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Saranac Big Moose Ale - Matt Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saranac Big Moose AleSaranac Big Moose Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

441 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 441
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)
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Ratings: 441 | Reviews: 206 | Display Reviews Only:
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 Gambrinus1184


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

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a pint glass.

A: Medium copper-orange color with a chilled haze under a two-finger head of puffy white foam which settles to a thin cap leaving a bit of lace.

S: Bready and sweet with some spicy, citrus hop aromas in the nose. A bit of toffee and candied fruity sweetness in the aroma.

T: Light, semisweet, medium-roast caramel malts up front with a doughy bread crust flavor towards mid-palate. The drying, spicy and citrus hops build towards a dry, mellow and slightly lingering bitter finish. Pretty clean and inoffensive all around.

M: Medium bodied, smooth and pretty well-balanced, as most Saranac brews tend to be.

D: At 5.3% ABV, this is little more than an APA branded and marketed for winter consumption. That said, it's not a bad pale ale offering from the generally homogeneous brew masters at Saranac. Nothing too special, but it has enough hop characteristic and tidiness to be worthy of mass consumption.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2010 21:49:29 | More by Gambrinus1184
Photo of projectflam86


3.9/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a golden amber color with at thick foam head that leaves nice rings of lace.

S- Some pine hops and lemon grass in the nose. A decent malt sweetness is in there as well.

T- Nice gentle bitterness upfront with a really a very sweet malt finish. Caramel and grain round out the flavor and add sweetness.

M- Medium bodied with nice carbonation.

D- A very drinkable brew that isn't too high in ABV.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2010 17:38:36 | More by projectflam86
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

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!

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2010 18:43:01 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of Kooz

New York

2.73/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into Sam Adams specialty glass. Not much head, but some sticks around. Not much lacing. Beer is a light orange-ish brown. Not bad looking but not particularly enticing.

Not much nose. A little hoppy... portents...

Tastes okay, but too much on the hops side. Almost like an IPA. Not a fan. Too bitter too.

Mouthfeel is about average, if maybe a little watery.

Despite the low ratings, it's a fairly drinkable beer. I think I could have a few of these, though there are plenty I'd prefer over this.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2010 01:42:46 | More by Kooz
Photo of bubseymour


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

Drank from pint glass.

This is a good Saranac and very well made American Pale Ale. Very drinkable and good flavor to me. I'm having this beer after just finishing a Saranac Rye IPA. From the winter 12 pack mix I just bought, this one is one of the better beers from this mix. I recommend this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2010 22:37:26 | More by bubseymour
Photo of musicforairports

New York

3.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours somewhere between gold and amber, nice carbonation bubbles, some lacing. Head stays for quite awhile.

Smells like American C-hops, with some sweet malt over it. Nothing too overwhelming in the aroma.

Taste is alright: some hops up front and in the finish, but a bit of a soapy taste through much of the middle and into the finish as well. Sweet malt backbone here that dominates in flavor, even if some bitterness takes it over at times. A hint of citrus throughout. Nothing awful at all, though.

Mouthfeel is fine. Smooth and light enough to drink. But the flavors leave something to be desired. As always, I like Saranac's willingness to try a lot of styles and be priced cheap (at least around here), but, like often, the result is perfectly drinkable without standing out in any way.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2010 04:44:38 | More by musicforairports
Photo of ngeunit1


3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear amber-orange color with about a finger of white head. THe head fades fairly quickly leaving behind little lacing.

S - The aroma has a mix of grassy/floral hops and some citrus notes (mostly lemon). Overall, it is very mild, could be a bit more powerful.

T - Starts off very sweet and citrusy with just hints of sweet malt and grassy hops. The hop flavor eventually builds a bit and balances the sweetness nicely. The finish is a mix of the hops and the lemon flavors and lingers for a bit. Fairly balanced.

M - Medium-light bodied and a moderate amount of carbonation. Very crisp and smooth overall. Just a tad watery through.

