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 biegaman
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shiny copper makes a most handsome tone for a pale ale. This particular one is splendidly lustrous and overtly transparent even despite its deep-set colour. Its head is stocky and is a spic and span tone of bleach white but does become partly corroded. Apart from the inherent density of its toasty, golden-brown shade there is nothing to either dampen the beer's brightness or detract from its clarity. I say again, this is one handsome beer.

The aroma is abnormally hoppy for a simple pale ale. It isn't an aggressive, in-your-face kind of American hopping, it is a much more mild and much less obnoxious variety. It bears a very flowery fragrance and a raw, almost musty, kind of earthiness. The smell is exceedingly 'green' and exhumes a distinctly herbal, vegetable-like quality. This kind of hoppiness is rare in the US and it's even become quite difficult to find in England.

The more familiar fruity notes of the hops become slightly more pronounced in the taste. The beer's flavour leans a little less on the pungent, earthy notes and more heavily emphasizes citrusy fruits, or at least their piths and peels. That near green tea-like herbal attribute is not entirely lost, but candied grapefruit does seem to push it aside a little. A lightly bready malt bill underlines the flavour, it harboring notes of biscuits and toffee.

This beer already strongly reminded me of a dry-hopped and freshly tapped cask of British pale ale or ESB but its low carbonation, flowery bitterness, and light body really seals it in my mind. If I didn't know any better I would have sworn this poured from cask; it has that characteristically flat body, thin but supportive maltiness and resinous, floral bitterness that often describes traditional English bitters. It also shares their seemingly endless drinkability.

I can't make the case enough: if you're a fan of traditional-style, cask conditioned, hop driven English ales than you should love St. Ambroise Pale Ale. It has biscuity malt, flowery hoppiness and sessionable drinkability up the yin yang. It's quite befitting for a brewery in Montreal, a city with culture both modern and antiquated, to do such a thing as combine all characteristics of an old-world ale at an amped up level typical of the new-world style.

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

Clear copper to red colored ale with a good tan colored head.

Interesting smell I am picking up lots of fruitiness and a banana aroma. Fruity like a steam beer with a second layer of British style hops and herbal scent. Grassy hop scent this seems to lack citrus and pine that you would expect from an APA.

Taste starts out woody and fruity in the mouth with a sweet and woody aftertaste. Pretty much stays the same through out the whole glass.

Mouthfeel is good.

Not a lot of subtlety here just a good straight ale that REALLY tastes like a California Steam beer which is a Pale Ale but is considered separate from the APA style. A good California Steam beer and really easy to drink.

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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.

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

This used to be available in Atlanta years ago. Glad to see it back in the market. Pours a somewhat dark golden with a nice head that sticks around as a cap and leaves some laing as well. Smells a bit grainy, slightly sweet, and with some light citrusy and floral hop aromas. Nicely balanced. The taste is also very nicely balanced. Just enough malt to give a very slightly sweet edge, just enough hops to balance the malt, and just thick and solid enough to support the predominant flavors A well made, somewhat simple tasty balanced beer. A pleasure to drink.

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Photo of Derek
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a cross between British and American Pale Ales, much like Canada is itself... perhaps this a "Canadian Pale Ale"?

A: Copper-bronze, with a little off-white head.

S: Sweet honey malt, with a North American Hop smell (slightly citrousy).

T: Initial taste is very well balanced, solid malt backbone. The hops have a little bit of Goldings and a little bit of citrous (Cascade?) flavour. Crisp, refreshing aftertaste.

M: Light to moderate body, moderate carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. Perhaps a little on the bold side for the mass-market, but nothing overwhelming... but plenty of flavour for the beer geek.

Highly recommend it.

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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 spinrsx
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft poured into a pint glass

Appearance - The beer pours a golden amber colour with a massive off white foamy and frothy head. There is some excellent lacing and the head sticks around for a while.

Smell - I can smell toasted nuts, malts, a honey sweetness and some hops.

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average mouth feel, it might benefit from a little more carbonation, but it is good nonetheless. It feels smooth and velvety, and the first thing I can pick up on is the bitter hops, followed by a cantaloupe like sweetness. The beer is medium bodied and finishes smooth with just a hint of sweet and sour. The finish comes through as a little watery, but still good.

Drink - A fantastic beer that is one of my go to's. Give it a try if you happen to see it on a menu.

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

341ml bottle poured into pint glass dec9 2009

A golden copper with a fingers worth of head with decent retention and lace

S very fruity with a fair bit of malt

T not far from the smell but I pick up on a little bit of toffee I didn't smell

M crisp and carbonated not to bad

D not the best balance but a straight across the board good beer, nothing spectacular but pretty solid overall

I think this beer could use a little more hops but that's my only complaint with this beer

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Photo of RBorsato
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Also labelled as "Biere Blonde".

Golden in color with a nice full off-white head, good carbonation, and some decent lace. Citrusy and spicy hop aroma dominates. Nice hoppy ale with great balanced maltiness... biscuit-like with some nice grainy character. Medium-light bodied with a crisp dry hoppy finish.

The hoppiest Cnadian brew I've had to date... Worth seeking out !

(341 ml / 11.5 oz)

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Photo of ppoitras
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into a Sam Adams glass, formed a 1" beige head above the clear amber brew. Pillowy head falls sedately, with average lacing. Aroma is lightly sweet with ample pine and citrus tang. Taste follows the nose, well balanced. Mouthfeel and drinkability are very good as well. Overall a pleasing beer, would be glad to have this one again.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear amber orange rind. Great two finger head right after the pour that slowly recedes to a thick rng and film. The aroma is resiny hops mlded with Belgian bread. Fisrt sip is a little sweet on th toasty malts. Almost Belgiany. The dry malts and tangy citrus develop halfway through the tongue. Giving a breezey palate and spongey texture. Great to have one after nother. Need to find this on tap.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A fairly aggressive pour results in a 3 finger white head in my pint glass. Bright and dark gold in colour. Head is loose but looks like it might stick around for a while. Medium amount of carbonation. Generous lacing half way through.

