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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

1,980 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,980
Reviews: 753
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 14.03%
Wants: 55
Gots: 303 | 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: 1,980 | Reviews: 753 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of sleazo
2.92/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy orange with a supreme lack of head.

S-smells like someone is brewing beer. Am unfinished smell but one that is quite inviting with twinges of ripe tropical fruit. 3.5

T-unlike the smell the taste is dominated by sweet over ripe bananas. The aftertaste leaves a sort of topps bubblegum flavour. Odd indeed and lacking a balance in many ways.

M-slightly thick with a medium carbonation

D-one sided beer with banana dominating. There are a lot of issues here. I did not realize this was a tripel when I was drinking it, i thought it was a singel type. I guess the only thing I can say good about it is the alcohol is well hidden

Photo of mikesgroove
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a treat for me today as I picked up the cold single and drank it straight away this afternoon. Poured a strong light brownish amber with a big, two inch off white head. Lots of foam and lace left over from this one. Lots of visible carbonation was readily apparent. Smell was full of yeast and grain, a touch of alcohol was also present. Picked up some grassy aroma as well. The flavor was a classic tripel. Lots of yeasty flavors, plums, a touch of peach. A lot of bready grains mixed in as well. A touch of alcohol was definatly there and made its presence well known. Great smooth feel due to lots of carbonation. This was actually not as much of a sipper as I would have thought. I was easily able to drink this while walking around no problem. Not saying it would be a session beer, but not a snifter eaither. Overall I was actually fairly impressed with this. Had a great feel and flavor, full body and just a good all around belgian. Gotta love what these american breweries are able to do with these nowadays. Damn impressive for sure, I would efinatly try this one again!

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

Seems too filtered for the style, but the color is consistent with others I've had other than a lack of haze.

Smells of yeast and fruit, you can tell exactly what you're about to get yourself into.

Taste is sour fruit and bread and a surprisingly well hidden alcohol zing.

Pretty good mouth feel, again, I fel the sediment would have helped with this.

Oh, it's tasty, but have more than one and you're not going to get very much accomplished.

Photo of akorsak
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle purchased at the brewery in March.

A: The tripel pours a darker yellow color, as though a few too many drops of food coloring were added to a glass of water. Like that glass of water, the ale is clear and relatively still. The head was sizeable on pour, near 2 fingers, and has left a thick pattern of lace throughout the glass.

S: The nose is spicy and piquant, full of hot aromas that jump out of the beer. Coriander pepper notes dominate the nose and are coupled with a candi sugar sweetness.

T: It's becoming more and more apparent that my first run through Weyerbacher's big beers consisted of old bottles. Each one (Old Heathen, Quad, Merry Monks' and Blithering Idiot) is top notch when fresh. Here, the coriander and candi sugars from the nose make an immediate impact taste-wise. The coriander adds a peppery heat. Not a habanero heat, more of a full-flavored bite. Candi sugars are waiting right beside the coriander to add a sweet element that brings the peppery zest back down to earth. Those dominant flavors sit atop a grainy malt body that is bready enough to support the spices. Throughout, the carbonation scrubs the tongue clean, allowing the flavors to re-invent themeselves on each sip.

M: Nice blend of sugar and spice in this beer, pairing together to create a smooth drink that never betrays the 9.3% abv.

D: That abv, while hidden, could easily do you in. Nice, solid tripel nonetheless.

Photo of mdkV01D
4.11/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

pours light amber with minimal head, looks just a bit dark for a trippel. no lacing, as head disappears quickly after pouring. (maybe my glass isn't quite clean, maybe it's 9% abv)

smells estery sweet, with a hint of alcohol. i sense banana and citrus.. along with some spice.

taste is fairly complex. same as scent... fruity esters and a remarkable spiciness... alcohol is hidden fairly well. really good for an American trippel.

i cant get over how good this smells, every time i take a sip I'm reminded...

very good mouth feel, carbonation done right. ive had some real undercarbed trippels, and this is an example of how to do it right.

overall = another good BIG beer from weyerbacher. crisp belgain flavor, surprisgly high drinkability considering strength

Photo of Atron67
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a slighly lighter amber with a medium white head that stayed pretty reasonably
S- Slightly spicey, slightly malty, with strong undertones of alcohol
T- is really good for an american tripel, not quite belgian but is a great flavor thats really smooth especially for how alcoholic it is, has a spicey quality that is balanced really well and finishes with a great spiceyness
M- higher carbonation which fits well for the style, has a medium/ slightly light body
D- very high, this is especially good for its alcohol content which i expected to be lower.

