Monk's Brew (Red Wine Barrel Aged With Raspberries) - Mikkeller ApS
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Ratings: 132 | Reviews: 40 | Display Reviews Only:
4.45/5 rDev +12.9%
This beer is dark brown and thick, with red-brown highlights at the edges. The brown head grows to an impressive height and thickness, has good retention, and leaves sticky patches and spots of lacing in good quantity.
The smell is potent out of the bottle. The first hit is tart and tangy raspberry but very much like red wine, vinous and ripe with tannins as expected. The initial smell (though not the look) tells me something like Flanders red, then it immediately gives more of an impression of brown ale character more like an Oud Bruin, but there's more to it. The heavy malts base, seeming addition of candi sugars, and light notes of a Belgian yeast strain make it earthier with a subtle sweetness playing well and allowing the tartness to set the stage. It gets mellower as well as more flavorful and complex as it sits and the sweetness mingles even more. The entire way there's a prominent barley-like, possibly roasted dark malts overtone. Alcohol is masked like I've ever smelled or tasted any beer with an ABV this high to manage; this is one of few beers with which it is simply impossible from the aroma or flavor to know it's got a 10% ABV. It does warm, though, and the drinker should be careful with this one.
The feel isn't bad, moderate carbonation setting the tone in a medium body with a consistent crispness.
08-23-2012 18:24:28 | More by Brenden
4.43/5 rDev +12.4%
Raspberries? red wine barrels? quadruple ales? There's going to be a sensory overload, coming right up...
Dark brown and with a purpleish tint, you can tell just from the color of the beer that it has some dark secrets. As the firm semi-spritzy, semi-creamy head form, even it conveys burgundy tint. Solid retention and broken lace is the constant reminder of the wine and berry infusion that decorates the beer.
Aromas are absolutely mouthwatering (I'm not sure if astringency is relegated to mouthfeel only) as the sharp and juicy berry and vinous scent puckers the jowls and whets the whistle. The backdrop of Belgian strong dark ale is easily dwarfed in favor of the fruit additions and barrel aging. Port wine, sherry, and raspberry extract come to mind much more quickly than does any beer.
Where the beer provides the tepid underlying maltiness that houses the carbonation and grounds the finesse esters and spices, the beer enjoys the beating that it takes by the brunt of sheer raspberry puree- so rich are the fruit flavor that it conjures memories of prune juice, lemon, dates and figs. Currant, red grape, black plumb, sweet tobacco, apple, and blackberry notes only add to the fruity matrix. With no hop bitterness in sight, the beer relies on the fruit and barrel tannin to balance the malt and fruit; which it does to perfection. Surprisingly, the sweetness of the beer is thin and terse, relying on the fruit acidity to carry the beer from early palate and into its extended aftertaste.
Full bodied to start, the beer's creamy carbonation and fully malted textures derive a very dessert-like experience. But just when you expect the dripping weight of residual sweetness to coax the palate, there's instead a thin and acidic sweetness that prefers a balance of dry merlot. With all those fruity acids, woody tannin, and vinous dryness going on, the beer is every bit as complex in texture as it is to taste.
Where I was luke-warm in my affection for the regular Monk's Brew, this version is seductive and as guilty of a sin for me as beer gets. I know not to become enamored by the fruit, or the barrel aging, or the wine influence. But as a culinary delight, I simply cannot help myself. This is an extraordinary fruit beer that begs a pairing of chocolate truffles.
10-11-2012 04:20:28 | More by BEERchitect
4.41/5 rDev +11.9%
Pours mahogany in colors with light red juicy hue and a fizzy thin tan head that dissipates quickly.
Nose has some bright fruity and wood aromas. Oak and an apple like ester sweetness give it an aroma similar to that of a crisp caramel apple. Light malt sweetness and raspberry tartness add some great complexity.
Taste is awesome. There is a good presence if oak and wine forward before a huge rush of raspberry juicy tartness washes over the entire palate. There is a cranberry like tartness also present that works reall well with the dry oak and wine flavors.
Mouthfeel has great complexity. Juicy crisp feel along with a big tartness gives this a very refreshing feel that has an incredibly complex finish.
10-21-2013 01:21:41 | More by Fcolle2
4.4/5 rDev +11.7%
Drinking this with my corn dog Amanda. Pours up dark cloudy brown. No lacing, nice long lasting off white head. Nose is must, plums, cellared yeast, slight dark malts, subtle toffee. Flavor is big sour tart raspberries, subtle dark sweet malts, nice kiss of hop balance. Big white wine in the finish. Medium body, crispy Belgium carbo. Nice job
06-30-2013 00:17:28 | More by stumac
4.4/5 rDev +11.7%
Pours a dark purple color. 1/3 inch head of an off-pink color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of alcohol, hint of liquor, raspberries, sweet malt, dry hops, and dark fruit/wine. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. There is also a noticeable tartness. Fits the style of a Quadruple. Tastes of raspberries, citrus, slight syrup, hint of hop, alcohol, slight grass, hint of earthy malt, and hint of wine. Overall, strong tartness, strong body, but alcohol not too strong. Great blend, body, aroma, and complexity.
