St-Ambroise Scotch Ale | McAuslan Brewing

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St-Ambroise Scotch AleSt-Ambroise Scotch Ale

Brewed by:
McAuslan Brewing
Quebec, Canada

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly known as McAuslan Scotch Ale

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-25-2002

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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 139
Photo of oakbluff
2.95/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle- vintage- not sure, likely 2007. Appearance- dark chestnut with reasonable clarity. Not much head, think ring of lacing. Nose- musty toasty malts, mineral like. Taste- initial flavour is booze, then dark fruit, vanilla, butter.Tthin bodied with a maple sugar like finish. Drinkability is ok.

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Photo of cratez
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

341ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance: slightly hazed cinnamon brown body with a thin tan head. Sticky beige lacing covers the glass while drinking.

Smell: alcohol, ripe pit fruit, and caramel. At first the booze comes on a little too strong, later it mellows out.

Taste: sweet malt, sherry, prunes, and warming alcohol. Nicely balanced sweetness in the aftertaste.

Contrary to what the label says, I do not detect any traces of vanilla or butterscotch.

Mouthfeel: smooth and crisp, almost refreshing for a scotch ale.

Drinkability: considering the high alcohol content, this is surprisingly drinkable. I was expecting it to be much more of a sipper, but I could probably drink a few of these. There's a pleasant mix of fruit, malt, and sherry in the smell and taste. Well done, McAuslan.

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Photo of AlexF
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark beer with little head. Quite persistant however. Some minimal lacing. Looks like a super dense beer!

Sugary smell, molasse and caramel. Again, looks dense.

I'm a bit deceived by the taste. I expected an intense malty taste... but it's a bit watered down. Overall, an interesting taste with hints of coffee and a Werther's Original finish with a bit of warmth. Doesn't hide well its alcohol content despite a not-so-high abv.

A good scotch ale, but I'm not super impressed!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from Viggo courtesy of Birthday Club 2, so a big Thank You goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of vanilla, butterscotch, fruit, caramel, malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty and very sweet with flavors of vanilla, apples, raisins, butterscotch caramel. There's a mild but complimentary hops presence and is enough to bring a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not as filling as most in the style, good kick, nice representation of style, this is a nice beer to drink for a while if you're in the mood for the style.

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Photo of Crosling
2.64/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Dark bronze color. Filmy, layered head of foam. Aroma shows a touch of maple, peat, caramel and toast, with a touch of oxidation. Flavor shows a lot of oxidation. Some toast, sweet malts, maple, sherry and cardboard. I don't care for it.

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Photo of MMansfield
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought bottle at NSLC.

Appearance: Pours cola brown with a thin tanned cap, lasts quite a while.

Aroma: Dark fruit, raisins, vanilla, butterscotch, smokiness seems to have faded from this sample. A little bit of tropical fruit in there too as well as some fusil alcohol.

Taste: Fruity and salty. Smoke comes through in the finish, quite high bitterness and also very astringent. Keeps getting better as the drink goes on.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, smooth mouthfeel. Drinkability medium.

Final Statement: Not the greatest scotch ale, but a very good beer. Nice packaging as well.

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Photo of Mandrake
4.04/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with red highlights and big bubbles clinging to the sides of my glass. A little bit too coke-like, but the head is thick and lasting enough to belay those suspicions. Same colour though, but it leaves good lacing nonetheless. Smell is dark and smoky, with lots of peat and strong malts. Burnt caramel and raisins as well. Taste is a bit astringent and salty, but in the way that a Highland single malt is, and it's actually quite interesting. More fruitiness on the palate, and strong peat again. Mouthfeel has plenty of body, but loses its carbonation quickly and isn't as warming as I'd hoped for, and drinkability is solid but not exceptional. Nice example of the style, I quite like it.

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Photo of JanM
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a bottle of MacAuslan in a Swedish-Canadian beer trade. Can't say I was impressed when it poured in a hazy Coke brown. There was thin but dense layer of foam. The smell was alright with notes of caramel, fruit and some spices. It actually tasted a bit like Coke too, but even sweeter and more syrupy. There was a slight sourness as well. I guess it was OK for a Scottish ale but too much alcohol for my taste.

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Photo of Derek
3.27/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best before D057.

A: Copper-brown, tan head, very little retention,initial hint of leg/lace.

S: Bubble-gum fruity esters, earthy minerals, dark fruit, dark caramel & alcohol.

