Monk Chai Winter Porter | Village Brewery

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Monk Chai Winter PorterMonk Chai Winter Porter
21 Ratings
Monk Chai Winter PorterMonk Chai Winter Porter

Brewed by:
Village Brewery
Alberta, Canada

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by leaddog on 11-25-2012

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Ratings: 21 |  Reviews: 9
Photo of zachloveshisbeer
4.11/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had a friend pick up a couple of limited edition growlers from the brewery. I guess I got the last "branded" one and that made me feel pretty special. Anyway, served my buddy's growler slightly chilled into pint glasses and wow does it ever look and smell good! I pick up all of the spices mentioned, maybe minus the mint which, to be honest, may have been a little off-putting. It poured a dark brown with ample head that stayed there the whole time. Lacing was very strong throughout and the smell just kept coming. The taste was great too with a nice mouthfeel and not at all watery. I get where the whole chai thing comes from and I definitely saw the concept unfold as I drank it. This beer is one of those beers you definitely have to keep an open mind while drinking, and I think some smoked gouda would open it up even further. I've still got my growler left and I'm thinking about cracking it soon as I was told my the brewer that it should keep about 6 months in a cool location.

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Photo of MilkLeg
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ChrisCage
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- This has some great artwork on the bottle, with a smug looking monk as the figurehead! The beer itself pours very darkly....chocolate brown/black in tone and clear when looked at from the bottom side of the glass. The head is off white....of beige caramel, and is around two fingers thick, eventually settling into a densely foamed layer over the brew, with assorted swirls. The lacing is thick and lumbering as it stickily slides back into my beer...quite impressive actually!

S- Not the chai spice I was expecting, but rather a medley of baking spices and perhaps some other assorted aromas. Chocolate, toffee/molasses malt sweetness, slightly of spearmint refreshment, peppery clove, albeit mild, and buttery gingerbread cookie...perhaps some Saigon Cinnamon heat as well?! The finish has an added Earthy dryness and heavy vanilla that helps round everything out.

T- Flavors follow the aromas rather well, with the gingerbread taking precedence, cinnamon and mild clove baking spices that generate a very subtle heat. Creamy yeast that is very smooth and an Earthy vanilla that is dry and velvety to finish. Also, there is some astringent hopped bitterness that reminds me of black tea leaves and some citrus rind.

M/O- This is a well crafted Winter Porter that is flavorful, but very well rounded. When I burp, there is a root beer-esque quality. Light-Medium bodied, and with reasonably zingy carbonation, this makes a delightful winter sipper...I think after one bottle I am done for awhile, so I don't think the drinkability is super high, but I do like it! Perhaps the only improvements could be slightly stronger flavor and a heavier body in my opinion.

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Photo of Tivlavrie
4.04/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of wertschy
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of MAB
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A really interesting bottle/ design.
Deep brown in color and a tight slightly browninsh head. First hit with the smell of cardamom and spice on the nose.
The flavor is the same, lovely sweetness that balances the spicing nicely.
An excellent effort from Village.

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Photo of leaddog
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Village Brewery's first seasonal entry.

Appearance - Pours a dark chocolate brown with a half finger width of bubbly beige head.

Smell - Roasted malts, chai spices (cinnamon, clove, light ginger), chocolate.

Taste - Chai tea spices (as picked up in the aroma along with cardamom) along with the roasty malt flavours and a hint of chocolate. Slight earthy hops with mild bitterness. Chai spices last in the long finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall - A well-crafted first seasonal by Village Brewery. Warm chai spices shine through and blend well with the roasted malts. Good body without breaking into watery territory (as I find some porters can be). If you can get your hands on one of the limited growlers in Calgary, pick one up - definitely worth a buy.

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Photo of derdtheterd
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of biboergosum
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

1.89L growler, procured at the Co-op in bustling Okotoks, while visiting me dear ma for Mother's Day this past weekend - apparently Village's mandate to supply only Calgary establishments for the time being extends to Calgary-based companies' satellite community stores.

This beer pours a clear, rather dark brownish amber hue, with three fingers of super-puffy, silkenly foamy, and tightly bubbled ecru head, which leaves some nice snow rime webbed lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells very much like gingerbread - caramel malt, cloves, weak ginger, cinnamon, a bit of spent yeast - with additional dark chocolate and black tea notes. The taste is much fuller - dense, and slightly roasted caramel malt, hints of butterscotch, the eponymous chai tea - clove, cinnamon that is more candy-like, rather than metallic, almost faded ginger, and black tannins (a decent-sounding band name, no?) - milk chocolate, dry, earthy yeast, and a subtle leafy hoppiness.

The carbonation is quite low and unobtrusive, but seemingly supportive enough, the body a sturdy medium weight, genuinely smooth, and even a tad creamy. It finishes on the sweet side, the caramel, not-so-sour milk, cocoa, and even cinnamon facing enough spice and nondescript hop bitterness to keep things from going off the reservation.

Well, truth is indeed told in this one's advertising - it is surely a winter porter, the expected seasonal spices derived from a judicious application of the chai (though I'm not aware of any monks being harmed in the course of brewing this offering). I may be drinking this on the cusp of summer weather, but I've been assured that the label stamp (Dec 16, 2013) is the bottling (growlering?) date, and my experience thus far seems to bear that out. Tasty, pretty drinkable, and a final emphatic closed door on the particular time of year that this represents.

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Photo of cknoch
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm generally very critical of Village as a brewery given that I find most of their beers to be highly underwhelming, but their chai winter porter would be the exception to the rule. The beer provides intense flavour (especially the chai element) that will leave you drinking it for quite some time. The only criticism I really have for this beer is that it actually may have too much chai, to the extent where you actually start getting sick of the flavours' intensity over time. The Village chai winter porter is a good beer, but definitely one to share for maximum enjoyment.

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Photo of headlessparrot
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reintroduced this year as a Winter seasonal. I remember loving this stuff. It doesn't quite live up to my memories of it, but it's still a nice brew: sweet and almost smoky with a big malt character, coffee beans, slight creaminess, and a decent (but not overpowering) smattering of legit chai spice and tea flavours. Colour is quite dark, almost inky. Meagre head, meagre lacing. Slightly too aggressive carbonation.

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Photo of Exeter
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.72/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - very nearly pitch black, finger of head retained at a thin cover with consistent lacing
S - pleasant chi tea spices, dark chocolate and roasty notes, touch of cinnamon
T - chi, nutmeg, cinnamon, more subtle porter notes of roasty and chocolate malt, definitely an interesting mix
M - medium body with decent carbonation, feel is consistent with a decent porter with an added spice kick
O - a well executed and original first seasonal brew from Calgary's newest brewer, I think this is better than their current flagship brews

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Photo of Bunman3
3.69/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mattsander
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of RandyFlameThrower
3.42/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Slongie
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of curtismontcalm
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of Kmat10
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of Duggyb
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of Trancesexual
2.82/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours a solid, opaque black color with a finger of slowly dissipating tan foam.

S-Very interesting. You get all of the usual roasty chocolate flavours that you'd associate with the style, but the chai spicing offers a nice counterpoint on the nose.

T-Wow. I enjoyed the nose, but this combination of flavours just not entice my tongue at all. Overall it blends into a very medicinal taste that reminds me unpleasantly of echinacea.

M-Medium carbonation keeps it pretty dry for porter, but it's quite enjoyable.

O-I applaud the legitimately bold move here by mixing these incongruous ingredients in the brew, but frankly it coalesces into a taste that I can't get behind.

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Monk Chai Winter Porter from Village Brewery
Beer rating: 3.69 out of 5 with 21 ratings