Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Saranac Big Moose Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Saranac Big Moose AleSaranac Big Moose Ale
461 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 461 |  Reviews: 206
Photo of chrispoint
2.5/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of timmy2b
2.5/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of TomG2751
2.5/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of BigGameRick
2.5/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of Brew33
2.5/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of deonreds
2.5/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of Smoky54
2.5/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of cnjohn19
2.52/5  rDev -27.8%
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...

 925 characters

Photo of fx20736
2.61/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, served right from the fridge.

Pale, reddish-gold amber, decently carbonated with 2 fingers of offwhite head and some decent lacing.

Aroma: noticeable but not bold, piney hops and bready malt. My nose catches an 'off' smell like vegetable soup being cooked in an institutional kitchen.

Mouthfeel: full.

Taste: there is something just a little funky here. It doesn't overpower the beer but I notice it in the aroma and taste. Otherwise it is a slightly thin and fairly malty IPA as if they were trying to replicate SN Celebration Ale.

Notes: I always try to like Saranac beers, especially as they are brewed a 120 miles from me and their Pale Ale was one of my first entrees into American Craft beer but they usually come up short. Without the 'off' flavor and aroma this would be a somewhat uninspiring APA/AIPA but the total package is a flawed beer that I won't buy again.

 924 characters

Photo of JuicesFlowing
2.68/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a standard pint glass. The beer is a bright copper, orange/amber color. Think rusted carrots. The creamy light fluffy head stays around for a while, leaving a good even head all the way down. Sticky lacing. Smells very hoppy with a sweet carrot presence. The beer tastes tangy with too much hops. Sticky and sour come to mind. Again, there is a weird carrot taste in there. Mouthfeel is a bit watery. Overall, I despise pale ales that are dressed up as Winter Warmers. I mean, come on ... I don't want a tangy, hoppy beer for Christmas, thank you.

 559 characters

Photo of Kooz
2.68/5  rDev -23.2%
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.

 519 characters

Photo of KickbacksSteve
2.73/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a mini snifter. Small, quickly dissipating head. Light, clear lacing. Aroma is slightly apricot and citrus but I'm honestly struggling to smell any hops. My friend said it smells like a "lemon tire"? Taste is mildly bitter. Not too flavorful but also no off flavors. Easy on the palate, but again, lacking any great flavors.

 349 characters

Photo of Tilley4
2.73/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From the Saranac Winter Sampler 12 pack...

Pours a golden appearance with a small head... Lots of evident carbonation so this one should be fresh...

Wow... For a brew supposedly hopped with 2 different C-hops, this one has no hop aroma whatsoever... Light biscuity malt all the way...

Well, after a few sips of this one, it was down the drain for me.. It wasn't really offensive or anything but just had no noticeable hop presence at all.. A very average beer that just didn't do it for me...

On to the next one from the Winter Sampler...

 543 characters

Photo of Skabiski
2.75/5  rDev -21.2%

Photo of GRG1313
2.75/5  rDev -21.2%

Photo of chefduff2
2.75/5  rDev -21.2%

Photo of EFR94
2.75/5  rDev -21.2%

Photo of agreenman19
2.75/5  rDev -21.2%

Photo of e11iott
2.78/5  rDev -20.3%
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.

 399 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.8/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, darkened orange body with a grouping of rather large, white bubbles comprising a rather small head.

Smell: Malty accents of caramel-glazed barley grain. Vague hints of florals and spice. Citrus-scented hop note of wet, juicy lemons.

Taste: Lightly grainy, lightly bready pale malts. Not much of the caramel from the aroma carries over into the final flavor. Modest amount of sweetness. The hops are predominately citrusy, though a few faint hints of spice and florals are transmitted. Medium bitterness. It literally melts in your mouth, as in it gets increasingly watery as you reach the dry, bitter, though wimpy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: The decaying body, with its thinning wateriness drives down my interest in this one to near nil. A weak, below average offering.

 845 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
2.81/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From the beers of winter 12 pack.
Copper colored. Thin tan head. Tiny bit of lace.
Very weak aroma. Vaguely sweet with a hint of citrus.
White bread taste, a little bit of grapefruit.
This beer just didn't do it for me. Really weak aroma, with only minimal improvement in the taste.

 297 characters

Photo of Kremlock
2.81/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A. Poured a nice 1 inch head that fell within 30 seconds. Lacing is low-medium. Colour is a very clear light copper.

S: Floral bouquet, some citrus present. Caramel in the background.

T: I get a slight bubble gum flavour. Caramel flavours are hidden by the hops. A bit thin.

M: After taste is astringent and has some tannins. Bitterness is nice at the beginning but then changes into that strong tea feel. Hop flavours are hidden by the mentioned problem.

O: Not impressed at all. The lack of caramel leaves the bitterness go wild. The tannins and astringency of the beer distracts from any enjoyment of wish to continue it's consumption. But fear not, I drank it anyways.

 676 characters

Photo of sleazo
2.81/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A_Pours a medium brown with a one finger head. Decent Retention

S_The smell is reminiscent of other Saranac brews. Slightly metallic and with hints of grain

T_The same metallic taste comes through. Mildly malty but fairly iron like. This overshadows the minor bread like malt tones and the mild generic hops.

M_Light bodied and medium carbonation

D_Meh, fairly crappy pale ale.

 381 characters

Photo of mtnbikerpa
2.86/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle. Copper, amber color with little or no head with only minimal carbonation. Very bland smell of faint hops. Sticky pine-like, hoppy taste. But not alot of distinguishing flavor, a little more than a standard pale ale. I am glad I got to try this as part of the Saranac beers of winter variety pack. Probably not a beer I would seek out though.

 372 characters

Photo of MrOH
2.92/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Clear light copper with a single finger of white foam. Spotty lace.

Citrus, passionfruit, some caramel. Hints of pine.

Melon, lemon, pine hop flavors, bitterness is strange, lingering, but not unpleasant. A bit unbalanced for an APA.

Medium-light bodied with ample carbonation.

A bit odd, don't think that it really works. Worth a try. The whole is less than the sum of its parts.

 384 characters

Saranac Big Moose Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.49 out of 5 with 461 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.