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Chez Monieux - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Chez MonieuxChez Monieux

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

74 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 74
Hads: 199
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 18.9%
Wants: 75
Gots: 35 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Lambic - Fruit |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerBeing on 04-13-2008

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 74 | Hads: 199
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of mikesgroove
4.64/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I finally grabbed a bottle of this from Joey at South bay, the price was high, and so I naturally had very high hops for this one. One of my favorite styles, I was very interested to see what kind of take they could do on it. Nice 750ml bottle, looked almost Belgian in design, with a cool label as well. I let this one chill out in the fridge for a couple of days and then served it last night at a touch above fridge temp in my now infamous Terrapin snifter that seems to get every single last beer that I try as of late.

Appearance - The pour was very nice, taking on the appearance of a rose pink soda of sorts. The color was very nice, that light reddish, pink, rose color was sublime and it really made the pour very interesting. Some nice touches of carbonation were bubbling up throughout the session, giving hop that this would be an active brew. A very small, maybe a half inch high head of off white, slightly reddish tinted foam came up over the top at the initial pour, however this did not last long at all, and soon it faded away to nothing, leaving only the slightest touch of white lace around the sides, that was for lack of a better word unremarkable. Still, for the color alone this one gets high marks as it really did look the part.

Smell - The aroma was dominated by cherries, no surprised here. The first time I smelled it I got hit with that dark, sour note of cherry that was as advertised, however, it was upon letting this one warm up that the real magic began to happen. It seemed with each degree of warmth it got a touch sweeter, with the sour notes intermingling and you could almost feel the whole thing swirling around throughout. It was not so one sided with cherries as one might have thought, rather there was a nice subtle spiciness that started to come through on the smell. Hints of pepper and vanilla were to be found, all the while remaining very light and fruity, and again going further and further over to the sweeter side of the spectrum. By the time I finished this one, it had transformed into the sweetest, cherry aroma you could imagine, really well done here. On par with the likes of LA's Red Poppy for sure.

Taste - The flavor was equally as remarkable. This was by no means a funky, Brett laced sour ale. That is the first thing you needed to keep in mind while trying it, as it is not supposed to be. What it was is a wonderful cherry Kriek that is put together beautifully. I would have thought the filtered nature of this might have detracted from the flavor, but it did not as far as I could tell anyway. Started out with a rush of tart cherry, giving the slightest puckering to the lips before falling over the tongue. Swishing it around lets the tartness fade and a sweeter, lighter cherry flavor take its place. As you swallow, there is touch of pepper like sweetness that starts to come through, I thought this was very nice and added a great deal of depth to it, even tingling the tongue at times. Hints of a slight wine or grape like flavor are there way in the back, no doubt a relic of the barrel aging which also contributes some of the oak like flavors to it and a touch of vanilla, that while not really a main contributor to the overall profile, merged well with the pepper and really brought it out nicely. The finish was short and sweet, with a slight touch of drying and the long lingering flavor of dark cherry and spices.

Mouthfeel - The eel was nice, albeit a little flatter then I would have liked to have seen. It was definitely a light bodied ale, my only wish would have been that the slightest more carbonation have been added to this one as I really think it would have made a great deal of difference overall and would have really improved the overall profile. Still though, there was some light carbonation and the flavor was definitely rich enough to carry the whole thing through for me.

Drinkability - An outstanding drinker this was one I wished would never have ended. The low ABV lended itself well to being session able, however the profile was soo full that you could only help but take little sips, cherishing each one as they swirled around, really letting the complexity of this sink in. That being said, I could have easily polished off another bottle without a care.

Overall I would have to say this one was excellent. Was it worth $28 a bottle, I am not sure, however I will tell you this, I would most certainly buy another one. I think this is something everyone should get to try. It is rare to see an American brewer but forth such a quality effort in this style, and this was simply outstanding. I cannot wait to get to try it again. One of the best I have had.

