1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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.

440 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 440
Reviews: 206
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 15.76%
Wants: 2
Gots: 14 | 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)
View: Beers (88) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Saranac Big Moose Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 440 | Reviews: 206 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Lukass


4.25/5  rDev +21.8%

01-08-2013 01:03:59 | More by Lukass
Photo of JottaGibboo


4.25/5  rDev +21.8%

08-16-2012 20:15:01 | More by JottaGibboo
Photo of Nathanhlind

4.25/5  rDev +21.8%

04-21-2012 18:59:31 | More by Nathanhlind
Photo of smibroncos

New York

4.22/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Poures a clear dark straw, with a two finger lingering frothy off white head. The head was lasting, and there was good lacing on the glass.

S. Fresh cut grass, pine, hops

T. Grapefruit, pine. Lots of hops.

M. Nice. Good carbonation,medium bodied.

D. A relly great brew, I like this APA. Good ampount of hops, nice bitternes and great flavor.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2009 01:47:07 | More by smibroncos
Photo of DrDemento456


4.2/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a full English pint 16oz of this beer into my Samuel Smith pint glass

A - Very solid inch of foam with a nice golden amber color. Carbonation is pretty nice.

S - Smells moderately grassy. I got some tones of grain but mostly light cracker like malt in the nose. Sweet.

T - Ow wow that pretty good. The hop factor is pretty balanced along with a sweet bread like malt and the grain level is low in the taste which I love also. The finish is rather sweet.

M - Light mouth feel resulted in smooth drinking.

D - I really enjoyed this offering and really would love to try this on tap someday. While some pale ales are hop forward and some filled with grain bitterness this beer is mellow and drinkable. If I ever had a keg I would tap this beer. Great!

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2011 01:20:44 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of TheHopMonster

New York

4.2/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours a very clean copper color. White foam is prevalent but disappears quickly. Fast rising bubbles indicating that the malt does not play a big part in the structure of this brew.


Intense herbs, with grassy citrus notes. Some caramel and sweet malt comes through once the beer warms a bit.


You can really tell this beer was triple dried hopped. The hops play a dominate role in the taste. A lot of citrus up front with some slight malt characteristics making an appearance and then it ends semi dry. You really taste the delicious cascade hop throughout. Satisfying to say the least.


One of their hoppier beers. Saranac did a decent job with this one. Nice spice notes and well rounded hop characteristics.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2011 01:28:58 | More by TheHopMonster
Photo of Stunner97

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- light amber in color see through with good carbonation, thin white head faded to lacing,

Smell- light hops and malts, overall light smell but okay for style

Taste- really nicely balanced flavor of malt and nice balanced hop finish which is very balanced,the flavor of this beer leaves me wanting my next sip and maybe even my next moose

Mouthfeel- light crisp good carbonation

Drinkability/overall- this beer was extremely drinkable with a really nice balance and good flavor, an extremely nice and session able beer and probably the best saranac beer I have tried before

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2011 18:34:32 | More by Stunner97
Photo of Wamesit


4.15/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a light cooper with a thick white foamy head which gives way to heavy lacing.

S - Citrus hops and sweet malts, not exactly caramel but somewhere in there. Perhaps a more mature palate would call it "taffy."

T - This is the a solid APA. The hops are dominant with both citrus and some piney notes. The malts stay sweet but there is a biscuity aspect towards the back. A little alcohol in the finish.

M - Medium. A little chewy. Just what I want out of an APA.

D - Definitely worth a second bottle. A robust and refreshing beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2011 06:06:27 | More by Wamesit
Photo of CaptJackHarkness

New York

4.15/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From the Twelve Beers of Winter Collection :

Pours a bright clear coppery body with small white head. Head has decent retention and light lacing of glass. Aroma is very citrus and hoppy!
Taste follows the nose, citrus/lemon like with a lot of hop bitterness, the malt sweetness is just enough to offset the hops.Finish is slightly slick and oily.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2011 00:10:59 | More by CaptJackHarkness
Photo of generallee

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2009 21:53:42 | More by generallee
Photo of woodychandler


4.13/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle: " Saranac Big Moose Ale is the perfect brew for a cold Adirondack winter night. This full-flavored ale is triple dry-hopped with specialty Citra, Centennial and Cascade hops to give you a vibrant citrusy hop aroma. The bold hop character is balanced by malt sweetness from English Pale and Caramel malts to produce a lusciously crisp flavor. We don't call it 'Big Moose' for nothing!" Now, that's copy!

I got a rocky, foamy finger's worth of ecru head off of the pour with decent retention. Color was a medium-copper/amber with NE-quality clarity, real BUPGOO stuff! Nose was, as some noted, more bread/biscuit than hoppy, but underlain with a lemon/ grapefruit hoppiness. Interesting. Mouthfeel was medium with a definite hops bite on the tongue, more pine than citrus, The bottleneck reads "... from hand selected Centennial and Cascade hops." Aha! Finish was pleasantly bitter and definitely made the big moose welcome back to Chez Wood Estate any time.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2010 06:15:29 | More by woodychandler
Photo of jameswaldo

New York

4.13/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a bottle from fair height into pint glass and got a nice big creamy pale head that settled quickly to thin froth around glass edge. This ale is highly carbonated and enjoys a high pour; tiny bubbles keep rising the whole time it takes to finish (ten minutes this time). No lacing on glass. Color a pale amber, SRM 14 on my color chart. Smells just barely of faint light malt and yeast, no hop in nose. Tastes a pleasant easy balance of lightly roasted malt and gently bitter hops, leaving a good crisp mouth-watering hop finish about half as hoppy as an IPA, my fave style. Though not very bitter, the hop finish is quite long lasting, and I enjoy that much. The beers of winter 12-pack I got on sale at local supermarket makes this one of the best values in a thoughtfully balanced APA, so I consider it more drinkable because easy on my budget. All of the beers in this winter seasonal box are better than the usual Saranac assortment.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2010 23:47:02 | More by jameswaldo
Photo of BeerPhan86

New York

4.13/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For some reason, BeerAdvocate lost the last four reviews I did of the Saranac 12 Beers of Winter. Makes me mad, oh well here we go AGAIN.

