Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday Night Suds - Saranac Single Malt Ale

This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Saranac's Single Malt Ale.

Let me first start this post with a disclaimer - the beer is not made with single malt scotch. This should hopefully sideline all those who think that they have gone to gan eden and seen a melding of scotch and beer. The beer is called single malt because it is made with a malt which is used in the production of scotch. However, the beer is not made with scotch.

[Having said that, I will probably still get many emails and comments asking about which brand of single malt scotch is used in the production of this beer].

Although this beer is branded a limited release for 2012 and is only available as part of the What Ales You 12 pack box (two bottles of Single Malt Ale per box), it is not Saranac's first foray into the land of "scotch beers." This brew was last marketed in 2004, although it did not get great reviews at that time. I am uncertain as to when they first produced a Single Malt Ale, but it appears to date back at least to 2001.

My personal favorite was the Saranac Scotch Ale which last was produced in winter 2007/2008. (It was the subject of my first post on Kosher Beers back in 2008 - Although I made a personal appeal to a few of the good folks at Saranac to reinstate this brew, they have not restarted production of this gem, but I digress.

The Saranac Single Malt Ale is characterized as an English Brown Ale, which the experts at BA define as:
Spawned from the Mild Ale, Brown Ales tend to be maltier and sweeter on the palate, with a fuller body. Color can range from reddish brown to dark brown. Some versions will lean towards fruity esters, while others tend to be drier with nutty characters. All seem to have a low hop aroma and bitterness.

Unlike the definition listed above, the Single Malt did not have reddish brown to dark brown color. It was somewhat low on hop aroma and bitterness, but had a great breadiness which can be attributed to the generous amount of malt. The beer was quite smooth and would be a good intro beer for someone looking to move beyond lagers. I could see pairing this beer with sharp or tangy salads (think lots of arugula) or fish. This beer would not stand up well to heavy meats or stews. Its a shame its not available in six packs as this would be nice to experiment with.

Saranac Single Malt Ale is under the Kosher Supervision of the Va'ad of Detroit, as is every other brew produced by Saranac. Although the beer does not have a Va'ad logo on the label, I have spoken with the mashgiach and he advised me that the Single Malt ale is under hashgacha and that the omission of the Va'ad certification mark was due to a printing error.

To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about Saranac Single Malt Ale, please follow this link

As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver.

If you've tried this beer or any others which have been reviewed on the kosher beers site, please feel free to post your comments (anonymous comments are acceptable).

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