Monk's Brew (Bourbon Barrel Aged) - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Monk's Brew (Bourbon Barrel Aged)Monk's Brew (Bourbon Barrel Aged)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

90 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 90
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 15.69%
Wants: 6
Gots: 15 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website
Denmark

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 07-15-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Known as Monk's Elixir outside the USA.
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Ratings: 90 | Reviews: 27
Photo of LiquidAmber
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a dark mahogany brown with ruby highlights and a fine two finger light khaki head with great retention and pillowy lacing. Aroma of caramel and bready malt, mild bourbon, plums and vanilla, nice. Flavor is caramel malt, slightly oxidized cardboard, plums, bourbon, mild vanilla and wood. Finishes with vanilla, bourbon, a hint of char and hop bitterness. Medium bodied with spritzy carbonation. An interesting take on a quadrupel, thinner in body, somewhat drier than typical. The carbonation is very active and takes away from the mouth feel, kind of unusual for a quad. The bourbon is lightly present and there are other good vanilla woody flavors from the barrel. Somewhat modestly flavored for the ABV, but the alcohol is well covered. I'm not familiar with the base quadrupel, so it's hard to tell how much character is from the aging. This may be an older bottle, and the active carbonation may some unintended interaction in the flavors and maybe bottle activity resulting in thinner body. A tasty, but light bodied quad with a bit too much carbonation. I had no problem enjoying the bottle, however.

Photo of KVNBGRY
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It tasted like a bourbon barrel aged Belgian quad. Looked bad. It looked thin, and felt a bit thin. Tasted great! Smell was a bit muted. This was a confusing beer to me. I wish I tried it fresh.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.76/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle purchased at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY.

Pours a moderately dark brown, with a large 2 inch head, and a good amount of lacing.

Smells pretty richly malty, with some dark fruit flavor, and some brown sugar.

This doesn't feel as strongly flavored as I would expect a bourbon BA quad to be. It's the typical characteristics some sweet, subtle bourbon, a bit of dark fruits, some brown sugar, and caramel, etc, but none of it seems to pop the way they should. No oomph here.

This is medium bodied, with a full mouthfeel, and a lower level of carbonation- almost flat, actually.

This was slightly disappointing. By no means bad, it just didn't wow me.

Photo of mactrail
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A lovely brew with a ruby brown color and plenty of foam and lacing in the big New Belgium snifter. Pleasant sudsy mouthfeel. Raisiny aroma with just a whiff of the bourbon barrel.

Smooth and mellow, for once the aging of two years has not hurt the flavors. Everything tastes like it has softened and oxidized a little. Utterly drinkable with a warm alcohol tang and a subdued Belgian yeasty murk. Still moderately sweet with just an edge of sharpness.

Purchased somewhere in Tucson. My first Mikkeller beer, I have always avoided them, but was given one by Jason. I'm happy this was a good experience.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.36/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

amazing beer here from mikkeller. i remember being floored by the original monks brew, and only so so on the red wine raspberries edition. i thought it muddled an already distinct and unique and awesome base beer. the bourbon the the opposite story, this is a great accent to the base beer, which has to be one of my favorite quads going. the bourbon on this is not subtle, huge boozy woody notes with an emphasis on char rather than vanilla sugars. its nice like that, keeps the beer coming first. so much dark special malt here, giving depth and texture. the barrels mellow the feel, but not really the alcohol presence, especially at room temperature it still feels hot, if not even hotter than i remember the base being. its got big dark stone fruit notes to it, and this fluffy white head that seems almost tart before i sink into the beer each sip. radiant toffee notes go great with the bourbon. this is layered and huge, super unique, and worth what they ask for it.

Photo of Bloodbuzz99
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Surprised at the low ratings on this one, really nice Quad, not overly sweet in the finish, very clean. Alcohol is present, but not overwhelming. Would definitely pick this one up again.

Photo of Chico1985
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Had this sitting around for a while now, time to finally try it out. 375ml poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance - Dark brown with reddish highlights, no translucence. Surprising amount of beige foam upon pouring. Nice retention as a full cap, good lace as well.

Smell - Caramel, vanilla, molasses, brown sugar, slight raisin and even slighter bourbon. Really quite faint and tame considering the style, but what's there is decent.

Taste - Taste is similar. Flavors are just okay, seems very restrained and plain. Caramel, dark fruit and vanilla make up much of the flavor, with some oak and bready yeast. Only the slightest hints of bourbon.

Mouthfeel - Viscous and syrupy body, decent foaminess/carbonation, not much alcohol heat. Good.

