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Saranac Chocolate Orange | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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BA SCORE
87
very good
43 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good
Read the review
Saranac Chocolate OrangeSaranac Chocolate Orange
BEER INFO

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

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Saranac Chocolate Orange is a limited edition small batch brew from our "High Peaks" series, a line of beers that are bigger, more complex and flavorful. Brewed as a full bodied robust Baltic-style porter with five different hops and four different malts, this beer pushes the porter style to a new level.

We start with generous amounts of chocolate malt, and then add blood orange peel. In fermentation, the finest hand-selected, purest cacao nibs are added to enhance the chocolate malt flavor. Look for a dark chocolate roasted flavor finished off with a unique surprise from blood orange peel, making this an extra special treat!

Added by CloudStrife on 03-02-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
43
Ratings:
149
Avg:
3.88
pDev:
20.62%
 
 
Wants:
14
Gots:
17
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 149
Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: An excellent bubble show produces a three inch mocha colored head; the liquid was black, as expected, and though the retention was better than the lacing, it still looked good

Smell: Rich, dark chocolate with floral orange tones

Taste: Dark chocolate, up front, with the sweetness growing in the middle; the blood orange doesn't make an appearance until the finish but there it is, subtle yet distinct; there is an interesting hop complexity that doesn't really cut through the sweetness but it adds another dimension to the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: Unlike many of the other reviewers, I was able to pick out the blood orange tones; perhaps it was the power of suggestion, but I could smell it and taste it; pretty impressed with this brew coming from Saranac - I have tasted some good beers in their High Peaks line

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Photo of oline73
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into my Hunahpu's snifter.

Appearance: This beer pours an opaque dark brown color with just under half a finger of light tan head that quickly fades to a ring around the pour.

Smell: This is a sweet porter, lots of roast and dark fruit. Sweet chocolate and some mild citrus as well.

Taste: Not as sweet as the smell would lead you to believe. I'm getting some bitter sweet chocolate. There is some citrus in the finish along with a roasty bitterness. Not quite as full as I thought it would be from the smell.

Mouthfeel: The body starts out thick and creamy with large bubbles. By the end of the sip, the body seems to thin out a bit. The finish is slick.

Overall: This beer was better than I thought it would be. The orange wasn't very strong, but it was a nice addition to the roast. I'd have another.

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Photo of oberon
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I gotta say I was a little intrigued to see Matt going out and making a beer like this,I have had mixed feelings about their High Peaks series,this was a hands down big winner.Pours nearly jet black except for some ruby tinge when held in the light,a thick rocky deep mocha colored head atop.The aromas are really nice they just don't jump out ya,the blood orange comes thru along sweetish chocolate and sweet alcohol with a bit of roast as well.Really nice complexity on the palate with a mix of bittersweet chocolate,blood orange,sweet alcohol,and a healthy roastiness and earthy finish.I went back and forth on the mouthfeel between 3.5-4 and 4 and went with the 4 because it did coat the mouth and it did glide down easy.This is a great Baltic porter,the Matt guys put some real care into this and didn't cut corners,I loved it.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at the Farmhouse, Burlington, VT

Half pour (thankfully) served in a 6oz. wine glass, deep, dark brown-black color, capped with a nice foamy mocha head. Aroma of roasty dark malts, coffee notes, probably about robust enough to be a stout. Taste of dark malts, roasty, cocoa, with a hint of citrus and pine in the finish, and a ubiquitous booziness throughout. I got more booze than anything in this one really, and it detracted from the mouthfeel quite a bit. Body is no more than middle-of-the-road medium, leaving no doubt that this is no stout, low carbonation, which was good considering it wasn't very smooth otherwise. Pretty decent overall, but I wouldn't want any more than the sample I had.

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Photo of Jason
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz brown bottle, sample from the brewery.

