make no apologies for enjoying sweet beers that taste like candy. If it
tastes good and I thoroughly enjoy it, then it’s a good beer in my
mind. That being said, Lake Placid Black Tie goes a little beyond being
simply a tasty chocolate and vanilla porter; it’s also gorgeous to look
at and a pleasure to drink. Not quite a Hall of Fame brew, but pretty
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 9/3/15 and cost $2.50 ($0.21 per ounce).
Appearance: Opaque black hue; pours to a large, brown, frothy head which laces and retains beautifully.
Smell: Mostly vanilla bean and a bit of a chocolate milk scent. Though the standard porter aroma is prominent as well. Nice.
Taste: It’s not often I find truly delicious porters and stouts under 8%
ABV, but every once in a while one comes along that’s almost as tasty
as a huge imperial brew. Lake Placid Black Tie is such a beer. As soon
as it hits the tongue my mouth is engulfed in sweet vanilla flavor. I
also get a touch of milk chocolate/common candy flavor as well (possible
lactose sugar). It finishes nicely with a light spice of cocoa nibs and
just a touch of bitterness in the form of roasted malt. There’s a
lovely aftertaste of dark chocolate and perhaps a hint of bourbon. It’s
not an especially complex palette, though what’s here is thoroughly
Drinkability: I was a bit surprised to see the 7% ABV on the bottle
label, since breweries like Lake Placid don’t tend to make strong beer
in 12oz bottles for the mass market (this is contract brewed by Saranac,
after all). Sure enough, Black Tie has the body I want in a strong
beer: a velvety mouthfeel that’s noticeably carbonated rather than a
sticky/syrupy sensation. Smooth from beginning to end with a nice
chocolate aftertaste. There’s also no alcohol presence whatsoever. This
is a great alternative to some of the higher-priced (and higher alcohol)
brews of the genre.