Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Saranac Chocolate Orange - Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Not Rated.
Saranac Chocolate OrangeSaranac Chocolate Orange

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

40 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 40
Hads: 143
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 4.59%
Wants: 10
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: CloudStrife on 03-02-2012

Saranac Chocolate Orange is a limited edition small batch brew from our "High Peaks" series, a line of beers that are bigger, more complex and flavorful. Brewed as a full bodied robust Baltic-style porter with five different hops and four different malts, this beer pushes the porter style to a new level.

We start with generous amounts of chocolate malt, and then add blood orange peel. In fermentation, the finest hand-selected, purest cacao nibs are added to enhance the chocolate malt flavor. Look for a dark chocolate roasted flavor finished off with a unique surprise from blood orange peel, making this an extra special treat!
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Saranac Chocolate Orange Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 40 | Hads: 143
Photo of Marraybay
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Wow: So much potential here. Really great lacing and head; great thickness. Excellent mouthfeel: smooth, creamy, great upfront sweetness. The only downside in this one for me is the alcohol. Just a bit too forward/pronounced in both the nose and the finish. If this could be toned down a tad (7%, 6%, etc.) this would really be fantastic. Still enjoyed and would like to have a few more while available, but again, just a bit too boozy to really be a home run: (more like a ground rule double!) The idea of cellaring--which some have mentioned, would be an interesting one to try. Note - like others, didn't get the orange; Non-existent for me. Didn't really affect my opinion--still like--but I can understand why others might be disappointed given the hype. (768 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a half of a finger of caramel-colored head that dissolved away into a lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Wow! Very aromatic with tons of sweet chocolate up front, like a candy bar, followed by bready, roasted malt, which imparts notes of freshly toasted bread, topped with Nutella®, as well as aromas of brown sugar and hints of dark stone fruit and burnt orange. Rich, earthy, sweet, complex, delicious and inviting!

Taste: Wow! Very, very good! Delicious, actually! Tons of roasted malt and dark chocolate up front, a big, malty chocolate bomb of a beer! There is also strong flavors of caramel, an hint of cinnamon and orange peel. Quite delicious!

Mouthfeel: Chewy and very smooth and creamy as there is very little in the way of carbonation. With an ABV of 9.0%, there is just a hint of alcohol on the palate. I’m amazed, actually at how well masked the alcohol is. You can barely taste it!

Overall: I’m not really a fan of most of Saranac’s beer. They’re not bad, just very forgettable. That being said, this one is extremely good and solid! Delicious, in fact! I love the malty, chocolaty flavors kissed with orange peel. I’d certainly get this beer again! (1,339 characters)

Photo of InkedinRi
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a very Boozy beer! I would think cellaring this would be great! I get chocolate, slight orange in the taste. But the alcohol overpowers most of the taste. Not very impressed. In a year or two of sitting mite be a really good beer. (238 characters)

Photo of Sonofalime
3.49/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Smelt like the chocolate oragne that gets cracked open. Taste wasn't too far off but wasn't my cup of tea. If you like porters it's a nice variation to the genre. (164 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a nearly pitch black color. The head is a finger high and mocha in shade. Its creaminess is nice, though the head's duration is lacking. Very little lacing is left on the glass. (3.75)

Smell: Chocolate comes through well, in a milky and almost earthen way. This note mixes very well with the powerful roasted malt presence. Despite what other reviewers are saying, I also get a touch of orange peel. Letting it open up will reveal some brown sugar and molasses. Fairly complex, too - good work, Saranac. (3.75)

Taste: The flavor doesn't work quite as well. It starts of with a dry, roasty flavor, reminiscent of baker's cocoa. This transitions into a gentle tartness - orange peel? The aforementioned orange peel does come through, but only very subtly. It finishes with an earthy note. I don't think it's very balanced; while there are some nice individual notes, they don't come together spectacularly. (3)

Mouthfeel: Its roasted presence makes it somewhat astringent post-swallow. Despite that, it manages to reasonably nail that stout holy grail of being creamy to start and dry to finish. Carbonation pricks the tongue slightly. (3.5)

Overall: Not a fantastic porter/stout, truth be told. It has a few good elements (I can pick up slight orange peel, for instance), but it doesn't really coalesce that well. On the other hand, I could see this aging quite well. Right now, it's worth a try, but not worth seeking out. (3.25)

3.33/5: Not bad, it just needs more cohesion (1,524 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.67/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz brown bottle, sample from the brewery.

