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St-Ambroise Scotch Ale - McAuslan Brewing

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

126 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 126
Reviews: 71
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 12.8%
Wants: 8
Gots: 9 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-25-2002

Formerly known as McAuslan Scotch Ale
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 126 | Reviews: 71
Photo of KrisDLSmith
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up as part of the St. Ambroise taster's pack at LCBO. Reviewed second bottle of two in the pack. Served fairly cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - Reddish / copper color. 3/4 of a finger of white head is poured but expires quickly leving a soapy residue on top. Tons of bubbles give the illusion of high carbonation.

Smell - Caramel and vanilla are present some underlying oakiness, if you're looking for it.

Taste - Sweet vanilla and toffee and caramel smack you in the mouth almost at the point of being cloyingly sweet, then the hop presence (bitterness) just cuts through like a hot knife through butter to removing and tracing of cloying sweetness. While this wasn't my particular point of enjoyment, I think it creates a better balance which is reflected in the overall score to some extent.

Mouthfeel - Low-medium carbonation. Mild dryness on the finish. Booziness is subtle until the end once the beers warms a bit and then becomes quite noticeable.

Overall - Not my favorite scotch ale, I think the palate cutting bitterness keeps this a very balanced brew and not one that is extreme.

Photo of WillAndSarah
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of smekermann
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of peensteen
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of esto
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of 1sophrosyne1
4.06/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tasted on tap in a a weizen glass over 25 minutes.
The pour is a red cordovan with an ample tan head of which most falls quickly, but some residual head stays around a bit. Essentially no lacing.
It has a candy nose with cherry, some booze and brandy and a touch of orange. Toffee is prominent early, and folds into more muted earth and peat with warming.
Sweet and toasty in flavor, and not quite enough hop bitter to balance all the red fruit, but very drinkable. Butterscotch and vanilla are almost soothing before an astringent phase stops them short 2/3 through each gulp. This brightens up the end, but then leaves this otherwise savory brew lacking on length.
A few more bubbles would help the light-medium body and the flavor profile, both. It's fine in the mouth, but without more hop oils, it's thin. Based on what I'm reading, though, I think a draught pour is better in this regard than a bottle…especially one that has been on the shelf.
This is a nice twist on the style, but as noted, I'd expect more heft…especially with 7.5 percent booze. On the flip side, it's easy to quaff, so you can reach the level of full attitude adjustment in just a single happy hour. And, it's pretty good with the food of northern Europe and related cooler climes.

Photo of MJ63
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of CurtisD
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of kabritz
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of vielma
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of NDG07
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of VbolieuV
4.5/5  rDev +20%

Photo of deonreds
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of hotsudge
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of pin
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of ThinkAgain
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of yancot
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of Haydn-Juby
4.06/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 341ml bottle

A: Nice dark brown with red hues coming through when up against light. Pretty small, maybe half finger head with some lacing.

S: Candied dark fruits. Very sweet candy like smell.

T: The candied fruit in the aroma is not so present in the taste it is still there however. Caramel and sweet malts are the most present flavor in this. Some nice hops that help simmer down the sweetness of the malts. Nicely balance. Its malty but at the same time its not cloyingly sweet. Some of the alcohol is noticeable but that is not out of key for the style.

M: Smooth going down. Leaves a nice caramel after taste.

O: I could picture my self besides a fire sipping this after a cold winters day or paring it with a deeply marinated roast. It was enjoyable.

Photo of thehyperduck
3.56/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

341 mL bottle from the LCBO, care of the brewery's winter sampler pack. Bottled Sept. 27 2012. I tend to love McAuslan's offerings, so I've got high hopes for this one - which happens to be the only brew in this pack I haven't tried previously. Served only slightly chilled.

Pours a beautiful deep translucent copper-ruby colour, topped with about one finger's worth of foamy, fizzy, light beige-coloured head. It fades away rather quickly, with only a thin film on the surface remaining a few minutes later. The aroma is pleasant and very malt-forward, with lots of toffee and molasses sweetness, as well as some raisins and black cherry. The peat becomes a bit more noticeable as the glass warms to room temperature.

The taste is alright, but not especially interesting. Sweet malt notes are in the forefront at first, with lots of butterscotch/toffee accompanied by vanilla, figs and raisins. These flavours are abruptly interrupted with a solid dose of bitter dryness - a little leafy, with hints of dark chocolate, molasses and rum. On the light side of medium-bodied... too thin for something that is supposed to be a winter sipper. The carbonation seems high at first, but settles as I sip my way through the glass. Not something I'd want to drink large quantities of, but this bottle is fine for a cold afternoon.

Final Grade: 3.56, a respectable B grade. St-Ambroise Scotch Ale isn't one of McAuslan's best beers, not by a longshot. That being said, it makes for a decent warmer during the cold winter months, reminding me of some of the heavier I&G offerings (e.g. the rum cask). I doubt I'd go out of my way to try this again (perhaps on-tap), but to be fair its presence is no reason to avoid the sampler, because the oatmeal stout and pale ale are both excellent.

[Updated Jan. 1 2014]

I grabbed another sampler pack for last night's festivities and never got around to opening this one, so I figured I'd give it another comment on a slow afternoon. This is still my least-favourite McAuslan brew, but that's not a huge criticism because I love most of their other beers - this one's just not for me. Something about the combination of thin body, fizziness, sweet flavour and booze rubs me wrong, but beyond those gripes it does taste pretty darn good. Not a bad beer, and worth a try if you're into sturdy Scottish-style ales.

Photo of BigGruntyThirst
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of DaPan
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of 4ster
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of djcreepshow
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of cfalovo97
2/5  rDev -46.7%

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St-Ambroise Scotch Ale from McAuslan Brewing
85 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.