Chez Monieux | Alpine Beer Company

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BA SCORE
3.69/5
Good
203 Ratings
Chez MonieuxChez Monieux
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States
alpinebeerco.com

Style: Belgian Fruit Lambic

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#31,609
Reviews:
76
Ratings:
203
pDev:
19.24%
 
 
Wants:
72
Gots:
34
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 203 |  Reviews: 76
Reviews by MrHirschybar:
Photo of MrHirschybar
4/5  rDev +8.4%

More User Reviews:
Photo of mikesgroove
4.64/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I finally grabbed a bottle of this from Joey at South bay, the price was high, and so I naturally had very high hops for this one. One of my favorite styles, I was very interested to see what kind of take they could do on it. Nice 750ml bottle, looked almost Belgian in design, with a cool label as well. I let this one chill out in the fridge for a couple of days and then served it last night at a touch above fridge temp in my now infamous Terrapin snifter that seems to get every single last beer that I try as of late.

Appearance - The pour was very nice, taking on the appearance of a rose pink soda of sorts. The color was very nice, that light reddish, pink, rose color was sublime and it really made the pour very interesting. Some nice touches of carbonation were bubbling up throughout the session, giving hop that this would be an active brew. A very small, maybe a half inch high head of off white, slightly reddish tinted foam came up over the top at the initial pour, however this did not last long at all, and soon it faded away to nothing, leaving only the slightest touch of white lace around the sides, that was for lack of a better word unremarkable. Still, for the color alone this one gets high marks as it really did look the part.

Smell - The aroma was dominated by cherries, no surprised here. The first time I smelled it I got hit with that dark, sour note of cherry that was as advertised, however, it was upon letting this one warm up that the real magic began to happen. It seemed with each degree of warmth it got a touch sweeter, with the sour notes intermingling and you could almost feel the whole thing swirling around throughout. It was not so one sided with cherries as one might have thought, rather there was a nice subtle spiciness that started to come through on the smell. Hints of pepper and vanilla were to be found, all the while remaining very light and fruity, and again going further and further over to the sweeter side of the spectrum. By the time I finished this one, it had transformed into the sweetest, cherry aroma you could imagine, really well done here. On par with the likes of LA's Red Poppy for sure.

Taste - The flavor was equally as remarkable. This was by no means a funky, Brett laced sour ale. That is the first thing you needed to keep in mind while trying it, as it is not supposed to be. What it was is a wonderful cherry Kriek that is put together beautifully. I would have thought the filtered nature of this might have detracted from the flavor, but it did not as far as I could tell anyway. Started out with a rush of tart cherry, giving the slightest puckering to the lips before falling over the tongue. Swishing it around lets the tartness fade and a sweeter, lighter cherry flavor take its place. As you swallow, there is touch of pepper like sweetness that starts to come through, I thought this was very nice and added a great deal of depth to it, even tingling the tongue at times. Hints of a slight wine or grape like flavor are there way in the back, no doubt a relic of the barrel aging which also contributes some of the oak like flavors to it and a touch of vanilla, that while not really a main contributor to the overall profile, merged well with the pepper and really brought it out nicely. The finish was short and sweet, with a slight touch of drying and the long lingering flavor of dark cherry and spices.

Mouthfeel - The eel was nice, albeit a little flatter then I would have liked to have seen. It was definitely a light bodied ale, my only wish would have been that the slightest more carbonation have been added to this one as I really think it would have made a great deal of difference overall and would have really improved the overall profile. Still though, there was some light carbonation and the flavor was definitely rich enough to carry the whole thing through for me.

Drinkability - An outstanding drinker this was one I wished would never have ended. The low ABV lended itself well to being session able, however the profile was soo full that you could only help but take little sips, cherishing each one as they swirled around, really letting the complexity of this sink in. That being said, I could have easily polished off another bottle without a care.

Overall I would have to say this one was excellent. Was it worth $28 a bottle, I am not sure, however I will tell you this, I would most certainly buy another one. I think this is something everyone should get to try. It is rare to see an American brewer but forth such a quality effort in this style, and this was simply outstanding. I cannot wait to get to try it again. One of the best I have had.

