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Thomas Jefferson's Tavern Ale - Yards Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Thomas Jefferson's Tavern AleThomas Jefferson's Tavern Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

732 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 732
Reviews: 275
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 11.7%
Wants: 38
Gots: 122 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Yards Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: NeroFiddled on 08-01-2002

This powerful and complex golden ale pays homage to Founding Father and fellow brewer, Thomas Jefferson. Yards Brewmaster, Tom Kehoe, worked closely with Philadelphia’s historic City Tavern to recreate this recipe, employing honey, rye, and wheat, just like the beer Jefferson made at Monticello.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 732 | Reviews: 275
Reviews by ImFlyerThanYou:
Photo of ImFlyerThanYou
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of merlin48
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

It's well known that Jefferson, was a homebrewer, and I've read some of his recipes on the internet, probably on this site. This bottle's label claims that this "strong golden ale" was recreated from ingredients specified by Jefferson, but that doesn't say very much.
This pours a clear, apricot/orange body with a two finger, ivory head that is tightknit and rocky. Excellent head retention that eventually stabilizes at two fingers. Sheet and patch lacing is profuse.
Aroma features mild toffee malt and fruity hops that evoke pink grapefruit, green apples, and a twist of fresh lemon.
Mouthfeel is actively carbonated, with a medium body.
Taste has a mild, fruity, hops bitterness that dominates throughout. Sour green apples and pink grapefruit flavors are upfront, with a pleasing, toffee and caramel malt backbone. Well balanced, overall, and the 8% abv is well hidden.
This is a very well crafted ale, and highly drinkable. Watch your step with this one, or you might be trying to purchase large tracts of property from naive, French royals or potentates.

Photo of oberon
4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poures a deep burnt orange with a huge billowing head that really takes its time settling leaving big globs of lace behind,really pick up some lemon rind in the aroma along with some Belgina like spiciness?Not sure what kinda yeast is used here but man I get like a spicey,yeastiness in the aromas very unexpected.Wow nice mingling of flavors very citrusy and lemony upfront with that underlying spiciness but finishes with a dry toastiness with just a tad bit of alcohol burn as it warms.Very interesting and unique ale here is this what one of our greatest forfathers was brewing at Monticello?The bottle says so, damn I wish I could have shook his hand,just great.

Photo of TCHopCraver
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes made on 11/17/10.

Poured into a snifter, a murky amber-gold colored beer with just a hint of a khaki head awaits my beckon call. The head goes away and leaves a film that looks like a warped face of a Greyhound. The lacing is not all that sticky and is rather uninspiring to the eye.

The aroma of the ale is that of a malt bomb. Caramel, raisins, brown sugar, sweet potato, candied yams, and a hint of musty basement all touch my nose. This is one sweet-smelling beer.

Of the scents that I picked up on, the caramel and brown sugar dominate in the taste department. I also taste a bit of a cinnamon spice and sweet potatoes. There is a touch of stinging alcohol presence on the sides of my mouth, as well.

TJ's Tavern Ale has a satisfying, medium to full-bodied, creamy mouthfeel. There is a good sizzle on the side bitter receptors of my palate, which is mostly alcoholic heat, but perhaps might also be a result of a slight hop presence.

This is a solid, malt-heavy ale, but not a brew for which I would make a point of seeking in the future. If someone offered this to me at a party, though, I would be happy to partake.

Photo of GameOfBeers
4.24/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of jackplane
4.8/5  rDev +27.7%

Photo of sellmeagod
2.42/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Thomas Jefferson's own recipe, so they claim. He knew how to make a powerful ale, it seems.

He didn't care too much about defined (or even good) tastes, and the look is otherwise what you'd expect from this ale. It's all sorts of awkwardly bitter at the end too, but drinkable for an 8 abv.

So there are tradeoffs, and you can't be more Virginian than drinking this stuff on President's Day.

Photo of shapudding
3.56/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the City Tavern. Had asked what they had that was the strongest/heaviest, and was told by one of the guys that this had more body to it than the George Washington stout, kinda surprising. Dark honey golden with a white creamy head. Tons of lacing. Don't see the carbination too much, but it is there in the taste. Hoppy scents, light pine. Bit of fruitcup, little bit of grapefruit. Nice biteyness! Alot of carb in the taste, bit too much?...maybe.. yeah...to me. Light grapefruit juice and hops, little bit of sweetness that jumps from the background. Good alcohol taste, I like that. Decent brew, not one I would go back especially for.

Photo of nstroup
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Guden
3.69/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- a hazy gold with a nice two finger head of white foam that leaves pretty lacing.

S- a touch of grass and pine with brown sugar and spice underneath. Also some skunk.

T- pretty different from the smell with no skunk and just a nice blend of subtle piney and grassy hops, biscuity malts and a touch of sweet brown sugar. There's also a refreshing balancing bitterness throughout that lingers on the tail end.

M- low in body and medium high in carbonation this one goes down easy.

D- this one is amazingly drinkable. I never would've guessed the alcohol was so high. It drinks somewhere between a refreshing European pils and a biscuity pale ale and is quite good.

Photo of petewheeler
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of megamass
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Billolick
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, w/o freshness dating, pours basic, semi cloudy light amber, with an off white head, just leaving a minor amount of lacing. Nose also is pleasantly standard, light hops and maple malt. This is a smooth and easy drinking 8% pale ale, nice malty underpinings and subtle, understated hops late and in the background. Perhaps a hint of roasted grain and smokyness to seal the deal on this nicely crafted ale.

Photo of Mealy58
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Oberson58
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Tastes like yuengling, but a little better, without the dry mouth. Will drink again.

Photo of Vintarabo
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of jeffnazar
3.24/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of far333
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Faint apricot color with a disappearing off-white head. Aroma of biscuity malt, not too sweet, with some fruit and a touch of cinammon. Mouthfeel is full and creamy, leading to flavors of bitter orange peel hops, followed by a strong bitter alcohol flavor. The alcohol is too overpowering. I think I feel fumes going up the back of my throat and stinging the back of my nose. It's actually making me sneeze. No other depth of character or flavor.

Photo of briandaube
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of gunnerlincoln
4.25/5  rDev +13%

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a glowing golden amber with a nice frothy off white cream colored head leaves thick patches of evenly strung lacing. Aroma: Nice floral and herb like hop dosage very nice flow overall with a nice caramel malt backbone supporting sweetness here. Taste: Suprisingly more alcohol than I was expecting with some sweet gingery bread notes and a load of hops crashing down on the palate this isn't half bad. Usually not a big fan of Yard's brews but this one named after ol' Tommy J is a contender. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied ale decent carbonation but for whatever reason it's a bit cloying with some alcohol notes in the end. Drinkability: Decent strong golden ale not a beer that would get me hooked but I'm glad I had the opportunity to give it a try.

Photo of BBQWhisperer
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of SPRichard
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of aengleman
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of HopAttack3
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

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Thomas Jefferson's Tavern Ale from Yards Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 732 ratings.