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Sugar Moon Maple Ale - Garrison Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sugar Moon Maple AleSugar Moon Maple Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

35 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 35
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 20.78%
Wants: 1
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Garrison Brewing Company visit their website
Nova Scotia, Canada

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
Truly Canadian Ale brewed with Nova Scotia maple syrup from "Sugar Moon Farms" (www.sugarmoon.ca). The term was originally coined by Native Americans for the sugaring season, and this is definitely a brew to be enjoyed under a cold sugar moon!

21 IBU

(Beer added by: Seanstoppable on 04-13-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by mmurphy525:
Photo of mmurphy525
3.25/5  rDev -10%

mmurphy525, Apr 19, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, 6.3% ABV. Can't say I'm familiar with the concept of a "Sugar Moon".

This beer pours a clear, dark golden amber hue, with two fingers of thin foamy pale beige head, which shows decent retention, eventually leaving a low rise of paint splotch lace around the glass. Wow, this smells good - even from a fair distance away - fragrant, not overly sweet maple syrup veritable. Underneath that bit of Canadian manna, I also get a bit of understandably overlooked biscuity grain and bitter weedy hops. The taste is more subdued on the guest ingredient front - the maple falling back to a supporting position, mostly through its less obvious earthy, woody essence, letting the sourdough breadiness and nutty, oily bitterness of the base beer edge back to center stage. The carbonation is on the low side, the body medium weight, and decently smooth. It finishes with an echo of the sweet malt and maple syrup, the focus is more of a dry floral, nutty nature.

Kudos to Garrison for making this smell at first contact like a Timmie's Maple Cream doughnut, and following up with a nice complementary balanced amber ale. As I've said before, Maple influenced ales are Canada's claim to a new beer style.

biboergosum, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of joemcgrath27
3.4/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - a syrupy brown, tall tan head dissipated slowly
S - super sweet maple and brown sugar dominate, very subtle hop freshness
T - the maple is there, but it is quickly taken over by soapy and metallic notes, still sugary sweet, oily hop note, but the flavour is a bit of a turn from the nose
M - medium carbonation, sticky mouth coating with a slight chemical oily hint
O - started off with a bang but ended on a little down note, its a good enough brew, but it could be a case of the feature ingredient taking away from the fact that it is a beer

joemcgrath27, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of ChrisCage
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours with a syrupy tan colored head that is dense, but not super thick....settles to a bubbling yet puffy looking film. The color of the brew is a clear bronze, with reddish hues. The carbonation appears to be fine, with lots of small columns rising to the top. Lacing is pretty much non existent unfortunately....still a better than average looking beer.

S- Fresh maple syrup, and lots of it. It literally smells like how maple syrup smells after soaking into warm pancakes. I'm guessing that there is some malt aroma mixed in here and perhaps some hops but it's really hard to detect....perfect aroma for what Garrison is going for here!

T- More of the same here, but more balanced and more complex. There are flavors of maple, of course, but also malt, brown sugar, and caramel/toffee. It's sweet, but then towards the finish, bittering hops completely balance out the flavors, with a 360 degree spin, similar to an american amber ale, imo. Great flavors and great changes in flavors too!

M- The body is maybe a little lighter than I'd like it to be considering the richness of the beer itself. Carbonation is fine, just how it should be I think, as the character of the brew really doesn't need to work hard to make itself known on the palate.

D- Really great dessert beer, and I could handle probably a couple of bottles/pints before being saturated with satisfaction. On it's own, without food, one bottle would suffice...I really like what the brewery has done here and look forward to getting more of this before it's gone and have to wait another year.

ChrisCage, May 06, 2011
Photo of Rutager
3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a clear, deep red-amber with two fingers of thick and sticky looking, off white head. Lasts a while and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell. Maple!! Lots of sweet maple. Some sweet caramel and maybe a hint of herby hops.

Taste. Sweet caramel and woody maple. Sweetness seems just right. Some grassy hops in the end.

Mouthfeel. Medium body, stronger than medium, super-smooth carbonation.

Overall. Good maple beer. Maybe a little too much maple, but what the hell ...I'm Canadian.

Rutager, May 04, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a medium amber color ale with a large foamy head with average retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of light maple syrup with a nice medium caramel malt base. Taste is a nice enough mix between some maple notes with balanced sweetness and a standard caramel malt backbone. Body is about average with OK carbonation. Nothing necessarily special about this one but still better then most maple based beers out there.

