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

A: Poured a beautiful marzen with burnt orange highlights. A light fluffy and well aerated beige colored head sits atop, solid, and 1 finger high which was moderate in retention slowly sliding down while leaving a broken ring lacing around the glass rim. There is a very noticeable turbidity of suspended yeast particles lazily drifting about. Visible carbonation was light.

S: fresh pine needles, citrus, spruce with a light dried toasted caramel sweetness and fresh woodiness. Moderate in strength and would of liked to see more of this.

T: The initial flavor wad dry toasted grains, stale lemons, with a touch of sour malting. Puckering citrus, not much balance here and the flavor fails to deliver on such a promising nose. Just a bunch of citrus hopping with not much complexity or layering. Not particulary crisp or pale and displayed a over showing of hoppiness that was not well balanced in any way with the malting.

M: light, a little watery, sour citric and sour malting laces the tongue.

D: Not what I would consider session material, Don't waste your money on a sixpack here unless you have 5 naive friends.

 1,126 characters

Photo of sbe1
3.18/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A decent pale ale but that is all.

Appearance: Amber color with a light tan creamy head with lace on the glass.

Smell: Floral hops with sweet malt.

Taste: A little hop bite with hints of sweet malt, bubble gum, and even, strangely, a slight soapy taste at the finish, the finish is basically clean and smooth otherwise.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, light bodied, slightly carbonated.

Drinkability: Pretty good. A decent session beer.

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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.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
3.29/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a gorgeous deep, dark copper with a thick, rocky, creamy off-white foam that slowly settles to a thick cap which leaves a beautiful sheet of foam running down the walls of the pint glass.

Mostly herbal hops in the nose, with a tiny bit of sweet aroma coming through as the beer warms up a bit.

Nice medium-to-full body, with strong piney hop bitterness engulfing the palate, revealing a tinge of burnt toffee before a long dry, bitter finish.

A nice Pale, but nothing too impressive that would make me pick this up over another, perhaps more well-balanced version.

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Photo of changeup45
2.83/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amber color with a medium head and quite a bit of lace on the glass. This is a decent Pale Ale. This has a sweet hoppy flavor, some light caramel to it with a mild bitter hop finish. Somewhat watery but not bland. And at $5.49 a six pack it prices itself just under some of the competition.

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Photo of sleazo
2.98/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A_Pours a slightly light brwin with a big off white foamy head.

S_Minimal odour. Light faintly toasted biscuit grains come through when you look fo rit.

T_As the smell indicates this is a rather light tasting beer. The biscuity malt start ends up as a grassy hop finish. Nothing off really, just not very flavourful

M_A little too watery and carbonated.

D_Not bad really, just way too light.

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Photo of theopholis
3.56/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Clear amber, with two finger off white head made of small and medium bubbles, good head retention, medium lacing left on glass. Very inviting looking.

Smell- Quite light in the aroma section. Practically no maltiness, no malt sweetness, no hoppiness. There are some very slight hops notes of flowers ad a light breadiness, but that's it. Still....smells very light and refreshing.

Taste- Taste is better than the aroma by a long shot. Nice melange of suble malt sweetness, hop bitterness, flavoring ops and maltiness. A nice spiciness in there to. sprucy, piney,

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, ood carbonation.

Drinkablity = Nice, but not great.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First off, I loved this beer.

It poured a beautiful copper amber color with a huge frothy head that lingered for most of the entire drink. The webbing/lacing on this brew stuck like glue. It was like rings on a tree the way you could see each sip I took.

The smell of this brew was not that exciting, but enjoyable nonetheless. Smelled the floral hops, sweet malt, and some caramel.

Taste was a little metallic at first, but not enough to turn me away. Tasting the hops with a perfect amount hoppy bitterness coming through. Also taste some vegetable that I can't place.

Very crisp and clean beer. This one is a pleasure to quaff down. I will turn to this beer again and again down the road.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.76/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a dark orangish amber color with a creamy off-white head. Very nice.

S- The aroma is slightly toasted biscuity malt with some citrusy hops. Not bad but pretty faint for the style.

T- The taste features a pretty solid malt backbone for the style along with the hops in the finish.

D- Very drinkable, not overly complex or flavorful, but a pretty solid brew that I wouldn't mind drinking again.

Overall, Saranac Pale Ale is a pretty good Pale Ale that is worth a shot.

