Tag Archives: St. Ambroise

No. 392 – A smashing pumpkin ale

No. 392 – A smashing pumpkin ale

I am one of those people who likes to put some kind of theme to each post.  Today, I was going to try, try, try to write about St. Ambroise with as many Smashing Pumpkins references* as possible (their 90s incarnation being one of my favourite bands).  Tonight, tonight, it is somewhat difficult – I’ve zero inspiration and am drawing a blank.  In any case, this post is about a pumpkin ale…

2017-10-10 - 392 - St. Ambroise Citrouille poured _500beers

So far, I’ve tried two pumpkin ales (Mill St. Brewery and Brutopia) and they’ve been fine without being anything special.  This one is my favourite to date.  It pours a lovely amber pumpkin colour and the pumpkin aroma is strong when allowed to breath.  The pumpkin hits at the back of the tongue and builds to a nice aftertaste but what is most interesting about this beer is that it’s just a really drinkable beer.  There’s very little bitterness in it, it’s not too sweet either – it’s got a really nice balance.  I could drink these all day and not get sick of the flavour.  This is not something I can say about many beers with individual or unique flavours.

I’m giving it a strong 7/11 for being good, well worth the price, accurate, for drink-again-ability, recommend-ability and for the fact that I would go out of my way for it possibly in a snowstorm (hopefully, there will be snow soon to justify that question).

I’m nearly at 400 different beers, slightly ahead of schedule so I’m going to take the opportunity over the next week to post about the following…

Brasseurs du Nord – Boréal beers
Northern Ireland – part two
The Chambly Beer Festival
Octoberfest at the Atwater Market
Home brewing
And many more!

*six is enough, no prize for spotting them, they’re pretty obvious.


Catch up


Catch Up

If I keep trying new beers at the rate I have been for the last three months I will complete 365 beers in 266 days – my hunch that 365 beers would be too simple was correct.  The 500 beers will be complete hopefully mid-December so that I can relax and think of something for next year (suggestions welcome, clean suggestions).  I’ve put a nice sunset picture as the year is almost drawing to a close, like one long drunken hazy day.

I’ve only posted about slightly less than half of those beers so here are a few photos and thoughts on some of the average tinned beers I’ve tried at various places throughout the Summer.

Nos. 167 and 168 – Rickard’s White and Blonde

I had these at a barbecue in early June or late May – the white was ok but didn’t really feel too much like a white.  The blonde was fine and had a nice aftertaste, but was no better than any other blondes I’ve tasted.  The white gets a 4/11 and the blonde gets a 5/11.

Nos. 185 and 186 – St. Ambroise Pale Ale and Archibald Coquine

In early June I organised a drumming pic-nic at the Mont Royal park near the tamtams.  I would recommend it if you like hearing the same rhythm played over and over again for several hours.  Anyway, I tried a few beers there too.

The St. Ambroise Pale Ale was a decent pale ale but nothing special.  In fact, it was a little disappointing given the other St. Ambroise beers I had tried up to that point.  It gets 5/11.  Archibald’s Coquine, despite the nice picture also only gets a 5/11.  It was ok and for the right price I’d drink it again, but I’m not going to go out of my way for it.

Nos. 187 and 188 – St. Ambroise Double IPA and Session IPA

I tried these on the same day as the previous two.  Curiously enough they both get similar marks.  The Double IPA was ok but a little too hoppy, which was obviously not a surprise from the name and description – 4/11.  The Session IPA was better, but only a little – 5/11.

Nos. 221 and 233 – Archibald’s La Valkyrie and La Brise du Lac

I tried La Valkyrie at a house party and was a little disappointed.  Maybe it would be better on draft – but the beer I tried was a little weak on taste – 4/11.  I bought La Brise du Lac in Sherbrooke but brought it back to Montreal and had it at some point presumably when I had nothing better to drink.  It’s not bad for a pilsner, another 5/11 but I don’t know if I’ll ever drink it again.

No. 77 and No. 247 – Lowenbrau and Modelo

A little tour of the world here – Germany and Mexico.  I tried Lowenbrau at some point in May after my holiday back home I think and thanks to a decision to not include a few ciders I had previously been counting it ended up being No. 77 rather than one hundred and something.  It was ok for a barbecue but not great – 3/11.  Modelo was a surprise, it’s a very good lager with a lot of fizz and a more orangey colour than I would like, but it was refreshing and had a really good taste – an easy 6/11.

So that’s a few beers caught up on, the only one of note being Modelo, which is a beer I will drink again.  It’s particularly good for a warm day.  The others, meh…

Nos. 195 – 200 – Montreal Beer Festival

Nos. 195 – 200 – Montreal Beer Festival

I will be attending several beer festivals this year including Laval, Québec, Sherbrooke and Chambly but first I went to the Montreal Beer Festival to hit different beer number 200.

Since the last time I was there two years ago the prices seem to have gone up quite a bit, but that just means having to be smart.  I managed to get quite a lot of alcohol content to the dollar and out of six beers I tasted, two were bland, while four were either very good or excellent…

No. 195 – Saint Bock’s Sweet Jesus
2017-06-17 - 195 - Saint Bock Sweet Jesus _500beers

I started with the first strong beer I found.  At 10.5%, this is the strongest scotch ale I’ve tasted so far.  It is very good.  A little sweet, very warm flavour, hints of caramel and a very good colour.  This one gets an 8/11.  It is good, accurate, has a little something different, I’d drink it again and recommend it and it is worth the price based on the price it costs at Le Saint Bock.  I would go out of my way for it and would definitely go out in a snowstorm for it.
No. 196 – Brasseurs du Bois Blanc’s La Dark Soul
2017-06-17 - 196 - Brasseurs du Bois Blanc La Dark Soul _500beers
I’ve had some very nice coffee stouts in the past and they’ve all had good reviews.  This may be the coffee-ist of them all.  The aroma is like a rich espresso and the small samples that you get give the beer more of an air of a coffee than a beer.  Taste-wise, it is very rich indeed and felt more like a coffee, with a slightly different buzz afterwards.  I would definitely drink this once in a while, but don’t know if I could drink a couple on the same day.  It gets 7/11, the only difference between this and Sweet Jesus being that I don’t know if I’d go out in a snowstorm for this.  It’s a little too much.

