Saranac Black Lager | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

104 Ratings
no score
Send samples
Saranac Black LagerSaranac Black Lager

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

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-07-2009

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 104 |  Reviews: 66
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.06/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Ugh, another Saranac effort. Pours a dark red and brown. Aroma is dirt and alcohol, i.e. "earthy".

Taste, I don't know what the deal is with Saranac, but every beer, every style, has that same quality to it, and its not enjoyable. Its like a biscuity sawdust is added to every batch. In addition, this beer has some browned malt feel, and no discernable hopping.

Just not enjoyable for me.

 391 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
2.45/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Comes in dark colored with brown and crimson hues. Aroma was earthy and reeked of alcohol despite a relatively low abv.

Taste is much like every other Saranac brew, similar yeast no matter what style, a general lack of malt or hops depending on style. A lot of earthy English toffee and tea malt notes, sawdust, wood, rubbing alcohol.

Needs more hopping for schwarz style.

 376 characters

Photo of mnrider
2.46/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz. Brown Bottle. Pilsner Glass.

A: Dark brown, with a reddish tint. Thin head never lasts, with little lacing. Carbonation is strong.

S: Watered down malts. Sweet with bread.

T/M: Mostly malts. Kinda watery with a slight caramel taste. A little bitter on the back end. Carbonation is strong.

D: I've had better beers of this style. Not that bad, just something I wouldn't get. Unless in a mix pack.


 413 characters

Photo of avisong
2.5/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of chrispoint
2.5/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of sendbeer
2.5/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of jharkins07
2.5/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of PJF12866
2.5/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of yesyouam
2.6/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Saranac Black Lager is a dark and clear tawny brown beer with a thick, lumpy, light beige head that has oily bubbles; outstanding retention and lacing. It has a sharp, metallic aroma that's a touch cheesy. It's smooth and medium bodied with a pretty clean finish. It's pretty dry with a roasty note of coffee and a light, green bitterness. The aftertaste is metallic. Yeah, that metal taste really throws it off.

 412 characters

Photo of DaKur
2.75/5  rDev -18.2%

Photo of dsa7783
2.75/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Watered-down and lackluster are the best adjectives to describe this sampling experience... An American stab at a traditional German style that fails to capture the richness of this unique style of beer... Flavlors were sadly lacking... Nothing of the "chocolate malt" profile was evident... Nothing special...

 310 characters

Photo of Eastside151
2.75/5  rDev -18.2%

Photo of AngusOg
2.75/5  rDev -18.2%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
2.75/5  rDev -18.2%

Photo of TheRuss9585
2.75/5  rDev -18.2%

Photo of Phigg1102
2.76/5  rDev -17.9%

Photo of KenC411
2.78/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark amber hue capped with a sizable head, lasting for about 2 minutes before fading away with lacing on the side.

Smell: Deep chocolate, hint of roasty malt, however, very faint.

Taste: Malt taste in the front, kiss of hops for a finish. Taste of chocolate and some malt coats the tongue in the front. Very light on flavor, and a bit watery.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Smooth beer with deep contrast. The beer is enjoyable, though I would not actively seek it out.

 514 characters

Photo of mikereaser
2.8/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a very dark brown with some tan foam

S - very malty sweet aroma

T - the taste is sort of roasted, cola like flavor, chocolate malts

M - medium bodied with good carbonation

D - either black lagers aren't my thing or saranac isn't my thing. i'm guessing the latter

 276 characters

Photo of jwc215
2.82/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of Saranac winter variety pack:

Pours ruby/cranberry toward brown - certainly not black - with a head that, at first, seems to hold some promise, but soon descends to a patch. Some vanishing dots of lace...vanish.

The smell is of diark-ish (cocoa?) maltiness with a slight berry-like tartness and slightly burnt coffee.

The taste is of sweetened coffee with balancing, though overroasted, roast (slight burnt edges) and a tart note. Sweetness balanced by roast/toast and a hint of non-descript hops in the finish.

Light-to-medium bodied...It is pretty smooth.

Drinks suprisingly well (for one) though very mild all-round. Had to dig for character though was the first beer I had for the day. A schwarz light...lite...

 728 characters

Photo of mtnbikerpa
2.91/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured out a 12 ounce bottle. Very dark almost black. Little or no head. Its a plainer and less flavor than the winter lager. Flavor is very disappointing compared to the color. It is very drinkable but nothing I would go out of my way for. I expected more of a malt or coco flavor. Or maybe some dark fruity flavors. If you are looking for something special look again. If you want a solid drinking every day brew, this is it.

 427 characters

Photo of brentk56
2.91/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear burnt caramel color with a solid tan head that leaves some lacing around the sides of the pint glass

Smell: A bit of roasty malt, but just a small bit

Taste: Opens with a brown bread flavor but moves in an almost bitterly sour direction by mid-palate, though the crusty bread makes a re-appearance just before the swallow; roasty malt in the aftertaste, the sour/bitter flavor lingers as a distraction

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A bit disappointed with the bitter flavor on this one; verging on sour, it reminds me of nuts that have gone off

 616 characters

Photo of oline73
3/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of rsant
3/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of shortkut
3/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of kegger22
3/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Saranac Black Lager was a very dark brown with a half-inch beige head the faded to a collar.

The aroma was good, malty sweet.

The taste was a roasted cola flavor, not particularly appetizing in a beer.

The mouth feel was light to medium bodied, oily and well carbonated.

Drinkability was fair, the ABV cooperated, but the flavor was not up to snuff.

 357 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Saranac Black Lager from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.36 out of 5 based on 104 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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