Saranac Black Diamond Bock | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

92 Reviews
Saranac Black Diamond BockSaranac Black Diamond Bock

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

Style: Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Saranac Black Diamond Bock is a rich, malty brew, made with traditional German malts and hops and fermented with a lager yeast. Aged for months for a rich but smooth malty taste. A nice reward for enduring your winter months.

Added by Phatz on 12-14-2006

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Reviews: 92 | Ratings: 121
Photo of sulldaddy
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pouring a cellar temp bottle into a pint glass. The beer pours a clear chestnut hue with no carbonation rising to surface and minimal edge layer of tightly packed head. Aroma is rich deep malt with some brown sugar and a toasty caramel. No real hops that I pickup here.
First sip reveals an average body with fine tingly carbonation that tickles my palate on each sip.
Makes the beer physically enjoyable. the flavor is sweet malt through and through. Brown sugar, caramel, a little roasted malt, some almond or nutty flavor. No hops or booze anywhere.
Definitely a malt lovers brew, that I am having no trouble drinking easily. Not a complex or crazy beer, but enjoyable for what it is and little o the sweet side without being cloying. I enjoy this one.

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Photo of tbruchey2112
2.77/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Trying this one out of the Winter Sampler 2012. First of all the bottle art is a ten, it made me laugh really hard for no reason. The color is a red-ish/brown. Smelling it from the bottle and then from a glass, it smells a tad bit sweet. Unfortunately that's where the fun ends. The taste at first was a little weak and a little watery. The aftertaste was decent but nothing special. Good warm mouthfeel. Not sure if I'd buy this again outside of the sampler.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a clear copper with a 1.5 finger puffy white head. Fairly large bubbles in the head, just a touch of visible carbonation.

S: Fairly light roasted and fruity malts. A breadiness as well as almost a hay like grassines.

T: Malt forward with a hint of sweetness. Some carmel malts are what make it sweet I think. Not too much hop backing.

M: Medium bodied with average carbonation. Isnt too sticky which is a plus for this style. Pretty easy drinking.

Overall an average beer that works well in the winter season. Wouldnt seek it out on its own but has its place in the winter mix pack.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is now called "black bear bock"

A - Pours a nice clear dark amber brown with a 1/4 inch of head that sticks around to a great lace ring which is excellent.

S - Toasted grains, caramel malt, touch of hops, and some dark fruits.

T - Toasted grains and caramel lead with peppery hops and a smooth finish. Not bad.

M - Medium, chewy, and quite a dry finish really.

Overall pretty on par for the style but didn't really wow me. Pretty good for Saranac though.

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Photo of vicg12
4.88/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Saranac's best beer. Was brewed for limited time last winter to go with ski season but now since it was in such high demand it is an all year round brew from what I am told. Dark heavy beer but with great flavor and good drinkability. Even the label on the bottle is fun to look at, depicting a bear with skis, Saranac trys to encorperate bears into all thier labels it seems. Def. give this one a try, you will be happy you did.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard shaker "pint" glass. The lager appears a medium chestnut color with about an inch of fizzy ecru foam. Aroma and taste is dominated by fair amount of malt, caramel, bitter, earthy hops, a bit sweet. Nice satisfying body with ample carbonation. A nice malty bock at a good price.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.46/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of dkachur - thanks! Poured into a cervoise.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy, dull brownish amber with minimal and lazy effervescence. The initially two-and-change-fingers of tan, marshmallow-like head fade rather quickly, though they do leave plenty of nice, sticky lacing and a big, thick, foamy collar of lace. A good start.

Aroma: Brown sugar and far-away orchards of leafy, herbal, sweet fruits.

Taste: A rather soft and subtle malt profile on this one. Brown sugar, caramel, and gummy bears mix with milky, light coffee and a few stray fruity notes, largely sweet but slightly tart in their own dull way. It seems fairly well-rounded, but just a little subtle.

Mouthfeel: Mild, soft carbonation in a slick, even mouth. A little thin, perhaps, approaching but not quite reaching watery.

Drinkability: Stylistically, this is definitely a bock, and even a pretty good one at that - can't say it's the best one I've ever had though. The notes are mostly here, it's just a little dull, shallow, watery - cheap? No, that's harsh. It's good for what it is, but it's not one I'd reach for again.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy dkachur. Thanks, Dan!

A: Deep amber with a cherry hue to it. A fabulous, sparkling and foamy head, just over 2 fingers tall. Recedes in rolls, leaving plenty of sticky lacing behind.

S: Very malty... I get something that kind of reminds me of pancakes out of it. Fortunately, that's a nice smell!

T: A rather pleasant tasting brew... nice caramel malts, just a hint of smokiness, and a little bit of an herbal touch.

M + D: A little bit of a stickiness in the body, an assertive - but not overdone - carbonation. In the past, I've always detected an unusual 'metallic' type taste that I had just associated with being a Saranac thing. It wasn't really my thing, but this particular beer doesn't appear to have that quality. Quite a nice brew which has me interested in revisiting other beers from the brewery!

