St-Ambroise Citrouille (The Great Pumpkin Ale) | McAuslan Brewing

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St-Ambroise Citrouille (The Great Pumpkin Ale)St-Ambroise Citrouille (The Great Pumpkin Ale)

Brewed by:
McAuslan Brewing
Quebec, Canada

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Phyl21ca on 08-31-2007

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Reviews: 168 | Ratings: 388
Photo of stakem
3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. The brew appears a polished clear amber orange color with a tan cap that is quick to fade leaving spotty/patchy lacing.

The aroma includes the expected pumpkin pie spices: cinnamon and nutmeg mostly with a bit of sweetness that seems to be vanilla blending into caramel and toffee malts. A little fruity alcohol/hop inclusion is also present to break things up.

The taste has a bready grain flavor somewhat sweet like caramel/toffee with lots of pumpkin pie spicing like nutmeg, cinnamon and a bit of clove/ginger. The aftertaste is a bit toasty with fruity alcohol and a touch of herbal hops.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Quite spicey but not overdone. I is enjoyable and worth a try if you get the chance. Nicely balanced and easy drinking.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.51/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is one of my last remaining pumpkin ales from my Great Pumpkin Beer chase of 2013. What I have realized (and should have known from the jump) is that not all pumpkin beers are created equal.

Upon finishing my pour, I could only watch helplessly as the two fingers of orangish-tawny head bubbled and fizzed their way out of existence and into wispiness. Color was a deep-copper (SRM = >22, < 27) with NE-plus quality clarity. Beautiful! Nose was rich with clove, cinnamon and nutmeg, underlain by biscuit malt so that it smelled like a Christmas cookie. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but approaching it. I was a bit disappointed by the flavor, though. It did not match up to the nose in terms of its intensity, however, its balance of the spices was spot-on. Finish was dry as a result, but not gaspingly dry as with some. I would place it in the upper end of the middle part of the pumpkin beer spectrum.

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Photo of 57md
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark copper with a finger of head that dissipates rather quickly. The nose has pumpkin and very subtle seasonal spices. The pumpkin flavor comes through upfront and the body is relatively hearty for a pumpkin ale. The finish is dry and slightly tart.

This is just another middle-of-the-pack pumpkin ales. Nothing bad, but nothing particularly special here.

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Photo of TheHammer
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: A darker orange colour with solid carbonation in the body. However the complete lack of head doesn't do it a lot of favours though.

Smell: Pumpkin and spice as to be expected as nutmeg dominates the nose. A nice note of brown sugar and caramel malt however backs it up, making this interesting.

Taste: Starts with some mild spiced malt, as cinnamon and brown sugar dance across the tongue as a mild pumpkin taste makes itself known, bringing along with it a touch of nutmeg and a more malty sweetness to round it out.

Mouthfeel: Excellent transitioning, carbonation helps out the entire beer but points get deducted for the lack of head. The aftertaste is a mild pumpkin and spice taste, although it starts to get dry and clingy near the end of the beer.

Drinkability: This went down very quick, which is really a first for me with this style. On the lighter end of medium bodied which I like as well. Not as sweet as you'd expect so it's more then just a desert beer in my eyes.

Final Thoughts: Although this is a seasonal, this is a beer I wouldn't mind drinking any time of the year...well maybe not in the summer, but the point is most Pumpkin beer's I've had have been "Well, I had one, glad that seasonal is over." Give this one a shot, as it's certainly the best I've had from this style so far.

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Photo of Brad007
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mild amber color with blonde highlights and a thin head into my glass. This is not the first great pumpkin ale I've had.

Lots of nutmeg. Bread. Pumpkin pie in all.

Imagine the sweetest, crispiest pumpkin pie crust you can think of. Now, torch that. Describes the flavor.

Mouthfeel is more of the same.

