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St-Ambroise Framboise | McAuslan Brewing

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St-Ambroise FramboiseSt-Ambroise Framboise
96 Ratings
St-Ambroise FramboiseSt-Ambroise Framboise

Brewed by:
McAuslan Brewing
Quebec, Canada

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Made with carefully selected fresh raspberries and top-quality sun-ripened hops, St-Ambroise Raspberry Ale is the perfect thirst quencher for sundrenched summer days. If its glorious red hues don’t woo you, it’ll win your heart with its delicate fruitiness and crisp hoppiness -quintessential St-Ambroise.

25 IBU

Added by Beersignal on 06-13-2006

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 96 |  Reviews: 42
Reviews by thehyperduck:
Photo of thehyperduck
3.81/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

341 mL bottle from the LCBO (via the brewery's summer sampler); best before Jan 31 2013. Raspberry fruit beers tend to sit well with me compared to most other fruit-infused offerings, so this is one I've been looking forward to since I picked up the pack.

Pours an opaque, muddy, reddish-brown colour, with bright crimson highlights under the light. The pour generates nearly two fingers of billowing, puffy off-white head at the surface, which retains itself impressively well for a fruit beer. It takes over five minutes to fully die down to a smooth, creamy cap, coating the glass with a layer of sticky lacing. Intense, tart aroma with plenty of floral, juicy raspberry character. Some leafy hop notes are buried beneath this, but picking anything else out of the avalanche of raspberry jam character is a challenge. As a fan of the fruit I am not inclined to complain, but objectively it just seems a bit... one-dimensional.

Fortunately that theme does not completely carry through into the character - there's a lot of raspberry obviously, but it'd be hard to mistake this for a cooler because it does have a few beer-like traits. Primarily the bready malts that keep the sweet/tartness of the berries in check. A slightly earthy hop presence creeps forward toward the finish, mingling with raspberry tartness. Fairly light-bodied, although the fruit juice thickens it up a bit and gives it a slick mouthfeel. The relatively mild carbonation contributes to the smoothness of this brew.

I like this stuff, but I must keep my personal biases in check here. As much as I love the raspberry flavour (which is not at all artificial or cloying), this just isn't an especially well-balanced fruit beer. The malt backbone is weak and the hop presence isn't much better, so if you aren't gung-ho about raspberry beer to begin with, this probably isn't something I'd be in a hurry to recommend. That being said, I'd certainly drink it again.

Final Grade: 3.81, a B+. St-Ambroise Framboise isn't mind-blowing, but if you're looking for a highly drinkable raspberry-flavoured beer for the summer months, I can't think of any other domestic examples I would prefer over this. I would rank it ahead of Amsterdam's KLB Raspberry for sure. From an objective standpoint, their Apricot Wheat Ale (also in this sampler) is a better beer - but as a raspberry guy, I'd probably choose this first anyway. Flawed, but still superior to a lot of Ontario-made fruit beers. Unless you have an irrational hatred of the fruit, I'd say give this one a whirl.

 2,540 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle from a St. Ambroise summer mixed pack. I'm a sucker for raspberry brews, so keep that in mind with my review.

Poured into a short nonic. Deep burgundy-pink in colour, with an off-white/pink head that has some stellar retention. Sheets of icicle lacing along the sides.

Nose is raspberry jam, citrus, candied fruit, a touch of ale malt. Again, I love me some raspberry, so this is working for me.

Flavourful brew. The raspberry is a little artificial, but it is still tasty and a strong presence in this brew. The sweetness of the raspberry is kept in check with fruit tartness and a touch of hop bitterness. Lighter bodied, thin but assertive carbonation. Tart on the tongue.

Nice raspberry brew, certainly doesn't hold back in the raspberry front, but has some balance. Not an everyday thing, but certainly worth a go.

 841 characters

Photo of chickenm
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of biboergosum
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

341ml bottle. Just uttering this offering's name is akin to a barrel of monkeys' worth of fun.

This beer pours a more than hazy, dark red brick colour, with three rising fingers of thickly foamy, chunky, and billowy pale pink head, which renders some fairly consistent hanging mothballed curtain lace around the glass in its well-paced retreat.

It smells of sweet cooked raspberry slurry, pastry-esque pale and caramel malt, and lightly bitter earthy hops. The taste kicks off with a slightly sour raspberry fruitiness, to go with some generically bitter musty hops, all over a lightly bready, cereal and caramelized malt.

The carbonation is soft, but still noticeable in its sedate frothiness, the body light, any weight seemingly derived from a fruity origin, as the blandly bitter character detracts from any perceivable smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the tart, herbal raspberry edginess still heady enough to challenge the duly lingering pastry malt sweetness.

After the initial (relatively) expected raspberry goodness, this just went slowly downhill, to a point. An unbalanced fruit ale, that much is evident, as the raspberry fruitiness seems otherwise affected by a less than agreeable supporting cast. A somewhat disappointing splurge of my summer beer dollars.

 1,278 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A fruity aroma in a mildly purple colour, nice soapy head, fresh from Montreal. A blond like characteristic, injected with the raspberry puree, not quite natural berries added right in but also not too synthetic. Medium plus mouthfeel. Nice summer beverage.

 257 characters

Photo of CanuckRover
3.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great cardboard cylindrical packaging, nice to see the effort.

Beer is an opaque, muddy, red. Looks sort of like a thin smoothie.

Raspberries obviously make up most of the aroma. Some malt adds a different, less fruity, sort of sweetness, very nice.

