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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.
BA SCORE
76
okay

223 Ratings
THE BROS
65
poor

(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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Saranac Chocolate Amber Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 223 | Reviews: 186 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TMB0424
3.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into pint glass.

Pours a pitch black body with a muddy tan, one finger head. Quickly reduces into cloudy cap. Leaves some lacing.

Aroma is very light. Hints of chocolate powder, roasted nuts. Some malts. Pretty weak smelling.

Taste is pretty grainy with smooth malts and hints of chocolate. Not milk or dark chocolate, but rather a chocolate powder. Hops are pretty much nowhere to be found, a little at the finish. It feels light and creamy in the mouth, although not very smooth. Soft, roasted malts are in the forefront of this one. A hint of darker fruits also comes out in the middle. Interesting.

It's a very interesting brew, to say the least. Not quite what I was expecting, but it's pretty refreshing and satisfying. Not bad, but I can't help myself from thinking it's kind of like a bad porter.

TMB0424, Jan 02, 2009
Photo of yesyouam
3.73/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saranac Chocolate Amber Lager is a very deep rose brown beer with a lovely blotchy tan head that regenerates. The head and lacing last forever. It has a roasty, modest aroma with notes of cocoa and salmiakki. There is sour malt in the nose. It's a little lighter than medium bodied and reasonably smooth. It's pretty soft and it has a smooth, syrupy finish. The bitterness is very mellow. It's mostly the roasted flavor of the malt but there is a sweetness to it. It has an almost leafy or herbal quality. It's a well-balanced flavor. This hardly seems like a dunkel. It's more like a brown ale or a porter made with lager yeast. Usually, the light body of Saranac ales frustrates me, but I don't have that complaint with this lager. Regardless of categories, I really appreciate this beer on its own merit. I'm going to have another...
(rated Dec 13, 2007)

yesyouam, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of Reagan1984
2.95/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A thin beige head tops this brownish amber colored beer. It was rather dark and just a shade or two lighter than black. The head that was there faded quickly. There were small patches of lacing left behind.

The aroma was of roasted malt and was sweet in nature. The roasted malt sent certainly had some chocolate tones to it, but also slightly charred tones.

Flavor starts with a burst of burnt/roasted malt. Some chocolate tones are present then you get some caramel sweetness. Some hop bitterness mingles with the roasted flavor as you savor the flavor after swallowing the beer. Somewhat interesting.

Mouth feel was lighter than I expected and it was a fairly smooth beer.

It's O.K., but not really worth going out of your way for.

Reagan1984, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of engisch
3.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a chocolate amber... what a surprise?!? Smells very sweet with a hint of chocolate. Tastes like burnt roasted sweetness with barely any chocolate taste. Doesn't taste much like a lager. Not horrible, but I wouldn't seek out this brew. This would be a good beer for someone that hasn't had really good beer, as it is fairly light, but has some interesting flavors. A little interesting, but definitely not too offensive for the casual beer drinker.

engisch, Oct 11, 2008
Photo of clayrock81
3.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A darkish brown, almost black body with a tan, two finger head that stuck around for awhile. A light, roasted malt smell with maybe a hint of hops. A decent, dry roasted malt taste, medium=boided and creamy. Very light chocolate notes and a rather bland, syrupy beer. Not too bad, but not worth seeking out.

clayrock81, Sep 21, 2008
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.05/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Had this as a part of the Saranac 12 Beers of Winter ($11.99/12 Pack)

Only a slight hint of chocolate in the smell and in the taste of this one. I thought it had way too thin of a body and the carbonation was not apparent enough. It was a little too hard to enjoy with it being so 'flat'. On the plus side, it was a style I really never had too much before, wasn't too bad price-wise, and was somewhat tasty and was very smooth.

oriolesfan4, Sep 08, 2008
Photo of changeup45
3.05/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another specialty brew from Saranac. It pours a very dark brown color. Not a whole lot to the aroma but there's a faint roasted malt scent. Roasted malty flavor, coffee and a little bit of chocolate. The flavors are a bit weak but this was pretty nice.

changeup45, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of Proteus93
3.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A dark brown with ruby highlights. Creamy, albeit thin sandy head.

S: Cocoa powder, something like puffed wheat (without the wheat?)

