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St-Ambroise Citrouille (The Great Pumpkin Ale) - McAuslan Brewing

Not Rated.
St-Ambroise Citrouille (The Great Pumpkin Ale)St-Ambroise Citrouille (The Great Pumpkin Ale)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

344 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 344
Reviews: 159
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 15
Gots: 24 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
McAuslan Brewing visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Phyl21ca on 08-31-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 344 | Reviews: 159
Reviews by FrostBlast:
Photo of FrostBlast
4.14/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

341mL bottle

I never mention bitterness in my reviews, my bitterness taste buds are ridiculously under-sensitive.

APPEARANCE : Reddish orange brown with no head whatsoever. Even stirring it a little doesn't build a head - it does seem to have good carbonation, though.

SMELL : First nose is strongly dominated by malt and nutmeg. Second nose somehow weakens the smells and releases a softer herbal aroma. Third nose is the same.

TASTE : Tastes follows the nose, but adds in a strong gingerbread component that's extremely pleasing. I can imagine myself drinking this beer on a cold winter evening with some typical xmas meals. The taste of this beer is definitely its strong point. I keep coming back for another sip, rolling it around in my mouth, releasing the warming spice and gingerbread aromas. Fantastic.

MOUTHFEEL : More thickness would definitely make this beer even more pleasing. This is the kind of product you want to drink after a long winter's day : you need something consistent and this doesn't quite cut it. It could definitely use more substance. Carbonation is pretty high to my taste (I mention this a lot) but a few swings around the glass and it's all good.

OVERALL : A very good, very surprising beer if you've never had it. Although I do believe I know my beers well, it was my first pumpkin ale, so I'm guessing I'll have to go around tasting more of these beers, and I might come back to the McAuslan for another review. In the meantime, this is my opinion.

I bought a 4-pack, popped one for this review, and I'll definitely keep the other 3 for cold evenings. They brew this at just the right time : before winter.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear deep orange infused copper color with a this wispy white head atop.Pumpkin pie spices along with a little graham cracker crust in the nose,a good amount of nutmeg in there.a little fizzy feel in the mouth with some orange-like cardamom flavors and nutmeg sticking out most,a faint drying effect and mild roasted pumpkin flavor in the finish.The flavors are not bad but the feel is somewhat lacking,ok but nothing special here in my opinion.

Photo of Jason
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.5 brown bottle, sample from the importer.

Nearly clear dark copper color, tiny bubble lacing. More spice and gourd in the nose, still pretty beery though. Decent smoothness with a slick medium body. Good dose of pie spice, nothing really pops or breaks out into a wow factor but it works. Hint of caramel and meaty gourd in the middle, caramel and bread crust to finish this brew off.

Good but middle of the road for the whole pumpkin beer thing.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to blutt59 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a clear orange-brown color with a white head. The aroma is nutmeg and pumpkin. The flavor is basic pumpkin pie spices with some allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, caramel malt and pumpkin notes. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A pretty basic pumpkin ale but quite enjoyable.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Four pack from the LCBO. I'm hoping to brew some pumpkin ale myself so I figured Id try some new ones for inspiration.

Poured into a nonic. Amber-ruby, very clear, about a solid half inch of froth, some lacing.

Nose is pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses and mild clove.
Pleasant.

Tastes pretty fair, actually, though I feel the brew is thin malt wise. The spices are spot on, though - the usual suspects are there, and it finishes with an extra bit of pepper and clove.

Thin bodied like a red lager, a bit oily.

Above average pumpkin brew, but I still feel like this could have been fuller. Felt a bit thin, but the flavors are all there.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My bottle says the great pumpkin ale not the french citrouille like the version pictured above. Pours a deep caramel amber body with a big fluffy off white head, leaves behind fine speckled lacing around my pils glass. Aromatics offer up robust pumpkin sweetness, a very nice natual vegetable like tone straight out of the gourd. Again another pumpkin ale where the spices don't grab your nose hairs and completely pull you in. Flavor has a strong caramel malt from the front to the back, definitely borders on butter scotch with a touch of pumpkin flesh and a subtle mix of pumpkin pie spices. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively caronation finishes with the spices and lingering caramel sweetness but in a good way. Drinkability overall another stellar example of the style, I tend to not like Pumpkin ales at all so far I'm two for three this year.

Photo of chinchill
4.06/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.5 oz. bottle, with a indecipherable coded production date on the back, but definitely 2013 vintage. Poured into a Belgian snifter.

A: Pours dark reddish-copper; very good clarity; small tan head reduces to a thin ring in about a minute. Some lacing lines continue to form.