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Photo of eporter66
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Saranac is readily available in my area, and I plan on sampling most if not all of their offerings. I have had a number of Saranac beers, but before I ever thought much about them.

A - An amber/brown appearance, poured to a nice finger head that receeded quickly. Good lacing on the glass

S- Malty, caramel smell

T - The malt is the overriding but not overpowering taste. There is a hop bitterness, but not heavy at all

M - An average mouthfeel, light carbonationa nice texture.

D - This is a very drinkable beer, and I guess I was always figuring this to be a heavier stout from the black diamond name. Never looking closely to see that it was actually a bock and not a stout. This could be a session beer, it is not heavy, and has a good flavor.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This bock is a crystal clear orange with a white head that completely vanishes. The caramel malt is tart in the nose. The body is thin and smooth. It's a bit top-heavy, which I like. It is well bittered with grassy and woodsy hops. The malt is smooth and ever-present. These newer Saranacs seem to be a step above the usual offerings.
(rated May 15, 2007)

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Photo of JamesS
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice brown color, although with very little head, but a bit of decent lacing. It has a very caramelly scent, but it's so overpowering, that's about all that comes out, besides a slight alcohol whiff. Excellent taste, though! Very deep and filling, nice and malty with great caramel flavors and a nice aftertaste glow. It goes down well for a thick bock, too.

I also find it humorous that they label it a 'dark lager' on the bottle. It's true, but it seems like they're trying to get macro lager drinkers to not be scared of it.

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Photo of Goregazm
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Appearance: Pours a reddish-brown color with plenty of carbonation rising up inside it. Has a bubbly, foamy two-and-a-half finger head which dissipates in about a minute and leaves a little bit of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Heavy on the malt and fruit, with a berry sweetness to it. Has a little toastiness, barley, and floral scents in there as well. A slight layer of hops underneath the surface can be detected.

Taste: Rich and malty, with a soothing creaminess to it. The fruits and toastiness from the scent are here, and they compliment the malts wonderfully. A very warm and soothing taste.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and chewy, with the carbonation giving off a very slight tingle on the tongue. Aftertaste is of bitter, toasty malts with a little bit of fruit notes.

Drinkability: This is really a great bock, and much better then I expected. It's is obvious that this beer was made to drink in the winter, but it's good enough to enjoy year round. I will definately be getting some more of this, and you should do the same.

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Photo of thespaceman
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had one of these the other night, so bought another 12oz to review it.

Poured from bottle into 12oz pint glass:

Appearance: Amberish brown, medium size head with good retention, pretty nice lacing as well.

Smell: Nice fruit florals mixed in with that beautiful malty caramel smell, a very good balance between the malt and the cararmel/toffee smell.

Taste: Malty, yet a tad bitter, but in a good way, the taste comes along the line of maybe liquid coffee bean, again with that hint of caramel in the backdrop. The hops are present here, and this one packs a good flavor.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, nice thickness to this bock, creamy, velvety, and pretty refreshing as well.

Drinkability: For a bock, this is very drinkable. This one goes great on a cold day, and for a 6.00 ABV, it's pretty easy to slug down. A good job to Saranac on this one, I'll defintley pick these up this winter.

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Photo of andjusticeforale
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This had a rich copper appearance but was not as dark as I had imagined it might be; it poured with a decently creamy yet fast disapating head.

This had a nice "micro brew type" smell to it... by that I mean aroma hops and a malty/caramel quality in the nose up front. The initial mouthfeel is lagerlike and like and the secondary push is of dark malts and wheat sweetness and although the mouthfeel does get full and slightly chewy it never reaches the level of big body-ness that I was looking for- and this would be fine if the aftertaste was clean- but its not- it still is tinged with the toasted wheatiness and maltiness.

I would drink a few of these, and I reckon these are best right out of the tap.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three finger white head that fades slowly to a thin layer, leaving a good lace. Clear amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Malty nose. Flavor is semi sweet caramel with some late hop bitterness. $1.33 for a 12oz bottle from Manchester Wine and Liquors Manchester, CT.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From New York State comes this hearty bock. More carbonated than some beers, it produced a good, creamy head (hee hee) when poured which it retained well. Fermented with a lager yeast yet the aroma is distinctly bock (sort of bread-like) and you can taste the malted character up front followed by a slightly sweet finish. A little bitter, probably imparted by the higher ALC content (6%). Dark copper color, medium bodied. Not as dark as most winter beers but clearly intended to be drunk during those months.

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Vibrant looking orange/amber color. A nice light tan head rises quickly and fades slowly. A viscous ring remains at the high point of the head, but not much lacing.

Big sweet malt in the nose, intermingled with just a touch of noble-hops. Some nice caramel goodness in this bock. Taste is rich and malty, with some burnt caramel. Sweet turning mildly bitter before a quick clean finish. A little alcohol warmth joins in for the ride and is not at all out of place.

This beer is smooth despite the evident high carbonation. Maybe a little burn from the carbonation in the end. Good mouthfeel and biggish in body. I don't see what's not to like about this beer. I could easily drink another but I"m in no hurry to finish this one.

