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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.

288 Ratings

(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 tpd975
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep rich brown almost black hue. Nice small tan head no real retention or lace.

S: Rich sweet malty aromas. Darkened brown sugar, raisins, and belgian yeast.

T: Wonderful sweetness. Tons of raisins and figs. Molasses, nutty toffee, and brown sugar as well. Belgian yeast with light chocolate round things out.

M: On the fuller side of medium, smooth, malty goodness.

D: Good, Midnight Sun does no wrong.

Photo of CHADMC3
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, rich brown with ruby hues and a deep tan head, thickly layered atop the beer where stays for quite sometime before leaving a sticky lacing to cling to the sides of the glass.

Rich dark fruity esters highlight the aroma, possibly cherries or raisins, followed by sweet maltiness, and lively yeast.

Very traditional Belgian Strong Dark palate including dark fruits such as cherries and plums, big yeast character with a bread-like finish, the sweetest of malts, a bit of brown sugar and just a faint peppery finish.

Medium to high carbonation with a thin body although the beer is so big; the sweet malt is dried out by the alcohol bite at the finish.

This is quite a tasty brew, and as far as high abv beers of this style are concerned, it is quite drinkable. I will certainly seek this beer out again.

Photo of mjl21
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at Belmont Station in PDX. 22 ounce bottle and is under the old name of La Maitresse Du Moine. Poured into a Chimay glass. Comes in at 9%. The month and week bottled have no etchings.

A-Pours an extremely dark brown with a two finger sandy head that rests at about half of its original size. Lots of nice lacing is left in between sips. Generous second pour results in visible sediment.

S-Lots of sweet fruit, particularly apple and grape. There is candy sugar sweetness. As it warms it picks up an earthy grape character.

T-It is a lot more chocolaty than in the nose. There is also toffee and caramel sweetness throughout. Stone fruit flavor is evident more in the middle. It finishes with a nice roasted flavor in the back. It has a definite chocolate aftertaste.

M-It falls on the lower end of the thick spectrum. It is smooth and creamy.

D-The booze is very well hidden. A nice sipper of a beer.

I enjoyed this one. This definitely is an aged bottle. Curious to see what it is like when fresh.

Photo of nickd717
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Liquid Solutions.

Pours a deep dark reddish-brown color with a large, fluffy tan head. Midnight Sun seems to always nail the appearance, and this is no exception.

Aroma is dark fruits, brown sugar, molasses, roast, chocolate, and spiced rum.

Flavor is very heavy on the molasses, but still very good. Candied dark fruits abound - raisin, plum, cherries, and figs - along with chocolate and spices. Really tasty.

Smooth on the palate with medium body and soft carbonation.

Drinkability is not outstanding, but overall this is really a great beer.

Photo of mentor
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Bottle foamed over a just a bit. Been in my cellar at least a year, perhaps two. Notch on the bottle is July and the week is between the 2 and 3, probably meant to be 2. Pours an easy 4 finger head over a black liquid with dark ruby edgings. Smells of blueberry pancakes. Strawberry syrup, cream, and some belgian phenolic. Some dry chocolate and toffee-like DME.

Tastes blueberry, blackberry, dry chocolate, allspice, almond, and some belgian edginess. Wet in the mouth, but drying finish that leads to a peppery close. Nutmeg and old allspice (like sat in the sun for a couple years) in the aftertaste. Later sips reveal some oakiness, gentle clean alcohol, fall leaves (imagine the smell as a taste), cigarette ash, and a dash of cherry. Complex and interesting, though not always flavors i consider pleasing.

Md-light in the mouth, but some dextrin creaminess in the body. Way too strong carbonation and fair drinkability. THe almond character came on stronger as the bottle emptied and even began to wear.

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

Big-ass 22oz bomber bottled almost a year ago according to the label, which indicates 4th week of November as the time in question. At 11%, I'm not too worried about it. Interestingly enough the label also states the amount of IBUs - 13. Any of those nitwits that claim all dark beers are bitter need to try this. Purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $8.99.

Poured a super dark brown color into a St. Bernardus goblet. Moderate-sized tan head that lingered in reduced form after it's initial drop. Said head is easily re-agitated into existence. When held up to direct light, there is just the faintest of ruby-ish highlights visible, if one looks really hard for them.