Smell: Moderately spicy, with a well-balanced mix of cinnamon, allspice, and other 'Fall spices'. Hints of burnt sugar, vanilla and pumpkin.

T: Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice hit the tongue and indicate an over-spiced ale, but it's not. These quickly diminish and mix with some pumpkin puree and light malts. Very tasty and well balanced, considering the prominent spicing.

M: Smooth, medium-full body, with enough carbonation to impart a moderately lively feel.

Overall: One of the best pumpkin beers I can remember, including ome big, high ABV imperials. Highly recommended.

Photo of frankiepop
4.49/5  rDev +23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I love pumpkin beer first of all, and this is my favorite so far out the 5 or 6 that I have sampled. This one poured into a tulip glass with a small head that dissipated rather quickly. I marked it down a half point or so for that. The color was very nice for a pumpkin brew though, almost perfect. A bit dark red-orange brown hues shine nicely,

Strong aromas of sweet pumpkin and spices emitted easily from the glass for a wondrous scent to enjoy.

The beer is mild yet strong of pumpkin. Slightly sweet and nicely spiced. This does not have the strong better spices of a southern pumpkin pie. No this is mild. Strong with cinnamon is pretty big and only light with recognizable cloves. Malty yeasty with a slight balance of hops.

The texture is the most difficult area of a pumpkin beer and this has a nice ale like balance to carbonation. Just perfect in my book. Thickish. Creamy. A tremendous advancement in the art of pumpkin ale making. Hats off to the Canadian brewers here. Well done.

I compared St-Ambroise Citrouille to Blue Moon Pumpkin beer. Head to head. I really appreciate BMs Pumpkin. Blue Moon does win the appearance with a nicer head though it lacks the darkness of St Ambroise. St. Ambroise wipes it out in the aromatic arena. No contest. Taste went to St Ambroise as a mellow ale with a lot of pumpkin though Blue Moon was close with a refreshing though lesser pumpkin flavors. Blue Moon would be a great sipper after a hard day harvesting crops. Finally Blue Moon has a extremely high carbonation that is very unique that accents the refreshing qualities. However, St A is tough competition and has a wondrous texture that is 2nd to very few. Winner St A. but BMP was quite close.

I recommend a high quality beverage like this should be only complimented by the highest of musical art forms of the region. I recommend the "musique actuelle" scene start with electronic turntable artist Martin Tétreault's cd entitled "Des pas et des mois" with Rene Lussier. Another excellent choice might be "The Frankenstein Symphony" by Francois Dhumont that he contributed on.

Photo of Brenden
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pumpkin ale is a clear orange-brown. It makes an effort to develop the head and manages respectably, though with difficulty. Retention is moderate, and a foam is left in its place that drops a bit of spotty lacing behind it.
Pumpkin flesh is hearty on the nose with a good dose of malt backbone and spicing that is on the higher end and stops short of going overboard. There's a light sweetness and ever-so-slight buttery note as well.
This is a pretty good pumpkin ale, though spicing's a little harder on the tongue. A very light dose of herbal hops shows up as well. Spicing is mostly nutmeg and cinnamon, but something kicking like ginger root peeks out in the finish as well. Most of the notes come out and mingle better after it's been out awhile.
Crispness is here in the feel, but it seems like it's being forced out of the carbonation; interestingly, said carbonation doesn't really add any smoothness. Something sort of flattens out in the middle here. It's not bad, but for the malts support and the mediumish body, there should be more.

Photo of biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle, on a rainy afternoon in our old-school Montreal hotel room.

This beer pours a clear, bright bronzed amber colour, with two hefty fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and somewhat creamy off-white head, which leaves some layered storm front lacing around the glass as it genially recedes.

It smells very much of pumpkin pie - cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, sweet vegetal pumpkin mash - and a bit of caramel/toffee malt. The taste is light pumpkin rind and flesh, a lessened nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon spice, some ascending ginger notes that recall the childhood memories of their snap format, bready caramel malt, and a muddled fruity nuttiness.

The carbonation is quite soft, mostly just a trilling frothiness, the body medium-full in weight, and rather rounded in its smoothness. It finishes off-dry, with some semi-sweet vegetal gourd and seasonal spices lazily lingering.

La Citrouille is a fairly drinkable and generally enjoyable representation of that fall harvest dessert (and sometimes morning after) staple. A minor trifle, though - why isn't this listed as a Pumpkin Ale? If it looks, smells, tastes, and well, is called one, then, qu'est-ce qui se passe, eh?

