Moosehead Boundary Ale
Moosehead Breweries Ltd.

Moosehead Boundary AleMoosehead Boundary Ale
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American Amber / Red Ale
Ranked #1,122
Ranked #45,626
3.34 | pDev: 12.28%
Moosehead Breweries Ltd.
New Brunswick, Canada
Moosehead Boundary AleMoosehead Boundary Ale
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Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 66 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Lewnanny
3.17/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Another medium beer in my taste chart. This is not the taste I look trough a beer.

The hop is present but not too much.

IBU 39

Got this one again on May 19, 2017 and the smell remind the halloween candy (kisses) : ) A really nice smell. The taste is OK, I will definitely get this one again, since my pallet of taste have change trough time.

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Photo of josanguapo
3.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From Club del Gourmet of El Corte Ingles. In Teku glass. After dinner. 68 days after BB date. Balanced and easy to drink. English earthy hops I use to dislike stand out in the mix but not excessively and doesnt ruin it.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
3.42/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bright amber color with dense but gentle activity. Sparkly creamy beige 2 finger head lasting around 12 minutes with good legs.

Aromas and flavors of citrus, caramel, fruits, floral and herbal spices. Strong floral nose while the taste is slightly faint. Feels a little toasty and bread like with high caramel sweetness.

Slick medium body with prickly carbonation. Short but well intensified finish ending with a mix of orange sweetness and slightly bitter floral and clove like feel.

Overall : Average beer; the freshness is alright while the taste is a little faint but the flavors are good. Feels like a botched IPA.

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Photo of biegaman
3.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Boundary Ale has a bronze colour and tired highlights. Its head, on the other hand, is untiring and cedes nothing even as the liquid depletes. Not only that, it literally imprints itself onto the glass, seemingly permanently. It looks to have more character than any other Moosehead beer I've tried to date...

I've no idea what style of beer to expect after reading the ingredients: Cascade, Chinook, East Kent Goldings, Fuggles hops; Pale, Caramel, Carastan, Crystal, Dark Crystal, Munich, Black malts. Everything but the kitchen sink. It looks less like an actual recipe and more like a general inventory list.

If you ask me it's a very odd combination, especially for the hops which have such disparate characteristics. The result is like when too many people talk at once and each individual voice is muffled by the collective noise. Any citrus or floral aromatics are stifled by ambiguous earthy pungency and spice.

True craft drinkers know it's not the number of hops and malts that matters - it's the varieties and proportion. No one buys a shirt because it's made from seven different materials and has four types of buttons! Sounds silly, right? Far more important is the quality of the material and production.

Beer is no different. One malt and one type of hop can suffice if well utilized. Boundary Ale, however, is a hodge-podge of mismatched ingredients used with a predictably light hand. It has a generically biscuity, malty flavour and surprisingly surly 39 IBUs. It's an overall plain beer with little redeeming character.

Boundary Ale isn't this industrial producer pushing the boundaries - this misguided, disjointed attempt at something "craft-like" suggests, if anything, Moosehead overstepped their bounds in trying their hand at anything other than their marketing-driven mass-brand lager. They obviously don't 'get it'.

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Photo of leaddog
3.21/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - Pours a light copper with two fingers of foamy cream coloured head.

Smell - bready caramel malts, leafy, and earthy hops, hint of pear.

Taste - Starts off with the bready caramalts then goes into leafy and earthy hops which are pretty tame and hint of pear. Taste is a little sweet for my liking considering the style.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes dry with a lingering light bitterness and sweetness.

Overall - An average red. Nothing really makes this a stand out. The hops need some fine tuning in this one as well as the off-putting sweetness not usually seen in this style.

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Photo of Jeffo
2.76/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this one at the LCBO in Waterloo this past summer

From a 16oz can into a snifter
IBU: 39
Cascade, Chinook, EKG and Fuggel hops

APPEARANCE: Pours a three finger, medium looking, fluffy, slightly off-white head with good retention. Perfectly clear umber or burnt orange in color with no carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a foamy cap with chunky lacing down the glass. A splotchy wisp remains with dots of lacing down the glass. Decent looking, though the head is a touch too foamy.

