Friday, September 19, 2014

Saranac Dark-tober(fest)

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1180) - Albany, New York, USA - SEP 19, 2014
Anyone that knows me knows the Oktoberfest/Märzen style is pretty much my least favorite style in all of beerdom. So for me to fine one I like is definitely saying something. And I can honestly say I like Saranac Dark-tober(fest), as it has more character and more body than your average entry of the style. That being said, it’s still only a good beer at the end of the day. Take that as you will.

I poured a 12oz bottle into my official Saranac shaker glass. It came as part of a mix pack for $14.99 ($1.25 per bottle or $0.10 per ounce).

Appearance: Dark copper color over a clear body. Pours to a small, one-finger, off-white, foamy head which laces and retains well.

Smell: Overt lager scent with a familiar lager aroma. Mild nutty character.

Taste: Saranac Dark-tober(fest) has pretty much the same flavor characteristics as most beers of the style: an earthy/nutty flavor combined with malty sweetness in the form of light toffee and caramel notes. I detect a light biscuit note, akin to something British, which is interesting. This is a slightly more robust and rustic palette than most beers of the style, but that’s not to say it’s anything imperial-like. There’s no off-flavors or glaring flaws, which is nice. It probably should be a bit more complex consider it’s strong for the style, but what’s here is enjoyable.

Drinkability: I was surprised when I saw the 6% ABV on the label, since most beers of the style are much lighter. In that respect, it’s impressive that Saranac Dark-tober(fest) feels like something lighter and more sessionable than its number would lead you to believe. But on the other hand, it probably should have more flavor than this. At least the body is on the fuller side, yet the mouthfeel remains crisp and it finishes clean. I might even call it refreshing. A good lager to pair with your autumn meals. 
Grade: 7/10

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