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Saranac Black Bear Bock - Matt Brewing Company

Saranac Black Bear BockSaranac Black Bear Bock

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

75 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 75
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 11.71%


Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Bock |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
On a cold winter's night, black bears can be found hiding in the Adirondacks to keep warm, while you're enjoying a beer by the fire. Saranac Black Diamond Bock is a rich malty beer, brewed with traditional German malts and hops then cold fermented and lagered for a smooth malty taste. This brew is appropriate for hibernating wherever you may be. Cheers!

16.5 IBU

(Beer added by: plaid75 on 11-15-2012)
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Ratings: 75 | Reviews: 24 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of beergoot
beergoot

Colorado

3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice amber body with a thick, sticky head. Decent caramel malt aroma and flavor; bit of hop bitterness to balance out the malt sweetness; slightly noticeable alcohol warmth. Medium bodied, smooth feel.

Good bock with a nice malt-centric character. Good balance overall. Worth a try...

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2013 00:31:10 | More by beergoot
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.51/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and some bready aromas. Taste is much the same with a malty flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some super malty aromas and flavors.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 02:10:29 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

3.14/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Look: Slightly hazed orange with a dense off white foam. Definitely light for a traditional bock, looks decent enough as a beer.

Smell: Sweet bread, apple like fruit and musty yeast.

Taste: Strongly malty, with bread and light cocoa hints. Moderately acidic, grassy, lemony hop adds a layer of bitterness. A touch of mineral and alcohol. Caramelized malt and toffee round out the flavor.

Mouthfeel: On the light side of medium bodied, well carbonated, a bit thin but quite drinkable.

Overall: A mellow, malty offering from Matt's Brewing Co. About average for the style, but drinks easy and makes a worthy component to any sampler pack.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2013 22:08:28 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

2.95/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Malty-sweet and a with a light peppery tinge- this Saranac bockbier carries a one-dimensional sweetness from the starting gate 'til an extended finish of caramel and nuts. For it to be a bock, it has a lot in common with American amber ales as well.

And like those amber ales, it pours... well, amber of course; albeit on the slightly darker honey side. Bright clarity keeps the beer appealing with those long lager-like cold filtered appearance. Where it struggles to build a head or maintain its longevity, the foam character is slighted and reduces to a necklace to skirt the beer and glittered retention.

Medium intense aromas are heavily reliant on caramel and grain sweetness. Accompanied by tea leaves and freshly torn tobacco leaves offers an earthy counterpart to the caramel, buttered toast and honey. But its the scent of non-descript fruit gives the beer more English roots than German.

In similar fashion, the malt flavors do their part. But instead of the toasty-dry taste of those dark German lagers, the beer is caramel-rich instead. Lacking in complexity or those bock elegances, the caramel is partially balanced with herbal hops, light grass, and alcohol. Light peach, apricot, and apples play along with the more English-like themes and further disconnect from bocks.

Medium bodied from nose to finish, the beer carries an inordinate amount of tacky residual sweetness that plagues its mouthfeel. The prohibited dryness keeps the beer cola-sweet and clings to the teeth with grain sugars and sugary effects. It ignores the rich bock creaminess, its elegant dryness, and its true malt underpinnings.

In the end, there's really no bock here. Its an amber ale that shows only moderate success at that. Anyone looking for a malt-balanced, slightly ambiguous beer may find comfort here, but bock-seekers should keep looking.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2013 05:56:36 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

3.69/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pilsner style glass.

This is one of the nicest looking bocks I have seen. A deep and crystal reddish bronze body, with a soupy and creamy light tan head. It billows up on the pour with a thick 3 fingers deep, and sits with a soapy retention and lace. Body has some cola carbonation stuck to the sides, but slowly dissapears. Body is filled with a mix of small slow rising carbonation, and the occasional fast rising cola bubble. Very very good looking beer.

Light toasty grains hit the nose, with a slight sticky malt. Faint caramel and grass hit a bit in the back with a little bit of spicy sense. Quite solid.

