say if you throw hops in anything American craft beer drinkers will
gobble it up. But I find the same is true of anything branded as
Belgian, don’t you? The mark of Belgian (especially Abbey) seems to give
a beer some prestige. However, that doesn’t seem to work at all in the
favor of Monk in the Trunk Organic Amber Ale by Inlet Brewing Company.
It only has the faintest Abbey character; otherwise, it’s pretty mild
I poured a 12oz bottle into a red wine glass. It appears to have been bottled on 10/12/15 and cost $2.19 ($0.18 per ounce).
Appearance: More copper than amber per se, though a pretty shade that’s
mostly clear. Carbonation is noticeable at first, but it dies down
eventually. Pours to a small, off-white, foamy head which mostly
dissipates and leaves little lacing.
Smell: Lightly sweet with amber malt character and a general Belgian estery quality. Seems to be a bit oxidized, too.
Taste: When I think amber ale – be it American or Belgian – I think
pretty big flavors, especially on the malt spectrum. This beer certainly
is more malty than hoppy, but that’s not saying much since the palette
as a whole is rather boring and restrained. There are flavors akin to
herbal tea, which seems to be due to slight oxidation (sherry, lemon
lollipop flavor) and a complete lack of hops. I really get no bitterness
here at. I don’t get much in the way of Belgian yeast spiciness as
promised on the label. That’s not to say it tastes disgusting, though. I
would consider this a more neutral-tasting beer than a bad one. There’s
minor sweetness – which is nice – but not enough to really carry the
bulk of the palette.
Drinkability: At only 5.5% ABV, Monk in the Trunk is actually quite
light for a supposedly Belgian-style brew. The mouthfeel is thin, light
and the carbonation dies down quickly. It is at least smooth and there’s
slightly sweet aftertaste which isn’t bad. Still, this is too
light-bodied for its own good. Perhaps if it was bottle-conditioned it
would seem more authentic.
Here's my original video review of the beer way back in 2010: