Mönchsambacher Lager
Brauerei Zehendner GmbH

Mönchsambacher LagerMönchsambacher Lager
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Style:
German Kellerbier / Zwickelbier
Ranked #1
ABV:
5.5%
Score:
93
Ranked #3,174
Avg:
4.29 | pDev: 10.26%
Reviews:
31
Ratings:
54
From:
Brauerei Zehendner GmbH
 
Germany
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  101
Gots
  2
SCORE
93
Outstanding
Mönchsambacher LagerMönchsambacher Lager
Notes:
Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 54 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of REVZEB
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I have found for so many breweries the zwickelbier seems like a throw away part of the portfolio that lacks vision. Not so here! Cloudy golden body that slowly clear up, with two fingers of white foam and tons of lacing on the glass. Aromas of honey, bread, wheat, lemon zest, botanicals, and pale malts. Taste is really nicely balanced, capturing creamy breadiness met with zesty, floral, and wheaty flavors, which together make a highly drinkable but subtly flavorful beer. Honestly the feel is perfect for the style, where so many have jagged edgework with the grains or booze, here it is smooth yet textured, highly drinkable and satisfying.

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REVZEB from Illinois, Jul 10, 2019
Photo of mothman
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap in Rome. White head. Lace. Pale golden orange.

Great Keller. Fresh and refreshing. Earthy, floral, light fruity zest. Bready malts. Very clean. Light bodied. All around great.

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mothman from Minnesota, Jan 02, 2018
Photo of DJ-Hophead
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tap @ Moor, Bristol - Pours hazy golden with a large white foamy head. Nice lacing. Medium carbonation. Aroma - grassy notes over light malts, light cloves. Taste - Sweetish, light malt feel, spicy notes as aroma, light crisp bitter finish. This was unexpected but really nice for it. Great easy drinking lightly malted, spicy well balanced German beer.

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DJ-Hophead from United Kingdom (England), Jun 25, 2017
Photo of aleigator
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly clouded golden color with a huge, fluffy head.

Smells is quite unusual for a lager since the nose does not carry any detectable malts. Instead the aromas are defined by dried, damp herbs and wet grass, together with a bright straw quality.

Drinks soft and refreshing, light and balanced with a unique, spicy yeast finish.

Tastes of straw, dried pepper, clove and old garden herbs. Turns a tad sweeter during midpalate with a well pronounced straw presence. Finishes light, yet spicy with a belgian saison yeast appearance and a soft layer of old hops.

Wow, this is quite unexpected - the yeast changes the flavors fundamentally. The beer is far away from being malty and boring, instead it packs a Saison punch, bringing a spicy peak to the palate, which mingles marvelously well into the noble hop defined foundation of the beer.

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aleigator from Germany, Jun 03, 2017
Photo of Ciocanelu
3.8/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hazy golden color with white head. Aroma has honey malt and bread crust. Taste starts slightly sweet and bready, continues with a really clean malt profile and finishes more hoppy with a nice, earthy bitterness. Light to medium bodied, well carbonated. Overall this is a very tasty lager that showcases the solid malt backbone as well as the earthy hop character.

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Ciocanelu from Romania, Nov 06, 2016
Photo of drmeto
3.82/5  rDev -11%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L:
-pours a hazy golden-orange with a medium to big,foamy, white head
-high carbonation visible
S:
-spicy,bready,honey,dough,onions,apples,blood orange,white grapes,orange zest,sweaty
T:
-bready,spicy,grassy,honey,apple,slight lemon,herbal,orange zest
-finishes dry
F:
-medium carbonation
-light to medium body
O:
Very good Kellerbier aside from the sweaty off-smell.Surprisingly light for a franconian Keller.

-medium,lingering bitterniss for the style

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drmeto from Germany, Jul 03, 2016
Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ever so slightly hazy golden amber with a largish head (as I poured it just a bit warm). The head stays a while as I enjoy the beer. Taste, ah! This beer tastes as I expect a lagerbier to taste! Recommended!

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Photo of woosterbill
4.67/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cask into a pint glass at the Blackback Pub. #1 ranked Kellerbier here we go!

A: Nearly clear yellow body with just a bit of unfiltered haziness to it. One inch head of pillowy white foam. Decent retention and lacing. Solid.

S: Mmm. Doughy, bready malt and plenty of fresh noble hops. Grassiness is huge, with a bit of citrus fruitiness to it as well. Incredibly clean, fresh, and balanced.

T: Follows the nose precisely: delicious grassy hops up front, substantial malt body in the middle, and some fruity hop bitterness on the clean, crisp finish. Very simple, balanced, and refreshing.

