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Pious Monk Dunkel - Church Brew Works

Not Rated.
Pious Monk DunkelPious Monk Dunkel

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

206 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 206
Reviews: 98
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.09%
Wants: 4
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Church Brew Works visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Munich Dunkel Lager |  4.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 09-24-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 206 | Reviews: 98 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Shintriab's bottle, taking me to the Savant level. Easily quaffable, brown colour with creamy head. Nuts, caramel, chocolate malt.Subtle in roast.Sessionable alcohol so you can drink something else and still be functioning.Medium to light mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2007 03:44:15 | More by Sammy
Photo of Thorpe429


3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tedwarhc for this bottle. Served in a tulip.

Pours a bright light copper-brown color with a very, very thin white head and only a bubble or two on top after a few seconds. No lacing. The nose brings some light caramel and bread crust along with faint earthy hops. Flavor is a nice combination of lightly-toasted bread and very mild caramel along with a touch of sweetness and light hops. Light to medium body with moderate carbonation; fairly chewy. Refreshing bitterness on the back-end. Good brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2011 23:31:23 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"Volumes might be written upon the impiety of the pious."

--Herbert Spencer

Glowing topaz orange when held up to the brilliant light of the rising sun. A vigorous pour produced nearly two fingers of khaki colored foam that has acceptable texture. More interesting topography while melting, and more lace, would have helped.

The nose fits the style guidelines to a 'T' and is reminiscent of a less brown malty brown ale. It's earthy, slightly steely caramel-like, and isn't very cocoa powdery, if at all.

Aroma was a weak 3.5 and taste is a strong 3.5. Church Brew Works Pious Monk Dunkel packs a fair amount of flavor in an ABV of 4.3%. Yes, I know that low-ABV beer isn't always weak and uninteresting... but a lot of it is.

Specifics include brown bread, steely caramel, a mild toasted nuttiness and a sprinkling of bitter tea leaves. This offering has flavor intensity, decent flavor complexity, and is more bitter than sweet (while remaining balanced). Sounds like a worthy session beer to me.

The mouthfeel is light-medium, fills out a fraction as it warms, and is properly carbonated. The bubbles could be slightly softer and better integrated, but that borders on nitpicking.

Remembering to keep style and ABV firmly in mind, Pious Monk Dunkel is a tasty little MDL that deserves an increase in the score that matters most. This is quietly impressive beer. Thanks to mgbickel for my first Church Brew Works brew. Love the bottle cap.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2010 11:54:11 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a modest head that leaves more than its fair share of lace; on the lighter side of acceptability for the style

Smell: Malty, with a crusty brown bread aroma

Taste: Very bready up front, with a developing caramel, chocolate and nut character coming to the fore by mid-palate; after the swallow, the breadiness returns and persists to the finish; could be a bit richer

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A decent example of the style but lacks a bit of depth compared to the top examples, including that brewed across town by Penn Brewing

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2008 01:49:09 | More by brentk56
Photo of spycow


3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

05-02-2013 04:08:56 | More by spycow
Photo of RblWthACoz


3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear darker brown. Nose is mild malts and just mild all around. Flavor is very slight citrus sweetness. Minor earthy edge. Standard feel. Leaves a real funny aftertaste and makes this no better than a so-so brew. It's decent enough, but not really impressive enough to warrant a return.

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2008 03:24:43 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: See through amber brown tone off white head dwindles to leave behind evenly strung lacing. Aroma: Consists of mild chocolate notes and roasty malt profile that's decently robust with a fruity character swimming through as well balanced with a touch of German hops. Taste: Out of the regulars this is the one I would go with every time, even balance nice dark roasted malt character with a dose of hops crisp flavor, nice session brew. Mouthfeel: Light to medium range for the body even carbonation nice easy drinking dunkel. Drinkability: Like I said best option from their year round lineup.

Serving type: on-tap

03-28-2004 19:34:30 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Kegatron


3.15/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub on 12/26/08. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear deep amber with a thin head of brite-white foam. OK looking retention that sticks around long enough I guess, but didn't leave much lacing back at all. I'm not getting much at all from the aroma, maybe some light malty caramel and chocolate. Touch of spice and light nuttiness maybe in there too.