Photo of tempest
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a bottle at the Steelgaarden for $4.

It's nice and sweet, a little too sweet like most American takes on Belgian styles, but for the price it's not bad. The flavor starts with light fruit syrup taste followed an almost hot spice flavor with some pale grains mixed in. It lacks the complexity of the great Belgians, but I still enjoyed it.

Photo of ericj551
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Merry Monks pours a slightly hazy bright golden color with a fizzy head. Aroma is chalky yeast and a sweet graininess. Flavor is sweet pale malts, with plenty of fruity esters and phenolic taste. Yeast flavor is more balanced than the aroma. The alcohol is present but not overpowering for a beer of this strength.

Photo of guinnessfan
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle given by a buddy who loves everything Weyerbacher.

A: Pours a clouded golden color, with an orange hue. Nice head quickly dissapates to nothing. No lacing but lots of little yeasties.

S: Boozy, with a slight citrus scent. Mild spice and honey.

T: Boozy, again. Sweet and cloying. Too astringent.

M: Big, full beer with good carbonation.

D: Not very good. One and done.

Once again, another Weyerbacher beer that is too big for its britches. Everything they do is way too strong.

Photo of stonewall2
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 12 oz. bottle bought at a chain retailer.

Pretty golden color. Mild spicy aroma with a hint of fruitiness.

Note, I ALWAYS pour into a cold wet glass (chilled with ice and water), this minimizes head / foaming, which I don't much care for, and keeps the beer from becoming instantly room temperature.

Nice, mild but confident golden Belgian taste. I get a little bit of pineapple and banana. Refreshing, a little dry, warm alcohol, with an easy lingering and pleasant aftertaste.

Good carbonation, enjoyable mouthfeel. A very very drinkable beer, I wish it had less alcohol, I could drink more of it. AT $10.50 for a six pack, this could easily become a regular. One of the un-rateable characteristics is "Value". This is a good beer, for the money a damned good beer.

Photo of cooncat
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving from a variety pack of Weyerbacher "Big Beers", all 12 oz. bottles, and all well within freshness dates. I must say up front that Belgians are not one of my favorite styles, and thus reviewing them is not my strong suit. However, let me give it a try:

The pour produces a bright, clear golden-orange colored beer, capped with a nice foamy eggshell colored head. The head soon reduces to just a cap, but that lasts to the bottom. Minimal lacing is evident.

The nose is very light, which surprised me. It is malty and has notes of citric acids in it; perhaps some lemongrass as well. The taste is typical of Belgians, though not overpoweringly so. The spiciness noticed in a lot of other Belgians is somewhat diminished, which is a good thing in my book, because I'm personally not a fan of those spices. As I make my way through the beer, I'm wondering where this 9.3% abv is and if it will be noticed. I can't say that it makes a statement, but after you finish the beer, you definitely can feel its effects. Nicely carbonated to be very refreshing, and, chilled, quite quaffable. A nice Summer evening offering I'd enjoy again.


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

Pours a bright gold color with a nice white head.

Aromas are of spice and bubble gum.

Taste is bright, spicy, dry, and tart. This is a pretty lively and strong flavored beer. There is a sweet malty undertone, with a dry biting finish. Pretty nice Tripel.

Mouthfeel is good... well carbonated, full, and rounded.

Drinkability is good. This is a nice Tripel, but it almost reminds me more of Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

Bottle courtesy of Alkey. Thanks again!

