1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Saranac Big Moose Ale - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Big Moose AleSaranac Big Moose Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

448 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 448
Reviews: 206
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 15.76%
Wants: 2
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Saranac Big Moose Ale is an American Pale Ale with a kick. The medium-bodied malt sweetness is balanced by a nice crisp bitterness from hand selected centennial and cascade hops. Look for a vibrant citrusy hop aroma that will leave you craving another swig!

13.5 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-07-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 448 | Reviews: 206 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by DrinkingDrake:
Photo of DrinkingDrake
2.5/5  rDev -28.4%

DrinkingDrake, Jan 15, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.9/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of the Saranac Twelve Beers of Christmas I picked up today.Poured into a standard pint glass a clear medium golden with a tight formed one finger white head that rstuck around for quite a while leaving one big ring of lace as it creeped slowly down the glass.A mix of caramel malt,biscuit,and floral hop,an annoying metallic-like aromas shows through as well.Pretty nice balance on the palate,a mix of toasty/graininess and lightly sweet caramel malt,a healthy dose of citric hop comes through in a long finish.Matt did a fine job on this Saranac offering,its extremely balanced and a good quaffer.

oberon, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of lordofthewiens
2.83/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From the beers of winter 12 pack.
Copper colored. Thin tan head. Tiny bit of lace.
Very weak aroma. Vaguely sweet with a hint of citrus.
White bread taste, a little bit of grapefruit.
Medium-bodied.
This beer just didn't do it for me. Really weak aroma, with only minimal improvement in the taste.

lordofthewiens, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of BK2084
4.25/5  rDev +21.8%

BK2084, Aug 25, 2012
Photo of generallee
4.13/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into pint glass. There is no freshness date on the bottle but it did come in the new 2009 winter pack so I have a good idea of how fresh it is.

Appearance: The body has a beautiful clear amber body with some slow moving carbonation. On top sits a tight thick and creamy light tan head. The head has good retention and cling which makes lots of cool lacing on the glass.

Smell: Its nose has a pleasant lemony citrus note coming through with some pale malty sweetness under that.

Taste/Palate: Bright citrus hops flash across the palate up front. Just after that nice bready and sweet malty notes sneak in before the hop bitterness and dry yeast flavor sweeps over and fades into the finish. The body has a nice medium body with lively balanced carbonation.

Notes: This is a very well made and enjoyable pale ale with very good balance and bright flavors. It is simple, very refreshing and highly drinkable.

generallee, Oct 28, 2009
Photo of Jason
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Pours a pale copper color, good clarity with a sea foam stick head on top. Smells of citirc herbal hop with a caramel / taffy maltiness. Crispness fleshes out the medium body a bit. Light maltiness goes a little sweet but more toasted bread and biscuit. Hops are here, bitterness plateaus yet the flavor is pretty broad with herbal, citric, tobacco and grassy flavors. Mild fruitiness / faint alcoholic ester in the middle. Finishes hoppy and semi-dry.

One of their hoppier beers and it seems they did a good job all around, perhaps a bit more on the malt side but it was not lacking much.

Jason, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of Billolick
2.96/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle w/o freshness info of any sort to be had.

Pours caramel and lightly hazed. Very minor head, next to no film/collar/lace.

Meh kinda nose of more caramel smellin' malts...

Herbal tea hops, caramel malts, not loving much about this one.

Not really coming together for me. Bordering on unpleasant to drink.

Billolick, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of tigg924
2.98/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: caramel in color, 1/2 inch head, high carbonation, clear

Smell: citrus hops, floral hops and light toasted malt

Taste: Light restrained grapefruit, light bread. The hops are dominant but not strong.

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, medium bodied, slightly bitter

Drinkability: This one matches the style guidelines for the American version fine. It is a slightly bitter APA that wants to feature the hops, but is afraid to let them come all the way out. Not offensive, but rather average. I may have this again in the variety pack, but would not buy a six.

tigg924, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of mjtiernan
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%

mjtiernan, Jun 05, 2012
Photo of Milkysunshine
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

Milkysunshine, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of PretzelsNBeer
3/5  rDev -14%

PretzelsNBeer, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of far333
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Caramel orange colored with a low beige head that settles out quickly. Low aroma of toasted malt and citrusy hops. Flavor of orange rind citrusy hops and well-balanced malt. Hops are front and center though, and continue to evolve as it warms. A piney bitterness lingers. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but carbonation tingles.

far333, Sep 18, 2013
Photo of gunnerlincoln
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

gunnerlincoln, Sep 15, 2014
Photo of williamjbauer
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%

williamjbauer, Jul 01, 2014
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.4/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a glowing copper orange hue with a bright white head, lacing is speckled evenly around the sides of my chalice. Aroma has a nice citrus bitter pith and floral hop accents with clean biscuit malt sweetness. Flavor has a very dominant lemon citrus note to it with bitter green fresh cut pine needles, minimal biscuit malt sweetness makes it through a burst of hop pellets for sure. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a strong sturdy flow of carbonation, bittering hops are all that are left on the slightly slick mouthfeel. Drinkability is decent as part of a sampler but one sided hop pellet bitterness leaves more to be desired in a session style American Pale Ale.

