Monticello Reserve Ale | Starr Hill Brewery

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Monticello Reserve AleMonticello Reserve Ale
91 Ratings
Monticello Reserve AleMonticello Reserve Ale

Brewed by:
Starr Hill Brewery
Virginia, United States

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by PreacherBrewer on 02-23-2011

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 91 |  Reviews: 28
Photo of Speedihd
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mflamar
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of oberon
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.

 447 characters

Photo of IvoryFoxhole
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DrJay
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of NeroFiddled
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!

 1,689 characters

Photo of Redrock
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.

 692 characters

Photo of Boone757
3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of FoodFan101
4.56/5  rDev +32.2%

Photo of lillitnn92
4.25/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of Jadjunk
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

 2,540 characters

Photo of seanchai
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Iamjeff6
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of jp312
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of Sludgeman
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of SonOfKyuss
3/5  rDev -13%

Photo of ChrisKayler
3/5  rDev -13%

Photo of papajohn56
2/5  rDev -42%

Photo of PaulsBrew
3/5  rDev -13%

Photo of MattSharpless
3/5  rDev -13%

Photo of Rvageneralee
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of MikeANeilson
4.25/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of bcgeiman
4/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of Rhinehart
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of williahd
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%

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Monticello Reserve Ale from Starr Hill Brewery
Beer rating: 3.45 out of 5 with 91 ratings