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 Brenden
3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one is a nearly clear, shiny amber-copper with gold highlights. A nice continuous bubbling and cascade effect form a creamy, dense eggshell white head. It's not all that tall, but when it settles to about half a finger in height, it never fades beyond that. This head has some stick as well, as it unlooses the head in sheets but is continuously rebuilt as it descends.
Saranac usually has a good balance, even if their beers tend to be a bit light. This beer does have the balance in the aroma but isn't light. Citrus and floral hops balance nicely with caramel malts. It's not complex, but it makes for a very nice APA and isn't one-dimensional, either.
The flavor changes a touch as what's noted in the aroma makes for the general taste, but a bit of graininess pulls out as well. Sometimes tobacco can be difficult to distinguish in a bigger beer or hard to put a finger on. This is the beer I'd suggest for anyone wanting to really what what it means to taste a tobacco note in a beer, as it comes out quite strongly.
The body is medium, and the play between crisp and smooth works well while operating with a relatively low carbonation that remains to keep the feel lively.

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Photo of Stunner97
4.1/5  rDev +17.1%
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 TheMultiYeast
3.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber/orange with a bit of white head.

Smell is dominated by big citrus hops all around. Some earthy pine and maybe a hint of caramel malt.

Taste is full of hop flavor as well. Moist citrus and a touch of tropical fruit leads to a little sour acidity and pungent bitterness. Triple hopping this has made it a little one-sided.

Mouthwatering sip after sip and well carbonated

Overall this was a good try from Saranac, but not the most well-rounded dry hopped brew.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.12/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Clear copper in color, with a big head of off-white foam.
Aroma-Mineral note, subtle fruitiness.
Taste-Up-front earthy hops and a minerally, flat bitterness that follows to the finish. Label states that it is "triple dry hopped" but the hops seem to fight each other instead of playing nice. Toasted malt mixed in but doesnt help the balance. Mineral quality reminds me more of an English pale rather than an American pale.
Tastebuds left scratching their heads and shrugging shoulders. Meh.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.18/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I picked this up on the single bottle shelf to try something new. The label brags about the hopping; so I was very interested in pouring it.

The moose is very pretty. It is orange with lots of coppery notes. And it leaves a nice foam on top of the beer.

This moose smells good. You get lots of citrus and floral hopping. I like the way this smells.

The flavor isn't as good as the smell. Somehow the flavors aren't balancing. I think the caramel malt isn't working with the hops. It was kind of disappointing.

I wish this beer tasted half as good as it smelled. That's too bad.

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Photo of gabedivision
3.56/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured form a bottle to a DFH Snifter glass.

This beer pours very sexy, a deep copper color with a fluffy frothy 1 1/2 inch head that sticks and slimes. Pours much like a big IPA. Smell has malt character similar to their EPA, with some citrus cascade hops thrown in. The taste is malt forward also, but thins out and the citrus lemon hops come out to give it a slightly bitter finish. This beer has a bigger body for an APA, I'd say medium almost, its creamy and smooth going down. I was very suprised at how full this was. Overall this beer is ok, i like the price on it, and its easy on the palate. However, not something that i would seek out nor look forward to every winter.

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Photo of Celt44
3.39/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This six pack caught my eye in the craft section of the local grocery. New from Saranac and from time to time, they do a great job.

Appearance - Pours a medium amber with a nice frothy head. Last throughout.

Aroma - Citrusy and Piney ....finishes with a bready malt aroma

Taste - Citrusy with a hint of fruitiness. Bitterness of hops poke through.

Mouthfeel - Decent burn - frothy head gets in the way but not creamy.

Overall a decent good beer by Saranac. One of the better ones I've had from them in quite a while. A great new addition to anyone's collection of Winter warmers....

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Photo of indiapaleale
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed a six-pack based on price and time. I was thinking this would be a little higher in ABV and sort somewhere in the Strong Ale category. I got home and relized it was a 5.3% abv APA. Go figure. I was a victim of the Saranac marketing machine.

Pours a medium amber to golden color with a half inch of fluffy head. Plenty of carbonation really spells out the ABV of this brew.

Aroma is some hints at pine and resins along with wet paper and something that reminds me of my high school chemistry class. A couple more whiffs and I do get get some citrus smells a la grapefruit. Not too bad I guess.

Flavor profile is both bitter and sweet. Certainly this has a big grapefruit bite right off the bat which sort of took me for a loop based on the style. Definitely a hop forward beer for the style. Lots of sharp citrus flavors and some decent malt notes. The finish is a bit funky and I think its one of the negatives for this beer. It sort of reminds me of wet cardboard and oxidization - and this is fresh.

Overall, this is a solid brew from Saranac. Like the Gin Blossoms song states "If you don't expect too much from me you might not be let down". Saranac delivers brews a step above mediocracy so if you come across a beer like this brewed with Citra hops you take the bait. At less than $8 a six pack it certainly is worth bringing along to a party or throwing in the fridge for back up brew.

