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St. Ambroise Apricot Wheat

Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
5 / 6
28 / 40
7 / 10
Overall Impression: 
14 / 20

Montreal’s Brasserie McAuslan first fired its kettles in 1989 and with the introduction of St. Ambroise Pale Ale instantly established the company as a mainstay. The Apricot Wheat Ale, infused with natural apricot essence, continues to draw fans from around the world. Bursting with juicy apricot and ripe peach, the aroma permeates the room with a pleasant, subdued fruitiness. Rick was taken aback by the intensely perfumed apricot aroma, likening it to a “fruit spanking.” Searching below the fruit, he managed to find some “softly sugary malt,” but still felt the beer was unbalanced. “Tons of apricot aromas” leaped out of the glass at Pete, and like Rick, he felt the fruit blew away any other aromas. He, too, managed to drag some bready, slightly sweet Pils malt out from underneath the fruit. Pouring a burnished gold, tending toward orange/amber, this is one seriously effervescent beer, crowned by a towering mousse of white foam. As with the aroma, apricot is front and center in the flavor, beaten back by just enough malt to add some complexity. Tom enjoyed the substantial apricot presence, though he felt the overall effect was more “apricot cooler” than apricot beer. Tom recommended a little less apricot and a much less restrained hand with the hops. Lee, too, felt the apricot was a bit much calling the flavor “sugary, jammy, and fruit-driven,” and he yearned for a more pronounced malt presence and some bitterness to round the beer out. Fruit beers generally tend to pair well with dessert such as fior di latte gelato in this case.