Chez Monieux - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Chez MonieuxChez Monieux

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

195 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 195
Reviews: 76
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 19.19%
Wants: 72
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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 195 | Reviews: 76
Reviews by jlb502:
More User Reviews:
Photo of mikesgroove
4.64/5  rDev +25.4%
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.

Photo of Floydster
4.55/5  rDev +23%
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

Photo of newk340
4.8/5  rDev +29.7%
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!

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
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!

Photo of olradetbalder
2.16/5  rDev -41.6%
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.

Photo of magictrokini
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Photo of ehammond1
3.12/5  rDev -15.7%
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.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Photo of OStrungT
4.87/5  rDev +31.6%
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.

Photo of prototypic
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

Photo of nickd717
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Photo of MiScusi
4.37/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

Photo of abfraser
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Beautiful beer. Burnt orange. Without trying to sound too lame, it's like a nice sunset.

S: Unique. Vanilla, cherry, a bit of funky old lambic.

T/M: Whoa. Lots of vanilla here. There's a nice cherry tartness, but the vanilla definitely dominates, lingering on the mouth even. Not a big fan of how much vanilla there is here. You can tell the cherry tartness underneath would have made a great beer. Just too much oak, in my humble opinion

D: Nicely drinkable given the tartness and low abv. But the vanilla makes it a little cloying after awhile. Can you see where I'm going with this review?

Very interesting and unique lambic-style beer. I don't think the vanilla from the oak meshes well here, but overall it was well worth a try.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is another review from the inflatablechair/johngalt1 tasting from about a month ago.. I took only "decent" notes on this one.. poured in my New Belgium snifter..

1/4" head dies quick.. orangey pink brew...

nose is sour and acetic with only mild expected funk..

flavor is the same with some cherry pie filling essence.. vanilla?? Seems one dimensional... could use more funk and deep aromas/flavors.

lite body.. abundant carbonation..

Like a Cantillon Kriek "lite".

I got this one from south bay.... I never remember ordering it.. but oh well.. good for me and sam.

3.5/3.5/4/3.5/3.5

Photo of largadeer
4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Hazy ruby red with an off-white, slightly pink head. The head retains fairly well for a fruit beer. I was surprised to find that this beer isn't bottle conditioned.

Smell: Tart, acidic cherries dominate the nose and let little else shine through at first. As the beer warms, notes of oak and vanilla become more prevalent with a hint of butterscotch.

Taste & mouthfeel: Sweet and sour cherries, leaning toward the sour side. Lactic acid and oak follow the cherry flavor with undertones of dry red wine and vanilla. The beer ends on a soft buttery note - it's neither as dry nor as sour as I was expecting, but it's very good. The light body and mild sourness really enhance the drinkability of this beer; it's very refreshing and nearly quaffable.

Notes: Very nice stuff. Definitely not a lambic, not in the traditional sense at least - there's absolutely no funk here, and the sourness is quite tame. This beer is more comparable to Russian River's Supplication or Lost Abbey's Red Poppy.

Photo of WeisGuy
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased this from Joey at SouthBay.

a - pours a deep rose color with an orangish tint, one-finger white head with retention around the edges, little lacing, fairly clear

s - tart and sour cherries and funk dominate the nose, actually get a little tangerine and peach in there as well, definite oak aroma, some lactic notes

t - cherry flavor up front that develops into a nice intense tartness, sour funkiness also develops on the midpalate, tartness and sourness recedes on the finish and oak and leather notes present themselves with the oak and faint cherry lightly lingering awhile, unfortunately, the taste kind of disappears too quickly

m - medium-bodied, good amount of carbonation, fairly dry and tart on the palate

d - pretty drinkable for a lambic, not as intensely tart on the palate as, say, many Cantillon products

Good lambic overall, but not spectacular. I was a bit let down by the finish...falls off pretty abruptly. Otherwise, this could have been really good. I really like to see another American brewer take a shot at a lambic, and this is a good first effort indeed. That said, the $28 price tag is a pretty steep price to pay when there are bottles of Cantillon Kriek available for $8.

