Merry Monks | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

very good
805 Reviews
Merry MonksMerry Monks

Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Merry Monks, 9.3% ABV, is a Belgian-style Tripel. Pilsner malt combined with an Abbey yeast strain yields a remarkable and complex flavor packed with notes of spice, banana and pear. Nicely balanced, with a moderate to dry finish.

Merry Monks is bottle conditioned which imparts a special effervescence to the beer and a creamier carbonation. The ongoing fermentation inside the bottle will change the character of the beer as it ages and you’ll find it becomes dryer with age. You may want to lay down a few bottles for future evaluation. We suggest storing at cellar temperatures (around 55°F) and away from light.

This brew is available year-round. Keep your eye out for Merry Monks in 25 oz. cork-and-cage champagne bottles for an exceptional experience!

Added by SheepNutz on 09-13-2001

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Reviews: 805 | Ratings: 2,341
Photo of snafui
1.55/5  rDev -59.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Had this on tap. I noticed in negative reviews folks referred to it as sour, lemony, etc. Not so here. It definitely seemed fresh. But it was like drinking banana juice.
Appearance was a pale yellow, cloudy. Very little head retention.
Smell was pure banana. It smelled like a hefe fermented way too high.
It tasted sweet and full of banana. Very much like a poor hefe than a belgian tripel. I almost thought I was served the wrong beer until reinforced by some companions who had experienced it before.
Mouthfeel was think and sweet.
Drinkability Couldn't sit down with a glass of this and finish it. I actually took the ice from a glass of water I had, and iced down this beer *TWICE* before it was tolerable. My party also found this to be an improvement and I did in fact finish the glass this way and actually enjoyed it. A companion referred to it as headache in a glass and I hope tomorrow doesn't prove him right.

I really hate to be that guy with very few reviews under his belt that jumps on BA to review the terrible but I just don't understand the positive reviews of this beer. I have to jump in here and speak my piece.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
1.67/5  rDev -56.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

ugh.. this might be one of the biggest beer letdowns of my drinking career.

appearance: murky yellow with no head retention

aroma: yeast, yeast, yeast, and malt. no spices or sweetness evident in the aroma. already, this beer is worrying me.

taste: this beer tastes like a mix between vinegar and the back of an envelope. yeast and lemon are prevalent tastewise, leaving much to be desired in such a respected format.

keep in mind, this was my third bottle of a six pack- i wanted to make sure this beer was as bad as i first thought before penning this review.

maybe it was the high standard set by the 33 st bernardus 12 abt i consumed the night before, but this beer seems really substandard. for the first time in recent memory, i will sacrifice two of the six beers i purchased to the sink fairy.

however, based on other reviews, i will continue to seek out weyerbacher brews hoping something will make up for the tragedy that is merry monks.

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Photo of HungryJack
1.73/5  rDev -54.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This "beer" is disgustingly sweet. It is essentially beer flavored sugar. I hate almost everything about it except for its nearly apparent wetness. Gross.

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Photo of BeefyMee
1.79/5  rDev -53.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Appearance: Pretty good here. The body is a hazy golden color with a short-lived head.

Smell: Uh oh, something is going wrong...

Taste: Blecchhh. My stomach is starting to turn. What happened to this beer? Simply put, the taste is sour and offensive.

Drinkability: I can't even finish this.

Beef Notes: Horrible. What was the thought process when putting this beer out for sale?

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Photo of Billolick
1.93/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

sorry to do this, but this one went bad. So I guess this is a public service announcement on this brew. No head was achieved, it is cloudy in color. And the taste can only be described as sour! watch out for this one, try to find a fresh bottle, may be hard to do as this doesnt come with any type of freshness dating.

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Photo of DJED69
1.94/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Really, a B+?

Tasted totally disjointed. Way too much alcohol and heat. Flavors were a bit over the top all around. Carbonation was excessive. One of the only times I've ever poured a 750ml down the drain. This one wasn't enjoyable in any respect.

Maybe it was a bad bottle, I'll chalk it up to that---maybe. Compared to other similar styled beers, this was quite a disappointment.

