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Monk's Mistress - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Monk's MistressMonk's Mistress

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

255 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 255
Reviews: 169
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.61%

Brewed by:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
The inspiration for this beer’s name—previously, La Maitresse du Moine—is the beer itself. Its deep, intense flavors inspired the concept of a monk that seeks solace and satisfaction from the sensory pleasure and mind-provoking effects of this liquid temptress.

Mesmerizing Monk’s Mistress seduces your senses at first sip. Its daunting beauty and intriguing flavor fully captivate your attention. Belgian yeast adds character and complexity. We invite you to give in to this little bit of “heaven on earth”.

13 IBU

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 08-19-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 255 | Reviews: 169 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mttaylor1066


4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Not as sweet as most Belgian strong ales, a good change of pace!

Cola colored with quickly dissipating mousse.

Smells of roasted malt, coffee and stone fruits.

Tastes of burnt sugar, dark red fruit, plum with a malt backing (delicious!). The alcohol content is apparent on the finish.

Pleasantly carbonated for the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 22:43:54 | More by mttaylor1066
Photo of BeerKangaroo


3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a snifter:

A: dark brown mostly close to black colored body with a slim half finger white foamy head, no lacing

S: spicy Belgian yeast up front with toasted malty notes and dark fruit, some cinnamon comes to play more so as it warms

T: bready yet sweet and also somewhat spicy; spicy aftertaste and finish

M: it sits about a medium on the tongue and mouth, sessionable - not really, its more of a sipper; carbonation comes across fairly smooth for the most part

O: nice Belgian Strong Dark ale that I would come back to again, I'm actually really looking forward to trying the oaked aged one that tends to grace the shelves in this area, and wanted to have this before "the cart" if you know what I mean

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2014 07:24:36 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of MDDMD


4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-dark brown color with hints of burgundy, nice light tan head and a little lacing

S-toasted malt, caramel , spices, dark fruit, little alcohol

T-toasted bread, dark fruit, brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-nice flavors, enjoyable sipping beer

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2013 22:17:49 | More by MDDMD
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into a snifter, the beer is a dark, deep, rich, brown-to-black coloring with slight ruby highlights under the light. Tall, dense, bright tan head that starts around half an inch and settles in to a ring on the surface. Aromas of rich black-strap molasses, fig, roasted notes, tangy caramel, and booze. Smells like an ass-kicker. Flavors of rich date, fig, and black cherry, all sweet and robust, with earthy and woody notes highlighting. Very bold flavor profile. The body is smooth, rich, and slick. Sparse lacing along the glass as you drink. Aftertaste of booze, rich old-world fruit sweetness, and wine-like characteristics. Very rich and robust throughout. Slick, quick, rich finish with a subtle boozy warmth and linger. Solid brew...rich sipper.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2013 02:34:09 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of Kuaff


4.66/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Served at cellar temperature into a Midnight Sun goblet.

Monk's Mistress is a very dark, deep, murky brown color. It looks kind of like swamp water... in a good way. Imagine delicious swampy water you want to drink... uh... okay, maybe I should just move on. The head is pretty big for an 11.5% ABV ale. A solid two fingers or so of light tan, frothy foam.

The aroma... oh the aroma! There are mysterious scents of dark fruits, yeasty bread, and a hint of cinnamon. Makes me feel like I'm in my family's kitchen in December when copious amounts of Christmas sweets are being baked!

The taste follows the aroma pretty well. The predominant taste is a glorious sweet breadiness, but the dark fruits return here as well, revealing some definite raisins, and possibly some prunes and figs. The after-taste possesses a subtle, roasty chocolate character that I haven't experienced in any other Belgian strong dark ale. Phenominal.

This mouthfeel is slightly sticky, and has a lively, animated carbonation which I believe helps mask the alcohol. And that brings me to the ABV... has anyone seen it? I've been looking all over the place for the whopping 11.5% ABV, but I just can't find it. Tell me if you've seen it.

Just incredible. This dark ale is downright magical. And it's awesome that this is available year-round at a mere $8~10 per bomber. Midnight Sun has struck again.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2013 01:52:57 | More by Kuaff
Photo of FredGallagher


4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

An amazing Belgian Strong Dark Ale that has very smooth characteristics (unusual for its bald class). Fruity undertones. Gets better as you sip. Midnight Sun Brewing has been really top notch lately. This beer is a gem.

I carry ontap all year round, compelments spicy italian - such as a pepperoni pizza. Not for the novice - but great gateway into darks.

