Saranac Pale Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

1,307 Ratings
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Saranac Pale AleSaranac 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

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Ratings: 1,307 |  Reviews: 632
Photo of wahhmaster
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Guinness-branded tulip pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a translucent tawny color. Has a thick, foamy head that dissipates slowly and leaves spotty lacing.

Smell: Smells of piney hops with a bit of citrus/grapefruit aroma. A little bit of a bready, oaty smell as well.

Taste: Starts hoppy and finishes slightly sweet with a bit of a buttery taste to it. Also has an unfortunate metallic taste to it, though it's not as bad as in some beers.

Mouthfeel: Very crisp and clean with an exceedingly dry finish.

Drinkability: An above-average pale ale. This one really is quite tasty and something I'll definitely look for in the future.

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Photo of biggred1
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber with a finger of fine pockmarked foam that leaves rings of lace on the glass. The nose is lightly toasted biscuity malt and citrusy hops. Sweet and bready with just enough lemon oily hops to balance. Medium light bodied and easy to drink. This is good beer but a little underwhelming flavor wise even for an English pale ale.

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Photo of ADZA
3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a nice bright orange,copper hue with nice carbonation that leaves a two finger creamy head with nice solid lacing,on the nose the aromas are fruity hops and also a very noticeable toffeeish,malty aroma in the background,it has a nice mouthfeel with tastes of pretty much the same as the nose with a nice mix of fruity hops and caramel,toffee flavoured malts and the beer definately has a nice crisp finish to make you wanna go back for another sip,very sessionable.

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Photo of JohnL9013
2.71/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Light amber with a small head. Not poured by me, so I can't say what the head would have been like.

S: A rather nonchalant smell with some hops and citrus notes here and there.

T: This beer has a huge lemon zest to it in addition to the hops. Whether you like this is up to you, but personally I did not like this beer and I thought the lemoney flavor was way overdone, overpowering the other flavors, which were already weak to begin with obviously. This is like a lower-grade Sierra Nevada with lemon flavor added, and overall it just seemed like a cheap beer to me.

M: Since this was on-tap, the carbonating was low, but it was almost to the point of being flat. Once again, this is out of my control so I'll give the beer the benefit of the doubt.

D: This is hardly drinkable to say the least. I was barely able to choke it down and, unlike most good beers, the taste got worse as it warmed up.

I would definitely never try this beer again.

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Photo of craigo19
4.25/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a really good goto beer if you are in the mood for an American Pale Ale, cheaper than Sierra Nevada Pale Ale ($2.99/32 oz. growler) and a good substitute. You can taste and smell the hops, but they aren't overbearing. This would be a good beer to introduce someone into the Craft Beer World.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
2.9/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Saranac is Iriquois for "cluster of stars." Just thought you should know.

Clear amber with a 2 finger white head. Poor retention. Smells like apple juice and tastes like it too. Minor hop hiccup in back.

Not a bad English pale but if you asked me if I wanted another I'd probably say no.

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Photo of Natural510
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber-copper color with heavy amount of fluffy white head. Generous lacing coasts the glass after foam dissipation.
Smells of sweet malt with apple & raisin notes.
Heavy on the breaded malt with a sweet, fruity overtone and decided caramel character. Hop subtlety creeps in with a nice pine at the end.
Smooth, medium-bodied, in tune with the style.
A solid EPA, balanced but with a nod toward the malt rather than the hop. Drinks very well, and a steal for the price ($2.99/32oz growler).

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Photo of yesyouam
3.93/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Saranac Pale Ale is a clear, sparkling, light amber ale with a fluffy, yellowed, off white head that shows excellent retention and lacing. It smells sharp and grassy, with notes of citrus and black pepper. It's smooth and medium light bodied. The finish is a little watery. It has a green, grassy, botanical bitterness with a hint of juniper. It's peppery and perhaps a touch sour. It's a very proficient session ale.

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Photo of Troy518
4.36/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Always one of my "cheap" go to beers. Filtered brilliantly clear, copper and gold colored. Plenty of lasting head throughout with tons of lacing. Slightly fruity with a sweet graininess. Very well balanced with hops, nothing stands out in this beer. Overall, a worthy session beer worth trying.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to Ezone024 for this brew.

Pours a very nice clean/clear golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is on the malty side, with slight hop notes, and some caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, just a tad of hops, caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, a tasty brew, glad to have had a chance to try it out.

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Photo of thekanna
3.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice clear yellowish orange body with a thin, white head.

S: Hops and a faint malty sweetness.

T: Somewhat of a muted sweet citrus body. Hops kick in at the end and leave the mouth pleasantly stung and numb.

M: Nice and smooth, malty with the slightest juiciness.

D: Nice session beer from Saranac. Wouldn't mind another.

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Photo of greengorilla
3.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass. It was pale yellow with a decent white head that dissipated quickly.

The hops came through in the smell and the taste. It was pretty good, but I have definitely had a lot better pale ales.

Again the mouthfeel was pretty decent and it is drinkable. I could drink a few if I had no other choices, but I probably won't be going back to this one anytime real soon.

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Photo of cbutova
3.06/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice clear orange amber color with a one-two finger head that quickly turns into a blanket on top of the beer. Lacing is fairly thick as I drink the beer, only gripes would be a bit better head retention (listed in the style). Smells of mostly malts and some hops, earthy and floral, maybe a bit of fruityness too, the overall smell is kind of weak however and no real good aspects dominate. Taste is decent, at first it was a good balance of malts and hops but then it turned into cheap fruity flavor with a weird hop bitterness after taste, the fruit flavor takes away from the beer for me, it tastes like a cheap fruit themed beer after a while but started out good. Mouthfeel I actually enjoy on this one, not too heavy for a pale ale but a good creamyness and coating on the mouth, leaves you with the hop bitterness, good carbonation and no alcohol presence. Drinkability is not the best here, the fruity flavor will ruin the beer after a while, it does however get points for the cheap price, probably won't buy this one again.

