Dec 12, 2006

Saranac Variety Pack: 12 Beers of Christmas

Generally, I really enjoy variety packs like this. It offers me a chance to try something that I wouldn’t ordinarily be able to find as a stand alone product. I’m a fan of several of Saranac’s beers, though only a few of them showed up in the holiday pack. Of the remaining beers in the box, their styles ranged from a Caramel Porter to a Rauchbier. While I didn’t particularly enjoy all of them, there were a couple of standouts that I did.

Mocha Stout

I can’t say that I’ve ever had anything “mocha” other than a porter, so this one intrigued me right away.

Appearance: Poured a dark brown with garnet hues and small toffee colored head.

Aroma: Strong coffee and chocolate.

Taste: I probably chilled this one a bit too much as most of the flavor came out as it warmed. There is the obvious coffee and chocolate tones, but there is also a bit of nuttiness to it. The carbonation is on the low end and the beer was a bit thin.

Overall: I would have to say that this was the best of the new beers that I had not previously had. I enjoyed the taste and aroma, but it could have been a bit thicker.


Appearance: Poured a translucent brown/copper with a light head.

Aroma: I didn’t get much from the aroma — slight sweetness.

Taste: The slight sweetness was more evident in the taste than it was in the aroma. Roasted flavor is also present.

Overall: I wanted another of these later in the evening, but since the variety pack has only one of each beer, I was left wanting. I must look for this one in the future.

Variety Pack Verdict

Overall, the contents of the variety pack was average. Many of the beers I could have gotten in their individual packaging, but for those that I had never seen before, only a couple of them really stood out in my mind. There were also those that I would add to my list of beers not to spend money on in the future, but they were few in number. Would I pick this one up again? Only if I really had a hankering for that stout or bock.