1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

St-Ambroise Pale Ale - McAuslan Brewing

Not Rated.
St-Ambroise Pale AleSt-Ambroise Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

365 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 365
Reviews: 214
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 20
Gots: 16 | 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:
Hops: Cascade, Willamette, Golding, Hallertau

IBU: 35

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 02-06-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St-Ambroise Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 365 | Reviews: 214 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of edskirk3
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours into glass copperish gold, with a respectible white head which laces well. The nose isn't strong at all, but there's some hoppiness. The taste is slow in coming, but it gets there. It's actually buttery, with a slight bitterness that arrives fashionably late. It does not linger very long. This is one of the creamier and more pleasing pale ales that I've had, a pleasant surprise. There's a little carbonation, but not so little that it's flat.

I wish I had more than one bottle. I can see this beer being my standard if I lived in Montreal.

Photo of beerphilosopher
3.1/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle ... darker amber color with golden highlights. Moderate white head with decent retention and a bit of lacing. Nose is malty, bready, and has a little bit of spice to boot. Hops are detectable. Palate is nothing exciting and consistent with the aromas apparent in this beer. Malty and slightly sweet, yet well balanced with hops. I'd say light/medium in body and carbonation. Finishes smooth and ever so slightly bitter. This definitely an english style ale, and a decent one if you're into this style. I'd drink it occasionally and would say it's worth a shot.

Photo of jayc333
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*Note* This beer was over a week passed its best before date.

Poured a light amber with three fingers of frothy off-white head. A few bubble showly rise to the top. The head subsides to less than a finger that lasts throughtout the entire session, and leaves great lacing.

Smelled strongly of floral hops with citrus notes. A very sweet and hoppy scent indeed.

Sweet tasting, with the citrus notes present. Has a peculiar aftertaste. I'd say maybe lemon or orange peels. This is no bad thing though.

Light mouthfeel, but more oily than watery. I'd say it has the perfect amount of carbonation.

Nice, very nice actually. I think I may even prefer this over their Oatmeal Stout. I can see myself drinking a lot of this in the Spring/Summer seasons. If only I had a fresher sample...

Photo of tgbljb
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Selection of the Beer-of-the-Month Club
Poured a deep amber color with modest white head. Smell is an attractive combination of toasted malt, piney and grassy hops, and a touch of caramel. Taste folows through on the smell with nice malt balanced with a piney hop bitterness. The bitterness lingers on at the finish to leave an enjoyable mouth feel. Good solid beer that is a nice example of the style. Easy drinking and very refreshing.

Photo of vanrassel
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been drinking this beer and enjoying it for awhile, so I thought it was a good one to review shortly after joining this site. It's a rich, almost copper colour and pours with a nice thick head. The beer is nicely carbonated with lots of body: you feel it in your mouth when you drink it, and you can see it in the glass — plenty of lacing.

My untrained nose didn't pick up a lot of malt, but the beer has a really hoppy aroma and taste. I may get ridiculed for saying this, but here goes: before I started drinking microbrews and imports, I used to favour Molson Ex. To me, this is what Molson Ex would taste like if it was craft-brewed. It's fitting, I suppose, that it's brewed in Montreal.

Photo of peterthepiper
4.68/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I will get this out of the way at first: this is my favorite non-Belgian styled beer. I was very glad to see it available at the local BC liquor store for much less than I can get it in Calgary.

Upon opening, the aroma is quite evident. I find it to be floral, with fruit and hops notes. Beautiful. Pouring, it results in a good white head, that lasts for a fairly short time.

The taste is very similar to the aroma. No beer I have had before has such strong floral notes. But, they are well matched with the hops and other characteristics of the beer. As previous reviewers have mentioned, the balance of the St. Ambroise Pale is impeccable. Mouthfeel is good, with a fair bit of carbonation.

Combining all of these characteristics into a beer results in an excellent, drinkable brew. It's my choice for a session beer.

Poured from a 330 mL bottle.

Photo of Derek
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a cross between British and American Pale Ales, much like Canada is itself... perhaps this a "Canadian Pale Ale"?

