1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

326 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 326
Reviews: 139
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 19
Gots: 28 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website
Denmark

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-22-2008)
View: Beers (253) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 326 | Reviews: 139 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drabmuh
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

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 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 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 smcolw
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of kojevergas
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
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 Halcyondays
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of weeare138
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Much thanks to hopdog & egajdzis for bringing this...
Appears a hazy orange gold with a fluggy white head and scattered lacing left around the glass.
Smell is of sugary high gravity Tripel with peach, yeast, apricot, vanilla, dough, and spices.
Taste is of the same aromas with coriander, bananas, and citrus.
Mouthfeel...abv is evident with some pils malt and sweetness standing out.
This one gushed upon opening but it turned out to be a pretty decent brew. Possibly could've been better with aging b/c abv is evident but not bad at all.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.15/5  rDev -45%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On-tap at the Local Taphouse for the Mikkeller Tap Takeover in Sydney. This was number 15 of 20.

Looks deep and pleasantly red, with a very full head of yellow-tinged ochre. Lots of retention. Minimal lace, but the colour and opacity is great.

Nose is... unpleasant. Really sticky and sweet apple cider character with a touch of booze to it and very little else. Sheesh. I dread to drink it.

Sickly and sweet on the palate, with astringent medicinal cherry and then a long, drawn out character of fermented apple. Despite this, the feel is quite thin and unpleasant.

Too much sugar in the wort! This smells like a fermented out sugar-drink. It's heavy, hot and unpleasant. This is not a great beer, and worse, it's a beer that gives the great examples of this style a bad name. Poor effort, Mikkeller.

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of wl0307
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the BSF bar, GBBF 2009, at around 7-8 quid. Coming in a big 750ml brown bottle, corked and caged; BB 07/04/2014, served cool in Hapkin's bulb-shaped sniffer.

A: pours a slightly murky, dark brown hue with mild red hues when seen against light; the beige beer head doesn't last long, retreating fast to a thin foam on top of rather fine fizziness.
S: as estery fruity as deeply malty, the aroma gives mixed hints of sour-sweet brown prunes, overripe black plums, slightly oxidised pears, estery honey notes (this bit quite like a barley wine), brown sugar soup, sweet citrus notes slightly like tangerines; after a good swirl, the syrupy and also bitter chocolaty characters of dark malts and sugar develop along with a bit more alcoholic edge. Hops are mild overall, leaving the stage mainly for the heavy malts and fruit esters. Likeable but not complex, at times smelling slightly "flat" actually.
T: lightly effervescent swallow of honey-flavoured dates, bitter-sweet chocolates, and semi-smoked red beans of malts slowly precedes a smooth aftertaste where hops and yeastiness render a semi-clean, semi-dry finish with an additional touch of herbal bitterness. But after this, the malt aroma and sweetened boiled red beans (a by-product of estery dark ales in general) seem to make a "kick-back" deep down the palate to prolong the aftertaste even more, whilst showing very little impact of alc. overall (but of course, as it warms up a bit, the alc. is more easily felt).
M&D: the carbonation remains mild and just enough to render a fresh palate, while the alc. (10%?) really hides very well - overall an easy drinker for this beer style, I'd say. The down side really is the lack of complexity. Although the structure is well in place - leading from estery fruitiness and malts through hop undertone towards a mellow and aromatic finish - I cannot help feeling a bit dissatisfied with the lack of more "colours" on the canvas.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer is dark, chestnut brown with a quarter inch of beige head. The aroma brings alcohol, malt, yeast, respectively. The taste is earthy, with an understated yeast flavor, as well as a healthy amount of rich malt. Silky smooth on the palate with alcohol well hidden, the feel is delicate and impressive. A good quad, I would have it again.

Photo of akorsak
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev +2.3%

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

750ml Bottle
Silver Foil
Caged/Corked

Poured into my Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass, a very nice cloudy grapey color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy light tan head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with lots of grapes, raisins, figs, plums, with some caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, with lots of dark fruits. Medium body, the ABV is hidden very well for the brew. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew.

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

The beer pours a dark brown color with very good head retention and fair lacing. On the the nose I get an attactive aroma of chocolate and brown sugar, with a hint of underlying spice. The flavors on the palate almost completely replicate the nose, with a moderate amount of sweetness. Mouthfeel is surprisingly light given the abv., though it's still what I would call medium bodied. The alcohol is very well disguised in this beer, though I confess I noticed it more and more as I went along.

Not one of my favorite beers from Mikkeller, but still pretty solid. Would probably not order it again, but was glad to have the opportunity to sample it.

Photo of biegaman
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
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!

Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of liamt07
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.33/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep reddish brown. Big cream head. Settles to pretty patterns of wisps and a chunky collar. Nice lacing.

Smell - Fruity. Figgy and sweet smelling. Brown sugar. Booze.

Taste - Sweet and sugary. More dark fruits. Earthy and bitter. Lots of caramel. Lingering sugars.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Medium carbonation. Very sweet.

Overall - This is excessively sweet. Not even a caramelly sweetness or brown sugar. Just lots of unexciting sugar.

Photo of rolltide8425
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of johnnnniee
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

Monk's Elixir (Monk's Brew) from Mikkeller ApS
88 out of 100 based on 326 ratings.