Saranac Big Moose Ale - Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Not Rated.
Saranac Big Moose AleSaranac Big Moose Ale

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BA SCORE
80
good

206 Reviews
THE BROS
82
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 206
Hads: 456
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 9.46%
Wants: 2
Gots: 28 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 206 | Hads: 456
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. (329 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.09/5  rDev +17.2%
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. (652 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.83/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle from the 12 Beers of Winter.

A: The pale ale is a coppery amber color, more orange than brown hued with a robust clear look. A finger and a half of white head left a surprising quantity of lace around the mouth of the glass.

S: The APA has the Saranac house aroma, a little ringwood-esque sweetness followed by a solid bready presence.

T: The house malt profile is strong upfront. Behind it, and I really had to search for it, is a bolder hop profile. The citrus isn't overwhelming but it does stand out amidst the malts. The ale's finish has a stronger bitterness, the citrus blowing things up rather late in the game. I like the hops, very flavorful, much more so than almost any other Saranac offering.

M: The mouthfeel is caramel sweet up front before yielding to the hops at the back end. The recent 12 beers offerings (summer included) have really surprised me.

D: Low booze and a surprising hop taste. A good start to the 12 beers of winter. (968 characters)

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium copper hue with a one and a half finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a piney hop and grainy malt.

The taste consisted of an upfront herbal hop with a moderate grainy malt and a strong residual spice.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a tasty and highly drinkable ale. (350 characters)

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

12oz bottle purchased as part of the Saranac winter mixed 12-pack at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into a nonic, formed a 3/4" tan head over the clear amber brew. Pillowy head falls slowly, with good lacing, even better in some places. Aroma is biscuits and a citrus bite.

Taste starts with clean malt flavor, ample citrus in the middle, and a crisp hoppy bite at the close. Mouthfeel is quite smooth, and drinkability is good. I'd have this one again. (463 characters)

Photo of tobelerone
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nearly clear, reddish-amber colored beer with good lace and a half-inch white head that has decent retention. Modest sweetness with some grassy hops in the aroma – not too promising to be honest after the label description, which had me expecting a much bigger tropical/citrus fruit presence.

Flavor has lightly sweet caramel malt and simple, bitter hops. Unfortunately just not too interesting; tastes less like a west coast dry-hopped beer than an traditional English IPA. The bottle is relatively fresh (about 2 months) so the hops shouldn’t have fallen off all that dramatically. I get faint grass and floral notes, maybe a trace of citrus, but that’s about it.

Finish is brief, with an aftertaste that doesn’t linger very long. Slightly creamy medium bodied beer with a nice carbonation level that falls just on the low end of medium. Not bad, certainly drinkable and even a bit tasty, but not what I’d hoped for. (933 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a bright orange with a brilliant clarity and was topped off by a ½ finger, fizzy tan head that leveled rather quickly to a skim, frumpy coating. Visible carbonation was light and rapidly moving.

S: The nose provided dried caramel and dried oranges initially with a faint grapefruit hopping. Despite what the label claims as a vibrant hop aroma I would have to disagree and say this was lazy and soft. Things rounded out with a faint trail of lemons and grains.

T: The hopping was fresh and juicy with loads of citrus and grapefruit juice. A good floral dryness moves in for the finish. The hopping makes amends for a lackluster nose. There is a good sour twang presence of grapefruit that covers the tongue upon the swallow. Overall a respectable amount of hopping, especially by a brewer who is not known for going big. Fairly well suited per style.

M: had a nice crisp bite from the lively carbonation starting things off. A nice bubbly edginess and creaminess composes the texture. Dry with a citrusy floral finish rounds things out.

D: Good drinkability with a sour citrusy twang. A pleasant surprise by this brewery with a good dose of bitterness that should satisify your hop needs. 6 pack worthy. (1,222 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a caramel color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of hops. Taste is good, well balanced hops and malts, very flavorful. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a fine quality beer. (252 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
3.73/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle numbered 2669-0643. Sampled on November 12, 2009. It pours a handsome looking reddish-bronze with little to no head and excitable carbonation that mellows out after a moment. The aroma is full of malty sensations and a fresh hopped background. The mouthfeel is about medium body. The taste is bitter with sweet caramel malts along with a notable dose of fresh Cascade hops. The hops are the more memorable flavor in the end. (451 characters)

Photo of Brad007
3.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light copper color with a thick, frothy head into my glass. Nice color and robust presentation.

Aroma is full of grassy hops and what appears to be a bready malt backbone in the nose. Seems to fit for the style.

The taste is full of grassy hop bitterness followed by buttery/chewy malt. Pretty much what I expect from the style but the hops don't seem as strong in taste as they were in aroma.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering grassy hops and buttery/chewy malt. Kind of standard. Carbonation level is decent. Beer goes down pretty well.

