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

355 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 355
Reviews: 146
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 12.28%
Wants: 22
Gots: 37 | 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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Ratings: 355 | Reviews: 146
Photo of BMoney575
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 3-27-09

Pours a super cloudy brown color, with a huge off-white head. Almost completely opaque, golden around the edges when you hold it to the light. Lacing is thick and chunky, and coats the entire glass.

Smell is unbelievable. Tons of chocolate, dark fruit, and malted milk balls. Very complex, without a Belgian edge. Sweet, but not overpowering.

Taste is sour malt at first, with good deal of alcohol. The flavor is a little thin in the middle, with a decently bitter finish. Not what the smell would lead you to believe.

Mouthfeel is good, creamy but with tart carbonation.

Drinkability is fine, but it's a little disappointing.

Overall, not worth the $14.99 I paid for the bottle.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Congregation Ale House in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a clear dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, dark fruit, alcohol, and some slight spice aromas. Taste is much the same with a medium amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a great aroma but the flavors just don’t match up very well.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Sloeber tulip glass.

"Monk's Brew", eh? Well, it must be true, as those two guys on the bottle are both tonsured. That's about all it takes for me. The pour is as dark as a monk's robe and has the same coloration: dark, dusty black-brown, with that lighter splash on top (normally, this would be the monk's head, but this time it's the beer's). Though he may spend quite a bit of his time praying, the monk also toils diligently in the garden. Returning, he reeks of walnuts, dust, figs, wheat, and sawdust. When he brews, he likes to assimilate many of these scents into his beers; it's what he knows, what he loves. Thus, walnuts, wheat, sawdust, raisins, dried oak, and plenty o' brown sugar pervade his concoctions. Yeah, he's heavy (there's a Hollies-based joke in there somewhere, but I'm too lazy to tease it out), but he ain't no Tuck, that fat lunatic. (Is it me, or was Friar Tuck a symbol of a greedy church looking to stick it to a strangely newly-assertive crown? Or was it the same greedy church stricken by guilt and looking to make amends? Too literary, I know, but this brew has brought these ideas out of some demented corner of my mind.) He's also not all that bubbly, but he'll always have a welcoming ear should you come a-knocking at his cell door. Although confessions with him can be spiritually uplifting, I have trouble seeing him all that often, as he is usually a bit too booze-headed.

Photo of DaveBar
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Purchased at the LCBO for a steep $4.60 for a 330ml bottle. Served at 8deg C in a tulip.

A- 4.25- Opens well and pours a ton of head that is gone in 1min. VERY dark.

S- 4.0- Roasted malt and some nuts. Caramel. Traditional quad

T- 3.75- Pretty good but not a Roch10 or anything. Priced above the 10 too! LOL

M- 3.75- Lots of carbonation. Sickly sweet and heavy

O- 3.80- Not the greatest beer especially at this price point

Food Pairing

This pretty good quad went well with...... Brazed beef short rib with root vegetables and potato

Enjoy!

Photo of Dawkfan
3.74/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Beautiful looking pour into my goblet. The body is a murky deep brown, not sure about the lacing as this head just won't quit. Really impressive!! Thick beige head never does totally settle and I can't wait any longer. Amazing retention & lacing, this deserves full marks.

S- Boozy raisins, figs, dark berries. Sweet malt backbone of toffee, caramel and burnt sugars. Not as potent as I was hoping for.

T- Not the big/bold flavors I've become accustomed to for this style. Usually I'm searching for words & descriptions because of the layers of flavors, but this one seems fairly straight forward. Dark fruits hit first, cherries, rasins, plums and figs followed by a somewhat spicy sugary chewy type finish. There's an odd kind of bitterness that lingers as well. The alcohol is very well masked.

M- Medium to full bodied mouthfeel, carbonation feels a touch to high to me. There's a sugary/sticky type feel as well.

D- Not nearly as complex as most of the better quads, which happen to be one of my favorite styles. It was easy to get down for 10%, and I'd have it again just to gaze at it's appearance.

