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: 104 | Ratings: 267
Photo of damienblack
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sebletitje for this as an extra!

Standard dunkel appearance, dark cloudy amber. Seems a bit lifeless, head dissipates quickly, and there's not much carbonation going up the chute. Has a big wheaty, yeasty smell, graham crackery. Smells like something from Sam Adams.

First thoughts: Very clean and crisp, with a strong but not outstanding malt presence. true to lager form. Very slight taste of dark fruit. Body is a little thin, has little impact on the palate. Easy drink to session. Not much to say, a decent enough session beer, but not something I would seek out again.

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Photo of hopdog
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

Poured a medium copperish color with an averaged sized of white head. Aromas of toasted nuts, chocolate and light roast. Tastes of toasted nuts, chocolate, roast, and a trace of carame. This would make a decent session beer.

Notes from: 6/1/07

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Photo of sonicdescent
4.07/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes, drink had 1/10

Pours medium brown with one finger head, leaving a crown with decent lacing.

Smells nutty at first, swirling releases a floral and hoppy scent.

Tastes semi-light with a taste tilted more toward malt, not much in the way of bitter. Great intro to craft.

Mouth is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Drinkability is good, this is a semi light lager, easy to drink, slam, and session.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.15/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

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Photo of mjmbeer
3.47/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not the world's best example but this is a good solid beer
clean aroma with nice hints of caramel and malts

Color is a light brown with little head that kind of set me back a bit.

other than that I liek this beer and I am glad I picked up the sample pack

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Photo of Douglas88
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
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 hwwty4
3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Sebletitje for this one.

Poured a 12oz bottle into my Boulevard Smokestack goblet. This beer pours a nice rich brown with a small head that quickly recedes into a lily pad on the center of the glass. The aroma is straight up malts, with absolutely no hop presence. I also detect some dark fruits, plums and apples. The taste follows suits with a big malty presence, dark fruits, and brown sugar. The mouthfeel reminds me of soda pop. Highly carbonated with a sharp carbonation, the kind that burns the roof of your mouth if you let it sit in your mouth and burns the back of your throat as you try to swallow. While I'm happy to try any beer once, the mouthfeel is enough to keep me for seeking it out again.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.89/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Some mix or orange, gold and brown. Small white head that disapears immediately. No lacing at all.

Smells of lots of caramel malts. Sweet with some roasted notes.

Lots of nice caramel notes with some grassy and earthy hop notes. Slight roasted flavors. Strong sweet caramel finish. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin.

Drinkable beer, nice offering.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.72/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased as part of a mixed case from Wide-Lo Beverage, Somerset, PA, while on vacation.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a scant 1/4" tan head over the clear orangey brown brew. Head dwindles at a quick pace, with average lacing. Aroma is hearty grain husks. Flavor exhibits the same grain character, with a crisp close. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinking is easy. Simple, lowish abv, wouldn't mind if this was an everyday brew.

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Photo of brentk56
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a modest head that leaves more than its fair share of lace; on the lighter side of acceptability for the style

Smell: Malty, with a crusty brown bread aroma

Taste: Very bready up front, with a developing caramel, chocolate and nut character coming to the fore by mid-palate; after the swallow, the breadiness returns and persists to the finish; could be a bit richer

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A decent example of the style but lacks a bit of depth compared to the top examples, including that brewed across town by Penn Brewing

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Photo of thethrone
3.77/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a translucent red amber with thin white head which quickly dissipates to a thin ring. Wet spotty lacing follows the brew down the glass.

S - Sweet malts dominate the aroma. Some grain presence as well.

T - Taste follows the smell, with the maltiness running the show. Hops make enough of an appearance to balance out the flavor.

M - Light body, mild carbonation. Finish isn't quite as crisp as I'd have liked, but fairly clean nonetheless.

D - Good drinkable lager.

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Photo of leftmindedrighty
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
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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Photo of biegaman
3.77/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle thanks to leftmindedrighty!

A thin, eggshell white collar ties together a densely deep brown shaded body. It might appear muddy, opaque even, on first inspection, but on angle little tawny cinders start to glow as the body illuminates to a blushing auburn and allows just the slightest peek of transparency.

This is useful to have on hand in case you ever wanted to show someone what a malty beer should smell like. This is has all the malt of a good dopplebock, but with far less of a punch of course. Caramel, toffee, and dark ripe fruits are all coated with a hint of smoke and roast.

The body is light, the alcohol is low, but the flavour is strong and the drinkability is high. The carbonation perfect - not enough to impede on the stickiness of the malts, but more than enough to prevent this from ever being syrupy. Very malty; it tastes exactly like caramel melted over nuts and dried fruits. Simple but delicious.

I could see a lot of beer advocates bored with this offering; it doesn't have the aggressive, amped up character and stylings that most American craft brewers inject to these 'old world' recipes.

What's really important though is not the bold, blistering American touch they left out - it's the efficiency and craftsmanship of German tradition they left in. Beer is, after all, for drinking and this is great for exactly that!