It is what it is. A decent seasonal ale.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.99/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

there have been so many new (or new to Colorado) pumpkin beers this fall. it has been hard to keep up with them, although I have been working hard to do so! this one blends into the crowd just a little, by being more spice than vegetable, and by having that touch of vanilla sweetness to it that seems popular this go around, but it also stands out by being perhaps the easiest drinking, least filling, cleanest finishing, full flavored version I have come across. it pours a clear almost red orange color, rusty but bright, with an inch of relaxed tan head. a nose of clove and allspice, not heavy, but not remote either, and sweet red malt. copper and mineral flavors start, pumpkin pie spice takes the middle, and a honey vanilla complex rounds it out, before an almost lager-like quality takes over, crisping everything up and erasing the finish. its delicious, sessionable, and has all the elements of a good pumpkin ale. I think the feel makes this memorable for me. I wish it came in sixes instead of fours, but a lovely brew all up.

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Photo of hopsputin
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a: dark ruby red with hints of burnt orange. 3 finger white fizzy head that fades pretty quickly. much more red than i expected in a pumpkin beer

s: lots of spice in the nose. cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and pie crust dominate the nose. the pumpkin aroma is here too for sure, but takes a smoothly mellow backseat. it smells quite nice

t: definitely spice in here. there is a real nice blend of caramel, mild cinnamon, clove, and a a definite pie crust. then we hit the pumpkin - its a nice warming roasted pumpkin flavor here, like the gut of the pumpkin. ends with sweet maltiness. the pumpkin provides the nice background and spices help to round out the flavor. its draw back is that it could have fuller flavors, it tastes a bit thin

m: medium body, not much carbonation - but some.

o: not the best pumpkin beer out there BUT i like the mellow spices in here. i'm not a fan of the overly spiced pumpkin beers and i like how the spices play out in this one. its worth picking up

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Photo of chefhatt
3.19/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I poured this beer, it has a dark burnt orange color body to it with a fizzy head to it, that quickly lays down. The smell has a slight aroma of pumpkin and spice to it. The taste has very little pumpkin flavor and very little spice to it. The mouthfeel is very thin and overall ok

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Photo of Bitterbill
2.16/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Production date July 6, 2013.

A clear mahogany pour with +3 fingers of foam, I'll check on the lacing later. ;^) Very good lacing, I find.

The smell is pretty darned good for a pumpkin ale since it smells like pumpkin and the spices. That was what I garnered from the original whiff or 2. Now that it's been sitting in my glass for a while, the nose becomes somewhat weaker.

The taste has *some* good pumpkin ale character to it but there's a slight sourness to it that I don't think was meant to be there. Now, it is also in the smell. Okay, maybe this brew doesn't age too gracefully as it's been 3 months since being bottled. Oh well, I'm glad it's only a 4 pack.

Rather thin bodied with lightish carbonation, the mouthfeel isn't the best.

Overall, a rather big disappointment for my first try from the brewery. Edit that. I had their Oatmeal Stout and it was a big hit!

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

341 ml bottle poured into a pint glass. pack of beers picked up for $9.95 CDN.

Appearance - Shockingly this beer is pumpkin colored (sarcasm). 1 finger of head is poured, leaving quickly with no lacing. No white cap of soapy wisps left on top either. Not terribly impressive to look at but then...

Smell - Rich pumpkin pie, with whipped cream on it, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar. Smells like desert at Thanksgiving.

Taste - Quite a bit of pumpkin here which is good, the sweetness in the aforementioned pumpkin pie and brown sugar is noticeable on the front end. However there's also a soda-ish quality to the taste in the way the carbonation effects the beer. I think that a thicker and creamier beer would have elevated this from good beer to really damn good.

Mouthfeel - Good carbonation and crispness, but again the soda-ish quality makes and appearance here.

Overall - I enjoyed this more than the Great Lakes Pumpkin Ale last week, by virtue of more pumpkin smells and flavors. Definitely a seasonable offering I would offer to anyone interested in trying pumpkin beer.

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Photo of AnHeroicHippo
3.44/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass, at about 4 degrees Celsius.

Appearance – Light brown, maybe almost pumpkin-hued; no head retention to speak of; a bit of lacing.

Smell – Warm, winter spices: nutmeg, cardamom, maybe a hint of cinnamon; reminds me of pumpkins, but I'm not sure it smells like actual pumpkins – more like gingerbread.

