St-Ambroise Pale Ale | McAuslan Brewing

BA SCORE
88
very good
415 Ratings
St-Ambroise Pale AleSt-Ambroise Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
McAuslan Brewing
Quebec, Canada
mcauslan.com

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our flagship beer -the one that put McAuslan on the map. St-Ambroise Pale Ale is a golden, generously hopped brew, and a perennial favourite of the many pale ale drinkers who have enjoyed its rich, fruity flavour since 1989.

Hops: Cascade, Willamette, Golding, Hallertau

IBU: 35

Added by Jason on 10-26-2000

BEER STATS
Ratings:
415
Reviews:
226
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
11.73%
 
 
Wants:
22
Gots:
41
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 415 |  Reviews: 226
Photo of biboergosum
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle. Hmmmm, toasted wheat in a pale ale, interesting.

This beer pours a clear medium copper amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and mildly bubbly off-white head, which leaves some chunky splattered lace around the glass as things slowly abate.

It smells of semi-sweet caramel malt, a sort of candied fruitiness, like white ice wine, and earthy, floral hops. The taste is bready pale malt, with a touch of sugary caramel, syrupy pear and apple, and rather perfumed and aromatic floral, grassy hops. I'm getting neither toast nor wheat in this one.

The carbonation is quite mild, just a slightly steely frothiness, the body medium-light in weight, yet quite sturdy in its smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the fruitiness of malt and hops alike persisting, and mostly clean.

An enjoyable enough pale ale for an early summer evening, though perhaps a bit too sweet all around to engender going back to the (beer) trough for it again. I guess I'm looking for something with more obvious hop attitude, whilst testing out a new fire pit by burning (I mean cooking) some juicy smokies.

 1,109 characters

Photo of BeerMark
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

St-Ambroise Pale Ale from McAuslan Brewing pours a deep amber color in my pint glass. I was not expecting this great appearance and was pleasantly surprised. It smells of malts and some citrus hops. Creamy and slightly oily on the tongue with malts and hops coming through in the flavor. Very drinkable. I must say this is a good tasting pale ale. Will buy again.

 363 characters

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An 11.5oz bottle poured into my nonic Imperial pint glass. The ale appears a hazed rich amber color with about an inch of creamy off white foam. Most of the head lingers for the entire glass, leaving behind a thin layer of lace. Aromas and flavors are of citrus (orange peel, grapefruit pith), grassy bitter hops, a bit floral, and some sweet malt. A notch better than medium bodied adn amply carbonated for the style. Another tasty ale from McAuslan.

 451 characters

Photo of jbertsch
2.64/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

cloudy amber in color. Doesn't look like a pale ale. Lacing in patterns of ...well, lace. Or, think spider webs.

Smell:
Smells very malty, not expected. Floral, with restrained fruit aromas mixed with a little spice.

Taste:
Slight fruity taste sits on top of a strong malt base with hints of brown sugar. There's also a hint of tea leaves in there.

Mouthfeel:
A little thinner than expected, and a tad watery.

Drinkability:
I could easily drink a bunch of these.

For a pale ale this is confusing. It's neither pale, nor domestic have that typical pale ale snap and crispness. I wonder if I got a bad bottle, because I had this once years ago and loved it. Oh well.

 677 characters

Photo of IBUnit63
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not sure if this was at The Manx or The Dubliner in Ottawa...I think The Manx. Either way it was in an Impy pint glass...

Classic British-style old-school pale ale...a little flat for carbonation with a bourbon copper color. Minimal to moderate carbonation.

Mild malt component with some sweet molasses (just a hint) and some noble British hops (Kent Goldings? Fuggles?)

Taste is decent but there's slight phenols that create a little off-weirdness on the finish. Malt still comes through as does a mild hop profile.

Palate has sweetness AND a slight bitter feel that balances out. Finish is mellow - not nondescript, just mellow.

This is good for a session "when in Rome."

 678 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

11.5 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a deep amber, with a soft off-white head, light lacing.

S: Orange rind, grapefruit, rose petals, relatively light to style.

T: Nice orange/lemon rind, more of a floral than biting citrus. Sweet caramel malt. Good mix of flavours, very tasty and robust.

M: Thinner body than I expected, good hop aftertaste.

D: The Oatmeal Stout is the much heralded beer out of this brewery, but I think this one takes the cake as their best, a great pale.

