Sunday, April 5, 2009

Saranac Black Forest

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (744) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 15, 2010

Everyone drinks Pepsi and Coke, so why are so many people intimidated by dark brown or black beers? There seems to be a consensus among beer drinkers, whether casual or connoisseur, that the darker the beer the more acquired the taste. But what if there was a nearly pitch-black beer that was appealing to everyone?

Such is the case of Saranac Black Forest, a dark beer without an overwhelming taste that’s liighter in body than you might expect. It’s the dark beer for people who don’t usually like dark beers.


Saranac Black Forest is not exactly pitch-black per se, but a very dark ruby red. It forms an average-sized head that is reddish/gold in color and foamy. The beer doesn’t have a very noticeable scent, only a trace of malts which is a bit flat.


I might not have given this beer a proper shake because dark beers should be drank at higher temperatures than standard lagers and any kind of blond/light beer. However, even at a normal refrigerated temperature I was surprised to find Saranac Black Forest smooth and sweet.

The beer doesn’t have any specific flavors that jumped out at me other than a fairly sweet, but not over-powering, malty taste. There is virtually no “bite” of hops, which might also be due to the beer’s low carbonation. It reminds me of a glass of flat soda, in a way, only with more flavors.


This is why the Schwarzbier style is so appealing - because they’re the smoothest light beers on the planet! Black Forest finishes as smooth as a glass of water. This is likely due to the fact it’s a little more watery in composition than you might expect.

Saranac Black Forest is, by definition, a lager, so it’s only medium in body at 5.3% ABV. It won’t overwhelm you in terms of weight or potentcy. I have a feeling if this beer were drank at a warmer temperature it might feel like a heavier brew.


Saranac Black Forest is an easy-to-drink dark beer (and no, it doesn’t taste like black forest cake if that’s what you were thinking). Its taste is a little underwhelming at normal refrigerated temperatures but its taste might be a little overwhelming at higher. Either way you can’t go wrong.

Grade: 7/10

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