Saranac Black Diamond Bock
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac Black Diamond BockSaranac Black Diamond Bock
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Bock - Traditional
3.69 | pDev: 10.3%
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Saranac Black Diamond BockSaranac Black Diamond Bock
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 92 | Ratings: 121 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
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Jason from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice, not many straight-up bocks on the market and a great way to wet the palate for this round of tastings. Dark amber color, good clarity showing here. The head drops some sticky lacing on the glass. Very clean nose with a bit of toasted malt and hop twang. Lots of smoothness with a creamy medium body. Hint of clean alcohol middle to end, maltiness goes from a mellow sweetness to more of a bread crust bite. Hops come jump for balance with a quick splash of herbal flavor. Finishes a little malty sweet.

Right on target and very clean. I'm diggin this beer a lot, to hell with it being a winter seasonal ... brew it year round.

Mar 19, 2008
More User Reviews:
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phishbone23 from New York

5/5  rDev +35.5%

Jan 23, 2013
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tbruchey2112 from Maryland

2.77/5  rDev -24.9%
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.

Dec 20, 2012
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DCH from New York

4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Jun 13, 2013
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Jackal from West Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Jul 26, 2013
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Cooker_stp from New York

3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Aug 18, 2013
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MichaelStoutBeard from New York

4/5  rDev +8.4%

Jan 08, 2014
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mmmbeerNY from New York

3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Jun 27, 2014
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qcghost from North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Nov 13, 2014
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jdhilt from New Hampshire

3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Sep 08, 2008
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oberon from North Carolina

3.41/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured 1 1/2 bottles into a .5 liter stein,a nice pour a clear rich copper/bronze with a tight formed one finger slight off white head that settled into a creamy froth.Sweet caramel and bready malt in the nose with a hint of iron,grainy medium to full mouthfeel it coats the mouth well.Bready and grainy husk-like flavors up front with a touch of caramel sweetness but its quite dry with not alot of uniquness to it kinda bland.This has some nice things about it,its appearance and mouthfeel are good but it lacks flavor in my mind.

Feb 16, 2008
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PSUDREW from Pennsylvania

3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice beer overall. Pretty smooth, easy drinking and has a decent overall profile

No nose to really speak of. Kinnda sweet, but nothing really there. Over all taste is pretty malty. Pours a great amber color. some head. little to no lacing. Great matly flavor. not a malt bomb by any standards, but the dominant flavor profile is definately malt. There is a noticeible hop flavor in the finish, and while refeshing, is only there for a short period of time

Over all, pretty drinkable and nice in the winter months. worth the $20 that I paid for it, worth it if you find it

Feb 19, 2007
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Although not as malty as one might hope, Saranac's Black Diamond Bock does deliver some tasty and toasted malt. It pours a clear deep-copper body with glowing amber highlights beneath a creamy head of off-white that holds well and leaves thin sheets of spotty lace about the glass. The malty nose offers a welcoming caramelized-sugar note along with a decent amount of toastiness, backed by some very mild hops in the background. Across the tongue it's silky with a medium-light body and very-fine bubbled, moderate carbonation. The flavor is less sweet than the nose suggests, although the almost-scorched sugar/dark caramel side is still there. The full bitterness tends to tone it down. It becomes toasty, and somewhat dry across the middle, as some of the sugary malt fades and the bitterness rises. Some floral and leafy hops flitter here and there throughout, although they make their greatest impression in the dry finish. Unfortunately, some alcohol sneeks in there as well, which is odd because it's only 6% abv. Still, it's pretty well contained, and you don't really notice it until about halfway through the glass. Overall, enjoyable and drinkable.

Mar 15, 2007
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edchicma from Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good, malty brew that was vey good with beef stew. Pours a medium amber with a small head. Smell is extremely malty and inviting. Taste follows the smell..sweet at the start, strong malt backbone. Mouthfeel is very nice...creamy and smooth. Very easy on the drinkability scale. Could quaff more than one.