T: Quite fruity (tropical & dark fruit); assertive alcohol; good bitterness, vanilla, caramel and light mineral flavours.

M: Moderate body is well-attenuated, but dry for the style.

D: Alcohol is a little harsh.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

5 dollars for a 341 ml bottles is a little steep, even with the cool cardboard tube it comes in. I would never pass up a new McAuslan beer, but still.

It pours a deep cherry color with mahogany hints. The head is creamy and tan. It has modest retention but leaves plenty of lace webs behind. The aroma is malty and nutty with a nice rum cake feel. Masses of malt flavor bursts forth on the first gulp. Caramel drizzled dough is noticeable. Over ripe fruit - berries, melon and orange - are abundant. Some earthy hop flavor is discernable way in the background. The mouthfeel is heavy and lightly carbonated, with a whisp of cloyingness. The finish is sweet, and boozey, though the 7.2 isnt too prominent.

This is a sturdy Scotch Ale. Its definitely worth seeking out if you like malty beers. Im aging a bottle, I bet it will develop well.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear dark copper with a thick, but not particularly solid head.

S - Very malty with some touches of fruitiness.

T - Very sweet with lots of fruit. Raisins and prunes come to mind. Also some cloying honey tones and molasses. Bitterness is very mind and mostly in the aftertaste.

M - Thick and rich. Not overly carbonated. Kinda sits real heavy in my stomach.

D - Definitely not the right season to be having this one. More objectively, lots of flavour but not sessionable. Definitely worth trying, but not something I'd go to often.

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Photo of irishkyle21
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice deep dark brownish purple. Decant head but little stamina, some very nice lacing though. Smells of dark fruits, molasses alcohol. The taste is pretty much like the smell with more of a alcohol bite to it and some chocolate in there as well. A very nice warming beer better for fall/ winter (IMO).

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Photo of pootz
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2006 edition Sampled 07/06/07

Needs aging is my recommendation on this one...decent enough nut needs aging to remove some sharp corners from demerara and alcohol.

Decent look to it...deep brown with amber highlights....aroma is there with the caramel but missing the smoke we expect in a wee heavy...aroma is dominated with adjunct sugars and fusil alcohol.

Taste is decent enough but the alcohol is poorley hiddem...nice hop bite but this is not in the wee heavy tradtion....I'm sure this will mellow into a drnkable wee heavy in a few years but as it is now it is too thin on malys and too high in sugars to interest me further...not the best scotch wee heavy out there.

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Photo of mrmanning
3.1/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Totally forgot this in my notes from a few months ago. Bottle from Turg. Pours liquid rust, with a thin and still coating beige foam. Aromas are woody, caramel, spicy. Tastes pretty one sided with mostly caramalized sugars and a touch of smoke/wood. Finishes slightly watery. Glad I got to try it, but the price is prohibitive at around $7.99 a bottle. Thanks Frcncois!

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Photo of JOaikido
3.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A somewhat pricey bottle I bought a week ago and finally am getting the chance to enjoy.

A- Foamy beige head. Colour dark red brown with highlights of purple and amber.

S- Milder than expected. Very faint caramel and cherries. Alcohol.

T- Slightly strong flavour of alcohol. Slightly sweet, which I like. Feels almost like a good wine. Flavour of berries and cherries come through. I feel it has a good balance between bitter and sweet.

MF- Creamy, thick, smooth. Slight bite from the carbonation, especially at first. This improves as it sits.

D- A beer to slowly savour on a quiet evening. Loses a few marks for the overall feel of high alcohol (seems somewhat out of proportion with the actual alcohol content).

Overall I really enjoyed this beer, but I wouldn't buy it regularly unless it came down in price.

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Photo of weeare138
3.47/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hopdog for this...
Appears a transparent mahogany with a mild white head that quickly fades. No lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of toffee, caramel, peat, hints of vanilla, and mild traces of fruit.
Taste is of toffee, and light caramel.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation and a caramel sweetness lingering.

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Photo of DrJay
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mostly clear, reddish brown beer topped by a dense tan head. Good retention and some spotty lacing throughout. Malty aroma with plenty of caramel, but there are some fruity esters in there along with some green, grassy hops. Mild bitterness with a bit of hop flavour and a decent malt backbone. Some fruit here as well, but it finished fairly clean with only a bit of lingering toffee. Medium to full body. The carbonation is a little on the high side, but it was well-integrated and contributed to a fairly creamy texture. A decent scotch ale from McAuslan.

