Monday, 10 September 2012

St.-Ambroise Special Reserve

St.-Ambroise's 2011 Special Reserve Russian Imperial Stout is a big, bold beer. It's brewed by the excellent McAuslan Brewery out of Montreal. The handsome 341mL bottle comes in a flashy tube. The beer lurking within contains a potent 9.2% alcohol.

Special Reserve pours a totally opaque onyx colour.  It is topped with a thick reddish brown head. A rich aroma contains notes of chocolate and a dark roast coffee. The flavour has the molasses sweetness typical of a stout, but it's balanced against a substantial wall of hops. Notes of chocolate and a bit of tobacco are present, as is an undeniably formidable blast of boozy warmth.

This is definitely not an everyday beer. It's more of a special occasion sipper. If you plan on drinking more than one in a single go, you'd best clear your schedule. It's not what I would call an accessible beer--non-stout drinkers aren't apt to love this one.  Still, with its great blend of sweet and bitter, this is a glorious pint.

I thought about letting this beer age in an effort to heighten its flavour, but after a couple of months, I got impatient.  Lets face it--aging beer isn't really in my wheelhouse.

Rating: 9.0 out of 10.


  1. Sounds like a good one Ed. I know I love St. Ambroise's Oatmeal Stout.

  2. Thanks for the review on St.-Ambroise's 2011 Special Reserve Russian Imperial Stout. One of those yet-to-try beers to put on my list. Recently, I have opened a can of Wellington Imperial Russian Stout for the first time and just love this brew. Luckily I bought a few more at the LCBO, since the closest that stocks it, is about an hour's return drive from my place.


  3. Woah! I've never even seen Wellington Imperial Stout. I'm going to have to keep my eyes peeled!