Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Saranac Brown Ale

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (744) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 15, 2010
UPDATED: OCT 26, 2012 It’s funny how a little bit of a difference can go a long way. Saranac Brown Ale reminds me a lot of Sam Adams Scotch Ale in that they both have a very roasty, almost smoky taste to them. The difference being Saranac’s taste is well-balanced while Sam Adam’s is overwhelming. I was actually expecting a sweeter beer, but a beer with a significant, balanced roasted flavor that’s smooth suits me just fine.


Considering the name, it’s no surprise Saranac Brown Ale pours to a medium brown/reddish hue, not unlike Newcastle Brown Ale. It forms a caramel-colored, fairly creamy head which lingers for a little while but leaves no lacing on the glass.

There isn’t much scent to this beer other than a fairly standard malty aroma. However, from the aroma alone you can tell this beer is going to have a roasted flavor.


Once again I seem to have done a beer a disservice by drinking it at too cold of a temperature. Straight out of the fridge, Saranac Brown Ale has an upfront taste of roasted hops and sweet malts. The label advertises a chocolate taste but I think the roastiness is the definitely element to the flavor. Also, there seems to be just the slightest hint of a smoke flavor to its palate, but maybe I tasted something else.

The beer has something of a “bonus” to its taste in that it sweetens significantly as it warms up. I’d like to give it another try by drinking it at a warmer temperature from the get-go, but I’ll have to wait for the next Saranac mix pack.

UPDATE: I did drink it warmer and it was MUCH sweeter!


Smooth as can be, Saranac Brown Ale is a craft beer with the drinkability of a mass-market light lager. The mouthfeel is very soft and inviting, especially considering the flavor. It finishes very clean with almost no bite. Anybody should be able to drink this beer no problem.


Since this is an ale it’s no surprise it’s medium-bodied without being too filling.  At 6% ABV, it would seem to be a much heavier beer, but it’s surprisingly light. This would likely make a great session brew.


One of my all-time favorite beers is Newcastle Brown Ale, and even though Saranac Brown Ale isn’t quite the same, it does have similar characteristics. Those looking for an easy-to-drink ale that’s not too filling would be wise to give this beer a try 
 Grade: 8/10

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