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Photo of dmamiano
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful deep, polished copper color with a one finger head leaving lacing clinging to the sides of the glass
smelled of sweet, caramel malts . heavy in the nose with a very nice aroma leaving me excir=ted for a taste.
Taste was rich, malty and smooth. Full feel of rich maltiness. Caramal and German malt win the battle with the hops here. Slight bitter toich in the ending.
Very good beer.

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Photo of BeerIsland
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this item at Wells, Baltimore for $3.99/6pack which is a pretty decent price for anything good these days. Pours brownish - deep gold with a very generous foamy head which may be an age related characteristic. There's a very pleasant malty aroma somewhat reminiscent of spent grain. This has a real bock taste, maybe toward a dopple in its profile but lighter and very drinkable. It seemed heavier and sweeter when drunk straight from the bottle. It's pretty well balanced right through the lingering finish and the head stuck around as well. Even though the malty flavor and slightly sweet tones eased up in time, they may put this beer out of the summer beer category. It would certainly be fine on a cool evening. For the price, an excellent beer. I'd have gotten more but it was only available refrigerated.

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Photo of papaglide
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks- nice dark white, 2 finger head that stayed for a while topped a dark amber yet clear brew. This looks appealing.

smell- a sweet malty, breadish nose masked a TINY hop twang. The bock is here for the malt and that's it.

taste- a sweet, creamy, malt accented by some biscuit tones met my pallet. The sweetness lingered for a while and finished, well on the sweet side. A faint note of hops were present all the while but the maltiness dominated. The alcohol was present at the finish although in a very subtle way.
mouthfeel- was somewhat creamy and nicely carbonated.

drinkability- very. Another nice beer from F.X. Matt. True to style, this is one of the better bock beers that I can remember having. Good job and I recommend.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Dark amber with an off white head that retains fairly well. Some decent lacing work too.

S. Wheat and some floral hops. A faint whiff of alcohal.

T. Sweet caramel with some roasted barley notes. Pretty delicious.

M. Medium bodied leaves a bit of a dry expression and a pleasant aftertaste.

D. A good offering from Saranac, one of my favorites so far.

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Photo of AlexJ
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much darker than expected, a dark mahogany with garnet cast. A light beige head is thin but persistant.

Aroma is warm and malty, with chewy caramel, brown sugar, earth, and wood.

Flavor surprisingly rich for a Saranac, chewy caramel and toffee with toasted bread and roasted nuts. It has a modest hop finish of earthy noblesque hops.

Body is quite nice, above medium, chewy, and creamy. One of the few Saranac brews to live up to it's style expectations.

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Photo of philbe311
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A warm syrupy brown with reddish undertones... Dancing spiraling carbonation... Thin, but creamy head... Looks warm and inviting...

S - Malts first and foremost... Burnt sugar... A text book bock smell... If anything it lacks for complexity...

T - Malts and hops... The hops are much more than expected, but a pleasant surprise... Kind of biting for Bock... Malts lead to intense hops which then lead the palette to a nice combination of malts and hops on the back end...

M - Creamy and smooth... Finishes dry was the hops take shape on the palette...

D - Solid offering... The Hop context to this Bock makes it a keeper... I could enjoy a couple and that's a good thing because I just bought a case on a whim...

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

French burnt peanut orange with polished brass trim. The peanut shell colored chapeau is fine-bubbled, which lends persistence in the absence of tremendous looks. The foam melts in appealing fashion, though, and leaves scattered squiggles of sudsy lace that appear to be temporary. Note: actually, they stick around and dry to a fine crust.

Although the aroma is a bit muted, it delivers the usual toasted malty bockiness. For the record, Munich and Vienna are in use. Second and third sniffs bring an earthiness and a nuttiness to the fore. This could be a pretty good version at that.

For some reason, Black Diamond Bock seems to have more guts than most TMBC beer. In other words, it doesn't taste like inexpensive beer made with an insufficient amount of inexpensive ingredients, like most of what they brew. Was that too harsh?

The mid-range malts deliver decent depth of flavor reminiscent of wheat toast coated with a thick layer of orange marmalade (without much orange peel) and sprinkled with chopped nuts, malt powder and tea leaves. That last one must be the Hallertau hops, which play a supporting role at best.

The mouthfeel is the mouthfeel of a malt-dominant beer that actually contains enough malt. It's incredibly smooth, has a medium chewiness and has a lingering stickiness on the back end. Matt? Matt? Is that really you?

I will be the first to admit that bocks are near the bottom of my 'most favored styles' list. That said, I think I'm able to give all beer a more than fair shake when it's time to review. Black Diamond Bock is one of this brewery's finest creations and should not be missed by fans of the style.

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Photo of buzzgreg
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very good, I have not had a bock beer in awhile- this was very good...I liked it a bit on the warm side- felt good that way- I like full flavor beers like this. Hats off for Matt to keep brewing this wonderful beer- Lucky to have a few good small brewers left, else it would be bud- coors and miller YUCK !!!
Saranac Black & Tan is very good too. THANKS AND GREETINGS FROM B INGHAMTON, NY !!!

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Saranac Black Diamond Bock from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.68 out of 5 based on 121 ratings.
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