A: Copper-bronze, with a little off-white head.

S: Sweet honey malt, with a North American Hop smell (slightly citrousy).

T: Initial taste is very well balanced, solid malt backbone. The hops have a little bit of Goldings and a little bit of citrous (Cascade?) flavour. Crisp, refreshing aftertaste.

M: Light to moderate body, moderate carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. Perhaps a little on the bold side for the mass-market, but nothing overwhelming... but plenty of flavour for the beer geek.

Highly recommend it.

Photo of elricorico
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper with a bubbly cream head. The head is sticky and leaves a fair amount of lacing. The beer presents a grassy, hoppy aroma, with a faint toffee base.

The taste has a sweetness throughout, like the smell it is faintly toffee like. Mild citrus flavour carrying the middle. There is a move towards a hop bitterness at the finish, yet the underlying flavour remains, making it a bitter-sweet finish. This pale is a bit friendlier than many of the american pales, it doesn't have that big hit in the hop department, however the flavour is there. Well balanced is how I'd best describe it, and to me that is never a bad thing.

This beer has a bit of body to it, and doesn't have too heavy of carbonation, putting it high on the drinkability scale. Pair a well balanced taste with a pleasant mouthfeel and you have a session beer, of which this is a nice example.

Good beer, try it if you haven't.

Photo of 3Vandoo
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice copper beer with some blonde strikes going out. A nice foamy head at first that dissapeared but let a very thick and sticky leftover on the glass.
These same head's leftovers stick all the way to the end of the glass.

Smell is hoppish, with a maltish finish. Apricot like flavours are present.
Taste is at first, the hops, then the malt comes to end this. An aftertaste of hops is clearly present with a shy bitterness taste and feel. Some notes of biscuits and butter are present, well balanced.

Photo of Viggo
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber, ample white head arises. Smell is citrusy, some grapefruit, nice and pleasantly hoppy but the malt is still detectable. Taste is malt at the front, citrus in the middle and a clean bitter finish. Nice and dry, smooth mouth, tasty beer.

Photo of thesilverhand
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an absolutely gorgeous bright copper with a massive creamy off-white head that left huge amounts of beautiful lace on my glass. This is a truly beautiful beer.

Hops...not too aggressive, but prevalent in the aroma. Grassy, earthy florals with a touch of pine and a pleasant faint spiciness. Very nice.

Up to this point, this beer really impressed me. Unfortunately, it couldn't quite live up to the anticipation it brought upon itself. The flavour is very nice - don't get me wrong, this is a very nice beer - but after the truly great appearance and wonderful aroma, I was expecting a bit more. There's decent hop bitterness and a touch of the earthiness I smelled earlier. It's extremely well balanced, too, with good sweetness from the malt. I guess the main problem is that I find the body a bit weak. There's just not quite enough to it.

That said, this is a VERY enjoyable brew, and would be an awesome choice for a long afternoon of drinking. I'll definitely try to have it from time to time (especially after I return to Canada next year). It's a great pale ale.

Photo of Tim2000
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

341 mL brown bottle, 3 months until best before date.

Bright golden brew with a thick, creamy foam that lasts until it hits the bottom of the glass.

Citrusy hop aroma.

A nutty, caramel maltiness blends with resinous hops. Grapefruit flavours are very present. Pleasant drawn-out aftertaste lets the hop bitterness fade slowly while remaining somewhat sweet. Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Not much complexity here, but balance is the key.

Refreshing.

Photo of Borussia
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Up front this beer features a floral hop character, followed by a rich malt palate combining crystal and two-row flavours. The back end combines a dry bitterneess with a lingering, golden-roasted malt taste. Nice folral hop nose as well. You can easily have three or four of this one without tiring.

Photo of Goldorak
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Copper, with a creamy, clingy white head.

Smell: Grainy, with a sweet touch of hops.

Taste: In a word, balance. Just the perfect equilibrium of malt sweetness at first and hop bitterness in the end. Goes down creamy and smooth, and fits well in any occasion. In my dictionary, next to "Session Beer", there's a picture of a St-Ambroise Pale Ale.

