Ordering a black and tan at a restaurant or bar is one of my favorite beverages to enjoy while out on the town. Trying to make one at home myself doesn’t work, so several breweries have attempted to bottle beers already mixed. Since Yuengling’s Black and Tan is only my second sampling of the type my frame of reference is limited. As a beer connoisseur I find it to be easily drinkable but it doesn’t leave much impression on me.
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
This beer is actually a mixture of a porter and a lager so it of course has the characteristics of each. Most notably is the aroma which is a little dry in the porter style, but also has a fairly generic underlying lager scent. There isn’t anything particularly noticeable to the nose here.
This black and tan pours quite smoothly, obviously taking to its porter side. It forms a thick, light-brown, creamy head. The head never completely dissipates and leaves significant lacing on the glass. And much in the porter style the beer is nearly an opaque color of extremely dark maroon, although most would consider it black or dark brown.
I have to say I was a bit underwhelmed after two bottles of Yuengling Black and Tan. Usually beers of this type are full-bodied and full-flavored, so why does this beer taste so flat? From what I understand it’s not a 50/50 mix of porter and lager, rather, 60/40. I guess that would explain the slightly dry taste, but shouldn’t there be a bit more flavor?
I always have a difficult time trying to describe a beer with such bland flavor without making it seem as if it is bad-tasting. This beer is far from distasteful, yet the flavor it does have is underwhelming. Whether it is drunk cold or simply cool the taste does not improve much.
I kept expecting the flavor to hit me, but it never quite did. Sure, it was drinkable, but it’s not as tasty as it could be.
This beer is extremely smooth going down but it has a distinctive dry aftertaste – does that make sense? The actual drinking process of Yuengling Black and Tan is very easy, probably because it’s such a lightly-carbonated beer and doesn’t have much of a hop kick to its taste. However, since it is mostly a porter, its dry characteristics become noticeable after the beer leaves your mouth.
Part of the reason Yuengling Black and Tan isn’t as strong as it should be could be due to its overall light body. My sources tell me it’s only 4.5% ABV and 150 calories. I’d expect stats like that on a regular lager, but not a black and tan. The good news is the body and easy finish makes this a very drinker-friendly beer. In fact, its price is even cheaper than most of the big three’s lagers so it would work well as a party beer too.
Despite all my criticisms I have to say it is still a beer worth trying. After all, it’s produced by the oldest brewery in the United States and definitely has that craft beer appeal to it. Those who are looking to take a low risk investment on a new beer would do well to pick up a six pack of Yuengling Black and Tan.