Photo of mintjellie
2.38/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Deep copper with red highlights. Thin, poorly retained head. No lace. Weak spice and cookie dough aroma. Diacetyl. Mild biscuit and pie spice flavour. Buttery. Light-bodied with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is watery thin and greasy slick. Quite disappointing.

Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Somewhat underated beer, this one a little aged and only the better for it. Allspice,nutmeg caramel, not a bad drinker and above-average for a pumpkin style beer, and a lot less pumpkin than others of the style but its there. Decent and complex aroma, dark brown colour, above average mouthfeel.

Photo of CanuckRover
4.04/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep orange. Pretty thin head, very little retention.

Excellent aroma, the spices really come through nicely. Wonderful combination of ginger and cinnamon, actually smells just like a scented candle my girlfriend has.

Spice right up front. Emphasis on ginger but with a nice sugar/cinnamon sweetness. I think that it could use a little more sweetness actually. The spice gives way to more traditional beer flavours. Light caramel taste and a subtle english bitterness in the finish.

Thin pumpkin beers frustrate me, I want something with a bit of body to go with the desert-like flavours.

Very drinkable, a good autumn beer.

Photo of McMatt7
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

it was good and free so thanks, stands up and tells you a story

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - a bubbly clear deep amber with one thumb of tan head that dissipated to a very light ring
S - strong cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg spice mix, light pumpkin, bready malt and light caramel
T - same spices attack the taste buds, the pumpkin is almost masked by them, bready malt and light leafy taste, very tasty but a little lacking in pumpkin
M - spice tickles the nostrils, fairly carbonated and light, a little thin
D - very tasty but more of a spiced beer than a pumpkin beer which is somewhat disappointing, almost like a winter warmer, light enough to be very drinkable, just needs to kick up the feature ingredient more

Photo of heebes
3.87/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Part of the fall seasonal offering from the LCBO.

Pours a dark clear orange brown. Carbonation that would resemble a soda, but thin almost non-existant head.

The nose is spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, herbs and sweet malts.

The taste comes off as a bit artifical as far as pumpkin flavour. I'm getting more spices in the notes. The alcohol taste is well hidden, more so than some pumpkin ale offerings. Fairly smooth and sweet on the palette. Has a somewhat watery mouthfeel and is light.

I had one of these between an Ocktoberfest beer at Thanksgiving this year and it didn't impress me much, however on its own its sitting better. A little too much spice flavour and not much pumpkin taste. I like that it comes in a 4 pack, just enough for the season. I'll probably get it again seasonally.
Drinkable at 5% ABV, good take on the style.

Photo of jbonapar
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Nice 330ml bottle with pumpkins on the front.

Smell - Spicy, pumpkin pie (obviously). Cinnamon and nutmeg are strong in the sent.

Taste- Again, nice pumpkin pie flavor with a bit too much of overpowering hops. Would likely benefit form a sweeter slightly maltier brew.

Nice October beer that you can enjoy one after the other.

Photo of eat
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A hard pour yields a tall creamy, cream-coloured head which fades into a thin covering. The beer is a beautiful transparent amber. It looks awesome while the head is on top but unfortunately it doesn't last long.

Smells almost like a Belgian. Light spices (nutmeg and clove are most obvious), astringent, bready pumpkin, some cotton candy-like sweetness. Different and pretty nice though a bit weak. It doesn't necessarily smell like a pumpkin pie, though there are hints of it.

More subtle tasting than I was expecting; also a lot more well-balanced than I was expecting. This tastes like their amazing pale ale modified into a fall seasonal. While I didn't find it in the nose, some spicy ginger comes out quite strongly in the flavour, reminiscent of a toned-down ginger beer. Other than that the spices are present but very subtle. Some light wheat. It's actually a pretty light tasting beer, though it's interesting and well-balanced.

The feel could be a little thicker; medium-light bodied. A little watery for my liking. Light carbonation.

This beer is actually better all around than I expected. I had never tried a pumpkin ale and it really isn't so bad. Pretty drinkable. I wouldn't want to session this but it's definitely worth a try.

Photo of souvenirs
3.94/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

341ml bottle bought yesterday at the BCLS on Commercial Drive, 4x341ml for $9.95 + deposit.

A: clear and fairly dark orange-brown, minimal head, visible carbonation.
S: Pumpkin pie! Mostly the spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves?) but I do also smell the pumpkin.
T: Follows the smell. Spicy, but not overly so. Very enjoyable.

Would I buy it again? Definitely! If I can get more before it sells out, that is.

Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another fine season brought in for Halloween this year by the LCBO for my consuming enjoyment, this one form next door.