Photo of pootz
3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A nice pale, although I can’t get as excited as some do about it. Well crafted, beautiful color, fair lacing, better than average micro pales in the aroma department....but certainly not phenomenally outstanding in the bottled form...in the same class as Conner’s with possibly more fruit-floral nose to it.

The pour was a clear orange-amber with a 1 finger head that laces nicely. Fragrance of fruity-floral hopping over a sweet malt aroma. Medium to heavily carbonation (lost points for this from me). That (IMHO) over carbonation produced a sandy-peppery mouth feel that SHOULD let go, sooner or later, and reduce this medium bodied ale to a creamy mouth feel....but it doesn’t… that carbonation hangs in there and actually detracts for the finer aspects of this ale. I detected nice floral-bittering over some great pale malt sweetness...the finish is dry and tart with the hopping lingering in the metallic after taste...but even in the finish the tongue is still being strip mined by the damnable over carbonation. This is probably a very good pale ale but they’re gonna have to remove a lot of that fizzy mega brewer carbonation to get these great tastes across undisrupted.

I had a Black Oak pale right after this and I Know I’m right about this. The BO was softly carbonated and this lends itself to the flavor departures AND makes it much more drinkable . I have tried this beer on tap in PQ many times hoping the carbonation would be less aggressive but it always seems to be present masking this ales true potential.

Photo of Shiloh
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Prettiest brew I have seen in quite sometime...arrived with close to a two finger crown with a multitude of carbonation that seems never ending.
The colour is mix of bronze/orange, deep and slightly murky.
As consumed the head decreases by half but is survived by a mountainous cling to the top.
The nose is fruity, mainly currents and light of green apple.
The taste starts to the malts, somewhat grainy but ends to a nice hoppy pop to finish and linger.
Very impressive.

Photo of Barraclou
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

St.Ambroise Pale Ale is an excellent pale ale. It displays genuine qualities, but it is quite dark (coppery amber) for a pale ale. The smell is awesome and it remembers the pleasure of drinking micros. St.Ambroise Pale Ale tastes bitter in reason of its strong roasted malt and sweet hops taste. The mouthfeel is fun and lasts a good time. A full-bodied quality product that I am glad to have tasted.

Photo of Beersignal
4.72/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I will try to be as objective about this one as I can. I have been drinking this beer for about 10 years now... it is my all time favourite session ale and in my top 10 to be sure.

Poured this in one of my tasting glasses (like all the other beers I rate) beautiful fully copper tint with caramel highlights under a generous and fluffy off white plate of foam. The head was tenacious to say the least and, I as I stare at the empty glass, I see sheets of lace all around the walls of the vessel.

The aromas of this beer when it is fresh beckon the nose to plunge into the glass again and again. Full freshness of malts dancing with hops over notes of caramel, orchard and citrucy fruits and just a hint of vanilla up front and in the middle. The finish sees the biscuit quality of the malts return and once again mingle with the hops. So satisfying!

A steady bead emerges from the beer in columns all around the glass as I taste. Omnipresent are the bready malt and hops that are punctuated by accents of caramelized oranges and apples. The very full flavours are consecrated by a sharp but pleasant fresh hop bitterness which quietly dries the tongue. I could easily drink this all day and never get bored.

Hope those of you who have a chance to try this enjoy it as much as I. Hope even more that you get a fresh batch so you can experience the sensory indulgence I just had.

Photo of tatterdash
4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very good tasting beer. Pours a dark amber with a fluffy white head. Smell is very floral, with hints of banana, apricot, and plums. Taste was very good as well, very fruity, with and almost banana bread taste. Nice dry finish with some hoppiness. Mounthfeel was light and bubbly, but not too fizzy. This a highly drinkable beer, and I enjoyed it a great deal.

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

This beer from one of Canada's best breweries pours a nice dark amber color with frenetic carbonation. The head is ivory and the bubbles are densely packed. It starts big, quickly dissipating to a half cm 'lid' which leaves thick layers of lace. The aroma is of cedary, spicey and earthy hops and apple cider hints. The taste is of caramel malts, fruity ringwood yeast esters and earthy English hops (probably Goldings and Fuggles). Theres a buttery character in the middle and some nice hop bitterness in the finish. The masses of fine carbonation give this beer a creamy thick mouthfeel. This is a very rich and well balanced English Pale Ale that everyone should try.

