McSorley's Black & Tan | Pabst Brewing Company

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McSorley's Black & TanMcSorley's Black & Tan

Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Black & Tan

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.63%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-17-2002

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Reviews: 35 | Ratings: 56
Photo of donniecuffs
2.77/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured mahogany brown, with less than a finger of beige head, poor retention, and spotty lacing. Like the Ale brewed by this company, very sweet in the nose, with milk chocolate dominating. The taste was similar, but also detected a hint of earthiness and cocoa powder, and a semi-sweet finish. Thinner than expected, but this was again a little hidden mentally by the overall sweetness of the brew.

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Photo of Seanibus
3.34/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Better than I had expected based on the previous McSorley's offering I had tried.

Pours deep brown with a fluffy white head that falls quickly, with almost no lacing. The aroma is pleasantly chocolate and roasted, though there is a faint whiff of the mass produced behind it. The flavor is decent, with an appropriate amount of roasted, porter-like character and a backbone of pale-malt-based ale. There is some mild hop character and a hint of bitterness on the back end. This is clearly not a carefully-crafted microbrew, but it is certainly better than one would expect from Pabst, and clearly better than similar offerings from the equivalent Michelob craft brew line. The mouthfeel is slight, though there is a bit of cling that keeps the roasted character in the mouth longer than you'd expect. Unfortunately, the overall product is marked by that indefinable sourness late on the finish that afflicts many mass market American beers.

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Photo of yelterdow
1.88/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A local staple for years, I fianlly became curious enough to give this a try. For $4.99 a sixer, I risk nothing.

Served in a pint glass at several degrees over fridge temperature.

Appearance- The color of cherry cola, this beer pours quite thin. It creates a two finger head that crackles away to a transparent film in a matter of two minutes, with no lacing whatsoever.

Smell- There is definitely a whiff of chocolate and very faint hops, with an underlying sweetness that I might chalk up to an adjunct. It has a stout character, mixed with a cheap lager nose.

Taste- As with the aroma, the sweet chocolately flavors are quickly overcome by an almost cereal based, corny sweetness that is very difficult to get down. Reminds me of a low-end AB macro trying to be a stout. Unpleasant to say the least.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Active right away, becoming more and more carbonated and finally gassy to the point of being bothersome. A poor attempt at the style, and a rather weak offering from Pabst.

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Photo of maddogruss
2.68/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured a 12 ounce bottle of this into a shaker glass.

A: Pours a black body with a small, tan head with ok retention and decent lacing overall.

S: A pretty sour, bitter malt smell with some roasted malt and roasted barley undertones.

T: A musky, roasted malt taste with a slightly bitter and sour roasted barley aftertaste.

M: An overcarbonated and watery mouthfeel that did very little to compliment the beer. Reminded me of seltzer water.

D: Ok drinkability, but unimpressive mouthfeel and taste hurt this one. A little easier to handle, but I was not dying for a second beer after the first.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.15/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark cola color with a cherry tan head.

S: A slight roasted nuttiness is detected on the nose with some light licorice notes.

T: For flavor there is some smoky maltiness, and deep chocolate flavor. There is some spiciness that compliments the deep chocolate nature of this beer quite nicely.

M: The mouthful is light but big on flavor with roasted chocolate notes upon warming on the tongue.

D: Overall impression, a moderate beer, decent flavor but nothing to exciting here.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
3.2/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brownish colour with hints of ruby when held to the light. Head is medium to large in size and has a light tan colour to it. Minimal amounts of residue are left on the glass after each sip.

The aroma is sweet from caramel and some chocolate with a bit of an earthy scent hidden amongst the sweetness. Not bad but not great.

The flavour takes the aroma and eases up on it a bit, with faint flavours all around, save for an over-abundance of sweetness, which clearly dominates each sip. It might even be a bit medicinal at times. Very average. Mouthfeel is very much light bodied and watery, and a bit over-carbonated at that.

This is a run of the mill brew at best. No huge flaws save for a slightly sub par mouthfeel, but just nothing beyond average going on here really. This one might work in a pinch if you're on a strict budget, but I'd look elsewhere for something with more flavour.

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Photo of Stimack
2.95/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First time I have ever given McSorley's a try. It poured to a dark brown color, hedging on black with a nice sized light tan head that breaks down quite quickly but did leave some lacing down the side. The aroma seems nice but light, slight roasted malts, some chocolate smell come out. The taste is where this beer breaks apart in my opinion. Very watery, some malt flavors but a metallic flavor that seems to be very prominent, but not a good flavor. Overall this is a ok beer at best, has some character but based on the Black and Tan offering from Saranac this just does not cut it.

