DocLock (11048) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 21, 2010
I’m a hophead, and this one, procured in 4Q 09 from Pat’s in Pottstown, poured dark brown w off tan white head. Nose was rye malt, hopd, earthy peaty fruit. Fairly balanced palate with rye malt, earthy hops, some fruityt flsavors, and a rich finish. Solid, and a beer I’d like to see FX MAtt produce all year round. checkmatei1 (783) - Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 3, 2010
Bottle: Poured a golden yellow with a nice head. The aroma was sweet malts and hops. The flavor had some peppery spice, nice hops and a hint of those sweet malts. Overall, not over powering, but tasty. Changed (463) - Ithaca, New York, USA - APR 24, 2010
12oz bottle. Pours pale straw. White head, nice lacing. Aroma is that dry rye, some straw or glassy notes. Flavor is sort of a toss-up of flavors. Most distinguishing aspects of the beer: watery body, high carbonation, bitter after-taste. Saranac is sadly the worst of all "local" breweries (Ithaca, Ommegang, Lancaster, Weyerbacher, etc...) ChadPolenz (1847) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - APR 15, 2010
If you know me you know I’m a hophead and I love the India Pale Ale style the most of all beer styles. While I don’t think I could ever tire of trying different IPAs I do enjoy something original regardless of quality. Saranac Rye IPA is able to do exactly that as it’s able to effectively use rye malt to create for a very unique taste without coming off as gimmicky.WLG423 (201) - Connecticut, USA - APR 3, 2010
APPEARANCE AND AROMA
I was a little surprised to see this beer has a clear dark gold body rather than the more typical copper or orange color I associate with IPAs. It’s fairly effervescent and produced a thick, white, almost spongy head. It’s slow to dissipate and leaves noticeable lacing on the glass.
The aroma is standard for a beer of the sort with a strong hop nose that is accompanied by a dry rye scent. It’s slightly floral but more indicative of a spicy beer. Regardless, it’s quite interesting and inviting.
Many pedestrian beer drinkers often complain of beers being “too bitter,” but I would argue most beers aren’t nearly bitter enough. Saranac Rye IPA is a good example of the bitterness I expect a beer to have. Like any good beer of the style the hops are strong and dominate the palate. There’s even something of a crunchy hop bite on the back end.
But as the label indicates this isn’t just an ordinary IPA, it’s made with rye and it’s no lie. The malt is well-balanced to give a dry, bready and almost sweet flavor to the palate. It leaves a noticeable aftertaste akin to eating a slice of rye bread.
Obviously, this flavor combination is not going to appeal to everyone, but for what it is I find it innovative and quite tasty, actually.
There are two distinct “movements” to encounter while drinking Saranac Rye IPA. The initial mouthfeel and taste is clean and hoppy without any kind of watery component. On the finish there’s a strong, but dry hop bite coupled with a bready rye flavor. They combine to form a very bitter taste. The aftertaste is strong as well as the rye malts and hops linger, but not for too long. The mouthfeel itself is smooth, but significantly weighted.
At 5.95% ABV this is a beer that’s intended to work as a session brew or with a meal. It’s quite versatile.
Beer snobs tend to find Saranac too pedestrian for their tastes, but with Rye IPA (and most of the beers in their “12 Beers of Winter” mix pack) it seems that the Matt Brewery has stepped up their game. In fact, it’s almost a paradox since this beer might be a little too intense for Joe and Jane Six Pack, but doesn’t quite approach the levels of the championship-caliber beers. Either way, I still enjoyed it and think most drinker will as well.
NOTE: Watch the video version of this review at:
Body is dark golden with a white light head, lots of carbonation present. Aromas of spruce and slightly bready with some toast. Flavor is light and slightly toasty with some notes of citrus and pine. Slightly bitter and watery. Overall an average beer.
JoeMcPhee (9550) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 20, 2010
Pale straw colour with a thick sticky white head. The nose is quite fresh and spicy. The rye is really expressive in here, coming through as a really light, zesty spiciness. The palate is a bit light and slightly citrusy. Zesty and lightly citrusy hops that complement the malts pretty nicely. The bittering hops are very underutilized... this feels like 30 IBUs. There is a nice light woodiness as well. I do like it, but it could use about 2X the hops. TheCaptain (613) - Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 17, 2010
Bottle, poured a caramel dark gold, clear with off white foam head and slight layered lacing. Hops aroma with grain notes and a malt hop palate. Crisp with a malt rye texture, slight citrus hops keep things lively. Citrus notes and a bit of bitterness towards the finish, lively carbonation. Indra (2710) - Suburbia, Kansas, USA - MAR 15, 2010
12oz. bottle. Grassy hop aroma, some crackery, grainy malt and mild spice detected. Really gives more of a Pilsner impression, strangely. Clear medium golden color with a lasting, fine head. Flavor is dry, citric and moderately bitter, some faint herbal tinges here and there, finishing lightly spicy with hints of lemon and grassy hop. Mouthfeel is very lightly oily and astringent, not without carbonation, but still comes across as lifeless and thin. Body is light-medium. Kind of an odd one, and lacking in any real depth. nuplastikk (6453) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 9, 2010
12oz bottle. Filtered orange-tan color, Big creamy head. Quite easy and sessionable like most non-imperial Saranac beers. Medium to full bodied, The hops are there but arent that aggressive by any means, but they meld well with the doughy, mild Rye or other specialty malts. Soapy, and just a touch to thin and watery in the finish. Overall this is still an enjoyable beer, a solid addition to the mixpack. Uglyradio (790) - Greenville, South Carolina, USA - FEB 27, 2010
Looks good...Copper pour with a lasting head...Flavor is bland and lacking in malt and hop presence...Weird...