04-04-2014 16:06:30 | More by Tone
4.33/5 rDev +9.9%
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, plums, raisins, other dark fruits, raspberries, oak, red wine, Belgian yeast, clove and other spices, candi sugars, some booze.
T - Sweet dark caramel malts, lots of raspberries, plums, raisins, dates, other dark fruits, oak, vanilla, red wine, some sourness and sour cherry, Belgian yeasts, clove, other spices, candi sugars, some booze.
M - Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Smooth with a sweet, spicy, lightly sour, and warming finish.
D - Really nicely balanced Quad with a great mouthfeel. Raspberries and red wine add some great complexity.
01-30-2013 06:16:33 | More by ngeunit1
4.3/5 rDev +9.1%
Cloudy chestnut brown with thick puffy foam that leaves chunky lace in its wake. Beautiful nose of intense raspberries (chambord, jammy notes). A touch of funky earth, bakers chocolate and some bramble along with a balsamic note before the beerbegan to warm. The taste brings beautiful sweet and sour raspberries, mexican oregano?, plum and raisin with a slight sherry rancio note and a vinous almost chateaunuef du pape character in this beer, really enjoyed its complexity and i am struggling to come up with descriptions. Very refreshing and hides its abv well with a slight sourness and good carb cleaning up for the coming sip. Well done and as usual i just wish his beers weren't so expensive.
01-12-2013 03:00:02 | More by Trilogy31
4.3/5 rDev +9.1%
Live review. Poured from the 12.7 oz. bottle that I bought at Save-On in Mentor for $12.99 last week. 4401204 stamped on the top of the cap, over the gold foil which covers the cap. I am not sure what that might mean or if it is even significant. Poured into a clean, clear glass.
A Murky dark black cherry body that does not let light through but there are edges of dark black cherry. On top of that body is a significant 3 inch light brown head with only moderate pour that lingers for 3 minutes. Additionally, a LOT of sediment in the bottom of the bottle makes it even more murky as you get closer to the bottom of the bottle. Great look. 4.5
S Sweet malt with raspberries. I expected this given the style and the inclusion of raspberries. I guess it is even more sweet with a "deeper" raspberry smell than I might have guessed. The smell is magnetic! 4.0
T Wow, there is so much going on with the taste of this beer....where to start?
First is a Kriek like tartness, the middle is a very sweet malt, there is a sense of red wine also in the middle and then a finish of some heat (alcohol). The raspberry is certainly there too but not like a raspberry from, say, Lindeman's Framboise (a kind of candy or fruit punch raspberry) but more of (like mentioned already) a tart Kriek like raspberry. This might be the most dynamic tasting beer that I have ever tasted! It is nothing if not challenging and complex. 4.5
M The kriek tartness, the significant malt sweetness, the sense of red wine and the heat of the alcohol all drive up the mouthfeel for me. The beer dances across my tongue in a symphony of tastes. 4.5
D/O Drinkability is not that good. The huge ABV and "big" tastes means that I could only ever have one of these in an evening (as I will this evening). Additionally, it costs more than $1 per ounce so that drives down the drinkability for me. Overall this is a very interesting beer. I suspect, though, that only beer geeks (like me) would be interested since it is so
1. expensive and
2. complex, challenging rating: 4.0
01-29-2013 03:28:35 | More by adamette
4.28/5 rDev +8.6%
Very dark beer even for a quad... silent chocolate body with an edge of burgundy clarity, a healthy tan head dissipates after a few minutes leaving all kinds of lacing - great looking beer.
The red wine and raspberry really do take over the aroma... faint barrel character, some powdered sugar, pretty fruity between the grapes and berries, a bit of smooth vanilla, the classic quad characteristics take a back seat to the adjustments made and I'm not complaining.
On the tongue, raspberries really take the reigns. Not overly sweet but definitely focused - raspberry shortcake next to a glass of merlot. Like nothing else I can think of, this certainly isn't brewed strictly to style but it presents a very intriguing pallet of flavors.
Super drinkable given the ABV... would buy again for sure.
11-23-2012 04:55:00 | More by yamar68
Monk's Brew (Red Wine Barrel Aged With Raspberries) from Mikkeller ApS
88 out of 100 based on 132 ratings.