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Chez Monieux - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Chez MonieuxChez Monieux

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

186 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 186
Reviews: 71
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 18.77%
Wants: 66
Gots: 38 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Lambic - Fruit |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerBeing on 04-13-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 186 | Reviews: 71 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of fumner
4.47/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a bottle not too long ago from SBD&L, thanks go to Joey. Split this with my Dad to celebrate the 4th of July.

Pours a beautiful pinkish color with a bit of orange around the edges, with a soft white head that apparently wasn't meant to live in this world. Many little effervescent bubbles are rushing to the surface. No lacing on this one.

My first smell was very sour. Lots of acetic acid and minimal hints of cherries. As the beer warmed, however, the cherries became the dominant smell. But not your typical sweet-candied cherry smell, this is the smell of the juiciest, ripest, tart cherries that are what you dream of on a hot summer day. Fantastic.

Similar to the smell, my first taste misled me a bit. With my first sip, there was a rush of sourness that dominated my palate, which quickly gave way to cloying sweetness, which then left with a trace of cherry and red wine. It seemed unbalanced. Weirdly, one sip later and my impression changed dramatically. Lush, tart, cherries, just like the smell. But now with a more lactic acid sour, and the wine-barrel notes smooth it out nicely. There was some distinct sweetness, which normally is my least favorite characteristic of a lambic, but here it complements the sour cherry perfectly. As it warmed the sweetness faded, and more musty barrel notes showed up.

The carbonation on this was great at first, but it dissipated a bit too quickly for my tastes. With just a slightly thicker presence, this beer would capture the essence of the cherry perfectly.

My rating criteria for drinkability is as follows: if I desperately want to drink more when I'm done with my bottle, it gets a top notch score. This is a 5, at least.

As much as it pains my wallet, I will be seeking out another bottle of this beer. It's worth it.

fumner, Jul 05, 2008
Photo of JDV
2.78/5  rDev -25.5%
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.

JDV, Jul 01, 2008
Photo of mikesgroove
4.63/5  rDev +24.1%
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.

mikesgroove, Jun 04, 2008
Photo of MiScusi
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

MiScusi, May 23, 2008
Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Alpine Beer Company Chez Monieux
750 mL brown bottle (capped)

A: poured into a snifter. Pours a crsip bright, vibrant orangish red. just a dash of orange. Nice rose color head that dissipates rather quickly. low head retention rate and a fair amount of lacing.

S: nice solid cherry aroma, with a serious amount of vanilla. I can pull some of the oak barrels adn the red wine. nice sour aroma.

T: very tart cherry flavor. I am tasting some serious oak in this as well. Great lactic acid sours. In the finish, i get some of that vanilla, and a little bit of that red wine.

M: very sweet and crisp, with some nice tartness. mild body and a light carbonation level.

D: After the initial sip, and I was skeptical about paying $27 a bottle for this. Good thing no one I know likes lambics, so I had to drink the entire bottle. This gave me and the beer some time to "warm" up to each other. This was a great treat, but probably a one time deal for me at the price. Give it a shot, but share the weath...my only regret.

paulthebeerguru, May 21, 2008
Photo of seaoflament
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared a bottle with Joey (thanks for bringing a bottle) and Tony from La Bella's in Chula Vista last night.

Poured the color of cherry 7-up with some fizzy carbonation. The aroma was of tart cherries, really good cherries, and also lots of vinegar, vinous with wine qualities from the barrels, and the oak coming in near the finish. As the beer warmed up Joey and Tony mentioned it getting some buttery aroma but I didn't detect much, probably drank mine too quickly. The taste was of tart cherries, salt, vinegar and the oak in the finish just like in the aroma.

This is a very good beer and I would love to drink it again but the price is a big setback (around $28 a bottle). I'd say that Alpine did a good job with this beer.

seaoflament, May 21, 2008
Photo of Floydster
4.55/5  rDev +22%
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

Floydster, May 18, 2008
Photo of WeisGuy
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

WeisGuy, May 03, 2008
Photo of BeerTruth
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So I forked over the $28 for a bottle, let's see if it's worth it.

750 mL bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a stunning rustic ruby with a half finger faint pink head that quickly dies down to a ring of various sized bubbles. Stickiness is just about non-existant, ho-hum. Smell is super funky. A lot of sour oak and a touch of vinegar. I was hoping the cherry would be strong, but unfortunately I was let down. Weak sour cherries with some cranberry and a grassy scent. Some pepper and spice tickle the nose as well. Interesting, but I could use more cherries in the aroma. Funky cherries up front on the tongue followed by vanilla and oak. A strange combination of pepper and buttery biscuits midway through, weird. Aftertaste is a bit dry with a touch of merlot, leather, and oak. Mouthfeel is fairly light bodied with stinging carbonation. Refreshing for sure, this beer went down much easier than I expected after the first sip. Chez seems to grow on me as my tongue adjusts to the funkiness. Not too sure about the $28 price tag, but it's still a good beer none the less. Keep up the good work Alpine.

BeerTruth, Apr 29, 2008
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
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

Gueuzedude, Apr 24, 2008
Photo of largadeer
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

largadeer, Apr 23, 2008
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Chez Monieux from Alpine Beer Company
84 out of 100 based on 186 ratings.