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Saranac Black & Tan - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Black & TanSaranac Black & Tan

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

718 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 718
Reviews: 498
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 13.26%
Wants: 8
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Black & Tan |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-05-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 718 | Reviews: 498 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by joezak5:
Photo of joezak5
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into a Duvel sniffter; blackish brown with just a hint of light getting through, real nice tan head and retention.

Smell: Sweet malts and muted hops.

Mouthfeel: Light but with a filling feeling and light prickly carbonation.

Taste: Slightly artificial sweetness and light oily hops, a little roastiness going on in the background.

Drinkability: A great session beer, flavorful, not overly complex and very reasonably priced.

joezak5, Aug 12, 2008
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown with some reddish highlights thru out with a nice creamy well sustained head.Slight aroma of dark roasted malt and some caramel but pretty slight like I said,a decent melding of flavors some bitter sweet chocolate,caramel and dark roasted malt the beer finish rather abruptly not much lingering flavors.Hey not bad and $5.19 for the Trail Pack I think more than worth the price,wish there was two of these and only one Adirondack Amber.

oberon, Jan 07, 2005
Photo of JudgeRoughneck
2.85/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

It pours a mirky mohagany color with thin khacki head that disappears quicky to leave only surface mottling. There is no lacing. Nose is alcohol and wet cardboard. This one is not off to a great start.

Taste is pretty good actually. Starts sweet and creamy with very light caramel that goes over to very mellow bitterness that falls off into a flat, coffe-tinged malt. There is a really nice toasted character throughout that really makes the beer.

The mouthfeel on this one is thick and DENSE. I feel like I'm eating this damn thing, and it sure sits heavy in the stomach. Bottle says it was made to session. I beg to differ.

JudgeRoughneck, Feb 04, 2006
Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown, though see through, from bottle to Guinness pint glass. 1/2 inch tan head to start but it quickly diminishes to a few floating bubbles. The initial sips are bitter and fizzy. There is a caramel/toasty malt flavor though not robust. There is what seems to be a slight hop finish but almost tastes too rusty to be hop. A caramel malt aroma is present throughout accompanied by a little oatiness. Outside of the sweetness the aromas are pretty muted. This brew is a bit thin and the fizziness of the carbonation is a little unpleasant. There is a little rustiness to the finish. I think that the medium body and smoothness of the beer makes it okay. The sturdiness of the brew is above average and keeps this brew on the up and up for me. All in all I don't care for the black in tan premix but if I had to drink one, I could make worse choices than this one.

ArrogantDeadGuy, Aug 18, 2009
Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saranac Black and Tan style beer 5.4% alcohol. Saranac sampler Sixer.

A- Pours a nice dark black fluid that shows a amber look in the sunlight. Nice quarter inch tan head that falls to a froth leaving thin patchy lacing.

S- Smell is of gas station coffee burnt and old. Mild carmel malts sneak through as well.

T-M- Smooth malty notes of smoked wood, toasted coffee beans and light carmel upfront. Has some hop charactor in the fact of the bitter bite following the toasted flavors. Mouthfeel is nice with a rolling carbonation that tingles the tongue as it passes over the buds. Fresh flavor of mixed styles.

D- I'd say this is a great Black and Tan beer due to excellent drinkablity due to a 5.4% alcohol rating. I'd drink this on with some vigor if put in front of me.

wesbrownyeah, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of steelerguy
3.9/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours mahogany with a nice 2 finger off-white head. Dark but translucent with moderate carbonation.

S - Toasted malt aroma.

T - Smooth flavor, good blend of lager and stout. Seems like they mixed a good bit more lager than stout, which gives a nice roasted malt flavor but without too much coffee or chocolate notes. Little hop bitterness and really no hop flavor or aroma.

M - Nice attenuated, no heavy finish, just enough carbonation for a crisp ending.

D - Smooth and balanced which leads to very drinkable beer.

steelerguy, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pleasant surprise, because I wasn't expecting much from a bottled Black and Tan. A deep red/brown color with a thick tan head. Not much aroma, kind of a sweet malt thing. Pretty nice taste. Coffee, with a lingering taste of roasted malt. Little bit of hops. An undercurrent of chocolate. Most enjoyable.

lordofthewiens, Apr 16, 2008
Photo of Todd
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Zu Zu (Middle East) in Cambridge, MA, USA.

