St-Ambroise Pale Ale - McAuslan Brewing

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St-Ambroise Pale AleSt-Ambroise Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
87
very good

379 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 379
Reviews: 217
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 19
Gots: 23 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
McAuslan Brewing visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 10-26-2000

Hops: Cascade, Willamette, Golding, Hallertau

IBU: 35
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 379 | Reviews: 217
Photo of Converge
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle poured into a 16oz pint glass.

A - This ale pours a crisp, clean amber, definitely filtered. Big, frothy, off-white head, that retains really well and coats the glass with lacing as good as any beer I've ever seen. Looks fantastic.

S - My nostrils got hit with a blast of vibrant banana aroma as I was pouring, but the actual smell here is quite mild overall after it settles. Mainly barley malt upfront, enough so that this has a really lager-esque feel to it. Light fruity aromatics wade in the background, with peaches, apricots, and bananas. The malt profile is more doughy bread and butter than the usual caramel malt. Finishes with just the tiniest hint of grassy hops and honey. More of a blonde ale than APA so far...

T - Opens up with a big barley malt presence. Really grainy and mild, then moves to a maltier feel, with buttery bread providing much of the flavor, and honey doing the sweetening rather than just caramel malt. As it finishes a mixture of both pungent fruitiness and grassy hoppiness envelop the back of the palate. The fruit ranges from candied varieties and honey dipped peaches, to unripe tartness. The hop presence gives the finish some bite without veering too close to IPA-territory, and remains highly drinkable.

M - Carbonation is about medium, but really smooth and just tingles the tongue as it passes with a medium bodied feel. Lingering hops give a mild but notable bitterness.

D - Really more of a blonde ale than an APA in my opinion. This beer offers more than the usual balance of caramel malt and hops to the palate, with bready malt, honey, light fruits and barley all coming through strongly. A memorable and very drinkable ale from St. Ambroise.

Photo of dansmcd
3.46/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Two fingers of soapy head with excellent retention. Great sloppy lacing. Clear orange amber body.

S - Mild hop aroma, with some caramel malt. A little bit English.

T - Follows the nose, a subtle citrus tang backed by that caramel malt.

M - Watery thin with low carbonation.

O - More like the British style of pale ale than American. Milder and maltier.

Photo of BGDrock
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: hazy, and not only due to the chill; good sticky head; copper colour

Aroma: sweet and fruity; strawberry, raspberry; wheat or oats; recognize toffee after the tasting

Taste & Mouthfeel: on the sweet side when first touches the tongue, but finishes with a complex bitter tang; some fatty yeast character; big toffee; dry; perfect carbonation; want to keep coming back for more to figure out those flavours!

Overall: sweet and bitter flavours really weave together and finish as one, making it a lot of fun to drink

Photo of Caudalie
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 341 ml bottle in a Riedel ouverture red wine magnum glass

A:Nice golden color.

S: Pretty light floral aromas, white fruit, and hoppy character.

T: Light, balanced ale. Nice drinkability, pretty refreshing, with a good bitterness. A crowd pleaser, as good as a thirst quencher beer on hot summer days or as a movie night beer. Among all the cheap beers available everywhere in 12 packs, this is my favorite, from the first (and pretty big) micro-brewery selling bottled beers in montreal.

Cheers!

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: 1/8" white head over amber liquid.

S: Faint smell of hops, yeast and malt.

T: Bready malt with a citrus and floral hop presence. Very nice.

M: Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Just right.

O: One of the better pale ales I have ever had. Extremely drinkable, and a good ale to introduce to a lager/pilsner drinker.

Photo of Kloug
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Everything, from smell to taste to mouthfell, is world class in this beer.

The smell is fruity and especially very hoppy.

Taste : this is the most hop oriented beer I ever tasted. The bitterness is wonderfull!

The mouthfeel is opulent and classy.

An outstanding beer from Quebec!

