Monticello Reserve Ale
Starr Hill Brewery

Monticello Reserve AleMonticello Reserve Ale
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Starr Hill Brewery
Virginia, United States
American Pale Wheat Beer
3.45 | pDev: 14.2%
Sep 02, 2016
Feb 23, 2011
Monticello Reserve AleMonticello Reserve Ale
Notes: None
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 3.68 by Speedihd from Pennsylvania

Sep 02, 2016
Rated: 3 by mflamar from New York

Jan 11, 2016
Photo of oberon
Reviewed by oberon from North Carolina

3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
I wonder what Thomas Jefferson would think of Hillary Clinton hmmm....nevermind sorry.Pours into a large tulip glass a light lemon color with a bone white head atop.Mainly toasted grain on the nose with some tart lemon.Flavors are lightly tart with a bit of butteriness,toasted grain in the aftertaste.It's ok and I know something mind blowing isn't gonna be sold at the Monticello gift shop but TH was a brewer,take a recipe from him and sell it.
Oct 14, 2015
Rated: 3.83 by IvoryFoxhole from Virginia

Feb 05, 2015
Rated: 3.43 by DrJay from Texas

Jan 10, 2015
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Reviewed by NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.32/5  rDev +25.2%
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!
Jan 07, 2015
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Reviewed by Redrock from Virginia

3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
L - Pours a light straw in color, with a thin head.

S - Pleasant lemon zest and citrus nose, slight notes of wheat, mild spices and herbal hops.

T - Easy drinking wheat brew. Bready, Citrusy lemon. At times reminds me of a farmhouse with the earthiness. What makes it unique is the sweetness from corn. Definitely has a nice crisp finish.

F- Medium to light carbonation, crisp and clean

O - At first glance this seemed like just another wheat brew, but given its large format I was able to see it open up and it got better as it warmed. If you served this too cold I can see why some would say it was just okay. Glad I was patient with it and I definitely enjoyed this quite a bit.
Jan 03, 2015
Rated: 3.9 by Boone757 from Virginia

Dec 31, 2014
Rated: 4.56 by FoodFan101 from Virginia

Nov 20, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by lillitnn92 from Virginia

Nov 18, 2014
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Reviewed by Jadjunk from Georgia

3.37/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
"Beer produced on the Monticello plantation was served during dinner, with wine served after the meal. From her first arrival at Monticello in 1772, Jefferson's wife Martha oversaw the periodic brewing operations, producing fifteen gallon casks of small beer- beer with low alcohol content- about every two weeks. Larger scale brewing began with the appearance of a British brewer detained in Albemarle County during the War of 1812. Captain Joseph Miller improved upon the quality and quantity of Monticello beer, introducing ale, stronger better suited to storage. Joseph Miller trained the enslaved Peter Hemings in the arts of malting and brewing. Hemings- a brother of Sally- carried on the brewing operations, making one hundred gallongs of ale every spring and fall. Jefferson wrote in 1821 that he had 'no receipt for brewing,' doubting 'if the operation of malting and brewing could be successfully performed from a receipt.'" Brewed in the style of an American Pale Wheat Ale. Brewed as a one-time release in 2011, available in 750 ml. bottles and limited draft.

Poured from a 750ml bottle to a snifter. Served above 49 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp, frothy ecru-white head over a mildly hazy golden amber body. Retention is above average and lacing is light and spotty. 3.5

(Smell) Soured wheat and pale malt up front with a spicy and effervescent yeast profile. Somewhat vinous, certainly unusual. Potency is medium. 3.25

(Taste) The flavor melds musty wheat malt with a light pale malt profile. Sweetness is very low but off characters are surprisingly limited. Very light, easy to drink with a dank white grape and lemony finish and a moderate acidity. Finishes somewhat clean with a slightly skunky must. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is oily slick, very lightly chewy, medium dry. Carbonation generates a medium frothiness for a silky crisp mouthfeel. Body is light/medium for the style, light+ overall. Balance is musty, dank over sweet and bitter. Alcohol presence is low. The age of this beer almost certainly contributes to a bit of funk, sourness and acidity, but little oxidation nor infection otherwise is detectible. 3.25

