Since it's been terribly frightful outside, I was seeking something cheery. So it was off to the store with the notion, "I'm going to sample a beer or two completely new to me." This imbibing experiment is usually good for a pick-me-up, but either because I was solely focused on that outcome - or because I had too high expectations for Brasserie Dupont's Monk Stout - I ended up being disappointed.

Since itís been terribly frightful outside, I was seeking something cheery. So it was off to the store with the notion, ďIím going to sample a beer or two completely new to me.Ē This imbibing experiment is usually good for a pick-me-up, but either because I was solely focused on that outcome ó or because I had too high expectations for Brasserie Dupontís Monk Stout ó I ended up being disappointed.

The main reason I had such high hopes for the Monk Stout was its combination of two beer styles Iím particularly fond of ó Belgians and stouts. Also, this combination has been highly pleasing in the past, especially because the Belgian stout can offer a (slightly weird) bevy of flavor profiles.

Unfortunately, the Monk Stout didnít trade in eccentricities or complexity. Instead, this Belgian stout was a straight-forward execution. With a fairly potent roasted bitterness dominating every aspect of the beer, the Monkís Stout was, simply put, hardly great.

The most appealing aspect of the beer is the crispness, something not generally associated with a stout. It provided the Monkís Stout a refreshing quality that helped taper the heaping dark coffee notes. Itís a shame Brasserie Dupont went overboard with these notes, because the bitter-then-boozy sweetness of a commendable stout is what makes the style so wonderful.

Alas, the Monkís Stout isnít a typical stout. The beer is more focused on its dry, yet crisp and sessionable (5.25 ABV) appeal. Itís not a stout you want to leisurely sip a pint of for an hour. Once the effervescence simmers down, that bitterness is too much.

But Iím not going to be too hard on the Monk Stout. This is a fine example of a dry stout, which has its merits. I could actually see myself enjoying this beer, sitting outside on a warm day. The Monk Stout is extremely brisk and refreshing, but it would really benefit from a more diverse flavor profile.

[Jesse Tigges photo]