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Saranac Black Forest - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Black ForestSaranac Black Forest

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

964 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 964
Reviews: 555
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 13.44%
Wants: 30
Gots: 31 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001)
View: Beers (88) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Saranac Black Forest Alström Bros
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Ratings: 964 | Reviews: 555 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BGsWo22
BGsWo22

New York

1/5  rDev -73.1%

03-20-2013 23:44:26 | More by BGsWo22
Photo of tdatt43
tdatt43

Virginia

1/5  rDev -73.1%

05-14-2012 03:28:19 | More by tdatt43
Photo of odbjs735
odbjs735

New York

1.5/5  rDev -59.7%

05-07-2012 06:43:40 | More by odbjs735
Photo of Dizzy242
Dizzy242

Massachusetts

1.5/5  rDev -59.7%

07-09-2012 20:21:11 | More by Dizzy242
Photo of mralbertson
mralbertson

North Carolina

1.75/5  rDev -53%

05-16-2013 02:08:36 | More by mralbertson
Photo of Morger
Morger


2/5  rDev -46.2%

04-24-2012 23:40:24 | More by Morger
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

2.13/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The manager at the beer store recommended the Saranac variety pack. This was one of the samples. He mentioned that it just arrived, so I assume it was fresh.
It poured a dark reddish brown with a very thin head that quickly vanished to leave hardly a trace. The color was decent, but the head was very unimpressive.
The smell was very faint. There were some vague hints of sweet caramel with a touch of a hoppy background.
The taste was of a watery sweetness with hints of caramel, hops and a slight alcohol finish.
The mouthfeel was thin and watery. Quite disappointing. It even left an off-taste in the aftertaste. Not terrible, just off.
Overall, it was disappointing. There are better, more complex examples of this style. This was weak.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2006 00:01:31 | More by jwc215
Photo of oelergud
oelergud

Virginia

2.23/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not quite black but a very dark ruby body. Good carbonation but weak retention and no lace.
Sour alcoholic scent, not a real pleasantry to stick your nose in.
Taste is citric/sour molasses, some floral qualities. Limited aftertaste. No hint of malts or anything actually hoppy.
So so bodyfeel, little coating.
Wont try this again for a while.

-Oelergud

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2005 22:38:06 | More by oelergud
Photo of silentjay
silentjay

Massachusetts

2.23/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

this black forest is more of a dark mahogany/ruby with a pinkish brown head that raises to over two fingers, retains well, and laces well.

smells of rusty metal, some roasty malts, a bit of caramel and thats about it.

buttery and metallic in flavor that is distinctly saranac. not good. i'm looking for the roast, i'm looking for the chocolate, the coffee, the malt, but its all hidden behind the metallic, buttery saranac flavor.

light-to-medium bodied with no aftertaste and a watery finish.

meh. not terribly offensive, but i'd rather not drink this and save the calories and money for something better.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2010 05:29:00 | More by silentjay
Photo of Jwaks
Jwaks

Connecticut

2.25/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Serving 12oz bottle

Initially shows a dark mahogany color but reveals a transparent deep ruby color when held up to natural light. Half a finger worth of frothy hot chocolate colored head quickly dissapates leaving a paper-thin ring of froth encircled a patchy layer of fine suds. A few small pillars of fine bubbles channel carbonation to the beer's surface.

Nutty oil, burnt caramel malt, grassy hop and earthy aromas with hints of bitter citrus peel play on a slightly closed nose.

Malty, burnt caramel and nougat mix with flat, austere bitter and grassy flavors on the entry though the mid palate evolving into a slightly tannic, dry and bittery nutty finish with a zing of citrus zest. A mediocre attempt at a balanced brew, this doesn't have the malt nor hop backbone and structure to support the odd off-flavors. Sadly, it does not have much substance to offer beyond the austere bitterness, grassy flavors and bitter, nutty finish in effect lowering the flavor score.

Light to medium bodied for a schwarzbier, this leaves only an unpleasant bitter flavor behind with little malt presence and it doesn't coat the palate like others in the style. A thin body aids drinkability though just enough to earn it a slightly below average score.

I remember this beer being much better in the past, perhaps this was an old bottle? No freshness date is present on th bottle; I will have to revisit this one in the near future.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2007 22:16:29 | More by Jwaks
Photo of AL89BR
AL89BR

New Jersey

2.25/5  rDev -39.5%

04-07-2013 03:49:05 | More by AL89BR
Photo of Maestro
Maestro

Pennsylvania

2.3/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer is my first step into the world of Schwarzbiers. I don't care much for it. The appearance is dark and cloudy. There is a thin head that leaves a little lacing. There is a sweet carmel taste but it doesn't come through too much. There seems to be a lack of maltiness in this beer that makes it seem watery. Maybe I don't know enough about Schwarzbiers, but I wouldn't seek this one out again.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2004 01:40:29 | More by Maestro
Photo of Vendetta
Vendetta

New Jersey

2.42/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Pours black, decent sized brown head. Lacing.

