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 kingcrowing
3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tumbler.

Pours a nice light clear amber with a small light brown creamy head. Nose is very strong, lightly floral as well as sweet like honey.

Taste is extremely well balanced, there is a nice hop bite to it (perhaps a bit too much for an English Pale, but right on spot for an American), with a creamy caramel backbone. Carbonation is just about right if a bit high, with a slightly light mouthfeel. Very drinkable and tasty with a bitter finish.

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Photo of aranheaney
3.15/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes from Poker Night, thanks to Rodd Rodgers for sharing:

A-Straw like with a finger of head that disappears pretty quickly

S-decent, some roast and malt

T-similar, the maltiness is more than I prefer in a Pale

M-ok, nothing too offensive nor memorable here

D-fair, this is drinkable, but there are better options out there

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is primairily of hops. Taste is good, well balanced malts and hops, a touch bitter at the finish.. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this makes for a quality beer.

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

Poured a clear amber color from a 12 oz bottle. No mention of ABV or 'best-by' date on the label.
Even after an aggressive pour there wasn't any head.
Aroma is predominantly malty with hints of sweet caramel, fruity notes.
Taste upfront is sweet with a sharp bitter finish. Overall, this ale feels pretty bland and mouthfeel is a bit on the watery side.
There wasn't any visible lacing along the glass.
Decent ale, but not something I would go out of my way to have.

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Photo of peensteen
3.33/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours amber with a thin white head, not much retention with faint lacing on the glass. The nose is quite malty and there is not much more to it than that, hops are barley detectable but do show themselves. Taste is quite malty as well, a lingering bitterness is there, quite crisp and refreshing. Good solid mouthfeel, a little syrupy, moderate carbonation. One of these is enough, I'll probably be passing on this one however.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a stein

A: pours a medium brown color with a small amount of off white head that dissipates quickly, leaves a decent amount of lacing

S: medium caramel malts with a slight smoked wood scent

T: nice smooth taste, nice caramel malts, a bit of a deep flavor for a pale ale

D/M: smooth on the palate, medium carbonation tingle, a bit too much depth for a pale ale in my opinion, nice overall

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Photo of Gilly1980
3.48/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Bright amber with lots of carbonation.

S- Quite hoppy with a strong candy-sweet aroma.

T- Rich but not overpowering hop flavor. Mildly bitter dry aftertaste.

M- Middle-of-the-road mouthfeel. Not slick and not sticky.

D- Above average ale. I enjoyed it but there are better examples of the type readily available.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
3.85/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: no head, little carbonation; it looks inert; but it did leave good lacing
S: lovely plum, grape, orange smell
T: very nice flavor; sweeter version of a pale ale, with a razz that approaches an IPA; slight metallic taste
M: a bit flat in the mouth

I wouldn't go out of my way to have another, but it wasn't an unpleasant experience.

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Photo of BeerdedEric
3.01/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Very white head and very silky. A light copper straw color. Decently bubbly.

Not much of a smell. A little spice and grass clinging to the inside of my nose.

Slight bitterness some malt but kind of bland. It's an okay tasting beer. There is an almost soapy taste at the end to it, hard to explain.

Carbonation attacks the tongue immediately. Light to medium body.

I don't think I would want another after this one. I would have one at another time but I know I would get bored of it very easily.

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

A - Pours a strong copper with a rich frothy white head that gives way to slight lacing, albeit it in the form of discernible rings.

S - Floral hops, a hint of sweet caramel malts. Some grain aroma, not quite bready.

T - The malty sweetness is there, as is the oily hops. Not citrus or grassy but the leafy hops one might expect in and English style Pale Ale. It lacks the malt/hops balance an EPA should have. The malt is lost almost as soon as it is noticed, although it is not due to overpowering hops. The finish is a touch dry and soapy.

M - Medium but on the lighter side. Pours with a lot of carbonation but it doesn't stick around long.

