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: 908
Photo of crookedhalo
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber copper color with a carefully poured pillow of beige head. Faint tones of some American grassy, lower-alpha hops and some caramelly malts. Reasonably well balanced, swayed a slight bit towards the maltier side. Evidence of a mixture of some paler and amber malts, with botanical hops in the background. Pretty darn drinkable. I'm taking a fondness of the Revolutionary era recipes that Yard's is reproducing. Now if we could only get a John Quincy Adams Unadulterated Gruit Ale in the lineup...

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Photo of GnomeKing
3.86/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden and glistening, this beer leaves thick rings of lacing around a pint glass. On the first taste, the hops seemed a little overwhelming, but after a few sips everything seemed nicely balanced and easy to drink. There are hints of sweetness and fruit, especially in the aftertaste, which lingers a long time on the tongue. Well done, Yards.

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Photo of BrewMaster
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First off, it must have been a bad day when I tasted this beer because it did not live up to the local hype. Perhaps it was an old keg or something.

I had this brew on tap at City Tavern. This beer was very uninspiring and left a lot to be desired. Undercarbonation left it with a flat feel in the mouth. It coated the mouth in a bad way. Wheaty taste but not much hops to be found. It looked great in the glass with a moderate head.

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Photo of aracauna
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very hazy amber with a thinning head. The aroma is slightly malty with a little bite of almost peppery hops. I really was a bit surprised that the beer was as strong as it is. It’s pretty drinkable. Toasted bread is the base of the malt in the flavor. This could pass for a decent ESB. Drinkable.

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Photo of MrNuggets
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark orange colour with a towering off white head. After a while it dies down to a soft layer of fluff which lasts through the last sip. A very thick lace coats sides of my goblet. Earthy aroma filled with light hops and spice. Smooth hop flavor that glides it ways into heavy malt closing up with a relaxed bitterness. Hints of nuts and spice excite the taste buds after swallowing.
8% ABV?!?! Get out of here! Good things its marked on the bottle, because it would not be at all hard to throw down a few of these completely unaware of its ability to intoxicate you quickly.
A great brew and an interesting pale ale.

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Photo of Dantes
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Package: 12 oz. longneck, crowned brown bottle. No date information. ABV indicated at 8%. Blurb claims this is part of a line of “beer reproductions,” and tagged “Bottle Conditioned” and “Authentic Recipe.” Prominent portrait of Thomas Jefferson centered on the label.

Cost: X77AB-F per 6-pack at Total Wines

Presentation: Poured into a Shaker pint glass at ~45º

Appearance: Presents a classic ESB-like reddish-blond glow, with copious brown flakes coruscating through the body. The yeasty lees produced a sort of reverse-smoke-plume through the center of the glass, staining the moderately loose, quickly resolving white head. Quite a few large-ish bubbles clung to the sides of the glass.

Smell: A nutty, bready, yeasty aroma; with a hoppy top-note. Seemed a very classic, bitter or ESB-like bouquet. Not much of an alcohol presence either, despite its relatively high 8% ABV. A truly classic, panoply of mild ale aromas: grain, moderate hops, toasted bread, and buttered toffee. Nose is restrained but complex, improving as it warms.

Taste: Very much a classic bitter in taste, with a substantial grainy, malty foundation; well-layered with bitter (not citrusy) hops, toast, nuts, and buttery toffee. I can’t identify the hops, but they are very much in the British style, leaning toward bitter, grassy, woody flavors; with little citrus or other astringent notes. The heightened alcohol is barely noticeable, only showing in the lengthened, deep, warming finish and perception of extra-concentrated flavors.

Mouthfeel: Despite some large-gauge bubbles in the glass, the carbonation in this was very good. Robust and persistent, but also pretty smooth and subservient to the beer’s flavors. Body is excellent.

Drinkability: Very easy-drinking, despite its hefty ABV. If I didn’t know its strength, I could easily see downing WAY too many of these in one sitting. As it is, I could feel its effects after two of these and a slightly weaker porter.

Backwash: If this is indeed “authentic,” I can see why the Founding Fathers were, braver, smarter, and more innovative than the statesmen of today. This comes pretty close to the kind of beer I’ve often dreamed of brewing or drinking: a “double” or “extra strong” ESB. In any event, it's definitely more than a pale ale. This sacrifices very little for its higher ABV, maintaining a nice balance between malts and hops and a very nice drinkability. I don’t know exactly why this is quite so expensive, but I have to say that much of the cost shows up in the glass, so I’m much less likely to quibble about it. Maybe it’s because I let this sit for awhile before getting around to drinking them and they improved, but I was genuinely surprised that more people didn’t enjoy this as much as I did.

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Photo of rdrummer
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a tap at Bishop's Collar in Phila, the second try of Yard's beers of the revolution. Another good beer that is a dark auburn color with a small white, short-lasting head. The beer was strangely dull in aroma. We were drinking at an outside table, and it's possible the outdoor aromas overpowered the beer, but what aroma existed was primarily one of malt. The beer, fortunately, has a lot more taste than aroma. It is a rather complex ale with a basic sweet maltiness base with fruity overtones. The beer has a hops kick at the end that lends a bitterness that balances the sweetness of the malt. It has a thick and creamy feel in the mouth and is an easy beer to drink and begs for a second.