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Photo of oldirtycaffrey
3.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark brown/near black hue with a slight off-white head that dissipated relatively quickly. Very little lacing was left on the glass. The smell is of strong malts and slight yeast. The taste is bitter and malty with a good amount of carbonation, which might turn off some. Although the bottle says 85% stout/15% lager, there are not too many stout characteristics to this beer. That said, it is pretty robust and fairly smooth, which makes it drinkability high in my opinion. I'd enjoy having this with a plate of wings and watching a game with friends. At $5.99 for a six-pack, this might be the most affordable "strong" beer to get for your money.

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Photo of plaid75
2.74/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep brown hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a muted toasted grain, strong adjunct and a lazy hop.

The taste was very subdued and very average. Thin malts, bland hops and no stout characteristics. Clearly a beer that gets its appearance from the addition of coloring.

The mouthfeel was thin and overly carbonated.

Overall not horrible, but not what it is advertised to be either. Had a nice setup, but just nothing in the flavor department. Black macro - blackro - maybe I just coined a term.

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Photo of Atron67
3.41/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass

A-Got an inch or so of foam from a relatively heavy pour,the normal tan colored foam with a dark basically black liquid

S- Malty, somewhat of a lager smell more than a stout

T- pretty good some things i havent seen before, enjoyable, tastey, but not exceptional

M- light for something thats 85 % stout, but good for a black and tan

D- damn good

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Photo of BagOHaZe
1.32/5  rDev -58.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

serving 12 oz bottle

Color- Dark Amber

Lacing - really nothing to speak of dies down rather quickly

Smell - Bitter/Sweet

Taste- Bitter Medicine with a touch of sweet

Aftertaste- Downright Awful

This beer is a complete car crash. Stay away nothing like you will get if you went to the actual Mc Sorley's pup in Manhattan It's a shame this beer bears the same name

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Photo of Jredner
1.62/5  rDev -48.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle from Joe Canal’s in West Deptford, NJ. The aroma is pretty sweet with mild molasses notes and abundant sweet malt as well as a bit of stale adjunct laden lager aroma. The beer pours a ruddy brown, but it does settle black, barely. The head is about a finger thick and tan, but immediately fades to a thin tan slick of a head.

Tastes very pale lager-like with some artifical sweetner and that stale warm cheap lager taste I have never been able to compare to anything else. It’s pretty bad tasting. It’s very thin and it leaves a stale unclean aftertaste. Unless you just want to try a new beer, save your money and buy Yuengling Black & Tan.

 660 characters

Photo of jwc215
2.89/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It poured a very dark body, with a white head that dissipated to a thin lacing and then to almost nothing over a brief period of time. There was a bit more carbonation than I had expected. The smell was not bad - some hints at a chocolate malt, but somewhat on the weak side.
It smells better than it tastes. It was quite watery with only hints at flavor. The flavor wasn't bad, some hints at perhaps chocolate malt, but quite weak. It is refreshing and perhaps a good alternative to a thicker dark beer on warmer days. There are better black and tans, but this isn't too bad for the price. Nothing much exciting about it though.

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Photo of cyberbmcd
3.82/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This used to be one of my favorite Black and Tan's. I still enjoy it, but I've changed my opinion slightly.

My palate in the last year has become more discerning. This is due in no small part to my learning so much at

In any case, This beer looks wonderful when you pour it. Richly dark with a hint of red. The aroma is distinctly stoutish. Very malty, there is not a lasting head, but very good lacing. In fact the lacing might be due to this B&T's one drawback. It's distinctly American because it's carbonation almost reminds you of a soft drink rather than a beer. Another immediate reminder that this beer is brewed in Wisconsin is the screw top. (why are American brewers afraid to go back to real bottle caps?) In any case for the beginner this is a great B&T it gives you the best of both worlds. The flavor palate is far more sophisticated than your average American brew. It's nutty and flavorful with a smooth creamy mouthfeel, you must pour it into a glass to let the carbonatioon mellow, but overall Quite a good black and tan.

Final note: If you see this at the distributor next to Yeungling B&T grab the Yeungling, otherwise this is probably one of the top five brews in the case.

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Photo of Phatz
3.78/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours black as night with deep red highlights and a light tan head.

Smell: Subtle Stout-like chocolaty malt aroma. Deep dark fruit and roasted gentle hops.

Taste: This is a beautifully blended stout and lager black and tan. The flavor is extremely approachable and easily palatable. It has suggestions of grape juice and chocolate malts but all very mild. It gets a bit thin through the middle but that is where the lager characteristics show through. Some sweet caramel attributes come out before it finishes lager smooth with a malt hop balance that lingers on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Nice and smooth light weight feel.

