Chez Monieux - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Chez MonieuxChez Monieux

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BA SCORE
86
very good

74 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 74
Hads: 198
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.36%
Wants: 73
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: 198
Photo of harrymel
1.18/5  rDev -69.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

2012 version.
ABV 7%

Pours a dark cherry red with a pretty pink quilt. Smells...Fucking stinks. Jesus anal farts, diacetyl, feet, popcorn, rotten corn and a bit of pinot. This is one, if not the, most offensive smelling beers I've come across. Just a fucking abomination of a nose. So scared to taste it... Tastes real bad. Metal and fetid mushrooms and rotten sox rubbed on fungus infected ball sacks. Fucking nasty. Hella dry and thin with hi carb. I'm repulsed. (465 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
1.26/5  rDev -67.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks, John!

A: Pours a murky, tomato-juice color with just the lightest hint of carbonation.

S: Blue cheese and bile. I'll say up front that I'm not a fan of blue cheese; it looks like you're gnawing on the rotting legs of an old lady with varicose veins. So the association here isn't doing the beer any favors. But the bile part is unmistakable. Tart cherries, cherry skins, and vinegar with some lactic sourness.

T: This is going for the Flanders side of the sour spectrum, it seems; the emphasis is on vinegar with lesser lactic acid sourness. I can't shake the bile comparison; it literally does taste like I've just finished vomiting. But the other flavors in the beer do a decent job of taking my mind off that: sour cherries, some vanilla, and earth.

M: Medium-bodied, but it is low carbonation to start with, and said carbonation comes out solution very quickly despite the beer being refrigerated for a few weeks. The result is a beer that goes flat pretty quickly. It has a watery finish, as well.

O: I'm steadily losing faith in Alpine's ability to produce reliable barrel-aged beers. This was quite awful; even at a large party, most of the bottle was left unfinished. (1,221 characters)

Photo of olradetbalder
2.16/5  rDev -44%
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 Thorpe429
2.59/5  rDev -32.9%
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. (416 characters)

Photo of JDV
2.82/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a thin reddish, almost rosy pink color. Smell is lightly creamy butterscotch and sour cherry. Taste is thin and tart cherries. Definitely shows sign of tartness, but still feels overly simplistic, like thin juice, and doesn't have any funky complexity or anything. A certain amount of acidity and dryness in the finish as well, but also has a faint buttery finish to it, perhaps from the diacetyl, too. While this wasn't terrible, I cant say I enjoyed it, with or without consideration of the price. (505 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.06/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 7/27/08. Bottle shared by beerbill. Pours an orange/red with a small white head. Aroma of funk, tart sour fruits (cherry), oak. Flavor is quite tart and oaky. Ok, nothing too exciting.
Aroma: 6/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 6/10
Palate: 3/5
Overall: 14/20
(3.3/5) (272 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
3.12/5  rDev -19.2%
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 Beerandraiderfan
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
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 abfraser
3.41/5  rDev -11.7%
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. (741 characters)

Photo of Crosling
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pinkish yellowish color. Small white head that unfortunately doesn't have any pink shades. Fairly nice nose with hints of cherries, as well as some wood. Flavor doesn't have a lot of depth, but has some nice elements of cherry , sourness and wood. Nice balance of sweet and sour. I like this ale quite a bit. (308 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Purple! Akin to dark grapes and raw prune juice. Purple hued small head leaves to ring quickly. Some spot lace.

S - Try as I might, alas, I do not get the bleau cheese attribute. Earthiness, cherry pie and an expected sharpness.

T - Cooked sweet cherries meet sour cherries. The taste is abruptly muted and tweaked mid sip. Somewhat disappointing. In fact, in the aftertaste, I think I get the cheese. Not much complexity.

M - Light body, fair carb, balance to the flat earthy (dairy product) finish. Not bad, just not expected.

D - A decent beer. Not worth the price, IMHO, however. I realize it would have a high cost to produce. (639 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by Dan I think, thanks. Poured into a snifter.

Beer is reddish brown with a thin lazy head of large bubbles, low lacing, not much carbonation or retention.

Aroma is sweet with cherries and lots of fruit.

