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Monteith's Original Ale - Monteith's Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Monteith's Original AleMonteith's Original Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
74
okay

67 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 67
Reviews: 46
rAvg: 3.12
pDev: 16.03%
Wants: 2
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Monteith's Brewing Co. visit their website
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 67 | Reviews: 46 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of goillini93
4.55/5  rDev +45.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I love this beer. OK? Will it make any difference to your snobby, hop-loving American self if I tell you that my favorite beers are from Bear Republic, Sierra Nevada, and Russian River - the hoppy ones like Apex/RacerX, Torpedo/Bigfoot/Celebration, and the RRIPA? It might be that NZ is such a great place to visit that I was clouded in judgment - but believe me, I wasn't. I had this many times at the Monteith's bars in Havelock North, Dunedin, and Queenstown, along with (multiple samples at the) Greymouth brewery and bottles at the Redcliff Cafe in Te Anau and a bunch of other places including my suitcase on the way home. It's designed to be a pale ale and it doesn't disappoint with those great unique flavors of the Nelson hops.

A: copper-golden, always perfectly carbonated and crystal clear.

S: A little hop-stinky, in a good way, but more of what I would call herby and not necessarily flowery like the cowboy-style hops in the US

T: delicious - probably what a pale ale should be, lots of the Motueka-kind of herby-medicinal hop flavor (that's what I think, anyway, feel free to correct my wack tastes) offset by a mellow malt sweetness that makes for a well-balanced beer you certainly wouldn't find as a mass-produced beer in the US

M: it felt good the second before I swallowed it - nothing flabby or off-putting, for sure

D: I drank a LOT of these while in NZ - and enjoyed every drop. It is pretty refreshing when you can have multiple delicious 4-5% imperial pints and not be flat on your butt, which happens to me all the time with the beers at my favorite watering holes at home. Plus NZ is just cool.

goillini93, Apr 22, 2009
Photo of brendan13
3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Cooper colour with a couple of centimetres of off white head that falls away almost straight away.
S - Label states that hops dominate...theres some slight floral aromas but other than that it's dominated by a caramel malt presence.
T - Taste is sweet caramel maltiness and some floral hops.
M - Quite light bodied, medium carbonation.
D - Another ok if somewhat bland beer from monteiths.

brendan13, Nov 17, 2007
Photo of Kulrak
3.83/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep reddish brown color with about a cm of tan creamy head that fades away to a thin layer, but leaves its mark on the glass all the way down. Smells faintly of malt and caramel and a tiny bit fruity. The taste is malty, with a bit of roast malt flavor there, and a bit of blackberry as the bottle says. Also a little strawberry on the end of it. Just enough bitterness to balance it out. Finishes fairly dry. Mouthfeel is tingly and fizzy, but not overly so. Overall, it's a very tasty and drinkable beer. Wouldn't mind having some more of these.

Kulrak, Aug 20, 2007
Photo of norwichboy
2.45/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Clear with brown-bronze clour, virtually no head. Not particularly aromatic, a hint of caramel, and a whiff of meat stock at times. It has to be said not a huge amount of flavour either, only just making out the caramel and a bitter finish. Quite fizzy. Overall, found it quite disappointing.

norwichboy, Aug 24, 2006
Photo of alexgash
3.4/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden copper color, off-white head. Fruity malt nicely mixed with earthy, bitter hops. Solid malt backbone of toasted caramel. Light fruitiness. Hops are generous and herbal, with decent bitterness in the finish. Medium to light bodied ale with a slightly overcarbonated feel. One of the better beers in the generally underwhelming Monteith’s range.

alexgash, Mar 03, 2006
Photo of jarmby1711
3.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Red teak in colour .A mixture of caramel sweetness and sharp bitterness both on the nose and palate.It balances these well.
I was hoping for and expecting a bit more hoppiness to this and ,was subsequently disappointed.
It has nothing nasty or unsavoury , it is a little bland.
Easily drinkable but not something I would seek out especially.

jarmby1711, Nov 29, 2005
Photo of joecast
2.73/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

back label says it is a "traditional english pale ale"
deep mahogany color with light lacing of a head.
mild hoppy aroma.
soft caramel flavors. nothing that will knock your socks off. a bit too much sweetness that overpowers the rest of the beer.

joecast, Apr 09, 2004
Photo of Zorro
2.73/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear really red ale, looks great.

Smell is disappointing maybe a little grain and perfume in there but this is close to smelling like a Budweiser.

Taste is a light sweet malt taste, and a bit of grain. Reminds me of the taste of Yuelings Lager. I could give this a 3 if it said lager instead of ale.

Mouthfeel seems thick for some reason.

Drinkable brew that lacks flavor. Really more of a lager than ale taste wise.

Zorro, Feb 29, 2004
Photo of Boilermaker88
2.17/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Picked this one up on a whim while stopping by my nearby Trader Joe's. The label on this 11.2oz brown bottle states it's "richly hopped" - that is open for debate. More on that later...
This brew had a clear copper color and a lumpy off-white head that quickly collapsed thanks to a near total absence of head-sustaining carbonation. Some minor lace was left behind. The smell was nearly non-existent: only some vague grassy malt aroma and an unpleasant sulphuric note lingering at the fringe of the nose. The taste had a dandelion-laced malt flavor and a kind of boggy sourness. This was not to be confused with any kind of hops profile. The finish was harshly acidic and the feel was medium-bodied and bitingly harsh.
Well, this is another "swing-and-a-miss" purchase. I don't like to descibe drinking a beer as "work" but this word best matches the description of what it was like trying to finish this beer. Save yourself a buck and avoid this one, for the sake of your palate.