Aroma is of malt, coffee, dry roastiness. Though not incredibly present, it does the job during the sip.

The taste is somewhat good -- very roasted, coffee. Malty.

The true downfall of this beer is the mouthfeel. Holy carbonation. This is more carbonated than even most of the light beers and might be the most overcarbonated beer that I've ever tried. It completely ruined the experience for me, and I'll be steering way clear of this. It also severely damaged the drinkability of the beer itself.

It's a shame, too, because the makings are there for a quality brew but the execution just fell fall short. Disappointing.

Serving type: growler

02-08-2009 20:30:40 | More by Vendetta
Photo of avisong
avisong

Virginia

2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

04-26-2012 02:56:18 | More by avisong
Photo of poohbearzeccola
poohbearzeccola

New York

2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

07-21-2014 14:28:11 | More by poohbearzeccola
Photo of chrispoint
chrispoint

Connecticut

2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

02-18-2012 20:26:42 | More by chrispoint
Photo of TheBigBoy
TheBigBoy

Pennsylvania

2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

08-02-2013 11:14:12 | More by TheBigBoy
Photo of John_Squires
John_Squires

New York

2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

03-07-2014 23:49:45 | More by John_Squires
Photo of beerborn
beerborn

Georgia

2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

01-30-2012 16:21:30 | More by beerborn
Photo of vfgccp
vfgccp

New York

2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

11-01-2012 21:49:42 | More by vfgccp
Photo of PJF12866
PJF12866

New York

2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

03-03-2012 19:35:29 | More by PJF12866
Photo of eporter66
eporter66

New York

2.53/5  rDev -32%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle into a pint glass

Appearence is of a dark beer, with some reddish highlights. Pours a nice foamy 1 finger head that quickly receeds down to nothing. I did not get much of an aroma from this beer, nothing stands out other than some hints of malt
.
Taste was rather bland, with somewhat sour flavor and aftertaste. Average mouthfeel, a bit lighter than I expected, but in reading the description of a Schwarzbier. it fits the mold. It is a drinkable beer in the lightness of its body, so I am sure if you are enjoying the flavor, this one goes down smooth.

I am a fan of Saranac beers, this is the first one that I have not been all that fond of - I will chalk it up to the style, just not one to my liking.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2009 15:30:06 | More by eporter66
Photo of Avagadro
Avagadro

New Jersey

2.53/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

pours with a brownish-tan head that doesn't get very big or last for long. Very dark, only letting you see hints of reddish-brown around the edges of the glass. Spicy, malty aroma, but not too strong of an aroma overall. Taste follows with the same spicy, malty flavor, also not too strong. Very light bodied in the mouth for a porter. To me this seems to be a sub-par porter. Nothing really special to offer and not even as good as I hoped it to be.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2006 04:42:28 | More by Avagadro
Photo of earthboundagain
earthboundagain

Colorado

2.55/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From Notes

12oz brown bottle with forest scene on the label. I did not notice a freshness date, but it may have been there.

Appearance: This beer was a blackish brown with a lot of ruby in it. The head didn't last long and there was no lacing, looked like a flat coke in the glass.

Smell: Not much here to speak of, some malt and maybe a hint of coco.

Taste: Bah is this a beer or a flat soda. Tastes like Mr. Pibb that's gone flat, if you added some bitterness too it.

Mouthfeel: Flat Dr.Pepper mouthfeel here.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink but it was like drinking a flat pop.

Overall: I hate writing reviews like this, but I thought it was necessary. I have heard good things about this beer, but the six pack I bought was bad. I will try it again, and hopefully I got a bad batch, I will update this review if the next round is better.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2009 19:05:19 | More by earthboundagain
Photo of kkipple
kkipple

South Carolina

2.58/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours out a tiny dirty tan head on a deep deep amber-brown beer that looks black till you hold it to the light. Fizzy.

Smells slightly doppelbockish, caramel malts, nuts, tannins, cherries.

Tastes weird, roasted malts and a damp hop bitterness. Watery mouthfeel for the roasted taste. Oxidized, probably – I taste a tannic, wine-like quality that I don’t think is supposed to be here… also mild tartness and a hint of cocoa. Finishes roasty and sour. What is this beer trying to be? A light-bodied porter? A schwarzbier? Who knows… Black Forest is an odd mix of tastes, and one that doesn’t hit me the right way. It’s not completely undrinkable, but I’m not gulping it down, either.

Worth trying in their mix pack at least once.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2007 04:29:54 | More by kkipple
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Saranac Black Forest from Matt Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 964 ratings.