Photo of bkilpatr
3.72/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Chimay glass. Bottle is corked & caged. Cork has 07/04/14 printed on it. Cork came out with a decent pop.

Pours a deep dark mahogany brownish-black color. About a finger of tan head was produced. The head slowly settled to a thin layer. Decent retention and lacing. Aroma is sweet malt, biscuit, dark fruit (raisin, fig, date, plum), brown sugar, and a touch of alcohol.

The first sip is quite tasty. Flavors of sweet malt, candied sugar, raisin, fig, and chocolate. After that comes the familiar Belgian yeasty bread taste. The flavor is a bit heavy on the fruit taste, and has a strong alcohol taste to it.

Feel is very nice. Smooth and creamy yet well-carbonated. No lingering aftertaste. Some warming from the alcohol. Drinkability is decent. The alcohol is definitely noticeable.

Overall, a pretty good Quad. Might be a bit much for one person though, I recommend splitting with a friend or two.

Photo of fairdinkum2
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm a little conflicted over this beer. Certainly one of my favorite styles and this beer pours and smells very much according to the style. Dark, chocolaty, translucent brown. Poured from a pint bottle into a tulip glass. Not much head or retention.

Nose of dried fruits, sweet bread and chocolate.

A little surprised with the taste. Expected more sweetness. Lots of coffee, some dried fruit, but not the depth I was hoping for. Also exhibited a not entirely pleasant bitter nuance at the back palate. Decent mouthfeel.

Photo of kojevergas
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into me Guinness goblet at me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Mikkeller is me favourite brewery in the world and I love quads so I'm really excited for this and I have very high expectations. Labelled a "Dark Ale" on the bottle; I'll review this as a quad per the site but I'm always suspicious of Beeradvocate's categorization.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured in a standard manner; no carbonation issues are anticipated.

I enjoyed the Mikkel-as-monk artwork on the label.

A: Pours a one finger head of nice cream, good thickness, and good retention - especially considering the high ABV and the serving vessel. Retains for at least three minutes, but I can't wait that long to try it. Colour is an extremely dark ruby-black. Nontransparent but not opaque. Floating yeast particles are visible and abundant. I'm surprised at how dark its colour is given the style.

Sm: Cherry and berry fruit esters, cream, plums, biscuity malts, clean light malts, rich cream, and complex yeast aromas. A marvellous aroma. Really gets me excited to drink it. Subtle. A mild strength aroma. I'd like it stronger; it's quite pleasant, alive, and inviting.

T: Plums, heavy raisin, dark berry esters, very restrained dark cherry (not tart at all), some light caramelization tones, clean dark malts, complex biscuity yeasts, cream, biscuit malt, a bready note (but not in a thick sense), and hints of grape. Quite complex, with some layering but not as much as I'd like. Subtle but still understated. Nicely balanced but perhaps not as full bodied a flavour profile as would be ideal. It comes off feeling a bit empty near the climax because not that much additional flavour comes through. No alcohol is detectable.

Pleasant and enjoyable. It isn't unique, but it's certainly special. A well built quadrupel, but not incredible. This might be great with some red wine aging.

I noticed towards the bottom third of the bottle that a chocolate flavour crept in. I don't know how a chocolate flavour could be connected to yeast content, but I observed and verified this phenomenon.

Mf: Delightfully creamy throughout. Very smooth and wet, rolling across the palate nicely and staying out of the way of the flavour profile. The cream in particularly is subtly complementary of the flavours without intruding on them. A bit thin.

The raisin seems to dry out the climax somewhat, a nice touch but an awkwardly executed one.

Dr/Ov: Very drinkable, especially for the ABV - which is incredibly well hidden. I would certainly have this again, preferably aged or on-draught (the former more than the latter). As noted above, red wine aging might make this great.

This drank just fine out of me Guinness goblet, but if I had it again I might go for a goblet with a wider mouth. I wouldn't recommend a snifter for this one; the aroma is nice but it isn't integral and doesn't need trapping.