Overall - I went into this expecting a hot mess, I actually got the opposite. Really quite drinkable - decent, but kinda dull as well, flavors are lacking for a quad and the bourbon is mostly MIA.

Photo of dcmchew
4.29/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark amber, one finger tan head, nice retention, quite sticky.
Smell is mostly sweet, with chocolate, cherries, caramel, vanilla, figs, raisins, Belgian spices, bit of wood. Smells like a top-tier quad with some extra barrel notes, but not too strong.
Vanilla-cherry-chocolate combo is first in the taste, a bit of tartness, some caramel and toffee, dark fruit jam follows, with aromatic Belgian sugars and butterscotch. Barrel brings nice oak, dusty woodiness, bourbon malt sweetness, the aforementioned vanilla and warm alcohol. In time you get a bigger whisky feel, covering bit by bit the fruitiness. Earthy finish, mild bitterness, leaving an aftertaste of prickly alcohol, burnt sugar and bourbon.
Surprisingly light bodied, medium carbonation.
The elements come one after the other, in an orderly fashion, which is weird (i think) for a Mikkeller brew, but the result is a tasty quad with nice bourbon-enhanced alcohol and caramel.

Photo of Tone
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of sweet malt, alcohol, hint of roasted malt, slight spice, hint of alcohol, hint of liquor, and a hint of wood. Fits the style of a Quadruple. Mouth feel is sharp and creamy, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, slight roasted malt, hint of alcohol, hint of earthy malt, slight spice, hint of wheat, and liquor. Overall, good aroma, body, blend, complexity, and appearance. The liquor is dominate but does not overwhelm other flavors and aromas, nicely blended.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.08/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Brown body. Huge khaki head. Lots of sediment suspended in it.

Smell - Vanilla. Some oak. Dark fruits. Caramel. Belgian sweetness.

Taste - Dark fruits. Bitter burnt malts. Oak, I think. Bitter. No barrel, really. Kinda sweet.

Mouthfeel - Overcarbonated. Medium body.

Overall - I struggled through half of this before dumping it. Not worth the liver damage.

Photo of mverity
4.21/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Opaque deep brown with hints of garnet. Head is thick and tan and pretty dang persistent. Aroma is some earthy-musty dark fruits, some char notes too. Taste is considerably better. Same deep fruit character (cherry, fig, plum), red wine-like, some char too. Nice and velvety on the tongue, medium body (which I find a tad thin for a quad) and nice low carbonation. Great lingering taste.

Photo of LaneMeyer
3.29/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A - Dark brown, 2 finger, light tan head.

S - Dark fruit, cherry, plum, bourbon, brown sugar, alcohol.

T - brown sugar, wood, syrup, winter spice, water, peach concentrate.

M - Well carbonated, light, syrupy

O - Kinda disappoints. Not a bad beer, but considering the price, doesn't live up to other regular quads I've had. Much rather drink a Rochefort or Pannepot.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown-ish color with a light tan head. In the aroma, sweet nuttiness with a note of caramel. In the taste, a sweet caramel, chocolate, and nutty. A small bitterness and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry nuttiness and small tartness in the aftertaste. Quite nutty and small tartness, kind of all over the place.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.28/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle: Poured a deep dirty brown color ale with a large foamy head with OK retention and some light lacing. Aroma of huge bourbon notes with light vanilla notes with loads of residual sugar as well. Taste is an intense mix between loads of residual sugar notes with some vanilla and bourbon with some dry raisin and heavy caramelized malt notes. Body is full with limited filtration and good carbonation with some warming alcohol notes. Too big and too sweet for its own good.

Photo of nickfl
3.34/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

A - Pours with one finger of off white foam no top of an opaque, dark brown body with amber high lights showing through. The head sticks around for a while an leaves nice lace.

S - A very musty, slightly woody aroma with notes of candy sugar and smoke.

T - Dark bread and sugar up front with smoky molasses and a kind of medicinal pickled note. Rally weird towards the finish with vanilla, smoke, chemicals and spices.

M - A fairly thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Wierd. Just odd, with a medicinal note that at times borders on formaldehyde. I'm honestly pretty disappointed with this, it seems infected.

Photo of kylehay2004
3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: half finger head with excellent retention on a hazy deep amber with maroonish hues body.

S: cola, red wine, brown sugar, breads, dark fruits and earthy hops but overall the aroma is very mild. Not getting much from the barrel aged aspect, maybe a little wood.

T: dark fruits include prune, black cherry, plum and raisins, wood but not your typical oak, merlot, milk chocolate, bourbon sweetness and caramel.

