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Pious Monk Dunkel - Church Brew Works

Not Rated.
Pious Monk DunkelPious Monk Dunkel

Educational use only; do not reuse.

101 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 101
Hads: 248
Avg: 3.6
pDev: 20.28%
Wants: 5
Gots: 27 | 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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 09-24-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 101 | Hads: 248
Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
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

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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Photo of oline73
3.31/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.15/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.18/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

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Photo of stakem
3.1/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.21/5  rDev +16.9%
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.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of biegaman
3.77/5  rDev +4.7%
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!

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.07/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

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Photo of akorsak
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.72/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of Derek
3.12/5  rDev -13.3%
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"

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Photo of DrJay
4.07/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.36/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this at the church brew works. Was what they were know for their dunkel... and thats what I tried.

A - Nice amber hue with decent head.
S - Bananas and caramel with a nice toffee smell
T- Well I liked this more than Spaten Dunkel if that makes any difference in other reviews. Light banana taste with very faint toffee.
M - Looses a few points agree with everyone else way too light for the style.
D - If I went their again I would order it again but since it was sub par I would seek Dunkel at other places.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.84/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle courtesy of tommyguz pours a mostly clear copper color with an ample off-white head, dense and fine-bubbled. Retention is pretty good and lacing ok.

Nose is toast and toffee with a little but of buttered almonds and caramel. Just a hint of grassy hops.

Nose did not show the light sweetness that is really nice on the flavor. Toasted nuts and cleans up nicely on the finish. Im a sucker for a good dunkel and this beer scratches that itch quite well...I like it. It does show some lager brewing flaws, some diacetyl in particular, but it doesnt work against the beer too much. Its not too toasty that can sometimes just get a little acrid when combined with the hops. I wish this style was brewed more by American craft breweries, it really hits that 'malty, sessionable note'..for me at least.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sample at the brewpub. The beer pours a murky dark amber color with a medium thin light beige head and spotty lacing. Bready malt aroma, along with a hint of nuts. Medium-bodied and smooth with malt and caramel flavors, plus a bit of chocolate. It kind of falls off though, and the lightly bitter hops aftertaste is short-lived as well. This showed promise at first but ended up being pretty run-of-the-mill.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.8/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Clear solid brown color with a decent tan head and decent carbonation. Big Munich malt aroma with chocolate and toffee sweetness. Munich malt dominates ala a strong Oktoberfest. Medium-full (leans medium) bodied.

Very nice & would love to compare to a true German version.

Per Label: "Munich Dunkel-style Lager"

Per CBW website: OG · 13o Plato, IBU's · 20, Color · 17oL · Dark Brown, Alcohol · 3.3% w/w, Approx. Calories per 16 oz. Pint · 230,
Approx. Alcohol Content · 4.3% by volume

Grains: Pilsen, Munich, Biscuit, Cara Pils, Dark Caramel, Chocolate. Hops: Tettnang, Crystal

(22 oz. bottle from Bill Scott)

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

Had this beer on a recent trip to the Pittsburgh, at the brew-pub. It’s served as a murky, dark-brown with shades of amber. Nice off-white head that’s quite stable. The aroma is composed of earthy, roasted-malt smells. There’s a yeasty character to the smell as well. It’s moderately carbonated, slightly sweet, and finishes with a brief bitterness. It’s quite tasty and very drinkable.

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Photo of hopdog
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

Poured a medium copperish color with an averaged sized of white head. Aromas of toasted nuts, chocolate and light roast. Tastes of toasted nuts, chocolate, roast, and a trace of carame. This would make a decent session beer.

Notes from: 6/1/07

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Pious Monk Dunkel from Church Brew Works
82 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.