Serving type: on-tap

05-06-2013 04:20:34 | More by FredGallagher
Photo of DelMontiac


4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

How sweet it is to have a friend in Alaska to fly this beauty to the plains of Oklahoma...

Poured from 22oz bomber into Crown and Rose Pub nonic glass.

Monk's Mistress is a splended drink and is just this side of black with deep red spikes at the fringes of the glass. The camel colored head starts out frothy and bulging, then simmers to a fine film in a couple of minutes. Lace is colored the same leaving thin flowing wisps about the glass.

English toffee, dark fruits, molasses, chocolates, wild yeasts, currant jelly, peppery spice, and table wine - I know this is going to be a good experience.

Knocks it out of the park with flavors of plum, fig, grape, chocolate, caramel malt, cinnamon, brown sugar, and a vanilla bean aftertaste that has my full attention. Outstanding and unforgettable.

Medium bodied and perfectly carbonated, this drink is getting the job done. Well done. Provides a very good coating so that those flavors have plenty of hang time.

I don't think I'll ever score a beer as "perfect", but this is about as close as it gets if there is such a thing. I notice not everyone agrees, so maybe there are inconsistencies, but Monk's Mistress knocks my socks off.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2012 00:40:52 | More by DelMontiac
Photo of mactrail


3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark mahogany color with a beautiful head on pouring. Malty fragrance with dark fruit. Nicely sudsy in the mouth.

Seriously rich but touched with some tart flavors. More than a hint of licorice, along with raisins and dried figs. They seem to have made a textbook example of the dark fruit flavors. Just a slight drying at the end with some yeasty flavors, seems to be the extent of the Belgian character. Very sweet and seems to get sweeter as you sip. It seems too alcoholic for my taste, at least in this style, but it's hard to complain about such a hearty, rich and flavorful brew.

All in all, this is a quite drinkable dark brew. It seems like a Dubbel with a big load on. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Best Damn in San Diego.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2012 07:25:27 | More by mactrail
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear dark brown in color with some reddish brown highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall tan head that reduces to a moderate film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate notes of dark fruit including fig and plum along with dark and roasted malts. Lighter notes of spicy Belgian yeast.

T: Flavors of dark and roasted malts with lighter notes of dark fruit sweetness and hints of Belgian yeast spices in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: This is a very enjoyable beer but nothing about this beer stands out in particular - this beer is very easy to drink and I could easily sip on a beer like this all afternoon long. Alcohol is very well hidden in this beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2012 13:33:01 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of metter98

New York

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark brownish amber in color. It poured with a thin beige head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are light aromas of dark fruits in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of dark fruits.
M: It feels medium-bodied and quite smooth on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2012 23:29:18 | More by metter98
Photo of jjanega08


4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up from the brewery by my girlfriend a few days ago. No other freshness dating.

A= Pours a deep black color with a nice mocha colored head that rises a great looking three fingers holding great retention and lacing.

S= A nice mix of belgian yeast and a bit of roasty chocolatey malt in it. It smells less of the belgian yeast however than I was expecting. Not that it's a bad thing it just seems to be more focused on the nice roasty character. There also seems to be a bit of sweetness backing it up. I can't really put my finger on it but it smells familiar. Almost like a s'more maybe.

T= The taste is again a great mix of belgian yeast and a nice chocolaty roasty malt. There's a great bit of a sweetness that just seems to touch the tip of the tongue without going much deeper. There's a nice biscuity finish to it.

M= A little light on the mouth for a belgian but still enjoyable. I actually prefer the lighter carbonation.

O= This is a great beer. Worth asking her to bring back and worth every penny. I have been wanting to try Midnight Sun for some time now and this beer didn't let me down.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2012 04:30:55 | More by jjanega08
Photo of Jeffo


2.83/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled shared by Doopie during out Battle of Alaska night against Alaskan Perserverance Ale. Good times man!

From a bomber into a snifter
December 2011 bottle

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, looser looking, fizzy beige head with decent retention, eventually fading to a thin film. Color is a dark mahogany brown/red with medium levels of carbonation evident. A slight ring remains until the end of the glass but leaves no lacing.

SMELL: Dark malts, caramel malts and some dark fruit, mostly dates and raisins. A light yeasy spicy notes in there, with touches of clove. Medium strength at best.

