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Merry Monks' Ale - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Merry Monks' AleMerry Monks' Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,948 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,948
Reviews: 745
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 14.03%
Wants: 52
Gots: 283 | 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:
Beer added by: SheepNutz on 09-13-2001

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,948 | Reviews: 745 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bigeyedfish
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been sitting on a bottle of this since I picked up the Weyerbacher Big Beer Pack back in May; let's see what six months did to this beer. Poured into a flute glass.

Poured an almost pilsner-esq straw color with little head, and what head there was went away quite quickly. In the span of typing the first sentence and selecting 'bottle' i had lost all head, except for a thin layer around the outside; little to no lacing.

Smells good- nothing earth shattering to report. Some banana and sadly there's still some alcohol in the nose, which with the banana splits the dominant smell, 50/50. There's some Belgian yeast, as well as an almost-orange-creamsicle-element that is faintly there. Alcohol is the dominant aroma though.

Not nearly as sweet as the nose advertised it to be. Some orange and lemon jest in the mid palate. Alcohol is absolutely present throughout most of the palate. An almost sierra-mist-like quality on the finish, as well as on the tongue. The finish sweetens over time, however, with alcohol being replaced by what I'm hesitant to call a simple-syrup type of flavor. Really an interesting, interesting brew. Even after six months its still got a hell of a lot going on. Even a faint trace of cinnamon sugar on the tip of the tongue. Took me 3/4 of a beer to get that one. This is a beer that you really need to commit yourself to working through. A lot of alcohol though, and that is kind of tough to get over.

Pretty focused beer. The alcohol in the mid-palate is a little concerning, as is the initial finish, which is predominately alcohol but which becomes simple syrup. Still, nice palate grip. Really hits a lot of different areas; with so many flavors it's surprising it isn't more vast throughout the palate. Good mouthfeel though. Different yet enjoyable.

This is a tough beer to get through, I'll be honest. Even after six months it's still a little hot, and the alcohol is at times a little bit offensive. There is a lot going on, and with so much, it's easy to see why it's an 83 point beer; if four or five flavors became one or two this is a high 80's beer. With ALL that said, I'm stoked to see what this becomes next May. This is by no means the best American-made Triple. It's probably only the third best triple to come from Pennsylvania. But, there are not many triple's that are so complex. And while it is not the best, from either America or PA, it is absolutely the most unique and that makes it worthy of trying. A nice effort from the folks at Weyerbacher.

Photo of Jwale73
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured an orange-gold color into a tulip glass. Foamy white head dissipated quickly into nothingness, with almost no lacing present during the tasting. Scent of belgian yeast and fermented fruit (smell seemed a little off). More flavors of yeast and definitely a hint of banana at the finish. Somewhat lively in the mouth with surprisingly more carbonation than I expected. Definitely inspired by a belgian pale, but didn't quite hit the mark. I've had better from Weyerbacher, but all and all not too bad.

Photo of shivtim
2.84/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Those monks sure are merry. Pours our a mostly clear light golden orange, with a slight haze, some carbonation, and a very thin ring of white head that dissapears. Nose is sweet grapey port wine, with yeasts and spices. Taste is a huge kick of alcohol, followed by slight Belgian qualities which are immediately masked by another whomp of stinging ethanol. Mouthfeel is decent, but drinkability is severely limited by the nature of the alcohol.
This seems to be a very inconsistent beer. Mine was not sour as some other reviewers have noticed; instead it was an alcohol bomb (also as some other reviewers have noticed).

Photo of rsyberg01
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

S - 12 oz. bottle no freshness date seen

A - Pours a pale golden, head is average, not bad looking, avg.

S - estery, fruit, banana, spicy, tropic, delovely

T - sweet, crisp, tang, fruit, banana, belgian spice

M - crisp and creamy while finishing clean

D - probably one of my favorite styles, I'd be honored to start and finish a night with this.

Photo of perfectkaos
2.91/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

picked this one in a mix a sixpack deal. ive had it before, but never reviewed it.

pours a golden orange color with almost no head. smell is off, sort of sour.

tastes sweet, definately a banana character to it with a spice infused aftertaste. the alcohol is completely masked.

this isnt my favorite belgian style beer. Unibroue makes far better and as far as PA brews go, Golden Monkey is still the standard bearer.

