Quick Tastes of the McAuslan St. Ambroise Russian Imperial Stout

It is big, creamy, luscious, and filled with deep rich flavors. So why did I buy 10 bottles and put 6 of them in my storage locker!? There is a good reason actually. This beer is packed with thick and velvety flavors of bittersweet bakers chocolate, dark espresso beans, roasted coffee, charred wood, light bourbon and gentle vanilla. It is 9.1% abv and is loaded with flavors and texture – really it is remarkable right now.

But some of the best things in life build with age. I have been experimenting with ageing certain beers that are generally higher in alcohol content, and richer in flavor to see if they improve or not. The first observation I have made it that they do! Not all beers will, but if you can learn the styles and characteristics of a beer that appear young, and simply need to mature, then you can build a glorious beer cellar to behold for many years. I do anticipate that this big rich Russian Imperial Stout by McAuslan will age exceptionally well; but only time will tell… I plan on opening one every half year for the next 3. 

If you can find a bottle of this beer, buy it! It is worth every penny. It pours with a big frothy and creamy brown head that stands proudly ontop a totally black beer. Just sitting there it looks menacing. The foam is 2 inches tall and could be spooned. The whole beer is a pretty wild sight.

The nose is rich with roast, espresso, sweet oak and dark dark darrrrkkkk chocolate. It comes off very delicious. Drinking it is like a orchestra of silky textures and big lush flavors. The beer glides over your palate with an oily, creamy mouthfeel bringing big rich flavors of dark roasted malts, smooth vanilla, warm toffee, bourbon soaked oak and bittersweet chocolate. There is a distinct dry espresso character adding some bitterness to the big playground of flavors here.

No question, this is no beer for the faint of heart. But if you like a big, rich, creamy and powerful stout, this is the best I have ever had produced in Canada. Well done McAuslan!


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