Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Beer Review: Saranac IPA

F.X. Matt Brewing Company Saranac India Pale Ale

Another of the core Saranac beers that I picked up in the new "What Ales You?" 12 pack. I am a huge IPA fan and I seem to be drinking quite a few of them lately. The most surprising thing about this brew is that it is a light golden color. Much lighter than even a standard American pale ale. Still, it may be light in color but the hop aromas coming out of the glass are very strong. Grassy with a little bit of citrus. There is a small amount of lacing around the glass.

The flavor is very bitter. The light pilsener style malt really takes a backseat to the aggressive hoping. The hop flavor is mostly grassy with enough fresh citrus flavors to keep things interesting. The pilsener malt does provide a tiny bit of malt flavor but is really not in a position to create a balanced beer. A bit of additional amber malt could have gone a long way.

If you love a balanced IPA this is not the beer for you. If you want a very bitter, hoppy beer with minimal malt character this is the ideal beer for you. I would really like some more malt flavor with this. As it is now, the drinkability is surprisingly low. Don't get me wrong, I like IPAs that have a ton of hops. The problem is that the lack of any real malt character renders this brew to be very one-dimensional.

Final Score: 72% (Very Hoppy and Bitter. Too Simplistic.)

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