Photo of wheelinshirt
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had had this beer before, but it was a long time and I remembered liking it, so I decided to pick one up as part of my mixed six pack from Abe’s. Poured into a tulip, golden color, not hazy per se but it did have little pieces of yeast sediment floating throughout that were kind of gross (like smuttynose IPA). Head didn't last long and left only a tiny bit of lacing. The smell was alcohol and fruity esters with a little hop spice. Taste was similar with some sweetness. Light body and fair drinkability--middle of the road, I would say. Not bad, but far from great.

Photo of JamesS
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good golden coloring, with very little head and no lacing, about average appearance, although it has some nice cloudiness. Nice crisp taste, although you can detect the high alcohol content even in the scent. This beer would have a great taste if it didn't have such a large hit of alcohol. It's crisp and has a nice balance of malts and hops, but if almost overridden by alcohol, which also affects the mouthfeel, making it a little harsh. Like most Weyerbacher beers, it has a great potential, and if you really want a jumped up beer, it's worth a try.

EDIT: Just like the Old Heathen and others in the big beer case, this one has gotten better over time, as well (at least for me). It has a nice scent, with good malt and sweetness qualities, and a great Belgian ale taste. Could be my tastes are expanding or it could be I've let the last couple of cases sit longer and they've aged better. Either way, I'm good.

Photo of sinistrsam
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured a pretty standard golden color with a medium white head.
The aroma was more complex than I had expected, with sweet dark fruits, honey and mild spice.
This is defintiely a Belgian style; candi sugar and mild bubblegum flavors miz with spice and sweet malts.
There is hardly any bitter hoppiness, and if there is its overshaddowed by a sweet and pleasant feel throughout. I might have to limit myself to a few of these becasue of the ABV, though.
After hearing all kinds of things about this beer and being skeptical, I have to say I've come around. I'm impressed with its drinkability and would definitely like to have a few of these on a cold winter evening with friends.

Photo of KenOnBass
3.37/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

At first glance this beer looks great. Good fizz going on and a nice golden color that looks full. Love the monks on the bottle also. Like they always say, it's not a party until you invite the monks. The smell is definitely awesome. Amazingly outstanding and refreshing.

Looks and smell considered, when I finally tasted the beer I was a bit taken aback. It's got a very strongly bitter taste. Overall it's not horrible but not exactly great either. A bit bitter for my liking. The mouthfeel is a bit gritty. You can feel the substance there. I would say this is a decent beer to bring over to a friends house. It's very unique and interesting looking all around.

Photo of Amalak
4.34/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Out of the bottle it is extremely fizzy with 1000s of little bubbles escaping to the top. Head is nice but dissipates quickly.

S: Might be my favorite smelling beer. Very, very aromatic Wheaty/fruity mix that is just excellent.

T: Very crisp and earthy, organic kind of taste to it. Smooth, yet bubbly.

M: Very carbonated, tingles the mouth.

D: Decent body and smooth. It's refreshing and can be drank in most any situation.

Big fan of this Easton, PA beer. Maybe I'm partial, though, since I was born there.

Photo of mmcave
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased this in Pennsylvania as part of a high gravity serious. Chilled and poured into a duvel tulip. Head rose quickly and left quickly, it started out about a finger and a half deep and now linger quarter inch off the surface its pure white.
The body is glowing translucent almost amber, but more on the gold side. Because of the clarity it really takes any color it is sat in front of and reflects this in its glow. retention is o.k. no lacing yet could be my glass wear though.

The aroma is bright and round with mild peppery notes. I get pilsner malt with strong light fruit esters, pear, apple, a hint of banana and bubble-gum, small bready yeast notes and a pleasant touch of black maybe white pepper near the back end. Its not quite quit as complex as I wanted, reminds of more of duvel than a tripel.

Flavor is not quit as complex as I'd wanted, I get notes of bubble-gum and the same esters as in the smell, the sweetness is balanced mildly with hops, but also the presence of alcohol. Nice bit of alcohol warmth on the finish. The flavor lingers on the tongue a little longer making it seem syrup like. Mouthfeel is a little thin and not quit as creamy as I like in a tripel this seems more like a belgian strong pale ale.
Definitely needs to be more carbonated, I wonder how they carbonated; if they bottle condition or if they inject co2, if they condition I wonder if they re-yeasted or not. Any how decent brew, but defeinalty not a great a representation of a Belgian tripel.

