Saranac American Pale Ale
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac American Pale AleSaranac American Pale Ale
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American Pale Ale (APA)
Ranked #2,789
Ranked #45,585
3.44 | pDev: 13.37%
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States
Saranac American Pale AleSaranac American Pale Ale
Notes: Officially American: previously an English pale ale, we’ve converted this beer over to an American-style Pale Ale.

We’ve dialed UP the hop profile, adding more focus to American style hops, like Cascade, Chinook, Citra, and Willamette.

Hop Infusion: every drop of beer is exposed to our hop slurry as the beer passes from fermentation to aging, resulting in a more brilliant, cleaner hop character.

Saranac Pale Ale’s foundation was built on the tried and true English varieties, Golding and Fuggles. We brighten Pale Ale with the three “C”s; a strong focus on Citra, complimented by Cascade, and Chinook. We then bridge the old world with the new with the two most distinctive hops Bramling Cross and Jester, both descendants of English and North American varieties.

Malts: Crystal, Two-Row
Hops: Bramling Cross, Jester, Citra, Cascade, Chinook

Original Gravity: 13.5° Plato
IBU: 32
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Reviews: 638 | Ratings: 1,328
Photo of RockHop
4.13/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A surprisingly good pale ale. Well-rounded and easy drinking. A good contender for a go-to ale. Copper with slight cloudiness and thick creamy head with good retention. Has a fairly generic, but clean beer aroma. Round flavors of malt, grain, and muted bitterness with a hint of pine and citrus. More earthy and herby than bright.

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Photo of edward_boumil
3.79/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Feel like this beer is a tad underrated. Perhaps not trendy enough. Worth noting that I prefer from the bottle, has strong hop notes and smoother mouthfeel that way for some reason.
Poured into a glass had a nice head though it settles out to a film, clear copper colored body with light apparent carbonation.
Aroma is nice although it’s subtle. It’s sweet and fruity primarily, get some of those nice fruit, citrus and papaya come to mind. Melon as well. Honey.
Palate is great here. No off flavors, well balanced. Description mentions tweaked recipe, used to be English inspired. I certainly see some remenants of that in the malt profile, sweet molasses, toast, brown sugar, ect. Also a dryness which complements the hop, which certainly have a west coast character. Hop bite is most certainly there but very much so restrained, as per the style.
Mouthfeel is very good. It’s frothy and silky. I’d say my one complaint is it is just a tad astringent. Drinking from the bottle seems to tame it a bit but I’m rating based on a pour as per my norm.
Overall this beer is very well crafted IMO. Serves a niche role: a beer which is very drinkable but highly enjoyable with sparks of complexity, but not challenging nor tiring. Very sessionable, could see it being a great summer beer.

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Photo of VoxRationis
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Decanted from a 12 oz (355 ml) bottle into a conical pint glass; no production information.
A: Pours a hazy, copper color with an apricot caste and an off-white, one inch head. Moderate retention but good lacing.
S: Aromas of citrus with some caramel and pine notes.
T: I really felt I got a blood orange flavor initially. As it warm this moderates toward the caramel and pine notes of the nose.
M: Medium bodied with good carbonation and a crisp, clean finish.
O: This is a solidly made Pale Ale. If you are drinking it solo as a "main dish," it probably does not suffice. But it is modestly flavorful, a nice thirst quencher, and likely capable of pairing with nearly anything

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Photo of drdiesel9483
3.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

LOOK - Golden clear slight disappearing head slight skimming
Smell - caramel and pine. Smells English
taste - caramel, grainy, slight earthy pine
feel - light body medium carbonation
overall - ok but I wouldnt get it again.

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Photo of Vetbidder
3.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A slightly orange tinged golden brew with an off white head. Lots of nice carbonation bubbles to be seen rising. Slightly hopped malty scent to this beer, sort of par for the style I guess. Sort of just ok flavor with some slight hops and malt along with some bitter elements. Decently carbonated with a smooth mouthfeel.

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Photo of teromous
2.98/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the neck of the bottle: "2366 08:24"

Appearance: The body of the beer is a medium shade of copper with some mild haze. The head is white and medium sized with a creamy and cloudy texture. Good retention and lacing.

Aroma: I pick up some light caramel and just a light touch of pine.

