Saranac Moonshadow Black IPA | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac Moonshadow Black IPASaranac Moonshadow Black IPA
112 Ratings
Saranac Moonshadow Black IPASaranac Moonshadow Black IPA

Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by DoubleMalt on 10-16-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 112 |  Reviews: 21
Reviews by Brad007:
Photo of Brad007
2.8/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours more of a brownish-amber color. Obviously not dark enough.

There is a nice hop bouquet to greet the nose. Perhaps all is not lost.

Taste isn't that great. Murky. Too much competition between the hops and the darker (well, darker for an IPA) malt.

Mouthfeel is an even bigger mess.

Though the label says "imported dark malt", I'm lead to believe that they didn't use enough of it here. Unless it's intentional? Either way, there are much better examples of this style for you to try.

 495 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of generallee
3.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: It has a very dark brown to black look which is nearly opaque. There is a ton of carbonation running the sides of the glass. On top there is a light tan head which hang on well and makes nice sticky lace on the glass.

Smell: There are some citrus hop notes over bready maltiness in the nose.

Taste / Palate: Up front there is a light bready malt and some citrus hop notes. Hop bitterness along with some toasted notes build up and starts to linger long in to the finish.

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Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.3/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip; brown/black in the glass, showing deep red in the light.
Smells pretty good; dark roasty malt with a dash of bitter piney and herbal hops.
Taste is odd though...starts off with bittersweet dark chocolatey malt, but then a huge wallop of earthy/bitter hops comes in and demolishes everything in sight. Then a huge wage of bitterness from the dark roasted malt jumps on top of that, and it leaves you feeling like someone just slapped you in the face, and all you can taste is bitterness.
Mouthfeel is a bit light for my opinion.
Overall, this isn't a bad black IPA but it is way out of balance. If you like super-bitter beers, go for it, but I love super bitter beers and I even was surprised by this one.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.98/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

No light is light thru the pitch black body, light soft khaki tan head, fine bubbled carbonation left layered in lacing on the sides of my chalice. Aromatics offer up light delicate floral, herbal hops some green mint actually noticeable with dark roasted malts giving way to a bit of fruitiness. A bit harsh on the palate, clean ripe hop bitterness up front which never lingers and develops into a dark roasted malt dark chocolate bitterness. Barely any sweetness this is one rough ride of a beer, medium bodied, dry finish almost like chewing on hop pellets full of hop bitterness and lacks true dynamic hop flavors. Overall, I couldn't finish it...there's a hidden cost with buying a 12 pack for 13 dollars.

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Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Brenden
3.26/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

It looks on the pour to be more like a brown IPA, but it ends up pretty dark. It's kind of a fudgy dark brown rather than black with half a finger of tan head that drops to a thick island after decent suspension and leaves spotting on the glass.
The aroma are more malty than hoppy and show more nut and toast than roast, though there is a touch. There's a hint of cocoa and the only hops are a bit of leaf and maybe citrus zest.
For whatever reason there was for a lack in the nose, hops come out more strongly on the tongue. Leaf. pine, citrus zest and grass all cut through the malt to put something out that could actually be called a black IPA. A bit of roast eases out after a lingering bitterness. This is more like it.
The body is medium, and it leans toward crisp. The feel doesn't have quite the consistency of crispness or the balancing smoothness it should, though.

 877 characters

Photo of CloudStrife
3.76/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Best by March 31, 2014.

A: Pours a clear brownish ruby appearing black in the glass with an ample slightly tanned head. Nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Fairly aromatic beer, nice hopping alongside a farmhouse like roasted malt. Reminds me a bit like a dark saison but much hoppier.

T: Certainly a dose of hops with this one. Nice bitterness hits the tongue, roasted malts add some complexity to the blend. Can get some good freshness from the hops. A blend of earthiness and pine with a touch of citrus.

M: Medium to full body with ample carbonation. Dry finish from the hop. Resinous from the hops as well.

Overall this is an enjoyable one that has solid bitterness and a touch of complexity.

 746 characters

Photo of Daddy_bone1
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of tdm168
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of pastramionrye7
3.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of avisong
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of tempest
3.87/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked up the winter variety pack from Wegmans and went straight to this beer.. I wasn't wild about some of the summer and fall seasonals, but this is a good black IPA. Yes, like most Saranac beers, the body is on the lighter sider, but not offensively so. It's lighter in the same sense as West Coast hop bombs are lighters and the hops can better stand out. Here's the roasty cocoa malt notes are pleasantly overpowered by biting, citrus hops with a little herbal grass. Tastes and smells like classic American hops, lots of Cascade.

The Saranac website lists Centennial, Citra, Chinook, Cascade, Galaxy, Simcoe, and the subtler fruity notes of the Simcoe and Citra, but the big, rough Centennial and Cascade (and probably Chinook) provide a big bitter punch. I'd buy a standalone sixer of this one. And I certainly prefer it to the thicker black IPAs that taste like a bitter porter without much hop flavor.

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Photo of chrishiker1409
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of HalfFull
2.96/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Bottle served up on a pint glass. The Moonshadow pours a deep brownish black with some hazy ruby highlights. A half inch of mocha foam shows light to medium retenion and light lacing.

Aroma is fairly balance between the hops and malt continuum. Piney anc citrus hops along with some roasted malt character. More caramel and chocolate covered cherry as the cap settles. Nice but nothing profound and as expected from the brewery.

Fruity notes carry over to the taste more than any other factor from the aroma. A light chocolate bitterness is added to the finish of the beer but no real hop bitterness comes through. Lightly coarse in texture/carbonation keeps a fullish body but the finish is rather lacking in complexity to linger. Overall this beer just doesn't quite gel for me, not really that hoppy for a self proclaimed IPA, malt depth is lacking but enough to cloak the hops, finish has too much dry roast character going on.

 933 characters

Photo of RyFikes
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Bapplebaum
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of zp6167a
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of puboflyons
3.06/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle stamped BB Mar 31, 2014-2893-0859. Sampled on November 21, 2013.

It has a dark brown pour with reddish hues and a modest beige head that fizzles. The clarity is not too bad.

I am getting some roasted malts and floral hoppiness on the nose but nothing along the lines of cocoa or coffee like I have come to expect from the style.

The body is about medium.

There is a rather bland wooden taste going on that is intermixed with the milder malts and slightly more forward floral hops. It is kind of like an amber on steroids and not real true to the style.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 ounce bottle, best before March 31, 2014. Oh well, this was a gift from a friend and he gave me the bottle about a month ago. Served in a DFH IPA glass, the beer pours a mahogany color with a couple inch light tan head that sticked around for a while. There's also a good amount of lacing. The beer smells like roasted and bready malt, chocolate, herbal hops, and some light citrusy hops. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also a bit of dark bread and coffee noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's a bit slick with moderate carbonation. Hopefully in the future I'll get to try a fresher bottle of this.

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Photo of nebula1999
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of kkmiller76
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of DoubleMalt
4.25/5  rDev +27.2%

Photo of ChipMurray
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of niiiv
3/5  rDev -10.2%

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Saranac Moonshadow Black IPA from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.34 out of 5 with 112 ratings