St-Ambroise Pale Ale | McAuslan Brewing

very good
224 Reviews
St-Ambroise Pale AleSt-Ambroise Pale Ale

Brewed by:
McAuslan Brewing
Quebec, Canada

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Hops: Cascade, Willamette, Golding, Hallertau

IBU: 35

Added by Jason on 10-26-2000

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Reviews: 224 | Ratings: 411
Photo of Haydn-Juby
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served from a 341Ml bottle

A: Light copper color. Soapy-sudsy looking one finger head that retained quiet well and left some beautiful looking lacing up the side.

S: The smell doesn't have to much to offer. Some hops come across. Small floral notes here and there.

T: Decent hoppiness backed with a mild malt background that supports it quiet well. Bitterness is balanced nicely and the floral, clover like aromas are also available on the tongue. Some citrus from the hops also lingers in. Nothing is too strongly fighting the other and hops and malt find a good balance. Small herbal qualities to it as well.

M: Creamy mouth feel. Carbonation is subtle and good for an ale. Not maybe as dry as I would like but that's fine its still pretty drinkable.

O: McAuslan has some great beers. Being a from Quebec I'm taking the opportunity to sample them all seeing as they're so cheap here. It was a pretty damn good beer and I will probably buy it again. I'm not a huge fan of pale ales but more and more I'm sinking into them thanks to beers like this.

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Photo of ghisty
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

decided to use a becks flute for this blonde, mightve been the wrong choice,
pours burnt orange with a slight opaqueness, not totally clear but well carbbed.
impressive overall. the lacing is like nothing ive seen before. fluffy ridges.

like autumn. dried leaves. corn husks. woodsmoke. maybe tomatoe?

exactly how i had hoped it would be. bright and hoppy with a very malty note.
exactly the combination of grains and corn and sharp hops i was in the mood for.

smooth. and complex at the same time,with just the right level of everything.

a very good beer overall. nice rich range of malty goodness. easy to drink and just a perfect example of what the craftier side has to offer, its almost like something id serve in a very large wine glass. just to let it work its magic a little more.
one of my new favorites as far as the craft beers go.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap at hotel nelligan in old montreal. the pour is perfectly clear amber to brick red, glowing a lighter honey shade, and boasting a gorgeous white lacey head pushing three inches in height and lasting the entire 20 minutes that it took me to drink this imperial pint. the nose is a little bland inmy opinion, with only the red malt offering anything up, its sort of antique smellign, in a good way, but it isnt too exciting. the flavor profile builds on that malty nose with slight hints of brown sugar and some sort of bittering hops, but this isnt a hoppy beer at all. it really lets the malt shine, and the result is a sort of freshness that i am not at all used to in beers that are this malt forward. its a nice surprise, a well made beer, more in the red beer than american pale category to me, but i suppose either classification can work here. relaxed carbonation provides just enough tickle to keep the beer light, the sweetness dies quickly in the finish, which makes it a rather crisp finish too, which i appreciate in this style. overall it doesnt touch their oatmeal stout, but its a fine glass of ale.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.08/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Nothing screams French-Canadian Quebec like a brewery named McAuslan... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear bronze topped by a finger of glowing off-white foam. The nose comprises grapefruit-flavored solvent coating a healthy core of buttery biscuit. The taste holds notes of grapefruit peel, pine needles (dipped in a bit of sap), very light menthol, and light toffee. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slick feel. Overall, an average pale ale, one that couldn't really positively stand out in any way.

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Photo of papat444
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled this at Bières & Saveurs in Chambly.

Pours a light orange color. Aroma leans towards more malt than hops. Flavor has a bit more hops but doesn't demarcate itself from the malt profile. Nice citrus flavor though. Used to have more teeth but there are better craft pale ales. Still, nice to have as an alternative to macros in restaurants around Montreal.

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Photo of mick303
4.26/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a huge head of creamy foam, which sticks around forever. Beer has great lacing. Colour is a really nice brown coppery, gold. Quite appealing with a slow carbonation.