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
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 bigdeuce
3.42/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This beer was really easy to drink. It poured about like an average dunkel, with a slight head, no lacing. Nice malts on the nose, not very hoppy, true to the style. A bit of chocolatey malt flavor on the palate. Something was missing here, though. Just not enough syrupy sugar or something. It fell a bit short. Now by no means will I never have it again, but the Brew Works has better offerings.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear darker brown. Nose is mild malts and just mild all around. Flavor is very slight citrus sweetness. Minor earthy edge. Standard feel. Leaves a real funny aftertaste and makes this no better than a so-so brew. It's decent enough, but not really impressive enough to warrant a return.

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Photo of dmamiano
3.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice, deep copper color with a very small head. Some lacing noted.
Smells of caramel malt, cotton candy even come to mind.
Taste is malts, with a caramel and even a hint of spiciness nated. Mouthfeel is pretty good and oily.
Slightly bitter at the finish.
Havent had much expeience with a Dunkel, this is decent.

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.72/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice red amber color with a tan head that does not last long. Some noticeably audible fizz was in that head.

Aroma of dark malts, some breadiness and maybe some lingering hops but that is iffy.

The taste has some nice breadiness to it, with some roasted malt character. Nuts and caramel are mixed in there as well. Then you have a nice clean lager finish, that leaves you wanting more. Parting is a sweet sorrow as they say. Fortunately There's a lot more in the glass.

I have not ventured into this style much at all, but I do know I enjoy this beer. I could hit it all day long if I had to.

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Photo of mobyfann
3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $30 for a mixed case...

The beer pours a clear, dark brown base, with a medium sized head, 15 minute retention, no lacing. The beer hints of toffee and roasted malts, well-balanced.

The beer tastes sweet at first and at the end, in the middle is the roasted malts from the aroma and caramel tones as well. It's not too heavy in the mouth, and it fairly drinkable, but I would think after a few, a beer less sweet would be in order.

Final Thought: This dunkel tastes good!

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Photo of MmmIPA
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ive wanted to try the beers from this little brewery for some time now and saw them at the beer store a couple times and never bought them but now I did.I like it because there from Pittsburgh and because there is just something about a really small brewery.Drank from a Warsteiner pils glass.I tend to like darker lagers nowadays,I used to drink alot of amber lagers when I was younger but they seem very sweet to me now and a dark lager hits the spot.

Nice brown/copper colored body with a thick light tan head.Some very nice lacing on my glass.Lively carbonation dances to the top of my glass.

Nice little chocolate flavor as the beer leaves your throat.Hop flavor is there as well but not overwellming at all.Slight burnt nut flavor.Slight sweetness to it also,like caramel.Some bitterness in the aftertaste.Dry nuttie taste

Slight flowery smell.Some nuttiness in there also.

Mouthful seems a bit thin and watery but thats not a problem with me at all.

Very good dunkel,I really enjoyed it.It was the best lager beer Ive had in a while.I could have another one for sure.Thanks to Pittsburgh for producing this tasty beer.I need to visit this place and try some on tap.

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Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Shintriab's bottle, taking me to the Savant level. Easily quaffable, brown colour with creamy head. Nuts, caramel, chocolate malt.Subtle in roast.Sessionable alcohol so you can drink something else and still be functioning.Medium to light mouthfeel.

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Photo of Derek
3.12/5  rDev -13.3%
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"

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Photo of akorsak
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle from a trade with vwcraig.

A: The lager is a dark amber brown color that shows off some orange highlights. The head was fairly small on pour and never amounted to much more than a small white band.

S: The nose is very strong on the sweeter caramel malts with some biscuity dryness thrown in for good measure.

T: Flavorwise, the lager shows off some nice caramel and light chocolate tastes. The grains are not strong, but the flavor more than holds its own. Hops don't figure much in the taste, but the darker malts carry the body.

M: Caramel and lightly roasted notes give the beer a nice depth.

D: Good beer, easy drinking and a nice body. A solid selection from Western PA.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours dark amber in color with white head that fades.

S- smells dark. Nuts, malt, chocolate, caramel

T- good mix of malt, chocolate, nuts and caramel

M- smooth with medium body and low carbonation

D- the combination of the taste and smoothness makes this a pretty drinkable beer

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Photo of flexabull
3.49/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer came to me as part of the Name Name BIF courtesy of Alkey, thanks!

Beer pours a cloudy brown color, a lot of big bubbles floating around, but not much of a head to this one.

Aromas are spicey, bread like, and a bit sweet.

Flavor is a bit flat on the front, the mouthfeel is nice, but not much flavor at first sip. Beer then settles into a slightly sweet toasted malt like flavor, and then finishes crisp, somewhat yeasty, and with a bit of spicey hop bite.

Mouthfeel is good, above average.

Drinkability is good. Nothing special here, but it's a session worthy beer, and a decent example of the style. Certainly worth a try, this is a pretty good beer, it just didn't look all that appealing in my pilsener glass.

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Pious Monk Dunkel from Church Brew Works
3.6 out of 5 based on 267 ratings.
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