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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.

453 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 453
Reviews: 206
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 15.76%
Wants: 2
Gots: 20 | 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
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Ratings: 453 | Reviews: 206 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

SaCkErZ9, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of e11iott
2.73/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: 12 oz bottle. light amber color you can see through. Light lacing, 2 finger head.

S: heavy hops aroma, bottle says citrus, but very light to the smell, none to taste.

T/M: seamed a bit dry, strong hops flavor start to finish and after taste.

D: taste didnt improve with warmth. Not one of my favorite Saranac's. Came in a case variety pack with a total of 6 kinds, hope the others are better.

e11iott, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of heavy216
2.05/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: 12 oz bottle. 2 fat finger head, lasted several minutes, good lacing,,,,orange/amber in color

S: strong hops smell, with slight citrus smell

T/M: very strong bitter aftertaste, taste more fruity as it got warmer...

D: not one i would write home about

heavy216, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of CHickman
3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber gold with a 1 finger foamy tan head that faded slowly; decent lacing that left rings.

Smells of citrus hops, pine cone of piney hops, sweet malt, grains and light caramel; decent nose that is more malty than hoppy.

Tastes hoppy, with piney/floral hops, sweet malt, caramel, grapefruit, grains, hay, light flowers or herbs and a dry roasted finish that has another burst of bitter hops at the end.

Light carbonation, it was crisp with a watery flow/feel and a smooth mouthfeel; this goes down easy and was very enjoyable. Could drink this beer all night, even though it was maltier than I expected.

CHickman, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of FickleBeast
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a DFH snifter. Part of a mixed 12 pack.

Pours a nice amber color with a half finger of foam that fades away quickly. Aroma is malty, salty, almost like soy sauce.

Tastes like a pretty vanilla amber ale. Sweet malt forward, minimal hop flavor, and nice drinkability. This is what I expect from Saranac - decent beers at a great price. I'd buy this in a 6 pack for 6.99 or so.

FickleBeast, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of happy4hoppybeer
4.45/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A=Light orange/amber with decent-sized head that fizzles in a few minutes, leaving behind nice solid lacing,that sticks to the glass for a good while. Good

S&T=Nice,sweet malted barley, with a good trace of hops coming through, providing a nice little bite. Not overpowering, but noticeable and a good,solid balance being provided.

B=Medium body, with average carbonation coming through.

D=An excellent session pale ale, making
it easy to have more than a few, and still being able to enjoy flavor and substance.

Saranac continues to impress me, providing good quality beer meeting the standard of each style, with an exceptionally cheap price for craft brew. So I will continue to buy them, I do not demand exceeding standards in every brew, all the time. I only ask for being a good example of each style.

happy4hoppybeer, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of ToddT
3.73/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear amber color topped with a thin off white head. Head fades quickly to a ring and leaves little lace on the glass.

S- Mild notes of malt, caramel, and floral hops.

T- Malt and caramel at first then followed by a mild hop bite, nicely balanced, but nothing that special. Finish is clean with a lingering final note of the bitter hops.

M- Medium in body and high in carbonation, feels a little fizzy on the palate.

D- Very drinkable, nothing crazy or extreme here, but nothing that I would go out of my way to get either. At 5.3% ABV this one could be a good candidate for a session beer.

Solid and well done, but nothing I'll seek out either.

ToddT, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.9/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

OWSLEY069, Jan 04, 2011
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.

Wamesit, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of anotherpg
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Saranac makes cost-effective beers of reasonable quality and BMA is no exception. It's a solid B, right down the middle in terms of craft brews but a huge step up given the relative empty landscape of upstate NY beers.

Pour is huge with a 2 finger head that doesn't give up for quite some time. Smells of malt and hops. Taste is sweet malt, then slightly watery, especially if you're used to West Coast hophead beers, but the finish is a well-bittered pale ale. Foaminess improves the mouthfeel of this one. Overall, a pretty good beer.

anotherpg, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of skenyon1811
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint.

A: Nice pour on this brew. Inch and a half of thick foam. Nice light amber color, lighter than most APAs. Really nice retention.

S: Very pleasant pine aroma, but that's about it. It kind of has only one note, however that one note is played out very nicely.

T: Good sharp crisp flavor. It has an earthy taste to the hops with a hint of fruitiness. Gotta love cascade hops. Used in so many beers, but never gets old. Although mostly hoppy, it is not over powering. Good piney after taste.

M: Like I said it is a nice crisp and sharp beer. Heavier on the carbonation, but I think it works here.

D: This is a little lighter flavored APA than most, however it still has excellent flavor. I wish they sold this in a six and twelve packs and not just in the mixer.


skenyon1811, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of daliandragon
3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a mixed twelver of Saranac for the first time in years the other day for the holidays. Now that the company is on its way for the year its time to sample the survivors.
Big Moose starts strong with a big fluffy head and awesome sticky lace on top of a reddish copper body. Nose is dominated by earthy and grassy hops with a citrus twinge.

Plenty of flavor in this one with lemon zest, English hops, and chocolate malts. Nice balance and a little bite. The mouthfeel is initially a bit thin but ends up doing a stellar job. Overall this is a solid session beer that would be tasty is almost any season.

daliandragon, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of jameswaldo
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.

jameswaldo, Dec 26, 2010
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.

Gambrinus1184, Dec 26, 2010
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.

projectflam86, Dec 26, 2010
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!

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of Kooz
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.

Kooz, Dec 22, 2010
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.

bubseymour, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of musicforairports
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.

musicforairports, Dec 18, 2010
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.

ngeunit1, Dec 18, 2010
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 .

Dodt, Dec 18, 2010
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.

asabreed, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of cnjohn19
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...

cnjohn19, Dec 13, 2010
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.

argock, Dec 13, 2010
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.

Morey, Dec 11, 2010
Saranac Big Moose Ale from Matt Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 453 ratings.