Jefferson's Golden Ale
Yards Brewing Co.

Jefferson's Golden AleJefferson's Golden Ale
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Style:
Strong Ale - English
Ranked #20
ABV:
8%
Score:
85
Ranked #28,446
Avg:
3.79 | pDev: 11.61%
Reviews:
308
Ratings:
921
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: 308 | Ratings: 921 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by JasonR32:
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JasonR32 from Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

I could truely see myself drinking this beer our of a tankard in a tavern. The 8% alcohol content is noticeable, but welcomed as it really brings out the taste in the beer. This is one of the best if not the beat ale I've had and the 3.77 rating is in no way high enough.

Jun 19, 2015
More User Reviews:
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metter98 from New York

3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is relatively clear amber orange in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense and creamy beige colored head that gradually died down, leaving a large pillow of bubbles in the center, a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface, a collar around the edge, and lots of lacy rings of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of caramel malts in the nose; as the beer warms up notes of brown sugar also become apparent.
T: Like the smell, the taste is a little sweet and has flavors of caramel malts, toasted malts and toffee along with notes of spices and hints of brown sugar and fruity yeast.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This strong ale wasn't that difficult to drink because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste. I enjoyed the complex taste of this beer but it seemed that it could have used a stronger smell.

Dec 27, 2012
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fourstringer from Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a silly-looking Sam Adams tulip-pint glass. Moderate hand. No date identifiable.

A: Dark, golden yellow with impressive clarity. 1/2 finger off-white head with average retention. Moderate lacing.

S: Cracker, black pepper, brown sugar, bread. Touch of indistinct fruit, light spice. There is the suggestion of Belgian yeast, which I did not expect.

T: Pine-forward, hop bitterness hits up front and carries through to a fairly dry finish. Pale malts attempt to break through with nuts and bread with only partial success. Alcohol is present, but relatively mild for 8% ABV. A bit of piney hops linger in the aftertaste.

M: Moderate carbonation with a light to medium body. Smooth, lightly creamy, effervescence.

O: Looks good. Smells good. I found the taste relatively unbalanced and a tad hollow. Somehow I doubt TJ's brew exhibited this degree of hopping.

Prost!

Jan 10, 2015
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scootny from New York

4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A 12 oz bottle from a half case box of "Beers of the Revolution". Drinking from a Sam Adams glass. Full two to three fingers of frothy yellowish dark eggshell. Nice lacing and gentle carbonation. A deep golden orange amber color.

Smell is full of sweet light malt, bread, and honey. The oats and rye offer up grains and spicy sharpness. Some pepper punctuates a very faint note of alcohol that is wrapped in a fruity english style ale yeast.

Taste is big full malty sweetness. The combination of light barley and oats push a bready quality forward followed by the rye spicy pepper notes. A bloom of honey that moves to a light sourness flowing into dry hoppiness that squeezes the mouth and tongue. Astringent and slightly oily my mouth feels scrubbed dry while still having a bit of melon juiciness. Alcohol is very well hidden as to be invisible.

Feel is velvety and supple. Light in the mouth, it still has a heartiness that yields a satisfying fullness to each swallow. Carbonation is smooth and mild. A light alcohol vaporous cooling.

Superb drinkability and flavor. Goes down like a session beer and and hits like a velvet hammer. Just excellent and if an accurate recreation Jefferson was at the top of home brewing field along with Washington.

Jan 08, 2015
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mempath from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

perfectly balanced for what it is....for what it wants to achieve, present, hits on all cylinders...V666th sense

not sure what's going on with the tastebuds of folks finding 'burnt rubber' and such; i guess sampling burnt rubber (and thus knowing what it tastes like) would could and should distort what remains of taste buds ;)

seriously, though, this is comparable to DFHead's own historical/ancient brews...take away the history and this is still an incredible, rich, unique strong 'indigenous' ale from early (colonized) "america"...

it's a beauty to behold with it's deep golden amber and feisty (inital) head...pour into a pewter tankard only after you've enjoyed it in an appropriate clear vessel...nose is deep tangy buttery floral yeasty molasses and such...it goes on...complex....what really helps deliver this nectary spectrum is the rich thick mouthfeel wil roils about and penetrates under the tastebuds...just amazing how this synergetically gels and flows...highly recommended WORLD CLASS masterpiece from YARDS...a rare perfection

Jul 25, 2015
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merlin48 from Kentucky

4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Oct 21, 2004
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dfconnor from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A full-bodied beer with a strong malt backbone. Full flavor from start to finish. Taste is a bit redolent of the Yards ESA, only a bit more bitter. Tasty!

May 12, 2015
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An aggressive and somewhat young Strong Ale that will some day make an awsome Old Ale.

The pour brings a deep golden or medium amber color with a short and sturdy head of stark-white foam. Light in carbonation, the beer quickly takes on a rather still life, leaving a stubborn head behind but no lacing.

