On the docket: Saranac Black Forest Black Beer with a date of 1/25/15. Pretty old, I blame the establishment from which I purchased it, and the fact I didn’t look until I got home. Caveat emptor.
Poured into: Sam Adams perfect pint glass
S: A deep, amber-brown body with violet highlights supports a dense, pockmarked beige head. Tiny bubbles zip to the underbrush of the head’s bottom. Eventually, the head subsides into a clearing, a small ring on top. Lacing is sporadic due to the beer’s age, or a non-beer-clean glass, or both.
A: Clean, with a hint of caramel, a touch of sweetness, and white-bready grain. Subtle hop aroma of earth and a twist of lemon.
T: Smooth clean malt, a dash of roast. Sweet start but drying finish. Reasonably bitter and hoppy, with earth and lemon carrying through from the aroma. There’s something a little off, I just can’t quite tell what. DMS? Am I crazy?
F: Medium-light, persistent, tiny bubbles. Sweet on the start, but chalky and drying on the finish. Crisp, drinkable.
O: Consumed fresh, I’m sure this one is fantastic, as evidenced by “the brothers.” Old, it’s certainly drinkable, but not how the brewer’s intended. It does, however, sport all the hallmarks of a well-made Schwarzbier.
Suggested food pairing: barbecue pulled-pork, fruit tarts, Münster cheese
S: 4 A: 4 T: 4 F: 4.25 O: 4