I've been disappointed with Saranac as often as I've been pleased with them, so I don't know why I keep coming back. Vanilla Stout certainly sounds tasty, although Caramel Porter did as well, and I didn't like that. It turns Vanilla Stout didn't do it for me, but for reasons that were different than I would have thought. So at least it was interesting in that respect.
08 January 2009
I was ready for an overly sweet, lightweight dark beer, with faux vanilla and too many bubbles. Instead, I got a beer with an admittedly terrific, fluffy beige head and a decent (if somewhat light) body. It wasn't too sweet; it wasn't sweet at all. And there was very little vanilla to be found. At most, it tasted like chewing on a leathery vanilla bean pod. Instead, it had a dark roastiness that sounds attractive, but turned into a harsh bitterness in the finish.
It looks like Saranac Vanilla Stout is receiving pretty good reviews. I can understand that, I guess, as it was neither weak nor cloying. Still, it wasn't for me.