Saranac Big Moose Ale | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

460 Ratings
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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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 460 |  Reviews: 206
Photo of sleazo
2.81/5  rDev -19.7%
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 mjrod2142
3.26/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass

This beer has a nice amber-caramel color with lots of bubbles soaring upwards. The head was very thin, but it held up firmly for a few minutes. An underwhelming citrus-hoppy aroma that says "mass produced" in my mind.

The flavor is decent...not bad. Nothing jumps out at me either positively or negatively. It's easy drinking...I could throw back a few of these without much thought.

If you're looking for a good American Pale Ale, go with Dale's or Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +20%
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 Thickfreakness
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a Portsmouth pint glass, one finger creamy head that left decent lacing behind. Sunshiney amber hue with bubbly carbonation.

S- Hops and fresh cut lemon grass and citrus peel... smells really fresh and clean.

T- First sip is grapefruit surrounded by fresh hops and basil... bitter citrus pith and mowed grass mellow out on the tongue leaving a fruity, hoppy, aftertaste.

M- Really brings the tastebuds to life. Really spicey and hoppy... almost freshens your breathe!

D- This is a really fresh tasting beer that could easily be a daily drinker for someone that needs a hop fix. I'm actually fairly impressed.

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Photo of airheadmtrcycle
3.66/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Came from a winter sampler. Clear amber beer with a thick, rocky head. Substantial lacing. Good looking beer.

Citrus and pine aromas are subdued. Slightly disappointing after watching the film on the Saranac website where the brewers tout the aroma. The hop flavor is nice, but there's a little watery mouth feel on the front of the tongue before the bitter hops are realized in the back of the mouth. However, the flavors that are there are good. There are some malty, bready flavors that came on about halfway through the beer that make it a balanced APA. The mouth feel was better when that happened.

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Photo of JayQue
3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Going through the 12 Beers of Winter 12 pack. This was a nice surprise after a very mediocre Rye IPA. Pours a clear amber color with a nice sized, frothy white head. Good retention and lacing.

Pronounced malty smell, pleasant. Taste was primarily bready malt with a little hop bite. Nicely balanced, flavors strong enough to enjoy.

Mouthfel is crisp and rich enough for the style. Drinkability is good. A solid APA, leaning toward the malty side.

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Photo of ZeroSignal
3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

A - Pours an orange tinted amber with a tight, off-white head. Good retention and lacing.

S - Light whiffs of citrus and a bit of pine...more on the grapefruit end of things I think. Golden malt aroma with a bit of a biscuity smell.

T&M - Solid malt backbone on this medium bodied brew with a toasted bread and biscuit quality. Nice bite from the hops with lots of citrus zest. Malt makes itself known again in the slightly sweet finish.

D - I'm not going to lie Saranac...I underestimated you. This is a very nice I would happily revisit.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.07/5  rDev +16.3%
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 e11iott
2.78/5  rDev -20.6%
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.

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Photo of heavy216
2.09/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: 12 oz bottle. 2 fat finger head, lasted several minutes, good lacing,,,,orange/amber in color

S: strong hops smell, with slight citrus smell

T/M: very strong bitter aftertaste, taste more fruity as it got warmer...

D: not one i would write home about

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

Pours amber gold with a 1 finger foamy tan head that faded slowly; decent lacing that left rings.

Smells of citrus hops, pine cone of piney hops, sweet malt, grains and light caramel; decent nose that is more malty than hoppy.

Tastes hoppy, with piney/floral hops, sweet malt, caramel, grapefruit, grains, hay, light flowers or herbs and a dry roasted finish that has another burst of bitter hops at the end.

Light carbonation, it was crisp with a watery flow/feel and a smooth mouthfeel; this goes down easy and was very enjoyable. Could drink this beer all night, even though it was maltier than I expected.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.56/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a DFH snifter. Part of a mixed 12 pack.

Pours a nice amber color with a half finger of foam that fades away quickly. Aroma is malty, salty, almost like soy sauce.

Tastes like a pretty vanilla amber ale. Sweet malt forward, minimal hop flavor, and nice drinkability. This is what I expect from Saranac - decent beers at a great price. I'd buy this in a 6 pack for 6.99 or so.

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Photo of happy4hoppybeer
4.42/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A=Light orange/amber with decent-sized head that fizzles in a few minutes, leaving behind nice solid lacing,that sticks to the glass for a good while. Good

S&T=Nice,sweet malted barley, with a good trace of hops coming through, providing a nice little bite. Not overpowering, but noticeable and a good,solid balance being provided.

B=Medium body, with average carbonation coming through.

D=An excellent session pale ale, making
it easy to have more than a few, and still being able to enjoy flavor and substance.

Saranac continues to impress me, providing good quality beer meeting the standard of each style, with an exceptionally cheap price for craft brew. So I will continue to buy them, I do not demand exceeding standards in every brew, all the time. I only ask for being a good example of each style.