Palate seems to miss some of the bouquets qualities. Hammered down malt, but at least a lengthy sticky yeasty finish. Mouthfeel seems ok to style, but not providing much depth to the beers flavor profile. Clean but a little wet. Sticky malts and yeast travel down the palate with a light grass, but with a dominant yeast profile overtaking. Virtually no caramel sweetness.

Overall it's not a bad brew, but just not that memorable. It's certainly something I could have again and drink, but wouldn't go out of my way to really have again.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2013 20:49:16 | More by smakawhat
Photo of deltatauhobbit
deltatauhobbit

Maine

3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light amber color with a good sized offwhite head, fades at a slow rate and leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

Smell is pretty much all sweet malt with a subtle hint of toffee.

Taste starts out with a sweet malt front, hops are essentially non-existent, toffee is decent and adds a more complex layer, slightly fruity which is odd, carbonation is strong but not overdone, decent creamy body.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2013 21:05:43 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.16/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on February 1, 2013.

I enjoyed looking at it. The color was medium amber or closer to reddish-brown with a small, short-lived off-white head.

The aroma has a toasted bread quality to it with sweet malts, molasses, burnt caramel but nothing that smells like hops.

The body has a smooth medium texture to it.

The taste begins fairly sweet and less toasty like the aroma with a low bitterness in there but it does not hang around much at the end. It is an alright beer but I would not go out of my way.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2013 02:03:44 | More by puboflyons
Photo of u2carew
u2carew

Massachusetts

3.71/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz long neck bottle
A) Pours with a two finger head that settles quite quickly to a thin lacing on top. Clear bronze colored body.
S) Grainy. Caramel malts.
T) Rich malts tones upfront then a weakening towards the finish. Caramel. Toasted grains. Finishes pilsener-esque : dry and grainy.
M) On the light side of medium body. Mostly a dry feel throughout.
O) A decent brew. I'd have another.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2013 00:25:14 | More by u2carew
Photo of IronLover
IronLover

Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Butterscotch orange in color with a slight chill haze at the start that clarifies beautifully as the temperature rises. Poured with a short off-white foam that quickly reduced to a wispy cap. Toasted and light caramel malt aromas with a hint of sweet fruit. On the more robust side of medium bodied. Big malty feel up front that grows as the carbonation rolls through. Tangy through the middle with a crisp semi-dry finish. Toasted and lightly roasted malt flavors up front with a tangy hop bite through the middle that allowS the grainy maltiness to return right before the crisp finish. A pleasant refreshing cold weather lager.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2013 00:26:21 | More by IronLover
Photo of Kremlock
Kremlock

Ontario (Canada)

3.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Medium dark copper in colour, pours a thick 3/4 inch creamy head that is off white.

S: Some nuttiness, caramel, raisin bread.

T: Caramel, nuttiness, some melanoidins flavours present. No hop flavours, bitterness is present and well balanced.

M: Light bodied, well carbonated for style, bitterness is well balanced with the malt. A bit of a dry finish.

O: A well balanced bock. A bit thin/light bodied for style. Wish there was a bit more malt flavours, but other then that it's a good basic bock.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2013 01:58:00 | More by Kremlock
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber/copper color with a smallish off-white head that quickly recedes leaving a small cap and some spotty lacing.

Aromas begin with bready, biscuity and doughy maltiness. There is some light nuttiness and a but of caramelized brown sugar sweetness.

The tastes follow the nose with the same toasted bready and biscuity maltiness coipled with the same light nuttiness. As it warms there is a little more brown sugar and honey sweetness with a small dose of hop bitterness to balance the sweetness.

The mouthfeel is slightly more than light bodied with moderate carbonation. Finish is lightlty toasty but mainly dry and clean.

After having the chocolate bock in the same variety pack I have to say they are pretty on par in their mediocrity. The lack the full flavor profile I desire in the style and the fuller mouthfeel generated by the traditional German styles.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2013 16:53:23 | More by claspada
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.6/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap acquired as part of a variety box at Argonaut Liquor in Denver, Colorado, and served into a nonical pint glass in me gaff in Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are low.

Served straight from the fridge. Side poured with standard vigor.

