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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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

146 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 146
Hads: 365
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 25
Gots: 39 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website

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
View: Beers (275) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 146 | Hads: 365
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazed brown with a white head.
Smells of fruit, leather, must, stale breath.
In the taste, sugary with figs and brown sugar.
Nice Trappist abbey vibe going on here.
Medium bodied, medium carbonation.
Overall, this is a good abbey style quad, much better than the usual American craft versions of the style. Definitely worth checking out.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into chalice; no bottle dating, but likely at least a few years old.. Pours hazy extremely dark brown, almost black color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass; with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big raisin, prune, molasses, cocoa, toast, pepper, clove, toffee, roasted malt, dark bread, dark candi sugar, dark earthiness, and yeast spiciness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark malt and spicy yeast esters. Taste of raisin, prune, date, cocoa, molasses, toast, toffee, dark bread, dark candi sugar, light clove, and dark earthiness. Lingering notes of dark fruit, cocoa, molasses, toast, toffee, dark bread, dark candi sugar, light clove, and dark earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice balance and complexity of robust dark malt flavors with fruity/spicy yeast esters; and zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy and slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish; but still definitely a slow sipper. Overall this is an excellent Quadrupel style. Great balance, complexity, and robustness of dark malt and fruity yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on slowly. A very enjoyable offering; this ages very nicely.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
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!

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Photo of akorsak
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A corked and caged 750 mL bottle.

A: The quad is a dark chocolate syrup brown, very viscous with a mildly off-white head that laces all around the mouth of the glass.

S: Belgian chocolate and raisins, lots of dark aromas, drink the nose. The yeast strain screams 'Trappist' with a forboding complexity that I needed a while to place.

T: The taste is as compelling as the nose, a Trappist clone that hits all the right notes. Dark alefruits, driven by yeasty critters and an overabundance of candi sugars. Lots of raisin flavors here. A pleasant hop aftertaste settles down the sweetness.

M: The mouthfeel is very dark, loaded with rich fruit and sweet elements. The yeast has put in overtime in this beer.

D: At 10%, this is a sipping beer. I've enjoyed it over the past hour and a half and look forward to another hour.

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Photo of biegaman
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is so dark and murky that frankly it's senseless to try and attach it a colour. If we should try perhaps very deep brown is as close as we'll come, although to the light very faint hints of cranberry can be noted. The splotch of head and yeast sediment that stands alone in the center of my glass resembles a solitary nebula in deep space.

I'm glad I've started reviewing the beer at a warmer temperature because notes of chocolate-covered raisin and port-macerated prune have only become unhitched as of recently. Granted, the aroma is not dynamic but it isn't dull either. It has dark, sticky malts and dark, sticky fruits as well as maybe a hint of sugar and spice. Very good.

The beer was supposedly inspired by the Trappist monasteries - and it tastes like it. Looking to my notes of the Rochefort 10, the Westvleteren 12 and St. Bernardus 12 I can remark similar characteristics of raisin paste, ginger glazed squash, plum pudding, sticky toffee pudding, vintage Italian reds, peanut brittle, lavender tea and the taste of whole grain bread, toasted and smeared with some sort of prune, raisin or currant jam.

The mouthfeel has the sweetness of caramel-coated nuts, the booze-accented complexities of an Hors d'age Armagnac and the spiciness of a time-honoured Belgian yeast. The afterthought gives mention to dried and preserved fruits (prune, apple) as well as spices (vanilla, cocoa) and nuts (almond, hazelnut, Brazil nut).

If this thing were talking religion it could probably get me to convert. Still, I'm not sure I'm ready to consider Monk's Elixir as good as all the authentic monks' brews but I'll grant it that it's a hell of a forgery! If it were cheaper (which it's definitely not!) it would certainly make a worthy substitute to those Belgian greats. And apparently you don't have to be Belgian to brew a quality Quad; the Danish must be a pious group of beer-drinkers!

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Photo of SpecsBEERMAN
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a cork finished 750ML bottle.

Pours a deep brown color with ample tight and creamy tan head. The aroma is slightly fruity, mostly raisin, fig and plum. The taste profile consists of the same, slightly sweet and fruity. I hate to sound like a Bud Light commercial, but this beer's drinkability is through the roof. light bodied, yet full flavored beer that lets her hair down and reveals the alcohol content as she warms up.

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Photo of lmaduells
4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A beer that promised, but compared to quadruple tradiocionals, is back. Lacks depth, complexity, flavors, beer is a little worked. A bit disappointing, while being a good beer.

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Photo of megahurts4
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mikkeller Monk's Brew (also known as Monk's Elixir)

Appearance: Dark brown (orange tint) with good lacing.

