Jefferson's Golden Ale | Yards Brewing Co.

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Jefferson's Golden AleJefferson's Golden Ale
Very Good
Jefferson's Golden AleJefferson's Golden Ale

Brewed by:
Yards Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 303 | Ratings: 909
Photo of Dewey0603
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours a nice golden color with a huge foamy head.The smell is very biscuity with some citrus aromas.The taste has a real fruit,apricot,buttery,malt,and hop flavor.The m/f is light and well balanced with a real nice crisp flavor.This is an excellent ale.I highly recommend it.

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Photo of Higravity
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tight nice gold with a white head that yeilds plenty of lacing. Smells of spicy hops and some malt sweetness. Taste is kind of bland middle of the road except the hops in the finish that really give it some life, bitty and spicey just not really floral or sweet all of that is left for the malt. You can't really taste the alcohol but the body is good and this is very sessionable, but at $10 a sixer around these parts I don't drink it very often.

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

A: Pours an orangey amber color with a smal white coloredl head that leaves a nice looking cloud on top.

S: Aromas of malts and barley. A little fruit or citrus with a strong malty nut base.

T: Mouthfeel is well balanced with a noticeable maltyness, but also some faint fruity hops that make themselves known. There is also a little barley in there also. Has a nice, but not overpowering, bitter end.

M & D: Mouthfeel is smoothness that makes you wonder what type of beer it is. I thought maybe an altbier or a bitter. Drinkability is real nice--Gonna work on the six pack tonight. Had a bunch of these while I was at the City Tavern for dinner about a year ago. the Rabbit was wonderful!

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Photo of thetachibro
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

into the pint glass it pours a light brown almost dark honey. not much of a head but a think white foam across the top. smell isn't too potent somewhat average lightly malty and fruity. it has an nice balanced flavor mild malts with a little spicy hops...very nice mouthfeel and i can definatley drink a sixer

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Photo of tomthumbsblues
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appeared a deep orange color atop which sat a quickly dissipating 1/2 finger head. Slightly cloudy and no carbonation apparent. Light roasted malt aroma with grainy background. Very pleasant toasted feeling on the tongue with a hint of fruitiness in the back of the mouth. Perfectly balanced and a good aftertaste. A nice tingling about the tongue. If Jefferson really drank this beer no wonder he went chasing after Sally Hemmings! A wonderful brew.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured a deep peach color with nice long-lasting head that stayed throughout the glass.Smell is fruity with a bit of hops. Taste is supremely smooth with a nice fruity texture. Finish is moderately dry and absolutley enjoyable, This is a geat beer. I find it hard to believe that they put 8% in here.

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Photo of PSUDREW
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Intersting brew. I like the idea of brewing the nation's forefather's recipes, and I do enjo the way it is presented.

Nice hazy, golden/amber pour. Some frothy head that dissapates a little to quicky, but still laces the glass nicely.

Nose is that of fruit setting out a bit too long (but in a good way)|

Taste mixes a fruit apricot, a sour afternotes, as well as a solid malt base. I honestly especed more hoppy ness, but it never showed. I did like the sweet and sour fruityness mixing the obvious alchohol notes, they played well off each other

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Photo of rajendra82
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From pezoids as part of BIF 20 package, this beer came with a historic looking label bearing the image of Thomas Jefferson. As I cracked open the bottle, a foaming gusher almost erupted on my desk, but some quick handiwork saved the day, with only a couple of drops being wasted.

The beer came out cloudy, and deep orange in color, with a Duvel-esque tall foamy head capping the body and crowning above the rim of the glass. The aroma was also evocative of a Belgian strong pale ale, with a musty, yeasty, spicy smell.

The taste was rustic with a rough hewn apricot juice like maltyness and a distinct sour note. The yeast was very earthy and provided a unique spiciness. The hops were muted. The mouthfeel was gritty without being harsh, and the aftertaste sticky and sweet-sour. The 8% alcohol was well hidden among the layered flavor profile.

I am not sure if Thomas Jefferson formulated this recipe after his tour of Paris as ambassador, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he did come up with this beer after visiting some Belgian or Dutch tavern after making landfall in Europe.

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Photo of Brent
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle describes this as a strong golden ale. Emphasis should be on the word "strong." The aroma lets you know right away that the gloves are off. Up front, hops bite in with a non-aromatic bittering that coats the tongue and up to the roof of the mouth. Some malt sweetness struggles to break through, but a wall of hops bittering blocks most progress. 8% abv shouts out it presence throughout. If this is what the founding fathers were drinking, it is a wonder they were able to sign the Declaration of Independence. Interesting, but, in the long run, a bit too heavy handed. Wins the coolest bottle cap award, though.

