Jed’s Hard Black Cherry Cream

Today’s selection is an alcopop that Val picked out. I have a feeling that these will be popular for another year or so and then go the way of Zima. I wasn’t old enough to have Zima, but the bottles looked very cool. Needless to say, I don’t have high hopes for this…


ABV: 5.9%

Style: Malt Beverage

Trivia: According to, “Saranac’s Black Cherry Cream recipe is one of the best out there that’s why they used it in Jed’s hard black cherry cream. How could you go wrong with the fresh taste of black cherries and vanilla cream? You can’t.”

Random: I don’t know why Val and I keep watching “The Voice.” After they choose their teams, I lose interest.

This alcopop poured with a quarter finger of pink head that dissipated as soon as I went to take the picture. It didn’t leave any lacing on the glass. The body was a dark red color and clear with a lot of carbonation. The nose was sickeningly sweet with black cherry and sugary sweetness. It reminded me of cough syrup that I used to have as a child, mixed with melted Jolly Ranchers. The taste was much worse than the nose. It was incredibly sweet with artificial black cherry. The same cough syrup note came through, making this almost undrinkable. It also had a note that was like aspartame. The body was thick and cloying with a lot of carbonation. The finish was long with black cherry. A single of this was $1.67 ($.14 per ounce), but even if it was free, I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: .5/5.0

Saranac Hefeweizen

After this review, I’m finally caught up. This could have been one of my most backlogged times in recent memory. Being backlogged is a royal pain in the ass…especially because I’m nervous I’m going to lose my beer notebook and all the reviews. Maybe one day I can go back to updating once a day, or a least a few times a week…

ABV: 5.6%

Style: Hefeweizen

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This traditional style German Wheat beer (pronounced) Hah-fuh-vite-zen) remains unfiltered to preserve it’s natural smooth flavor and aroma. Don’t be alarmed by its cloudy appearance or noticeable sediment. The slight banana and clove aroma comes from the authentic German Hefeweizen yeast. It has a light refreshing finish.”

Random: Hefeweizens are one of the sexiest glasses in the beer world.

This poured with a thick, three finger white head. It dissipated slowly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy golden-yellow with light visible carbonation. I’m used to seeing a bit more carbonation on the style, so I was a bit concerned at this point. The nose was lemony and spicy with clove, coriander and even a touch of cinnamon. I also picked up banana. The taste was like a light hefeweizen…it had all of the characteristics of a hefeweizen, but not nearly as strong as I’m used to in the style. I got banana, spice, and lemon. THe body was medium thickness with light carbonation. The finish was quick with slight spice. Again, another Saranac brew that was just pedestrian. Dial up the carbonation and the flavor on this one and it could be so much better.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Saranac Rye IPA

Funny story time. I once had a girl I dated who said my cat would hate living at my sister’s house. Please see below what he does on New Year’s. For those who are unaware, he gets lobster dipped in butter and clams and then bacon the next day. Spoiled much? I think so.

And before you ask, yes, he does get a seat at the table. The only thing for the show is the martini.


ABV: 5.95%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “An IPA with a wry twist, Saranac Rye IPA is an aggressively hopped brew, sure to take your taste buds on an adventure. We’ve stepped away from the mold of typical IPAs and selected premium rye malt and a unique mix of spicy hops. Look for a crisp, brazen finish.”

Random: The only cat more attached to me than mine is Kate’s. She’s borderline pathetic with how she climbs on me and how she follows me around.

This poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The nose was very floral to the point of almost being perfume-y. There was also some spice that I could only assume was rye. The taste was almost abrasive. It started with a touch of rye and then went completely towards a tartness with flowers that just made this beer completely disjointed. At the end, an unpleasant touch of metal comes as well. The body was medium with generous carbonation. The finish was way too long and tin-y with a mouthful of flowers. As you could tell, I won’t be having this again. The rye does nothing for this beer and it’s overall terrible. Drainpour.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Saranac Session IPA

Football Sunday. It’s unfortunately the last one of the regular season this year. The other thing that I do on football Sunday is update the blog. I have a three-day weekend due to the holiday which is greatly needed too. This is a beer that I had left over from a mixed six-pack.

ABV: 4.7%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We’ve created an easy to drink crisp, hoppy ale that is truly pale in color without sacrificing the hop character you expect in an IPA. To make a delicious ‘sessionable’ beer, we selected citrusy centennial hops and an experimental variety from the Northwest U.S.. Look for this unique hop character balanced by the background nuttiness of Maris Otter malt. Not too filling, not overbearing-just laid back and drinkable!”

Random: I think Andy Reid is getting fired on Monday. I’m hoping we draft a decent quarterback this year too.