Taste: The flavor is pretty bland and very mellow. It has a little bit of caramel flavor and just a pinch of pine but mostly it tastes watered down. No aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: The bitterness is good on the beer despite the lack of flavor. It has a slightly textured but light body and a wet finish.

Overall: It's not something I would buy again or recommend because it is pretty bland and lacks a lot of flavor. It isn't something worth buy again it's decent enough that I wouldn't turn it down if somebody gave me one.

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Photo of EmeraldMist
3.1/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Look - Pours a clear copper color with a finger of foamy white head, a few spots of lacing.
Aroma - Apricot, earth, a bit of citrus.
Taste - Pretty straightforward. Smooth but thin malt, slight biscuit and caramel, hops are earthy/piney with a tiny bit of citrus like the aroma. Balanced, but not a whole lot going on in terms of complexity. Finishes quick and clean.
Feel - Light-Medium bodied, ample carbonation, smooth.

Overall - Balanced but one dimensional. Worth a try.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.59/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, part of a mixed sixer of Saranac brews, which seems to be their introduction to the Alberta market.

This beer pours a clear, medium copper amber colour, with a near-teeming tower of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat creamy off-white head, which leaves some splendidly random eroding limestone cliff lace around the glass as it gently subsides.

It smells of gritty and grainy pale malt, some biscuity cracker notes, a muddled domestic citrus pith acerbity, subtle earthy yeasty notes, and some further leafy, weedy, and piney verdant hoppiness. The taste is grainy and crackery pale malt, some further muted citrusy pith edginess, a still sad to report, yet generally benign yeasty character, and more zesty earthy, herbal, and spicy 'n grassy green hop bitters.

The carbonation is fairly even in its gentrified frothiness, the body a so-so middleweight, and sort of smooth, what with the various hoppy and weirdly yeasty esters fucking around here. It finishes trending dry, the piney and unforgiving citrusy notes keeping us in a sense of wonder, as it were.

Overall, this is the first surprise from this heretofore contract (in a pejorative sense - my history with it justifies this, as such) brewery, with its actually hop-forward nature, even if it kind of falls flat in the end. The best of the bunch, as it were, but it feels like another stab into our market that has no real craft beer credo whatsoever. Hmmmmmm...which rep could that be? Too many to tell, so I'll have to look into it, yeah?

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Photo of NastyNorseman
3.46/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orangey Amber with little to no head after rapid disappation. Smells of malt, looking for hops. Tastes odd for a pale, though I noticed this is a Cascade English combo. Maybe identity crisis. Malty bodied kicks it off balance. Finishes crisp. Fair.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.73/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Here comes the yellow! Nice soft white head and carbonation, decent clarity. Aroma hit those where are the hops and why does this smell like Budweiser kind of vibe.

Taste offered up true to form pale malts, but the hopping was disappointing.. High carbonation. Not bad, just a pale ale without enough hopping.

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Photo of PhilsPils
3.21/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Enjoyed (if that's the word) on the Adirondack Scenic Railway adventure out of Utica. Seemed a little too bitter and slightly astringent. Not enough hops aroma or taste to be a good Pale Ale, English or otherwise. Distinct metallic aftertaste. Not the worst EPA I've ever had but completely unremarkable.

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Photo of CampCookie
4.36/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I've been drinking this beer almost since it came out. Over the years the recipe has changed. I believe it was 2013 when they introduced HIP (Hop infusion Process). And my opinion of the beer dropped, as I felt they lost the hop/malt balance. Today I grabbed one again (it's been a while) and right away I noticed the new label, which says "American Pale Ale" right on the front. Sure enough, American hop aromas greeted me right away. The first sip confirmed it. This is no longer an English Pale Ale. A quick visit to their web site confirmed the Cascade hops, and Bramling Cross is in there as well. They still list the Fuggle and Kent Goldings hops, and those flavors are there but definitely taking a back seat. But more important is that the malt flavors are nicely balanced, at least for an American Pale Ale. And so I rated is as an American Pale Ale, even though their web site still lists it as an English Pale Ale. And I miss the English Pale Ale.... wish they'd bring it back.

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Photo of Brian_L-2056
4.03/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice rich orange color with a white frothy head. Does have a few carbonation bubbles passing through when held up to the light. The smell is fairly typical for a pale ale, nothing that stands out really. Initial taste is mildly hoppy but very drinkable. Mellows out to just a hint of bitterness at the finish. The lacing is quite good as well. Overall I feel that this brew will make a nice addition to my summertime rotation, however it does feel a little heavier than your typical lager or pilsner that I usually switch to in the heat of summer. Will definitely enjoy more.

