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Monk's Mistress - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Monk's MistressMonk's Mistress

Educational use only; do not reuse.

289 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 289
Reviews: 173
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.61%
Wants: 79
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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 08-19-2003

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 289 | Reviews: 173 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Beertracker
3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
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!

Photo of russpowell
3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
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 mnapier
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Temperature, 50 degrees farenheit. Serving Glassware, 12 ounce tulip.

Purchased, September 1st (Bottle date = July 2008)

The beer pours dark and without any light shooting through it along with a rather obvious strong khaki foamy head that dies leaving a light fog across the surface.
The nose is interesting with notes of brown sugar, some raisin and grapes, and a medium alcohol.
The sip from this is interesting with dark fruits, some belgian candied sugars and an overall medium mouthfeel.

Man I need some cheese.


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

Tasted from a 22oz bottle.

Poured a dark reddish-brown color with a large sized, deep tan head. Subtle aromas and tastes of yeast, brown sugar, and dark fruits (plums and raisins). Bready. Sweet. Slightly spicy. Alcohol well hidden.

Notes from 10/7/04

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

A- This fits the style for sure as its very very dark, almost black. The head is light and very fluffy. The head that formed was a three finger head, and after the top was popped it was trying to poke its self out of the top of the bottle.

S- I'm getting dark fruits, the usual suspects one would find in a Dark Belgian. I am able to smell the alcohol in this beer, its not extremely strong, but its there for sure. I'm also getting something bready and yeasty.

T- This is an aggressive beer. Very strong molasses flavors, the dark fruits are there, but not as robust. The Alcohol is also very present in the taste. I'm also getting some coffee taste. This tastes not like any BDSA I've ever had. I might have to drink more and see.

M- I felt this beer was slightly thick in the mouth. I like thick beers, but not in my Belgians. But the carbination does help with some of the thickness.

D- Yeah this is easy to drink, and its packing a bit of a punch.

Over all this is a solid beer.

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

Many thanks to AKBelgianBeast for a chance to try this one.

A - Pours 2 1/2 fingers of tan head that has a great retention. As it slowly recedes, it leaves some very nice lacing. The beer is dark and black, with no light shining through.

S - A pretty malty aroma with dark fruits, grape and plum stand out the most. There are also some spices present.

M - First thing that can be noted is that it isn't as heavy as it looks. It's a medium bodied brew with a fairly high amount of carbonation, similar to a soft drink.

T - Lots of things going on in the taste department. The roasted malts are up front followed by the dark fruit. The Belgian yeast and spices round up the end and finishes dry. It leaves an alcohol warming sensation in your stomache after it goes down.

This is a very complex beer. There is a lot going on bewtween the malts, spices, and dark fruit. It's very well rounded, but not for the unadventurous.

Photo of gford217
4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Wow, this is one of the best looking Belgian ales I've ever seen. Almost completely black pour with a huge rocky tan head that leaves a cap for the duration leaving good lacing. It looks almost like a stout.

S: Aroma has a huge roasted malt base with some Belgian yeast thrown in. Dark fruit are also evident with raisins and grapes clearly present as well as a spicy character throughout. Maybe even a hint of tart in the nose as well, but only a hint.

T: Taste has an overall cola flavor with the roasted malts forming the backbone. The dark fruit sweetness pop up front, but the spiciness takes over in the finish and shows itself much more than in the aroma. Belgian yeasts and candied sugars round out this very complex taste.

M: Mouthfeel is medium bodied with huge carbonation that fizzes all over the palate.

D: This is a great Belgian-style brew with tons of roasted malt character to differentiate it from the typical ale in this style. Another distinctive and very tasty beer from Midnight Sun.

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

The La Maitresse Du Moine poured a dark brown barely see through color with a good finger foam head that was slow to go away.

Aroma profile was molasses, spiciness, brown sugar. Slight alcohol smell. The taste was spicy up front with a good sharp malt abv slap. It was a full bodied beer for sure. It had a date taste on the finish with a slight hoppiness. You are also left with the mouth feel of a roasted malt flavor like drinking a deep stout. Get a little chocolate on the finish as well.

Overall a very worthy Belgian Strong Dark. Try it if you can. I found good depth on this brew.

