How does it look? How's the color? Clarity? Head?
Dark amber, head is slight and settles quickly
How's the nose (smell)? Sweet, spicy, fruity?
Maple syrup type sweetness and the woody smell that comes along with it, hoppy undertones
How does it taste? Malty? Hoppy? Fruity? Chalky?
Saranac's alcohol content is 8.5%. From my experience the high gravity beers are primarily sweet, so it is still taking a little more time than I thought to get used to it. So there is a sweet red-wine initial flavor, but when that passes it gets really complicated. The label says that it uses 10 different malts and 10 different hops. I can't say I can taste every malt but it has a very strong maltiness that lasts throughout the taste experience. The label says it has 85 IBUs, but despite that, the hoppiness is overpowered by the malt and a berrylike flavor that settles along-side the malt as the aftertaste matures and fades.
Is it full-bodied? Medium bodied? Weak? Clean?
Very full-bodied. Very complex aftertaste so it is not clean, but that is not a drawback
Where did you buy it? How much was it?
Birmingham AL, $11
What do you think overall? Would you buy it again?
Overall it is not bad. I've been trying the higher gravity beers for some time (they became legal to sell in AL not quite 2 years ago) and am still developing the palate. It is sweeter than I like but not so much that it is truly offputting. I cannot recommend it for someone that doesn't care for ales, it is far too strong for that. I think most IPA fans will find something to like in it however. I have erred on the side of the positive and given it a full 4, but it's closer to a 3.5. Yes, I will buy it again.
What did you think of this review?