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Griffon Red Ale - McAuslan Brewing

Not Rated.
Griffon Red AleGriffon Red Ale

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99 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 99
Reviews: 57
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 3
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
McAuslan Brewing visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: francisweizen on 10-12-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 99 | Reviews: 57 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bobsy
3.33/5  rDev -4.6%

Sampled at The C’est What? Fall Festival of Beers. Poured a reddish brown with a small bubbly beige head. Subtle sweet malt aroma. Creamy malt taste with slight bitterness in the finish. Smooth and medium-bodied. This is a solid beer, but nothing special.

bobsy, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of slitherySOB
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%

Pours a light ruby red, with a decent, long lasting head. No lace whatsoever sticks to the glass, though. The glass stays clean. Very sweet aroma of malts, fruits, and dark bread. Very malty taste at first, with plenty of plums and raisins. Slight diacetyl, finishing with an earthy taste. Medium body, light carbonation, and very smooth. Highy drinkable, and damn good beer.

slitherySOB, Oct 01, 2007
Photo of toddsschneider
4.5/5  rDev +28.9%

deep red color, assertive carbonation, medium off-white head with above-average retention and lacing
nicely malty aroma from its backbone
hoppy bitterness, balanced by maltiness, some sweetness
moderate body
all natural ingredients, quite drinkable, recommended

toddsschneider, Aug 25, 2007
Photo of Hornet2003
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Bought in BC in a McAuslan taster pack.

Pours a deep ruby red. Clear with little to no head on the pour. The aroma on this beer reminds me of a Unibroue. They must use a belgian style yeast or something but that's what I'm picking up. This is more palatable for me than the Unibroue since the ABV is so much lower. The thing is, though, this beer is low on alcohol, but huge on taste. Really nice yeast character with a slight hoppy bitterness and sweet malty aftertaste. Has the perfect amount of carbonation and leaves a crisp, clean feel in the mouth. With the low ABV and the big flavour profile, I could see this as a good session beer.

Well done McAuslan

Hornet2003, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of jbsteiny
3.95/5  rDev +13.2%

I had this as the second beer in the sampler at the brewery, directly after the Griffon Extra Pale / Blonde Ale, and I liked it much better. It had a rich chestnut color, its finely laced head was retained by the glass, and it smelled really nice -- an interesting blend of malt and herbs, with a smoky, nutty thing going on as well.

I thought it tasted good -- well balanced, smokey, with some hazelnut and hickory. The mouthfeel was so-so; like the Blonde, it was full-bodied, but left a strange coating I didn't like. In all, definitely a well-crafted beer, and I could see enjoying three pints... Next, the St. Ambroise Cream...

jbsteiny, Feb 08, 2007
Photo of BDTyre
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%

Certainly not the best by McAuslan. Very dark copper, bordering almost on brown. Closer in appearance to a brown ale than an amber/red.

Sweet, syrupy caramel malt smell. Cold, metal background. Can't really detect any hops in there.

Taste is really wierd. Sort of like caramel and brass. Bitter-sweet toffee taste; really like an overdone red ale.

Not a very well done beer in all honesty. I'd have it again, but only if better choices were lacking.

BDTyre, Dec 05, 2006
Photo of TerryW
2.65/5  rDev -24.1%

Clear chesnut red with a decent head that doesn't last. Some spotty lace.

Nose and taste dominated by sweet malts. Bitter metallic finish. Rather a lacklustre effort as I'm having a hard time pinning down how to describe this beer - which I don't imagine is a particularly good thing.

Uninspired across the board.

TerryW, Nov 20, 2006
Photo of demcorhip
4.33/5  rDev +24.1%

Thanks to chonyr for brining this treat to the beer hinterland that is NW Ont.

This ale poured a very dark red-brown. Its colour was somewhere between a typical red and cola. A nice one finger light tan head formed on the pour. Nice, extensive fine lacings remained in this finely carbonated ale.

Hints of dark fruit, malts, both toasted and roasted, and an earthy grassiness.

Dont let the low alcohol fool you. Theres alot of malty goodness, depth and complexity in this ale. Hints of dark fruit and toast along with its creamyness reminded me of buttered and toasted raisin bread. Theres also a hint of caramel and a light touch of earthy and grassy hops. There was a very mild bitterness to this ale that i was having trouble pining down, but its creamy, nutty, and bitter character reminded me of black walnuts. Lots of complex malt flavours in this low alc brew.

Rich and creamy mouthfeel in this medium bodied ale. Nicely balanced but certainly favours the malts.