T/M/D: A little lacking, but the roasted malts and chocolate notes are there. A bit grainy and not a great deal follows on the finish, which is a little disappointing. Ultimately ends up being like a very, very light porter - though the body is about the same as one in some ways. A little unusual, but not a horrible experience. That strange, somewhat metallic flavour - the 'Saranac flavour' that I've mentioned in other reviews of these products is there in some way, and I fear I'll never understand what exactly it is that brings that out.

Proteus93, Jun 08, 2008
Photo of DmanGTR
2.93/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - poured dark brown/black with off-white 1" head that laced nicely

S - chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, burnt sugar, black currants

T - Detected the typical chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts but there was a bitter finish with a lingering aftertaste that just did not make me happy.

M - medium bodied, light/medium carbonation

D - quite drinkable for someone in the mood for a stout-like substitute, yet this doesn't quite capture the body of a stout or a porter. Smooth

Overall - this was on sale for $4/6 pack, which was pretty good. This is a decent chocolaty lager that is kind of like a porter. It would complement a steak dinner or ribs. Better served cold.

DmanGTR, Jun 07, 2008
Photo of aerozeppl
3.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Super dark brown one shade dark of black. Nice lacing with off white head. Tons of lacing.

S: Mostly roast with hints of chocolate.

T: Roast then hints of chocolate. Not really a chocolate beer but still good.

M: Medium to heavy body. Nothing good or bad.

D: The flavors are weird on this one but it does have a lot of flavor with low ABV. Another gift to beer geeks on a budget.

aerozeppl, May 31, 2008
Photo of generallee
4.05/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It has a dark murky brown color with dark red highlights. The head is tan in color, foamy and leaves nice lace on the glass. There is a dark malty aroma with a heavy toasted flavor. There are some chocolate notes as well as some mildly bitter hops within a creamy smooth medium bodied palate. This is a very good offering from the Saranac family of beers.

generallee, May 18, 2008
Photo of Durge
3.38/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Black and thick with a super fine bubbled tan head with spotty lacing. It has a mild wheat aroma with decided metallic hints. The flavor is coffee and delicate chocolate with a smokey bite at the back. I sensed a little metallic taste at first but it disappeared. Very drinkable. Fairly fizzy. It disappointing but still worth the try. I wouldn't mind giving it another shot.

Durge, May 04, 2008
Photo of Hojaminbag
2.78/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Good appearance, dark brown/black, opaque. Slight off white head, I don't have any lacing.

Smells of chocolate with hints of coffee.

This beer tastes like unsweetened chocolate, strong and up front. The middle has some coffee notes to it, and it finishes sort of dry, but I can still taste that chocolate. The first few sips were interesting, but I started to like it less as I went. The after taste especially bothers me, as it tastes strongly of baking of unsweetened chocolate.

Medium bodied, low carbonation.

After the first few tastes this beer seemed drinkable, but the more I tried the less I wanted to continue.

Hojaminbag, Apr 14, 2008
Photo of Risser09
3.65/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a white wine glass - 2007 bottling - Cellar temp

Appearance: Pours a pitch black/brown with no visible light going through. 2" tan head with good retention and plenty of lace on the glass.

Smell: Chocolate nibs, lightly roasted malt, toasted almond and hot cocoa. Pretty good.

Taste: Biscuity cookie flavor. Creamed coffee in the middle and finish. Ample milk chocolate. Very satisfying.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth. This one went down no problem. Barely any alcohol is noticable. Slight bitterness as a coffee flavor lingers.

Drinkability: A solid lager. In the ages of the ALE, this beer is sessionable and delicious. Perfect for any chilly night. One of Matt's better beers.

Risser09, Apr 10, 2008
Photo of hellomcfly
3.05/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

bottle poured into a standard pint glass

A: Dark brown, almost black. Amber tinge when held up to light. Frothy tan head that dissipates fairly quickly. Leaves a little lacing.

S: Roasted malt, chocolate, coffee

T: A lot like the smell. Roasted malt with a little chocolate and coffee.

M: Moderately thick mouth feel. Good carbonation.