A big-ass Baltic-Style Porter with blood orange peel and cacao nibs. Big on darkness with a brown lacing on top. Big nose and palate of dark fruit and highly roasted grain, both of which give off suggestions of dark fruit and coffee ... chocolate comes from the cacao nibs obviously. Massive chewy body and the 9.0% abv is noticeable, there is some orange peel in here but this beer is just too big for it really to make a good showing. Perhaps there is a pinch of it middle to end but pretty damn subtle. Also, the addition of cacao could easily be confused for additions of dark malt ... if it was not on the label I would not even think about it. Regardless, good drinking all around.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful looking dark beer with big chewy tan foam head, the lacing is thick and beautiful between sips. The body is dark, doesn't let any light through it. The aroma has big ballsy cocoa nibs and orange fruit notes of citric bursts, clean beautiful cohesion coming through. Flavor full dark malt flavors come forth with a hint of orange peel flowing along big sweet maltiness balanced with dark roass. Mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied with even smooth flowing carbonation, pretty nice beer from Saranac...it's hard to believe they're making beer like this in Utica NY.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared by Bruce, thanks for the opportunity!
Solid dark brown with a stingy off white head. Aromas of milk chocolate and caramel with hints of earth. The flavor is mostly caramel and chocolate with a hint of citrus. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a creamy silky mouthfeel. Not a bad beer, but I would have liked a bit of orange as I found almost none.

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Photo of tdm168
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pitch black with a thin, thick, brown head that has decent retention

S - big, rich chocolate and roasted malts

T - rich chocolate, roasted malt, faint orange peel

M - medium to full bodied, well carbonated, smooth

This has great flavor. It's rich, chocolaty and roasty. It's smooth and unique. If I see this on the shelves again, I will definitely buy another bomber.

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Photo of tempest
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber from Brilbeck's in Syracuse. The orange doesn't come out until you give this beer time to warm up, but once it's there, the orange peel makes a fine complement to the dark malts. The chocolate here isn't that strong. The barley has a clean roasted brown malt flavor in addition to the cocoa, and I can't say I taste the cacao nibs at all. The orange component tastes sweet and a little juicy, but it doesn't overshadow the barley. The body is light for a 9% ABV porter, but not inappropriately so, and not surprising for a Saranac beer. Overall, it makes a nice, not too heavy dessert beer with the classic orange and chocolate pairing.

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Photo of Gavage
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a black color with a 1/4" head that falls apart quickly.

Smell: chocolate and roasted tones come through to the nose. Some alcohol is detectable.

Taste: roasted malt, dark bitter chocolate, alcohol, and a decent bitterness. The orange tones are very subdued and hard to detect.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Lightly crisp to start, smooth and dry at the finish. Long lasting aftertaste.

Overall: a very drinkable baltic porter that leans towards the chocolate side. Pretty good beer here.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

- Robust Baltic porter with a blood orange peel and cacao nibs.

A: Dark chocolate pour is viscose upon the exit showing a tawny brownish-orange colored head that was frothy and sturdy retention wise. Great thick coverage on the glass with concentric foam rings adds to the visual.

S: Sweet chocolate covered cherries first come to mind. Coffee roast was fresh and dark with added orange peels.

T: The flavor was bitter and dark roast, hearty with a bit of French roast nature. Dark fruit with the cacoa nibs adding deep tones to the already dark malt base. Bitter burnt chocolate with small flashes of sweet creamy orange manage to sneak through. The 5 different hops utilized seem to have been a waste and could have been easily omitted with little flavor aspect missed. Burnt pine and burnt wood rounds things out.

M: Frothy mouthful nice body with a silty coffee roast feel on the tongue. Bitter with a stinger of coffee laced alcohol.

O: A bit blunt at first, the chocolate and coffee roast are dark and dominating while the alcohol surely flexes its muscle as well. It takes a few sips but things do smooth out a bit once your tongue becomes accustomed to the heavy handed roasty and alcohol nature. Saranac definitely amped things up a bit from their usual offering here with a dark silty roasty treat worhty of a try.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well I paid the premium on this one a whopping 10 bucks. Judging by other reviews I have paid at least 3 dollars more than I should but it still should be a nice limited release beer.

