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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

288 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 288
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: 288 | Reviews: 173 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark colour, with white foamy head. Good roast aroma,roasted chocolate, stout elements, licorice and mollasses in the taste.Above average mouthfeel, with caramel, yeast, roast, nuttiness, suitable carbonation. A good crossover, and complexity. Drinkable.

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

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.

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -26.1%

Photo of metter98
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.

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep pitch-brown color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of light dry fruit with a spicy yeast and some light alcohol ester showing. Taste is quite charming with good notes of dry fruits and some spicy yeast leading way to some warm alcohol. Body is fuller then average with good carbonation. I thought a bit too much alcohol was showing and the yeast strain that was used was somewhat too spicy.

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

Dark crimson-brown, like a cherry tobacco cheroot. While the crazed carbonation is barely visible due to the 'light's out' color of the beer, the glass-filling head is all the proof I need. It's golden ecru in color and falls over time to a wind-smoothed mesa of foam. Since this isn't the sort of head to produce much lace, I'm not surprised to see a clean glass.

LMDM smells authentically Belgian, even though it hails from the land of the Midnight Sun. It's powerfully dark malty with aromas of myriad dark fruits: raisins, black currants, prunes, black cherries. There's also a muskiness that I'll attribute to hops (or perhaps yeast) and an even more notable dark spiciness.

This beer is more than impressive. It's amazingly flavorful with layer upon layer of BSDA power and dizzying depth. It's a bewitching mixture of intense, mega-spicy, explosive dark fruitiness that I'm unable to fully explore before the mouthful is gone and I need to see about getting another.

I'm not sure if spices were added; it's probably just an ass-kicker of a yeast strain. Raisin paste and sour plums just got added to the flavor profile. Call me crazy, but there are also elements of the wee heavy and dubbel styles in this beer. I'll say this, the masterful brewers at Midnight Sun hit the proverbial nail on the proverbial head.

The mouthfeel is medium, leaning toward full, with that wonderful chewiness that I like in most all big beer. The still vigorous carbonation isn't annoying in the least. In fact, it's part of what makes the beer feel Belgian. I've just realized that I haven't mentioned alcohol. That's because it's nowhere to be found; a remarkable achievement at an ABV of 9.0%.

La Maitresse Du Moine does not translate as The Mattress from Des Moines, despite what some may think. The Monk's Mistress is the finest ASDA (Alaskan strong dark ale) that I've ever had. In fact, it's good enough to stand alongside some of the best Belgians. It's beautiful, complex, strong, sophisticated and exotic. I should be so lucky as to have a mistress with those qualities.

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I received this one graciously from Miss Dana Tayner. I was very anxious to try it as I have loved everything that I have tried from Midnight Sun, and this looked like it was going to be a monster so I did not want to wait to dive in. The nicely labeled 22oz bomber was served in a Chimay goblet at cellar temperature.

Appearance - The pour was absolutely beautiful. This had to be one of the best looking Belgian ales I have ever seen. It was just tremendous from the first moment I poured it into the glass. A rich, deep, dark brown was shown right before me, just barely letting the slightest bit of color come through to give it a nice tint to the reddish side. Lots of carbonation rippling up toward the surface though out. The head was enormous, towering to a height of at least four inches before finally settling down to a modest three inches! This thing was a beast, leaving behind enormous amounts of side glass lace everywhere it touched. One of the best, if not the best looking Belgian ale I have ever seen.

Smell - The aroma was extremely big as well, I could literally feel it popping in my nose as I took in every breathe. Really extremely well done. Big aroma of raisins, and figs started it off, with a nice little hint of spice and just the tiniest bit of alcohol way in the back making it a touch bigger. There was the unmistakable aroma of cocoa in there as well, which really threw me for a loop. Nice subtle earthy tones as well, overall this was extremely well done.

Taste - The flavor started out very nice. A rich, warming palate of dark fruits washed over the tongue from the very first sip. It had loads of rum soaked raisins, figs, plums, and was just very dark overall in its profile. The cocoa then showed up again as well, very sweet, and creamy hints of chocolate showing out here. It was fleeting at first, but then became wrapped up in the roasted malts and a slightly smoked like flavor. As it warmed though all of the subtleness of it then faded, and instead the roasted malts dominated, and eased up on the overall complexity of it.