Big nose to this one. Toffee, cherries, prunes, brown sugar, oak barrels and booze all jump out right off the bat. As it warms it reminds me of cognac.

Big taste to this one as well. Like the nose, this is sweet, with rich chocolate notes, but vying with cherries and brown sugar. There's an oakey wine-like flavor in the background. Hovering over all is a potent boozy warm sensation that kindly yet firmly tells you not to screw around with this beer. Slight dry note at the swallow.

Fairly full-bodied, but not as much as you'd expect given the flavor profile and the abv. There's definitely some Belgian candy sugar at work here. Rich, coating mouthfeel.

After a long couple of days and on a cold night after dinner, this really hits the spot. Who needs dessert if they have this on hand? Not a session beer by any means, but an outstanding beer to quaff for dessert and/or a nightcap. Definitely among the better American versions of the style.

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.

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

22 oz bottle, bought at Biercafe in Portland.

Pours a very dark reddish brown, almost black away from the light, very thick tan head forms, slowly settles to a very thick layer, great retention, some lace sticks.

Smell is nice, lots of dark fruit, alcohol, caramel sweetness, yeast, kind of a powdery cocoa aroma, neat raisin character, a bit of banana, lightly spicy, some sweet toasty malt, not bad.

Taste is similar, very sweet and fruity, caramel, some brown sugar, banana, biscuit, a bit of light roast, raisin, really interesting character, maybe a bit too clean and malty for a BSDA but still pretty enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to high carbonation, pretty smooth and easy to drink, good stuff.

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

Thanks for busting this out last night, Brett! I'd never had it and was psyched for a chance to have tried this.

Dark brown with a thick brown head. Retention and lacing are quite excellent. The nose is quite fabulous, with rich, dark chocolate with a fruity character with cherries and pear. Mildly vinous and grapey, this is great. The palate is a combination of big, fruity character initially with a touch of chocolate. The fruit character is prominent, with plums and prunes. The finish is a little disappointing, dry with a mild astringency and lacking in flavor. A touch over-carbonated, this medium-bodied beer is loaded with fruit character, and I'd love to try it fresh.

Photo of coldmeat23
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees
Label is La Maitresse Du Moine (pre-name change)

Pours a very dark brown, practically black, color. A large, fluffy, mountainous head of light brown foam sits on top. Retention is very good and the lacing is thick and sticky.

The nose is full of dark fruit notes and sweet maltiness. Candi sugars, yeast and brown sugars are detected. Red grapes, dark cherries and sweet chocolate notes, also. Initially, there was a hint of oxidization (metallic) but it seems to be fading, after only a couple of minutes.

It's almost like a good belgian dark blended with a nice stout. Very interesting.
Good malt base which is represented by notes both sweet and roasty. Good notes of dark fruits. Notes of chocolate covered caramels and cherries with hints of dark roasted coffee. Mild notes of toasted nuts and a light spiciness. Very light touch of anise.

Nicely full-bodied. Very smooth and very creamy. The carbonation level seems to be slightly on the high side, but not so much as to hurt the flavor.

The abv is way to high to drink this one all of the time. It's easy to drink though. It would be an excellent dessert beer.

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

A 650 mL bomber from Liquid Solutions.

A: The Belgian dark ale is beyond dark, a deep crimson red that could be considered black if there were less light in the room. A large head, over three fingers, blanketed the glass on the first pour. Subsequent pours tried to recreate that magic. No lacing.

S: The nose is loaded with fruit, dark and sweet. Raisins and grapes are prominent, as is baker's chocolate. Caramel malts and yeast (again the yeast) fire on multiple cylinders.

T: Bam! This is how a Belgian dark ale should taste. Dark malts, caramel and chocolate, lead off with dark candi sugars and Belgian yeast bringing up the rear. The middle of the sip is spice, the yeast adding a twist, that is coupled with a sharp bite from the carbonation. Delicious and warming, an excellent end to my day.

M: Belgian, sweet and mysterious, this has a taste that can't disappoint. Dark fruits sugars, caramel and chocolate all in one 650 mL bottle.

D: Over 11%, this one is a beer to sip slowly. The depth of flavor makes me want to come back for more.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle split with a fellow BA into a large snifter, my 1st from this brewery.