B

Photo of brendan13
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured from the 750ml bottle a very dark brown with a couple of centimetres of light tan head that falls away very fairly quickly.
S - Dark fruits and spicy Belgian yeast notes.
T - Dark fruit, some caramel malt, a hint of dark chocolate and spicy esters. A herbal hop character.
M - Medium bodied, medium to high carbonation.
D - A 10% beer that is rather lacking in the body & complexity that I'd expect from a Quad. Quite drinkable but probably my least favourite from this brewery and certainly not a great example of the style.

Photo of BeanBone
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A thick dark brown, very nearly black, body capped by a finger and a half of beige head that features solid retention and great lacing.

Aroma: Dark-fruity yeast and a rich caramel malt body with notes of sticky toffee pudding and burnt sugar. As it warms, a medium alcohol character begins to emerge.

Flavor: Raisiny and date-like yeast esters over a malt body featuring toffee, burnt sugar, and a couple of grainy notes. Mild, herbal hops strive to keep everything balanced. There's a little bit of mild alcohol throughout, adding some needed complexity. Dark fruit, grainy malt, and mild booze in the finish.

Mouthfeel: A somewhat creamy medium body with smooth medium carbonation and a drying finish. A few hints of warmth from the alcohol.

Drinkability: Much easier drinking than the double-digit alcohol content would suggest, this is a beer that can sneak up on you if you're not careful.

Verdict: Monk's Brew is a solid, though generally unexciting dark Belgian that would benefit greatly from more intensity. Just watch out for that well-hidden punch!

Photo of mdfb79
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 01/02/11 notes. Brought to a local tasting by Travir (RB); thanks Gene!

a - Pours a mahogany brown color with an inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dark fruits, raisins, and bready malts.

t - Tastes of raisins, bready malts, and dark fruits, and alcohol.

m - Light body and moderate carbonation.

d - A nice, above average quad. Would like to have again.

Photo of SleepyMonk
3.64/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chilled 750ml bottle, caged cork with silver/chrome aluminum foil wrap poured into a Westmalle Chalice.

Pours a very regal dark chocolate syrup color very reminiscent of an espresso. A thin (1 finger) lightly tan head bubbles to the surface and sticks together for a reasonable period of time leaving behind a very even spread lacing.

Aroma is very easily defined. Tasty roasted malts, baked dough, freshly fire gazed brown sugar and dried dark fruits.

Taste is more of the same, malt in all forms and well balanced with a complimentary ester. If you can bother to play around with this in the mouth, i.e. dragging some air in with each sip etc, you can get the sweetness from sugar and molasses plus some nice fruit notes.

In the mouth this is just short of full bodied and very smooth. The alcohol didn't have as much impact as I initially expected it would.

Overall this looks the business, the aroma is very good and the taste is world class, however, it lacked that extra 10% that would make this a straight up classic worthy of shouting the house down. Maybe a little careful aging may help as the dynamic certainly shifts a little in the taste department after this is allowed to move up towards room temp.

Hey, you could do a lot worse than drinking a Mikkeller, so if you've been wondering I recommend giving it a run.

Photo of codewarrior
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL poured into a Tulip.

My friend T brought this out at a recent tasting, was the first bottle to be poured out.

L: Mahogany, bordering on black, half-finger creamy off-white head. Great retention.

S: Slow start into a big caramel middle, fades back off into a watery-sweet finish. Smells a might thin.

T: Starts slow and then gently builds into a mellow but huge sweetness. Tails off into a lingering boozy sweetness. A touch thin, again, but good.

F: Not as thick as I would expect, but not terrible.

D: Really drinkable quad.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by RoyMunson.

Pours a very dark brown in color with ruby highlights. Just the slightest of heads forming on the pour.
Smell is some belgian yeast, but the smell is dominated by rich, ripe dark fruits. Mostly plum and what seems to be black cherries as well. Very fruity.
Taste is even more of the dark fruit onslaught. Really encompasses most of the beer. Tends to get a little bitter in the middle. Still pretty full and enjoyable. Decent beer. I feel it needed something to detract from the dominant fruit flavor.