S - Nice fruity hops with some mild malts. Good balance in the aroma. Grapefruit is present for sure. Mild amounts of hops make for a good compliment.

T - Good malts up front with hops to balance. Very mild bitterness. Nothing too crazy but good nonetheless.

M - Light body. Could use a bit more carbonation.

D - Fairly high. I've sessioned this before and I don't see why anyone wouldn't. It's a good example of a milder APA.

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

Very clear, copper coloured with a cream coloured head (very long-lasting with lots of lace on the sides of the pint glass). The aroma was predominantly floral hops with some caramel and light citrus. The flavour is mostly bitter, and the well-rounded hop bitterness becomes slightly more harsh as the malty sweetness dissipates. The finish is dry and bitter, and it definitely lingers... but that's not a bad thing. Medium/light body with a slight graininess present.

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Photo of Viggo
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber, ample white head arises. Smell is citrusy, some grapefruit, nice and pleasantly hoppy but the malt is still detectable. Taste is malt at the front, citrus in the middle and a clean bitter finish. Nice and dry, smooth mouth, tasty beer.

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Photo of dgilks
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours quite dark for a Pale Ale but it is a crystal clear amber colour with a billowing off white head with decent head retention.

Aromas are fruity and quite sweet. The fruitiness is not quite fitting into any particular fruit box but it works.

There is big flavour here with lots of hop bitterness, a good dose of fruity hops and a solid malt backbone to hold it all up. There is lots going on here but it is almost up to IPA levels of bitterness. Quite good.

St Ambroise Pale Ale is crisp and refreshing with plenty of carbonation to counter its medium body. A very good mouthfeel.

This is a good beer with lots of flavour but the bitterness is almost overwhelming (and I like bitter beers). A very good beer.

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

On the pour deep amber to copper color with an impressive head, frothy in its texture, and the resultant lace a fine covering sheet. Crisp citrus nose, orange peels, sweet malt, fresh and clean, the start sweetly malt, top middling in its feel. Finish strikingly acidic, the hops perky in their bite, dry long lasting aftertaste, quite a quaffable brew.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this on several occasions, but this is my first formal review of it.

A - Pours a crystal clear golden colour, finger of light fluffy head with decent retention which settles into small islands leaving no real lacing.

S - Floral hops with pine and cedar coming through followed by some caramel malts and buttered bread.

T - The woody cedar and pine hops come through nicely off the top and are nicely balanced by some toffee and caramel malts on the finish.

M - Nice medium bodied ale that fills the tongue nicely and goes down smooth. The finish is a touch dry, though consistent with the style.

D - This beer is delicious, easily sessionable with a nice hop presence and balanced malt finish. I could drink this stuff all day and it is sure to please any pale ale fan.

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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 tavernjef
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is a pale, hazy amberish orange, that reminded me of a Fuller's but with a paler glow. Has a small white head and web-like lacing that followed in level rings as it lowered. Smell is faint of citrus and sweetness, light and clean. Taste is crisp, clean and smooth, sweet dullish malt with citrusy fruit hop bitterness thats all balanced well leaving a nice bitterly dry sweetness thats very smooth. Very nice and very drinkable, a darn good pale.

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Photo of francisweizen
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice clear golden brew, head size and lacing depends on how dirty the glass they serve it to you in is. Aromas of malty bread with a bit of spicy hops, maybe saaz? maybe not! Taste is a bit sweet but balanced nice with the hops and a little chewy from the malts. Mouthfeel remains a bit tepid but ya know it works. Pretty much a nice change of pace from the macro filled slum bars of certain parts of Quebec. You see it on tap everywhere and even the most lame ass bodega probably sells flats of it. Mouthfeel is a bit thin but what are you gonna do? Drinkability is decent enough. I'd probably drink this beer exclusively if I was fat, 20 years older, and thought that Crescent street was the best street in Montreal Viva La Sociale Strippers!

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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.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

St. Ambroise Pale Ale has a thin, off-white head, a hazy, copper appearance, with a few bubbles and some floating brown bits, and not much lacing. A grayish cloud descended when I swished the bottom residue and poured it in. The aroma is not to bold, but one picks up toast, sweet brown bread crust, and some caramel. Taste is similar, with an energetic, yet, overall mellow bitterness throughout. The mouthfeel is light and watery and slick. St. Ambroise Pale Ale finishes dry, flavorful, and mild. Overall, this is an excellent beer. Check it out!


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Photo of kwjd
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an orangish colour, with some amount of red in it. Nice half inch head and some lacing down the glass. Nice mild hoppy aroma. It has a nice level of bitterness to it, with some hop flavour to enjoy. Quite well balanced. Not over the top carbonation, which makes this quite drinkable.

I drink this beer often, as it seems to be on tap at several restaurants in Toronto (ie. Harbord Room & Black Hoof). It isn't spectacular, but it is a very solid offering and I'll frequently order it with my meal. I'm able to have several in a sitting without being tired of it too.

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

Poured from the bottle a bright red-amber with a thick foamy white head.

Aroma of sweet malts, orange peel, dark fruits, and biscuit.

Similar to the aroma, the taste was a medley of dark fruits, sweet malts, biscuit, and citrus.

Medium bodied, crisp, and moderately carbonated.

A quite enjoyable APA for sure. Time for another.

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