Saranac Dark-tober(fest)
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac Dark-tober(fest)Saranac Dark-tober(fest)
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German Märzen / Oktoberfest
Ranked #286
Ranked #36,707
3.66 | pDev: 10.38%
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States
Saranac Dark-tober(fest)Saranac Dark-tober(fest)
Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 68
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a coppery brown color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains lager yeast, caramelized malts, honey, some chocolate and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of lager yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. Then some mildly sweet flavors of chocolate and honey come in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style but seems more like a Munich Dunkel, it’s a decent beer if you’re in the mood for a not-too-dark lager.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed from the 12 oz bottle in a pint glass. This sessionable brew pours a clear darkish amber with a moderate head of off white foam that subsides to a thick ring, subtle pool, and nice lacing. Nose of light caramel, light chocolate, and grain notes. Flavors follow the nose with roasted caramel malts with a subtle chocolate note and heavy grain notes on the back. More in the dunkle category as noted by others. Medium mouth feel, lightly carbonated, lightly sweet yet grainy aftertaste that finishes subtly dry. A decent session brew, but not up to the snuff of the more recent brews I have had from Matt Brewing.


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Photo of woodychandler
3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I just keep attacking the backlog of bottles in the hopes of a) getting it eradicated and b) being able to return to The CANQuest (tm). In the interim, my local, in-person trader, tone77, has migrated south for the winter and this is who delivered this bottle, so hope springs eternal. Lead me not into temptation, I know my own way!

From the bottle: "With Muncih malts providing its deep reddish-copper color and bigger, richer character, this is an Octoberfest that truly embraces its dark side."

I Pop!ped off the cap and commenced a slow pour that resulted in two fingers of foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head with decent retention. I may revert to gentle pours for bottled beers and inverted Glugs only for CANs. I seem to be having good success with the bottled beers this way. Color was Brown to Dark brown (SRM = > 22, < 27) with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled of milk chocolate! Wow. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium. The taste was lightly chocolaty and a pleasant surprise as well as a nice change of pace. Finish was semi-sweet and very clean, just as a lager should be. I might not have chosen it on my own, but it was a worthy inclusion in our ongoing trade.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass.

Appearance- Pours a deep dark brown, 2 finger white/tan head that lingers a bit. Opaque.

Smell- Roasted malt, caramel, slight chocolate.

Taste- Rich grainy malt with hints of chocolate mixed with barley. Flavor builds on the roasted malt. Finishes slightly herbal and sweet, but with less taste than earlier in the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel- Medium in body with medium carbonation.

Overall- So-so with the flavors, a bit week in some aspects, especially towards the finish. And this is much unlike an Oktoberfest in appearance and malt character. How about a Dunkel??

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with some amber hues and a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of dark breads, malts. Taste is also bready, malts, some rye, hops are present as well. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall, not quite what I expect from this style, but a solid beer nonetheless.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.29/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a very dark color , 25 on the SRM chart in my living room lighting. Certainly much darker than 16 which is the cap for either the vienna lager or oktoberfest. It has a burnished ornage hue on a dark brown body that shows glints of ruby. I actually was thinking "oh goodie" this is not another oktoberfest this must be a schwarzbier. It's not. It's malty and deep. Very rich and toasty. It's not roasty though. As I was trying to determine the style of beer I looked for caramel or chocolate and there was none. That lets out amber and schwarzbier. Nose is hop - less. None hops on this nose at all and none in the drink save for a breath of herbal at the very end. A mild moment of astringency. The beer does not have any bite from carbonation at all. Nor does it have any bitterness to finish it. It has a sweet finish. It's not like the vienna though with a crisp little bit of sugar to make the bubbles seem sweet before it dries out. This beer is sweet all over and has a touch of a fruity ester in the finish. It's not gargantuan but it does finish the beer. Without any bite from carbonation to distract me, that finish is too sweet, fruity and a touch cloying.

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Photo of rypkr
4.67/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

For a brewery that I usually don't expect much from, they knocked it out of the park with this one. Taste like a brown ale with Munich malt. Why is this not more popular? And do I really have to buy a sampler to get it...?

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

i like the idea here, a darker take on the classic fall style, i think its a great touch. not dark as say a porter or even a brown ale like i was expecting, but introducing some more roasted type malt that gives a depth and richness to a style that can get a little generic. the bitter from the darker malt also cuts some of the caramel malt sweetness, the result is a layered grain experience thats just right. the alcohol is nice and sturdy too good for fall. it still keeps a medium body and is therefore suitable for sessioning, but is more robust in general than others. i kind of hoped this would be even more roasted, gnarly and like a baltic porter even, but its not like that at all, and is only a little more dark malty than basic oktoberfest types, but maybe missed an opportunity to do something totally different, still, a real decent fall brew. i like a lot of the newer saranac stuff.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours deep brownish-amber color with a two finger head of off white foam. The head has a decent level of retention, fading to leave a light level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is heaviest of a roasted malt smell mixed with aromas of a more grainy and slightly corny smell. Along with these aromas comes some notes of a chocolate smell as well as a little bit of caramel and vanilla.

