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St-Ambroise Scotch Ale - McAuslan Brewing

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

118 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 118
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.07%
Wants: 6
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
McAuslan Brewing visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Formerly known as McAuslan Scotch Ale

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-25-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 118 | Reviews: 69 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ThinkAgain:
Photo of ThinkAgain
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

ThinkAgain, Mar 27, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of Rijtjeshuis
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

look - very dark brown, almost black in color. Head is a little disappointing, it doesn't come up as high as I would like on this style (maybe one finger on a hard pour). It is off white and falls rather quickly to a cap that lasts a while without any real lacing. It's pretty high abv, so I guess that's forgivable. Clarity is very good when held to the light.

smell - definitely a lot of malt on the nose and almost no hop, as one would expect from this style. Malt is strongly caramel. A little hint of darker malts or kettle carmelization comes in, just a bit of roasted and chocolate in there. This give a character more like molasses than caramel. A very light note of fruitiness (esters?) and alcohol, but was minimal. No hops.

taste - similar to aroma. definitely dominated by malts with the same molasses-like blend of caramel malt, dark malts, and kettle carmelization. A tiny bit of smokiness (though no real peat) and a bit of nut round out he finishes. I get the esters of prunes on the finish as well. No hops, no alcohol.

feel - medium-full body and medium carbonation. Definitely really sweet (a tad port-like) and a tad cloying, but the higher carbonation cuts through that okay. No real alcohol in there.

I'm not too experienced with scotch ales (I think I've had like five different types). I appreciated the darker notes in it, that I though added complexity and depth. Maybe a stand-alone desert. Drinkability was low: more of a sipper.

Rijtjeshuis, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of DannyBaldoni
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

DannyBaldoni, Sep 25, 2014
Photo of chickenm
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

chickenm, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of djcreepshow
4/5  rDev +6.7%

djcreepshow, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of MJ63
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

MJ63, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of biboergosum
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle. Made with 'peated malt' - huh.

This beer pours a clear, dark cherry red brick hue, with two fingers of thinly foamy pale beige head, which leaves a droopy wash of lace around the glass as it seeps away. It smells of dark, soused fruit, molasses and maple (sounds like a good name for a '60s Canadian folk rock duo), a bit of burnt bog, and leafy, earthy hops. The taste is strong caramel/toffee malt, treacle, some mild peaty notes, a significant unmasked booze uppercut, and drying dusty hops. The carbonation is present, but understated, the body medium-heavy in weight, sticky and clingy, not letting you go from first contact. It finishes still with a finger on the edgy malt button, the alcohol receding to a backup role, a somewhat metallic edge keeping the crazy Scot influence honest.

A pretty decent rendition of the strong Scotch ales that I've come across. Intense, with proclivity towards towering maltiness - UK mountains, not NA mountains, to be clear. And once strapped in, this is indeed rather tasty.

biboergosum, Aug 17, 2011
Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Nice head w/soap bubbles..not much aroma bleachy..alcholicy and Dark color. Well carbonated, Full mouthfeel Enoz salts. Marginally harsh.
Fruity esthers. Slight chocoloate malt and peatiness. Good ideas that just didn't work out. Thanks Dr. Jay and Pierro.

Sammy, Feb 08, 2006
Photo of CanuckRover
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This looks like a glass of root beer. Head quickly dissipates leaving a thin ring and an unexpectedly large amount of visible carbonation. A fairly deep mahogany.

Boozy fruit on the nose with some very dark caramel notes.

As expected, large amount of alcohol soaked dark fruit, raisins. Very nutty flavour, borders on oaky with some pretty strong vanilla extract flavours.

A bit on the thing side but offers a pretty smooth drink.

The combination of a thin body and strong abv might lead to me getting a little sick of this after a bottle.

CanuckRover, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.7/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A slightly hazy, deep-auburn body is topped by a short, creamy, ivory colored head that dissipates shortly but keeps a decent collar throughout the glass. The aroma is outstanding; richly malty with notes of caramel, toffee, dark fruits (plum), and a mild cocoa. The firm body is enhanced by a creamy mouthfeel from a very fine, low level carbonation that leaves it supple and smooth on the tongue! The flavor is also enhanced by the gentle carbonation, accentuating the rich caramel & toffee, light chocolate, and soft, mild fruitiness of the malt. The hop bitterness plays only a supporting role and it finishes semi-dry with a lingering dark chocolate note, some fruitiness, and some swirling notes of alcohol that eventually fade but give rise to a soft note of vanilla and some mild nuttiness. Quite complex. Best mulled over at cellar temperature. Well worth seeking out.

NeroFiddled, Jan 03, 2003
Photo of MrKennedy
3.08/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from Warners at the Bay, poured into a Mikkeller tulip.

