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 santa109
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served at 46 degrees. Best before date on the bottle: June 30th, 2008.

A: Poured an orangey amber with 2 fingers of thick bubbly off-white head into a pint. Lively looking head that leaves an impressive amount of lacing throughout the drinking session. The head also doesn't fully go away as a thick ring forms along the glass and a thicker than average film sticks around all along capturing some big bubbles.

S: Very nice aroma of grapefruit, citrus and pine from the hops. A underlining bready sweetness is also present.

T: Initial malt sweetness that quickly cedes to a controlled grapefruit, citrus twang from the hops. Once swallowed, a brief malt revival occurs with some bread type of taste and then it yields to a slightly pungent lingering aftertaste of hops. Very nice balance going back and forth in this one.

M: Tingling mouthfeel due to the carbonation which really helps to push the full hop flavors through. Slightly sticky feel that leaves a dry finish.

D: Another area where this beer shines. The balance between the flavors makes this a highly sessionable beer.

Overall, a superior APA due to its balance. Especially enjoyable outside in the warmth of the summer.

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Photo of AmishT
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Amber with a great frothy white head that leaves ample lacing down the glass

S - Strong dark fruit character and bready malts in the nose as the beer warmed. Not what I was expecting at all from a beer classified as an APA, but it's pleasant to say the least.

T&M - It's flavor profile is quite similar to the nose: I get dark fruit and bready malts. However, there's not much flavor initially. The fruits are quite prevalent in the finish - a uinque touch. Light bodied. No real carbonation, unfortunately, and the mouth comes off pretty watery.

D - It's fairly drinkable due to it's somewhat low abv and light body. However, the flavor profile, to me, is not my favorite, so I'm not sure how much of this i could enjoy. A very unique finish is noteworthy.

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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 jayc333
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*Note* This beer was over a week passed its best before date.

Poured a light amber with three fingers of frothy off-white head. A few bubble showly rise to the top. The head subsides to less than a finger that lasts throughtout the entire session, and leaves great lacing.

Smelled strongly of floral hops with citrus notes. A very sweet and hoppy scent indeed.

Sweet tasting, with the citrus notes present. Has a peculiar aftertaste. I'd say maybe lemon or orange peels. This is no bad thing though.

Light mouthfeel, but more oily than watery. I'd say it has the perfect amount of carbonation.

Nice, very nice actually. I think I may even prefer this over their Oatmeal Stout. I can see myself drinking a lot of this in the Spring/Summer seasons. If only I had a fresher sample...

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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.

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

La St-Ambroise Pale Ale a une belle couleur cuivrée et laisse une fine et mince couche de mousse.

Une odeur typique de pale ale, caramel et houblon.

En bouche, la St-Ambroise Pale Ale réussi ce qu'une Pale Ale doit réussir, et avec brio. Rien d'extravagant, mais une excellente bière qui combine amertume et houblon sans oublier une légère touche de caramel. Excellent!

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Photo of ReFill31
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle poured into a pint glass

A : Nice golden color, dense head (almost creamy) that leaves a nice ring on the glass.

S : We can easily detect hops.

T : The bitterness is well balanced, some hops, crisp taste also.

M : Low carbonation, feels watery

D : Really enjoyable, easy to drink.

Overall a good beer but I have seen better from McAuslan breweries.

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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.

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Photo of FrostBlast
4.44/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

341mL bottle

I never mention bitterness in my reviews, my bitterness taste buds are ridiculously under-sensitive.

APPEARANCE : Dark golden orange with an off-white head, about 2cm thick. Head dies out with average speed, leave some lacing, not much. Lacing is very fast to die out. Very pleasing look.

SMELL : First nose is almost absent, but what is there is mostly grassy hops, with some pale malt. Second nose releases more pale malt aromas and seems fresher than the first nose. Third nose is all about pale malt with some hops to sharpen it up. Hops are there but somewhat indistinct, very well blended into the malt profile.

