Monk's Elixir (Monk's Brew) - Mikkeller ApS
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Ratings: 275 | Reviews: 131 | Display Reviews Only:
3.83/5 rDev -1.5%
Jason's bottle from Julio's. Hit the bullseye on the style. Black, lots of lace. A mouthfeel of yeast, a meal of it. A good amount of sourish brown flavour here. Sugar, toffee. Noting a feast of yeast aroma, the drinkability is very good for my favourite style.
09-04-2008 20:14:59 | More by Sammy
3.75/5 rDev -3.6%
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.
08-14-2012 00:59:12 | More by UCLABrewN84
3/5 rDev -22.9%
Thanks to Max for this bottle. Reviewed from notes. Poured into a snifter.
Pours a modest brown color with a short head and a tiny amount of lacing. The smell is quite nice with a mixture of dark fruits as well as fresh grapes. A slight boozy character. The taste loses most of that fresh fruit character and instead there is simply some light sweetness and a bit of dark fruits. The mouthfeel is incredibly light, more so than any Belgian dark I've come across. Drinkability is severely affected by this and the fact that there's not all that much to the taste.
11-03-2010 21:44:07 | More by Thorpe429
4.05/5 rDev +4.1%
"I'm like a monk with a taste for hookers."
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.
01-03-2010 21:41:03 | More by BuckeyeNation
3.85/5 rDev -1%
Bottle: Poured a slightly cloudy deep brown color ale with a super huge foamy head with great retention and some very good lacing. Aroma of sweet caramelized malt with notes of light dry fruit and some fruity ester. Taste is also dominated by sweet caramelized malt with some notes of candi sugar and cookie dough. Body is quite full with great carbonation and no signs of alcohol. Well done thought it is lacking some complexity compared to some of the best from this style.
09-13-2009 02:50:00 | More by Phyl21ca
3.98/5 rDev +2.3%
A great addition to follow the Jackie Brown along my Mikkeller tour. The beer has a well-attenuated, ester-forward demeanor but lacks that 'it' that could make it compare favorably to Trappist versions.
The pour brings a wonderful raison-y colored mohogany, brown, Amber color with a purple-ish highlight here and there. Great lightly tanned head formation, very good retention, and a lot of lacing. A formitable Grand Cru look.
Deep aromas of sweeter bread malts (think fruitcake), along with strong esters of grapes, figs, dates, raisons, apples, cherries, and appricots decorate the nose quite nicely. Spices of corriander, orange peel, alcohol, white pepper, and to a lesser extent- cumin tickle the nose and give an intrigue to the beer going into taste.
Flavors are similar to the nose, favoring the esters above the malts and supressing the spiciness just a bit. Rum-soaked fruitcake lays the foundation for maltiness, esters, and ethynol profiles. Bready throughout but with heavy fruit overtones. Spices help to give complexity and variety to the beer in the absence of meaningful hop flavor.
The body might be where this beer separates from traditional Belgian varieties. Medium fullness and roundness, where the authentic ones are soundly full and robust. Still, this beer finishes quite dry, medium malty, medium on bitterness and bite, and medium on alcohol. Maybe too timid? But then we've seen American versions that throw caution to the wind and instead of increasing the intrigue, we create a mess of a beer. I think this beer is on the right track, but not quite reaching its intended destination.
08-04-2009 03:35:59 | More by BEERchitect
4.03/5 rDev +3.6%
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.
10-06-2009 00:54:54 | More by mikesgroove
3.8/5 rDev -2.3%
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.
05-13-2010 06:01:12 | More by TMoney2591
3.38/5 rDev -13.1%
Draft at Gourmet Haus Staudt. Cloudy, rusty brown. The head pours small but creamy and dense. There's a lot of brown sugar and raisin on the nose, sweet licorice, star anise. Sweet, sugary malt and dark fruit are prevalent on the palate. Alcohol is noticeable and lends a bit of harshness to the finish. There's more spiciness than the nose suggests, peppery with a bit of anise. Medium bodied, a bit roasty in the finish with lingering licorice spiciness. A decent effort, but too boozy to be really enjoyable.
04-08-2011 22:10:21 | More by largadeer
3.95/5 rDev +1.5%
750ml (for a Quad, really?) foil and champagne cork-enclosed bottle - yet another pain-in-the-ass synthetic cork to remove, sans any grace whatsoever. Gah.
This beer pours a hazy, rather dark and muddled cola brown colour, with a teeming tower of effervescent, puffy, and foamy beige head, which leaves some thinly sudsy webbed lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.
It smells of lightly roasted caramel malt, black fruit - figs and dates, mostly - candied holiday bread, brown sugar, treacle, and a rum and fortified wine like booziness. The taste is strong caramel and toffee malt, besotted raisins, bittersweet chocolate, demarara sugar, the sweet and acidic nature of barely ripened plums, and a very mild vinous alcohol warming.
The carbonation is fairly low, just going about its quotidian duties, the body a decent medium weight, smooth, and somewhat silky. It finishes well off-dry - quite sugary and fruity, with the earthy, leafy hops coming round to blend into the still coy booze warming.
One easy-drinking Quad, if a bit simplistic, if there ever was such a thing. Despite my description, this is perhaps a bit more complex than that, but the focus really seems to be more on the clean, smooth, tasty, and imperceptible strength of this offering. Good stuff, even for the price, which for the vessel in question, is indeed a veritable bargain.
07-21-2010 02:24:53 | More by biboergosum
3.23/5 rDev -17%
A mediocre quad from Mikkeller. Beer is brown and very hazy with a weak thin head of off white tiny bubbles that quickly breaks but rallies to forms a little lacing on the glass.
Aroma is super sweet...lots of caramel, shorted out my circuits. I bet this is going to be a cloying mess.
Not quite...its thinner on teh palate than it should be (especially being that sweet). I suppose its the high alcohol that does that. At least the beer isn't hot, it kind of tastes like melt caramel in beer form. Carbonation is low in the mouth, its way way too sweet for me. Not feeling it. There are quads infinitely better than this.
09-08-2010 17:58:40 | More by drabmuh
4.38/5 rDev +12.6%
yet another brilliant and distinct beer from mikkeller, the king as far as i am concerned. this one pours really dark, chalky black in color, with some dark brown yeast floaters and a two inch white head with wonderful retention. the nose is alcoholic for sure, dark malts, but not bitter and toasty, sort of mineral rich, volcanic in some way. the yeast is spicy and bright, but not overbearing. its somehow delicate in such a massive brew. in the flavor i pick up something sweet but not sugary, kind of like the birch syrup beers, but to a lesser degree. really awesome malt profile, earthy and lighter despite its color. alcohol is invisible until it warms, and the yeast is classically belgian while also adding some interesting fruity elements to an otherwise black beer. feel is lovely too, great carbonation, velvety glide down the throat, and a full body that remains super drinkable. overall this is a perfect example of what a belgian strong dark ale can be, and its one i had no problem dirnking a 750ml of, despite its 10% abv. this was a special treat.
11-17-2012 18:12:26 | More by StonedTrippin
4.05/5 rDev +4.1%
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!
01-13-2010 01:41:39 | More by WesWes
4/5 rDev +2.8%
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.
01-01-2010 18:42:16 | More by Mora2000
Monk's Elixir (Monk's Brew) from Mikkeller ApS
87 out of 100 based on 275 ratings.