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Photo of ToddT
3.73/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear amber color topped with a thin off white head. Head fades quickly to a ring and leaves little lace on the glass.

S- Mild notes of malt, caramel, and floral hops.

T- Malt and caramel at first then followed by a mild hop bite, nicely balanced, but nothing that special. Finish is clean with a lingering final note of the bitter hops.

M- Medium in body and high in carbonation, feels a little fizzy on the palate.

D- Very drinkable, nothing crazy or extreme here, but nothing that I would go out of my way to get either. At 5.3% ABV this one could be a good candidate for a session beer.

Solid and well done, but nothing I'll seek out either.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean orange-ish color with a light tan head. In the aroma, a nice small pine like hop presence. In the taste, a sweet to dry nice hop presence. A small bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry, hoppy aftertaste. A nice, everyday pale, nothing too exciting, but nice nonetheless.

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Photo of Wamesit
4.15/5  rDev +18.6%
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 anotherpg
3.49/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Saranac makes cost-effective beers of reasonable quality and BMA is no exception. It's a solid B, right down the middle in terms of craft brews but a huge step up given the relative empty landscape of upstate NY beers.

Pour is huge with a 2 finger head that doesn't give up for quite some time. Smells of malt and hops. Taste is sweet malt, then slightly watery, especially if you're used to West Coast hophead beers, but the finish is a well-bittered pale ale. Foaminess improves the mouthfeel of this one. Overall, a pretty good beer.

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Photo of skenyon1811
3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint.

A: Nice pour on this brew. Inch and a half of thick foam. Nice light amber color, lighter than most APAs. Really nice retention.

S: Very pleasant pine aroma, but that's about it. It kind of has only one note, however that one note is played out very nicely.

T: Good sharp crisp flavor. It has an earthy taste to the hops with a hint of fruitiness. Gotta love cascade hops. Used in so many beers, but never gets old. Although mostly hoppy, it is not over powering. Good piney after taste.

M: Like I said it is a nice crisp and sharp beer. Heavier on the carbonation, but I think it works here.

D: This is a little lighter flavored APA than most, however it still has excellent flavor. I wish they sold this in a six and twelve packs and not just in the mixer.


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Photo of daliandragon
3.71/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a mixed twelver of Saranac for the first time in years the other day for the holidays. Now that the company is on its way for the year its time to sample the survivors.
Big Moose starts strong with a big fluffy head and awesome sticky lace on top of a reddish copper body. Nose is dominated by earthy and grassy hops with a citrus twinge.

Plenty of flavor in this one with lemon zest, English hops, and chocolate malts. Nice balance and a little bite. The mouthfeel is initially a bit thin but ends up doing a stellar job. Overall this is a solid session beer that would be tasty is almost any season.

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Photo of jameswaldo
4.06/5  rDev +16%
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 Gambrinus1184
3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a pint glass.

A: Medium copper-orange color with a chilled haze under a two-finger head of puffy white foam which settles to a thin cap leaving a bit of lace.

S: Bready and sweet with some spicy, citrus hop aromas in the nose. A bit of toffee and candied fruity sweetness in the aroma.

T: Light, semisweet, medium-roast caramel malts up front with a doughy bread crust flavor towards mid-palate. The drying, spicy and citrus hops build towards a dry, mellow and slightly lingering bitter finish. Pretty clean and inoffensive all around.

M: Medium bodied, smooth and pretty well-balanced, as most Saranac brews tend to be.

D: At 5.3% ABV, this is little more than an APA branded and marketed for winter consumption. That said, it's not a bad pale ale offering from the generally homogeneous brew masters at Saranac. Nothing too special, but it has enough hop characteristic and tidiness to be worthy of mass consumption.

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Photo of projectflam86
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a golden amber color with at thick foam head that leaves nice rings of lace.

S- Some pine hops and lemon grass in the nose. A decent malt sweetness is in there as well.

T- Nice gentle bitterness upfront with a really a very sweet malt finish. Caramel and grain round out the flavor and add sweetness.

M- Medium bodied with nice carbonation.

D- A very drinkable brew that isn't too high in ABV.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 2/16/2010. Bottle. Pours a clear orange with a thick white head. Aroma of biscusity, bready malts, floral hops. Flavor of the same bready, toasted malts with some light hop oils. Solid pale ale actually, props to Saranac. Very tasty and drinkable!

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Photo of Kooz
2.68/5  rDev -23.4%
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.

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Photo of bubseymour
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from pint glass.

This is a good Saranac and very well made American Pale Ale. Very drinkable and good flavor to me. I'm having this beer after just finishing a Saranac Rye IPA. From the winter 12 pack mix I just bought, this one is one of the better beers from this mix. I recommend this one.

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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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