Dark, near black in colour with a creamy / sticky head. Aroma has a buttery diacetyl / caramel smell to it. Smooth, medium-bodied with more, albeit slick, diacetyl. An acrid, semi-astringent bite melds nicely with an underlying hop character. A little dry & crisp with traditional lager flavours pulling thru as the beer warms up. Hint of chocolate. Clean finish.

Todd, Jan 27, 2002
Photo of generallee
4.1/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black and Tan is a blend of an Irish style stout and a German style all malt lager. It has a dark body with amber hues. The head is tan, thick, and it makes good lacing on my pint glass. Roasted malts, hops, caramel and toffee notes, fill your nose. On the tongue there are flavor notes of roasted malts, toast, espresso, and wild tart blackberries. The bitterness of the hops surrounds and balances everything nicely and leads to a slow bitter finish. It has a nice medium body and a creamy smooth mouth feel that makes it very enjoyable.

generallee, Apr 29, 2008
Photo of Doomcifer
3.2/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with a decent brown head that stuck around for a bit. Not much lacing. Smells of roasted malts, faint dark chocolate, caramel. Taste is lightly roasted, caramel, some milk chocolate flavor, kind of watery. Mouthfeel is semi creamy, decent carbonation, slick. Pretty drinkable considering.

Doomcifer, Sep 11, 2008
Photo of Jason
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Spiffy looking head, khaki coloured head is the best thing about this beer. Brown coloured brew with reddish highlights.

Smell: Toasted bread and some dextrin sweetness are pretty much all of the aroma.

Taste: Touch of roasted malt, earthy with a minty hop flavour and bitterness. Vague sweetness with a bitty and paper like flavours towards the end … not the oxidized paper flavour, just and odd taste. Finishes with a watery roasted flavour and faint hop oil.

Mouthfeel: Some crispness and a slickness in the mouth, medium bodied.

Drinkability & Notes: Not to bad, I prefer my B & T’s layered. This show that most of the Saranac beers are samey, blend two of their beers together and it still tastes pretty much the same as the others give or take a flaw or off flavour. This just happens to be a good blend.

Jason, Dec 03, 2002
Photo of merlin48
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I will eventually finish off my 2003 12 beer sampler box, with a review of all the varied contents. The only other black and tan that I've had out of a bottle was a Yuengling's, and the Saranac is better. Pours with a really nice head, unlike the other samplers out of their box. Good retention and lots of lacing. Color is a clear dark chestnut with definite ruby highlights. Aroma is more like a stout, coffee and bittersweet chocolate, and so is the taste. Mouthfeel has some carbonation along with a bitter hop balance. Difficult to zero in on the flavors here, but it's a pleasant sipping brew. Can't wait to sample their stout, after enjoying this combination.

merlin48, Dec 09, 2003
Photo of Billolick
3.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another selection out of the sampler box I recently purchased. No freshness of bottling information. Pours very dark shade of brown, typical tan head, nose here is just a slight wiff of malt. Chalky, dry, and also abit smoky. perhaps some dark chocolate and coffee also picked up. Nothing amazing, but I found this to be a drinkable, fairly tasty brew.

Billolick, Nov 16, 2006
Photo of tigg924
3.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown in color, 1/2 inch head, clear, moderate carbonation

Smell: roasted malt and coffee

Taste: roasted coffee, toasted malt, and caramel

Mouthfeel: sweet with a bitter backbone, medium light bodied, medium/high carbonation

Drinkability: A suprisingly sessionable combination of caramel and coffee flavors. I could have two or three, no desire for a six though. A good representation of the style.

tigg924, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle provided by Cavie.

The beer pours dark brown with a khaki head. The aroma is toffee, caramel and roasted malt. The flavor is caramel, chocolate and some earthy hops. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Only my second pre-made black and tan, but this one was not bad. Not sure if I would try it again, but I am glad I got to try it.

Mora2000, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The last from my Saranac Adirondack mixed pack.

Poured into a dimpled pint glass. Deep chocolate in colour, but when held to the light it catches some ruby hues as well. Thin, white head survives as a thin layer. Some lacing.

Nose is roasted coffee, malt, cream, a bit of nut and milk chocolate. Quite nice actually.

