Thursday, February 12, 2009

Saranac Irish Red Ale

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Chad9976 (742) - Albany, New York, USA - FEB 27, 2010

Saranac Irish Red Ale is almost a contradiction. It’s a craft beer, to be sure, but it’s so mild that it’s most likely intended to be consumed as a session beer. But the whole point of a craft beer is to drink it for its quality, not quantity. Still, I’d take this over a Bud Light any day.


This beer pours smoothly and forms a well-proportioned, off-white, foamy head. The body is of course a dark shade of red and is quite clear with plenty of carbonation noticeable. The scent is very subdued with only a hint of maltiness noticeable.


To me, Oktoberfest and Irish Red beers are highly overrated because they’re so plain. I was hoping a beer of this style in the Saranac line would be better than others of the type, but I found it to be quite standard. The bottle’s label describes its caramel and toffee flavors yet I didn’t notice them at all.

In fact, I didn’t notice much of anything as far as taste. And yet, I wouldn’t go so far as to describe this beer as watery, it’s just very mild. If allowed to warm some caramel flavor is present, but just barely so. But at least it doesn’t taste bad.


Light lagers are often considered the easiest type of beers to drink, but that’s their whole point. For a beer with real craftsmanship to it, Saranac Irish Red Ale is as smooth as those other watered-down brewskis. Combined with its mild taste, this is one of the easiest to drink craft beers on the market today.


I found Saranac Irish Red Ale to be surprisingly light at only 4.5% ABV, and it certainly wasn’t a challenge on my system.


There isn’t much to say about this beer because there’s so little to it. It is a session beer, after all, and they’re meant to have the taste of a craft beer with the body of a light. But if a beer doesn’t satisfy is it really worthy? With Saranac Irish Red Ale I’d say yes just because it’s not off-putting like so many plain, generic lagers and light beers are. I’d prefer a stronger taste, but I’ll settle for drinkability. 
Grade: 6/10

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