Saranac Mocha Stout | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

99 Ratings
Read the review
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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 99 |  Reviews: 80
Photo of MistaC
3.76/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice opaque black appearance with a solid orange/tan head that sticks for a while leaving a nice amount of uniform lacing

S - Smell of roasted coffee

T - Definitive mocha/coffee taste with a nice roasted overtone

M - Decent medium mouthfeel with limited carbonation

D - Pretty good drinkability for the style although fairly heavy for having several bottles

 373 characters

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.

 617 characters

Photo of Hibernator
3.83/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Saranac Mocha Stout
12 oz brown bottle
Jet ink # on the side of the bottle - 2706 0703
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours an intense jet-black with a tan colored head that has sustain and leaves patterns of sticky lacings on the glass.

The nose is solid. Some whiffs of roasted malts, but mainly a sugary dairy sweetness.

Creamy mouthfeel witha pleasantly dry finish. Could this pass for a dry stout? I think so. Roasted malts with flavors of dark chocolates and coffee. A touch of vanilla wafer & cookie-dough smoothness. Bitter hop finish under the chocolate malt layers.

I like.

 602 characters

Photo of scarletfire79
3.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

this beer looks and smells great. the flavor is even awesome, but as with almost every beer in the 12 pack sampler, this tastes almost watered down. chocolate and coffee notes definitly present upfront. not a bad beer by any means but definitly lacks that creamy character i would expect out of a good milk/sweet stout. saranac seems to be on the right track but on the right track is far from good.

 399 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.

 709 characters

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.

 545 characters

Photo of JohnnyM2002
2.53/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter at 50 degrees.

A - Pours a dark black color with tan highlights. Small head that melted away to nothing.

S - At first, smells of a bitter, roasted coffee, but quickly fades away to a cocoa. Neither scent lasts too long as they become nothing more than a burnt aroma.

T - Biscuity cocoa dominate the flavors at first, but as with the smell, they quickly fade away and I get nothing more than a typical malty finish...very disappointing. The chocolate seemed to come right out and bite you at first, but it melted away very rapidly.

M - Medium body, but finished very thin...not much carbonation to speak of.

D - As keep buying the Saranac seasonal packs, I'm noticing a trend of similar tasting beers. This was the first of the new released (Brown, Rauchbier, Bock, Mocho Stout) I've tried, but I'm not overly enthusiastic about the rest. It's not bad by any means, but nothing special. Maybe Brooklyn's BCS spoiled me.

 977 characters

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.

 973 characters

Photo of tugdriver7
4.5/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black as night in the glass, with a grey-tan head. Heavy dark (stout) malt in the nose with a surprising hint of hops in the taste. But what an amazing taste it is! One of the most well-balanced (in terms of taste) stouts I've ever had. Very good combination of dark (!!) roasted malts with the expected hints of chocolate and coffee; and a subtle hint of spice (hops) that just took the edge off the darkness--like a nightlight in the hallway. Excellent, rich, enjoyable. Not (at least for me) a regular or session beer, but a treat in front of the fire on a cold winter night.

 578 characters

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?

 424 characters

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

Poured 12 oz bottle into a glass mug. Nice dark body with a thick tan head. Slightly bitter, roasted smell. Nice, smoothe mocha coffee taste (tastes like roasted coffee beans). Thick mouthfeel; nice stout. The roasted coffee taste was a little overbearing for me, but the base stout tasted very good.

 300 characters

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.

 544 characters

Photo of treehugger02010
3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A little disclaimer before I begin: besides IPAs (which this isn't) I have a sweet spot for thick brews. This is definatly one of them. The aroma left much to be desired, but the consistancy and the appearance made up for this. The taste was chocolately as to be expected, but for the man's man, it certainly wasn't a girls drink. This had a solid taste, and is moderatly recommended. Don't drink and review.

 408 characters

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.

 524 characters

Photo of rarevos
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Part of the Saranac Winter 12-pack. Poured into pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark near-black; only given away by a tinge of red at the edges. Decent-sized, creamy tan head with good staying power. Sticky trails and good lacing left behind. OK so far...

S: Cocoa powder, a hint of vanilla bean, and an ever-so-slight burnt character. But the aroma presents in that order, and I'd rank them that way in intensity as well.

T/M: Cocoa up front right away, with a mild bitter quality, like dark cocoa powder. I'm not getting much in the way of a balance to that, though. Finish is more cocoa with a long, bitter/burnt tail. There's only a tiny bit of a burnt flavor here, though, and it kicks in at the very end. Mouthfeel is not quite watery, but it's not full enough to be called "creamy" either.

D: Not a bold stout, and not a balanced one, but I'd still call it "solid." It's usually one of the first beers I drink when I find my way to their Winter Sampler 12-pack. I'm not sure I'd ever drink another even if I had the option, largely because it's pretty sweet; how you feel about cold, dark chocolate is pretty much going to determine how you feel about this beer. But it's doing a commendable job after a long week at work.

 1,240 characters

Photo of Estarrio
3.66/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What a great looking beer! This poured a pitch black with some ruddy tones and a tremendous, off-white, frothy head. The head and its silky lacings lasted throughout.

Sweet and roasty malts with some earthy oatmeal aromas are accompanied by a hint of coffee.

