Saranac Black & Tan | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

495 Reviews
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Saranac Black & TanSaranac Black & Tan

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

Style: Black & Tan

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-05-2001

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Reviews: 495 | Ratings: 755
Photo of OMGTheyKilkenny
4.68/5  rDev +34.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle into a Guinness pint glass.

A- Deep mahogany, barely translucent. Almost two inches of tan/cream-colored head. Healthy lacing.

S- Toasted malts and lager yeasts hit the nose the strongest (naturally). Milky with hints of cocoa. Creamy and sweet.

T- The deep, rich, malty taste of a milk stout, with the slightly bitter, hoppy back of a lager; just what you want in a black and tan. Lots of flavor, subtle notes of coffee, semi-sweet chocolate, and oak, but not too strong. Generally, very well balanced.

MF- Surprisingly light and crisp. Not nearly as heavy as I expected. Medium carbonation. Leaves just a slight coating on the mouth afterward.

D- I don't always drink bottled black and tan beers, but when I do, I prefer Saranac. I could drink this beer all day. It has all the stout and lager flavor you're looking for without the heaviness. Tons of flavor in a very lightweight package. Just enough lager flavor to support the stout, which takes center stage (as it should). I'm a huge Saranac fan, and this beer is just one of the reasons why.

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Photo of KeithStolte
4.62/5  rDev +32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured from 12oz to pint glass. Dark Color, Great laceing, with a good finger width head tan color.

S - Roasted and chocolate notes

T - Roasted malts with chocolate notes like it smells, great last note and after taste.

M - Very smooth, fine carbonation.

D - Very drinkable. Makes a good session beer.

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Photo of Deus1138
4.5/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out nice, dark, and thick. 1/4 inch of fluffy head.

Smell: Roasted malts.

Taste: Lots of malt variety. Chocolate, coffee, toasted, roated maltiness.

Drinkability: One of Saranac's best. Enough flavor and complexity to be an interesting beverage, but easy enough going down to be consumed in mass quantity. ;-)

The pre-fab Black and Tan's don't seem to be a particularly popular style with beer aficionados, but this is such an enjoyable brew. I think if people stopped comparing it to a home mixed Black and Tan, they would enjoy it much more. Try this: give it to someone who appreciates good beer, but don't tell them it is a pre-fab Black and Tan. See what they think.

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Photo of thekanna
4.45/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours dark brown with an endless foamy head that leaves rings down the side of the glass. Turns a cola-like color when held up to light.

S: Roasted malts with some resonant sourness and a dark fruit, almost plum or date-like sweetness. Very unique.

T: Roasted malt and chocolate upfront with yeasts, faint coffee, prunes, some pine freshness, and a walnut-like nuttiness. Ends on a very strong and bitter hop note.

M: Goes down smooth with just enough carbonation to tingle the tongue.

D: This is much too drinkable. They found the perfect balance of stout flavor and lager crispness.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
4.45/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a BotM shipment.

Poured into a shaker a very dark red-brown with crimson highlights throughout. 3 fingers of foamy, lumpy head that leaves heavy lacing.

Smell is so nice! Getting moderately sweet, roasty smells that meet & meld brilliantly with crisp, tartly fruity hops. So well balanced, I keep going back for more. Both rich & refreshing at the same time.

Taste, again, is a very good mingling of stout & amber alger characteristics: roasty, creamy caramel, & chocolate cookie at first, mixed with more biscuity malts & some crisp, fruity, slightly flinty/dry hops. Ends bitter with building coffee-like notes in the aftertaste.

Feels full, creamy, foamy while also refreshing & cleansing all at the same time.

I didn't expect a lot going into it, but I was really impressed by this little beer! Very complex for a sessionable beer, & coming from a combination of two pretty different styles, creates a marriage of the best parts of each. A beer that compliments itself wonderfully.

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Photo of callmeclemens
4.4/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great brew, poured out of bottle. Nice deep brown tastes like lager and stout with nice caramel notes nice punch too. Hits the palate and mouth well too saranac is becoming a regular staple for all season in my home, summer to winter, pumpkin to wheat.

