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Saranac Black Diamond Bock | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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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 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.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presumably named after a typical ski-course, this Winter selection from Saranac is an overall pleasing sample that didn't disappoint... considered a Bock, this pours a dark amber, copper color with minimal head that soon dissipates... smell is very malty, and the taste is complete with strong, rich, caramel and brown sugar flavors with a maple syrup essence... good stuff overall, and much better than I had anticipated... Copped a single 12oz bottle from Gary's in Madison for $1.25... picture of a bear with ski goggles on the logo behind a winter scene...not a bad beer at all... good representation of the style with a thick and rich malt flavor that hits home... certainly a good Winter-style brew with enough flavor and character to warrant a sample... good beer... Recommended...

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, served in a pint glass.

- This brew is clear, reddish-brown color with a good sized, fluffy white head that hung for a bit before becoming a light layer of foam that left plenty of lacing on the glass. A lighter shade of 'Bock'.
- The aroma is something I have named 'The Saranac Smell'... maybe it's the yeast they use, or the water?, but most Saranac beers have a similar aroma, a bit of fresh 'funk' and some maltiness is how I would describe it.
- The flavor is of sweet roasted barley malt with a very subtle hop bitterness and a sort of earthiness to it. Not like any 'Bock' I've ever had before (is there such a style as 'lager/bock'?).
- A lighter bodied beer with a flat feel on the carbonation end.
- Drinkable? - heck yeah!, it's very reasonably priced, it's 6% abv, and it's brewed in America by a non-macro brewery.

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Photo of bboven
3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Medium brown crystal clear body with loads of ruby highlights. Thick, off-white head that leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smell is all malt with a moderate amount of toastiness for depth. Very nice. No hops or alcohol to it.

A bit too sweet, like a watered down barleywine almost. No roastiness hops or alcohol. This style is supposed to be a little sweet, but it's a bit too much here. The malt does have other nice flavors that I can't quite put my finger on, so all around pretty good.

Mouthfeel is creamy. Low carbonation, a surprising bit of warmth from the alcohol. A little too full, but I personally like it.

Pretty darn good. A little sweet and full, but that's just being nitpicky. I like the warmth frm the alcohol, that's something you don't expect from such a light-looking beer. I've got to ding it a little for actually being a little too low in ABV for BJCP standards, though. But definitely worth buying a whole sixer of.

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Photo of williamherbert
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a big foamy head. Deep cherry red color, like a dark blush wine or a winter ale. Hazy. Nice to look at.

Smell is slightly sweet malt. Has a hint of caramel. Has a subtle roasted nuttyness. Minor hint of cherry. Darkly sweet, with a minor smoky aroma.

The taste is nutty roasted malt, like a brown ale. Has a lagery tartness as well, with a dry aftertaste. The nutty malt is dominant, for sure. Dry yeast at the end with a hint of caramel. Solid flavor.

Has a lagery wateryness to the feel. It thickens as it warms, but still watery, though smooth. It's a decent, smooth drinking beer with a hint of roasted nutty malt. Not bad at all.

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Photo of SirSaranac
3.54/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle.... Ive been waiting to try this. Clever bottle of that sneaky Saranac bear skiing down the black diamond 'beer run'. *Nods approvingly.

A- This looks like a champ. Dark reddish brown... almost root beer color. A nice khaki colored 2 1/2 finger head appeared and crowned this beer... nice and frothy. The head slowly dissolved but stuck with me for the duration of the beer and left some nice lacing.

S- Malt. Slightly yeasty. Something else rather faint... coffee? Doesn't exactly scream out "Drink me!"

T- Cookie like malt... That dominates above everything... a dark earthy malt that is tasty, but not very complex. Hops is almost non existant... you really have to search for it; barely noticeable in the aftertaste. The flavor of this brew is good.... but it's rather one dimensional.

M-Slightly oily... medium body. Heavier than a traditional lager. Noticeably carbonated.

D- Goes down pretty easy. I could drink these socially.

Overall?... The best thing about this beer is its appearance. It kinda reminds me of a less interesting Saranac Black Forest. I wish it wasn't so one dimensional... but it's still a good brew.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Kendo
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a pilsner glass. Body is copper with mahogany hues underneath; an ivory/cream-colored 1-finger head sits atop. Slow-rising bubbles and some lacing.

S: It's all malt, all the time -- caramel malt, molasses and brown sugar.

T: Also dominated by the malty stuff -- brown sugar, caramel malt and even toffee. Roasted malt and cereal is there too. Despite that description, it's not annoyingly sweet.

M: Lighter in body than you'd expect from the color and the nose, but then again, this is a lager, right?

D: Pretty good. I found this went down pretty quickly.

Notes: Apparently this isn't moving all that well. I think I paid $3.49 for a 6-pack of it at Olivers. Well worth it at that price, and frankly, I think this may be one of my higher-rated Saranac beers. Solid.

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

Pours a dark caramel amber color with w shallow light tan head that fades fairly quickly. A nice amount of lacing generated. The smell is on the timid side, but a good roasted malt. Medium bodied, the mouth feel is adequately carbonated and there is a slight tingle from hops. The flavor is similar to the aroma; mildly roasted. A smooth bock thats a nice drinker.