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Photo of Miguel_W
4.24/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

With the addition of H.I.P. this Pale Ale has become hoppier. More than most Pale Ales. Just a bit overpowring for me. But if you like IPAs, thos one might be a good alternative if you are looking for something lighter than an IPA.

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Photo of HorseheadsHophead
3.77/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz can into a mug.

LOOK: A clear, golden amber with about a finger of off white creamy head. Lots of bubbles are streaming to the top. Spotty lacing is left behind.

SMELL: Grapefruit pith, orange marmalade, pine, toasted malt, flowers, and earth.

TASTE: Starts off with grapefruit and orange peel, turns into a woody, floral bitterness accompanied by some toasty biscuit in the middle, and then finishes somewhat watery, but with a brief aftertaste of citrus bitterness.

FEEL: Medium-light body with moderate carbonation, and a sticky hop aftertaste.

OVERALL: Pretty good. I wouldn't turn it down when thirsty for a hoppy yet easy-drinking beer.

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Photo of Ken05
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am impressed. 30 years ago FX Matt sold the most vile, putrid vomit infected water you could buy. And it was in a beer ball. Because of these memories I have been reluctant to try any Saranac.
However now I have tried the Black forest which is very nice and this pale ale which is also very nice and one of the better English pale ales out there.
This brewery has matured very well and now offers a world class beer.

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Photo of GordieF
4.6/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Saranac has crafted a smooth pale ale that is a consistent pleasure to consume. Great balance that is lighter on the hops than some, but a unique powerhouse in it's own right.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.29/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Best by 6/30/15.

Pours a hazy dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, earth, pine needle, and slight citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with earth, pine needle, and slight citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable, but fairly boring and forgettable for the style.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of plowe70
4.51/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Saranac Pale Ale is one of the best beers. Period. It has the most perfect golden amber color. It pours with a mild head and just the right amount of carbonation. A mild bitterness with no aftertaste.

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Photo of timontheroad
3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Copper color, pretty thin head that laced Ok. Light aromas of orange and biscuit. The taste was pretty thin as well, with some subdued citrus flavors. Not much punch in the background- like an un-hoppy session IPA. Mouthfeel was fairly light bodied. Overall it was not too good, probably would only drink it if it was the only beer available

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Photo of CTHomer
3.16/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: slight haze; burnt orange in color; 1 finger off white head that receded to a wispy cap; OK lacing that didn't last long;

S: artificial orange and a sugar sweetness with grapefruit and lemon in the distant background;

T: tastes like weak orange soda; a hint of lemon toward the end; light bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; dry finish;

O: not sure where the flavor and aroma came from; no recognizable malt profile; only thing that reminded me of hops was the hint of bitterness;

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Photo of Bryan0Leavey
3.74/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really not bad for the price, I find the flavor mirrors the style of a true English pale ale; that is the malt and hops are in harmony. The Cascades shine through more than the EKG's, making this a truly American "English" pale ale. I am quite pleased with its simplicity.

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Photo of oldirtycaffrey
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Pours a light amber color -- very slight head with little lacing along the glass as you finish. The smell is mostly of hops -- and a surprisingly pleasant yet very subtle nutty aroma. The taste is very solid -- hoppy, a little bit of fruit, a little bit of caramel, sligtly malty. Nice dry finish. Recommended.

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Photo of delta490
3.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured out a beautiful, almost clear, amber. A thick creamy white head settles down and retains well. There is some sticky lacing left behind. The aroma is mild and has just hints of the crystal malt sweetness and a little pine hops. The taste is more malt forward, with befitting its English-style, and the hops play a complimentary role. It grew on me as it warmed. The body has a nice thickness but just a little too much carbonation. This is good and with a little tweaking could be a great English Pale Ale.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a slightly hazy pale orange color with good clarity and vision of tiny bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Toasted grains, pale malts, slight citrus and herbal hops.

Taste: Definitely malt forward with mild hops and slight fruitiness in the background. A little bitterness too.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, medium carbonation, crisp, refreshing, and a little chewy.

Overall: A simple pale ale. Very traditional to the EPA.

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Saranac American Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 78 out of 100 with 1328 ratings