St-Ambroise Pale Ale | McAuslan Brewing

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

Brewed by:
McAuslan Brewing
Quebec, Canada | website

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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 224 | Ratings: 410
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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Photo of tgbljb
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Selection of the Beer-of-the-Month Club
Poured a deep amber color with modest white head. Smell is an attractive combination of toasted malt, piney and grassy hops, and a touch of caramel. Taste folows through on the smell with nice malt balanced with a piney hop bitterness. The bitterness lingers on at the finish to leave an enjoyable mouth feel. Good solid beer that is a nice example of the style. Easy drinking and very refreshing.

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Photo of Redrover
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My wife & I were bicycling along the canal during our recent visit to Montreal. It was a hot day, so you can imagine my delight when I spotted this brewery.

They have a small garden and bar set-up in the back of building. Note that they also offer some food for hungry walkers/bikers.

Served in a proper pint, this beer is a nice reddish/copper with an off-white head. Nice lacing.

The nose is of fruits, citrus and a bit of dough.

The taste is pleasantly bitter. Nice citrus and caramel flavors. I get some apricot and green apple in the background.

Nice creamy mouth and the beer, not surprisingly, is incredibly fresh and lively. What an easy drinking session beer.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.5 oz single bottle copped from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
Recently sampled this company's oatmeal stout, which was a good, light representation of the style...
As far as an American Pale Ale is concerned, this was a top-notch depiction of the style, bursting with a strong, wheat, and grain aroma and similar thick, yet light and rich flavors...
So far, both samples that I've tried from McAuslan have been great, so I definitely think this is a promising brewery from Canada (finally something other than Unibroue)...
Good taste, replete with caramel and vanilla nuances along with a rich mouthfeel and excellent level of drinkability...
Good stuff...

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Photo of bobsy
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the LCBO. Amber pour with a small white head. Fresh hops and fruit aroma with a touch of caramel. Great hops taste, well married to a malty body. Medium mouthfeel and a lingering finish. This is a pleasant brew, but not as good as many of the other offerings from this brewery

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from a St. Ambroise variety pack
A - very clear copper, with a tower of off white head that had very nice retention and lacing up the glass
S - grainy and caramelly malts, light leafy and fruity hops, with a light buttery corn hint
T - nice crispy bready malt, a mix of grassy, floral, and fruity hops with a slightly oily flavour, and buttery sweet grain taste
M - medium body that starts crisp and smooth, moving to a light hop bitter mixed with a somewhat oily feel, complex
D - a great mix of malt and hop flavours, complex feels from start to finish, and very easy drinking, this beer alone is worth the variety pack purchase

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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!

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Photo of matjack85
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I found this single 11.5oz brown bottle at the Binnys store in Plainfield, IL for $1.99. No freshness date or any information about the beer on the label.

The beer poured a reddish/golden topaz color - like the November birthstone. Not much of a head and not much lacing either.

The smell is mostly caramel and bready malts with some mild hops in the background.

This is a really well balanced and tasty beer. Not too sweet and not too bitter. The sweet caramel and bready malts are blended with both fruity and woody hops to create a deliucios mix.

The body leans towards the thin side, but the higgh carbonation keeps it spritzy and refreshing.

I could drink several of these, but unfortuneately I just picked up a single bottle. A very well made pale ale.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hooray, we finally have some St. Ambroise available in Alberta. It's about damn time. This is a very esthetically appealing ale, a clear vibrant copper hue capped by a creamy off-white head that never fully disipates. Grassy and floral hops up front on the nose, accompanied by sweet malt and a faux spiciness. Flavour is bold and in your face, seemlessly blended malt and hops carry throughout the sip, and both linger on the aftertaste as well. One of the most balanced beers I have ever tried in my life. The mouthfeel is rich and creamy for a pale ale, becoming slightly oily on the aftertaste. This would make one hell of a session ale, I'm very glad that this is available here now. I want to try more from McAuslan now as well.

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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 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 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.

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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.

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Photo of chickenm
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a thin white head. Aroma is fairly sweet, with caramel malts and little bit of floral hops. Malty flavor with some mild bitterness. Medium bodied with a really nice smooth mouthfeel, and very easy to drink. This is more like an English Pale Ale than an APA, but I like this beer a lot!

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

Appearance: It has a nice golden/amber colour to it. It has a nice white head that dies down moderalty and lacing is present.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of fruity hops and a bit of caremaly malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice fruity/hoppy flavour that gives it a slight bitterness and it ends with more of a carmely/malty flavour.

Mouthfeel: It has a low to medium carbonation with a very nice balance of hops and malts.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with great flavours and aromas. It's an overall great beer.

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

Darned impressive to look at. Attractive rusty amber colour with a moderate head that you won't be able to wait out. It stays firmly perched up there on top of your beer. Leaves big chunks of foam behind on the glass as you drink. Very nice.

Sweet fruit hops which are a delight to the nose. Nice warm up to drinking this beer.

Starts hoppy, breaks to bitter and herbal, has a nice tea-like characteristic. Sweet maltiness in the background. This beer is a good drink. Lots of interesting things to enjoy. Real easy on the palate, highly drinkable.

Found this as a single, but I think I'll wander out and find a six. Nicely done.

