Saranac Black & Tan
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac Black & TanSaranac Black & Tan
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American Porter
Ranked #1,126
Ranked #44,659
3.48 | pDev: 12.93%
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States
Saranac Black & TanSaranac Black & Tan
Notes: Stout & Lager
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Reviews: 499 | Ratings: 770
Photo of SmokySignals
3.1/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. pottle poured into mug, sparse 1 inch creme head fades fast.

Look - all these Irish roots have looked good, and this is no exception: It has a deep dark brown that appears pretty transparent with a light whitescreen behind it.

Smells are again faint, but inviting - and simply dark roast grain/malt. Straightforward, classic, and not enough aroma power!

Tastes initially like a lager first and then a faint simple stout note is somewhere in the distance. Full, crisp and more like a bitter Schwarzbier. Very one-note for a two part beer. All these Saranac brews have had a similar slightly generic metallic thing in the bitterness for me. Not bad enough to pour out, but not something I look for. Above/= Yuengling B&T maybe?'s just more "canned" tasting.?

Overall - I do like it okay, but lately have been mixing my own craft custom "2 Tones" with outstanding results. This one is very pedestrian...but, like it for what its is. Good -not great - dark beer for $7.50 a sixer. Convenient pickup/impulse.

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Photo of biiru_ojisan
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly thin head. Color is black with tannish clear highlights.

The nose is chocolate, coffee, grassy, floral, and maybe a touch skunky.

The taste is watered down bitter coffee, some faint hints of dark chocolate. Bitterness is pretty noticable and it drinks pretty dry. A bit of a grassy and floral hop note in here as well.

The mouthfeel starts a touch on the aqueous side, but feels thicker towards the end of the sip. The carbonation is pretty high. Alcohol warmth is not detectable.

Overall, this comes accros as a watered down stout with a bit of extra old world hops tossed in (that's not to say it isn't balanced, it is). If you want a good stout to explore, this isn't what you're looking for. If you want a drinkable, yet hoppy lager with some darker malt flavors, this beer will probably do you well.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.77/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Ah, the joys of the Bottle Backlog! I have some in the basement's Beerfrigerator that I brought with me in the move from my parents' house over to Chez Woody that I have not looked at in a while. I was recently inspired to make today a New Saranac Beer Sunday (or New Beer Saraunacday (Week 661), if you will) & so this is a continuation thereof.

From the bottle: "Saranac Black & Tan is a judicious melding of our Classic Irish Stout with an all-malt German-style Amber Lager. The result is a brew that is hearty, pleasantly bitter and full of flvor, yet can be enjoyed bottle after bottle. Our unique Black & Tan has multiple flavor notes ... You may even enjoy counting them. Enjoy!"; "Stout & Lager"; "Brewed in the Adirondack Foothills".

Once again, a slow, gentle pour was in order following the Pop! of the cap. I then performed an in-glass swirl which raised a finger of dense, deep-tan/light-brown head with decent retention that slowly fell away. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity & garnet highlights. Nose had a slight roastiness along with a nutty sweetness. Mmm. This has potential to be interesting! Mouthfeel was medium. I let my first draught roll around in my mouth and on my tongue. It had a definite roastiness, but it seemed like it was somehow being held in check. This actually made it tastier to me than if it had been full-on burnt/bitter/roasty. I am not sure that I would have identified it as a "Stout" since it had that cut, but it was still very tasty. I might have guessed "Porter" & then nodded when it was revealed as a blend. Finish was semi-dry, but as I said, it might not have been as pleasant a drink if it had been full-on dry & roasty.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

She pours a jet black color and leaves the same colored body with a slight brown around the edges. The head dissipates within seconds. The smell has a slightly creamy sweet blend of coffee and has some toasted bread character to it. The taste is nutty and chocolate sweetness with a tinge of bitter coffee at the end. On the palate, she sits about a light to medium, slightly sessionable with a tangy aftertaste and finish. Overall, decent as a pre-made Black & Tan.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.56/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Looks more tan than black, but that's alright, we'll get through this. Small 1/3" tan head. Vanishes. Aroma was kinda muted, but nothing wrong with it.

Taste was way thin on the stout, the stout flavors, needs roast, and if you're not gonna drop roast, maybe some caramel and nuttiness from the tan? No? Well shit. Has some earthy wood and tobacco realm. Is there some peat going on here? Just haven't been a fan of Saranac man, this was no different.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.36/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured this beer into a tulip. There was about two fingers of sticky foam which led to some decent lacing over this very dark beer.

The smell on this one is pretty muted. I get a little bit of coffee, but that is about it. The flavor has more of the coffee. I get some decent bitterness with this one.