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Photo of kinger
2.65/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Don't have a whole lot of positive things to say about this beer. Close to average at best for it's style. Good hoppy aroma, good appearance although the head could have been thicker. Thin mouthfeel and a weak flavor. Drinkable but sub-par, especially from this brewery who makes some very solid beers.

 302 characters

Photo of dsa7783
3.83/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

32 ounce growler purchased from A&P Liquors in Hoboken for about $3.99... "Cellar Aged" on the bottle...
Pours a ruddy, dark-copper, deep amber hue with a minimal head that quickly receded and left a minor amount of lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Mild aroma with hints of caramel, vanilla, and candied sugars...
Medium-bodied mouthfeel along with a good level of drinkability...
Good depiction of the style...

 425 characters

Photo of nasty15108
3.51/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Pilsner glass.

A - This ale Poured a crystal clear amber color with a good amount of carbonation. The pour produced a creamy head of slightly off-white foam and excellent layers of cascaded lacing.

S - The smell was nothing too overpowering. Basic English ale. Malty with slight hints of caramel followed by a faint citric hop smell.

T - Malty and slightly sweet up front followed by a bitter hoppy finish.

MF&D - Decent example of this style and a very good session beer. I'd drink this one again.

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Photo of JMBSH
3.62/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great deal of head from a hard pour. Light amber in color, giving off also light scent of hops. Not a lot of carbonation in the glass but the head stays a nice thickness through out the serving. Very easy to drink with the hoppiness being not overpowering. Coats the tongue to leave the flavor on your palate. I have to admit that not being a fan of the pale ales, this is a beer I could find drinking again.

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Photo of Tbn2
3.64/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap in pint glass.

A-The body of the beer has a deep amber appearance. A good head settles to the top and laces most of the way down.

S-I couldn't get much from the smell for some reason. I could pick up some hops and some grains, but nothing that jumped out at me.

T/M-Much clearer taste than the smell. A good blast of piney/earthy hop taste comes at you first. As the beer goes down, some toasted and pale malts comes at you. The beer has a nice dry finish with a well balanced hop and grain flavor. The body of the beer is just about perfect and the carbonation is very good. There is a good crispness to this beer.

Overall, this is a good beer. Pick it up, you won't be disappointed.


 711 characters

Photo of boralyl
3.16/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - It pours about 1 finger of white head that sticks around for a decent amount of time. It leaves pretty good lacing on the inside of the glass. It has a clear copper color, with lots of carbonation bubbles rushing towards the top.

S- Citrus hops, and sweet caramel malts in the aroma.

M - It's a light-medium bodied beer with a medium amount of carbonation.

T - The sweet malts hit up first, followed by some citrus hops and ending with some slightly bitter floral hops.

It's a good session beer, but a forgettable brew. I'd gladly drink it again, but wouldn't actively seek it out. There just isn't enough about the beer to make it stand out among the rest.

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Photo of Traquairlover
3.41/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A = Clear medium dark amber, lots of small carbonation bubbles, two finger off white head made of small and medium bubbles, good head retention, medium lacing left on glass.

S = A little too light in the smell, what is there is somewhat nondescript and a seeming blend of smells from what I expect from an English pale ale and from an American pale ale. I assume they used traditional English hops, but nonetheless there is a slight smell in this that yells American at me. There are light hops notes of flowers, a pretty solid malt smell of fresh baked sugar cookies.

T = Taste gives me the same thoughts as the smell, right up front I get a typical English pale ale taste of light fresh bread dough and light bitterness without overwhelming hops flavors. However, at mid-palate I have a jolt of flavors that make me think of a typical APA but one that has been aged so that the fruitiness of the hops have mellowed, I think it may be that it is a little crisper than a lot of the English ales I get, perhaps due to less (or simply different) minerals in the water with which it is made. At the back of the mouth it is a blend of lightly sweet cookies and light but definite hops bitterness in a medium long finish.

M = Medium bodied, decent mouthcoating, although there were a lot of carbonation bubbles in the glass, in the mouth it is pretty subdued and creamier than I expected.

D = This is a pretty mellow, light refreshing beer. Worth having to relax on a sunny afternoon.

 1,521 characters

Photo of Goliath
3.26/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with a large inch and a half of off-white head. Decent retention and a bit of lacing.

Aroma is uninspiring. Some piney hops and not much else.

