Saranac Black Diamond Bock | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 121 |  Reviews: 92
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.

 458 characters

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...

 722 characters

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 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 !!!

 392 characters

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

Why not?

A: Super deep copper almost bordering on brown. Minimal amount of white head. Very minimal lacing.

S: Nice bock smell. Tons of malt and everything else has been crushed by the malt.

T: Sweetness from the malt up front. Then it goes into a fruity taste. Apples are one thing I am picking up on. Slight roasted taste after that. Finishes sweet.

M: Nothing to either give nor take away from the beer. Carbonation is low which fits the style.

D: Honestly one of the better beers I have had from Saranac.

 513 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 auxiliary
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance - Nice reddish color, with a nice large white head. Lace was present.

smell - Sweet malts are present.

taste - Nice taste of malts, with a hop taste at the end.

mouthfeel - Medium body.

drinkability - Nice balance, would buy again, worth a try. Easy drinking.

 277 characters

Photo of zdk9
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a crystal clear copper color with a finger's worth of uniformly crisp bubbles. There's just a tad of lacing.

S- Sweet aromas, with a hint of milk chocolate- this bizarly reminds me of rolos...Good though

T- Sweet maltiness, like hallah bread, or maybe yellow cupcakes. There's a bit of a honey aspect, and then also some roastiness than blends in the back really well.

M- Crisp, I wish there was more to say. Actually there is- this beer could use some more bitter bite.

D- A well rounded beer with a flavor that I'm describing poorly, but still enjoying.

 568 characters

Photo of becktone
3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Eye: This beer pours a beautiful light brown in color. Its deeper than just brown though, reds and oranges too. Head is creamy has good retention and some nice thick lacing as it recedes a bit to stable, albeit smaller size.

Nose: Bready with hints of light chocolate and caramel. Overall malt sweetness, some spice from hops. Not much more to it than that. Overall the aroma is kinda weak.

Tongue: Robust and rich malt flavors hit the palate. Chocolate, caramel and lightly roasted malts create some depth to the flavor. Some hops come through to balance it out, they give off a somewhat spicy, earthy flavor.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: In my opinion the carbonation in this beer is just a tad too high. Too much frittering about the tongue. I also expected this brew to have a much more dense body. Its finish is dry, leaving the mouth water for more. This is a beer that goes well with early spring. I don't know if I'd come back to it, I think that I am much more of a Doppelbock guy, but I'd like to give others a shot before I do or don't come back to this. Just pretty average, good, nothing great though. Worth a try in my opinion, but I'd not go seeking this out unless you are a huge Matt Brewing fan.

 1,217 characters

Photo of mattcrill
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Slightly sweet, slightly grainy, subtle carmel notes. No hop aroma but a firm malt aroma is present. No hot alcohols just a clean malt note.

Appearance: Clear brick red pour with a sizeable white head. Lacing is prominent throughout.

Flavor: More malty base with some carmel, bready, slightly biscuity notes. A background noble hop flavor is there to keep it from being cloying. Finish is clean and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium high carbonation. No astringency and no alcohol heat detected.

Overall impression: A balanced, enjoyable, highly drinkable spring bock. Very solid and should be brewed all the time. Recommended.

 647 characters

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Poured a clear coppery amber color with a nice 1/2" of white foamy head. Head dissipates to a thin uneven layer of bubbles and a nice ring around the glass. Lacing is quite good.

S: Moderate malts mingle with a bread-like yeasty aroma.

T: Medium caramel malts wash over the tongue with a mostly dry character, which is interesting for a bock. The malts are prominent but the overall flavor seems just shy of balance, giving way to the malts. The bitterness is definitely there but very sly and works well with the dry flavor profile. The finish is almost entirely of the malt, in a bit of a dry linger.

M&D: Mouthfeel is of medium weight on the palate, with a creamy disposition. Carbonation is relatively fine and light but works very well with the brew. This is a fairly easy drinking lager with an interesting twist as a bock.

 884 characters

Photo of tgbljb
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear medium copper colored beer with moderate off-white creamy head. Poor retention.

Smell shows a light touch of caramel and toffee, with a slight roasted character.

Taste is rich in malt. A firm dark fruity sweetness is backed up by a light bitterness, that augments the refreshment from the malt. Nice combination.

Great tatste retention, with a lingering toffee note.

Very drinkable. Great beer.

 413 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 turdburglar
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice deep amber color. Decent size frothy head with very good retention.

Aroma is grainy malt, oatmeal cookie.