A big-ass Baltic-Style Porter with blood orange peel and cacao nibs. Big on darkness with a brown lacing on top. Big nose and palate of dark fruit and highly roasted grain, both of which give off suggestions of dark fruit and coffee ... chocolate comes from the cacao nibs obviously. Massive chewy body and the 9.0% abv is noticeable, there is some orange peel in here but this beer is just too big for it really to make a good showing. Perhaps there is a pinch of it middle to end but pretty damn subtle. Also, the addition of cacao could easily be confused for additions of dark malt ... if it was not on the label I would not even think about it. Regardless, good drinking all around. (733 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: An excellent bubble show produces a three inch mocha colored head; the liquid was black, as expected, and though the retention was better than the lacing, it still looked good

Smell: Rich, dark chocolate with floral orange tones

Taste: Dark chocolate, up front, with the sweetness growing in the middle; the blood orange doesn't make an appearance until the finish but there it is, subtle yet distinct; there is an interesting hop complexity that doesn't really cut through the sweetness but it adds another dimension to the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: Unlike many of the other reviewers, I was able to pick out the blood orange tones; perhaps it was the power of suggestion, but I could smell it and taste it; pretty impressed with this brew coming from Saranac - I have tasted some good beers in their High Peaks line (877 characters)

Photo of JudoJeff
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It pours from a 12oz bottle with very little head. The color is very dark brown, nearly black with the head having a slight orange tint to the otherwise lighter brown. The smell is pretty strong with chocolate with no real hints of orange. Mouthfeel is over-all smooth but with sharp carbonation coming late. Taste is dark and slightly bitter chocolate. There is hardly any orange taste, just a bit of an aftertaste. It would be easy to confuse this with just another chocolate porter. Over-all quite good. (506 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared by Bruce, thanks for the opportunity!
Solid dark brown with a stingy off white head. Aromas of milk chocolate and caramel with hints of earth. The flavor is mostly caramel and chocolate with a hint of citrus. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a creamy silky mouthfeel. Not a bad beer, but I would have liked a bit of orange as I found almost none. (380 characters)

Photo of riversider76
2.91/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours almost black with a thin tan head. Excellent retention, and very nice lace. Aroma is of dark chocolate, and cocoa. Body is on the light side with some carbonation. Taste is of bitter dark chocolate. There is no hint of Orange. This is supposed to be a Baltic Porter? Not very good. This brewery continues to disappoint. (325 characters)

Photo of Treyliff
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- pours dark brown, nearly black with a small, fizzy dark-tan head that reduces quickly, leaving just a small ring, no lace

S- roasted cacao nibs, smoked meat, charred wood, chocolate and a bit of earthy hop notes. Really liking the smoky notes

T- smoky and roasted malts highlight a rich and creamy chocolate flavor, notes of cacao with some woodsy earthy tones, light herbal hop gives way to a dry-yet-sweet rich chocolate finish, just a bit of alcohol on the finish. I can't taste any orange while drinking, but the linger leaves a zesty citrus kick that provides a tasty finish

M- medium body and moderate carbonation, super creamy mouthfeel leads to a smooth and velvety finish, warming alcohol barely noticed.

O- I was very surprised by this one. It had about a year of age on it and I think that it brought out some of the chocolaty notes. They should make this a winter seasonal because its without a doubt my favorite beer from Saranac (951 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Drinking this bottle at cellar temp poured into a snifter. The beer pours a dark cola brown with frothy yet densely packed tan head of 1 cm foaming up and fading slowly to nothing throughout the sampling.
Aroma is rich chocolate malt and dark cocoa, I also get roasted notes with some mild coffee burnt hits and some brown sugar. Generally pleasant yet not super robust and in your face. I dont get any hops here.
First sip reveals an average body with smooth creamy texture and fine rolling carbonation.
The flavor is rich malt with dark cocoa and chocolate sweetness dominating, I get some roasted malt and just a hint of sweet fruitiness on the finish of each sip. There is some warming booze on the swallow of each sip. The beer is more robust on flavor and body than nose and definitely poses a bigger undertaking to finish than anticipated.
The beer is tasty and suitable for the style, I dont get a whole lot of the orange peel or fruit anywhere, but it is a chocolate heavy brew and perfect for a late winter evening.
I would recommend that Saranac makes this a winter seasonal release. (1,094 characters)

Photo of gr0g
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pitch black in color with a head that's one finger tall. The foam is sticky but only minor lace formation is exhibited. Dark cocoa is abundant in the aroma. Orange peel is there, but it's very faint, and perhaps even all in my head. Otherwise, it's chocolate and charred malt all the way.