The taste puts a little more out there but peters out way too quickly on the palette. Caramel and chocolate malts are definitely detected, along with some light spicing, and moderate hops towards the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a lower feeling carbonation that does pack a bit of a prickle which gives off some crispness.

I was disappointed by this. Just not enough complexity or assertiveness but the drinkibility at least whet my whistle enough during my meal.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2008 18:03:39 | More by Kegatron
Photo of Slatetank


3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

05-16-2013 23:12:35 | More by Slatetank
Photo of Rifugium


3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at the brewery

Poured a medium brown color, hazy, but still see-through, with a thin, wispy layer of bubbles for a head. Somewhat subdued aroma, dark malts, moderate roast, mild hops. Taste reflects what was noted in the nose: roasty dark malts, grains, mild earthy hops, slight bitterness from a subtle cocoa flavor. Crisp, dry finish. Light-medium mouthfeel, nothing that hasn't been experienced before, but overall quite sessionable.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2012 07:21:30 | More by Rifugium
Photo of oline73


3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Appearance: Pours a very nice looking reddish dark amber color with a half finger of off white head. The head fades to a thin layer on top of the pour.

Smell: Malty and sweet, but not overly so. I'm picking up some bread from the grain along with some cherry and grape notes.

Taste: There is a lot of flavor given the abv. I'm picking up a similar flavor to the smell. Bready malt with some cherry and grpe notes. The finish has a slight bitterness to it.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with aggressive carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: I enjoyed this beer. The taste was bold given the abv. I'm not sure I'd have another, but I'm glad I tried it.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 02:17:04 | More by oline73
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.13/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a dark nute brown color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sweet malts, bready malts, and some sugar.

t - Tastes of bready malts mostly. Little bit of caramel malts as well. Also a tiny bit metalic.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A very easy to drink lager. Mostly smells and tastes of bready malts, probably wouldn't seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2010 01:30:48 | More by mdfb79
Photo of woodychandler


4.25/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured with a huge, bubbling, deep-tan head that simply reduced itself to wispiness in no time. The color was a deep, cola-brown with cherry-red highlights. The nose was lightly malty, but that was about all. I got a chocolaty flavor on the tongue and the mouthfeel was light, but about right for a lager. The finish had that same chocolate aspect that I noted on the tongue. Compared to the earlier Celestial Gold, this is eminently drinkable. I really liked this beer and would certainly consider it for a session, given its low ABV.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2006 14:56:20 | More by woodychandler
Photo of akorsak


3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle from a trade with vwcraig.

A: The lager is a dark amber brown color that shows off some orange highlights. The head was fairly small on pour and never amounted to much more than a small white band.

S: The nose is very strong on the sweeter caramel malts with some biscuity dryness thrown in for good measure.

T: Flavorwise, the lager shows off some nice caramel and light chocolate tastes. The grains are not strong, but the flavor more than holds its own. Hops don't figure much in the taste, but the darker malts carry the body.

M: Caramel and lightly roasted notes give the beer a nice depth.

D: Good beer, easy drinking and a nice body. A solid selection from Western PA.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2007 18:09:39 | More by akorsak
Photo of stakem


3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle care of a friend visiting from Pittsburgh. Pours a clear amber brown color with no head. Some decent amount of swirling the glass produces some off white bubbles that rise to the surface and then rapidly dissolve.

The aroma includes a bit of citrusy twangy hops that are borderline souring/lactic in the nose. The hops also come across with a sweet floral aspect. The malt is faint but is evident with some caramel like sweetness.

The taste of this brew is a fairly decent blend of bitter citrus hops to caramel malt sweetness. All through the profile of this brew are butter tones and a mixture of light chocolate maltiness.. The finish of this brew has a very light twang suggesting lactic sourness that isnt off putting and actually increases this brew's drinkability for me.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. There are some characteristics of this brew that are outside of what I am use to for a dunkel but it isnt bad. The abv is completely hidden and it is a decent session brew.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2010 00:28:13 | More by stakem
Photo of rhoadsrage


4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a warm amber body that is clear but a bit dense. There is a thin puddle of light tan foam that floats around in the glass. There is a sea of microbubbles racing to the surface.

S- This beer has a soft dark toasted malt aroma that is pretty neutral with some dark dried fruit notes.