Beer is light and very sweet, definitely not a favorite of the night and not a repeat. Shame on me? Shame on you. (327 characters)

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Deuane for sharing a bottle of this at his recent tasting party. Poured from a 750ml bottle on 3/21/09. Poured into my glass and appears a clear deep amber color with a pinkish hue topped by barely a finger of off - white foam. Smells and tastes like a huge bowl of vinegar soaked tart, sour cherries. Mouth puckering, pungent, funky, fruity, and spicy. Moderate carbonation with a medium body and a dry, dry finish. For me, a sour beer such as this is rather quenching, but I personally would never seek out another glass in an evening. Overall, a very decent first attempt on Alpine's part. It will be interesting to see what other sours come out of this brewery in the future. (689 characters)

Photo of Overlord
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light, orange-ish amber. no head. Some off-white crust on the rim.

Smells like a muted, kind of mellow vinous/vinegar-y brew. Sort of a "wild ale lite, more or less. The taste is oak-y, vinous, with some cherries and citrus in there. But, it's pretty mellow, all things considered. No real funk presence.

Could use more carbonation. A gentle introduction to the style. (378 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.52/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

As I pour this brew I smell a funky, ripe wash-rind cheese note along with a musty moldy note. The pour barely forms a one finger thick, pale, off-white colored head that quickly disappears to a thin layer of not quite covering froth. The beer is a deep honey color that shows a hazy, red stained, light amber color when held up to the light. A deeper draught of the aroma yields a sour fruitiness that reminds me of a mix of cranberry and sweet cherry juice (think a light wiff of the cherry syrup topping for a sunday). Buttery popcorn aromas are fairly pronounced, though I can't quite tell if this is oak influence or diacetyl (pediococcus perhaps). The buttery aromatics drown out a lot of the other notes in the nose, but there does seem to be some spicy oak character here and the tart cherry notes are usually noticeable.

Tart tasting up front, but it quickly picks up a very slight, soft sweetness. Cherry pie flavors quite distinctly show off the signature of the Montmorency cherry character, but are not an over the top influence on the flavor. The combination of sour flavors and cherry notes are perhaps the biggest flavor contributors, but there is some other things going on here as well. The cherry sort of tastes like watered down, tart cherry juice. The finish has a light oak-derived spiciness to it, while the buttery note from the aroma is almost non-existent in the flavor (leading me to believe that it was the oak that contributed this in the first place, if it was diacetyl it would have been all over the flavor). Fairly light bodied, the beer does have a slight viscousness to it, though it remains a fairly refreshing, definitely easily quaffed experience.

As my palate gets used to it, some of the buttery-oak character from the aroma creeps into the flavor (really it becomes noticeable as it seeps into the nasal passages while taking a sip), it remains fairly light and is found more up front than anything. The cherry notes are fairly simplistic here; tart, fleshy, cherry pie notes show up somewhat softly, but it is missing that deeply staining, cherry skin flavor, that tannic cherry bite, the light almond-like pit character and the deeply complex, vibrant, fleshy cherry character that I like to see in the best examples of the style.

A very interesting beer, I definitely like it, but it falls far short of the best beers that it was inspired by (assuming that Kriek Lambics were the inspiration for this brew). It doesn't have the intense cherry flavors, nor the bracing acidity and funkiness of the examples that I like best. It really is like a Lambic for those who are interested, but not quite up to the harder versions of the style. Don't mistake me though, it clearly separates itself from the fake fruit Lambics being produced. In the end this is a tasty tipple that I am happy to have tried, but I wish it was not so one-dimensionally dominated in the nose had a bit more complexity and depth to the flavor.

Purchased: South Bay Drugs Pharmacy, Imperial Beach CA (3,016 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.52/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Ratings are correct below, but I changed some marks above to make the final rating as close as possible with Beer Advocate's "revamped" system. The 3.52 overall rating is accurate.

