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 #2,781
Ranked #45,542
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
Reviews: 638 | Ratings: 1,328
Photo of DrDemento456
3.49/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Never had this which is strange since it's one of the most widely reviewed beers they offer.

A - Well like most of their beers is looks good. Solid 1/4 inch of head that pulls back to a lace ring that sticks around with great lacing. Color is very dark for a pale but respectable for an English pale. Very deep amber red hue.
S - Mild biscuit malts, touch of pine, and a mostly sweet malt base.
T - Very dry and malt forward with some tea leaves and biscuit flavors. I get some piney hops in the finish which carry the malt and leave me with some caramel sweet flavors. Quite an easy going English pale ale.
M - Light to medium easy to drink with a good ABV.

Overall I am not sure why the hate. It's a very approachable English pale ale for a very affordable cost (got my case for 14 bucks) Overall much better tasting the IPA.

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Photo of BWED
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a craft pint

A- Golden-orange with a bit of a ruby hue to the body. Nicely filtered. A wispy, dense offwhite head rest on top and retains well at a small amount. Small legs of lacing stick around.

S- A mix between sweet bread and a woodsy hop character.

T- A mild biscuit and a little bit of a straw flavor. With a mild hop balance.

M- Smooth going down. Carbonation is creamy, and the finish is bitter and semidry.

O- This is okay, but it doesn't really stand out among other pale ales. I'd drink it again, but only if there was slim pickings.

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Photo of Hoptron_3000
3.67/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a coppery colour with a super dense cream head that hangs around. Awesome lacing.
S: Lots of grapefruit. Tons of juicy fruit. Bit of toasty/biscuit malt.
T: Nice balance. Super clean. Firm bitterness but not lots of hop bite.
M: Good carbonation.
O: A really nice pale ale. Very easy drinking.

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Photo of TheSSG
2.71/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a huge, dense, off-white head that has good persistence and laces nicely. A distinctive hop aroma; floral and caramel? Clear, crimson-burnt umber color. Starts with a bitter, caramel flavor that builds into a low-medium bitterness, there's some malt in the middle, but also caramel. Finish is floral with malt, citrus rind hop bitterness, but still a touch of caramel. Mostly a lingering bitterness with a sweet maltiness.

Not my thing. That caramel aspect just ruins it for me; I am not a fan of it in a Pale Ale (I tend to avoid English Pale Ales as a rule).

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Photo of Mojo
3.79/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle -> Tulip glass

A- medium gold with a thin one finger head, pretty decent lacing and a nice retention ring.

S - Mostly floral and biscuit. Might be some pine and citrus.

T - Honestly pretty good if unspectacular. Mild maltiness coupled with a slightly smoky finish.

M - Not great. Kind of thin.

O - Decent enough. Basically inoffensive. Drink it if it comes your way, but don't go out of your way to seek it out.

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Photo of digitalflood
3.79/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Saranac Pale Ale (2013) - Rich thick foamy head. Excellent lacing. Copper hue. Good carbonation. Hoppy lemon aroma. Pine undertones. Bitter nose. Pine and lemon. Beautiful mid-palate copper ale and hop skunk. Citrus notes abound. Back palate there is a light malt bread note with some oak. Fades to citrus, bitter dandelions, and a nice ale note. Very good. Drinkable but potent. Good balance in flavors. Another standard bearer. 3.75 out of 5. Very good.

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Photo of doktorhops
3.59/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So far with Saranac I've only tried their Pumpkin Ale, which I described as "Not bad, not bad at all". Let's see if these east coast brewers can notch up a "F#&ken awesome!" with me... (which would be statistically improbable as I've never described a beer as "F#&ken awesome!").

Poured from a 355ml can into a nonic pint.

A: Presents a clear Tangelo body with a foamy chalk head that reduces to a light lacing on top.

S: A lighter-than-usual-for-an-American-ale citric hop aroma is evident, though almost surpassed by a toasted biscuit malt and bread yeast base. There is a note of floral hops however this brew is not carried by it. Overall it is evenly balanced between malt and hops, again this is quite Twilight Zone for an American ale.

T: Again very balanced, the citric/floral hops are on par with the toasted biscuit malt and bread yeast base. There is a slight sour yeast twang in there as well, for good measure of course. An odd coconut Ester is present mid-palate, not sure if this is intended or not however I have noticed this before in other American imports, perhaps it is due to skunking? Finish is slightly bitter with an after taste that is a mixture of sour/bitter.

M: Medium bodied with light carbonation.

D: This is one is the mildest American ale I've had to date. Flavour is well balanced and apart from the odd coconut Ester it is a decent brew. Cost notwithstanding I would buy it more often. If I was living on the east coast of the US this would likely be a regular brew for me as it is easy to drink without being too bland.

