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Monk's Elixir (Monk's Brew) - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Monk's Elixir (Monk's Brew)Monk's Elixir (Monk's Brew)

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BA SCORE
88
very good

346 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 346
Reviews: 144
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 12.28%
Wants: 22
Gots: 35 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website
Denmark

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-22-2008

Brewed at De Proef Brouwerij, Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium.

Ingredients: Water, malt (pilsner and pale), candy syrup, cassonade sugar, hops (northern brewer, hallertauer and styrian goldings), ale yeast
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 346 | Reviews: 144
Photo of Gehrig
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the great Crane Alley in Urbana, IL.

One and one-half fingers of dark tan froth top a deep brown body with ruby trim; ample lacing and good duration start out this experience quite right. Excellent, aromatic beer--lots of cherry, grape, chocolate, and caramel.

The taste is good, but doesn't quite deliver the promise that the nose portends. Plenty of fruit present, no doubt; some chocolate malt in tow, and a good balance between sweet and sour, the latter of which primarily appears in the finish. Some dried fruit emerge with some patience as well, especially fig and raisin. But it's not quite as rich as I had hoped; good stuff, no question, but not quite top-notch Quad territory.

The mouthfeel is revealing on this, for it's a bit flat. Definitely, Monk's Elixir could use more effervescence, which makes some of the Quads as great as they are--3P, The Reverend, St. Bernardus Abt. 12, Rochefort 10 definitely come to mind as exhibiting a better mouthfeel, in good part to better effervescence.

Overall, though, this is a very good Quad, very much in the tradition of Rochefort. A bit more flavor, a bit more effervescence, and this would be top flight. As it is, however, it is no slouch and is well worth enjoying. That the 10% ABV scarcely appears is a testament to its quality.

Quite enjoyable!

Photo of glid02
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Leon's Full Service in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy golden-brown color with a one-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of grainy caramel malts with solid amounts of raisins and brown sugar. As the beer warms the aroma sweetens up a bit and alcohol is noticeable.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth caramel malt flavors up front are joined quickly by booze-soaked figs and raisins. Midway through the sip the fruit flavors fade a bit and brown sugar and heavier molasses flavors make an appearance. The molasses and caramel malt flavors carry through to a mildly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I wasn't a huge fan of this beer as it seemed heavy on the malt side and the fruit flavors weren't as well integrated as the better beers of the style. Still, it's a solid beer and it's worth a shot to see for yourself.

Photo of avalon07
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a dark brown color and a thick texture. There was a big, foamy, off white, long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: A good aroma of yeast, malt, hops and a sweet component.

T: Tasted of Belgian yeast, malt, a slight hoppy presence, and a syrupy quality. Some alcohol esters present as well. A solid and surprisingly subtle flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a super dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: In general, this is an all around good, drinkable beer.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a - opened the 750 and poured into my La Trappe chalice (damn that cork was tough to get out). Poured a nice shiny plum purple with a frothy, yet bubbly head. looks pretty good to style and has an almost authentic head unlike many quads that don't originate in belgium.

s - much sweeter than i had expected. really candy like. fruit punch, grape ade. kind of creamy. smells like a solid quad with some sweet added. inviting for sure.

t - much spicier than the nose suggests. in fact the sweetness is swapped out for tart bitterness and first. as the brew opens up, a lot of wonderful other characteristics come out. dark fruits, plums, raisins...somewhat classic just peppery.

m - nice rich full mouth. i can let the beer sit in my mouth and really sop it up. the aftertaste is overly bitter at first, but once my palette warmed up to the beer the authentic quad creaminess really came through.

d - was really in the mood for a quad tonight. at first my nose told me this would be too sweet, then my initial first sip told me it was too bitter...then when my tastes buds dug into the beer, it really became the beer that i was hoping to enjoy tonight. the creaminess and body are like many classics and the flavor, although on the bitter side, really hit the mark. this is a solid beer...in a style where this is stiff competition.

Photo of Walbert_Neto
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"I'm like a monk with a taste for hookers."

--Moby

Caramel brown with generous highlights of crimson and orange. The golden beige colored crown was four full fingers following the pour and is persisting nicely. It looks even better as it melts and is no slouch at the laying down of lace.

