Monteith's Original Ale
Monteith's Brewing Co.

Monteith's Original AleMonteith's Original Ale
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Style:
Pale Ale - English
Ranked #461
ABV:
4%
Score:
74
Ranked #48,901
Avg:
3.12 | pDev: 16.03%
Reviews:
47
Ratings:
75
From:
Monteith's Brewing Co.
 
New Zealand
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  2
Gots
  4
SCORE
74
Okay
Monteith's Original AleMonteith's Original Ale
Notes:
Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 75 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

2.39/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: Another newbie to try from Down Under. Arrived in an 11.2 fluid ounce brown glass bottle with the words “Monteith’s Brewing Co. Since 1868” embossed in raised lettering. The dark green label states that the beer is from the West Coast, New Zealand and has the rather grand title Monteith’s Richly Hopped Original Ale. Listed as 4.0% Alc/Vol. Best Before 8-04. The Website lists this as a New Zealand ‘Pale’ Ale (not a Brown as it is listed here).

Appearance: Pours with a very clear looking amber body with a copper hue. A nice looking large expansive beige colored head that has good staying power. Laces well. Plenty of dissolved carbonation. A solid looking beer.

Nose: Light malts and even lighter hop odors. Has a fresh character to it though.

Taste: Not much in the taste department except light malts in the middle of the beer, and a delicate sweetness in the finish. At best this is akin to some Table beers that I have tried in the UK. At worst, it is like a Bitter Beer Shandy.

Hold On – Wasn’t this called Richly Hopped Original Ale? Where the hell are the Hops?? Somebody’s forgotten to put the hops in this batch I think.

Mouthfeel: A thin offering with little in the way of any body. This has a very watery feel at times, which is perhaps not that surprising given the relatively low 4% ABV and depressed flavor levels.

Drinkability: Nothing really detrimental to report, the beer is easily dispatched, however, after a couple of these, I would probably fall asleep of boredom. Forgetful.

Overall: Looks good, but it all goes South after the visual inspection. Nothing special at all. There is certainly no fear that this “Highly Hopped” Original Ale from the West Coast of New Zealand will be mistaken for anything coming from the West Coast of the USA!!! Oh NO Sireee.

Oct 14, 2003
More User Reviews:
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BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #44 (Sep 2010):

Creamy top to a tawny-looking brew. Hints of crusty baguette, caramel, yeast and a fine berry sweetness in the aroma. Some what lighter bodied and pretty smooth. Hops are very modest here, letting the yeast and malt show more. A bit of toasted biscuit and bread crust with some caramel sweetness deep within. Yeastiness comes across chalky and dry, but compliments the malt very well. Semidry finish with a growing drinkability. Not half bad--a flavorful little session ale from another hemisphere.

Jan 11, 2011
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jdhilt from New Hampshire

3.3/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one finger off-white head that fades quickly to a ring leaving some lace. Malty nose. Deep clear mahogany color. Light-medium carbonation and light bodied. Flavor is light caramel, hops stay in the background. Best before Mar 2010. $1.75 for a 330ml bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

Oct 19, 2010
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Bighuge from Minnesota

2.43/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear copper color. No carbonation noted. Almost nothing of a head. Lace is negligible. The aroma is bland beyond belief. It smells like beer that has been sitting overnight in a plastic cup at a frat house that will dutifully be drunk that morning in order to start establishing a base for that days activities. Flavor? Highly hopped says the label. It must be a joke. This beer tastes highly of the black hole. Nothingness. Cowhide. Dead grass. Musty attics. WHERE ARE THE HOPS? Hmmm.

Anyway. Thanks for the prank, I mean extra, LongBeachBum. You are correct that EVERY beer does deserve a tasting at some point and I am glad I tried this beer once...ONLY ONCE!

Nov 09, 2003
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rastaman from England

2.68/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

OK, but nothing to exciting, a bit of a artificila flavour hiding in there, and also a bit watery, another drinkable but not intersting brew.

Jun 21, 2002
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Anonmatel from Australia

2.75/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The head dies extremely fast, not a good thing.
It was watery, slight berry flavour, although it was very weak, it was still very drinkable. I would not turn one down if someone offered me one, but i would prefer something else.

Nov 30, 2002
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BeerManDan from California

2.18/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

When poured it showed me a sort of light reddish in color with very little foam, if any and no lace what so ever. There was a sort of smell of malts, I think, but don't know for sure. The taste was lack luster and flat. Lacking of hops, or enough hops, this beer was not good. When I first tasted it in New Zealand, I thought the same thing, below average beer.

Nov 09, 2003
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alexgash from Connecticut

3.38/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden copper color, off-white head. Fruity malt nicely mixed with earthy, bitter hops. Solid malt backbone of toasted caramel. Light fruitiness. Hops are generous and herbal, with decent bitterness in the finish. Medium to light bodied ale with a slightly overcarbonated feel. One of the better beers in the generally underwhelming Monteith’s range.