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Photo of maek228
4.06/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is bottle conditioned...BONUS! Alright, so this is one of the Ales of the Revolution. Apparently made from Thomas Jeffersons recipe for beer....I'm impressed. I like the idea of drinking a beer with Jefferson on it.

Appearance: An orange/brown. Thick white head that doesn't go away. Foam clings to the glass all the way down. Makes my mouth water.

Smell: ehhh, smells like alcohol, lemon, and hops.

Taste: Upfront is a burnt biscuit/wheat flavor, rounded out by a blunt lemon rind taste. Ends with hops and a strong prescence of alcohol. Let me just say, this is my kind of ale. This is a truly "rough around the edges" ale. This is a man's ale. I love the taste, it kicks your ass. Its obviously strong and hearty in an old school manly sort of way.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied...kinda thick.

Drinkability: These go down easy. If you drink enough of them, you'll be down.

Great Ale. Highly recomended

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Photo of oberon
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poures a deep burnt orange with a huge billowing head that really takes its time settling leaving big globs of lace behind,really pick up some lemon rind in the aroma along with some Belgina like spiciness?Not sure what kinda yeast is used here but man I get like a spicey,yeastiness in the aromas very unexpected.Wow nice mingling of flavors very citrusy and lemony upfront with that underlying spiciness but finishes with a dry toastiness with just a tad bit of alcohol burn as it warms.Very interesting and unique ale here is this what one of our greatest forfathers was brewing at Monticello?The bottle says so, damn I wish I could have shook his hand,just great.

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Photo of yeagerbm
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a nicely designed 12 oz bottle, this beer pours a clear deep amber with a small white head. The liquid is viscous in appearance. The smell is sweet malt with fruity tones. The beers flavor starts malty and sweet with biscuity malt flavor, followed by a grainy bitter finish and alcohol. The alcohol finish is lingering and a bit solventy. The mouthfeel is very full and smooth with average carbonation. Drinkability is OK but too much alcohol burn and malt sweetness to drink much of it. I'm reviewing this for what it is, and it's really not an American Pale Ale, and not really fitting in any style guidelines. I'd call it a American Strong Amber Ale.

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Photo of shippos
4.63/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

thanks to ppoitras for this most excellent beer, even though i took my sweet ass time getting around to it, definetly worth it though.

poured with a huge rocky pillowy white head on a slighlty hazy orangey honeyish color. fruity hoppy aroma, very citrusy with some sugar/malt sweetness and a bready yeasty character develops as this warms up. very very smooth body and a slick suculant mouthfeel. sweet raw sugar, very well defined hop character with a dry bitter aftertaste. very highly drinkable.

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Photo of maltedmilk
2.59/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

from the bottle:

Yards has recreated Thomas Jefferson tavern ale- a strong golden ale-
from ingredients originally specified by Jefferson himself for
semi-annual brewing at his estate Monticello.


Poured into my pint glass a clear copper color with a small head that quickly dissipated. Smells sweet…tastes sweet with a tiny bitter aftertaste. The alcohol is a definite presence.

I tried a bottle of this beer on 2 separate days to determine if I really disliked it that much. I have to say I do.

This beer is almost flat. It has a cloying sweetness.

I don’t know what Mr. Jefferson was thinking.

Not a great beer. And its pretty expensive. I would not buy this beer again.

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

This sample comes courtesy of Pezoids and Secret Santa '04. Many thanks.
Aroma shows a nice sweet fresh, with a light fruity quality. Includes a slight alcoholic note. Nice richness and fullness without excessive boldness.
Poured with excessive head, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt that is was a bit shook up on its trip west. Neat orange-amber color with a slighty cloudy. Head excesses settle slowly.
I like the fruity quality to the malt taste. Alcohol kicks in about the middle with a slight burn on the tongue (that moves to the stomach). Slight bitterness mid to finish (not unpleasant) and dryness that lasts.
Medium heavy. Heat from alcohol prevents some smoothness, but carbonation is nice.
This isn't a great beer, but it's not bad, and I like the concept (making beers of the founders and originators of the country and brewers). This beer is more than drinkable and worth the effort to seek out.
"Ales of the revolution." I love this kind of stuff. Picture of Jefferson on label and cap.

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Photo of Citadel82
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a pricey beer. I heard about it on NPR and had to buy it. I bought a six pack and laid some of it down. I have tried it on several occassions and this is my last bottle.

