Pious Monk Dunkel | Church Brew Works

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Pious Monk DunkelPious Monk Dunkel

Brewed by:
Church Brew Works
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Munich Dunkel Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 09-24-2001

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Reviews: 103 | Ratings: 258
Photo of dungledauf
1.8/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Appearance: Clear, ruby hue with no carbonation

Smell: Sweet malt not overpowering

Taste: Really tasted just type of malt which I believe to be Munich malts. Expected to taste caramel and some burnt malt. Slight metallic aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Very thin, watery, and flat.

Overall: Expected more depth & flavor for a Munich Dunkel.

 335 characters

Photo of HitokiriNate85
2.33/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a pilsener glass.

A - Pours a nice amber with some lighter highlights around the bottom. Thick, rocky head diminishes to a thin cap pretty quickly. I expected it to be a little darker, but maybe that's because I'm used to my dunkels coming in a liter mug.

S - Toasted malts are the primary aroma, but they seem a bit weak. There's something that seems like it'll lead to spicy hops, but at the same time it makes me think it might be a bit...sour? Yikes, I hope not. The beer didn't have to travel more than a few miles to get here.

T - Hmm...basically the same as the nose. Some toasted malts with some nice spicy hops. The malt notes are a bit weak, though, and there's a pretty noticeable metallic flavor in the finish. Yeah, just too much of a metallic flavor that's really off-putting.

MF - Slightly watery, but it has decent carbonation, and considering the low ABV and the fact that it's probably intended to be pretty thin, I don't think it's necessary to knock it much for that.

D - This is basically a follow up of the taste and aroma since dunkel lagers are pretty drinkable by default. Considering the smell and taste aren't that great, this is basically the same. It's entirely possible my bottle is old and has seen better days, so I probably owe it to myself and to CBW to make it over and try it from the source.

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Photo of Illinick
2.5/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Reddish brown with a touch of mahogony. Small white head that dissipates. Rising carbonation
S: Bland smells of malty bread, some roasted smells and not much else.
T: Parallels the smell. Bland flavors of malty bread and roasted/burnt flavors. Nothing jumps out and everything seems to be smashed together.
MF: LIGHT and watery
Overall: I am hoping I got a bad batch of this brew, because it was dissapointing at best. I wasn't the only one to share this sentiment that night. I'll give it one more shot and if nothing changes I will probably never try this or any of their brews again. Thoroughly dissapointing to say the least. I am unimpressed with their range of brews. Doesn't hold a match to Penn Dark.

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Photo of Atvar
2.66/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: amber brown with a small head.

S: Fruity or sweet? No hops smell whatsoever.

T: Fruity, almost sour. This reminded me more of a witbier than other dunkels I've tried. Very little hops flavor. It's not so much bad as not what I was expecting.

M: Thin.

D: Having one isn't so bad, but I think I'd get sick of the flavor real fast if I tried to drink more.

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Photo of keeganfrank
2.85/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tea-colored lager with no real head to speak of. Aroma, which is pretty mild, is primarily fruits and bread. Flavors of fruit, caramel and faint brown sugar. This lager is lighter in body and less flavorful than I expected. It's crisp and easy to drink but left me a little underwhelmed.

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Photo of ThirstyBird
2.86/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to radioscooter for this bottle.

Pours a dark clear reddish brown. With a light tan head that goes to a thin film and ring. Nice lace. Smell is rich toasted malt, some molasses and a bit a crisp hop. Taste is quite sweet rich deep toasted malt, bread, brown sugar...pretty darn sweet. A touch of hops on the back end adding a touch of crispness. Medium body with active carbonation though a touch course. Overall a pretty easy beer to drink but lacking in finesse both taste and mouthfeel.

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Photo of Chadbrew
2.88/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Not bad. Sort of a caramel colored brew without much of a head. Carbonation is good and there seems to be moderate lacing.
Aroma - Some sweet malty aroma with just a hint of mildly spicy hops.
Taste - Pretty bland but not bad. If there wasn't a "watered down" feel to it it would really be enjoyable.
Mouthfeel - There is plenty of body which is surprising considering the lack of flavor.
Drinkability - Kind of boring to be highly drinkable.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
2.97/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

dark clear amber pour with splotchy thick head on the surface. lacing appears upon pour and just hangs around. label and packaging is second rate. appearance of beer is straight up.. beery, and stays strong.

aroma is super dark chocolate malt, to the point of bitterness. like a baker's chocolate bar. slight coffee and chestnut in the aftertaste. chicory maybe? taste sounds big but is awfully light. has a bit of that belgian magic to it, reminds me of a new belgium abbey but heavy on the roasty flavors.

bitterness is a bit much here and lack of complexity gives way to an overwhelming dryness. nothing special.

