Monks' Ale | Abbey Beverage Company (Monastery of Christ in the Desert)

Monks' AleMonks' Ale
BA SCORE
3.5/5
167 Ratings
Monks' AleMonks' Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Abbey Beverage Company (Monastery of Christ in the Desert)
New Mexico, United States
christdesert.org

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Monks’ Ale is distinctly fruity and spicy. The yeast lends a note of clove and in combination with the malt, hints of plum and apricot. The malt itself provides a honeyish quality up front, a round fullness in the middle, and the hops, together with our pure brewing water, lend a clean, dry finish.

18 IBU

Added by Domingo on 04-24-2007

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#39,625
Reviews:
77
Ratings:
167
pDev:
12.86%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
15
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 167 |  Reviews: 77
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.47/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, candied fruit, yeast, and spices. Taste is much the same with spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that tastes better than it smells.

 482 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Monk's Cafe, which seems an appropriate place to try this beer.

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a hazy amber color capped by a finger's worth of foam; a few sheets and a number of shards of lace are left behind

Smell: Light fruits and herbal elements combine along with a hint of toffee

Taste: Toffee malt, up front, with a developing light fruit flavor; hoppy bitterness adds balance, by mid-palate and although the hop bill is Germanic, they taste more English in style; there is a peppery yeast character that arrives, after the swallow, but the finish tilts toward the sweeter malt flavors

Mouthfeel: Very Belgian, with a light to medium body and a soft carbonation

Overall: A really nice hybrid beer, with elements from all of the major brewing traditions combined in a sessionable ale

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Photo of zeff80
3.42/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of LXIXME
4.36/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an inch or so above the glass leaves a big off white to light tan head that settle into bubbly sort of carbonated lacing or decent worth above a clear coppery to reddish which also seems to have a golden glint to it, very appealing.

A mixed citrus fruit hops aroma with a little something in the background, a light toffee maybe caramel.

A medium bodied beer that has nice mix of sweet caramel malts and citrus hops taste with a very pleasant slightly dry aftertaste.

It seems to me to be very fresh or something, as if this was just sent out recently or if this has been sitting it sits very well.

I was very pleased with this beer, I'm gonna have to grab some more of these for sure.

 702 characters

Photo of Boone757
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%

Photo of russpowell
4.04/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Based on notes, picked this up in Las Cruces, NM

Poured an effervescent amber with a very modest white head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Fruitty with some musty notes

T: Apricots & peach, plus some honey up front. Lemony hops & honey malt as this warms. Finishes dry with peppery & lemony hops & fruitty

MF: Chewy with moderate, but assertive carbonation, skews a tad malty for the style

Drinks pretty good, reminds me of Duvel, minus some hops

 457 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.97/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another interesting beer brought to me courtesy of local trader, tone77.

In my field persona of Brother Woody of the Order of Disorder, I am a Trapped monk, so this ale must be for me.

From the bottle: "made with care and prayer".

My pour resulted in a finger of tawny head with very good retention in the face of today's heat and humidity. Color was an oh-so-slightly hazy orangish-amber. Nose had an almost perfume-like tropical fruitiness with notes of mango and orange. Mouthfeel was fairly full with a mild tropical fruitiness on the tongue. Finish was fruity and refreshing, very pleasant on this hot day.

 615 characters

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of TMoney2591
3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Thanks to papollo for this bottle!

This may be the end of my brief New Mexico excursion courtesy of papollo. (I love how I don't know for sure...) It pours a cloudy reddish-amber topped by a half-finger of white micro-foam. The nose comprises sweet sticky toffee and caramel and some slight orange-y citrus. The taste is similar, but the emphasis has shifted away from the maltier notes and more toward the citrus, particularly orange and orange rind. The body is a light medium, with a very light carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a solid brew, a bit of a weak example of a BPA, but pretty tasty nonetheless.

 651 characters

Photo of InspectorBob
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of ejimhof
2.5/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.38/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, slightly darker amber. Minimal head. Has a slightly sweeter edge with a nutty tone and deep body. Full and frothy on the mouth. Might be a bit too heavy for some for a session beer.