Photo of 11thFloorBrewing
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I'm sitting outside in Anchorage on one of the last sunny summer days. I pour this from a bomber into a large snifter. The color is very dark coffee, but as the sun strikes it lovely deep red reflections scatter around me. Beautiful malt and some biscuit aroma invite me to sip. The inital taste leaves me surprised. It's much lighter in body and flavor than expected. Some coffee, very light roasty malt, and spiciness make this flavorful but overpowering. It's dry with medium carbonation and tingly on the tongue. Despite being 9% this is very drinkable and doesn't have too much of that alcohol heat. I will definitely get another bottle or two to take back home with me.

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

thanks to Tayner for the chance to try this brew. Beer from alaska in NH, made possible only here! So, how's it taste? Well, darn right tasty. Yeah, it's dark, it's it got a spice, yeast, phenol, ripe dark fruite malty aspect which is quite enjoyable. I'd gladly have one or 5 more of these for the beer cellar!

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

"The Monk's Mistress" pours dark dark mahogony brown. Frothy reddish head with ample carbonation.

Dark rich fruity aroma. Slight licorice and spice. Malty.

Big malt body and a really nice sweet Unibrou quality, without the wierd yeastiness. Clove and other dry spices poke through. Alcohol and dry coffeebean bitterness.

A great brew, and an unexpected treat from an eually unexpected locale.

Photo of warmstorage
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: medium chestnut brown, slightly hazy, with medium brown head. Significant dispersed lacing.

Aroma: brown sugar, some roast, and deep fruit: prunes and plums?

Taste: brown sugar, toasted malt, and definite sugary sweetness. Some stonefruit, some prunes. Distinct bready and estery-fruity Belgian yeastiness.

Mouth: Moderately full, slightly slick, some alcohol warmth, but not as much as one might expect for 9%.

Overall: A drinkable, tasty beer, quite good, but not amazing. Quite drinkable.

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

This one bottled on 12/05 and considered thanks to grumpy.

Pours a clear opaque dark brown color with a full finger loose fizzy tan head that fades quickly with little lacing. The smell is unique, rich and aggressive. Roasted malt, NECCO chocolate, plums, molasses and a little boozy. Adequately carbonated, the mouth feel is full bodied yet alive with effervescence. Little pools of bubbles attempt in vein to maintain a surface collar. The flavor very close to the nose. A chalky malt chocolate and plum with a dark fruit molasses after taste that lingers appropriately. Overall very rich and sweet. The 9% ABV is well hidden beneath the strong plum and chocolate flavors. A really unique experience, another wonderful product from Midnight Sun Brewing, definitely one worth considering. Recommended.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
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 Floydster
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber purchased from Liquid Solutions in Oregon for around nine dollars, split with a friend last night, poured into a Paulaner imperial pint glass

A-Dark brown color with amber highlights, 3/4 inch of a somewhat creamy off white head, did not stick around for too long, some retention, small amount of lacing at the beginning

S-Smell was awesome, dark fruits including prunes mostly, also raisins, plums, figs, and dates Belgian yeast, cherries, slight tart aroma, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, sweet malt, some chocolate, hint of coffee oddly, and molasses

T-Strated off with a big dark fruit taste just like the smell, then some bready malt in the middle provided some chewiness but not too much, also burned a little bit some roasted feels, finish was sweet right off the bat with berries and plums, also sweet caramel malt, later on the fruits shined through more but I could never taste the cherries I noticed in the aroma, dark fruits and toffee became stronger there, could have used some hops or some kind of bitterness to balance out the sweet flavor of this beer but it did just fine without it, not bad overall

M-Sweet, chewy, sugary, and slightly roasty motuhfeel, also dry at times from some cocoa in the aftertaste, taste lingered for a little bit, medium body, not much carbonation but not syrupy either

D-Probably could have polished off this bottle by myself, alcohol was hidden great for nine percent, it is strong but you cannot taste it, smooth and fairly easy to drink

Saw how this was rated and needed to try it for myself, usually not a huge fan of this style but this was pretty good, a little expensive but I would drink again, recommended

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

a: This was a clear, dark ruby red color. It poured with an explosive light tan head that stuck around for a while. This took some time to pour.

s: There was some sour funk here, some sweet cherries, and a bit of brandy-like alcohol. There was a perfumed quality to this one and a touch of honey as well.

t: The malts are sweet and almost peaty. I also tasted some sour funky cherries, honey, and vanilla. That brandy-like alcohol was there on the finish as well.

m: The carbonation was not as fizzy as most of Belgian Strong Darks I've tried have been. This was a very welcome change.

d: I got this from tayner in an LIF, sweet! This is well worth seeking out.