Not bad but I don't see how it's much different from their standard pale ale. Drinkable and simple but certainly nowhere near SNPA. (679 characters)

Photo of claspada
3.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aromas of freshly baked bread, lemon/orange flavored bread.

The taste was mostly hops, both citrus and pine, but I found very little malt presence. Despite the apparent lack of balance for an Pale Ale, I still liked it, maybe because the hops weren't overwhelming. The mouth feel was light bodied and adequately carbonated.

A pretty good beer, only drinking it because it's part of the Winter 12 pack. Not bad, worth a try I guess. (435 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint on tap at Tully's NY - for 4.50$

Appearance - Clear gold colour with an average size fizzy off-white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent l acing. The head lasted for 2-3 minutes.

Smell - Breads/grains, hops, caramel, grassiness

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste corn mixed with some malts and grains. There is also some hops and a it of a mustiness mixed with very light grapefruit. It ends with a malty slightly bitter aftertaste.

Overall - With the limited selection of beer to choose from, this one was okay.. there were hints of a flavourful APA at time but it's a little too muted and musty for me to want to drink again. (729 characters)

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! (761 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
2.44/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle with a best by stamp of MAR 31 2012. Pours a lightly hazed copper color with a decent cap of creamy head. Fades pretty slow and leaves a nice collar.

Nose is toast and caramel maltiness with a light, citric hop aroma. Finger nail polish remover and Pine-Sol throw out some less than desirable nostril candy. Label claims "Triple dry hopped with specialty Citra, Centennial and Cascade hops..." Sure as hell coulda fooled me.

Taste is moderately better with a thin, caramely malt flavor with some burnt biscuit bottoms and a biting bitterness on the back end that...well, for lack of a better word, sucks. Kinda like putting an aspirin in your mouth before you get the glass of water and having some dissolve on the back of the tongue. This beer is pretty terrible. I would not recommend it to anyone and will avoid all the Saranac offerings I have tried thus far (6) like the plague next time I find myself in the Northeast. Hell, Id rather have a Yuengling than this. (984 characters)

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. (1,184 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean orange-ish color with a light tan head. In the aroma, a nice small pine like hop presence. In the taste, a sweet to dry nice hop presence. A small bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry, hoppy aftertaste. A nice, everyday pale, nothing too exciting, but nice nonetheless. (291 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
3.32/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Part of the winter pack...poured from a bottle into an Ommegang tulip glass.

A - Poured a clear reddish amberish orangeish yellowish rusty copper with light even carbonation and a thin bubbly head.

S - Maple, apple...crisp, clean, almost candyish soapy smell. Smells inviting and juice like.

T - Crisp, apple, hoppy with a slight orange, honey candy-like character.

M - Really sharp and hoppy feeling. Definitely has a bit of bite. Lots of carbonation with a bit of a candylike thing going on. Bittery aftertaste.

D - Drinkable. Very lager-like and sweet for a pale ale. (575 characters)

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. (568 characters)

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. (297 characters)

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. (620 characters)

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. (531 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 2/16/2010. Bottle. Pours a clear orange with a thick white head. Aroma of biscusity, bready malts, floral hops. Flavor of the same bready, toasted malts with some light hop oils. Solid pale ale actually, props to Saranac. Very tasty and drinkable! (259 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A-Little head, but remains constant. Orange-Red in color. Very transparent though

S-Coffee and Caramel

T-Coffee. Not very many hops or malt coming through. Molasses and Caramel as the beer warms.

M-Light with some residuals of carbonation felt

D-Not overly drinkable. Sort of wondering why it is in a winter mix as it could have been a lot heartier. (353 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a Saranac pint glass.

L - clear copper color with a fluffy white head that had good retention and left a sheet of lacing.

S - mix of floral hops and malt.

T - starts out with floral hops and then the malt blends in before finishing slightly bitter.

F - medium bodied with good carbonation.

O - decent beer for the price but there are better beers in the style. (387 characters)

Photo of argock
3.44/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Purchased as part of Saranac Winter Sampler 24-pack for $19.99.

A: Caramel-amber with robust 3-finger rocky off-white head with good retention and copious lacing.

S: Tea-like herbal hoppy aromas dominate with flashes of citrus, pine, and floral character. Caramel and biscuit are the malty aromas.

T: The flavor is good but has its flaws, mostly in the finish. The initial flavors are spot on for the style with biscuity, caramel maltiness with some light toasted notes combining nicely with floral, citrus, and pine resin overlaying chiefly herbal hops as in the nose. Unfortunately this flavor package doesn't have the staying power and deflates into a cardboardy lightly astringent chemical-mineral note.

M: Nice coating mouthfeel, some tackiness with relatively low carbonation.

D: Definitely one of Saranac's better offerings although some cleanup in the finish with a more cohesive finishing hops combination and/or dry-hopping to deliver the flavor all the way through. (1,051 characters)

Saranac Big Moose Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.