This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at Saranac Vanilla Stout.
I was very excited when I first saw that Saranac had begun distribution of their 12 Beers of winter. As usual, the box contains six varieties (two bottles of each) of Saranac limited edition brews. This year's variety box included two holdovers from last year - the Rye IPA (reviewed here) and one of my favorites, the Big Moose Ale (reviewed here). Much to my wife's chagrin and despite her lobbying efforts, the 12 beers of winter did not contain the Maple Porter which she has described as equally suited for a brew or to have with ice cream.
The Saranac Vanilla Stout is one of those beers that the good folks at FX Matt produce on a limited basis every couple of years. I believe that the last time that this was produced was winter 08-09.
As classified by the experts at BA, the Vanilla Stout is an American Stout which they explain are :
Inspired from English & Irish Stouts, the American Stout is the ingenuous creation from that. Thankfully with lots of innovation and originality American brewers have taken this style to a new level. Whether it is highly hopping the brew or adding coffee or chocolate to complement the roasted flavors associated with this style. Some are even barrel aged in Bourbon or whiskey barrels. The hop bitterness range is quite wide but most are balanced. Many are just easy drinking session stouts as well.The Saranac Vanilla Stout is not an easy drinking session beer as the brew leans to the heavy side and seems more akin to a chocolate stout than anything else. I did not taste the vanilla in the brew (it is an additive and not hop derived) and although I followed the bottle's exhortation to try with a piece of dark chocolate, I did not find the pairing to my liking.
Bottom line - if you are looking to try out a new stout and are OK with just drinking one or two, give the Saranac Vanilla Stout a shot. Just don't go into this expecting Guinness...
Saranac Vanilla Stout is under the Kosher Supervision of the Va'ad of Detroit, as is every other brew produced by Saranac. To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about Saranac Vanilla Stout, please follow this link http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/99/45428.
As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver.
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