If you like to try different beers, I would highly suggest taking part in a beer trade. All you need to do is send a few beers to a friend who lives far away and have them send you a few in return. What is also nice is when you frequently visit with people who live in different distribution areas. For instance, my older brother lives in the DC area, which has easier access to certain beers than I do in NY. As a result, whenever we get together, he generally will bring up some new, cool beers.
This Monticello Reserve Ale brewed by Starr Hill was a part of the batch he brought up around Easter. I didn't do any research prior to drinking it, so I didn't really know what to expect. I thought it might be a little hoppy, since I drank the Double Platinum immediately before. I was very pleasantly surprised. Technically, they describe the beer as a "colonial style ale", but it is generally placed in the "American Pale Wheat Ale" style. It is 5.5% ABV and made with corn and wheat, both of which come through pretty well in the flavor.
It first reminded me of a standard American wheat ale, but the corn really changes that. It has all of the light, spicy, and citrus flavors that you would expect, then the corn makes its way in. If you've ever had good corn whiskey, you know the kind of pleasant sweetness that it can bring to a drink. Also, since corn isn't used in craft beer all that frequently, it is a very unique tasting brew. I would highly suggest giving it a try. Very tasty, very interesting, hard to find. All great reasons to buy a beer.
Note: The name isn't implying that this is a Thomas Jefferson recipe that they found and decided to brew. The recipe is based off of common local recipes at the time. Basically they tried to make a beer that might have been brewed at Monticello. I really have no idea if they succeeded (I wasn't around during the late 1700s to early 1800s), but it still makes for a interesting beer.
Glassware: Wheat glass, snifter
Synonym Beer: Goose Island 312 (not really, but I needed to put something down)
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