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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.
very good

280 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 280
Reviews: 172
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: 280 | Reviews: 172 | Display Reviews Only:
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 Goldorak
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Opaque black, with the faintest veil of brown hues, the tan head hung on for dear life and almost made it the whole way through.

Smell: This Beer had visions of sugarplums dancing in my nose! It was creamy and vinious like a big blood red port, with a raisin alcohol finale.

Taste: Very malty, nutty even, with hints of molasses. Flavors go from roasted to sweet and back again several times, nice long finish that lingers for a while, the sweet/sour/dry cocoa toning down the alcohol fumes.

Goldorak, Dec 02, 2005
Photo of battlekow
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Px2GrafX for the bottle.

Pours a murky, cola-looking red/brown with a fluffy beige head. Very fine bubbles. Smells "sharp"--the olfactory equivalent of the way the corners of your mouth screw up when you eat really old cheddar cheese. There's some alcohol, some plums, some anise, funky and spicy yeast, maybe some raspberries. Kinda tickles. Taste is heavy on alcohol-soaked plums with a bit of yeast funk in the end that at times evokes an unpleasant metal pipe flavor. Reminds me a little of a lambic. Mouthfeel is thick, though pleasantly aerated. Quite drinkable--I laud the Monk's taste.

battlekow, Oct 26, 2005
Photo of OldSock
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance and Presentation – 22 oz bomber dated 1st week of September, clearly not this year, poured into a tulip. The head is off-white, creamy, and gigantic. The bit of beer underneath the head is dark brown with a mahogany hue when held to the light. Head retention is great, lacing is also first-rate.

Smell – Vinous, alcoholic, and spicy. It’s a very nice aroma with a good variety of components. Standard mix, but well done.

Taste – What an original flavor, a stout influenced Belgian ale. Initially the flavor is just like a standard Belgian ale, yeasty and spicy with some dark fruit, but as you swallow roasted malts with a coffee flavor takes over. What a delightful surprise. The flavors match very nicely, an excellent and unique flavor combination. The alcohol in the nose is completely absent in the flavor. No hops to speak of, possibly due to the age of the beer.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied with strong carbonation.

Drinkability and Notes – Easy to drink, great flavor, a real gem. I am sad to see that this beer is marked as retired; I may have to return to Marty’s and stock up on this one.

OldSock, Sep 02, 2005
Photo of taez555
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a brown body with a small tan head that died quickly.

The nose was a mix of port-wine, alcohol, sugar and yeast. A classic Belgian dark ale smell leaning a bit more towards the fruity port like quality.

The taste was a mix of sugar, plums, apples, apple cider, and an apple peel sort of business. Dark bitter unsweetened chocolate, and dark malts dominate the body. A viscous carbonation is present from start to finish.

Over a nice American version of a classic Belgian dark ale. Not the greatest in the world, but still very tasty and very drinkable.

taez555, Sep 02, 2005
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.

BuckeyeNation, Aug 12, 2005
Photo of MrNuggets
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The Monk's Mistress:

tulip is full
my temptation
controls me so

A brand new treat
procured at last
I seek
approaching fast

Fluffy on top
smell can assert
bubbles will stop
colour like dirt

Sticky & dark
nose for the ages
cloying yet stark
flavour in stages

Raise glass in hand
toast to the one
born in the land
of Midnight Sun.

MrNuggets, May 28, 2005
Photo of CRJMellor
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep maroon and brown. highly effervescent with tons of carbonation bubbles and a thin, light tan head.
Aroma of wheat bread, raisins, candi sugar, a hint of caramel and grain along with a coriander-like yeasty sipicness.
Flavor has very bready tones to start moving to a broad based sugary sweetness that is finished off with a spicy yeast hit and a phenol alcohol hit.
Mouthfeel is full-bodied, sweet and tart with a bready middle and nice spicy alcoholic punch on the finish.
Drinkability is very good and typical for style. Highly alcoholic but smooth. Alaska seems about as far from Belgium as I can imagine but thse folks manage to get it done very well.