Taste – Barely any taste at all… some mild warm spices, mostly nutmeg. Tried waiting fifteen minutes for the beer to warm, but still barely anything. Unimpressed. I remember this tasting much more last year; how odd.

Mouthfeel – Low carbonation; no taste of alcohol to speak of; a bit dry.

Overall – a bit underwhelming overall, but a perfect spice profile reminiscent of tasty pumpkin pie. (It's possible the taste was attenuated somewhat by what I was eating… will give this another try soon.)

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear dark copper with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, cola, and pumpkin pie spice aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and pumpkin pie spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a pumpkin spice presence that is done well along with the base beer.

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Photo of mtomlins
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.

A: Dark reddish copper and very clear. Pours to 1-2 fingers of bubbly head, falling fast to a thin collar and no lacing.

S: Touch of sweet malt, pumpkin spice (especially cinnamon).

T: Sweet malt but not overly, pumpkin spice and cinnamon; a touch of hops help dry out the finish.

M: Medium body and carbonation; smooth and bubbly.

O: A nice malty brew with a nice pumpkin character.

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Photo of barczar
3.46/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper brown with a beige head.

Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and clove are pungent.

Flavor echoes the aroma, but with a bit of a sour character and some nutty malt thrown in. There's a cola note to it.

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation.

Not fond of the sour character or the cola note, but it's definitely got the pumpkin thing going on.

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Photo of souvenirs
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

341ml bottle bought yesterday at the BCLS on Commercial Drive, 4x341ml for $9.95 + deposit.

A: clear and fairly dark orange-brown, minimal head, visible carbonation.
S: Pumpkin pie! Mostly the spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves?) but I do also smell the pumpkin.
T: Follows the smell. Spicy, but not overly so. Very enjoyable.

Would I buy it again? Definitely! If I can get more before it sells out, that is.

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Photo of FrostBlast
4.14/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

341mL bottle

I never mention bitterness in my reviews, my bitterness taste buds are ridiculously under-sensitive.

APPEARANCE : Reddish orange brown with no head whatsoever. Even stirring it a little doesn't build a head - it does seem to have good carbonation, though.

SMELL : First nose is strongly dominated by malt and nutmeg. Second nose somehow weakens the smells and releases a softer herbal aroma. Third nose is the same.

TASTE : Tastes follows the nose, but adds in a strong gingerbread component that's extremely pleasing. I can imagine myself drinking this beer on a cold winter evening with some typical xmas meals. The taste of this beer is definitely its strong point. I keep coming back for another sip, rolling it around in my mouth, releasing the warming spice and gingerbread aromas. Fantastic.

MOUTHFEEL : More thickness would definitely make this beer even more pleasing. This is the kind of product you want to drink after a long winter's day : you need something consistent and this doesn't quite cut it. It could definitely use more substance. Carbonation is pretty high to my taste (I mention this a lot) but a few swings around the glass and it's all good.

OVERALL : A very good, very surprising beer if you've never had it. Although I do believe I know my beers well, it was my first pumpkin ale, so I'm guessing I'll have to go around tasting more of these beers, and I might come back to the McAuslan for another review. In the meantime, this is my opinion.

I bought a 4-pack, popped one for this review, and I'll definitely keep the other 3 for cold evenings. They brew this at just the right time : before winter.

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Photo of bmwats
3.09/5  rDev -16%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint.

A: Dark amber hue. Pours a 1 finger, bubbly, white head. Dissipates quickly. No real lacing.

S: Heavy does of nutmeg and pumpkin. Nor much else.

T: Pumpkin... i guess, tea leaf, hints of fall spice. Diacetyl.

M: Slightly sweet, slightly bitter. Kind of shallow.

D: Session style.

Atmosphere is okay. Slight head, no lacing. Characteristic fall spice and pumpkin. Shallow fix of pumpkin and spice, and a little bitter tea leaf. Overall, this is a decent quaff.