SMELL: Grainy malts, dark bread and some light melon notes. Some earthy hops as well. Mostly the English variety; not much from the citrus American type.

TASTE: Grainy malt sweetness up front, with more earthy hops at the swallow. A little empty up front, unfortunately. The aftertaste is medium in strength with more grainy malts, dark bread, caramel and melon sweetness, as well as some earthy hop bitterness. No sign of the American citrus hops here. This doesn’t match the description on the side of the can, unfortunately.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes a touch dry. Good feel here.

OVERALL: Not quite sure this one works, or that it achieved what they wanted it to. The description on the label leads one to anticipate a citrusy hop brew with a nice counterbalance of earthy English hops, but instead, this is a rather grainy brew and the earthy, English hop character dominates. To be sure, this is not a bad brew by any means, but it doesn’t not deliver what it promised.

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Photo of -steve-
3.9/5  rDev +16.8%

A little surprised at the vitriol directed at this beer. I found it a very enjoyable and solid offering from one of the big players. The amber colour of this beer is pleasant. As per the reviews it is loaded to the gills with foam! Quite surprising amount actually. But that did not dampen my enjoyment of the brew. Definite caramel smell and malty sweetness on tasting. The full flavour does die off rather quickly to a thin watery finish. Which was a shame. If only the robust maltiness and hops had been able to maintain themselves throughout the drinking process this beer could have really shined.
This is a step in the right direction for Moosehead. Would drink it again.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.17/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

341ml bottle poured into pint glass 3/7/14

A light copper liquid with more bubbles then I thought you could fit in a glass, this thing is barfing bubbles from everywhere, a two finger foam slowly grows over the top of the glass, lots of lace and I still have foam at the bottom of the glass

S weedy, sour apple, cardboard, herbal earthy notes, some caramel, Iced tea powder, smells OK

T more of the same really, a little grass soil included, leafy, nothing great that's for sure but Its drinkable

M lighter side of medium, somehow its a little flat in the mouth, hard to believe after looking at it, leafy finish lingers

O its another one and done, nothing offensive but I wouldn't bother with it again

looked great, not sure if all the carbonation I could see was a flaw or not, either way its another boring brew brewed by the big boys

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Photo of biboergosum
3.45/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle, procured from the always dusty singles bin at my local chain liquor store outlet, on the usual curiosity lark.

This beer pours a crystal clear, bright medium bronzed amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, frothy, and loosely bubbly ecru head, which leaves some rather pervasive craggy webbed lace around the glass as things take their turn downwards. Not too shabby looking, I gotta say.

It smells of semi-sweet bready caramel malt, a sturdy apple and pear fruitiness, toasted bar nuts, a slight metallic flintiness, and weak, but still present earthy, leafy hops. The taste is more gritty, grainy caramel malt, a wet brown breadiness, the same edgy, somewhat oily nuts, rain-soaked gravel stones, and some timid, and mildly bitter floral, earthy hops.

The carbonation is pretty low-key, barely a subversive bubbly tic to be found anywhere, the body a wavering medium weight, and smooth in a halting sort of way - it is, but doesn't go too far in convincing you or even itself of the fact. It finishes on the sweet side, the caramel and toffee malt character maintaining its heft, while the purportedly boundary-challenging hops seem to have a whole lot of trouble even crossing the border.

For Moosehead, this is actually a whole lot better than what I might have imagined their first ale that I experienced would actually be like. The emphasis on new/old world hops (and its ties to the Canuck ethos) kind of falls flat, but this is still drinkable, and much fuller and rounder than any of the standard fare from this brewery. Focus on the malts, I guess, and all will be well.

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Photo of patre_tim
3.86/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Clear copper colour, almost no carbonation, 4 fingers of tan tinged creamy head.

S: Malt forward, slight citrus, earthy, mild, light toasted notes, light hint of chocolate, slight fermented punkiness. Reminding me of New Belgium's Red Hoptober in scent.

T: Light toasty quality, citrusy, slight chocolate note, grassy, ends in a strong hard water, metallic note. Dull bitter old world aftertaste.

