Saranac Black Forest Black Beer
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac Black Forest Black BeerSaranac Black Forest Black Beer
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Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States
Lager - Schwarzbier
Ranked #85
Ranked #23,286
3.73 | pDev: 13.14%
Oct 15, 2021
Oct 15, 2001
Saranac Black Forest Black BeerSaranac Black Forest Black Beer
Notes: A Bavarian Black beer with distinctive caramel malt sweetness and a rich creamy trademark head. Flavorful, yet smooth…very drinkable!
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of TCgenny
4.34/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by TCgenny from New York

Excellent for its robust look, easy drink ability , roasty toast malt and caramel, nice carbonation, just a real pleasure!

Oct 15, 2021
3.19 by Jsalz21 from New Jersey on Aug 30, 2021
3.76 by NastyNorseman from New York on Jul 24, 2021
Photo of moodenba
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4
by moodenba from New York

Saranac Black Forest Black Beer 12 oz. bottle at refrigerator temperature poured into a shaker glass in Nov., 2020. The initial pour yielded a very dark body with a tan creamy head. Interestingly, the foam that started so promising disappeared quickly. The initial flavor gives a fairly mild dark beer impression. The carbonation seemed a little too aggressive. After the swallow, the pleasant aftertaste features the malt with just a hint of hops. All in all, this is a solid dark lager that isn't extremely heavy. I'm guessing this isn't available in summer, where the lighter body might be better appreciated.

Nov 17, 2020
Photo of dkoehler42
4.06/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by dkoehler42 from New York

This is beer looks the part of a schwarzbier. It has a pleasant roasted malt aroma which carries over into the flavor. As it sits on your tongue, You continue to taste the roasted malt long after the liquid is gone. This is enjoyable and I would enjoy drinking this more often than part of Fall.

Oct 28, 2020
Photo of Lucular
3.74/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by Lucular from Maryland

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip pint glass. A dark brown, roasty schwarzbier with a hint of pine/grapefruit hops. Mouthfeel is a little bit thin but otherwise everything is solid.

Sep 13, 2020
3.83 by GoBearsWalter34 from Illinois on Apr 11, 2020
Photo of Peach63
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Peach63 from New York

Pours deep copper with 1/4 inch tan head which quickly dissipates. Very little lacing.

Aroma is toffee, malty, slight citrus, roast malts.

Tastes is toffee, malty, slight smokiness. Moderately bitter.

Light bodied, semi-dry mouthfeel. Lightly carbonated.

This is a decent entry from Saranac.

Dec 02, 2019
Photo of Buckeye55
3.87/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Buckeye55 from North Carolina

Pours a clear dark amber with foamy head that subsided quickly. Smells sweet and malty, kinda boozy also.
Taste follows, picking up more caramel. Medium mouthfeel and sweet aftertaste, lighter than what I'd expect from a bavarian black beer. Like it alot

Oct 05, 2019
Photo of officerbill
3.51/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
by officerbill from New York

L: deep dark ruby black with a tall dark tan head that quickly dissolves to a ring
S: can't tell due to stuffy nose
T: oddly sweet with some caramel & licorice. No noticable hops or bitterness
F: smooth & light. Minimal carbonation. Easy over the tongue with a mild burnt sugar aftertaste
O: not what I was expecting. Saranac bills this as a “Bavarian black beer”, but it's not. It's not a bad beer, but it is very
“light”, malt forward with little hop backbone. I had fond memories of this when it was one of Saranac's regular offerings. Now it's part of their fall “German roots” variety pack and, compared to köstritzer, it's a bit of a disappointment.

Sep 22, 2019
3.62 by Klister from Maine on Sep 20, 2019
3.75 by Arg914 from New York on Sep 20, 2019
3.88 by ccryder from New York on Sep 17, 2019
2.8 by JimboSlyce from Virginia on Aug 31, 2019
2.75 by NeckBootHeadAss from Virginia on Aug 31, 2019
3.46 by robebo44 from Virginia on May 20, 2019
Photo of EMH73
3.71/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by EMH73 from New York

Pours a very dark brown with ruby highlights, a one inch tan head that left decent lacing. Smells of caramel, roasted malts and a bit of hops. Tastes of sweet caramel, toffee, roasted malts, bread, cherries and a touch of hops. Light to medium bodied, soft carbonation, smooth mouth feel, mild bitterness on the finish.

Dec 23, 2018
Photo of jjamadorphd
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by jjamadorphd from Florida

Another decent brew from this brewer...

Not quite black, the beer pours out very dark brown with highlights of dark caramel. The smell was light on malt with a touch of caramel added in. Mouthfeel was light and light in carbonation as I prefer. I enjoyed the taste which followed along with the smell - malty and very lightly caramel sweet. Overall, this is a solid beer, glad to have it on hand during the long Thanksgiving weekend.

