St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout | McAuslan Brewing

627 Reviews
St-Ambroise Oatmeal StoutSt-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout

Brewed by:
McAuslan Brewing
Quebec, Canada

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed from 40 percent dark malts and roasted barley, this intensely black ale carries strong hints of espresso and chocolate. Oatmeal contributes body and a long-lasting mocha-colored head to this well-hopped beer.
• Dense mocha-coloured head
• Chocolate/espresso flavour, medium sweet with a distinct floral aroma
• Ideal accompaniment to chocolate desserts

Added by kbub6f on 09-18-2001

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Reviews: 627 | Ratings: 1,236
Photo of kojevergas
3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nabbed a pint-sized can of this for $4.25 at New Beer Distributors in Manhattan, NY.

"Oatmeal stout" hopped with "Cascade, Willamette, Golding." 45 IBU. 5% ABV.

CAN: Pull-tab. Classy black and red label.

Brief impressions below:

APPEARANCE: Lively khaki-tan head with plenty of creaminess and froth. Smooth even consistency.

Body is, of course, an opaque black. No yeast/lees are visible within.

Looks true to the style, and boasts an impressive ~7cm worth of head. Leaves light lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

AROMA: Not your typical oatmeal stout aroma, hitting on luxurious notes of dark fruit (muted plum, faint date) and espresso in addition to the more typical notes of dark malts/schwarz malts, chocolate malts, oats, and roast.

This is shaping up to be a surprisingly good oatmeal stout. Aromatic intensity is average. There's more nuance to this aroma than I usually find in expressions of the oatmeal stout style.

TASTE: Matches the aroma, but ends flatly on some semibitter roast, an odd end to the chocolate-coated dark fruit flavour that precedes. Hits on stale coffee, starchy oats, muted chocolate malts, robust dark malt sweetness, some charred sugars/burnt malt, withered dates, depleted plum, raisin, and roast.

None of the hops utilized contribute anything to its flavour inasmuch as I can discern. True to style, there are no overt yeasty notes. Not boozy, nor ailing from off-flavour.

The battle between bitterness and sweetness never fully resolves itself, keeping the drinker guessing.

Cohesive yet scattered, throwing out complexity but not bothering to arrange it into a gestalt whole of a beer. Disharmonious but intricate, letting roasty coffee-like bitterness and chocolatey sweetness tangle without a clear victor...this makes me want to keep drinking it to find out.

TEXTURE: Full-bodied. Has a nice tug of war between slightly scratchy coarseness and sleek smoothness, lacking the glossy slickness of many oatmeal stouts. Dry like an Irish stout as well, but not creamy or soft by any stretch. Well-carbonated. Has apt weight on the palate given its above average depth of flavour. Some may find it a bit too scratchy or coarse, but I think it works (style conventions be damned).

OVERALL: A borderline unique take on the oatmeal stout, eschewing oat's textural effect of porter-like smoothness in favour of the dry starchiness oats can provide, and emphasizing the roast of an Irish dry stout instead of the chocolate of an American stout as well as the dark fruits one might find in a robust porter instead of the rich coffee one would find in a coffee stout. The result is a timeless expression of the oatmeal stout style that's up there with paragons of the style like Samuel Smith's in my book.

At over $4 a can it'll be tough to pull the trigger on again while in the U.S., but I could see myself hitting this stuff hard when in Canada and I can't wait to try more beers from the brewery. I'd sooner stick to Trader Joe's Stockyard Oatmeal Stout, but this is a real treat for those who can tolerate classic roasty flavours and concomitant dryness in their stouts - very much an Irish stout fan's oatmeal stout. Terrific, highly drinkable, and complex work from a brewery that has seized my interest.

B (3.68) / GOOD

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Photo of Yoann
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle to a mug
A - Black with some reddish reflections hard to see and a thin brown head
S - Strong roasty caramel malts!
T - Still this sweet caramel, not too bitter on the tongue
M - Flat but not exaggerated
O - A really good oatmeal stout for people who like having their mouth full!

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Photo of Lucaskowalik
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 341mL bottle into a Spiegelau stout glass
L- Pitch black with a mocha head.
S- Very yeasty, dates, blackberry, vanilla, espresso, chocolate, caramel, spice.
T- Same as smell
F- Medium to full bodied with a dry finish.
O- This was one the first stouts I ever had and it till holds up. Nothing remarkable about it but it is solid.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Black with an imagining of ruby when held to the light. Topped with 4 fingers of solid, dark brown, slightly orange tinged head.

Smells of toasted malts, a hint of smoke, cocoa powder, black liquorice, salty Dutch liquorice, hints of eraser, tobacco, and a little florally sweet note.

Tastes of velvety cocoa, dark chocolate, not overly sweet. There's black liquorice, tobacco, and hints of figs.

Smooth, amazingly velvety texture with no hint of alcohol. Moderately low carbonation.

