I do not know exactly why it took so long for me to brew up my next batch of beer. I guess I wanted to wait to see how the pumpkin beer was received. Then I suppose the winter holidays came and went pretty quickly, filled with days of shopping and drinking said pumpkin beer. As I got to the end of my supply of homebrew, I quickly ealized that I didn’t have another batch to replace it with.
Which taught me a very important lesson about timing homebrews: Always have one fermenting in the pipeline.
I was thinking about the beer though. I wanted to go a bit seasonal again to celebrate the melting of the snow and one of Quebec’s greatest staples, maple syrup. If I wanted to get the beer ready for March (and not two months after the season like my pumpkin beer) I would have to start soon.
It’s easy to get lost in research and the science of homebrewing but at a certain point you just have to go for it. After looking up recipes suitable for maple syrup and how the syrup reacts with the yeast and what flavours it imparts I got my ingredients and hit the ground running (or boiling). So I present to you my Maple Cream Ale.
ABV: 7.5% (Bottle 341ml)
Malts: Pale Malt, Munich Malt, Peated Malt
This is the first of the 2012 St-Ambroise seasonal brews. Living so close to the brewery, I spend a lot of time there on the terrace, and I was able to have a taste this past summer. Now finally it is available for the masses and you can pick up a four pack (or more) at select locations around the city. This is by far one of my top brews of theirs and I think second only to their Pumpkin Ale.
It also seems to be up from 7.2% from last year.
St-Ambroise Scotch Ale is dark ruby red with a tawny head – sweet and malty, with hints of vanilla and butterscotch, and a log hop finish. With it’s 7.5% alcool, this beer evokes the classic “wee heavies” or the full-bodied 90-shilling strong winter ales of Scotland. Enjoy a glass of St‑Ambroise Scotch Ale and celebrate over 400 years of Scottish heritage in Canada.
This pours out very smooth and leaves a small light brown head.
Like the description says, this is a very deep red, ruby, beer.
It is very clear, without much carbonation, and the head disappears quickly.
It has a caramel/butterscotch aroma with some dark fruits mixed in.
It very pleasing, without being very complex, it seems that there is a new aroma each time you go back, cherries, toffee, caramel, dark smokey malts.
The beer is extremely smooth and has a silky almost buttery feel to it in your mouth. The carbonation plays well and adds some nice feel to it.
The taste is just like the aromas, sweet with a caramel/butterscotch flavour and it plays just right together. It is quite a nice light taste, with a bit of a hint of smokiness.
There was not much of an alcohol taste to it as well, which added to my enjoyment.
The sweetness and flavour stay with the after taste without turning bitter.
This is an exceptional seasonal beer that I wish was available more often. It goes down very smooth, but doesn’t rush you. It tastes great cold and 30 minutes later I was still sipping on it and enjoying every drop. I didn’t want it to end. So I opened another bottle and had another go.