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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.

273 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 273
Reviews: 171
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 76
Gots: 44 | 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: 273 | Reviews: 171 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of Jason
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

Jason, Nov 07, 2003
Photo of jdhilt
4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours with a thick, 5-finger plus, light brown head that gradually fades slowly, leaves hardly any lace. Takes 15 minutes just to pour. Dark, brown color. Nose is very sweet and malty. Heavy bodied but light carbonation. Starts sweet, finishes smooth and sweet with just a trace of hops. An excellent Belgian style ale. $8.99 for a 22oz bottle.

jdhilt, Oct 14, 2003
Photo of beernut7
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Whimsical label on the 22 0z. bomber, Second available in the lower 48 of the Belgian line at the brewery. A slow pour revelas an aggressive head sitting atop a deep amber liquid. The aroma is distinctly of Belgian yeast and a mellow, almost hidden floral spice. The first taste brings forth sharp bite of bitterness that quickly rounds into a definitive yeastiness and a tangy after-flush mixed with hints of chocolate malt. Quite sharply flavored until the finish where all the flavors meld quite nicely.

beernut7, Sep 28, 2003
Photo of HighGravity
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brewery just recently became available in Massachusetts. If this beer fairly represents what else they have in store, I can't wait to try the rest. Darker than dark pour leaves a great amber head. Sweet maltiness on the nose leads into touches of raisons, dates, and plums. The high alcohol (9% ABV) and perfect amount of hops combats most of the sweetness to leave a perfectly balanced strong ale. Very weighty and clinging mouthfeel are most desirable. I absolutely loved this beer and would not hesitate to pick up a full case. Very creative label too.

HighGravity, Aug 28, 2003
Photo of mattmaples
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Midnight Sun “La Maitresse du Moine” 22oz
This is another Belgain style from our Anchorage friends at Midnight Sun. Loosely translated means “The Monks Mistress” This time she is a “Dark Strong” ale. It pours deep brown in color and the head is huge but settles into half inch topping of dense foam. The aroma is perfumey, malty with a whiff of dates. It has a medium body that fills the mouth but is not heavy. A bit of a sharp fruity (raisin) start, it moves into a sweet malty flavor with a hint of caramel. The finish has a spicy alcohol tinge and a slight hop bitterness. The beer maybe sweet and smooth but at 9% she could be a harsh mistress if not treated right. A damn fine beer that will only improve with age.
Above was my review for my newsletter. I dinged it a little for the head falling a bit fast. That might change after it ages. I really liked the drinkability becase it is a sweet dark Belgain but since it is fresh it still has its hop bitterness so it breaks the sweetness at the end. Not too much to be out of the Belgian range but enough to offset the sweet.

mattmaples, Aug 20, 2003
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Monk's Mistress from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 273 ratings.