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5 Monks - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
5 Monks5 Monks

Educational use only; do not reuse.

30 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 30
Hads: 326
Avg: 4.32
pDev: 31.71%
Wants: 106
Gots: 140 | FT: 20
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  19.40% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ThatsThatDude on 04-04-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No. 22 in Avery's Barrel-Aged Series, 5 Monks, a 19.4% ABV Bourbon barrel-aged Belgian-style quintupel ale
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 30 | Hads: 326
Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

In the land between barleywine and Belgian stronger, darker ale is where this massive elixir resides. Sipping much more like a barley liqueur than beer, the flavors and power that's packed inside 5 Monks aligns it much more with port or sherry than of normal ale.

Avery's bourbon barrel-aged "quintuple" ale pours nearly still and with the most slender collar of foam about its edges. Underneath, the golden-rust hues begin to billow over with liqueur-soaked dark fruit and the unmistakable nose burnt of whiskey. Its initial taste is surprisingly sweet with brown sugar, toffee, honey and mild molasses.

And with its complexities unfolding on the middle palate, those fruits awaken with date, raisin, fig, apricot, cherry, pineapple and red apple- all seeming of the condensed and dehydrated variety. Its underlying cakey body is slow to recede as it lays down its spicy sweet taste to resemble spice cake or fruitcake. A slim balance is geared toward cinnamon and peppercorn with the broad and woodsy bitterness of hops lurking in the recesses.

Growing caramels, vanillans and weathered oak flavor frames the lasting impressions of taste, but does so also with a challenge from vinous brandy-type flavors and numbing warmth. Its sweet and spicy linger shows no sign of letting up as it accompanies pan-seared duck and blue cheese in harmony.

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Photo of Immortale25
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish traditional oversized snifter. Label says Bottled: July 17, 2014.

A- Pours a medium brown color with not much head, just some dark tan surface foam that soon fades to nothing. Minimal lacing.

S- Huge wash of bourbon erupts from the glass with some sweet dark fruit trailing behind it. Plenty of alcohol fume.

T- Smoother than the aroma lets on. Lots of dark fruit including raisin and fig, plus some honey. The bourbon then shows itself which is quite strong and hot. Not as sweet as you'd expect from such a high gravity beer.

M- Somewhat syrupy with a booze burn in the throat. Low carbonation and a fullish body.

O- About what you would expect from a BA quad that's this strong. Drinks more like port but not as creamy and more boozy. Also, the bourbon doesn't add a whole lot of extra depth, just amps up the alcohol presence even more. Took me over an hour and a half to finish the 12 oz. bottle.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

July 2014 bottle, aged in my aging refrigerator since and poured into Teku glass.

Pours a deep chestnut brown, very dark. A tiny bit of fizzly head, maybe a finger, quickly disappears. Some tiny carbonation bubbles evident.

Smell is mmmm bourbon. Also vanilla, roasted malts, dark fruits. A little whiff of alcohol (hard to hide at this amazing ABV).

Taste largely follows the smell. Bourbon and vanilla and fruit up front, some oak and alcohol at the end.

Well-balanced. Full-bodied but not syrupy, a moderate amount of carbonation. Not too much alcohol burn or drying, but it's certainly present.

Just fantastic. Drink slowly.

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Photo of BradC
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark reddish brown, not much head or lacing here. Smells of plum, raisins, caramel, toffee, vanilla. Tastes follows the aroma, plus a good bit of heat from the alcohol. But, at 19.39%, it's still pretty drinkable.

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Photo of Damian
4.9/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Pemberton Farms Market, Cambridge, MA
Bottled: July 17 2014
Served in a cervoise

Tawny, orange-mahogany appearance. Somewhat viscous and almost cordial-like. The beer was capped by a thin film of beige colored bubbles that quickly dropped to a frothy ring.

The nose was amazing and had tons going on. Rich and sweet but not overly so. Strong dark fruit, caramel and toffee notes. Raisins and plums dominated. Good dose of brown sugar. Some vanilla came through as well. Loads of bourbon but not a lot of alcohol heat. Remarkable considering that this beer clocks in at 19.39% ABV. The only thing that seemed to be missing was the Belgian yeast character, but it was still fantastic without it.

The flavor profile was very similar to the nose and just as spectacular. Sweet yet not cloying. The beer was anchored by a huge caramel malt base. Like in the aroma, there was no Belgian character, but that hardly affected the overall complexity. Very bready with intense vanilla notes. Loads of raisins, plums and figs. Bourbon came through big time on the back end and in the finish. Not much alcohol heat for nearly 20% however. The booziness kicked in after the swallow but the beer never turned overly hot.

The mouthfeel was rich and robust for the style but not too syrupy or heavy. Silky smooth and supple on the palate. A fine yet aggressive carbonation gave the beer a rich, creamy frothiness.

