Sunday, December 9, 2012
St-Ambroise Scotch Ale - McAuslan Brewing (Canada - Montreal)
A brown amber in a glass. Initially a dry, lightly hoppy aroma that reminds me of euro lagers (which was unexpected) but after the head faded (which happened rather quickly, actually) dark malt aromas of grain, peat (that's probably because I'm looking at the word scotch too much but it is a touch smoky), roasty glaze and not quite coffee tones continuing on into a quite sweet aroma with molasses, light wood tones and vanilla is a late arriving scent. The vanilla is very pleasant and very noticeable once some of the other aromas fade. Really, the vanilla comes to dominate with dark malt sweetness and the hops sticking around and keeping the balance nicely. No alcohol really detectable in the aroma but that may change as it warms up.
Bundles of flavours to taste here. Clearly high in alcohol that you can taste in the roof of your mouth but carried so nicely by chewy malt flavours of molasses, dark bread and some dark fruit touches like prunes or dark candied cherries. The aftertaste is long lingering, less sweet and hoppier with grain flavours as well as the shadow of dark malt flavours. As St-Ambroise Scotch Ale warms, caramel flavours reveal themselves from the mix and assert themselves quite strongly and round out this Wee-Heavy inspired winter seasonal. The mix of flavours is just perfect for a cold winter's night (or day).