TASTE : Somewhat toasty pale malts (this toasty side was absent on the nose) with some caramel malts as well, very fruity. Red apples, pears, sugary candy apples. Hops are present but well blended in the malt, as was the case on the third nose. Very fresh, very refreshing.

MOUTHFEEL : Good carbonation, not too explosive on the palate, allows the beer to fully take its place in the mouth, expanding the flavours everywhere. Quite lengthy aftertaste for a pale ale.

OVERALL : This is my standard everyday beer and has been for quite some time. I just never got down to reviewing it. Now that it's done, I think I appreciate it even more. Definitely one of my favorite pale ales around, and I've had some pretty good ones, including Yakima by Benelux and Edward by Hill Farmstead. St-Ambroise Pale Ale totally measures up, even though their production is much larger. They don't cut the corner for this beer - after all, it's their flagship product.

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Photo of Ardon
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, top notch pale ale, one of the greatest I have yet sampled and it's brewed only an hour and a half away from me! Fantastic hop oilyness. Very appetizing bitterness with an unidentifiable malt fruitiness up front and a long lingering hop flavour. Perfectly balanced. Appearance is a rich pale amber with a long lingering dense head. I adore this stuff! Even better than their Oatmeal Stout which is saying alot. A great brew for the fans of hops who aren't quite the hopheads who wanna be smacked around by them.

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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!

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Photo of Taffle
4.19/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The appearance was amber orange with a mild haze through the glass. The head was creamy rich, lacing and coating the edges on every swril.

Light floral scent paired with fruit and malty notes.

A soft, creamy texture gives way to malt and sweet fruit. A zesty, hoppy highness follows intensifying the tongue. The flavors linger and dance in your mouth.

Suculent smooth and medium bodied. A satisfying mouthfeel for a pale ale.

One of the best pales ales in my opinion. Really lively flavors balanced with a savory feel.

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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 will smell something sweet. Kind of like'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.

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Photo of jpagewatts
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Crystal clear amber beer, almost a deep orange. Pure white head on top that stays around.

S - Crisp and rich in the nose, like autumn, if you will. I smell the caramel malt predominantly.

T - There's a nice malty roundness to the body and the hop bitterness hits and lasts. even a while after swallowing flavors like biscuit linger.

M - The bottled beer has too much hop harshness that the kegged beer lacks.

D - I've been drinking this beer for years and I keep drinking this beer. Never disappointing.

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Photo of brucepepper
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am a bit biased when it comes to the McAuslin Brewery. I lived in Montreal for a while and I have a general liking for their beers.

A - I really like the solid amber colour of this beer, and has a frothy head that is off white. The head is lasting quite a while and the lacing is very pronounced.

S - The smell is very mild but I detect a bit of citrus. There is a hint of metallic smell, but I'm not sure that I'm using the right words.

T - The taste is quite bitter, but not too much. I don't have the review skills to do this beer justice.

M - It feels quite carbonated yet smooth.

D - As I mentioned earlier, I have drank this beer many times, and sometimes many at a time. Very easy to drink, and always interesting.

This, along with the St A. Oatmeal Stout, is a staple in my fridge and will always be one of my favourite evening treats.

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Photo of cosmin
2.81/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is the second time I've tried this beer (473mL can from LCBO). Consumed about 6 months before data shown on bottom of can. Pours lovely orange/copper colour with plenty of head. Not much of a smell. I was waiting and waiting for the hops to hit me but it never happened. Quite disappointed especially after trying their Oatmeal Stout and Apricot Wheat Ale (yum!). From an American Pale Ale you'd expect more hops and a little more excitement in the beer. I think it's too sweet and trying to be a cross between English and American style pale ale but not getting neither quite right. I'm very shocked at the ratings on this one. Usually the ratings hold true to a beer but not this one (for me at least!).

Unfortunately, this is the last time I try their pale ale. Their other brews are awesome though!