No. 197 – La Barbarie’s Rousse Anglaise
2017-06-17 - 197 - La Barbarie Rousse Anglaise _500beers

It’s a nice colour.  Unfortunately, that’s about it.  It’s got a very weak flavour, and doesn’t compare with other red ales I’ve had so far.  It came from a bottle that had been opened previously (I think), so maybe this explains the flatness to some extent.  If I spot it elsewhere I may give it another chance.  I’m not sure how I arrived at this according the scoring system but it’s getting 2/11 for now.

No. 198 – St. Ambroise Pamplemousse IPA
2017-06-17 - 198 - St. Ambroise Pamplemousse IPA _500beers
I’ve been waiting to try this for a while, St. Ambroise beers that I’ve tasted so far have generally been in individual tins or pints, but I’ve only been able to find six packs of this so far.  It’s definitely an IPA – hoppy and I imagine indistinguishable from their other IPA.  I got very little hint of grapefruit whatsoever.  I was a little disappointed with this after enjoying their Apricot Wheat Beer.  It’s getting 3/11 – it’s not bad, it’s probably worth what you would pay for a six pack and I’d probably give it another go.  But I’d recommend other St. Ambroise IPAs over this.

No. 199 – Mill St. Brewery’s Madawaska Maple
2017-06-17 - 199 - Mill St. Brewery Madawaska _500beers
This was rather bland and watery, but there was the mildest hint of maple in the taste.  I’m giving it 2/11 at a stretch for description, price and being a little different (that’s 0.5, 1 and 0.5)



No. 200 – Brasseurs Illimités Noire Truculente
2017-06-17 - 200 - Brasseurs Illimités Noire Truculente _500beers
This was a real treat with a strong aroma, hinting at a chocolate stout.  It is a stout of sorts, but has some qualities of a strong scotch ale too – that almost whiskey like warmth in the throat.  It’s thick and almost like a syrup too.  It’s a very good beer indeed and I will be trying it again in the future.  9/11,  I would fight a bear for this.  A fitting beer for the big Number 200.


Despite being pricey, the beer festival was overall a good experience, particularly for the Norie Truculente, Sweet Jesus and La Dark Soul.


No. 134 – St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout

No. 134 – St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout

I probably spent more time photographing this beer than I did actually drinking it. 

2017-05-01 - 134 - St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout poured _500beers

Another St. Ambroise beer and another good mark.  This one pours like a dream.  The head is frothy but dark and full of flavour.  It smells of strong coffee, the sort that you need first thing in the morning.  To drink, it is not too heavy or thick as some stouts tend to be, particularly the other oatmeal stout that I have tried so far, and the taste matches the aroma.  This actually reminds me of the time I worked in a café-bar in Belfast and had access to as much coffee as I wanted (well, I drank all the coffees that I screwed up, which was a lot).  I remember having the taste of coffee lingering around twenty-four hours a day and the taste of this beer brings that back vividly.

2017-05-01 - 134 - St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout head 2 _500beers

It gets a Yes for being good.  It’s Another Yes for the price too, well worth the $3 or $4 I paid for it at Métro.  The description is a difficult one as it’s not very ‘oatmeally’ or at least it’s nothing like any oatmeal stout I’ve had before.  I am however, not going to mark it down and so will give it another Yes for the description.  It gets a Yes for having that little something different as well – it’s definitely not just a run of the mill stout.  Yes, I will drink it again and Yes I would recommend it to others.  On first thoughts, I was happy with a six out of eleven, however upon further consideration I’m going to give it a final Yes, I’m sure that I would go out of my way for this.

2017-05-01 - 134 - St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout desc. _500beers

So far St. Ambroise have been very consistent, this one gets a 7/11.  Their average mark so far is 7.6/11.  I cannot wait to try out the rest of their beers.

No. 133 – St. Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale

No. 133 – St. Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale

This is a treat indeed…

2017-04-30 - 133 - St. Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale poured _500beers

I’m yet to be disappointed by a St. Ambroise beer.  The Scotch Ale is the best beer I’ve had this year so far with a 9/11, the Cream Ale is also very good at 7/11 and the IPA provisionally has 7/11 though I will be re-tasting that one as I tried it when I was already quite drunk.  Their Apricot Wheat Ale does not disappoint either.

2017-04-30 - 133 - St. Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale desc. _500beers

It is a light, fruity beer that is very easy to drink.  It is refreshing too, and I get the impression that it would be a perfect beer for sitting out in the sun during a long hot summer.  This gets a Yes for being good, it’s very good in fact.  It was also only about $3 for the tin, I would happily pay more for this or pay $8 in a bar for a pint so that’s another Yes for value.  The description is spot-on, an apricot beer that smells and tastes of apricot so there is a Yes for that as well as a Yes for having that little something different.  Yes I would, and will, drink this again and Yes I would definitely recommend it.  It’s also going to get a Yes for the  ‘would I go out of my way for it’ and a Yes for ‘would I go out in a snowstorm for it’ questions.  I get the impression that the refreshing fruity flavour would make one feel warm even on the coldest winter day.

So another very good mark for St. Ambroise with an 8/11.  As we move through Spring and into Summer, I recommend trying this on a very warm summer’s day.