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Saranac Vanilla Stout - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Vanilla StoutSaranac Vanilla Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

271 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 271
Reviews: 170
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 15.34%
Wants: 5
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Brad007 on 10-18-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 271 | Reviews: 170 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of twobeernuts
4.5/5  rDev +32.7%

twobeernuts, May 11, 2012
Photo of tedho21
4.5/5  rDev +32.7%

tedho21, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of happy4hoppybeer
4.43/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A=Dark black with a little amber/red showing through on the side.Thin head that fizzles rather quickly, leaving a moderate lacing.

S&T= Dark caramel roasted malt, with creamy vanilla, maybe some toffee coming through. Delicious.

M=Again,medium-bodied with maybe a little too much carbonation for a stout of any style.

D=Light on alky,smooth and quite tasty without any bitterness, makes this an excellent all-night session while still retaining good flavor and substance.

This is my first vanilla stout, so I can't compare to others of the style. However, this is good stuff, meeting the standards, and for the price, cannot be beat. Saranac I do like.

happy4hoppybeer, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of BK2084
4.25/5  rDev +25.4%

BK2084, Aug 25, 2012
Photo of Ablackbrew
4.25/5  rDev +25.4%

Ablackbrew, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of cnjohn19
4.2/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Description from the bottle: "Few ingredients rival vanilla's ability to add richness and roundness to food. Made with traditional blend caramel and chocolate malts plus roasted barley and a hint of vanilla. Saranac vanilla stout will surpass your expectations. Enjoy the brew on itself or with a bite of dark chocolate for a real treat."

Notes below, but overall if you like vanilla bean ice cream you'll love this beer...if not, stay away...i've never actually paired beer and chocolate until this one, but works well...

A - then only thing keeping this from a perfect 5 is the fact the massive head dissolves to a thin layer after the pour...besides that, thick black with a beige head laced after each sip...

S - hint of vanilla my ass...this thing oozes vanilla bean with sweet dark chocolate and whole coffee beans...

T & M - imagine a vanilla/chocolate/stout milkshake...really well done, but i think it depends on the bottle as this is my second go-around with this one and the first one was nothing like this...very rich and roasted and thick...

D - you almost have to cut the thickness so a little tough to have more than one...

Song pairings: Chromeo - "Fancy Footwork," John Butler Trio - "Better Than," Bobby Darin - "The Wanderer"

cnjohn19, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of thespaceman
4.2/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had another bottle of this tonight after I forgot about it sitting in my cellar, and it appears this one got stronger? I definetley don't remember the dark roasty ester taste in the finish, but now that I'm having it again it is such an inviting, warming brew. This one is probably the favorite out of the Saranac Winter pack, a good blend of vanilla without going out of control, and now that it taste a tad stronger it's a bigger winner in my book. An excellent job from Matt Brewing.

thespaceman, Dec 06, 2008
Photo of TStandley13
4.15/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer out of the saranac mixed pack. Certainly my favorite brew from Saranac.

Appearance is very dark, almost impossible to see through. Head good at first but disappears while drinking, lacing is present but not notable.

Smells tasty - like a good old mocha-expresso-coffee-milkshake with some vanilla tossed inside. Some chocolate tastes as well.

Tastes just how it smells, with a very nice vanilla aftertaste.

Mouthfeel somewhat dissapointing, very thin, not what you would expect for a stout.

Drinkability - overall great sweet and coffee induced flavor. could drink these for a while.

TStandley13, Jan 18, 2009
Photo of yesyouam
4.15/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Saranac Vanilla Stout is a dark, reddish brown ale with a pink-beige head that's thick, lumpy, fluffy and rainbow bubbly. It has excellent retention and lacing. There is dark roast in the aroma and it's slightly sweet, like caramel. It's a little muted, but it smells like a candy bar. It has a medium body that's reasonably smooth with a clean finish. There is nice balance of flavor. It's milky, with a nice bitterness. It is slightly sweet with notes of vanilla, chocolate, caramel and toffee. Great joerb!
(rated Nov 28, 2008)

yesyouam, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of Biscuit033
4.1/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown with a large three finger caramel colored head that slowly shrinks and clings to the glass the entire way down.

S: Espresso and roasty flavors balanced by rich cream and and just a hint of vanilla.

T: Vanilla hits the tongue first but then almost immediately is overcome by dark chocolate and espresso roastiness and bitterness, then the flavors meld.

M: Full, smooth, and creamy with a long bitter finish.

D: Plenty of flavor here for a sub-5% ABV beer. This is good on its on and would be good with food as well. This is a really well done vanilla beer with the vanilla playing a supporting role and not overpowering the beer.

Biscuit033, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of TheFightfan1
4.05/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a bottle into a pint glass.A very thick creamy head with nice lacing. Deep black color non-translucent.Tastes of caramel hardly any vanilla as it suggests.A good mouthful and goes down very smooth. I would say good not a must try but definitely if your in the mood for a stout.