This beer is decent. I really would suggest making black and tans by hand. They look and taste much better.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deeper brown say almost black. A smallish head forms but it fades quickly to a ring and a lace or two.
All malts here that I can smell. Malts have a lightly roasted smell with hints of chocolate.
Tastes of roasted malts peet and coffee but light, lightly tasting.
Drinks medium on the palette course aftertaste of hulls .
Although there is nothing really special and probabaly would not have bought it if i had a better optiuon, it really isn't that bad.
I've come to find out that when your on vacation beer is like pizza. When it's good it's real good and when it's bad it still pretty good.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

one of the best saranac beers and an absolute taste of fall for me. pours thick and dark, like a cup of coffee. has a nice tall lasting brown head on it. notes of coffee and dark dry roasty malt are the featured smells, but chocolate is also present. flavor is much much lighter than the nose indicates. still quite robust, but more laid back. the chocolate notes come forward a bit, and the earthy malts are balanced by a nice crisp lager finish. the mouthfeel is excellent, its so smooth, infinitely drinkable. one of my favorite dark beers to session in the autumn. carbonation is average, and the finish is very dry. overall an excellent beer that is a part of the seasonal flow of life for me.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Pours a deep brown color with a tan head. The head had some retention and faded giving a small amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is of some roasted malt with hints of chocolate. There is a light vanilla aroma in the nose as well.

Taste – The taste of nice dark chocolate and roasted malt. The flavor has some sweetness up front with flavors of vanilla and caramel sweetness.

Mouthfeel – The body is slightly above average and has a good creaminess. The carbonation is on the lighter side and is quite nice for the brew. Overall it is a very nice mouthfeel.

Overall – This was a rather tasty and affordable brew. It had a nice smooth flavor and mouthfeel profile and made for a good session beer.

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Into a pint glass:

A: jet black colored body with a slight brown around the edges. The head dissipates within seconds

S: slightly creamy sweet blend of coffee and has some toasted bread character to it

T: nutty and chocolate sweetness with a tinge of bitter coffee at the end

M: light to medium, slightly sessionable, tangy aftertaste and finish

O: it is a decent brew that I might have again

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Photo of carrier77
3.61/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: Bottle poured into chilled pint glass.

Appearance: Dark brown with a tan head that leaves nice lacing.

Smell: not much going on but there is a faint caramel scent.

Taste: Huge malt taste with caramel and light fruit hints and a little hoppy finish. Nice and sweet till the hops kick in to give it a little zing. Over all very nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Decent carbonation, that finishes dry.

Overall: Very good tasting easy to drink beer that I think most people should try at least once. Not my normal style of beer but it might win me over.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours dark brown (almost black) in color with some light reddish hints when held up to the light. The beer has a finger tall foamy light tan head that reduces to a thick ring at the edges of the glass, some thick patches, and a very thin layer covering the entire surface. Moderate to significant lacing is observed.

S: Overall a very light aroma, I was expecting a bigger smell for this beer. Hints are of roasted and caramel malts with a very light floral/grassy hops.

T: Big malty flavor with lots of dark roasted and caramel malt hints in it. Some light amounts of grassy hops that have light bitterness, especially in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to high amounts of carbonation. Smooth with a slightly dry finish.

O: Actually a very easy to drink beer that is enjoyable. Not a style that I get that often but this is a pretty good example and definitely a session beer that you could drink all night.

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Photo of TechTriumph
3.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No freshness date; Poured in a pint glass.

A - Two inch off-white billowy head with good retention; Clear, dark ruby-brown in color; Nice lacing left all around the glass

S - Not much to be had in the aroma; Faint notes of berry-like fruits, cherries, toasted bread, and sweet caramel

T - Good amount of sweetness up front with hints of berry-like fruits, but mostly buttery caramel; Flavors of chocolate and toasted bread and grains come through from mid-taste to finish; Faint leafy/earthy hops are present throughout the taste

M - Above medium bodied; Below moderate carbonation; Finish is a bit dry; Smooth mouthfeel that leaves a slick coat in the mouth

O - This isn't a bad brew overall, and it definitely goes down smooth. However, I was expecting something a little different and better for a Black & Tan. The flavors didn't quite mesh for me and, while I am glad I got to try it, it's not a beer I'll look to have again soon.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Impressive beige head settles slowly; extensive sticky lacing remains. Semi-opaque brownish cola-color.

Simple, deeply malty aroma with a hint of roastiness. Taste is quite similar; big chewy malt flavor, slight roast, and a trace of grassy hops in the finish. Minimal bitterness, slightly floral. Not sweet at all.

Solid carbonation, medium body, crisp, fairly dry finish. Not super interesting, a bit prickly, but still fairly drinkable. Better than expected although there’s little distinction between stout and lager flavors, unsurprisingly. Kind of reminds me of a decent dunkel with hints of irish dry stout underneath.

Drank a ton of these in the early 1990’s; nice to try this one again and that hey, it’s not all that bad. That being said, the simple, one-dimensional maltiness grows a bit tiresome as you drink. Still, I can remember pounding these in a number of dive bars back in the day so I’ll give it a few points for nostalgia.

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Photo of papat444
3.31/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My first attempt at this style.

Poured from a 12oz. bottled, bottled code 2931 (293rd day of 2011 which would be Oct. 20).

Appearance: An almost opaque dark body with major ruby red hues. Generous head and the thick coating around all the glass is great. Leads all the way down the glass. The only knock is the lack of sustenance of the foam.

Smell: A lot of toast mixed with that crisp lager aroma. Some pineapple?

