Beer Profile: Saranac’s Varick Street Breakfast Stout

Profiled by Ken Carman

For a slightly wood aged-like, imperial sweet stout I can’t imagine better. I got a 4 pack for judging Old Forge BIG Beer and Odd Ale Competition. It took me a few weeks before I could open one, but this is the kind of brew that can wait. By the way fellow Certified BJCP judge and my marital superior: Millie Carman, agrees.

The nose is lactose-like, milk and dark chocolate-like, mix. Just a hint of roasted barley sense way in the background. No hops sensed in aroma. Sweet sense tingles my nostrils; demanding I drink.

Black as hell, no light shines through. The head is dark tan, closing in on light brown. Pillow and Guinness-like in nature it goes from real big to small, but lingers. It coats the glass like it loves being there and hates to leave.

But the taste is where it’s at: intense malt profile. It finishes sweet, as expected. Slightest bitter, even though 50 IBUs. With this malt bill and sweet: not surprising. The sweet just doesn’t want to leave and dark caramel candy sense follows behind that. What hop sense there is is bitter, maybe with a whisper of herbal. Too little to assess what herb. Pale, caramel, hint black malts and hint roasted barley sense provides a BIG malt kick.

Carbonation light, but just right. Malt dominates in mouth feel too. This is so enticing to the palate as well: reminds me of a dark, brown sugar-ish sticky bun. That’s in mouthfeel too.

If they don’t brew this again may the spirit of craft beer haunt Saranac brewers and Fred Matt, their boss. INCREDIBLE. Highest rating I’ve ever given in my reviews.

untappd 4.02
BA 4.3
RB 3 (What’s WRONG with you, Ratebeer? OH, THAT’S RIGHT! No wonder. Bud driven ratings.



Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”


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