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Photo of Brodirt
2.07/5  rDev -46%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

This is simply horrible. I dont know, maybe its me and maybe I dont like whatever is going on in this beer, or maybe I got a bad one, but boy is this bad. I bought 2, so I will check out the next and hop for my $4 or so's sake that it too doesnt get poured down the drain like the first one did.

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Photo of number1bum
2.07/5  rDev -46%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours out a slightly orangeish golden color, good clarity with about a finger of off-white head. Head leaves a pretty full, thin lace, but not much stick.

Immediately on the nose is an abundance of banana, bubblegum and butterscotch. Some sweet malt and honey, too, and some fruity esters, but I'm not liking this nose.

Taste starts off ok with some honey-like sweetness and estery fruit flavors. Then it turns straight downhill and never returns. On comes that hideous combo of banana, bubblegum and butterscotch that was unpleasantly apparent in the nose, as well as some yeast and alcohol. Through the finish there is a cloying banana and butterscotch sweetness that coats the mouth and won't leave. Yuck.

Mouthfeel is pretty much full bodied, but the cloying factor kills it.

I'm not sure I can state this directly enough: I hate this beer. The more Weyerbacher beers I drink the more I think that, Double Simcoe aside, there is something about this brewery that just doesn't jive with my palate. I will have great difficulty finishing this 6 pack.

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Photo of krberg
2.14/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Certainly golden. Cloudy with very little head. I expected a large, fluffy, white head to grace my new La Fin du Monde glass.

Smells sweet and medicinal. Berry notes.

Malty sweetness followed by a brief biscuit flavor. Typical Belgian yeast spiciness. Too sweet. Reminds me of Lunacy or Golden Monkey, both of which I also find to be sickly sweet.

High carbonation to style. Dead average.

Too sweet to be drinkable for me. I may not be able to get through this one.

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Photo of 99bottles
2.26/5  rDev -41%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Light golden body, moderate carbonation. A white head of miniscule bubbles quickly fades to a thin lacing. Only moderate retention.

Smell: The smell is of typical malt. Very bland nose for a Belgian golden style ale. It lacks the phenols and some of the fruity nuances of the real Belgians. Similar to Golden Monkey, and even more one sided and unimpressive.

Taste: Whoa. Quite transparent. Where are the subtle flavors that make tripels and stong golden ales so unique? This is a dumbed down version that offers little more than burning phenols and sharp hot alcohol through and through. This burns in the aftertaste and shows none of the sweet esters and soft bitterness one might expect. A stong taste of pepper in the finish. I am somewhat disappointed. If it were me, I'd back off on the malt; stop worrying about gravities and jacking the ABV through the roof and find a yeast and style of sugar that compliment the flavor.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: I wouldn't really want to ever have this again. There are so many good Belgians that this attempt is hardly even noble enough to continue producing. It starts to cloy, and the sharpness of medicinal pepper and phenols with no structure really cause this to be a chore. I'm against drain pours, but this is the least enojyable micro I've had in awhile. Sorry Weyerbacher. I'll stick to the Insanity, and hope this gets revamped in the future.

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Photo of silenius
2.31/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

There must be something wrong with all of the samples of this beer I try. I really want to like it, but it is crummy.

Nice deep orange with a yellowish halo and nice head that fades quickly.

I'm off put by the slight vinegar characteristics I get from this plus something else sharp in there.

Taste is off. Sharp cider vinegar twinge with some caramel malt flavor to cut it.

Mouthfeel isn't so bad, but a little sharp from the acid taste.

Won't be drinking much of this one.

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Photo of json83
2.33/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

I expected a lot from this being a similar style to one of my favorites of all time - La Fin Du Monde: Tripel. This one is relative it calories at around 270-280 and ABV 9.0% but far off in the taste. I would compare this to the taste of a ground up Christmas wreath. The aftertaste is very strong and unsettling at first but eventually tones down a bit to that of cut grass. I hoped that most tripel style would be similar, which is to an extent, but far off from the smoothness and aftertaste of La Fin Du Monde.

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Photo of shbobdb
2.34/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I've actually rather grown to like Tripels.

But not this one. It poured looking like any other Tripel, but the smell -- I guess 'cat urine' would be the best way to describe it. Whatever esters the yeast was kickin' off, they were quite unpleasant.

