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Saranac Chocolate Lager - Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Not Rated.
Saranac Chocolate LagerSaranac Chocolate Lager

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BA SCORE
79
okay

65 Reviews
THE BROS
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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 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 twiggamortis420
3.2/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle with a best by date of MAR 31 2012. Pours a clear copper color with a small cap of beige head. Fades pretty quick and does not leave much lace.

Nose is sulfurous lager and a faint cocoa aroma. Not really sweet and the malts dont carry much heft, maybe some toasty caramel but pretty flabby overall.

Taste is much better as some of the sweetness comes out and the chocolate is light, smooth and tastefully done. Not bad...the mouthfeel is thin, being little more than the consistency of water though. I enjoyed trying this once, but its certainly one-dimensional and I dont really think Id want a whole sixer of this in the fridge. Although...on the other hand, this is probably the best one of the winter mix 12-pack my dad brought back from D.C. This pack was my first taste of the Saranac family, and I am pretty disappointed with all 6 I have tried thus far. (876 characters)

Photo of jaasen64
3.46/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark amber color, transparent. Average to slightly above average carbonation. About a half finger of creamy head, good retention, good lacing on side of glass.

S- Not as much of a chocolate smell as I would have expected. Very faint chocolate/caramel smell. Mostly a malty smell with a little bit of hops. Can smell the alcohol a little bit.

T- At first the chocolate taste was very faint, however the more I drank it the more the chocolate came out as an aftertaste- sweet chocolate/caramel taste, but not overpowering.

M- Smooth, nice chocolate aftertaste makes for easy drinking.

O- A lot of chocolate beers have an overpowering chocolate taste that dominates the beer. This however is definitely not one of those. The chocolate taste is more of an aftertaste. I would have liked it to come out a little bit more, but it wasn't bad. It was one of the more interesting beers I've had to try this week. Not bad, but definitely could have been better. (958 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 NODAK
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nose on this one is fairly faint...chocolate malts and a roasted note are present there but it isn't a very fragrant beer.

This beer tastes pleasant enough, although it's a bit light on flavor compared to where I'd like it to be. It definitely has a nice, silky chocolate malt taste to it, though it isn't quite as powerful as I'd like it to be as it sometimes is in other beers like this. The taste itself is good though, as I said, and is rather one-note. Towards the finish, there's a small roasted note and a tiny hop twinge....but again, really just dominated by the sweet chocolate malts on the body.

Easy drinking but nothing exciting. Decent. I could go for this sometimes, but only if I wasn't looking for something interesting. (739 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 blakelive784
2.52/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz bottle served in a pilsner glass, reviewed live:

A - Pours a transparent, dark copper color with a fairly thin 2 finger head. Retention is pretty poor. Nothing special.

S - Caramel and pale malts, indistinct hops and a very slight nose of chocolate. Very mild in strength, and a bit uninteresting.

T - Toasted caramel and toffee open, then the chocolate finally comes through. It's a nice flavor, but it feels a pit out of place among the flavors created by the foundation. The chocolate seems almost artificial though, like hot cocoa powder.

M - Medium bodied, highly carbonated, slick on the finish. Not necessarily tailored to the flavors, but I like it.

D - I can get behind what this beer is trying to do. It's an inspired and different take on the style (though I'm pretty sure this isn't a Bock), but it's poorly executed. (847 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 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 Arithmeticus
2.32/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured chilled in flared glass.

A: light caramel color; really nice, foamy head; carb is slow
S: almost nothing there
T: dry, bitter chocolate flavor; not sweet; bracing; spices are pretty minimal; tastes like a chocolate soda I once (and only once) had

Sorry, I don't recommend this one. (290 characters)

Photo of tdm168
3.46/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber or light brown with a quarter inch of off white, creamy, dense head that has great retention. The nose is yeasty with a typical lager smell and there are very faint notes of chocolate and roasted malt. The flavor is complex but a little unbalanced. There are notes of dark fruit, toffee, chocolate, roasted malt and lager yeast. There's a sugary sweetness that is intense. The dark fruit and toffee take main stage. The carbonation is spot on and the smooth, medium body help out the drinkability.