CRJMellor, Mar 12, 2005
Photo of MediocreatBest
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

murky purple-ish brown. first time i have seen a shimmering head. Very large head as well, after the first pur into the glas not only was the head in the glass large but inside the bottle was a mountanous amount of foamy goodness. Smells sweet and pruny. also a smell i associate with barley wines that i beleive to be either sherry or port type smell, not being a wine person i have no idea, but from reading other reviews i have narrowed down what to associate that smell with. taste is bursting with raison flavor as well as a candy sugar sweetness.the alcohol provides a nice backbone and as it warms the pronounced raison flavor becomes more pungent but blends with the alcohol, and the newly arriving cherry flavor to provide a warming, almost burning, but still good, sensation as it trickles down your throat. Takes on a strong ale(thomas hardy/ j.w.lees) feel more so then a the designated style. not as bubbly in mouthfeel as one would assume from the amount of head. Got a buzz after one, but still drinakble, i wouldnt pound them, but i could have a second.

MediocreatBest, Feb 16, 2005
Photo of alexAK
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark with a faint reddish glow. The initial pour results in a sweet foamy head.

Crisp mouthfeel with the taste lingering in the front. Even with the sweetness to balance it, I do get a nice "bite" from this beer. Hints of fruit, somewhat between a pear and an apple. And a touch of caramel to round it all out. The spicy aroma produced by this beer is a nice compliment as well.

The alcohol is a little upfront but I feel that it just adds to the overall complexity. This is the kind of beer that you want to sip and savour.

alexAK, Jan 07, 2005
Photo of aracauna
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown that glows red in the light. Slightly murky. The head starts off as a large khaki foam and then settles into a soupy, light chocolate milk foam. The aroma is great. The Belgian yeast funk is all in this with tons of apple peel, stone fruits, clove and cinnamon. The flavor is nicely malty to back up the yeasty fruit and spice but the body is a tad thin. Extremely impressive take on a Belgian strong ale from this little brewery. Midnight Sun is definitely on my list to visit on my next trip to Alaska.

aracauna, Jan 03, 2005
Photo of PopeJonPaul
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Before I gave up trying to take notes at Dwarbi and Dana's Belgian beer-tasting party I had to get this one in my notebook (okay, I'm a geek, my Blackberry.)

Smelled like sour cherries and those Brachs caramel candies your grandma always used to give you. Dark red-brown with a puffy cream head, tasted like sour cherries, yellow raisins, alcohol, bitter toffee and sugar cubes, with a smooth mouthfeel and nicely bitter hoppy finish. Left a smidgen of a puckering aftertaste. It's a lot like Liberace - queer, fruity and dazzling. Too bad I can't find Alaskan beers here in NYC....

PopeJonPaul, Oct 25, 2004
Photo of Boto
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber: This pours with a big, huge foamy tan head. The color is an opaque brown. Nice aroma. A bit of a fruity smell, with notes of raisins and plums. Also a bit of caramel in the bouquet. Suprisinly, a hint of roasted coffee in the taste. Medium bodied, with some fruit, yeast and caramel taste also. Very Good!

Boto, Aug 11, 2004
Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

La Maitresse Du Moine was served from a 22 oz bottle. In a Duvel tulip, the beer was a very dark reddish brown (almost black), and was topped by a voluminous, creamy tan head that left sticky, fluffy sheets of tan lacing. The nose was an devastating explosion of sharp plumy-cherry figgy-raisin bomblets, accented with touches of dark dry chocolate and bready yeast. The taste pummeled my palate with a blast of black cherry/dried apricot sharp roasted dark maltiness that gained a bitter choclate-cherry edge during the transition to a highly bittered, very estery, dark chocolate-espresso finish that left lingering smooth cherry-cocoa essence. This beer was very warming, but the alcohol was well hidden throughout. The body was appropriate in fullness, and the carbonation was fluffy and energetic, facilitating the presentation of the estery flavors. This Alaskan monster was one of the most flavor-packed beers I have ever sampled...making it a slow-sipper, certainly not a negative but reducing the drinkability rating. A cross between a Belgain Strong dark and an Imperial Stout, this beauty will occupy your senses and warm your bones on a cold night. Thank you Thrasher for the excellent B-day present!

