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Saranac Black & Tan - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Black & TanSaranac Black & Tan

Educational use only; do not reuse.

735 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 735
Reviews: 500
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 13.01%
Wants: 8
Gots: 28 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-05-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 735 | Reviews: 500 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FranklinPCombs
4.03/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Black and Tan pours a deep earthy red, almost the color of blood when held up to a lamp, or the sun. Head consists of very small, tan bubbles which recede quickly into just a spattering of top and some thin creeping lace. The smell is primarily of the lager side. Very yeasty and grainy, with the background of malt. Along with a hint of soy and barely noticable hops, and a touch of coffee from the stout, the overall smell is almost meaty, like breakfast sausage. Mouthfeel is smooth at first, but immediately the carbonation comes in, before it smooths out again. The taste is incredibly smooth and mellow, with elements of both the lager and stout. The wheat and malt from the lager smooth in front of the indiscrete taste of roasted coffee and the smallest hint of citrus. The aftertaste is very smooth and slightly dry, with a hint of burnt. This was my first venture into the world of Black and Tans, and I must say I was very happy with this beer.

Photo of steelreign
3.26/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I personally expected a little more in the taste and mouthfeel departments from this one. I like the idea of a black and tan, although I must adimit I lean towards the "black" part of that mix.

Medium brown pour with a large semi-creamy head. Not alot of aroma, but did detect nutty, malty and coffee scents. Taste falls between a light stout and a heavy lager (which, of course, makes sense) and left little in the way of bitterness in the finish. Hops and malt are there, nutty and slight roast flavor.

All in all a good example of this combo. I think if you poured an actual Guinness and Bass, it would amount to something very similar. Enjoy!

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear brown color, below a massive, booming, rocky tan head, slowly folding down.
Aroma: sly, soft, creamy, nutty, with a nice, much appreciated hit of bitter espresso notes, as well.
Taste: smooth and untroubled, goes down with the greatest of ease. A bit of bitterness goes down the throat as well, but only in a minor, low-key way. It's nothing but smooth sailing. Chocolatey, nutty, and with a quickly terminated finish.
I suppose this style of beer trips many a trigger out there (on draft, I consider it merely a gimmick, used only to torment hapless bartenders), but not me. Has to be an adequate example, though.

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown/ black color with a great light tan head that sticks around. The aroma is sweet with malts (crystal, chocolate, etc.) The taste is good. Dark beer malt character with the light bodied lager mouthfeel. It's a perfect combination. This is the first black and tan beer I ever tried, so I guess I'm partial to it. It's a good session beer. Pass one along to a friend. If you like Saranac beers, you will love this one. It's probably their best.

Photo of Stingray5
3.29/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, almost black with a nice cream head that lasts.

Faint caramel and coffee bitterness aroma. Some hops present here, too. Taste is nice, with coffee and chocolate maltiness turning to hops. I think I expected more from this beer based on it's appearance. A bit watery, and not much of a finish. It dies right out. It's quite drinkable, but in the end I'd rather just have a stout.

Photo of far333
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.44/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow, what a look. Very clear and very dark. This baby is deep, deep dark mahogany with neat ruby highlights. Two finger beige head melts away to a nice covering film that is good at placing sticky lace down the glass. The aroma is all malt, some toasting noted and hints of chocolate, but rather weak. Flavors include light coffee notes and there is just enough bittering to limit the malt tendencies. Good blended flavors. Not great, but definitely interesting enough to hold your interest for a while. A tad watery and lacks crispness in the ending. Dry finish with little aftertaste.

Photo of Tballz420
3.21/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Doesnt say anything about "Growler" Please let me know if i have made a mistake. Says its a combo of a stout and lager. Almost black, until held to the light, also slightly more brown towards the bottom. Nice lacing. Interesting taste. Seems like a blend of coffee and chocolate. Pretty interesting, i think there are two in the sample pack i got here. Other than these two, i dont see myself seeking this one out again

Photo of Stubbie1
3.4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A dark brown brew, hold it to the light and you can see a trace of mahogany. A off white head was present. The head left rather quickly and left a very thin lace. The nose was a bit roasted malt, hints of coffee. The taste was a bit malty on the start some hints of roasted malts and the coffee. It changes to a bitter hop flavor and it lingers to the finish. I didn’t not know what to expect with this beer. It is OK. I would rather have a REAL black and Tan.