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Photo of Floydster
4.55/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle acquired in a trade with KingG, thanks to Joey for giving me the opportunity to try this beer, this was an expensive brew at twenty-seven dollars, split with my girlfriend and her family tonight, bottle said 5.8% ABV, aged for at least twelve months, poured into a fulte glass

A-Pinkish orange color that was bright and inviting, head was only a quarter inch and was super bubbly, went away almost immediately, no lacing or retention, but carbonation but this look nice

S-Can you say cherries, cranberries, tangerines, and oranges were the other fruits that really stuck out to me, lots of oak which is weird for a fruity beer, some tart, funkiness, no barnyard or horse blanket though, tiny vinegar aroma at the very beginning

T-You guessed it cherries right up front, fade into a funky berry flavor in the middle, finish has both oak and tart, the sourness was obviously crisper while it was cold but that does not mean it went away once it warmed, cherries were great tasting and I can see why Alpine forked over so much money to get them, funk was prominet in this one and I really enjoyed it, the flavor was great and the sourness was almost just right in my opinion

M-Sour, tart, slightly dry, and sweet mouthfeel, one of the more sour lambics I have tasted, huge amount of carbonation that was fitting, thin body, taste lingered for a few minutes at a time, aggressive and lively mouthfeel

D-Could drink multiple big bottles of this, it is so drinkable it is scary and the ABV is pretty low, goes down like a cherry 7Up or something, no alcohol whatsoever, super smooth, wish I had more immediately after my last sip

Price tag scared me at first but I am sucker for both Alpine and lambics, although at a little over a dollar an ounce I was still skeptical, so that did not help me out in holding back on this one, one of their best brews yet, probably would not drink again for this price but it was awesome and I enjoyed every drop of my glass, highly recommended

 1,992 characters

Photo of newk340
4.8/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: A dark ruby color, very fine bubbles with very little head and lacing.

S: Cherry bomb with loads of tart.

T: Lots of cherry and a very distinct funk. A lingering oakiness rounds out the taste. Lots of dry wine flavors.

MF/D: Crisp bubbles dance across the tongue, could easily drink several glasses... or bottles... of this sour. Delicious!

 346 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle sampled side by side with Briscoe.

Yellow/orange/pink in appearance with a bubbly head on top that shows off the mellow carbonation here. Aromas bring strong acidic sour notes with vinegar accents upfront. Cherries are well placed along with woody oak. Stings the nose a bit.

Flavor starts with good cherry fruit that moves into acidic, tart funkiness. The mouth puckers as this one goes down with dry, woody oak tastes and even a touch of vanilla. Lingering vinegar fruitiness on the finish. Brace yourself for this one!

Mouthfeel is lighter with mellow carbonation. Goes down easily enough, just make sure you have some antacids nearby! A tasty interpretation of a kriek here, but I do agree that at $28 it was overpriced. A good bottle to share and I'm glad autumnaldave shared this one with me as I shared my Briscoe!

 838 characters

Photo of warnerry
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Photo of olradetbalder
2.16/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Look: Not bad, brown-red.
Smell: It smells like penecillin in a bottle
Taste: Wors, diacetyl infected penecillin in a bottle
Feel: to little carb, even is I like it in a kriek

Overall: 5 people could finish off 75% of the bottle.

 231 characters

Photo of Altenor
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of magictrokini
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours reddish copper, lots fo carbonation, and a flat white head. Vinuous cherry nose, some oak and malt, almost like a cherry cobbler. Pucker-type sour as opposed to the bretty-dank sour. Good blalance of the sour cherry and sweeter malt, tempered by the oak and vanilla flavors. A bit medicinal at times, but not enough to ruin the beer. Always a treat with Alpine.

 367 characters

Photo of mjtiernan
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of ehammond1
3.12/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2012)

Alpine Beer Company
Alpine, CA

Dark ruby and raspberry in color, with a quickly forming, moderately sized light pink head that eventually falls away and leaves ribbons of lace down the glass. Pretty and appropriate.

The smell is quite strange and is atypical for the style, especially after the initial pour. The combination of blue cheese, body funk, and vinegar are not entirely pleasant. Initially, it's difficult to even appreciate cherry. The aroma does significantly get better as the beer is allowed to sit, warm up, and agitate. A juicy cherry note emerges from the funk eventually and is appreciated.

The flavor is significantly better than the aroma, even initially when the beer smells particularly funky. The tart and sweet cherry flavors are present, along with mild farmhouse funk and some stinging acidity. Good, but not great.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, though it seems to lose it's body somewhat quickly. By the end of the glass, this was quite flat and juice-like.

A decent American interpretation of the style, but there are significantly better options within the style at far more inexpensive price points.

 1,161 characters

Photo of TKEbeerman
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery last month. Light brown, gold, light purple(?) and light red. For a lambic, this looks hella dark. A little thin tan cap of head on it. Nothing in terms of lacing or whatnot. Had a tart aroma, dark cherry, but damn if that ain't a funk reminiscient of diapers, cheese and sweaty socks. I guess to some, they're going for that, but I like some really well respected lambics, and they don't smell like shit.

