Jefferson's Golden Ale
Yards Brewing Co.

Jefferson's Golden AleJefferson's Golden Ale
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Strong Ale - English
Ranked #21
ABV:
8%
Score:
85
Ranked #27,429
Avg:
3.79 | pDev: 11.61%
Reviews:
307
Ratings:
919
From:
Yards Brewing Co.
 
Pennsylvania, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  57
Gots
  254
SCORE
85
Very Good
Jefferson's Golden AleJefferson's Golden Ale
Notes: Fomerly Thomas Jefferson's Tavern Ale

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.
Reviews: 307 | Ratings: 919 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jzeilinger
jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep amber copper color, perfect clarity, and dense creamy foam dies down to a thin layer of sticky lacing.

S - Some sweet caramel malt with light spiciness and honey. Aroma is faint and a 3.5 is stretching it in my review.

T - Sweet toasted caramel malt from start to finish with some sweet honey and nice balanced spiciness. Ends with a light spicy pine finish. Starts sweet and ends perfectly balanced.

M - Thick, full bodied, and silky soft with light pricklies.

A - I didn't like this one at first but as I work through the pour it's really growing on me. Hats off to Jefferson for the recipe and to Yards for recreating it.

Yesterday at 02:59 AM
Photo of JohnniEMc
JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Rye and honey tastes are obvious, leading to a sweet beer. This is nicely complemented by a solid bitter hop finish, which gives this beer good balance. A bit too sweet to be a session beer, but one is nice.

Apr 24, 2020
Photo of Mrbob558
Mrbob558 from New York

3.84/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I had a sample as part of a flight of beers at the City Hall Tavern and then a bottle at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia.
The taste is quite good , not overwhelming but a smooth finish
Color is a nice deep Amber with a nice Amber
One of the better beers of the type.

Nov 13, 2019
Photo of npolachek
npolachek from New York

3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a golden copper color. Decent taste, but nothing special compared to other craft brews. I think it’s still decent and drinkable, but wouldn’t break the bank for it.

Aug 21, 2019
Photo of mynie
mynie from Maryland

3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apparently this beer has been around since hitler was a baby but I didn't hear of it until I visited Yards last weekend. I bought a sixer as the last thing I bought, just to fill up the box, and I've had a couple since and I didn't like the first few sips but wound up enjoying them.

It pours much more amber than gold, but a very bright and fizzy pour.

It smells kinda strong. Very sweet, with some fruit and nicely metallic nodes cutting into the malt alcohol. I've grown to like it, as I said, but I can see where newcomers would find it offputting.

Tastes... again, it's an acquired taste. I still don't love it, but after only a few of these I've grown to like it. It's a sweet and boozy ale, and the booziness doesn't come from any vinous complexities or barrel aging but from the fact that it's just a malty ass ale. The front is sharper, the middle is yeasty with some light hops nodes, the finish is fruit and rough barely alcohol. It's what I would imagine a minimally hopped, un-aged barley wine to taste like.

This is a strange ale, for sure, but the fact that it was so against my tastes and I came over to it so easily suggests to me that it's well brewed. It's worth trying, at the very least.

Jan 17, 2019
Photo of JohnnyHopps
JohnnyHopps from Indiana

3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - The beer poured a golden copper color with visible carbonation and a white head.

Smell - The beer had a sweet straw nose.

Taste - The initial taste was sweet smooth corn. As it progresses, the profile becomes lightly bitter and grassy.

Mouthfeel - The solid viscosity for the style fits the flavor profile.

Overall - Obviously, the style isn’t sexy, but the beer is a nice easy drinker.

Oct 13, 2018
Photo of tucson_brewson
tucson_brewson from Arizona

3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pilsner glass.

L - Pours a clear copper/orange color with lots of bubbles and an inch of off-white foam that dissipates to a thin lacing throughout.

S - Orange, honey, malt, mild hops, slightly piney.

T - Bready malt, orange, honey, citrus rind, finishes with a strong alcohol bite that overpowers the sweetness.

F - Light-to-medium bodied, medium carbonation, drinkable, slightly dry finish.

O - A nice, balanced stronger ale that drinks easy.

Sep 17, 2018
Photo of muchos
muchos from Pennsylvania

3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled on 06/06/18. Enjoyed on 06/17/18.
L. Clear dark-orange with a big fluffy head which reduces slowly for a thick lacing.
S. Spicy rye and honey are the first aromas I get, dark caramel, dark bread crust, earthy grassy hops. Smells good.
T. Bready, spicy, a bit of malty sweetness like caramel and honey, spicier in the middle mixing with grassy bitterness toward the end. Real bitter aftertaste. Not super complex but different and quite good.
F. Full side of a medium body, smooth with low-ish carbonation, not much warming or drying.
O. This is a fresh bottle that I'm sampling, so it has a nice bitter/spicy hop presence to compliment the combination of grains in this one. For quality, flavor, value, Yards is an excellent choice. Cheers!

