Chad9976 (1020) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 6, 2012
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
India Pale Ales are supposed to be bitter, but theyíre also supposed to taste good. Saranac Red IPA definitely has the bitterness factor going for it, but itís lacking in the good taste department. Hops without taste to back them up are rather boring.
I poured a 12oz bottle into an official Saranac shaker pint.
Appearance: Dark copper/burgundy hue. Forms an average size, off-white, foamy head which leaves plenty of lacing on the glass and never completely dissipates.
Smell: Similar to hop pellets: earthy, grassy scent with a hint of sweetness.
Taste: The bottleís label indicates this beer is a "twist on a traditional West Coast IPA," but aside from the raw bitterness Iím not sure I would compare this to a beer of that style at all. There are some unusual hops used in Saranac Red IPA - Calypso, Palisade, Chinook and Delta (according to the website). These arenít known for imparting citrusy aromas and flavors. Itís just sheer bitterness, and dry, astringent bitterness at that.
The label also mentions "caramel malt undertones," but I fail to find them. There isnít much malt distinctiveness here at all other than a crackery, biscuity taste. Thatís not to say this is a bad beer, far from it. Iím actually more indifferent to this palate than anything else. This is probably the most bitter Saranac brew Iíve ever had, and in that vein itís impressive. Still, itís lacking balance and memorable flavors, so itís also forgettable.
Drinkability: Though noticeably dry and bitter, Saranac Red IPA isnít a challenge to drink. The body is medium with a perfect level of carbonation to give it some energy, but calm enough to enable smooth swigging. The aftertaste is dry, though, but tolerable. The 6% ABV is a bit bigger than I wouldíve guessed, but itís not overbearing.
Wiszard (19) - Derry, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 30, 2012
2.5 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Beautiful Red Color. Not as hoppy as other IPAs. Good aftertaste. Small head. Overall an average beer.
jeremytoni (2834) - Swedesboro, New Jersey, USA - NOV 28, 2012
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
From a bottle poured a dark amber color with a small amount of head. Bitter malty hoppy flavor with a lingering aftertaste.
freekyp (1449) - Thomasville, North Carolina, USA - NOV 26, 2012
3.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
A well crafted balanced IPA with a strong caramel malt base, herbal hops with some west coast citrus and a gorgeous reddish brown body capped with a frothy tan head with staying power. An easy drinker that is at home with mos pub grub. Well done.
Arayaga2 (1710) - portland, Oregon, USA - NOV 25, 2012
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Ruby brown with an inch of poofy, off-white head. Aroma is pine and citrus hops, and crystal malt. Taste is as it smells with a nutty finish, and some butterscotch. $1/12oz
Elwood (2909) - Leesburg, Virginia, USA - NOV 20, 2012
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Serving: 12 oz. bottle from Wegmans Leesburg. It pours a clear bronze color with with a large, off white head. The nose seems slightly stale with notes of caramel malt, a slight metallic note, and papery hops. The flavor has a sharp note leading in with biscuity and caramel malt. The finish brings some hops with light pine and resin notes. The taste lingers on the palate. I wouldnít call this an IPA. Either an APA or more likely a hoppier amber ale.
mike67 (690) - , New Jersey, USA - NOV 19, 2012
2.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
12 oz bottle from a verity pack. Pours amber with a long lasting white head and good amount of lacing. Aroma is of orange, citrusy hops and caramel malt. Body is medium and crisp. Taste is citusy, herbal hops and some caramel malt. Finish is long and unpleasant. It was 3rd bottle from the pack I had to pour out.
FROTHINGSLOSH (4292) - GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 4, 2012
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Sampled from a 12 oz brown bottle this beer poured a reddish-orange color with a huge creamy orange-tan head that lingered and left great lacing. The aroma was sweet caramel, sweet malts and moderate grapefruit. The flavor was tangy and bitter grapefruit, orange and toasted caramel. Long bitter grapefruit, orange and caramel finish. Medium body. Solid.
MarkBarnes (362) - Waterville, New York, USA - NOV 4, 2012
2.7 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Nov. 4, 2012: 12 oz. bottle fr. Saranac "12 Beers of Winter" sampler pack. Reddish (surprise!) color. Aggressive, bordering on harsh (a Saranac trait), hop profile; nicely balanced with caramel malt sweetness. Dry, bitter finish. Better than the breweryís "regular" IPA, but falls short of the better West Coast IPAs it seeks to emulate.