Saranac Black & Tan | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac Black & TanSaranac Black & Tan
765 Ratings
Saranac Black & TanSaranac Black & Tan

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

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Stout & Lager

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-05-2001

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 765 |  Reviews: 498
Reviews by ClarkPinnock:
Photo of ClarkPinnock
4.08/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a hard beer to figure out:

Dark caramel appearance, very near chocolate. Good lacing throughout.

Notes of chocolate and caramel come through in the nose.

Very complex flavor. Starts off a little bitter with the stout flavors up front. These quickly give way to the lager, giving it the impression of very deep flavor. Chocolate and malt is very evident. This is really great because you get the benefit of stout-like flavors but with the carbonation of a lager.

Mouthfeel is very full and the carbonation just right.

I didn't have high hopes for this but I stand corrected. Complex and full flavors throughout that cause continued contemplation as one enjoys!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.51/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown with some reddish highlights thru out with a nice creamy well sustained head.Slight aroma of dark roasted malt and some caramel but pretty slight like I said,a decent melding of flavors some bitter sweet chocolate,caramel and dark roasted malt the beer finish rather abruptly not much lingering flavors.Hey not bad and $5.19 for the Trail Pack I think more than worth the price,wish there was two of these and only one Adirondack Amber.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
2.76/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

It pours a mirky mohagany color with thin khacki head that disappears quicky to leave only surface mottling. There is no lacing. Nose is alcohol and wet cardboard. This one is not off to a great start.

Taste is pretty good actually. Starts sweet and creamy with very light caramel that goes over to very mellow bitterness that falls off into a flat, coffe-tinged malt. There is a really nice toasted character throughout that really makes the beer.

The mouthfeel on this one is thick and DENSE. I feel like I'm eating this damn thing, and it sure sits heavy in the stomach. Bottle says it was made to session. I beg to differ.

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Photo of ccapurso
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown, though see through, from bottle to Guinness pint glass. 1/2 inch tan head to start but it quickly diminishes to a few floating bubbles. The initial sips are bitter and fizzy. There is a caramel/toasty malt flavor though not robust. There is what seems to be a slight hop finish but almost tastes too rusty to be hop. A caramel malt aroma is present throughout accompanied by a little oatiness. Outside of the sweetness the aromas are pretty muted. This brew is a bit thin and the fizziness of the carbonation is a little unpleasant. There is a little rustiness to the finish. I think that the medium body and smoothness of the beer makes it okay. The sturdiness of the brew is above average and keeps this brew on the up and up for me. All in all I don't care for the black in tan premix but if I had to drink one, I could make worse choices than this one.

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Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.47/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saranac Black and Tan style beer 5.4% alcohol. Saranac sampler Sixer.

A- Pours a nice dark black fluid that shows a amber look in the sunlight. Nice quarter inch tan head that falls to a froth leaving thin patchy lacing.

S- Smell is of gas station coffee burnt and old. Mild carmel malts sneak through as well.

T-M- Smooth malty notes of smoked wood, toasted coffee beans and light carmel upfront. Has some hop charactor in the fact of the bitter bite following the toasted flavors. Mouthfeel is nice with a rolling carbonation that tingles the tongue as it passes over the buds. Fresh flavor of mixed styles.

D- I'd say this is a great Black and Tan beer due to excellent drinkablity due to a 5.4% alcohol rating. I'd drink this on with some vigor if put in front of me.

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Photo of steelerguy
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours mahogany with a nice 2 finger off-white head. Dark but translucent with moderate carbonation.

S - Toasted malt aroma.

T - Smooth flavor, good blend of lager and stout. Seems like they mixed a good bit more lager than stout, which gives a nice roasted malt flavor but without too much coffee or chocolate notes. Little hop bitterness and really no hop flavor or aroma.

M - Nice attenuated, no heavy finish, just enough carbonation for a crisp ending.

D - Smooth and balanced which leads to very drinkable beer.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.61/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pleasant surprise, because I wasn't expecting much from a bottled Black and Tan. A deep red/brown color with a thick tan head. Not much aroma, kind of a sweet malt thing. Pretty nice taste. Coffee, with a lingering taste of roasted malt. Little bit of hops. An undercurrent of chocolate. Most enjoyable.

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Photo of Todd
3.51/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Zu Zu (Middle East) in Cambridge, MA, USA.

Dark, near black in colour with a creamy / sticky head. Aroma has a buttery diacetyl / caramel smell to it. Smooth, medium-bodied with more, albeit slick, diacetyl. An acrid, semi-astringent bite melds nicely with an underlying hop character. A little dry & crisp with traditional lager flavours pulling thru as the beer warms up. Hint of chocolate. Clean finish.

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Photo of generallee
4.12/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black and Tan is a blend of an Irish style stout and a German style all malt lager. It has a dark body with amber hues. The head is tan, thick, and it makes good lacing on my pint glass. Roasted malts, hops, caramel and toffee notes, fill your nose. On the tongue there are flavor notes of roasted malts, toast, espresso, and wild tart blackberries. The bitterness of the hops surrounds and balances everything nicely and leads to a slow bitter finish. It has a nice medium body and a creamy smooth mouth feel that makes it very enjoyable.

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Photo of Doomcifer
3.2/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with a decent brown head that stuck around for a bit. Not much lacing. Smells of roasted malts, faint dark chocolate, caramel. Taste is lightly roasted, caramel, some milk chocolate flavor, kind of watery. Mouthfeel is semi creamy, decent carbonation, slick. Pretty drinkable considering.