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Photo of pootz
3.07/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A nice pale, although I can’t get as excited as some do about it. Well crafted, beautiful color, fair lacing, better than average micro pales in the aroma department....but certainly not phenomenally outstanding in the bottled the same class as Conner’s with possibly more fruit-floral nose to it.

The pour was a clear orange-amber with a 1 finger head that laces nicely. Fragrance of fruity-floral hopping over a sweet malt aroma. Medium to heavily carbonation (lost points for this from me). That (IMHO) over carbonation produced a sandy-peppery mouth feel that SHOULD let go, sooner or later, and reduce this medium bodied ale to a creamy mouth feel....but it doesn’t… that carbonation hangs in there and actually detracts for the finer aspects of this ale. I detected nice floral-bittering over some great pale malt sweetness...the finish is dry and tart with the hopping lingering in the metallic after taste...but even in the finish the tongue is still being strip mined by the damnable over carbonation. This is probably a very good pale ale but they’re gonna have to remove a lot of that fizzy mega brewer carbonation to get these great tastes across undisrupted.

I had a Black Oak pale right after this and I Know I’m right about this. The BO was softly carbonated and this lends itself to the flavor departures AND makes it much more drinkable . I have tried this beer on tap in PQ many times hoping the carbonation would be less aggressive but it always seems to be present masking this ales true potential.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden orange with a bit of rust color in the glass.
An impressive full finger and a half head of tight white bubbles tops the glass and leaves sticky lace behind it as you drink.

Aromas are subdued sweet pale malt and fruity hops.

Taste is light and clean. Lightly toasted sweet malt blends nicely with slighly citrus peel subtle hops.

Aftertaste is a little bready (ringwood yeast again?) and then clean citrus hop leaving the mouth pleasantly dry.

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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 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.

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

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.

A little thinner than expected, and a tad watery.

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.

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

This beer from one of Canada's best breweries pours a nice dark amber color with frenetic carbonation. The head is ivory and the bubbles are densely packed. It starts big, quickly dissipating to a half cm 'lid' which leaves thick layers of lace. The aroma is of cedary, spicey and earthy hops and apple cider hints. The taste is of caramel malts, fruity ringwood yeast esters and earthy English hops (probably Goldings and Fuggles). Theres a buttery character in the middle and some nice hop bitterness in the finish. The masses of fine carbonation give this beer a creamy thick mouthfeel. This is a very rich and well balanced English Pale Ale that everyone should try.

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Photo of LampertLand
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

McAuslan Brewing 'St.Ambroise Pale Ale' @ 5.0% , served from a couple of 341 ml bottle's purchased for $1.85 each
A-pour is gold from the bottle to clear dark gold in the glass with a medium size off-white head leaving a spotty lace along the pint
S-hints of wheat
T-wheat pale ale
MF-ok carbonation , medium body
Ov-ok beer , weak pale ale
prost LampertLand

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours out toa coppery gold color with a medium sized head of white foam. Minimal lacing, with a medium level of carbonation.

S: Strong aroma of hops and earthy malts. Slightly sweet grain note. Some banana fruitiness in there as well. Balanced nicely.

T: Medium bodied caramel maltiness, raw grain, a touch of corn and biscuit. Mild hop presence. Ever so slightly sweet and tart. Not overly complex, but very enjoyable.

M: Average mouthfeel. A touch bubbly, a touch crisp. Run of the mill.

D: Not bad. I could toss these back on a hot summer day.

Notes: Special thanks to biegaman for the sample.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

330ml bottle from LCBO for $2.00 CDN into a pint glass.

Appearance - Poured a ridiculous 4 fingers of head that sat on top of the beer in true Belgian fashion looking creamy and delicious. Pour yielded a dark golden brown color with orange hues. Beautiful looking beer.

Smell - There isn't a ton going on; grassy hops and some malts. Some bready aspects are also present.

Taste- Similar to the smell, with a certain sweetness on the front end that is unexpected. Does not hinder the beer in any manner whatsoever.More malty than hoppy but a good balance.

Mouthfeel - Feels quite light on the palate yet is creamy and rich which is hard combination to match. Not overly carbonated but sufficiently so to provide the right finish on the beer. Not bitter nor sweet, no lingering aftertaste, yet just enough on the palate to leave you wanting more.

Overall - Pleasantly surprised by this brew, very delicious and has great finish and mouthfeel. Don't know if it was my pour or what but also looked brilliant in the glass.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

- enjoyed at Cathedral Mountain Lodge in Yoho National Park, BC... served up by CBA

A: Quite red... a beautiful copper-amber with red highlights. White, thick head of seafoam. While I probably wouldn't call this much of a "pale" ale, it looks quite nice.

S: Wow, what a nice smelling brew... spruce and woody aromas that are boldened by the wooded surroundings (which likely also play a role in the aroma I get). A soft citrus nose, and a sweet touch of malts.

T: A perfect balance of hops and malt on my palate. Citrus rind flavours, a bit of bark, and a soft earthiness.

M: Smooth and rich... very nice in a pale ale. Soft carbonation, and a bit of a creamy finish, finally finishing nice and clean...

D: An excellent beer... perhaps not exactly 'pale,' as mentioned, but there's no love lost on that. Easy ABV, and great to sip away at outdoors. I will certainly be seeking out more of this.

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St-Ambroise Pale Ale from McAuslan Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 224 ratings.
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