Overall I can't say I was entirely impressed by this production. In no way did it remind me of a Belgian brew at any level. (though before I departed the NM area for good, someone told me they changed the recipe...so maybe it will be better) It will be the first brew to be produced by an American monastery in 100 years when they get their facility set up on the grounds, but I can't say I felt there was anything special about it. I am wondering if the tap I had it from was not the best at the time. I plan to try it again and keep an eye out for other productions from the company/monastery.

 794 characters

Photo of Tone
3.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and decent lacing. Smells of strong sweet malt, caramel malt, slight pale malt, hint of yeast, and a hint of earthy malt. Does not seem to fit a Belgian Pale Ale category since there is a complete lack of hops. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, pale malt, slight earthy malt, slight yeast, and a hint of caramel malt. The beer is not a Belgian Pale Ale, but just a Belgian Ale. Therefore, the rating will change, and the almost complete lack of hops will not be a detriment.

 618 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
2.9/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Monk's Ale, made with care and prayer.
Aw....
Abbey Beverage Company, Pecos, NM
Hazy, rosy orange-ish color, tangerine and peach...small head.
Sweet nose, plenty of fruit, and a hit of spice. Lively yeast. Apricot and orange, and a little straw.
In the mouth, it's ...it's.. ah, ...eh...oh.
Bleh, to be succinct.
Thin bodied, small in flavor, lacking a lot. Drinkable, inoffensive, but lacking in charm, to say the least. Passable, at best, with hardly anything Monk-ish or abbey-like at all. Hardly even interesting as a pale ale.
Can't really hate it. Can't like it, either. Sorry.

 585 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.79/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a medium coppery amber with a fine half finger off-white head with great retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of bready malt, dark and light stone fruit, Belgian yeast and spicing. Flavor is bready malt, clove, light stone fruit, plum, Belgian yeast with a hint of honey; flavor dries and thins out in the finish leaving a mild aftertaste of clove and light hops. Medium bodied with light creaminess and a bit of stickiness on the lips. A nicely made, light domestic take on a Belgian pale ale. Probably would not be mistaken for a continental one, but covers all the flavor bases nicely. The finish is a little stark, but otherwise quite enjoyable. My sister brought this to me from a trip to New Mexico and if I get the chance, I would like to try this breweries other offerings.

 820 characters

Photo of IPAchris
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Has a deep golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is somewhat sweet and fruity. Taste also has some fruit notes, a slight sweetness and a touch of spice. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

 252 characters

Photo of drabmuh
2.48/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Beer is amber and clear with a thin white head with mild carbonation and some lacing looks fine.

Aroma is mildly sweet and almost smoky. What the fuck...

Beer is straight disgusting. Tastes like cigarette butts. Drain pour. Never again. Grainy harsh finish. Totally gross.

 274 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.41/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A bright brassy color pour. Clean and clear. White foam seemed to be confused as to settle down or stay. Splotchy, and I like that.

Spice up front on the nose. It's quick and tingly. Biscuit is next, rounded down with some citrus and zest.

Biscuity is the first thought on the taste. Wet dough. Spices break this up and allow the hops to attack the palate. Perhaps attack is too strong of a word, but they are there. Lemon and orange zest. It seems the monks should receive an 'A' for effort, but I think they have some tweaking to do. The flavors are there, just chaotic, imho.

 582 characters

Photo of stevoj
2.71/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Weak and watery. Initial flavor dissipates to nothing, and no aftertaste either. Looks like a Belgian, but in this case, looks are deceiving. Was hoping for a bit better.

 170 characters

Photo of tempest
3.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had a glass at Monk's Cafe for $3.50. This is an interesting Belgian ale, it sort of came off like a Belgian-style bitter or extra pale ale. My only complaint is that there's a slight vinegar taste, a sort of dry astringency that takes away from the mouthfeel. Still, there's a lovely candied fruit aroma with toasty malt below that carries over into the flavor. It's a light and drinkable beer, but needs a touch more sugar.

 425 characters

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Monks' Ale from Abbey Beverage Company (Monastery of Christ in the Desert)
Beer rating: 3.5 out of 5 with 167 ratings
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