WVbeergeek, Nov 23, 2009
Photo of BrianCuoz
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

BrianCuoz, Mar 08, 2013
Photo of Fuzzycuffs
2.5/5  rDev -28.4%

Fuzzycuffs, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of Brenden
3.8/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one is a nearly clear, shiny amber-copper with gold highlights. A nice continuous bubbling and cascade effect form a creamy, dense eggshell white head. It's not all that tall, but when it settles to about half a finger in height, it never fades beyond that. This head has some stick as well, as it unlooses the head in sheets but is continuously rebuilt as it descends.
Saranac usually has a good balance, even if their beers tend to be a bit light. This beer does have the balance in the aroma but isn't light. Citrus and floral hops balance nicely with caramel malts. It's not complex, but it makes for a very nice APA and isn't one-dimensional, either.
The flavor changes a touch as what's noted in the aroma makes for the general taste, but a bit of graininess pulls out as well. Sometimes tobacco can be difficult to distinguish in a bigger beer or hard to put a finger on. This is the beer I'd suggest for anyone wanting to really what what it means to taste a tobacco note in a beer, as it comes out quite strongly.
The body is medium, and the play between crisp and smooth works well while operating with a relatively low carbonation that remains to keep the feel lively.

Brenden, Nov 11, 2011
Photo of CloudStrife
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours a clear golden with a 1.5 finger white head. Not much visible carbonation at all. Leaves some nice lacing, Head remains as a 1/8" film.

S: Grassy hay like aroma, some musty malts in the background. Seems almost to smell more of malt than hop.

T: Odd mix here, real bitter from the hop but yet it almost seems malt forward. Leaves a bitter aftertaste I am not too fond of.

M: Medium body, average carbonation. Sort of a sticky mouthfeel. Not something i would want to drink all night.

Overall not their best seasonal. I guess its hoppy yet seasonably malty. Always lingers in the fridge after others are drank.

CloudStrife, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of gregb13
4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a very fine example of the style; no particular aspect of this beer is spectacular, but the sum of its parts is excellent. You get some citrus rind in the aroma along with some hop earthiness. The taste follows the nose nicely. Mouthfeel is medium; nice carbonation, effervescent. Extremely sessionable.

gregb13, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of Mtooman
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Mtooman, Dec 24, 2012
Photo of caddybuyer
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A-filtered clarity. Medium copper whth a foamy tan head that settles rapidly.

S-Little to speak of. Sweet malts and grain. A hint of lemon.

T-Lemon and grains carry forward into the taste. Mostly malt with no hops present. Decent, and unremarkable.

M-Medium thing, average carbonation

D-One reviewer once called Saranac the comfort food of beer. I cannot agree more. I like their take on style....they just should use twice the ingredients....otherwise...simply average.

caddybuyer, Aug 10, 2010
Photo of ixnay21
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%

ixnay21, Apr 03, 2012
Photo of dacrza1
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Occasion: unwinding from aLong Island QB tourney...
Glassware: K's Tavern pint...
Appearance: monstrous white head that pillows a third of the glass; a semi-opaque tan body that presents suitably...
Palate: mellow, almost medium-bodied mouthfeel that belies its hop wallop; warms the mouth with a late burst...
Taste: crisp, fresh pine that pricks at the teeth and a malty finish that holds the beer in place--nice!
Overall: this beer works by combining a sensible balance and some stronger elements distinct to the genre...enjoyable...

dacrza1, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saranac- Big Moose Ale

A- Clear golden brown with a huge thick chunky lacing head.
S- Sweet pine and citrus hops with sweet caramel malt.
T- A nice balance of sweet caramel malt and a citrusy, Amarillo perhaps, hoppiness. Light touch of lemon and dry grass.
M- Sweet malt with a sugary citrusy bitter hop body and a dry thick malty finish.

Overall- Solid Pale Ale. Tasty and easily drinkable. A nice addition to the Winter variety pack.

NJpadreFan, Nov 12, 2009
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Saranac Big Moose Ale from Matt Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 448 ratings.