This is a very drinkable ale and would make great session fare, if only i could buy it here. This would also be a great crossover ale to open a macro drinkers beer goggles to the realm of craft brew. While deep and complex in its maltiness its not challenging. Ill be picking this one up if i ever see it.

demcorhip, Sep 30, 2006
Photo of Mandrake
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%

Pours a fairly dull red, clear, with a one-finger light tan head that dissipates fairly quickly and leaves some lacing. Smell is a tad metallic, with caramel and a bit of chocolate dominating the malt-heavy profile. Taste is sub-par for this brewery. Some faint caramel and nondescript maltiness are obliterated by the sugary sweetness and metallic aftertaste. Mouthfeel is a tad watery, nothing special here, and drinkability is average. A weak offering from a usually inspired brewery.

Mandrake, Sep 13, 2006
Photo of Redrover
4/5  rDev +14.6%

My wife & I were bicycling along the canal during our recent visit to Montreal. It was a hot day, so you can imagine my delight when I spotted this brewery.

They have a small garden and bar set-up in the back of building. Note that they also offer some food for hungry walkers/bikers.

Served in a pint glass, this beer is light brown with red highlights. Fluffy tan head and some nice lacing make this an attractive beer.

The nose is of fresh malts, wheat crackers, fresh apples and a wee bit of citrus.

The taste is nicely sweet with a bit of toasted malts. While the hops are not really prominent, they are clearly at work here and add some balance. This is a friendly sort of beer and would be an easy one to session or match with food.

The mouth is best described as soft. This is another easy drinker from this brewery. Well done!

Redrover, Sep 11, 2006
Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -14%

Bottle: Poured a clear brown ale with a large foamy off-white head with better then average retention. Aroma is comprised of some nice malt. Taste is floral malt with very little bitterness. A good everyday beer but nothing very spectacular or inspiring.

Phyl21ca, Aug 15, 2006
Photo of JOaikido
3.98/5  rDev +14%

An old favorite for me. A beer I regularly choose at meal times, especially with pizza. This is the same beer as the brown ale, which is a better description. The change in name is probably the result of marketing pressures, as few people in Quebec would know what a brown ale is.

A- Poors a nice creamy head. Dark red/brown colour. Very dark, yet clear and appetizing.

S- Smells like good malty ale, which it is. There's a touch of spice I can't quite place.

T- Bitterness just right. Slightly sweet malt flavour is predominant. Flavour could be stronger in the middle. Some of the little spicy, fruity tastes hiding in there would be better if a bit punched up.

MF- Soft and creamy. Carbonation just right for my tastes.

D- One of my favorite session beers and meal time beers. A beer I find hard to drink one at a time.

JOaikido, Aug 10, 2006
Photo of Sammy
3.18/5  rDev -8.9%

Bottle at the Drake Hotel. Cold but not too cold. Some hop, some body, a tad metallic, but drinkable. Bit of reddish colour. Not the best from this brewery. A bit aggressive carbonation, bitterness is significant but more than balanced by malting.Some sugar.

Sammy, Jun 29, 2006
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.28/5  rDev +22.6%

This fantastic Mcauslan brew was recently introduced to my local Beer Store.

It pours amber with vivid red hints. The creamy tan head has good retention and drapes the glass with lace. Aromas of roasted specialty malts, dough and earthy hop leaf. The taste is packed with layers of malt flavors. Never cloying, but sweet, bready, robust. Caramel and berries are noticeable. Crackers and rye toast as well. A wonderful English hop flavor provides balance. The finish is nicely bitter and also fruity. Velvety carbonation thickens the mouthfeel, very well done.

This is a rich, full flavored red ale. Very refreshig but not as light as I was expecting. Another winner from this great brewery.

CAMRAhardliner, May 29, 2006
Photo of canucklehead
3.83/5  rDev +9.7%

Very elegant in a St Ambroise glass as the mid brown colour is tinted slightly red. The head is big and long lasting and the nose is quite malty. This is the malty cousin to the pale ale. A malty backbone is the secret to the success of this beer. I love this beer with food as it holds its own yet works with lots of BBQ and grilled meats. Like the pale ale this is all about balance. Delicate yet tough this beer needs to come in its own six pack as it is only available in BC in a taster pack.

canucklehead, Dec 09, 2005
Photo of Beersignal
3.65/5  rDev +4.6%

Now called La Griffon Rousse but is the same beer as the Griffon Brown Ale.

Pours a warm limpid roasted chestnut colour sporting crimson highlights. The foam is handsomely dressed atop the liquid. It is plentiful, long lasting and sticky leaving clumps on the sides of the glass.

Aromas are noticeably more powerful. Firm notes of crystal malt and some toastiness permeate the caramel up front. Noble hop aromas trail a mild fruitiness for the wrap up.

