Is Merry X-Moose Ale Any Good

Merry X-Moose ale comes from the Purple Moose Brewery in Porthmadog, Wales. Described as a strong bitter that is rich and warming, but is it any good?

Merry X-Moose ale is pretty good, with a nice balance of flavours. It pours a chestnut brown with a slight red hue. On the nose it is subtle with a roasted malt base and a slight fruity hoppy aroma. The taste reveals a rich malty caramel with a smoky edge and a raisin sweetness. That sweetness turns to a pleasant bitter finish. It’s a perfect winter warmer and gets a rate my beer score of 4.3 out of 5.0.

The balance between sweet and bitter works well in this medium bodied bitter.

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Merry X-Moose Ale Review

Although this is a Christmas ale and those celebrations are now over. It is still available at the moment from the brewery at the time of writing.

I am sure it is still available while stocks last in many stores too, as well as other online drinks retailers.

Getting back to the beer, it stands in a 500ml brown bottle with a festive red label and the Purple Moose logo in the centre.

Described as a strong bitter it weighs in at 5.0% ABV just on the fence of session. This winter ale is brewed with the fresh water of the Snowdonia hills, that’s a nice touch.

As I have mentioned Snowdonia, which by the way is a stunning place, you can find out a little more at the Snowdonia website.

Drinking Merry X-Moose Ale

Merry X-Moose, or to give its Welsh name X-Mws Llawen pours a chestnut brown with a creamy off white head. Hold it up to the light and you can see a nice red in the beer perfect for Christmas.

The nose is subtle with a slight roasty malt base and a hint of hoppy fruits in the background. Hard to identify what fruits though.

Dive in for a taste and there is a warmness to this beer. A rich malty caramel base that carries a smokiness with it starts proceedings.

Hints of roasted coffee and chocolate seem to lurk in the background. But there is a fruity twist with a raisin like sweetness. It all comes to an end with a satisfying bitterness to balance things out.

A nice medium body beer with a smooth almost refreshing mouthfeel.

I like it, an easy drinking winter warmer with a porter style feel to it. It could be a porter disguised as a bitter, but it is a decent beer all the same.

For me it gets a solid 4.3 out of 5.0.

M’Lady is pretty keen too, saying “I love a ruby beer and this reminds me of one and has hints of caramel, chocolate and coffee. A pleasant beer to drink at Christmas, da iawn (very good).”

Lou scores it a point lower at 4.2 out of 5.0.

A strong winter warmer from Purple Moose Brewery, I shall put it on next Christmas beer list.

Purple Moose Brewery

Merry X-Moose Ale

Purple Moose Brewery is located in the beautiful coastal town of Porthmadog in North West Wales. Lawrence Washington a passionate homebrewer back in the late nineties had his eye on a career in beer.

In 2004 Lawrence set about the planning of a commercial brewery. His dream was realised in 2005 when the small micro brewery became a reality.

It started life a a 10 barrel micro brewery, but over time grew into a 40 barrel brewery.

There is also the addition of the Station Inn, the pub on the platform, a converted railway station. Also the Australia, a pub in Porthmadog which is now home to the Purple Moose Brewery Tap.

Purple Moose Beer Range

Purple Moose have a solid range of beers with a core beer selection, as well as a craft beer collection.

The core range includes old favourites like Dark Side Of The Moose, Glaslyn Ale, Madog’s Ale, Snowdonia Ale and Whakahari.

The craft range includes the likes of Navigator Red IPA, High Hops Tropical IPA, Antlered IPA, Mwsh Lager, Calon Lan Best Bitter, Chocolate Moose, a chocolate and vanilla stout and Black Rock Stout.

So plenty of beers to choose from, and I have got my beady beer eye of quite a few of them. Here are few to start with.

Dark Side Of The Moose

Dark Side Of The Moose is a dark beer brewed with not only the fresh mountain water of Snowdonia. But also dark crystal malts, roasted barley and Bramling Cross hops.

Bramling hops are said to be spicy with flavour notes of blackcurrant, loganberry and a lemon citrus too. So this dark beer sound rich in malt flavours, but could have a fruity undertone.

It promises to deliver on bitterness too, so that’s good thing. It weighs in at a solid drinkable 4.6% ABV, I think I’m going over to the dark side.


Whakahari comes from the Maori people of New Zealand and means to rejoice. So what is the connection there? New Zealand hops.

The use of New Zealand hops in this amber beer, along with pale, crystal and red crystal hops makes this beer a refreshing promise.

Said to be a full bodied beer with toffee malt flavours and a citrus bite. It weighs in at a sessionable 4.3% ABV, I’m in for a Whakahari.

Black Rock Stout

I do love a stout and this Black Rock Stout is on my beer hit list. Said to be a smooth but rich stout, it beholds a strong sweet malty body. However it does promise a bitter finish just to balance things out.

I am sure there is more to this beer than that, I will just have to hunt a bottle down to find out. Coming in at a rather shy 4.2% ABV you won’t get the wobbles if you go for a second one.

Final Thoughts

So in conclusion, Merry X-Moose is a good solid festive beer, a warming yet rather refreshing beer. As for the brewery, Purple Moose have a wide range of exciting and interesting beers to choose from.

I am sure there will be plenty more beers to emerge from this Welsh brewery in the future. I know I will be looking out for more of their brews, especially on tap.

If you have tried any Purple Moose beers, then do share your thoughts below. Especially if you have had the Merry X-Moose strong winter ale.

Iechyd Da!

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