Jun 18, 2018
Photo of bret717
bret717 from Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look- Pours clear golden/bronze w/rocky 1 finger off-white head

Aroma- Caramel, honey, subtle floral hops

Taste- follows nose with sweet caramel and honey up front that's tempered by floral hops and a firm bitterness along with a hint of orange

Feel- medium bodied and carbed; long, slightly bitter finished

Overall- Really nice, well balanced strong ale

May 12, 2018
Photo of ordybill
ordybill from Georgia

3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap into a pint glass at the Tavern pub in Philly. The appearance is a clear orange color with a medium sized white head. The aroma is malt, grain and honey. The taste follows the nose.

Apr 15, 2018
Photo of HoppingMadMonk
HoppingMadMonk from New Jersey

4.19/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark amber color,medium carbonation with a nice above average feel. Aroma is mild hops, malt, and what might be honey. Taste follows the nose, bitter hops softened by malt and again what I believe to be honey. 8% and is well hidden as this is an excellent easy to drink beer from a great brewer

Jan 28, 2018
Photo of Cavanaghty
Cavanaghty from Maine

3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass.

Appearance: A darker golden color with a thick beige head.

Smell: Light malts and yeast.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste of malts and yeast with a hint of hoppy bitterness.

Overall: Good beer, I would have this one again.

Jun 04, 2017
Photo of Whiteturtle
Whiteturtle from New York

3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Eyes: Partially translucent copper/golden hue. 1/3 in head settles into a thin mist in the center with a full circle foam around the glass.

Nose: Honey strikes first; followed by light toffee, croissant, and peach.

Taste: Bitter/sweet. Honey

mouth: light and crisp, but creamy. nice bitter tarty aftertaste

Solid offering of an exclusive recipe offered by Yards, or rather Thomas Jefferson. If you come across I highly recommend a taste

Mar 04, 2017
Photo of DeaconWhite82
DeaconWhite82 from Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It is good to go back to a good old fashioned ale. Nice color. good taste. I found it to be more sweet then bitter due to the honey. I am drinking bottles from the 6 pack I bought. I will buy this beer again. Could be my new go to 6 pack. Has a nice buzz after 2. That nice relax buzz. TJ. knew how to make good beer, and so does Yards.

Feb 19, 2017
Photo of WesMantooth
WesMantooth from Ohio

4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It poured a transparent dark copper color with a massive, thick cream colored head.

It smells like sweet, bread dough. Full of grains. Also a bit of a peppery note with some floral hops.

It pretty much tastes like it smells. Like a piece of homemade wheat bread with honey on it. Waves of grains ,especially rye. I would guess the spicy, floral hops with a surprising amount of bitterness are Noble. It reminds me of a Marzen a bit.

The body is a bit on the heavier side, but still quite drinkable for a higher ABV beer.

This is an outstanding brew. A little more bitterness than I would prefer, but otherwise I would drink this one again without hesitation

Feb 14, 2017
Photo of leantom
leantom from Indiana

3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not a bad beer. A little too grainy for my refined tastes, however. Here goes:

A: Crystal-clear, copper-colored beer. Similar to a darker adjunct lager. Head is massive and very bready, which is a plus. Lacing also lingers quite well.

S: Very bready and grainy. Breadiness comes from the baker's yeast; graininess comes from the wheat, I suppose. Quite plain, but there is something crisp about it.

T: Follows the nose. Very bready and grainy. While simple, the beer is quite refreshing.

F: Little bit thicker than I imagined. Still good.

O: Good beer. Have had better, though. A little too grainy for me, but I would have it again.

Dec 24, 2016
Photo of Vetbidder
Vetbidder from Pennsylvania

3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear amber color. Smells very malt based with some rye and some floral/sweet hoppy notes on the edge(or is it beery). Bready distinct rye flavor with some hoppy background bitterness. That flavor lasts a while on the palate. Fairly carbonated and some warming alcohol comes through in the finish. Pretty decent.

Dec 17, 2016
Photo of SomethingClever
SomethingClever from Ohio

3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into snifter 8/26 bottle date

A: Deep Amber body with excellent clarity. Head is a chunky fat white that laces the glass like crazy.