Boilermaker88, Jan 19, 2004
Photo of BeerManDan
2.15/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

When poured it showed me a sort of light reddish in color with very little foam, if any and no lace what so ever. There was a sort of smell of malts, I think, but don't know for sure. The taste was lack luster and flat. Lacking of hops, or enough hops, this beer was not good. When I first tasted it in New Zealand, I thought the same thing, below average beer.

BeerManDan, Nov 09, 2003
Photo of Bighuge
2.45/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear copper color. No carbonation noted. Almost nothing of a head. Lace is negligible. The aroma is bland beyond belief. It smells like beer that has been sitting overnight in a plastic cup at a frat house that will dutifully be drunk that morning in order to start establishing a base for that days activities. Flavor? Highly hopped says the label. It must be a joke. This beer tastes highly of the black hole. Nothingness. Cowhide. Dead grass. Musty attics. WHERE ARE THE HOPS? Hmmm.

Anyway. Thanks for the prank, I mean extra, LongBeachBum. You are correct that EVERY beer does deserve a tasting at some point and I am glad I tried this beer once...ONLY ONCE!

Bighuge, Nov 09, 2003
Photo of gnaussea
2.13/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

When I drank this beer I was whisked away to some foreign land. Unfortunately it was a bar in new zealand with a bunch of roudy steel workers. Not crap, but nothing good except the color. A working mans beer, to relax after a day of hard labor. Reminds me of American macro brews, but is much superior. Nothing insulting about the flavor at least, but I will never buy or even think about it again.

gnaussea, Nov 06, 2003
Photo of diablo14
2.68/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

when i first poured this i was expecting big things. one thing ill say about kiwi beers, they use some of the best water in the world. so no matter what the standard of beer youre drinking from n.z, they are always crisp and/or clean.

its got an impressive amber color thats very enticing. unfortunately thats the best thing about this ale. i probably have access to a fresher brew here in oz, so i had no problem with head retention, even tho its not the biggest head youll ever see. it was a nice frothy white color that did manage to hang around till i finished my pot.

the flavor tho was an anti-climax. as others have pointed out, the claims of 'richly hopped' seemed a bit like false advertising to me. if there was one thing this was really lacking it was hops. and considering new zealand produces some of the best hops going around, this made it all the more disappointing. unfortunately, the apperance of this beer belied the flavor and aroma. there just wasnt enuff going of eiher to make it worthwhile.

it just tasted like a mild inoffensive beer with no real standout qualities. there was no sweetness, nuttiness or anything of like nature youd expect when you see an ale that looks like this one. its not crap by any means, but they could have done so much more with this than they have. a real letdown.

diablo14, Oct 15, 2003
Photo of Mustard
2.35/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle; "best before" warning -- in this case -- 8-04 -- printed on the rear label's bottom periphery; purchased as a stray single from Trader Joe's for, I believe, $0.75.

Appearance: Pours a darkish, copper hue with excellent clarity; smallish, offwhite head; light to moderate lacing; not much in the way of head retention.

Aroma: Lightly of caramel malt.

Taste: Faintly sweet; sallow, bready malt backbone; weakly bitter with mild hop flavors of a woody, soapy nature; light bodied with a thin, watery mouthfeel.

Notes: Even at $0.75 a bottle, I still feel ripped off; entirely forgettable.

Mustard, Oct 15, 2003
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.4/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: Another newbie to try from Down Under. Arrived in an 11.2 fluid ounce brown glass bottle with the words “Monteith’s Brewing Co. Since 1868” embossed in raised lettering. The dark green label states that the beer is from the West Coast, New Zealand and has the rather grand title Monteith’s Richly Hopped Original Ale. Listed as 4.0% Alc/Vol. Best Before 8-04. The Website lists this as a New Zealand ‘Pale’ Ale (not a Brown as it is listed here).

Appearance: Pours with a very clear looking amber body with a copper hue. A nice looking large expansive beige colored head that has good staying power. Laces well. Plenty of dissolved carbonation. A solid looking beer.

Nose: Light malts and even lighter hop odors. Has a fresh character to it though.

Taste: Not much in the taste department except light malts in the middle of the beer, and a delicate sweetness in the finish. At best this is akin to some Table beers that I have tried in the UK. At worst, it is like a Bitter Beer Shandy.

Hold On – Wasn’t this called Richly Hopped Original Ale? Where the hell are the Hops?? Somebody’s forgotten to put the hops in this batch I think.

Mouthfeel: A thin offering with little in the way of any body. This has a very watery feel at times, which is perhaps not that surprising given the relatively low 4% ABV and depressed flavor levels.

Drinkability: Nothing really detrimental to report, the beer is easily dispatched, however, after a couple of these, I would probably fall asleep of boredom. Forgetful.

Overall: Looks good, but it all goes South after the visual inspection. Nothing special at all. There is certainly no fear that this “Highly Hopped” Original Ale from the West Coast of New Zealand will be mistaken for anything coming from the West Coast of the USA!!! Oh NO Sireee.

TheLongBeachBum, Oct 14, 2003
Photo of Anonmatel
2.75/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The head dies extremely fast, not a good thing.
It was watery, slight berry flavour, although it was very weak, it was still very drinkable. I would not turn one down if someone offered me one, but i would prefer something else.

Anonmatel, Nov 30, 2002
Photo of rastaman
2.68/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

OK, but nothing to exciting, a bit of a artificila flavour hiding in there, and also a bit watery, another drinkable but not intersting brew.

rastaman, Jun 21, 2002
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Monteith's Original Ale from Monteith's Brewing Co.
74 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.