D - Fairly drinkable. It is super smooth and crisp, it could just use a bit more flavor overall. However, the flavor that was there was very well balanced and pretty refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2010 04:42:20 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of Dodt


3.3/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

picked this beer from a mixed six
poured from the bottle to a pint glass
appearance clear copper color with a light head
smell a bit grassy with some citrus notes
taste sharp with good malt character
mouth feel nice with a bit of a after taste
for me is is a decent beer .

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2010 02:09:18 | More by Dodt
Photo of asabreed

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2010 23:21:06 | More by asabreed
Photo of cnjohn19

North Carolina

2.5/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Notes on the label: "Saranac Big Moose Ale is a full-flavored American Pale Ale. 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!"

Grabbed this one from a winter seasonal 12 pack and overall not impressed at all...notes below

A - pours a dark, rich orange...looks flat and uninviting, very little carbonation with almost no head...

S - mainly citrus notes of sweet mandarin orange...it definitely sweet, but not sure its from the malts as the label indicates...

T & M - distinct hops, full body, very sharp...but has a soapy finish...the bite is too intense for this brew with a horrific aftertaste...kind of like biting into an orange peel...

really enjoy saranac's brews as a whole so far, but skip this one...not worth it...

Song pairings: don't waste your time...

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2010 02:32:58 | More by cnjohn19
Photo of argock


3.45/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2010 02:16:34 | More by argock
Photo of Morey


3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This winter pale poured copper-orange in color with a two finger head following a fairly mild pour. Head has now settled to a thin lace, but there is still plenty of lacing and retention on the glass as this beer goes down the hatch.

Smell is heavy on the bread and grain-like aromas. Some earthy malts in there as well. Hops are hard to detect.

Taste is a nice balance of hops and malts with an earthy finish with some mild lingering bitterness.

Medium body with the carbonation leaning just a touch on the high side.

Pretty drinkable, but I'd be ready to switch gears after a few of these.

Morey's Bottom Line: I can think of plenty of pales I'd rather have, but I can think of quite a few that I wouldn't. Saranac doesn't charge much for their beer, so if your wallet is a little light, this might not be a bad choice.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2010 02:07:07 | More by Morey
Photo of rlee1390


3.23/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 20:17:43 | More by rlee1390
Photo of BeerBuckeye


3.18/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a light copper, full inch, carbonated head

S - Not a very strong smell, a bit of pine, but not much else. Very light on smell

T - A bit spicy, a little bit of malt, easy on the hops, some hints of caramel

M - Decent amount of carbonation in the mouth, not very thick, mouth coat is very light.

D - This beer goes down easy. Warms the throat a bit.

Overall - I found the beer a little bland. The taste was balanced, but nothing remarkable. A good session beer though, especially in the winter. I actually felt warmer drinking this

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2010 02:07:40 | More by BeerBuckeye
Photo of letsgopens


3.4/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This APA shows a clear, translucent copper orange body with some sparse rising bubbles. A thick, rocky, egg-shell head holds its shape pretty well and leaves some sagging rings of sticky lace.

Some really robust aroma going on hear. Well balanced in the nose with some substantial herbal, flowery hops and sweet caramel malt. Vanilla and sweet, lightly toasted and buttered dinner roll. Lingering, almost candy-like caramel sweetness on the nose.

More caramel and vanilla sweetness immediately but quickly making way for some bitter, herbal hops. The average bitterness level is a stark contrast to the unusually high level of initial sweetness in this brew. The abruptness fades as the brew warms a bit and begins to meld more. A hint of minerally flavor and sweet brown bread. The bitterness lingers a small amount in the finish with a good jumble of neutral hop flavor.

Fluffy and slick on the palate for the most part with just a notion of dryness lingering in the middle with the mineral/metallic note. Medium body and, again, a fluffy/fine carbonation. A unique and well balanced APA if not a bit on the sweet side. Still enjoyable throughout.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2010 04:27:12 | More by letsgopens
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 16:58:05 | More by tone77
Photo of Justin23060


3.8/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Poured a nice 3 finger ivory head on an extremely hard pour. Head was stiff with good lacing.