 470 characters

Photo of Offa
4.77/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a wonderful, complex and engaging ale ale, light but with plenty of character and flavour.

Light amber=copper, it has a very large pale tan head, rich and creamy, shrinking very slowly to a permanent thin, rocky head and leaving some good lace.

The aroma is faintly earthy with toffee, citrus, fruit, toast. It's pleasant, full-bodied, and complex.

The taste is citrusy, leafy, with a lot of toast, light winey fruit, a light sweetness with balancing bitterness that just dominates the finish and lingers engagingly.

 527 characters

Photo of Macca
3.27/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours a clear dark amber. A finger of head drops away but leaves a fine covering and some lacing.

Sweet fruit notes dominate the aroma from some up front hops. Some nice maltiness in there as well.

The malts are big in the mouth but not as appealing as on the nose.

A bit of alcohol warmth which I find unusual for only a 5% beer. Not impressed.

Bit of a disappointment after a promising aroma.

 403 characters

Photo of notdan
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First review ever... here goes.

Poured from a 330mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Very nice golden amber colour with about two fingers of light frothy head. The head dissipated down to a thin layer fairly quickly but left some pretty lacing down the glass.

Smell: Fairly light smell. I'm noticing some definite hops and some notes of citrus.

Taste: Seriously delicious. Starts off with some malt flavours, leading into some fruity notes, then finishing off with the hops. The taste lingers in my mouth for a while afterwards (and pleasantly so). I'm enjoying all the flavours but I almost wish they were just a bit stronger.

Feel: Crisp and clean, maybe a bit watery.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. I could definitely pick up a six pack of this and session off it for an afternoon.

Overall: Easy drinking beer with a great flavour. I can see myself going back to this one fairly often while I'm here in Montreal, picking up 6 packs for $8.

 953 characters

Photo of cratez
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 341ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: honey golden in colour with a half-inch foamy head and sporadic, web-like lacing.

Smell: an aromatic mixture of flowery hops and fruity malt. Very appetizing.

Taste: caramel and biscuit malt, fresh fruit (peaches), and a subdued hop bitterness. Earthy and citric in the English Pale Ale tradition. The overall flavour is subtle yet impressive.

Mouthfeel: a crisp, clean palate is followed by a spicy hop finish.

Drinkability: huge drinkability, a fine EPA to be reckoned with. Similar to but better than Abbot Ale and Headstrong Pale Ale.

 607 characters

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

Pristine pumpkin with haystack colored edges. The darker than usual hue suggests that caramel malt will have a say on the palate. Several fingers of beige colored foam can be seen atop the beer, and aren't shy about laying down fine, speckled sheets of lace.

It's either the choice of hop(s) or the less than aggressive nature of the nose (maybe both), but Pale Ale smells as much English as American. I have no idea what a Canadian pale ale is supposed to smell like. A little butter caramel in the background keeps things interesting.

Like everything else that I've had from these guys, St. Ambroise Pale Ale is delicious beer (Oatmeal Stout is astouding, but I digress). This is an ale that pays as much attention to malt as hops... and it pays a lot of attention to hops. If it was designed to be an English-style pale, then it's more lupulinirific than most. And that's a very good thing.

There's a fair amount of malt present; more than in most 5.0% ales anyway. Although the flavor favors pale, caramel-toffee is present as well. Well done. The hops are both citrusy and floral, which might indicate several varieties from several different countries. What a suprisingly rich and complex brew.

The mouthfeel couldn't help but be good given all those malt sugars and the zestiness of the hops. In addition, the carbonation is on the energetic end of the spectrum, without crossing the line into buzziness. No drop-off here.

It's borderline crazy to make a statement like this with so little exposure to Canadian beer, but from where this BA sits, McAuslan Brewing is the best non-Belgian-style brewery in The Great White North.

 1,639 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
2.94/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

St. Ambroise- Pale Ale

A- Nice deep golden orange with a big fluffy heavy lacing head. Clear with good small bubbly carbonation.
S- I don't detect much here. Light buttery caramel malt, toasted grains, and grassy hops. Very light on the nose.
T- Very watery. Light caramelized toasted malt. Sugary sweet pine hop touch in the end.
M- Very watery, very light. Light and sweet in the body with a mildly bitter floral hop finish.

Overall- This was too subdued for me. Watery and lacking. I'll stick with their Oatmeal Stout!