Photo of Crosling
3.59/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark ruby/burgundy color with a full head that forms interesting shapes. Aroma is pretty vibrant and shows some juicy dark fruits. Flavor has some hints of banana to accompany the dark fruit notes. It is lacking in body and texture for me. Hmmm, it's pretty good. Young right now. Somewhat disappointing in that it isn't in the same league as some of the better Belgian strongs, but it's still a tasty, well brewed Belgian style ale, certainly better than almost all American versions.

Photo of ccrida
3.57/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml foiled champagne bottle (bottle stamped 07/04/11), Monk's Brew is a murky chestnut with a small off-white head that quickly subsides to a large bubbled collar that leaves very light lace.

Smell is very grape like, even as it warms, I really dont' get more then grape soda, perhaps a bit less sweet malt. It's appealing, but not necessarily as beer, or even a really fruity quad. While I really dig it, it seems way to simple and one dimensional. Or maybe I'm being to much of a beer snob? Fanta grape is one of my all time favorite soda's (2nd to Cherokee Red), but not necessarily what I look for in quad's, or any beer for that matter.

Taste is also very heavy on the grape fruitiness, malt/sugar/esters. Like the nose, it's kool-aide with a bit of spiciness to remind you it's beer, but nevertheless very unusual, if quite tasty. Still, it's a bit too much, and lacking depth, even after at least a few month's in my cellar.

Mouthfeel is very fully carbonated, lush.

Drinkability is ok, I always expect too much from the De Proef brewed Mikkeller's, but they never really measure up, and this one is no exception. While it's pretty tasty, it seems like all caramelized sugar and esters, which is fine, if not that sophisticated. IIRC, the price isn't helping the score either. The bottom line is it took a long while to work through, and I wasn't carving another, ever.

Photo of falloutsnow
3.56/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap on 2010-10-20 at Max & Joe's in Omaha, NE.
Served in a flute glass.

Arrives with a tall, dense head composed of fairly small bubbles. Head retention is excellent, and lacing alongside the glass is above average, too. Body is dark brown, opaque, with some visible carbonation.

Scent is of syrupy prunes and candy sugar, perhaps hints of dried figs and raisins, too. Hides the ethanol well. This isn't particularly complex, but seems to be above average for the style.

Taste of similarly syrupy prunes, sweet malts, faint chocolate and anise. Ethanol appears as it warms. Not as pleasing or complex as Rochefort or Bernardus, but still tasty.

Body is medium weight. Fairly smooth with good matching carbonation levels. No real warmth from the ethanol. Finish is dry and slightly syrupy. Mouthfeel becomes a bit watery with increasing temperature. A bit disappointing here.

This was an OK quadrupel, something I'm glad to have tried, but don't feel an amazing need to revisit again.

Photo of BlazerT
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Teku glass/trappis glass.
A: Very dark copper, medium, light tan colour head with good lacing.

S: Complex malty sweetness - caramel, toast. Moderate, perfumy alcohols aroma. Moderatly low dark fruits esters - plum, rasins, dried cherry. No recognizable hop aroma.

T: In taste very malty complex, bread/toast malts, moderatly sweet. Low bitterness. Finish is semi-sweet to sweet with characteristic dried fruit esters.

M: Medium to high carbonation. Medium to full body. Oily texture. Alcohol warmth is not as noticable, as its perfumy aroma, it’s rather smooth.

O: In overall complex malty beer, not the ideal because of too perfumy alcohol aroma, and too little dried fruits. Worth trying.

Photo of Chico1985
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750ml split amongst peoples.

A - Very dark red pour with some haze, not much clarity. Lots of beige foam eventually falls to a thick splotchy cap with lots-o-lacing.

S - Apple and raisin, red grape, touch of caramelly bread and molasses, alcohol. Kind of faint overall.