Monk's mistress is a dark dirty brown with some red edges towards the light. A 1inch frothy tan head that left great lace patterns. The nose is sweet consisting of brown sugar and a bunch of sweet malt. In the taste, I get the same with the sweet malt winning with the brown sugar underneath. Also getting some dark fruits, nuttiness and a big dose of spice rounding it out, this tastes great. The mouth is is one step below thick with good carb, at times this is a bit too sweet and cloying but not enough to keep me from my glass. The 9% is high, hindering the drinkability a bit, but the taste is two thumbs up.

Photo of Bitterbill
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My 3rd offering from Midnight Sun. 1 I bought online from Liquid Solutions years ago(Arctic Devil), the other 2 from the great trader known as joe1510. Thanks Joe!

This pours from the 22oz bottle a very dark brown with some hues of red. The foam gives me +2 finger. Probably because I served it at near room temp.

Taking a few whiffs, I can smell some dark fruit and caramel malts making for a rather sweet nose. A little bit of the booze shines through but it isn't that noticeable.

First sip and this puppy is very malty and very sweet. Big caramel malt with big dark fruits, mostly plum and I'm not talking any tartness at all, followed by some toffee and yes... I take my words back, a slight fruit tartness that I pick up when I swish the beer in my mouth. Some alcohol warming here as well but not 11.5%abv's worth. This brew is definitely Malt centered and I can *not* complain at all. Very damn tasty.

Medium bodied with lowish carbonation, it finishes fruity with a mild alcohol kick. Head retention and lacing? The envy of most brews.

Drinkability? You are not going to pound bombers of this stuff but 1 bottle is much easier to drink than I thought it would be. A thoroughly enjoyable brew from first sip to last sip. Well worth seeking out.

Photo of John_M
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yepper, that's right... this beer was on the nitro at the brewery the other day (as well as at Humpy's the very next day, where I got to have it again).

The beer pours a dark cola color with excellent, creamy head, good retention and lots of sticky lacing. The beer has an impressive nose of spice, rootbeer, chocolate and cherry. On the palate this beer is just delicious. I get plenty of creamy milk chocolate and cherry, with a slight hint of anise as well. As you might expect with a beer like this on the nitro, mouthfeel is soft, creamy smooth, and very, very long. The low carbonation really works well in this beer. Alcohol is well disguised, though you can tell the alcohol is up there and is sizeable. Very tasty stuff.

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

Thanks to aerozeppl for sharing.

A: Dark reddish brown with minimal tan head.

S: Sweet malt. Prunes or some other dark fruit.

T: Almost a light quad. Good sweetness with a touch of spice.

M: A touch thin but malty.

D: A solid BSDA but nothing special. A low spot for midnight sun.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with only a touch of brown around the edges. A half finger of bone colored head

S: Sweet malt. Light dark fruit. Really nice Belgian nose that is hard to pin down but was w entirely pleasant.

T: Lots of sweetness. A nice Belgian taste. A really solid example of the style.

M: Very dry in the finish and low carbonation.

D: Nice drinker. No hint of the ABV. We definately took our time with this beer but I would never turn another sample down. Thanks to dmeadows for sharing.

Photo of froghop
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had as monk's mistress.

pours a cloudy dark brown with a large beige head, and a very good lacing.

smell of malt, some cocoa, dark fruit, and roasted nuts.

taste is dry yet creamy, prunes, raisins, cocoa, malt, and a touch of brown sugar, ends dry and a tad bitter.

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

Poured in a big wine glass at 56 F/ 13 C.

Very dark brown color, almost black at first glance, with a small tan head and thick, wavy swaths of lace.

Sweet, fruity, malty, yeasty, spicy aroma, very nice. Fresh juicy fruit salad with grapes and plums in it, sprinkled with dark brown sugar, and dusted with cookie spices.

Full flavored and very tasty. Classic figgy, plummy, grapey flavors, with red apple, just a bit of banana, brown sugar, dark caramel malt, and some warm spice. Moderately sweet, well balanced. Cohesive. Very smooth. Lingering toasty caramel, apple, and light spice.

Fine smooth texture. Just a touch of astringency like fruit skin, contributing balance. Smooth and highly drinkable, due in part to some restraint on the sweetness, and to an almost complete absence of solventy notes.

I like it. Compared to its Belgian counterparts, this is a bit darker and toastier and not quite as complex, but it works. Very enjoyable.

