Saranac Chocolate Amber Lager | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac Chocolate Amber LagerSaranac Chocolate Amber Lager
227 Ratings
Saranac Chocolate Amber LagerSaranac Chocolate Amber Lager

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

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 227 |  Reviews: 186
Photo of mikesgroove
3.84/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

i have been assembling full lineups from breweries and randomly doin these horizontal tastings with my family. The saranac one from a couple weeks ago was more then epic as it took months to gather all of these, but it was a hell of a fun night! Big thanks to Alex for pulling through on the bulk of these

very dark and nearly completely black in color with the exception of some touches of red around the sides and the bottom of the glass. Nice tan head came up and over the top and settled down after a few minutes, dropping a nice amount odd side glass lace in the process. Aroma was light, lots of caramel malts and bready notes dominate. Warming it brings out light notes of grain as well. Smooth taste here with a medium body that was well carbonated. Nice feel across the tongue with very sweet notes that seem to get stronger as it rolls forward. Almost a peat like touch to it as well at times. Very drinkable as the flavor was not over powering and the light ABV made it go down quite nicely.

really shocked by how nice this one was, really a stellar example of the style and one of the better beers of the night.

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Photo of hike20
2.96/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours black with a 1 finger tan head with a light chocolate aroma. Light Chocolate and roasted malt flavors. Very thin mouth feel is not helped by the higher carbonation. Overall not terrible, but nothing noteworthy here. Lacks depth and balance. Boring.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Yanked from a Saranac mixed pack and poured into my standard shaker glass. This lager appears a clear deep crimson brown color with about an inch of fluffy ecru foam. Smells and tastes of medium roasted grains, a slight touch of chocolate malt and caramel, mild, grassy hops. Rather thin bodied and could use a bit more carbonation for it's style.

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Photo of Derek
3.62/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Brown-black with a ring of tan head, no retention, hint of leg/lace.

S: Chocolate & dark bread. Very nice malt profile.

T: Chocolate, grain, light spicing & bread.

M: Well-attenuated moderate body has an off-dry finish.

D: A decent drinker.

Thanks for sharing Jay!

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Photo of Sammy
3.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Jason for sharing. An average beer with chocolate aroma, a little soapy head and some lace on a clear chocolate body. A below average mouthfeel, ike a chocolate Hershey drink, lagerish with chocolate an some sourness in the finish.Not getting roast, if so its very faint.

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Photo of TMB0424
3.11/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into pint glass.

Pours a pitch black body with a muddy tan, one finger head. Quickly reduces into cloudy cap. Leaves some lacing.

Aroma is very light. Hints of chocolate powder, roasted nuts. Some malts. Pretty weak smelling.

Taste is pretty grainy with smooth malts and hints of chocolate. Not milk or dark chocolate, but rather a chocolate powder. Hops are pretty much nowhere to be found, a little at the finish. It feels light and creamy in the mouth, although not very smooth. Soft, roasted malts are in the forefront of this one. A hint of darker fruits also comes out in the middle. Interesting.

It's a very interesting brew, to say the least. Not quite what I was expecting, but it's pretty refreshing and satisfying. Not bad, but I can't help myself from thinking it's kind of like a bad porter.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.74/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saranac Chocolate Amber Lager is a very deep rose brown beer with a lovely blotchy tan head that regenerates. The head and lacing last forever. It has a roasty, modest aroma with notes of cocoa and salmiakki. There is sour malt in the nose. It's a little lighter than medium bodied and reasonably smooth. It's pretty soft and it has a smooth, syrupy finish. The bitterness is very mellow. It's mostly the roasted flavor of the malt but there is a sweetness to it. It has an almost leafy or herbal quality. It's a well-balanced flavor. This hardly seems like a dunkel. It's more like a brown ale or a porter made with lager yeast. Usually, the light body of Saranac ales frustrates me, but I don't have that complaint with this lager. Regardless of categories, I really appreciate this beer on its own merit. I'm going to have another...
(rated Dec 13, 2007)

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Photo of Reagan1984
2.95/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A thin beige head tops this brownish amber colored beer. It was rather dark and just a shade or two lighter than black. The head that was there faded quickly. There were small patches of lacing left behind.

The aroma was of roasted malt and was sweet in nature. The roasted malt sent certainly had some chocolate tones to it, but also slightly charred tones.