TASTE: Caramel and dark malts, dark fruits, and a good does of raisins and dates. Mild but lingering aftertaste of dark fruits and caramel sweetness, much like others in the style, but some very sweet grape juice ligers as well. Quite sweet, and misses some of that spicy yeast quality that makes this style so enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry. Alcohol is well hidden here.

OVERALL: Not bad I guess, but not good either. This one is quite sweet, with lots of dark fruits and an odd grape juice flavor as well. Moreover, this beer was just begging for some spicy yeast flavors that make this style so tasty. A decent beer to be sure, but not one I'd fall over to get, especially with all the quality brews in this style over here. Thanks for sharing Doops!

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2012 13:03:25 | More by Jeffo
Photo of mltobin


4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up this bottle over the border in New York state.

Appearance is dark brown , very little white head. It has a nose of pepper, orange peel, toasted malts and caramel. Sipping on this offering out of Alaska and I taste vanilla, more orange peel, malts and honey. Mouthfeel medium, nice carbonation, a clean, slightly boozy finish. All in all, a very good BSPA, worth picking up. Especially, if you are in my shoes and have only recently had the opportunity to pick this up on a local shelve.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2012 02:33:52 | More by mltobin
Photo of tempest


4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber for $12 at City Beer in San Francisco. In hindsight, I wish I'd picked up a second bottle. The beer open with a big spicy Belgian character that reminded me of Gouden Carolus Cuvee Van De Keizer (that's a big compliment). From there, the beer fades into subtle fruit and soft brown bready malts with a little toffee. What really sets this Belgian ale off, and sets it apart, are the clean, intermittent notes of chocolate that pop up. It's little touches like that that elevate this beer above other fine examples of the style. The body feels like a 8%-9% ABV beer, so watch yourself. It's delicious, just don't get too carried away. And make sure to buy a second bomber.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2012 21:45:36 | More by tempest
Photo of lovindahops

New York

4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

tapping into this bottle I grabbed from Halftime Bev last time that i was down state. Thought it would be a nice time to open given the warm weather that slowly twisted into a rain storm this evening. Pouring into a my Surly Darkness snifter

A- big time black color all over the glass with the most RE-DONK-ULUS head of slightly mocha foam all over the glass no matter how slowly I poured. Mega lacing all over. Due to how slow I poured, I am that much impressed with the

S- a good whiff of darkened fruit bundled with some slight buttery yeast. Certainly not impressive as the head, but still some flavor

T- MEGA DARK FRUIT ENROBED IN BELGIAN YEAST FLAVORS. I really like the combination as it represents the characteristics I look for with a belgian strong ale. Alcohol is present at the end

M- carbonated and sticky with flavor. It's good

O- wow I love midnight sun. This brew is crafted with a smooth balance of dark flavors of fruit and malt compacted together for great flavor. I can tell you this much... when I can find this brew again, I willl grab 7 or 8 bombers


Serving type: bottle

05-10-2012 00:54:23 | More by lovindahops
Photo of cpetrone84


3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a dark cola brown almost black with a tight dirty brown head. The nose is very sweet, light sweetness up front with a fair bit of chocolaty cake and biscuity malt underneath. Loads of sweet dark berries and a tinge of booze soaked in the back. The taste is more malt forward with the chocolate cake note more pronounced. The berries are melded in a bit better than the nose with a touch of booze and heat. the malt lingers. The malt body also reappears and hangs through a long finish on a heavy carbonation. The body is heavy and a bit grainy, may be a touch more sugar left over.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2012 15:16:01 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of drabmuh


3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Thorpe for sharing this with me. Tickers unite. Served in a snifter. At the time of this review, this is #31 on the "Top Beers - Belgian Strong Dark Ale" list on beeradvocate.com.

Beer is dark brown and mostly clear with a thin off white head of small bubbles. Moderate carbonation, no lacing, low retention.

Aroma is yeasty, biscuit, esters, sweet, with a mild roast.

Beer is medium in body and sweet up front with a mild roast finish. It is a little too sweet and a little too bitter, there is an interesting yeast character on the finish. Nice but probably not a repeat.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2012 19:34:08 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike.

The beer is clear and chestnut brown with a small head. The aroma offers brown sugar, burnt caramels, toffee, booze. The flavor is ok, but a bit much on the charred and scorched malt. Still, a flavorful beer. Pretty light in body for a high abv beer. Overall, this was intriguing and enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2012 01:44:06 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of ksimons

New York

4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-very dark, almost black, with no visible highlights. Two fingers worth of light tan head that slowly leaves

S-rich malt sweetness, dark fruit of plums and cherries, light molasses, and a very light bit of roast

T-taste is very nice and matches the smell. Lots of sweet rich malts, dark fruits, light cocoa, a bit of spice, and some light alcohol. For a 11.5% beer though it is very well hidden.