M: Substantial medium body with plenty of lively carbonation - probably the highest carbonation I've ever experienced from a cask, to the point of being a tough too prickly. Still, amazing.

O: What a lager. If I could get this fresh, cheap, and abundantly, it would be my go-to summer beer. Refreshing and yet still flavorful, hoppy but not overly bitter, sessionable but not watery. Terrific stuff.

Cheers!

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woosterbill from Kentucky, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of ummswimmin
3.86/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was lucky to find out about this beer from my friend (Naugros, see review below). I have never had a Keller, and Naugros told me about this offering at a local bar on a special night.

The Keller was served from a firkin. In the pint glass I had about three fingers of foam. The foam resided at about a 1/4 inch for a while.

This was a nice color of deep yellow. The carbonation was very tiny bubbles.

Off the top I get the noble hop smell. It smells like a really good lager. This smell is very clean.

I get the noble hops in the taste as well. There is distinct grassiness in each drink.

The only short coming was bitterness in the mouthfeel. Following each drink the bitterness resided, along with the lager flavor. I also detected some metallic feel.

This was a good beer. I enjoyed my second Keller experience.

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ummswimmin from New Jersey, Sep 29, 2011
Photo of Naugros
3.88/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is spot on with what I expected from this style, although lighter in color. It comes in as a light amber with a slight orange glow through all the yeast haze. Detritus from the yeast can be seen suspended in the beer, so you know you're getting your recommended daily allowance of B vitamins. Yay!

The smell is rife with Noble Hops, much like the hop bouquet you get from Sam Adams Boston Lager. This stands to reason since it is from Germany, but I can't tell you if they're Hallertauer or Tettnanger. I've never been able to tell the two apart since these are not my favorite hops varieties as I've always felt they smelled a bit plasticy...if that's a word. There is a slight sense of sour in the nose, but not much. The malts are there as well, no doubting the bread they bring to the party.

There is none of the hoped-for sourness in the taste, but there is a mild sweetness and a splash of citrus (orange). The malts here seem a bit musty, but that's no issue with this style. I do feel like I'm getting the slightest hint of diacetyl (butter flavor), but I can't say for certain.

The mustiness pervades and makes anything else in the mouthfeel secondary. It's on the lighter side of medium-bodied. For a relative of a lager, it's not really all that crisp.

My first keller and I have to say that I'm not fond of the style. Maybe it grows on you, so I will try it again, given the opportunity as it is hard to find these.

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Naugros from New Jersey, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.89/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, just wow, this is a very good beer. I was lucky to find it on tap at the Dirty Truth in Northampton, served in 1/2 liter mugs, and it took me straight to Bavaria.

The beer is clear, maybe a little haze, a pale gold color, with a few fingers of foam. The aroma is just dead on, bready and grainy, rich and malty, perfect. I've had only a handful of lagers that smell quite this appealing. The flavor was the same, just like liquid bread, delicious. A little sweet upfront and only a little bitter in back, very balanced but malty, the grains come through in a great way. Heavy body for a lager but still easily chugable. Any lover of German lagers should be happy with this one.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.48/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a gravity cask at Churchkey during an event yesterday.

Pours a cloudy light yellow color with a pretty good-sized white head and nearly all-encompassing lacing as it went down. Nose brought good scents of light grain, hints of lemon citrus, and a bit of bread dough. The taste adds in some light fruity notes. Altogether, everything melds together quite well and while the flavors are very delicate, they are quite tasty. Feel is light with good carbonation; super crisp.

Drinkability was incredible. Prior to this, I hadn't had much experience with the style, so I thought I might have been overrating this at first. However, after quite a few other pours from different casks, it became clear that this was the best of the bunch and a great, great beer in its own right.

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Thorpe429 from Illinois, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.48/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This has been a long time, short list, want of mine, for years. I had relegated this beer to the ether though, figuring that I would have be near the brewery in Bavaria to ever find it on draft or in the bottle, but then Churchkey cam to the rescue, yet again. Gravity cask at Churchkey in D.C. Part of their Franconia Oktoberfest special. Beer served in a 10 ounce beer flute. Beer is yellow and hazy with a thick white head of small and medium bubbles that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate to low, head falls away eventually and breaks. Looks pretty good.

Aroma is mild, a little sweet, slight bitterness, slight graininess, smells pretty good too.

I imagine that this is the way that beers used to be, hundreds of years ago. Its light in body, creamy in the mouth, has a slight bitter edge at the back but no aftertaste. Finishes wet, some mild yeastiness and some mild graininess, its super drinkable, its "crisp", which is an adjective I usually feel people use when they don't know what to say, and that's me now. I could drink gallons of this beer, as if it were water, nonstop. It is ineffable.