 523 characters

Photo of Tone
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden/amber. 1/2 inch head with good retention and decent lacing. Smells of hops, fruit, and a hint of malt. Fits the style. Smooth, crisp, and low carbonation. Hops is up front, but not very strong at all. Good blend of a sweet malt is also present. There might be a hint of fruitiness, but if it's present is only barely noticeable. Not near as much hops as I'm used to for an American Pale Ale, but still pretty good. Overall, a decent beer, but lacking in the hops for my taste.

 497 characters

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

Just popped open a bottle of this as something to drink while I watched the series finale of the Trailer Park Boys, I felt a beer would be appropriate to honour the falling of this Canadian institution, and I made a good choice with St Ambroise.

Hazy deep amber colour, creamy white head. Looks good! Smells fruity and yeasty, a bit of citrus character.

Big, crisp malty taste up front. Fruity, tangy, fading into slight hoppy and bready flavours. Smooth and crisp mouthfeel, goes down easy. Malty, fresh aftertaste resides for a bit. Very drinkable, I could see myself downing a few of these and enjoying every drop.

A very enjoyable pale ale. Hats off to McAuslan.

 669 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found a new beer at The Village Vineyard in Lexington KY. Went home and decided to brew a Brown Ale and half way through, I popped open this beer. Not expecting much, I was very happy to have picked up the six-pack rather than a single.

The beer begins with a malty richness that dominates the nose upfront with a slowly increasing floral hop aroma that adds balance but never becomes overly agressive. Fruity and phenolic aromas are very low allowing the beer to come across cleanly and simplistic.

A well-attenuated malt character give a cracker, bready taste with low lying caramel, malty notes but low with residual sweetness or clutter. Again, floral hop flavor resides along side of the malts without dominating or waivering.

Crisp, clean and softly malty in the body with balancing bitterness, minty cool alcohols, and with a very mild grain texture late probably due to high attenuation rates.

The beer definately has an American Pale Ale malt profile with low fruitiness, high crispness, low sweetness and palatable dryness. But the hops are mainly floral and not citrusy like in American versions. The rate of hopping definately balance the beer but never proclaim attention, making it more akin to English Pale Ale versions in the hop character. Still, a good anytime beer that is sessionable, palatable, and characterful enough to stand alone.

 1,360 characters

Photo of ABHatter
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into 16oz. tumbler. 3/4 inch fluffy head vanishes very quickly. Fairly transparent with a orangey amber color, Carbonation is good. The nose on this is mostly sweet caramel malt, Sour dough bread with a faint apricot/peachy fruitiness. The taste is very good. Sweet caramel entry with a crisp dryness at the end. Very well balanced, This beer holds all of the good qualities of a superb pale ale. Drinkability seems to be good due to the good balance of Sweet maltiness & very Mild hop bitterness. I was really impressed with this breweries Oatmeal Stout, And although I am not crazy about fruit beers their apricot wheat was also quite tasty. This beer was certainly not a let down and well worth a try. Great interpretation of the style!

 765 characters

Photo of mcsquint
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 11.5oz bottle into pint glass
A - Dark golden amber with large, creamy white head. Considerable lacing on the glass.
S - Malty, fruity, yeasty. Slightest hint of citrusy hops
T - Full malt flavor with fruit and yeast, followed by a very tasteful use of hops. This is delicious!
M - Light to medium with a very crisp finish. Leaves you longing for the next sip.
D - Very drinkable. This bridges the hop gap between British and American pale ale.

 456 characters

Photo of Nickls
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Hazy golden orange, with a thin white head that had just OK retention

S - Fruity, yeasty maltiness. Smells like they used Ringwood as the yeast. Fresh fruit dominates

T - Maltiness is the first bit, but with that Ringwood earthy yeat taste. Some hop bitterness

M - Thinnish to medium MF, with decent carbonation

D - Pretty drinkable, and not overly complex. No trouble with the sample.

Overall, this is a decent representation of the style and much more interesting than others in the range that I've sampled. Have a try, but don't knock yourself to get it.

 567 characters

Photo of wedge
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber-gold with a tight, soapy white head. The malts smell almost German...this smells just like something that I can't put my finger on. Soft, lightly sweet pale fruit, lemon, and sweet bread. Nicely balanced, easy going pale ale flavor. An initial dry maltiness is quickly joined by leafy hop oils and more fruit. Solid, smooth, and a bit crisp...very nice feeling. This is an interesting pale ale worth checking out.

