RATINGS: 75   WEIGHTED AVG: 2.96/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 180   ABV: 6%
Saranac Chocolate Lager is a sinfully delicious deep amber lager made with certified organic cacao from Belize. Our brewers looked far and wide for the highest quality cacao to create a smooth chocolaty taste that only comes from the most exclusive cacao plants. We used the roasted seeds of these decadent plants and perfectly paired them with caramel malt and German Hallertau hops to create a malty chocolate sweet flavor. You’ll love savoring this beer with your favorite holiday foods or on its own for a delicious treat!

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gsmitty80 (2130) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 19, 2011
This is a pretty crisp chocolate lager. Not too much sweet taste just a normal dark roast taste.

LetsGoState (914) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 18, 2011
Aroma is a sweet chocolate. Taste is chocolate malt with a slight alcohol taste. Overall pretty drinkable.

Ron (4291) - Rochester, New York, USA - DEC 16, 2011
It was a tan like translucent pour with a small white head. Slightly sweet aroma. Flavor had some coco upfront and continued thru to the end, but very thin body. It was nice of Saranac to try something new. OK for the macro market.

Scrapersnbeer (1532) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 15, 2011
Saranac’s Beers of Winter #4. Looks like new one for this season and I don’t care for it as much as the Black Forest it replaces in the mix pack. Mild chocolate and malt aromas. It looks excellent like a heavy IPA The distinctly chocolate taste is good but feels out of place paired with a typical lager. I do find that it compliments a vanilla shortbread cookie very well. Decent enough beer, but I wouldn’t order two in a row.

freekyp (2482) - Thomasville, North Carolina, USA - DEC 11, 2011
UPDATED: NOV 2, 2012 A fine dark amber lager with a fluffy beige head. Aroma shows caramel malt, a bit of noble twang, and some cocoa powder. Balanced and lightly sweet with a dry cocoa finish. Sort of like a tootsie roll with a noble twang component. What a pairing with a Mexican mole sauce.

TheGB (579) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - DEC 3, 2011
Pours a dark amber with a thin head. Slight aroma of malt. Light to medium bodied with light taste of chocolate, malt and yeast. Not bad, just light taste.

johnnnniee (4459) - Bedford, New Hampshire, USA - NOV 25, 2011
Pours a deep copper color with a stingy white head minimal retention and lace. Smells of caramel, butterscotch, Hershey’s chocolate syrup, light bit of roasted grains with little to no hop presence. Taste is sweet with chocolate, vanilla, caramel, hints of coffee. There’s barely any lupulin to be found in this brew and the sweetness builds because of it. Medium body and carbonation level with a creamy syrupy mouthfeel. Sweetness aside this is not a bad brew. The label claims they use cacao nibs in this, I was thinking it taste more like chocolate extract myself. I’ll bet this would be good over ice cream.

beerbill (3619) - Laurel, New York, USA - NOV 24, 2011
12 oz. bottle. Pours a lightly hazed amber with a thin-moderate tan head that lasted through the first two sips and left little lace. Mild aroma of chocolate with just a hint of malt. The flavor is more chocolate than anything else along with some weak malt. The chocolate lingers into the finish along with a slight metallic twang. Light-medium bodied. Not something I’d look to drink on a regular basis.

jb (3480) - Rochester, New York, USA - NOV 21, 2011
Clear dark orange/brown. Thick big bubble head with thick frothy retention. Tea and brown sugar in the nose. Creamy mouthfeel, chocolaty , with an aftertaste I didn’t care for. Decent beer though.

ChadPolenz (1847) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - NOV 21, 2011
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, there’s little chocolate to be found in the nose. It’s 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 that’s certainly possible, but I’ve yet to find a truly chocolate lager and Saranac’s offering is no different. However, that’s not to say it fails as a chocolate beer, but that it’s 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). It’s a clean, mild, lightly sweet palate with little bitterness. The chocolate flavor comes as a quick burst immediately after you swallow. It’s not high-end gourmet chocolate, but rather something more everyday like the taste of a candy bar or cookie. It’s a pleasant surprise every time, but it’s not very robust. But at least it’s 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. It’s not quite sweet enough to work as a dessert beer, though. Mostly it’s a treat for the lager drinker.

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