Taste – The taste begins with a nice roasted malt taste with a smooth chocolate flavor that has a light level of vanilla and caramel sweetness mixed within. As the flavor advances the sweeter caramel and vanilla increase with the chocolate taking on a bit of a more milk chocolate like flavor as well. A little bit of an herbal and grassy hop join the flavor profile at the end, leaving one with a rather smooth and satisfying roasted and very easy drinking, sweet taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on slightly thinner side with a carbonation level that is rather average. Overall, a slightly thicker body may have suited the darker flavors better, but overall, the feel was quite alright.

Overall – A rather nice take on a darker Oktoberfest. Very flavorful and easy drinking at only 6 % abv, with a price that is quite nice. A rather good brew that would be a fantastic brew when hosting a good football game on the big screen..

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Photo of wattoclone
4.23/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As a dark lager lover I was excited to try this offering so I picked up a sampler pack Twelve Beers A Falling and wow was I pleased. A rich, brown full flavored lager with roasted malt, molasses, walnuts, and a slight sour twang one gets from consuming walnuts. This is the best brew in the sampler pack as well as my favorite oktoberfest to date. Finally a marzen-syle beer I will search out every year.

Update: The 2015 version remains an outstanding, unique, flavorful version of the oktoberfest style and as a dark beer lover is still a favorite. Sadly though, I have not been able to find the Black Forest dark lager this year. Alas, I will survive the Pennsylvania winter with the Dark-toberfest since I have 12 bottles in the 2015 variety pack.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Boulevard pint glass
From: From my brother
Price: N/A
Purchased: N/A
Consumed: Sept. 7, 2014
Misc.: Best by Jan. 31, 2015

Poured a dark reddish copper, semi-clear color with 1-to-2 fingers of light tan head. Some bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Minimal sporadic foamy lacing on the sides of the glass. Below average retention on the top. (Sight - 3.50)

Smelled caramel, toffee, chocolate milk, roasty nuts, dark cloves, nutmeg, molasses and light cinnamon spices. (Smell - 4.00)

Tasted similar to the nose. Caramel, toffee, rich toasty nuts, chocolate milk, nutmeg, molasses, lingering German Munich malts and light cinnamon. (Taste - 3.75)

Medium body. Thin texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt finish. (Feel - 3.75)

Really liked this beer. Would have it again for sure. (Overall - 3.75)

3.80 | 86 | B+

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Photo of bmc90
2/5  rDev -45.4%

A boring, unexceptional beer.

Color: A nice, reddish brown

Head: Tall and a light brown color

Nose: Mildly citrusy; otherwise, little aroma to speak of

Taste: Little to speak of here, as well. There's a clear note of orange peels; otherwise, there's little about it to hold your attention.

Overall, a disappointing beer. I couldn't bring myself to finish it.

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Photo of plaid75
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%

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

The smell featured an earthy burnt caramel sweetness.

The taste was likewise dominated by the smooth burnt caramel malts. The silky sweetness was checked ever so slightly by a subtle noble hop spice.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a tasty malt driven lager.

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Photo of Stignacious
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown, like black coffee. Nice head that dissipates, but leaves a nice lacing around the glass. Roasted malt, with some chocolatey sweetness, biscuity notes and a touch of bitter hops to round out the back end. This should really be a Münchener Dunkel, but I don't brew the beer; I just drink it.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +9.3%

This beer pours into my chalice a deep crimson ruby hue with a khaki beige head floating nicely above the rim of my glass, fine even lacing covers the sides of the chalice.

Aroma fully malt driven beautiful toasted nuts caramelized malts bring it…full time beer lover’s passion exudes into a dark Oktoberfest beer! I’m in malt heaven here.

Flavor more of the same rich deep malts, hints of raisin candied fall harvest fruits a touch of green apple and raisins blended together not much tartness just enough to give it an edge…simple mild earthy hop notes.

Mouthfeel even carbonation flows across the palate so smoothly, such a delicate experience. Full on German malt expresses in the flavors and creates a velvet texture on the palate.

Overall I’m very happy with the 12 pack purchase of fall time Saranac offerings incredibly well made dark Oktoberfest style ale this gets me excited to try the new Sierra Nevada Fall Variety sampler!

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4/5  rDev +9.3%

12oz bottle in a pint glass at fridge temps.

Appearance: Rich and dark brown with a thin whitish head of small bubbles.

Nose: Caramel, roasted malts, vanilla, lightly fruity

Taste: Caramel, toffee, malty richness, no hop bitterness at all. Toasted malt, slight astringenct in the finish.

This is a fantastic Dunkel Marzen/Oktoberfest, one of my favorite styles. I'd rank it up there with Spaten Optimator.

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Photo of microbrewlover
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

This brew pours a dark red/copper/black color; about 80% opaque. There is a small off-white head which does not stick around long, light lacing and medium carbonation.

The smell is thick with roasted and sweet malts, caramel and nuts and maybe some molasses in there.

The taste follows the nose with roasted and sweet malts dominating then some caramel and either brown sugar or molasses and some light peppery hops in the background.

The mouthfeel is thick and chewy

Overall this is good brew but it seems to be sweeter and darker than the usual Octoberfest beer; hence the name. The beer is good and shows a lot of promise but lacks that Wow factor.

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Saranac Dark-tober(fest) from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 68 ratings