M: medium to full body and light to moderate carbonation. wetter than expected finish considered its a barrel aged beer.

Overall: this beer is very weird. It was hard to put my finger on exactly what I was experiencing in the flavor. The bourbon is mild and provides mostly sweetness but not as sweet as most quads tend to be. I imagine the base beer was "mellowed" out by the aging process.

Photo of kojevergas
2.44/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12.7 fl oz dark green glass bottle with foiled-over standard pressure cap served into a flared stem-tulip in me gaff in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; this is me favourite brewery and quads are possibly me favourite style. Number on top is 4401204. 10% ABV confirmed. "Belgian ale aged in bourbon barrels." Brewed & Bottled at De Proef. Imported by the Shelton Bastards.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a three finger head of pretty nice cream, nice thickness, and good (~5-6 minute) retention. Lacing is poor. Body colour is a murky nontransparent opaque dark caramel-brown. It's rather dull and unappealing. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. An unflattering appearance for a quad.

Sm: Off-putting, actually. Muddled imbalanced malts. Flat vanilla. Light oxidation. Stale wood. Caramel, rotted plums, raisins. A moderate strength aroma. Unappealing. Not at all to style. I'm not excited to try this.

T: Murky plums, light oxidation, cardboard, wood notes, rot, and raisin. Green apple. Poorly balanced and poorly built. Some vague poorly executed vanilla is all I get from the bourbon. It's not terrible, but I don't like it. Alcohol is hidden. Little yeast character comes through; maybe some biscuity hints. Lacks subtlety and complexity. Badly executed. Grainy.

Mf: Smooth up front, but it quickly coarsens. Wetness/dryness is all over the place, but is mainly wet. Carbonation is generally good. Poor presence on the palate. Overbearing. Too thick for the lack of flavour. Filling. Doesn't work well with the flavours; it's just badly done.

Dr: A surprisingly poorly done beer from Mikkeller. I won't be getting this again. Difficult to drink because of its poor flavour profile and overbearing mouthfeel. I'll be able to finish the glass, but I'm far from impressed. Not his best work. I definitely wouldn't recommend picking this up. Badly priced too - blame the Shelton Bastards for that. Mikkeller can do far better.

High D+

Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark black with a touch of brown around the edges and a finger of frothy khaki-brown head. Fades normal.

S - Sweet dark caramel malts, oak, vanilla, Bourbon, plums, raisins, other dark fruits, Belgian yeast, clove and other spices, candi sugars, some booze.

T - Sweet dark caramel malts, vanilla, plums, raisins, dates, other dark fruits, Bourbon, oak, Belgian yeasts, clove, other spices, candi sugars, booze.

M - Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Smooth with a sweet, spicy, warming finish.

D - Really nicely balanced Quad with a great mouthfeel. The Bourbon barrel adds some great character.

Photo of mfnmbvp
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7 oz. bottle. No apparent bottled on date present, but I'm super stoked to have landed one of these beers and trying it now! Expectations are fairly high. Uncapped and unfoiled and poured into a Boulevard tulip

A - Pours a nice sizzling two finger mocha colored head which goes down quickly. Beautiful nutty looking very dark cherry colored body.

S - Smells pretty epic. Fresh fig, date, raisin, and cherry flavors abound in there. Some kind of yeasty malt smell amidst a wonderful subtle bourbon aroma. Some roasted nuttiness going on as well. Smells very enticing. Very prominent date / raisin smell as the beer warms.

T - Tart and sweet tingly carbonated first sip mellows out nicely into a smooth creamy vanilla cherry finish. Very slight bit of alcohol warmth in the end, but this beer masks it's 10% abv very well. I could drink this stuff all day.

M - Slightly carbonated, which isn't my favorite feeling, but it sits well with this beer. The bourbon vanilla really hangs out inside your mouth, coating the palate and not letting go. Which is fine with me, so long as I can savor the taste of this brew longer.

Overall, I think it is smooth and highly drinkable, if perhaps a tad bit too carbonated for my liking, which is something I can overlook, being that the taste of this beer is fabulous. Bourbon aged beers definitely tend to be my thing, and Mikkeller nailed this one pretty well. I can't wait to try the Monk's Brew Red Wine Barrel Aged With Raspberries, which I anticipate enjoying even more than I did this. Grab a bottle and enjoy it, while you still can!

Mikkeller Monk's Brew Bourbon Barrel Aged ---4/5.

