Saranac Big Moose Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

206 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 206 | Ratings: 460
Photo of q33jeff
2.14/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

**FROM OLD NOTES, 12/31/12: Aroma is rye, fruit, apple. Look is light brown, clear. Taste is slightly bitter, stale, rye. Thin mouthfeel. Nothing Special.

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Photo of Billolick
2.96/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle w/o freshness info of any sort to be had.

Pours caramel and lightly hazed. Very minor head, next to no film/collar/lace.

Meh kinda nose of more caramel smellin' malts...

Herbal tea hops, caramel malts, not loving much about this one.

Not really coming together for me. Bordering on unpleasant to drink.

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Photo of far333
3.37/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Caramel orange colored with a low beige head that settles out quickly. Low aroma of toasted malt and citrusy hops. Flavor of orange rind citrusy hops and well-balanced malt. Hops are front and center though, and continue to evolve as it warms. A piney bitterness lingers. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but carbonation tingles.

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Photo of beergoot
3.46/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A nicely colored copper-orange body covered with a nice foamy head. Citrus hops and caramel malt notes in the aroma. Crisp, medium-bodied feel; slightly fizzy. Warm malt flavors, reminding me of honey and biscuits; good complementary hop bitterness.

Another decent if non-exceptional offering from Saranac. Tasty and very drinkable, all things considered.

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Photo of curasowa
2.36/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Clear, golden color with two fingers of head that fade to a cap with some spotty lacing.

Aroma: Big toasted malt aroma with some woody notes mixed in with a slight metallic tang.

Taste: Some thin toasted malt flavor up front followed by a lot of grainy, thin, metallic yuck. Some mild bitterness towards the back end and finishing with some lingering graininess.

The Rest: Not much to say here, this isn't very good.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.56/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real nice crystal clear, and very light copper amber body with a mix of fast and slow rising pinhead carbonation. Head is about two to three fingers, and quite bleach white in color. Soapy retention, and falling at a normal speed. Good looking amber.

Very light toasty grains, and hints of caramel on the nose. Hop profile is not that obvious on first whiff or thereafter. By no means a bad smell, just nothing that impressive. It sort of reminds me of Sam Adams Boston Lager (yes I know this is an ale) on the malt profile.

Crisp playful carbonation a bit with a very light pale ale style body. Palate mixes with very hard to hint toasty caramel. Crisp hop action on the finish with only a simple pine bitterness. Clean. Easy to drink. Front of tongue has a bit of bitter orange, but it's quite hard to notice. However, with time and warmth the orange comes out more noticeably.

It's an overall fine easy drinking pale, but nothing that memorable, but would pick it over many other mass produced beers if I had a choice.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.26/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a light amber color, not much for head or lacing on the glass.

Smell is mostly caramel malt with a bit of citrus hops, nothing overwhelming, an odd aroma of fruit pebbles though, I guess you would consider that light fruit haha.

Taste is fairly light and crisp, sweet malt front followed by a dry bitter finish, overall pretty clean.

Nothing to write home about but not terrible either.

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Photo of Kremlock
2.81/5  rDev -19.7%
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.

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Photo of HarryPotHead
3.56/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 oz brownie into frosted mug.

A - Relatively hard pour yields 2 fingers of off white and foamy head. Yields quickly but sticks nicely to the side of the glass as it dissipates. Copper color rich and deep. Nice.

S - Floral bouquet with strong citrus notes. Nice as well.

T - Meh. Not bad...slightly above average for the style. Crisp and hoppy but also tastes slightly off balance and thin...could benefit from more of a caramel flavor to balance things out.

M - Again, thin and just a little watery. Just the right amount of carbonation.

O - If it's gone before the review is written it's usually top notch. In this case I still had about 4 oz left and I'm still writing! LOL! Not a bad beer. Above average...could certainly do a lot worse! I'd come back to this but wouldn't necessarily seek it out. [ii]D Cheers!

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Photo of u2carew
4.03/5  rDev +15.1%
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 Prospero2u
2.16/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

T obe fair, this is not my style of beer, but it was included in a holiday gift pack, so...