The taste manifested that particular ester mixed with sugary sweetness and a mouthfeel that was both dry and syrupy.

Not the best example of the style, I've got to say.

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Photo of lpayette
2.39/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance- a couple shades lighter than macaroni and cheese. Small head that vanishes quickly.

Smell- Phenols are a bit overpowering to the nose. Hints of over-rippened bananas and belgian candy sugar. Suggestions of hops, but they are overtaken by acidic smells.

Taste- Again, too acidic... white grapes. Alcohol esters, and sweet bananas come through. Spent yeast adds another dimension of complexity, but the flavor is definitely off for my tastes.

Mouthfeel- The acidic flavors give it a lot of tang. Yeast sediment gives it a sometimes dryish character.

Drinkability- Alcohol and acidic notes need to toned down or better hidden. This tripel was too wine-like for me and I've yet to find a wine that I like.

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Photo of wangbruins
2.43/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Deep yellow, gold that seemed pretty typical but with real good lacing

S- Wheat and hops and a lot of lemon

T- Lemony and very tangy with a hint of flowery flavors

M- Stinging but light and smooth at the end

D- Smooth drink but not for me. A fan of tripel may find it phenomenal I believe, but again, not for me

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Photo of Naes
2.43/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This one is a bit hazy and has a very pale golden color. The head is a small layer of white foam that delivers almost no lacing.
The aroma is fruity with a strong yeast presence.
The flavor is candy sweet. It’s like a cherry and apple flavored wine.
Mouth feel is medium bodied and actively carbonated.

The sweetness of this ale is just a bit over the top for my likings.

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Photo of Altoon88
2.45/5  rDev -36%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Was really hoping for a better experience. Not a very drinkable beer. It tasted & smelled a lot like rotten fruit & alcohol. Now I don't usually drink tripels, which is why I didn't score it lower, but if they all taste like this, I'll never drink another one. It was that bad. I found myself forcing it down quicker because it definitely started to develop a stronger rotten taste as the beer's temperature rose higher. Not a beer I would reccommend.

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Photo of TaddyPorter
2.49/5  rDev -35%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I know that I had this beer a few years back, but when I spotted it on the shelf and couldn't remember what I thought of it, I figured it was time to give it another try. I think I've generally seen it in 12oz. bottles or on draft, so the champagne bottle was a unique presentation, and a bargain at $6.99, especially considering its 9.3% long as it's not too hot-tasting. I've had a lot of great beers from Weyerbacher...let us just see.

Huge foamy cappuccino frothy head from a slightly less-than-gentle pour. The stark, glowing white head dissipates into tight, tiny bubbles that float atop a light golden elixir. It gives a very inviting first impression to the eye. As it drinks down, the lighter foam breaks up into large frothy bubbles that stick to the glass at first, but quickly are reduced to a couple of spots of foam sparsely spattered around the glass--no real lacing as the head dies down to a thin layer of foam.

All yeast on the nose, mostly an estery banana peel scent at first. Then a bit of mustiness and dry, dusty horse blanket wave comes through, but in a very subtle way that is neither overpowering nor particularly funky, compared to funkier Belgian styles. It's a struggle to pick out any hoppiness...perhaps a bit of lemon zest. As it warms up, it begins to be overwhelmed with the alcohol, with a hot, vodka-like scent overpowering the yeast.

My first sip was probably too cold, so that all I could taste was a wave of tutti-frutti flavor and then the dryness and heat of the alcohol. Doesn't give a particularly nuanced or complex first impression. As it warms up, it unfortunately doesn't gain much in flavor, but rather becomes dominated by its alcoholic heat, though there are some notes of peppercorn and perhaps juniper berries peeking through the astringency. Some of the caramelly malt from the grain comes through, but it is quickly swept over by the booziness.

Light effervescence and a fairly light body. It starts out refreshing, but as with the smell and taste, the mouthfeel is dominated by the impression left behind by hot, dry alcohol.

Sadly, it seems to be getting less drinkable as I get through it, though I had high hopes for this beer. It certainly won't keep me from trying other Weyerbacher brews, but it's not what I'm looking for in a golden ale. Perhaps the lack of complexity ultimately makes this easier drinking than your average 9.3% beer, but but for a Belgian style this one is lacking in subtlety and nuance.