Photo of SkeeterBoganski
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to tulip-pint

A - Deep reddish brown; some light active carbonation; a quarter-inch light brown colored head

S - some bitter dark fruits here...raisin maybe; Belgian spices; lightly sweet malted; caramel apple; slightly oaky, slightly bourbony

T - immediately I'm punched with a prune-oak bout of silliness; the bourbon on the Belgian style is a little confusing and too busy; there are some black cherry notes here; burnt sugar; lil bit of chocolate, lil bit of toffee or caramel; more apples; earthy

M - medium+ body; decently carbonated; creamy on the back-end; chewy up-front

O - I'll say that this is a really interesting beer...it's got a lot going on and a lot of flavor; the booze is there but well-hidden; the bourbon notes on this quad are not overpowering, but I might actually feel like I'm missing them a bit; it's a tasty number for sure

Photo of bluejacket74
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7 ounce bottle. Served in a Unibroue tulip, the beer pours a mostly clear dark reddish/brown color with an inch and a half light tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is very sweet, it smells like dark fruit (plums, raisins), vanilla, bourbon, maple, brown sugar, molasses, and some chocolate. It tastes like dark fruit, vanilla, bourbon, bittersweet chocolate, wood, brown sugar and molasses. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and slick, and is also well carbonated. I think it's a good overall brew, but pricey at $12.99 a bottle. Worth a try if you come across it.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.07/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a stemless snifter.

Thanks to hannydawg for the second shot at this!

I don't think I'll ever turn down a barrel-aged quad (even if it were from Minhas...). This one pours a dark cloudy sienna topped by a half-finger of off-tan foam. The nose comprises maple syrup, fig, raisin, light booze, light plum, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, light molasses, and a touch of port. The taste holds notes of cola, light whiskey, light cocoa, light walnut, vanilla, fig, and light molasses. The cola really holds some sway throughout. The body is a light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a faintly watery feel. Overall, a very nice barrel-aged quad, one that seems only to be hindered by the large cola character and relatively thin feel. Beyond that, proof positive that Mikkel definitely knows what he's doing over there...

Photo of PeterIngemi
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12.7oz bottle into a dfh snifter

A: pours a deep brown with a finger of tanned mocha head that dissapates into a film. Looks nice

S: a lot of dark fruit hear, prune right off the bat, some oaky notes and then some burbon, a strange earthyness in the background that almost reminds me of peat, the burbon contributes some light vanilla notes, some chocolate notes in there as well, a nice smelling brew

T: nice notes of caramel, booze, vanilla, a touch of chocolate, light prune and raisin, then there is the oak, and the strange earthyness that again reminds me of peat, and it's really to bad, this brew is delicious other then that

M: heavy medium body, with slightly creamy carbonation, a touch viscous, with a dry finish.

O: I'm dissapointed, this beer had all the makings of a great brew, and then there was just that one thing that ruined it for me, not a bad beer, bit I'm not really looking for early peat or smoke in my burbon. Oh well

Photo of peabody
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark brown semi-transparent liquid with 1/2 finger of slightly off-white suds. Smell is a bit fruity like apple peels and belgian spice.
Taste is just a sour quad type of thing. A bit woody with hints of belgian spices. Mostly malt here and the alcohol is hidden so far.
Mouthfeel is clean for the most part but the malt does stick around for a while. Mabey a hint of the 10%er comes in toward the end.
Overall this is a really nice Quad. Would def. buy this again.

Photo of mrfrancis
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brownish amber with a thick khaki head that recedes quickly.

S: I'm not getting much bourbon up front-instead scents of green apple, plum, dark chocolate, black cherry, caramel, and candy sugar dominate the nose. As the beer settles in the glass, slight scents of charred oak, toffee, butterscotch, woody spices, and toasted coconut emerge to balance the more typical quad-like scents that were initially so strong.

T: Layered notes of ripe plum, green apple, toffee, caramel, dark chocolate, woody spices, toasted coconut, dark bread, candy sugar, black cherry, charred oak, and butterscotch are balanced by peppery alcohol. The finish is long and intense with bourbon barrel notes taking over, though there are subtle hints of cherry and chocolate just below the surface.

M: Here comes this beer's only real weakness. Like the regular version of Monk's Brew, this special edition is thin and watery in the mouth. It's just too light in body to really feel like an authentic Belgian quadrupel. The barrel aging, however, imparts a nice dryness to the beer, and unlike the last bottle of Monk's Brew that I reviewed, this one displayed active, firm carbonation.

O: Not a bad effort overall. The bourbon barrel aging imparts some nice flavors that are really compatible with those one would typically expect of a quadrupel. If this beer were just a little heavier and thicker in the mouth, it would be a knockout.

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Monk's Brew (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Mikkeller ApS
85 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.