Griffon Red Ale | McAuslan Brewing

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Griffon Red AleGriffon Red Ale

Brewed by:
McAuslan Brewing
Quebec, Canada

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by John on 02-06-2002

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Reviews: 62 | Ratings: 117
Photo of VbolieuV
4.56/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I may be biased but when I think of a red ale I think about this beer. Perfect caramel taste. Easy to drink with 4.5% ABV it's one of my go-to beer. Good either during a cold day of winter for the warming caramel taste or during a hot summer day for the refreshing hops and sweet taste.

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Photo of toddsschneider
4.5/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

deep red color, assertive carbonation, medium off-white head with above-average retention and lacing
nicely malty aroma from its backbone
hoppy bitterness, balanced by maltiness, some sweetness
moderate body
all natural ingredients, quite drinkable, recommended

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Photo of zbs
4.32/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Montreal. At a beer garden whose name I can't recall--perhaps that invalidates this review. Followed a subpar pitcher of Chambly.

Griffon Rousse special on tap. Red in the pitcher, poured with an even, controlled head--trembles into cumulous along the lip of my glass. The first impression is warm, comforting, with some soaring notes carefully harmonizing with a certain rotundity. Heavier in spirit than many other Reds. One of the finest brews in a visit marked by admirable locals (the Quebecois maintain a marked, deliberate ignorance of American micros, alas).

At 12 CDN per pitcher we finished off a few before stumbling back down Guy Str.

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Photo of demcorhip
4.3/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to chonyr for brining this treat to the beer hinterland that is NW Ont.

This ale poured a very dark red-brown. Its colour was somewhere between a typical red and cola. A nice one finger light tan head formed on the pour. Nice, extensive fine lacings remained in this finely carbonated ale.

Hints of dark fruit, malts, both toasted and roasted, and an earthy grassiness.

Dont let the low alcohol fool you. Theres alot of malty goodness, depth and complexity in this ale. Hints of dark fruit and toast along with its creamyness reminded me of buttered and toasted raisin bread. Theres also a hint of caramel and a light touch of earthy and grassy hops. There was a very mild bitterness to this ale that i was having trouble pining down, but its creamy, nutty, and bitter character reminded me of black walnuts. Lots of complex malt flavours in this low alc brew.

Rich and creamy mouthfeel in this medium bodied ale. Nicely balanced but certainly favours the malts.

This is a very drinkable ale and would make great session fare, if only i could buy it here. This would also be a great crossover ale to open a macro drinkers beer goggles to the realm of craft brew. While deep and complex in its maltiness its not challenging. Ill be picking this one up if i ever see it.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.25/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This fantastic Mcauslan brew was recently introduced to my local Beer Store.

It pours amber with vivid red hints. The creamy tan head has good retention and drapes the glass with lace. Aromas of roasted specialty malts, dough and earthy hop leaf. The taste is packed with layers of malt flavors. Never cloying, but sweet, bready, robust. Caramel and berries are noticeable. Crackers and rye toast as well. A wonderful English hop flavor provides balance. The finish is nicely bitter and also fruity. Velvety carbonation thickens the mouthfeel, very well done.

This is a rich, full flavored red ale. Very refreshig but not as light as I was expecting. Another winner from this great brewery.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - very deep clear amber, one thumb of tan creamy tan head, pretty good retention, nice lace up the glass
S - sweet caramel, roasty, and bready malts, light floral hop hint
T - sweet molasses and floral hop kick up front, finishing with a mix of spiciness and bready malt
M - medium carbonation with a smooth malty body, slightly dry and tingly
D - i've been a fan of amber's since i started drinking, and this fits the style very well, great feature of malts and grains with just enough hops, once again worth the mixer pack purchase

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Photo of Redrover
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My wife & I were bicycling along the canal during our recent visit to Montreal. It was a hot day, so you can imagine my delight when I spotted this brewery.

They have a small garden and bar set-up in the back of building. Note that they also offer some food for hungry walkers/bikers.

Served in a pint glass, this beer is light brown with red highlights. Fluffy tan head and some nice lacing make this an attractive beer.