Really good. I was aiming to get this brewery's Russian Stout, and was disappointed before opening today to realise the several thousand kilometer mistake. I got this in Kitchener Waterloo, ON, and am drinking it in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Still very decent brew, the mouthfeel taking the cake.

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.19/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L - pitch black with a thin beige head

S - chocolate, caramel, coffee, oat acidity, vinous

T - Roasted bread with a little bit of smoke, a bit of caramel. Very dry and astringent but no acidity. A bit of earthy hops. Very balanced

M - Good carbonation, like a sparkling water

O - An unique beer. One of the best oatmeal stout I've had. Dry and balanced

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Photo of EMH73
3.76/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap, poured almost black with a one inch mocha head that dissipated fairly quickly and left a couple rings of lacing. Smells of coffee, roasted malts and a hint of chocolate. Taste follows the smell with the addition of a caramel sweetness. Finishes with a moderate amount of bitterness. Mouth feel is rather thin and watery, medium carbonation. Overall I was disappointed considering the reviews.

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Photo of souvenirs
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pretty much black, with a few fingers of tan head.
S: Appealing aroma of chocolate and roasted grain.
T: Bittersweet chocolate
F: Creamy.

Not many beers this good are so widely available.

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Photo of Alexc11
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Montreal guy here. Pours deep, deep brown color topped off by thick, beige cream. Looks like an espresso done right. Smooth taste is accompanied by nut/chocolate/oat tones. Aroma is faint but caramel/nut/coffee tones detected. Bitterness contained for a strong stout. Great comfort beer for October to March.

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Photo of Lewnanny
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A real nice stout

The color is perfectly black, and the brew is a nice dark brown.

This beer have a medium IBU taste and will be in my refrigerator once in a while.

You can taste the roasted grain in every sip.

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Photo of Jesterr44
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a slightly chilled (around 12 deg C) 341mL bottle from the Beer Store. Super happy that I can buy this for around $2 a bottle in a 24 pack. One of the few good beers available in a case at an Ontario Beer Store.

Appearance: Pours dark brown with an audible early carbonation which makes it seem like the head will dissipate quickly. It does not. Head drops down to an inch thick tan with copper edges moderately quickly, then retention is very good. Still a quarter inch 5 minutes later. No lacing before the first sip, but as you drink it, significant lacing remains from the small frothy head which stays with you throughout.

Aroma: Not a strong aroma - some earthy coffee & chocolate malts.

Taste: The first sip is fantastic with a creaminess aided by the frothy head & a mouthful of malty coffee chocolate stout smoothness. Even a mild sweetness likely aided by the oatmeal. A full taste with no bitterness or dryness on the finish.

Feel: Again, this stout has a creaminess more than most which I like with only mild carbonation.

Overall: This is a fantastic oatmeal stout, my favourite stout & definitely a bargain at the price if purchased in a case.

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Photo of pkalix
4.51/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

wow. that aroma.... subtle but enticing.... sweet.... super nice. very roast-y. oats. nutty. very nice and easy to enjoy.... i didnt know it was in the 1001 beers to drink book.... almost getting some licorice in here.....

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Photo of SSS
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A-Dark brown with a moka head
S-Heavy on the malt and must. Oatmeal comes out a little
M-Lighter mouthfeel that I was expecting. Lacing minimal.
T-Sweet upfront with pronounced coffee flavours and a subtle oatmeal performance.
O-Nice beer with good characteristics...I think it was the high carbonation that didn't fit for ke

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Photo of Andrewharemza
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle, pours a pitch black colour with a good tan head that laced the glass quite well. Aroma cocoa, caramel, chocolate, coffee. Taste like the aroma with a little cream added. Not bad my friends.

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Photo of FBarber
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a thick frothy tan head that has incredible retention. At least one finger thick head stuck around until the beer was almost gone.

Smell was a simple but vibrant array of coffee, roasted malts, toasted oatmeal and chocolate.

Taste followed the nose with notes of coffee, chocolate, cocoa, toasted oatmeal, and roasted malts. Rich and decadent, one of the better oatmeal stouts I've had.

Feel was velvety and thick, Nice heaviness on the body from the oatmeal.

Overall an outstanding oatmeal stout. This is going in the regular rotation for the fall/winter months.

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Photo of Nerd_Diamond
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

473ml, 5% ABV can picked up at the local grocery store in Montreal. No bottling, or “best before” date.

Appearance: Jet black with an incredibly active mocha colored head which slowly tapers away while leaving behind some nice spotted lacework all around.

Aroma: Not incredibly aromatic, which teases you to go in for a second, and third whiff. What you find is a treat, though: roasted malts, sweet caramel, burnt toffee, cacao, hints of baking spices, gingerbread, and oatmeal.