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Photo of Viggo
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden amber, some orange, small soapy head, very fine bubbles, nice retention and some spotty lace. Smell is nice and malty, some peat, caramel, molasses, alcohol. Taste is lots of toffee, some honey/molasses, little bit of peat and alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with medium carbonation, warming. Thought carbonation was too high but a neat treat nonetheless, thanks DrJay!

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Photo of Sammy
3.51/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Nice head w/soap bubbles..not much aroma bleachy..alcholicy and Dark color. Well carbonated, Full mouthfeel Enoz salts. Marginally harsh.
Fruity esthers. Slight chocoloate malt and peatiness. Good ideas that just didn't work out. Thanks Dr. Jay and Pierro.

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Photo of Goldorak
2.18/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Fairly expensive bottle at around 7 bucks a 12 oz with the cardboard sleeve. This one was courtesy of Beersignal, who got it straight from the brewery after getting a bad bottle and called to notify them.

Appearance: Tiny columns of bubbles rising slowly through a sherry-like red ale. The head died off almost instantly and barely left any lace at all, even after considersble swirling.

Smell: Boozy nose, but with a strange atringency that reminded me of those first batches of homebrew kits I made. The vapors were some kind of weird fusel alcohol, not unlike acetonitrile.

Taste: Felt a little too tingly on my tongue, it had a bit of peated malt flavor but felt mostly oxidized. Yet another bad bottle? The two other previous times I've sampled this were worse than this, but still the alcoholic vapors would just hand around my throat and simply would not go down well.

This really sucks, because I'm usually a big fan of this brewery, and the old version of this Beer was probably the best example of the style I've ever had.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear dark brown color ale with a big head with limited retention. Aroma with hints of smoke and sweet malt. Taste is lighter then expected with some sweet malt and a light bitter finish. Body is defiantly too thin for the style and IMHO carbonation is too high for the style. Quite deceiving and not even close to my recollection of the original beer that was brewed years ago.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown hue with a small head. This is probably 2 years old or so though so I didn't expect much head. Aroma is fairly typical to the style. Quite sweet full on the malt, caramelic with vanilla undertones and good earthy peat notes. More of the same in mouth with a restrained alcohol feel. A rounder body would make it a top example, but as it stands now, it's just a pleasant and well-made beer. Still in decent shape and just a slight hint of acidity indicates this is certainly not going to improve anymore. RIP.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.67/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A slightly hazy, deep-auburn body is topped by a short, creamy, ivory colored head that dissipates shortly but keeps a decent collar throughout the glass. The aroma is outstanding; richly malty with notes of caramel, toffee, dark fruits (plum), and a mild cocoa. The firm body is enhanced by a creamy mouthfeel from a very fine, low level carbonation that leaves it supple and smooth on the tongue! The flavor is also enhanced by the gentle carbonation, accentuating the rich caramel & toffee, light chocolate, and soft, mild fruitiness of the malt. The hop bitterness plays only a supporting role and it finishes semi-dry with a lingering dark chocolate note, some fruitiness, and some swirling notes of alcohol that eventually fade but give rise to a soft note of vanilla and some mild nuttiness. Quite complex. Best mulled over at cellar temperature. Well worth seeking out.

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Photo of the42ndtourist
4.8/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The colour's a deep garnet - Brownish in the middle with ruby on the edges, about an inch of head off a good pour. Aroma is sweet and enticing. In the mouth, I get all the trademarks of the style: bubblegum chewiness, caramel malt flavours, a slight hoppy finish. And it's all put together so well... Mouthfeel is slightly prickly from the carbonation.
Another excellent brew from McAuslan.

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Photo of oqnid
4.58/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a beer that you must respect!!!
I've tried it in bottle and liked it but on's an entirely different experience. Although very sweet, this toffy-like beer is very enjoyable. Impressive look, a very dark ruby red finish, impressive head, foam stays with you until your done, overall well rounded beer with a presence you won't soon forget. The smell of alcohol numbs your nostrils.
Faithful to it's style, this brew has the potential to knock you off your feet (litterally) if you abuse. This should be on every Scottish-style lover's lists.
To be enjoyed a couple of pints at a time, even on draught, this is a high ABV beer and because of it's heavy, malty, aromatic, very intense flavor, after 2-3 you tend to "overload" your palate and only the alcohol taste and smell will accompany you 'til the bottom of your glass.
Hats off to McAuslan's for this one!

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St-Ambroise Scotch Ale from McAuslan Brewing
3.71 out of 5 based on 139 ratings.
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