Photo of Xul
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an effervescent and translucent orange, with a strong pink tint to it. Head is one finger of large white bubbles that dissapear rather quickly, leaving little in the way of lacing.

S: As others have noted, the nose is fairly subdued. Tartness up front with some mild vinegar qualities, along with some cherries and a hint of musty funk.

T: More tartness up front with a heavier cherry presence, creating a somewhat sweet and sour effect. Lactic acidity in the middle along with a mild funk, finishing with some of the sweet cherry coming back in to balance the acid.

M: Medium body with low to moderate carbonation, very smooth without being heavy.

D: Tartness is kept in check and balanced, very drinkable for the style.

Photo of weeare138
4.55/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to hopdog for this...
A play on words here, "Shame on you".
Appears a transparent, orange toned amber with a small white cap that quickly fades. Streaky lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of vanilla, cherries, cranberries, & dank horseblanket.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a standout fruit salad flavor that starts to take control of this brew.
Mouthfeel is creamy, citrusy, funky, tart, fruity, with an acidic finish.
I think I liked this more than anyone else that had it that night. Lovely, lovely beer.

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Fightthegdfight for sharing this very enjoyable beer

Vintage 2005 bottled in 2008

Look: The beer pours a nice yellow color with peach highlights with about a 1/8 inch fizzy head

Smell: Tart cherries with some vanilla and oak

Taste: Pretty similar to the nose actually. Upfront is a very mild tart cherry character mid palate is where the barrel characters show up and you get a nice vanilla and oak character and the beer finishes with some sugary sweetness

Mouthfeel: Light body and ample carbonation and a bit tart

Overall: I really enjoyed this beer due to the fact that there was only a mild sourness to it so I found it very drinkable

Photo of SDDanC
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Alpine (2/29/12). Pours a dark ruby. Light pink head. Not a very big head, about a finger. Disappears into a ring around the top of the beer. Nose is funky, much like provolone cheese. No tartness comes through. A bit of sweet cherry can be found in the back. On the tongue it is sweet. Sweet cherry flavor with a hint of funk and residual tartness. A little vanilla towards the end. The sour character is not big at all, its very subtle. This allows the delicate cherries to shine. Mouthfeel is a tad thin, with low carbonation. But gets sticky as it warms up. Lasting flavor afterwards. Awesome treat.

Photo of rand
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub, supposed to be available in bottles soon. Poured into a tulip glass.

Raspberry-red in color, opaque with a small fizzy head that dissipated quickly.

The nose is berry-sweet, strawberries and raspberries predominant. Pucker-inducing notes of vinegar offset the candy-like sweetness, and these tart notes really come through on the palate. The brew tastes more sour than sweet, like unripe berries. There's a vinous aspect mid-sip, woody and almost wine like, which works nice with the bubbly, effervescent feel on the palate.

With a nice contrast of sweet and sour and layered flavors, I could see non-beer fans enjoying this brew, especially those that prefer wine.

Photo of Thorpe429
2.59/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of saru96. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours a reddish purple with a thin light pink head that fades down into a collar. The nose carries some cherry juice and light earthiness to the background. Somewhat musty. The flavor has a bit of an odd creaminess to it along with mild must and earth. Light to medium body and slightly chewy. Not really a bid fan, whether as a wild or just as a fruit beer.

Photo of hopdog
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.

Poured a medium orangish (with a pink tint) color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of cherry pie, some wood, vanilla, musty,and a trace of red wine. Tastes of cherries, wood, caramel, and bretty. Started lightly sweet and finishes tart.

Notes from 8/13/08

Photo of mportnoy
2/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Blue cheese nose and taste. Drain poured it.

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Chez Monieux from Alpine Beer Company
84 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.