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Saranac Big Moose Ale - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Big Moose AleSaranac Big Moose Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

455 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 455
Reviews: 206
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 15.47%
Wants: 2
Gots: 24 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-07-2009

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 455 | Reviews: 206
Reviews by sdj5:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

Photo of lordofthewiens
2.81/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

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.

Photo of Jason
3.61/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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.

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.

Photo of far333
3.37/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.45/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Photo of Brenden
3.83/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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.

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.

Photo of caddybuyer
3.23/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Photo of dacrza1
3.71/5  rDev +6.3%
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...

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Photo of asabreed
3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith 12 oz. nonic.

Appearance: Lighter yellow with some copper involved in the mix. Decent drops on the glass and carbonation floating to the top of the glass. The head doesn't want to seem to dissipate either.

Smell: Grassy notes, some citrus, some spiny hop punch (though subtle), and some lemon zest. Bright and balanced, though it's not as up front as it maybe should be, if that makes sense.

Taste: The grassy, herbal, and citrus notes are at the forefront here, with lingering lemon zest, mild fruit esters, and a good rind-flavored earthiness that comes through, commingling nicely with the rest of the flavors.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp for the style, certainly, again, for more summer than winter.

Drinkability: This is another brew from Saranac I like a lot. Is it full-bodied? Not necessarily. But it has enough flavor to almost be considered a light pale ale with full flavor, and that seems to be almost how they should market it. Light enough to session, with enough flavor to keep me going back, if it's available in the summer that is.

Photo of tdm168
3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark copper with a mountain of off-white, dense, foamy head that has great retention. There are noticeable carbonation bubbles rising to the top. The nose has very mild bready notes but a big bouquet of floral aromas. The taste is lightly malty up front followed by a floral, piny bitterness. The hops are a little confusing as they contradict each other on the palate. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a little heavily carbonated.

This is a decent APA from Saranac. It's nothing to rave about, but it's hop character is strong enough to make it rival their IPA.

Photo of mempath
3.98/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a golden brown-amber with super sticky lacing and a huge head that settled moderately slow. nice.

smells of sticky, hop oils...not overpowering or strong, but right upfront. expected grapefruity nose.

a nice hop blast immediately that also immediately dissipates to leave a microsecond of hop bitterness (needs to last longer!) and...then nothing. i mean, this is 'clean' but is that good? sure, it is tasty, but the mouthfeel doesn't seem to allow time for reflection and lip-smacking. maybe my tongue is off this (late) morning! very drinkable and sessionable for sure, but maybe a good beginners' APA so they won't get scared off when the hop pinches them slightly for half a second...maybe they'll be intrigued to step up to something that slaps then a few more moments. this is too quick. too clean. there's good and not so good in that.

edit: another try at another time of the day reveals a more lasting finish and somewhat hoppier blast. still light. i changed the taste from 3.5 to 4.0 (GOOD)...it's still clean and quick, but a bit more snappy.

Photo of bobquick
4.44/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Great, less expensive representation of an American Pale Ale. Piney, not too hoppy, and heavy enough to "feel" like a craft brew, but drinkable enough that having more than one at a sitting won't weigh you down. If Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is the bar for this style, then Saranac comes real close.

Photo of tempest
3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a pint for $4.50 at Volpe's in Emmaus. I thought the malt was a little thin, but there was a very pleasant, crisp American hops character. A little spicy and piney, but mostly grapefruit and citrus that started in the nose and carried through the finish. If the ABV were a touch lower, this would be a fantastic session beer.

Photo of russpowell
3.36/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent honey color with 2 fingers of pearl white head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Floral & citrus hops & a touch of biscuitty malt that fades over time

T: Follows the nose, plus some leafy hops up front. Leafy & herbal hops bitterness dominates as this warms along with a bit of dryness & a hint of pear. Finishes with flinty dryness, a hint of lemony hops & a touch of grapefruit at the very end

MF: Light bodied with moderate carbonation, pretty good balance

Drinks fairly easy, this could pass as an English IPA IMO, not great, but not too shabby

Photo of zimm421
3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Appears a light amber color with frothy tan head. Some decent lacing.

Nose is slightly sweet with citrus notes as well. Not a while lot going on, but nothing off-putting. Taste starts out with some caramel and nice malts, and is finished off with the citrus and some spices.

Mouthfeel is pretty light with low carbonation. Too light for my expectations... Overall, a good brew. Not a great APA, but it its enjoyable and goes down well on a cool day.

Photo of Gmann
3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with a tight off-white head that settles into a light cap. The aroma is of a bready caramel malt and a light floral hop; a touch of metal. The taste is of the caramel malt, which has a nice fruity flavor, along with some lemon. There is a noticable hop presence which is grassy and bitter. Definitely more flavorful than their normal APA. The beer has a light to moderate body with nice carbonation; finishes with a slight asprin like bitterness. A very solid APA, one of their better beers. The asprin hop characteristic diminishes the drinkability for me a bit but it might suit others well.

Photo of Kinsman
3.41/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A: Light copper color with a thin white head.

S: Some sweet notes from the malt, but the most noticeable aroma is the floral scent of the hops. Nothing too crazy here, but thats why this is a Pale Ale and not an IPA.

T: Nothing special about this but it isn't bad either. A malt is hardly noticeable; seems to provide more body than anything else. A bit citrusy and a bit estery. Hops provide a nice bitterness at finish.

M: Good use of malts on this one to provide a decent body. Carbonation is just right too.

D: Can't really go wrong with this one as part of the "12 beers of Winter" mix pack. Overall a very drinkable pale ale that I would consider as a basic go to beer if it were available outside the mix pack

Photo of morimech
3.32/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with one inch of white head that had good retention. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass. The aroma was a bit of a turn-off. Smelled like a combination of dish soap and aquarium. Not pleasant. Despite that this comes through with some nice flavor. Sweet malt is nicely balanced by citrus and grassy hops. Bitterness is moderate. Medium body and nicely carbonated. Nice soft texture. I found this a nice drinker with hop flavor and bitterness without being over-the-top with hops and ABV.

Photo of Treyliff
3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright copper color with lots of lively bubbles abd a small fizy white head good retention and a bit if lace.
Smells of sharp citrus hops, tangerine; also of sweet, bready malts.
Taste is well balanced. Crisp from the get-go, a but malty up front and a citrus hop kick that lingers on the back end. The hops make a presence known, but they do not overpower the sweetness from the malts.
Mouthfeel is slick and moderate carbonation, finishes slightly fizzy.
A refreshing beer! Definitely one of the tastier Amarican Pale Ales that I've tried.

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Saranac Big Moose Ale from Matt Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 455 ratings.