Photo of eberkman
3.29/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a somewhat hazy orange-gold with a thin white head that reduces to nothingness within a minute. The nose is dominated by a powerful, unusual banana smell with some medicinal qualities too. Tastes also of bananas and bubblegum, though not in a hefeweizen kind of way. Some more tart, fleshy fruit and spices in there as well. No trace of hops. Considerable alcoholic warming on the way down. Mouthfeel is light-bodied and somewhat crisp. A little too sweet for more than one of these.

Not one of the better representations of the style I've had. Complex but unbalanced. And the utter lack of head makes it look like a glass of apple juice.

Not a terrible beer, but certainly not a go-to tripel, that's for sure. Many better ones out there, including American representations of the style.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance - honey gold pour, thin head that breaks down slowly but holds at *almost* a complete cover.

Aroma - sweet honeyed yeast, with some spiciness added as it settles.

Taste - lots of Belgian candi sugar. Spicy yeast combines with some alcohol that sneaks through for a very nice blend of flavors. Warm on the swallow, all flavors hanging in there and providing a long tasty profile.

Mouthfeel - buttery smooth, low carbonation, solid body.

Drinkability -a delicious beer, would likely hold up well in the cellar for the more patient among us...

Photo of Gmann
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy golden straw color with a large white head after a pretty aggressive pour. If I did that with a real Beligan I would have no beer left. The smell is typical tripel, Belgian candi sugar is front and center, followed by some banana like yeast characteristics. The taste is boozy and sweet, hits pretty hard off the bat. Typical of the American versions of the tripel. The candi sugar and alcohol heat dominate the palate, this brew could use a bigger malt presence to balance. The feel is moderate and a bit syrupy, finishes with alcohol heat on the back of the tongue. An average American tripel, doesn't taste bad just doesn't have the flavor profile or balance of a true Belgian tripel.

Photo of HopCrazy
3.49/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A little too sweet for my liking, but still a nice flavor... didn't taste the off flavors some others have mentioned. This beer is crystal clear and golden colored with a nice sized creamy head that reduced itself to a thin creamy film eventually that didn't want to stick to the glass. The aroma was slightly doughy with banana and anise. The flavor was much the same but add to that a warming alcohol presence and thin carbonation. Reminded me a little of Unibroue - Le Fin Du Monde, but not nearly as refined nor balanced nor expensive.
Overall, a nice beer for the style and price, but it's not as balanced as I would have liked.

Photo of jwc215
3.09/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into glass chalice:

Pours hazy golden with a thin head that almost immediately disappears to a tiny, thin floating patch. A bit less-than-normal-for-style carbonation rises to the top. No lacing sticks around to speak of. This isn't bad in color, but is in need of better head retention and Belgian lace.

The smell is of orange peel, grainy malt and banana-like fruitiness. Peppery spiciness gives it a kick with some subtle grass/hay way in the back.

The taste begins with a spice kick that subsides revealing orange peel and carmelized maltiness. As it warms to room temp., it reminds me of sugar-coated banana chips and rock candy. An herbal touch struggles to balance out the sweetness, but in the end the candy sweetness wins out. Alcohol dries it out in the finish.

Light-bodied, but holds together. There is an initial sharpness from spice and alcohol, though it becomes smoother and more malty as it warms to room temp.

It's a stab at the style, and though it has certain characteristics of a Belgian Tripel, it's not the real deal...Even compared to other American interpretations of the style, I'm just lukewarm towards this one...

Photo of Risser09
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a large snifter - 2007 Bottling

Appearance: An aggressive pour yields a hazy orange ale. This ale has yellow hightlights and a white foamy head to it. The head reahes 1 inch high and is comprised mostly of small bubbles. A little bit of lacing is left on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Banana, Belgian yeast, esters, fresh ground pepper, and a fresh garden aroma. Sweet and spicy, according to the smell.

Taste: Sweet malt build and a peppery Belgian yeast taste. Coriander is a powerful flavor, and lemon peel is following behind. This taste is sweet and in the middle of the road for American interpretations.

Mouthfeel: Light on the carbonation which is nice. Sweetness is cloying for me. Alcohol is not present in this beer, but the estery Belgian yeast is present.

Drinkability: Good. Again, a bit too sweet, even for me. True Belgians rely on the yeast to give a full complexity for beers of this style.

Photo of ralree
2.52/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I think I found that I'm not a fan of this style. It's too sweet and too alcoholic - almost like a really fruity wine. The alcohol cuts through into the aftertaste quite a bit, leaving nothing else on the tongue. It is nicely carbonated and golden colored, and smells very sweet.

Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very light golden color. Clear only because I stopped pouring when the yeast started creeping down the neck of the bottle. Swirled and drank the lees. Yum! Wispy white head appeared briefly but quickly vanished seconds after pouring. I could actually watch it slip away. No lacing to speak of.

Aroma foretells the warmth of this brew. Plump golden raisins, ripe pear, hints of bubble gum and that alcohol warmth. Tastes of the fruit and some biscuit, a little hop spiciness and a warm alcohol laced finish.

Nice medium body, carbonation is noticeable in the mouth.

This is a great example of the style, and one that is splendidly drinkable. My only negative from this experience is the complete and utter lack of a head or lacing. Seems to be a popular theme reading thru the other reviews.

Photo of dmamiano
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank this one at about 60 degrees....
Poured a nice golden, clean, clear straw color with a big head that quickly went away. Not a real creamy looking white head, kind of soap bubbly. Lacing hung on for dear life.
Good carbonation.
Smelled of sweet malt, bubble gum and Belgian yeast.
Taste was exceptional. Sweet malty goodness with that yeasty bubble gum flavor. My wife even liked it.
Mouthfeel....great. Very good beer.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice hazy golden yellow color with thin white head. Head eventually fades and no lacing is left behind in the glass. Tiny carbonation bubbles constantly rise from bottom to top and yeast particles can be seen suspended within the body.

S- Strong alcohol is the first thing to hit the nose followed by a musty and cellared yeast smell. White grapes and apples can be detected also but are far in the background.

T- Light fruitiness upfront with a supportive spicy belgian yeast background. Mild hop flavor kicks in toward the middle as a balance to the sweet fruity character. The finish is all spicy yeast and alcohol. An alcoholic burn lingers along with a sweet breadiness from the yeast.

M- High carbonation and medium weight body. Body is strong with creamy yeast and burning alcohol.

D- This is another great brew from Weyerbacher. My last to review from the big beers sampler-I saved this bottle for reviewing long after the rest were gone. The alcohol is noticable in this one-so one is enough before moving on to a session ale. This is an enjoyable slow-sipper that I will have again.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

257 reviews as of this writing. I would generally call this a decent tripel. Not top of the class, definitely above the mid mark though. I liked the appearance but I found it a touch too simple sweet and more a tartness than I would've otherwise desired in a tripel. I'm glad to have tried this.

Photo of barknee
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

W’s Merry Monks pours a pure 14 K gold color with a thin white-capped head.
Essences of tart citrus and raw coriander seed waft from the glass. The nose is a bit tight, but nevertheless has that official Belge-like character to it.
The taste is medium bodied, tart from the citric element and generally lean in the mouth with clove and a touch of banana emanating as this brew warms.
A very decent Ameri-Belge from a brewer I personally enjoy and respect.
This is a great brew to pair with foods that contain citrus and acids perhaps like ceviche, salads or fish marinated with tropical fruits.
It is fresh, crisp and enjoyable and like most of the big W’s products - distinctive!

Photo of Toddv29424
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As far as American Tripels go, this one it topps. This beer pours a slightly hazy golden color with little head. The nose is pungent, and has notes of coriander, spice, banana and light malts. The taste is very complex, and like most tripels a little off putting at how non-alcoholic it tastes (even though its around 9%). The spices are most apparent, with the banana sneaking in toward the end. The finish is terrific. The syrup-like consistency lingers for a long time, and doesn't seem to dissipate until another sip is taken.

Photo of snafui
1.55/5  rDev -59.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Had this on tap. I noticed in negative reviews folks referred to it as sour, lemony, etc. Not so here. It definitely seemed fresh. But it was like drinking banana juice.
Appearance was a pale yellow, cloudy. Very little head retention.
Smell was pure banana. It smelled like a hefe fermented way too high.
It tasted sweet and full of banana. Very much like a poor hefe than a belgian tripel. I almost thought I was served the wrong beer until reinforced by some companions who had experienced it before.
Mouthfeel was think and sweet.
Drinkability Couldn't sit down with a glass of this and finish it. I actually took the ice from a glass of water I had, and iced down this beer *TWICE* before it was tolerable. My party also found this to be an improvement and I did in fact finish the glass this way and actually enjoyed it. A companion referred to it as headache in a glass and I hope tomorrow doesn't prove him right.

I really hate to be that guy with very few reviews under his belt that jumps on BA to review the terrible but I just don't understand the positive reviews of this beer. I have to jump in here and speak my piece.

Merry Monks' Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,948 ratings.