A: Pours a three finger beige colour head of slight cream, decent thickness, and good retention. Good lacing. Body colour is a clear translucent textbook copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Typical for the style, if somewhat lighter in colour than anticipated.

Sm: Caramel, toffee, and dominant toasted malt. A simple aroma of above average strength. Pretty good for a bock, though - admittedly.

T: Malty, with traces of caramel and toffee. The foundation isn't as toasty as I'd like, but it's decent. Good body. Actually surprisingly good for a mass-produced bock. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. A bit too sweet for the style.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and thick. Carbonation is decent. Fair palate presence.

Dr: Drinkable but forgettable, though not bad for the style - which isn't one of my favourites. Hides its modest ABV well. I wouldn't trifle with this again.

C-

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2013 08:06:08 | More by kojevergas
Photo of MadScientist
MadScientist

New York

3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A good looking bock that is medium copper with excellent clarity. The head is made of creamy, long lasting, off-white bubbles.

S: A moderate malt aroma with a moderately melanoidins; the crust bread aroma starts off light but builds as it warms. pretty much no hops aroma, maybe a very light spice, or maybe that's the yeast. A fairly clean, lager fermentation with no fruit.

T: The taste is dominated by rich German malt flavors hat bring moderate toast and crusty bread flavors. There is a moderately-light hops bitterness. The balance is very slightly towards the bitter with a light lingering bitterness in the finish. No hops nor diacetyl, although there is a light spiciness in there, again I'm not sure if that's the yeast or the hops.

M: A slightly cream, medium-full bodied beer with moderate carbonation.

O: A pretty good Bock but the light bit of spicy in the nose wouldn't be to style but it doesn't detract so I'm taking away point for it. Given the fermentation character I'll inclined to call that a Noble hops character.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2013 23:37:24 | More by MadScientist
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of the Saranac 12 Beers of Winter variety pack - $13.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

"BB MAR 31 2013"

Appearance: Dispensed a clear, dark amber-hued body with a small, dusty, white head.

Smell: Toasted malts, with minor notes of caramel, grain. Low fruitiness, even lower hint of hops.

Taste: Malt delivers a taste of toast, a tickle of grain, and some caramel with a restrained sweetness. Mild fruitiness, including apple. Light Noble hop hints, subtle bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Many of these Saranac beers are like getting socks for Christmas, it's not what you really wanted, but you don't get upset about it, and it's something you can at least utilize. OK, so Uncle Saranac bought me another pack of tube socks, big deal. Hold 'em up for the camera and feign a smile.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2013 16:17:43 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Followed up the Saranac Chocolate Lager with the Black Bear. This beer is a little richer and thicker. The malt is a little sweet with mild fruit, but the toffee, followed by caramel, dominated, before the dry toasty finish. The body is a touch thick, but it's on par for a good bock. There's a mild spicy-lemon hop character mixed into the finish, to make another balanced bock. Bocks are hard to find, but this is worth the effort if you're into the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2013 01:33:59 | More by tempest
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high dense off white head that quickly died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are very light aromas of brown bread in the nose along with a bit of sweetness.
T: Like the smell, the taste is rather malty and has flavors of brown bread along with a slight amount of sweetness. No bitterness is detectable, but the hops help keep this from being too sweet.
M: It feels a little more than medium-bodied on the palate and somewhat smooth with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This isn't a phenomenal beer, but's a good representation of the style and is also quite easy to drink when compared to other bocks. It's definitely a little filling, but I would have no problem drinking multiple glasses of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2012 01:28:56 | More by metter98
Photo of alexgash
alexgash

Connecticut

3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle.

Tan, burnt sienna body. Clear. Finger of creamy, thick, resilient, light beige head. Some lacing. Caramel and cookie dough malt sweetness on the nose, backed by toasted grains and mild cooked vegetables.

Toasted malts and nutty grains up front. Cookie dough and caramel sweetness fill in. Not overly sweet, but enough to beat out some subdued noble hops. Notes of cola and vanilla, before slight molasses, dry chocolate, and spicy hop bitterness into the finish. Plenty of lingering caramel malts. Moderate body, with a nicely carbonated feel. Not bad at all!