 428 characters

Photo of scoobybrew
3.47/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was poured into a pint glass from the bottle. I reviewed this beer as a Belgian Pale Ale, as I think it fits the style a bit better. If reviewed as an APA, the scores would be much lower in most categories.

A- clear light amber with a small head that settles somewhat quickly

S - fruity yeast aroma with noticeable malt sweetness and a trace of hops

T - up front it's very malty but subdued hop character is evident as it washed across the tongue; yeast fruitiness is very present giving pear and slight apple like notes

M - medium to light body, moderate carbonation

D - This is a decent enough, but very mild, pale ale. As stated earlier, I don't think it fits the APA style well, but is a decent enough Belgian version of the same. While it's tasty enough, I don't think I'll be searching it out anytime soon.

 822 characters

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

appearance - copper with a beige head that seemed to last

Smell - Lemon peel, some honey, bread, lots of hopps obviously

Taste - Very fruity and herbal hops, the maltiness is honey, buttery bread, biscuit, finishes off very hoppy

Mouthfeel - this beer finishes really clean. Carbonation is pretty low but I think that is what they're aiming for, a soft carbonation

Great beer from montreal but man, try their oatmeal stout

 426 characters

Photo of SilentSabre
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice pale ale. Poured up a medium orange with honey coloured highlights. Smell was a little muted, but consisted of sweet, mildly fruity malts with a modest nose of citrusy hops. Taste was well balanced with equal parts sweet malts and delicious, bitter hops. Very drinkable. Not a spectacular beer, but a very good and very well crafted pale ale, for sure. Glad I tried it.

 384 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was surprised to see this in the bottle at Town & County Liquor (Fullerton, CA). Is it what I remember, let us see...impressive tightly bubbled head on top this copper/orange colored beer. The aroma is light, mostly lemon peel, some dry grain. Not as fruity as I remember tastewise. Lemon rind upfront, in comes a blast of grapefruit and buttered bread, some diacteyl. Juicy flavors towards the finish. Good balance of flavors here. This is way different than I remember from my last sample of this pale ale.

 510 characters

Photo of dnichols
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: It poured a clear orange to copper body with a modest white head. There was decent layered lacing that lingered until the beer was gone.

S: It was dominated by sweet moderately toasted malts, honey and sweet ripe oranges. There was a hint of white yeasty bread.

T: It had a bold sweet malt flavor with a honey and caramel sweetness that covered hints of yeast and cirtusy hops. Nice balance of flavors.

M: It was smooth and light bodied with moderate carbonation and a sweet wet presence on the tongue. It finished wet and sweet.

D: This is a pleasant Pale Ale. It's modest ABV and light body make it a good choice for a session beer.

 643 characters

Photo of sccala
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Recieved this beer as part of my latest beer of the month club shipment. It is in the top 3 of best beers I've had in a long time. Served out of a brown glass bottle with a cool looking half lion, half dragon type creature on it....similar to the Lowenbrau emblem....poured into a traditional pint glass ....Here we go...

A- Superb head. About a 3 inch collar with suprisingly good retention. Even to the last sip, there was about 1/16 of foam coating the surface of the beer. Beautiful. Wonderful, textbook lacing all the way down to the bottom of the glass. Very good amber/honey color with a nice offwhite colored head. I would have given the appearance my first perfect score of "5", but the carbonation was a bit too low.

S- MMMMmmm...Hops. Take some very deep drags of this beer with your hands cupping the top of the glass, and you will get deep whiffs of hops, and right towards the end...you will smell something sweet. Kind of like honey...it's faint, but enough to make you continually smell it!

T- Take a sip, and the minor issue with the apparent lack of carbonation in appearance proves to be just a facade. A perfect balance of bubbles file into your. The beer is slightly bitter, and then upon the swallow the hops really kick in and massage your throat on the way down.

M- Even 15 minutes after this beer has been completely been drank, it still tastes fresh in your mouth. Wonderful!

D- Very glad this beer was randomly selected as part of this months beers of the month. Drink this beer as an apertif only. You really need to enjoy this one without any food of any sort involved.

 1,603 characters

St-Ambroise Pale Ale from McAuslan Brewing
3.92 out of 5 based on 415 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More