Taste, thankfully, does not encompass any sweat or dirty diaper like flavor. Its cherry, its tart, its kind of boozy for the style especially. A good amount of wet oak type of flavors. Red wine like notes, but not really the tannin aspect. Definitely some vinegar in there.

For me, this would need to be a little more dry and sour for it to be a very good kriek. I've definitely had a lot worse (NB, Timmermans, Big Sky) but I've definitely had a lot better too. Mouthfeel seemed a little too thick. Sweetness is probably the right amount, but tastes a tad high, prolly because I wanted more acidic, tart, sour and dry notes coming out of it. Definitely the darker cherry variety.

 1,112 characters

Photo of OStrungT
4.87/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a pinkish brown coor, with a tiny white head that fades instantly, leaving no lace.

This beer smells of cherries. It has a nice sour aroma. Slight viniger, but good. It has a slight oaky aroma also.

This beer tastes like it smells. Sour, and great. Some tart cherries and some oak are present.

This beer is low in carbonation, fitting the style. It leaves a sour cherry aftertaste.

This beer would make an excelent session beer. It tastes great, and the alcohol content is low.

Overall: This beer is great. I love it, and I wish I had more. It was worth the wait. Way to go Alpine.

 603 characters

Photo of SPRichard
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of blabaer
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of Photekut
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of prototypic
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chez Monieux is a lighter gold color. It’s crystal clear. A little light gives it a bit of an orange look. Carbonation looks active initially, producing a white head that rises to finger quickly. It falls just as fast. Lacing was very light and stringy.

The nose is good. It’s a little musky and funky up front. There’s no doubt about the presence of Brett or some other wild yeast. It smells fairly modest though. Suits me just fine. There’s definitely a good bit of sour cherry. Oak and vinous notes are also present from the wine barrel aging. There’s an earthy quality to it that permeates throughout. It’s a bit grainy. Alcohol is buried.

The flavor is even a little more impressive. Tart cherries kick it off. It’s nice a nice, moderate tart flavor. Nothing mouth puckering. Wild yeast definitely gives it a funky flavor. It’s also a bit restrained. That’s a great combo for me. Too much funk or cherry would probably be a bad thing for this guy. The wine barrel aging definitely imparted a nice oak flavor. It’s a little vinous, but I wouldn’t characterize it as tannic. Alcohol is never a factor. Finishes tart and a little funky. Excellent stuff.

Chez Monieux has a medium body that’s surprisingly smooth. Carbonation is actually rather light, and helps smooth it out. This stuff goes down easy. A 750 = no problem at all.

I’ve always been a fan of Alpine Beer Company. I always associate them with IPAs. Who knew they’d do such a nice job with a barrel-aged Lambic featuring wild yeast. I’m honestly a bit shocked at how good this is. I never tried it fresh. Perhaps it’s just improved over the past three years. I don’t know if Alpine ever plans on brewing this again, but they should strongly consider it. Very impressive.

 1,775 characters

Photo of emilylee
2.75/5  rDev -27.8%

Photo of nickd717
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to popery for this excellent tick. 22oz bottle.

Pours an almost clear amber head with a small whitish head on top.

Pretty good wild aroma, some lacto and Brett, with a hint of sweet malt.

The flavor is like a pretty standard wild ale. Malty sweetness, caramel, acetic notes, and wild yeasts.

Medium-bodied with good lively carbonation.

Solid if unremarkable wild ale.

 379 characters

Photo of MiScusi
4.37/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, dark pinkish red color with a light rose head that fades really fast. The smell is tart at first, but after that it is big on the sweet and sour cherry. You get both components, but mostly a sour cherry smell. The taste is nice and moderately acidic, cherry there unmistakably. The mouthfeel on this beer is very light and effervescent. I actually wouldn't have minded a fraction higher body on this. Really a good and interesting sour beer to drink. Not as complex as I would think, but pretty straight forward as far as acid + cherry goes. Tasty beer.

 568 characters

Photo of I_heart_beer
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Gford217: Poured a light red color ale with a light pink bubbly head with some average retention and no lacing. Aroma consists of red wine and tart notes with some light sour cherries. Taste is a mix between some sour cherries, with some tart notes with loads of oak and some red wine notes. Average carbonation with limited funk notes when I was expecting a lot more from the description. Overall, I though this was easily drinkable and maybe a bit light for the kind of beer it would like to be.

 516 characters

Photo of zach60614
3.32/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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Chez Monieux from Alpine Beer Company
86 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.