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Saranac American Pale Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac American Pale AleSaranac American Pale Ale
1,313 Ratings
Saranac American Pale AleSaranac American Pale Ale

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

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,313 |  Reviews: 635
Photo of Sammy
2.95/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I assumed a Fresh bottle at a brewfest. Thin mouthfeel on yellow colour with lace. Weak for a pale. I did not sense the several malts and aggressively hopped nature of the advertising.Moderate carbonation, think English pale.Sticky, nothing garbbed me.

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Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of jaydoc
3.25/5  rDev -5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.29/5  rDev -3.8%
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 StonedTrippin
3.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

the flagship saranac brew (along with that adirondack lager). pours a clear copper color with a beautiful white head. smells english in its malt profile and quite hoppy. smells like the woods to me, but also rather malty for a pale, bigger. taste is balanced but more on the hoppy end, bitter for sure to finish with pine notes. mouthfeel is alright, but its too heavy for the style, i always find this beer to be a little bigger in body than i want, less drinkable than a pale maybe shoud be, especially where its consumed around summer destinations. it also has an aftertaste i am not wild about, a little mineraly and dry, just a weird combination. that said however, this is one of my go to beers in the summer. it signifies the adirondack mountains to me, and will almost always be in my fridge in the summers. i basically grew up on this stuff, and while its not my favorite, i find myself still making a point to drink it a few times a year just for the memories of summers at the camp with my buddies. quintessential central new york craft beer.

 1,053 characters

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of Knapp85
3.03/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This reminded me of a Fuller's ESB or a Belhaven in some ways. This beer pours out as a deep golden amber color with a fluffy white head on it that doesn't really stick around too much. The taste is like an English bitter, It's not overly hoppy like most American Pale Ales. This has more of a malt flavor throughout. The mouthfeel is smooth and a little dry. Overall this beer isn't too bad. It's drinkable but not my favorite.

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Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +17%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.57/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nothing out of the ordinary here. It's definitely an easy drinker with a nice hop kick an the characteristic Saranac frothy head. On par with some of the more well known/more expensive pale ales out there but not something you would jump for when you're beer shopping. Good if it's around.

 289 characters

Photo of metter98
3.38/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear light amber in color. It poured with a thin white head that has good retention properties; a thin layer of bubbles consistently covered the surface. A moderate amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: There are moderate aromas of grainy malts with some notes of caramel and floral hops.
T: The taste has a good balance between malty sweetness and mild hop bitterness; the finish is slightly bitter.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate.
D: The beer is rather easy to drink but the flavors aren't that interesting so I'm not sure if I would want more than one of these in a sitting.

 635 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.17/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Eeeh, it's servicable and maybe good under dire circumstances. Caught between copper and golden with an abundance of co2, forms a tan-ish fizzy head that fades quickly. Smells moderately malty and more lightly hoppy than desired. Light bland aroma, almost of baking soda. Tastes malty as a Pale Ale over the same bland, solvent-y flavor. Hops seem a bit oxidized and mild flavored. Obviously an English Pale Ale with the hops and malt profile. Almost papery and copper-like in the body. Fizzy texture dominates the fruitiness and spiciness. Fades away quickly with an over malt and paper finish. The flaws are light, but present. Too noticable to give a high rating, but not flawed enough to be considered bad.

 710 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.59/5  rDev +5%
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?

 1,522 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.25/5  rDev -5%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.05/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a dark copper color ale with a nice bubbly white head with good retention. Aroma of English hops is clearly identifiable. Taste seems to be a bit overpowered by the bitter hops, which is a bit surprising for English pale ale but doesn’t deter this beer from being quite enjoyable. Another BBS/summer beer from Saranac it seems.

 343 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.3/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out an amber hue with a one-finger head. It was highly carbonated. No lacing.

S - Malt and hops mostly.

T - It had a grassy taste to it. The malt flavor was also very noticable, too.

M - It is crisp and light-bodied.

D - It is a descent APA. Not one I would rush out to buy, but yet another solid Saranac product.

 328 characters

Photo of Boone757
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev -5%

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.63/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, deep amber body with a frothy off-white head that holds well and leaves some very nice lace. The nose is perfumey (but without any distinct hops) with some caramel malt and a touch of sweet tobbacco. The body is medium and a very fine/moderate carbonation leaves it just slightly crisp on the tongue. The flavor displays a solid caramel-laced malt that's well infused with floral and gently spicy hops. The signature Matt's yeast plays a big role here, and it finishes dry with a lingering bitterness, but also somewhat soapy. Firm bitterness; decent balance; nicely rounded. Overall, it's a pretty solid offering - especially considering it's full maltiness - although the hops may let you down.

 710 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.48/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a crystal clear medium amber in color with very light amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and some hints of golden yellow highlights. The beer has a finger tall pillowy foamy off-white head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of cereal grain malts with moderate aromas of herbal and floral hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of cereal grain malts with a light amount of caramel sweetness. The malts are followed by light to moderate flavors of herbal and floral hops which impart a light amount of bitterness which fades pretty quickly.

M: On the lighter side if medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Definitely easy to drink and bordering on sessionable but not overly interesting. I could have a couple of these but would be unlikely to want to finish a whole six pack on my own.

 1,034 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.18/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in glass mug.

Pours a lovely amber with a moderate amount of off-white head. Head is short-lived save a partial thin coating.

S - primarily hoppy, as expected. Slight but undesirable metallic aroma.

T - hoppy with malt presence. Slight smokiness. Bolder taste than expected given aroma.

M - typical for type; moderate carbonation.

Overall, well balanced taste, but rather average.

 406 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.08/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright orange color with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malt, some spice & smokiness and a little bit of hops.

T: The taste has pale hops & caramelized malt, but both are kind of faint, not a lot of sweetness either. There’s strong metallic & medicine-like flavor to it.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, very dry finish.

D: Not tasty at all, the fact that it’s not very filling is the only good thing I can say about this beer. This beer was part of a gift and I wasn’t expecting much from this beer, but I was still disappointed. I definitely would not buy more of it.

 774 characters

Photo of oberon
3.7/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a somewhat hazy copper color with light to medium head,the aroma was pretty floral aroma with a nice malty background.Taste was very nicely balanced a sweet fruity malt base and a nice zesty hop finish.I think a well made pale,very nicely balanced.

 255 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - One finger of off-white head on a clear, copper-amber body. The foam settles quickly but leaves nice lace.

S - A light aroma of malt with some yeasty red apple notes. A hint of musty hops in the background.

T - Bready malt up front with just a bit of caramel. The malt character deepens in the middle with more toasted notes and a bit of fruity yeast. Finishes with light caramel and some spicy hops as well as moderate bitterness that just barely balances the significant malt.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Not bad. The malt character is nice, if a bit too big and dark for the style, and the yeast flavor is mild but significant enough to provide some pleasant fruity notes. The hops don't stick out too much and only provide modest bitterness in the finish. A slightly more robust hop profile would make for a more balanced and drinkable beer by balancing out the heavy malt. Not the most spot on example of the style, but drinkable and pretty good for what it is.

 1,024 characters

Photo of dcmchew
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of mactrail
3.23/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A pale ale that lives up to its name, at least in flavor. Some malt greets the lips, but more of the mild grapefruit flavors. A touch of roasted barley. Hop flavor seems to be mostly floral. A rather nice touch of musk and cornbread. But mostly a long bitterness on the tongue.

Clean flavors, and well balanced, though skewed to the hops as expected. But not a style I care much for and this doesn't provide much interest to convince me.

 439 characters

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Saranac American Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.42 out of 5 with 1,313 ratings
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