 4,671 characters

Photo of Floydster
4.55/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle acquired in a trade with KingG, thanks to Joey for giving me the opportunity to try this beer, this was an expensive brew at twenty-seven dollars, split with my girlfriend and her family tonight, bottle said 5.8% ABV, aged for at least twelve months, poured into a fulte glass

A-Pinkish orange color that was bright and inviting, head was only a quarter inch and was super bubbly, went away almost immediately, no lacing or retention, but carbonation but this look nice

S-Can you say cherries, cranberries, tangerines, and oranges were the other fruits that really stuck out to me, lots of oak which is weird for a fruity beer, some tart, funkiness, no barnyard or horse blanket though, tiny vinegar aroma at the very beginning

T-You guessed it cherries right up front, fade into a funky berry flavor in the middle, finish has both oak and tart, the sourness was obviously crisper while it was cold but that does not mean it went away once it warmed, cherries were great tasting and I can see why Alpine forked over so much money to get them, funk was prominet in this one and I really enjoyed it, the flavor was great and the sourness was almost just right in my opinion

M-Sour, tart, slightly dry, and sweet mouthfeel, one of the more sour lambics I have tasted, huge amount of carbonation that was fitting, thin body, taste lingered for a few minutes at a time, aggressive and lively mouthfeel

D-Could drink multiple big bottles of this, it is so drinkable it is scary and the ABV is pretty low, goes down like a cherry 7Up or something, no alcohol whatsoever, super smooth, wish I had more immediately after my last sip

Price tag scared me at first but I am sucker for both Alpine and lambics, although at a little over a dollar an ounce I was still skeptical, so that did not help me out in holding back on this one, one of their best brews yet, probably would not drink again for this price but it was awesome and I enjoyed every drop of my glass, highly recommended

 1,992 characters

Photo of harrymel
1.18/5  rDev -68%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

2012 version.
ABV 7%

Pours a dark cherry red with a pretty pink quilt. Smells...Fucking stinks. Jesus anal farts, diacetyl, feet, popcorn, rotten corn and a bit of pinot. This is one, if not the, most offensive smelling beers I've come across. Just a fucking abomination of a nose. So scared to taste it... Tastes real bad. Metal and fetid mushrooms and rotten sox rubbed on fungus infected ball sacks. Fucking nasty. Hella dry and thin with hi carb. I'm repulsed.

 465 characters

Photo of akang
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of ACB
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of Canada_Dan
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of N17shelfside
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of I_heart_beer
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of blabaer
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of PA-Michigander
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of threedaggers
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of beefsquatch
2/5  rDev -45.8%

Photo of halo3one
2.5/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of Ludwigkpa
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.32/5  rDev -10%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Such a mixture of color ranging like if you mixed purple, yellow and brown. Looks pretty dark for a lambic. Leaves almost no head on the top. Tart diaper aroma with cheese, dog hair and socks. It really smells like crap at times.

Taste didn't encompass any of that bullshit thankfully. Cherry, boozy, tart, wheat, oak that seems it held some red wine in a previous life. A little bit of acetic vinegar notes. Could use a bit more of a sour punch, a bit more dry (white v. red wine barrel)ness would have been nice.

 523 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of weeare138
4.55/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to hopdog for this...
A play on words here, "Shame on you".
Appears a transparent, orange toned amber with a small white cap that quickly fades. Streaky lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of vanilla, cherries, cranberries, & dank horseblanket.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a standout fruit salad flavor that starts to take control of this brew.
Mouthfeel is creamy, citrusy, funky, tart, fruity, with an acidic finish.
I think I liked this more than anyone else that had it that night. Lovely, lovely beer.

 529 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Gford217: Poured a light red color ale with a light pink bubbly head with some average retention and no lacing. Aroma consists of red wine and tart notes with some light sour cherries. Taste is a mix between some sour cherries, with some tart notes with loads of oak and some red wine notes. Average carbonation with limited funk notes when I was expecting a lot more from the description. Overall, I though this was easily drinkable and maybe a bit light for the kind of beer it would like to be.

 516 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.52/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

As I pour this brew I smell a funky, ripe wash-rind cheese note along with a musty moldy note. The pour barely forms a one finger thick, pale, off-white colored head that quickly disappears to a thin layer of not quite covering froth. The beer is a deep honey color that shows a hazy, red stained, light amber color when held up to the light. A deeper draught of the aroma yields a sour fruitiness that reminds me of a mix of cranberry and sweet cherry juice (think a light wiff of the cherry syrup topping for a sunday). Buttery popcorn aromas are fairly pronounced, though I can't quite tell if this is oak influence or diacetyl (pediococcus perhaps). The buttery aromatics drown out a lot of the other notes in the nose, but there does seem to be some spicy oak character here and the tart cherry notes are usually noticeable.

Tart tasting up front, but it quickly picks up a very slight, soft sweetness. Cherry pie flavors quite distinctly show off the signature of the Montmorency cherry character, but are not an over the top influence on the flavor. The combination of sour flavors and cherry notes are perhaps the biggest flavor contributors, but there is some other things going on here as well. The cherry sort of tastes like watered down, tart cherry juice. The finish has a light oak-derived spiciness to it, while the buttery note from the aroma is almost non-existent in the flavor (leading me to believe that it was the oak that contributed this in the first place, if it was diacetyl it would have been all over the flavor). Fairly light bodied, the beer does have a slight viscousness to it, though it remains a fairly refreshing, definitely easily quaffed experience.

