If you know me you know I have a sweet tooth and tend to love dessert
themed beers. You’d think Saranac Caramel Porter would be right up my
alley, and while it’s a decent beer, it’s really not quite as good as
the name implies.
Appearance: Opaque dark brown body. Forms a small, off white, soapy head
which mostly dissipates and doesn’t leave much lacing on the glass.
Smell: A familiar caramel candy scent, but not quite as sweet. There’s a
generic porter aroma at the core, but it’s subtle - as is the entire
nose for that matter.
Taste: There’s a strong caramel flavor right away, followed by mild
bitterness through the middle, a mild nondescript sweetness and then
more caramel before washing away clean. But this is only true of the
first swig or two, afterwards it all homogenizes together so that the
palate ends up tasting like a strange hybrid between flat diet soda,
iced coffee, and American porter. And it’s not that it tastes bad, it’s
that it just doesn’t finish nearly as strong as it begins. More emphasis
of the genuine porter style would probably help offset this imbalance.
As it stands it’s a bit messy and disorganized, but still tastes good
enough to appreciate.
Drinkability: Saranac Caramel Porter walks a fine line between overt
dessert beer and a standard porter with additional flavoring added. The
mouthfeel is slightly thin and a bit tepid, which enables easy drinking.
The flavor is seemingly strong, but your palate gets used to it
quickly. There’s a slightly dry/slightly cloying aftertaste, but it’s
tolerable. I definitely has a lot of body for being only 5.4% ABV.