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


on tap

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RATINGS: 491   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.82   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
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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 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 (8281) - 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 (5060) - 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Lubiere (10840) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - APR 4, 2004
UPDATED: AUG 19, 2008 2001: Red copper beer, almost oily in looks with a light moka head. Warm nose of grapes/ porto and brown sugar, vanilla and a touch of coffee. Warn alcohol marries well with the raisiny/vinous character of this beer, with lots of malts, some licorice, and pralines. Very complex body, where all the flavours blend well. 8-4-8-5-17

2006 An hazed dark amber ale with a thin off white head. Tons of fresh hops with caramel aroma, vinous notes, a strong American barley wine. In mouth, an intense caramel malt, clover field, British hops, more for bittering. Rich alcohol. Smooth and classy. Old Stock VI evening, March 23 2007. 8-3-8-4-15

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
raindog (560) - Evansville, Indiana, USA - MAR 18, 2004
2001:Thanks Rastacouere! Deep ruby/oarnge. Large,creamy,lasting head. Enticing aroma- very fruity,toffee,chocolate,bready,and slightly hoppy. Very chewy,but creamy,big body. Rich toffee,sweet bread,fruity malts. Finish is soft,and rich with malt,and slightly hoppy. Only slightly oxidized,very warming and filling. Just a excellent beer,could be a favorite BW.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Radek Kliber (6595) - Toronto (Can) Krotoszyn (Pol), POLAND - MAR 17, 2004
Dark, dry fruit aroma, plenty of plum and some toffee, between you can find some of the hoppy side of beer. Cloudy, thick unfiltered black tea. White quiet foam formation. At first it hits with overpowering set of flavours that with time you find malt toffee, plums, vanilla then alcohol and hops to nicely round up. Extremely complex. With time at the very finish you would be able to get some roast at the finish. Fruity, rich, malty with alcohol and for balance hop element. Great brew that I had form my 3years at Ratebeer from Doug. Great stuff!!!
Earlier Rating: 11/22/2002 Total Score: 4
That’s what you call high pitch aroma. Caramel with roasted nuts, some raisin pushes it self up front. This well build crown, gaseous bright brownish. Uhhh, great intensity but not overpowering with brutal flavours. Like well raised noble princess but with hand of supreme leader. post scriptum I would like to thank to Doug S. for this great gift ...you did not wasted this brew if you know what I mean.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
beerhugger (542) - Oshawa, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 25, 2004
Syrupy malt drips over caramel coated raisins in this rich ruby brown nectar - and it's going to get better as Father Time spends a few years keeping it company. As it is it finishes dry and warm - the alcohol knocks incessantly but never breaks the door down. A singles ad for this one would definitely list it aas big bold and beautiful.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
radiomgb (2465) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 25, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 5, 2007 Vintage 2007. Orange-copper in colour, large and lingering fluffy off-white coloured head, excellent lacing. The alcohol is gone from the nose, toasty and grainy, very light hops. The flavour is malty, toasty, some caramel malts, moderate orange citrus. Bitter but a bit thin in the mouthfeel, medium body, medium carbonation. Finishes medium length, light hoppy bitterness. Lacking the syrupy body that this used to have, the alcohol doesn’t seem to warm you up anymore. This years vintage is a distant shadow of its former self. No longer a beer to age. Rating for the 2007:7/4/6/3/14 Total: 3.4

Vintage 2006. Orange-brown in colour, lasting creamy off-white coloured head, great lacing. The aroma is a little hot still, lots of fresh hops, pine and a caramel sweetness. The flavour is sort of overwhelmed with the alcohol, quite sweet with lots of caramel malts, green hops. Warming mouthfeel, medium-thin body, high carbonation. FInishes quite warm and very long. Still needs some more time but seems to be lacking from the other years releases. Rating for the 2006:7/4/7/3/15 Total: 3.6

Vintage 2001. Reddish brown in colour. Aroma of malt, hops, with some caramel sweetness. Flavour was hoppy, dry, caramel, some alcohol, syrupy, nice toffee sweetness. Huge body. Finished with an alcohol warmth. I can’t wait to try the 1999 Vintage that I have.

Vintage 2000. Real dark red-amber in colour. Alcohol in aroma and in taste but neither was to powerful, just really warming. Warms you from the inside out. This would have been real nice to have on a cold winters night. Would be nice to try again in a couple of years.
Earlier Rating: 7/13/2002 Total Score: 4.3

Vintage 1999. Beautiful deep amber in colour, thin off-white coloured head, some light and patchy lacing. The aroma has really mellowed quite a bit, lots of toffee sweetness, hops are starting to fade, raisins and some light alcohol. The flavour is starting to oxidize, quite a bit of alcohol heat which surprised me, lots of caramel sweetness. Sweet alocholic mouthfeel, medium body, medium carbonation. Finishes long, quite warming. This is starting to mellow out a but, It might be past its prime but its tasting really good right now. Many thanks to <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/ViewUser.asp?U target=blank>joey_capps for trating this beer to me back in September 2003. Opened November 25, 2007. Rating for the 1999:9/4/8/4/16 Total: 4.1

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