Photo of fostachild
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

have had this dozens of times. this review is for a glass i had on-tap at a montreal restaurant.

color was amber/copper - very clear. okay head.

smell was malty, bit of hops, and earthy.

taste also malty and a bit hoppy. very smooth and a nice sweetness to it that i couldn't get enough of. good carbonation and drinkability. overall really tasty and enjoyable.

Photo of thehyperduck
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent amber colour, with a single finger of thin off-white head seated on top; low retention but some lacing remains. Not the most impressive-looking stuff but I do really like the smell - sweet malts, toffee, fruity apricot and date notes with some wheat and citrusy hops. Quite nice.

The aroma doesn't lie, this is a tasty ale. Lightly roasted biscuity malts, some toffee and light fruit sweetness throughout the sip. Notes of wood, grapefruit and floral hops come forward toward the end of the sip, with some lingering astringency on the palate afterward. Beautiful balance between the malts and hops; neither are overpowering but they're both flavourful and interesting. On the light side of medium-bodied, with just enough carbonation to keep the brew feeling crisp and refreshing.

I picked this out of the singles bin at the LCBO, not really knowing anything about the beer or brewer, and not really expecting much. I'm glad I selected this though because it was definitely worth a try. This APA is highly sessionable, perfectly balanced, and enjoyable all around. I would definitely consider picking up a pack of this in the future.

[Updated Jan. 3 2014]

This is now available in cans - I picked up one and compared it with Naughty Neighbour, Crazy Canuck and Conductor's Craft Ale in an APA showdown. While I enjoy all three of those beers, St. Ambroise Pale Ale wins by a comfortable margin. This is one of the best pale ales available on the market today - a fabulous session ale that I have had on multiple occasions since my first review, and something that all BAs should consider worth a look.

Final Grade: 4.42, an A grade.

Photo of Noxious26
3.64/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

341ml brown bottle with twist off cap poured in a pint glass. Purchased in a 4x3 Taster 12-pack.

Clear, copper-orange colour. Light beige head is 1/4 inch on the pour but recedes to a thin cap. Big gobs of sticky lace are solid down the sides of the glass.

Aroma is sweet. Malty, caramel, citrus, sweet grass. Fairly faint and mild.

Caramel malt off the start is joined quickly by a metallic twang which is scrubbed by the carbonation rush and leaves a grassy/herbal hop overtone with nutty, caramel malt undertones. Finish is herbal/grassy hop and mildly bitter. Long lasting aftertaste.

Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. A little more carbonation than I'd usually expect from a pale ale, but it doesn't really detract from the overall mouthfeel.

A pretty good pale ale. It won't knock your socks off but it is solid.

Photo of TheDeuce
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

St. Ambroise Pale Ale.... in a bottle

Appearance-amber color with a foamy head two fingers high, settles down nicely in my glass.

Smell-wafts of malt and hops, not too aromatic but what is there is balanced. Appealing.

Taste/Mouthfeel-both hop and malt appear, doesn't lean too heavily in favor of hops or malt, just remains balanced. Light to medium mouthfeel, light smoothness. Goes down easy. Very drinkable. The balance works.

Overall- a fine pale ale, worked well on this hot day in Montreal. Recommend you give it a try.

Photo of puboflyons
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on June 5, 2011. It pours a cloudy copper-amber with an elegant head that settles down to a ring. There is a strong malty and fruit character up front on the nose with a slight hopped shadow. The body is medium and creamy. The taste is full of sweet malts with an idle dose of meaty fruits like banana and there is a very sharp, almost sour hop bite on the tail end. Very nice.

Photo of
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - clear bright copper with two inches of frothy off-white head that leaves beautiful lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell - very fruity malt character with a nice balance of floral hops.

Taste - starts sweet and fruity, perfectly balanced in the middle between sweet malt and mildly bitter, earthy hops, and with a lingering herbal, earthy aftertaste.

