Brewed by McAuslan Brewing
Style: Barley Wine
Montreal, Canada
Serve in Snifter


on tap

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 496   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.81   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
Also known as St.Ambroise Millésimée.

In honour of our tenth anniversary, McAuslan Vintage Ale has been brewed to continue the centuries-old tradition of strong ales and barley wines. Vintage Ale is rich and malty, with a surprisingly well balanced and clean hop finish provided by classic Goldings hops. The ale is unfiltered and derives its orange hue from wheat malt blended with pale and Munich malts. The malts also provide a hints of caramelized fruit reminiscent of a Christmas pudding.
McAuslan Brewing will celebrate each new year by brewing Vintage Ale on our anniversary. As a vintage product, we estimate this ale will remain in good condition for a number of years.
The 2006 edition is down from 9.4% to 9.2%. In 2007 this went to 8%. In 2009 this went to 9.8%, and in 2011 it went to 10%.

All vintages of this barley wine (1999, 2000, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011) are to be rated on this page.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Crockett (1032) - Southampton,Ontario, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 3, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 28, 2007 2001 vintage. Pours red/brown and for a 3 year beer it is still very lively in carbonation. Burnt butter medium sized head. Trace of oil between the body of the beer and the head. Brown sugar and molases sweet. Alcohol burn is medium. Chocolate and vanilla. Loads of sweet burnt malts and whipped cream. Mineral oil. Very tastey. Great barley wine.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - JUL 30, 2004
2001Deep copper with a quickly dissapating tan head. The aroma is quite strong, caramel, musty, toffee, and some butterscotch. A huge and complex aroma. The flavor is also massive, caramel and butterscotch dominate, with some alcohol coming in towards the end. The palate is exsquisite, full and bitter (even after 4 years). Damn fine brew. Thanks a unch to radiomgb!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Eructoblaster (3397) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 27, 2004
2001 bottle. Dark orange-copper hazy body topped with a beautiful, thick and lasting off-white head. Vineous and complex nose that carries chocolate, butterscotch and alcohol aromas. There are also some tiny notes of roasted coffee. Taste is incredibly rich. It is made of varions flavors of chocolate malt, caramel and brown sugar. Lovely smokey hints and warming effect. Finish is long, warming and moderately bitter. That amazing beer clearly deserves to stand among Ratebeer’s top 50. Could not find better for number 200!!!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Aurelius (4677) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - JUL 8, 2004
Thanks to DougShoemaker for bottle # 10425! Quite a find for a Yank in 2004! Rich raisiny, cocoa and alcohol aroma. Dark orange-russet, lightly hazy beer. Slight appearance ding for the screwoff cap. Smooooth for a barleywine. Woody bitterness and light astringency. Some cocoa. Tartish sometimes. Long herb-bitter finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
PorterPounder (6291) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - JUL 8, 2004
UPDATED: JUL 9, 2004 Bottle no 10425 Dark brown, whiskey colored appearance, with a thick creamy beige head. - thick lacing. Oh so sweet aroma of molasses, raisins and dates. Thick mouthfeel, quite creamy in fact. Flavor of baked brown bread soaked in butter, prunes and apricots. One of the smoothest barley wines I have had - especially considering the abv of 10.2 - which is hidden extremely well. A true gem from our brethren from the north - thanks to Doug Shoemaker who gave this to Aurelius on a recent trip to the Great White North.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Jiffypark (31) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUN 20, 2004
Very thinly laced head that faded pretty fast. The wonderful smell could fill up a room but it’s the taste that hits: full and heavy and just absolutely fantastic. Feels very ripe and mature.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
tiggmtl (4545) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JUN 3, 2004
Sweet and malty. Dark fruit esters dominate the aroma with some woody and floral notes. Amber-brown with a finger of off-white head that lasts nicely and plenty of tiny bubbles. Decent lace. Thick, rich and malty madeira-like flavour with pronounced finishing bitterness. Rich, full body and smooth easy to drink mouthfeel. Bottle (enjoyed with beerbuzzmontreal, MartinT and Rastacouere).
Earlier Rating: 1/12/2004 Total Score: 4.4
Score averaged between the two vintages (). 2001 edition (9.6% ABV) sampled 12-Jan-2004: Strong aroma of fruit, butterscotch, big malt nose. Burnt orange-amber colour with small white head that diminishes to a ring around the glass. Raisin and burnt caramel notes and a mellow yeastiness in a big malt flavour with some bitterness detectable in the finish. Alcohol is only occasionally apparent. Body is full, full, full with a chewy mouthfeel. This is an absolutely fantastic beer. Highly recommended. Bottle. (9-4-9-5-19=4.6)************************** 1999 Edition (9.4% ABV) sampled 25-May-2004: Dark raisins and plums, alcohol, caramel and brown sugar in the aroma. Improves drastically as it warms. Opaque orange straw with two finger whote head that recedes to ring. Generally sweet. Sherry-like. Strong raisin, grapes, plums. Big fruity, malty flavour. Mouthfeel is fairly still and thick almost liqueur-like. (8-3-9-4-18=4.2).