A - Wow never have I seen anything so viscous by Saranac! Actually it seems to be one of the thickest porters I have ever seen with a deep black color and a nice 1/2 inch of deep dark mocha head.

S - Smells of mostly roast and coffee qualities with some cocoa from the nibs. Actually smells pretty stout like with very little smell of any orange at all.

T - Well you do get a lot of dry roast reminding you it's a porter but in no way does it get too dry since the cocoa nibs do their thing giving it a touch of sweet and creaminess. I want to place some orange in the finish next to the bittering hops, which again I am surprised this has quite a hop bite. Not bad!

M - Medium in body it looks rather thick but drinks like a full bodied porter.

Overall I found this one at a shop notorious for jacking up bomber prices so if you find this for under 8 bucks pick it up. Agreeing with everyone in saying this is the best beer these guys ever put out!

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Photo of Brad007
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark dark black with a nice big brown head into my glass. Lots of lacing. Lots to appreciate.

Orange peel and cacao nibs with a slight roast. Lots of alcohol in the nose too.

Lots of alcohol (unwanted) that gives way to a slight orange twang. After a minute or two, the twang gives way to creamy, roasty and chocolatey malt. Very mellow here. Just takes a bit of patience.

Ditto on mouthfeel. That alcohol burn lingers but there's enough cocoa flavor underneath to make it worth the wait.

A decent baltic porter here. Some aging will knock the alcohol down enough to bring out the chocolate and orange.

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Photo of rlee1390
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Deep black, two finger deep brown head head

S-Chocolate, roasted malt, some orange, not much (Black Butte XXIII had more)

T-Starts with roasted and bunch of chocolate, some bitterness, once again not much orange.

M-Medium bodied, very carbonated and creamy but a little thin.

O-As far as Imperial Porters with orange go with one does not measure up to BBXXIII, it is still a decent beer but not as good.

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Photo of Suds
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Okay, so my wife loves those chocolate oranges that you see during the holidays. Well, I guess that I just assumed that it would be similar...wow...what was I thinking?
So, the beer is not really orangey...it does have a notable chocolate malt character, present both in the aroma and the taste. Roasted, malty, a bit woody. Somewhat sweet. The smell has a fleeting spiciness and floral quality...like orange blossoms...but not a real orange flavor. Full in body, but just a tad thin in the latter finish. Well balanced. Lots of flavor. I like this beer, but it's not a chocolate orange for sure.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a nearly pitch black color. The head is a finger high and mocha in shade. Its creaminess is nice, though the head's duration is lacking. Very little lacing is left on the glass. (3.75)

Smell: Chocolate comes through well, in a milky and almost earthen way. This note mixes very well with the powerful roasted malt presence. Despite what other reviewers are saying, I also get a touch of orange peel. Letting it open up will reveal some brown sugar and molasses. Fairly complex, too - good work, Saranac. (3.75)

Taste: The flavor doesn't work quite as well. It starts of with a dry, roasty flavor, reminiscent of baker's cocoa. This transitions into a gentle tartness - orange peel? The aforementioned orange peel does come through, but only very subtly. It finishes with an earthy note. I don't think it's very balanced; while there are some nice individual notes, they don't come together spectacularly. (3)

Mouthfeel: Its roasted presence makes it somewhat astringent post-swallow. Despite that, it manages to reasonably nail that stout holy grail of being creamy to start and dry to finish. Carbonation pricks the tongue slightly. (3.5)

Overall: Not a fantastic porter/stout, truth be told. It has a few good elements (I can pick up slight orange peel, for instance), but it doesn't really coalesce that well. On the other hand, I could see this aging quite well. Right now, it's worth a try, but not worth seeking out. (3.25)

