It feels like the first weekend of the summer that we haven’t had much going on. I’ve been editing video of the family cruise we took in June and am getting ready for a work trip to San Diego next week. In preparation for this trip, I decided to crack open this growler from Monkish from my sisters trip to California a couple months ago. She texted me from Monkish and this Belgian Tripel
brewed with pistachios, vanilla and coffee sounded interesting.
Location: Poured from the 750ml growler into a TEKU pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 9.8% ABV, ~380 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s a solid golden color with some copper highlights and it’s very clear. It has a good amount of carbonation in it, giving it a big white head that fell after a minute, and leaving almost no head for the rest of the drink. The aroma is mostly coffee with some vanilla and earthiness underneath.
Taste & Feel: The body is medium and the mouthfeel is smooth and feels lightly oily. Up front, it has a bit of a malty sweetness mixed with a matching amount of coffee flavor. In the middle, the sweetness grows with a little bit of bitterness coming up as well. The finish is semi-sweet with mostly coffee flavors with some vanilla close behind. If I didn’t know there was pistachio in it, I wouldn’t know what the notes were in the background, but the pistachio flavor comes through a bit as well. However, in the aftertaste, it’s a vanilla sweet coffee flavor that lasts for a minute or two.
Food Pairing: This is an interesting beer with mostly coffee flavors, but layered with some vanilla as well. I think this would be a perfect pairing for something like a tiramisu or cannoli, but as far as something savory, I’d probably pair it with a steak to layer in the flavors from the beer.
Overall Impression: This beer stuck out on the menu for me, due to the unique mix of ingredients: pistachios, vanilla and coffee – all in a golden beer, a Belgian tripel. While these aren’t necessarily flavors I would have thought about putting together, it was a good mix with layered complexity. It’s easy for coffee flavors to dominate a beer, and while it was quite prominent in this beer, it was light enough that the other flavors were able to come through. This was a very good, complex, unique beer, and I’m hoping I can get more Monkish beers soon.