1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Pious Monk Dunkel - Church Brew Works

Not Rated.
Pious Monk DunkelPious Monk Dunkel

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

214 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 214
Reviews: 99
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.33%
Wants: 4
Gots: 12 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 214 | Reviews: 99 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerman207
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bamadog for hooking me up with a single of this.

A; Dark brown, 2 finger white head left behind

S: Nothing special - mostly malty

T: Banana, malt, sweet dark fruit. Has a good flavor overall

M: Medium - heavy

D: Pretty high. I can't say that this is the best beer but it's not bad.

beerman207, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of Atvar
2.63/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: amber brown with a small head.

S: Fruity or sweet? No hops smell whatsoever.

T: Fruity, almost sour. This reminded me more of a witbier than other dunkels I've tried. Very little hops flavor. It's not so much bad as not what I was expecting.

M: Thin.

D: Having one isn't so bad, but I think I'd get sick of the flavor real fast if I tried to drink more.

Atvar, Dec 03, 2009
Photo of bamadog
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a six pack of this on a recent trip back to PA, not a bad offering, but I've definitely had better. Pour is from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a nice deep coppery color with beautiful ruby highlights; starts with a two finger off-white light tan head that fades to a thick and uneven skim; body is clear and shows strong carbonation; fair rings of lacing left behind.

Smell: Smell is some sweet malts, some toasty grains and a slight wheaty/straw-like presence. Nose it not especially strong.

Taste: Sadly, it comes across as a bit bland - the light toasty grains are there and that straw-like presence is a little stronger (and continues to come out as it warms slowly as I sip it down); a mild presence of some bittering hops are present at the end and a bit of an apple flavor in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Solid carbonation and a body that's a tad chewy even - solid stickiness is left on the roof of the mouth. Quite lively and they definitely nailed the body with this one... too bad the taste doesn't quite match up, but still not bad.

Drinkability: I kind of went in-between with this one - it's not bad, but the flavors just don't seem to be there for me. I wouldn't turn it down if someone offered it to me, but I likely wouldn't seek it out. I would be very curious to try more offerings from this brewery in the future if I come across them.

bamadog, Nov 29, 2009
Photo of Cylinsier
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from a 12 oz.

Pours a nutty brown with an off-white head that disspiates to a film.

Smells sugary and a bit smokey.

Tastes sort of sweet like buttered bread. Very mellow. There's a bit of barley in the end.

Feels smooth and relatively full with mild but frothy carbonation.

Not a bad beer, although not the best dunkel I've had. Still, I would choose to enjoy this beer again. Worth checking out.

Cylinsier, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of HitokiriNate85
2.3/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a pilsener glass.

A - Pours a nice amber with some lighter highlights around the bottom. Thick, rocky head diminishes to a thin cap pretty quickly. I expected it to be a little darker, but maybe that's because I'm used to my dunkels coming in a liter mug.

S - Toasted malts are the primary aroma, but they seem a bit weak. There's something that seems like it'll lead to spicy hops, but at the same time it makes me think it might be a bit...sour? Yikes, I hope not. The beer didn't have to travel more than a few miles to get here.

T - Hmm...basically the same as the nose. Some toasted malts with some nice spicy hops. The malt notes are a bit weak, though, and there's a pretty noticeable metallic flavor in the finish. Yeah, just too much of a metallic flavor that's really off-putting.

MF - Slightly watery, but it has decent carbonation, and considering the low ABV and the fact that it's probably intended to be pretty thin, I don't think it's necessary to knock it much for that.

D - This is basically a follow up of the taste and aroma since dunkel lagers are pretty drinkable by default. Considering the smell and taste aren't that great, this is basically the same. It's entirely possible my bottle is old and has seen better days, so I probably owe it to myself and to CBW to make it over and try it from the source.

HitokiriNate85, Oct 12, 2009
Photo of OneDropSoup
4.38/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice ruby brown with low head & little lacing.

First whiff smells like fresh cookies! Rich bready, sweet smells, with a tea-like character thrown in there. Not overpowering or too full, stays nice & clean so as not to become redundant or over-saturated.

Taste is like light pastries with a clean hop snap in the finish. Delicious caramel malt flavor with biscuit & sugar subtleties.

Mouthfeel is brisk, on the thin side with a little bite from the hops. Good aftertaste, like the first puff of a cigar.

In general, I put the Church Brew Works' brewing at "good", not terrific, not bad, but this is opne that really stands out for me. An unassuming beer with a lot to offer.

OneDropSoup, Jul 19, 2009
Photo of Redrover
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I opted for the 12 oz glass. The beer is a light brown with a bit of red highlights. It has a beige head and virtually no lacing.

Nice aroma of roasted malts and a bit of chocolate.

The taste is slightly roasty and a bit sweet. A hint of baker's chocolate and a touch of alcohol in the finish.

The mouth is smooth with surpassing low carbonation levels. Easy beer to pair with their food.

