Wednesday, July 18, 2012

McAuslan Brewing (Canada - Quebec - Montreal)

Griffon Red Ale 4.5%

Griffon Red Ale is quite sweet and it's the crystal malt they refer to on the back label that is responsible for that. In addition to the slightly nutty or wooden tones, I also taste a sort of fruity flavour of figs in the aftertaste.

A very pleasant red that is sweeter than most but is not sticky: most traditional reds are more roasty and reminiscent of a caramelized sugar. Interestingly, I would say the aroma has more of that typical stickiness I expect from reds. I find Griffon Red Ale to be more drinkable than most reds - drinking four or five of these Red Ales wouldn't be a challenge at all because it's more crisp than those other reds I was referring to. Overall, a good red and one that even those who wouldn't normally reach for a red would enjoy.

Extra Blonde Ale 5.0%

Very clear and just on the pale side of full gold in a glass. Sweet with a distinct caramel flavour, also fairly bitter. A little smoky.

Pale Ale 5.0%

Caramel and sweetness, and also quite bitter: sprucy with hops in both the taste and aroma. A strong malt backing bracketed by the sugary sweet caramel flavour of what I suspect is crystal malt, and the sprucy hops bitterness with some faint red fruit esters for character.

An interesting beer, complicated and tasty but the mix of flavours seems just barely out of sync: the caramel sweetness doesn't entirely mesh with the robust hops bitterness, although I am often sensitive to caramel overload. All in all, McAuslan's Pale Ale is an enjoyable American Pale Ale on the sweet, caramel end of the spectrum with a nice hops character.

Saint Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale 5.0%

A pale apricot orange colour in a glass. Fairly mild aroma, a strong apricot taste. Not dissimilar to an apricot wine. It is barely bitter (a little more so in the aftertaste), sweet, perfumy and has a background of moderate malt. It is like a somewhat strong tasting lager with apricot added. The apricot flavour is well done and captures the nice aspects of the apricot and is blended nicely with the malt of the lager - an excellent flavoured ale.

Note: I have previously reviewed their excellent Raspberry Wheat seasonal, Saint Ambroise Framboise.

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