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Monteith's Original Ale | Monteith's Brewing Co.

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46 Reviews
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Monteith's Original AleMonteith's Original Ale

Brewed by:
Monteith's Brewing Co.
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2002

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Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 73
Photo of gnaussea
2.14/5  rDev -30.3%
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.

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Photo of BeerManDan
2.18/5  rDev -29%
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.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
2.19/5  rDev -28.7%
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.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
2.24/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

This beer pours a clear, bold, copper color with no head or lace. It has an aroma that is mostly chocolate with faint hints of dough. The flavor has a malty sweetness with a hoppy tang, reminiscent of root beer barrels hard candy. It has a watery mouthfeel and a good bit of carbonation. Monteith's Original Ale is a so-so beer, nothing special. Slightly recommended.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.39/5  rDev -22.1%
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.

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Photo of Bizz88
2.41/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured a clear medium mahogany amber into a pint glass with a nice off white two fingered head with alot of sticky lacing. Aromas of sweet malt and carmel with a slight hint of hops. On the palette this brew offered up a sweet brassy metallic taste not what I expected. Lighter body than most EPA's with a little bit to much carbonation feel on the tongue. This may have been an old date wise brew so further tasting will need to be done.

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Photo of Mustard
2.42/5  rDev -21.2%
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.

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Photo of Bighuge
2.43/5  rDev -20.8%
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!

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Photo of norwichboy
2.45/5  rDev -20.2%
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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.53/5  rDev -17.6%
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.

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Photo of SmashPants
2.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Format: standard 330mL brown bottle with a simple but stylish label.

Appearance: mid dark amber in colour, with a very flat head that fritters away to almost nothing. Looks a bit ordinary.

Aroma: the aroma is of light apple and some bready yeasts behind. Decent if a little uninspired.

Taste: again the apple and bread flavours are there, but there is a quite unpleasant flavour bursting through from the over-carbonation.

Aftertaste: the main flavour that draws through is the metallic fug from the carbonation.

Mouth feel: light to moderate in body with that over carbonation that pretty much ruins the beer.

Overall: not a brilliant beer from Monteith's, which is getting to be a standard. The carbonation is too high, which alters and ruins the flavour. Definitely not for AU$60 a case.

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Photo of Macca
2.68/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours a very dark amber colour. Clear. A little head but it disappears quickly.

Lots of caramel malts on the nose and not a lot else.

As expected, sweet caramel malty flavours. Some hop notes but very dull.

Medium bodied.

All a bit average really.

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Photo of diablo14
2.69/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

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Photo of joecast
2.7/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

 249 characters

Photo of Zorro
2.74/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

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Photo of Anonmatel
2.75/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.77/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
2.83/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 330ml bottle with a BB of Nov 2012. Picked up a little while ago from a local off-licence (dirt cheap). The label mentions that this is brewed to the original family recipe from 1868.

Poured into a straight pint glass. A clear coppery-amber colour with low carbonation. Forms a large head of creamy off-white foam that lasts for a couple of minutes before subsiding. Aroma of caramel malt with hints of grain, fruity ale yeast, subtle dried fruit and stewed hops. Dry and slightly earthy, with a background whiff of cardboard.

Tastes of mild caramel malt with a dry finish. Notes of fruity ale yeast, wet grain, a hint of dried fruit, faint sugar and stewed leaves. Dry and a tad rustic, with a slight cardboard presence. A subtle bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with restrained carbonation and decent body. Somewhat astringent, with a stale aftertaste of mild caramel and stewed leaves.

Meh - a pretty average ale. Surprisingly dark for a 'pale ale'; it's more of an amber/brown ale to be fair. Both aroma and flavour have an unexciting malty/yeasty character, with hops hardly accounted for. Mouthfeel is OK. This is rather dull and unrewarding - like a slightly better version of John Smiths (which isn't saying much). No need to seek it out.

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Photo of heygeebee
2.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep brown/amber colour - no head, no lacing.

Not much in the way of nose, some malts.

Interesting taste - almost got some plums(!) coming through. Don't often write that...Quite sweet, no hops to balance. Mouthfeel is quite watery.

Not one of Monteiths better styles. Surprised it's called their Original (and presumably old trademark) style. Unusual for a Southern Hemisphere Pale to hang around the 4% mark, as well.

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Photo of drpimento
2.97/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of TubaManJack
2.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A golden amber body with a moderate head that lingers for a while. Properly carbonated.
Smell: Slightly Herbal Hops and limited malt notes
Taste: An herbal hop flavor that is restrained and inline with English PA expectations, its balanced against a meger and hardy sweet and tart malt.
Mouthfeel: Average, nothing extremely special
Drinkability: Its a session beer that common in NZ

If you have a problem with an average decent commercial beer them go back to the States. I enjoyed my pints but sadly reality calls me back soon.

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Photo of mazstar
3/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm a big fan of NZ craft beers, and Montheith's is one of the better known micros here in Australia.

Well packaged and presented, I was looking forward to what the brewer calls its 'original' ale.

It's a lightly malty, bready smell and pours an a decent glass but the taste is simply non-eventful. First up you get some nice caramel, malt, banana, brown sugar but the palate is left alone at the altar after the initial introduction.

It is easy to drink and would suit someone who drinks lager but wants something fuller and warmer.


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Photo of brendan13
3/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Cooper colour with a couple of centimetres of off white head that falls away almost straight away.
S - Label states that hops dominate...theres some slight floral aromas but other than that it's dominated by a caramel malt presence.
T - Taste is sweet caramel maltiness and some floral hops.
M - Quite light bodied, medium carbonation.
D - Another ok if somewhat bland beer from monteiths.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.14/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Was quite suprised by this beer. Really like their dark offering and this was not what I expected.
Poured a golden brown color, got at best a half inch of head and it quicky disappeared.
Smell was of hops and I got the carmel off the bat. A very different version of a pale ale to me but was workable.
taste was a little more sweet than I expected. The sugar and carmel is much more apparent in the taste.
Mouthfeel is more like a candied apple, very different.
Drinkibility, had 2 and not too keen on this beer. A different style pale ale. Might take a few of these to sway me the other way. Prefer the dark and the radler much more.

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Photo of dgilks
3.18/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper colour with a small and very short lasted off-white head.

Mild malty and dusty aroma. There's a touch of earthy nuttiness but nothing particularly special or commendable.

Smooth malt, slightly earthy hops but ultimately an emptiness that lets this beer down. It seems to suffer from Monteiths-itis, a disease which inflicts ordinariness on a beer that otherwise has potential.

Crisp, light and refreshing with a moderately-high carbonation. Decent.

This is the ale that lager drinkers like. There's nothing special about it but it doesn't do anything particularly wrong either.

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Monteith's Original Ale from Monteith's Brewing Co.
3.07 out of 5 based on 73 ratings.
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