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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

131 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 131
Reviews: 70
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 2
Gots: 4 | 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)
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Ratings: 131 | Reviews: 70 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lisahope27
lisahope27

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +29.3%

03-02-2013 03:19:14 | More by lisahope27
Photo of MsLiberty
MsLiberty

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +29.3%

05-08-2013 22:14:16 | More by MsLiberty
Photo of ZenAgnostic
ZenAgnostic

Texas

4.43/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tapped into a tulip. The bartender told me it was a Flemish Sour Ale, and so I graded the beer under that (apparently false) assumption.

Appearance - Dark ruby clear body. Tight one finger off-whtie head with great retention and low-decent stick.

Smell - Sour. Tart. Vinegar. Raspberries.

Taste - VERY sweet. Bitter. Metallic finish. Tastes like cranberry and grape juice.

Mouthfeel - Starts out with a clean, very refreshing body. However, the finish is thick and kind of syrupy. It does the opposite of thinning out. Very strange dynamic, but I'm not saying it's a bad thing.

Overall Drinkability - Very good. Very flavorful. Delicious. Can get a little too thick over time, but fortunately the next sip promises to start of refreshing. It's a... viscous cycle. Get it? Haha, I make the best puns.

Serving type: on-tap

10-28-2011 22:23:44 | More by ZenAgnostic
Photo of LXIXME
LXIXME

New Mexico

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2011 20:00:47 | More by LXIXME
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Monk's Cafe, which seems an appropriate place to try this beer.

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a hazy amber color capped by a finger's worth of foam; a few sheets and a number of shards of lace are left behind

Smell: Light fruits and herbal elements combine along with a hint of toffee

Taste: Toffee malt, up front, with a developing light fruit flavor; hoppy bitterness adds balance, by mid-palate and although the hop bill is Germanic, they taste more English in style; there is a peppery yeast character that arrives, after the swallow, but the finish tilts toward the sweeter malt flavors

Mouthfeel: Very Belgian, with a light to medium body and a soft carbonation

Overall: A really nice hybrid beer, with elements from all of the major brewing traditions combined in a sessionable ale

Serving type: on-tap

06-15-2011 13:50:55 | More by brentk56
Photo of aty11b
aty11b

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +22.1%

05-14-2013 01:41:39 | More by aty11b
Photo of enbotellabuey
enbotellabuey

New Mexico

4.2/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think that this beer is a bit underrated. It is listed as a Belgian Pale Ale, putting it in the same style category as Orval, Rare Vos, and other heavier more complex Belgians. I think that it is supposed to be a simple Trappist Enkel, which isn't listed as a style in advocate. The characteristics of this 'Enkel' are similar to a Dubbel or Tripel--only lighter. It is lower in alcohol than either of these, likely due to an absence of candi sugar.

I drank this beer on Super Bowl Sunday in a New Belgium globe with the laser etchings on the bottom. The head retention was good, keeping a solid 1/4" or so the entire time. This helped bring out the aroma a bit, which is somewhat subdued compared to the bigger Belgians.

The flavor of the beer, while not overwhelming, was very pleasant and Belgian-like. It has the clove/fruit taste that is common in many Belgians, along with the peppery bite from the Saaz hops. It apparently uses the Orval yeast, but without the Brett. So, no barnyard or medicine.

The mouthfeel was very good--again similar to a Dubbel or Tripel.

It pairs pretty well with food, although the Belgian quality is subtle enough that it is somewhat lost with heavy or spicy foods.

I will definitely buy this beer again. I would even like to try to brew a clone if I can get the recipe.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2012 06:20:59 | More by enbotellabuey
Photo of Deuane
Deuane

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Slightly hazed copper kissed golden yellow with a medium bright white head reduced to a thin cap and left attractive decorative lace.

S-Lightly sweet biscuit malt with pleasant notes of apple/pear and a rather sharp zing of dank, earthy hops.

T-Pleasant fruity notes up front with apple and pear being dominate with lightly hints of citrus rind in the background. Biscuit malt sweetness adds a pronounced bready profile and adds balance. This one is very unassertive and unassuming yet very enjoyable and interesting at the same time.

M-Medium-light bodied and rather sharp with lingering fruit notes and hop bitterness.

D-A simple, yet enjoyable and highly drinkable brew. I can see why the monks that make beers such as this keep it for themselves to power through their day! Possessing a low ABV with enough flavour to keep things interesting this is a brew that is easy to enjoy.

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2010 13:28:10 | More by Deuane
Photo of meeekyh
meeekyh

Colorado

4.1/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I heard about this beer from me friend in the retail beer business. He didn't recommend it but said it had been requested. I figured that trying it would be a good idea as it is Friday and I can.

I got a single 12oz brown bottle with an attractive label depicting a stained-glass-window and am pouring into a St. Bernardus chalice.

There is no indication of either style or ABV so I will be reviewing this one in a vacuum and not according to style guidelines.

The beer is a pale orange with a slight haze and a head that is tiny and light tan. Lacing is small and head dissipates quickly.

Smells are subtle and clean at the 45 degrees it came out of the fridge. I will give it some time as I am inclined that the ale deserves it. - Maybe a hint of orange-peel and violet...

The taste is lightly sweet, tart and only very slightly bitter. There are hints of dried fruits and a pronounced grainy/grassy flavor at the end.

Mouthfeel is smoothly full with a bit of sharp carbonation and a lingering, dry finish.

This is a winner of a beer. It is full and clean and refreshing and really just plain great beer. I can't remember the price but it is well below many of the other craft beers on the market today and outshines many.

Slainte!