(Overall) This is probably what an easy drinking American Pale Wheat Ale would have tasted like in the early 1800's, especially with quality control issues that were prevalent before the time of refrigeration. It's held up surprisingly well, still very easy to drink and fairly enjoyable, but no doubt past its prime. 3.25

Starr Hill Brewery's
Monticello Reserve Ale
Nov 12, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by seanchai from Virginia

Oct 10, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by Iamjeff6 from Virginia

Oct 07, 2014
Rated: 3.25 by jp312 from Pennsylvania

Sep 10, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by Sludgeman from District of Columbia

Sep 01, 2014
Rated: 3 by SonOfKyuss from Virginia

Aug 24, 2014
Rated: 3 by ChrisKayler from Virginia

Aug 14, 2014
Rated: 2 by papajohn56 from Florida

Aug 03, 2014
Rated: 3 by PaulsBrew from Virginia

Jul 24, 2014
Rated: 3 by MattSharpless from Virginia

Jul 17, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by MikeANeilson from Virginia

Jun 26, 2014
Rated: 4 by bcgeiman from Maryland

Jun 25, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by Rhinehart

Jun 23, 2014
Rated: 3.25 by williahd from Maine

May 11, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by atrocity from Virginia

Apr 29, 2014
Rated: 4 by Laulau from Virginia

Apr 12, 2014
Rated: 3 by VeganUndead from Virginia

Mar 01, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by zp6167a from District of Columbia

Feb 26, 2014
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Reviewed by Sarmiento from West Virginia

3.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
Had this on tap down at the brewery and while I'll admit may be a bit biased due to the history behind this beer was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the brew.

A: A nice crisp golden blond nothing that will stand out and resonate in the mind but a nice amber with a bit of haze in it.

S: This is where the beer began to show some of its interesting characteristics in my mind. The smell was very "skunky" with some notes we commonly associate with our big wheat beers. The smell caught me and friend off guard as it was very similar to a farmhouse ale in terms just a bit lighter and not nearly as potent.

T: Amazing...Beer was very similar to drinking just a great lager yet with flavor. Taste for me personally was like mixing a farmhouse ale/saison and pale wheat. None of the notes were as strong as they are in a brew that is strictly saison or pale wheat but all the notes commonly found were there giving the drinker a fairly unique experience.

M: Very sharp, bitter with a bite. While it was smooth there was a lingering bit of sharpness left in the mouth as if you had just stuck ice in your mouth giving you a bit of a bite. Not the best mouthfeel i've experienced but still nice.

In all its a beer I would recommend to customers at my store but would let them know it will not be the greatest but is easily an above average brew. This combined with the history of the beer make it a great experience I would recommend to anyone looking to try something different and unique.
Jan 04, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by avisong from Virginia

Jan 01, 2014
Rated: 3 by fishguyac from Virginia

Dec 13, 2013
Rated: 3.75 by 21Maestro8 from Virginia

Dec 13, 2013
Rated: 3.5 by 67cuda from Colorado

Dec 10, 2013
Rated: 3 by Twal from Colorado

Nov 26, 2013
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Reviewed by mentor from Colorado

3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours a thin layer of sticky off-white head over a slightly cloudy light straw colored liquid. Looks like a cloudy American Premium Lager, but the head is more sticky. Smells mild overall. Lemon and sweet-tart, wheat and earthy. Oranges from hops and a woody character like English hops.

Tastes crisp, with a zing a a lemony tartness. The crisp comes across like a czech pils, spicy noble hop, though not quite the tin-like flavor associated with Saaz hops. The lemony sharp is not sour like I'd expect from a lacto ferment, though there may have been a short sour mash. Flavors are metallic, lemon, drying woody, herbal, rye bite. Cottony and woody in the mouth. Not much wheat character to this one.

Light in the mouth with heavy sharp carbonation. This strikes me as a summer quencher.
Nov 21, 2013
Rated: 3.25 by Xandrose from Maryland

Oct 12, 2013
Rated: 4 by IsabelleM from District of Columbia

Aug 24, 2013
Rated: 2.5 by Shall6815 from Virginia

Aug 23, 2013
Rated: 3.25 by SFC21 from Florida

Jul 28, 2013
Monticello Reserve Ale from Starr Hill Brewery
Beer rating: 79 out of 100 with 91 ratings