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Saranac Chocolate Amber Lager - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Chocolate Amber LagerSaranac Chocolate Amber Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

223 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 223
Reviews: 186
rAvg: 3.28
pDev: 14.33%
Wants: 4
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Euro Dark Lager |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 223 | Reviews: 186 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Amalak
2/5  rDev -39%

Amalak, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of OriolesFan1008
2/5  rDev -39%

OriolesFan1008, Jun 07, 2012
Photo of Metalmonk
2.05/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Chocolate...Amber...Lager...would could this possibly be like?

This looks quite nice, with a really creamy head that retains for a solid several minutes. The color is a rich, ruby-hued dark dark brown, or just-barely-see-through-it black. Leaves trippy lace as the glass empties.

The aroma smells of copper, exactly like a penny, actually...it's not my glass either, I'm sure of that, because I poured it into another, wondering if the glass wasn't properly washed. Same crappy smell. Blah.

The flavor has the same metallic notes that offend the nostrils. But at least something else gets through, that being a chocolate layer, and a roasted, no, burnt finish. But that metallic sheen persists. I love my metal, but not in my beer. Why even go further in the review? Who cares what the mouthfeel is like when the aroma and flavor is this bad? (For the record, the mouthfeel is too thin.) It's obviously not very drinkable. An "off" batch, or were my tastebuds totally wrecked forever by He'Brew's awesome Monumental Jewbelation last evening???


Metalmonk, Jan 17, 2007
Photo of Uncledoobz
2.25/5  rDev -31.4%

Uncledoobz, Jul 24, 2014
Photo of TheRuss9585
2.25/5  rDev -31.4%

TheRuss9585, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of BigPlay1824
2.4/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass

A: Pours a light amber color that is extremely clear with a small amount of carbonation bubbles, pours with two fingers of creamy off white head that lingers nicely and leaves a lot of lacing all around the glass
S: sweet chocolate malts
T: ugh oh, not what i had hoped for, the taste through and through reminds me of powdered chocolate milk mix or the chocolate protein shakes i used to drink in high school, not the high quality pure chocolate characteristics i've seen in other chocolate brews
M: pretty intense carbonation tingle, thin, leaves kind of an odd astringency and powdery like feeling on the palate
O: average at best, just was not a pleasant beer to drink, with all of the other, much better chocolate beers out there, there is no way i will ever buy this again, sorry fellas

BigPlay1824, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of dacrza1
2.42/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Dark--too dark?--black lager with creamy head that traces nicely in the glass (quite attractive)...thick brown half-inch head...malt/hops are nondescript--chocolate? not so much... slight effervescent... textures on the tongue feigns a porter more than a dunkel... soft toasted malts add a weight to the experience--smooth and swift with hints of corn... a dark lager that has little dunkel quality--pleasantly toasty for the colder evenings.. Saranac seems to have a circle of winter beers that run together in taste, and this is certainly one of them...

dacrza1, Feb 20, 2008
Photo of Kerin
2.42/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Ugh, I'm really not impressed by this. It looks OK. The smell of this is really great, though not - as far as I'm concerned - for a beer. This is where it stops being acceptable.

The taste and mouthfeel are both unexpectedly syrupy and thick, like a squirt of Hershey syrup in a Sam Adams Boston Lager. There's a little black cocoa bite in the back, but it's overpowered by the overwhelmingly sweet presentation of the malt. I don't know how I'm supposed to finish this.

I like beer. I like Hershey syrup. They aren't supposed to go together. I'm pretty sure that a chocolate beer could work, but it doesn't here.

Kerin, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of hadlance
2.5/5  rDev -23.8%

hadlance, Oct 27, 2012
Photo of Skabiski
2.5/5  rDev -23.8%

Skabiski, Jun 07, 2014
Photo of Damian74Shensky
2.5/5  rDev -23.8%

Damian74Shensky, Dec 07, 2012
Photo of ZOSO2192
2.5/5  rDev -23.8%

ZOSO2192, Mar 30, 2014
Photo of chrispoint
2.5/5  rDev -23.8%

chrispoint, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of rxthree
2.5/5  rDev -23.8%

rxthree, Jul 13, 2013
Photo of jfcaa193
2.5/5  rDev -23.8%

jfcaa193, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of NJpadreFan
2.58/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Saranac Chocolate Amber Lager

Appearance- Dark reddish black with a tan head.
Smell- very light chocolate and coffee.
Taste- watery, very watery. Slight chocolate flavor not much else.
Mouthfeel- soooo watery.