The nose is darker than a Belgian amber and lighter than a Belgian dark. Since pale and pils malt don't provide a 'dark' color, aroma or flavor, those characteristics have to be coming from turbinado (cassonade) sugar and/or dark sugar syrup. The yeast is an estery beast, which is why the score is what it is.

This is very good beer that is kept from being world-class by a less than stellar mouthfeel. It tastes more like a BSDA than a quad. Then again, I never really have figured out the definite boundaries of the quadrupel style... assuming they exist. If the Belgians aren't sticklers, why should we be? Yes, I know that Mikkeller is a Danish brewery, but this ale was brewed in Belgium (at De Proef Brouwerij).

The flavor profile includes dark caramel, raisins, figs, a wee dollop of molasses, anise and clove. That's quite the feat given the ingredients list. The only explanation is that Belgian yeast is magical in the right hands. Sweet, bitter and spicy are balanced in beautiful fashion and the alcohol is buried without a trace.

With a bona fide Belgianesque mouthfeel, there's no doubt in my mind that the third and fifth scores (and the fourth, obviously) would be at least one notch higher. There simply isn't enough carbonation to keep the beer inflated and whipped creamy once it hits the tongue. Depth and complexity, as always, suffer.

Monk's Brew (U.S.)/Monk's Elixir (non-U.S.) is Mikkeller's homage to the great Trappist ales of Belgium. They deserve kudos for aiming high and for almost pulling it off. If you're a fan of this brewery and love BSDAs as much as I do, then the purchase price is well worth it. Bottom line: a few bubbles away from potential greatness.

Photo of BobZ
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Ruddy brown with a nice 1" head that recedes to about a 1/4". A few yeasty floaties.

Smell: Dark fruit sweetness with molasses..

Taste: To style, dark raisin flavor with molasses an some bready malt. Well balanced complexity and like most quads it gets better as the temperature rises. The flavors all work very well together, the alcohol adds some warmth but is otherwise masked..

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy on the palate,.

Overall: A very solid example of a Belgian quad, delicious.

Photo of WesWes
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a cloudy, dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a mild caramel malt scent as well as a decent amount of fruity yeast esters. It's devoid of any alcohol aroma. In fact, the entire aroma is pretty easy going for a quad; caramel/roasted malt, candy sugar, and Belgian yeast. The taste is good as well. It is a damn easy drinking 10% abv beer. It goes down the hatch smooth with some caramel malt and candy sugar flavor as well as some Belgian yeast character. The mouthfeel is fine. It's a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This has got to be one of the easiest drinking Belgians of all time. It's so damn smooth. Hooray Beer!

Photo of ChugginOil
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap @ St. Charles Tap House. $3 draft Mondays. Yeah buddy.

Pours a very dark brown color with cola colored edging. Light tan creamy head leaves plenty of legs.

The nose is candy like with brown sugar, molasses, bread, and sicy yeast. Its smelling a bit sweet and definitely inviting.

The taste is sweet and dessert-like with candied fruit flavors. Caramel, brown sugar and plum. Tasty.

The mouthfeel is creamy and delicately smooth. My favorite characteristic of this beer.

Overall, this is a decent and surprisingly drinkable quad, given the ABV. Enjoyable and at $3, can't beat it.

Photo of RedAleMan
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DYount80
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thrill to see a bottle of this one in my fridge. Wrapped and caged I brought this one over for dinner last night. Served chilled and poured into a snifter.



Big dark brown pour here, nearly totally opaque with not much other then some light notes of reddish tint shining through on the sides and the bottom. Lots of light tan color foam on top reaches a height of around three inches then settles down nicely coating the inside of the glass. Rich notes of caramel, dark fruit, prunes, grapes, apples and a nice little bit of spice all playing off one an another quite well. Warming brings out even more sweetness and really gives it quite a bit of depth. Smooth with very subtle flavor here. Surprised there is not more of a boozy kick to be honest, but very well done here. Rich again with great fruit notes, and earthy spice like flavor and a touch of wood. Light finish, dry with a good bit of dark fruit sitting on the tongue long after the last sip.



