poured a 12oz bottle into an official Saranac shaker glass. It had a
best before date of 10/31/13. It came in a summer seasonal mix pack
which cost $13.99 ($1.71 per bottle or $0.10 per ounce).
Appearance: Clear pale body not unlike a lager. Carbonation visible.
Forms a small, white, soapy head which almost completely dissipates and
doesn’t leave much lacing.
Smell: A hint of lemon with notes of pale grain and a cat food-like
aroma I’ve encountered in other blondes. Thankfully the nose is quite
Taste: I don’t know what it is about pale beers like blonde ales, golden
ales, kolsches, kellerbiers, and cream ales. They all tend to taste the
same to me and few are genuinely interesting. I’ll admit I’m not a fan
of the styles, but a lame beer is still a lame beer at the end of the
day. I tend to enjoy Saranac’s beers more than most people, but their
"Session Ale" doesn’t do much for me. There’s not much flavor to it and
what’s here is a bit odd. It’s not so much a bad beer as it is boring.
Generic blonde ales tend to have a base malt flavor that’s the ale
equivalent of the generic lager taste. It’s difficult to describe
because its inherently bland. Not much in the way of hop character or
bitterness (which would’ve been nice, actually). Slight biscuity notes
on the back end, but otherwise it’s mild. I don’t get any flaws or
overtly off-putting flavors, but there’s nothing here that interests me.
Not sure why they chose this recipe as their "Session Ale" because I
wouldn’t want to drink this in a large quantity over an extended amount
Drinkability: While the flavor may not be exciting, Saranac Session Ale
is at least drinker-friendly. The mouthfeel is thin, but energetic, with
a wet sensation to it. Slightly refreshing while in the mouth with an
aftertaste that’s mostly clean but with just a hint of pastiness. It
actually feels like a bigger beer than its 4.5% ABV weight would
otherwise indicate. Since you only get two in a mix pack, drinking both
of them back-to-back is no challenge, but certainly isn’t a session (not
that I’d want more than two anyway).