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2011 04:23:02 | More by meeekyh
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russpowell

Oklahoma

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

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2008 14:31:06 | More by russpowell
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-31-2010 18:55:26 | More by glid02
Photo of EagleTalon
EagleTalon

Oklahoma

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2013 00:13:58 | More by EagleTalon
Photo of apasternak
apasternak

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +14.9%

11-12-2013 01:32:33 | More by apasternak
Photo of el_presidente
el_presidente


4/5  rDev +14.9%

04-05-2012 01:30:42 | More by el_presidente
Photo of RonaldTheriot
RonaldTheriot

Louisiana

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

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2014 15:10:42 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of nosavingsaccount
nosavingsaccount

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +14.9%

06-30-2012 00:22:41 | More by nosavingsaccount
Photo of cowace2
cowace2

Oklahoma

4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a hazy pale ale, very nice and hearty. Smell isn't anything special.

Maybe the most flavorful low ABV beer I've found. Great balance and a great malt mix. A bit lighter than I like from the style. The low ABV is kind of nice too if you're looking for something to drink all night.

A better than average beer; I have to give it some extra love for how and where it is made. It comes from a real functioning abbey, it is so genuine and humble. It is the polar opposite of AB/Coors/Miller/et al and I love it for that.

Quality is great for the price also, $7 for a sixer at the store and $3.50 for a bottle at the local bar.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2011 02:47:34 | More by cowace2
Photo of acat25
acat25

Texas

4/5  rDev +14.9%

08-31-2012 22:10:43 | More by acat25
Photo of gleemonger
gleemonger

California

4/5  rDev +14.9%

06-13-2013 18:39:51 | More by gleemonger
Photo of ZTex
ZTex

Texas

4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found a six pack of this brew in Pecos, NM at Adelo's store. It is a joint venture by the Monks from Pecos Abbey and Monastery of Christ in the Desert Abbey.

Prayer on the box says:

He who drinks ale sleeps well.
He who sleeps well does not sin.
He who does not sin goes to heaven,
Amen.

This is ale is very light and bubbly. the first bottle seemed very carbonated. Poured with a nice two fingered head and bubbled the whole time. Quite fruity with tastes of lemon and a touch of banana. Feel was, like I said, light and bubbly but not in bad way.
Very drinkable, in fact I had one before dinner and another with my chicken and veggies. Very nice, warm glow after dinner.

Before leaving the mountains, I bought another six pack to take home to Texas.

Great to see the Monks brewing this good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2009 21:14:21 | More by ZTex
Photo of soulfly1492
soulfly1492

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Nice aroma, starts out with mild fruity esters, some spicy phenols. Some banana and clove. Big bold flavor overall. Moderate pine and citrus hop bitterness.

Appearance: Deep gold with orange highlights. Hazy. Small yellw and light orange head dissolves after 60 seconds or so. Some lacing.

Taste: Fruity esters, apricots, spicy black pepper, moderate clove. Hops are mostly citrus. White sugar. Malty sweetness, nutty malt flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Creamy, slick and oily. Finishes mildly dry, expecting dryer from the moderate hop bitterness and spicy phenols. Low carbonation.

Overall: Savory brew that's easy enough to drink. The hops and spice are a bit high, but the esters help to balance.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2012 23:24:03 | More by soulfly1492
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another interesting beer brought to me courtesy of local trader, tone77.

In my field persona of Brother Woody of the Order of Disorder, I am a Trapped monk, so this ale must be for me.

From the bottle: "made with care and prayer".

My pour resulted in a finger of tawny head with very good retention in the face of today's heat and humidity. Color was an oh-so-slightly hazy orangish-amber. Nose had an almost perfume-like tropical fruitiness with notes of mango and orange. Mouthfeel was fairly full with a mild tropical fruitiness on the tongue. Finish was fruity and refreshing, very pleasant on this hot day.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2011 21:00:46 | More by woodychandler
Photo of Kemmerlin
Kemmerlin

Colorado

3.98/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy golden color with a thick head and sticky lacing.

S: Provides a very sweet malt and hop ale smell with good amount of yeast aromas coming in the back.

T: Kinda tastes like a belgian tripel but only lighter. Slight banana with crisp malts and light yeast tastes in between.

M/D: Slightly watery and light bodied not the best feel for the taste and smell you receive. The drinkability is good and pleasant but could be better with an improvement in the feel department.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2008 22:12:10 | More by Kemmerlin
Photo of cooch69
cooch69

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a clear copper with some amber and a small one finger white head.

Nose is'nt that big or exquisite. It features mainly floral hops and a light bisquity maltiness. Tangerines immediatly come to mind as well.

Taste is pretty light, yet satisfying. A straight up sessioner. This beer is Extremly soft in the mouth. The hops are at a pretty low level yet still contrast the maltiness because it is so light and soft.

This beer tastes to me like if an English man tried to create a Belgian Ale. It did'nt really come out according to a particular style, but it still came out pretty awesome.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2011 04:19:36 | More by cooch69
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

3.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this bottle in a trade with russpowell. Thanks Russ!

It pours a clear and very bubbly orange amber witha 3 finger head of foam that I was afraid would overflow but...it didn't. ;^)

It smells of fruit and yeast with a touch of caramel malt.

The taste is also fruity; I think I pick up notes of tangerine, some yeasty flavour, and honey with earthy notes. Fairly light bodied and medium to lightly carbonated, the finish falls fairly flat and becomes somewhat watery but before I get to that point, it's a pretty good sipper and quite drinkable but it is not quite what I'm used to when I think of Belgian Pale Ale.

Btw, the second pour was equally clear and the head retention was above average with some good lacing.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2008 22:25:36 | More by Bitterbill
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Monks' Ale from Abbey Beverage Company (Monastery of Christ in the Desert)
80 out of 100 based on 131 ratings.