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

Bottle thanks to JCB (thanks Jason!). Pours a dark brown with a thick light brown head. Very pretty. Aroma of sweet pears and apples and sweet malt. Flavor initially of sweet malt and some slight roasted malt notes in the finish. Very smooth palate but a little wearing from the sweetness. Pretty decent, a little sweet though.
8/4/7/4/15 (3.8/5)

Photo of jsapunor
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz. bomber into a chalice glass.

When held up to the light, a very nice dark red color. Typical for the style. It pours a nice head that is not in any hurry to go away. It smells maybe a little floral but caramel is definitely present.

The taste is like the smell. I get a very nice combination of dark fruits and caramel or coffee. It is biased toward sweetness but not overwhealmingly so. There are some nice spicy overtones. A very complex, lively and very pleasing mix of flavors that stays with you and is different from what I expected. Not your typical BSDA. Nice light mouthfeel with carbonation a little higher than expected but pleasing all the same.

This beer is very drinkable for the ABV. The bomber disappeared all too soon.

Photo of theAlaskan
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bomber into my oversized wine glass.

A: Be carefull when pouring this one into your glass, too fast and you'll overflow the glass before you can say son of a....! Looks obsidian black untill held to the light where some beautiful crimson hilights shine through. head is about 3 fingers and lasts for a LONG time before settling down to a 1/4" cap. captivating to look at. Left a couple of rings of lacing.

S: Smell is somewhat of a letdown. Very good bready/ yeasty belgian yeast. Some dark roasted malts present, very pleasing. Minor spice notes with a little sweetness just poping up on the tail end. A hint of dark fruits typical of BSDA's,raisin + plum. Faint alcohol back in the distance, picks up a little as it warms

T: Spot on for the style. Follows suit w/ smell. Wonderful yeast and malt flavor, some sweetness. notes of carmel and raisin. Followed by some other wonderful nuiances that I can't distinguish.

M: Mouthfeel is very good with a med. bodied, non coating, yet viscous texture. Carbonation is where it should be, this is probably what counteracts the otherwise clyoing feel.

D: Don't be suprised to look into the vast, empty depths of your bomber saying "Damn it!!! who drank my beer?!?!??" only to realize that you have already ingested it yourself.

O: Overall very good beer. Could have used just a little improvement, not one I would crave, yet a very solid brew with good flavor. I wouldn't choose this over most other midinight sun beers, but DEFINITLY wouldn't turn it down if ther were only a couple of choices at the store. Easy sipper, goes down smooth.... way to go you guys!!! next time I'm in "Anchor-town" I'll bee making a pilgrimage to you guys.

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

A: Kind of dark where I'm reviewing, but this looks dark brown/cola colored with a big tan head.

S/T: very spicy, dark fruits, baked bread and yeast, sugar, a little molasses, and a tad medicinal. The medicinal quality is not great. Kind of reminds me of 10 Commandments. Other than that though, this tastes very good.

M: Medium bodied, not too thick or sticky, and carbonation is spot on - medium with fine bubbles that cut through the body and keep this from bordering a shade on cloying.

D: Kind of wish this was available in 12 oz bottles.

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 wisrarebeer
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled August '07.

A: very dark, near opaque

S: mild nose but hints of candy sugar and roasted malt, traditional Belgian dubbel

T: very good, great burnt malt taste, yeasty with raisins, not overpowering but quality of an aged dubbel

M: great, nice and rounded

D: very

Photo of Beertracker
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

MSB La Mâitresse du Moine pours up rather fizzy with a loose tannish-creamy head that rises above the slightly murky, deep mahogany brown-opaque body. The aroma is very chocolatey with some ripened fruit (black fig, bruised banana, carmelized raisin) notes. Very spicy (black peppercorn, cassia, coriander) towards the finish with a notable warmth from the alcohol. The flavor starts off with some brown/candi sugar sweetness which is barely underscored by a light spicy bitterness that carries towards an overly roasty, cloying, cheek warming finish. This one is a bit too roasty for my liking, but Monk's Mistress is definitely worth seeking out. Here's to the "seductive, pensive & intriguing" Monk's Mistress brewed in America's last frontier!

CHEERS! Beertracker

Taster's Note: Thanks to TexasStout for the opportunity!

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