Food match: Here's an ale that is quite versatile when it comes to food matching, one could quite easily have this with an Indian Korma as much as a fillet steak or a light chicken salad.

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Photo of stella77artois
4.19/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Pours a nice darkened golden-yellow. Not much of a head, but some foam stuck around. Fair amount of carbonation noticeable. Slight lacing on the glass.

S - Malt and hops up front. A unique fruity aroma present afterwards. Not a whole lot going on.

T - Has been several years since I've sampled this brew, and it's so much better than I remember. Small amount of malt, and a more pronounced amount of hops noticeable. Noticed the same fruity taste as mentioned from the aroma. A blend of grapefruit, lemon and bitter orange. Don't taste any of them singularly, but that's the best way I can describe it, as those 3 combined.

F - Oustanding mouthfeel. Incredibly refreshing and smooth. A perfect amount of carbonation to quench your fizz thirst. No sourness, bad aftertaste or stomach bloat. Almost perfect.

O - An outstanding beer, could be one of the few beers I will session with. So much better than I remembered. An outstanding blend of quality taste and mouthfeel, yet still it's so crisp and refreshing. Lot's of great taste combined with refreshing qualities, makes for about a perfect summer beer.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.02/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served in pint glass.

Appearance: A nice clear amber with little bubbles to the body, Average white head maybe rising to about 1/3".

Smell: Light hops, can't really say anything else....its very bland and just as average as its going to get.

Taste: Hoppy and bitter, not very appetizing but just enough. A little sour and the feel of wet hops.

Mouth: A slight dry hop feel...somewhat sticky and obviously the best property of the beer with an almost full carbonation.

Overall: Not a bad beer wouldn't not call it great but enough to keep in the fridge for when the fellas (or ladies) come over. Have one on me...Salud!

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Photo of Slackerville
3.17/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This beer is slightly darker than typical for a pale ale and as labelled more representative of an English that American style pale ale. Minimal hop aroma leads to a nice balanced malt/hop flavor highlighted by an excellent bitter finish complemented by a malty sweetness.

I have never had this beer on cask but I’m sure it would be excellent if a bar ever put it on this way. However, this beer is available in almost any Saranac mixed 12 packs and with their wide range of beers this still remains one of the better beers they make. Great around a campfire in the Adirondacks or elsewhere.

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Photo of TeamMathis
3.17/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Yellowish, reddish amber.
Smell: Very light floral and citrus.
Taste: Light floral and citrus.
Mouthfeel: Watery, light carbonation.

This is an enjoyable, refreshing, and drinkable brew. It's just not exciting. There's really nothing to dislike. The smell is a faint hint of the taste, which consists primarily of floral and citrus tones; perhaps a slight bit of honey. I would drink this again, but would only get it if it was in a sampler box with others I wanted to try.

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Photo of JG-90
2.86/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Bottle poured into glass gives a moderate sized, off-white head. Beer is a clear, bright, light copper/amber. Head settles to a small cap with heavy lacing. Smells of stale bread, light caramel malt, and funky wheat, not much overall aroma.

Taste is very bitter throughout, starting with stale bread and caramel malt, then just a hint of floral, has a stale bread, bitter, crisp, clean finish. Body on the lighter side of medium, with medium/high carbonation. English style PA's are not my favorite but I have had ones I've liked much more than this, in my opinion this beer is nothing special, but nothing bad either.

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Photo of Utica_Brew_Review
4.19/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Amazing golden, honey, amber appearance. Even balanced aroma, however not that pronounced. Hoppy, citrus, floral aroma. Great taste to start. Floral, citrus, earthy, and hoppy notes take center stage with a caramel depth behind them. Almost a yeasty / bread like base that supports the rest of the flavors.

This is one of (if not our favorite) pale ales.

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Photo of Justin23060
3.77/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Light amber with slightly off white 1 finger head that coated the top the whole time.

S - Blasted with typical English hop profile that quickly faded to a bready malt.

T - Taste strikes a nice balance between English hop and maltiness . Dry from start to finish. I do think it would be better with a bit more linger and a little less dryness. Solid offering for sure.

M - Dryness is approaching puckering and body is on the lighter side of medium

O - Not my favorite Saranac offering, but far from the worst. I'll be getting it again because I'm curious to see which foods pair well.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.09/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From memory again. First pale back in the day, even before I tried SNPA. This pours a golden color, with an effervescent white fluffy head. Aroma is strong pine, sweet malt, and a bit of biscuit. Very little citrus or florals, and mostly goes on the pine. Flavor doesn't have much sweetness, mostly pine, but balanced enough that makes this pretty easy to drink. Slightly watered down. Mediocre and not exciting, but certainly not bad.