Overall- very little flavor. What little chocolate flavor isn't that bad though. I would need to chug a few of these to taste anything. Not a horrible beer but why would anyone bother with this?!

NJpadreFan, Nov 11, 2004
Photo of nlmartin
2.58/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer was poured into a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a very nice dark brown coloration. The head was thick and luxurious off white brown coloration. Major head retention was evident in this beer. The lacing was thick webbing up and down the glass.

Smell: I was let down by the smell. The smell contained a unpleasing funky grainy smell. Very small undertones of chocolate.

Taste: This beer has an unfortunate acrid taste that immediately makes itself known. There is a nice bakers semi sweet chocolate taste to the beer. Just to much other funk present.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is light bodied. Sadly the potential of this beer is ruined with a acrid taste. Just an average drinking beer that needs a bit more cleaner taste.

nlmartin, Dec 28, 2005
Photo of Rainintheface
2.63/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into SA glass.

A: Dark, almost black. minimal tan head, mostly just ringing the glass.

S: chocolate, roasted malts and coffee. nothing stands out much.

T: malty, slightly bitter chocolate. again, not much stands out.

M: medium body, a little syrupy with alright carb. fizz

D: eh, nothing special. I had one and that's enough for me.

Rainintheface, Jan 19, 2008
Photo of abcsofbeer
2.63/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle with no freshness date. Comes out a dark brownish, red color, a little like red wine. I was impressed by the appearance. Came up with a 2inch frothy, rocky, tan head after a generous pour. Lace was medium rings around the glass.

My first impression of the aroma was warm alcohol right from the first. There is some sweet caramel and some roasty malts in the smell too. The taste, first off, is not chocolatey at all. There is a warm alchohol taste followed by some week malty flavors. The taste becomes more abundant as it warms, but, does not amount to much.

abcsofbeer, Sep 29, 2005
Photo of Gmann
2.68/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a dark brown color with hints of amber. Small tan head that dissipated quickly. The smell was kind of faint for a style that uses roasted malts. The lager had a sweet roasted malt flavor, though not very chocolatey, with a bitter hop aftertaste. The mouthfeel was moderate with decent carbonation. Nothing special about this lager, not something I would drink many of.

Gmann, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of Backer2004
2.7/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Does a chocolate amber even make sense for a style? I guess a Munich Dunkel would explain a few things but I was just disappointed in such after seeing such an appealing name. No redeeming qualities in really any category. Really wished this was like a Young's Double Chocolate Stout but doeasn't even come close. The chocolate just isn't there . . . smell, taste. Not terrible but not good either.

Backer2004, Dec 06, 2005
Photo of frank4sail
2.7/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Slight roast aroma. Deep dark mahogany color with a decent 1/2 inch tan head. Roast malt flavor which is upfront followed by a metalic dry finish. Medium/light mouth. The overwhelming metalic (tin) finish was not my thing.

frank4sail, Dec 12, 2002
Photo of Bighuge
2.73/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance is a clear deep ruby color. Creamy ivory white head is small and then gone. Lacing is adequate. This beer is barely average. A little bit of bitterness. A little bit of roastedness. No chocolate malt or plain chocolate appears on my palate. It's a pretty bland beer. Body is closer to light than to medium. This one doesn't do jackshit for me. Marketing ploy in my opinion. Chocolate Amber Lager?

Bighuge, Nov 14, 2002
Photo of jaydoc
2.75/5  rDev -16.2%

jaydoc, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of mmmbeerNY
2.75/5  rDev -16.2%

mmmbeerNY, Jun 12, 2014
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Saranac Chocolate Amber Lager from Matt Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 223 ratings.