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St-Ambroise Pale Ale - McAuslan Brewing

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

373 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 373
Reviews: 215
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 19
Gots: 21 | 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: 373 | Reviews: 215
Photo of oberon
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a clear light golden with a large sticky white head that let rings of lace behind as it settled,quite spritzy looking pretty well carbonated.Nic hop profile in the nose quite citrusy and slightly piney but lemon and grapefruit show thru more,a light sweet biscuit malt aroma shows thru as well.The flavors seemed a bit flat to me the hops seemed to peeter out a little I mean there is a citrusy presense but not very bold,a dryer malt base really keeps the beers sweetness in check.A somewhat lighter prickly mouthfeel doesnt help it much,I had higher expectations for this but seemed a bit of a dud after a good start.

Photo of JOaikido
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated best before 31 December 2006.

A- Nice head that sticks to the glass and slowly settles down with time to a thin layer of foam. Dark amber colour with reddish hints. Lively bubbling, inviting, clear. This is really what beer should look like in my book.

S- Some what mild but this improves as the beer warms. Floral, fruit.

T- Stong hops character. A bit more bitter than I prefer but well balanced nonetheless. Malt and fruity flavours. A touch of alcohol raises to my nose as I drink.

MF- Smooth. Not a bit watery (100% beer). Carbonation a tad high.

D- Slightly hampered for me by the strong bitter hops character of the beer. Otherwise all good.

This beer was better that I remembered. Which is strange considering I have this a few times a year at minimum. I consider this a beer drinkers beer. I doesn't have the extreme flavours or alcohol content or anything gimmicky about it. It's simply very well brewed ale.

Photo of francisweizen
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice clear golden brew, head size and lacing depends on how dirty the glass they serve it to you in is. Aromas of malty bread with a bit of spicy hops, maybe saaz? maybe not! Taste is a bit sweet but balanced nice with the hops and a little chewy from the malts. Mouthfeel remains a bit tepid but ya know it works. Pretty much a nice change of pace from the macro filled slum bars of certain parts of Quebec. You see it on tap everywhere and even the most lame ass bodega probably sells flats of it. Mouthfeel is a bit thin but what are you gonna do? Drinkability is decent enough. I'd probably drink this beer exclusively if I was fat, 20 years older, and thought that Crescent street was the best street in Montreal Viva La Sociale Strippers!

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.32/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought from the combo pack with Griffon Rousse, Blonde and Apricot beer.

Nice dark golden brew with a nice head that stayed for a while. Medium hoppy for a pale ale but still not too complex. Nice brew for those hot summer days beside the pool. Better then most pale ale I’ve drank before...

Photo of Orrshow
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one pours a nice deep gold/amber color. The head is fairly generous, frothy, and a near white color. It leaves some nice sticky lacing.

Smell – I like what I smell as soon as I put my nose to this beer. There is a lot of bread to begin with followed by some nice floral and citrus hop aromas. I also detect a touch of apricot in there.

Taste – Off the bat I find it to be a bit sweeter than expected. There is that breadiness I detected but it’s not very prevalent. Then the nice hoppiness kicks in which I was expecting. The hop character is more on the citrus side. I do also detect a very slight metallic flavor…I’m not sure from what though.

Mouthfeel – The mouth feel is about right. Not too thick and not too thin. The carbonation is quite noticeable but that is expected from this style.

Drinkability – Great. A nice warm weather beer which can be enjoyed by almost anyone.

Photo of RBorsato
4.55/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Also labelled as "Biere Blonde".

Golden in color with a nice full off-white head, good carbonation, and some decent lace. Citrusy and spicy hop aroma dominates. Nice hoppy ale with great balanced maltiness... biscuit-like with some nice grainy character. Medium-light bodied with a crisp dry hoppy finish.

The hoppiest Cnadian brew I've had to date... Worth seeking out !

(341 ml / 11.5 oz)

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

I'm not normally a huge fan of pale ales, so I generally approach them with some trepidation. But after experiencing St. Ambroise's Oatmeal Stout, I was persuaded that perhaps they could pull off an excellent brew - even in a style that I'm not particularly attached to. I split on a six-pack with a roommate and off we went.

This sample was poured from a standard brown bottle (freshness dating on the six-pack) into a standard pint glass. This beer pours absolutely beautifully. The body itself is a gorgeous copper/gold, with a thick, vibrant layer of slightly off-white head with some persistance. After several minutes, slightly less than a finger remains from what was a solid two-finger head, but there is an exceptional amount of lacing. There's no denying that this brew looks absolutely appetizing.

My first thought on the smell is the creaminess, which is perhaps slightly unusual for a pale ale. But that creaminess is quickly overtaken by toasted malts, some bready-biscuit-y notes, and quite grassy-piney hops. Perhaps a touch of dark chocolate or caramel, perhaps. Definitely more balanced and smooth than my other major experience in the style (Mill Street's Tankhouse Ale).

Taste is initially creamy, with an immediate and pronounced hop twang. Slightly buttery, and very bitter, with a very dry finish. Some faint sweetness, maybe, and just a hint of some citrus hanging around in there. If you're not a fan of bitter beers, you won't like this at all - but if you are, you may very well love it. However, it's definitely more balanced than Mill Street's Tankhhouse Ale, probably making it more easily approachable by a beginner.

Mouthfeel is good. Carbonation is almost perfect, I would say - perhaps a little strong, but not enough to interfere with the rich flavour that the brew imparts. The body is slightly oily, and feels substantial in the mouth - it is very drinkable, especially if you're more of a bitter beer drinker. I could see myself having a few of these in a sitting, though it's certainly not something I would pound day in and day out.

All in all, St. Ambroise Pale Ale is a good little brew. Richly flavoured, with a pretty good taste.

Photo of shamus
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I reviewed this one on tap last week. This has been a favourite for a long time so it's interesting to pay closer attention to its characteristics.

First off its a gorgeous deep copper. I love this colour. The head pours a slightly tan/caramel colour and is bountiful. It receded to a fluffiness that reminded me of a root beer float.

The smell is a little metallic but not like a macro brew theres some strong malt smells giving it almost a scotch scent. Hops are very noticebale as part of the fragrance, floral and citrusy.

Very prounced hop flavour when drank. Very bitter. If you don't like bitter this is not for you. I however really like it.

Compared to the draught it rates much lower in mouth feel. The bottled version is significantly drier and leaves me wanting a glass of water. However given the great hop flavour this I can live with. It's a good idea to hydrate along with beer drinking anyhow.

A winner, but if you can get the draught nice n fresh that is the way to go.

Photo of edskirk3
4.18/5  rDev +8%
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
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
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
4.69/5  rDev +21.2%
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
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
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
3.86/5  rDev -0.3%
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
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
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
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
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
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
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
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
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.


Photo of Borussia
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
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
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
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
3.07/5  rDev -20.7%
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
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
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
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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St-Ambroise Pale Ale from McAuslan Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 373 ratings.