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Photo of Magister_Beav
4.5/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Jason
3.56/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Spiffy looking head, khaki coloured head is the best thing about this beer. Brown coloured brew with reddish highlights.

Smell: Toasted bread and some dextrin sweetness are pretty much all of the aroma.

Taste: Touch of roasted malt, earthy with a minty hop flavour and bitterness. Vague sweetness with a bitty and paper like flavours towards the end … not the oxidized paper flavour, just and odd taste. Finishes with a watery roasted flavour and faint hop oil.

Mouthfeel: Some crispness and a slickness in the mouth, medium bodied.

Drinkability & Notes: Not to bad, I prefer my B & T’s layered. This show that most of the Saranac beers are samey, blend two of their beers together and it still tastes pretty much the same as the others give or take a flaw or off flavour. This just happens to be a good blend.

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Photo of merlin48
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I will eventually finish off my 2003 12 beer sampler box, with a review of all the varied contents. The only other black and tan that I've had out of a bottle was a Yuengling's, and the Saranac is better. Pours with a really nice head, unlike the other samplers out of their box. Good retention and lots of lacing. Color is a clear dark chestnut with definite ruby highlights. Aroma is more like a stout, coffee and bittersweet chocolate, and so is the taste. Mouthfeel has some carbonation along with a bitter hop balance. Difficult to zero in on the flavors here, but it's a pleasant sipping brew. Can't wait to sample their stout, after enjoying this combination.

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Photo of Billolick
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another selection out of the sampler box I recently purchased. No freshness of bottling information. Pours very dark shade of brown, typical tan head, nose here is just a slight wiff of malt. Chalky, dry, and also abit smoky. perhaps some dark chocolate and coffee also picked up. Nothing amazing, but I found this to be a drinkable, fairly tasty brew.

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Photo of tigg924
3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown in color, 1/2 inch head, clear, moderate carbonation

Smell: roasted malt and coffee

Taste: roasted coffee, toasted malt, and caramel

Mouthfeel: sweet with a bitter backbone, medium light bodied, medium/high carbonation

Drinkability: A suprisingly sessionable combination of caramel and coffee flavors. I could have two or three, no desire for a six though. A good representation of the style.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle provided by Cavie.

The beer pours dark brown with a khaki head. The aroma is toffee, caramel and roasted malt. The flavor is caramel, chocolate and some earthy hops. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Only my second pre-made black and tan, but this one was not bad. Not sure if I would try it again, but I am glad I got to try it.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The last from my Saranac Adirondack mixed pack.

Poured into a dimpled pint glass. Deep chocolate in colour, but when held to the light it catches some ruby hues as well. Thin, white head survives as a thin layer. Some lacing.

Nose is roasted coffee, malt, cream, a bit of nut and milk chocolate. Quite nice actually.

I think this was my favorite brew of the bunch, (although the Black Forest was certainly nice as well). The stout was of the dry Irish variety, nice and roasty, but with a soft sweetness as well. The lager character features in the mellowing finish, which also features some mild hoppy citric tang to it. This is all overlain with a creamy, milk flavor, softening the different hues.

Medium bodied, crisp, yet creamy as well.

Flavorful, good melding of two other brews. Bottled or canned Black and Tans are a tough sell for me - the best kinds are the ones your pour yourself. This, however, was not a bad stab at it.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black-n-Tan in a bottle. Riiiggghhhhtttt.

Color is definitely more in the black category. Thin, almost non-present layer of dark tan head. Barely noted dark malts mixed some sugar. Flavor is a mix of caramel sweetness and some toasty-nut. Finished slightly dry, with some chocolate notes. Thin and not too drinkable. Not sure why the effort.

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Photo of jakester
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was from a sampler case. No date!! Bottle says this is a blend of Irish stout and amber lager.

Pours a pretty looking dark brownish/mahogany with a 2 finger rocky head of big beige bubbles. Decent lacing while I drank.

Aroma is molasses, dark roasted coffee, grassy hops, pretty interesting.

Flavor is dark coffee and roasted malts, molasses, dark cherries but not too sweet. A good dose of bitterness from hops. Finish is a long taste of roasted barley, not overdone. Pleasant.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, bitter, with a good zing across the tongue from carbonation. Mouth puckering finish.This is pretty good, as B and T's go. There aren't that many to compare. I could drink a few of these. Recommended.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.2/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a nonic glass,a deep clear ruby red color with a thick and creamy light tan head lacing the glass and retentative also.An inviting looking beer.
The aroma a pronounced roasty smell,a complex malty nose with hints of carmel,bisquit .Also spicey,woody,a hint of vanallia, even a tad bit smokey.
The taste was very roasty,carmelly,burnt,a hint of vanallia.Citrusy and spicy,supurbly balanced.A wonderful crisp,clean bittersweet finish.
The moutnfeel was on the medium side,very creamy and velvety on the palate.A nice sharp,tartness lingers on the palate.
As drinkable as a black and tan can get. A pleasurable and delicious beer,leaving you craving more of it.
Yet,another drinkable beer from Saranac.

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Photo of ChadwickHines
3/5  rDev -13.3%

Great Black and Tan if what it is your looking for

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.02/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle.

Pours a very dark black with a small off white head. Nose is very sweet toasty and malty, it's really nice.

Taste is awesome, very toasty and roasted but also light and bitter too. It's really quite a combination and it works really well especially for a premixed B&T.

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Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of Mantooth
3/5  rDev -13.3%

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Saranac Black & Tan from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 765 ratings