Feb 22, 2007
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sraimondi from Connecticut

3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice dark amber to copper color. Not much aroma, but a bit of bread on deep inhalation. Taste is very much on style with bread and sweetish malt which persists through the finish. No real hop taste. The mouthfeel is quite nice and full, as well as smooth, given very low carbonation. You don't feel the 6% ABV, until it's too late. All in all, one of the best beers from Saranac, and at a price point which you cannot beat. Any "malt heads" need to sample this one. Cheers!

Apr 15, 2007
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WVbeergeek from West Virginia

3.06/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears with a copper amber body and forms a large tan head leaves behind fine lace around my pint in evenly strung patterns. Aromatics have mild herbal nobleesque hops roasty caramel nut edge and sweetness nothing off here just a bit subdued overall. Flavor is upfront with malt sweetness roasted character just liquid bread right?...touch of bitterness from the herbal hop profile but they really don't stand out overall I felt the flavors were just muted and I like more expressive beer than this one has to offer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied a touch of syrup stickiness with even carbonation, no complaints in this department. Drinkability is decent I just come across other beers I'd rather invest my time in this one was just ummm okay for me.

May 05, 2007
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lackenhauser from Maryland

3.42/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very light coppery color. Slight head. Caramel and toffiesh aroma. Mild malt flavor-a lot of caramel flavor. Slightly sharp hop bitterness. Somewhat thin bodywise. An ok beer and enjoyable enough. Doesn't take a lot of chances. In line with Saranac's other offerings.

Feb 10, 2008
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scottum from Vermont

3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red amber color with a white headskie. Bockish in flavor and body, but not quite bockin' it up all the way. The sweet bockness is a touch thin and as such is almost swallowed up by the hop balance. That said, it's still a tastey drinkable brew, just a bit off style. Was that ever a bad thing? I hope not.

Feb 10, 2007
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BeerIsland from Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Jun 18, 2008
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sulldaddy from Connecticut

3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Mar 21, 2014
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Gavage from Nevada

3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a clear reddish copper color with a 1” head. The head last briefly before disappearing to a surface foam.

Smell: caramel and roasted nuts are pleasant.

Taste: roasted nuts, toffee, ripe plums, hint of alcohol, decent malt sweetness, and a mild bitterness make up a solid beer.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp throughout. Aftertaste is very short as some toffee and roasted nuts tickled the tongue softly before leaving. Medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: a decent session beer from the Saranac folks. A bit thin for a bock, but flavorful.

Feb 09, 2007
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sabrills70 from North Carolina

2.56/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz brown botle with no freshness date. Pours a clear medium amber with a 1 finger head and OK lace. Definate malt aroma mixed with caramel and an odd smell I cant quite put my finger on - almost like a mix of alcohol and cigarettes - like the breath of someone you meet in a bar. Upon tasting is initial malts, weak for a bock, mixed with a peppery, higher than the norm hop flavor with a lingerinh hop bitterness in the aftertaste. A bit weak for a bock Not a bad beer but not one of the better bocks I have had. IMHO skip this one.

Jan 20, 2007
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WesWes from New York

3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a sweet, caramel scen that boasts of crystal malts along with a slightly roasted and nutty aroma. It's sweet with a dry lager yeast scent. The taste is decent. It's quite dry with a roasted feel . It goes down easy and finishes with some residual sweetness. It's not as malty as it smells. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a run of the mill bock beer. It looks and smells great, but the taste lacks a bit; still a good drinker.

Feb 26, 2007
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GCBrewingCo from North Carolina

3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear copper with and off-white almost tannish head which rose but a sliver but did last enough to lace the glass.

The aroma was earthy and a bit estery with caramel most prevalent. Some lightly vegetal undercurrents flowed in the aroma with some lightly spicy hops.

The flavor was lightly vegetal and lightly spicy with caramel malt and a mildly estery character. Some dark fruits were almost present with the beginnings of raisins being notable.

The finish was even into dry with only a lightly lasting spicy hop flavor into the aftertaste. The body was medium with a moderate carbonation. Nothing wrong with this beer, but nothing exciting here either. The malt was just a bit light and not complex enough to be a really good bock.

12 ounce bottle.

Dec 29, 2006
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

May 29, 2008
Saranac Black Diamond Bock from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 121 ratings