Nov 24, 2018
3.56 by Coronaeus from Canada (ON) on Nov 14, 2018
3.31 by AccipiterofBeer from New York on Oct 11, 2018
Photo of mvanaskie13
3.71/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by mvanaskie13 from Pennsylvania

Poured into a narrow pint glass: color is near black at the top and dark amber at the bottom, head is light tan with fine bubbles, initially presenting about 1/2 inch thick.

Smell is light roast, stronger caramel, light bread, hint of grassy hops.

Taste is light caramel, maybe some toffee, some bread; flavor reminds be of a light bock as the roast is a bit less than some other schwarzbier.

Mouthfeel is light carbonation and light lingering sweetness.

Overall a good darker lager with characteristics of schwarzbier and bock with the lighter roast and moderate caramel.

Sep 29, 2018
4 by bcsbeer from Florida on Sep 28, 2018
3.52 by O-Meg from New York on Sep 28, 2018
4 by foghornleghorn22 from Virginia on Sep 26, 2018
Photo of SmokySignals
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by SmokySignals from North Carolina

This is essentially Brooklyn winter lager, but slightly better. Makes sense.

Sep 07, 2018
Photo of AleManDan
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by AleManDan from California

Dark fruits, raisins, chocolate...delicious. Light and easy to drink like a lager but flavorful and fun too. I miss this beer! Is it still in production?

Jun 19, 2018
Photo of CoryIanShafer
3.66/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75
by CoryIanShafer from Pennsylvania

A Dark beer, tan head, looks deep and dark, smells of mutated lemons, grapefruit, bitter caramel, hay, toffee, cotton candy.
On the tongue it is very sweet and malty, love the malt, there is however the usual American fascination with hops which put this slightly into the bitter category on the back end, but overall a nice balanced beer, slightly bitter, but passable.

Jan 13, 2018
3.97 by JamieDuncan from Maryland on Jan 08, 2018
Photo of Samlover55
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by Samlover55 from New York

12oz bottle into Perfect Pint glass
BB 12/31/17
L- pours a dark brown/black, with a huge creamy tan head, and lacing
S- some sweet malt
T- slight toffee, followed by some coffee notes, and a smooth finish
F- clean crisp and smooth
Overall this a typical schwarzbier, light and easy drinking, with the bare minimum of roastiness

Dec 10, 2017
3.5 by bacher468 from Pennsylvania on Nov 04, 2017
4.45 by bogtogglet from Virginia on Oct 28, 2017
3.88 by DaveCash from New York on Sep 04, 2017
4 by faatcase from Virginia on Aug 16, 2017
Photo of CNoj012
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by CNoj012 from New York

This beer pours a crystal clear color that looks brown until it is held up to the light revealing a lovely shade of deep ruby garnett. The head is two fingers, creamy and tan.

Smell is sweet caramel malts with a touch of roastiness.

Taste is similar with a bit of green vegetal hop flavor that provides a moderately bitter finish.

Feel is light and smooth. There is a nice tingle from the bitterness on the finish.

Overall this is a very good beer. Very flavorful yet easy drinking. Happy Saranac brought this back so that I could finally review it as this is an old favorite of mine.

Aug 06, 2017
3.56 by DVMin98 from North Carolina on Jul 13, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by Lone_Freighter from Vermont

The appearance has a dark, almost purplish-brown body with a small creamy colored head and had a slightly reddish beige color of the head with very small lacing. The smell has black cherries, some light malt, some berry aromas, and subdued chocolate. The taste is basically the same as the previously mentioned flavors through a decent bittersweetness. The palate is about a medium; comes across slightly creamy; with a quick clean finish, berry/chocolate aftertaste, slightly sessionable. Overall, this is good for the style and good for me.

Jul 02, 2017
Photo of donspublic
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by donspublic from Texas

Poured from bottle into tulip, little under a finger of tan colored head, recedes after a minute so so lacing. Dark ruby brown in the glass, little light filters thru. Smells of roasted malt, some caramel peeking thru. Taste is pretty complex for a schwarzbier, initial caramel sweetness, roasted malt taking a backseat here, more predominant on the nose than the palate. There is some dark fruit in the middle there, reminiscent of what you pick up in quads, but very muted. Finishes up with a very mild bitterness. This is a really nice Schwarzbier, perhaps beating out my old favorite Reasonably Corrupt (which I have to give a real review one day)

Feb 15, 2017
3.98 by TheOakKing from New York on Feb 12, 2017
3.7 by pioppo from Italy on Feb 10, 2017
4.01 by DuncanBishop24 from Vermont on Jan 29, 2017
Saranac Black Forest Black Beer from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 1172 ratings