M: Medium body, medium low carbonation

O: Resembling an English mild ale with a slightly American citrusy hop character, still it leans towards old world in taste. Like a Canadian, its a mix of British and American. A little too metallic on the end, but really well crafted beer with a cool style on the can.

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Photo of Organdrew
3.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wanted to actually buy Creemore springs premium lager, but this was not available and was curious about this beer. I bought myself a 6-pack.

Right off the bat I was skeptical about drinking something from Moosehead breweries.

Served in a dark colored bottle, drank right out of the bottle So I did not notice the color. The bottle looked dirty and had white rings around it from mass produced bottles.

Smell: smells like a macrobrew beer would smell, nothing special. Maybe a subtle citrus scent.

Taste: First drink reminded me of every other beer out there. Kinda like Budweiser or what not, very common. After a few drinks I noticed the bitterness. The hops bitterness was coming through. A little complex/blunt as this is an ale. Reminiscent of other beers i've drank. The more I tasted, and narrowed down different tastes/aromas, I notices that this was bitter, but a very mild bitterness. Bitter, but in the right amount. Citrusy notes prominent, and an underlying toasty (malt?) flavor. This seemed to be bitter, but sweetness poked through after a while, with a lingering bitter/sweet taste that lasted a half a minute.

Mouthfeel: A little thick, not too watery. Burns on the tongue which takes away the sensation. I attribute this to the carbonation and hops in the beer.

Overall: At first I was disappointing thinking, "This is like every other beer out there". After getting about halfway down the beer, It came to have it's own (similar style) yet slightly distinct taste that lingers. Slightly retaining a bitterness, but also a sweetness. I attribute this to the hops/malt balance. I do think it could use a bit of work and as a macrobrew, I know there is little room for change, but the label pretty much sums up the beer:

" different malt varieties. The end result is a well-balanced, medium-bodied ale with subtle malt sweetness and a unique blend of citrus and earthy hop notes."

I would mostly agree above. It took me a bit to sort out the flavors, and it is a little bitter, and if you don't like bitter, you probably won't drink more than one of these. I've had REALLY bitter beer before and it was almost repulsive to drink (I think Garrison's single hop IPA), but a definite taste experience, Boundary ale is a tenfold decrease of that bitterness. The beer is okay to drink, and probably one of my new favorites. I love the citrus and bitter/sweet balance. Surprised the mooshead breweries actually made something I enjoy.
Update: I have bought two 6-packs since this review.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the LCBO 473ml can for just under $3.00. Served at 4deg C in a water glass

A- Not bad. Opens well with a good head settling to a film within a minute

S- Pretty good. Caramel and roasted malt

T- Not that great. It's definitely an IPA but with a bit of a burn twist from the malt

M- Not bad. Nothing special but has a bit of creaminess at least

O- Not a keeper by any means. Would not buy again but it is drinkable

Food Pairing

This rather hum IPA paired well with... Chinese stir fry


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Photo of thehyperduck
3.39/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

341 mL bottle from a sixer picked up at TBS. Had my eye on this one for a while, since I haven't tried anything new under the Moosehead label in years. Served well-chilled.

Pours a clear, orange-amber colour, topped with one finger of frothy, off-white head that wilts relatively rapidly over the next minute or two. A soapy collar is left behind, alongside a thin cap and minimal lacing. Somewhat enticing aroma; certainly more involved than 99% of the other macro-labelled stuff I've tried - lots of caramel/toffee sweetness, in addition to toasted nuts, bready malts and a light earthiness from the hops.

Surprisingly tasty, actually - though nothing ground-breaking or out the ordinary here, as every individual taste could be detected in the aroma. The malts seem to be the focus, with caramel and toffee dominating initially, followed by some toasted nuttiness. The flavour takes a turn toward the earthy side near the finish, wherein the modest hop presence creates a bittersweet aftertaste that lingers only briefly. Light-bodied but approaching medium, with relatively high carbonation levels that I am not particularly enjoying in the context of these flavours - this one drinks kind of like a pale English ale/bitter, and the aggressive carb doesn't work well here. Still, it's a respectable session ale for the pub.

