honestly didn’t have high hopes for Saranac Stout, since it’s a very
generic style from a brewery not known for making mind-blowing or
experimental beers. In fact, this bottle came in a discounted mix pack
and the bottle was only a few weeks away from the expiration. But with
all those caveats, I was very surprised to get a tasty, delectable, and
highly drinkable beer. Hell yeah!
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.
Appearance: Opaque black body with a light white, frothy head. Excellent retention and lacing.
Smell: Noticeable vinous aroma plus typical stout smell underneath.
Taste: Stouts are known for being roasty and usually sweet, but Saranac
Stout is surprisingly fruity with a touch of tartness and sourness. Red
grape is usually a flavor found in stronger Russian Imperial Stouts, but
there’s an obvious grape juice-like taste right from the get-go. It’s
lightly sweet, but quickly followed by a more traditional stout flavor
of roasty malt bitterness through the middle. Chocolate candy shows up
briefly on the finish, as does a hint of iced coffee. But the palate
comes full circle back to the original grape or cider-like taste with a
tartness right before it finishes clean. I’m not sure if this is how
this beer is meant to taste, but in this case it’s actually quite
beneficial and certainly threw me off guard since I don’t normally get
these flavors in a beer of the style.
Drinkability: I was quite surprised to find out after the fact that
Saranac Stout is only 4.8% ABV. Not because it felt like a brick on my
system, but because it had so much flavor for something in the more
sessionable category. The thin, tepid mouthfeel enables it to go down
almost as smoothly as a Guinness. The clean aftertaste combined with the
light, tart palate makes it almost refreshing. Impressive!