D - English Pale Ales are a tricky animal for Americans. If you enjoy more mild P.A.s then you might enjoy this in numeration.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.18/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle from a variety pack. Pours copper in color with a nice, lacy head. Aroma is of pine hops, quite pleasant. The body is light. Flavor is dominated by floral hops, quite smooth and dry. Not too much complexity. On the whole, not a bad beer for the price.

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

I'm in the mood for something hoppy and after this year's LCBO winter release, this is about the best I can do from my fridge.

Two fingers of soapy cream coloured head sit on top of a nearly clear copper body. Nice retention with spider leg lace left behind.

My first impression is it's very, very malty. Heaps of thick and chewy caramel with an almost brown sugar like sweetness to it. This hefty malt profile almost completely subdues the candied grapefruit, lemon rhine, and light floral aspect that makes up this beer's hop character. This may not provide me with the hop fix I wanted but it's still a decent smelling beer nonetheless.

Hmm, much different than what I had anticipated based on the nose. The sweet malty character is very dumbed down in comparison to the smell and the hop character is a bit more assertive. Touches of caramel and bready malts clash rather than blend with the soapy, semi-citrus hop character. Grassy in the finish with a lingering bitterness. Straightforward, somewhat bland, and lacking any real depth.

Light to medium bodied, crisp and somewhat refreshing but still seems flat at times and could use some amping up in the carbonation department. What makes beers with average ABV's so easy and pleasurable to drink is obviously not how well the alcohol is disguised but how tasty and balanced their end product is; two aspects that seem to be mediocre at best in this beer.

From a promising beginning to a less than satisfying end, this beer seemed to only get worse with each category. A good alternative to macros but I sure have had much better EPA's than this. I'd give a couple more Saranac offerings a try, but won't be picking this one up any time in the near future.

 1,718 characters

Photo of greenmonstah
2.61/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle into pint glass

A - Clear pale orange-copper with a finger of white head.

S - A bit hoppy, a bit grainy. Not very appealing.

T - Bitter and tart immediately. Give it a second and it becomes grainy and dry. Not a lot of character to the malt. Meh.

M - A notch above thin, with average carbonation. Extremely dry finish. Unappealing.

D - The dry mouthfeel and boring flavor make this almost a chore to drink. Try the Big Moose Pale Ale, it is much better.

 472 characters

Photo of beerdown77
3.2/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I first noticed that this beer was more grainy/meaty than I expected. There was a sour, muck taste that lingered in my mouth a little too long. The appearance was average, as was the drinkability. I have not been impressed with Saranac as a whole, but I'm not pouring it down the drain either.

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

Pours an orangey-copper with a thin white head with some lacing on the glass.

Smells of biscuity malts, flowery hops with some slight citrus notes.

Tastes thin and hoppy upfront with a sharp bitter aftertaste, not very malty and the hops aren't very appealing in this.

Pretty carbonated mouthfeel with a very dry character. Not terrible but nothing I would seek out again.

 376 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 KeithStolte
4.02/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz to pint glass.

A - Clear bronze color with a nice lacy head. Head Retention is a few minutes.

S - Slightly sweet hoppys taste and quite refreshing

T - Pretty good slightly sweet with hops and malts. Good beer at a great price.

M - Slightly metallic, but good mouthfeel. Can definitely feel a bit of the carbonation.

D - I think this is very drinkable. Very smooth.

 388 characters

Photo of dstc
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear ruby-copper color with decent off-white head. Head falls to a very small one. Thin lace.

Mild hop aroma that is floral and spicy. Rather mild though.

Nice mild hop taste up front with a malt backbone. Slight hop bitterness in the finish.

Medium bodied and somewhat smooth.

Not bad. Rather drinkable.

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Photo of shand
3.15/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle with no date code into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a nice transparent bronze color with about two fingers of very nicely laced head. Head retention is about average.

Smell: Sweet hops and biscuity malts. Smells very refreshing.

