Merry Monks' Ale - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Merry Monks' AleMerry Monks' Ale

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very good

1,915 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,915
Reviews: 735
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 46
Gots: 252 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Tripel |  9.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Merry Monks, 9.3% ABV, is a Belgian-style Tripel. Pilsner malt combined with an Abbey yeast strain yields a remarkable and complex flavor packed with notes of spice, banana and pear. Nicely balanced, with a moderate to dry finish.

Merry Monks is bottle conditioned which imparts a special effervescence to the beer and a creamier carbonation. The ongoing fermentation inside the bottle will change the character of the beer as it ages and you’ll find it becomes dryer with age. You may want to lay down a few bottles for future evaluation. We suggest storing at cellar temperatures (around 55°F) and away from light.

This brew is available year-round. Keep your eye out for Merry Monks in 25 oz. cork-and-cage champagne bottles for an exceptional experience!

(Beer added by: SheepNutz on 09-13-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,915 | Reviews: 735 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of woosterbill
2.95/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Troeg's swingtop growler (very, very full pour) into its proper Weyerbacher tulip.

A: Looks a bit flat in the growler (no bubbles appear upon breaking the seal), and a fairly hard pour is required to produce nearly an inch of fine white head atop a hazy gold body. While there doesn't appear to be much carbonation rising up to maintain the head, retention is still pretty strong, and as the foam recedes it leaves a few clumps of lace around the sides. Solid-looking tripel except for the low carbonation.

S: Pure Belgian yeast aroma, with somewhat more fruit (banana and apple) than spice (although there's a fair dose of clove). Some sweet alcohol toward the tail end. Smells like it could be a bit harsh, but definitely a dynamic tripel.

T: Starts out with the nice yeasty flavors from the nose, but quickly shifts toward dominating, cloying booze. There's a bit of bready malt, but the alcohol really takes over the majority of this beer; that said, the booze notes are sweet and slightly fruity, but they're still pretty harsh. Taking smaller sips shifts the harshness more onto the finish, but also eliminates any chance to savor the complexity of the yeast. This beer is simply unbalanced.

M: Definitely an unexpected bonus after seeing how flat this beer looked in the growler, on the palate it comes alive with a mouthfilling explosion of velvety carbonation that helps clean out the stickiness of the alcohol just a bit.

D: I'm taking the rest of the growler over to a friend's place, and I'm counting on others to finish it. One tulip will be plenty for me - it's one of the most oppressively boozy beers I've had, which is a huge disappointment considering it's under 10%.

Notes: I don't know if this would mellow with age or what, but those monks appear to have been too merry to have balanced out the heat of their beer. I don't mind a bit of booze on the finish of a tripel, but this one was really over the top - both from this growler and when I had a corked 750 about a year ago. I liked the sample taste I had at the brewery, but now I'm wishing I'd gotten a growler of Old Heathen instead.


Photo of alkemy
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy gold with the slightest touch of orange. Big bubbles in the fluffy white head quickly disperse leaving about an eighth inch of tightly packed foam. Definitely has a medicinal note in the aroma off the bat. Smell then goes to banana, apple, raisins, and hints of alcohol. Tastes super. Herbal tart apple, banana, and an underlying citrus note. Alcohol has a nice warming feeling as it goes down. I'm pretty impressed with this brew. The only problem is that it's hard to sense the 9.3% and with the flavor, I could "accidentally" have too many of these at one sitting.

Photo of WalterSobchak
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light amber with a fluffy one finger head that dissipates quickly, no lacing, no cap.
Strong yeast and fruit perhaps...and a bit of spice in there too.
Bright and big carbonation with yeasty goodness fades quickly to spicy notes. The front end of this one is a bit watery and the spice is pretty in your face. Not a smooth transition of flavors but enjoyable nonetheless.
Quite drinkable but a bit too much punch for me. Nice one to have around for variety.

Aged 10 months:

Maintains many of the same notes. The Spiciness has blended much more completely and seems better balanced. Yeasty notes have faded but a banana flavor has developed. Carbonation is more tolerable and works better as the flavors have balanced out. Not a huge difference and, as always, there are many variables but I like this one better after a little time in the cellar.

Photo of dstc
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy straw yellow with a nice white head. Head falls to practically nothing. Nice thin lace.

Smells like a nice Belgian. Herbal and a bit lemony.

Citrus flavors in the taste. Alcohol makes itself present. Lingering sweet finish. Nice.

Medium bodied to somewhat full in the mouth. Silky yet has a slight bite.

Wow, I like it. Very delightful higher alcohol brew. I must remember this one.

