Saranac Mocha Stout | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

80 Reviews
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Saranac Mocha StoutSaranac Mocha Stout

Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States

Style: Milk / Sweet Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-18-2001

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Reviews: 80 | Ratings: 99
Photo of oberon
3.77/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured not quite an opaque black there was some ruby tint thruout a thicker almond colored head atop that was pretty fast leaving a few soap scum-like globs on the glass.Roasted coffee aromas and bitter chocolate dominate with a touch of roasted nut,to thin for me in the mouth almost watery that is the beers biggest downfall,reaal no complaints in the flavor department nice heavily roasted flavors with some bitter chocolate and esprosso qualities pretty dry thruout really even more so late.A decent stout not very sweet at all just to thin.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Saranac's Mocha Stout adds a touch of sweetish dark chocolate to an otherwise basic stout. It's quite nice in the nose, and adds a little depth to the flavor. The roastiness of the stout does work with the chocolatey side to give it a bit of a "mocha" character, but I tend to think more of it as a stout with chocolate added than a coffee-like beer. It's well-balanced with bitterness, but a touch acidic from all of the dark malts. A solid bitterness anchors it, and it finishes dry and roasty.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color with a thin but dense tan head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is sweet with dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, roasted malt and a bit more hops than I had expected.

T: The taste is very smoky and very malty. There are flavors of dark chocolate and espresso along with a decent hops presence. The after-taste is dry and sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, dry and sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, a little filling, which causes this one to be more of a sipper despite only having a 5.00% ABV. Overall, it wasn’t that bad. I thought it would be worse given what I’ve come to expect from the Saranac brews.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.01/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark chocolate brown with a generous sliver of dusky ruby along the bottom of the pint glass. Even though the sun won't completely crest the horizon for another few minutes, the beer looks to be opaque. Up above is an attractive crown of cinnamon colored foam that is exceptional when it comes to lace deposition.

Since mocha doesn't mean coffee, but rather a combination of both chocolate and coffee, Mocha Stout smells as advertised (more or less). As far as I can determine, the brewery didn't add coffee or coffee beans, they simply relied on the natural aromas and flavors that come from roasting barley. The nose isn't powerful and it's a bit musty besides.

Due to a shortage of malt and malt sugars (typical from these guys), SMS tastes more like an Irish dry stout than a milk or sweet stout. It's also on the simple side and has a musty, almost mineral-like, flavor that I associate with Euro dark lagers.

Getting back to the whole 'mocha' thing, coffee isn't any more prominent than bittersweet chocolate. Why the brewery decided to use this name, I have no idea. Maybe because when you have what seems like several hundred beers in your lineup, good names are hard to come by.

The barley bill includes chocolate, black and roasted. The lack of much roastedness, along with a less than stout mouthfeel, tells me that Matt Brewing wasn't exactly generous with the malt. The result is a thin chocolate-coffeeness that skates across the palate and is then gone with the swallow. A modest bitter nip finishes things off.

Again, the body/mouthfeel is less than substantial. While it isn't horrible for the ABV, it could stand to be beefed up and smoothed out. There's no problem with the middle-of-road carbonation.

Saranac Mocha Stout is par for the Matt Brewing Company course. It's inexpensive beer that tastes inexpensive. With Goose Island Oatmeal Stout (and any number of others) being as close as my local grocery, I won't be bothering with this one again.

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Photo of Jason
2.61/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Nearly black in color with a big bubbled tan lace that sticks to the glass well.

Smell: Odd sweet aroma with a little malt and a vague roasted smell.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Astringent with a fake chocolate burnt malt character. Hops are little but anything. Finishes with a watery burnt flavor.

Drinkability & Notes: Why? I guess I just can’t grasp what they are trying to go for … an other miss in my book.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This started out with a beautiful, thick medium-brown head that fell away to wisps, leaving behind some nice sticky lacing. The nose reminded me instantly of Hershey's syrup and especially when ABC mixes their Cherry Chocolate Porter with said syrup. The color was a deep, dark brown which even a spotlight could not penetrate. The mouthfeel was thick and had a real chocolaty taste on the palate. The finish had a graininess to it, especially in the back of the throat. I am not sure whether that was a negative or neutral. It would not be a selling point for me, definitely not. The extreme finish had a sour, charcoal bite. Oof. This may be a one-and-done.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.8/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears dark ruby brown like a cola tone large moccha tan head presents a billowing mound of slowly dwindling head. Aroma has dark chocolate and creamy sweet coffee notes and a complemented herbal hop profile. Flavor is creamy milk chocolate and mild bitter coffee bursts a bit dry in the finish also has a minimal fruity tone and light herbal hop tone with light bitterness. Mouthfeel is meidum to fuller bodied with a semi syrupy texture and smooth carbonation carries it all well. Drinkability is nice I'm a fan of the Saranac drinkability factor they always seem to pull off decent flavors with high drinkability.