Mouthfeel - This was a rather interesting experiment in how a beer can transform. It started out very well carbonated, with a nice smooth feel, and a near silk like consistency to it. Once it warmed up though it started to go flat, and really thinned out which was quite disappointing. The flavor fell out with it, and I am not really sure what happened there.

Drinkability - This was an easy smooth sipper for sure. The ABV was a little up there at around 1o%, however, it was well masked, and in the beginning it was very well carbonated. I could have had another, well at least the first part of another.

Overall I thought this was really well done, and one of the better strong ales I have had. The notes of chocolate were extremely well placed and the overall profile was very nice and full. If you can get this I would recommend doing so. It is definitely worth a bit of a hunt, as this is vintage Midnight Sun class.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

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

Draft at Gourmet Haus Staudt.

Dark brown, close to opaque with a black center. Pours with a tall dense head that slowly settles to a collar.

Rich aroma, malty and spicy, heavy on star anise and clove-like phenols. Molasses and chocolate, a bit of toasted brown malt and tart cherry. The alcohol is very well hidden.

The palate starts with black licorice, semi-burnt toast, molasses and unsweetened berry preserves. Full body, very velvety and not necessarily sweet, especially in the finish, which leans more toward phenolic, almost medicinal spicy-herbal flavors. Alcohol, again, is barely noticed. Really nice stuff overall, easily one of the best American takes on the style.

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of zeff80
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an opaque, dark, dark brown hue with an off-white, pillowy head of foam. Good retention that leaves behind some patchy lace.

S - Aroma is malty sweet with a good dose of dried fruits (plum, raisin).

T - A fairly spicy Belgian Dark. Good malt backbone of caramel and toffee with mild raisin and plum flavors.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. It has a pretty nice bite. A medium to full bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty darn good beer. Midnight Sun continues to impress me.

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

22 oz brown bomber with a bottled on date on the side of the label.

Appearance: Quick to foam, slow to dissipate. Lots of action from the carbonation to keep the head alive, two shades away from black … very dark.

Smell: Faint licorice, soft yeast … dry malty twang. Quick flash of phenols, dark fruit and a light spicy alcohol.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Big alcoholic character, very boisterous and very warming. Smooth and crisp with a viscous mouth feel. Spicy up front with phenols and alcohol, very little hopping but it is not needed. Lots of dark fruit flavour; prune & black currant. Spices linger with clove, licorice, black pepper … further are some earthy tones, minerally.

Notes: Vastly complex, a sipping brew. Shared the bottle or spend the night getting through it.

Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of jlindros
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A big thanks to imperialbeachbrw for this one.

Pours a very light fizzy head that rises late, reaching about 1/2 a finger and fades even faster than it formed to essentially a couple small bubbles floating on the thin dark molasses brown almost black colored beer with hints of light sneaking through.

Nose brings a mixture of sweet Belgian candi sugar, dark candi sugar, some Belgian malts, some dark fruits like figs, hints of winter spices, a slight syrupy aroma, some boozy qualities.

Taste is fairly sweet and boozy, pretty boozy tasting, hitting at 11.5% it sure lets you know it. WIth that is a bit of dark candi sugar and molasses, plenty of dark Belgian malts and yeast fruits with more figs, plums, maybe even aged apricots, some light winter spices, and a bit of a spicy tingly taste as well. Finishes with a warming and tingly sensation as it goes down, some lingering malts and sugars, even a bit of a porter like roast flavor coming out, with just a hint of bitterness.

Mouth is medium bodied, lighter than I expected, with champagne like carbonation (many little bubbles) and tons of warming and tingly booze.

Drink is not the greatest either, with lots of booze that even burns the mouth a bit as if it was hard liquor, some sweetness that doesn't dry as well as I thought it would, and the weird carbonation take a few hits on it. It's tasty though, but just slow drinking.

Photo of russpowell
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a chestnut-hued mahogany with a finger of mocha head. Some lacing & zero head retention

S: Musty apples, plums & other dark fruit

T: A bit of green apple, plums & a kiss of booze up front. A bit of oaky dryness & some dark chcolate, a bit more booze burn, leafy hops & figs as this warms, Finishes with a bit of dirt, some booze burn & much dark fruit

MF: Medium, fairly spritzy

Drink pretty easy for the ABV, a bit of booze burn, & style. fair take on the style

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.

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Monk's Mistress from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 288 ratings.