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Photo of tj4288
4.33/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

another excellent brew from saranac.

poured from bottle into tulip

a- beautuful thick off white head. stout like. head lasts and leaves perfect rings of lace. body is pretty dark. ruby when held to light.

s- weak stout like. mostly roasted malt with hints of earthy hops

t- taste is good.... but hard to tell its a b$t. i would guess it was a weak porter or stout. weak roasted malt/ caramel. not very complex but definately enjoyable.

m- slightly watery, medium carbonation.

d- not surprised to find another excellent brew from saranac. goes down smooth at a great price and very good flavor. makes perfect drinkability to me! highly recomended black and tan.

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Photo of PatrickJR
4.32/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Very dark brown, with a little light coming through. Nice dark-tan, 2 finger head with good retention. Recedes to thick dark-tan cap with a good bit of lacing.

S - Lots of buttery notes backed by roasted malt and dark fruit. Kinda simple, but amazing.

T - Starts off with bitter roasted malt and a touch of the buttery taste from the nose. A quick sweetness segues into some spicy and slightly floral/earthy hops which meld beautifully with a touch of smoke in the finish. Faint chocolate lurks in the aftertaste along with leafy hops.

M - Heavy to medium bodied, moderately carbonated. A little less carbonation might have made this better, but I suppose the "tan" aspect contributes significantly. Smooth overall.

D - Wouldn't mind making this one of my regular session beers. Excellent and unoffensive. The price is quite reasonable as well.

One of, if not my favorite, Saranac offering. I didn't know what to expect, but this is an amazing beer, especially from a brewery mixing two styles, neither of which they're especially known for.

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Photo of crhensel
4.32/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Bottle into English pint -- Sampled 2/12/10) Pours a very dark, almost pitch black color with a large tan head, parts of which remained throughout the glass. The nose immediately presents rich coffee and chocolate flavors with a slight hint of a grassy hops note. Full bodied with a mild carbonation, the drink was very pleasant, starting with the soft malt flavor of the stout, but finishing with a very sharp bite of the hops of the lager. A nice smooth drink.

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Photo of Norfawkers
4.3/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the better Saranacs in the variety pack. Like the others, it is quite drinkable and versatile.

Appearance: Rich, deep brown with some initial head and decent lacing throughout

Smell: Faint maltiness

Taste: Smokey and malty with a hint of chocolate

Mouthfeel: Initial bitterness gives way to smoothness with a lingering finish

Drinkability: good as a sipping beer but could also be paired with a meal (a pork product of some kind)

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.29/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard Pint Glass. Initially comes out pretty dark but glows sort of an amber crimson color when held up to the light, slightly lighter than expected. A farily light tan head produces that is very thick and foamy at first and goes away after a few minutes, but prodoces some better than average lacing.. The smell is very well balanced. It displays all of the characteristics of a quality stout and pale ale. It starts off very malty, particularly dark and roasted, moves through and graduates to a nice hoppy aftertaste. The mouthfeel is good, it's medium to full bodied, and as mentioned earlier, it's very well balanced. This is a very drinkable beer. I could drink it year round.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.28/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a magnificent dark cherry amber with a little film of light tan head that left a little lace.

The smell reminds me of an Irish Dry Stout with a light milky, caramel and chocolate malt with just a hint of smooth smoke. One could argue that it’s a little on the “too sweet” side.

Tastes similarly with a smooth creamy sweetness that is blended with a slight woody dryness and a hint of sour fruit. Finishes with an unexpected jolt of dryness along the edges of my tongue. My guess is that’s the “tan” making itself known.

The mouth feel is light and easy with a micro carbonation that really thickens things up.

For the price of this beer, this is nothing short of amazing.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.28/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours dark brown to black with a three finger tan head. A thin cap of foam remains to the last sip, and spiderweb lacing coats the glass. The stout produces a roasted taste and aroma; burnt malt/coffee dominating, and toasted nut, brown sugar, and black strap mollasses in the background. The amber lager provides hop flavor to compliment the malt bitterness and crisp carbonation that balanace out this full bodied hybrid with a clean aftertaste. Rich, complex flavor and smooth, dry finish will leave you just wanting more.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.2/5  rDev +20.7%
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 maddogruss
4.2/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 12 oz bottle into a glass mug. The appearnace of this beer is nearly flawless with a nice dark body and a thick, tan head. Smells like a nice, strong stout. Great roasted taste that sits on your tongue. Feels nice and thick in your mouth. It's not too thick which makes it a very drinkable beer. I could drink this beer all winter long.

