Saranac Caramel Porter | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac Caramel PorterSaranac Caramel Porter
BA SCORE
3.16/5
802 Ratings
Saranac Caramel PorterSaranac Caramel Porter
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#43,447
Reviews:
454
Ratings:
802
pDev:
21.84%
Bros Score:
2.71
 
 
Wants:
15
Gots:
90
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 802 |  Reviews: 454
Photo of tone77
4.42/5  rDev +39.9%
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.

 313 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.35/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Marks all over the board on this one. It pours a brown / burgandy color with a reasonable off-white head. Some lacing developed on the glass during the drink. The aroma blows your doors off - strong sweet caramel with some light roasted coffee tones. The flavor is as loud as the aroma, but less enjoyable as it sports a very sweet mouthfeel with tons of caramel flavor. This is definitely one of the more flavorful Saranac beers I have sampled. Drinkability is way down below average as every time a took swallow, my sense of smell and taste were overpowered by caramel. The first quarter glass was interesting, the remainder seemed to get old quickly. This would be great in a 4 oz bottle.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.06/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Beer is dark brown / black - you can see light passing through the beer but at first glance it is black, has a yellow/brownish head that falls away quickly leaving very little lacing on the glass. Smell is of caramel and alcohol. The smell is really kind of disgustingly sweet.

Sweetness / caramel / botterscotch is forefront in the flavor, some sourness in the midpalate, beer finishes nicely. There are no detectable hops in this beer. I would expect more roast from a porter, but the carmel / butterscotch is the primary and dominant flavor. Mouthfeel is fine, its a little thin but not terrible. Drinkability is average. I think you could put this away rather quickly and there is no aftertaste, nothing really impeding you from finishing, kind of an average beer.

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Photo of tempest
1.71/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Took this our of this year's 12 Beers of Winter not expecting much, but was still sorely disappointed.

Has a very short head that was gone in a minute and left no head. The body is a pretty brown, but light-looking for a porter.

Smells very very sweet, like cheap wine-jug wine at that.

Taste isn't much better, very sweet malt character. There's no hops flavor, yet there's a nasty lingering bitterness.

Carbonation is fine, but I'd want this stuff off my toungue ASAP.

Overall, this is just, flat-out, a bad beer in my opinion. The first beer that I've poured down the drain in a very long time. Reminds me of my first homebrew, and thats definately not a good thing. I recommend the 12 Beers of Winter, but give this one away.

 744 characters

Photo of AngusOg
3/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.06/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Notes from 1/2/11
Poured in to Duvel Tulip.

A - Bark black with once finger of bubbly khaki-coloured head.

S - Very sweet up front - so much so that it masks the roasted malts completely. Molasses, dark caramel and brown sugar dominate the nose.

T - Dark caramel, roasted malts. Sweet but not as sweet as the nose indicated.

M - Might to medium body. Moderate carbonation.

D - Decent enough but too sweet to have more than one of. The caramel takes over a little more that I would have liked.

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Photo of plaid75
3.28/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep amber hue with a one finger creamy off white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell resembled a that of a sticky bun or flavored coffee- very defined caramel aroma.

The taste was upfront caramel sweetness with a decent burnt grain in the middle and a bitter coffee-like finish. In fact, the taste resembles a flavored coffee.

The mouthfeel was heavy with a dry finish.

Overall a decent low ABV dessert beer. Not meant, in my opinion, to be an everyday drinker or even a session beer. A dessert beer is what this is and is rather drinkable as such.

 587 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.82/5  rDev +20.9%
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.

 371 characters

Photo of Derek
3.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark caramel, light tan head, very little retention, initial hints of lace.

S: Dark caramel, nut, earth, some dark fruit & slight orange.

T: Caramel, nut, earth, orange, figs, dark (burnt) toffee, residual sweetness with a balanced bitterness.

M: Moderate body & carbonation; slight prickly acidity.

D: Very approachable, a little too sweet to session.

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Photo of puboflyons
2.52/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Sampled on September 2, 2010. The pour is too clea for a porter with a clear mahogany brown appearance with a thick two-inch puffy tan head. The aroma is full of cany sweet caramel, butterscotch and toffee rather than burnt chocolates typical of porters. The mouth feel is thin. The taste is just too sweet with its confectionary sugary caramel and butterscotch elements with a vague hoppy ending. Hard to drink.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.45/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep, dark brown color; deep ruby on the edges in the light. Poured a 1 finger tan head that dissipated to an even skim. Laced in spots.

S: Definitely a caramel character; butterscotch in the background. Mild earth and grass hop character.

T: Big caramel flavor; masks about everything else. Some toast, coffee and toffee flavors. Very mild bitter.

M: Light body. Low carbonation. Smooth and silky.

D: Flavorful and smooth. Caramel is bit overbearing throwing the beer out of balance.

