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St.Ambroise Vintage Ale Millésimée 2011 | McAuslan Brewing

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St.Ambroise Vintage Ale Millésimée 2011St.Ambroise Vintage Ale Millésimée 2011
Very Good
40 Ratings
St.Ambroise Vintage Ale Millésimée 2011St.Ambroise Vintage Ale Millésimée 2011

Brewed by:
McAuslan Brewing
Quebec, Canada

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by leaddog on 12-17-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 40 |  Reviews: 16
Reviews by Agent1:
Photo of Agent1
3.03/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Although we all may be jumping the gun at this point, I still wanted to try this "vintage ale" after stumbling into it at my local store. To my surprise, I had no idea St. Ambroise had released this. Now, most Barley Wines need some time to age, but I was too anxious to see how this stacked up to Half Pint's Burleywine -- another Canadian-made beer.

Appearance - Poor head retention. Not a whole lot to look at here. The color is a nice, rich amber. This ale appears to be filtered, yet according to their website, it is not. Not a very active beer.

Smell - A hint of barley coming through on the nose. Maybe a little bit of brown sugar, toffee and an odd characteristic similar to plastic (Goldings hops?). This hoppiness is rather faint on the nose. A little too much alcohol is preset here. Not the greatest aroma I've experienced to date for a Barley Wine. A little too bland for me, personally.

Taste - Much too sugary. Keeping in mind that this is a Barley Wine and it most likely needs to age, at this point, it seems to currently be unbalanced and out of check. I would be much more interested in opening this beer anywhere from three to four years from now. Oak, toffee, caramel, Goldings hops are noticeable in the taste (not so much on the nose), very sweet malts, a little bit of bread, barley and other subtle classic ingredients to your standard Barley Wine. Much too boozy for me and it distracts from everything else.

Mouthfeel - Hits you hard on the back on the mouth, near the throat. Also along the top of the mouth. Again, the alcohol is much too prevalent. It really cuts through. This needs some time to age.

Overall - This is much too unbalanced for me at this point. Like most Barley Wines, maybe a year from now (or even two or three) this beer could become more complex and remain just as sweet, but in a good way. Other flavors need time to mature. Some people may find this vintage ale drinkable at this point in time, but for me personally, this is WAY to sugary and has too much alcohol cutting through. It needs time to ferment. That being said, it got me fucking hammered by the end and I still may go out and purchase another bottle to age for quite a while. Not a bad Barley Wine by any stretch! Just not the best.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of R_Kole
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of boogerisu
3.44/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage. Can definitely taste the toffee but pretty bland after that

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Photo of chickenm
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of DFlynn
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Photo of Brenden
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

About amber in color, perhaps just a shade darker, this beer is essentially opaque due to a mild cloudiness combined with its darkness. The head is a foamy but pretty tight half finger, tan in color, with good retention. Lacing is somewhat more than moderate in quantity and mostly patchy.
This is a pretty big barleywine, definitely of the English tradition, malty and strong. It's got lots of sweetness all the way through with notes of caramel and toffee, some dark fruits coming through as well but heavier on the creamier and more sugary stuff than many. Smoky brown sugar comes in there, too, and it's pretty heavy on the booziness without being completely overdone. The booze shows up more in the flavor, but it's noticeable on the nose to begin it. It has a mineral quality and a light earthiness, neither prominent nor heavy, just enough to get an idea of the malts used along with their somewhat bready quality. It does have a hoppy note to it, too, mostly floral and leafy to go with all the malts. Underlying all the way, and by no means a minor contribution, is a bite of spiciness both partly peppery and somewhat like allspice.
The body was pretty big, rolling smoothly without thinning too much, and with enough crispness to be lively and active. It doesn't go too slick or sweet, some dryness evening it out on the palate.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle, packaged in a simple, stylish cardboard tube. And only six bucks for a vintage ale from so psychologically far away? Tres bien! Into my souvenir Dieu du Ciel glass, then.

This beer pours a frosted window, dark orange amber hue, with two fingers of tight, foamy, and somewhat creamy pale beige head, which maintains stubborn retention as it slowly creeps down the side of the glass, leaving some puffy swathes of splattered lace in its trail.

The aroma, after a few nods toward letting things warm up a bit, is complex caramel toffee malt, sweet sugary candy, some zingy, kind of herbal hops, and an iota of edgy booze. On the tongue, I get some nice sharp caramel, a smidgeon of breadiness, mild fruity holiday spice, herbal, leafy hops, and a subtle, loosely metallic alcohol warming. Fairly on the nose old ale tendencies, for sure, and good ones at that.

The bubbles are quite restrained, permeating the palate in their background support role only, the body a solid, hefty medium weight, and decently smooth amongst the throttled acrid booze. It finishes with a reminder of the caramel that pays the bills, level in its sweetness, 'dry', even, especially in light of the lingering noble hops and still lowly simmering alcohol.

A satisfying vintage (re: 'old') ale, with definite old world barleywine crossover characteristics - the booze, though, seems ahead of its time. Fuddy-duddery aside, this is just peachy for sipping, with the temperature finally moving to seasonal mercury levels, and the snow seeming to surpass its anemic fervor of late.