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2012 03:06:49 | More by alexgash
Photo of CraftBeerTastic
CraftBeerTastic

Pennsylvania

3.05/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ba Review #248
Served On: 12/16/2012
Glassware: Sam Adams Perfect Pint
Labeled ABV: -
Date/ Code: -

This was from the current Saranac 12 Beers of Winter mixed 12 pack.

Look: Color was a nice rich transparent copper with some orange tinges. Head was a thin cap of off-white foam that fell to a consistent film. Carbonation level was medium to low. Not much in the way of lacing.

Smell: Very malty with some faint sour notes. A spice was in the background. Some biscuit and other typical lager notes were detected.

Taste: First up was a carbonated tingle on the tongue. Then a sweet maltiness that moved into a slight hop bite. Mount feel was nice and full. The finish was fairly clean with some hop bitterness and some malt sweetness battling over the aftertaste.

This was a solid Bock that fit the style very well. I would drink it again, but I don't know what I would ever seek it out.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2012 18:47:12 | More by CraftBeerTastic
Photo of Treyliff
Treyliff

West Virginia

3.18/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours an amber color with a white foamy head that reduces and skims the top, a bit of short-lasting lace.

S- cereal grains, roasted malt, not much hops, pretty simple

T- some grainy malt, a bit doughy, earthy, with a hops bitterness that overpowers the malt a bit

M- light body, medium carbonation with a fizzy-slightly foamy mouthfeel and finish

O- this one was ok, it had a pretty good flavor profile, but the hops seemed to dominate a bit too much for the style.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2012 03:20:36 | More by Treyliff
Photo of Gmann
Gmann

New York

3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light amber/copper color with a minimal off-white head that quickly settled into a light ring. Probably a shade or so lighter than most bocks.

The aroma is bready & doughy and has the munich malt aroma so it represents the style. Some brown sugar sweetness. Not quite as robust as other bocks.

The taste is bready & doughy as well, nice munich malt flavor. Brown sugar and honey flavor provide some sweetness. A small dose of hoppy bitterness helps balance the sweetness. Its an enjoyable flavor but doesn't quite have the depth.

The feel is light to moderate with fizzy carbonation. I like the high level of carbonation in a bock so it works for me. Good balance in this brew.

Average bock, not terrible but good use some more depth in flavor.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2012 03:11:56 | More by Gmann
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.55/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a good beer, but thats about it, servicable but nothing stand out. the pour is a clear copper to bronze color with a short white head. the nose is plenty of european malts, caramel, pale, and something a little darker. not much hops, but a little sweetness and some earthy tones. flavor is quite good, very wintery, with the sweet form the malt taking center stage in front of a mild english hop backing. not sure what the alcohol is, but i can taste it a little, especially in the finish. still a drinkable brew though, with great carbonation and only just a medium body. i think i like this because its a bock without all the sugar, and not as heavy as some of the spring bocks, its perfect for the season. not the star of the winter 12er, but a beer i will happily consume again.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2012 21:50:41 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - light amber with a thin cap of foamy, off white head that fades to a thin lacing

S - sweet caramel, faint apples

T - big earthy bitterness, caramel, faint chocolate and roasted malts

M - medium bodied, crisp, just a tad overcarbonated

This is a pretty solid bock. All of the right flavors are present. They're just not as pronounced as I would have liked. The hops are a bit more bitter than the style needs. Overall though, I wasn't disappointed, I just wanted a little more. It's worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2012 22:18:08 | More by tdm168
Photo of mikeg67
mikeg67

New Jersey

2.68/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle from a variety pack. Pours amber with a long lasting off-white head. Aroma is of caramel malt and some hops in the background. Body is full and smooth. Taste is caramel malt, herbal hops and cooked vegetables. Finish is long and dry. Mediocre brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2012 14:46:52 | More by mikeg67
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and very good sticky lacing.

The smell featured a dry earthy malt with a touch of cocoa.

The taste consisted of a dry chocolate maltiness with minimal sweetness and a cleansing herbal hop.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side of the style.

Overall a tasty and easy drinking bock.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2012 02:01:51 | More by plaid75
Saranac Black Bear Bock from Matt Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.