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Photo of DeFaz
3.69/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

It seems that pumpkin ales with an ABV of less than 7% are often left out of the conversation (well, the same could be said for IPAs). It was nice to find a quite decent pumpkin ale with an ABV of only 5%, one that has a lot of flavor. There's a lot of cinnamon going on here, in both the smell and the taste, and it's sweet, but not overly sweet. There are other spices too, and what you're left with is a pretty hearty beer that's a little spicy and a little sweet with a moderate amount of pumpkin flavor. The carbonation seems to be a bit over the top, and this doesn't have the complexity of some of the best pumpkin ales, such as Dogfish's, but it's got enough balance to make it a pretty good choice.

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Photo of chinchill
4.06/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.5 oz. bottle, with a indecipherable coded production date on the back, but definitely 2013 vintage. Poured into a Belgian snifter.

A: Pours dark reddish-copper; very good clarity; small tan head reduces to a thin ring in about a minute. Some lacing lines continue to form.

Smell: Moderately spicy, with a well-balanced mix of cinnamon, allspice, and other 'Fall spices'. Hints of burnt sugar, vanilla and pumpkin.

T: Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice hit the tongue and indicate an over-spiced ale, but it's not. These quickly diminish and mix with some pumpkin puree and light malts. Very tasty and well balanced, considering the prominent spicing.

M: Smooth, medium-full body, with enough carbonation to impart a moderately lively feel.

Overall: One of the best pumpkin beers I can remember, including ome big, high ABV imperials. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Tuey13
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a St-Ambroise pint chalice... The color is a beautiful copper - orange with a off-white head that disappears very quickly.
Smells wonderful.. Allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves.. With a hint of breadiness as well.
Very nice on the taste... Buttery pumpkin melds perfectly with the spices to deliver a great fall experience. I love that this is low in alcohol... Can session a few while still getting a full range of flavor on the palate.
If only they were available in 6 packs instead of 4!
I'd definitely buy again!
J'aime Québec!

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Photo of frankiepop
4.49/5  rDev +22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I love pumpkin beer first of all, and this is my favorite so far out the 5 or 6 that I have sampled. This one poured into a tulip glass with a small head that dissipated rather quickly. I marked it down a half point or so for that. The color was very nice for a pumpkin brew though, almost perfect. A bit dark red-orange brown hues shine nicely,

Strong aromas of sweet pumpkin and spices emitted easily from the glass for a wondrous scent to enjoy.

The beer is mild yet strong of pumpkin. Slightly sweet and nicely spiced. This does not have the strong better spices of a southern pumpkin pie. No this is mild. Strong with cinnamon is pretty big and only light with recognizable cloves. Malty yeasty with a slight balance of hops.

The texture is the most difficult area of a pumpkin beer and this has a nice ale like balance to carbonation. Just perfect in my book. Thickish. Creamy. A tremendous advancement in the art of pumpkin ale making. Hats off to the Canadian brewers here. Well done.

I compared St-Ambroise Citrouille to Blue Moon Pumpkin beer. Head to head. I really appreciate BMs Pumpkin. Blue Moon does win the appearance with a nicer head though it lacks the darkness of St Ambroise. St. Ambroise wipes it out in the aromatic arena. No contest. Taste went to St Ambroise as a mellow ale with a lot of pumpkin though Blue Moon was close with a refreshing though lesser pumpkin flavors. Blue Moon would be a great sipper after a hard day harvesting crops. Finally Blue Moon has a extremely high carbonation that is very unique that accents the refreshing qualities. However, St A is tough competition and has a wondrous texture that is 2nd to very few. Winner St A. but BMP was quite close.

I recommend a high quality beverage like this should be only complimented by the highest of musical art forms of the region. I recommend the "musique actuelle" scene start with electronic turntable artist Martin Tétreault's cd entitled "Des pas et des mois" with Rene Lussier. Another excellent choice might be "The Frankenstein Symphony" by Francois Dhumont that he contributed on.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.5 oz. bottle, with a production date on the back but it's a code so I'm not going to bother with that. I should probably note that my bottle in Illinois is a little different than the one pictured, with the larger label reading St-Ambroise Pumpkin, and the smaller label at the bottleneck reads St-Ambroise Citrouille. Excited to try this beer, as I remember enjoying the St-Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale.

