St Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale — McAuslan Brewing Inc.

Continuing along with my “stuff in beer” reviews, is St Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale. I’ve said it in past posts, but I’ll say it again: I don’t go in for this seasonal beer stuff.  True, I think there are beers for specific occasions or times, but I would never consider turning down a delicious stout in July or a gorgeous weisse in February.  I probably wouldn’t crack a Russian Imperial Stout to cool down after mowing the lawn, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have one with some chocolate after dinner that night.  That being said, most people do identify beers as being seasonally appropriate, and this is one generally accepted as being a summer beverage.  And there is no doubt a filtered wheat beer with apricot juice is likely to be one heck of a refreshing drink.  So drink it now when it’s hot, but don’t rule it out when you’re cutting into your Christmas cake or steamed pudding in December.

St Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale — McAuslan Brewing Inc

St Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale — McAuslan Brewing Inc

From a 341ml bottle with a best-before and batch stamp on it, McAuslan Apricot Wheat pours a crystal clear, amber/honey yellow with a touch of orange to the centre.  About 3″ of fluffy head drops to a dense 1/2″ layer that is well supported by a fairly active carbonation.  Aroma is actually sweet malts with a wheat-like tang like lemon, and a touch of yeast.  Delicate floral apricot scents dance around the sweet malts and suggest that this will be a very well-balanced brew.  The taste confirms this, sweet and malty, with a bit more apricot on the palate. The wheat qualities stand side by side with the lovely fruity apricot. I think an unfiltered wheat might actually have masked the fairly gentle aromatic apricot with it’s punchy citrus and banana flavours, but in this case, the touch of bright lemon adds a bit of tartness and depth to the flowery apricots.  The mouth feel is quite creamy, but with a very bright carbonation. Much like you would expect from a wheat beer. The finish is all apricots, with just a touch of the tart wheat lingering. A super refreshing beer, and one I used to drink litres of while I worked at Le Select Bistro.  Admittedly, I’m not a huge drinker of fruit beers, and this isn’t my go-to McAuslan beer, but it is a wonderful beer for hot-weather sipping, and would go amazing with a grilled piece of fish or a fresh salad of lovely things you bought at the farmer’s market (you are shopping at a farmer’s market, right?).  I know people who claim that this beer tastes synthetic to them.  I’ve never gotten that, but taste is subjective, so who am I to say they’re wrong? “Flavour” is listed in the ingredients, which I suppose could be artificial, but I’m doubtful.  It seems outside of McAuslan’s M.O. to use fake fruit.  Obviously I like it; what do you think?

Sante, McAuslan!

About the Brewery

St Ambroise - McAuslan LogoMcAuslan Brewing began operations in January of 1989. Located at 4850 St-Ambroise Street in Montreal’s St-Henri district, it has established itself as Quebec’s foremost micro-brewery.

The brewery launched its first beer in February 1989. St-Ambroise Pale Ale was an immediate success. Its distinctive hoppy-ness and clear reddish hue set it apart and gained it an instant following. Shortly after, McAuslan Brewing became the first micro-brewery to offer its product in bottles.

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