ChadPolenz (1700) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - NOV 21, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tumbler.
Appearance: Beautiful shade of deep amber to light brown. Slightly hazy, but some carbonation visible. Forms an average size, white frothy head that retains and laces well enough.
Smell: Despite the name, thereís little chocolate to be found in the nose. Itís more in line with a higher end American amber lager or bock. Lightly sweet malty body with hint of candy somewhere in there.
Taste: When a beer is named "Chocolate ____" you tend to expect all chocolate all the time. In the case of many stouts thatís certainly possible, but Iíve yet to find a truly chocolate lager and Saranacís offering is no different. However, thatís not to say it fails as a chocolate beer, but that itís a more refined American amber lager with a pleasant chocolate candy taste right at the end.
The majority of the palate is very malt-forward, lightly sweet, and dare I say creamy. No adjunct taste at all, nor is there the presence of generic American lager (well, it does make itself known through the middle of the palate). Itís a clean, mild, lightly sweet palate with little bitterness. The chocolate flavor comes as a quick burst immediately after you swallow. Itís not high-end gourmet chocolate, but rather something more everyday like the taste of a candy bar or cookie. Itís a pleasant surprise every time, but itís not very robust. But at least itís not cloying, either, as the aftertaste is amazingly clean.
Mouthfeel: Thicker and softer than your average lager with no fizz tingling on the tongue, either.
Drinkability: I have to give Saranac props for not skimping on this brew as it weighs in at 6% ABV and seems to make use of it all. The beer drinks and feels more like an ale with a comfortable mouthfeel and a smooth finish. Itís not quite sweet enough to work as a dessert beer, though. Mostly itís a treat for the lager drinker.
nearbeer (4919) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 18, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
12 oz. Clear orange-copper with a half inch of foam. Mild nose of molasses and dry grass, with maybe a hint of cocoa. Taste is molasses, toasted pecan, a touch of dry cocoa, lightly tart apple, dry grass and wood. Medium body is sweet but finishes crisp, and is a smooth drinker with low carbonation. Nice Vienna style lager, with the light dose of cocoa nibs supporting rather than overtaking the whole brew.
HighlanderOne (1237) - York, SC via NJ, South Carolina, USA - DEC 30, 2012
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Poured from bottle. Aroma of malt, grass and Nestlť Quik mix. Nice lookin mahogany with tan head. Flavor is a odd combo of lager hops and Whoppers. But somehow it works. Dry, crisp feel and mellow finish. Unique and quite good.
nuplastikk (5794) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 24, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
12oz bottle. Filtered amber-brown. Thin, beige head. Mellow, doughy amber malt aroma, some brown chocolate. Some chocolate syrup notes, medium bodied, overall pretty enjoyable beer. Smooth and sweet, delicate, distant hop balance. Chocolate syrup finish. OK.
arone12 (925) - Maryland, USA - DEC 27, 2011
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours an amber color with a little bit of a chocolate aroma. Huge chocolate taste. Delicious
Grandpa (327) - Verona, New York, USA - FEB 12, 2012
3.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Large, white, fine bubbled head that slowly faded. surprisingly light colored and flavored. I expected the chocolate to make it darker and heavier. Slightly sweet, refreshing, lightly hopped. More a summer beer. It went down quickly, a good session beer. Not much of an aftertaste.
Damico (3144) - Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 20, 2011
3.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
On the 7th day of Christmas, Chalskís beer gods pour for me...Pours clear perfect amber with lots of bubbles and a big creamy off white head. The aroma is a bit of light chocolatey sweetness, but not much more than the German malts. The flavor starts out light and a bit malty, then sweet milk cacao notes come in a in a delicious way to please my palate.
Dacrza (863) - Great Meadows, New Jersey, USA - JAN 28, 2012
3.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Occasion: still sick, but getting better with meds....
Glassware: nondescript pilsener...
Appearance: tan brown/orange body with a thin off-white head...
Aroma: fresh, cocoa hints are a quick burst; fleeting, otherwise weak malts...
Palate:medium-bodied and smooth; plapable but not heavy...
Taste: sweet toffee/caramel plays with the cocoa in a welcoming dance...
Overall: pleasant though not overpowering--a malty chocolate seasonal that satisfies....
PhatB420 (839) - Pittsfield, Massachusetts, USA - MAR 4, 2012
3.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
12oz into a pint. This is a nice surprise. Definately alongs the line of brown more so than a spice. Coco, not chocolate, is laced through out the brew. Mild as it is, its a nice addition. Its like the coco you would sprikle on a coffee at starbucks. Nice, light, roasty and bland. Conjurs up a good brew most definately. Color is an amazing see through amber which sparkels in the right light. Taste is coco, coco beans, and malty goodness. Hops are shimmering throughout but with a resistance that makes them a perfect back drop for the malt. The brew would be better if it was a bit more prfound and not watered down so much. Mix packs are cool.
drjay44 (3435) - Salida, Colorado, USA - DEC 21, 2012
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
12 oz. bottle. Pours a thick, rapidly collapsing, but retained at the end, ivory head, with extensive lacing, over a clear, medium amber (SRM 12) body......nose is cereal malts, with light cocoa, chocolate, toffee/caramel hints.....taste is light cereal, light roasted malts, heavy cocoa, chocolate tones, light toffee/caramel hints, finishing with a light, dry bitterness....mouth feel light of medium, carbonation high. This is reminiscent of a Vienna Lager, with the addition of heavy cocoa, chocolate tones. BJCP 7/3/13/4/7