Between the fall and winter offerings, plus the Christmas gift packs, right now is the most exciting time of the year for beer shoppers. Chances are your fridge will soon be overflowing, especially as gift exchanges and holiday parties pile up. One such gift pack is the from the McAuslan brewery and features the St. Ambroise Scotch Ale. Scotch ales are not a very popular style right now, but they are a perfect warmer without an extremely high alcohol content.
Scotch ales are quite malty brews, which may explain why they lack the popularity when compared with the well hopped ales that are in fashion. The St. Ambroise version is no exception, containing almost no noticeable hop characteristic. It poured a strong ruby red with some brown notes and a hazy quality that is indicative of lots of malts. A small centimeter of head disappeared rather quickly with little lacing. Aroma is overpoweringly toffee, brown sugar and toasted malts. The malt-forward flavours continue into the flavours, combined with a dark fruit centre and slight anise finish.
It is a very sweet beer, but its strength (7.5% ABV) helps keep it from saccharine. At times it actually tastes slightly stronger than that, which makes it a definite sipper. The body somehow manages to be syrupy and chewy at the same time. A quite interesting, complex beer that is a nice departure from the current trends in craft beer.
The gift pack is now available at the LCBO and also comes a glass, Pale Ale and Apricot Wheat.
Recommended If You Like: Kilts. The smell of wort. Skor bars. Thinking that Belgian quads would be great with a different yeast. Red ales.