It's well balanced. Raspberries are strongest but the malt and hops work in the background rather well. Hops lend a little bit of bitterness to counter the tartness of the fruit and some dryness in the finish.

Mouth feel is fairly thick with moderate carbonation, again I can't stop thinking of a smoothie.

Not sure it's my favourite style, and I don't enjoy it more than a good Belgian lambic, but the combination of the fruity sourness and the bitterness from an ale is pretty nice. Would have again.

 761 characters

Photo of Tommy9898
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of beerboy21
3.87/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - murky raspberry red purple, fluffy pink head dissipated slowly with respectable lacing
S - strong grainy aroma, very subtle hint of candied fruit, light leafy greens
T - tangy sweet raspberry, buttery bread malt, grassy and slightly metallic hop note
M - solid carbonation kick that smooths out to a creamy sweet finish
O - it is not over the top fruity like many fruit beers often do which is a plus, while the raspberry flavour comes through nicely the other beer flavours are just a little light, but overall a good effort worth a purchase

 546 characters

Photo of eat
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark ruby-copper in colour and translucent with a thin cover of off-white, slightly pink-tinged head. Some lacing.

The nose is of iron, yeast, dark malt, bitter raspberry. To me it smells something like a sweet brown ale with a hint of raspberry. I was expecting a lot more raspberry presence than this.

There's a ton more raspberry in the flavour. Much like their Apricot brew, the fruit here isn't overdone and the beer is pretty well-balanced. Raspberry comes out first (real raspberry flavour, not artificial-tasting at all), followed with lightly roasted malt and bitter hops which blend into the raspberry bitterness. A fairly simple beer, featuring it's chosen fruit well.

Lightly-carbonated medium body. Alright but not a standout.

After trying the majority of McCauslan's St. Ambroise brews, this is actually pretty much what I was expecting this one to taste like. A solid amount of real raspberry flavour as part of a drinkable well-balanced beer. I'm not a fan of fruit beers but wouldn't turn down any such offering from McCauslan. They know their stuff.

 1,075 characters

Photo of ChrisCage
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.44/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark red with a large, pink-tinged moussey head.
Lots of raspberry presents itself in the aroma, somewhat artificial smelling like raspberry lollies. Which is pretty nice really. Also some caramel and cookie dough-like malt.
Flavours are also quite sweet, raspberry at the forefront of course, with some metallic notes showing later. Not much else is noticeable, the high carbonation seems to hide any other aspects.

 422 characters

Photo of Rutager
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance. Deep amber-brown with a hint of blue, a little hazy and a finger of light pinkish-beige head.

Smell. Rasberry juice from a box, light toasty grains, a little alcohol and grassy hops.

Taste. Tangy rasberry juice, some dry toasty grains and just a little bitter hops.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall. Not a really fresh rasberry taste, but still pleasant and tangy. Decent fruit beer.

 422 characters

Photo of rugene
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep red ale with a medium bubbly slightly pink head with average retention. Aroma of real raspberry is pretty enticing while not being overly sweet. Taste is quite interesting with some real raspberry presence that is noticeable with some sweetness but not overly or disgustingly sweet. Malt presence is a bit low and bodies a tad too watery for my own liking. Lacks some complexity to make this truly wonderful but very good try nonetheless.

 460 characters

Photo of WillAndSarah
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of irishkyle21
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another solid offering from McAuslan. Framboise pours a hazy purplish color. The light pink head has average retention and lacing.

The nose is laid back at first but a couple of swirls in my snifter glass and it livens up. Lots of fresh sweet and sour raspberries, toffee like malt.

Tastes of berries, light hoppiness, sweet malt and a dry sour ( not Lambic sour) finish. This would be a great beer to have with brunch.

 421 characters

Photo of Mlkluther
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of CurtisD
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of DaveR514
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of lesdemonsamaporte
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of papat444
2.99/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 341ml. bottle, best before Jan. 31, 2011.

Appearance: Thick, creamy head with a body the color of dark raspberries. The body is slightly clear and the color is reflected in the head. Very nice looking.

Smell: Fermented or overripe raspberries. Certainly smells strong though it's not how i like my raspberries.

Taste: Strong fruit taste. Again with the overripe raspberries. Very malt-like but lacks the sweetness i expect.

Mouthfeel: Robust body but not enough balance. Hardly any raspberry sweetness to speak of.

Drinkability: Not bad and it quenches the thirst though i don't think i'll seek it again.

Overall: I did a test and picked some raspberries from my bush that were in various stages of ripeness. Doesn't come close IMO. This beer certainly tastes like fruit but i find it misses the mark when compared to the real thing.

 853 characters

Photo of Beer-Fetish
4.75/5  rDev +30.9%

Photo of maxraymond
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of spinrsx
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

341ml bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - pours a slightly cloudy dark red/brown colour with a massive foamy/fizzy off white head. I can't see much carbonation, and there seems to be some great lacing. The head was gone quickly.

Smell - Raspberries! And some slight hops, malts, and lots of sweetness.

Taste & Mouth - Of course, a very sweet raspberry taste. The sweetness turns to bitterness and there is a nice bitter sweet dry finish. The beer comes across as slightly watery, but this might be a good thing given the sweetness of the beer.

Drink - Well, this is not my sort of thing.. but I had to try it at least once. I can see how this beer might be appealing to some and might pair well with desserts

 721 characters

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St-Ambroise Framboise from McAuslan Brewing
Beer rating: 3.63 out of 5 with 96 ratings
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