T - Big red grape, sharp boozy raisin, anise, candi sugar, some peppery spice, molasses. An improvement over the scent, but a bit muddled and boozy.

M - Pretty hefty, almost syrupy, handles all the foamy carbonation quite well. It's a bit hot, moreso than expected.

O - Some pretty good waves of sugary dark fruit spice flavors, but the syrupy sweetness and booziness kinda drag this down for me.

Photo of rtaps
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a mahogany with a good khaki head, minimal lacing and decent detention.

smell was very "hot" fruity and dark candy

taste of black licorice and fruity mix

full bodied with med-high carb

overall this was a decent beer nothing impressive.

Photo of cpmichael
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a New Belgium Tulip, No noticeable date.

A: Pours a very dark brown, especially for a quad. A medium amount of mocha head, that dissipates slowly.

S: Dominated by spicy/clove smell, with some sweet malts, raisins and plums, and some chocolate.

T: A watered down quad with some coffee and baker's chocolate. A small amount of hops come through on the end. The alcohol is well masked, but it does not save this beer's flavor.

M/D: There is a medium amount of carbonation in this bottle, but it just seems flat and watery. Not a good representation of a quad at all. Nothing complex, it seems like there is no cohesiveness with the flavors, they don't mix well together and none of them stand very well on their own. Not a drainpour, but not a very good beer either.

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nose is slightly sour and vinegary, softly malty and chocolaty, with some alcohol. Smells a little creamy. Smells pretty good.

Pours clear very dark brown with very mild head. Looks pretty good.

Flavor follows nose with a good bit of sweetness. Soft notes of vinegar and sourness. Soft spicy/peppery flavor. Soft malt - dark but not highly roasted - caramel and toast, chocolate and coffee. Medium-thin body with next to no carbonation. Tastes pretty good. Feels pretty good. Pretty good drinkability.

Tastes young, especially with the level of raw-tasting sweetness it has.

Photo of Spineypanda
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Has a dark brown color with a nice large head. Big a fluffy!
Smells of yeasts and some esters that give it an alcohol smell, but not an overwhelming one. Has a bit of the roasted malts smell and some caramel.
Tastes like it has some dark fruits to it, a bit of the caramel taste, but an overall great flavor.

I will enjoy again.

Photo of jdklks
3.41/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one was a let down from a brewery that is quickly becoming one of my favorites. The appearance is dark brown with light highlights on the edges and through the middle when backlit. The head was almost non-existent, but what did foam was a dark shade of tan (not quite getting to brown). The aroma (much like the taste unfortunately) is enormously underwhelming. Some beligian yeast (not much), some figs and perhaps apricot, a little brown sugar sweetness, and alcohol. Not all that impressed.

The flavor is not nearly as complex as I've come to expect from the style. The brown sugar that usually highlights the overall sweetness in the style (especially complimenting the dark fruits) is burnt and not all that pleasant. Belgian yeast and alcohol are about all that remain after the roasty sugars have had their way. Not complex at all. "Safe" would describe what Mikkeller has done with the style, and safe is not at all THEIR style. What happened here??? no one knows.

Mouthfeel is a little undercarbonated and, perhaps because of this, too syrupy for a quad. The drinkability is so-so. I finished the bottle, but wouldn't want any more.

Photo of peabody
3.39/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours out like a good quad with 1/2 finger of off-white suds. Not a lot of lacing but very nice legs. A root beer color but much more cloudy.
Smell is caramel and fig with a very malty and sugary aroma.
Taste is very odd here. Kind of a bitterness like an IPA and not much maltysugars like are in the smell. You really can't taste the alcohol but you can feel it. Like a bourbon/scotch flavor added in there to booze it up.
Mouthfeel is fairly clean and only the last bit, after the alcohol has left,there is a slight stickyness. NOt a sweet stickyness,
Drinkability would be OK if it tasted more like a good quad.
Not really that good.

Monk's Elixir (Monk's Brew) from Mikkeller ApS
88 out of 100 based on 355 ratings.