Smell is of slightly roast and caramel malts. Note of pine comes across along with some hops. Good complexity of roasted type notes.

Initially bitter and this persists while some other flavours develop. A thick syrupy graininess, with some lighter forest esters. Touch of citrus comes through. Hops have a strong impact but balanced quite nicely. Show a robust and interesting flavour edge to it.

Mouth feel I find to be quite full for the style, and not at all sweet. Aftertaste is quite long and of a similar dry bitterness that characterizes the beer, with maybe a bit of toffee.

This is a pleasure to drink. Flavour is nice and balanced bitterness. A touch more on the hoppy side, but very intriguing. Nice thick flavour and good texture to it.

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (341 ml.) purchased from Bières & Chopes and tasted in 2012.

Appearance : coppery red color with white foamy head.
Smell : generous nose of caramel malt and hops.
Taste & mouthfeel : malty flavors with hop bitterness.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style Pale Ale.

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Photo of Converge
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle poured into a 16oz pint glass.

A - This ale pours a crisp, clean amber, definitely filtered. Big, frothy, off-white head, that retains really well and coats the glass with lacing as good as any beer I've ever seen. Looks fantastic.

S - My nostrils got hit with a blast of vibrant banana aroma as I was pouring, but the actual smell here is quite mild overall after it settles. Mainly barley malt upfront, enough so that this has a really lager-esque feel to it. Light fruity aromatics wade in the background, with peaches, apricots, and bananas. The malt profile is more doughy bread and butter than the usual caramel malt. Finishes with just the tiniest hint of grassy hops and honey. More of a blonde ale than APA so far...

T - Opens up with a big barley malt presence. Really grainy and mild, then moves to a maltier feel, with buttery bread providing much of the flavor, and honey doing the sweetening rather than just caramel malt. As it finishes a mixture of both pungent fruitiness and grassy hoppiness envelop the back of the palate. The fruit ranges from candied varieties and honey dipped peaches, to unripe tartness. The hop presence gives the finish some bite without veering too close to IPA-territory, and remains highly drinkable.

M - Carbonation is about medium, but really smooth and just tingles the tongue as it passes with a medium bodied feel. Lingering hops give a mild but notable bitterness.

D - Really more of a blonde ale than an APA in my opinion. This beer offers more than the usual balance of caramel malt and hops to the palate, with bready malt, honey, light fruits and barley all coming through strongly. A memorable and very drinkable ale from St. Ambroise.

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Photo of dansmcd
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Two fingers of soapy head with excellent retention. Great sloppy lacing. Clear orange amber body.

S - Mild hop aroma, with some caramel malt. A little bit English.

T - Follows the nose, a subtle citrus tang backed by that caramel malt.

M - Watery thin with low carbonation.

O - More like the British style of pale ale than American. Milder and maltier.

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Photo of BGDrock
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: hazy, and not only due to the chill; good sticky head; copper colour

Aroma: sweet and fruity; strawberry, raspberry; wheat or oats; recognize toffee after the tasting

Taste & Mouthfeel: on the sweet side when first touches the tongue, but finishes with a complex bitter tang; some fatty yeast character; big toffee; dry; perfect carbonation; want to keep coming back for more to figure out those flavours!

Overall: sweet and bitter flavours really weave together and finish as one, making it a lot of fun to drink

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Photo of Caudalie
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 341 ml bottle in a Riedel ouverture red wine magnum glass

A:Nice golden color.

S: Pretty light floral aromas, white fruit, and hoppy character.

T: Light, balanced ale. Nice drinkability, pretty refreshing, with a good bitterness. A crowd pleaser, as good as a thirst quencher beer on hot summer days or as a movie night beer. Among all the cheap beers available everywhere in 12 packs, this is my favorite, from the first (and pretty big) micro-brewery selling bottled beers in montreal.


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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: 1/8" white head over amber liquid.

S: Faint smell of hops, yeast and malt.