S: Light malts, honey, touches of cinnamon, bready doughy end.

T: Light lager tasting beer, bready, doughy, hints of corn, caramel, grains, and light touches of honey. Fairly bitter finish on this.

M: Light to medium body, fairly clean tasting with a little bit of a linger on the end.

O: This isn't too bad, its a tad bitter on this finish but its nicely malty lightly sweet and lowish abv its not bad.

Sep 10, 2016
Photo of KLHBB
KLHBB from Colorado

4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We asked at the liquor store, what is local? They pointed us to Yard and we chose a six pack of this. Really good. A nice amber color, the color of iced tea. Lemon, caramel, brown sugar, medium carbonation, an alcohol bite at the end. Yummy.

May 12, 2016
Photo of cjgiant
cjgiant from District of Columbia

3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap:
Ok, totally unexpected win here. Maybe right place, right time; maybe a newfound style for me (recent love for Immort Ale), but...

Pretty clear overall and definitely for the burnt orange color. Head is creamy for a lighter beer with earlier lacing. Light filmy head lasts.

Nose is definitely English IPA in nature. Copper and noble hops, essentially, not something that turns me on usually - but right time?

Taste is a clean, cereal-like malt upon which the indications of a ESB are presented. But then the bitterness doesn't grab hold, and neither does the copper notes that can kill an English IPA/ESB for me. A light maybe honey-like balancing sweetness counters these n'er do wells. A light impression of flowery to fruity nature grows in the beer, in the most general of terms.

Balance is key, but in a long-arm way: this is somehow both quite bitter and quite sweet at the same time. Strange and intriguing. Somehow it comes out soft enough, maybe because there's no more strength to this n'er than need be on either side.

Definitely need a revisit of a bottle on this one, but as of this review, I am sold. I gave my overall a notch under considering my impression is this might be situational. Revisit needs to consider this (and freshness).

Mar 02, 2016
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

3.52/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap ( beer engine) at the Industry. Dark golden with creamy head, nice hoppy aroma and hops in taste , creamy and smooth. No evidence of the elevated ABV.

Feb 28, 2016
Photo of pugbutter
pugbutter from New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Honey. Rye. Those sweetened honey pretzel sticks you can buy in any crummy grocery store...but in a good way. This one hides the alcohol well behind tons and tons of pleasant flavor. At no point is it too cloying; just a great balanced beer.

Feb 07, 2016
Photo of Purerockfury
Purerockfury from Maryland

4.88/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer shocked the hell out of me. I love Yards so I figured this would be pretty fine. Good label. Thomas Jefferson on the label. Good font. Brown bottle. Then I poured it and it was...ugh....yellow. So I got a little scared. How could something so yellow be good? Not even gold for gods' sake! YELLOW! Instead of launching the glass across the room as the color would normally demand, I took a sniff. Hmmmmm. It smells like beer. Hoppy. Malty. Spicy. Maybe a little citrus in there (but thankfully not grapefruit...NO ONE LIKES GRAPEFRUIT!).

I took a sip and something amazing happened! It takes great! Like world changing great. The spicey rye mixed in with the honey and corn sweetness and made a malt profile i had yet to experience. It almost has an IPA hop bitterness as well. A little grass and a little spice and a little lemon (THE GOOD YELLOW FRUIT) and maybe a touch of flowers On top of that was the viscous mouthfeel. Almost like a single malt scotch body and mouthfeel. Heavy in a good way.

Dec 01, 2015
Photo of Kubishark
Kubishark from Maryland

4.65/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had on tap at the brewery in Philly. Wow, this beer surprised me with how fantastic it was. It looks and smells good, but pretty normal. Then you taste it and it hits you. Delicious malts and biscuity flavors flood your mouth and excite your taste buds. Frankly, this is one of my favorite beers I've ever had. Jefferson is my favorite founding father and it just so happens that Yards' beer named after him is my favorite of theirs. I really love this beer.

Nov 23, 2015
Photo of PhillyRiver
PhillyRiver from Pennsylvania

4.26/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into clean tulip glass. Golden near one lamp, copper near the other. Two fingers of thick fluff head that laces pretty good all the way. Delicious. I am a little too lazy right now to ID all the flavors, but there might be honeysuckle and mild orange. (I don't read other reviews or company descriptions, so that's just my impression.) The mouth feel is among the best I've ever felt, smooth like glycerine(?) and creamy without being thick. It may be too high in alcohol for me to drink it regularly, though - usually stick to sub-6.

Nov 18, 2015
Jefferson's Golden Ale from Yards Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 919 ratings