Photo of nomad
3.97/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Supposedly a mix of a “classic irish stout with an all-malt german amber lager.” Looked an opaque deep brown color with red edges, that had a light tan foamy-almost rocky-head. No lace but plenty of splotchy-stringy stain.
Smelled of dark and caramel malts, nuts; both faded away quick, though. Taste was a nice dark malt, quite roasted in character, with slightly woodiness as well. Had an almost fruity hops tinge. Nice simple dryness, akin to burnt toast type of paucity, maybe from the lager mixed in. Had a medium body mouthfeel, but an almost watery finish and washdown. Simple but decent bitter lingered - still a hearty yet faintly refreshing brew, arguably the best of Saranac.

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

The body is a very dark brown with reddish-mahogany highlights and a creamy tan head that holds fairly well and leaves some spotty lace. The nose displays some grassy hops over a dark maltiness that's made up of light caramel and hints of deep roasted coffee. The body is medium/light, and it's crisp in the mouth due to a fine, median carbonation. A toasty malt character appears first on the palate; followed by an acidic roastiness and then some caramel notes as it warms. Some grassy/floral hop flavor shows up just as the bitterness starts to rise in the swallow. There's a quick shot of chocolate upfront, and then some passing caramel, in the lingering bitter finish that mainly leaves you with a roasted astringency/acidity and some grassy/metallic hop flavors. - That may not sound very good, but it is. It's a nice, dry and refreshing finish that lets you know you're drinking a dark beer. It makes you want to have another taste, and adds to its drinkability. It's not a great beer, but it's well made and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this simple "style".

Photo of rabidawg
3.91/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark ruby, but not opaque. Creamy, extremely rocky head that laced and laced. Beautiful brew.

Smell is mostly malt, with hints of chocolate running throughout. Light hop profile.

A truly odd B&T, not just since it's mixed and all. A German lager ? Interesting. The profiles of the stout and the lager are independently discernable. Malty goodness form the lager and a dry, pleasant hoppiness from the stout. Enjoyable, as are most of the offerings from Matt Brewing.

Photo of pezoids
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out a deep mahogany color with a large tan and frothy head. The aroma was a slight sweet chocolate malt. A medium bodied beer with a nice sour tang to it. Citrus hop flavor pairs very nicely with the malt flavor. This beer is very drinkable and pretty tasty.

Photo of Running4beer
3.51/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark in color: Brown with an amber/reddish highlight. Medium tan head to a lacey thin finish, stays all the way to the end. Smell of roasted malts is giving off strongly. Tastes of chocolate, malt and coffee/espresso, slight bitterness with a carmel taste finish. Rather enjoyable if I say so. Good moutfeel can feel slight carbonation when trying to get a good taste. All in all its good.


Photo of bditty187
3.36/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I sampled this beer again recently (March 2006), I took no notes but I will like to “refresh” my review in a sense. I am not changing my score but I am editing my wording. I think this is a decent beer and I was kind of negative three years ago. My new bottle was part of a 12-beer sampler that I purchased in Lawrence, KS.

Original review from March 2003:

Deep dark brown in hue with slight brownish-ruby highly around the edges. Rocky tan bubbles, over a finger’s worth, good head retention, lots of subsequent spotty lace.

Toasty-sweet malt dominates the nose, maybe a whisper of chocolate... but its basically very simple.

Toasty malt, coffee-like bitterness with no other development on the palate. Some odd flavors are noticeable as well. The ending is too abrupt and too light. Taste-wise, this is very much an average beer; there are no standout qualities.

Medium-light in body; average carbonation.

One bottle is enough for me. Frankly, this beer is not worthy of a 6-pack purchase but in a mixed six-pack, it is okay.

Photo of francisweizen
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

an above average bottled black and tan that rivals Yuenglings IMO. This beer pours a nice dark colour with some red highlights to it. This smells of chocolate, roasted malts, and coffee. This tastes like it smells...chocolat-y and very roasty. Quite nice! This has a pretty thin mouthfeel and the drinkability is OK.
A nice B&T from Saranac...