Taste is, bland. A little grassy hops, with almost no bitterness. A little maltiness, definitely lacking flavor. Mediocre.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation.

Drinkability is moderate. Low alcohol makes this beer easily consumed, flavors however are lacking. This lack of flavor takes away from the drinkability.

 500 characters

Photo of Nipitato
3.67/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of a mixed 12 pack purchased at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: Good copper hue. Topped with a 1" + thick white head with good retention that drops down to about a ¼". Sticky lacing develops as beer is quaffed.

S: Restrained fruity hop aroma. Caramel malt aroma balances. Some sulfur like aroma, which US breweries rarely can achieve when make English style pales. Must be something in that fine Utica, NY water.

T: Hop bitterness is key characteristic here. Some grassy/resin hop flavors but not much. Malt support is also limited. Some sulfur tastes.

MF: Medium body with low carbonation - good mouthfeel for the style.

D, notes: Needs more balance between hop bitterness and malt sweetness. Beer is quite drinkable but balance would make this beer more so.

 778 characters

Photo of jordoo
3.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poored into a pilsner glass.

Light/pale coppery yellow colored with small off white receiding head. Looks to have medium carbination. Smells of malty sweetness and nice citrus and some floral hops. Taste has a very good sweetness up front from the malts and then the fruity citrus flavors hit followed by some bitter floral hop flavor. Sticks to the palet nicely with some oily residue and has a very good mouth feel, its an easilt drinkable beer, however there is really not alot to it.

 500 characters

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

Pours a nice light copper/amber color with a bit of head that (mostly) goes away, with a fair bit of lacing. Good scent, a little sweet with some nice hoppy (beef jerky) tones to it. Clean and crisp scent, with a little bit of sweet at first, followed by a slightly eggy hoppy aftertaste. Goes down smooth. Not a bad English ale.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.57/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Initially I had this as the first disappointment I've had from them, but as the beer warmed it improved tremendously. Appearance is okay, an amber color with a smallish head that dissolves slowly into nothingness. Nose is mild caramel malt, a slight saltiness, very ESB-like. Flavor is similar, although the hops come through a bit stronger. Tastes really only show through once the beer has a chance to warm. Definitely hints of toffee and some fruitiness. Overall, not bad at all taste-wise. Body's pretty good, with good carbonation. A solid brew.

 550 characters

Photo of toolbrew
3.06/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark copper color with a small white head. Decent head retention and little lacing.

Smells mostly malty with not much hop aroma.

Hoppier taste, but not overpowering. Good malt balance.

Light and easy in the mouth with moderate carbonation. The tip of my tongue gets the most sensation.

A decent pale ale. May be a good crossover beer.

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Photo of cvstrickland
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12-ounce bottle aggressively poured into a seidel yields a clear golden brown body with lively active carbonation capped with a finger of white foam that reduces to a sheet rather quickly but leaves a little lacing.

Smell is lacking; a little malty with a note of Pekoe tea.

Tastes sweet and lightly malty with a little tang, a nice balancing bitterness, and a slightly minerally finish. A mild bitterness happily lingers throughout.

Medium-light bodied and refreshing; excellent drinkability... it seems like that's a description I put in all Saranac beers.

 561 characters

Photo of ghostmech007
3.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint.

Very pale off copper color. Head is off white which doesn't leave much behind.

Nose has a hop profile that is hard to distinguish. Caramel and toasted grains are present. Very pleasant nose.

Very, very smooth. Crisp finish but a nice bite in the mix. Hops make it oily smooth. Malts are there but don't really add much to the mouth.

The hops are the only thing to enjoy is this brew but I like that. Hop heads unite! I would definitely come back to this one. I just wish I could get it around here in something besides the sample pack they sell. Oh well.

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

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a warm shiny copper colored body with a creamy thick light tan head that starts to form dimples and turns rocky. There is a strong carbonation of big bubbles that support the head.

S- This beer has a note of pale liquid malt extract with an almost tin like smell to it. There is a soft green note that increases to more of a hop smell as the beer warms.

T- The soft taste of sweet caramel has a hint of biscuit malt and dry raw grain to it followed by a green hop bite. The bitterness at the finish increases as the beer warms and a soft sulfur note comes through. There is also a tin flavor that comes through as this beer warms.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a tight fizz at the finish.

D- The malt flavors are not bad but are pretty soft especially compared to the tin flavors, and the hops don't have much flavor but a lot of bite.

 912 characters

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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