Flavours are malty and biscuity initially, making way for hints of apple skins and a crunchy bitterness that is helped along by a structured mouthfeel and silky carbonation. The finish is long and slightly bitter from the hops which leave a grassy / citrucy blanket on the tongue.

This beer is the logical next step for those newly initiated to craft beer who have tamed the Griffon Extra Pale Ale and are ready for yet more character without being scared off by the more robust flavour profile of the St-Ambroise Pale and Oatmeal Stout.


Beersignal, Sep 14, 2005
Photo of DrJay
3.3/5  rDev -5.4%

Clear light brown with a bit of red topped by a creamy tan head. Good, thick lacing and excellent head retention as well. Malty aroma, a bit nutty with some caramel. Maybe a hint of chocolate as well as light hops. Sweet, malty flavour, a bit of dark malt and nuttiness, with low bitterness and hop character. Also a light bit of fruit and yeast. Slightly creamy, moderate carbonation. Pretty good, but there's a bit of a strange yeasty character in the flavour that isn't bad, but doesn't seem to fit well with the beer.

DrJay, Aug 20, 2005
Photo of cokes
2.85/5  rDev -18.3%

Dusky dark copper with a patched sandy lacing.
Strongly scented of ginger ale, sassafras, and Captain Morgan's, backed with more usual brown ale wafts of toffee and butter pecans.
It enters with a peanut brittle maltiness that fragments into dry shards of buttered toast and hay. Toffeed raisins gathers in the hollow moments of the midsection along with something akin to teriyaki glazed pears. Yeast gathers and builds a lactic, buttery diacetyl, and damp spackling. It exits with a peanut skin astringency and a bitter tree bark.
Extremely light bodied, pasty in feel, and lacking almost wholly in carbonation.
While this has some interesting moments and is certainly in the English realm of Brown Ales, it lacks substancially in malt, and ends up seeming like one cut half-and-half with club soda.

cokes, Jul 11, 2005
Photo of pootz
3.45/5  rDev -1.1%

Griffon red is actually a brown ale and the color, nose and taste profile bear this out.

Poured a rusty brown with a nice sandy frothy cap that retains and laces nicely....moderate carbonation. Nice hit of sweet caramel malts in the nose. Mouth feel somewhat thin but ample sweet caramel malts are present with nutty yeast and attenuated grassy hops to make this recognizable as a light brown ale. Good session beer with sweet profile and all natural engedients.

pootz, Mar 21, 2005
Photo of Barraclou
2.88/5  rDev -17.5%

Griffon rousse is a red ale, but it hides its true colors. When I poured that beer, it was brown (not reddish) under a small white foam neck. Its smell and taste can be largely improved. Its mouthfeel is ok, but the roasted barley / malt aftertaste is too bitter and it diseappears too quickly.

Barraclou, Dec 16, 2004
Photo of zbs
4.35/5  rDev +24.6%

Montreal. At a beer garden whose name I can't recall--perhaps that invalidates this review. Followed a subpar pitcher of Chambly.

Griffon Rousse special on tap. Red in the pitcher, poured with an even, controlled head--trembles into cumulous along the lip of my glass. The first impression is warm, comforting, with some soaring notes carefully harmonizing with a certain rotundity. Heavier in spirit than many other Reds. One of the finest brews in a visit marked by admirable locals (the Quebecois maintain a marked, deliberate ignorance of American micros, alas).

At 12 CDN per pitcher we finished off a few before stumbling back down Guy Str.

zbs, Oct 12, 2004
Photo of kbub6f
3.78/5  rDev +8.3%

Bought at Marché du Boisé (boul. des Forges, T-R), 6/11/03, a couple of days in the fridge.

A big, tan-ish dense head suffers big implosions. Craters pock the thick, clumpy lacing. Fine, fast carbonation in the dark copper/brown beer. In color, the conflicting names make sense. It's red and it's brown. The smell is a faint caramel. Light chocolate in the front gives way to a caramel, toffee middle. Chocolate survives right through to the dry finish, where it's joined by some grains and lots of hops.

This is very dark tasting. It's a very good brown ale. Yum.

kbub6f, Jul 03, 2003
Photo of jackndan
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%

Griffon Brown Ale: Brown ale, perfectly clear, tan head that does not linger, but good lace. Aroma, clean new mown hay/malt. Sweet, with pronounced taste of raisins and raspberries. Aftertaste is simply Raisin Bran with a healthy dollop of sugar. Not bad, but sweet

jackndan, Jun 28, 2002
Photo of John
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

Deep ruby-brown color, aroma is bready and sweet. Some semi-dark roasted malt flavor balances out the sweetness. Pretty good even though brown ales generally aren't a favorite style of mine.

John, Feb 06, 2002
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Griffon Red Ale from McAuslan Brewing
80 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.