3.33/5: Not bad, it just needs more cohesion

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Photo of thagr81us
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured a massively dark brown (almost black) with a half finger tan head that subsided to a minimal amount very quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark chocolate, citrus, orange zest, and roasted malt. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark chocolate, orange, milk chocolate, and subtle dark fruit. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. If I am honest here, I really don’t know what they were trying to do… While the chocolate and orange aspect was definitely there, I’m not sure it worked so great together. Luckily there was some dark fruit character going on to help add a nice medium to the brew. Otherwise this one could have been a disaster. Worth trying at least once, but I would leave it at that.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- pours dark brown, nearly black with a small, fizzy dark-tan head that reduces quickly, leaving just a small ring, no lace

S- roasted cacao nibs, smoked meat, charred wood, chocolate and a bit of earthy hop notes. Really liking the smoky notes

T- smoky and roasted malts highlight a rich and creamy chocolate flavor, notes of cacao with some woodsy earthy tones, light herbal hop gives way to a dry-yet-sweet rich chocolate finish, just a bit of alcohol on the finish. I can't taste any orange while drinking, but the linger leaves a zesty citrus kick that provides a tasty finish

M- medium body and moderate carbonation, super creamy mouthfeel leads to a smooth and velvety finish, warming alcohol barely noticed.

O- I was very surprised by this one. It had about a year of age on it and I think that it brought out some of the chocolaty notes. They should make this a winter seasonal because its without a doubt my favorite beer from Saranac

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.26/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a really dark brown color from a 22 oz bottle; with ABV on the label. A code on the neck of the bottle, perhaps the bottling/freshness code. Absolutely pitch black once it is in the glass, with no light penetration whatsoever.
Nice one finger dark mocha colored head with lots of glistening bubbles that dissipate to a ring around the edges of the tulip. Extremely viscous and thick pour.
Aroma upfront is all chocolate malt, with hints of cacao coming through. The orange peel is faint and becomes evident once the beer warms up. Hints of bitter-floral hops coming through also.
Wow, this is a really thick, full-bodied yet silky smooth porter. Luscious mouthfeel coats the palate very nicely.
The taste upfront is slightly sweet, with the malts coating the palate beautifully from the middle. All chocolate from the middle right to the finish. The finish is almost dry, with a lingering bitterness and hints of orange peel coming through. The chocolate flavor definitely predominates the orange in this porter. It's more like a mild liquid version of a orange chocolate bar.
This was nowhere near what I was expecting when I got a bottle of this Baltic porter from Saranac. Perhaps one of the finest beers from Saranac and one I will be seeking out soon again. Definitely worth a try and is highly recommended.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Drinking this bottle at cellar temp poured into a snifter. The beer pours a dark cola brown with frothy yet densely packed tan head of 1 cm foaming up and fading slowly to nothing throughout the sampling.
Aroma is rich chocolate malt and dark cocoa, I also get roasted notes with some mild coffee burnt hits and some brown sugar. Generally pleasant yet not super robust and in your face. I dont get any hops here.
First sip reveals an average body with smooth creamy texture and fine rolling carbonation.
The flavor is rich malt with dark cocoa and chocolate sweetness dominating, I get some roasted malt and just a hint of sweet fruitiness on the finish of each sip. There is some warming booze on the swallow of each sip. The beer is more robust on flavor and body than nose and definitely poses a bigger undertaking to finish than anticipated.
The beer is tasty and suitable for the style, I dont get a whole lot of the orange peel or fruit anywhere, but it is a chocolate heavy brew and perfect for a late winter evening.
I would recommend that Saranac makes this a winter seasonal release.

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Photo of Kendo
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The third beer in Saranac's High Peak Series - and the first Saranac offering I've ever seen in a 22 oz bottle. Purchased 3/1/12, consumed on 3/2/12.

A: Poured into a pint glass. Body appears thick, sludge-like, so I pour a little more aggressively to create a head. Big mistake. I end up with a HUGE head that sits still, like thick, chocolate-colored meringue or foamy mousse. So. Tired of waiting for that head to settle, I pour the remainder into another pint glass - this time more cautiously. I get a black body with a 1-finger chocolate brown head that leaves behind good lacing.