Tons of bittersweet chocolate in the flavor. Sweet/dry balance is pretty good, with roasted malt and hops both contributing to a nice, balancing bitterness. Some fusel alcohol on the finish, but it's not too potent. All in all, this is drinking quite similarly to Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. Coincidentally, Matt F.X. contract brews all of Brooklyn's 12oz bottle offerings, including BCS. Even the textures are similar, although this has a carbonation that's both less abundant and more prickly. Still, it's appropriately thick and chewy for the style.

Usually I shy away from Saranac beers, but I received this as a gift and was pleasantly surprised. This is good to drink now but may show more complexity with age. (1,011 characters)

Photo of Suds
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Okay, so my wife loves those chocolate oranges that you see during the holidays. Well, I guess that I just assumed that it would be similar...wow...what was I thinking?
So, the beer is not really orangey...it does have a notable chocolate malt character, present both in the aroma and the taste. Roasted, malty, a bit woody. Somewhat sweet. The smell has a fleeting spiciness and floral quality...like orange blossoms...but not a real orange flavor. Full in body, but just a tad thin in the latter finish. Well balanced. Lots of flavor. I like this beer, but it's not a chocolate orange for sure. (596 characters)

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single 22oz bottle from Consumer Beverages in Orchard Park NY. Picked up two of them, review is from the second.

Poured into a nonic. Dark chestnut brown, with a thin tan head that survives as a thick ring. Decent legs on this brew, some lacing.

Nose is dark chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, and a touch of sweetness.

Certainly a decent porter, no question there, with a nice chocolate sweetness, roasted malt, and dark chocolate bitterness. Really didn't get the orange flavor here, and this was a bit disappointing.

Nice body, good creamy texture.

Good porter, but I really didn't get the orange flavor they were going for. Worth trying, at any rate. (663 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured a massively dark brown (almost black) with a half finger tan head that subsided to a minimal amount very quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark chocolate, citrus, orange zest, and roasted malt. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark chocolate, orange, milk chocolate, and subtle dark fruit. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. If I am honest here, I really don’t know what they were trying to do… While the chocolate and orange aspect was definitely there, I’m not sure it worked so great together. Luckily there was some dark fruit character going on to help add a nice medium to the brew. Otherwise this one could have been a disaster. Worth trying at least once, but I would leave it at that. (866 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a black color with a 1/4" head that falls apart quickly.

Smell: chocolate and roasted tones come through to the nose. Some alcohol is detectable.

Taste: roasted malt, dark bitter chocolate, alcohol, and a decent bitterness. The orange tones are very subdued and hard to detect.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Lightly crisp to start, smooth and dry at the finish. Long lasting aftertaste.

Overall: a very drinkable baltic porter that leans towards the chocolate side. Pretty good beer here. (513 characters)

Photo of tdm168
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pitch black with a thin, thick, brown head that has decent retention

S - big, rich chocolate and roasted malts

T - rich chocolate, roasted malt, faint orange peel

M - medium to full bodied, well carbonated, smooth

This has great flavor. It's rich, chocolaty and roasty. It's smooth and unique. If I see this on the shelves again, I will definitely buy another bomber. (375 characters)

Photo of oline73
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into my Hunahpu's snifter.

Appearance: This beer pours an opaque dark brown color with just under half a finger of light tan head that quickly fades to a ring around the pour.

Smell: This is a sweet porter, lots of roast and dark fruit. Sweet chocolate and some mild citrus as well.

Taste: Not as sweet as the smell would lead you to believe. I'm getting some bitter sweet chocolate. There is some citrus in the finish along with a roasty bitterness. Not quite as full as I thought it would be from the smell.

Mouthfeel: The body starts out thick and creamy with large bubbles. By the end of the sip, the body seems to thin out a bit. The finish is slick.

