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

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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 Knapp85
3.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this brew out and noticed it had a pretty standard yellow color to it. The head was a little fizzy and white... nothing too impressive about the looks of this brew. The smell was a little hoppy but pretty well balanced with the malts that were in it. The taste of the beer to me was really refreshing that day I had it. This beer didn't last very long in my glass. The flavors of hops and malts went nicely together and formed a well balanced brew in my opinion. The mouthfeel was pretty good and overall I thought this beer hit the spot.

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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 chinchill
3.54/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Monteiths Original Ale on tap at the brewery in Greymouth, NZ

Excellent clarity in this deep amber ale. Both flavor and aroma are a bit light for style; the lightest pale ale I’ve had in NZ. Still, very well-crafted and balanced, as well as very fresh (of course).

Feel: Light+ body with medium-high, very crisp carbonation. Clean finish.

O: recommended as a somewhat light flavored pale ale.

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Photo of russpowell
3.28/5  rDev +6.8%
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...

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with a small head. Smell is of chocolate with some malts. Taste is good, chocolate, malts, some notes of caramel. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

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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 jdhilt
3.3/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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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 Brad007
3.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber color with a head that is very quick to fade. Interesting presentation.

Aroma is full of buttery malt with just a touch of hops present. Seems about right for the style.

Taste is full of buttery malt with a hint of caramel, followed by just a hint of hops. Certainly fits the style it's trying to convey.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering buttery/caramel flavors. Not much else.

Not bad. I'd say it's average for the style and a bit too dark.

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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 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 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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Photo of StJamesGate
3.48/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours bright ruddy amber with a loose eggshell head. Nose is light toasted grain with stewed apples and a bit of wax. Mashed pears, peanut skin, some toast with earthy English hops. Sweet finish, tight linger. Light to medium, some stick, some tingle.

No better or worse than a lot of English bitters in bottles that get far more respect. Nothing earth-shattering, but you could stay on this all night.

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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 BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev +14%
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.

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Photo of alexgash
3.38/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

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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 Offa
3.88/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I find this to be a very enjoyable, light but still fairly characterful and well-balanced ale.

Copper red, deep, clear, yet bright, it has a medium pale tan head slowly shrinking to a thin, lasting top and leaving a little bit of weak lace.

The aroma is light chocolate, light caramelly toast, light earthy leaves, restrained but very pleasant with a little complexity.

The taste is simjlar, light and dryish with light sweetness and balancing light bitterness. It has light sweet-sour fruitiness, light nuttiness, hint of caramelly toast, hint of earthy-leafy hops. It has a definite English quality overall. The feel is pretty average, neither watery nor full nor interesting.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of a bottle this beer was a clear copper color with one finger of beige head. The retention was good and the lacing good too (esp. for a mass-produced, small country beer). The aroma was of generic grains, hints of caramel malt and toasted malt. The flavors were solid, a malt driven brew with an emphasis on caramel malt, some woody undertones, nuts, a bit of toasted malt and enough hops to add balance. The mouthfeel was good, smooth and light, the body medium and the carbonation soft. Very sessionable and worth a swing. Props to the kiwis who are behind this brand; I like their work.

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Photo of soju6
3.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap at hotel in Auckland.

A: Served a deep golden color with a nice head that fades to some lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt, some caramel and a bit of dark fruit.

T: Taste of roasted malt with caramel sweetness and dark fruit. Mild bitterness and a clean finish.

F: medium body, quite smooth with a slightly grainy texture.

O: Enjoyable beer but nothing fancy.

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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 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 eric5bellies
3.45/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

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