Saranac Black Diamond Bock | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac Black Diamond BockSaranac Black Diamond Bock
Liked This Beer
3.68 w/ 121 ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 121 |  Reviews: 92
Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

 1,160 characters

Photo of oberon
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

 532 characters

Photo of vfgccp
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of smcolw
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, light reddish amber. Small, but long lasting, head; Impressive lace.

Strong sweet caramel smells; some alcohol warmth; low hop as expected.

More hop in the taste than with most bocks. Off style, but I like it. The body is quite creamy with a high level of carbonation. Strong malty flavors with some oiliness from the alcohol.

This is very pleasant beer even though it is slightly off the style by the hop. This is an easily quaffable beer--think rich pale ale. Enjoy.

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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.

 1,643 characters

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

 633 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A – Poured a nice deep and very crystal clear amber. A good sized, three inch or more head formed on the top and actually had some very nice staying power to it. After a few minutes it gradually receded, leaving behind loads of side glass lace that coated the glass for a while. A good amount of carbonation was evident here as chains of bubbles streaked through to the surface throughout the entire session. A very nice look overall for the style, and no doubt that it had a lot of life left in that bottle.

S – Aroma was somewhat muted, not as strong as I would have thought. First impression was of a slightly cereal like graininess that was mixed in with a somewhat earthy, or grass like back to it. A slightly sweet presence was also noticeable, perhaps a light caramel or honey maybe, not strong but just enough to pick up. Overall the aroma was light, but yet still very pleasant. Typical malt lager like smell.

T – Very smooth, and had a definite bite to it. At first it had a nice earthy malt character to it and that pretty much dominated the flavor. As it started to warm up some more pronounced flavors began to trickle in. A decent amount of grassy notes and even a touch of some banana like characters were noted. A touch of spice in the finish seemed to give it a little bite and helped to give it that little bit extra it needed to make it stand out. Some residual sweetness left over in the aftertaste lingered around for quite a few minutes before again being replaced by that earthy malt flavor to round it out. A classic taste for the style, but with a little bit of a bite.

M – Very clean and crisp feel. Nothing slick or watered down here, this one was all flavor and lots of carbonation from the very start. Kept its lively feeling throughout and never really was a let down. Good crisp feeling to it, definatly refreshing and a decent body overall, albeit somewhat on the light side.

D – Very very nice. This was easily sessionable even by moderate standards. It was very clean and light drinking, not leaving much of an aftertaste, and not being very filling either. Had a lot of carbonation which never really let up and kept going until the very end. These made it go down almost like water, though a tad bit thicker and with a better taste. Good easily be an all nighter.

Overall this was more then pleasant, and was actually a pleasurable brew to enjoy. A good overall session or dinner brew, I had no issues with it at all. Now it was not anything fancy or abnormally special in any way, just a good solid offering. I would definitely not turn it down if it was offered my way again, unfortunately they really do not ever make it down here. But never the less, glad I could try it and look forward to some more seasonals from Saranac.

 2,790 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
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.

 748 characters

Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Gavage
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

 563 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 598 characters

Photo of plaid75
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep copper hue with a one finger off white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured an upfront sweet caramel malt with some subtle aroma hops.

The taste consisted of a sweet and grainy caramel malt with elements of dry cocoa, molasses and smoke.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness for the style.

Overall a nice and easy drinking bock. Like nearly all Saranac beers, toward the shallow end of the style, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

 472 characters

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.

 357 characters

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.

 295 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark reddish hue color with a creamy off white head.

S: Light caramel and bread notes on nose.

T: Toasted grain and bread highlight the palate with a nice dark caramel presence and lacing on the tongue. Some citrus hopping.

M: body is moderate and nicely balanced flavor wise along with a good earthy bitterness.

D: Overall flavor is decent and non offending and light enough to make for a decent session bock. Not a fan but this is one of their better attempts.

 480 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours a clear amber/copper color with an inch and a half frothy off-white head. Head retention is very good, lacing is OK. It smells like sweet malt, caramel and bread. The aroma is on the light side, but it's still nice. Taste is similar to the aroma, but with the addition of some hops in the finish. Taste is stronger than the aroma. Mouthfeel/body is medium, but with above average carbonation, too much for my liking. Drinkability is average, but the high carbonation doesn't work for me. Overall I think it's a decent beer, but it could be better.

 611 characters

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.

 469 characters

Photo of BGsWo22
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

Photo of Brad007
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a great deal on a case of this beer and I thought I would review it as I actually had it at a small beer festival a few weeks ago and liked it:

Appearance- Dark copper color. It has a decent amount of head.

Smell- Lots of essence of malt with a slight hint of alcohol behind it.

Taste- Sweet and malty on the tongue and goes down pleasantly. Kind of a brown sugar essence in my opinion.

Mouthfeel- Leaves a decent aftertaste that makes me want to eat something sweet.

Drinkability- For its style, I would say this beer is fairly drinkable. It's not very high in ABV and tastes pretty delicious.

 619 characters

Photo of wedge
3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber - very little visible carbonation. Thin head of foam eventually disappears to nothing. Smells of toasted malts, caramel, brown sugar, and pale fruits. Smooth, rich malt and faint spiced fruit flavors. Medium bodied with low carbonation.

Not bad at all.

 267 characters

Photo of DmanGTR
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

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Saranac Black Diamond Bock from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 47.1% out of 100 with 121 ratings
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