The nose is of fresh malts, wheat crackers, fresh apples and a wee bit of citrus.

The taste is nicely sweet with a bit of toasted malts. While the hops are not really prominent, they are clearly at work here and add some balance. This is a friendly sort of beer and would be an easy one to session or match with food.

The mouth is best described as soft. This is another easy drinker from this brewery. Well done!

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Photo of JOaikido
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

An old favorite for me. A beer I regularly choose at meal times, especially with pizza. This is the same beer as the brown ale, which is a better description. The change in name is probably the result of marketing pressures, as few people in Quebec would know what a brown ale is.

A- Poors a nice creamy head. Dark red/brown colour. Very dark, yet clear and appetizing.

S- Smells like good malty ale, which it is. There's a touch of spice I can't quite place.

T- Bitterness just right. Slightly sweet malt flavour is predominant. Flavour could be stronger in the middle. Some of the little spicy, fruity tastes hiding in there would be better if a bit punched up.

MF- Soft and creamy. Carbonation just right for my tastes.

D- One of my favorite session beers and meal time beers. A beer I find hard to drink one at a time.

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Photo of Otterburn
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark amber with ruby and caramel color, clear,

nice head wich leaves good laces, slow carbonation

smell a lot of malt and caramel

taste: rich and malty, of course caramel, little sweet, little burnt

mf is very smooth and mellow, low carbonation.
however its a full body rousse

it is very drinkable, its well balanced, pretty smooth red ale, with some edge.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.97/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle poured into pint glass dec10 2009

A clear brownish copper with a thumbs width of head that had fair retention and left lace while it lasted

S a little nutty with some burnt sugar and malt

T pretty close to the smell very nutty with some bread and a good amount of toffee/caramel

M good carbonation gives it a slightly creamy feel

D a nice red when all is said and done worth drinking for sure

far as I know this is only available in the mixers here in Alberta but the beers inside are worth trying, however they should put some of their oatmeal stout in the box too

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Photo of jbsteiny
3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this as the second beer in the sampler at the brewery, directly after the Griffon Extra Pale / Blonde Ale, and I liked it much better. It had a rich chestnut color, its finely laced head was retained by the glass, and it smelled really nice -- an interesting blend of malt and herbs, with a smoky, nutty thing going on as well.

I thought it tasted good -- well balanced, smokey, with some hazelnut and hickory. The mouthfeel was so-so; like the Blonde, it was full-bodied, but left a strange coating I didn't like. In all, definitely a well-crafted beer, and I could see enjoying three pints... Next, the St. Ambroise Cream...

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Clear dark copper color with lots of activity. Creamy beige 3 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes, with faint lacing. Flavors of butterscotch, roasted grains, berries, apricot, nutmeg, ginger, butter, herbal spices. Highly sugary and almost candy like, but with sharp bitter spices. Creamy and smooth full body with soft crispy carbonation. Medium strength finish, bitter leafy red ale spices, fruity esters and burnt malts, with notes of walnuts and peppercorn. A bit dry, chalky, and metallic. So you have a very sweet red ale here, but well compensated by the sharp finish. Decent freshness and a solid body. Highly inviting smell, good flavors and balance. Overall very good quality craft.

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Photo of Mudpuppet
3.86/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to papat444 for the chance to try this.

A- Poured from a 12oz bottle into a SA Perfect Pint glass. Pours a very nice amber color with about 1/4" of head.

S- First thing I thought was Coors Light. That isn't a bad thing but it translates to nice malts but slightly off nose.

T- The flavor is really nice though. Good malt coming though. A decent but not overpowering hop character. Some caramel notes from the malts.

M- Good carbonation with a nice medium body.

D- I could drink a few of these for sure. A nice session red.

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Photo of bryehn
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice, fiery copper-amber colour. My Quebec-born spouse tells me that "Rousse" is what you would call a redheaded woman in French. That description seems about right.

Nice, tan-coloured head leaves a bit of lacing and hold on as a collar.