As my palate gets used to it, some of the buttery-oak character from the aroma creeps into the flavor (really it becomes noticeable as it seeps into the nasal passages while taking a sip), it remains fairly light and is found more up front than anything. The cherry notes are fairly simplistic here; tart, fleshy, cherry pie notes show up somewhat softly, but it is missing that deeply staining, cherry skin flavor, that tannic cherry bite, the light almond-like pit character and the deeply complex, vibrant, fleshy cherry character that I like to see in the best examples of the style.

A very interesting beer, I definitely like it, but it falls far short of the best beers that it was inspired by (assuming that Kriek Lambics were the inspiration for this brew). It doesn't have the intense cherry flavors, nor the bracing acidity and funkiness of the examples that I like best. It really is like a Lambic for those who are interested, but not quite up to the harder versions of the style. Don't mistake me though, it clearly separates itself from the fake fruit Lambics being produced. In the end this is a tasty tipple that I am happy to have tried, but I wish it was not so one-dimensionally dominated in the nose had a bit more complexity and depth to the flavor.

Purchased: South Bay Drugs Pharmacy, Imperial Beach CA

 3,016 characters

Photo of mentor
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light pink to the ring of white head over an orangish-red hazed liquid. Smells brett and marchino cherry extract. Acetic and lactic tartness. Birsuit malt. Dusty.

Tastes clean bright light cherry. Strong carbonation mies with tart from cherry and lifts the beer off the tongue so the finish dries. Almost an unripe cherry flavor. Lactic tart is not overbearing. Md-light body. Great summer quencher and good drinkability.

 422 characters

Photo of Crosling
3.46/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pinkish yellowish color. Small white head that unfortunately doesn't have any pink shades. Fairly nice nose with hints of cherries, as well as some wood. Flavor doesn't have a lot of depth, but has some nice elements of cherry , sourness and wood. Nice balance of sweet and sour. I like this ale quite a bit.

 308 characters

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

Polished pumpkin with a faint rosy glow that is probably nothing more than an overactive imagination. The khaki crown does have a pinkish tint, however. Unfortunately, given the style, the foam doesn't have great texture, doesn't last, and doesn't leave much of itself on the glass.

The nose is good if you like fruit lambics that tend toward tart-tangy rather than cloyingly sweet. The beer has an aged cherry-balsamic vinegar aroma that is enjoyable, even if it isn't bursting with an abundance of cherry juiciness.

Chez Monieux is a wonderful beer that tastes like it could have been brewed in Belgium... says someone whose knowledge of Belgian lambics is severely lacking. Alpine used sweet and sour cherries, then aged the beer for 12-15 months in barrels that had previously held red wine. They used 'wild' yeasts too, though I don't believe that Brettanomyces was among them.

Each mouthful is a controlled explosion of incredibly tart cherry juice that has just enough underlying sweetness to keep it from becoming an all-out puckerfest. Acidity is generous, but at least my tooth enamel and stomach lining are in no danger of being eaten away, as is sometimes the case with lambics.

A certain red grape-like character is appreciated, along with some oakiness. Thankfully, neither one overpowers the beer. In the end, it's a beautiful balancing act that is mighty pleasing to someone who doesn't drink stuff like this very often. According to Alpine, it isn't bottle-conditioned, so don't stick the bottle in your cellar and forget about it.

The mouthfeel is good because it has enough size and has an underlying slipperiness that keeps it from evaporating on contact. The finish isn't dry, but the finish of the finish is. Must be all that lactic and acetic acid.

If you don't know what Chez Monieux means then shame on you. This is another corker from the good folks at Alpine that should please aficionados of the style to no end. I still prefer their hop-blasted American ales, but this one is a real treat that deserves to be brewed again. If ABC decides not to, then Chez Monthem.

 2,099 characters

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.45/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the brewpub almost two weeks ago. This review's from notes.

Pours purplish brown with red glints. A foamy, clingy off-white head coats the glass in lace striations. The aroma is pleasantly funky with barnyard and horse blanket abounding. Tart cherries and lactic acid also make themselves known. I love the high level of funk. The taste is sour with an acetic acid and a lactic acid mixing with plenty more funk. Tart cherry notes are also present. Minerals show with warmth. The mouthfeel is very light on the carbonation with a somewhat watery body. Sourness and sweet fruit notes mix in the dry finish.

This is a fantastic North American take on a Lambic. All the right funk in the right places and a good fruit presence. Ultra dry as well. Try this beer. I'd say it's underrated here.

 802 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by Dan I think, thanks. Poured into a snifter.

Beer is reddish brown with a thin lazy head of large bubbles, low lacing, not much carbonation or retention.

Aroma is sweet with cherries and lots of fruit.

Beer is light and very sweet, definitely not a favorite of the night and not a repeat. Shame on me? Shame on you.

 327 characters

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Chez Monieux from Alpine Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.69 out of 5 with 203 ratings