Saturday, October 15, 2011
Saranac Irish Red Ale - Saranac Brewery - Utica, NY
I love a good Irish Red Ale. There's just something about the old-worldliness of it that makes it tempting to pick up a six-pack, and when I saw that Saranac had it's own version of the Irish beauty available at my local shop, I just had to pick it up. I haven't exactly been impressed with Saranac in the past though. I've found that their brews are somewhat bitter and that the aftertaste is not exactly palatable, but I had high hopes for the Irish red. After all, there's nothing wrong with a good Irish brew. Here's what the website had to say:
Irish Reds get their deep garnet color from carefully selected batches of 2 row malts that are specially kilned to develop their sugars and then roasted to produce the wonderful, caramel and toffee notes that accompany the rich color. You'll find the complexity and drinkability of Saranac Irish Red to be second to none.
Beer Style: Irish Red Ale
Malt Selections: 2 Row, Crystal
Hop Selections: Vanguard
Color: Deep Garnet
Mouthfeel / Body: Medium Body, Balanced Sweetness
Food Companions: Light Fare
Alcohol By Volume: 4.5%
Original Gravity: 11.0
Our attention to detail and uncompromising commitment to quality represent the signature trademark of the Matt Brewing Company and our award-winning Saranac Beers.
A Brief History of the Matt Brewing Company Brewhouse Square, Utica, NY
As one of the few remaining great American regional breweries, the Matt Brewing Company has prospered at the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in Central New York for over a century. Under the leadership of the third (Nick) and fourth (Fred) generations of the Matt Family, the Brewery has earned the reputation as one of the most respected specialty brewers in the country, producing a variety of distinctive, flavorful beers.
In 1885, young F.X. Matt I, a German-born immigrant, left a promising career at the famous Duke of Baden Brewery in the Black Forest region of Germany to travel to the United States with the determination and dream of owning his own brewery someday. After several years of brewing experience at the Bierbaur Brewery, F.X. Matt re-organized the faltering brewery to create The West End Brewing Company in 1888. Serving as both the star salesman and brewmaster, the brewery quickly became one of the largest and most successful of the 12 breweries operating in Utica at the time.
Today, Nick Matt (Chairman and CEO) and his nephew Fred (President and COO) continue this proud tradition with the celebrated Saranac family of beers – a beer brewed to the same exacting standards of quality F.X. Matt established more than a century ago.
Well, what can I say? Once again, the pride of Utica has failed to impress. I don't know what it is about Saranac. I would love to tell you that's it's a freshness issue, but it's brewed in my backyard. Anyway, the pour was okay, but the head was a little loose. As for taste, once again, a bitter aftertaste lingered just a little too long. There are several Irish Reds that I would suggest before succumbing to Saranac's offering. There were hints of greatness though. A nice bit of caramel and toffee lingered throughout the brew, but the coloring left a lot to be desired. It looked dirty. That said, the aftertaste did it in. You can do better.
6/10 - Try again