St-Ambroise 20th Anniversary Vintage Ale (2009) | McAuslan Brewing

St-Ambroise 20th Anniversary Vintage Ale (2009)St-Ambroise 20th Anniversary Vintage Ale (2009)
Liked This Beer
3.9 w/ 134 ratings
St-Ambroise 20th Anniversary Vintage Ale (2009)St-Ambroise 20th Anniversary Vintage Ale (2009)

Brewed by:
McAuslan Brewing
Quebec, Canada

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Viggo on 03-20-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 134 |  Reviews: 97
Photo of dcotom
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 11.2-ounce bottle into a snifter. Pours the color of caramel sauce. An aggressive pour yielded a thin head of off-white foam that disappeared rather quickly, leaving minimal lacing. Not much carbonation, giving it a rather flat appearance. There is a lot of complexity on the nose and palate. Aromas and flavors of light toffee, caramel, bread, prunes, and leather, with a little citrus and tannic astringence on the finish. There seemed to be a little bit of an off-flavor from oxidation as well. The alcohol is not well hidden, presenting itself prominently on the palate. Mouthfeel tends toward heavy and a little syrupy, with an intensely bitter, slightly sweet, and alcoholic aftertaste. About halfway through sampling this, I decided to pair it with some aged cheddar and pita chips to pair it with. The food mitigated the intensity of the tannins and alcohol. Overall, not bad, nothing spectacular.

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Photo of jaydoc
3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mdfb79
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From 09/01/15 notes. Shared by BeerLawyer85; thanks Ross. 2009 vintage.

Pours a reddish-brown color with one inch of off white head and low carbonation evident. Caramel malts, toffee, dark fruity malts, raisins, plums, figs, leather, oak, and toasted malts. Medium body and low carbonation, no heat.

Overall a decent barleywine; wasn't oxidized which is nice. Worth checking out but wouldn't trade too much for it.

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Photo of Greasy
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Kurmaraja
3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Past its prime by now; a bit musty and cardboardy, but feels like the remains of a very nice beer. I let this one go too long in the cellar.

140 characters

Photo of kevanb
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.5oz bottle, presented in a nicely branded cardboard tube, 2009 vintage, poured into a McAuslan chalice.

The beer pours a very murky and hazy leather brown color, burgundy and caramel hues with a soapy and thick finger of bone colored head, that recedes into a nice film around the rom of the glass leaving a few spots of lace behind. The aroma is heavily oxidized, malt, leather, tobacco, dried figs and prunes, stone fruits with brown sugar. There is definitely some semblance of the fresh beer, though there is a bit of that damp cardboard flavor that comes with oxidization. The flavors mirror of the nose, sherry wine, dried stone fruits, tobacco and leather, brown sugar, molasses and again, damp cardboard. The mouthfeel is still very good, coating, smooth, a little zippy from the carbonation and finishes quite easily.

Verdict: Well, it's obvious that this vintage is well past its prime, but there is plenty of evidence that when fresh, this beer has a lot to offer. For the price I found it, $6.99 for the bottle, it was easy to justify taking a chance on what could've been a nicely aged barleywine and this tells me that should I encounter this beer fresh, it's very much worth buying.

 1,204 characters

Photo of WesM63
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Beersnake1
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TheBeerTruck
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of R_Kole
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of Tommy9898
3.16/5  rDev -19%

Photo of alex_hart
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of PrendUnVerreDeBiere
3.64/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Maillard
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of kdahnke123
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.54/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(purchased at Binny's on Marcey - carefully poured into a tulip)

A: a fucking twist-off?! seriously?... poured out, lil bubbles on the lip of the bottle... dark, rose-tinted amber liquid... pretty cloudy/hazy... short rise of foam that sinks back into a very thin collar

S: the smell shot out of the bottle as soon as the cap was removed... old yeast dregs, plum wine... a touch of caramel in the far back... the kind of oxidized, broken-down alcohol sweetened malt character I often get with Hitachino Nest bottles... hint of the smoky phenolics associated with Scottish ales

T: mellow flash of acetic acid, pushed along by a port wine-tinged, citrusy booze, all whooshed away with a long, lightly-luscious caramel, mildly chocolaty malty finish... kind of a pyramid or kiss-shaped flavor-stacking - the fat, dull, dumpy malt base tapering lemon-acidy inward up into a acid-bitter crest

M: thickish, medium-full body holds up front, but is immediately held back upon passing the middle of the palate, attenuated out by the back rush of a soft-burning booze

O: kind of reminds me of older, shelf-dusty bottles of strong English ales... this one was pretty oxidized - in an unfortunate transitional stage? soy sauce on the horizon?... not really bad, but would've been nice to have some Stilton or anything creamy and funky to pair (and temper) it with

 1,356 characters

Photo of dgilks
4.39/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clear mahogany colour with a smooth, light tan head.

Rich, dark malt. Smooth. Ester. Aged alcohol.

Sharp alcohol with bits of melanoidiny malt. Sweet. Complex.

Medium body with moderate carbonation.

Really solid. Great flavour and complexity.

 250 characters

Photo of DangerDawg
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of kjyost
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Belgian tulip.

On the pour, a finger thick head is produced and sticky lacing hits the side of the glass. The beer is cloudy and unfiltered and there is some residue at the bottom. Color-wise, the beer is copper brown and mostly opaque.

My nose detects sweet malt, raisins, spicy hops, bread, and port or sherry. These same notes carry into the flavor, as the beer tastes raisiny, slightly spiced up and boozy, and port, vanilla and oak work around my tongue.

The booze is there and gives a slight burn, but it is not overbearing, as is the spiciness from the hops. The beer is moderately carbonated and thus feels somewhat light, although it is still creamy and has a good mouthfeel.

I'm glad I tried this beer and feel it's a good representation of an English barleywine. It's somewhat intense to drink, but there's plenty to enjoy, especially as the beer warms up.

 904 characters

Photo of sweemzander
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a cloudy mahogany brown color. Some minimal white froth.

(S)- A rich leathery caramel aroma. Slight hints at oxidation meets toffee and fig. Ever so slight fruity esters.

(T)- Plenty more oxidation than the smell led on. It is met with plenty of sweet caramel and leathery dryness at the same time.

(M)- A smooth yet mellow carbonation level meets a leathery rich sweetness overall. Might be a bit too oxidized at the stage, but still quite enjoyable.

(O)- Definitely a solid english style barleywine that might be a bit too old at this point, though an important note is why use twist off caps for a beer like this? It might also explain the bigger levels of oxidation in this. Either way it is still enjoyable but not getting any better age-wise at this point.

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Photo of stakem
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Kegatron for splitting this 12oz bottle with me. Poured into a snifter, the brew appears a clear copper color with a scant head. A thin off-white cap rests atop with spotty lace sticking to the glass.

The aroma contains notes of raisons; fruity to floral with alcohol. Some bready grain character rests underneath with a mild hint of oxidation.

The tastes includes some raison-like fruity booze that blends into something more floral. A bit bready with malt and light cardboard oxidation is noticed across the bak like the aroma simuggeated. The booze character is slightly solvent but integrated well.

This is a medium to fuller bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. It is a and boozy sipper that shows a little bit of it's age but it is still quite enjoyable. Thanks for sharing Heath.

 809 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of harpus
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

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St-Ambroise 20th Anniversary Vintage Ale (2009) from McAuslan Brewing
Beer rating: 73.1% out of 100 with 134 ratings
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