Smell: Prunes, dark fruits, and roasted malts.

Taste: Prunes, dark fruits, very subtle hops, and warm roasted malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light and smooth.

Bottom line:
This is a very good beer. It is very smooth and inviting. This has a very pleasant flavor that will make you want more. It is not hoppy like other Mikkellers. There is a very slight sweetness in with the slight-bitter finish.

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Photo of henkmudi
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, long lasting light brown head. Raspberries, wood, fruits, chocolate and wine. Sour at start, sweet all the way after, with bitter strong and acidic finish. Medium body and carbonation. Nicely balanced with a great barrels and fruits at mouth feel. Caramel yeast and wood prevail later. Could easily drink it instead dinner.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into chalice.

Pours a murky brown, dark, with a fluffy off-white head that settles quickly into a thin creamy cap.

Nose is dark fruit and brown sugar, with some yeast coming through as well.

Taste is light. Some doughy brown sugar up front, lots and lots of dark fruit/raisins. Hint of cocoa. Very light, earthy bitterness towards the finish. Almost no alcohol in taste, but a bit spicy and warming on the finish. Lacks depth and complexity for the size of the beer. On the flip side, still quite flavorful, and very drinkable for a 10% beer.

Carbonation is light, delicate, a bit fluffy, medium bodied.

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Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml into Chalice.

A. Poured a well carbonated 3 finger head. Thick lacing. Very good retention. Color is a dark ruby brown.

S. Nice quad smell. Dark fruit, spices, belgian yeast. Has the nice dark grape aroma of good quads. Smells very sweet and appealing. Really good aroma. Complex and inviting.

T. Taste is very good as well. Dark fruit. Nice sweetness. Pretty impressed with this beer. Lacks some of the complexity of the very top Quads.

M. Medium bodied. Well carbonated. Finishes with just a bit of lingering sweetness.

O. Overall I am pretty surprised at the quality of this beer. Great aroma. Good taste. Missing some of the complexity of the very best quads. This is one that I would definitely seek out again. I like that it is a touch on the sweet side.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

330 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO; best before June 25 2020. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours a dark, brownish-amber colour with some lovely crimson tinges under the light. It's crowned with one finger of creamy, resilient light beige-coloured head that very gradually recedes into a thinner, lumpier cap and collar. The aroma is rich and yeasty, offering up fruity notes of prune, raisin/red grape, fig and cherry, all atop a backbone of sugary caramel sweetness. Minor hints of cocoa and anise are also detectable. Not bad at all, but still tame for a quad.

Delicious, malty, strong and complex; exactly what I am looking for in this style. Treacle and candi sugar are a constant underlying presence, but it is the range of dark fruits that demands my taste buds' attention. Flavours of plum, red grape and black cherry are loudly and clearly present, in addition to banana, fig and apple flesh. A mild note of chocolate is soon overtaken by a spicy finish that includes a mixture of clove and anise, accompanied by an herbal bitterness. The aftertaste includes a roasted note, which slowly fades into a raisiny booziness. On the lighter side of full-bodied, with rather weak carbonation levels that provide this abbey-style ale with a smooth, creamy feel in the mouth.

Final Grade: 4.17, an excellent A-. Monk's Brew is certainly not the best quad I've ever had, but it's still a pretty damn good one. I love the flavour profile of this one, but unfortunately it suffers from a few forgiveable flaws - namely, the relatively limp mouthfeel and (comparatively) straightforward bouquet. Like all Mikkeller beers this is not a cheap tipple, but going by the typical price point of an imported quad, it's certainly not unreasonably expensive for this market. Very good stuff, and definitely worth a try for any BSDA/Quad fans, but not world-class.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A bomber (25.4 oz.) for $14.99. Poured into a chalice.

Starts sweet but then the dark fruit dark fruit followed by faint whiskey takes over and ends with the whiskey/alcohol warming the palate. But this is not a beer with a bourbon chaser. I like this brew and at a 10+% ABV it has a great taste that will knock you on your ass if you are not careful. 4.25

A - Pours an opaque brown with garnet highlights with a one-finger tan head (halfway between rocky and mousey). Nice lacing. Minor alcohol legs. 3.75

S – Dark fruit, spicy, a bit of vanilla hidden behind everything else. 4.25

T – Malty, sweetness (not cloying), a bit of raisins and licorice, some alcohol. 4.25

MF – Med-heavy body, semi-dry finish, alcohol lasts on the palate, warming. 3.75

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Photo of becktone
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes 12-5-09

Eye: Exactly as expected; dark brown with garnet hues at the edges. Head is creamy in appearance and tan in color. Formation is nice but retention is a bit lacking, less its the glass. Sheets of lace coat the glass. I'm only left wanting for a thicker head.