Overall: This beer was better than I thought it would be. The orange wasn't very strong, but it was a nice addition to the roast. I'd have another. (831 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a Alesmith Horny Devil snifter.

A- pours a dark brown with a 2" dark brown head. Random big blotches of lacing remain on the glass.

S- Chocolate, orange peel, and some alcohol.

T- faint chocolate and roasted malts, and bitter orange peel.

M- Medium body and carbonation. Abv stands out some and effervescent at the finish.

O- Chocolate and orange isn't the first fruit/chocolate pairing that would come to mind. Beer is actually pretty good and has a nice bitter orange peel aroma and flavor. Worth a try but not sure I would have again. (567 characters)

Photo of match1112
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: thick dark brown body with a tight one inch mocha colored head. retention and lacing are outstanding.

s: orange peel, chocolate malt, cocoa and some roasted aromas.

t: sweet chocolate with a orange kick. a nice roasted ending to it.

m: thick and creamy. great carbonation.sticks to the inside of my cheeks like syrup.

o: very well rounded porter. the 9% abv is very well hidden. the closer to room temp the better this beer is. (435 characters)

Photo of Beejay
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Black, like coal at midnight. The head is thick and dense, and a deep tan color.

S: I lift the glass to my nose, and suddenly it is like I am riding a dark chocolate water slide to malt town. I'm being propelled on my rich caramel inner tube by jets of earthy hop aroma, and bitter chocolate.

T: Deep and dark, with coffee and chocolate. Some earthy flavors and espresso follow through the finish. There might be a hint of orange in the finish, just a hint of peel, but perhaps I am putting it there because it says it on the label.

M: Heavy mouth feel, the carbonation is fine, smooth, and adds to the creamy mouth feel.

O: Overall it is a great stout.... I mean err.. robust porter.. But I think when you put Chocolate Orange on the label, you better make damn sure you can pick out the orange.. Really tasty.. Really chocolatey... But the Orange is MIA, it seems to possibly pick up a little as it warms but still.. (928 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful looking dark beer with big chewy tan foam head, the lacing is thick and beautiful between sips. The body is dark, doesn't let any light through it. The aroma has big ballsy cocoa nibs and orange fruit notes of citric bursts, clean beautiful cohesion coming through. Flavor full dark malt flavors come forth with a hint of orange peel flowing along big sweet maltiness balanced with dark roass. Mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied with even smooth flowing carbonation, pretty nice beer from Saranac...it's hard to believe they're making beer like this in Utica NY. (576 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber from Brilbeck's in Syracuse. The orange doesn't come out until you give this beer time to warm up, but once it's there, the orange peel makes a fine complement to the dark malts. The chocolate here isn't that strong. The barley has a clean roasted brown malt flavor in addition to the cocoa, and I can't say I taste the cacao nibs at all. The orange component tastes sweet and a little juicy, but it doesn't overshadow the barley. The body is light for a 9% ABV porter, but not inappropriately so, and not surprising for a Saranac beer. Overall, it makes a nice, not too heavy dessert beer with the classic orange and chocolate pairing. (655 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

- Robust Baltic porter with a blood orange peel and cacao nibs.

A: Dark chocolate pour is viscose upon the exit showing a tawny brownish-orange colored head that was frothy and sturdy retention wise. Great thick coverage on the glass with concentric foam rings adds to the visual.

S: Sweet chocolate covered cherries first come to mind. Coffee roast was fresh and dark with added orange peels.

T: The flavor was bitter and dark roast, hearty with a bit of French roast nature. Dark fruit with the cacoa nibs adding deep tones to the already dark malt base. Bitter burnt chocolate with small flashes of sweet creamy orange manage to sneak through. The 5 different hops utilized seem to have been a waste and could have been easily omitted with little flavor aspect missed. Burnt pine and burnt wood rounds things out.

M: Frothy mouthful nice body with a silty coffee roast feel on the tongue. Bitter with a stinger of coffee laced alcohol.

O: A bit blunt at first, the chocolate and coffee roast are dark and dominating while the alcohol surely flexes its muscle as well. It takes a few sips but things do smooth out a bit once your tongue becomes accustomed to the heavy handed roasty and alcohol nature. Saranac definitely amped things up a bit from their usual offering here with a dark silty roasty treat worhty of a try. (1,332 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Saranac Chocolate Orange from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.