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.