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Saranac Chocolate Lager - Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac Chocolate LagerSaranac Chocolate Lager

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BA SCORE
79
okay

65 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 65
Hads: 174
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 8.14%
Wants: 0
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Bock |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mostpoetsdo on 11-27-2011

Saranac Chocolate Lager is a sinfully delicious deep amber lager made with certified organic cacao from Belize. Our brewers looked far and wide for the highest quality cacao to create a smooth chocolaty taste that only comes from the most exclusive cacao plants. We used the roasted seeds of these decadent plants and perfectly paired them with caramel malt and German Hallertau hops to create a malty chocolate sweet flavor. You'll love savoring this beer with your favorite holiday foods or on its own for a delicious treat!

15 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 65 | Hads: 174
Photo of mempath
4.65/5  rDev +35.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

one of Saranac's home runs/touchdowns/holeshots...! hits on all cylinders, but mostly where it counts: taste. the chocolate plays off the maltiness perfectly, but there is a nice, not too subtle hop touch in there that keeps it bitter, much like a good dark chocolate. choosing that Belize cacao was spot on.

beautiful to behold (a nice darkish golden hue), nice hint of cocoa in the nose...mouthfeel is not too carbonated, nor flat...good balance.

glad i picked up the case. the best in the bunch. i almost forgot about another Saranac grand slam: the caramel porter.

MAKE THIS AVAILABLE IN A 6-PACK! (606 characters)

Photo of gboy515duo
4.54/5  rDev +32%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 16oz Guinness Pint. I drank this ~50 degrees F.

A: Copper Brown, with a creamy beige head that dissipates rather quickly. Looks like a standard lager (Yuengling comes to mind)

S: Extremely malt, hint of cocoa, and a metallic smell that comes with some more "cheaper" beers

T: Starts off citrusy, with a quick, robust flavor of chocolate rushing across your pallete, rinsing it of any trace of hops. Finishes up malty and strong.

M: Extremely smooth, no bite to speak of.

Overall: A good beer, definitely will pick up a few singles to have lying around, if not another Saranac Winter Variety pack, as the whole sampling is spot on. (648 characters)

Photo of Hop_kulture
4.43/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

not doing the astmo kinda drunk. thank you saranac 12 beers of winter

this is a wonderful winter beer. hazelnut and chocolate flavor. great mouthfeel. precisely a chocolate lager. one of my favorite ive had for the past three years. if you like sweet beers you will love this. ive always been happy with any up state new york brew (331 characters)

Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.21/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Twelve ounce bottle from Twelve Beers of Winter Collection :

Pours a clear ruddy brown body with a nice beige head. The head lasts a decent time, and laces the glass nicely. Aroma was malty, sweet and light. Taste is very appealing, the chocolate is not at all overpowering,but definately present.Very slightly slick. (318 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.08/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

More bottles from my latest Philly run. I am feeling adventurous today and may try to eradicate the bottle backlog that has been an albatross since school started back.

My thanks to whomever transcribed the verbiage on the bottleneck onto the "Notes" section. It saves me a whole lot of work!

From the label: "Beer brewed with cacao nibs with natural flavors added".

The pour created two fingers of fragile, tawny head that fell like a souffle in an oven whose door had just been banged shut. It left nice lacing in its wake, though, so for that, Cheers! Color was a deep amber with NE-plus quality clarity, enabling me to see both through walls and into the future. Nose was chocolate, but a different chocolate than the Atwater that I reviewed earlier. This seemed somehow more authentic, like raw unprocessed chocolate. Nice. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not as dense as Atwater VoodooVator, but still pretty massive in the mouth. I am really glad that I drank this shortly after the Atwater Dark Chocolate as it gives me a greater appreciation for Saranac's craft. It was chocolaty, but subtly so. The chocolate had an unprocessed taste, as though the nibs were added almost as an afterthought. The finish was dry, believe me or don't! This is going to disappoint a lot of people who may be expecting a liquid chocolate bar, but for those of us who do not dig that sort of thing, this was perfect. (1,405 characters)

Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.98/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with a frothy off white head that hangs around.

Smells of chocolate, yeast, alcohol, caramel, floral notes and dark fruit.

Taste chocolate up front, with a roasted nut flavor followed by caramel notes. It has a dry rounded malty mouthfeel. This is a very good beer with a lot of great flavor, but it doesn't quite come together as well as it could. With a little more harmony, this would be truly great. (426 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.97/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

OK, so right off the bat, in case anyone reading this wondering, this beer is nothing like the sickly-sweet caramel porter. No, there isn't a big chocolate taste, but, this is a decent bock. Let it warm up a bit, and a dry cocoa comes out in the aroma and there's a light, earthy note in the flavor's finish. Of course, there's also a big caramel, toffee, and toasted bread crust barley character. It's less fruity than your average bock, but I like the cocoa replacing the usual sugars. The body is on par with your average lager, making it fairly drinkable. This is kind of a cool beer: balanced chocolate, tasty malts, and a slightly bitter hops finish. I'd take another. (674 characters)

Photo of bubseymour
3.94/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - nothing chocolatey about it. Copperbrown "strong/old ale" appearance with 1 finger head.