Type: Draft
Glass: 6-oz. snifter
From: Alpine Beer Company Pub in Alpine, Calif.
Price: $6.00
Purchased: June 27, 2015
Consumed: June 27, 2015
Misc.: N/A

Poured an auburn, slightly murky color with one finger of offwhite head when I got it. Below average spotty lacing on the sides of the glass. Poor retention. (Sight - 3.63)

Smelled vomit, sour milk, cheese, cheddar cheese, butter, red wine and red grapes. (Smell - 3.00)

Tasted sour fruit, tart, sour milk, cheese, Smarties and old red wine. (Taste - 3.63)

Light body. Oily texture. Above average carbonation. Abrupt, astringent finish. (Feel - 3.75)

Might be my first Lambic (yes, it was) and maybe my last (who am I kidding?). I’m guessing this was above average for the style. (Feel - 3.63)

3.52 | 80 | B- (952 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
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 brystmar
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at a recent tasting. Had no idea Alpine even brewed non-IPAs.

Pours deep red with minimal head. Aroma goes in two separate directions with cheese on one side and artificial cherry extract on the other. Reminds me of cherry Jolly Ranchers.

Surprisingly pleasant kriek with well-balanced fruit flavors and tartness. Wasn't expecting it to taste this good based on the aroma. A decent beer I'd be happy to re-visit again in the future. (448 characters)

Photo of pmarlowe
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2012 release. On tap at the Alpine brewpub. Tulip glass.

A: Pours a deep purple crimson, average clarity, some pink head. So-so retention and almost no lacing.

S: Sour cherry, malt, some earthy funk, dark grape, solvent, and something akin to a blue cheese. I won't repeat what spry thought this smelled like.

T: Sour cherry, and some earthiness. Kind of one dimensional. Slightly tart. Lengthy finish, over which the tartness grows in strength.

M: Light carbonation, medium body.

O: Pretty average as far as lambics go. Flavors are fine but lacking complexity. Quite mild on the sourness scale. (600 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.57/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a white head. Color is hazed golden orange. A lot of floaties in the glass.

Aroma: Typical tart cherries. Almonds, vanilla, and oak. A lot similar to other krieks. Has some oak showing. A little tart. Kind of malty.

Taste: A lot more brett shows here. It is a bit acidic. A bit of tart dry cherries. Has some caramel and brett showing as well. Some oak as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Dry, tart, and creamy. Ends kind of tart.

Overall, an ok beer. Fairly enjoyable and a bit above average for the style. I wouldn't mind drinking more of this one. (594 characters)

Photo of nickd717
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
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 mdfb79
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 07/08/12 notes. Big thanks to Nugganooch for sending me more Alpine beers I haven't had; thanks Dane! 22 oz. bottle poured into my Lost Abbey stemware.

a - Pours a deep purple-red color with one inch of white-pink head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of blue cheese, sour cherries, tart dark fruits, spice, and fruity malts. Kind of weird and cheesey here; not terrible but not my favorite nose.

t - The taste is much better. Tastes of tart cherries, tart dark fruits, oak, light cheese and funk, fruity malts, and spices. Taste has much less cheese than the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a decent and interesting beer, though not my favorite from Alpine. The taste is nice and pretty much what I was hoping for, but the nose is very funky in a blue-cheese kind of way, which knocks it down for me. Glad to try it but probably wouldn't seek it out again. (924 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
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 (595 characters)

Photo of Mauerhan
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

picked this up at beverages for less a while back and it has been eyeing me everytime i open up my fridge. its about fucking time to crack this little bitch open.

pours a hazy orangey amber. with very little head.

smell is fruity. almost sour. i like it but im still not sure about it.

hmm

taste is sweet, to the point of being sour. its good. but im not sure if i love it. then again im not super hooked on a feeling with this style.

drinkable. good after taste. smooth. very little carbonation. overall im glad i tried it. im not sure its worth the 18 dollars paid for it. but meh. (591 characters)

Photo of socalde
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first experience with Alpine Beer Co. and also my first taste of the Belgian Kriek style, which is very interesting in it's own right. This is a well rounded sour ale, with a interesting pink hue.

A- Two fingers of light pink head. This beer looks to delicate to taste! The beer itself is a little darker, a mix between lipstick pink and burnt orange. Very clear, almost looks filtered.

S- A gentle spritz of acidity followed by a subtle cherry. I really had to inhale deeply to get much out of this brew.

T- So what does a pink beer taste like? Alpine Beer Co. answers this question with a firm "Darn good". There is a nice firm sour cherry flavor that is complimented by a sort of farmhouse spunk.

M- Light carbonation, slightly "champagney" typical of lambic ales.

D- Surprisingly drinkable. (811 characters)

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