Saranac Black & Tan | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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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 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.

 460 characters

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.

 880 characters

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.

 433 characters

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.

 466 characters

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.

 410 characters

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.

 412 characters

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.

 1,137 characters

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.

 619 characters

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!)

 258 characters

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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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.85/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of a Beers of the World pack from Cost Plus World Market.

Pours a semi-clear dark amber color with a puffy 1 inch beige head that fades to a small cap. Thin tightly spaced rings of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted dark malt, chocolate syrup, and caramel aromas. Taste is of roasted malt, coffee grounds, caramel, and slight roasted peanuts. A mild roasty bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a pretty good carbonation level making for a crisp yet smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good black and tan beer that is much better than the Mississippi Mud beer of the same style I have tried in the past.

 669 characters

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer presents with a jet black coloring, deep and dark, with a slight brown highlight around the edges. The head starts out solid and dense, with a height of about an inch that settles into a film across the top, a beige topping on the blackness. Nose is a creamy sweet blend of coffee and toasted characteristics, with a hint of sweet milk chocolate, also. The beer leaves a decent lacing of thick froth along the glass while you drink. Initial flavors are coffee, mostly, with a dark roast feel to it. The blend of taste shifts to a nutty and chocolate sweetness, with a tinge of bitterness, also. All the flavors stay light due to the carbonation levels in the brew, which increases the ease of drinking. The balance is good enough to keep any of the flavors from shifting into sharpness. The beer has an aftertaste that is a littly tangy and a little cloying, with a smokey resonance to it. The finish clings to the mouth, and the creamy aspect becomes a little too coating. Decent brew, despite the stumble at the finish.

 1,070 characters

Photo of DirtyPenny
3.43/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Tonight's forecast: Dark. Darkness will continue with minimal lacing coating the sides of the dome. Expect showers by tomorrow morning.

S: Toffee/caramel tones are prominent, though the dark, roasty malt appears on the horizon, so if you go out, bring an umbrella.

T: Toffee, caramel and dark malt all very prominent on the palate. Strange plastic taste on the end of the first few sips (seriously). Not sure where that came from and it eventually went away as the brew warmed.

M: Heavy to the point of chewiness, and about as sticky as molasses or, say, melted plastic. Hope your tongue can swim, cause if this downpour keeps going it might drown. Tell it to watch its toes because the bubbles are out and they will bite.

O: Not a bad B&T but it's not going to win any prizes. Back to you, Matt.

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