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Photo of mikel52588
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It pours a nice 2 finger length head with a soapy film that slides down the glass as it dissipates. It's a deep amber-brown. Keeps a thick lacing for a good amount of time.

Smell: Hops mostly with a faint sweetness in the back

Taste: Sweeter than I expected, definitely malty, the hops are in the background; Interestingly I'm getting the aftertaste of hersey's "mr. goodbar" its hard to pickup, so you may not.

Mouthfeel: smooth and malty, still reminds me of the chocolate.

Drinkability: Its really not too shabby, I'm not a big fan of Saranac, but this stuff puts up a decent fight against other pale ales. Its pretty drinkable, good with sweet food, I would guess.

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Photo of craftaholic
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a light golden amber that's translucent even before holding it to the light. Has minimal carbonation and has a nice head that starts off at 2 finger length head and leaves behind a pleasant finger length head that dissipates in due time.

Smell: A very faint aroma of sweet toasted malt and subtle hops.

Taste: Very rich and definitely flavorful, has a sugary sweetness and even a somewhat astringent flavor of tea leaves.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat light in its body form but not watery. For a finish its a malty slickness which meshes nicely with the zesty carbonation. Leaves a slightly oil like coating on the esophagus but not much in the aftertaste department.

Drinkability: Easily could session if a pale is your thing, could rival the likes of sierra-nevada.

Overall: One of my favorite from the saranac lineup in that it balances out the hop oil and malty sweetness.

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Photo of BirdFlu
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour is a standad, pale amber color with a head that quickly dissipates. Large bubbles in the head more like soda than a foamy beer. Notmuch to note inthe aroma; some slight, light hop but not much. Flavor is also very light.. Pale malt and light hop flavor (I wouldn't say bitterness). Not bad but nohing great, either. Mouthfeel is ligh but not watery. Fairly crisp carbonation takes away a bit from smoothness. Overall it's jus not much to notice. Not bad in any way but there's nothing impressive really either. Easy to drink, though.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured into a pint glass to a half inch of tan head. It is dark amber in color. It smells of caramel malt and weak hops. It tastes about the same. I guess when Burning River is your gold standard this isn't going to stand up. It is better than Bell's, but it's just an average pale ale.

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Photo of BeerPhan86
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Saranac Pale Ale, my old stand-by.

A - Pours a dark amber color with a nice tan creamy head.

S - Hoppy and piney for the most part.

T - Hoppy and crisp. The first sip tastes a bit metallic.

M - This feels a bit sticky and a bit thin. Not too thick.

D - I could drink this all night (and I have many times). Perhaps my gateway into hoppy beers!

This is a decent pale ale. Nothing spectacular, but Saranac is very affordable since I live near the brewery. Certainly a solid pale ale.

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Photo of Dodt
3.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

another review from the year old case . pour from a cold bottle to an turbo dog pint glass.
pours with a rich amber color. a light cream lacing. the smell is mildly hoppy . pleasant mouthfeel.
to be when i first drinking beer i was never really a fan of pale ales i view this beer as a nice intro to the style.

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Photo of imanidiot777
4.31/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: Pours a dark amber color and retains head for a long period of time, lacing was amazing.

s: Not good with the smells, smells like a pale ale...

t: Slightly fruity aftertaste.

m: Good carbonation level, adds a good kick to it.

d: Not the kind of beer you have a lot of but still good.

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Photo of climax
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a murky reddish amber with chunky bubbly head that clung quite well.

Nice balance of sweet toasted malt and somewhat subtle hops.

The hops come out more in the flavor with a piny resin flavor, especially in the finish. Sweet malt are always present but never challenging. Some spiciness is meddled in there as well.

Feel was sticky, and body was a bit on the light side. Carbonation is light and sharp.

No crown, but there's nothing wrong with this one.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another Saranac offering from the "What Ales You" 12-pack... A clear orange brown body fills the pint glass; frothy, thickly crunchy head leaves a nice half-inch head...fragrantly aromatic--the bouquet is welcoming and natural...smooth, balanced with a fizziness that begets an ale... tooth to tongue to throat is overall a pleasant ride...dryer and smoother than expected--a bit sweet and ever-so-slightly burnt, yet bears enough crunch to hint at hops...solid, well-balanced offering from many beers as they have crafted, this could be the centerpiece, with a drinkable glass from start to finish and a sweet, lingering the numbers rate out, a solid approximation and versatile for different occasions.

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Photo of Norfawkers
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A malty, highly drinkable pale ale

Appearance: a deep bronze, tiny head with very little lacing

Smell: Scant maltiness

Taste: Rich malty flavor but definately not overpowering

Mouthfeel: well balanced, smooth

Drinkability: Very drinkable as there are no distinct flavors, goes well with a meal

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Photo of ncvbc
3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a bad pour. Somewhat foamy white head with spotty lacing down the glass. Lower on carbonation. Good smell of light caramel and fruits. Light earthy, floral hops. Also a sugary citrus. Taste is somewhat tea like and herbal. Hops are not dominant. More of a balancing act. Not the crispness I'd prefer in the mouth. Fairly drinkable for a couple pints but not past that.

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Photo of atpben
3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Part of the variety pack. Poured into a pint glass. Appears a copper color with a thick quickly dissipating tan head. Leaves good lace as you finish the beer. Very good aroma of pine mostly. It is medium bodied and very smooth with a clean finish. More pine and citrus in taste. A little bit watery for my taste but quite drinkable. A good session pale ale with a dry finish.

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Saranac Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.45 out of 5 based on 1,307 ratings.
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