beerlover82 (241) - Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 7, 2011
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. yesyouam (1016) - Fairport, New York, USA - OCT 14, 2009
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. rampmaster (642) - Alden, New York, USA - NOV 2, 2009
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.
FROTHINGSLOSH (8291) - GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 29, 2009
One of Saranac’s best new beers in a long time. Sampled from a 12 oz brown bottle this beer poured a dark caramel-amber color with a large yellow-white head. The aroma was sweet grapefruit, pine and pineapple. The flavor was sweetish, tart and bitter with notes of pineapple, grapefruit and a hint of caramel. The finish was long, sweet and had a fruit cocktail element. Medium body. Very nice. johnnnniee (4457) - Bedford, New Hampshire, USA - NOV 25, 2011
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.
bnoel09 (588) - Elk Grove, California, USA - DEC 4, 2011
Poured into an English pint glass. Color is dark gold with a thick cream colored head. Aroma is a touch of caramel malt with a big dose of floral and citrus hops. Flavor starts off with some nice bready maltiness with a touch of sweetness and transitions into pure hops. Medium bodied with a slightly astringent finish. Overall a very nicely flavored and well balance pale ale. ChadPolenz (1847) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - DEC 3, 2012
Saranac’s Pale Ale is the brewery’s flagship beer, but it’s actually an English-style pale ale. "Big Moose Ale" is essentially the American-style equivalent of that beer, but it’s only available as a winter seasonal. That’s a bit of a shame because this is exactly what I look for in a brew of the style: big flavor with genuine hop bitterness that’s well-balanced and highly drinkable.
I poured a 12oz bottle into an official Saranac shaker pint.
Appearance: Dark copper body, crystal clear, some carbonation visible. Forms an average size, yellowish, soapy head which mostly dissipates but still leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.
Smell: Orange candy scent plus a hint of pine needles and some confectionery sweetness.
Taste: I appreciate Saranac Pale Ale for its subtlety, but the Big Moose Ale is bit more overt in its delivery. Strong hop bitterness from the get-go, along with noticeable caramel and toffee sweetness. There’s a distinct resiny character, especially through the middle of the palate, that imparts some astringency and piney flavor. It finishes with a sharp hop bite before fading away fairly clean.
This is a satisfying drinking experience and I’d bet if this beer were made by a brewery with a bit more "indie cred," craft beer nerds would be rating this much higher than they are. I like it better than Saranac’s flagship pale ale, but much like that beer I wouldn’t say this is anything world-class or earth-shattering. It’s just a solid beer that’s a little more solid than others.
Drinkability: "Crisp" is a word that comes to mind in describing how Saranac Big Moose Ale drinks. The body has a distinct carbonation presence, but is not overly fizzy. The mouthfeel has plenty of energy from the hops, but isn’t intense by any means. I’m actually impressed they were able to get so much body out of only 5.3% ABV. It’s an efficient brew that’s for sure.