T: Bready malt with a citrus and floral hop presence. Very nice.

M: Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Just right.

O: One of the better pale ales I have ever had. Extremely drinkable, and a good ale to introduce to a lager/pilsner drinker.

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Photo of Kloug
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Everything, from smell to taste to mouthfell, is world class in this beer.

The smell is fruity and especially very hoppy.

Taste : this is the most hop oriented beer I ever tasted. The bitterness is wonderfull!

The mouthfeel is opulent and classy.

An outstanding beer from Quebec!

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Photo of fostachild
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

have had this dozens of times. this review is for a glass i had on-tap at a montreal restaurant.

color was amber/copper - very clear. okay head.

smell was malty, bit of hops, and earthy.

taste also malty and a bit hoppy. very smooth and a nice sweetness to it that i couldn't get enough of. good carbonation and drinkability. overall really tasty and enjoyable.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent amber colour, with a single finger of thin off-white head seated on top; low retention but some lacing remains. Not the most impressive-looking stuff but I do really like the smell - sweet malts, toffee, fruity apricot and date notes with some wheat and citrusy hops. Quite nice.

The aroma doesn't lie, this is a tasty ale. Lightly roasted biscuity malts, some toffee and light fruit sweetness throughout the sip. Notes of wood, grapefruit and floral hops come forward toward the end of the sip, with some lingering astringency on the palate afterward. Beautiful balance between the malts and hops; neither are overpowering but they're both flavourful and interesting. On the light side of medium-bodied, with just enough carbonation to keep the brew feeling crisp and refreshing.

I picked this out of the singles bin at the LCBO, not really knowing anything about the beer or brewer, and not really expecting much. I'm glad I selected this though because it was definitely worth a try. This APA is highly sessionable, perfectly balanced, and enjoyable all around. I would definitely consider picking up a pack of this in the future.

[Updated Jan. 3 2014]

This is now available in cans - I picked up one and compared it with Naughty Neighbour, Crazy Canuck and Conductor's Craft Ale in an APA showdown. While I enjoy all three of those beers, St. Ambroise Pale Ale wins by a comfortable margin. This is one of the best pale ales available on the market today - a fabulous session ale that I have had on multiple occasions since my first review, and something that all BAs should consider worth a look.

Final Grade: 4.42, an A grade.

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Photo of Noxious26
3.64/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

341ml brown bottle with twist off cap poured in a pint glass. Purchased in a 4x3 Taster 12-pack.

Clear, copper-orange colour. Light beige head is 1/4 inch on the pour but recedes to a thin cap. Big gobs of sticky lace are solid down the sides of the glass.

Aroma is sweet. Malty, caramel, citrus, sweet grass. Fairly faint and mild.

Caramel malt off the start is joined quickly by a metallic twang which is scrubbed by the carbonation rush and leaves a grassy/herbal hop overtone with nutty, caramel malt undertones. Finish is herbal/grassy hop and mildly bitter. Long lasting aftertaste.

Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. A little more carbonation than I'd usually expect from a pale ale, but it doesn't really detract from the overall mouthfeel.

A pretty good pale ale. It won't knock your socks off but it is solid.

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Photo of TheDeuce
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

St. Ambroise Pale Ale.... in a bottle

Appearance-amber color with a foamy head two fingers high, settles down nicely in my glass.

Smell-wafts of malt and hops, not too aromatic but what is there is balanced. Appealing.

Taste/Mouthfeel-both hop and malt appear, doesn't lean too heavily in favor of hops or malt, just remains balanced. Light to medium mouthfeel, light smoothness. Goes down easy. Very drinkable. The balance works.

Overall- a fine pale ale, worked well on this hot day in Montreal. Recommend you give it a try.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on June 5, 2011. It pours a cloudy copper-amber with an elegant head that settles down to a ring. There is a strong malty and fruit character up front on the nose with a slight hopped shadow. The body is medium and creamy. The taste is full of sweet malts with an idle dose of meaty fruits like banana and there is a very sharp, almost sour hop bite on the tail end. Very nice.