Overall very solid, a nicely done version of the style for sure. I would have no issue at all with trying this one again, in fact I would very much like to seek it out. Nicely done as always from an always solid brewer.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours as dark as could be with about an inch head after a pretty careful pour. The head started fading after the pour, but was at least half its original height after a solid minute. There is already some lacing left on the glass after the head falls. The head never completely disappeared, and ended up as a creamy tan layer on top that left a solid wall of lace after drinking the beer.

Aroma: I initially got a whole lot of the sweet dark fruit wholesommy goodness that you get with the Belgian Strong Dark series. So far so good. As the head falls a bit, there is a bit more raisin coming out and the alcohol is already making a showing in the cold beer adding some spice. There is a bit of a smokey aroma coming out as it warms that is a little unusual, but is adding complexity so it isn't screwing anything up.

Taste: The flavor follows the aroma pretty closely. There is lots of sweetness and dark fruit along with a strong alcoholic presence all mixing together to make the aroma come across like some exotic dessert...as it should be for this style. The body is light to medium, which is surprising for a beer so big. The carbonation is also high, so the beer comes across the palate dangerously drinkable. If it weren't for the lingering heat that is left on the back of the throat after the sip, it would be a subtle butt kicker. As it is, it is really well blended and the alcohol is reserved, but it is definitely there...so this still isn't a "slammer" by any means.

Opinion: This is a very good beer. I don't know how much it fits into the "quad" category versus the "strong dark" category. I would put it in the latter as it holds up against some of the great beers like St Bernardus Abt 12 and the likes...so this is not a beer to be taken lightly. That said, I prefer the blatant drinkability that you get with some of the other Strong Darks over this one as this has a relatively assertive dark malt character that isn't quite as "quaffable" as it is adding acidity and a burnt toffee note that slows down the whole drinking process. Either way, this is a very good beer and I would recommend that you pick one up and try it for yourself. It is good enough that it just may be YOUR beer.

Photo of Zraly
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A small tasting on-tap at The Birch. Served in a small snifter.

Pours a dark garnet-brown with a touch of head. Really wonderful smell of cherries and dough -- smells like a bakery.

Rich, dark fruits predominate upfront with a touch of funk and phenols to play secondary roles. The alcohol is definitely present, as well as nut note. This reminds me a bit of a black forest cake. It tastes very good but given the weight and fairly heavy body, it is a bit think toward the end of the finish.

Overall, a really nice dessert beer.

Photo of kevinlater
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle into goblet. best before "25/06/20" clearly marked on the cap, consumed on november 29, 2014

a: very interesting. the top of the beer is an opaque mahogany, but there's a kind of gradient towards the bottom of the glass where the beer turns into a transparent caramel-ruby red mix. nearly two fingers of khaki-coloured head

s: a sweet and fantastic dark fruit profile to begin with. almost vinous. grapes, rich dates, figs, plums, cherries. banana and caramel in the middle. musty-like notes toward the end. great aroma, but could benefit from being a bit stronger

t: follows the nose. a very rich, fruity, and sweet beer. the ripe dark fruits are in the front, with subtle caramel malt in the middle, and the musty, moderate bitterness at the end. alcohol tastes are well-hidden, but you can feel a bit of heat as the beer goes down. i'm even getting notes of orange/grapefruit rind somewhere near the back end. the bitterness lingers and is appropriate to balance all the richness

m: low-to-moderate, somewhat prickly carbonation. disappears as the beer warms though. light-to-medium body. mildly sticky

o: good fruit-forward quad. expensive, but worth trying

Photo of trail77
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Tiernan
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of EastBay_Nick
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours medium to dark brown with an off-white head. Aroma is caramel malt, candi sugar, alcohol and some dark fruit. Flavor is similar with a very sweet, dark fruit flavor. Alcohol is present. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not one of the best quadrupels I have tasted, but a pretty good beer overall.

Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of dogfishandi
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of PopGun
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of skholbrook1982
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev +2.3%

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Monk's Elixir (Monk's Brew) from Mikkeller ApS
88 out of 100 based on 346 ratings.