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours a dark bloody copper looking color, with a finger of tan head that disappears within a minute.

S - Fresh roasted pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice. Caramelized malts, perhaps? Smells like the typical fall spices. Some dried figs & dates creeping out as the beer warms. Burnt brown sugar.

T - Creamy and smooth. Slight carbonation tickles the tongue. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice again. Very airy and creamy pumpkin taste. Like whipped pumpkin puree. A very tasty beer.

M - Smooth and light. Very creamy texture. Slightly carbonated. I enjoy the creamy feel of the beer paired well with the slight carbonation, and I think they work well together.

Overall, it is the second nice beer I've had by McAuslan Brewing so far, and I'm looking forward to more. Definitely glad to have tried this, and I am impressed so far with what McAuslan has been putting out.

St-Ambroise Citrouille (Pumpkin Ale) ---3.5/5

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Photo of BigBry
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle dark browm with a short tan head. Foam faded but never disappeared completely, spotty lace.
Nice aromas, spices more dominant than the pumpkin itself. Taste had the same allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, flavors. Nice complexity to this one, levels of flavor keep building on top of the caramel malt base. Good body with a full mouthfeel.
Some pumpkin beers have been kind of bland, but we really liked this one's flavor.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From: Binny's, Bolingbrook, IL
Date: "H241208:08" stamped on label
Glass: Tulip

St. Ambroise's Citrouille is a surprisingly rich pumpkin ale: the malt, pumpkin, buttery diacetyl, and spice tastes are "deep" enough to make this taste and smell, at times, like an imperial pumpkin ale without the higher ethanol content. The body is somehow able to pull off feeling full as well, despite the fairly low ethanol content. This was an affordably priced pumpkin ale that also tasted rich and loaded with the flavors I tend to find appealing in a pumpkin ale: not a fizzy, watery, spicy mess. One I will look for next fall.

Pours a 1cm tall head of slightly off-white foam, composed of bubbles that are medium to large in size. Dissipation is a bit faster than average, the head lasting a minute or less. Lacing is minimal to nonexistent, a few specks and small dots scattered across the perimeter of the glass. Body is a dark copper brown, with light bringing out slightly brighter orange and pale copper hues. Carbonation is visible through the transparent body, streaming up from the center and sides of the glass.

Aroma is well-spiced with cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg, along with some bready malt-influenced sweetness that gives this a hint of cinnamon roll scent. Generally heavy on malt and spices, very much like a baked pumpkin pie.

The beer is delicious and rich, fairly full of cinnamon, nutmeg, bread, buttery diacetyl, and caramel characters, with minor notes of baked butternut squash. If the cinnamon was a bit more intense, or the squash a bit less, this could be less delicious. This year, though, St. Ambroise happened upon a solid balance among all the ingredients. Front of palate picks up strong cinnamon and nutmeg flavors, along with malty/bready sweetness, and pumpkin/squash flavors. Middle of palate brings forward greater modest caramel malt sweetness with a background of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and diacetyl, contributing a buttery maltiness that really reinforces the richness of the beer. Back of palate picks up very hearty caramel malt flavors, buttery diacetyl, warming cinnamon, and rich pumpkin/squash notes: perhaps the best part of the beer. Aftertaste of lingering sweet bread meets cinnamon and light pumpkin/squash flavor, again reminding me of faded pumpkin cinnamon rolls.

Beer is medium-bodied, with medium levels of carbonation that are a bit too much at first, but a few minutes after pouring, the beer settles to a fairly light, crisp mouthfeel with comfortable fizziness. Closes semi-dry, with some stickiness across the palate. This feels pleasant to drink, better than average, but not amazing.

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Photo of mintjellie
2.38/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Deep copper with red highlights. Thin, poorly retained head. No lace. Weak spice and cookie dough aroma. Diacetyl. Mild biscuit and pie spice flavour. Buttery. Light-bodied with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is watery thin and greasy slick. Quite disappointing.

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St-Ambroise Citrouille (The Great Pumpkin Ale) from McAuslan Brewing
3.68 out of 5 based on 388 ratings.
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