Mar 03, 2006
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

2.53/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a clear light copper color ale with a medium foamy head with average retention and not much lacing. Aroma of light sugar notes with bland malt notes as well. Taste is also quite bland with some notes of light sugar. Body is a bit light with OK carbonation. Boring and bland and not something I would seek again.

Nov 06, 2010
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Boilermaker88 from California

2.19/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Picked this one up on a whim while stopping by my nearby Trader Joe's. The label on this 11.2oz brown bottle states it's "richly hopped" - that is open for debate. More on that later...
This brew had a clear copper color and a lumpy off-white head that quickly collapsed thanks to a near total absence of head-sustaining carbonation. Some minor lace was left behind. The smell was nearly non-existent: only some vague grassy malt aroma and an unpleasant sulphuric note lingering at the fringe of the nose. The taste had a dandelion-laced malt flavor and a kind of boggy sourness. This was not to be confused with any kind of hops profile. The finish was harshly acidic and the feel was medium-bodied and bitingly harsh.
Well, this is another "swing-and-a-miss" purchase. I don't like to descibe drinking a beer as "work" but this word best matches the description of what it was like trying to finish this beer. Save yourself a buck and avoid this one, for the sake of your palate.

Jan 19, 2004
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joecast from Australia

2.7/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

back label says it is a "traditional english pale ale"
deep mahogany color with light lacing of a head.
mild hoppy aroma.
soft caramel flavors. nothing that will knock your socks off. a bit too much sweetness that overpowers the rest of the beer.

Apr 09, 2004
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Mustard from District of Columbia

2.42/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle; "best before" warning -- in this case -- 8-04 -- printed on the rear label's bottom periphery; purchased as a stray single from Trader Joe's for, I believe, $0.75.

Appearance: Pours a darkish, copper hue with excellent clarity; smallish, offwhite head; light to moderate lacing; not much in the way of head retention.

Aroma: Lightly of caramel malt.

Taste: Faintly sweet; sallow, bready malt backbone; weakly bitter with mild hop flavors of a woody, soapy nature; light bodied with a thin, watery mouthfeel.

Notes: Even at $0.75 a bottle, I still feel ripped off; entirely forgettable.

Oct 15, 2003
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gnaussea from California

2.14/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

When I drank this beer I was whisked away to some foreign land. Unfortunately it was a bar in new zealand with a bunch of roudy steel workers. Not crap, but nothing good except the color. A working mans beer, to relax after a day of hard labor. Reminds me of American macro brews, but is much superior. Nothing insulting about the flavor at least, but I will never buy or even think about it again.

Nov 06, 2003
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diablo14 from Illinois

2.69/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

when i first poured this i was expecting big things. one thing ill say about kiwi beers, they use some of the best water in the world. so no matter what the standard of beer youre drinking from n.z, they are always crisp and/or clean.

its got an impressive amber color thats very enticing. unfortunately thats the best thing about this ale. i probably have access to a fresher brew here in oz, so i had no problem with head retention, even tho its not the biggest head youll ever see. it was a nice frothy white color that did manage to hang around till i finished my pot.

the flavor tho was an anti-climax. as others have pointed out, the claims of 'richly hopped' seemed a bit like false advertising to me. if there was one thing this was really lacking it was hops. and considering new zealand produces some of the best hops going around, this made it all the more disappointing. unfortunately, the apperance of this beer belied the flavor and aroma. there just wasnt enuff going of eiher to make it worthwhile.

it just tasted like a mild inoffensive beer with no real standout qualities. there was no sweetness, nuttiness or anything of like nature youd expect when you see an ale that looks like this one. its not crap by any means, but they could have done so much more with this than they have. a real letdown.

Oct 15, 2003
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Zorro from California

2.74/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear really red ale, looks great.

Smell is disappointing maybe a little grain and perfume in there but this is close to smelling like a Budweiser.

Taste is a light sweet malt taste, and a bit of grain. Reminds me of the taste of Yuelings Lager. I could give this a 3 if it said lager instead of ale.

Mouthfeel seems thick for some reason.

Drinkable brew that lacks flavor. Really more of a lager than ale taste wise.

Feb 29, 2004
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lacqueredmouse from Australia

2.77/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Tried while in transit at Auckland Airport, although also tried before and not reviewed. This appears to be the lucky one, so let's see how it does.

Pours a dark, deep coppery colour, slightly tinged with orange, but with only a minimal head of fine white lace around the outside. Looks very still and flat, similar to its progenitors in the English Pale Ale style. Not bad, but not that inspiring.

Bit of grainy malt and sweet sugar water on the nose. Very mild, and a little weak. A little sweaty, earthy and organic hop character, but only if you really search for it. It's not terrible, but it's pretty bland.

