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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)

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

308 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 308
Reviews: 136
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 12.79%
Wants: 18
Gots: 25 | FT: 0
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 308 | Reviews: 136 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

cosmicevan, Mar 11, 2011
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.

cpmichael, Mar 07, 2011
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.

SkeeterHawk, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.25/5  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.

StoneBrewFanatic, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of STEG
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
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

STEG, Jan 09, 2011
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.

mdfb79, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of vfgccp
4.53/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep dark chocolate. ½ finger of bone white head that held together with moderate retention and lacing.

S - Sweet raisins, prunes, brown sugar, hint of bready malt.

T - Chocolate covered raisins, brown sugar, caramel, dried pears. A gentle boozy warmth balances the sweetness perfectly. Brioche bread bridges the flavors throughout the profile.

M - Impossibly smooth. Touch of alcohol tingle in the finish, but in an enjoyable way.

D - Does a great job of hiding the 10% abv. It's smoothness and great flavor keep you coming back till it's gone.

vfgccp, Dec 31, 2010
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.

codewarrior, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of Gehrig
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
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!

Gehrig, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of russwbeck
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks go out to Exiled for this bottle.

A: Dark pour with an interestingly colored head. Good lacing, not much retention.

S: Very sweet smell. Esters dominating the smell, cloves, bananas, and darker fruits.

T: Taste is sweet like the smell. Caramels, malts, and dark fruits. Boozy finish to warm me up on this cold Pennsylvanian day.

MF: Medium bodied, smooth on the palate. Not as think as quads come.

D: Kind of sweet and pretty high ABV. Drinkability would depend on how you like the sweetness.

russwbeck, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
3/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

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.

Thorpe429, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of megahurts4
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

megahurts4, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of SPThirtyThree
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Monk's Elixir, delivered to me in a chalice at Falling Rock after GABF, is a dark, almost black brown with glimmering amber and ruby highlights. The head glues itself to the walls of the goblet in an extremely persistent lace. Beautiful.

S: Monk's Brew is about as estery as beer can get. The nose is packed with cloves, banana, toffee, grapefruit, candi sugar, bananas, and pineapple. The spicy, tangy profile leans heavily towards candi sugar byproducts.

T: The taste is a medium-bodied, malty and sour. All of the aromas are present in the taste, but the flavor is more sour than the nose led on.

M: Mikkeller went with a mouthfeel that is rather astringent, with carbonation on the low end of the scale.

D: Drinkability is fair. This is more bitter than I would expect from a quad, but the fruity esters are interesting.

Note to self: re-review this beer in a state of lower inebriation, and in a more private setting...

SPThirtyThree, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of stephens101
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with some interspersed garnett hues. Has a smallish off-white head that has very little staying power. Some tiny dots and fingers of lace stick around.

Big welcome sweet malts assault the nose with grape and grain following closely behind. Tastes fruity (figs, grapes) and vinous with a discernible alcohol heat at the end. Notes of licorice, grain, saffron bitterness and very subtle sweet chocolate also exist. Has a medium to heavy mouth-feel and a slightly creamy middle and dry at the edges.

Complex and tasty brew. Not quite as smooth as some of it's more established brethren, but a damn good Quad for a change of pace.

stephens101, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of Arenbeer
4.25/5  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.

SkÅL!

Arenbeer, Sep 19, 2010
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.

drabmuh, Sep 08, 2010
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.

glid02, Sep 07, 2010
Photo of daledeee
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased this and was served in an oversized snifter.

The beer has a huge light tan head and black body. Lacing and a small head stayed.

Nose is slight. Earthy and malt.

Taste reminded me of a very bitter imperial stout, but it is classified as a quad. The taste is earthy, musty, bitter, coffee, malts. I think this one would age nicely.

Mouth feel is quite good with alcohol hidden. Drinkability is good.

daledeee, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of Dawkfan
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

Dawkfan, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of Pencible
4.55/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured a translucent dark mahogany with some light tan head.
S: It smelled like rick dark fruits (plumb, raisin, cherry) and brown sugar and molasses, with a bit of oak and bourbon.
T: It tasted like brown sugar and molasses and powdered sugar, with plumb and dark cherry and raisin, as well as earthy chocolate and creamy yeast. It had a sweet and mellow aftertaste.
M: It was thick and creamy with smooth carbonation.
D: This was absolutely fantastic with tons of complexity and rich flavors. It had amazing body too, and hid the alcohol like crazy, so it was infinitely easy to drink. Reminiscent of Van De Keizer (blue), which is one of my favorite dark Belgian ales ever. This could maybe improve with age, but I already love it fresh.

Pencible, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

biboergosum, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of SleepyMonk
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

SleepyMonk, Jun 18, 2010
Photo of drpimento
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mmmmm malty heaven. Poured with a nice off white head and lots of lace. Color is a cloudy amber brown. Aroma is very malty yeast dark ripe fruit. Flavor is like nose. Easy drinking. Body is good and ditto carbonation. Finish is nice and on the short side.

drpimento, Jun 09, 2010
Photo of tmoneyba
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy brown color with an average frothy brown head that mostly lasted with excellent lacing. Moderate to heavy toasted malt, caramel, chocolate and small alcohol aroma. Medium body with a smooth sticky texture and flat carbonation. Medium to heavy chocolate sweet flavor with a medium to heavy sweet finish of moderate to long duration. Solid complex brew.

tmoneyba, May 18, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

TMoney2591, May 13, 2010
Monk's Elixir (Monk's Brew) from Mikkeller ApS
88 out of 100 based on 308 ratings.