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Monk's Mistress - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Monk's MistressMonk's Mistress

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

285 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 285
Reviews: 173
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 78
Gots: 45 | FT: 3
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: 285 | Reviews: 173 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kudashov
1.02/5  rDev -74.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

22oz bomber is a pint glass with Kraftwerk on The Hi-Fi .

Well this brew marks the first beer ever to be a drain pour . Out to Dorchester Bay you go .Tried my to best get through this but it was tough . Had an OK decent creamy head but , after that the smell , flavor , and overall mouthfeel was vile . Maybe it is my untrained , " green " pallette but sorry , this is awful . Bomb .

Kudashov, Feb 17, 2007
Photo of alaimoa
2.75/5  rDev -32.3%

alaimoa, Jul 27, 2013
Photo of grub
2.83/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Viggo brought this one over. thanks eric!

22oz bottle. sampled nov 7/09.

pours clear brown with just a few reddish hints at the thinnest part of the glass. a small dark tan head forms, dropping slowly and leaving spotty lace.

aroma is nice. a bit wacky. really floral, almost soapy character. light alcohol. bit of dark fruit. white bread. bit of cracker.

taste is nice. lots of spice. ginger, maybe some corriander. lightly toasted whole wheat bread. bit of chocolate. light alcohol. earthy. floral and slightly soapy.

mouthfeel is nice. medium-large body. medium-high carbonation level.

drinkability is ok. too much spice and not enough of the expected BSDA characters. not for me.

grub, Nov 08, 2009
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!

Jeffo, Jun 23, 2012
Photo of andy1701
3/5  rDev -26.1%

andy1701, Aug 17, 2013
Photo of JamesMcCaffrey
3/5  rDev -26.1%

JamesMcCaffrey, Jul 25, 2014
Photo of Cavery
3.03/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml picked up from provisions to be shared with Klym.

Poured into Alesmith Horney Devil tulip.

A: Very fine bubbles of creamed coffee foam rise around the glass. The biscuit like head rose to about 2 fingers before falling down to sea level. The body of this beer reminds me of the black knight, you know the one from Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail? Yeah that one! Dark opaque black armor body with amazing retention on the foamy head. It sits there like a little glob of creamed marshmallows. A strong showing in the visual.

S: Sugar glazed figgy puddings with the most faint addition of butterscotch. I get notes of fragile brown crumby pie crusts, and most certainly a sweet potatoe note. The alcohol blends in so well with the flavor that it's hard to tell them apart, but the sensation in the back of the nose lets you know it's there. Mild notes of light molasses put this nose in the category of fall desserts for me. Lots seasonal goodness in here. Though it comes off a bit too sweet on sweet for me.

T: Hmm. That was my reaction to taking a sip. This is coming off really funky with some very forward artificial sweetness. My best description is: Driftwood creamer. Lots of sulfur powders on the tongue. Late notes of baked pumpkin and sweet potatoe casseroles. A bit of pecan nuttiness keeps this consistent with the fall nose. Though really that very funky note-quite-sugar-sweetness is hard for me to ignore. Really not liking that up front note, and it's tainted the decent later flavors for me. The alcohol hits soft and late, but doesn't save this from it's funky tastes in the start. However, maybe some people would like this. Really nice nutty meal linger at the end, wish the start wasn't so harsh.

M: Soft baked cookies in the mouth. There's an almost doughiness to the drinking process that fits the flavor so well. You feel like you can almost chew it's medium-full body, but that it would seem like an unfinished baked good. I like this, and it really helps the flavors come off in that realm of fall seasonal baked goods. Well done here.

O: I really thought from the look and the nose that this was going to be a very solid beer. However, that up front funky sweetness really caught me off guard. Sweet rotting soggy driftwoods made it into the vat. After that they added all the good ingredients it seems. This was like showing up at thanksgiving, and everything being just right. Then, someone brings in what is supposed to be the Turkey dinner, and it's a piece of wet driftwood. Bummer.

Cavery, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of ccrida
3.1/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bomber that I picked up at the brewery about 4 months ago, into my midnight sun cervoise, La Maitress Du Moine (the monk's mistress) is a very dark garnet with huge tan head, 1/2 the glass. It is thick and dense, and slowly subsides to a rocky foam with lots of good looking lace.