HiroProtagonist, May 12, 2004
Photo of Thrasher
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Mon dieu! What an enormous beer. This mistress does not fool around. A silky, tarry brown with flints of amber at the edges. It poured perfectly into my 2004 Oregon Spring Beer & Wine Fest gold-rimmed chalice, about as perfect a drinking vessel as one could ask for. Head was proper and tight, and thankfully not too foamy, but not really lacey either. Hugely fruity aroma, with roasty overtones and a sour undercurrent. The flavor itself is largely roasty, like burnt toast, with the yeast contributing a big sour fruit bite. The overall impression is one of black licorice, or perhaps crispy black bread toast with a fruit marmalade. Red wine comparisons are inevitable. This beer is a bit too much for me at the moment. It made me groggy and it totally whalloped my dinner of ginger/miso chicken, but under the right circumstances I could imagine this beer to be a soothing, arousing mistress (maitresse). Tchin tchin!

Thrasher, May 02, 2004
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer opened with a whoosh, suggesting carbonation was not going to be a problem for this one. The beer poured crystal clear dark brown. The head was tan and lasted forever.

The aroma was fruity with a distinct Belgian yeast character. Cinnamon and other spices dwell in the aroma. Also a strong caramel in the background with slight chocolate and maybe a whiff of coffee.

The flavor was dark fruits and cherries with spices and chocolate. Also some smoke and caramel. Very complex and well executed.

The finish was dry with a slight Belgian yeast aftertaste. The body was medium but the perception is slightly lower due to the high level of carbonation.

22 ounce bottle. Bottled the first week of September.

GCBrewingCo, Apr 18, 2004
Photo of BierReise
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber Bottled Sept.03 Poured with lots of active carbonation and a large tan head of mostly large bubbles that settled down to a thin layer on top of a beautiful dark cherry red body. Lots of fruit in the aroma. Cherries, plums olong with cinnamon, clove, brown sugar and a bit of Belgian yeast. Lively mouthfeel and very creamy. Very light and airy. Flavor is fantastic. Has a roasty fruity brown sugar malty yeasty flavor that is as original as I can remember a Belgian style to be. This is a top notch brewery that I wish I could appreciate more often.

BierReise, Apr 03, 2004
Photo of ybnorml
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale has a very dark brown body witha short lived light tan head. The smell of sweet dried fruit with a good hint of alcohol in the aroma wets the tast buds for what is to come. There is a quick maltiness at the start which moves quickly into the alcohol warmth and finishes with the dried fruit and a smooth balanced bitterness at the back of the tongue. A friendly warming brew that I could enjoy all night. But I am afraid two 22oz bottles of this and I would be all done.

ybnorml, Mar 30, 2004
Photo of beerguy101
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark eclipse brown color. Medium white foamy head. Aroma is dark malts, cherries and chocolate. A medium bodied Belgian Strong Ale. Dark fruits cherries, plums and oranges. Yeasty and incredibly Belgian in nature. Touches of smoke and wood. Very complex tasting, its full of competing/contrasting flavors. Hides the 8.2% alcohol very well. Very smooth nearly velvety taste. Works well as a ‘winter warmer’. I never realized that Anchorage Alaska was in Belgium. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean, and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

beerguy101, Mar 01, 2004
Photo of Rastacouere
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very dark brown hue with a light brown head that quickly turns into a ring. Aroma is rather overwhelmed by alcohol and you seriously have to pass over that flavour to be able to appreciate the rest which consists in dark malts (smoke, cigar) and good malt strenght (dark chocolate, plums). In mouth, it's a little more interesting, but still very strong alcohol wise for a 9% beer this highly rated. Mostly on the sweet side with touches of several dark fruits (bays, prunes, blackberries, cherries). Not much hops or bitterness to balance the alcohol sweetness which keeps going a long time in the aftertaste, but obvious notes of fireplace and ashes keep it from being too much. Body is very creamy and quite carbonated. What's up with this beer? Everyone seems to love it and every 4 of my tasting buddies were severly disappointed. Bad bottle? It didn't seem like it. Perhaps it's too young, so I'd suggest laying this down a bit before tasting it because it sure as hell is usually my type of beer.

