Saranac Black Forest Black Beer | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac Black Forest Black BeerSaranac Black Forest Black Beer
1,147 Ratings
Saranac Black Forest Black BeerSaranac Black Forest Black Beer

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

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A Bavarian Black beer with distinctive caramel malt sweetness and a rich creamy trademark head. Flavorful, yet smooth…very drinkable!

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,147 |  Reviews: 575
Photo of BGsWo22
1/5  rDev -73.2%

Photo of tdatt43
1/5  rDev -73.2%

Photo of odbjs735
1.5/5  rDev -59.8%

Photo of Snodman
1.5/5  rDev -59.8%

Photo of Dizzy242
1.5/5  rDev -59.8%

Photo of mralbertson
1.75/5  rDev -53.1%

Photo of Morger
2/5  rDev -46.4%

Photo of jwc215
2.15/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The manager at the beer store recommended the Saranac variety pack. This was one of the samples. He mentioned that it just arrived, so I assume it was fresh.
It poured a dark reddish brown with a very thin head that quickly vanished to leave hardly a trace. The color was decent, but the head was very unimpressive.
The smell was very faint. There were some vague hints of sweet caramel with a touch of a hoppy background.
The taste was of a watery sweetness with hints of caramel, hops and a slight alcohol finish.
The mouthfeel was thin and watery. Quite disappointing. It even left an off-taste in the aftertaste. Not terrible, just off.
Overall, it was disappointing. There are better, more complex examples of this style. This was weak.

 746 characters

Photo of oelergud
2.24/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not quite black but a very dark ruby body. Good carbonation but weak retention and no lace.
Sour alcoholic scent, not a real pleasantry to stick your nose in.
Taste is citric/sour molasses, some floral qualities. Limited aftertaste. No hint of malts or anything actually hoppy.
So so bodyfeel, little coating.
Wont try this again for a while.


 359 characters

Photo of silentjay
2.24/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

this black forest is more of a dark mahogany/ruby with a pinkish brown head that raises to over two fingers, retains well, and laces well.

smells of rusty metal, some roasty malts, a bit of caramel and thats about it.

buttery and metallic in flavor that is distinctly saranac. not good. i'm looking for the roast, i'm looking for the chocolate, the coffee, the malt, but its all hidden behind the metallic, buttery saranac flavor.

light-to-medium bodied with no aftertaste and a watery finish.

meh. not terribly offensive, but i'd rather not drink this and save the calories and money for something better.

 611 characters

Photo of AL89BR
2.25/5  rDev -39.7%

Photo of Jwaks
2.28/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Serving 12oz bottle

Initially shows a dark mahogany color but reveals a transparent deep ruby color when held up to natural light. Half a finger worth of frothy hot chocolate colored head quickly dissapates leaving a paper-thin ring of froth encircled a patchy layer of fine suds. A few small pillars of fine bubbles channel carbonation to the beer's surface.

Nutty oil, burnt caramel malt, grassy hop and earthy aromas with hints of bitter citrus peel play on a slightly closed nose.

Malty, burnt caramel and nougat mix with flat, austere bitter and grassy flavors on the entry though the mid palate evolving into a slightly tannic, dry and bittery nutty finish with a zing of citrus zest. A mediocre attempt at a balanced brew, this doesn't have the malt nor hop backbone and structure to support the odd off-flavors. Sadly, it does not have much substance to offer beyond the austere bitterness, grassy flavors and bitter, nutty finish in effect lowering the flavor score.

Light to medium bodied for a schwarzbier, this leaves only an unpleasant bitter flavor behind with little malt presence and it doesn't coat the palate like others in the style. A thin body aids drinkability though just enough to earn it a slightly below average score.

I remember this beer being much better in the past, perhaps this was an old bottle? No freshness date is present on th bottle; I will have to revisit this one in the near future.

 1,439 characters

Photo of Maestro
2.33/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer is my first step into the world of Schwarzbiers. I don't care much for it. The appearance is dark and cloudy. There is a thin head that leaves a little lacing. There is a sweet carmel taste but it doesn't come through too much. There seems to be a lack of maltiness in this beer that makes it seem watery. Maybe I don't know enough about Schwarzbiers, but I wouldn't seek this one out again.

 401 characters

Photo of pancake56
2.4/5  rDev -35.7%

Photo of Vendetta
2.41/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Pours black, decent sized brown head. Lacing.

Aroma is of malt, coffee, dry roastiness. Though not incredibly present, it does the job during the sip.

The taste is somewhat good -- very roasted, coffee. Malty.

The true downfall of this beer is the mouthfeel. Holy carbonation. This is more carbonated than even most of the light beers and might be the most overcarbonated beer that I've ever tried. It completely ruined the experience for me, and I'll be steering way clear of this. It also severely damaged the drinkability of the beer itself.

It's a shame, too, because the makings are there for a quality brew but the execution just fell fall short. Disappointing.

 671 characters

Photo of avisong
2.5/5  rDev -33%

Photo of poohbearzeccola
2.5/5  rDev -33%

Photo of chrispoint
2.5/5  rDev -33%

Photo of TheBigBoy
2.5/5  rDev -33%

Photo of John_Squires
2.5/5  rDev -33%

Photo of beerborn
2.5/5  rDev -33%

Photo of vfgccp
2.5/5  rDev -33%

Photo of PJF12866
2.5/5  rDev -33%

Photo of Avagadro
2.54/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

pours with a brownish-tan head that doesn't get very big or last for long. Very dark, only letting you see hints of reddish-brown around the edges of the glass. Spicy, malty aroma, but not too strong of an aroma overall. Taste follows with the same spicy, malty flavor, also not too strong. Very light bodied in the mouth for a porter. To me this seems to be a sub-par porter. Nothing really special to offer and not even as good as I hoped it to be.

 450 characters

Photo of eporter66
2.56/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle into a pint glass

Appearence is of a dark beer, with some reddish highlights. Pours a nice foamy 1 finger head that quickly receeds down to nothing. I did not get much of an aroma from this beer, nothing stands out other than some hints of malt
Taste was rather bland, with somewhat sour flavor and aftertaste. Average mouthfeel, a bit lighter than I expected, but in reading the description of a Schwarzbier. it fits the mold. It is a drinkable beer in the lightness of its body, so I am sure if you are enjoying the flavor, this one goes down smooth.

I am a fan of Saranac beers, this is the first one that I have not been all that fond of - I will chalk it up to the style, just not one to my liking.

 719 characters

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Saranac Black Forest Black Beer from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 1,147 ratings