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Photo of Billolick
2.73/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 ouncer from the Holiday 12 pack. Pours very dark brown, almost black, with light coming thru, head is minimal and dark tan, some skimpy tight lacing observed. Nose is sugary caramel. This box has been a big dissapointment and this brew just adds to it. Watery, cloyingly sweet, nasty chalky finish, lacking any complexity and interest. Why is it that I dont feel like finishing any of the Saranac beers?

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Photo of Gavage
3.41/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a black color with a 2" tan colored head. Decent lacing develops.

Smell: light chocolate and coffee tones.

Taste: sweet maltiness is upfront while the dark chocolate and mild coffee tones are mild. Very mild bitterness. Very dry.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth at the start, leaning towards an almost syrupy finish. Aftertaste is sweet and long lasting.

Drinkability: decent. Worth having while sitting in front of a fire on a winter night. Part of the Saranac 12 pack of winter beers.

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Photo of tempest
3.91/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My favorite beer out of the winter sampler so far. Looks great with nice black body and tan head with good lacing. I'm not getting a lot of aroma, but there is some creamy chocolate there. Taste is surprisingly complex for a Saranac. There's a but of sweet chocolate up front, quickly followed by a dry bitterness full of roasted barley, coffee, and espresso. Who needs a mochaccino from Starbuck's when you could have this?

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Photo of WesWes
3.95/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep dark black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a complex malty scent that boasts of patent and chocolate malts along with roasted barley and caramel malts. The taste is good also. It has a rich malt bill of patent and chocolate malts. It goes down easy and finishes dry and earthy. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good drinking beer. It has good flavor and aroma. I just wish they would tone down the carbonation.

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Photo of plaid75
3.03/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

The smell featured a buttery sweet chocolate aroma with a mild burnt grain.

The taste consisted of a sweet chocolate flavor with a hint of diacetyl. There was a mild sharpness and a pretty decent coffee bitterness in the finish.

The mouthfeel was a bit slick with a decent dry finish.

Overall a strange brew for sure. Not very appetizing until the finish, where the bitter coffee comes through. Too much bizarre sweetness upfront.

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Photo of akorsak
3.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 2006 Winter Seasonals pack and clearly marked as Limited Release.

A: The stout is pitch black with an off-white head that is thick and retains nicely, leaving a large network of lace throughout the glass.

S: The stout has an aroma of grainy malt and chocolate. There is just a bit of lactose sweetness.

T: The ale has a very smooth flavorful chocolate flavor upfront. The ale has a hint of bitterness that settles in nicely with the chocolate and lactose-sweet flavors. The finish is long and dry, leaving a faint taste of stale bitterness in the back of the mouth.

M: The chocolate is prominent and really controls the beer, allowing some sweeter lactose to emerge throughout the sip.

D: My last review of the Saranac Brown Ale stated that all Saranac beers taste alike. I am happy to say that this beer breaks that mold. The chocolate body holds up well against the lactose-roasted sweetness of the stout. I am happy to say that I stand corrected.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.06/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black with ruby red highlights and a nice low brown head which leaves decent lace. Nice sweet chocolate, coffee, and caramel aroma and taste: A great balancing act ! Light-medium bodied with a light creamy mouthfeel.

Label states "hints of chocolate and coffee from our selection of roasted malts and barley"

Available in the 2001 Saranac Holiday Pack.
Tasted: 03/04/03

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Photo of Suds
3.98/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew is a solid black color with a dark tan head. The head is dense and sticky. The beer has an inviting and tempting appearance.
The aroma is a mix of baking chocolate and highly roasted grains. It has a moderate dark-roast coffee aroma as well, with a little burnt character underneath. The taste is similar to that of good dark chocolate…dry, slightly bitter, luxurious, with a smooth texture. It’s a very satisfying beer. Fairly low carbonation helps. Hops are present, but very restrained. The stars here are the roasted grains and the chocolate flavors. The beer doesn’t really ‘wow’ you, like a world-class brew, but it is solidly good. It’s well-made and very enjoyable. Great drinkability.

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Photo of ZAP
3.06/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

-Interesting taste, but not very thick...kind of watery..not much aroma..decent flavor...slight vanilla undertone..not much mochoa..some burnt cocoa present, but very light..some hops on finish..not a powerhouse of flavor, but interesting none-the-less

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Photo of Gmann
2.85/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a black color with a thin tan head that dissipated quickly leaving some lacing. Not a very strong aroma, a light roasted smell. The taste was of caramel with roasted coffee, sweet not real bitter. Taste similar to the Green Mountain Mocha Nut Coffee that is available at work. It is full bodied and lighted carbonated. Not a bad offering though the mocha flavor seems a bit forced. Not something I would drink many of.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

purchased as part of sampler pack. Deep brown, almost black color with boisterous tannish head. Possesses a sugary sweetness mixed with chocolate and coffee. Nice toasty flavor mixed with caramel. Finished a bit sweet for my taste. An OK beer but not one of my favorites.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I let this sit at room temperature for about 1/2 hour before opening, taking the chill off a bit.

