rampmaster (642) - Alden, New York, USA - NOV 2, 2009
Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. There is no freshness date on the bottle but it did come in the new 2009 winter pack so I have a good idea of how fresh it is.
Appearance: It has a light amber body with very good clarity. The head is just off white in color, tall and foamy. It has a good two finger thickness which hangs on well and makes lots of nice lace patters on the glass.
Smell: The aroma has a mellow hint of dark rye bread and very mild hops.
Taste/Palate: The flavor has a light bready malt base with mild clover honey like sweetness that lets the flavor of the rye come through. Spicy and dry leafy hop flavor comes in close to and into the finish which also has a balanced hop bitterness lingering for a while. Its body has a good medium feel with just enough soft carbonation.
Notes: The Saranac Rye IPA has very good balance of flavors but I think hop heads will be looking for a little more hop flavor. Still, I feel that this is a wonderful beer and a very drinkable Rye IPA.
yesyouam (1016) - Fairport, New York, USA - NOV 7, 2009
Saranac Rye IPA is a dense, clear, solid golden ale with a soft, chunky off white head that has oily bubbles; outstanding retention and lacing. It has a spicy, grassy, floral aroma that has a little note of black pepper. It’s medium bodied and quite smooth with a clean finish. It’s reasonably bitter, dry, spicy and peppery with notes of orange peel and coriander. It has a long, but gentle, bitter aftertaste. It’s quite drinkable; not a real sock knocker, but tasty. ChadPolenz (1819) - 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.User134089 (1644) - - MAY 22, 2012
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:
Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. About a finger of head. Color was golden pale urine. Light layer of frothy white lacing that lasted for about 75 percent of the pour. Decent amount of soaky, suddy film on the sides.
Smelled of sharp spicy bitter hops up front. Then got lemon, lime and pine hops. Kind of digging the smell, but I have a bad feeling this isn’t going to end well. It reminded me slightly of a Double Take IPA.
The taste surprisingly held up better than I thought it would. Got lemon, lime and pine hops, with a semi-healthy dose of rye hops as well. Reminded me of iced tea as all rye hops do to me. Much more smooth than the smell to start, which gives way to a slightly bitter, but balanced finish.
Medium body. Oily texture, but seemed to have be watery as well. Average carbonation. Clean, crisp finish with some slight bitterness.
A pretty good beer, really perfect for June or July. I was pleasantly surprised at its drinkability. Powertrip (1000) - Calgary, Alberta, CANADA - JAN 4, 2010
Golden, with a touch of red and a thin head. A strangely muted nose....where is the Rye? Definitely a presence of hops and nestle crunch milk chocolate but extremely quiet. Aggressively hopped? On first taste I certainly taste the hops but not nearly as potent as I was led to believe. This being said, it works well because its accompanied by the promised spice and a dry but sweet rye that lingers endlessley and so delicate around the back of the palate. There is also the presence of pine and a touch of lime. The aggresive hops finally show their face on the finish as this one just leaves a stingy bitterness that hangs around for as long as you choose. A bold beast that plays possom at first but attacks relentlessly and doesn’t stop!
Ibrew2or3 (8614) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - JAN 10, 2010
12oz bottle pours brilliant deep gold with copper hues and assertive bumpy light tan head. The aroma has mild levels of caramel malts, sweet malts, some spicy rye, spicy hops and a dash of citrus. The taste begins with a moderately spicy attack from both rye and spicy hops and then picking up a touch of sweet malts. By midway and to the finish a dash of grapefruit hop bitterness, spicy hop bitterness play second fiddle to growing rye spicy goodness. generallee08 (772) - New York, USA - JUN 11, 2014
It has a light amber body with very good clarity. The head is just off white in color, tall and foamy. It has a good two finger thickness which hangs on well and makes lots of nice lace patters on the glass. The aroma has a mellow hint of dark rye bread and very mild hops. The flavor has a light bready malt base with mild clover honey like sweetness that lets the flavor of the rye come through. Spicy and dry leafy hop flavor comes in close to and into the finish which also has a balanced hop bitterness lingering for a while. Its body has a good medium feel with just enough soft carbonation, Overall the Saranac Rye IPA has very good balance of flavors but I think hop heads will be looking for a little more hop flavor. Still, I feel that this is a wonderful beer and a very drinkable Rye IPA.
gkost (1069) - Alaska, USA - NOV 13, 2009
POurs orange with a thick tan head. Nose is sweet malt, some pine hops and spicy rye. Flavor is a nice rich spicy rye mixed with floral and pine hops and sweet caramel malts. Finishes with a nice bitterness. Maybe one of their best beers. Ratman197 (14842) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - DEC 4, 2010
Bottle poured a clear golden amber with a lasting ivory head. Aromas of rye, earthiness, spicy hops and pine. Palate was light bodied and crisp with a dry finish. Flavors of rye, earthiness, spicy hops and light pine with a crisp dry lingering bitter rye finish. fredandboboflo (1570) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 15, 2010
Bottle. Aroma of toasted and toffee malt, citrus, floral hops. Flavor again toasty and semi-sweet with a light but juicy hop presence. Really no hint of the rye here with its typical spiciness, but still a fine drinker.