Citrouille poured much darker then I'd expected a rich clear mahogany. The medium light carbonation gifted a fine off white head with spots of brown interspersed.

Now this certainly smells like pumpkin pie. There was a big burst of pumpkin right up front followed by earthy honey notes. Allspice cinnamon and faint hints of ginger mingled about with the cinnamon definitely taking the upper hand. Some nice clean citrus esters were hinted at throughout as well.

Cinnamon was the first big flavor and was right up front lending slight peppery sensation the ginger no doubt also contributing to this. Allspice, nutmeg and clove notes leant a earthy taste. The breadiness of the roast malts added a nice pie crust sort of feel which really suited the whole beer. The pumpkin while not adding a ton of flavor gave the beer quite a fine tongue coating body. The hopping was very subdued with malt and spice providing the majority of the flavor.

This was a very enjoyable beer. The only thing I had a hang-up upon was that the cinnamon was pretty robust at times and I feel it could have been slightly toned down for balance.

Photo of KYGunner
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

The nose and flavor are virtually the same. Great balance of gourd and spice, nutmeg and anise mostly. The problem is that it seems watered down in nose, taste and feel.

Photo of DaveBar
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Purchased at the LCBO $10.00 for a 4pk. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- 4.25- Very dark and lots of head.

S- 4.0- Lots of cinnamon here. Good malt backbone.

T- 4.0- Lots of pumpkin and cinnamon. Good blend. Well crafted

M- 3.75- Very good. Very traditional North American style

O- 4.11- This is my overall score. Very good blend and well executed. Will keep a few for the year

Food Pairing

This nice pumpkin beer went well with..... Pumpkin Pie!! Pumpkin overload!

Enjoy

Photo of puboflyons
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on October 5, 2014.

The pour is a reddish orange, which is a bit of a surprise to me. Not a lot of head and it fades away quickly.

The aroma has a pleasant enough nutmeg and pumpkin spice character but there is a kind of grape fruitiness. Not grapefruit - red grapes. Yeast.

The body is better than medium.

The taste is on the sweet side with that same pumpkin spiciness that I would expect. There is a lingering bitterness and a fruity finale. Interesting.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.47/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Rustic orange exit from the bottle is more dark candy apple red in the glass. Fizzy dark khaki head is quick to dissipate while the visible carbonation was light with a soft rising. No lacing.

S: Fresh cinnamon, cola, pot pourri, and some gingerbread is most evident moderate in strength. Toasted sweet caramel is the backing.

T: The flavor was sweet, cloying, of toasted sweet caramel, cinnamon, and nutmeg first getting noticed. Sugar graham crackers, and gingerbread with a dry toasted baked sweetness. More pumpkin spice the actual pumpkin with some dry pumpkin crust breading.

M: a medium maltiness, turning chewy with a quiet carbonation. Nice resistance and weight on the tongue.

D: Limited drinkability, more spice then pumpkin if that’s your thing. Toasted dry sweetness and comes off as a dessert beer. Festive, spicy and sweet best compliments a thanksgiving dinner.

Photo of ChrisCage
4.4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is the 2nd of 3 pumpkin beers that I'm reviewing in a row...for comparison sake!

A- Pours a rich copper color with a slight orange hue as a backdrop. Lacing is good as small to medium clumps of foam hold on to the side of my glass. The head starts out nice and thick, being slightly off white. It settles fairly quick into a patchy film over the beer. Carbonation appears to be plentiful, however, slow rising.

S- A good mix of sweet and spicy make up the aromas. Sweet pumpkin pie aromas, made up of cinnamon, freshly grated pumpkin, and nutmeg balance out the aromas of allspice and clove. This one really has a nice aroma of straight out of the oven pumpkin pie.

T- This is an extension of what the aromas let on. It is richly flavored with fresh pumpkin pie filling and has a biscuit like quality that reminds me of the pie crust. After the spice and sweetness, the finish provides a subtle but noticeable leafy hop bitterness that helps carry the fresh gourd flavors into a lingering state on the palate after the swallow.

M- Medium bodied beer that has a clean refreshing character, yet the carbonation isn't super imposing and gives this a creamier, pie-like feel to it. Really nice to savour!

D- This is what a pumpkin ale should be like. It captures the essence of the pumpkin itself, but the warming spices, sweet malt and hint of bitterness on the finish really meld well together. A perfect warming brew to enjoy during the cold months or with that turkey dinner! I highly recommend getting this one!

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St-Ambroise Citrouille (The Great Pumpkin Ale) from McAuslan Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 344 ratings.