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Photo of bdupree
3.03/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - This looks like a traditional dunkel, with a nice amber hue... maybe a little lighter than I would expect. Pours with a thick head of foam.

S - Nothing really stands out. Toasted malts are in there, and some caramel or coffee.

T - Compared to other beers by CBW, I was disappointed by this one. It just tasted watered-down. It was light, and tasted more like a German alt bier rather than a dunkel.

M - Very light on the palate, does not linger.

D - If you are drinking this like I was expecting a quality German-style dunkel, you will probably be disappointed. Dunkel is prevalent in the Pittsburgh area, and this is not one of the best I had up there... out of three different breweries. It just does not have enough body, and is too light.

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Photo of botham
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

on tap poured into a pilsner glass at the brewpub in Pittsburgh. pours a deep chestnut brown color with a half finger of tan head and leaves moderate lacings and rich tan highlights.

aroma is of very light caramel malts with notes of chocolate and a touch of roasted malt. not rich or full in the nose, but decent.

taste is of light fruit notes with a bit of caramel malt thrown in. again, devoid of any real character to call its own. finishes with light grain and a touch of roasted malts.

mouthfeel is light bodied with a watery texture and a smooth finish. mediocre at best.

drinkability is good. light and watery for a dunkel, but for what it is it gets the job done. worth a try.

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Photo of Boto
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Draught at the brewery: This one was a copper color with some off-white head to it. It was fairly clear. The aroma was a bit thin: nothing bad to it just not much there. There were hints of sweetness and spices. The body was a bit of a medium with an OK but non-descript flavor. This just rates an OK.

 301 characters

Photo of ajm5108
3.09/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pretty pedestrain American adaptation of a German classic, you can definitely get some of the semi-sweet malt bill but it is a little soft on flavor impact, mostly just some dark fruit notes (raisin bread) and then your tradional lager notes. Thin mouthfeel, too watery. Not bad but firmly mediocre.

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Photo of stakem
3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle care of a friend visiting from Pittsburgh. Pours a clear amber brown color with no head. Some decent amount of swirling the glass produces some off white bubbles that rise to the surface and then rapidly dissolve.

The aroma includes a bit of citrusy twangy hops that are borderline souring/lactic in the nose. The hops also come across with a sweet floral aspect. The malt is faint but is evident with some caramel like sweetness.

The taste of this brew is a fairly decent blend of bitter citrus hops to caramel malt sweetness. All through the profile of this brew are butter tones and a mixture of light chocolate maltiness.. The finish of this brew has a very light twang suggesting lactic sourness that isnt off putting and actually increases this brew's drinkability for me.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. There are some characteristics of this brew that are outside of what I am use to for a dunkel but it isnt bad. The abv is completely hidden and it is a decent session brew.

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Photo of Derek
3.12/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Deep-amber/copper, off-white head, no retention or lace.

S: Candied sugar, candied fruit, bready malt.

T: Brown sugar, burnt caramel, rye bread, mild bitterness, hint of grainy astringency.

M: Moderate body & carbonation.

D: Decent.

Commercial description:
"Gold Medal Winner of the Great American Beer Festival. Our beer is fairly dark in color, but don’t be afraid. It is a perfect example that dark beers are not always strong beers. The body is surprisingly mellow, and the alcohol content is a bit lower than most people might think. It has a wonderfully clean and roasty aroma. Hop bitterness levels are kept in line, but is has a noticeable hop flavor. Alcohol by Volume - 5.2"

 704 characters

Photo of aracauna
3.14/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The color of this little lager is a medium reddish brown with good clarity. This is lightly malty in the flavor and the aroma with a slight bitterness and a mildly chocolatey finish. I keep looking for something a little more with this one that never arrives.

 259 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.15/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub on 12/26/08. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear deep amber with a thin head of brite-white foam. OK looking retention that sticks around long enough I guess, but didn't leave much lacing back at all. I'm not getting much at all from the aroma, maybe some light malty caramel and chocolate. Touch of spice and light nuttiness maybe in there too.

The taste puts a little more out there but peters out way too quickly on the palette. Caramel and chocolate malts are definitely detected, along with some light spicing, and moderate hops towards the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a lower feeling carbonation that does pack a bit of a prickle which gives off some crispness.

I was disappointed by this. Just not enough complexity or assertiveness but the drinkibility at least whet my whistle enough during my meal.