 492 characters

Photo of Kelp
4.25/5  rDev +34.5%

Photo of RBorsato
3.14/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Dark brown (auburn/ruby red to light) with a nice light brown head that leaves nice lace. Big "real" true Kraft caramel aroma; candy-like. Sweet caramel flavor like candy -- A bit too sweet (I could only drink one). Medium-full bodied (leans Medium) and smooth.

Label states: "Robust Porter" & "Dark Caramel malt" & "Fuggles and East Kent Goldings hops" & "HInts of real caramel used in brewing"

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.47/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

 1,978 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.65/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two-fingered light tan head that slowly fades leaving a good lace. Nice clear, deep amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Strong sweet caramel nose. Starts sweet, smooth caramel flavor, clean finish. Nice porter. 12 oz bottle from their winter sampler 12-pak $9.99, Market Basket Concord, NH.

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Photo of harpus
3.25/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, part of the Saranac 12 beers of winter pack. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours dark brown with an inch tan head. Lacing and head retention are both good. The aroma is very sweet, it smells like caramel and butterscotch. Caramel is the strongest taste in the beer, but there's also butterscotch and a bit of hops in the finish. It's a mostly sweet tasting beer, but the sweetness isn't overpowering. Mouthfeel is medium, with moderate carbonation and it leaves a slight coating on the tongue. Drinkability is good, it's smooth but could be better if the carbonation was cut down just a little bit. I like this beer, but then I like sweet tasting beers. If you don't care for sweet beers, then this might not be the choice for you.

 759 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
3.75/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of IdrinkGas
3.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of akorsak
2.68/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From the 2006 Winter Seasonal case.

A: The ale is a brown, muddy color, lacking sediment with some reddish highlights. The head was thick but does not retain or lace.

S: The porter lacks a roasted aroma, instead it offers a very sweet, sugary caramel aroma,

T: The porter is completely and utterly dominated by caramel. There is no roasted character, no slight sourness, no chocolate toasted malts, nothing. The caramel is strong from first to last sip and leaves a very long finish. Not quite a caramel apple, but close.

M: The mouthfeel is almost cloyingly sweet, but not quite. Either way, it is unusual and I am not sold on it.

D: The drinkability is limited, this strikes me as an experiment gone horribly awry.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.35/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark black, vicious in color with a half inch of mocha colored head. Decent.

S - Wow like liquid caramel chocolates. I get strong sweet sticky caramel and mild milk chocolate.

T - Good at first the sweetness really doesn't get to me and it drinks like a sweet porter but about half the glass my tongue can't take it and I couldn't even consider having a second. Like drinking pure flavor extract in water.

M - Was pretty light to medium body but flavors get cloying

Overall at first I was considering getting a case but I can't believe how cloying the beer gets. Would be nice to have a six pack though as a nightcap.

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Photo of DefenCorps
1.65/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I found a single for $1.49, and my buddy Chris raved about this when he tried it, so I had to as well. I mean, come on, its got natural flavor and caramel color added to it, so it's got to be good, right?

The pour is decent, a clear deep brown with beautiful reddish highlights. A large light brown head caps the beer, leaving a little lace as it recedes. That's about where all good things end, 'cos the nose is one trainwreck. Artificial caramel flavor, sickly sweet (think Smuckers), brown sugar, and a malt characteristic more reminiscent of a brown ale than a porter. The palate opens sweet, with (surprise!) caramel, some sugar and malt with a little roast, before a long, dry finish with a metallic character comes through. Carbonation is high, making this fizzy on the palate, and this does not work with the metallic character of the beer. Just not worth drinking, this is a rather poor porter, and the addition of caramel just makes it rather horrific.

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Photo of ppoitras
2.59/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12ozer purchased as a single from the Spirit Haus, Amherst, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" tan head above a deeply reddish brown brew. Aroma is STRONGLY of caramel and vanilla. So much so as to be sickly sweet and artificial. Taste lacks malt, almost tastes like a cream soda. Mouthfeel is quite watery, and drinkability is due to flavor and sweetness issues. Very disappointed, was expecting so much more.

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Photo of TheBeerdedCharmer
3.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of cbutova
1.91/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A- Dark brown, black in the middle body with a light mocha head. The cap gets big and has decent retention, slowly fizzing away. A few spots of lace.

S- Pretty much what I expected. Dark roasted malt with a very deep vanilla caramel sugar mixed in with it. A bit of nutty malt and toasty hints as well. Thrown off by a bit of metallic aroma.

T- Eh. Decent flavors of roast malt, caramel and nutty toasted malt is overshadowed by a big metallic flavor, I would question infection but it doesn't really scream it out here.

MF- Light and watery with lower carbonation than what I expected. Metallic hints sting my tongue.

DB- The metallic flavor is really throwing the whole experience off. As far as I know this is decently fresh, from around Christmas time. Something is wrong here, brewer or infection... Maybe I will try this next year to confirm. Reminds me of the "bad" Fuller's and Sam Smith's beer I have had that were not fresh.

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Saranac Caramel Porter from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.16 out of 5 with 802 ratings
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