Friday, November 19, 2010

Saranac India Copper Ale

 And so it is that I come to the end of my Saranac winter beer marathon.  It's been a varied journey - there have been some beers I'd definitely try again, and a couple which didn't wow me at all.  Such is the way with any variety pack, I guess.

One thing I found out in the course of my explorations is that Fred Matt, of Matt Brewing Co (who make Saranac), was in Rochester a few days ago at the Tap and Mallet.  This is one of the cool features of the Upstate brewing scene - there's a lot of small, family-run breweries who spread the word about their products the old fashioned way.  Not through flashy TV ads but simple word of mouth, going around the pubs and explaining their craft to the drinkers who'll appreciate it.  This has produced some up-and-coming breweries which I'll write about in a few days - they couldn't exist without this culture of openness and the can-do attitude which gives them confidence to compete with the Big Companies. 

Here's what I picked up about this brew:-

Aroma - Toasty, with barley undertones.

Appearance - As the name suggests, copper coloured.  A good head developed, but (and this is probably my own fault) when I opened the bottle it was clearly pretty active and spilled all over my counter.  This I'll attribute to my own clumsiness.  I had a great time cursing under my breath and cleaning the kitchen floor.  Carbonation is evident, though not as strongly as in the Rye IPA I tried recently.

Taste - Strong malty flavour with a lot of hoppy backing - I'm guessing this is what they mean by 'India Copper Ale', an IPA with something extra.  Pleasantly hoppy but it takes a backseat to the malty goodness.

Mouthfeel is thicker than a lager, a typical ale texture with a little carbonation.   

Aftertaste - very malty, slightly toasty.  In fact there are notes reminiscent of Marmite, the great British love-it-or-hate-it spread.  If you've tried it, you'll know what I mean.  If not, get straight to your nearest Wegmans and head for the British imports section!

Overall, a great, malty Brown Ale which makes a strong impression and stays with you through the evening.  A real beer-drinker's beer.

I'm giving this beer a 4 out of 5.


  1. Hey, I appreciate the blog. I love local beer. Keep going strong. Many get an interview or two too?

  2. Thanks for your comment - watch this space for more posts coming soon!