Photo of paxkey
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

aggressive pour in nonic yields giant lasting 3 fingers of head. rocky white with lots of lacing.
beer is clear and golden colored. some reddish hue.

smells of malts and hops in nice balance. mild fresh. summer fruits raspberry peach.tangerine. aroma reminds me slightly of vitamin C tablets i had 30 years ago as a kid.

easy drinking and a wonderful minty aftertaste. quite invigorating.

starting to pull a strong cracker malt in the midpalate and its hanging around the aftertaste. not great pull.

still getting sweet fruit on the nose but the american lager malt profile is starting to nose through.

really creamy drinking with more fruit on the aftertaste with a healthy chug.
not a slow drinking beer for me. but what else is there.

nice going down though.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fair warning: I purchased this bottle from the Adelaide Bier Shop, and it appeared to be one of the last of their stocks from the brewery. Chances are this is relatively old.

Appearance is really quite beautiful. A rich, deep amber colour--really quite dark, with a fine and persistent head of creamy off-white. Lacing is great, and forms in clumpy rings around the glass. Body is light, and the carbonation is steady. Looks very nice.

Nose is a little hops-poor, giving more of a caramel character and a sweaty grain buoyancy, with a rather dark earthy note underneath. It's not bad, but without the resonant hop fragrance, it comes across more like an English example of the style.

Taste is crisp and clean, with good breadth across the palate, and a malty backbone. Mild bitterness and a slight sour milk character come through on the back, but this just leavens the sweet malt character before it gets too heavy. Some organics throughout, even a lilt of pungent blue cheese. It's not bad.

Not a bad drop of beer at all, and one that I think is tasting pretty good at this point whether or not it's old. I'm actually a little conflicted as to whether a stronger hop aroma would help it, but I'd be happy to try it again to find out.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured in to Unibroue tulip

A - Transluscent light brown/amber colour with half a finger of white head that quickly disappeared.

S - Sweet caramel/toffee malts are noticeable up front with a slightly floral hop presence balancing out the nose.

T - Follows the nose. Bitter floral hops and sweet caramel malts. Balanced. The bitterness lingers in the finish.

M - Light body with a slight chew. Moderate carbonation.

D - A good pale ale but not my preferred hop profile.

Photo of Matt1516
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 341ml bottle (Best before Nov 30/11) into a nonic.

Three finger head with good carbonation and a reddish-brown colour.Smells of sweet malts and grass. Full mouthfeel, sorta creamy.

Beautiful balance of sweet and bitter in the taste with a dry finish. Very drinkable.

With all the expensive (yet awesome) microbrews available locally, this is a great everyday beer. $10/6-pack and a great entry level beer for newbies wanting to explore beyond the macros.

Photo of vapodge
4.57/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

11.5 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A - dark amber; thin, dissipating head; some lacing holds up

S - mild, fruity hops followed by the malt

T - unexpectedly wonderful -- why isn't this beer more well-known? ripe fruit, but not what I've come to expect -- not pungent at all

M - not much carbonation; right amount of bite

D - smooth and tasty make it easy to knock back

Quite possibly my favorite pale ale. easy to drink, but with enough flavor, and flavor not usually present in the style make it worthwhile.

Photo of aepb1
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Red-brown body with a generous off-white head

S- Tea and floral hops

T- Some hops up front, fruits in the middle, pale sweet malts at the finish

M- Medium-bodied, good level of carbonation for the style

D- Very good example of the style and very easy to drink and revisit

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this brew on tap a few times before, but this is my first chance to really sit down with it. From a four pack picked up at the LCBO.

Poured into a nonic glass. A stunning colour - really fantastic - copper golden, clear, and with a few bubbles rising from the depths. Terrific sticky lacing up and down the glass, good retention on the 1/2 inch head. Looks brilliant.

Nose is malty, with soft notes of peach, apple, caramel and grassy hops.