Smell - Nice smell of malts and breads and some chocolate

Taste - A very nice beer by Saranac. Nicely balance chocolate flavors with that of their lagers. Slight crispness in the finish. Easy to drink. Nothing bold here, just very well balanced and pleasant.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied for a lager.

Overall - I think Saranac made a nice beer here that is quite sessionable. Enjoy!!! (485 characters)

Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.92/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into standard pint glass.
Pours a darker amber/brown. Slight spongy foam.
Aroma is fantastic...chocolate, malts, coffee, and caramel. Taste is excellent as well. You really taste the chocolate, but is subtle and blends perfect with the malts.
This was ahuge surprise...especially when it didnt pour black! It seems that the chocolate really compliment with the typical Saranac flavor, malty. I really enjoyed this brew and would not hestitate to buy again. (476 characters)

Photo of rodney45
3.92/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Darker garnet or burnt ruby, with a big paper towel colored head that doesnt hang around long.

S: Good airy mixture of toasted bread, plum, light munich malt, and strawberry.

T: European in malt taste, with a bit of a wheat flare. Strawberry, fig and plum are the only notes I get from this beer. Slight hop bitterness is there to balance out the grain bill. Really no chocolate to speak of.

M: Light to low moderate body and adequate carbonation.

O: I think this is more of a lager than a bock, it would have a larger body if it were a bock. I enjoyed this beer more than most of the others in the variety pack. (622 characters)

Photo of u2carew
3.9/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz longneck bottle
A) Pours with a two finger, off white head that retains itself for a while. Settles to sticky lacing at the edge of the glass. Clear copper colored body.
S) Caramel. Yeasty. Hints of chocolate.
T) Pleasant malts up front and throughout - caramel, toasty, and slightly buttery. Finishes with a mellow hop bite.
M) Smooth. Lighter side of medium bodied. Dry finish.
O) A decent brew. I'd definitely drink another one. (436 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.82/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a very very interesting lager, pours a see through amber color with the tint of milk chocolate and a lasting frothy mocha head. smells like a brownie... a malt brownie. brimming with a pleasant chocolate aroma akin to hot cocoa in a beer. taste is more bitter than sweet chocolate, although the malts lend a sugar component. this is a lager, which is unique for sure, it somehow stays crisp and drinkable. a great new addition to the beers of winter. (450 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.8/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours amber with a medium white head, good retention, solid lace.

S: Cocoa, orange, some hoppiness.

T: Definite chocolate flavour up front. Some notes of bread. Definitely reminiscent of Sam Adams Chocolate Bock though maybe not as robust.

M: Light to medium-bodied with a biting carbonation, sweet aftertaste.

O: Quite an intriguing beer, I liked the flavours, another winner from the mix pack. (418 characters)

Photo of Haydn-Juby
3.77/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 12oz bottle to a Pilsner glass

A: One finger head. Not much lacing but some. Transparent copper-orange color typical of a Bock. Died down kind of quick.

S: Small amounts of cocoa and a yeast smell. The alcohol was quiet evident in the smell which is odd because its not too apparent in the taste.

T: Once again some of those cocoa flavors. Nothing to strong but it is there. Bitterness is mild to none which is understandable for a Bock style beer. Nice caramely flavor at some points if your willing to search too.Really there isn't too much to the taste but what there is is pretty good tasting.

M: Pretty nice carbonation, maybe a little bit heavy though. The bubbles immediately tickle your tongue on impact.

Overall: It was a solid beer. Probably wouldn't go looking for it again but I enjoyed the experience. (833 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
3.76/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased as part of the Saranac winter mixed 12-pack at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into a nonic, formed a 1/2" beige head over the clear burnished amber brew. Head falls slowly, with coating sticky lacing. Aroma is lightly sweet with a vegetal tinge.

Taste begins sweet, lightly chalky chocolate in the middle, which carries on through to the end with a light bitterness. Bit of a sour aftertaste. Mouthfeel is quite smooth, and drinkability is good. Nice to see a flavored brew from Saranac that isn't overpoweringly artificial like some I've had. (575 characters)

Photo of papaglide
3.74/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- 1 finger head dissipates rather quickly

S- malt with sweet chocolate and a herbal hint of hops

T- the first thing to strike is a chocolate sweetness/slight bitterness combo. Then a slight maltiness mixed with a tiny hint of cocoa in the background arrives. The beer finishes kind of on the dry side with an ever so tiny bit of alcohol warmth. This beer is very well balanced.

M- Nice: not highly carbonated and on the thin side of middle but only by a hair. It's not at all chewy and not at all offensive.