This isn't a bad beer. The flavor could use some balance and the sweetness is a little too much at times, but overall it's drinkable and enjoyable. (665 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.03/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best by 3/31/12.

Pours a clear iced tea color with a 2 inch foamy off-white head that settles to a small cap. Random small streaks of lace stick to the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt and some subtle chocolate aromas. Taste is of malt, artificial chocolate flavoring, and some herbal/citrus zest hops. There is a medium amount of bitterness that lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer that doesn't live up to the chocolate flavors I was expecting. (566 characters)

Photo of buyBinboaVodka
3.07/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had this on-tap at the Taphouse Grill.

A - It came to me in a pint glass with almost no head on it and a minimal amount of lacing. The dark amber color with caramel highlights look pretty good it looks like a good beer.

S - This beer smells awesome...if it were a vanilla lager. I get almost no chocolate through the nose. I can pick up vanilla extract with a similiar scent to that of a stewarts root beer, not chocolate. There is a malt presence but not nearly as strong as the vanilla aroma.

T - Pretty much the same as the nose. I get a vanilla and malt taste but NO chocolate.

M - Thin bodied with a smooth finish.

O - Not the beer I was expecting, but not a horrible beer. There are way better choices, but if it is there and there are no other good choices, I might get it. (788 characters)

Photo of Brouwerij78
3/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had very high hopes for this beer as well (see my review on the saranac vanilla stout). I bought a cold 12 pack of the 12 beers of Christmas and there were 2 of these Chocolate Lagers included. I poured yet another (wasted!) frosty mug full...and again another big fat flop. It was pretty much bland overall - not even a hint of chocolate. This one too fell short and flat of my expectations - even for a plain lager. Very lackluster and blah. Again - save your money for a real craft brew. Amen and testify. (510 characters)

Photo of Minkybut
3/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this average tasting beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was copper colored and light for its name I thought. It poured a fair head. The smell was malty. The taste on this beer was weak. I tasted no chocolate ate all and actually more of a vanilla taste than anything. I did not think it well represented itself as to what is was suppose to be. Not buy again. (377 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 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)

Photo of gregb13
3.2/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Funny, if you blindfolded me and gave me this beer I would guess that I was drinking a Sam Adams Chocolate Bock. There is an unmistakable Raisin Bran flavor that is very pronounced in both of these beers. It's not bad but not what you'd expect from a supposed chocolate beer, although it kind of grows on you. Just average stuff. One bottle is enough. (351 characters)

Photo of daliandragon
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This seems to be the only unreviewed beer in this year's Saranac winter sampler. This appears dark copper with golden highlights, and the head never really gets going, leaves only moderate lace. Nose has faint chocolate and watery malt but doesn't really stick out.

The taste has more obvious chocolate and toasted note, along with a slight nutty flavor. A little sweet in the finish, this bock is still relatively smooth and light for the style. not something to write home about but this goes down fairly easy. (514 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 Gmann
3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a crystal clear copper color with a small, tight beige head that settles into a sparse cap.

The aroma has a light cacao scent to go with a very subtle metallic note. There is also some buttery caramel notes and a bit of a grassiness from the hallertau as well.

The flavor starts off with a chocolate note from the cacao. It is a bit powdery. The base is a caramel amberish malt that packs some metallic and light grain flavor. A lime presence is detected from the hallertau hops.

The feel is light with very fizzy carbonation; burns a little bit. It does drink crisp but is a tad sticky. There is an odd bitterness in the finish, which I think comes from the combination of the cacao and the hops.

Not very bockish, more of an amber lager and the chocolate is light. An ok beer, drinks fairly well. (808 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 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 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 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)

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