Taste is smooth and malty, definitely some caramel, bready. Enjoyable... very good for an American bock, but not in the same class as the German bocks.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin. Drinkability is quite high.

A typical Saranac offering... very good, but a bit bland in comparison to the world class breweries.

 420 characters

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

Initial pour was a pale copper color with about 3/4 inch head. The aroma was filled with caramel and moderate alcohol presence. Initial sip was surprising, moderate cramel maltiness with a strong alcohol presence but very smooth. The finish lingered with a nice hoppy flavor balanced by the sweet malt. The alcohol subsides as the beer warmed with a decent amount of lace left in my glass. All in all a decent example of this style and a worthy beer.

 450 characters

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

A - Pours clear and medium brown. Got around half an inch of head with average retention. Lacing was average too.

S - Caramel is most of what can be noticed in aroma. There is a hint of alcohol in there as well.

T - Caramel is also strong in the flavor but there is also a little bit of a nutty flavor backing it up. Alcohol is present throughout. Very, very light hop bitterness on the end.

M - Medium bodied and smooth. Carbonation was excellent.

D - Drinkability is good. I could easily have several more of these. I woud recommemd this to anyone looking for a decent bock.

 580 characters

Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle

Pours a clear copper color with a creamy tan head that maintains. Nice lacing on the glass.

Caramel malt aroma with just a hint of herbal hops. Smells fairly bland.

Caramel malt flavor upfront followed by a light herbal hop flavor and medium bitterness. Finishes clean and dry.

Medium-light body, creamy texture.

A decent bock beer, easy to drink and true to style. Another good value from Saranac.

 416 characters

Photo of tugdriver7
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I wanted to like this one. Gorgeous brown color in the glass, nice head retention, bright hops and toasted malt in the nose. The initial taste left something to be desired, however. The alcohol taste was just a bit overpowering. The balance was OK, but rather than quietly warm you as you drink, it was a bit "in your face" all the way down. (I know, I'm a lightweight.) Don't get me wrong, for the style it was worth trying. But not quite as drinkable--enjoyable--as I had hoped when I picked it up.

 500 characters

Photo of thebeerdoctor
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The 2008 version of Black Diamond Bock has come my way and it is as fresh as can be. A rich caramel malt palate is balanced by expert use of hops. Although I read of this being one dimensional , this is certainly not so with a fresh case. Like Huber bock, Black Diamond is a very good example of American single bock beer. Poured into a large pilsener glass, I can think of nothing to complain about.

 400 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 beerkeeper
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured a red to copper color with good head which went down quickly. Good lace all along the side of the glass.

S- Smelled of almost floral malts quess it was the fruit I was smelling but Ive made mistakes before.

T- Really good on the taste Very enjoyable lighter then I thought of a typical bock style lager. very strong on the malts little burnt roasted taste to it. Strong up front litghter on the finish did not stay with you to long.

M- Light but enough to let you know you are drinking a good beer

D- very drinkable i only had one that i picked up at Shawan on the singles rack otherwise i would have had another one.

 631 characters

Photo of kkosmoski
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear orangey, light amber with a white head that displays lacing, and a lively carbonation. Smell is of toasty malt and husk with an underlying sweet aroma. Flavor profile is very clean for a bock. Everything is in balance with no aspect jumping out and dominating. Toasty malt followed by a dull sweetness and finished off by a bit of bitterness. Thought this beer also displayed some tannins just before the finish. Beer hits the mouth on the light side, and its drinkability is pretty favorable I thought.

Overall, a good late winter offering from Saranac. They could have made it a bit more interesting, but it is a nice change of pace in a season filled with barleywines, imperial stouts, and other strong ales.

 727 characters

Photo of animal69
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i had this one leftover from the superbowl ; pours a clear, med. copper color w/ a thin off-white head which dissipates quickly leaving a good bit of lacing in my pint ; not a powerful smell, some grainy malts, and a bit of alcohol, maybe a hint of raisin ; bold and dry, more malty flavor, a deep roasted nutty/caramel up front w/ some lingering floral hop notes, a bit more of the dark fruit present as well ; a rich med. body w/ decent co2, leaves a good residual ; a very drinkable brew, esp. for a 6% ABV, def. light for a bock tho....

 540 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
3.42/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

 275 characters

Photo of RocPorterFanatic
3.44/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich amber color. 2 fingers head with mild lacing. Aromas of orange peel and cherries. Very malty with a slight hint of alcohol aftertaste. Great beer for the cold winter months. Good overall, I would recommend to people that like other bocks.

 251 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.