 1,570 characters

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - hazy reddish bronze, thumb of tan head retained well leaving consistent lacing
S - butterscotch and brown sugar, light herbal, and a hint of alcohol, all soft and subtle
T - big hits of butterscotch candy, pepper and light herbs, mildly fruity, with gentle alcohol sweetness
M - medium body, very creamy smooth, gentle bitter and drying alcohol, this is dangerously easy to drink
O - outstanding in its balance and complex flavour and super drinkability, you will forget this is a big ass barley wine and you'll be buzzed before you know it

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Photo of AirborneBeer
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of ThinkAgain
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of EzraAtom
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of CookstLiquor
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice rich copper brown colour, with minimal beige head. Has all the delicious aromas in the nice that you might expect from the style--dark fruit, sweet malts. On the palate there's a pleasant booziness along with the dark fruit and even a touch of dry sherry notes. Barely any hops detectable. This is all about the malt. Would be a great post-meal sipper. Split the bottle with a friend.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 341 ml brown bottle, came in a cylinder canister. Pours out a hazed yet brilliant deep amber hue, short tight creamy off-white head that retains.

Sweet toffee in the aroma, spikes of tropical fruit, spicy yeast, dry grains, bready malt, mild chocolate, dried apricot, leafy green hops.

The malt up front in the flavour has a rich, cake-like character, toffee and spice, finishing with dry leafy hops, with a warming alcohol that lingers on the palate and in the throat on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is full although on the lighter side of that spectrum, full creamy velvety texture, low carbonation.

Very enjoyable English Barleywine, it manages to stay within the parameters of the style yet is not toned down. Aroma is more complex than the flavour, however the flavour still delivers a solid enjoyable experience. I'll be picking up more while it's still available.

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Photo of pin
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of papat444
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 341 ml. bottle into, you guessed it, my St-Ambroise Millésimée 2006 snifter.

Appearance: A semi clear amber-copper body, kind of like cognac but with less brown. Big thick foam (light tan) and good retention.

Smell: Fruits and some spices. Not as strong as previous versions.

Taste: Cloves, herbs, bit of dark fruits and raisins. A nice balance between the sweetness and the spices with neither or taking dominance.

Mouthfeel: Spice bitterness (restrained) with a bit of chewy texture to it.

Overall: I liked it and it was better than i expected when compared to the others. The 2009 was my favorite but this one is a close second.

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Photo of LampertLand
3.45/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

St.Ambroise Vintage Ale Millesimee "2011 Edition" @ 10% , a 341 ml bottle of English Barleywine served into a oversized wine glass
A-pours a deep orange , bit cloudy because of being unfiltered , small off white head leaving no lacing along the glass
S-strong floral/herbal fermentation
T-candied fruit dominates from the start followed by resiny hops leading to a crisp dry finish
MF-low carbonation with a strong medicine like aftertaste , could be the 10% ABV (?)
Ov-this beer needs to be cellared to mellow the alcohal perhaps , but it won't happen in my cellar , this beer is well made just not my thing

cheers LampertLand

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Photo of Kristin87
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Jotora
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of mmapes
3.74/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Once again, thanks Mathieu for the amazing trade.

Pours medium reddish carmel, with very little head. What's there dissipates pretty quickly.

On the nose, a subtle smell of citrus, oak(?), apricot-y fruit, malty grain.

FIrst impression: smooth, then a little bitter hops (after 2 years!) up front, followed by a long smooth mildly spicy finish. Later: hint of some darker fruit in the middle, more raisin-y/pruney, instead of the apricot on the nose. But it's not a fruity beer, it's more in the sweet carmel/oak family of tastes which I like well.

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Photo of oldp0rt
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of JOaikido
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341 ml bottle.

A- Deep copper with nice beige head. Looks just as it should.

S- Alcohol noticeable. Dried fruit. Malt.

T- Malty with plummy and spicy notes and a solid if unoriginal hops bitter back that lingers.

MF- Medium-thick. Warming.

D- Great sipping beer as expected.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Props to joemcgrath27 for including this in a trade some time ago. I've been holding onto it since last winter so that I could drink it side-by-side with the 2012 release. Curious to see whether a year of aging has changed the flavour profile at all.

A - Pours a slightly hazy ruby colour with a copper hue, finger of head with decent retention and some sporadic lacing. Not quite as nice on the presentation as compared with the 2012.

S - Loads of toffee and caramel, an earthy hop undertone, a touch of peppery spice and graham crackers with a hint of ABV noticeable on the nose.

T - The flavour profile is in contrast with the nose where the musty hop notes dominate over the toffee and caramel malts. A buttered bread flavour lingers alongside a bitter citrus rind flavour, a touch of ABV sweetness and some oak and musty caramels. The flavours definitely possess a bit more character than the 2012, offering up some more intense sweetness and lingering on the palette longer.

M - Medium bodied, velvety smooth going down and finishes surprisingly wet.

O - The aging seems to have enhanced the flavours and mellowed the ABV a touch. The "English" characteristics tend to be more pronounced than in the 2012. Definitely glad I was able to hold off consuming this brew until I got my hands on the 2012 for the side-by-side tasting.

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Photo of Howlader
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of leaddog
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Medium amber/caramel hue with nice clarity. Pours with a dense foamy cream-coloured head, about a finger-width.

Smell - Plum and caramel aromas are predominant, almost dessert like.

Taste - Strong plum flavours. Caramalized flavours with a bit of breadiness, like a bread pudding. ABV is balanced nicely in this brew (not too overpowering).

Mouthfeel - Despite the dense bubbly head that came out, quite smooth and creamy. Bubbles are hardly detectable. Slight bitterness in the aftertaste.

Overall - For the style of extra strong ale (or barleywine), I was surprised by how well balanced the alcohol and flavours are in this brew. The plum flavours were very pleasant and reminiscent of the winter season.

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Photo of wizo
4/5  rDev +1.5%

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St.Ambroise Vintage Ale Millésimée 2011 from McAuslan Brewing
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 40 ratings
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