Toasted malt aroma with a sweet, buttery tone to it and a bit of a spicy backing. Somewhat mild but very appetizing for me.

Taste is also of toasted malt at first with a nutty fatness or oily quality to it. I get a strong citrus (orange-lemon) tone on my tongue about halfway through each glass. There is a nice, sweet caramel-butter note before a noticeable bitterness comes in.

The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, but thin enough to not feel heavy on the tongue and remain drinkable. There is a slight metallic/astringent note in the aftertaste, but it's of an acceptable level.

Much like the Griffon Extra Blonde, this "redhead" is an easy-drinking but flavourful take on its chosen style.

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Photo of Haydn-Juby
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served from a 341Ml bottle

A: Beautiful ruby red color when pressed against the light. Otherwise the beer has a rather red/brown appearance and is fairly opaque. Small one finger head that died down quickly and left some, but rather minimal, lacing up the sides of my glass.

S: Not much in this department. There really is very little for the nose to pick up on. Caramel like malts are present but extremely faint. Sweet smelling with no real hop presence available to the nose.

T: The initial sip provides delicious caramel tasting malts. There is also a nice toasty character. The malts are soon balanced out by the bitter taste of the hops however. The taste is really not too complex.

M: Pretty thin feeling. Carbonation is minimal and the beer goes down quiet smooth.

O: This really seems like a dressed up session beer to me. Not really in the same league as McAuslans other brews in my opinion. Something I could sit down and enjoy if I had to but there's much better on the market. That being said it could make a good session beer for someone looking to branch out. Kind of bland but you could do worse.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very elegant in a St Ambroise glass as the mid brown colour is tinted slightly red. The head is big and long lasting and the nose is quite malty. This is the malty cousin to the pale ale. A malty backbone is the secret to the success of this beer. I love this beer with food as it holds its own yet works with lots of BBQ and grilled meats. Like the pale ale this is all about balance. Delicate yet tough this beer needs to come in its own six pack as it is only available in BC in a taster pack.

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Photo of santa109
3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at 46 degrees.

A: Poured a very dark red bordering on brown with 1 finger of thick dirty-white corlored head. The head fades into a thick film which still looks creamy. Leaves a bit of lacing behind.

S: Lots of sweet caramelly malt initially. As it warms, a touch of yeast funkyness appears in the aroma. Mostly, clean and sweet smelling.

T: Once again, mostly sweet malt with a touch of hop bitterness to balance it out. Earthy notes as the end. A tad metallic when cold but that disappears as it warms. Nothing spectacular but a well balanced brew.

M: Medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel that I wasn't expecting. Finishes clean and the carbonation feels in harmony with everything.

D: Low abv, clean finish, I could definately have a few of these.

Overall, a surprisingly well balanced brew that is easy to drink. I've had tastier examples of the style but this one has a very nice soothing mouthfeel.

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Photo of kbub6f
3.78/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought at Marché du Boisé (boul. des Forges, T-R), 6/11/03, a couple of days in the fridge.

A big, tan-ish dense head suffers big implosions. Craters pock the thick, clumpy lacing. Fine, fast carbonation in the dark copper/brown beer. In color, the conflicting names make sense. It's red and it's brown. The smell is a faint caramel. Light chocolate in the front gives way to a caramel, toffee middle. Chocolate survives right through to the dry finish, where it's joined by some grains and lots of hops.

This is very dark tasting. It's a very good brown ale. Yum.

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Photo of Hornet2003
3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought in BC in a McAuslan taster pack.

Pours a deep ruby red. Clear with little to no head on the pour. The aroma on this beer reminds me of a Unibroue. They must use a belgian style yeast or something but that's what I'm picking up. This is more palatable for me than the Unibroue since the ABV is so much lower. The thing is, though, this beer is low on alcohol, but huge on taste. Really nice yeast character with a slight hoppy bitterness and sweet malty aftertaste. Has the perfect amount of carbonation and leaves a crisp, clean feel in the mouth. With the low ABV and the big flavour profile, I could see this as a good session beer.

