nearbeer (5662) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 28, 2008
12 oz. thanks for the trade Butters. Clear dirty copper with a tall, lasting meringue cap. Lots of sticky lace left behind. Spicy nut, earthy chocolate and a hint of sour berry in the aroma. The flavor is molasses blended with light tart berry, funky chocolate, gunmetal and toasted grain. Medium body is smooth with light carbonation, and finishes grainy-dry. Very nice. PhatB420 (840) - Pittsfield, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 16, 2012
12oz into a pint. Pours a beauty of orange, bronze, and yellow, this is a dark lager? Looks pretty ale like to me. Taste does have some simalarity to a pale ale, but the overal malt presence dominates. Grainy malts up front, then gracious flow of secondary malts fulfill the brew, must be those german additions. Aroma is piney, clean, and floral, but not ipa floral. Pine is dominant, orange peel peaks in, head i minimal, never gets in the way. I like this bock, as it the pale ale aspect appeals to me. Grandpa (327) - Verona, New York, USA - FEB 12, 2007
I liked this one. It poured a clear dark gold, the color of good whiskey, with a large off-white head. It.is a rich malty brew, with excellent mouth filling flavor. The hops nicely balanced the presentation without overwhelming the bock characteristics. A strong brew that goes down smoothly and still has a full-bodied taste. Mellow. A winter session beer? FROTHINGSLOSH (8291) - GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 24, 2007
Sampled from a 12 oz brown bottle this beer poured a gorgeous bright ruby-chestnut color with a large creamy beige head that lingered. The aroma was sour, tangy, very malty and had a hint of vegetal malts underneath. The flavor was tangy, nutty and very malty and smooth. There was a hint of caramel and a light fruity hop element. The finish was a bit weak but otherwise this was a very nice beer. Nucci (21) - cullowheee, North Carolina, USA - APR 15, 2008
Dark amber body with little head and stout aroma. Sweet hoppy flavor with smooth finish and decent after taste. Definitely a tasty brew!
tarc (46) - New Jersey, USA - MAY 21, 2008
Malty aroma, not too strong, medium amber color with minimal head, slighly sweet very smooth malty flavor. Looking for hops? Won;t find many here... One of the more under-rated beers I’ve found. Very drinkable. yesyouam (1016) - Fairport, New York, USA - MAY 15, 2007
This bock is a crystal clear orange with a white head that completely vanishes. The caramel malt is tart in the nose. The body is thin and smooth. It’s a bit top-heavy, which I like. It is well bittered with grassy and woodsy hops. The malt is smooth and ever-present. These newer Saranacs seem to be a step above the usual offerings. heemer77 (5361) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - FEB 9, 2008
Bottle. A very nice medium copper colored body makes this look attractive with a light khaki head on top. The aroma is sweet with a little bit of honey and some floral notes. There are also some hints of caramel. The taste has some light toffee and even some iced tea notes. There is also a little bit of pears. Actually, this is a nicely made bock. A beer in a style I usually do not like, made by a brewer that usually does not impress. Well played. williamherbert (1544) - Syracuse, New York, USA - SEP 18, 2009
Pours a big foamy head. Deep cherry red color, like a dark blush wine or a winter ale. Hazy. Nice to look at.
Smell is slightly sweet malt. Has a hint of caramel. Has a subtle roasted nuttyness. Minor hint of cherry. Darkly sweet, with a minor smoky aroma.
The taste is nutty roasted malt, like a brown ale. Has a lagery tartness as well, with a dry aftertaste. The nutty malt is dominant, for sure. Dry yeast at the end with a hint of caramel. Solid flavor.
Has a lagery wateryness to the feel. It thickens as it warms, but still watery, though smooth. It’s a decent, smooth drinking beer with a hint of roasted nutty malt. Not bad at all. ChadPolenz (1847) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - JAN 6, 2013
You don’t tend to think of winter seasonals as refreshing beers, but Saranac Black Bear Bock is one of those rare exceptions. While the palate is rather simple and direct there’s a definite refreshing quality to it that I don’t experience that often in the winter and certainly not in beers brewed for the colder months.
I poured a 12oz bottle into a Saranac shaker glass.
Appearance: Amber/copper color; crystal clear with carbonation visible; forms an average sized, ivory colored, foamy head which retains and laces surprisingly well.
Smell: Mild sweetness with hints of candy and flowers, but otherwise a rather muted nose.
Taste: There actually isn’t a whole lot going on with Saranac Black Bear Bock, but what’s here is pretty decent. Since it’s a bock it’s a heavier, darker, and maltier lager than usual. There’s a gentle sweetness to the palate that’s similar to that of an Oktoberfest, but more Americanized. I get notes of caramel and toffee up front, followed by a mild dry bitterness through the mild and a bit of floral/citrus flavors on the back end. I’m genuinely impressed that this beer doesn’t have the usual "generic lager" qualities to it that so many other beers of this general type tend to have. There’s no obvious "lager" taste to it, nor anything that makes it seem cheap (though there’s nothing that makes it seem world class, either). It’s a good beer, but nothing more than that.
Drinkability: If there’s any reason to drink this beer it’s for its quaffability and quenchability (yeah I know those aren’t words). The mouthfeel is thin to medium with distinct lager-like crispness and carbonation. But the aftertaste is almost completely clean and while in the mouth, Saranac Black Bear Bock is surprisingly refreshing. At 6% ABV it’s light on its feet as it does not have the weight or density of something that big. It’d be easy to put back a couple of these back-to-back.