This brew poured with a one finger, pure white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the pint glass. The body was a clear, dark yellow with moderate carbonation visible throughout. The nose was lemony with some light grapefruit present as well. A floral scent came through as well. The taste was overwhelmingly lemon, with no grapefruit presence to speak of. There wasn’t a lot of malt present either. I just got lemon. Rather boring actually. The body was thin with moderate carbonation. The finish was long and tart. This beer really didn’t do much for me. It needed less lemon and some other flavor to it. I wouldn’t have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Saranac Kolsch

I’m back. The past few weeks have been fun to say the least. As many of you know, I live in New Jersey and there was this little storm (note sarcasm) that hit Jersey called Sandy. It kept me without power for about 14 days. I’ll go into that in some more detail in the backlogged posts, but it was not a lot of fun. A five-year old and Katie without power is not a great combination. I’m actually on my last day of vacation today in Florida, so I’m hoping to go back to power (we flew out in the Noreaster and still didn’t have power) and no gas rationing. Now, to get through the reviews. This was from a mixed twelve pack that I picked up at Sam’s Club awhile back.

ABV: 5%

Style: Kolsch

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This golden sparkling blond ale was brewed to pay homage to a 1000-year tradition rooted in Cologne, Germany. Clear, crisp and easy to drink, the Kolsch of today is lighter than the ‘House’ beer that was served in Cologne 200 years ago – the city that made Kolsch famous. We hope you’ll enjoy it!”

Random: I tend not to be thrilled with Saranac beers. I actually remember them from when I was a kid and I would see the mixed twelve packs in Costco.

This one poured with a finger’s worth of thick white head. It dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was clear, light orange color with heavy carbonation. The color was a bit odd given the style. The nose had notes of lemon and grain, albeit it was very light. The taste was very light as well. It had lemon, grain and a hint of grass. The body was on the thinner side of kolsch with heavy carbonation. It finish quickly with a dash of lemon. I could definitely see why Saranac put this beer into their Summer twelve pack. It was light, easy drinking and had some decent flavor. With that being said, I’m not a huge fan of the style and I don’t think that it was a standout, but I could throw a few back. If someone hands it to you, try it, but don’t go out of your way for it.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Saranac Blueberry Blonde Ale

On Saturday, Katie and I ventured to the Institute Bar for their fruit beer event. Katie is not really a beer person, but she loves fruit beers, so I picked this event especially for her. She actually found a few beers that she really liked there, plus I think she’s still talking about the brunch that she had there. It was this play on eggs benedict using biscuits and gravy instead of english muffins and hollandaise sauce. So, my first beer there…

ABV: 5%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Saranac Blueberry Blonde Ale is a traidtional blonde ale with a kick of juicy blueberry. You’ll notice a light golden haze from wheat malt and oats and a low hop bitterness, which really shows off the fruit. With a medium-light body and fresh blueberry flavor, we’re sure we’ve captured refreshment in a bottle!”

Random: I really got into beers because of my obsession with fruit beers.

This brew poured with almost no head that dissipated instantly, leaving no lacing on the glass. The body was hazy yellow color with moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The nose was filled with blueberry and wheat but the blueberry notes overwhelmed the more subtle wheat. The taste was borderline awful. It was filled with a fake blueberry taste that was offense. I didn’t get any wheat or any other flavors. It was absolutely horrible. It would have been a drain pour if I was home. The body was too thick and the carbonation was too seltzer-like. The finish was length with crappy blueberry taste (direct quote from my notes). I would never have this again. This was one of the worst fruit beers that I have ever had.

Untappd Rating: 1.0/5.0

Saranac Black and Tan

I was still exhausted from chasing the child last night when I popped this one open. I seriously do not understand how four year olds have so much energy. My parents found it pretty funny though. They kept saying how I used to do this to them. For some reason, I don’t remember that. I think Katie found it funny too. At one point, I was just running back and forth across the lawn with the kid, kicking the soccer ball. At least I got some cardio in. So, this is another beer from the New York six-pack. Saranac has been hit or miss for me, so let’s see how this goes.

ABV: 5.4%

Style: Black and Tan

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Saranac Black & Tan is a judicious melding of our classic Irish-style stout with an all-malt German-style amber lager. The result is a brew that is hearty, pleasantly bitter and full of flavor yet can be enjoyed bottle after bottle. Our unique Black & Tan has multiple flavor notes…you may enjoy counting them. Cheers!”

Random: These have to be some of the most boring labels in craft beer…

This brew poured with a half a finger of cream-colored head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on my pint glass. The body was a clear, dark brown color with lots of active, visible carbonation on it. The nose was mostly roasted malts. I really don’t understand what they were talking about with the “multiple flavor notes,” because I really didn’t get that from the nose. But, the taste started with some very bitter roasted malts that were a bit unpleasant. I didn’t get much else. Well, maybe a little bit of coffee, but that was a bit of a stretch. The body was a bit thin for the style with a lot of carbonation. The finish lingered for awhile with roasted malts with a bit of metal. The beer was okay, noting great. I wouldn’t have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Saranac White IPA

I’m starting get sick. This is never fun. Especially when I have to go to Fire Academy on Saturday. I’m hoping this is a quick thing and it’s out of my system by then, because seriously this is not the time to be sick. Luckily, I can still smell, so I can do a review tonight.