Well done McAuslan

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Photo of biboergosum
3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle.

This beer pours a clear, burnt amber hue, with two fingers of tight foamy ecru head, which settles lazily, eventually rendering some broad swaths of low-lying foggy lace around the glass. It smells of lightly toasted caramel malt, some mild orchard fruitiness, and some grassy, weedy hops. The taste is bready caramel malt, kind of buttery, a bit more bitter grassy hops, and a slight metallic edge. The carbonation is on the soft side, the body medium weight, and fairly smooth. It finishes off-dry, the malt still overriding the lesser hops.

A more or less enjoyable amber ale, a hefty step above the average dreck proffered by the bigger Canadian breweries.

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Photo of berley31
3.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured with a large, off-white, creamy head that exhibited quite nice lacing. Body is a dark amber color, and completely crystal clear. This is a nice-looking amber.

S: Not overly strong, some caramel and light sweetness comes through.

T: Starts slightly sweet with caramel malt most apparent, then finishes moderately bitter and dry. Nicely balanced, if a little harsh.

M: Medium-bodied, slightly creamy, with average carbonation.

D: Definitely better than the Extra Blonde, this is a safe-beer, but still enjoyable enough to put back a couple.

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Photo of ReFill31
3.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

A : Dark red, almost brown with nice head. It also goes down slowly and leaves a good ring.

S : Toasted malts, caramel

T : Sweet aftertaste (caramel), toasted malts, the hops are a little bit perceptible also.

M : There is not a lot of bubbles, but overall enjoyable.

D : Easy drinking beer. The low ABV helps also on this one.

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Photo of nokes
3.66/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Red ales. I get the feeling I'd really love a really good one, but so far I haven't found one that knocks my socks off...let's see how this one fares.

Fantastic start, gotta say. Poured two fingers of frothy head into a pint glass. Mahogany in colour, bubbles rising throughout, and after dying down to a couple millimetres of medium-dense foam, it stuck around all the way down (I took my time) and laced the glass beautifully. Very nice.

Smells of roasted malts and caramel, and a touch of hops. Smells good, but it's hard to live up to the way it looks.

Taste is pretty much like it smells, but it slides around a bit. Caramelly up front, grassy and almost citrusy in the middle, then the roasted flavours come out to play and it finishes a bit bitter but not offensively so. Balanced well, tasty, but not exceptional.

Mouthfeel is medium and finishes a bit thin. Carbonation is good, though, so it's not a washout. Nice, but not great.

This is quite drinkable, though. I like the slightly bitter finish, actually. It takes the edge off what could have a sticky caramel thing. Nice overall. Easy to drink. Beats Rickards pretty handily and makes me wish this was as available as that one.

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Photo of Beersignal
3.66/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Now called La Griffon Rousse but is the same beer as the Griffon Brown Ale.

Pours a warm limpid roasted chestnut colour sporting crimson highlights. The foam is handsomely dressed atop the liquid. It is plentiful, long lasting and sticky leaving clumps on the sides of the glass.

Aromas are noticeably more powerful. Firm notes of crystal malt and some toastiness permeate the caramel up front. Noble hop aromas trail a mild fruitiness for the wrap up.

Flavours are malty and biscuity initially, making way for hints of apple skins and a crunchy bitterness that is helped along by a structured mouthfeel and silky carbonation. The finish is long and slightly bitter from the hops which leave a grassy / citrucy blanket on the tongue.

This beer is the logical next step for those newly initiated to craft beer who have tamed the Griffon Extra Pale Ale and are ready for yet more character without being scared off by the more robust flavour profile of the St-Ambroise Pale and Oatmeal Stout.


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Photo of mizzoueng
3.66/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this in Gatineau, QC at a Thai restaurant. Color was spot on and the aroma was perfect for a red ale. Nice malty flavor with some light hop backing it up. Paired with some Red curry and beef with jasmine rice and this was a knockout!

Drinkable? Yes. Would I order again? Yes.

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Griffon Red Ale from McAuslan Brewing
3.52 out of 5 based on 117 ratings.
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