Saranac India Copper Ale
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RATINGS: 57   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.17   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 180   ABV: 6%
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Taking an “India Pale Ale” to the next level this copper ale has the malt backbone to carry the hoppiness you expect in an “India Pale Ale”. Carefully selected malts from North America and Europe are decoction mashed to highlight there character and the brew is complemented with generous amounts of Columbus, Cascade and Centennial hops. Cheers!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
rampmaster (642) - Alden, New York, USA - OCT 14, 2010
Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. This is part of this years winter mixed pack. The label has a nice description of the beer but no ABV or freshness date. Appearance: It has a coppery amber color with an average two finger head off an aggressive pour. The head hangs on for a bit but fades to a wispy thin layer. Lacing is good and slick. Smell: The aroma has some sweet maltiness pooping through some very nice American hop notes. Taste/Palate: The flavor reflects on the aroma with a sturdy sweet base malt and solid citrus/pine like hop bitterness. Hops carry on into the finish but don’t linger for long. Its medium body and carbonation keeps things moving along and drinking well. Notes: This is classic easy drinking Saranac.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
yesyouam (1016) - Fairport, New York, USA - DEC 28, 2010
Saranac India Style Copper Ale is a pretty clear copper ale with a khaki head that fades to a bubbly film and leaves a nice sheet of foam on the glass. It has a hoppy aroma of pine, citrus and leaves. It smells fresh and straightforward. It has a lively medium body with a clean, dry finish. There’s a nice, piny hop flavor with a hint of caramel and a bitter resiny finish. It’s dry, simple and very sessionable. I suppose I’d call this a Red Ale. Nothing really stands out with this one, but it’s unflawed.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
nuplastikk (4129) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 10, 2010
12oz bottle. Filtered looking amber-brown. Steady, respectable off-white head. Pretty solid hop aromatics. Amber Ale eh?I can see it I guess...as Copper Ale is quite a mysterious style. This would be closer to an Imperial Copper Ale, or Imperial Amber. A pretty hefty beer. Big malt backbone and solid hopping. A rather bad-ass beer that will never get any RateBeer props.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
MarkSachon (506) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 31, 2011
From the sampler case. I think Saranac made a good effort to compete in the arena of IPA’s and could come out in the "Best Effort" category. There are some complexities here that make for a rich drinking experience and you’d hate yourself for missing this one. In Pittsburgh, you can grab a case of Saranac samplers and save a considerable sum in doing so, bringing home twelve different beers to try. It’s a lot of fun and could open some eyes in the beer community.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
williamherbert (1229) - Syracuse, New York, USA - JAN 18, 2012
Orange-ish red color, with a generous puffy white head. Tiny, slowly up-floating bubbles of carbonation. A solid smattering of icy lace. Aroma is earthy, like potting soil. Backed by a rather impressive woody hop; mild but effective as a balance. A smidge sugary, but spicy also. Well-balanced. The bright, American hops are the first taste; woody, spicy and sweet. They sit nicely alongside the sugary malts, which also have a hint of rye and earthiness. Touch of apple skins and peach. The flavors mellow nicely as it sits in the glass a little. Thick and sandpapery, with a nice dry finish to it. Leaves a juicy remnant. This is a surprisingly good beer. Well-balanced, and not overly hopped. Might be a good gateway hop-beer to give to an IPA-newbie.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
johnnnniee (2039) - Bedford, New Hampshire, USA - NOV 25, 2011
Pours a deep dark copper color that borders on brown with a decent sized fluffy white head that slowly recedes to a cap with moderate lace. Smells of hops and malt. No really. Citrus in the form of grapefruit and lemon bits of pine, with bready caramel malt backing it up. Taste is more caramel than hops, but still remains tasty. Medium body and carbonation level with a slick mouthfeel. I enjoyed this one, its probably the best I’ve pulled from the mixed 12 pack so far. There are better IPA’s out there, but this one is still tasty.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
puboflyons (1883) - Allenstown, New Hampshire, USA - DEC 12, 2010
From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. The pour is a handsome copper-amber with a half-inch of silky beige head that lasts forever. Decent, thick lacing. The aroma is full of floral hops and sweet malts. Very nice that. The body is light and creamy but not watered down. The taste is the best of both worlds with a nice bitter hoppy feel like an IPA coupled with a juicy, sweet maltiness. I have to rate it higher than the going RB average.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1082) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 16, 2011
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 – a beer with the strong, hoppy, bitter quality of an IPA with the smoothness of a brown ale.


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 – something I’ve 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 beer’s smell is subdued.


There’s 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 isn’t 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, it’s 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 it’s 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 it’s pretty potent for a medium-market beer, even if it is of a niche style. I didn’t 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 won’t 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 you’ll 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, it’s still a good beer worthy of recommendation.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Sregnar35 (951) - Rotterdam, New York, USA - NOV 21, 2010
Not too bad, best of this years winter beer. Pours a nice golden brown, aroma is clean and fresh. Taste is balanced and clean, finish is nice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jb (2057) - Rochester, New York, USA - DEC 2, 2010
Hoppy nose of grapefruit, also some molasses. Nice dark copper appearance, thick head, nice full lacing. A bit creamy first sip, some caramel in the taste, also nutty, and the hops are in there. Decent.

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