5 Monks was definitely the best Avery beer that I have ever sampled. At nearly 20% ABV, it drank like a dream. In fact, I have tried beers in the 12-13% range that seemed a lot hotter. I really hope they brew this again someday.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

what a beast of a beer. this series from avery is pretty insane, especially these freakishly strong ones. while this is probably mind blowing out of the context of the others, when considered against the likes of uncle jacobs and black tot and the other really strong ones, there are some common linkages, and the wow factor is far less, although if you like bourbon, this one is not to be missed. perhaps the most intense expression of bourbon i have known in a beer. i like it a lot, but its super sweet, and even splitting the bottle two ways was quite a lot of this to drink. it looks gnarly too, thick as they come, red brown in color with almost no head, but streaky on the edges of the glass from all the sugar, like a cloudy cognac. it smells like barleywine on steroids, there really is no belgian linkages, although the call this a quintuple, some play on word for a huge quad. the yeast factor is pretty minimal, especially in a beer that probably needed tons of pitches, just not belgian to me. an english biscuity and caramely sweet malt base is what i taste the most prominently, along of course with the vanilla and oak from the whiskey, and in fact the whiskey itself. i love the thickness and slickness of it all, and it warms up really nicely. it feels hot, but not any hotter than something in the 12% range, thats the most impressive part i think. sticky sweet like bread pudding though, and im left as sugar high as i am drunk, which is a fun combination for a little while, but then gets pretty ugly. this is one for savoring and sipping in a decent sized group, even a two way split felt arrogant to me. special beer though, worth it if you can still track one down.

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Photo of kamoosekazi
4.82/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

You better pull an extra glass or two to share this monster 12oz bottle. At 19.3% this was a killer to finish by myself. I had to sit around for an extra hour with another plate of meat and cheese to ease. Full flavor and a strong aroma, you can definitely taste the whiskey from the barrel its aged in.
Not for amatuer beer drinkers.

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Photo of ThePaleRider
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Very cloudy, brown ale. Very thin tan head lingers and just holds on. Very thick legs, this brew is going to be a monster!

S - Huge Belgian sugars and yeast. Lots of vanilla, oak, sugar. Really, really impressed that this doesn't smell boozy.

T - Smack right in the mouth. Very sweet and loaded with vanilla. Lots of caramel and oak. As it warms up it's becoming an oak bomb. A little alcohol finish, but not bad for the abv.

F - Very sticky and thick. Slight alcohol burn and no carbonation, surprise!!

O - Really fun play on the big Belgian ale, but doesn't quite hit the mark as it's way too strong.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.04/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky dark brown in color. A fingernail of khaki colored head covers the majority of the top. Sweet aroma of bourbon absolutely dominates the nose. There's plenty of dark malt in there as well. The flavor is very much dominated by sweet bourbon. There's more than enough dark malt in the mix. The mouth is very thick and sticky.

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Photo of Houser
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

i really enjoyed this. looks darker than i thought, and smells of bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and dark fruits. taste is much the same with a little heat on the back end. as boozy as this is, i expected it to be moreso, well done.

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Photo of deford
4.12/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a bottle dated July, 17, 2014 into a Firestone Walker Snifter.

L- Pours very dark...appears red when held to the light. Nice straw colored head of fine bubbles that fades pretty quick leaving a thick ring around the glass.

S- Dark fruits and toffee...sweet bubblegum? Caramel, figs.

T- Very sticky sweet caramel candy, prunes, char, oak, figs, cocoa. Wow, just so much going on, every drink holds something new...big booze burn on the finish that hangs around for a bit, not really hot, just enough to remind you it's there.

F- Think velvet....

O- A fabulous beer with extraordinary flavors and a great nose. The heat is a bit noticeable, not overpowering just noticeable...and I think that brings it down a notch or two.

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Photo of erushing
3.5/5  rDev -19%

This bottle was too hot for my tastes. It had the standard quad flavors I was looking for for an instant and then it was all alcohol. All complexity was lost.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well it's a tasty one, but I wouldn't quite say it's as world-class as the ratings so far indicate. The heat from the high ABV is pretty well hidden, which is a feat in and of itself given the 19.4% level of EtOH. But as quads go, it's good, but not my favorite.

The usual suspects are all there, much as I suspected. Fruity, yeasty, Belgian flavors and aromas, very complex, accented pretty well from the barrel aging. I suppose I'd say it's worth a try, but if you don't already have yours, good luck getting one (I'm sure the white whale hunters have already snatched most of them up).

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Bottle: Poured a dirty murky brown color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet malt notes with candi sugar and dry raisins is quite nice while also smelling of excess. Taste is quite sweet with loads of residual candi sugar notes with some dry fruits notes also perceptible and some warming alcohol easily noticeable. Body is full with limited filtration and good carbonation with quite a bit of warming alcohol. Quite extreme and not something I would drink on a regular basis but very enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.78/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Transparent bodied brown, heavy bubbles to go with it and a little head that looks off-white.

