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Saranac Pale Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac Pale AleSaranac Pale Ale

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

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Malt Selections: Crystal English Pale Ale
Hop Selections: Cascade, East Kent Golden

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2001

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 628 | Ratings: 1,296
Photo of nicholas2121
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saranac Pale Ale brewed by Matt Brewing Company with an ABV of 5.5% This brew pours out a dark golden amber color with a small white head. Saranac Pale ALe is a filtered brew you can see right thought it. The smell is rich with sweetness and grains. There is nothing bad about this brew so far. Now for the taste, it is smooth at first with some bitterness at this end. This brew has a nice balance to it nothing overpowering in it brew. The mouthfeel is rich and full but this brew goes down smooth. Over all I'm giving this brew a 4 out 5. I would buy this brew again.

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Photo of KTCamm
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a pint glass at a BWW in Stamford CT.

A classic English Pale! Mild amber color, low foam. Very little lacing, and light on the bubbles. The smell is modest, but inviting. Taste too. Notes of toffee, and low nuttiness. English hop finish.

Crisp tasty, overall a very good beer,

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Photo of pbrian
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice hop characteristics, balance to this beer. Great when fresh, but quality diminishes relatively quickly and you don't know when it's fresh because there are no dates.

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Photo of wcudwight
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber color with a thin fizzy head that disappears to a ring around the glass. Smell is fruity and piney, but not as bold as I would like. Taste is well balanced. Fruity to earthy and piney. Feels very crisp and fresh in the mouth. Overall a good drinkable session beer. A buddy raved about this beer and I admit my expectations were low. But, it has far exceded them. I recommend you go get a sixer and drink it tonight.

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Photo of dstc
4/5  rDev +15.9%
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 erosier
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice Pale Ale. Pours a dark amber color with a very thick caramel colored head that sticks to the sides of the glass. The aroma is a nice malty and hoppy aroma with hints of fruity undertones, probably citris of some sort. The taste is exellent! Really well blended malts and hops for a nice ale taste. There is a hint of citrus in the beginning and aftertaste. A nice finish to a refreshing pale ale. The beer is usually very well carbonated which makes it really nice for drinking a few of these after a long day. Overall, I give it my approval and would recommend this as long as you like Pale Ales.

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Photo of maddogruss
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a glass mug. Lighter amber color associated with a pale ale; nice, white head. You can immediately smell the hops and tasting them is even better. Slight malty tastes, but overpowered by the hops as is typical with APAs. Pretty thick mouthfeel but not overbearing. Very drinkable beer.

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Photo of garymuchow
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma has real malt/hops mix with a nice malt base then English style hops with a slightly grainy, grassy hay quality. I noted only slight fruitness which is different than advertised on the bottle.
Nice amber color, a head that thins on it's own, but fairly steady with some lacing.
Good mix of malt yet a biting hops and still remarkably smooth. Graininess with grassy hop qualities. Some fruit character as warms in the mid to finish.
Softness noted, moving to a nice ale smoothness as warms. Fullness from carbonation otherwise medium feel.
Pretty complex plae ale, with a little excess on the bite to be top class, but pleasing nonetheless.

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Photo of HumuloneRed
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2 oz. Bottle. It pours a golden amber color with an off white head and soapy lacing. The aroma is of grassy earth with some citrus in the mix. The flavor reflects the aroma but with a good hoppy bitterness that is smooth through the finish. A well balanced beer.

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Photo of Barraclou
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It pours a copper amber colour. It is nice and inviting.

Smell: The aroma makes me thinking so much about tea and some fruits.

Taste: The flavours are a complex mix of malts with good hops synergy. You will also have lots of fun to discover all of them.

Mouthfeel: Very drinkable. It is thin, but it is still fun to drink.

Drinkability: This beer is not bad at all. That's funny, but I can't stop to think about tea / iced tea when I drink it. It got the colour, the smell and the taste! Overall, it is a very decent beer.

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Photo of ThreePistols
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper amber color with a decent head. The aroma is sweet, malty, floral, fruity and a hint of hops. Rich and fruity flavor with just the right amount of malt and hops. Creamy, crisp medium body. Finishes slighty dry.

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Photo of lovindahops
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft on a lovely 80 degree friday night dinner on the lake. In syracuse, Saranac means Summer

A- great copper look with an unprecedented head. Foamy as all heck. Well carbonated as well

S- some darker citrus themes are contrasted with a sweet malt. The connection to bavarian hops produce a banana type scent which I love. The overall scent experience is accompanied by a final darker malty scent

T- caramel, bananas, sweet malt. The earthy hops combine with some spiced hops. The flavor is primarily dominated by some tasty malts. It taste like summer in syracuse/adirondacks. Very good american interpretation of bavarian brewing when it comes to taste

M- full bodied and big time carbonation

D- saranac pale ale is sooo good when it comes to laying back and enjoying these days. The brew is well represented when it comes to an english pale ale. It has the flavor to make you welcome summer. Great brew


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Photo of shirfan
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear copper color with an average head... lacing remained all the way down the glass.

In truth, the color and taste reminded me quite a bit of Sam Adams boston lager, with a similar bitterness. Differences being that Saranac's hop profile is more citrusy rather than spicy, as well as having the more active, bubbly mouthfeel of ale. Saranac claims this brew uses Kent Goldings and Fuggles hops.