Sweet and roasted malts mix unpredictably with caramel, dark chocolate and coffee notes. There are some nice flavors in here but they are rendered inconsistent by the slightly overhopped finish. The bitterness really takes over for the style in an otherwise nicely flavored brew.

Full bodied with a thick, milky feel. Well carbonated but a bit more sharp than creamy.

 635 characters

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

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours dark brown, with a ruby hue when held up to the light. Very thin brown head, not much retention. Some lacing.

Aroma is dark roasted malts, caramel, and coffee.

Taste has some caramel sweetness upfront, melding into mild dark roasted malt & coffee flavors towards the back. Finish is pretty clean, no real black malt bitterness to speak of. Some coffee flavors in the aftertaste, but again pretty mild. No noticeable hop contributions.

Medium body, low carbonation. Pretty mild throughout, seems pretty well balanced. Not bad, but wish it was a little roastier overall, with maybe a little less sweet caramel influence. Wouldn't mind having it again in the future.

 726 characters

Photo of HimerMan
3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Part of the variety pack (in 2005) with Flannery. We split all 12 of the beers, picked them by pulling the next style out of a bag (no hat). This is from my notes of the night:

Very dark brown pour, black once settled.

Over-powering chocolate and heavy mocha smell - not bad, but I think will be too sweet.

Taste - Very sweet indeed, nicer than the smell tough. Interesting aftertaste - I would find it hard to drink more than a bottle of this at a time.

Overall - definitely worth getting (not sure this is around anymore) as you can try 12 different beers for about $1 each.

 588 characters

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.

 271 characters

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.

 615 characters

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

Appearance: This was a deep brown beer that showed the slightest hints of red when the glass was held up to the light. The khaki colored head rose up beautifully to three fingers. It was very dense and became rocky as it slowly settled. It finally dwindled into a few thick patches of bubbles that remaied for the entire glass. The lacing was think and abundant. A very good looking beer.

Smell: A combination of tart cherries and sweet, candied cherries was very pronounced at first, but diminished as the beer sat. It was overtaken by cracker- and bread-like roasted malt, cinammon, and nutmeg. Overall, it smelled like a cherry danish. It smelled good, but there was nothing very "mocha" about it.

Mouthfeel: Light and airy on the tip of the tongue, but it gained some body as it moved to the back of the mouth. Fairly smooth, with just a light carbonation feel.

Taste: A lot of bread came through in the flavor, along with hints of the nutmeg and cinammon that were in the aroma. Sweetened milk, cocoa, and coffee rose up in the middle and lingered into the aftertaste. Only hints of the tart cherry ever made it into the flavor.

A good, albeit different, beer. Very bready and spicy.

 1,201 characters

Photo of Naes
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost black with hints of red showing through. A small but resilient tan head sticks around the edges all the way through.

Smells like a very sweet cappuccino.

For such a sweet beer, I must say, this is one tasty brew. It starts off roasty and finishes with a flavor that I would describe as candied coffee. Also, I think I detect a hint of chocolate in there. This one would go great with a chocolate cake or some other rich chocolaty desert, possibly a cheesecake.

This one is very active on the tongue, highly carbonated and yet easy going. Almost chewy.

This brew would make a good session beer if you love the sweet stuff. Highly drinkable and flavorful.

If you like sweet beers, give this one a try.

 723 characters

Photo of MrSeth
3.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint tumbler with an opaque black color, just a few brown highlights around the edges. A small tan head formed and fell quickly leaving just a thin ring around the glass.

The first thing to jump out at me in the nose is a honeycomb aroma. Very sweet with some roasty malt underneath. A slight bit musky.

Medium-heavy bodied, nicely carbonated and full of flavor.. but.. the taste is candyish, mocha comes across, but with alot of sweet baggage. Toffee. The malt is again way underneath the sweetness in the profile.. but it would work well as a dessert stout. I would not mind having one of these after a BBQ.

 629 characters

Photo of sprackops
2.7/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle with no freshness date. Poured into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance: Opaque black with a light tan head.

Smell: Unusually sweet and not particularly roasty. Faint vanilla and lactic aroma. Strange.

Taste: Sweetened coffee and milk chocolate flavor right from the first sip. More vanilla. Hops seem to be sitting this one out.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, light carbonation.

Drinkability/comments: This is a bit too sweet to have more than one. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure what to make of this one. Just a failed try at the flavored stout niche, I suppose. It might be a decent dessert beer.

 637 characters

Photo of hobbes2112
2.86/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle from the sample pack.

I got this while on business in NY. When I first saw a sampler pack I was happy but when I saw that it was 12 unique beers ... Holy Crap! That is sweet.

Anyway, the mocha stout poured very dark brown with a small head. Leaves small amount of lacing. Smell is actually very tiny. I expected a lot more from a mocha stout, but what is there is a sweet milky presence. Similar to a Yoohoo (however that is spelled) Malts are mixed in also but pretty weak. Taste is chocolatey with a mildly bitter and roasty finish. After warming up there are more intense malt notes which certainly add to the somewhat thin character of this one.

I don't really see this adding much to any meal, possibly good with one of those triple chocolate brownies. Not a session beer at all. I guess the sample pack was the perfect way to try this one.

 867 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.