I poured a 12oz bottle into a goblet. It was bottled on 4/20/14.
Appearance: Beautiful copper/amber hue over a clear body with plenty of
carbonation visible. Pours to a small, off-white, soapy head which
retains and laces fairly well.
Smell: Sweet nose of berries, stone fruit and confectionery toppings.
Taste: I first tried Saranac High Peaks Single Malt Scotch Ale at the
2014 TAP New York beer fest and thought it was one of the best I had
tried all weekend. That was about four months ago, so I was eager to sit
down at home and try it from the bottle on a clean palate. Though it’s
not a bad beer at all, it’s nearly as impressive as I remember it being.
It doesn’t seem to have any Scotch whisky and/or barrel character, but
rather drinks as a solid Scotch Ale or maybe even a “barleywine lite.”
Right away the palette of this beer introduces a refined sweetness.
Caramel and toffee seem to be the prominent flavors with subtle notes of
cherry, strawberry and fig lurking in the background. Not much in the
way of smokiness as found in most Scotch Ales, though there is just the
faintest hint of vanilla or wood from the barrel. The alcohol is also
quite tame, imparting just a slight rum-like flavor. Overall, it’s a
delectable brew to be sure, albeit not an outstanding one.
Drinkability: I drank this beer quite warm and was surprised by how
comfortable it was in the mouth. Despite the 9% ABV weight, there’s
little to no heat; nor does Saranac High Peaks Single Malt Scotch Ale
have any kind of hefty, obese character to it. The mouthfeel is calm,
soft and smooth with a relatively clean finish – not sticky/cloying