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Photo of
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - clear bright copper with two inches of frothy off-white head that leaves beautiful lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell - very fruity malt character with a nice balance of floral hops.

Taste - starts sweet and fruity, perfectly balanced in the middle between sweet malt and mildly bitter, earthy hops, and with a lingering herbal, earthy aftertaste.

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Photo of paxkey
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

aggressive pour in nonic yields giant lasting 3 fingers of head. rocky white with lots of lacing.
beer is clear and golden colored. some reddish hue.

smells of malts and hops in nice balance. mild fresh. summer fruits raspberry peach.tangerine. aroma reminds me slightly of vitamin C tablets i had 30 years ago as a kid.

easy drinking and a wonderful minty aftertaste. quite invigorating.

starting to pull a strong cracker malt in the midpalate and its hanging around the aftertaste. not great pull.

still getting sweet fruit on the nose but the american lager malt profile is starting to nose through.

really creamy drinking with more fruit on the aftertaste with a healthy chug.
not a slow drinking beer for me. but what else is there.

nice going down though.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fair warning: I purchased this bottle from the Adelaide Bier Shop, and it appeared to be one of the last of their stocks from the brewery. Chances are this is relatively old.

Appearance is really quite beautiful. A rich, deep amber colour--really quite dark, with a fine and persistent head of creamy off-white. Lacing is great, and forms in clumpy rings around the glass. Body is light, and the carbonation is steady. Looks very nice.

Nose is a little hops-poor, giving more of a caramel character and a sweaty grain buoyancy, with a rather dark earthy note underneath. It's not bad, but without the resonant hop fragrance, it comes across more like an English example of the style.

Taste is crisp and clean, with good breadth across the palate, and a malty backbone. Mild bitterness and a slight sour milk character come through on the back, but this just leavens the sweet malt character before it gets too heavy. Some organics throughout, even a lilt of pungent blue cheese. It's not bad.

Not a bad drop of beer at all, and one that I think is tasting pretty good at this point whether or not it's old. I'm actually a little conflicted as to whether a stronger hop aroma would help it, but I'd be happy to try it again to find out.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured in to Unibroue tulip

A - Transluscent light brown/amber colour with half a finger of white head that quickly disappeared.

S - Sweet caramel/toffee malts are noticeable up front with a slightly floral hop presence balancing out the nose.

T - Follows the nose. Bitter floral hops and sweet caramel malts. Balanced. The bitterness lingers in the finish.

M - Light body with a slight chew. Moderate carbonation.

D - A good pale ale but not my preferred hop profile.

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Photo of Matt1516
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 341ml bottle (Best before Nov 30/11) into a nonic.

Three finger head with good carbonation and a reddish-brown colour.Smells of sweet malts and grass. Full mouthfeel, sorta creamy.

Beautiful balance of sweet and bitter in the taste with a dry finish. Very drinkable.

With all the expensive (yet awesome) microbrews available locally, this is a great everyday beer. $10/6-pack and a great entry level beer for newbies wanting to explore beyond the macros.

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Photo of vapodge
4.57/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

11.5 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A - dark amber; thin, dissipating head; some lacing holds up

S - mild, fruity hops followed by the malt

T - unexpectedly wonderful -- why isn't this beer more well-known? ripe fruit, but not what I've come to expect -- not pungent at all

M - not much carbonation; right amount of bite

D - smooth and tasty make it easy to knock back

Quite possibly my favorite pale ale. easy to drink, but with enough flavor, and flavor not usually present in the style make it worthwhile.

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Photo of aepb1
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Red-brown body with a generous off-white head

S- Tea and floral hops

T- Some hops up front, fruits in the middle, pale sweet malts at the finish

M- Medium-bodied, good level of carbonation for the style

D- Very good example of the style and very easy to drink and revisit

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St-Ambroise Pale Ale from McAuslan Brewing
3.92 out of 5 based on 411 ratings.
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