Smell: Seriously smells like whiskey.

Taste: Wow what a complexity of flavors. Sweet butter-scotch and a heavy yeast. Honey and caramel tones followed by a light malts. Bitter/sweet, absolutely addicting taste.

Mouth: Sticky syrup with a caramel after taste. Mouth is medium at best but beyond makes up for it with it's crazy stickiness.

Overall: Avery might be my favorite brewery and most than likely sealed the deal with this beer. I love a lot of their concoctions....and this might be their number two to me (Maharaja being the first). If you see this buy it and do not share...drink every ounce and fall in lust. Salud!

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Photo of neurobot01
4.06/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a (small) bottle dated July 2014 into a snifter at fridge temp, allowed to warm.

Look: surprisingly light-colored and fizzy. Very little head. SRM ~= 11.

Smell: pretty understated, surprisingly. Some fig, whiskey, molasses.

Taste: sweet, but not what I'd consider overly so. Dark candied fruits, whiskey, brown sugar, coconut, maybe some esters, and of course, a prominent alcohol burn. A little disappointing complexity-wise. Delicious, but not the mind-blowing delicious the price implies.

Feel: for me, the weakest element of the beer. Although it got less pronounced as time went on, this started very fizzy in the mouthfeel, and very light-bodied; I suppose that stylistically, it's acceptable, but I'd prefer slightly less carb and more body.

Overall: i thoroughly enjoyed this beer; it was basically like drinking a rich (over-carbonated) dessert. That being said, it cost about as much as Stickee Monkee, and yet manages to not be quite as good as that. Wouldn't really recommend.

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Photo of Dope
3.99/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled July 17, 2014. Approaching 3 months old.

A: Pours a super dark brown; not quite black. Tall but very fizzy, soda-like medium-brown head. Head fizzes out quickly and loudy, leaving nary a trace of lacing.

S: Like getting punched in the face. Actually made me wince the first time I sniffed it. Huge boozy and sweet aroma. Heavy, heavy, heavy, HEAVY caramel with dark fruit (raisins primarily) nuclear bombs punctuating it. Lots of fig and some mild grape and cherry. Prunes, to boot. Big quad aromas cranked up to 11. Or...20, maybe 30.

T: Welp, more of the same. Sickly sweet and heavy caramel, heavy dark breads, every overpowering malty taste ever. Taste reminds me of a big eisbock, in fact I wonder if that's how they got such a high ABV. Heavy dark fruits in the middle, raisins and prunes primarily. Very boozy...well that's an understatement. It's a booze bomb, especially in the finish with a distinct alcohol flavor and belly-warming sensation. Again, this is basically your typical quad, just at least 200% more potent in all ways.

M: Heavy, thick, cloying, syrupy. An extreme example of a sipper.

O: A "quint", indeed. Mega-quad flavors, surprisingly well balanced. Just huge. The fruit and malt and alcohol flavors in this literally made my ears ring. Drinkability is of course is about as low as it gets. It's like trying to swig on a bottle of cognac. You have to take your time with this one. It's good, but it's a bit much.

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Photo of BigRedDog
3.98/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark rich brown. Beige colored head. Not great head retension, but that is to be expected. Decent lacing.

Smell is forward with caramel, vanilla, and booze. Some dark candied fruit.

Taste is pretty consistent with the nose. A little more dark fruit present in taste than on the nose. Nice sweet candied date notes that mellows into an oaky, vanilla flavor.

Mouthfeel has some booze warmth from the barrel aging.

Overall a good beer. Avery has done another great job with their barrel program.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Decided to take the plunge. Poured into a snifter from a 12oz bottle.

Pours a murky muddy mahogany brown color with a nice light tan head. The head rises to about a half-inch which is somewhat surprising considering the ABV. The head recedes quickly down to a nice thin film.

Aroma is exquisite. Just delicious. Notes of slight leather with some nice molasses and caramel notes. Sweet dark ripened fruits permeate throughout. Notes of mild chocolate sweetness with nice vanilla spice, slight honey notes and a delicious barrel backbone.

This is delectable. Flavor starts off with some amazing sweet dark fruit notes coated in delicious molasses notes. Then your mouth explodes. High ABV heat comes up and punches you in the face; coating the palette and lending a nice warmth. The barrel notes are exquisite. Vanilla notes, oak and some honey are present i the middle and back end of the brew as the heat subsides. The mouthfeel is medium. The style gives it some heft and oilyness but the ABV makes it a little light on its feet.

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Photo of LiamMichaelAriel
4.75/5  rDev +10%

1st thoughts: I've always been a little hesitant of Avery Brewing company as there commercial line leaves much something to be desired. However a friend recently turned me on to there barrel aged series which I have to say is pretty amazing.

