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Monks' Ale - Abbey Beverage Company (Monastery of Christ in the Desert)

Not Rated.
Monks' AleMonks' Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

138 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 138
Reviews: 70
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 13.51%
Wants: 3
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Abbey Beverage Company (Monastery of Christ in the Desert) visit their website
New Mexico, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Monks’ Ale is distinctly fruity and spicy. The yeast lends a note of clove and in combination with the malt, hints of plum and apricot. The malt itself provides a honeyish quality up front, a round fullness in the middle, and the hops, together with our pure brewing water, lend a clean, dry finish.

18 IBU

(Beer added by: glid02 on 10-31-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 138 | Reviews: 70 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by DoubleJ:
Photo of DoubleJ
3.28/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Total Wine sold single bottles and was left with one less. I consumed this New Mexican blonde with a pork tenderloin dinner and served in a La Trappe chalice. On to the beer:

Its burnt orange color fills the glass and is topped with a small head which dissipates to a lace. Not much lace hangs around the glass. With a few whiffs through the nose, there's potential. The smell of clove, toasted brown sugar, and a kiss of mandarin orange make a good starting point for the blonde to take off from.

Starts off with a solid taste, although part way through it's missing something. Modestly spicy with a bready base and a hint of citrus. There are at brief moments which I also believed that I was drinking spiced air. Perhaps the touch of watered down body played a part for that. In a pinch, this is a decent Belgian styled beer. On an expanded menu, this is one that would probably be passed up.

DoubleJ, Jan 30, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of Tiernan
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

Tiernan, Aug 20, 2013
Photo of purvis_drew
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

purvis_drew, Oct 25, 2013
Photo of Tchip13
4/5  rDev +14.9%

Tchip13, Nov 04, 2014
Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From beernews.org: It's along the lines of the beers Trappist breweries produce for the monks themselves to drink but don't sell commercially (such as Westmalle Extra and Chimay Doree). A 1.052 (13 degrees Plato) beer, it's 4.7% abv and 16 IBUs. The grain bill included two-row pale, honey malt and aromatic malt, and Monk's Ale was hopped with Hallertauer, Styrian Goldings and Czech Saaz.(Brew Like a Monk Sept. 25, 2005)

The Monastery of Christ in the Desert, Abiquiu, New Mexico, U.S.A., was founded in 1964 by Fr. Aelred Wall, OSB, with monks of Mount Saviour Monastery in New York state. In 1983 the Monastery of Christ in the Desert was received into the English Province of the Subiaco Congregation as a Conventual Priory and in 1996 became an autonomous abbey.


On-tap at Monk's Café.

Pours a hazy yellow-golden color with a one-finger bright white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of light malts with crisp medium fruits - pears mostly - and moderate amounts of earthy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Neutral light malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by smooth and light medium fruit flavors. Slight amounts of breadiness work their way into things midway through the sip, as do earthy and light citrus hop flavors. The hops carry through to a crisp and mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a smooth thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I had no problems finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall this was a solid beer for the style, it didn't try and do too much. A simple and fairly drinkable beer that's worth a shot.

glid02, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of Auraan
3.84/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a pretty cloudy amber with no real head. It looks nice in body, but it does lack that Belgian head that is always a joy. Scents of candi sugar sweetness, spicy Belgian yeast, slight bubblegum and some faint apricot-like fruity esters. A good aroma profile, very true to form for a Belgian Pale and very nice. Flavor begins with a nice sweet malt, mingling with flavors of clove, white pepper and citrus. The middle lead into more clove and white pepper, with some slight hints of citrus peel and alcohol. Finish is medium-dry with notes of clove, white pepper, a hint of alcohol and some citrus peel with a bit of bready malt. A good flavor profile overall, quite true to form for a Belgian Pale Ale. Mouthfeel is medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation and a slightly smooth feel. Very nice, quite true to style. Overall a nice Belgian Pale Ale, with a nice aroma and flavor profile and a good mouthfeel. Not the best example of the style, but still quite nice.

Auraan, Jul 22, 2014
Photo of LXIXME
4.38/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an inch or so above the glass leaves a big off white to light tan head that settle into bubbly sort of carbonated lacing or decent worth above a clear coppery to reddish which also seems to have a golden glint to it, very appealing.

A mixed citrus fruit hops aroma with a little something in the background, a light toffee maybe caramel.

A medium bodied beer that has nice mix of sweet caramel malts and citrus hops taste with a very pleasant slightly dry aftertaste.

It seems to me to be very fresh or something, as if this was just sent out recently or if this has been sitting it sits very well.

I was very pleased with this beer, I'm gonna have to grab some more of these for sure.