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really liked this beer. Got this at McKean and Charles in Waldoboro. Todd (the beer guy) is very helpful. Anyway, I digress. The beer was poured into a snifter, and was a golden color with virtually no head. It had a fruity, spicy aroma, with a little alcohol coming through. The taste was similar, although I couldn't detect the alcohol that I thought I had smelled. I thought this to be a good example of a tripel, and would happily drink more of them.

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

pours a opaque golden color, three finger white head fades quickly to a ring on the glass.aromas of pear, apple, sugar, and alcohol. taste sugary, fruity sweet, strong alcohol finish. mouthfeel light, poor carbonation almost flat. not a session beer, good for maybe one or two, maybe some aging might take off some of the rough edges and mellow it out.

Photo of geexploitation
2.97/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours perfectly clear and golden with almost no head -- just a bright white ring around the sides of the beer. Without much head, the aroma is pretty slight. Agitation yields pear fruits, white candi sugar and earthy, subdued hops. Very sweet (with some vanilla flavor) to start off with, along with a green apple fruitiness and fresh dough flavor. Hop bitterness is not nearly developed enough to balance things out. Mouthfeel is poor for the style: very sticky and sweet, with none of that Belgian dryness the style needs. I can't think of a single reason to choose this over a more authentic, actually Belgian tripel. It's way too sweet and thick for the style... and even if you wanna throw style out the window, it's just cloying and untasty.

Photo of TheDragonTony
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orangish gold with barely little head, with decent lacing. Occasionally some sediment is visible initially (in other pours I've had that though I didn't notice it this time).

S: I get orange in the smell as well as the colour of the beer. Along with that there is more citrus and an estery alcohol to it.

T: Fruity and estery. I get everything from the smell here as well as a little malt and yeast. It is a pleasure to drink

M: Crisp and clean, with more carbonation than I normally like in a beer, but it works for this beer (and this style in general)

D: I enjoy a Tripel every once in a while, but they are too sweet for me to drink a lot of. This is as drinkable as any that I've tired though... I will definitely have to get a few more to enjoy in the summer heat.

Note: I do not generally comment on the freshness dating (or lack thereof) on the beers that I'm drinking but in the case of the beers from this case I will make an exception. There is non freshness date on these bottles, however, there is a very clear best before stamp on the case and it claims that I should have drank this by 02/03/07. I can only guess that Weyerbacher puts the date on the case because they are from PA and we here (generally) have to buy by the case, still it would be nice if it was on the bottle.

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle from Florian's. Cloudy (though surprisingly clear for the style IMO) orange-yellow body with almost no head. Smells like orange, apricot, with hints of spice and alcohol. Tastes like orange, pith, spice, with bits of banana and nut and hints of alcohol on the finish. Lighter in body than expected, and thus very pleasant and easy to drink for a 9.3%abv tripel. The alcohol could be a bit better hidden, but other than that ihis is a pleasant drinkable ale.

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

A - Hazy gold brew with a faint pinkish tint. Large frothy head that leaves only flecks of lacing.

S - Alcohol is fairly strong on the nose, yet not pungent - just present, followed by candied sugars, spices: coriander, nutmeg, anise and others I can't pick out. In spite of the alcohol presence, this is a nice aroma.

T - Nutmeg, lemon flesh, coriander, licorice, light malt and mild candied sugars. A bit of anise and biscuits in the aftertaste. Alcohol, though detectable, is less of a factor in the flavor.

M - Smooth, a bit thin, pretty refreshing, in the finish there is a touch of alcohol burn, but nothing bad - more of a character flaw.

D - Did Weyerbacher change the recipe? Or have my tastes evolved that much? I remember having this before and thinking that it was absurdly sour, lemony and rather unpleasant. This time I am finding it to be exceptionally pleasant. It takes like a tripel this time and not like a lemonstrosity. Had with dark chocolate truffles and chedder cheese - certainly not an ideal pairing, but it was still very good.

Merry Monks' Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,980 ratings.