S: Nice nose - chocolate malt, roasted barley malt and cocoa. I like my porters to be malt-centric, and this fits the bill in the nose.

T: And. . . it delivers the malty goods in the taste department as well. Roasted barley, chocolate malt and I can definitely taste the cacao nibs - a sort of dark chocolate spice on the backsides of the tongue. There's blood orange in here somewhere, but I can't seem to find it - though I do get a slight hint of citrus lingering long after the sip is gone. Finishes with some hop bitterness offsetting the malt - somewhat earthy with a hint of pine. The 9% ABV is very well masked, though I get a little heat in the belly, and at times a bit of spice at the back of the mouth.

M: This one's a heavyweight in heft. Carbonation is modest, in spite of that initial pour.

O: This is quite good. More stout-like in many ways than a porter (but let's face it, Imperial Porters and Double Stouts aren't too far apart - especially once you start adding extra ingredients, it can become hard to tell them apart). This is probably the highest rating I've ever given to one of Saranac's beers. Let's hope that with the new bombers they continue to make good stuff.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up on sale at Gary's in Wayne a week or two back, having seen this on sale for $3.99. I was intrigued by a 22 oz. beer from Saranac and without a doubt, this was the best beer that I ever had from them. The alcohol wasn't that detectable and the combination of chocolate and blood orange flavors meshed nicely together since neither one overpowered the other.

The pour to this was wonderful with a nice, full dark body and tan head that filled up the remainder of my glass and just wouldn't quit. It looked like dessert and was just as rich as an after-dinner meal since the cocoa nibs were strong and bitter without overpowering the valencia flavors that mixed in with it. Having a blood orange taste was a great choice since it has the body but not the acidity of citrus and it fully showed here. The alcohol was strong enough toe complement this flavor pairing and allowed me to enjoy this slowly, without gouging on it.

I could taste the booze a bit and was just a bit affected by it when I made my way to the end of the bottle. This wasn't what I expected at all and the roasted and creamy notes to this beer give it a nice body without weighing it down. Lots of foods like mousse cake or pudding would go well with this but lets face it, when you get a beer this works this well on its own, just enjoy the work of art for what it is. Props to Matt for pushing the boundaries with this and redefining the potential of what a Saranac beer can be.

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Photo of Beejay
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Black, like coal at midnight. The head is thick and dense, and a deep tan color.

S: I lift the glass to my nose, and suddenly it is like I am riding a dark chocolate water slide to malt town. I'm being propelled on my rich caramel inner tube by jets of earthy hop aroma, and bitter chocolate.

T: Deep and dark, with coffee and chocolate. Some earthy flavors and espresso follow through the finish. There might be a hint of orange in the finish, just a hint of peel, but perhaps I am putting it there because it says it on the label.

M: Heavy mouth feel, the carbonation is fine, smooth, and adds to the creamy mouth feel.

O: Overall it is a great stout.... I mean err.. robust porter.. But I think when you put Chocolate Orange on the label, you better make damn sure you can pick out the orange.. Really tasty.. Really chocolatey... But the Orange is MIA, it seems to possibly pick up a little as it warms but still..

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap. Pours a dark black with an inch of frothy brown head. Aromas of chocolate, roasted malts, and some citrus. Lots of lacing. Flavors of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and some orange peel. Bitter dark chocolate. A bit smoky. Does have some chocolate orange flavor to it, but more dark chocolate than orange. Still, well done. Heavy mouthfeel. Overall, i am impressed. Worth seeking out for sure.

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Photo of scottbrew4u
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Robust malt profile with a hearty chocolate nose and taste. Some smokey flavors and a touch of esters of dark fruit like plums and raisins. Full body with moderate carbonation. Nice beer overall from Saranac.

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Saranac Chocolate Orange from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.88 out of 5 based on 149 ratings.
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