TheFightfan1, Dec 11, 2008
Photo of kkosmoski
4.03/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Longneck poured into a Harpoon Munich Dark glass. Big, tightly-packed light tan head atop a ruby-tinged black liquid. Large dimples form as the head settles down with excellent stick and retention. Roasty aroma with a touch of vanilla. Clean malt profile to start with a bit of vanilla sweetness. Hops join in just to balance, and the beer ends with a dry, almost acrid roasty malt character. Feel is medium-light and dry with lively carbonation. Coffee drinkers will find this beer pleasing and easy to drink. This beer came off as very Dry Irish in character to me with a hint of vanilla to it. I was expecting a much heavier feel and more pronounced vanilla flavor. Overall, a nice stout and welcome addition to the winter 12-pack.

kkosmoski, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of cvstrickland
4.03/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12-ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass yields a ruby-tinted ebony body with a fluffy cappucino-style head. The foam atop recedes very slowly into a misshapen mountainous moonscape structure and leaves fluffy rings and broken sheets of fine lacing on the glass. The persistent foam is reminiscent of nitro-stout faux-foam, but the bottle isn't sporting any widgets!! Great foam.

The nose is sweet and breadily fudgy, like dark chocolatey brownie batter drizzled with an alcohol-ish note of vanilla. A darkly-roasted, nearly charred note adds depth and heft.

The taste is savory and darkly roasty with burnt black malt sweetened with toasty, medium-dark caramel. The mid-drink is chocolatey and sweet, the finish dusted with bitter charred grain and alkaline cocoa.

Very smooth and creamy, almost fluffy in the mouth. A good drinker and a really surprisingly-good beer from Saranac!

cvstrickland, Nov 07, 2008
Photo of zeff80
4.03/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a jet black hue with hints of ruby. It had a foamy, bubbly, tan, one finger head that left thick sheets of sticky lace.

S - It smelled of strong vanilla aromas with a oaky quality. It had a roasted malt notes, too.

T - It really had a solid vanilla taste with roasted caramel malt. It had a nice bitter hop kick, too.

M - It was fairly crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good stout. One of the better vanilla stouts around.

zeff80, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of LumpyGuitar
4.03/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the brewery. A genuinely warm thanks to Mr. Naegle, the best tour guide Matt FX has ever had!

Poured a solid dark brown with a good 2 fingers of tan fluffy head. Wonderful lacing and good head retention.

Smell is of dark roasted malts with a light vanilla presence, not as much vanilla as I had hoped. This would be a truly awesome beer had this been aged in oak.

Taste is good. The roasted malt dominates, giving the beer a dark and bitter flavor. The bitterness isn't as strong as most stouts however, and the vanilla, again incredibly mild, adds a nice edge and finish to the beer. Very well blended.

Mouthfeel is heavy in body, very warming and filling. Carbonation is good and solid.

Drinkability is good. I was very impressed with this one, and if this was available in a 6 pack, like the Carmel Porter or Pumpkin Ale, I'd definately buy it.

LumpyGuitar, Nov 06, 2008
Photo of mjw06
4.03/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A truly beautiful thick and frothy off-white head that remained until the very last drop and left a consistent lacing on the glass from top to bottom. The color is a dark dark brown, though seemed just a tad bit lighter than most stouts that straddle the line between dark brown and black.

I've tried a number of vanilla stouts and so forth. Ironically, most are good stouts that trip up on the vanilla element. The vanilla taste is either overpowering, barely there, or completely displaced from the rest of the body. This stout packs a natural tasting vanilla flavor that fits in perfectly with the rest of the beer. The vanilla taste is reminiscent of the smell of warm vanilla sugar, a scent that I'm sure most have smelled on one or two females in their day. Together with the roasted full body taste and feel, you get the taste of a not-so-sweet smore. There were some sour notes, particularly on the finish, that were unpleasant and got in the way of this being a truly excellent tasting beer.

Definitely a vanilla stout to try if you're into them. Had this from a Saranac winter variety pack at a holiday gathering. I would've drank these all night if I didn't want to try some other selections and I didn't have to drive home. There's nothing particularly outstanding or unique about this beer, rather, its just very well done.

mjw06, Dec 24, 2010
Photo of bdp1201
4.03/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark, almost opaque, color. The head was not very thick on my pour but had a rich tan color. There's a nice lace as well. The smell has a mild vanilla and chocolate undertone, not very pungent at all. At first taste, I am immediately hit with barley and vanilla. The mouth feel is a bit thin for my liking on this type of beer but overall very drinkable.

bdp1201, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev +18%

mjtiernan, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Thunderchief
4/5  rDev +18%

Thunderchief, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of mikerems
4/5  rDev +18%

mikerems, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of tclapper
4/5  rDev +18%

tclapper, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a black hue with a two finger creamy tan head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a moderate burnt grain with a clean dry vanilla aroma.

The taste consisted of clean roasted malts, some coffee and a subtle vanilla. Dry coffee and some sweet cream at the finish.

The mouthfeel was about average for the style.

Overall a tasty stout with a nice dryness.

plaid75, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of JohneHoodlum
4/5  rDev +18%

JohneHoodlum, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of speedball33
4/5  rDev +18%

speedball33, Jul 23, 2014
Photo of RBorsato
4/5  rDev +18%

RBorsato, Oct 22, 2013
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Saranac Vanilla Stout from Matt Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 271 ratings.