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Photo of callmeclemens
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Had on Tap at Twevle Steps Down in South Philly.

A very small head at best with a fine lacing down the glass.
Imeadiatley smelled like a blast of sour fruitiness with just a hint of malt.

Tastes was majorly consistant with the smell, only had a brutally sour finish, and IMO a varried aray of dry not compatable fruit flavour with Pear really leading the way.

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Photo of TheDonster
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1.5

My first experience with this beer was almost entirely unpleasant. The smell was deceptively good, but the alcohol up front taste makes this beer barely drinkable. I assume if you choked down a few it would be less noticeable, but I didn't get to that point.
Maybe I'll try this one again, but not for a while.

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Photo of ralree
2.52/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I think I found that I'm not a fan of this style. It's too sweet and too alcoholic - almost like a really fruity wine. The alcohol cuts through into the aftertaste quite a bit, leaving nothing else on the tongue. It is nicely carbonated and golden colored, and smells very sweet.

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Photo of taez555
2.53/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer poured a slightly opaque orange/yellow body with a small white head that died almost immediately.

Nose consisted of strong alcohol notes, tropical fruits and yeast. Sort of a muted triple smell that almost slightly borders on american macro.

Taste is medium bodied and has an odd carbonation. It's so fine that if you take a quick sip and swallow it tastes flat, but if you hold it in your mouth it has this huge tiny bubbled carbonation. Taste is yeast, phenols, alcohol, herbal and very medicinal. Sort of tastes like cough syrup that's gone bad. Strong tart and sour tastes that border on lambic Pears, tart granny smith apples, rhubarb even. A mild bitterness that hides in the back with just enough to add some subtle balance.

The more Weyerbacher I try, the more I don't want to try anything else they make. It's an OK triple, but just misses the key points. I'm not sure if it's the yeast strain or what, but it's sort of like looking at pictures negative. It's sort of a triple in reverse. All the flavors you want to taste are subtle, then the subtle balancing flavors are in the forefront. It's definatly a unique beer, but it basically tastes, imo, like a poor american attempt at a Belgian.

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Photo of Neecee513
2.54/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into pint glass.

A: Medium gold, hazy; massive, dense head; good retention

S: Moderate hop aroma, spicy

T: Citrus spice, hop bitterness

M: Moderate carbonation, medium body

D: Some bitter hop character w/ stronger malt backbone. Spicy quality is a bit overwhelming.

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Photo of Weissenheimer
2.58/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Well, gold is certainly the word. My glass becomes a slightly reddish and ever-so-slightly hazy gold that reminds me of wheatfields in high summer, just before sunset. The small head quickly fades as the bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass reveal its high carbonation.

I sniff the glass, and this is where things start to head south. There's a strong smell of alcohol, and it's not all that pleasant. It reminds me of whiskey and rubbing alcohol. It's one-dimensional and not very inviting.

The taste is more balanced and pleasant than the smell, but still no great shakes. It's sweet, strong, and highly carbonated. I'm most of the way through the glass when I finally identify the taste of apples, and I realize that it reminds me more of fermented cider than it does of beer!

This doesn't seem complex enough to be called a Belgian golden ale. Sorry, but it's just not worthy. It's a shame, because I thought that they did a great job on their wit.

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Photo of putnam
2.58/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

(Would the unbroken streak of sublime liquids from packages featuring images of smiling monks with vessles of frothy liquid held aloft be continued? I'm thinking of St. Bernardus products and Dr. Loosen Erdener Praelat Rieslings.)

Mute, orange and caramel aromatics occur beneath adequately fizzy, orange-colored liquid. On the palate it is a bit wild, dry and aggressive, with metallic, electric orange peel and over-fermented bread flavors. Gassy, with robot-fart metal belches replete with ripped, stripped sugars and hot grease nuances. Thin where it counts, hot where it shouldn't be, this is a careless, industrial "craft" beer. Aggressively alcoholic and lacking texture. A shame. Not worthy of the description "tripel."

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Merry Monks from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
3.83 out of 5 based on 2,341 ratings.
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