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Monticello Reserve Ale - Starr Hill Brewery

Not Rated.
Monticello Reserve AleMonticello Reserve Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

27 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 27
Hads: 89
Avg: 3.51
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 1
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Starr Hill Brewery visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Wheat Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: PreacherBrewer on 02-23-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 27 | Hads: 89
Reviews by Rhinehart:
Photo of Rhinehart
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

More User Reviews:
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.32/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Starr Hill "Monticello Reserve Ale"
25.4 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, no freshness dating
$12.95 @ Monticello

Based on the brightness of the aromas and flavors I'm tasting, this beer is clearly still being brewed (although currently listed as "retired" on BA).

It pours a hazy light straw-gold body beneath a finger-thick head of bright white foam that holds fairly well before dropping to an average collar and whispy surface covering. Broken sheets of lace are left behind, branching out into wide splashes and smaller patches of tiny spots - quite nice!

The aroma is quite surprising. It displays a herbal and floral character that goes well beyond the wheat, corn, and East Kent Goldings that supposedly make it up, including notes of lemon, crushed granite, coriander seed, mint, grass, lavender, and spice. Perhaps it's coming from the yeast? Or perhaps not.

The flavor follows suit but without any real lemon (it's not tart), and with the addition of some more mineralish, earthy, and leafy character. The wheat is clear, and along with the grassy spiciness (very much like coriander seed) it's almost like rye. A firm bitterness lies beneath it, and it finishes dry and spicy/grassy/woody with a touch of crushed granite and some earthy, wet and trodden leaves.

I'm wondering if Starr Hill has changed the recipe since they first brewed this in 2011 as it's really a fairly complex beer, despite the fact that it initially appears as a delicate, basically light, golden wheat ale.

I'm not sure what I paid for this (although I'm sure it was at a premium as it came from the gift shop at Monticello), but I'd gladly buy it again at even $20 per bottle. Charming and unique!

 1,689 characters

Photo of zaphodchak
3.32/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was months after trying the first batch that saw bottling, which to be fair, was pretty bad. I heard rumors that it had improved.

Half a finger of white head. The body is a hazy light straw with decent lace.

Nose ks kinda lame. A bit corn-y, kinda macro-brewery-ish, and semi acrid. It's an adjunct beer by nature though, so maybe to be expected.

Some German-ish hops present in the taste, lightly sweetish wheat character. Much better than the first batch. Slightly herbal, almost rosemary. Well balanced sweetness and slightly vegetal/savory.

The feel was average if a bit too bright.

A definite improvement, less macro-y, more balance and interest.

 661 characters

Photo of hyoung41
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of avisong
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Laulau
4/5  rDev +14%

Photo of cwd
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of rvajohn
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of zp6167a
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of VeganUndead
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of JWing
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of yessirov
4.11/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep gold. Thick head and lots of lacing

S - Nothing remarkable.

T - The only beer I've had in the US that transported (unexpectedly!) me back to my days of drinking in Germany and Czech Republic. Very pleasant.

M - Smooth

O - I could drink this beer all day. A pleasant surprise to find this in Charlottesville.

 320 characters

Photo of IvoryFoxhole
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 750mL bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 5/22/11
*From notes

This bottle was purchased at the Monticello gift shop where from what I understand, is the only place you can get it.

A: It looks like a pale Martzen. Slightly hazy, though it does appear to be at least somewhat filtered. A good pour yields a big, 2.5 finger pale white head and quality lacing.

S: Molasses and honey, with heavy yeasty wheat and lemony acid.

T: Extreme amounts of clarified butter. A heavy dose of liquid smoke and lemon scone. Hardly a trace of hops. This is a different brew to be sure, as I can't even begin to think of another beer to compare it to.

M: Oily as hell, though it really does suit the beer well.

O: Such a unique, "old timey" brew. Starr Hill's Monticello Reserve is incomparable and unclassifiable. It's also one of the best beers that Starr Hill has ever produced. If you're visiting Charlottesville, be sure to stop by Monticello and pick up a bottle, as it's absolutely worth quaffing this piece of brewing history.

 1,023 characters

Photo of maxwellboh
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Living in Charlottesville I am partial to TJ's home brew. Since its first availability I have shared a bottle (750ml) almost every month with someone. Yes the appearance is exactly the appearance of an adjunct pale ale, straw color, minimal lacing and lots of carbonation. The smell is of rising wheat bread with a touch of coriander. And you can envision TJ brewing this in the kitchen below the house at Monticello. The taste is summertime but drinkable year round. Lemon, floral, orange all come to mind. With a mouthfeel of smooth crisp carbonation this is a beer that is only disappointing when the bottle is empty.

 620 characters

Photo of PreacherBrewer
3.92/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Capped 750ml purchased from the brewery. This beer is only available at Star Hill Brewery in Cozet, VA or at Monticello. No ABV% labeled on bottle. No freshness dating of any kind.

A - Pours a hazy golden color with a generous white head. Looks intriguing.

S - Earthy and grassy, as well as citrusy. More nose than expected on this one. Makes you want to dive right in and taste.

T - Notes of wheat, grain, lemon & citrus, a mild earthiness, followed by a slight corn sweetness.

M - Light and smooth. Nice ticklish carbonation fits in nicely.

D - This brew impressed me. I wasn't expecting much from Star Hill since i've been very underwhelmed in the past. They've managed to produce a very tasty session beer. It has flavor, and character. I really hope this beer means that they are making changes and are starting to move in a better direction. Assuming they can stay consistent in the production, It should rightfully take its place as a truly unique and truly "Charlottesville" beer. Good job Star Hill. Bravo.

 1,021 characters

Photo of lillitnn92
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of FoodFan101
4.56/5  rDev +29.9%

Photo of jskennedy
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of 67cuda
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of dbrauneis
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Windigo
4/5  rDev +14%

Photo of MickeySmarte
1.76/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

If this is the beer they were drinking in Jefferson's day then it really is no surprise that Budweiser became so popular. As for the beer itself, it is a straw yellow with a big fluffy head, that leaves a nice amount of lacing down the glass. The aroma is practically non-existent, though as it warms up it does take on a rather unpalatable odor, something like vomit. The flavor is mostly a light graininess, but beyond that it is fairly insipid stuff. Thin bodied and rather boring over all.

 493 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.05/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a five+ finger off-white head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Hazy amber color. Good carbonation and light-medium bodied. Light lemon wheat nose and flavor is tart lemon and wheat with a dry tart finish. Not worth $12.95 for a 750ml bottle from Monticello Gift Shop Charlottesville, VA.

 299 characters

Photo of nakedninjaturtle
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

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Monticello Reserve Ale from Starr Hill Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 27 ratings.