 854 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a dark nute brown color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sweet malts, bready malts, and some sugar.

t - Tastes of bready malts mostly. Little bit of caramel malts as well. Also a tiny bit metalic.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A very easy to drink lager. Mostly smells and tastes of bready malts, probably wouldn't seek out again.

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Photo of ShawnKemp
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was ok..nothing to make a trip to the store for though. Malts and hops devote a deep brown hue...similar to a lager. The thickness of the beer in mouth in quite apparent as well. Taste reminds of me of Yuengling a bit, but a bit more malty. The Church Brew Works has other outstanding beers that overshadow this guy I feel...

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.24/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured into a perfect pint.

3.75 A: Clear darker copper color. Two fingers of foamy beige head. Retention is about average and a half finger of lacing is left behind.

3.5 S: Caramel, toastiness, nuttiness are all quite prominent - very altbier-esque. Sweet brown sugar with figgy fruitiness. Vinous underneath with notes of plum. Not bad, but could be cleaner.

3.25 T: Many of the flavors are found in the nose. Again lots of caramel, toastiness, nuts, brown sugar. Raising, fig, and plum fruits. Earthy hoppiness with a mineral laden mountain water freshness. There's some complexity, but it's a little too dry and just okay.

2.75 M: Lighter body. Good moderate carbonation. A bit too watery, but it does bring some creaminess, which helps.

3.0 D: It's a decent beer, but there's a lot better options out there.

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Photo of bamadog
3.26/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a six pack of this on a recent trip back to PA, not a bad offering, but I've definitely had better. Pour is from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a nice deep coppery color with beautiful ruby highlights; starts with a two finger off-white light tan head that fades to a thick and uneven skim; body is clear and shows strong carbonation; fair rings of lacing left behind.

Smell: Smell is some sweet malts, some toasty grains and a slight wheaty/straw-like presence. Nose it not especially strong.

Taste: Sadly, it comes across as a bit bland - the light toasty grains are there and that straw-like presence is a little stronger (and continues to come out as it warms slowly as I sip it down); a mild presence of some bittering hops are present at the end and a bit of an apple flavor in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Solid carbonation and a body that's a tad chewy even - solid stickiness is left on the roof of the mouth. Quite lively and they definitely nailed the body with this one... too bad the taste doesn't quite match up, but still not bad.

Drinkability: I kind of went in-between with this one - it's not bad, but the flavors just don't seem to be there for me. I wouldn't turn it down if someone offered it to me, but I likely wouldn't seek it out. I would be very curious to try more offerings from this brewery in the future if I come across them.

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Photo of mwa423
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a perfectly clear amber with minimal head and no lacing.

S - Light aroma, but a very traditional dunkel aroma with sweet malt.

T - Taste is also very light with only a bit of malt coming through which is well ballanced with light hops.

M/D - Mouthfeel is light and the beer goes down easily even on a hot day. Certainly a good take on a dunkel but I wouldn't make this the first beer you grab at the brewery.

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Photo of oline73
3.31/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Appearance: Pours a very nice looking reddish dark amber color with a half finger of off white head. The head fades to a thin layer on top of the pour.

Smell: Malty and sweet, but not overly so. I'm picking up some bread from the grain along with some cherry and grape notes.

Taste: There is a lot of flavor given the abv. I'm picking up a similar flavor to the smell. Bready malt with some cherry and grpe notes. The finish has a slight bitterness to it.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with aggressive carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: I enjoyed this beer. The taste was bold given the abv. I'm not sure I'd have another, but I'm glad I tried it.

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Photo of Douglas88
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to Daniel. Pours out a ruby/brown color with a small white head. The aroma is mostly toasted malts, some light fruits and perhaps s touch of banana. The flavor is similar; lots of toasted malts, some bananas, clove and something odd I can't put my finger on. Fizzy and full of flavor. Decent overall.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. No head. Appears like a normal lager. Seems somewhat flat and/or watery.

S. Dark wheat and little else.

T. Decent. Wheaty malts. Earthy.

M. Lightly carbonated.

D. Very drinkable. Its lager people.

Overall: Its a pretty solid overall brew but nothing special.

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Photo of leftmindedrighty
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this on-tap at the Church Brew Works

Dark chestnut in color. A little light for the style, but very acceptable.

Smell, very malty, no hop presence at all. Sugar and grain are the only standouts.

Taste, follows pretty close behind the of the nose. Very malty, but not overly sweet. Hop character is noticeable, but never jumps up and down begging to be noticed.

Overall, good example of an American Dunkel. Very drinkable if anything.

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Pious Monk Dunkel from Church Brew Works
3.59 out of 5 based on 258 ratings.
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