Edit: Upon second pour of this beer into the Chimay goblet retention is much better, I don't think I could really ask for more from this beer in terms of appearance.

Nose: Nice dark caramel and dark malt aroma. Some dark fruit too, but quit easy going...like plums. Alcohol is noticeable, adds some sweetness. Hints at dark sugar, rumminess. Use of Belgian yeast is apparent but its hard to put a finger on any specific qualities it has besides that its belgian. No spiciness to this strain, no noticeable esters, fruitiness but thats about it. Very nice smelling, Would like it to be more potent though and a bit easier to get into.

Edit: Going back to the aroma after the first glass I'm almost getting like a milk chocolate covered dark fruit...dark cherry or raspberry...light on the chocolate though heavier on the cherry or raspberry. Nice!

Tongue: Right on for what this beer is. Some nice sweet mild colored and caramel malts at the finish, mixed with alcohol. Alcohol is evident but is a part of the style and adds to the beer, it fits. Fruitiness is underneath everything, very subtle...hints of black/sour cherries hide beneath everything creating depth. Some chocolate from darker malts is in here too. After a bit the alcohol starts to become annoying. If only it were hidden better....still nice to drink though, but.... I'm getting some slight spice from the alcohol, like a light white pepper. Balance for sweetness and underlying dark fruit comes from alcohol. Overall a very nice beer

Feel and Drinkability: Finish is dry, leaving alcohol on the palate, leaving the palate wanting another drink to soothe it. Medium heavy on the palate, not quite as full as I expected it to be. First of all, I mean full for a belgian is different than full for a RIS, but still, I think that this one is a bit lesser than what I'd expected. Carbonation is low, which is good, adds to a fuller body. I'll definitely enjoy the rest of this beer, and I'm glad I picked this one up. Definitely worth it, however I'll prolly not visit it again anytime soon. I think there are better out there...Rochefort 10... but still a solid offering, well more than solid, great. One bottle is enough, don't think I could drink more than one 750 in a sitting, and I'm prolly not meant to, thats why its packaged this way.

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Photo of FLima
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color, poured 3 fingers of head with a long retention.
Predominant sour and fruity aroma.
Caramel taste with hints of citrics, lemon type, and cherries and plum. Also, notes of licorice and fig. Mildly sour and acid. Aftertaste is a bit dry. Its 10.5% ABV is well hidden.
Light to medium body with light carbonation and small bubbles.
Really interesting and surprising beer, it smells sour but when you taste it, it is just like someone added just a few lemon drops. I hope they did not target to do a copy of Belgian Quads, which is not Mikkeller’s style, I believe they just got a base to brew something new and challenging. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of STEG
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A special thanks to jefferz5000 for trading this to me.

Looks as a quad should, deep brown, ruby highlights when held up to the light. Creamy one finger off white head with moderate retention dissipates to a collar of bubbles.

Smell has sugar cookie, molasses, wheat bread and some dark fruits, a typical quad nose.

Taste has some breadiness up front and then there's almost a cooling mint like sensation that permeates throughout the progression. It ends with some bready yeast flavors and that odd cooling presence.

Mouthfeel is silky with mild carbonation a tad bit too light for me though.

Highly drinkable given the ABV, I will easily finish this.

Thanks Jeff

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Photo of smcolw
4.19/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Minor head but typical of the style. Some spots as lace. The color is a cloudy neutral brown.

Awesome smell of roasted malts. Comes across as molasses without being too sweet. Beautiful.

This sweet but not overwhelming. There's a touch of bittering hop that provides balance without deviating from the style. Rich as one would expect.

This is a special brew worth seeking out.

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Photo of theboozecruise
4.19/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml corked bottle into a Chimay tulip glass. Not much pop on the cork, and not much head on the pour. I sure hope I didn't get a bad bottle.

The appearance is a dark brown with hints of crimson... what little head there was was a tannish color, but didn't last long.

A smell that brings about what I'd expect from a Belgian Quad, a little malt, a definite alcohol presence, a lot of fruit in the aroma. Very nice aroma.

The taste is more of the same, no surprises. Very well balanced but nothing that blows you away either. Fantastic mouthfeel, the carbonation is present despite the fears that I had a flat bottle.

Hard to give it more than a 4.0 on the drinkability... the alcohol presence is there and the taste is pretty strong, but I'm sure going to enjoy wiping out this 750ml of beer.