The nose is originally a little roasty and very rich malt, which caught me off guard. But as it warmed, it gained some of that sweet grape like malt that's reminiscent of some of my favorite BSDAs. Yeasty and spicy, almost pepper like, and not as sweet as mainly for the style, with a flash of booze, it flirts with a barelywine likeness.

The taste is sweeter and more of what I was expecting for the style, at least through the middle. Initially, the malt is rich, before it giving way to sweet dark fruit, and finishes very spicy, dry, boozy, a bit astringent, and lots of phenols.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side for the style, but very creamy.

This one's a slow sipper, due to the robust taste, noticeable booze, and heavier body. While reasonably complex, it's not the best tasting example of the style. Would it have been better fresh, or will the other bottle in my cellar break into the next level with a year or two? Time will tell, and while this was a good enough experience, I'm not in a big hurry to find out. As has become a bit of a trend with Midnight Sun brews for me, ultimately a bit disappointing. I guess having Arctic Devil as my first skewed my expectations, because that one's phenomenal!

ccrida, Jun 21, 2007
Photo of ibbjamin
3.18/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Paid $12.99 for a bomber from Perry's Liquor in Livermore, CA. Poured into a large snifter to review.

Pours nicely, leaving about an inch of tan head consistent of medium sized bubbles with a frothy top. Very dark brown (near black) in color. Excellent head retention of about a half inch. Some lacing.

Aroma is of dark fruits a la fig and plum, sweet and lightly roasted malt, molasses, Belgian Yeast, vanilla, bourbon/booze and perhaps a hint of oak.

Taste seems just a bit confused to me. Characteristics of an American Stout brewed with a Belgian twist. Not sure I'm really digging it. Taste has some chocolate and B-rated coffee as well. Becomes more boozy as it warms.

Mouth is thick, full bodied and creamy. Not quite velvety though, which is a characteristic I have become fond of in this style. Medium-long finish similar to an American Stout. A bit more carbonation would do this one well.

At the price I paid, I was expecting to be impressed. Not a terrible beer by any means, but I certainly won't be getting again at this price point.

ibbjamin, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of drinkAK
3.25/5  rDev -20%

drinkAK, May 08, 2014
Photo of maximum12
3.28/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is my fourth bomber of Midnight Sun & I'm looking for inspiration; & wondering what the hype is about. Split with my wife, who wanted a Belgian, which doesn't happen very often.

Pours dark as the rich soil of Belgium. Or Alaska. Smells like rich old leather that's been out in the wind & hung on the back of a motorcycle that leaks oil for a long time. Pretty cool.

Monk's Mistress is a good name for a beer that smells good but tastes like Belgian. Any, every Belgian. There's a cut of overcarbonation that's borderline annoying. Other than that there's the leather, strong raisins, hard dark fruit. Brown sugar, cane sugar, big malts, spicy yeasts.

This is quite a beer. Massive complexity without much in the way of drinkability. 'Hot mess' is the phrase that keeps wending its way down my neural pathways. Never quite met a brew quite like this.

Ultimately, it's a fairly good beer. But it's one of those rare beers that I'm swilling & thinking, man, this could be a lot better with a few years on it. Needs some integration of its various ingredients.

maximum12, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of beertunes
3.28/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a very dark (just translucent) brown, with some reddish tint, and had about 3/4 inch of medium brown head that had good retention and OK lacing.

The aroma was fairly typical, solid grains, some yeast and some spice. Surprisingly, for the ABV, there wasn't a noticeable alcohol scent. The flavors were the same, grain, yeast and spice, but just came out kinda meh.

The body was decent, smooth, well-rounded and just short of full. Drinkability was good, kind of a surprise considering the strength, the beer went down easily enough.

Overall, a decent but uninspiring brew. Worth a shot if you see it.

beertunes, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of goodbyeohio
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2001 vintage, i believe the first release. thanks someone for the bottle.. this is salvaged from some old freakin notes.

muddy crimson to bright ribbons of candy apple red. thick, industrial foamy head. lots of bubbles run up and down uniformly through the body like a busy highway. smells like bananas foster served on a bed of wet hay with a cherry cough syrup chaser. a bit overfizzed.. taste has developed and morphed from what i remember from the fresh. advanced malts bring smokiness and an off-putting slight hint of coffee grounds. age sucks away some desired fruitiness leaving a vacuum where much of its belgian profile should be.

will re-review a fresh bottle when i can get my hands on one.

goodbyeohio, Jan 27, 2006
Photo of ChadQuest
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured this into a appropiate chalice, nevermind that it says Chocolate indulgence on it...
after a min a thin cap stays put dispite the high alcohol of this beer, it's a dark dark brown.
The beers characteristics include the dark fruits like raison and dark cherrys, and have alot of spices, there is a prominant toffee flavor in here that is strong for the style i think. alcohol is noticable and adds to the character in my book.

