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: 118
Photo of ludachris
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one courtesy of TheHammer. I didn't even know they sold mix packs of McAuslan products.

Pours a great shade of ruby red with deep honey brown highlights, topped by a 2 finger cream coloured head. Good retention and decent lacing.

Big, toasted malts upfront in the nose with some caramel, biscuit and a dry nutty character. Hops are virtually indetectable.

Toasted malt, hints of wheat, caramel and biscuit are followed by a quick, dry, grassy hop finish. Light toffee is the backdrop of this beer, making an appearance from start to finish.

Mouthfeel is light, somewhat watery but decently balanced. At 4.5%, with nothing overly pronounced, this is an easy quaffer.

Overall, a decent brew but rates pretty low to the other McAuslan products I've had. Seems like a beer I'd have pitchers of, instead of sitting down and enjoying it. Worth a try, but don't judge the brewery based on this beer.

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Photo of nighthawk
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341mL bottle with freshness date printed on back label poured into pint glass.

Body is a clear, dark ruby with one finger of tan head that leaves some lacing as it disappears. A swirl will temporarily bring it back, but not for long.

Nose seems entirely given to sweet caramel. It's not a bad smell, but it's one-dimensional and a bit boring.

Caramel and refined sugar up front, softening just enough to get some hints of biscuit and buttery nuts before hops are finally tasted, tea-like and floral, on the finish.

Moiuthfeel is medium, low carbonation with a bit of creaminess to it. Finishes sweet, but clean and fairly crisp.

Easy-drinking, feels pretty good in the mouth and is decently refreshing when cool. Nothing exciting, but worth trying.

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Photo of TheHammer
3.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a McAuslan mix pack at a Beer Store in Burlington, has four different beers and this will be the first of four. A shame the didn't put the oatmeal stout in this pack though.

Appearance: I can't think of a single thing to take away from this. Poured with two fingers of creamy head that both sustained and laced well. The beer itself is everything I'd expect a red ale to be, and nice deep and dark crimson and the body boasts good carbonation with no signs of sediment.

Smell: The nose is dominated by a mixture of roasted barely malt sweet caramel with just a touch of wheat and the barest notes of chestnuts. There is a slight funk to the smell though, that I suspect is due to having too much malt and not enough hops, however it's a minor complaint.

Taste: As expected, there is a lot of malt taste to this offering, a bit too much to be honest as it is present throughout the entire beer. Starts with the sweeter end of things, as the caramel makes its appearance which then shifts to a touch of wheat which ends with a light dusting of grain and hops.

Mouthfeel: The beer is almost too smooth, as feels strange as it transitions between flavors. It does leave a nice wheat and malt aftertaste that doesn't linger. It's really creamy going down, almost too much so.

Drinkability: Well, apart from the odd funky note all in all this goes down pretty well. Medium bodied, but doesn't cause any gas issues. Refreshing, but not extremely so and the creaminess going down makes it easy to pack back.

Final Thoughts: A solid offering, all in all and there isn't really too many negatives to this beer. Exceptional it is not, but certainly better then most Macro offerings. This would be a great pub or dinner beer, that is for sure.

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Photo of Long813
3.23/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

G: Pint Glass

A: One finger of off-white head that dissipates into a think film leaving minimal lacing. Dark rugby red body.

S: Sweet malts, caramel, finishing with hops

T: Sweet malts, and grainy hops in the end

M: Medium body with medium carbonation. Leaves a sticky/dry after taste probably due to the sweet malts

D: Well balanced beer that is easy to drink, but I feel the flavours are lacking for me to repurchase. Decent overall.

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Photo of Seanstoppable
3.28/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poors a nice dark red color with three fingers of thick off-white head. Lots of lacing left on the glass.

Very faint malt smell.

Taste consists of a light nutty roast malt with nice slightly creamy finish. Somewhat odd slightly bitter aftertaste throws off the experience slightly. Some caramel flavoring is left in the mouth. Low carbonation. Fairly smooth overall.

A decent brew, imo. A bit dry, which hampers drinking slightly, but still fairly ok for a few glasses.

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Photo of eat
2.41/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This one pours a nice reddish-brown. Decent retention on a foamy head. Not quite clear, not quite cloudy; somewhere in between.

Not much smell: roasted malt, yeast, a metallic quality. Pretty neutral.

This tastes like yogurt, molasses, yeast and skunk with some roasted athlete's foot. Yuck. There's an unpleasant bitter aftertaste as well. Nasty.