Photo of bonkers
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter. It pours a clear gold with a bi9g effervescent head. The aroma is fruity and sweet. The taste follows, much less "spicy" than some tripels. It is well carbonated, and medium in body. I liked this beer, but IMO its flavors are more like a Belgian Pale Ale.

Photo of matty
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gold colored beer with a slowly fading head.You really have to sniff hard to get anything on the nose.Taste is bannana,fruitiness and booze.A nice beer that gives a warm kick on the back end.This is not your beer pong brew!I would recommend and purchase again.

Photo of morimech
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Carefully decanted into my Duvel tulip. Pours a cloudy golden color with almost no head. Just a thin ring of bubbles that hug the glass. The appearance comes back with a healthy amount of spotty lacing during consumption. This just smells like a tripel should. Fruity and sweet with sugar. Some vinous qualities as well. The flavor is likewise that of some of the finest from Belgium. Fruity and vinous with a little sweetness to counter the alcohol in the finish. Finishes clean. The body is on the lighter side of medium and has abundant but not harsh carbonation that goes well with the flavors. I did not know what to expect with this beer and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the flavor. But look at that ABV, that will limit consumption.

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Loud fizzy white head that rises to about one finger and doesnt stay too long. No lacing but a collar of foam around the edges/ The beer is a hazy apple juice color. You can see through it but only just.

S- Kinda weak nose. Whats there is pretty appealing. Banana esters dominate over some yeasty mustiness and funk.

T- More banana. Theres also a lot of fruitiness. Lots of apple. Toward the finish is lots more yeasty earthiness and funk. Some slight alcohol. Slight medicinal taste on the finish.

M- Really bubbly and nice. The sharp bubbles are something I like about this style of beer. This one definitely has that. Slightly dry finish.

D- A fairly drinkable tripel. Slightly warming from the alcohol but it is really nice on a cold night like tonight.

This one falls about mid way to slightly towards the top in the ranks of tripels I've had.

Photo of TaddyPorter
2.48/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I know that I had this beer a few years back, but when I spotted it on the shelf and couldn't remember what I thought of it, I figured it was time to give it another try. I think I've generally seen it in 12oz. bottles or on draft, so the champagne bottle was a unique presentation, and a bargain at $6.99, especially considering its 9.3% long as it's not too hot-tasting. I've had a lot of great beers from Weyerbacher...let us just see.

Huge foamy cappuccino frothy head from a slightly less-than-gentle pour. The stark, glowing white head dissipates into tight, tiny bubbles that float atop a light golden elixir. It gives a very inviting first impression to the eye. As it drinks down, the lighter foam breaks up into large frothy bubbles that stick to the glass at first, but quickly are reduced to a couple of spots of foam sparsely spattered around the glass--no real lacing as the head dies down to a thin layer of foam.

All yeast on the nose, mostly an estery banana peel scent at first. Then a bit of mustiness and dry, dusty horse blanket wave comes through, but in a very subtle way that is neither overpowering nor particularly funky, compared to funkier Belgian styles. It's a struggle to pick out any hoppiness...perhaps a bit of lemon zest. As it warms up, it begins to be overwhelmed with the alcohol, with a hot, vodka-like scent overpowering the yeast.

My first sip was probably too cold, so that all I could taste was a wave of tutti-frutti flavor and then the dryness and heat of the alcohol. Doesn't give a particularly nuanced or complex first impression. As it warms up, it unfortunately doesn't gain much in flavor, but rather becomes dominated by its alcoholic heat, though there are some notes of peppercorn and perhaps juniper berries peeking through the astringency. Some of the caramelly malt from the grain comes through, but it is quickly swept over by the booziness.

Light effervescence and a fairly light body. It starts out refreshing, but as with the smell and taste, the mouthfeel is dominated by the impression left behind by hot, dry alcohol.

Sadly, it seems to be getting less drinkable as I get through it, though I had high hopes for this beer. It certainly won't keep me from trying other Weyerbacher brews, but it's not what I'm looking for in a golden ale. Perhaps the lack of complexity ultimately makes this easier drinking than your average 9.3% beer, but but for a Belgian style this one is lacking in subtlety and nuance.

Photo of eyncognito
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottle pours a hazy orange with a an eggshell white head that fades a little too quickly into an attractive collar. not unattractive for a beer, but i've seen better. no lacing. visible carbonation, but could use some more head. aroma is orchard fruits-apples, pears, and peaches-along with clove. Even hints of banana as it warms.