Rastacouere, Feb 16, 2004
Photo of Stubbie1
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown in color and there is carbonation present. Watch out on the pour! The light tan head stays for a spell and leaves decent patching. Dark fruit like plums and cherries with chocolate come to mind with the aroma of this brew. A splash of alcohol is also present. Taste is the dark fruit with a alcohol punch. Some spiciness to it and a bit yeasty. Smooth and silky in the mouth. Overall a very good brew.

Stubbie1, Jan 21, 2004
Photo of marc77
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pellucid deep crimson hue. Mountainous, dogged light tan head leaves frothy, sticky lace. Soft clove and honey drenched malt hits the nose initially. Sweetness ensues in a combination of candied plum and fresh guava, although unexpected dark toffee along with a semisweet chocolate tone emerge as the beer warms. Strength is indicated only by a slight alcohol heat. Very enticing aromawise. In flavor, this brew possesses pervasive dark biscuit and chocolate malt character certainly above the norm. Raisin and cocoa dusted prune are the dominant ester derived notes, but they remain in the background to the malt backbone. Supple bread and butter undertone emerges mid palate and is incipiently wheat flour like, but then moistens into a lightly sweetened chocolate cookie impression. Surprisingly shy in yeast derived character, but it works well. Clove phenol and subtle bubblegum esters add an herbaceous and candyish twang, respectively. Moderate in body, with a creamy, fluid mouthfeel. Finishes with an abrupt snap of hop bitterness, with otherwise with an obvious, lingering continuation of chocolate, prune and clove. Ethanol, nearly forgotten, emerges slowly, but steadily in from deep within and warms the esophagus. A fabulous dark strong, with definite porter like qualities complemented by both dark and "tropical" fruit esters. Seemingly innocuous, but delicious and dangerous in its drinkability. A well crafted brew, indeed.

marc77, Jan 13, 2004
Photo of RoyalT
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Dark brown in color and carbonated. The head was mighty and Belgian with good retention. It left a big ol' puddle in the middle of the ale.

Smell – Almost no smell. Let me put it aside and come back to it when it warms.

Give this one just five minutes and the aroma comes alive. The dark malt and huge butter rush to the nostrils along with big cane sugar and a warning of alcohol

Taste – Lovely dark malts form the backbone of this ale. I mean, these are seriously dark, full of chocolate and even a little bit of coffee and very yeasty. There’s some light fruiting in there along with lots of sugar, particularly raw and cane.

Lots of dark spices as well, especially allspice, and maybe a little bit of hop balance. All this comes together to form one big, murky, malty dark ale. As Jim Carrey said in The Mask, “I looove it!”

Mouthfeel – High level of fluffy carbonation and full in the mouth. There’s a slight sting of alcohol to this 9.0 BSDA, but not too much.

Drinkability – If you like full, fluffy BSDAs with the emphasis on “dark” give this one a try. I thought it was awesome

RoyalT, Dec 28, 2003
Photo of Gusler
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer on the pour is a deep sanguineous color with a Bunyanesque head that is a creamy and light tan in color as it evanesces a silk like sheet of lace is left to provide privacy for the glass. The aroma of ripe cherries, maybe even pineapple, nice sweet malt under pinning, fresh, clean and very inviting, a portent of things to come, start is rich in malt, ambrosial with a middling to full top. Stingingly acidic is the finish with the hops mighty in their spiciness, vinous aftertaste and a bit of tummy warming from the 8.20 percent ABV, another fine brew from a most excellent brewery.

Gusler, Nov 26, 2003
Photo of kbub6f
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Colossal head. 90% of the glass. It's cookie-dough tan, slow, fine, even, dense. Just gorgeous. Thick, smooth lacing. Dark, dark, brown, hazy. Ruby highlights. Sweet, light aroma with some spice. Front is dark, sweet and fruity with some obvious alocohol. Dark malt middle. Some coffee, some bitter chocolate. Finish is really very bitter. Major alcohol. This is a nice, dark tasting, bitter, strong beer. It would be fantastic with a little more creaminess. It sweetens some with temperature, but a little more malt would be nice. To be fair, some of the cream and sweetness starts to come through near room temperature. Good. Tasty.

(Trivia: they misspelled "Maîtresse" on the label)

kbub6f, Nov 25, 2003
Monk's Mistress from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 280 ratings.