Too watery; not enough carbonation.

This is really not drinkable. It tastes like ass. I might give this a re-review because I find it hard to believe that people buy this beer and actually drink it. At least it looks okay...maybe it's just meant to pour and look at? This stuff turns over enough in the store though, I can't imagine it being that old.

McAuslan, what's going on? I didn't particularly enjoy Griffon Blonde either. They make such wicked St. Ambroise products, you'd think their cheap line would at least be decent.

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Photo of tdawgydog
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In Montreal for the Mondial de la Biere, picked up some beer for the Hotel fridge. Looking for local brews this was the first thing that caught my eye.

A - Pours a nice copper red. One finger head quickly dissipated to a thin foam
S - A little nutty and strong barley scent
T - Comparable to a great American red ale, with a slightly stronger hint of toasted wheat
D - Goes down very smooth. Typically not one of my favorite beers but I have enjoyed 3 of these now.
M - A little thin and a little gassy but not bad at all.

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Photo of elricorico
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber bordering on brown in colour, thick foamy cream coloured head with good staying power. Good amounts of lacing.

Quite malty to the nose, caramel like aroma. Hops bring a bit of citrus in, but malt is the stronger of the two.

Dry toasty caramel flavour through most of the mouth. A small bite of citrus near the middle. Lingering caramel and grain. Fair balance, as the malt isn't very sweet and doesn't take much hops to equal.

Slightly creamy body with medium to high carbonation. Another quaffer. Nothing sensational, but solid all around.

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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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Photo of smcolw
3.1/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I'm thinking of a dark macro-lager here. I know it is an ale, but the body is so light as to give the impression of an adjunct laden beer.

The other demerit comes from the very mild nose. No off aromas, but neither is there any potency. The flavor is of a brown ale without any hop. Kind of one-dimensional.

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Photo of albern
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a decent beer that I picked up in Canada, having never seen it before. This is a well carbonated, easily drinkable red ale. The beer laces up well.

The beer pours a nice rubyish red. There are sweet malts in the nose, and the flavor is peaty red, malty, slightly floral, slightly toasted, caramely, more of that peaty flavor.

This is a light to medium bodied beer, that has a dryishness in the finish. Not a bad beer, glad I tried it out.

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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 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 bobsy
3.28/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at The C’est What? Fall Festival of Beers. Poured a reddish brown with a small bubbly beige head. Subtle sweet malt aroma. Creamy malt taste with slight bitterness in the finish. Smooth and medium-bodied. This is a solid beer, but nothing special.

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Photo of slitherySOB
3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light ruby red, with a decent, long lasting head. No lace whatsoever sticks to the glass, though. The glass stays clean. Very sweet aroma of malts, fruits, and dark bread. Very malty taste at first, with plenty of plums and raisins. Slight diacetyl, finishing with an earthy taste. Medium body, light carbonation, and very smooth. Highy drinkable, and damn good beer.

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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 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 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 BDTyre
3.27/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Certainly not the best by McAuslan. Very dark copper, bordering almost on brown. Closer in appearance to a brown ale than an amber/red.

Sweet, syrupy caramel malt smell. Cold, metal background. Can't really detect any hops in there.

Taste is really wierd. Sort of like caramel and brass. Bitter-sweet toffee taste; really like an overdone red ale.

Not a very well done beer in all honesty. I'd have it again, but only if better choices were lacking.

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Photo of TerryW
2.68/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear chesnut red with a decent head that doesn't last. Some spotty lace.

Nose and taste dominated by sweet malts. Bitter metallic finish. Rather a lacklustre effort as I'm having a hard time pinning down how to describe this beer - which I don't imagine is a particularly good thing.

Uninspired across the board.

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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 Mandrake
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fairly dull red, clear, with a one-finger light tan head that dissipates fairly quickly and leaves some lacing. Smell is a tad metallic, with caramel and a bit of chocolate dominating the malt-heavy profile. Taste is sub-par for this brewery. Some faint caramel and nondescript maltiness are obliterated by the sugary sweetness and metallic aftertaste. Mouthfeel is a tad watery, nothing special here, and drinkability is average. A weak offering from a usually inspired brewery.

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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 Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a clear brown ale with a large foamy off-white head with better then average retention. Aroma is comprised of some nice malt. Taste is floral malt with very little bitterness. A good everyday beer but nothing very spectacular or inspiring.

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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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Griffon Red Ale from McAuslan Brewing
3.52 out of 5 based on 118 ratings.
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