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Photo of BGDrock
4.2/5  rDev +8%

Appearance: medium brown and dull red body - like strawberry juice; satiny, fine head, sticky but not much retention; hazy

Aroma: light; stewed dark fruit - prune, dark cherry, raisin

Taste & Mouthfeel: loads of caramel, deep and rich, pairing nicely with dark fruit flavours - raisin, plum, dates; medium body and the heat of 10% alcohol is warming and pleasant; delicate carbonation adds a layer of sophistication; acidic, slightly tart finish cuts the sugary sweetness nicely

Overall: great ale with some well developed fruity notes, but not quite the depth of flavour to match the best of the style

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy dark brown with beautiful ruby highlights when held to light. Huge fluffy off white head persists forever. Smells of dark fruits, brown sugar, spicy yeast, and a touch of alcohol. Taste is very nice with lots of dark fruits, spices, sweet malts, maybe a touch of alcohol. Mouthfeel is creamy and a little syrupy, body is full, carbonation is crisp but not overpowering. I liked this one a lot.

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Photo of bnes09
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Milk chocolate brown color. Very hazy. Pours an enormous , Irish cream-colored head which sticks around forever. Leaves silky lace reminants all over the glass.

Huge, malty, caramel aroma with hints of oak, bourbon and yeast.

Flavor follows the nose. Malt quality is dense with figs, dates and caramel. Mild hop presence suggesting herbs and leaves. Hint of oak but enough to mellow it out. Has a somewhat spicy aftertaste.

Full bodied. Low carbonation. Dense feel.

Overall, a solid barrel-aged quad. Nothing stands out from other examples. Its just complex and tasty.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent cola brown with less than a finger loose light tan head that fades slowly to stringy patterns of lacing. The smell is really nice but not a classic quad...more like a Belgian Strong Dark; earthy yeast strong dark fruit figs/dates, less alcohol than anticipated, sweet and malty caramel. Nicely carbonated creamy medium bodied. Full flavored, bready-cake "Fig Newton" taste lingers well beyond the swallow. An easy drinker...10% ABV is well hidden. Not scoring it to style so much as I would a BSDA.

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Photo of Arenbeer
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 corked and caged bottle received from abrand, thanks a lot man!

Poured into a DFH Snifter Glass

A- Pours a really dark murky brown with a nice 2 finger tan/ off white head that doesn't stick around but LLAB and leaves some fossils of it's existence!

S- Sweet malts and caramel with a pretty decent alcohol presence and booziness but not enough to turn one away. Roasted burnt Dark fruits and real sweet brown sugar are also apparent.

T- Real sweet caramel malts with a great dark fruit presence like raisins, figs, plums, or grapes. Also a lot of sweetness from the molasses sugar with a decent booze finish that for 10% is barely noticeable even when it warms up to room temp.

M- Full body but not as thick most quads are. Has moderate to lower carbonation with a more wet finish. Not to much bitterness or dry.

Great beer overall, definitely worth a try if you like sweet Belgian style brews.


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Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy deep brown/mahogany into my pint glass with two fingers of tan head, really nice retention and lacing.

S - Deep malts, dark fruits, raisin, prune, cherry, brown sugar/molasses, clove and spice.

T - Sweet caramel and toffee, some cocoa in there, clove, dark cherries and raisin, figs with a bit of sourness to it.

M - Medium to full in body, sweet and sticky.

D - This is very drinkable and quite enjoyable to boot. It's sweet and fruity and overall really good.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled 750 ml bottle into a shaker pint. No visible bottling date.

Look- Near opaque brown, three fingers of beige head that fall to a cap that looks suspiciously like a mini-buttermilk biscuit. Generous amount of lace, even the glass between the rings is coated with suds.

Smell- Raisin, baker's chocolate, anise, cola, raspberry-esque sour tinge.

Taste- Molasses, dark amber honey, black cherry, chocolate-dipped almonds, toasted raisins. Floury aftertaste. Very light feel, no hint of the... what? 10%? Did a double-take there, I was expecting 8 or so. In any case, you wouldn't know it. Just the right level of sweetness. As it warms, it takes on a bit of woody brandy-like character. Flavor profile is very similar to a weakly-peated Scotch Ale, but remains true to the style with touches of Belgian yeast and dark candied fruits.

Mouthfeel- Light-medium body, very, very clean for a strong dark. A bit of stick, but it's neither cloying nor boozy. Slight warming. Exceptional drinkability.

Overall- A very light, refreshing dark ale. I don't believe that's something I've thought about the style before. Simple, nothing unexpected going on, but what it does, it does with style and depth. It also goes down too easily, if anything. I'd definitely spring on the barrel-aged version if I ever see it. Highly recommended.

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Monk's Elixir (Monk's Brew) from Mikkeller ApS
87 out of 100 based on 146 ratings.