Taste: Roasted malt mixed with a lager. Lots of nuttiness. Also has a bit of that bottom of the coffee pot taste. The roasted profile and the lager malt seem at odds sometimes and other times they fit good. Weird.

Mouthfeel: Crisp with medium-low carbonation. The body is interesting but strong and assertive at times. Uneven and sometimes thin.

Overall: A weird hybrid that i like and dislike at the same time. It's good but odd. Worth trying at least once.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.2/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Deep brown, not quite black when in the glass, two finger white head (was expecting something darker here) that leaves behind some lacing.

S-Some roasted malts but not much else here.

T-Starts with some roasted malt, but the malt is almost more burnt than roasted. End with very slight bitterness.

M-medium bodied, creamy, carbonated.

O-A weak beer. The malt profile is poor and although you can tell there is a lager mixed in.

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Photo of Tone
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color. 1/2 inch head of an off-tan color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of pale malt, slight dry hop, slight grain (rye?), hint of roasted malt, and a hint of sweet malt. Fits the style of a Black & Tan. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of pale malt, hint of sweet malt, slight grain, hint of roasted malt, and a hint of dry hop. Overall, the Irish stout and the 'lager' are both distinguishable.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Pours a black color with some dark brown hues and virtually no head. Some lacing. Aroma is earthy and malty with a bit or sourness and coffee. Taste is malty with some chocolate and burnt coffee flavors. A bit sour towards the end. Earthy. Decent mouthfeel. This is a hard style to try to replicate but this is a good enough job. Good amount of flavor and easy to drink. Overall, worth picking up.

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Photo of bubseymour
3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark brown beer with white/pale head.

Smell - not a whole lot going on in the smell dept. Some malty/bready notes.

Taste - reminds me of some of the milk/sweet stouts I've tried. Easy drinker but not overly impressed. Some crisp bite in the finish.

Mouthfeel - fully bodied and nice

Overall - just ok. A good mid-week budget beer option.

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Photo of tdm168
3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a dark brownish amber with 1/2" of dense, foamy off white, brown head. Great retention. The smell is caramel malt, lager yeast, and grassy hops. The taste is caramel and grassy malt with grassy, earthy hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, moderately carbonated, and smooth.

Overall, this is an OK beer. This is unique in that you can taste the Irish ale as well as the German lager. Unique and different.

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Photo of CraftBeerTastic
3.3/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ba Review #53
Served On: 9/3/2011
Glassware: Pint Glass

Picked this one out of the classic Adirondack Trail Mix from Saranac.

Look: Poured a deep brownish copper color. The head went about 1 1/2 fingers of light tan cream. Head receded to a thin even coating just moments after pouring. Could not detect any carbonation bubbles.

Smell: Nose was very similar to the Saranac Black Forest (just reviewed). Rich roasty malts with a slight earthy spice. Also dark fruits and sweet brown sugar.

Taste: I personally am having a difficult time telling this apart from the Black Forest I had yesterday. It definitely has the typical black and tan qualities. I’ve had other bottled black and tans, and this one is probably the best to date. First was a strong watery carbonation - then semisweet dark fruits and brown sugar. The finish was nutty with hints of roasted malts. The signature Saranac malty note was hard to detect yet again. It may have been completely left out of this one for some reason.

I’ve always thought black and tan’s in a bottle were a little gimmicky - seeing how the dark and light beer is all mixed together.

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Photo of jayhawk73
3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours black w/ a one finger off white head that quickly disappears. Average carbonation and lacing. Nose is that of caramel, malt, hops, some chocolate, maybe some coffee as well? That's about it really- fairly thin on the nose. Taste is the same as the nose, with some coffee being thrown forefront into the mix. Still, it's fairly thin and weak on the taste front. Feel is pretty thin, dry and flat. Possibly the worst aspect of this brew. Overall, you can find better in the style. This beer isn't horrible, but it's not great either. Still, I've been to the brewery, and I'm glad I got to review this one... Cheers.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. About ¾ inches of head. Color was black and coffee like. Small amount of film and much less than I thought. That changed later with uneven random spots throughout. Slight lacing on glass after initial pour. That dissipated pretty quickly.

Malty smell with coffee, caramel, toffee and chocolate dominating the way.

First taste was a buttery, coffee taste. Chocolate malts follow. Slight taste of caramel.

Nutty, bitter finish on the tongue. Mild to above average carbonation. Not the smoothest, but plenty of drinkability.

A decent beer overall. Saranac is one of my favorite beers, being from New York. I’d say this is on the top-half of my Saranac list.

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
2.38/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Most Saranac productions I've tried are ok, drinkable, but nothing to go out of the way and serve to friends. This Black and Tan is more like a brown ale in apperance and taste. Nothing like mixing Harp Lager and Guinness Stout (or Bass Ale for that matter!)

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black in color tan in head. Color isn't a thick black like a stout but similar to a dark brown, almost mahogany. Faint nose with some chocolate and some cereal malts. No real hop presence. Chocolatey bitterness kicks off the flavor but starts to smooth out to a light caramel creamy body. Lighter than expected for its color. Finishes with only a subtle bitterness coming more from the toasted grains.

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Saranac Black & Tan from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 79 out of 100 with 770 ratings