23 October 2008

Three More from Saranac

The other three from Saranac's Adirondack Trail Mix:

Brown Ale: Clear brown with a red/orange tinge. The label boasts of "Pacific Northwest hops," and I think I can smell them. So this isn't a British Brown. To it's credit, it isn't a bland one either. A touch of chocolate malt, a decent hop presence, and a dry finish. But also an over-carbonated body and kind of a rough taste. Eh.

Black & Tan: I've often had the suspicion that Saranac produces some of their myriad beers by mixing existing ones. No secret about the Black & Tan, a mixture of their Amber Lager and seasonal Irish Stout (which, as Wikipedia explains, would technically make this a Half and Half). From a bottle, you don't get the cool layered effect as with a true Black and Tan. So what do you get? A lighter stout, I suppose. It's roastiness is cut by caramel sweetness from the lager. Overall, the malts and hops don't really blend, and it tastes like the sort of experimental beer mix you'd create at home with the remnants of various six packs. Still, it's pretty intersting and worth a try.

Black Forest: "Bavarian Style Beer." It never comes out and says it's a schwarzbier on the label, but I think that's what it is, more or less. I don't think it strives for German authenticity though (the Black Forest isn't even in Bavaria) . It's very dark brown and ruby colored. Even accepting that this is a lager, the body is too light. In fact, the entire initial taste is too light and mineral water-ish for me, more treble than bass. At the end, a light roasted flavor comes through, which is great, but overall I don't like this as much as some others do. Sam Adams makes a better American black lager, while Sprecher makes one that is much richer and roastier.

So the Pale Ale is the star of this sixer for me, and probably the only one I'd seek out again.

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