Taste is sweet-apples and pears with some caramel. Some hints of pilsner malt even emerge between the fruit and clove spice, mild pepper. The spice is a touch tame. Malt is sugary sweet-gentle caramel and honey. Mouthfeel is medium, smooth, with ample carbonation.

Quite drinkable. Alcohol is well-hidden, only revealing itself in a gentle warming. Merry Monks' is a solid American stab at a Belgian Tripel. Nothing ground breaking, but with a good price tag this beer satisfies and does not break the bank.

Photo of rapidsequence
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. $2.20 for a single.
Appearance: Pretty light, slightly hazy yellow. Nice foamy head fades to a thin rim. Almost no lacing.

Smell: Lots of sweet fruit and clove. Spicy and a little alcohol. A swirl brings up some nice yeastiness. Sweet, fruity, and complex but not overpowering. Very nice.

Taste: Flavors similar to the smell, but not as good. Less sweet fruit and more clove and spice. Kind of peppery. Alcohol. The finish is too sharp and peppery. Good, not great.

Mouthfeel: I like the almost over the top carbonation. It is nice and tingly, almost sharp. The contrast with the sweetness and the slight stickiness in the mouth is good and helps the finish.

Drinkability: I actually like this beer a lot. Its almost more like a BSPA to me, but whatever. The taste doesnt quite live up to the smell, but overall, this is a really nice beer.

Photo of Clydesdale
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy, translucent, glowing marigold color. The tall, ivory colored head has a dense, frothy texture. Retention is good, with some solid patches of lacing.

S: Robustly fruity aromas of tart apples, ripe pears, and some peachy notes - somewhat tart overall, actually. Also a firm clove spiciness, along with a moderate background sweetness.

T: An initial burst of flavor - honeyed sweetness along with the same yeasty fruitiness as the nose, which lends a mildly sour flavor for a moment. The finish is rather spicy, with clove and pepper flavors. Also somewhat phenolic at times.

M: Medium-full body. Carbonation is somewhat firm and lively, while the finish is rather dry. Some alcohol is noticeable, but it stays in the background for the most part.

D: A rather fruity, perky tripel from Weyerbacher. Interestingly tart, but this has a full flavor profile and is a rather nice interpretation of a popular Belgian style.

Photo of crhensel
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Bottle into a trappist glass) Poured a dark amber/ light orange color with no head. Aroma had a hint of fruit sweetness and citrus. Also a very heavy yeast smell that reminded me of Thanksgiving stuffing! Taste was a little sweet which does not really fit the style. A good beer, but more reminiscent of a very strong weizen. Warning, the alcohol is very well hidden here...that 9.3% will catch up to you!

Photo of donniecuffs
2.7/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bright yellow with a finger of white head; decent lacing. The smell was overwhelmingly acidic lemon, and maybe a little pineapple and blood orange. The flavor was undeniably one-dimensional, with lemon zest piercing through from start to finish, and only the most minute trace of orange peel in the finish. The mouthfeel was lighter than expected, but at least spritzy. I'm sorry, but this is not a stellar example of a tripel.

Photo of wangbruins
2.4/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Deep yellow, gold that seemed pretty typical but with real good lacing

S- Wheat and hops and a lot of lemon

T- Lemony and very tangy with a hint of flowery flavors

M- Stinging but light and smooth at the end

D- Smooth drink but not for me. A fan of tripel may find it phenomenal I believe, but again, not for me

Photo of KarlHungus
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a cloudy bright orange color. The head is two inches in height, and recedes into a small cap of firm lacing that last a while. The aroma is of citrus, moderate funk, floral notes in the background, and a hint of alcohol. It is very pleasing. The taste is funkier than the aroma, the alcohol is more prominent. The citrus and floral notes are still there, but they are toned down some. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with appropriately high carbonation, and a smooth texture. Overall, this is a very nice tripel. It might not stand up to some of the classic Belgian examples, but it is totally drinkable nonetheless.

Photo of colts9016
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I received this beer through a trade.

Poured into my Triple Karmeliet glass at 47 degrees.

Appearance: A 2 finger head that has descent retention. The color of the beer is a medium straw with a good amount of yeast partials. The clarity of the beer is clouded. There is some effervescence in the beer.

Nose: There is a nice complex of malt and spiciness. The spiciness has some pepper, phenols, cloves, banana, and ester. The hops are citrus, a generous amount of floral, perfumery, and some pine. The malt is toasted with a hint of biscuits.

Taste: A very rich spicy flavor, there is some white pepper, phenols, cloves, and esters. The hop characters are perfumey, citrus, generous amount of floral bouquet and some pine. The malt is there as an accompaniment, with flavors of light toasted biscuit. There are also some banana notes.

