Matt Brewing Company, producers of the now well known Saranac line has produced many beers over the years. Up for review today is Saranac Caramel Porter.
The beer pours a deep caramel color, as if you made caramel at home in a saucepan. Its deep and rich looking for caramel but light if you’re looking forward to a porter. There is a nice light khaki head that is produced that stood about a finger and a half tall. There is a sweet aroma emanating from the brew. It definitely has caramel notes but there is something else there, almost like a manufactured caramel note that is sweeter than the original. There is also a slight undertone of malt on the nose.
Upon first sip you realize it really follows the nose. The caramel notes shine through big time with this brew. However, it feels like the initial caramel flavor is artificial. The sweetness from it is just a little dominating. Oddly, when the malt comes in to play it tastes pretty good. The artificial notes made me want to hate this but my taste buds keep going back for more. I can’t explain it. The sweetness is almost a marshmallow kind of sweetness. It’s the finish that really makes this beer.
The mouthfeel is on the medium side but the carbonation is just right for a porter, enough for you to realize there is carbonation but not enough to distract from the beer.
Overall, I actually liked this beer. The artificial sweetness of it is easily adapted to while at the same time not quite distracting. You are going to need to like beers on the sweeter side in order to appreciate this one. Having this as a dessert beer to cap the night off is a decent idea. I don’t know if I would make this a session beer, though at 5.4% ABV you certainly could if you like sweet beers. This is a beer I would like to enjoy one at a time, maybe two at once at most. It tastes good but it has its limits. Still, I wouldn’t hesitate to order this if I saw it on a menu at a bar or restaurant.