Saranac Big Moose Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Saranac Big Moose AleSaranac Big Moose Ale
Liked This Beer
3.49 w/ 460 ratings
Saranac Big Moose AleSaranac Big Moose Ale

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

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-07-2009

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 460 |  Reviews: 206
Photo of JottaGibboo
4.25/5  rDev +21.8%

Photo of Nathanhlind
4.25/5  rDev +21.8%

Photo of MVotter
4.21/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - The Saranac Big Moose Ale pours into a chalice a crystal clear amber with a good inch of a cream colored head, and thick, ample lacing.

S - Breads and yeast, roasted malts, and faint piny hops.

T - Nice, hop tang in the front, mellowed almost immediately by some malts. The finish features a stronger return to the piny-hops foundation of this American Pale Ale.

M - The mouthfeel is medium gravity with a tame, pleasant effervescence.

D - This is a very drinkable, satisfying American Pale Ale. A really nice offering from the good folks at F.X. Matt and Saranac.

The Big Moose Ale was part of the 12 Beers of Winter package from Saranac this season. So far I have really enjoyed every style I've tasted (Belgian Ale, Winter Lager, Big Moose Ale) in this one. Well done!

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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!

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Photo of smibroncos
4.2/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Poures a clear dark straw, with a two finger lingering frothy off white head. The head was lasting, and there was good lacing on the glass.

S. Fresh cut grass, pine, hops

T. Grapefruit, pine. Lots of hops.

M. Nice. Good carbonation,medium bodied.

D. A relly great brew, I like this APA. Good ampount of hops, nice bitternes and great flavor.

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Photo of TheHopMonster
4.17/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours a very clean copper color. White foam is prevalent but disappears quickly. Fast rising bubbles indicating that the malt does not play a big part in the structure of this brew.


Intense herbs, with grassy citrus notes. Some caramel and sweet malt comes through once the beer warms a bit.


You can really tell this beer was triple dried hopped. The hops play a dominate role in the taste. A lot of citrus up front with some slight malt characteristics making an appearance and then it ends semi dry. You really taste the delicious cascade hop throughout. Satisfying to say the least.


One of their hoppier beers. Saranac did a decent job with this one. Nice spice notes and well rounded hop characteristics.

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.17/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From the Twelve Beers of Winter Collection :

Pours a bright clear coppery body with small white head. Head has decent retention and light lacing of glass. Aroma is very citrus and hoppy!
Taste follows the nose, citrus/lemon like with a lot of hop bitterness, the malt sweetness is just enough to offset the hops.Finish is slightly slick and oily.

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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.

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Photo of generallee
4.13/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into pint glass. There is no freshness date on the bottle but it did come in the new 2009 winter pack so I have a good idea of how fresh it is.

Appearance: The body has a beautiful clear amber body with some slow moving carbonation. On top sits a tight thick and creamy light tan head. The head has good retention and cling which makes lots of cool lacing on the glass.

Smell: Its nose has a pleasant lemony citrus note coming through with some pale malty sweetness under that.

Taste/Palate: Bright citrus hops flash across the palate up front. Just after that nice bready and sweet malty notes sneak in before the hop bitterness and dry yeast flavor sweeps over and fades into the finish. The body has a nice medium body with lively balanced carbonation.

Notes: This is a very well made and enjoyable pale ale with very good balance and bright flavors. It is simple, very refreshing and highly drinkable.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.13/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle: " Saranac Big Moose Ale is the perfect brew for a cold Adirondack winter night. This full-flavored ale is triple dry-hopped with specialty Citra, Centennial and Cascade hops to give you a vibrant citrusy hop aroma. The bold hop character is balanced by malt sweetness from English Pale and Caramel malts to produce a lusciously crisp flavor. We don't call it 'Big Moose' for nothing!" Now, that's copy!

I got a rocky, foamy finger's worth of ecru head off of the pour with decent retention. Color was a medium-copper/amber with NE-quality clarity, real BUPGOO stuff! Nose was, as some noted, more bread/biscuit than hoppy, but underlain with a lemon/ grapefruit hoppiness. Interesting. Mouthfeel was medium with a definite hops bite on the tongue, more pine than citrus, The bottleneck reads "... from hand selected Centennial and Cascade hops." Aha! Finish was pleasantly bitter and definitely made the big moose welcome back to Chez Wood Estate any time.