Review: Dark brown in color with a nice think tan head. Smells a bit like sherry and chocolate on the nose.
The first sip tastes like chocolate and molasses with a bit of a bourbon after taste. It finishes with a good amount of back heat. I HIGHLY recommend sharing this as a full bottle is quite the challenge to finish.

Price: $15.75 for one 12oz bottle

ABV: 19.39%

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.75/5  rDev +10%

A: deep dark brown body with a slim cap of tan foam that slimmed into a collar

S: rich bourbon-sweetened fruit, but with a dusky (?) edge; barrel vapors of whiskey and wood

T: rich booze fruits, but not necessarily a "boozy" beer in that it avoids being too sweet; brings forward the fruits like fig and date, but the caramel and brown sugar sweet notes don't become cloying or overtake the elegance of the ale

M: medium bodied, smooth and slick, very little stickiness - some drying on the finish owing to the barrel-aging; some tingles of spice perk up among the dark fruits and drying vapors

O: lush and high abv sipper pulls together aspects of quads and barleywines, perfectly barrel-aged in bourbon barrels; absolutely worth the $15 and absolutely a top quad.

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Photo of svenness
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 7/12/2014; reviewed 11/22/15

L: Reddish brown, thin light-tan head, slight haze
S: Alcohol, candi sugar sweetness, raisin, plum, vanilla
T: Dominant alcohol heat is subdued by a nice amount of sweetness, caramel malt, stone fruit, oak
F: Full bodied, lingering sweetness and ends with some alcohol burn
O: One of the strongest beers I have ever had. While boozy, this beer was well made, I'm not getting any fusel alcohol in it. I tried this beer when it was fresh and now a little over a year later. I liked this beer at both tastings but I think it has improved over time based on my recollection of what it tasted like last year. Will try to sit on my last bottle of this for many years to see what some long term aging will do to it.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.26/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a goblet.

A: pours a murky brown color. Sandy colored head dissipates after a bit. Thin and delicate rings of lacing.

S: Brown sugar, dark caramel, caramel-chocolate chews, Belgian yeasty spice, plum and grape, wafts of oak and woody bourbon. Well put together nose, and it actually smells very tame for its size.

T: Rich and thick dark caramel, decadent chocolates. Currant and plum esters. Rum raisin. Belgian yeast. Woody barrel character has a strong pull. Bourbon flexes some muscle. Barrel char. Strong and spicy alcohol. Long and warming finish of bourbon, dry chocolatey notes, and plum/grape candi sugar.

M: Rich and decadent without being weighty or sticky. Firm and round in the mouth, but lithe and supple. Low carbonation adds just a slight scrubbing feel. Huge soothing warmth.

O: The sheer brawn of it takes away from the overall complexity a bit, but you won't find me complaining. It warms every inch of your body like a heated blanket. Aside from that big warmth, this beer stays very light on its feet for a 19.4% abv behemoth. This was the perfect beer with which to usher in the first truly chilly night of the fall season.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Was hearing some rumblings about this one and it just came to town so I trusted the reviews and dropped 16.99 or something crazy on this 12oz bottle. The wifey wasn't about to let me drink this one without sharing so poured into 2 Avery snifters.

a - deep dark plum purple with a creamy head that mostly dissolved aside from a thin patchy skin of bubbles. Slippery lacing.

s - big plum and raisin. The barrel is really tastefully glazed over the top imparting a rich decadent chocolate with some deeply booze soaked wood...but no alcohol burn or tingle?

t/m/o - rich and lush decadent chocolate glazed ripe plums and raisins. Like a chocolate quad. The booze is so amazingly well integrated and compliments everything about this beer. I am floored by the quality and blend...a masterpiece and well worth the coin. I am going to try to land another if it isn't already all snatched up.

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Photo of Resuin
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a teku. This was bottled July 17, 2014 so is pretty fresh.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with a very slight maroonish hue, and leaves a finger of light tan head that fades quickly to a tan layer around the rim of the glass. (4.5)

Smell: Big bourbon soaked raisins, massive figs, vanilla, some fudgey chocolate, plenty of oak, hint of berries as well. Nice, huge aroma. (4.75)

Taste: The oak hits me up front, along with the dark fruits and vanilla. Some chocolate in there, butterscotch, molasses, a dash of cloves and a hint of alcohol. It all plays really nicely together. I can tell this is a variation of a belgian-style quad, but it's much bigger. (4.5)

Mouth-feel: Medium carbonation with a thick, creamy body. Lovely for the style - not too syrupy like some massive beers. (4.75)

Overall: A very well done "quint" beer - definitely has all the ingredients of a "quad" but more. The bourbon barrels big vanilla and sweetness play nicely in it, and this is a very drinkable but strong brew for sipping. (4.6)

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5 Monks from Avery Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.