O- This is a very nice beer: not outstanding but nice in an average kind of way. The style says bock, I say it's a very drinkable dunkel. But as a bock it is underwhelming, as a dunkel it is a nice average sample for the style. (741 characters)

Photo of IronLover
3.73/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Autumn orange in color with good clarity. Poured with a short white foam that quickly disappeared. Lightly toasted and caramel malt aromas with chocolate in the bacground. Starts off a bit thin but quickly evolves into a medium bodied beer with tangy, robust carbonation. Caramel and dark toasted malt flavors up front quickly followed by chocolate flavors that grow through the middle. Tangy hop bite from start through the middle. Flavors and feel take a smooth turn toward the end. Finishes with a toasted malt finish. (521 characters)

Photo of HarryPotHead
3.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Poured from 12oz brown bottle into short stem chalice, this beer yields a silky smooth beige head of about a finger and half. Little to no lacing left behind as the head gives way a little too prematurely. Color is a rich amber hue but seems a little cloudy.

S - Fresh bread dominates with very subtle notes of cocoa, hops, and alcohol. Pleasant....definitely not offensive.

T - Umm....ok, so I'm expecting more in the way of the cocoa. It's there but it is sooo subtle you really have to seek it out. Slightly above average for the style. Crisp with a dry finish...slightly warm too. Not very bitter either.

M - Not to thin. Just the right amount of carbonation for the style.

O - One of the best of the bunch from the Holiday sampler, but nothing spectacular. A little too safe. I wish Saranac would take a few more chances with their brews...if they were just a little more daring they might fare better. [ii]D. Cheers! (931 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a clear looking brown color with a decent sized head on top. The smell of the beer was minimal, not too much chocolate on the nose but some lager-like aromas. The taste has a pretty good amount of chocolate actually. It kind of tastes a little artificial to me but still better than I expected from this company. The mouthfeel of the beer was rather smooth and was very drinkable. Overall I was surprised by this beer, I never expected what I got. I'm actually kind of glad I have one more bottle to open later. (535 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a glass beer mug.

L - clear amber color with a off-white head that thinned to a light layer leaving spotty lacing.

S - nice cocoa aroma with sweet caramel malt in the background.

T - subtle chocolate blends in with caramel malt and there's a light bitterness towards the finish.

F - light/medium bodied with a easy drinking feel.

O - a likeable lager. (378 characters)

Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.6/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

New beer from the latest 12 Beers of Winter.

A: Amber copper with off white head, decent lacing going on.

S: Hot fudge and caramel syrup, fairly artificial, but good sweetness. Mild malt.

T: Spot on with the nose. Has a nice chocolate malt taste, but not overpowering. Sweetness comes more from caramel than chocolate. More of a chocolate syrup flavor. The malt is there but. It roasty.

M: Medium body, very well carbonated, but it works. A touch creamy.

O/D: Saranac has made a really solid chocolate bock. My only complaint is that it's a touch artificial tasting. But it's a tasty offering in the 12 pack, balances out the hoppy offerings. (657 characters)

Photo of tobelerone
3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a nice looking beer; very clear dark copper color, with a good sized, slowly sinking head. Lacing is a bit weaker but leaves patches up and down the glass. Simple aroma is mostly sweet breadiness from the caramel and chocolate malts; faintly floral hops underneath.

Also a simple but appealing flavor; light cocoa sitting on top of caramel malt; just a hint of the hops in there; more grass than floral notes. Nothing really dominates; even the chocolate is subtle. On the sweet side but certainly not excessively so.

Good mouthfeel, crisp, medium-high carbonation that falls just shy of being prickly. Body isn’t too thin and everything feels right for a lager-style beer. Not bad; don’t go into this one expecting a big chocolate presence however. (764 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy color with a one-finger, off-white. It had a one-finger white head of foam.

S - It smelled of dark chocolate and roasty malt.
Some sweet caramel notes.

T - It tasted of bitter chocolate. Nice toasty malt with sweet caramel and toffee.

M - It was crisp, sharp and fairly smooth. A light to medium boied lager.

O - This is a nice chocolate lager. Another solid brew from Saranac. (414 characters)

Photo of plaid75
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark copper hue with a one finger frothy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured round chocolate malts and a soft caramel malt.

The taste consisted of the same chocolate and caramel malt profile with a rough earthiness that livened up the flavor a bit.

The mouthfeel was toward the thinner side of the style.

Overall a tasty malt driven lager. (388 characters)

Photo of mvanaskie13
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tall pint glass, color is amber, nice and translucent with an off white tan head.

Smell is mild malt with solid chocolate notes, interesting, somewhat syrupy smelling.

Taste is very clean mild malt flavors with a nice chocolate sweetness, again more syrupy than a chocolate malt flavor but somewhat decent flavor.

Mouthfeel is pretty well balanced, the chocolate flavor does linger somewhat.

Overall, an interesting brew the chocolate flavor works well and pretty solid bock backbone. (502 characters)

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Saranac Chocolate Lager from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.