S- Light "Pale Ale" smell (mostly mild pine and floral hops).

T- Not at all overly hoppy (which I appreciate). ...and somehow the malt was not dominating either. Nice balance.

M- Somewhat thin with very soft carbonation (but I'm gonna chalk that up to the hard pour - In the name of science I'll go a little easier on the second Big Moose.) Nice dry finish without being astringent.

D- It's pretty drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2010 03:41:18 | More by Justin23060
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

3.35/5  rDev -4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2010 23:34:39 | More by claspada
Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm


3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 15 November 2010.

Poured into Sam Adams Summer Ale glass. Pours a clear amber, 1-finger head that disappears, lacing is rather runny. This beer has a nice light pine aroma, followed by toffee and almonds. Big caramel notes dominate the nose after swirling. Toffee and a little wet leather make themselves known when tasting. The hops are extremely light in aroma and taste. Bitter-malty sweetness is moderate in this light-to-medium bodied beer. Big moose gets more pine flavor toward the end of the glass. This is an excellent winter session beer. Decent taste for the price.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 02:52:30 | More by ToAzwethinkweizm
Photo of lovindahops

New York

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

still tapping into the 12 beers of winter this morning. Lil pregame for me

A- pours a light copper color with a small frothy head that leaves some lacing on the side. Has a good American Pale Ale look

S- a strong whiff of pine, grass, and some caramel malt flavor. There are some spices present as well. The hops are definitely the highlight of the scent

T- the malt begins the taste profile of big moose... and then it's followed by some strong bitterness and piney resin. I think I expected a bigger hop presence, but the malt was still placed pretty good

M- medium bodied and good crabonation

D- Saranac has a pretty good beer. The malt is unexpected, but still make for a good beer. Let me just say it is no Saranac Pale Ale as far as the drinkability goes.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 16:36:09 | More by lovindahops
Photo of PicoPapa


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

12oz bottle from the 12 Beers of Winter pack. Pours a very light caramel color with virtually no head. No lacing. Nice Aroma of hops, fresh cut grass, and malts. Taste is a combination of hops and malts with an aftertaste of the cut grass. A bit of caramel flavor as well. I enjoyed this last year in the Winter Pack and was glad to see it make the cut. One of Saranac's hoppier brews. Not quite as good as their flagship Pale Ale but pretty close.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 07:11:59 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of greenmonstah

New Hampshire

2.93/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into DFH Snifter

A - An aggressive pour resulted in a two-finger white head with average retention. Color is like most APAs, a deep copper. Great lacing.

S - A weak hop on the nose. Piney hops. A bit of floral hops. Very little aside from the weak hop aroma.

T - Hops in the front with a mediocre malt middle. Finish is grainy. Improves on the nose, but only slightly.

M - Light to medium body. Very wet in the middle, but finishes very dry.

D - Goes down easy enough and looks great, but is just not very tasty and leaves the mouth too dry.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2010 20:25:54 | More by greenmonstah
Photo of BigPlay1824

New York

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

Served in a shaped pint glass

A: Pours a nice copper color with an inch and a half of fluffy white head. Leaves a very nice amount of lacing

S: Beautiful hoppy smell, not as deep of a smell as some pale ales. Really makes the mouth water

T: Very nice hoppy/bitter taste. Slight amount of sweetness as well

M: Feels very smooth and thin on the pallet. Has a nice amount of carbonation tingle that doesnt "burn" away the taste

D: Really a very nice drinking brew. Has great taste that makes you want more but is also nice and thin and smooth so it goes down easy

Overall, really enjoyed this brew and I really thought it represented the style quite well. hats off to saranac once again

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2010 01:22:57 | More by BigPlay1824
Photo of bobquick

New York

4.4/5  rDev +26.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2010 01:26:28 | More by bobquick
Saranac Big Moose Ale from Matt Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 441 ratings.