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Photo of funkengruven
4.2/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First I've had of this style, and I'm certainly impressed.

This poured a deep dark black, a tan head followed. Smell contains some roasted malts and some chocolate-like aromas. These are very present in the flavor of this beer. Quite a tasty treat.

Put simply it has the bold flavor of a stout with the drinkability of a lager. Simply delicious.

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Photo of greebsnarf
4.2/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mostly opaque dark ruby with visible carbonation and a tall tan head that diminishes quickly. A thin film remains and lacing is pretty good. The smell is all malts, rich and sweet, with bread, molasses and a touch of coffee. Tastewise, it lives up to my expectations. The slightly roasted maltiness, with a hint of milk, is accompanied by a subdued apple flavor and a thinness and fizz that warn you this is not a pure stout; floral hops soon follow to round out the taste before a moderate bitterness sets in. All in all it's another solid Saranac.

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Photo of russpowell
4.18/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was part of a mixed 6 I got in NC.

Poured caramel/brown with a a 3 fingers tan head. Great lacing & & good head retention

S: Choclate & toasted malt

T: Toasted malt & some grainyness up front. Fruittyness follows as it warms. Finishes choclatey & dry

MF: Medium bodied with a little chewyness. Good carbonation levels & really well balanced

This beer really shocked me, went down too easy& was just way better than expected. I make no apolgies, don't really consider this a legit style, but this works!

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Photo of Kwak
4.17/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It poured nice from the bottel,good thick head.
Dark color kind of murky almost black body.
Good taste sure to have a few in a night, not too filling.
Finished almost cleen,no after taste.

A good dark beer!

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Photo of RBorsato
4.15/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown (auburn to light source) with a full creamy light brown which leaves rings of lace. Nice hop aroma at first (very suprising!). Light roasty coffee flavor with a great hop balance. Light caramel flavor comes out in the end. Light-medium bodied with a dry roasty finish. All in all this beer was better than I remembered from the past... would definitely drink again.

Just sampled the bottle from my 2002 Holiday pack; maybe they dropped the "Growler" designation .... thought that was kind of silly anyways.

Label states: "Stout & Lager" & "Irish stout and German-style amber lager"

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Photo of beernut7
4.15/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was always the benchmark black and tan in my residence when we were too lazy to make real black and tans. I like the color and body as well as the fresh hop profile. All around a pretty good balance.

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Photo of MrSeth
4.14/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint tumbler with an opaque dark-dark brown color and a 1/2" tan head. Little head retention, just some suds on the surface but a big foamy ring with some impressive lacing.

I like the smell of this brew very much, the obvious pros being the stout and lager mixed to create a more complex maltiness in the profile. There is somewhat of a breakfast tea-like aroma. One sip and I'm in a much better mood. Medium-heavy bodied, a JUST RIGHT amount of carbonation, it comes across with a smooth and enjoyable mouthfeel. The taste also has a fair amount of complexity, some rich maltiness, it changes from stout to lager and back again as it's rolled around the tongue.

Very drinkable. This is a pleasant surprise.

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Photo of generallee
4.12/5  rDev +18.4%
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 thegiggy86
4.12/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In my opinion, this beer offers great taste at a great price. It is priced around $5.99 for a sixer at Bayway World of Liquors, NJ. This beer has a medium bodied taste which can even be enjoyed by the inexperienced beer drinker. I will be buying this beer again.

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Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temp.

Near black body with a pretty tan head. So-so head and retention. Smells of roasted barley with a touch of chocolate and hops. Surprisingly complex taste from Saranac. Roasted malts with coffee and bitter chocolate. A bit of chewy toffe and nice mellow, but obvious bitter bite. Mouthfeel is a little creamy, while at the same time balanced with bitterness and carbonation.

I'm not usually too impressed with Saranac, especially after the 05/06 12 Beers of Winter, but this is a great beer. Find this, let it warm up, and enjoy.

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Saranac Black & Tan from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.48 out of 5 based on 755 ratings.
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