Taste is similar. Very mild lightly grainy malt character, giving just a touch of coloured malts, with a sugary welling midpalate and a rather dry finish. Feel is thin and light, but without crispness—fair enough for the style, but the thinness is rather unappealing.

Eh. It's a pretty average brew, but not appalling or offensive. Decent enough to drink occasionally, but not exciting enough to warrant drinking often.

Apr 29, 2011
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Kulrak from Australia

3.8/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep reddish brown color with about a cm of tan creamy head that fades away to a thin layer, but leaves its mark on the glass all the way down. Smells faintly of malt and caramel and a tiny bit fruity. The taste is malty, with a bit of roast malt flavor there, and a bit of blackberry as the bottle says. Also a little strawberry on the end of it. Just enough bitterness to balance it out. Finishes fairly dry. Mouthfeel is tingly and fizzy, but not overly so. Overall, it's a very tasty and drinkable beer. Wouldn't mind having some more of these.

Aug 20, 2007
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drpimento from Wisconsin

2.97/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served a bit cold and a small, cream colored head that quickly faded to zip and no lace. Color is a clear amber copper with a couple of sneaky bubble trails. Aroma is malt, toast, hint of toffee. Flavor is like nose, more robust and also the carbonic tang to balance, oh and it just occured to me baking soda. Body and carbonation are ok. Finish is like flavor and of average length.

Jan 19, 2012
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jarmby1711 from Australia

3.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Red teak in colour .A mixture of caramel sweetness and sharp bitterness both on the nose and palate.It balances these well.
I was hoping for and expecting a bit more hoppiness to this and ,was subsequently disappointed.
It has nothing nasty or unsavoury , it is a little bland.
Easily drinkable but not something I would seek out especially.

Nov 29, 2005
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goillini93 from California

4.55/5  rDev +45.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I love this beer. OK? Will it make any difference to your snobby, hop-loving American self if I tell you that my favorite beers are from Bear Republic, Sierra Nevada, and Russian River - the hoppy ones like Apex/RacerX, Torpedo/Bigfoot/Celebration, and the RRIPA? It might be that NZ is such a great place to visit that I was clouded in judgment - but believe me, I wasn't. I had this many times at the Monteith's bars in Havelock North, Dunedin, and Queenstown, along with (multiple samples at the) Greymouth brewery and bottles at the Redcliff Cafe in Te Anau and a bunch of other places including my suitcase on the way home. It's designed to be a pale ale and it doesn't disappoint with those great unique flavors of the Nelson hops.

A: copper-golden, always perfectly carbonated and crystal clear.

S: A little hop-stinky, in a good way, but more of what I would call herby and not necessarily flowery like the cowboy-style hops in the US

T: delicious - probably what a pale ale should be, lots of the Motueka-kind of herby-medicinal hop flavor (that's what I think, anyway, feel free to correct my wack tastes) offset by a mellow malt sweetness that makes for a well-balanced beer you certainly wouldn't find as a mass-produced beer in the US

M: it felt good the second before I swallowed it - nothing flabby or off-putting, for sure

D: I drank a LOT of these while in NZ - and enjoyed every drop. It is pretty refreshing when you can have multiple delicious 4-5% imperial pints and not be flat on your butt, which happens to me all the time with the beers at my favorite watering holes at home. Plus NZ is just cool.

Apr 22, 2009
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russpowell from Arkansas

3.28/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent copper/amber with 2+ fingers of rocky cream colored head. Above average head retention & great lacing

S: Grassy hops, breadyness

T: Follows the nose, plus some lemony hops & slight grainyness up front. Grassy & lemony hops dominate as this warms, plus a touch of mineral hoppyness as well layered under grainy bread flavor. Finishes crisp but starts to go a bit watery

MF: Medium bodied, fairly low carbonation, okay balance

Drinks alright, but not hoppy or malty enough to really hold your attention for very long, not near as interesting as their black ale was...

May 05, 2010
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BillRoth from Maryland

3/5  rDev -3.8%

Dec 08, 2013
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jraldous from Australia

3.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Nov 17, 2012
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eric5bellies from Australia

3.45/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark golden colour with creamy head that dies quickly.

S - Caramel malts and some bread wuth sweetness.

T - Yeast flavours dominate with some malt at the finish.

M - Light body and carbonation is full.

D - A decent sessionable beer and worth a try.

Mar 11, 2011
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norwichboy from Australia

2.45/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Clear with brown-bronze clour, virtually no head. Not particularly aromatic, a hint of caramel, and a whiff of meat stock at times. It has to be said not a huge amount of flavour either, only just making out the caramel and a bitter finish. Quite fizzy. Overall, found it quite disappointing.

Aug 24, 2006
Monteith's Original Ale from Monteith's Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 74 out of 100 with 75 ratings