I found the color (coppery) average but the drink experience from aroma to taste was disappointing.

I didn't pick up much sweetness or caramel but a stronger hops aroma. It's a 13.5 IBU,

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Photo of IronLover
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright copper orange in color with good clarity. Poured with a short white foam that quickly reduced to a wispy cap. Citrus and herbal floral hop aromas with caramel malt beneath. Medium bodied with tangy carbonation and an oily feel. Herbal and floral hop flavors with a caramel malt backbone. Hop character is a bit messy. Finished semi-dry with a lingering hop bitterness.

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Photo of GiantMidget
3.33/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought the Saranac winter variety sampler at Wegman's. Good price at 16.99 for 12 beers.
This was the first one I tried out of this pack. I've had other Saranac's in the past.

Poured into a nonic, left a rocky 2-3 finger off white head.
Some citrus, floral and hops scent to be expected were present.

This was a pretty smooth APA but nothing super memorable about it to me.
The hops didn't jump out at first but the dryness reappeared more towards the end of the glass.

Thinner mouthfeel than I would prefer from an APA.

Overall it's not bad just not one I'd jump back to quickly.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.18/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I just reviewed this in full, but beeradvocate lost my review so this will be much more brief.

Average appearance of copper colour with an unimpressive head.

Aroma is poor for the style; imbalanced floral hops, caramel, and some sweet nectary notes.

Taste is poor as well; way too sweet with bland floral hops and middling caramalt. Bleh.

Mouthfeel is bland. Smooth, wet, too thick, overcarbonated.

Hard to drink due to its low quality. Another garbage beer from Saranac/Matt brewing. Not recommended at all.


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Photo of papaglide
3.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a beautiful copper color with minimal head. Nice Lacing left on pint glass.

S- Cascades, with citrus, biscuits and a sweetness lingering in the background.

T- the hops hit first, followed by a small dose of breadiness. Hops kick back in and the finish is quite dry but those hops to linger.

M- Thin and water like is the best way that I can describe it. Carbonation is medium.

O- This is not a bad APA but its not an outstanding one either. Big Moose is quite average for the style. It might be a tad out of balance but that may be the par for the style. Probably my least favorite out of the 12 beers of Christmas.

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Photo of AAG
3.48/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this American Pale Ale into a stein after letting it sit for a few minutes after taking out of the refrigerator. Unknown freshness; can't find expiration date on the bottle. Drank shortly after purchasing, though.

Appearance - A very nice pour that left about a finger of white head; head came down after a few minutes but still left nice cascades and lace on the side of the stein as I drank it. Nice amber color; slightly darker than I expected but still very pleasing.

Smell - Hoppy, grainy, caramel-like smell. Very enjoyable. Can smell the spices but not sophisticated enough (yet!) to tease out what they actually are.

Taste - Malt sweetness, caramel, hoppy taste. Hoppier than I would expect for this ale but very pleasing overall. Full-flavored, slightly bitter aftertaste. Crisp.

Mouthfeel - Feels nice on the palate, carbonated, but pleasant.

Overall - I enjoyed this American Pale Ale from Matt Brewing Company. This is the second Matt Brewing Company beer that I have enjoyed this week (the other was the Saranac White IPA). I prefer the IPA but I am still pleased with this Big Moose Ale. Good for a winter night (as advertised). I recommend this beer. I would have it again.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.78/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looking for an incredible hop-malt balance with a dry-drinkable balance. The Matt Brewery has the answer with Big Moose! It's a tasty beer with impeccable flavor delivery.

With a slightly richer hue that's expected from the style, its deeper amber hue is brilliantly clear and allows a creamy white head to rise at the onset. It's diminishing froth reduces to a dissolved sheet and laces intermittently. Looking much more English-like, the beer is a bit more calm that what we're used to.

Citrusy notes of orange peel, grapefruit, light tropical notes, pine, and grass gives both pungency and floral notes to the aroma profile. Backed by malty notes of caramel and graham crackers, a hearty sweet note is what's needed to balance the strong hop presence.