Drinkability: This is an amazingly drinkable beer. It has a low ABV and light weight feel in your stomach. Although the flavor is not overly complex it is an extremely sessionable refreshing, and tasty beer. This is a beer many macro beer drinkers will accept and few craft beer drinkers will refuse.

Hope this is helpful.

Thanks to tgbljb for the trade!

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Photo of scooter231
2.84/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Meh. Not wonderful, not horrible. Cheap, good bang for your buck, but nothing special going on here. Very little in the way of the nose; taste is not offensive but nothing delicious. Mouthfeel is so-so. Fairly drinkable, goes down easy, but nothing exciting here.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
3.04/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

An inexpensive, easy drinkin beer. The only real criticism I have here is the virtual absense of odor. Even when quite warm all I manage to get out of it is a mild sweetness.
Drinking this reminds me of drinking Jack and Coke without too much Jack involved.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.63/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear reddish-copper color with nice tannish head. Smell is fruity, toasty, maybe some dark grape taste present. Taste is very nice with a large amount of maltiness. Good and creamy. Finish is mainly malty with little hops to be found. Very thirst quenching, easy to drink.

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Photo of Billolick
3.18/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. No freshness dating offered. This brew pours cloudy dark brown, with some fairly active carbonation as it comes out of the bottle. Settles down to a light tan head with some scattered lacing. This is not a subtle brew, just a load of sludgy caramel on the palate. Prickly on the tongue. Also some burnt sugary malt also picked up. This is a gimicky brew, playing off the Mcsorel's name. I wouldn't waste much more time on this one.

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Photo of Naes
2.69/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown with reddish hues showing through. The head is a light tan color and is a bit modest.

Aroma is minimal, but some malts do register.

The flavor is quite sweet. Malts definitely dominate this brew, with hints of chocolate and roastiness surfacing.

Medium bodied and highly carbonated. It is also a bit watery.

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Photo of whartontallboy
3.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This one is a leftover from watching the BCS games with my high school friends in January, but still tastes pretty good.

Pours a dark cola brown with brown highlights and a medium-sized brown head. Head fades quickly.

Smell is kind of weak, but there's a faint hint of chocolate and some toasted malt in there.

Flavor is pretty smooth, just a slight roasty maltiness with some chocolate notes, a bit of alcohol, but not much in the way of hoppiness.

Only real complaint is that the mouthfeel is pretty watery; this one would really benefit from a little kicking up. Other than that, extremely drinkable, and not a bad cheap choice to kick back with some friends who need a good crossover beer. They'll be confused; it looks dark, but it's so mild!

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Photo of aquatonex
3.2/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got a 6-pack late St. Patty's Day after gawking at the intense sardine-can situation at all the bars.

Pours translucent brown with a partially creamy, partially effervescent head. Smell has toasted malts, some alcohol. Taste is rather mild for a black and tan, the balance is good though. Not very strong, good for drinking. Mouthfeel is a little weak. Easy to drink.

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Photo of masterbruewer
3.31/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown/amber with thick brown head. Thick lacing and light carbonation.

The smell is sweet and creamy malt, with a little piney hop in the background.

The taste is a nice blend of malt, chocolate and a little hop kick at the end that lingers a bit. The flavor livens up some more as it warms.

The mouthfeel is solid, but not thick, with nice hop and carbonation kicks.

This is a typical example of the style. A nice mix of flavors, but not the strongest tastes I've found. A decent, mellow offering in the style.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

ruby brown with a tan head. grainy smell, with slight chocolate and raisin notes. graininess in the taste as well with a slightly vinous character, with brown sugar and then a little chocolate in the aftertaste. very little hops present. slightly thin medium mouthfeel. not bad. cheap enoughand has enough taste that it was worth buying and possibly worth buying again.

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Photo of chilidog
3.28/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I thought this Black-n-Tan had a impressive appearance as it pours a dark ruby color. The head cascades to finally settle at a nice tan, while a web of a lighter tan coats the glass. It all maintained well. The aroma of sweet toasted malt hits the nose while hints of grain back it up. The sweet toasted malt comes along in the taste as well as mild hints of molasses, dark chocolate and smoke. Although the tastes hint there way in, the beer is abit mild for the style. The body I thought was weak, abit on the watery side. The drinkability is mildly smooth. I agree with other reviews, this makes a good, not to strong crossover beer. Another thought, a good cold dark offering on warmer days.

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McSorley's Black & Tan from Pabst Brewing Company
3.17 out of 5 based on 56 ratings.
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