Phyl21ca, May 20, 2011
Photo of DreamDeath
3/5  rDev -16.9%

DreamDeath, May 18, 2014
Photo of ludachris
3.93/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear mahogany red with one finger of whispy off white head that quickly dissipates leaving only dots of lace.

Sweet and sticky maple syrup, graham cracker, bready malts, and a touch of grassy hops make up the nose. Sweet and very inviting; like maple cookies in liquid form.

It almost seems contradictory, but the syrupy notes of maple are quite clean and present from start to finish. Light grassy hops come in the middle, evening out the sweetness. As the hops begin to fall off, notes of graham cracker come in, imparting a semi-chewy finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit filmy at times. It could use a bit of bulking up, but the balance of it all makes up for it.

Another solid seasonal from Garrison. The sweetness of the maple is perfectly worked making it easily quaffable rather than harshly cloying. I'd say this one is definitely worth a try, especially if you're in the area.

ludachris, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of mrmanning
2.05/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

500 ml bottle from private order- Murky brown, pours a billowing off white cap. Nose of burnt sugar, earthy malts, odd... wet leaves, aluminum pretty much take over. Somewhat sweet maple and caramel malts up front, but that is taken over by an offputting sour flavour followed by a metallic twang that does not go away. Medium body, slightly creamy. Unappealing metallic finish with sour maple. I don't like this at all.

mrmanning, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of BigBry
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried a sampled at Calgary Beerfest, everyone really liked it, so had to track down a bottle.
Pours a nice, shiny brown color with a tan colored head. Foam is thick and dense, shrinks down to a short floating cap, chunky lace.
The smell is what catches you right off the top, sweet, fresh maple syrup. No other aromas really coming through, but the maple is great.
Taste has more of the sweet maple syrup. At first you might expect it to be overly sweet, but there is very nice balance between the malt base, hop bitterness, and the sugar sweetness.
There is a complex layer of flavors, especially when it starts to warm up. Maple, brown sugar, caramel. Sweet to start, hop bitterness at the end balance everything out.
The body is on the lighter side, which helps it from becoming too sticky or cloying. Carbonation level works for the beer/style.
Would make a good after dinner drink, or with a dessert. A good one for friends who don't like "beer" and whose only experience is with main streem lagers.

This stays on my list of beers to look out for, buy it when you see it.

BigBry, Apr 15, 2012
Photo of grub
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another bottle from Viggo. thanks eric!

500ml bottle. sampled sept 6/09.

pours deep reddish orange with a small dense tan head. the head seems to last forever and leaves some spotty lace.

aroma is insanely mapley. even from a couple of feet away it is all i can smell. maple syrup on a stack of pancakes. pecan and almond character too. white bread. bit of cracker. alcohol.

taste is good. again, lots of maple syrup but without being overly sweet. bit of pecan, but less nutty than in the aroma. pancakes. white bread. bit of smoke. earthy medium-low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. medium body. just over medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. restrained sweetness and the bit of nutty character keeps it interesting and balanced and holds everything together well. one of the nicest maple beers i've had, and although i'm not generally a huge fan this one was quite good.

grub, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of krome
4.5/5  rDev +24.7%

krome, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of Long813
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From: Premier Wine & Spirits

A: Clear rugby red body with three fingers of off white head. Decent retention which dissipates into a thin ring ans leaves no lacing.

S: You can smell maple from three feet away - it's that strong. Besides that, some breadiness gives it a fuller body

T: I find the taste of maple to be weaker than the aroma, but still quite evident. Some bready characters in there and low bitterness. I feel it could use some more flavours

M: Medium-light bodied with medium carbonation. Very sticky maple aftertaste and lasts for a long time. No alcohol notes.

D: Not bad, but I think it would be better with maple added into another style of beer rather than the style revolving around it. The maple gets boring, but for what it is, it's not bad.

Long813, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of lgmol
3/5  rDev -16.9%

lgmol, May 27, 2013
Photo of sdm9465
4/5  rDev +10.8%

sdm9465, May 20, 2013
Photo of Jeffry-Mazerolle
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Jeffry-Mazerolle, Feb 27, 2014
Photo of Viggo
4.3/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, sent my way by Bobbyok.