Delicious dry graham cracker sweetness, graininess, and hearty taste all rise in taste to meet the front of the mouth. As the sweetness extends onto the middle palate, the citrus and herbal hop flavors emerge with those orange peel and grapefruit tastes. Herbal tea leaves, fresh cut grass, and pine resins start to frame the finishing flavors while grain and bread crust offer creamy taste in support.

A creamy-dry texture rises early and retains the mouthfeel until very late in the session. A short lived malty texture quickly fades and favors a pleasant grainy-dry, semi-sweet posturing. The late spic of alcohol and malty-dryness gives the beer enough structure to become endearing but is dry enough for sheer drinkability.

Big Moose Ale is a fantastic American pale ale that holds up to an array of American cuisine, but is sturdy enough to stand alone as a session-like ale. Incredible in texture and firm in taste, the beer is build for flexibility.

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Photo of TheWapakian
2.45/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

13.5 IBU is incorrect in the BA description. 13.5 is the Original Gravity per the Saranac website. With this much toe curling bite there is no way this is a 13.5 IBU (I'm guessing it is more like a 55-60 IBU). This is not one that I would buy on my own (I got it as part of the sampler pack) If I were a hop head I may really like this beer, but I'm not.

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Photo of 401J
3.1/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Beer #2 in this craft pack lacked some luster or anything much notable for that matter..

Delightful nose of fresh flowered hops rose my hopes but it turns out there wasn't much behind it..

Taste was of a solid ale but a bit metallic in the mouth feel..

Fair all around, wouldn't purchase again.

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Photo of metter98
3.48/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear yellowish amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high light beige head that died down but consistently left a thin head covering the surface and lots of lacy rings of bubbles around the edges of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of floral hops and spices in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of pale malts and a light amount of bitterness. Hints of spices are noticeable in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a little thin on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite easy to drink, but the aroma and flavors seem to be a little muted.

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Photo of jjchristiano
3.21/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed some Christmas beers to try in advance of the holiday. Took a six pack of the Saranac as they are always reasonably priced. Most times I am very pleased. This offering though is not really very tasty. It's drinkable but not anything special and I really can't find anything about it that is very wintery. Just an average amber ale that has a big "Big Moose" name. I got others to try and look forward to finishing this one to move to something else.

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Photo of auxiliary
3.55/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearane- Copper amber color, nice white head when poured but then settled down. Left some lace on the glass.

Smell - Lot s of hops here and some bread.

Taste - Malt taste up front and a lot of hops follow through. Hints of caramel also.

Mouthfeel - Medium body

Overall - Not that bad, I'm not into hoppy beer person but it is one to start off if you are a newbie to this. It is a nice winter warmer.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.55/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this is one of those rare beers that has two identities. the pour is fine enough, copper in color with an average white head, not much retention. the nose is all malt, english caramel, sweet, toffee even, medium toast. but the flavor, is all hops, resins and bitter from extensive dry hopping. its sort of an odd double take, i get no hops in the nose, and i get very little of that robust malty weight in the taste, which i cant seem to figure out in terms of brewing technique, but it comes together rather well all things considered. this is a winter beer for sure, even brown sugary to the smell, and the hops keep it crisp and clean like the night air in december here in upstate new york. enough body and enough bubbles, the feel is fine. dry bitter finish. overall not my favorite saranac winter selection, but it wont be the last beer left in my fridge, thats for sure.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Pours a golden brown with a finger of foamy head. Smell is sweet caramel malts and slight hops. Taste is just mild hop and aggressive sweet malt. Way unbalanced and over sweet with a bitter finish. Its better than macro but not representative of the style. I wouldnt seek this out...or buy it on its own.

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Photo of mikeg67
2.1/5  rDev -40%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle from a verity pack. Pours light amber with a short-lived white head. Aroma is of bready and caramel malt, hints of citrusy hops and ripe fruit. Body is full and crisp. Taste is citusy, herbal hops, some shellfish and something else. Finish is long and unpleasant. Nice drain pour.

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Saranac Big Moose Ale from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
3.5 out of 5 based on 460 ratings.
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