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Photo of JMB22
4.02/5  rDev +14.9%
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 Spica66
3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank this beer with gwuilliums at Camp Lawrence for 15th anniversary celebration.

A: Light golden yellow with some chill haze. Decent head formation, but hardly any retention. Decent carbonation with very little lacing.

S: Medium hops and a decent malt background.

T: Nothing special here. Decent tangy malt with some hops.

M: Carbonation is right. Decent, roundish mouthfeel. Not creamy.

O: Just an average pale ale. Nothing I would go searching for.

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Photo of Rschis16
3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A darker burnt orange color that is nearly opaque froma slight haze. Nice head retention from the healthy white head. Smell is of piney hops and apricots or some other similar fruit. It's pleasant.

Fruity taste at first, then a nice bite of hop bitterness in the back. The hops support a weaker fruit taste that, alone, would not stand up well as a good beer. But the hops behind it make them stand out as a uniqueness to the beer and for that, this beer is pretty good and I would have another one. Drinkability is high, as it is easy to drink, yet hoppy enough that i'd want another. The only thing that may improve this beer a little is if it had a crisper mouthfeel and dryer finish. I feel that would make this beer more refreshing. But this is only a minor detail, and overall it is a nice relaxing and easy beer to drink.

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Photo of GreenJetta912
3.52/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pine-like hop smell. The hops are about all I smell. The taste confirms the pineyness of the hops. It's a very refreshing pale ale and good for a session on a hott summer day. It has almost no malty sweetness. Hoppy not sweet, good carbonation. The finish makes your mouth pucker a bit from the hops. Overall a good beer to drink and pretty cheap. My landlord actually gave me half a 12 pack that a guy left at his house on christmas. Cheers to free beer

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Photo of zeff80
3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, orange-amber color with a one-finger, off-white head of foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of spicy hops, pine and some bubblegum notes.

T - It tasted toasty with nice citrus, pine and bubblegum flavor from the hops. Really surprisingly tasty.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a clean, dry finish.

O - This was a really surprisingly good pale ale. It had IPA-like hop character.

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

Brought a bottle to a BYOB restaurant to enjoy with dinner. Review from notes.
Poured into a supplied pint glass.

A - Pours a rather translucent, light golden yellow color. A rather foamy, white head appears upon pouring but it quickly fades. Large amount of carbonation bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass. Little to no lacing left on the glass after drinking.

S - Rather unimpressive. Slightly tangy, maltly smell.

T - A rather generic pale ale. Tangy, slightly malty taste. Little to no hop bite. Nothing awful but not the best ale I've ever had.

M - Very well carbonated. Leaves a slightly metallic aftertaste.

D - The low ABV and lack of heaviness would allow you to drink this as a session beer. That being said, I wouldn't want too many of these.

Overall - Another Saranac beer that falls short. Drinkable but not something I'll seek out again.


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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light yellow color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, tea, citrus and a little bit of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a hearty but not too heavy malt character that is quickly followed by mildly sweet flavors of caramel and citrus. Then a decent hops presence comes in but it's a bit on the weak side for the style. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, this is a fairly solid beer overall but there are several others in the style that I would choose first.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.51/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a slightly oranged-golden. Head retention is pretty poor and minimal lacing.
S- Smell is pale malt, a bit of light citrusy hops. Well balanced and enjoyable.
T- Many of the aromas were present here. A bit of a toffee and caramel were present. The finish was disappointing.
M- Light body, weak finish.
D- A merely ok pale. Nothing worth searching out, but drinkable enough.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
2.73/5  rDev -22%
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.

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Photo of gregshead
3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a rich golden color with about a finger of head.

S: Caramel malt with some grapefruit hop smell.

T: Taste of malts and hops isn't as well blended/quality wasn't what I hoped for.

M: Decent carbonation and a nice light feel.

D: It fits the style and is drinkable.

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Photo of philbe311
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Slightly more than a fingers of tightly packed creamy yellow-tinged off-white head with an ever so slightly rocky top... Impressive retention... A warm copper color loaded with briskly paced carbonation that rises... A mild orangish red hue...

S - Toasted malts... Short bread cookies... Subtle caramel... Some vague nutty notes... A touch of ripe fruit... Simple, straight forward, and quite pleasant...

T - Some toasted malts and some nuttiness... Perhaps a slight tinge of hops... Very muted... Very muddled...

M - Medium bodied... Prickly carbonation... Uneven... A bit of a chalky texture... A bit of a dry finish...

D - An impressive appearance and aroma give way to a rather mundane and uninspired offering... Far from a drain pour, but not something I would either recommend or seek out again... I used to be a huge Saranac fan, but have been rather disappointed overall in the recent winter variety pack...

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Photo of lordofthewiens
2.81/5  rDev -19.7%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
3.49/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a bulky head; plenty of foam sticks as well

Smell: A hint of malt and grain, but rather non-descript

Taste: Toffee malt, up front, followed by a piney bitterness that fades, after the swallow, so that the finish is filled with toffee and the hops are a lingering memory

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Easy to drink but would be better with a more assertive hop bill

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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.

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