Monday, August 18, 2014

Saranac High Peaks Single Malt Scotch Ale

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1155) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 18, 2014
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 aftertaste. 
Grade: 8/10

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