Pours a cloudy amber with a very , very big head. This is one to feature on "when bottle conditioned beers attack!" Left tons of lace as the head withdrew to a thin but fluffy layer on the brew.

Smell reminded me of a Hefe Weizen with strong Molasses undertones. Cloves, apples and nutmeg.

Taste was very herby, nutmeg, cloves, hops alcohol. Good.

Mouthfeel was tick and carbonated.

Drinkabilty. Spot on, a good beer for food. Some crusty bread, sharp cheddar and summer sausage.

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Photo of RBorsato
2/5  rDev -47.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Hazy golden color, overcarbonated with a beige head and lots of sediment. Oxidized/Infected peppery aroma and flavor -- very much like old TJ's homebrew recipe gone bad. Very surprising considering the Best By date. Medium-full bodied but seems light due to overcarbonation.

A bit pricey to take the chance of trying it again... Sorry Yards -- Bone up on the Quality Assurance!!

Label States: "Strong Golden Ale" & "Authentic Recipe" & "Bottle Conditioned"

Best Before: 04/24/06 (lasered on neck)
Tasted: 10/21/04

($1.79 / 12 oz.)

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Photo of merlin48
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.

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Photo of clvand0
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Another pretty bottle from the Yards Brewery. Pours a nice amber color with a thick head that dies down fairly quickly and doesn't leave much lacing on the sides of the glass. The aroma had a little maltiness to it, but the floral hops were very present. There is a nice citrus hint in the aroma. The flavor had some caramel, malt, and citrus. Finishes a little dry and leaves an interesting flavor on the palate. I would have this one again.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a nice amber color with just a cover of head that falls to nothing. The nose is orange, but without the acid of citrus in there. The flavor is pretty much on par with an earthy hop flavor pf an APA. The hop could be more prevalent, but it works okay. The mouthfeel is nice and thick. I could drink a few of these beers. I dig it.

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Photo of far333
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Faint apricot color with a disappearing off-white head. Aroma of biscuity malt, not too sweet, with some fruit and a touch of cinammon. Mouthfeel is full and creamy, leading to flavors of bitter orange peel hops, followed by a strong bitter alcohol flavor. The alcohol is too overpowering. I think I feel fumes going up the back of my throat and stinging the back of my nose. It's actually making me sneeze. No other depth of character or flavor.

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Photo of donnebaby
3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear, dark body, orange in color. Thin ring of bubbles foam. Seemingly viscous. Lots of alcohol in the nose, mixed with some complexity of malts and hops.

Taste is big and boozy, sweet with a quick alcoholic backlash, followed by a drawn-out bitter mineral bite, heading towards dirt. Nice mouthfeel between the thick yet light body and the grating aftertaste.

Definitely rough around the edges here with the alcohol potency, and I think I'd need a few to grease the chute before really getting into this.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from a 6-pack purchased at Norm's, Vienna, VA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/2" light beige head over the dark amber brew. Head is long-lasting, with foamy lacing here and there. Aroma is relatively hoppy, but somewhat spicy as well, hits me like cinnamon? Taste is pretty hardy malts for an APA, and the spices are kicking as well. Makes you almost forget this is supposed to be a hoppy offering, which I'm not sure how I feel about. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both okay, nearing good. A bit too exotic in the aroma and flavor areas for me to make an enjoyable APA. Almost seems like it should be in with the spiced ales or something. Worth a try for variety, but not an everyday, for sure.

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Photo of shapudding
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the City Tavern. Had asked what they had that was the strongest/heaviest, and was told by one of the guys that this had more body to it than the George Washington stout, kinda surprising. Dark honey golden with a white creamy head. Tons of lacing. Don't see the carbination too much, but it is there in the taste. Hoppy scents, light pine. Bit of fruitcup, little bit of grapefruit. Nice biteyness! Alot of carb in the taste, bit too much?...maybe.. me. Light grapefruit juice and hops, little bit of sweetness that jumps from the background. Good alcohol taste, I like that. Decent brew, not one I would go back especially for.

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

The beer poured a crystal clear pale amber golden. The beer erupted from the glass upon pouring into a yellow head which spilled over onto the counter and lasted to coat the glass. (moral - pour carefully)

The aroma was malty and fruity with caramel and floral notes.

The flavor was malty and fruity with caramel and some tannin flavors. The bitterness is well established and keeps the malt in check.

The finish was dry and bitter, but not unpleasant. The body was medium full.

12 ounce bottle.

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Jefferson's Golden Ale from Yards Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 909 ratings