Has a dark colour with ruby tinged around the edges that are exacerbated when held up to light. Cool looking, yellow-orange-tan coloured foam that sits atop. Turns to film pretty soon.

Smells of vanilla, toffee, caramel. Quite good,

Tastes of dark fruit, booze and little else. Could be nice, but the booze damages it.

A bit boozy, some heat. Otherwise smooth, consistent and drinkable.

The booze hurts this, otherwise an ok scotch ale with a nice smooth and consistent fruitiness.

MrKennedy, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of Yoonisaykul
3.1/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Well, still not a big fan of Scotch Ale's but have been wanting to try this one for a while.

A- Dark brown with amber highlights. Decent sized kaki head.

S- A little something reminds me of those pickled beets in a Shawarma (but I'm probably way off). Sweetness underneath Bit of hot alcohol. Cardboard in the back. Warming up brought a mix of marshmallow, root beer and cream soda.

T- Quite burnt right up front. Woody. A little sour. Still a bit of cardboard I think. I think it's probably significantly less malty than the style.

M- Medium body. Medium carbonation. Quite crisp but not dry.

O- This is not the Scotch Ale which will get me to understand(love?) them.

Yoonisaykul, Mar 29, 2011
Photo of joemcgrath27
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - a deep cedar red-brown, two finger os tan head retained well and left some intermittent lacing
S - a blend of molasses, maple, peat, vanilla, and spices, very interesting
T - very sweet with toffee, vanilla, and cherry syrup, the peaty smoky character is basically drowned out which takes away from the scotch ale character
M - sticky and heavy, it definitely coats the mouth from start to finish
O - it is a big beer all around and is a tasty treat, but the dominance of the sweet flavours tends to overshadow the true scotch ale essence for me, still well worth a purchase through

joemcgrath27, Jul 31, 2011
Photo of Mandrake
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with red highlights and big bubbles clinging to the sides of my glass. A little bit too coke-like, but the head is thick and lasting enough to belay those suspicions. Same colour though, but it leaves good lacing nonetheless. Smell is dark and smoky, with lots of peat and strong malts. Burnt caramel and raisins as well. Taste is a bit astringent and salty, but in the way that a Highland single malt is, and it's actually quite interesting. More fruitiness on the palate, and strong peat again. Mouthfeel has plenty of body, but loses its carbonation quickly and isn't as warming as I'd hoped for, and drinkability is solid but not exceptional. Nice example of the style, I quite like it.

Mandrake, Nov 25, 2007
Photo of eat
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this one up at Rahman while in Montreal. Not sure how old it is; the bottle is dated best before M015, whatever that means. Pours an extremely dark brown, almost completely opaque with a fine mist of off-white head and ring around the glass. Some bits of cork-looking sediment are present at the end of the glass.

Smells of yeast, wheat, molasses, caramel, iron, vanilla, prunes, raisins and cherries. There's even a little dustiness; I'm unsure of this bottle's age but it smells like it could be aged a bit. I'm pretty into the nose actually, it reminds me of Unibroue 17.

Quite sweet, as are most wee heavies; though it's mostly balanced with some drying, earthy hoppiness. The malt body leave a little to be desired, I'm feeling that it's a touch too watery. I'd appreciate some fuller malt. Quite tasty, though, with lots of prune and cherry, some slightly-chocolaty dark malt, charred wood and hints of coffee and vanilla bean with some musty aged-taste showing up in the mouth as well. Only the faintest trace of alcohol, presenting itself as part of an apple-cider-like aftertaste.

The body could definitely be a little fuller for my taste. The very low carbonation hints again at some age.

I'm suspecting this bottle could be a year or two old, especially considering Rahman still had some Unibroue Edition 2004 kicking around. Whatever its age, it's holding it well. Not my favorite McCauslin brew but I'm glad I had a chance to check it out and would probably recommend it to any fan of Scotch ales.

Edit: 15/12/10

I found a new mix pack from St. Ambroise at IGA which includes the rare Scottish Ale. I thought I'd re-review out of curiosity from the only other bottle I've had being of undetermined age. Opaque and dark-mahogany with cola-coloured highlights. A thin, off-white head leaves traces of lacing.

There's fairly obvious alcohol in the nose, along with bready dark grain, molasses, light apple and stone fruit. Much less interesting than the last bottle I had.

The flavour is not as full as I'd like it to be and lacks in complexity as well. There's a dark malt character without showing much roast and a somewhat cloying cough-syrup-like sweetness. Some light earthy hops and slightly-harsh alcohol.

Too light bodied to accompany the flavour. Medium-light carbonation.

