Saranac IPA is exactly what it should be: a by-the-book India Pale Ale
for a fairly mainstream audience. There’s no bells and whistles or hype
with this beer. It’s a rather inconspicuous IPA that could be sitting on
the shelf at a supermarket, gas station or even craft beer store near
you. You get plenty of hoppy bitterness that’s well balanced and easily
drinkable. Is it remarkable? No. Is it good? Yes.
I poured a 12oz bottle into an official Saranac shaker glass.
Appearance: Amber hue, crystal clear, some carbonation visible. Forms an
average size, white, foamy head which leaves plenty of lacing on the
glass and never evaporates completely.
Smell: Hop flowers; pale malt sweetness; plus a hint of pine needles.
Taste: Mild bitterness and slight malty sweetness opens the palate. It’s
a sweet honey-like taste that’s mild for the style, but at the same
time still noticeable. There’s a somewhat sharp, dry bitterness from
start to finish. Pine flavor without any resin or sticky character is
detectable as well. The palate finishes with a quick, strong hop bite
that imparts a subtle citrusy component. There’s a bit of a starchy
aftertaste that seems to be the logical conclusion of the palate.
What’s interesting about Saranac IPA is that it’s a simple recipe: one
malt variety (North American Two-Row) and one hop variety (Cascade).
That probably explains the rather simplistic and somewhat repetitive
palate. This brew probably won’t amaze a lot of craft beer drinkers, but
it’ll still be at least satisfying. There’s no off flavors at all, and
the hop character and balanced palate make it interesting to the tongue.
I like it.
Drinkability: At "only" 5.8% ABV, Saranac IPA is actually a bit small
for the style. That’s okay because its quaffability is nice. A perfectly
medium body all around that’s easy to get down in sips or gulps. Though
the aftertaste is a bit dry and pasty, it’s par for the course. A good
beer for burgers and football.