While more senior reviewers have claimed this is not a true English pale ale as the label states, I find no fault with it in regard to drinkability... but then, I'm becoming partial to ale and decently-hopped ones at that.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like this beer. I could drink lots of it, and occasionally do!
It's got good color, good smell and good taste and I gave it 4's all the way around.
When I go to the beer distributor it's either this or Sam Adams Boston Ale, depending on which one's cheaper.
This beer has the bonus of a higher abv over Sammy.
Enjoy this one fellow beer lovers!

3/10/07 update - I had the pleasure of getting a growler of this beer from a friend of mine who had gone on a trip "upstate"...
WOW, totally different taste from the bottled version, fresh beer is better!

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Photo of kevinl6
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4s all the way for me on this one. A good beer. Appeared amber/golden in color. Smelled very malty, with some definate fruit aromas as well. Tastes fruity and sweet. A little bitter on the palate, but still good. Good drinkability as well....I could have had another. Pale ale is by no means my favorite style, but I'll purchase this one again. A good beer.

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Photo of BillyBrew
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew boasts being English, but I think it walks the American line. Pretty lightish-copper colour with a creamy head that goes to lace and swirls. Springy floral-aroma with faint breadiness. Solid English-malt sweetness with complex, sharp, fruity hop flavors and firm bitterness. Smooth, malty medium body with sharp hop bite.

One of Saranac's best. I suppose the malts ground this brew as English, but the hops are strong and biting. Nice solid, earthy pale ale. Drinks good and flavourful. Cheers!

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Photo of rarevos
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into imperial pint glass from a cool little 1 quart growler.

A: Coppery-red, nice and inviting looking. Decent head (1 finger's worth). I notice that previous reviewers who have mentioned the lack of head (and/or quick dissipation) were all pounring from a 12 oz bottle. The growler didn't present and head or lacing issues.

S: Moderately hoppy, hint of sweet caramel malt.

T: A nicely hoppy front, mildly citrusy and ultimately sweet toward the middle, and a nice dry finish. Not overpowering hops, but enough to let you know they're there.

M: Light-bodied.

D: Very much so. This is an easy-drinking beer. Probably not a standout in the pale ale tradition, but it's solid, well-balanced, and satisfying.

Subjective notes: This is very easily available where I live (brewed not far from here, so it's pretty cheap, too). I can't speak to its distribution away from the Finger Lakes, but it's always nice to be able to get something like this without driving to a specialty beer place. The mini growler offers a great amount, as well.

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Photo of allboutbierge
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a slighty clouded golden color in a pint glass with a off whitish head holding a heavy lace down the glass. Very sweet floral smell. Nice hoppy taste, leaves a slightly bitter finish, rich and complex tasting. Finishes crisp and well balanced with a little of a hop kick. I bought a saranac trailmix case and while i have bought it before, this is the first i wrote a review on. In the past the pale ale and the black forest have been my favorites.
5KD approved.

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Photo of Natainos
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well this is my first Beer Review, and yes i'm a rookie!
but for a first Beer to review, I must say this tasted very good.
Smell: Nice
Taste: Good (after taste: lasting hop/fruity)
Look: ? I left it in the bottle
Proud to say Saranac is from Upstate, NY

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Photo of hmk22
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really like this beer although I have to agree with many other reviewers about its being good but not spectacular. There is something missing from this beer -- it's like they stopped a few feet from the finish line, so that you taste the hops but it's not quite hoppy enough, it's flavorful but fades kind of fast, has some body but still a little thin on the tongue...you get the idea. Everything that's here is good, there's just not enough of any of it. All that acknowledged, it's still a fine go-to beer (that's somewhat local for me if you care about that stuff) at a fair if not bargain price (these days anyway).

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

16 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with 2-3 fingers of foamy eggshell-white head. This retains with a thin creamy layer of froth, with a rich flare-up that leaves back sticky swathes of lacing. The aroma is a mix of citrus and malt, with a bit of a deep earthy tang to it, which is surrounded by some floral and spicy accents on the side. This is pretty straightforward in the nose.

The taste is crisp and biting on the tongue with bitter rind, some peppery spice, and refreshing grapefruit juice which splashes the tongue. The English Pale malts sweeten this up just enough across the back of the palate, as hops linger in the finish with green citric notes and earthy dryness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a crisp smoothness to the feel that enables this to flow just so easily here, yet this still has some presence in the mouth.

While I would have liked to have felt a little more malt activity going on here overall, the hop profile and body just gave a top-notch refreshing drinkibility to this that can't be overlooked. This was a no-brainer to put into cans. I think that summer in the Adirondacks just got a little better...

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

Not a bad beer appearance was dark amber clear no haze with a decent head that left nice lace on the way down. Smell was hops not much else. Taste was hops up front malt was restrained seems like they made a decent English Pale Ale. Mouthfeel lite in body mediem in carbonation a good drinkable beer.

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

Great color and nice head which left lace all down the glass. Terrific floral smell. Taste was crisp and a bit on the hoppy side but went down easy . Finishes dry with some hops on the tounge. One of those beers that belongs in everyone's refrigerator at all times.

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

served in 12 oz. brown bottle from "trail mix" six pack...
this is my favorite saranac brew. a very traditional pale ale. not far off really from its english forefathers. pours an orange/brown color. nice clarity. slight flecks of yeast in the foam. nice head. great lace on the glass. very appetizing appearance. malt comes through in the smell.
taste is very traditional. mild hops give it a traditional taste. very mild, but very good. not hoppy or overly acidic. biscuity/carmel balance in the malts.
could maybe tone the carbonation down just a notch, but otherwise a very good pale ale. i highly recommend this beer.

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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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Saranac Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.45 out of 5 based on 1,296 ratings.
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