Photo of the42ndtourist
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Arrow and Loon, Ottawa.

Red-copper, with a nice one centimetre white head. Smells slightly earthy, but much more of a fruity note than in the bottles. I was both smelling and tasting apple in this pint - which I've never noticed from the bottle. Anyhow, good hopping, when I first tried this I found a wall of bitterness - now it's just one of the best, well rounded, session beers I can get in Ontario. Drink it, love it.

This lives in the (exceedingly dark) shadow of the St. Ambroise oatmeal stout, but it's no less tasty or well-made.

Photo of DrJay
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very clear, copper coloured with a cream coloured head (very long-lasting with lots of lace on the sides of the pint glass). The aroma was predominantly floral hops with some caramel and light citrus. The flavour is mostly bitter, and the well-rounded hop bitterness becomes slightly more harsh as the malty sweetness dissipates. The finish is dry and bitter, and it definitely lingers... but that's not a bad thing. Medium/light body with a slight graininess present.

Photo of baiser
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow, another great beer from McAuslan.

Poured bright, copper-red with a creamy head. You notice the carbonation right away. The head was huge even with an easy pour. Healthy lacing stayed through the entire time. Very attractive.

Smelled very fruity, malty and with hints of toasted caramel.

Initially, the taste was like....honey and caramel balanced by a good amount of hops. At a colder temperature, you notice the hops alot more. After it warmed, the fruity/malty sweetness is wonderful.

This is a very full bodied ale with a perfect balance between malts and hops. At the very end, it had a wonderful peach hktea-like quality. One of the best pale ale's around.

Will definitely have again.

Photo of IronDjinn
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hooray, we finally have some St. Ambroise available in Alberta. It's about damn time. This is a very esthetically appealing ale, a clear vibrant copper hue capped by a creamy off-white head that never fully disipates. Grassy and floral hops up front on the nose, accompanied by sweet malt and a faux spiciness. Flavour is bold and in your face, seemlessly blended malt and hops carry throughout the sip, and both linger on the aftertaste as well. One of the most balanced beers I have ever tried in my life. The mouthfeel is rich and creamy for a pale ale, becoming slightly oily on the aftertaste. This would make one hell of a session ale, I'm very glad that this is available here now. I want to try more from McAuslan now as well.

Photo of Cwrw
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The first thing I noticed as I twisted the cap was the aggressive carbonation of this beer: the cap came off with a forceful pop and the bottle neck clouded with a great deal of vapour. This is what I like: an interesting beer from the very start. I found it hard to control the healthy mammoth head, despite pouring slowly and carefully. Nice. Copper brown with slight reds and very sticky lace. The aroma is a masterful balance: just enough malt and hops. The hops are dominant, but no so powerful that little else can be detected, because the sweetish malt comes through beautifully. The hop presence adds earthy, flowery, and a strong spiced honey smell. The taste is exceptional because of the balance. Sweet fruits, the bitterness of cloves, slightly toasted malt, and a very strong earth flavour--not spices, but more bitter greens or even vegetable flavours. Not spicy, but soil-like. The bitterness hits the tongue almost immediately, even on the front, and it stays around for the finish. A good bready malt taste asserts itself too, however. Indeed, the finish, after re-tasting the beer's presence on your tongue, is SIGNIFICANTLY malty. Again, the balance is superb. The mouthfeel is good, well carbonated and medium bodied, but this beer leaves your mouth with quite a dry feeling, which would prevent me from consuming too many of these at once. Otherwise, this is an incredible brew. It is influenced by a more balanced British style Pale Ale Style, rather than the oftentimes over-hopped American style. With Unibroue and St. Ambroise, Quebec is becoming quite renowned for brewing craft beer authentically.

St-Ambroise Pale Ale from McAuslan Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 365 ratings.