D: Okay drinkability I guess. Not heavy but It doesn't leave me wanting another. One of the better beers in the Saranac variety pack this came out of.

hellomcfly, Apr 10, 2008
Photo of edchicma
3.9/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a small head that laces well. Smell is faint malt with a slight smoky quality. Chocolate is not really discernible.Taste is sweet, malty with a nice crispness.Once again, I didn't get the chocolate, but the malt was still very nice. Mouthfeel is rich, chewy. Drinkability is good..smooth light crispness.

edchicma, Apr 02, 2008
Photo of stinoski
2.95/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- The appearance of this beer is very appealing. It pours a rich dark brown with an inch of tan head.

S- Nothing really stands out as far as smell. I feel a lot of Saranac beers smell very similar

T-A mild malty flavor and not much else. A slight bitter aftertaste reminiscent of other Saranac's offerings

M- Fairly smooth, not alot of carbonation. Doesn't leave a lasting impression in the mouth

D- Drinks like a dark lager.

I bought a six pack of this based on the name alone. Chocolate Amber Lager sounds really appealing. I wasn't extremely pleased with this, but to me most of Saranac's beer leave me with the same feeling.

stinoski, Mar 06, 2008
Photo of BeerCon5
2.98/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Very dark brown, almost black with some fluffy head.

S: Roasty malt smell as well as chocolate and some coffee.

T: Roasty malt taste also. Kind of a bland chocolate taste and noticable coffee taste.

M: Fairly thick and smooth with not a lot of carbonation.

D: Fairly decent beer. Probably best not to drink more than one or two. One is enjoyable but more just seems like too much.

BeerCon5, Feb 28, 2008
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 BeerTruth
3.05/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a dark muddy brown with a two finger tan colored head that dies down to a puffy layer of thin bubbles. Stickiness is quite impressive, good lacing remaing on the sides of the glass. Smell is of musty noble hops and a funky cardboard aroma. Some caramel and faint chocolate malt in the nose. Just a weak aroma overall. Charred birch bark up front with a subtle malt sweetness of cocoa powder. Taste is a bit "blah" to me. Dirty aftertaste of hay and mud with lemon. Slick watery feel with an almost medium body. Flowing carbonation from start to finish. I don't know about this beer. It's inviting with "Chocolate" in the title, but doesn't live up to it. Maybe I say this after having ST's Choklat on draft a few nights ago.

BeerTruth, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of TheTrevor
2.93/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer poured a very dark opaque brown with a two-finger head. The smell is mostly roasty malts with some coffee and chocolate notes. The taste is mostly roasted malts with a little bit of bitter chocolate characteristic with an emphasis on the bitter. The beer has a decent amount of carbonation and a fairly thick mouthfeel, but sits a little heavy for me to consider drinking more than one at a time if I ever even grab it again. Interesting beer to try, but it's definitely not going to make it into my regular rotation.

TheTrevor, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of Jason
2.78/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

A: Dim and dark leather brown, somewhat impressive head that holds together quite well.

S: Vague roasted aroma, smells of coffee dust with an odd dextrin and powdered carob backing.

T & M: Moderate carbonation with a slick and creamy medium body, lacking in crispness a bit. More unsweetened baker’s chocolate in the roasted character than anything else.The roasted twang nearly strips the lager characteristics away as it adds a twang of fruitiness and faint acrid porter like flavors. Hops are a bit small in stature as to let the malt come though, a touch of bitterness. Very malty but flavors seem mismatched especially when the beer dries up in the finish.

Drinkability & Notes: A little hard to put down due to the husky and mildly acrid flavors. There are many other dark lagers that are worthy of my palate as this one does not make the cut as far as my taste goes.

Jason, Jan 23, 2008
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 MmmIPA
3.63/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown body with a nice thick tan head.The head has tons of bubbles in it.Small patches of lacing are left on my glass.

Upon smelling the beer from the bottle.I noted milk chocolate.Mabey Oatmeal....

Chocolate and roasted malts and some bitter hops.Bitter chocolate also.Some sourness.

Mouthful and carbonation are nice and easy.

Not a bad beer but ive had better munich's.

MmmIPA, Jan 17, 2008
Photo of Jwale73
3.13/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard pint glass. Color was dark brown, almost black. Head was off-white and dissipated almost immediately into little more than a thin skim. Scent of malt and chocolate. Taste similar to nose. Mouthfeel was on the watery side with a little effervescence on the tongue, but somewhat of a chalky finish. A more or less mediocre brew.

Jwale73, Jan 13, 2008
Saranac Chocolate Amber Lager from Matt Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 223 ratings.