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Photo of jackndan
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thomas Jefferson's Tavern Ale: From Yards Brewing Company, poured out of a twelve ounce bottle.

Pours a deep auburn color, nice white head, leaves a good 1/8th of an inch on the top of the beer. This beer is somewhat hazy, and has definite particulates suspended in the mix.

Extremely nice aroma, very spicy, a little orange, a little lime, a bit of hops.

Wow, that is an unusual taste, extremely hoppy, with the taste running down the sides of the tongue like electricity. Some fruity/citrus flavors are present, primarily from the hops. Very flavorful, and not what I had anticipated.

Somewhat thick, and fairly heavily carbonated. A very nice quaff.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber colo with golden highlights. Puffy clouds of lace grace the side of the glass.
Aroma of honey, light malt and some fragrant, perfumy, floral and grassy.
Flavor of sweet dark malt, date/fig profile with some bubblegum and beautiful spicy hops. Great tasting beer.
Mouthfeel is sweet start that moves to a spicy, gritty yummy bittering. Great on the palate.
Drinkability is excellent, could drink this all evening.
Thanks to beerluvr for this great ale.

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Photo of WesWes
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark gold/amber color with a thin white lace head. The aroma is decent. It has a strong pale malt scent with some light crystal malts. The taste is good. It has a smooth yet intense pale malt flavor that finishes dry and bitter with a bit of a breadlike taste. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a decent pale ale. It has a little too much abv., but it is still quite enjoyable.

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Photo of jtfest
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A big, thick, off-white-mocha head that dissipates slowly and remains substantial -- leaving thick lacing on the glass. The color is slightly darker and more orange hued than your average pale. The aroma is earthy, like farm air after a storm, with a hop bitterness that bites the nose lightly. The mouthfeel is light and a bit syrupy, with a carbonated tingle that compliments the hop aspect of the aroma. The taste is very clean, but "filling" -- substantial in it's delivery of a nicely blended citrus/sweet malt/ bitter flavor. Quite enjoyable, and I could easily have more than one in a sitting.

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Photo of ark57
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another beer I had at the City Tavern in Philly. It is a cloudy orange-brown color. Decent sized head and fruity and floral aroma with some sour notes. It is malty and I think they said that honey is used and I detect a slight amount of it. It finishes with a crisp hoppines and a slight sour dryness. Quite refreshing.

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Photo of Gavage
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy orange color with yellow highlights. Only a spotty surface head and no lacing. The aroma was of malt and tart fruit. The flavor was slanted towards the malt, but granny smith apples, light bitterness, and barely noticeable alcohol round out the flavor.

The mouthfeel is smooth with a dry finish. The malt rides the tongue for a few seconds after swallowing. Carbonation is quite light. Medium bodied and can be considered a hearty ale. Nicely drinkable. Interesting to see how the founding fathers liked their beers.

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Photo of frank4sail
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Red/peach color in the glass. White head on the pour leaves the glass quickly. Outer slight white ring and lace left on the pint glass. Touches on honey and malt sweetness and roasted nutty malt. Thick sweet malt initial taste followed by a roasted hazelnut and dry grass finish. The mouth is medium thick and coating upfront with a dry tongued apparent abv finish. Not a bad brew.. just solid though.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A turbid and murky looking orange tone. Minimal head, but the bone white collar leaves some sporadic lace along the way. Aroma is pretty earthy and herbal. Some lemon notes highlight. And whiffs of hay enter my senses as well. The flavors are unique. Some lactic sourness compiments biscuit like malt in almost a lambic sort of way. The aftertaste is dry and acidic. The body is almost full and carbonation in the mouth is subdued. If I lived during the times of the Revolution and came across this brew, I'd drink it.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sits in the glass a chilled hazed peach skin color, thin off-white head faded quickly, some spots and smaller patches of lace stick. Smells of dulled sweet malts giving off a kind of fruitiness of nectarine, red apple, and raisin and very slight caramel. Taste has a very dullish malt profile, slightly chewy, smooth and malted up like crazy, where's the hops? Seems more like all malts to me, but I guess the hops could be adding to some of the dryer dulled citrus tones that are coming through late along with a tiny woodish note in the finish. There's a very tiny spice and floral tone coming through as it warms nearer the finish. Feel is close to medium and quite smooth with a milder tone of malts and just a nudge of carbonation and husk-like texture midway to finish. This was a bit more malts then I like my pales, like em much more hopped up and/or at least balanced evenly between the two, but this was nice enough, reminded me of a Maibock. Thanks to Francisweizen for throwing this in!