Really oily look as it pours, producing a dense, tight tan head and an otherworldly black color underneath.

Aroma is lactic and sweet, balanced on the other side with a roasty, almost charred element. Even becomes a bit fruity as it warms.

Flavor is creamy sweetness at the front of the sip, with a nice roastiness elsewhere...but the finish is close to awful, like burnt wood on the tongue. Stops the flavor dead in its tracks, dry and burnt and blah.

Too bad the finish kills the good things going on otherwise, as it was seeming like one of the better Saranac offerings.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.03/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Saranac Mocha Stout

Appearance- dark almost black with a weak tan head.
Smell- chocolate and coffee bean.
Taste- stingy, almost alcohol flavored chocolate.
Mouthfeel-A slighty bitter and warm feeling on the mouth and tongue.

Overall- a decent stout that didn't impress. Not very smooth like stouts should be.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.11/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz brown bottle.

Creamy lightly tan head with above average retention. Ringed and layered lacing with good strength. Chocolately brown, semi-opaque in color.

Dark coffee aromas; licorice. A burnt, semi-sweet maltiness. Also a peat smoked quality that's somewhat strong and unpleasant.

Caramel and coffee flavors with a smokey quality. There's also a big vanilla overtone from the beginning to the end of the sip, making this stout extremely sweet. A burnt bitterness which again quickly leads back to the overpowering vanilla aftertaste. Sickeningly sweet IMO, and it takes away from the coffee flavors of the stout.

Full bodied; smooth yet very sweet on the palate.

An interesting concoction yet way too loaded with vanilla flavor and abrasive sweetness. Too much for my tastebuds to have another. A unique brew but certainly flawed.

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Photo of Phatz
3.93/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours almost black with a big light brown head that overflowed my glass. Sheets of sticky lacing beautifully lined the walls of my glass.

Smell: It has a sweet cola like aroma with hint of vanilla, creamy malts soggy cereal in milk and burnt malts.

Taste: Chocolate malt and a hint of bitterness but I was hoping for a lay it all on the line Mocha Stout like Bells did, but I should have known not to hold expectations too high. It is tasty but it is more cola like than anything else. There are hints of coffee in the burp and long after the swallow but it could use a little more bitterness in this beer.

Mouthfeel: This is a medium body beer. Smooth and syrupy with a certain grittiness to it but decent enough.

Drinkability: No doubt this is a sweet Milk Stout. It is a middle of the road beer but approachable and friendly as a transition beer. It has about the flare of a glass of cream soda with a shot of espresso in it but still it is quite drinkable and a more than worthy transition beer.

Hope this is helpful.

 1,058 characters

Photo of Frozensoul327
3.4/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Dark color of a night sky, laced with ruby hues. Large head of tan foam. Lower carbonation. Lots of lacing inside the glass.

S: Roasted malts, cocoa, java, a touch of smoke and wood. Quite complex. Welld done.

T: Powerful notes of chocolate and roasted malts, with a nutty aftertaste. A medium bodied coffee character fills in the gaps. Slighty sour toward the finish.

M: Far too thin. No density, no thickness, little carbonation at all. Needs some work.

D: Average. Get something going on the palate, feeling-wise, and this could be a far better beer.

Notes: Not bad, but not what i'd think of when going for a Milk Stout. Needs serious thickening. This stuff was far too thin and watery.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.07/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, dark brown that no light is gonna get through any time soon, with a half-inch creamy tan head that retains quite well. Rich, complex aroma of roasted malt, mocha, vanilla, chocolate, and almond. Superb nose. Creamy body holds a palate of sweet malt, chocolate, vanilla, and almond. Finish is slightly bitter roasted malt. A great beer, but a bit too sweet to drink in large quantities. Definitely a slow sipper.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
2.98/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had a bottle of this months ago and decided to have my second tonite. It tastes a lot better now than it did when i first tried it. Pours an almost jet black--maybe the slightest brown tinge. thick frothy head that dissipitates to almost nothing. Aroma is of off-burnt aromas. The hops are wierd in this beer. I can barely notice them in the flavor, but whenever I burp that is all I taste. Lots of smokey and burnt malts. Some strong coffee tones and milder chocolate ones. Mouthfeel is a tad watery. A shame because I think this could be a great bold stout. Slightly creamy finish but these hoppy burps are wierd.

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Saranac Mocha Stout from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.49 out of 5 based on 99 ratings.
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