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St-Ambroise Pale Ale | McAuslan Brewing

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St-Ambroise Pale AleSt-Ambroise Pale Ale
Very Good
416 Ratings
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:
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 416 |  Reviews: 227
Photo of TMoney2591
3.08/5  rDev -20.4%
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.

 568 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Tone
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
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 jwc215
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours light copper with a cireamy white, thin, head that leaves trailing lacing with some stickage.

The smell is of some caramel, a touch of wood, some fruit (citric) zest.

The taste is of caramel with pale malt. Some mild citric tone - zesty - orange/lemon finish.

Medium carbonation - light-to-medium bodied.

Mild, a bit "old-school" APA - malty with some citric notes - mild - leans towards the malt. Dirnkable, but nothing exciting.

 440 characters

Photo of liamt07
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 341ml bottle into my Duvel tulip. Golden brown colour, with a few fingers of head (poured a bit aggressively on my part by accident) that settled down to a small layer head for the remainder of the beer; web-like lacing too. Smell of sweet hops, a bit of hops in there. Taste is good, pretty balanced with a nice bitterness and the sweet, kind of sugary malt flavour with it too. Good mouthfeel, medium/low carbonation and definitely sessionable in terms of drinkability! Solid pale ale.

 501 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours an orange color with a one finger white head that slowly falls to a thin surface foam. Nice lacing paints the glass.

Smell: malt and fruit sweetness easily rises from the glass.

Taste: solid malt base with red apples, plums, caramel, and a nice balancing bitterness. There is a hint of breadiness here too.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp from start to finish. Medium bodied beer. Aftertaste is brief as the flavors linger for a minute or so.

Drinkability: easy to quaff. Solid pale ale that can be a nice session ale. Pick some of this up.

 556 characters

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

 477 characters

Photo of brandoman63
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of DoubleJ
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
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 Derek
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

 657 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

 561 characters

Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of puboflyons
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

 385 characters

Photo of spinrsx
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

 777 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

 689 characters

Photo of Latarnik
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of biegaman
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

 2,274 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
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 KAF
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of RBorsato
4.55/5  rDev +17.6%
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)

 403 characters

Photo of wordemupg
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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

 482 characters

Photo of Kelp
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

 1,239 characters

St-Ambroise Pale Ale from McAuslan Brewing
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 416 ratings
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