I wouldn't be keen on drinking this unaged again. The last bottle of this stuff I found was definitely quite old in comparison; I'd put it at well-over a year, possibly pushing two. I wouldn't have necessarily thought this beer would be a good candidate for aging but enjoyed the aged bottle way more than this fresh one. If you manage to get your hands on some of this, set some aside for a good year and check it again. Ratings remain as tasted with the first review.

eat, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of elricorico
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown in colour with a finger of beige head that formed even during a careful pour. Fair amount of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Head fades to a thin cap after about a minute.

Rich caramel malts aroma, laced with a liquor heat. Some fruitiness, perhaps raisin.

Taste is dry, with a fair toffee impression through the front half of the mouth. Dark fruitiness mixes in midway seemingly increasing in sweetness as it passes. A liquor heat fills out the back end, warning of the ABV, but not overpowering the other flavours. Pretty tasty.

There's a bit of creamy body, and the carbonation doesn't get in the way, it is fairly soft and natural feeling.

All around a good beer, nothing huge about it, but everything is big enough to be interesting. Thanks go to orrshow for bringing me a bottle.

elricorico, May 03, 2009
Photo of Goldorak
2.15/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Fairly expensive bottle at around 7 bucks a 12 oz with the cardboard sleeve. This one was courtesy of Beersignal, who got it straight from the brewery after getting a bad bottle and called to notify them.

Appearance: Tiny columns of bubbles rising slowly through a sherry-like red ale. The head died off almost instantly and barely left any lace at all, even after considersble swirling.

Smell: Boozy nose, but with a strange atringency that reminded me of those first batches of homebrew kits I made. The vapors were some kind of weird fusel alcohol, not unlike acetonitrile.

Taste: Felt a little too tingly on my tongue, it had a bit of peated malt flavor but felt mostly oxidized. Yet another bad bottle? The two other previous times I've sampled this were worse than this, but still the alcoholic vapors would just hand around my throat and simply would not go down well.

This really sucks, because I'm usually a big fan of this brewery, and the old version of this Beer was probably the best example of the style I've ever had.

Goldorak, Jan 21, 2006
Photo of CrazyDavros
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown with a large, lasting head.
Very expressive aromas, lots of dark fruit, smoky and earth peat, golden syrup, caramel and cognac.
Similarly rich flavours, very malty, with more peat as well. The alcohol is a bit full on, and feels a bit harsh amongst the dry finish.

CrazyDavros, Aug 17, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear dark brown color ale with a big head with limited retention. Aroma with hints of smoke and sweet malt. Taste is lighter then expected with some sweet malt and a light bitter finish. Body is defiantly too thin for the style and IMHO carbonation is too high for the style. Quite deceiving and not even close to my recollection of the original beer that was brewed years ago.

Phyl21ca, Jan 03, 2006
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.2/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of pushkinwow. Poured in to Founders tulip.

A - Dark amber. One finger of bubbly light brown head that reduced to a thin layer.

S - Very weak nose. Some bready malts with very light dark caramel and toffee notes.

T - Smoke up front, giving way to toffee, whiskey and light maple syrup flavours. Bready malts are present too but not dominant as they were in the nose.

M - Medium body, light to moderate carbonation.

TheSevenDuffs, May 20, 2012
Photo of ZorPrime
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A new bottled beer from McAuslan Brewing... it can only be good. :)

Ruby red color... very dark. Nice head on top of it. Aroma of fruits. Some cherry with light notes of caramel. Nice and inviting aroma... lets drink some! On the taste, it is sugary with some cherry notes and a nice bitterness. Delicious. Back on the sugary notes, it is light... not dominant. Very delicious. I like this one a lot. Medium body. Some carbonation in the mouth. Warms in the mouth. Easy to drink for a 7.5% abv beer.

ZorPrime, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of WillAndSarah
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

WillAndSarah, Nov 21, 2013
Photo of irishkyle21
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice deep dark brownish purple. Decant head but little stamina, some very nice lacing though. Smells of dark fruits, molasses alcohol. The taste is pretty much like the smell with more of a alcohol bite to it and some chocolate in there as well. A very nice warming beer better for fall/ winter (IMO).

irishkyle21, Jul 24, 2007
Photo of CookstLiquor
4.28/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful chestnut brown colour, with a nice beige head. Not a ton of aroma, but what's there--hints of vanilla, nuts, caramelly malt--is nice. The nose really doesn't prepare you for the amazing smoothness and flavour on the palate. The vanilla is definitely present, along with some sweet, cooked malt notes. The mouthfeel is amazingly creamy and round, and there's just the right amount of bitterness at the end to tie it all together. Very easy drinking wee heavy. Totally delicious.

CookstLiquor, Jun 13, 2012
Photo of dipso123
3/5  rDev -20%

dipso123, Apr 17, 2014
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St-Ambroise Scotch Ale from McAuslan Brewing
85 out of 100 based on 118 ratings.