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
JorisPPattyn (8570) - Ursel, BELGIUM - MAY 26, 2004
PART of a vertical tasting of St. Ambroise Vintage Ales 1999-2000-2001 BIG THANKS TO RASTACOUERE AND MARTINT! Hazy orange-dark amber; slim rim of yellowish foam. Impossibly concentrated nose of caramel- and other coloured sweet malts, alcohol, Irish Cream, some wood. Strangely, the intense aroma is quite short-lived, leaving some old nuts aroma and an herbal smell. Again, intens taste/mouthfeel (inseparable, here), sweet and thick but not cloying; character of old spirit, but no aggressive alcohol. Some liquorice and gingerbread-with-nuts. Superb balance. Thick, chewy, filling, just great. Remarkable that the alcohol in this one stays that well hidden! This is one hell of a tasting - I loved every sip. Still, the 1999 was the superlative. I hardly could believe such a tasting is possible with a non- European ale (maybe Cuvée de Tomme...) Big, big congrats to Mc Auslan and big, bigger thanks to my suppliers.
Earlier Rating: 5/26/2004 Total Score: 4.3
PART of a big vertical tasting of St. Ambroise Vintage Ales 1999-2000-2001. Numbers above are an average from the ’99 and the ’01. Individual scores below. BIG THANKS TO RASTACOUERE AND MARTINT. Colour: [01]:Hazy red-brown; yellowish, slim but reasonably firm head. 4/5 [99]: orange-brown beer, lighter head than the other two. Carbonation (lazy bubbles) betrays the age. Faint haze. 4/5 Nose: [01]: brandy, wet wood, caramel, sweet chocolate - with nuts, preserved ginger 9/10 [99]: old brandy, wood, caramel, quite some madeirisation. There is a faint, but remarkable spicey overtone - cannot define it. 9/10 Taste: [01]: Alcoholic, sweet, caramel syrup. Again chocolate, but this time mixture of sweet and bitter chocolate. Bitterness grows slowly - there’s a respectable hop content here. 8/10 [99]: SUPERB! This is an absolutely remarkable taste. It’s perfectly balanced between biscuit-sweetness, vintage brandy alcohol, restrained bitterness from noble hops and some dark malt. Rich (milk)chocolate cake with raisins. Perfect! 10/10 Mouthfeel: [01] slick, oily MF , lots of alcoholburn 4/5 [99]: incomparably rich mouthfeel, madeirisation thins it a bit out, but still slick, oily - luxurious is the word. 5/5 Overall: (all three beers): This is one hell of a tasting -I loved every sip. Still, the 1999 was the superlative. I hardly could believe such a vertical tasting is possible with a non-European ale. Big, big congrats to Mc Auslan, and big, bigger thanks to my suppliers. [01] 16/20; [99] 18/20

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Boutip (5207) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 7, 2004
Bottle (2001 vintage): Poured a deep red/amber colored beer with a small but nice head with minimal retention. Aroma is quite sweet, very reminiscent of uncooked chocolate cookie dough. Taste is quite complex with a nice touch of prune or port and spicy aftertaste. Overall, this is a very good barley wine but a notch below the 2000 version.
Earlier Rating: 1/5/2004 Total Score: 3.9
2000 Bottle - Drank December 2003. Dark ruby brew with nice foamy head with good retention. Aroma is almost like port, almost smell grapes with strong alcohol. Taste is also really apparent to port with a medium body. Alcohol taste is well hidden which is good since some barley wine alcohol taste are sometime too apparent. Overall, a really good brew and here's hoping that Mcauslan will continue this tradition.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - APR 13, 2004
UPDATED: MAR 22, 2008 2007 vintage sampled on 3/22/08: Pours a transparent deep golden bronze with a stringy-lacing white head. Aroma of lightly sweet toasty pale malts and some light fruity esters. Starts fairly full and lightly caramely sweet with some light fruity complexity. A little too young, but should age pretty well.

2001 vintage sampled on 4/13/04: Pours a murky amber brown with a thick, well-lacing cream colored head. Aroma is rich and caramely with some light oxidation and butterscotch. Holds a nice rich sweetness and wonderful complexity. Mild touch of hoppy acidity and plum sugar toward the finish. A very true to style English barleywine that has aged quite nicely. Thanks to Rastacouere for this one!

2000 vintage, Bottle 2397, sampled on 6/7/2003: Pours an amber copper color with a good eggshell head. Sweet caramel toffee aroma with a touch of brown sugar. Silky oily palate holds most of this beer’s carbonation. Flavor is mellow and sweet followed by a soft bitterness and some alcohol. Decent complexity throughout. I’d say this has aged quite well.

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