This is one tasty little pale ale - sweet at first, with a crisp cracker malt flavor, fruit and caramel, followed by a palate cleansing bitter hop finish with a touch of tart apple. Woodsy. The sweetness is a bit off pace, but generally speaking St. Ambroise is a pleasure to drink.

Crisp carbonation, slightly creamy, medium-thin bodied.

Would make for a fine session beer over the course of an evening. Pricy, but certainly worth a pickup. Another great brew from a great Quebec brewery!

Photo of matjack85
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I found this single 11.5oz brown bottle at the Binnys store in Plainfield, IL for $1.99. No freshness date or any information about the beer on the label.

The beer poured a reddish/golden topaz color - like the November birthstone. Not much of a head and not much lacing either.

The smell is mostly caramel and bready malts with some mild hops in the background.

This is a really well balanced and tasty beer. Not too sweet and not too bitter. The sweet caramel and bready malts are blended with both fruity and woody hops to create a deliucios mix.

The body leans towards the thin side, but the higgh carbonation keeps it spritzy and refreshing.

I could drink several of these, but unfortuneately I just picked up a single bottle. A very well made pale ale.

Photo of dhannes
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Lager glass and allowed to warm a bit.

A=Nice amber tinted gold color, a bit cloudy; foam was about two fingers for about four minutes or so.

S=Sweet smell with hint of hops.

T=First 3-4 sips were overly sweet and had a strong honey like presence; the honey flavor and sweetness diminished a bit, but overpowered any flavor from hops.

M=Good, overall, but with a slight coating remaining after a sip.

D=The sweetness makes this difficult to consume quickly, and I can't see my self drinking this one after another. It looks like it should be a great beer, and maybe I had high expectations based on other reviews, but the flavor is a bit lacking and a bit too sweet for me.

Photo of SebD
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice golden/amber colour to it. It has a nice white head that dies down moderalty and lacing is present.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of fruity hops and a bit of caremaly malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice fruity/hoppy flavour that gives it a slight bitterness and it ends with more of a carmely/malty flavour.

Mouthfeel: It has a low to medium carbonation with a very nice balance of hops and malts.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with great flavours and aromas. It's an overall great beer.

Photo of bryehn
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First time trying anything from this brewery, going through their whole lineup this month. Found a 4 pack at my local LCBO.

Pours a very bright, gem-like amber colour with a decent head that lasts a few minutes and leaves a nice trail of lace.

Malty aroma with strong caramel or toffee tones and a decent spiciness to it. A bit on the sweet side for me, but appealing nonetheless.

This beer feels medium-bodied and has a low-medium carbonation to it. Maybe a bit yeasty on the aftertaste.

The taste is quite pleasant, if not a tad mild. There is a toasted woodiness to the malt that gives this beer its main body with just enough bitterness to keep things balanced and a crisp, dry finish with citrus tones to it.

Thanks to its somewhat light characteristics, I find St Ambroise Pale Ale very drinkable, though I usually prefer something with just a bit more bite to it.

Photo of JamnesCameron
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a St. Ambroise pint glass.

Pours a light ruby color with a dirty/khaki head of two fingers. Head drops over a few minutes to minumal layer of foam, made up of mainly medium sized bubbles and lace.

Aromas of ripe pears, dates, hard candy. Not much of a hop aroma.

First sip is of figs, fresh baked bread, a slight carbonic bite, citrus rinds, white wine, a little tannic. Finish is medium, with a tannic/winey edge.

Mouthfeel is medium, a little chewy malt.

Very drinkable and sessionable. Could drink this all night, and not tire of the flavors or finish. Very nice, easy drinking beer.

Photo of kevwalsh
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer is miscategorized. If you look at all the top beers in this category, they are all floral, cascades hops based, american brewed beers.

As much as i love those beers, it's hard to rate this great beer against them.

What i like about this beer is its simple but unique character. Like most St Ambroise products, it is well balanced and consistent in quality.

St-Ambroise Pale Ale from McAuslan Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 379 ratings.