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Photo of TriggerFingers
3.41/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok, for an English Pale Ale this is pretty solid. For those who buy it and think they are getting Sierra Nevada, Stone, Firestone Walker, etc. then you will be disappointed. Its more like Bass, but not as rounded in the malt dept. (Bass has a touch more caramel malt). Most Pale ale people have gone whole-hog into the citrus/floral and even dank (refer to American beers loaded with Columbus circa 7-10 years ago). I digress...for what it is...its pretty good. I am trying to think of a non-British, English IPA that I like better...and ? I can't seem to think of any. If you can't find Bass, Smithwicks, or Whitbread at your local store/pub and want something would hard pressed to find anything better!

Last Words? It is what it is!

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Photo of Moose64
4.64/5  rDev +34.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This Pale Ale is what I compare all other Pale Ales too. The East Kent Golden hops makes it unique, hopped enough but not too much like most other brewers do. Great smell and taste. What a Pale Ale should be. Great beer to have with a nice steak. Haven't found a Pale Ale to match this one (but I'll keep looking).

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Photo of HalfFull
3.59/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass. This Pale Ale pours a deep golden copper, clear and with a light carbonation. A thin whitish cap settles out quickly to a light surface film.

Bready pale malts on the nose. Neutral and uninspiring yet nothing to deter. Warming does add some complexity to the malt structure of the beer and adds a slight roast character. Feel is bright and surprisingly bubbly for the light apparent carbonation, and offers a subtle bitterness on the finish.

Overall rather light in body with a subtle roast character. A bit light in sweetness for the style but fairly well done as such. A supportive hop character is more evident with a little exposure. An easy drinking English Pale.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a quarter inch offwhite head with a short lifespan. Clear amber verging on sienna color and almost devoid of effervescence after the little head. Smells mildly of malt. Taste is utterly mainstream and in fact I find little difference between this ale and their lager which I had immediately before it. Thoroughly average.

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Photo of JamesShoemaker
3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into snifter.

A - in bright light, this beer doesn't look like much more than Boston Lager. In dimmer light, however, it's a very good looking orange.

S - do not care for the smell. The acidity is very present and the hop presence gives it a sense of sour wheat.

T - not bad, but not much going on. There is far too much carbonation for it to be sipped, and the hops have almost no floral character. Sour and bitter.

M - like I said, the carbonation is overwhelming and really invades your mouth. Not a sipping beer.

O - not a terrible beer, but there are much better PAs to be had.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into becker. Light golden orange, crystal clear, with a small fizzy head with god retention and lacing. Smell is nicely balanced hops and malt. Taste is hop-forward, very crisp and clean. Easy-drinking and tasty, a nice pale ale.

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Photo of TheMultiYeast
3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear light brown with a small white head.

Decent hop profile in the aroma. Backed well by malty sweetness. Floral and pine notes dominate.

Pine again with sweet caramel malts, moderate bitterness with some sourness, clean finish.

Medium bodied APA, sessionable.

Not too shabby.

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Photo of thain709
3.41/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - The body was a golden amber hue that had nice clarity...the white head stood two fingers tall and receded slowly to a full cap...nice lacing was left

S - Very watered down and mineraly...there was some toasted malt, biscuit/bread aroma, and grassy hops

T - Hops are actually the first flavor that hits the palate...they start off with an earthy flavor to them presenting some fresh cut grass qualities...they then become citric and fruity in flavor before the malts take over...a bready middle stands out with a minimal caramel backbone...the finish has a fruity flavor from the malts and hops

M - Medium bodied...clean, fruity, semi-bitter

O - I enjoyed this Pale Ale better than the IPA from the mixed pack...not usually a fan of the English style, but this one worked

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into NB globe. Poured a copper honey with about 3 fingers of foam. Very bready malty aromas, typical of the style, but not much hop aroma. Some crisp fruit malt hints.
Taste is very mild, but of english style malts, and very limited on hops. Some caramel malts are present. Slightly thin and bitter mouthfeel, but easy to drink.
I went to school in up state NY, so I have had this countless times both on tap and bottle. I may prefer this in the bottle, but I think because I like this one really cold. I think the cold reall masks some malts and allows the crispness to come through. Overall, an average brew. Its a go-to if nothing else seems good, but I would rarely just buy a 6-er of it.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a nice amberish straw color with a small white head that leaves nice lacing. Smells of earthy hops and malt, with the malt being heavier than the hops. Tastes of malt and slight hop taste, but very tasty for an English style. Carbonation is great for this light bodied beer and goes down great. Overall, an above average beer.

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