Flavor starts with a burst of burnt/roasted malt. Some chocolate tones are present then you get some caramel sweetness. Some hop bitterness mingles with the roasted flavor as you savor the flavor after swallowing the beer. Somewhat interesting.

Mouth feel was lighter than I expected and it was a fairly smooth beer.

It's O.K., but not really worth going out of your way for.

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Photo of engisch
3.26/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a chocolate amber... what a surprise?!? Smells very sweet with a hint of chocolate. Tastes like burnt roasted sweetness with barely any chocolate taste. Doesn't taste much like a lager. Not horrible, but I wouldn't seek out this brew. This would be a good beer for someone that hasn't had really good beer, as it is fairly light, but has some interesting flavors. A little interesting, but definitely not too offensive for the casual beer drinker.

 453 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.11/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A darkish brown, almost black body with a tan, two finger head that stuck around for awhile. A light, roasted malt smell with maybe a hint of hops. A decent, dry roasted malt taste, medium=boided and creamy. Very light chocolate notes and a rather bland, syrupy beer. Not too bad, but not worth seeking out.

 307 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.06/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Had this as a part of the Saranac 12 Beers of Winter ($11.99/12 Pack)

Only a slight hint of chocolate in the smell and in the taste of this one. I thought it had way too thin of a body and the carbonation was not apparent enough. It was a little too hard to enjoy with it being so 'flat'. On the plus side, it was a style I really never had too much before, wasn't too bad price-wise, and was somewhat tasty and was very smooth.

 429 characters

Photo of changeup45
3.06/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another specialty brew from Saranac. It pours a very dark brown color. Not a whole lot to the aroma but there's a faint roasted malt scent. Roasted malty flavor, coffee and a little bit of chocolate. The flavors are a bit weak but this was pretty nice.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.03/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A dark brown with ruby highlights. Creamy, albeit thin sandy head.

S: Cocoa powder, something like puffed wheat (without the wheat?)

T/M/D: A little lacking, but the roasted malts and chocolate notes are there. A bit grainy and not a great deal follows on the finish, which is a little disappointing. Ultimately ends up being like a very, very light porter - though the body is about the same as one in some ways. A little unusual, but not a horrible experience. That strange, somewhat metallic flavour - the 'Saranac flavour' that I've mentioned in other reviews of these products is there in some way, and I fear I'll never understand what exactly it is that brings that out.

 684 characters

Photo of DmanGTR
2.98/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - poured dark brown/black with off-white 1" head that laced nicely

S - chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, burnt sugar, black currants

T - Detected the typical chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts but there was a bitter finish with a lingering aftertaste that just did not make me happy.

M - medium bodied, light/medium carbonation

D - quite drinkable for someone in the mood for a stout-like substitute, yet this doesn't quite capture the body of a stout or a porter. Smooth

Overall - this was on sale for $4/6 pack, which was pretty good. This is a decent chocolaty lager that is kind of like a porter. It would complement a steak dinner or ribs. Better served cold.

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Photo of aerozeppl
3.38/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Super dark brown one shade dark of black. Nice lacing with off white head. Tons of lacing.

S: Mostly roast with hints of chocolate.

T: Roast then hints of chocolate. Not really a chocolate beer but still good.

M: Medium to heavy body. Nothing good or bad.

D: The flavors are weird on this one but it does have a lot of flavor with low ABV. Another gift to beer geeks on a budget.

 386 characters

Photo of generallee
4.07/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It has a dark murky brown color with dark red highlights. The head is tan in color, foamy and leaves nice lace on the glass. There is a dark malty aroma with a heavy toasted flavor. There are some chocolate notes as well as some mildly bitter hops within a creamy smooth medium bodied palate. This is a very good offering from the Saranac family of beers.

 355 characters

Photo of Durge
3.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Black and thick with a super fine bubbled tan head with spotty lacing. It has a mild wheat aroma with decided metallic hints. The flavor is coffee and delicate chocolate with a smokey bite at the back. I sensed a little metallic taste at first but it disappeared. Very drinkable. Fairly fizzy. It disappointing but still worth the try. I wouldn't mind giving it another shot.

 375 characters

Photo of Hojaminbag
2.85/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Good appearance, dark brown/black, opaque. Slight off white head, I don't have any lacing.

Smells of chocolate with hints of coffee.