LXIXME, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of Ryanm1
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

Ryanm1, Jul 20, 2013
Photo of b2611
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

b2611, Nov 13, 2013
Photo of aty11b
4.25/5  rDev +22.1%

aty11b, May 14, 2013
Photo of TheSupremeAJ
2.95/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One bottle of a mix-a-six from Abe's of Bethlehem, PA purchased 12/1/10. There is 0810 printed on the bottle, possibly indicative it was brewed in 8/10. Poured into a St. Bernadus chalice @ 55 deg F.

a- Very very clear. Little to no head. Absolutely no yeasties or settling in the bottle. Very nice amber color. It's almost as if they let too much of the yeast ferment out when they were brewing the beer.

s- Boozey beligan yeast scent. Fruity esters present. Not very strong scent... I really had to swirl it around and almost submerge my nose to smell it.

t- Very sweet and inoffensive. It was a little unpleasant around the edges... almost like they used an adjunct of some sort. For some odd reason I had a flashback of being in college and drinking Natty Ice. I get a few green apple notes and a sour taste.

m- Properly carbonated. No issues here. It may be from the 4-months of age or the very clear color...

d- Very easy to drink and does not burn or taste like alcohol.

I think this may be a good starter Belgian beer as a stepping stone from mass-produced swill but other than that its really not worth it. It you like Bud Light, Coors Light, or Miller Lite, do yourself a favor at your wedding and splurge on this fancy shit. Nice shiny bottles to boot.

TheSupremeAJ, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of tempest
3.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had a glass at Monk's Cafe for $3.50. This is an interesting Belgian ale, it sort of came off like a Belgian-style bitter or extra pale ale. My only complaint is that there's a slight vinegar taste, a sort of dry astringency that takes away from the mouthfeel. Still, there's a lovely candied fruit aroma with toasty malt below that carries over into the flavor. It's a light and drinkable beer, but needs a touch more sugar.

tempest, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of jheezee
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

jheezee, May 01, 2012
Photo of russpowell
4.08/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Based on notes, picked this up in Las Cruces, NM

Poured an effervescent amber with a very modest white head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Fruitty with some musty notes

T: Apricots & peach, plus some honey up front. Lemony hops & honey malt as this warms. Finishes dry with peppery & lemony hops & fruitty

MF: Chewy with moderate, but assertive carbonation, skews a tad malty for the style

Drinks pretty good, reminds me of Duvel, minus some hops

russpowell, Apr 14, 2008
Photo of GRG1313
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

GRG1313, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of EagleTalon
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out to a frothy buff head with good retention and a bright copper color. Aroma is cloves, spices and bubblegum and caramelized malts. Flavor is much like the aroma, with a grainy, biscuity finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium and "smooth". Overall a very good beer.

EagleTalon, Dec 20, 2013
Photo of apasternak
4/5  rDev +14.9%

apasternak, Nov 12, 2013
Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Has a deep golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is somewhat sweet and fruity. Taste also has some fruit notes, a slight sweetness and a touch of spice. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

tone77, Jun 18, 2011
Photo of ocelot2500
2.85/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy slightly orange gold color with a tight white head that leaves little lacing.

Smells of pale malts, spice, and some fruitiness.

Tastes of not much. Some fruit sweetness comes through, but is very light. Spice is not as evident as in the nose. Pale malts are evident.

Mouthfeel is light with a very small amount of carbonation.

ocelot2500, Oct 23, 2010
Photo of el_presidente
4/5  rDev +14.9%

el_presidente, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of mrcraft
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

mrcraft, Jun 22, 2014
Photo of EgadBananas
2.93/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice light amber in color, off white head with predominant lacing. Looks damn decent.

Smell is a lot underwhelming with some sweet malts and soapy undertones. Not horrid, but very lackluster.

Taste is much of the same with the malts righting the majority. Theres not much else to fall back on. Hops are not much there.

The feel is a little more comforting, medium and smooth.

There is nothing wonderous about this brew, but it was a pretty decent offering. I think theres much room to work on with the belgian front for this brewery.

EgadBananas, Aug 08, 2010
Photo of RonaldTheriot
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Monk’s Ale has a thin, almost nonexistent, white head, a mostly clear, orange-gold appearance, with tight bubble streams and no lacing left behind. The aroma is of rich, sweet fruits, sweet bread, and spice. Taste is the same, with low bitterness and no cloying aspects. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Monk’s Ale finishes crisp, refreshing, and highly drinkable. A very smooth, Belgian-style ale. I give this a strong recommendation.

RJT

RonaldTheriot, Feb 01, 2014
Photo of dannyfayy
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

dannyfayy, Apr 29, 2014
Photo of danwho
4/5  rDev +14.9%

danwho, Nov 02, 2014
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Monks' Ale from Abbey Beverage Company (Monastery of Christ in the Desert)
80 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.