Good stuff, and from Nor-Amer too. Doesn't touch the trappists, but they have a few hundred years headstart.

ChadQuest, May 20, 2011
Photo of DevinK
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

DevinK, Nov 20, 2013
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

ygtbsm94, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of gueuzer
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

gueuzer, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of 2dogbrew
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

2dogbrew, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of TechTriumph
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

TechTriumph, Jul 07, 2013
Photo of ptykozoon
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours blackish. Undying foamy, frothy, milky head with good lacing.

Light fruit, chocolate, lemon, spice.

The usual belgian suspects, floral notes, spice, lemon. Subtle taste. Much less than I was expecting.

Pretty darn hot, leads me to believe the 11.5 may be mismarked.
Lighter mouthfeel than anticipated.

Solid belgian strong dark ale, but nothing particularly exciting.

ptykozoon, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

KAF, Apr 06, 2014
Photo of deNerval
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%

deNerval, Sep 13, 2014
Photo of Halcyondays
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a dark mahogany brown with a moderate white head, very good retention. Solid lace.

S: Strawberries, bubblegum and molasses, raisins take over as it warms up. A unique nose for sure even in the style.

T: Dark sugar is dominant, some Belgian esters for sure. Hint of hops on the back end but it is still quite sweet. Tasty, but not a lot of complexity.

M: Full-bodied, crisp carbonation as opposed to the soft feel of the average Belgian. Sweet, slightly cloying, clearly an American version in feel.

D: Too expensive for what it is as I've gathered with all the MS brews I've had. A nice version, but I'd rather go to Belgium.

Halcyondays, Nov 23, 2010
Photo of dougofthefuture
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle bought on trip to Seattle for work. Poured into a nice New Belgium tulip purchased at the same time. Bottle is dated what appears to be the forth week of November. No year, so we'll say 2009.

A - Dark. Not oily, but black nonetheless. Large 3 finger head at first, and lots of lacing and retention. Head is just a slight bit on the tan side.

S - Very sweet, lots of fruity malts, with a little roasted aspect coming through. A bit of Belgian yeast flavor, but not enough for me. Just a hint of the massive ABV is present in the nose.

T&M - Bottle says 13 IBU's. That's the lowest number I've ever seen on a bottle. Definitely a malt-forward beer here. It is unique in that I hardly taste alcohol, but it is pretty obvious why. There is just too much sweetness. It overpowers not only the alcohol, but also the yeast and the subtle fruitiness here.

D - Points here for hiding the ABV, but this is much too sweet. It's just me tonight, and I'm not sure I'll be able to finish this bottle.

dougofthefuture, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Monk's Mistress has an extremely dark-colored body that looks black, but allows a little bit of light through at the edges, showing that it is a dark color of brown. Several streams of carbonation bubbles give a constant supply of bubbles to the head. The head itself is a fairly dark brown and about a finger high. The head is very creamy looking, and the retention is good. There isn't a whole lot of lacing, with only a few specks here and there.

Lots of black patent malt and a little bit of chocolate in the aroma. A variety of fruit comes through in the aroma also, from dark fruits to light fruits.

The flavor opens up a good bit more than the aroma. Lots of malt, but not quite as much as the aroma. Definitely chocolate flavors from the malt, along with black malt; pretty sweet malt base overall, although there is a little bit of roast. The fruit flavors are pretty strong also, and are skewed toward dark fruits a lot more than the aroma suggested. Cherries, figs and a little bit of green apple make up most of the fruit. There is also a very light phenolic quality that tastes like the cloves. The phenolic flavors are especially strong in the finish, along with a dose of warmth from the alcohol. A little bit of fusel flavors come through too, but nothing that is too powerful.

The body is probably lighter than average, and the carbonation is high, making the beer feel a little bit silky.

Midnight Sun seems to make some pretty good beers, and Monk's Mistress is a solid one. Although I wouldn't match it up against the Trappist beers, it is a solid American interpretation.

Hojaminbag, Dec 07, 2011
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Monk's Mistress from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 285 ratings.