A - Pours a rich golden amber with a one finger tan head that lingers for a couple of minutes.

S - Citrus and piney hops, along with a nice grassy/earthy scent and some grains. Sweet and floral.

T - Bitter, grassy hops at first followed by a nice piney taste and some malty/biscuity sweetness to finish it off. Citrusy with hints of grapefruit. A bit spicy and minty.

M - Very smooth, medium bodied and just the right amount of carbonation.

D - I could session this, and I prefer it over their regular pale ale actually! Can't wait to find this in six packs at my local store and I hope they keep this one around.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2009 01:42:06 | More by BeerPhan86
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2011 08:59:33 | More by gregb13
Photo of yesyouam

New York

4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saranac Big Moose Ale is clear and golden with a big, foamy, off white head that has some oily bubbles on it. The head stays put and leaves thick lacing all the way down the glass. The aroma is straightforward: grapefruit and pine. It smells really fresh. It's medium light bodied and quite smooth. The finish is clean and dry. It tastes really simple. It's all grapefruit peel and pine resin. There's enough bitterness here to remind me that this is, in fact, a pale ale. This is sort of like if you made a simple home brew and everything went perfect. I can't stress the simplicity of this one enough. I like that a lot.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2009 14:54:50 | More by yesyouam
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

4.08/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper color with a decent sized white head that displays moderate retention and lace. Smells of hops up front. Juicy citrus, pine, onions, and garlic with hints of bread, caramel ,and licorice in the background. Taste is bready malty caramel sweet up front before the hops take over and reclaim their dominance. Pine, green onion, and garlic flavored hops atop bready caramel that can't keep up. Medium to thin body, moderate level of carbonation, with a sweet resinous mouthfeel. Wow after several mediocre beers from the 12 pack I think we have our winner. It's too bad my brother drank and didn't enjoy the other bottle in the 12 pack.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2011 05:47:53 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of SaCkErZ9


4.08/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer emrges clear and amber golden in color with a small white head of about half finger in size. No noticeable lacing and the retention is minimal.

Solid aroma to this one. Caramel malts followed by significant hop aromas. Citrus hops mixed with some earthiness. Plenty of caramel backbone. Grapefruit and orange peel. Bready and toasty.

Nice flavor as well. The flavor mimics the aroma and lends very nicely to this beer. The caramel and fruits hit the tongue first and the hop bite and hop flavor leave a long, smooth finish. Medium bodied with a good balance of carbonation.

A pretty solid APA. Very easy to drink and flavorful. Quite tasty. I approve of this message.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2011 21:08:05 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of Zekezilla


4.05/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't typically enjoy pale ales. I don't really like the grapefruit/hoppy thing BUT I was willing to try this because...well, it came from Saranac. I've yet to be disappointed in one of their beers and this is no exception. It's smooth and citrusy. THIS is a pale ale I can finally enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2009 00:26:05 | More by Zekezilla
Photo of u2carew


4.03/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz longneck
A) Pours with a finger thick head that quickly settles. Clear bronze body. Visible upward carbonation.
S) Pleasant hop aroma - piney. Caramel malts
T) A bright hop bite upfront. Then transitions to a floral notes blended with sweet caramel notes. Earthy and gritty hops linger in the aftertaste and beyond.
M) Crisp. Clean. Light bodied.
O) A delicious PA. I will definitely be drinking another.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2013 02:04:09 | More by u2carew
Photo of JMB22

New York

4.03/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Straight from the bottle. A little pine hoppy smell...but it was in a bottle. Felt creamy and full on the tongue. Not overpowering, but you can really feel taste the hops here. Quite smooth...sweet malts too. A note here, the alcohol isn't present at all. The Matt boys did good with this one.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2011 01:40:35 | More by JMB22
Photo of Halcyondays


4.03/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours amber with a medium white head, very good retention, spotty lace.

S: Tangerines with a hint of mint, light pine.

T: Good citrusy and earthy hop flavour, hint of mango in the finish. Tasty crystal type malt, good balanced flavour.

M: Medium-bodied, crisp and clean. Refreshing and easy drinking.

O: Quite a pleasant surprise from the Saranac winter 12er. The best beer I've had from them, just a good APA.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2011 05:48:33 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of oriolesfan4


4.03/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a light copper color, smallish head to it.. some nice lacing though. Faint hop aroma. Taste has a great mouthfeel, nice crispness to it. Smooth going down with some nice subtle hop notes. Really a well balanced beer, this would be a great summer beer because it's just so damn refreshing. Not overly killer with the hops like an IPA so this APA is a solid choice for a beer. Nice start to the winter mixed 12 pack!

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2009 23:06:17 | More by oriolesfan4
Photo of DavidGross


4/5  rDev +14.6%

03-05-2012 03:31:27 | More by DavidGross
Photo of HuaiDan

New York

4/5  rDev +14.6%

11-16-2011 20:47:32 | More by HuaiDan
Photo of leinie13


4/5  rDev +14.6%

12-04-2011 23:16:01 | More by leinie13
Saranac Big Moose Ale from Matt Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 440 ratings.