Final Grade: 3.40, a B-. Moosehead's Boundary Ale isn't likely to garner a lot of attention amongst craft beer fans, but it's still one of the better 'crafty' macro ales I've tried in recent memory. Good beer, but not great - now that the tallboys are available locally, I'll probably grab one every now and then.

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Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

473 ml can purchased from LCBO for $2.65 CDN. Served cold into a Keith's Pint glass.

Appearance - Copper / honey brown in color with a froth ivory head of about 2.5 fingers. Great lacing left down the sides of the glass as the head recedes over a few minutes. The cap is enormously frothy and appealing. Beer is crystal clear with very few bubbles rising to the surface. Spidery lacing streaks left on the glass.

Smell - Mild aromas, but definitely a larger malt bill here. Some mild grainy and grassy notes in the back ground but the malt stands out for me.

Taste - Falls a touch flat here, as I'm expecting more given the aroma, the malt is fairly subdued and there's a minimal hop presence. The hops are there for a moment, but then malts and a leathery tobacco type of flavor races in for a few moments, before transition to a bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, that i think could be enhanced by a bit of carbonation. too much though and i feel it might be gassy. Everything just kind lingers without a terribly satisfying conclusion, but still seems pretty good. As mentioned in a few of the other reviews there are certain elements here that make this lean towards an ESB.

Overall - Definitely a different beer for Moosehead, that I enjoyed but it just seems to be missing a little of something to elevate this to an even better beer. Nonetheless a worthy venture and a nice fusion of a couple styles (albeit possibly unintentionally).

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Photo of TerryW
3.05/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks pretty good. Moderate head settling to a solid cap and leaving behind lots of lace. Clear orange amber beer.

After that, competent, but uninspired. Four hops, seven malts? Maybe not enough focus.

Hoppy nose. Malty to taste up front, followed by grassy hops, some slight bitterness,

Nothing special.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Can: Poured a light clear amber color ale with a large foamy head with large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of light caramelized malt notes with some light dry hoppy notes that are clearly noticeable. Taste is a nice balanced mix between some caramelized malt with good attenuation and some light dry and bitter hoppy notes. Body is about average with good carbonation. I must admit to being surprise as this beer as more flavour then I had expected considering who the brewer is.

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Photo of ssmack
2.83/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Dark redish amber. One inch greenish beige head. Good carbonation. Excellent lacing. A great looking ale.

Mild malty sweet biscuit smell.

Taste like the aroma. Biscuit combine with mild grassy hops. Earthy but one dimensional.

Medium feel with a slight bite.

This is a mild British ESB style ale. Nothing special.

The label says "crafted" but this is definitely not a craft beer.

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Photo of spinrsx
2.94/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

473ml Can from the Ottawa LCBO for $2.45

Appearance - Clear brownish/copper colour with an average size off-white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some okay lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, hops, caramel

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and light hops. There is also some kind of odd plastic type flavour.. can't put my finger on it.

Overall - An okay beer I suppose.. but it doesn't have a whole lot of scent and there is something odd about the taste. Not something I'd buy again. Drinks more like an ESB than an American amber.

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Photo of 1sophrosyne1
3.3/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Tasted over 15 minutes in O'Leary's Pub in Saint John.

Pours a clear orange amber with a rocky, durable head. Light on lacing.
Smells of muted woodsy hops with a touch of toffee walnut. There's a mentholic hint of higher alcohols, as well.
Taste is dominated more by the malt foundation than the hops, despite the stated intent from the brewer. But, this is Canada... Some earth and nuts ride along. Leafy hops are there, but could be brighter and firmer--the lack of bitterness allows the overall taste profile to crumble into a subtle maple sugar ending.
The body is just short of medium, light on carbonation which would help to liven and brighten the muted, slick experience of this brew.
Overall, this is not a bad product--certainly more complex and interesting than almost all high production offerings from North of the Border. So, I'd drink it again; was good with the salt of bar munchies.

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Moosehead Boundary Ale from Moosehead Breweries Ltd.
Beer rating: 78 out of 100 with 66 ratings