creamy and very cloying.

Drinkability: I like caramel, but not in a beverage... well, a beer anyways. The caramel taste and mouthfeel is just way too dang strong and almost stomach turning. This came damn close to being tossed in the sink.

 1,029 characters

Photo of Danno48
2.75/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of Nyrangersgrrl
3.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Murph
3.99/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours a deep amber color (a bit light for the style) with a nice off white fluffy head that holds pretty well. The smell is a delicious mix of roasted malt and caramel. The first and last taste to hit the tongue is caramel. It is almost like drinking some caramel candies. There is a nice roasted/burnt characteristic in the background of the flavor. The body is a bit thin for a porter. The moutfeel is creamy and smooth. The beer loses a few points in the drinkability because of its sweetness. This is not an everyday beer. Not something you would want to have to refresh you at all but it would fit in nicely as a dessert beer which is how I am currently enjoying it.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
2.9/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber mahonagny, with good clarity. Fizzy one finger head briefly holds a thin cap, then dissapears, leaving minimal lacing. Strong caramel and molasses aromas, with a background chocolate malt scent. Some roasted barley flavor, but mostly caramel and brown sugar taste. Aftertaste is still sweet, with some mild english hop notes. Light-medum bodied and evenly carbonated. Finish is a touch residual sweet, but the mouthfeel is smooth. This beer relys too much on artificial sweeteners, and is not the best example of the style, but this is probably what the brewers intended.

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Saranac Caramel Porter from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.15 out of 5 based on 802 ratings.
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