This beer tastes like unsweetened chocolate, strong and up front. The middle has some coffee notes to it, and it finishes sort of dry, but I can still taste that chocolate. The first few sips were interesting, but I started to like it less as I went. The after taste especially bothers me, as it tastes strongly of baking of unsweetened chocolate.

Medium bodied, low carbonation.

After the first few tastes this beer seemed drinkable, but the more I tried the less I wanted to continue.

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Photo of Risser09
3.66/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a white wine glass - 2007 bottling - Cellar temp

Appearance: Pours a pitch black/brown with no visible light going through. 2" tan head with good retention and plenty of lace on the glass.

Smell: Chocolate nibs, lightly roasted malt, toasted almond and hot cocoa. Pretty good.

Taste: Biscuity cookie flavor. Creamed coffee in the middle and finish. Ample milk chocolate. Very satisfying.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth. This one went down no problem. Barely any alcohol is noticable. Slight bitterness as a coffee flavor lingers.

Drinkability: A solid lager. In the ages of the ALE, this beer is sessionable and delicious. Perfect for any chilly night. One of Matt's better beers.

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Photo of hellomcfly
3.05/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

bottle poured into a standard pint glass

A: Dark brown, almost black. Amber tinge when held up to light. Frothy tan head that dissipates fairly quickly. Leaves a little lacing.

S: Roasted malt, chocolate, coffee

T: A lot like the smell. Roasted malt with a little chocolate and coffee.

M: Moderately thick mouth feel. Good carbonation.

D: Okay drinkability I guess. Not heavy but It doesn't leave me wanting another. One of the better beers in the Saranac variety pack this came out of.

 491 characters

Photo of edchicma
3.88/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a small head that laces well. Smell is faint malt with a slight smoky quality. Chocolate is not really discernible.Taste is sweet, malty with a nice crispness.Once again, I didn't get the chocolate, but the malt was still very nice. Mouthfeel is rich, chewy. Drinkability is good..smooth light crispness.

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Photo of stinoski
2.94/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- The appearance of this beer is very appealing. It pours a rich dark brown with an inch of tan head.

S- Nothing really stands out as far as smell. I feel a lot of Saranac beers smell very similar

T-A mild malty flavor and not much else. A slight bitter aftertaste reminiscent of other Saranac's offerings

M- Fairly smooth, not alot of carbonation. Doesn't leave a lasting impression in the mouth

D- Drinks like a dark lager.

I bought a six pack of this based on the name alone. Chocolate Amber Lager sounds really appealing. I wasn't extremely pleased with this, but to me most of Saranac's beer leave me with the same feeling.

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Photo of BeerCon5
2.98/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Very dark brown, almost black with some fluffy head.

S: Roasty malt smell as well as chocolate and some coffee.

T: Roasty malt taste also. Kind of a bland chocolate taste and noticable coffee taste.

M: Fairly thick and smooth with not a lot of carbonation.

D: Fairly decent beer. Probably best not to drink more than one or two. One is enjoyable but more just seems like too much.

 387 characters

Photo of dacrza1
2.42/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Dark--too dark?--black lager with creamy head that traces nicely in the glass (quite attractive)...thick brown half-inch head...malt/hops are nondescript--chocolate? not so much... slight effervescent... textures on the tongue feigns a porter more than a dunkel... soft toasted malts add a weight to the experience--smooth and swift with hints of corn... a dark lager that has little dunkel quality--pleasantly toasty for the colder evenings.. Saranac seems to have a circle of winter beers that run together in taste, and this is certainly one of them...

 555 characters

Photo of BeerTruth
3.06/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a dark muddy brown with a two finger tan colored head that dies down to a puffy layer of thin bubbles. Stickiness is quite impressive, good lacing remaing on the sides of the glass. Smell is of musty noble hops and a funky cardboard aroma. Some caramel and faint chocolate malt in the nose. Just a weak aroma overall. Charred birch bark up front with a subtle malt sweetness of cocoa powder. Taste is a bit "blah" to me. Dirty aftertaste of hay and mud with lemon. Slick watery feel with an almost medium body. Flowing carbonation from start to finish. I don't know about this beer. It's inviting with "Chocolate" in the title, but doesn't live up to it. Maybe I say this after having ST's Choklat on draft a few nights ago.

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Saranac Chocolate Amber Lager from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.27 out of 5 with 227 ratings
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