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Photo of yesyouam
4.12/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saranac Big Moose Ale is clear and golden with a big, foamy, off white head that has some oily bubbles on it. The head stays put and leaves thick lacing all the way down the glass. The aroma is straightforward: grapefruit and pine. It smells really fresh. It's medium light bodied and quite smooth. The finish is clean and dry. It tastes really simple. It's all grapefruit peel and pine resin. There's enough bitterness here to remind me that this is, in fact, a pale ale. This is sort of like if you made a simple home brew and everything went perfect. I can't stress the simplicity of this one enough. I like that a lot.

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Photo of gregb13
4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a very fine example of the style; no particular aspect of this beer is spectacular, but the sum of its parts is excellent. You get some citrus rind in the aroma along with some hop earthiness. The taste follows the nose nicely. Mouthfeel is medium; nice carbonation, effervescent. Extremely sessionable.

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Photo of Stunner97
4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- light amber in color see through with good carbonation, thin white head faded to lacing,

Smell- light hops and malts, overall light smell but okay for style

Taste- really nicely balanced flavor of malt and nice balanced hop finish which is very balanced,the flavor of this beer leaves me wanting my next sip and maybe even my next moose

Mouthfeel- light crisp good carbonation

Drinkability/overall- this beer was extremely drinkable with a really nice balance and good flavor, an extremely nice and session able beer and probably the best saranac beer I have tried before

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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.

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Photo of BeerPhan86
4.08/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For some reason, BeerAdvocate lost the last four reviews I did of the Saranac 12 Beers of Winter. Makes me mad, oh well here we go AGAIN.

A - Pours a rich golden amber with a one finger tan head that lingers for a couple of minutes.

S - Citrus and piney hops, along with a nice grassy/earthy scent and some grains. Sweet and floral.

T - Bitter, grassy hops at first followed by a nice piney taste and some malty/biscuity sweetness to finish it off. Citrusy with hints of grapefruit. A bit spicy and minty.

M - Very smooth, medium bodied and just the right amount of carbonation.

D - I could session this, and I prefer it over their regular pale ale actually! Can't wait to find this in six packs at my local store and I hope they keep this one around.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.07/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

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Photo of jameswaldo
4.06/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

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Photo of Zekezilla
4.05/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't typically enjoy pale ales. I don't really like the grapefruit/hoppy thing BUT I was willing to try this because...well, it came from Saranac. I've yet to be disappointed in one of their beers and this is no exception. It's smooth and citrusy. THIS is a pale ale I can finally enjoy.

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Photo of u2carew
4.03/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz longneck
A) Pours with a finger thick head that quickly settles. Clear bronze body. Visible upward carbonation.
S) Pleasant hop aroma - piney. Caramel malts
T) A bright hop bite upfront. Then transitions to a floral notes blended with sweet caramel notes. Earthy and gritty hops linger in the aftertaste and beyond.
M) Crisp. Clean. Light bodied.
O) A delicious PA. I will definitely be drinking another.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.03/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours amber with a medium white head, very good retention, spotty lace.

S: Tangerines with a hint of mint, light pine.

T: Good citrusy and earthy hop flavour, hint of mango in the finish. Tasty crystal type malt, good balanced flavour.

M: Medium-bodied, crisp and clean. Refreshing and easy drinking.

O: Quite a pleasant surprise from the Saranac winter 12er. The best beer I've had from them, just a good APA.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
4.02/5  rDev +15.2%
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

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Photo of JMB22
4.02/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Straight from the bottle. A little pine hoppy smell...but it was in a bottle. Felt creamy and full on the tongue. Not overpowering, but you can really feel taste the hops here. Quite smooth...sweet malts too. A note here, the alcohol isn't present at all. The Matt boys did good with this one.

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

Photo of DavidGross
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of HuaiDan
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Saranac Big Moose Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 33.9% out of 100 with 460 ratings
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