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
Photo of BeerTailor
2.91/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 2.75

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.

 2,256 characters

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

73 characters

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 pin
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of oldp0rt
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of Jeffo
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one at Depanneur Peluso in Montreal. Just an increadible shop for Quebec craft beer.

From a bottle into a snifter
Vintage: 2011

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, medium looking, off-white head with good retention. Head fades to a swirly wisp and ring. Burnt umber orange in color, slightly hazy, with medium carbonation evident. A foamy ring remains until the end but leaves no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Caramel and butterscotch on the nose. Light melon notes and some spicy booze as well. Bold enough for sure.

TASTE: Pale malts, caramel, butterscotch and melony sweetness through the middle into a spicy and boozy finish. Bold and persistent aftertaste of sweet caramel malt, spicy alcohol and a touch of bitter floral notes as well. Quite flavorful, but perhaps a bit too boozy at this point.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Very creamy smooth on the palate, goes down fine with a little scratch at the swallow and finishes slightly sticky on the palate. Good feel. A little more weight and less burn would help, but this is solid.

OVERALL: This is a good beer and has plenty of aging potential. It's a little too hot right now, so don't be afraid to give it 2-3 years before opening. I can imagine a beer of this quality will improve nicely over that period of time. Another quality McAuslan brew. I am continously impressed by these guys. Cheers!

 1,380 characters

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.

 554 characters

Photo of EzraAtom
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of bylerteck
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the mixed pack just released. From notes.

A - Copper pour with a ruby influence. Bright with a two finger off white head. Bright. Good carbonation, spotty lace and a half finger of retention.

S - Raisins, boozy fruits, sugar.

T - Quite sweet with some woody, boozy fruits, raisins.

M - A bit of burn in the finish. Mild to medium carbonation, full body.

O/D - Not the best vintage, but it was nice to sip. Seemed less developed and the alcohol seemed a bit too present for 2 years old. It worked OK though and had a decent depth of flavour.

 550 characters

Photo of AugustusRex
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of bigox420
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of KalanM
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Tivlavrie
3.81/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

 279 characters

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.

 1,339 characters

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.

 652 characters

Photo of dgilks
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Clear mahogany colour with a foamy, light tan head. Great lacing. Good head retention.

Deep, dark toffee flavour. Quite earthy and a little fruity.

Dark and brooding. Really sharp, bitter toffee. Earthy and fruity.

Medium-full body. Moderately-high carbonation. Not bad.

It all should be there but it doesn't quite gel. Nice bitter toffee but it needs something else here.

 381 characters

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.

 389 characters

Photo of chickenm
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of ThinkAgain
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Kristin87
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Jotora
4/5  rDev +1.5%

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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