"There's Treasure For The Taking, For Any Hard Working Man, Who'll Make His Home In The American Land."

Brewery and Country of Origin: Matt Brewing Company (Saranac) of 811 Edward St, Utica, NY 13502, USA

Date Reviewed: 4-10-13

As you may or may not remember from social studies class, America is often described as a giant melting pot. For those of you who weren't paying attention and are now thinking that we mean an actual crucible for turning things into a liquid through heating, we don't mean that. The term basically means that all of the diverse people who make up the population of the country have sort of blended, or melted, together culturally, socially, and economically through cultural assimilation. The United States holds the unique distinction of being a sort of venue of global immigration, which has transformed it over its nearly two and a half century history. Immigrants primarily came from Europe during the founding years of the country, especially those from Britain, and Ireland. Today, a good number of Irish people still immigrate to the US (Over 150,000 Irish immigrants moved to the US in 2000). But historically, Ireland used to dominate the immigration statistics. Currently, more than one in every ten people (about 12%) of the US population is of Irish decent, and an additional 1.2% are described as Scotch-Irish Americans. So you would imagine that Irish Immigrants and their ancestors have had an immense effect on American history. You'd be right. Twenty Two American Presidents can trace at least part of their lineage to Irish immigrants, including current President Barack Obama, whose maternal great great great grandfather was from the small Irish town of Moneygall in County Offaly. Obama visited the town in May of 2011. Sports, arts, science, and religion in America have been influenced by Irish immigrants. And as you know, Ireland is a country of beer. Dry Stouts are an Irish staple, and as a result, many Americans associate St. Patrick's Day with dry stouts, mainly Guinness. But obviously, Irish beer more than just what's brought over the Atlantic. American breweries are now producing their own interpretations of Irish styles like dry stouts and red ales. And because of St. Paddy's day happening in March, many american dry Stouts are released in the spring, rather than the late fall/winter as the normal seasonal cycle suggests.
Date Sampled: 4-05-13 At: 146 Fiddlers Hollow, Penfield, NY 14526, USA
Beer Style: Dry Stout
Alcohol by Volume: 5.50%
Serving Type: 12 oz Bottle, 14 oz Mug Glass
Rating: 3.71


As is with most dry stouts, this brew pours smoothly with a moderately low amount of carbonation action, giving it a thick, two thirds inch tall foam head with a medium high density, a slightly creamy texture, and a good retention. This beer displays full lacing on the glass. This beer has no shine as it is very dark brown (opaque), and it looks as though there is some very fine sediment as well.


This beer's aroma features a relatively strong coffee/espresso aroma with some nuttiness. There are secondary earthy notes, and subtle floral hops as well. Overall, this is bittersweet with very dark roasted malts, no fruit, and no caramel. No detecable alcoholic tinge is in the aroma.


Saranac's Irish Stout is a medium full bodied brew with an average amount of carbonation, a good amount of weight, and a medium viscosity. This beer has a smooth overall feel with a slightly creamy texture from the foam head. This beer finishes dry with some lingering. There is no alcoholic warming, and this beer is not very refreshing. Despite a bigger presence, it is easy to drink.


The flavor of this beer is bursting with coffee/espresso like bittersweet dark roasted malts with a good amount of dark chocolate also present. This beer has some nuttiness as well as a slightly sweeter earthy undertone. This beer finishes with a strong, big hoppy closing with a good amount of bitterness, accompanied with the dry tail.

Our Take

As stated earlier, many dry stouts in America are released at nearly the opposite point of the normal stout time of year. This Saranac brand limited release offering is one of these Irish inspired rule breakers. Sold this year as part of their "12 Beers A Springing 2013" sampler package, this stout is one of six beers which come in the pack. This is a true dry stout in the fundamentals. A bold coffee, dark roasted malt aroma and a matching flavor invite the traditionalist to enjoy a pint with skirts and kidneys... or a potato. A heavy presence makes this good for the cold and wet late winter and early spring months, and as usual, this beer has a very dark color with a rich, thick foam head. And to think this is just another American beer. This wasn't brewed in Cork, put on a container vessel, and shipped over to Port Elizabeth. And this is no feeble attempt of replication, either. This is a very good hearty, fully fledged stout which will satisfy your inner Irishman... Unless of course, you're Irish. In that case, it should really satisfy all of you.