M-medium to full body, good carbonation, coats the mouth well

Overall I really liked this beer. Very complex and well balanced. I will happily drink it again!

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2012 22:40:41 | More by ksimons
Photo of Thorpe429


3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco. Served in a Midnight Sun goblet.

Pours a very dark brown color with a moderate off-white head with a bit of lacing on the way down. The nose carries some nice dark fruit esters plus a touch of malty sweetness. A slight touch of roast and anise in the background.

The flavor is fairly sweet with some light roasted malt in the background as well some dark fruits. This reminds me of fresh Russian River Salvation. There's a roastiness coming from the dark malts that I haven't experienced in many Belgian versions of the style. Still, it's fairly enjoyable.

Body is medium with moderate carbonation and a smooth creaminess through the finish. Lingering aftertaste with a touch of sugar. Pretty good; one of the better American versions of the style that I've had.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2012 00:37:58 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of SHODriver


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep brown into the glass with a finger of dark tan head
S: smells of dark fruits, spices, alcohol soaked cherry, candi sugar, and overall sweet. Very nice aromas
T: brilliantly complex flavors with some dark malts, spice from the yeast, dark fruit, a little cherry, a hint of alcohol and a nice malty aftertaste with a little bit of funk
M: full bodied with soft carbonation, there but id doesn't jab the tongue
O: A very tasty brew that is likely not to disappoint if you have a thing for belgian beers.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2012 02:14:52 | More by SHODriver
Photo of Gmann

New York

4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dirty dark brown color with a moderate sized dense head that settles into a thick ring.

The aroma is fruity, peppery and floral. Some nice clovey phenols. Prune fruit flavor with an earth carob and tobacco note. There is a woody scent as well as a bark spice, perhaps cinnamon.

An earthy BSDA which is much appreciated. Way too many beers in this style are overly sweet and this stays away from that. The taste is of prune mixed with a barky wood flavor and carob. A bit peppery with tobacco bitterness. A nice mix of clove and candi sugar sweetness to remind you that this is a belgian brew.

The feel is moderate to light with fizzy carbonation. Sweet and earthy (bitter) on the palate. Good balance. Drinks quite well and the ABV is hidden.

A very well American made BSDA. I really dig the earthy flavors in this beer. Great balance.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 02:10:42 | More by Gmann
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber, $9.99 @ DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY. The label tells me it was bottled during the 3rd week of December.

Dark dark brown/black, dark tan head, leaves a tiny bubble film , larger collar and nice fine bits of lacing.

A coating of plump and pungent raisins, dark toast and Belgian yeasty goodness in the nose.

Full flavor BSDA, loaded with notes of raisins, ripe figs, dark toast, powdered sugars, burnt malts, all along with a supre dry and densly hopped finish.

Well done, very complex and enjoyable.

Go get some, happy to have this one now distributed to my local area...

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2012 02:08:10 | More by Billolick
Photo of mikeyv35

New York

4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Date: 02/10/2012
Type: 22oz. Bottle
Vintage: 2011
Glass: SH Large Snifter

Was excited to see Midnight Sun has made it to NYC, so I figured why not sample one of there regular brews for my birthday.

Pours a dark mahoghany brown in color w/ a 1/3 finger tan head that leaves nice sticky lacing. Aromas of rum raisin, fig, caramel/toffee, and cola. The taste was just like the nose w/ the addition of brown sugar. Medium bodied and very lush due to higher levels of carbonation. Very drinkable stuff! The high carbonation makes this otherwise heavy brew feel light.

Overall, I could drink this on the regular and probably will now that Midnight Sun is in NYC.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 05:40:24 | More by mikeyv35
Photo of alpinebryant


4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brownish black with a strong mocha head that leaves healthy lacing and a thick outer rim.

S: Belgian candy sugar, molasses and figs with Belgian yeast

T: Great roasted and caramelized flavors to start off with. There is a good coffee malt flavor mixing with belgian candied sugar, plums, belgian yeast, coriander flavors, and chocolate malt flavors.

M: Medium mouthfeel with a high carbonation for the style.

O: Delicious. Glad to see this made its way all the way to New York so I could purchase without trading for them.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2012 00:28:39 | More by alpinebryant
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Monk's Mistress from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 255 ratings.