ABV: 6%

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Saranac White IPA is a tasty innovative twist on a traditional IPA. We’ve taken a delicious American IPA bursting with Citra hops, and given it a whole new direction by adding the refreshing fruitiness of orange peel & coriander and the softening characters of wheat malt and oats. You’ll notice the complex hop flavor you’ve come to expect in an IPA, balanced with the extraordinary bright flavor of a wheat beer. Cheers to twisting tradition!”

Random: I have never seen my girlfriend drink a beer. Interesting, isn’t it? Although, she drinks a lot of fruity stuff (like Sex on the Beach). The first time I had to order it for her, I almost cracked up.

This brew poured with a very small white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a very cloudy light orange with lots of visible carbonation. So far, this looked like more of a wheat beer than an IPA. The nose started with pine resin that then transitioned into a bit of citrus. On the taste, this definitely was not what I was expecting. I was expecting a beer with an identity crisis that went between pine and citrus. This didn’t happen. It was definitely more like a pale ale than a wheat ale, with notes of grapefruit and a decent amount of pine resin. The body was on the lighter side with a nice dose of carbonation. The finish was pretty quick. Honestly, I haven’t really had a Saranac brew that I was thrilled about, but this was incredibly refreshing and just hit the spot. I would definitely have this one again. Color me impressed!

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Saranac Black Forest

I ended up going to lunch today with my parents. This isn’t out of the ordinary, as I spend every Sunday having Sunday dinner with my family (it’s a big Italian thing). We ended up at one of the bars that I consistently go to. They have about 20 bottled craft beers and a few on tap. It’s now to the point that I’m running out of beers there to review. I actually have to check my blog to see if I’ve reviewed a beer or not before I order it. It’s mildly depressing. So, onto one beer I haven’t reviewed…

ABV: 5.5%

Style: Schwarzbier

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “The Black Forest is a wooded mountain range in Baden-Württemberg, southwestern Germany. It is bordered by the Rhine valley to the west and south. The highest peak is the Feldberg with an elevation of 1,493 metres (4,898 ft). The region is almost rectangular with a length of 200 km (120 mi) and breadth of 60 km (37 mi). Hence it has an area of approximately 12,000 km2 (4,600 sq mi). The name Schwarzwald, i.e. Black Forest, goes back to the Romans who referred to the thickly forested mountains there as Silva Nigra, i.e. ‘Black Forest,’ because the dense growth of conifers in the forest blocked out most of the light inside the forest.”

Random: This is an absolutely horrible picture, but the lighting in this place is atrocious, so I did the best that I could.

The brew poured with a one finger, off white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, dark brown, almost black color. There was no visible carbonation on the brew due to the color. The nose was very mild, more mild than I’ve ever experienced from a schwarzbier. It had hints of roasted malt and a little it of smoke. The taste had hints of smoke, roasted malts and even a little bit of coffee. Unfortunately, there were no hints of bacon in this brew. The body itself was very thin with moderate carbonation. The roasted malts lasted until the finish, which was very quick. There was no noticeable alcohol on the beer, which makes sense due to the low ABV. Although it seemed like this was a very simplistic brew, I really enjoyed it. I would have this beer again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Saranac Pumpkin Ale

As any of you who read this blog (or occasionally visit it) probably know, I am a huge pumpkin beer fan. Once August starts coming to a close, I start getting the itch for a good pumpkin beer. I have my favorites (DFH Punkin, Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin), but I also like trying new pumpkin offerings. So, I saw this on the shelf of the pick-a-six and grabbed it up.

ABV: 5.4%

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Trivia: According to the Saranac website, “Saranac Pumpkin Ale is brewed with Pumpkin, Cinnamon, Allspice, Cloves, Ginger and Vanilla. Look for a full-body and amber color. We’re sure you’ll enjoy this special brew!”

Random: I always find Saranac’s labels a bit on the boring side. This one is no exception. Luckily, the label is not indicative of what’s in the bottle.

This brew poured with a two finger white head that leaves no lacing. The body is a clear chestnut-brown with moderate visible carbonation. The nose has decent amounts of the expected pumpkin spices like cinnamon and nutmeg and, big shock, pumpkin. The nose is yummy and inviting, like any pumpkin beer should be. The flavor is a bit disappointing. It’s watery and a bit over carbonated. There is a good amount of spice on the beer and there is some pumpkin present, but I would market this as a “pumpkin light” beer. This beer is all nose for me and not a lot of flavor. It just needs a bit more body to it. The finish on the brew is quick and slightly sweet. This beer is just ok for me. I wouldn’t have this again with so many other better pumpkin offerings out there.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0