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Photo of Suds
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Great concept, patriotic label, and a great time of year to try the beer, I just had to buy a six pack!
Pours a ruddy, brownish-amber color with considerable haze and a lot of sediment. The head is large, frothy, and long-lasting…leaving large tufts of foam on the side of the glass. It’s a much more attractive head than I’d expected. Aroma has a wild “tartness” to it. It’s herbal, lemony, spritzy, yeasty, and slightly bread-like. The taste has a refreshing mild acidity and nice maltiness throughout. Finishes on the dry side, with a lingering spiciness. It’s remarkably drinkable and all around quite good. I wonder if this actually resembles the brews of colonial and revolutionary times? Fill my blackjack!!

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Photo of sideshowrob
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A part of the "Ales of the Revolution" series. Nice concept, though I was disillusioned to the idea when I read in Ale Street that no actual recipe existed for Tom's Ale. This is a historic recreation of what type of beer they might have drunk. If they came even close, then a tavern in a large city would not have been a bad place to be in the late 1700's.

Wasn't entirely sure what to expect from this one. Pour was nice, with a very thick head developing quickly and dissapating slowly. Smell was understated, with a bit of citrus (lemon?) notes coming through. The payoff was in the taste. Very meaty for a pale ale. lots of bright notes in the beer, again, a lemon/citrus zing rings through for me. Hops are present, but not overpowering, as is the malt. Very different from what I think of when I think Pale ale. Very easy to drink this one down. It hides the 8% ABV very well. I could easily have several of these over dinner. Very drinkable.

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Photo of aaronh
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Deep copper color with minimal head. The aroma is fairly sweet, and hints at familiar bourbon nuances. A bit of smoky oak, a hint of vanilla and carmelized sugar. The taste is rather earthy, with a bit of sweetness and a strong resurgent bitterness on the finish. A slight hint of alcohol is also present on the finish. Lingering woody bitterness on the aftertaste makes me feel like I'm using the old wooden drinking vessels of Colonial America. The mouthfeel is pretty robust, but not overpowering. Drinkability is OK, but the strong earthiness combined with the alcohol drop it down a notch in my book. Nonetheless, a pleasant find, and another creative beer idea brought to you by the folks at Yard's.

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Photo of AsburyParkJMH
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

ales of the revolution. sounds interesting enough. the tavern ale pours with an off-white medium sized head that retains a mild stickiness. the body is orange/amber in colour and looks to be a bit high in the carbonation department. perhaps a nice, crisp pale ale awaits? the smell is somewhat decent here. seems like it's going to be a bit thin in the flavour and body department from smell alone. there are hints of sweetness, earth, wood and malt here. the taste improves upon the smell, though not by much. it is more bitter than the smell would lead to believe and has a nice earth/hop balance to it. still seems watery but less so than the smell led me to believe. the carbonation evened out as well once the beer sat for a while. it actually ended up being rather smooth and easy drinking. this one is not bad, not great, just a decent to good brew. i'm actually hoping for better things from the washington porter, but could easily drink this one again and would not mind it at all for a session brew.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thomas Jefferson's Tavern Ale

poured a reddish orange with a thin head. Lotsa floaters in it.
Smelled of flowers and hops.
Tasted like orange rinds. Slightly Bitter and crisp. goes down easy.
Mouthfeel was bitter up front but smooth in the back. nice beer!

Overall, a very drinkable beer. I'll keep an eye out for this if I'm ever in a bar in Philly.

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Photo of beerluvr
4.32/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours with a rocky, just off-white head settling (with awesome lacing) over hazy sunset amber liquid. There's apparent fruitiness in the nose, with lightly toasted maltiness sneaking in as well. The taste offers rich mouthfeel with lingering hoppy undercurrents mixed with yeasty fruitiness, malty sugars and a bit of warming alcoholic heft. Finishes toasty fruity and bitter...those Colonial boys sure drank some good ale back in the day.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The color is amber, with a bit of bubbly white head. The smell is malty. The taste is fairly malty and somewhat sweet, with a bit of hops in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is average. Drinkability-wise, could have a few.

Another superb offering in the Ales of the Revolution series. A nice pale ale that's more malty than most (were there not hops in Colonial America?), and certainly one that I would have in the future!

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Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark peach with a small white head. The aromas are of fruit, booze, melons, malts, and hops. The taste is of hops, fruit, and booze. The mouthfeel is nice and the finish is warming. The drinkability is very good for this interesting ale as well. This was an interesting beer that I am glad to have gotten the chance to sample. Unfortunately, it was not my favorite beer from Yards, oh well. It's still tasty and very different.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a glowing golden amber with a nice frothy off white cream colored head leaves thick patches of evenly strung lacing. Aroma: Nice floral and herb like hop dosage very nice flow overall with a nice caramel malt backbone supporting sweetness here. Taste: Suprisingly more alcohol than I was expecting with some sweet gingery bread notes and a load of hops crashing down on the palate this isn't half bad. Usually not a big fan of Yard's brews but this one named after ol' Tommy J is a contender. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied ale decent carbonation but for whatever reason it's a bit cloying with some alcohol notes in the end. Drinkability: Decent strong golden ale not a beer that would get me hooked but I'm glad I had the opportunity to give it a try.

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Jefferson's Golden Ale from Yards Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 908 ratings