T- This beer has a dark slightly bitter malt taste with a bitterness in the finish but it is not notably from hops. There is a soft sweetness of cold coffee roasted malt and dry toffee in the malt taste. As the beer warms the bitterness in the finish increases nicely.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a clean smooth finish.

D- This beer has clean crisp flavor but there is nice depth in the malt without the typical pot caramel off-flavors. Very smooth and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2007 03:55:46 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of ppoitras


3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased as part of a mixed case from Wide-Lo Beverage, Somerset, PA, while on vacation.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a scant 1/4" tan head over the clear orangey brown brew. Head dwindles at a quick pace, with average lacing. Aroma is hearty grain husks. Flavor exhibits the same grain character, with a crisp close. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinking is easy. Simple, lowish abv, wouldn't mind if this was an everyday brew.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2008 22:59:32 | More by ppoitras
Photo of ejimhof


2.5/5  rDev -30.4%

12-25-2012 18:16:01 | More by ejimhof
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. No head. Appears like a normal lager. Seems somewhat flat and/or watery.

S. Dark wheat and little else.

T. Decent. Wheaty malts. Earthy.

M. Lightly carbonated.

D. Very drinkable. Its lager people.

Overall: Its a pretty solid overall brew but nothing special.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2008 20:29:24 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle thanks to leftmindedrighty!

A thin, eggshell white collar ties together a densely deep brown shaded body. It might appear muddy, opaque even, on first inspection, but on angle little tawny cinders start to glow as the body illuminates to a blushing auburn and allows just the slightest peek of transparency.

This is useful to have on hand in case you ever wanted to show someone what a malty beer should smell like. This is has all the malt of a good dopplebock, but with far less of a punch of course. Caramel, toffee, and dark ripe fruits are all coated with a hint of smoke and roast.

The body is light, the alcohol is low, but the flavour is strong and the drinkability is high. The carbonation perfect - not enough to impede on the stickiness of the malts, but more than enough to prevent this from ever being syrupy. Very malty; it tastes exactly like caramel melted over nuts and dried fruits. Simple but delicious.

I could see a lot of beer advocates bored with this offering; it doesn't have the aggressive, amped up character and stylings that most American craft brewers inject to these 'old world' recipes.

What's really important though is not the bold, blistering American touch they left out - it's the efficiency and craftsmanship of German tradition they left in. Beer is, after all, for drinking and this is great for exactly that!

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2008 02:29:41 | More by biegaman
Photo of brandoman63


3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

11-29-2011 02:54:58 | More by brandoman63
Photo of LXIXME

New Mexico

3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

03-22-2013 19:20:35 | More by LXIXME
Photo of DrJay


4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, fresh malt aroma right off the pour! Clear, medium chestnut brown with a very light tan head that quickly settled to a solid ring. Some fine lacing, but not longlasting. Warm, sweet malty aroma, some brown sugar and a hint of roast, freshly milled grain, nuts, and some caramel. Mild bitterness. Toffee and light brown sugar up front, a bit of roast towards the end with growing bitterness. Pretty toasty and malty overall. Lightish body with carbonation that's not overpowering yet still lively. The texture is on the creamy side to start, then becomes a little more astringent and dry in the finish. I like it. It has a solid malt backbone, nice flavours and is light enough to have a couple in a sitting.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2007 02:15:31 | More by DrJay
Photo of dmorgan310


3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

03-02-2014 19:59:12 | More by dmorgan310
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Deep-amber/copper, off-white head, no retention or lace.

S: Candied sugar, candied fruit, bready malt.

T: Brown sugar, burnt caramel, rye bread, mild bitterness, hint of grainy astringency.

M: Moderate body & carbonation.

D: Decent.

Commercial description:
"Gold Medal Winner of the Great American Beer Festival. Our beer is fairly dark in color, but don’t be afraid. It is a perfect example that dark beers are not always strong beers. The body is surprisingly mellow, and the alcohol content is a bit lower than most people might think. It has a wonderfully clean and roasty aroma. Hop bitterness levels are kept in line, but is has a noticeable hop flavor. Alcohol by Volume - 5.2"

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2007 03:11:14 | More by Derek
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Pious Monk Dunkel from Church Brew Works
81 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.