Pours a hazy and chunky reddish amber, almost brown, thick off white head forms, drops to a decent layer, no real lacing on the glass. Smell is crazy, tons of maple, icing sugar, cereal, caramel, toasted wheat, very malty, light bit of citrus kick, really neat. Taste is similar, insane maple, but in a real maple sort of way, tastes authentic, maple sugar, almost tastes like a waffle with syrup, some citrus, pecans, biscuits, vanilla, more maple, really cool. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. I really enjoyed this one, the maple character is kickass. Thanks Bobby!

Viggo, Sep 09, 2009
Photo of bcrocker
4.5/5  rDev +24.7%

bcrocker, Oct 06, 2012
Photo of andrenaline
3.33/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a nice caramel colour, thin layer of beige soapy head with little retention, no real lacing, very little visible body carbonation.

S - Super sweet with the maple taking a strong presence. Literally, its tough to detect anything other than maple syrop.

T - Quite different from the nose, some bitter earthy hops come off the top and are almost a bit sour rather than bitter. The maple flavour does linger on the tongue alongside some caramel and a bit of coffee.

M - This one is definitely in need of a carbonation lift as it comes across way too thin and watery for my liking.

O - Overall, a unique maple ale though not the best Canadian made maple ale. Worth a try but don't get your hopes up.

andrenaline, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of notdan
3.05/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Received this form Seanstoppable in CanBIF5, thanks man!

The original pour for this beer was really nice. Really pretty amber colour with a decent fluffy head. The head dissipated really quickly though. The smell was pretty much all maple, but that also died with the head for the most part. The taste had a decent but not overpowering maple kick and some caramel in there too. That part was all well and good, and I did not find the beer too sweet, mostly because there was this lemon tea tangy-ness to it, which was not all bad, just unexpected. It reminded me a bit of having a Beaver Tail (this fried Canadian pastry they serve on the Rideau canal in Ottawa) with lemon on it. I thought the mouthfeel was quite good; right amount of carbonation and not too heavy or syrupy. Drinkability isn't bad, but the alcohol comes through a bit more than it should for 6.0 ABV.

Overall, I'm glad I got to try this beer and would have it again if offered, but will not likely make any large attempt to seek it out in the future.

notdan, May 14, 2009
Photo of wordemupg
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into pint glass june3 2010

A clear reddish amber with a crap load of bubbles of all sizes and speeds feeding a light tan head that has pretty good retention but leaves no lace

S the maple is pretty strong and I pick up on a little caramel

T not too sweet and the maple mellows out a bit, its a little nutty and has a decent amount of malt to go along with a little rye bread

M big carbonation gives it a creamy feel and it's a little sticky

D I wouldn't say 6.3%alc is overly strong but without reading the label I would never had guessed it was that strong. I would have given it 4.5 but I couldn't see myself drinking these back too back, one works quite well though

this is a straight across the board good beer, not lacking in any areas, worth trying without doubt if you get the chance
thanks to Long813 for sending this one my way

wordemupg, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of pootz
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


Poured a dark amber ale in the glass. 2 finger tan cap, fair lace.

Aroma is nice Not too overstated but the maple is present but compliments the malts -. like maple cereal.

Big malt spine, moderate maple flavor mixes with the herbal-woodiness of the Spalter hops. Long wet finish, a tad sweet but not offensive.

One of the better put together maple beers I've had, innovative use of Spalters.

pootz, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
3.25/5  rDev -10%

Ivanhoes_Backpack, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of BDTyre
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

6.3% according to the label. By far the best maple beer I've ever had. Lovely copper with a nice white head. Definite maple syrup scent. Maple sugar candies, caramel and brown sugar in the nose. Strong maple syrup flavour with a noticeable sourness from the hops. That said the maple flavour itself is much sweeter than other maple beers and the hops work with it, not against it like in so many other maple beers of head. I think this could do with a bit less carbonation, but otherwise a great brew.

BDTyre, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of Kremlock
4.26/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Ruby in colour with hues of red. Pours a 1/4 inch head that quickly collapses to a thin film. Clear with no particles.

S: Holy maple. There are hints of maltyness, bread and lots of maple. Sort of pancakes or french toast.

T: A lot more malt character coming through. Bread/biscuit, grain, caramel and of course some lighter maple then in the smell. Some bitterness balances well the sweet flavours of the beer.

M: Well carbonated, clean palate. Not too sweet that it stays in the back. Clean dry finish.

O: Highly impressed with this beer as there is a great deal of balance with the grain, bitterness and sweetness. Not what you'd expect with the word "maple" in it.

Kremlock, Mar 19, 2013
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Sugar Moon Maple Ale from Garrison Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.