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Photo of Borussia
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Up front this beer features a floral hop character, followed by a rich malt palate combining crystal and two-row flavours. The back end combines a dry bitterneess with a lingering, golden-roasted malt taste. Nice folral hop nose as well. You can easily have three or four of this one without tiring.

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Photo of Eastman2009
2.6/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle. One finger of quickly dissipating head. A warm golden shade with steady lacing throughout the drink.

Fully alcoholic scent, few other scents, off malt notes?.

No real hop profile to speak of. If this is a pale ale, it's a very tame one. Not even a lingering flavor. While highly drinkable and probably appealing to even the most novice of beer newbies, but there's nothing unique or special here.

Note: My opinion didn't change throughout the six pack.

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Photo of camdaley
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%

Poured from a 473 ml can into a glass mug

Appearance: Foamy inch tall white head that dissipates somewhat slowly and leaves great lacing. Beer is a beautiful copper color.

Aroma: Fairly gentle aroma. Slight aromas of orange and other fruits

Taste: Very flavorful beer. First thing I notice is a hint of tobacco and cinnamon. Mildly creamy mouth feel. Traces of brown sugar.

Aftertaste: Somewhat bitter finish with lingering notes of brown sugar and tobacco.

Overall: A very crisp, refreshing beer that is packed with flavor. I will be returning to this beer every once in a while.


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Photo of peterthepiper
4.69/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I will get this out of the way at first: this is my favorite non-Belgian styled beer. I was very glad to see it available at the local BC liquor store for much less than I can get it in Calgary.

Upon opening, the aroma is quite evident. I find it to be floral, with fruit and hops notes. Beautiful. Pouring, it results in a good white head, that lasts for a fairly short time.

The taste is very similar to the aroma. No beer I have had before has such strong floral notes. But, they are well matched with the hops and other characteristics of the beer. As previous reviewers have mentioned, the balance of the St. Ambroise Pale is impeccable. Mouthfeel is good, with a fair bit of carbonation.

Combining all of these characteristics into a beer results in an excellent, drinkable brew. It's my choice for a session beer.

Poured from a 330 mL bottle.

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Photo of BeerLaw
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: Pale ale - Blonde
Poured from a 375ml bottle

Appearance: Nice golden color with white head. Left white lacing.

Smell: This has a fairly simple smell - mostly malt to me. After swirling as I drank to kill some carbonation, I detected more grassy and earthy. Slight caramel.

Mouthfeel: Nice body to the mouthfeel - just enough - a bit creamy like.

Taste: Light malt with a bit of wheat and light sweetness and caramel (from a light crystal malt?). Great hop balance in this which pairs well with the level of carbonation and malt flavours. There is definitely a number of different hops - I can definitely detect williamette (on review of their site I see that it has Cascade, Willamette, Golding and Hallertau). This just seems so balanced beautifully.

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Photo of kevwalsh
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer is miscategorized. If you look at all the top beers in this category, they are all floral, cascades hops based, american brewed beers.

As much as i love those beers, it's hard to rate this great beer against them.

What i like about this beer is its simple but unique character. Like most St Ambroise products, it is well balanced and consistent in quality.

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

This is a great beer. I have had it many times and today bout a 6 pack. i am reviewing this over the fifth and 6th beer.

a- This beer pours a copper colour with huge head. It pours a 2-4+ finger head depending on pour and previous lacing in the glass and leaves a nice thick film of head throughout the rest of the beer.

s- nice fruity hoppy smell. smells of lots of caramel and great smell of fruity hops. also takes on a bit of the smell of tea which becomes more apparent the more you drink of this beer. It smells very strongly from a bit of a distance.

t- tastes great. easy to drink. hops are very apparent for a beer at 35ibu. leaves long lasting fruity hop aftertaste for a while after drinking. bitterness is not too high but the aftertaste is great and long lasting. also tastes of some tea after drinking more as stated above.

m-the mouthfeel is good nothing wrong with it. carbonated beverage to me

o- one of my favourites had it many times before. its good

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