Malty rich aromas take the shape of maple syrups, brown sugars, and heavy charred molassas. Any hop character takes a delicate herbal scent and avoids making any major impact. Cherry and plumb esters can be detected in scent.

Flavors behave much the same as aromas: strong molassas and brown sugar malts weave into a rum-like alcoholic sweetness and fruitcake like esters. Sweetbreads and teal-like herbs give a pruney variety to the beer. Strong and malty lead the way.

Moderately full in body, the beer isn't nearly as syrupy or sweet feeling as the taste and aroma suggested. After the initial weight of the beer suppresses a bit, the beer's rough edges possess a medium cough syrup-like fusal feel that hurts just a touch and causes abrasion.

In the end, this is a very good strong ale but the textures could be smoother and a fuller, rounder flavor and feel could help complete the session.

Aug 06, 2010
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thepenguin from Massachusetts

3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed 6/13/12

L: A deep amber with a hint of copper. A very pretty and enticing color.

S: Deep caramel-like, bready maltiness. Smells of rum and figs and the aroma suggests that this is going to be a heavy beer—kinda like a Scotch ale. Also has some tea-like character. Pretty nice.

T: A fairly sweet mixture of hops and caramel upfront, with a sweet, heavy finish. More hoppy than the aroma would lead one to believe. Bready and somewhat boozy.

F: A medium body with moderate combination. Some warmth post-sip.

O: This was an interesting, nice beer though not too different from many other malty, heavy, boozy beers and I could see this being a really good beer for the colder months. A nice well-balanced sipper.

Nov 10, 2015
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Ernald_Elbertson from Delaware

4.14/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

May 13, 2020
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edmer68 from Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +16.1%

Oct 30, 2014
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devinoconnor from New Jersey

4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had to add another review of this brew after having it in a cask. Totally different, and MUCH better than the bottle. Wouldn't drink again out of a bottle, but will search out for another cask.

Strong golden ale pours a nice brownish color with frothy foam.

Taste is dark chocolate, smooth and creamy. Caramel tones mixed very well and strangely balanced with a hint of citrus.

Mouthfeel is very well-balanced for a beer with 8% ABV. Nice change from the bottle.

Jan 03, 2012
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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
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Dmecca from New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dec 25, 2017
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Budlum from Maryland

3.69/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Feb 04, 2018
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jamesaharvey from Pennsylvania

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

Oct 16, 2015
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gillagorilla from Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter

A: Deep copper color with some effervescence. Only the slightest head with a tiny collar.

S: Lots of raisin and fruit cake. Quite sweet. It smells quite Belgian actually, like a Tripel or Quad.

T: Just some raisins. It is in that weird limbo of strong ales, old ales, and Belgian strongs. Interesting but pretty mild in taste, comparable to similar ones. The smell is much stronger than the taste.

M: Very smooth, with no bubbles.

O: Decent beer. I would say this is my second favorite in the Ales of the Revolution series, with the Porter being the best and the spruce ale coming in last.

Mar 23, 2014
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bdiiorio from Connecticut

4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dec 31, 2015
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treehugger02010 from Pennsylvania

3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at the Jean Bonnet Tavern in Bedford, Pa.
Appearance: It poured a deep brown body with a large white head which dissapated quickly leaving no signs of ever being there.
Smell: There were light citrus smells as well as bits of hidden sweatness throughout.
Taste: Rather hoppy, alpha type stuff.
Mouthfeel: A bit ridgid, but not bad.
Drinkability: Better than average, but less that good.
Don't drink and review.

Jul 02, 2007
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StaindProject86 from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Mar 10, 2012
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Methical from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Oct 13, 2013
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Drunkie from Pennsylvania

3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jan 10, 2016
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AaronHomoya from Indiana

3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear auburn color with medium carbonation and a pretty nice, off-white head. Good retention.

Malty aroma with a touch of roast and a slight hint of boozy alcohol. A touch of spicy hops as well.

The taste starts with a light, malty flavor with some caramel, followed by a touch of roasted malt and finished with a lingering, earthy, spicy hoppiness at the end.

Medium-bodied with a dry finish. Nicely drinkable.

Oct 07, 2007
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testch09 from New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Feb 26, 2012
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Homegrown in Newark, DE.

This one pours a dark gold color, with a small head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like caramel, brown sugar, molasses, and honey.

This is interesting, it definitely looks lighter than it actually tastes. There's some nice deep maltiness, sweet bread, caramel, and honey, with some dark molasses as well. Really nice.

This is medium bodied, with a bready mouthfeel, and a moderate level of carbonation.

A pretty cool beer here, definitely enjoyed it.

Sep 08, 2015
Jefferson's Golden Ale from Yards Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 921 ratings