I think this was my favorite brew of the bunch, (although the Black Forest was certainly nice as well). The stout was of the dry Irish variety, nice and roasty, but with a soft sweetness as well. The lager character features in the mellowing finish, which also features some mild hoppy citric tang to it. This is all overlain with a creamy, milk flavor, softening the different hues.

Medium bodied, crisp, yet creamy as well.

Flavorful, good melding of two other brews. Bottled or canned Black and Tans are a tough sell for me - the best kinds are the ones your pour yourself. This, however, was not a bad stab at it.

JohnnyBarman, Apr 14, 2011
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black-n-Tan in a bottle. Riiiggghhhhtttt.

Color is definitely more in the black category. Thin, almost non-present layer of dark tan head. Barely noted dark malts mixed some sugar. Flavor is a mix of caramel sweetness and some toasty-nut. Finished slightly dry, with some chocolate notes. Thin and not too drinkable. Not sure why the effort.

OldFrothingSlosh, Sep 30, 2005
Photo of jakester
3.83/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was from a sampler case. No date!! Bottle says this is a blend of Irish stout and amber lager.

Pours a pretty looking dark brownish/mahogany with a 2 finger rocky head of big beige bubbles. Decent lacing while I drank.

Aroma is molasses, dark roasted coffee, grassy hops, pretty interesting.

Flavor is dark coffee and roasted malts, molasses, dark cherries but not too sweet. A good dose of bitterness from hops. Finish is a long taste of roasted barley, not overdone. Pleasant.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, bitter, with a good zing across the tongue from carbonation. Mouth puckering finish.This is pretty good, as B and T's go. There aren't that many to compare. I could drink a few of these. Recommended.

jakester, Jul 17, 2005
Photo of jcdiflorio
4.2/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a nonic glass,a deep clear ruby red color with a thick and creamy light tan head lacing the glass and retentative also.An inviting looking beer.
The aroma a pronounced roasty smell,a complex malty nose with hints of carmel,bisquit .Also spicey,woody,a hint of vanallia, even a tad bit smokey.
The taste was very roasty,carmelly,burnt,a hint of vanallia.Citrusy and spicy,supurbly balanced.A wonderful crisp,clean bittersweet finish.
The moutnfeel was on the medium side,very creamy and velvety on the palate.A nice sharp,tartness lingers on the palate.
As drinkable as a black and tan can get. A pleasurable and delicious beer,leaving you craving more of it.
Yet,another drinkable beer from Saranac.

jcdiflorio, Oct 25, 2006
Photo of kingcrowing
4.03/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle.

Pours a very dark black with a small off white head. Nose is very sweet toasty and malty, it's really nice.

Taste is awesome, very toasty and roasted but also light and bitter too. It's really quite a combination and it works really well especially for a premixed B&T.

kingcrowing, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev +15.3%

mjtiernan, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Mantooth
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Mantooth, Sep 09, 2013
Photo of mevans05
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

dark, reddish-brown in color. healthy creamy head. caramel arroma. hoppy, caramel flavor. seems a little weird compared to a traditional black and tan, but still a nice taste and a medium body. overall a fine mix of a stout and lager with hoppy/caramel overtones that give you a sense of each brew that composes this mix.

mevans05, Dec 08, 2001
Photo of far333
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Deep brown to ruby color with a light brown head. Head runs away quickly, but leaves a bit of lacing. Nice aroma of roasted malt, with hints of raisin. Taste is of hop bitter, but veiled with some burnt malt, and finished with a prune flavor that seems to overtake and overpower. It gets stronger with each sip, and becomes too much. How can it be a black and tan in a bottle? Where's the characteristic separation of dark and light in the pint glass? Is it stout? Is it lager? It wants to be both, but ends up being neither, something odd in between.

far333, May 22, 2003
Photo of BadBadger
3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This Black & Tan poured a nice extremely dark amber-nearly black. There was a small of white head which did not last very long after pouring. There was no significant or over-riding smell to make note of. This beer starts out tasting rather good with hints of caramel and coffee and s light hoppiness. Towards the end the taste has diminished. An ok beer to try but nothing I would want on a regular basis.

BadBadger, May 15, 2004
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Saranac Black & Tan from Matt Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 718 ratings.