cloudstrife (54) - Rochester, New York, USA - OCT 30, 2012
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Reviewed on: 12-21-2008
12 oz bottle poured into glass. Reddish brown copper color with an average off white rocky head. Aroma of hops at first with an afterthought of malts. Hints of caramel. Very well balanced flavor, a great style of beer. Being a huge fan of IPAís and also a brown ale fan this one is great for me. Hints of chocolate and caramel malts, earthy hoppy finish. A little rough on the palate, good carbonation but slightly astringent. Overall I am VERY happy that they took the IPA to the next level and I hope more companies follow suit.
jmulv (336) - New York, New York, USA - JUN 24, 2012
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Very solid beer. Goes down really smooth. Very well balanced beer. Nice little kick of hops in there as well.
DavoleBomb (1467) - Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 12, 2011
2.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 7/20
Poured into a pint glass. Iím excited to drink this because it will once and for all rid my refridgerator of the virus known as Saranac.
4.0 A: Looks great, which is typical of Saranac. The problem will ultimately lie in the paragraphs below. Amber brown color. One and a half fingers of thick head that retains well and leaves tons of lacing.
3.0 S: Weak aroma overall, but not bad. Hints of dark fruit and caramel and the smallest touch of herbal hops.
3.0 T: This beer drinks like a macro in a sense. The first sip is full of flavor, but each subsequent sip is progressively more bland. The tastebuds have never become tolerant so fast. A couple of ounces in it tastes like a watered down version of a decent brown ale.
3.0 M: Light body, too light to be any good. Smooth, but a little overcarbonated.
2.5 D: I donít even want to finish this one.
Well, hopefully Iím done with Saranac for a while. Most of their beers pissed me off in that they looked really good so the overall scores were way higher than the score for taste. Saranac is only good for one thing as far as Iím concerned: to convert the masses to craft.
Serving type: bottle Reviewed on: 02-03-2009 01:09:58
ironmanallday (2) - Red Lion, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 26, 2010 does not count
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
This better than Pal Ale as a nice dark amber body and a tall, with a nice beige head. Has an aroma of caramel, malt, floral and hops, a note of citrus. Medium bodied, with nice carbonation. Medium hops flavor with a roasted caramel. The nice sweetness lingers on the tongue with a dry bitter bite.
thechandler (529) - Charleston, West Virginia, USA - DEC 9, 2010
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a creamy brown with nice malt around. Flavor is strong and deep with both sweet maltiness and a nice compliment of bitter hop bouquet.
brigg (461) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 1, 2010
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
(bottle) Dark amber body and a tall, beige head with stiff peaks. Aroma of caramel, malt, floral and pine hops, a note of orange and lemon peel and earthy. Medium bodied, soft carbonation. Strong hop flavor over roasted caramel. The mild sweetness lingers on the tip of the tongue while the dry bitter bite works its way back. Nice lacing on the glass.
Chad9976 (908) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 15, 2010
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
India Pale Ales and Brown Ales are probably my two favorite types of beers, but what happens when you make a hybrid of the two styles? Apparently you get Saranac India Brown Ale Ė a beer with the strong, hoppy, bitter quality of an IPA with the smoothness of a brown ale.
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
Saranac IBA pours very smoothly and forms a beautiful dark red, slightly copper-colored, crystal-clear body with very little carbonation present. It has a small, white, fizzy head which dissolves quickly, but never completely and leaves constant lacing on the glass Ė something Iíve never seen before.
The aroma is similar to an IPA with a distinct hop signature, but without the citrusy notes present. Some malty scents are noticeable, but only faintly so. Otherwise the beerís smell is subdued.
Thereís just nothing quite like the experience of drinking a beer and having the flavor give your palate a punch. Saranac India Brown Ale does that with its strong hop character which makes for quite a bitter taste, not unlike an IPA. The difference here is there isnít much, if any, citrus qualities to the taste.
The beer has only the slightest roasted taste, but not nearly as strong as a typical brown ale. Basically, itís an Extra Special Bitter but without the dryness. The overall flavor is strong, hoppy and bitter and just the slightest bit dry, but it all adds up to a very enjoyable taste.
Strongly-hopped beers like this have a reputation for being difficult to drink, yet Saranac IBA is quite smooth. Although itís very similar in taste to an IPA or an ESB, it finishes as smooth as a brown ale so lightweights have to reason to complain abut the finish.
More hops usually equals more alcohol and Saranac IBA is no exception. At 6% ABV itís pretty potent for a medium-market beer, even if it is of a niche style. I didnít find the beer to be too overwhelming but I could definitely tell it was potent before I looked it up.
The body is somewhere between heavy and medium. You wonít be able to just breeze through two of these back-to-back as if it were nothing. But because the taste is so good, this is a beer youíll want to savor anyway.
If I read the label on the bottle right, it seems that Saranac intended for this beer to be an IPA/brown ale hybrid. I would have preferred a darker, roastier flavor, but because it follows the style of an IPA so well, itís still a good beer worthy of recommendation.
NOTE: Watch the video version of this review at:
beernovice39 (2785) - Montana, USA - NOV 19, 2009
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
I continue to discover saranac. This is a decent brown, nothing outstanding but very drinkable.
williamherbert (1131) - Syracuse, New York, USA - AUG 12, 2009
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Reddish brown, very clear. Watery head looks like high tide; brown and watery.
Crisp hops that give off a slight chlorine smell. Halfway between a pilsner and an IPA. Definite flowery hop aroma.
Nice combo of a solid nut brown, slightly sweet but dry. Interesting combination of the two. The dry, nutty malt matches the mild, grassy and flowery hop. Decent.
The feel is thin, but smooth enough. Drinkable and not at all heavy. Itís a decent beer, nothing really special. Sweet, hoppy in a mild/flowery way, and has that just touch of chlorine flavor.
Rciesla (5499) - Exit 15W, New Jersey, USA - JUN 16, 2009
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. Pours an amber body with a mostly white head. Grainy, caramel malts with a light earth y note a bit nutty with a hint of citrus. Decent offering, but DFH does it much better.