Taste: Iced cappuccino, and burnt chocolate, accompanied by a light buttery caramel malt sweetness. Hop content is well disguised. Finishes slightly bitter, and holds its character well between sips.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Effortless drinking, and can be easily gulped with abandon!

Overall: Really enjoyable stout. I’ve yet to taste any other oatmeal stouts so I can’t properly compare it to other contemporary beers in the same style. That said, based on it’s own merit it’s harmonious with all I’ve come to expect from a delicious stout. Personally, I find the aroma on this absolutely inviting, and a pleasure to nose. Well executed on every level.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Interesting. Kind of shows Montreal's cultural mash in a brewery.
While clearly in the British brewing tradition, St-Ambroise names many of their beers in French.

While creamy with cocoa flavors, I personally would not have picked this beer to become a classic, but it is.
Listed in the "1001 Beers", but I will listen to arguments on this one.
MJ's 1999 edition awarded it 3 of 4 stars and described it as "creamy, remarkably smooth with a complexity and depth of bitter-chocolate flavours."
Maybe that's why it is a classic.

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Photo of Tommo
2.4/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Can bought in Banff canada. Pours a thin blackish beer with zero head retention. The flavor is gross, wildly astringent and does not go down smooth. Almost a metallic chemical taste. ZERO body for an oatmeal stout, thin as a lager. After seeing how popular this is maybe i got a bad can, but god this was awful. Drain pour

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Photo of hman43
4.44/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: It pours black with a dark brown head. As the head dissipates, there is a fair amount of lacing on the sides.

Smell: It has aromas of roasted grain, coffee, a cream like quality, a slight butter quality, and mild oatmeal.

Taste: It has flavors of nuts and coffee, completed with roasted grain qualities, oats, and a malty sweetness balanced towards cream.

Feel: It is creamy with a mostly full body. It has medium carbonation and a moderately bitter finish.

Overall: This is a quality example of an oatmeal stout. It has complex roasted flavors with a wonderful creamy yet moderately bitter finish.

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Photo of Brew_42
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a dense coffee-colored head.

Smells of coffee and roasted malts with a sweetness that is almost like butterscotch. Great aroma.

Taste follows the nose to a T with the coffee and chocolate giving way to a caramel/butterscotch sweetness that is by no means overpowering. Hot damn this a good beer.

A little more carbonated than most stouts. Medium bodied. If it were a little heavier it might be a near perfect stout for me.

Overall- pleasantly surprised with this phenomenal stout. Get it.

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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Typical pour yields a perfect 1.5" head from the pint size can into my pint glass. Beer is very dark with nice rubying around the edges. Head receded fairly quicky, and left a little bit of lacing at the top, but not much throughout the session.

First thing that hits my nose is diacetly (butterscotch). I haven't had an English style in a while, so while this isn't a bad thing, it wasn't exactly expected. Some roasted malts and a hint of chocolate and toffee round out the nose.

The flavor is an extraordinary balance of butterscotch, roasted malts, toffee and milk chocolate. Complex but delicious.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium-full bodied.

This is an extraordinary interpretation of an oatmeal stout. It's unfortunate to read the reviews of people who have had their palates obliterated by over bittered and over hopped American interpretations of the style. This ain't Velver Merkin, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it. Will drink much more of this.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.87/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16 oz can, no date

jet black, thick off-white head, decent head retention. mild coffee/dark chocolate notes. same with the taste - well balanced, not sweet or dry. medium bodied, easy drinking.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.81/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: clear; very dark brown- almost black; 1 finger dark tan head that receded to a very thin collar; OK lacing;

S: coffee with cream;

T: roasted grain up front; coffee with a bit of cream from the middle through the finish; mild bitterness at the end;

M: light to medium bodied; moderate to high carbonation - prickly;

O: for me, body is too light and the bitterness is too low;

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Photo of 303beer
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a black color with a massive mocha colored head about 3 inches thick it is rocky and bubbly. The nose is sweet and roasted with hints of chocolate and coffee. The taste is light roasted malt with a very smooth texture. I like it a lot.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours bright black under a 1” persistent tan foam column. S: Dark malt, light alcohol, some chocolate, some grain. T: Grainy malt, chocolate, nothing harsh or burnt, light roast, hints of coffee, some oats. F: Velvety, creamy smooth, medium full body, medium carbonation, very soft. O: A very well balanced and well made oatmeal stout.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Silky, Roasted, Sweet, Inviting

Such a beautiful looking brew, lacing alone is hard to beat. Aromas and flavors lean towards suggestions of chocolate & mild coffee with a mild silky sweetness from the oats. Very easy drinking even when the aftertaste holds onto the roasty character longer than the palate anticipates. This one may as well be a cult classic within veteran beer geek circles.

STYLE: Oatmeal Stout | ABV: 5.0% | AVAILABILITY: Year-round

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine issue #95 (DEC 2014)

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St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout from McAuslan Brewing
4.09 out of 5 based on 1,236 ratings.
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