Overall: The mouth feel is spicy yet creamy rich and astringent. The body of the beer is medium and the finish is almost full. This beer carries a lot of flavor and is rather good. The head was a real disappointment. The taste was more pronounced than the nose. I was hoping for some balance in the beer's flavor, it is jumbled.

Photo of gatornation
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a light orange color with a nice sized head that doeas dissipate to a nice amber ring..the smell is bananas clove coriander apples and pears ...the taste is pure belgium it starts with a banana and clove hit then some nice yeast taste followed bt a sweet malt..this is a nice offering from weyerbacher it drinks like a belgium pale ale its quite tasty the 9.3 abv is well hidden but i like the breweries ipa's better..this one is however is solid and a great one to try if you like the style..i did and its recommended

Photo of stakem
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a light colored amber/orange with big frothy 2 fingers of slightly offwhite head that slowly fade to just a thin film across the top of the beer. Nose is full of sweet smelling cloves, yeast and bits of citrus. This is one cloudy bastard, perhaps I was a little too rough on the pour because the particles making it appear cloudy are individually identifiable and some of them are rather dark and large floating around in suspension. Carb level is quite high, mouthfeel pleasantly medium and slightly syrupy in the finish as well as warming. Taste up front is full of cloves and a bit of malt sweetness that finishes with a lingering blend of both yeast and cloves.

Photo of Beejay
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A light grapefruit color, with plenty of white head on the top.

S: Very yeasty smell. Ripe fruit and maybe some cloves as well.

T: Sweet, and a little spicy. Lot's of alcohol taste in the finish, as well as some clove.

M: Highly carbonated. Much like a thicker version of champaign.

D: Good, but not amazing.. a little harsh on the alcohol, but still drinkable. Not bad.. not great, though I would like to try it on tap...

Photo of mattmascari
4.9/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A golden hue with faint red coloration

S fruity with a sweet tone light hop character

T caramel start with bright fruits and slight hop. malty sweetness that isnt over powering. i get the feeling the yeast is the one bringing all those wonderful flavors to the party and hops are just bittering to reduce the sweetness

M medium body which coats your toungue without feeling clotting just the right carbonation to bounce the flavor to the back of your mouth

D one of my true favorites if you can get it dont hesitate just dive in

Photo of Darkhorse09
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber, orange hue, a little bit lighter than I expected. Very brief, short head, not impressive, but not terrible either.

Aroma: Very fruity and just a little spice. Could potentially be a bit sour, maybe some lemon grass on the nose. Smells good.

Taste: Light and fruity up front, then comes some alcohol and spices. Lemony finish, quite dry. Pretty sweet and not too much hop presence. tasty, bright, fruity, medium-bodied, light

Mothfeel: very good, coats the moth nicely, just a tad shy of sticky. Light syrupy character.

Drinkability: good good good. tasty and warm. I'd have this one again.

Photo of nickd717
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Chevy Chase Wine & Liquors in DC, poured into wine glass.

A - Pours a hazy golden color with a fizzy white head.

S - Aroma is banana, clove, wheat, yeast. Seems to lean a bit toward the German hefe side.

T - Wheaty and yeasty with banana, clove, honey, Asian pear and other light fruits, as well as some alcohol. Yeah, this is sort of a hybrid between a trippel and an imperial hefe.

M - Body is medium-light and carbonation is high.

D - Pretty good. Light body helps a bit.

Overall, this beer is pretty good. Not really to style though since it seems a little more like a strong German hefeweizen than a trippel.

Photo of allboutbierge
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Typical yellow golden color topped with a surprisingly frothy but moderate sized head. Lace retention is moderate, lace is minimal.

Aromas of Belgian yeast, esters, faint grassiness. Flavor encompasses these qualities in addition to dried pears some orange juice in the aftertaste. No belgian spice, pepper. Moderate alcohol flavor. No creaminess detected. This is a bit less complex than most Belgian Tripels Ive had, but its incredibly drinkable. You don't get caught up on the flavors, but rather the enjoyment it brings.

Photo of denmah
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pour: pours very clean and clear, golden almost glowing color

smell:The strong grain and carmel/malt smell

taste: great smooth taste, one of my favorites, tripels are my dream. small citrus taste, light fruit, almost no aftertaste, very small amount of hoppy bittery taste.

mouthfeel: great medium to full beer taste

overall, very strong and happy beer, nearly 10% abv will put you to bed fast!

Merry Monks' Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,915 ratings.