Taste: Not too shabby. Sweet hops and malts. Nothing astounding, but a good beer at a good price.

Mouthfeel: Feels good in the mouth, but tastes just a little metallic as it hits the back of the throat.

Drinkability: This should be very drinkable, this just goes right down. However, there's a bit of a lingering metallic aftertaste that kind of kills the drinkability for me.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.83/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle out of the fridge into an imperial pint glass. no freshness, born on date. bottle claims 6 different malts and hopped with EKGs and fuggles.

pours a clear light amber, copper color. 2 fingers slightly off white head that faded pretty quickly to a thin retentive layer. bits and pieces of sticky lace on the glass.

the aroma has a nice balance. fruity, herbal tea like hops are at the forefront with grainy, biscuity malts underneath.

sharp grassy, highly fruity hops followed by a woody character. on the backend theres grains, biscuity, bready malts. finishs with a moderate hop tingle. not bad tasteing, hop forward, but still nicely balanced.

light bodied, a tingly carbonation thats a little overdone. has that same slightly astringent feel that most saranac brews seem to share.

i can easily knock this back all night long, its cheap price and wide availability in my area makes this even easier. ive drank plenty of this beer before and im sure to revisist again. this is also newly available in 16oz cans.

 1,029 characters

Photo of Mit
3.33/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a-pours a nice clear amber colour.

s-sweet malts coming through with a hint of bitterness from the hops.

t-bitterness at the first sip, flavour rounded out by the maltier notes.

m-average for the abv.

d-pretty drinkable. I could def have more of these.

 256 characters

Photo of BarrelO
3.43/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Amber body. Decent white head leaves no lacing.

S: Strong notes of caramel. Also some floral hops.

T: A lot more bitter than I expected. Strong hop bitterness, but not a whole lot of malt flavor. Caramel malt is quite subdued. Some grapefruity aftertaste.

M: A bit heavier than the typical pale ale.

D: I think I'd describe this as an Anglo-American pale ale. It incorporates elements of both English and American pale ales, but the blend doesn't really work for me. Not a preferred pale ale.

 538 characters

Photo of Cylinsier
3.23/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz.

Pours amber gold, reddish hue to the light, medium fine whittish head retains as a film.

The nose is overwhelmingly floral hops with a pine tinge and maybe some citrus sweetness.

The taste is pine hoppy but more tart than bitter. Definite lemon tartness on the tip of the tongue. Kind of one-note.

Moderate tingly carbonation throughout, most noticeable in the back of the throat. Body is moderate and on the fuller side.

Easy going, quenches the thirst okay, could session this but the taste isn't that special. Wish it had more character or variety to it.

 572 characters

Photo of NODAK
3.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The aroma here is mostly of sweet caramel malt with a bit of floral hops. The fact they use Cascade hops certainly shows.

Some caramel malt is apparent at the front...however, it's somewhat fleeting, as the floral hops take over into the finish. The hops have a decent level of assertiveness for style, although they don't approach APA level. Again, the use of Cascades is obvious. A slight bit of sweet malt shows in the aftertaste, but it's otherwise pretty clean.

It's a very drinkable, if not forgettable, EPA. Hops are perhaps a bit pronounced here than in most EPA's, and the caramel is toned down a bit. For that reason, I wouldn't say it's among my favorite beers of this style, but it's not bad.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.8/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - The beer pours an amber colour with a gigantic frothy and fizzy off white head. There isn't much carbonation showing. There is also some decent lacing and the head lasted for a long time.

Smell - I can smell hops, malts, caramel, and some citrus and floral notes.

Taste & Mouth - the beer has a nice mouthfeel, smooth and creamy with a nice amount of carbonation - which is surprising because I can't see very much. I can taste the hops first and foremost, and then some sweet caramel and malts, and then it finishes slightly bitter. The beer comes across as just a tad on the watery side, but still decent.

Drink - An above average beer that is highly sessionable, I'd gladly buy this again.

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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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