Photo of Wasatch
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger plus tannish creamy head, lots of nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, slightly yeast, toffee, dark fruits, and caramel. The taste is malty/yeasty, with some dark fruits. Medium body. Drinkable, not really a fan of this brew, not a BSDA in my book.

Photo of Stoneman78
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from bottletrek.com, contents poured into a Stone IRS tulip glass

Appearance is a dark brown hue with amber highlights, thick off-white foamy head sustains, thick lacing

Smell is big, dark fruits (raisins, plums, figs), Belgian yeast, honey, brown sugar, light caramel and coffee malts

Taste is dominated by dark fruits and caramel malts initially, tones of molasses show and up as do the coffee malts which eventually dominate the profile, finishes syrupy sweet

Mouthfeel is full-bodied, thick and viscous texture, lively carbonation

Drinkability is good, this is an intriguing dark Belgian, the malts have a nice contrast to the fruits and Belgian yeast, definitely more on the sipping side

Photo of cjgator3
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a large Duvel tulip glass. Pours a dark black color with a huge light tan head that possesses excellent retention and lacing qualities. It almost looks more like a stout. The aroma is slightly tart with some dark malts, yeast, a slight whiff of pepper, and just a touch of funkiness. The taste is dark malts with some chocolate, yeast and a dry coffee-like bitterness. This beer is reminiscent of a Belgian-style stout mixed with a Belgian strong dark ale. Overall, this is a really nice beer that is highly recommended.

Photo of SargeC
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep black brew with a dense, tan head.

Smell: Yeast, black berries, malt. Touch of alcohol.

Taste: Robust malt backbone embraced by yeast and dark fruit flavors. The intensely focused flavors finish with some alcohol vapors and some sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Sticky finish with limited carbonation.

Drinkablity: A complex brew that is a great sipping beer. However, it is not as dense as other sipping brews.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz received as an extra in trade with AKBelgianBeast.. very nice extra (a long time want) .. Shared with my trading partner.. mine from my New Belgium snifter.

Very carbonated.. long lasting light tan head..sticky/crusty lacing.. very dark brown/black brew.

Light dark malts with spicy Belgian yeast characteristics.. dark dried fruits.. whiffs of cherries... some coffee remnants..

Tastes Belgian for sure... spicy but not as much as the benchmarks .. dark caramel and fruity esters .. some semisweet chocolate.. spicy alcohol.. a little boozy.. peppery.. maybe a little clove. Carbonation works against this one.. could use a little more viscosity to battle back the burpy bubbles. pretty rich.. but the carbonation needs to be dialed back a bit. Like a BSDA "Pop-Rocks". Drinkability.. I would/need access to this brew to give it another go around.. Very nice.. but could use some finesse.

Frank may be one of the best traders I've had the chance of working with.. and I haven't yet gotten to the 7 Deadly Sins... Cheers... very nice extra.

Photo of Sammy
4.07/5  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 Gueuzedude
4.02/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of brdc
4.88/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Large capped bottle, poured into a goblet.

Pitch black, with a creamy, dense tan head that keeps collar and lacing all the way down, beautiful and just flawless appearance.

Aroma is an impressive combination of malty sweetness with the usual caramel and perhpas molasses, a multitude of dark fruits, but also some unexpected layers of spiciness and of all things to be found in a dark ale, coffee and bittersweet chocolate.

Chewy, full bodied yet creamy and nicely carbonated, it is not exactly true to style, yet is amazing in its own right. Just like the aroma suggested, multiple dark fruits, sweet caramel, but also some coffee, bittersweet chocolate and a mild peppery spiciness. And a few more things I cannot identify.

Big, bold, complex, yet easy to put down. It is half way down and I am already sad I have only one more of this in my cellar.

One year later, from same batch, it holds very well, although it does not really improve - very hard to improve IMHO. Next chance, will get a full case.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The monks mistress is a typical american shot at a belgian strong. pours very dark, with deep dark red tints. Head is of decent size but quickly fades into a ring, but does stick to the glass all the way down. Nose is of sweet dark fruit, prune or fig, sugary with almost no alcohol. Especially pruney. The first taste is of dark fruit and candy sugar. Dark fruit middle with malt and with an almost peppery taste. the finish is hoppy with a hint of coppery penny taste. The aftertaste is hoppy and lingers for a while. A good beer, but doesnt compare to a belgian strong from belgium. This to me is like a mix between a malty american brown, and a thin, thin, thin belgian dubbel. Interesting. A fine beer.

Monk's Mistress from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 289 ratings.