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drabmuh from Maryland, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of Amalak
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had at d.b.a. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn out of a gravity dispense cask. It's gold with lots of sediment yet see through. Great head and lacing and a pure pilsner scent.

It's a perfectly balanced lager/pilsner. Though it's listed as a lager, it taste like a pilsner, to me anyway. Has a slight fruitiness that's dominated by hops.

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Amalak from New York, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of chinabeergeek
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle. label is notched/marked for a best by of "12 apr", but no year.

golden straw with tones of brown, especially from the abundant lumps of yeast sediment, making it cloudy. moderate head fades to thin layer. decent lacing, esp. in the 2nd half of the glass.

lightly toasted, bready malts in the aroma, with gentle noble hops. clean, with just a trace of sulfur.

sweet, bready malt continues on the palate. hint of fruity white grape sweetness too. nice moderate noble hop profile gives a grassy note, then gentle bitterness to balance. clean finish with just a trace of yeast.

medium body, relatively smooth, with prickly, lively carbonation.

i had no idea this is actually a keller/zwickel. that helps to bring up the appearance score, which otherwise would have been marked down slightly because of all the sediment.

drinkability should be a 5.0, and taste 4.3 or 4.4

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chinabeergeek from Massachusetts, Mar 27, 2009
Photo of Ungespundet
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up this bottle in Bamberg during Sandkerwa. Great find! Pours up a soft medium bubbled head that is very lacey. The color is deep straw and slightly orange. Naturtrüb means unfiltered and this one is plenty hazy. The aroma features very bright hops that are floral and defianelty minty in the spearmint direction. Behind this is a full malt aroma hints of grain and sulphur. The flavor is big in the hop category with very citrus/lemony hops. They are bright and crisp! The mouth feel is medium. The malt is solid and the yeast floabvor is clean also. The bitterenss is a little strong but very smooth. What a Bier!!! So ein Bier!!!!

Zum Wohl!!!

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Photo of cichief
4.8/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have had this beer from the barrel in Bamberg several times, but on this occasion I stopped at the brewery in Mönchsambach. The beer was so fresh and the lady of the house friendly. It was a great beer all around. The beer was amber in color and nearly clear, no sediment noticeable. This was a classic example of a German keller beer.

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cichief from Virginia, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of geexploitation
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very foamy bottle -- I had to pour it in my glass quickly before it foamed over the top of the bottle. Once in the glass, it was a very pretty beaten gold color, cloudy, with a collar of head and sticky lacing on the glass. Sharp, earthy hop aromas and a touch of citrus (lemon) comprise the aroma, along with a graininess that reminds me of zweiback crackers. On the palate, immensely smooth and a touch sweet at first, with some funky/musty hop bitterness providing definition. The finish is full of banana flavors, and then dries out in a flash. All of these elements play well together. This is quite a nice keller bier, although not my favorite. Hard to find, but worth seeking out.

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Photo of Lnedrive14
3.65/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thankfully I noticed all of the floaties in the bottle so i was able to pour to leave most of them in the bottle.

Pours a hazy pale gold, with a hint of orange. Modest white head - perhaps a bit more color than your traditional lager. Tiniest bit of head sticks with the beer with a touch of lacing.

Refreshing nose - lots of yeast and freshness. Taste has a hint of apple juice. More malts than I'm used to in the style. Very minimal hops.

I don't know why, but the combination of the flavors did not mesh for me. I thought the beer was complex, unique, interesting, and a great experience, i just didn't like the taste!

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Lnedrive14 from Massachusetts, Dec 09, 2006
Photo of sponberg
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Half liter bottle, from Halftime, mindestens haltbar bis (best before) 4/21. Pours a cloudy yellow gold with a white head that fades pretty quickly to a fine lace. Smells like beer - as in "walk into a small south German village and get a mass of their local beer" beer.Grainy malt, slightly estery yeast, and spicy noble hops.

Man, this takes me back 20 or so years to when I was sitting in a gasthaus outside of Coburg, on vacation with my family, watching soccer and drinking the local kellerbier. Earthy, sweet-grainy malt dominates with a fine, subtle hop spiciness - the bitterness just rests on the tongue rather than landing thud on it like a pig's knuckle. Slightly yeast-estery, sort of a slight Bit O' Honey flavor. Very aromatic on the palate, if that makes sense. Finishes clean, almost lemony in its cleanness. Slightly tingly, very refreshing mouthfeel. I could sit around a gasthof all day long drinking these with an occasional meal - wurst, schnitzel, it'd all be good.

