Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Saranac Caramel Porter (2012)

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.

NOTE: Read (and watch) my 2009 review here:
http://www.chadzbeerreviews.com/2009/05/saranac-caramel-porter-chad-friends.html

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (761) - Albany, New York, USA - NOV 28, 2012
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

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.
 Grade: 6/10