Redrover, Jun 30, 2009
Photo of botham
3.03/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

on tap poured into a pilsner glass at the brewpub in Pittsburgh. pours a deep chestnut brown color with a half finger of tan head and leaves moderate lacings and rich tan highlights.

aroma is of very light caramel malts with notes of chocolate and a touch of roasted malt. not rich or full in the nose, but decent.

taste is of light fruit notes with a bit of caramel malt thrown in. again, devoid of any real character to call its own. finishes with light grain and a touch of roasted malts.

mouthfeel is light bodied with a watery texture and a smooth finish. mediocre at best.

drinkability is good. light and watery for a dunkel, but for what it is it gets the job done. worth a try.

botham, Jun 06, 2009
Photo of ThaBobfather
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice colored dark pour, very nice head.
Flowers and malt fill the nostrils weakly, but it's there.
The flavor is smooth and malty.
It finishes with a delightful roasted flavor and is very drinkable.
I'm not crazy about the lack of power on this dunkel, but it's a great dark.

ThaBobfather, Apr 14, 2009
Photo of damienblack
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sebletitje for this as an extra!

Standard dunkel appearance, dark cloudy amber. Seems a bit lifeless, head dissipates quickly, and there's not much carbonation going up the chute. Has a big wheaty, yeasty smell, graham crackery. Smells like something from Sam Adams.

First thoughts: Very clean and crisp, with a strong but not outstanding malt presence. true to lager form. Very slight taste of dark fruit. Body is a little thin, has little impact on the palate. Easy drink to session. Not much to say, a decent enough session beer, but not something I would seek out again.

damienblack, Mar 04, 2009
Photo of hopdog
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
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

hopdog, Jan 27, 2009
Photo of sonicdescent
4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes, drink had 1/10

Pours medium brown with one finger head, leaving a crown with decent lacing.

Smells nutty at first, swirling releases a floral and hoppy scent.

Tastes semi-light with a taste tilted more toward malt, not much in the way of bitter. Great intro to craft.

Mouth is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Drinkability is good, this is a semi light lager, easy to drink, slam, and session.

sonicdescent, Jan 12, 2009
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.

Kegatron, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of mjmbeer
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not the world's best example but this is a good solid beer
clean aroma with nice hints of caramel and malts

Color is a light brown with little head that kind of set me back a bit.

other than that I liek this beer and I am glad I picked up the sample pack

mjmbeer, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of Douglas88
3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to Daniel. Pours out a ruby/brown color with a small white head. The aroma is mostly toasted malts, some light fruits and perhaps s touch of banana. The flavor is similar; lots of toasted malts, some bananas, clove and something odd I can't put my finger on. Fizzy and full of flavor. Decent overall.

Douglas88, Nov 24, 2008
Photo of hwwty4
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Sebletitje for this one.

Poured a 12oz bottle into my Boulevard Smokestack goblet. This beer pours a nice rich brown with a small head that quickly recedes into a lily pad on the center of the glass. The aroma is straight up malts, with absolutely no hop presence. I also detect some dark fruits, plums and apples. The taste follows suits with a big malty presence, dark fruits, and brown sugar. The mouthfeel reminds me of soda pop. Highly carbonated with a sharp carbonation, the kind that burns the roof of your mouth if you let it sit in your mouth and burns the back of your throat as you try to swallow. While I'm happy to try any beer once, the mouthfeel is enough to keep me for seeking it out again.

hwwty4, Nov 20, 2008
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Some mix or orange, gold and brown. Small white head that disapears immediately. No lacing at all.

Smells of lots of caramel malts. Sweet with some roasted notes.

Lots of nice caramel notes with some grassy and earthy hop notes. Slight roasted flavors. Strong sweet caramel finish. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin.

Drinkable beer, nice offering.

Hojaminbag, Nov 03, 2008
Photo of ppoitras
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

ppoitras, Sep 24, 2008
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

brentk56, Sep 03, 2008
Photo of thethrone
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a translucent red amber with thin white head which quickly dissipates to a thin ring. Wet spotty lacing follows the brew down the glass.

S - Sweet malts dominate the aroma. Some grain presence as well.

T - Taste follows the smell, with the maltiness running the show. Hops make enough of an appearance to balance out the flavor.

M - Light body, mild carbonation. Finish isn't quite as crisp as I'd have liked, but fairly clean nonetheless.

D - Good drinkable lager.

thethrone, Aug 31, 2008
Photo of leftmindedrighty
3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this on-tap at the Church Brew Works

Dark chestnut in color. A little light for the style, but very acceptable.

Smell, very malty, no hop presence at all. Sugar and grain are the only standouts.

Taste, follows pretty close behind the of the nose. Very malty, but not overly sweet. Hop character is noticeable, but never jumps up and down begging to be noticed.

Overall, good example of an American Dunkel. Very drinkable if anything.

leftmindedrighty, Jun 24, 2008
Photo of biegaman
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
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!

biegaman, Jun 20, 2008
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Stinkypuss, Apr 20, 2008
Photo of bigdeuce
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This beer was really easy to drink. It poured about like an average dunkel, with a slight head, no lacing. Nice malts on the nose, not very hoppy, true to the style. A bit of chocolatey malt flavor on the palate. Something was missing here, though. Just not enough syrupy sugar or something. It fell a bit short. Now by no means will I never have it again, but the Brew Works has better offerings.

bigdeuce, Feb 17, 2008
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.

RblWthACoz, Feb 06, 2008
Pious Monk Dunkel from Church Brew Works
82 out of 100 based on 214 ratings.