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

a good bock beer. this poured a nice caramel brown color but the nicely formed head disappeared quickly. very light carbonation.

good fruity roasted malt aroma and good taste. slight stickiness in the aftertaste. a pretty darn good bock from a pretty darn good or very darn good brewer. i have only had three from them but was pleased with them so far.

suckem up and movem out.


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Photo of Franchise
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This offering from Saranac pours out of the bottle a caramel brown leaving a thick tan head that stays with this brew. The aroma is brown sugar, slight sour twinge, herbal grassy notes, very faint nose. The taste starts sour/tart upfront followed by a small caramel maltiness but dominated by a sour feel on the palate. The finish is weak and watery overall subpar beer nothing I will return to again.

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Photo of KOPBeerDrinker
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured a dark, clear, amber color in the pint glass with about one half inch of head, which quickly disappered. It smells of sweet malt and fruit-maybe apple or raison. Also a note of alcohol. Tastes sweet and malty, not much hop taste that I could detect, some alcohol present. Mouthfeel is medium and is fairly well carbonated. This is a tasty beer and easy to drink. I like this more than other Saranac brews I have tried. I would definately buy more, especially since I found this on sale for $14.99 for a case.

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Photo of TheBierBand
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Found this at a little brew-pub in the Albany, NY Airport.

This was their seasonal offering.... at July 3rd... maybe a bit late for a bock.... but hey... I thought I'd give it a try.

Not bad... it was served up in a 20 oz glass with a modest 1/2" head over a coppery clear beer.

The smell was difficult to pick-up. Just a hint of maltiness and some strange fruity smell that I couldn't place.... was it apple?

The taste was good. Right on style for a bock. The malt was dominant and it had a unique fruity taste that added some complexity. I guess that I'll label the fruity tasty as apple-ish.

The mouthfeel was just a bit too fizzy for my taste. Too much carbonation... just a little too much.... maybe 20% too high in my opinion.

Drinkability: The carbonation lessened the drinkability for me.

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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.

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Photo of sraimondi
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
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!

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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.

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Photo of Hautacam
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear deep amber...not much of a head.
The smell is very doughy ...some dried fruit aroma.
Sweet caramel malt; hint of raisons , some tartness..like underripe apples.Seems a bit hoppier than most bocks that I've had...just a little bitterness. Finish is fairly dry.There is a slight metallic and bitter aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is on the big side of medium....pretty well carbonated.
Not a bad bock.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my second style from the High Peaks series, and I have to say that so far I'm enjoying them. Nice representation of the style. Loaded with malts from front to back. Has a dry sherry-like mouthfeel. I felt that there were some imbalances though. There could have been a little more alcoholic bite; the flavors were reversely muted, almost there, but not. I guess they weren't performing up to their potential(s).

At 6.99 a six-pack, this is the best beer going right now.

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Photo of drseamus
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a darker amber color, but not as dark as I expected. There was just a bit of head on the top that quickly disappeared. There is a sweet malty aroma that comes off of it, but it isn't that strong. It has a slightly sweet caramel flavor initially, but disappears quickly. There is only a hint of hop bitterness and a flavor that I can't place, but reminds me of a steam beer. It is light to medium bodied and has decent drinkability.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

(bottle- 12 oz. in crystal mug) Toasty amber, medium bitterness, medium body, slightly bitter. A pleasant beer for March and those in-between winter-spring moments... almost drinkable in larger quantities...should be included in their winter sampler next year...points for the goggled bear logo? This first review goes out to the Ryanza in State College...ratebeer and BeerAdvocate brotherhood unite!

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - this saranac offering pours a caramel/cola colored light brown, with a thin white short lived head and minimal carbonation

S - roasted malts completely dominate the aroma, it a nice a pleasing aroma, however unidimensional, but to much of a detraction

T - roasted malts are pervasive in the flavor as well, in the back of the taste are some sugary sweet toffee notes, again not very complex but damn tasty

M&D - damn fine brew, tasty and rich, goes down easy and smooth, one of saranacs better offerings, not complex or layered, just nice flavor and easily drinkable, well done

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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.

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

Brew pored to a rusty clear brown color with a nice sized off white to tan head that had very good retention and left a fair amount of lacing down the side of the glass. The aromas seem to highlight a good deal of roasted and caramel malts that stick out nicely that give it a nice roasted and nut like smell. It is nice with its malts up front giving more of a caramel taste along with a nut like flavor. Also possibly I am picking up a fruit like taste of raisins or plums? Has a crisp and dry feel to it. Over all I enjoyed this brew, actually would like to see this in it mix packs as I feel it is a better offering than a number of them. Nice solid run of the mill brew from Saranac based on it style.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
3.32/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poured into a nonic glass from a 12oz long neck brown bottle with a crimped on cap.

Clear medium copper color with a glowing reddish hue. Creamy 1" slightly off-white head dissapating quickly to a slight coating with a few bits of spotty lacing.Not a lot of visable carbination.

Very fruity and clean nose with some nutty,burnt,carmell aromas with some metallic aromas.Good clean moderate aromas

Fruity,tart,nutty,sweet slightly burnt carmellness.Some metallic tastes but not offensive. Finishes clean.crisp with some fruity tartness. Pleasing taste a good balance not a lot of hop flavors present.

Light mouthfeel a bit watery,smooth with a slight bit of grainess.
Good drinkability could drink a few, would get bored after a while with the taste a bit lacking. Not a bad beer,not one of the better ones from Saranac.

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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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