Photo of RonfromJersey
3.28/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown-red body, topped by a huge, foamy, light beige head. Some roasted mals and cocoa in the aroma. The featured taste is the roasted malt, but it fades out to near-nothingness so quickly, it difficult to believe it was really there. Hell, a lager alone should make a longer impression. I understand that Saranac beers are inexpensive basic intros to their styles, but I expected at least a little more heft with this one. Another example of why Black & Tans should be a DIY.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Saranac Black and Tan looks completely black with an impressively resilient off white frothy head. Once hel up to the light it is a deep amber brown tone, the lace is full and thick. You can smell the dark roasts, but the malt sweetness from the amber lager is also coming through in the aroma of this brew. A decent example of this miture in a botle, but I will have to say that I have ha better. The flavor of has a nice chewy caramel after taste in the finish. The dryness of the stout and the sweetness from the malt both represent, although a little unbalanced to me. An overall enjoyable medium to full body beer, carries a nice drinkability if your in the mood for something a little diferent. I like but don't love this one.

Photo of RBorsato
4.15/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown (auburn to light source) with a full creamy light brown which leaves rings of lace. Nice hop aroma at first (very suprising!). Light roasty coffee flavor with a great hop balance. Light caramel flavor comes out in the end. Light-medium bodied with a dry roasty finish. All in all this beer was better than I remembered from the past... would definitely drink again.

Just sampled the bottle from my 2002 Holiday pack; maybe they dropped the "Growler" designation .... thought that was kind of silly anyways.

Label states: "Stout & Lager" & "Irish stout and German-style amber lager"

Photo of CharlesRiver
3.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black in color with a nice head that seems to last. The smell is sweet and malty. The taste is toasted malt, coffee and very sweet in the beginning and then leads to some hops. Nothing stands out in this beer. Again, the same taste and flavors as the rest fo the Matt Brewing line.

Photo of GreatPondBrewer
2.88/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Going to school in Rochester makes Sarnac the trendy brew of choice and I do like several of their beers a good deal, but this is not one of them. Its label says it is a cross between stout and lager, but it was not as pleasing and much too sweet, as opposed to some B&T I have had. The pour was dark and decent with a fair sized head which disappeared rather quickly. The taste however was not to my liking. It tasted watered down with very few flavors that stayed in my mouth for very long. And there was no bitterness to speak of! Overall not a very complex beer that only made me thirsty for a better one.

Photo of Shiloh
2.65/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is NOT my style of beer by choice but I will rate it anyway, keeping in mind....hmmmm.....OK...colour is dark, black really, taste is...... not to my liking.....STOP...This is not fair to Saranac, I think I would like this brew if only I could appreciate this style....
But.........I am glad I met it...Nuff said.

Photo of jtw5877
3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a decent dark brown hue. Combination of lager & dark roasted malt flavor. Not a bad Black & Tan, especially for a pre-fab. Beer #11 of 12 beer sampler is a success. I will not be reviewing the #12 beer of the sampler which is the light, because my sister-in-law drank it allready. Overall the 12 beer sampler was a fun 12 pack of beer.

Photo of BeerBuilder
3.01/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany in color, with a thick, creamy, light brown head. No hop aroma is evident. Has a light roast malt aroma. Sweet caramel malt, with a bit of roast malt flavor. The malt subdues the bitterness. Overall, it is a medium-bodied, smooth drinking beer. Nothing jumps out and grabs me to intrigue me to have another. This would be a good beer for those who are still not ready to jump head into a Stout.

Photo of SchmichaelJ
3.97/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The stout/lager mix of Saranac's Black & Tan is quite different than a porter /lager or porter /ale that I'm used to. Beyond this noveIty, I still enjoyed this brew. The appearance of this interesting beer was a dark reddish brown with a thin white head that stuck around for a while, and only a small amount of lacing. Roasted malt and a little bit of hops could be detected in the intriguing aroma. The same roasted malt appeared in the taste, along with hints of coffee and a small trace of chocolate. The fuller body of the stout mixed with the lighter lager made for an almost dual-layered mouthfeel...at first heavy, but lighter than expected during the swallow. My bottle of Saranac's B&T was very enjoyable and very drinkable...complex enough for a stout, but light enough to have several of in a sitting. Nice job overall.

Saranac Black & Tan from Matt Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 735 ratings.