Aside: I raise my glass in a toast to my mom's sister, Tante Hanni, who was one of our hosts in Germany and who passed away this morning at 87. Prost!

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sponberg from New York, Sep 27, 2006
Photo of OldSock
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance – .5L bottle from Half Time dated April 21st , this year I hope. Pours clear golden-yellow (second pour is much cloudier) with a two finger creamy white head floating on top. The beautiful head sinks quickly leaving only a thin coating and bits of sticky lacing.

Smell – Some sweet malt with that characteristic earthy Keller Beir quality. Some spicy noble hops are in there as well. Nothing really takes over aroma, its just a good balance of everything.

Taste – Sweet grain, very clean. The hops provide balance and give the beer a refreshing herbal-grassy quality. Not an overly complex flavor, but the flavor is just what it is trying to be without any extraneous interference.

Mouthfeel – Fuller than other beers of the style, but still on the whole a rather light beer. Carbonation is on the low side which leads to a very smooth flavor.

Drinkability & Notes – This is where this beer really shines, I just drank the whole half liter without realizing even it. This is what a pale lager should be, perfect for coming in from mowing the lawn (which I just did). Certainly the best Keller Bier out there, and one of the best pale lagers period. Surprised to see Hopfenextrakt (hop extract I can only assume) on the ingredient list, and the contradictory (in my mind) Farmhouse-brewed on the back. Damn, with summer coming its time to find more of this.

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OldSock from District of Columbia, Jun 16, 2006
Photo of ppoitras
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" bright white head over the almost clear yellow gold brew. Head holds steady, with plentiful bubbly white lacing. Aroma is pale malts and crisp hops. Taste is sweet pale malt with a crisp, lightly spicy hoppiness. Mouthfeel is soft throughout the mouth, and drinkability is excellent. Could see this one in a big old stein, for sure.

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ppoitras from Massachusetts, May 05, 2006
Photo of fingolfin72
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My brother-in-law, trbeer, brought this one to me.

It pours a rich, hazy gold, and it's full of yeastie floaties. The head is fine, white and persistent; it left lovely lacing around the glass. Especially attractive when enjoyed outdoors in the sunshine.

Nose- Fresh, wheaty aromas with some fresh fruit and floral hop notes. Subtle and well-integrated.

Palate- Smooth, with a lively but not overdone effervescence. Notes of citrus, apple, grass and hops are nicely woven together. The mouthfeel and balance are the great attributes of this beer, showing Old World skill with tasty beverages (French wines can show this great integration also). The carbonation, maltiness, hops and mineral are all in balance. Easy to drink, but not forgettable.

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fingolfin72 from North Carolina, Apr 10, 2006
Photo of CRJMellor
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Gift from trbeer.
Poured a hazy golden yellow with waht seemed liked thousands of little yeasties struggling to swim in the current of effervescence. Big, puffy slightly off-white head that could lay a bottle cap on.
Aroma is light and airy with basic pale malt and grassy and hay aromas eminating from the glass.
Flavor was delicious, great balance of moderate malt sweet notes and crisp refreshing hop balance. Slightly vegetal notes but only accentuated the wonderful crispness of the beer. Hint of green apple as it warmed just a bit.
Mouthfeel was exquisite, just the right balance of sweet and bitter produces a delightful quaff. Each swig got better and produced a crescendo of well-balanced malt goodness.
Drinkability was absolutely world class and top notch. Amazingly thirst quenching and left me wanting many, many more. I can think of no flaws from a balance standpoint and the flavor really rounds out well as you work through the bottle. If you love lager, find this beer.

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CRJMellor from Arkansas, Apr 06, 2006
Photo of Frozensoul327
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Solid all round. Pours out to a neon like yellow color with a sea-foam like head. Some notes of lacing, medium to medium high level of carbonation. Lotsa sediment in the bottom. Aromas of fresh hay and malts, with some sweet corn nuances and light fruits. Taste is fresh and crisp, very refreshing; flavors of malts and minor bitter hops in the forefront, with elements of grain, sweet herbs and grass intermixed in the background. Nice. Mouthfeel was bubbly and had a thicker than expected consistancy. Nice. Good drinkability. I hope that I can find this in the summertime, as this is what I have in mind after mowing the lawn. When reminded that this is a "Lager", it exemplifies what should be the standard when discussing lager beers. Recommended drinking.

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Mönchsambacher Lager from Brauerei Zehendner GmbH
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 54 ratings