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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

268 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 268
Reviews: 171
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 75
Gots: 39 | FT: 2
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Monk's Mistress Alström Bros
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Ratings: 268 | Reviews: 171 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2008 01:35:12 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4/5  rDev -1.5%

10-29-2012 01:05:39 | More by t0rin0
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -1.5%

11-30-2011 18:02:50 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

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 BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2005 21:25:34 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of metter98
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 nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev -1.5%

11-18-2011 03:06:30 | More by nmann08
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2008 10:24:34 | More by mikesgroove
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Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2009 01:04:48 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

01-11-2012 07:34:36 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

4/5  rDev -1.5%

02-21-2013 01:26:46 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4/5  rDev -1.5%

04-08-2012 20:17:26 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

4/5  rDev -1.5%

01-12-2013 06:08:22 | More by spycow
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2010 00:41:51 | More by zeff80
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

11-15-2011 01:14:56 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2011 23:57:54 | More by largadeer
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JAHMUR

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -1.5%

11-25-2011 20:29:37 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2003 02:02:17 | More by Jason
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

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

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2009 06:07:41 | More by russpowell
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -1.5%

01-27-2014 23:34:24 | More by Kegatron
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

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 jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2010 23:28:01 | More by jlindros
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

Washington

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 Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottled August 2007; Sampled January 2008
Quite well carbonated, a very careful pour produces a fat, five finger thick, light brown colored head that grows above the top of my tulip glass. The beer is quite dark, with an opaque, deeply burnt brown color that shows some clear, ruby hued highlights around the edges when held up to the lightly. Earthy, concentrated notes of dark fruit is the most evident part of the aroma; aromas of roasted, slightly burnt raisins is definitely noticeable. Quite spicy as well with notes of white pepper, substantial clove, some allspice, touches of mace and a woody, slightly savory note similar to a cross between sarsaparilla, birch and a touch of cinnamon bark. Quite aromatic, one of those beers whose aroma jumps out of the glass. This seems like quite a decadent tipple based on the aroma. Even 5 minutes later I still have four fingers of head on this brew, that is why I love tulip glasses as I can still easily get a sip of the brew under all this foam. This does leave quite a few patches of sticky foam on the sides of my glass as I slowly work my way through the beer.

Sweet tasting and quite redolent of dark fruit; raisin puree, prunes, dried figs and perhaps a touch of dried cherry and dried cranberry. The beer finishes with a cola like spiciness as well as a dusty, browned malt note, notes of cocoa powder and a touch of hop bitterness. While fairly sweet the beer is actually some what light feeling, at least it is light feeling for a beer of this strength and sweetness as this is most definitely a sipping brew. It is thick enough that the slightly excessive carbonation is barely noticed. The carbonation does add a peppery, carbonic bit to this brew though. There is quite a bit of dark malt character here; from toasty grain notes, to touches of chocolate, a dusting of roast coffee, lots of brown sugar notes and darkly caramelized, sweet malt. The beer has a touch of tartness to it in the finish that seems a product of both the dark grain and some yeast by products.

As the beer warms up a bit and loses more of the carbonation, it actually seems to get a bit lighter on the palate, becomes a bit less sweet with more of a balance to the chocolate/cocoa dark malt notes. A hint of tamarind becomes noticeable as it couples with the soft tartness in the finish. This has a lot more dark malt character than one would typically get in a beer from Belgium, but I like that added dimension in this brew (after all this isn't Belgian). The dark malt helps to balance the huge, dark fruit character. This is quite a good beer; it can be a bit sweet at first and perhaps a bit on the thin side after a while, but it is definitely enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2008 02:55:15 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2010 03:24:51 | More by Halcyondays
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Monk's Mistress from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 268 ratings.