Oak Aged Monk's Mistress Dark Strong Ale - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Oak Aged Monk's Mistress Dark Strong AleOak Aged Monk's Mistress Dark Strong Ale

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

55 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 55
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 54
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This version of Monk’s Mistress - aged in American Oak Barrels - takes seduction to the next level. Its dark, daunting flavors become softer, rounder and more fascinating as they meld with toasted oak and its prior tenant. This temptation is beyond irresistible.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-04-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 55 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of whartontallboy
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of jophish17
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of bespin15
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dark brown, nearly opaque with only the slightest bit of light coming through on both the sides and the bottom of the glass. Very rich color, with slight reddish tints, but mostly just a deep russet brown. A smallish maybe one finger high head of gold and tan

wood and oak like aroma mixed in as well.. Lots of oak notes still underlying, however these were now being layered in with a good bit of dark fruity notes, plums, or raisins perhaps. Still a touch hot from the aroma, as the alcohol was very discernable. There was definitely some spiciness to it as well, like a good spiced rum smell almost. Very dark and complex, I was getting the feeling that this one was going to put a hurting on me. A full on blast of spiced alcohol was the first thing that I noticed, kinda hot, but as it warmed it mellowed out and by the end of the session had all but blended into the background and simply become an outstanding ale. Loads of dark fruit notes were permeating through the flavor. Prunes, Raisins, Figs all very discernable in the flavor and really adding balance to it

Photo of AgentZero
3.2/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Brownish beer with red on the edges, no haze. Tan head that left minimal stick on the sides.

S - A lot of oak and wine qualities to this one. There is some caramel malts, vanilla, and hints of bourbon.

T - This kind of reminds me of a barrel aged scotch ale in some respects. Some brown sugar, spice, and dark fruits. Not a huge fan really, but it's okay.

M - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

O - I wasn't a huge fan of the taste or feel of this beer. I thought it was kind of boring and not the easiest thing in the world to drink. I'd probably pass on this in favor of many other things in the future.

Photo of MasterSki
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the Beast - thanks Frank! Served in a Russian River tulip. This is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Bottle dated 3rd week of December, but not sure what year?! Label is of the newer variety, so guessing 2009.

A - Pours with a finger of light tan foam that settles to a thick ring and some wisps. Near transparent ruby-brown body, with minimal lace left behind.

S - Oak, vinous notes, dark fruits, vanilla, light char, chocolate and a hint of alcohol. I'm guessing this was aged in wine barrels. (Note - confirmed this batch was a blend of beer aged in both bourbon and wine barrels.)

T - Taste is milder than the nose, but alcohol is better disguised. Lots of oak, light vinous cabernet notes, brown sugar malts, and a bit of bitterness in the finish. Pleasant, but not overly mind-blowing or exciting.

M - Smooth, with no trace of alcohol warmth. A somewhat sticky medium-full body with a dry tannic finish. Unobtrusive medium-low carbonation.

D - A solid beer that I enjoyed quite a bit, but only in the middle of Midnight Sun's extremely high quality output. I'd gladly have this again (particularly if they continue to mix up the barrels used in new batches), but I wouldn't ship to Alaska for it.

Photo of glid02
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Corey - thanks! An older bottle with the original label.

Pours a dark brown color with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet dark malts with smooth molasses and booze-soaked dark fruits - figs and raisins with hints of plums. Also present are light hints of vanilla and lighter hints of oak.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though not as well-integrated. Dark malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by boozy and moderately sweet dark fruits. Midway through the sip the flavor profile sweetens with the addition of dark molasses flavors. Near the end of the sip a slight amount of heavy oak works its way into things, fading out into a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I was a big fan of this beer but I was a bit let down after being blown away by the standard version of this beer. Both are very good but if you can only get your hands on one, go for the non-oak-aged.

Photo of kbutler1
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Poured into a DFH tulip glass a dark reddish brown color with a tan coastered head that laces rather nicely. Roasted notes, vanilla, oak, and dark fruit. Medium mouthfeel. The roast is the first thing that notice in the beer followed by some oak and finishes with a dry dark fruit. Some booze shows as it warms. It's really missing something in this one as it seems to be a little one sided. Overall, this beer is just ok.

Photo of mothman
3.2/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured in a chalice.

Pours 1/2 finger of beige tan head. Good retention with some nice lace rings. Color is a bronze hued amber with a little ruby hue to it.

Aroma: Big oak and dark dried fruit flavors. Plums, licorice, raisins, toffee, toast. It is fairly sweet.

Taste: Really toasty. Caramel and toffee with light chocolate notes. Dark fruits and oak. Licorice, plums, raisins. Dried apples. Some spice.

Mouthfeel: Dry and toasted. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends rather dry.

Overall, a decent Belg strong ale, but I wasn't overly impressed. I was kind of let down with this one. Kind of drinkable.

Photo of tpd975
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice rich deep dark brown hue with a nice tall off white head. Awesome retention with nice thick chunky lace.

S: Lightly roasted, with nice Belgian yeasty notes. Subtle oak with very light banana.

T: Not as bold I thought it would be. Fresh oak, belgian yeast with hints of banana. Light roasted malt and chocolate and dark fruit. Subtle for a BA beer but really nice nonetheless.

M: Medium in body, smooth, rich, sweet, malty, good.

D: One that you could sit down and sip on all day. No indication of the ABV here!!!

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Kevin for sharing this!

A- Body is a translucent very murky dark brown hue. Pours with a 2 finger or so foamy light tan head. Leaves behind some lacing.

S- Lots of dark fruit such as plum and raisin are the highlight. There is also a hint of woodiness, peppery spice and spicy Belgian yeast. Light smokey and tart acidic sour tones can be detected in the background.

T- Lots of peppery spice and mild dark fruit flavors upfront with a quite prominent Belgian yeast backbone. There is a slight metallic note that comes across for the finish with a good amount of peppery spice and belgian yeast. Hints of dusty wood and a mild smoke can also be detected throughout adding to the complexity. A mild sweetness and mild spiciness linger.

M- Soft carbonation, and a body that is very smooth and yeasty. well done.

D- This is a good, enjoyable brew overall, although I liked the regular Monks Mistress a lot more. Its a bit more complex than the original but has a much milder character and the profile is all over the place is some ways.

Photo of cpetrone84
2.6/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A-pours a dark bronw liquid, mostly opaque, tight light tan head, quite dense and creamy looking.

S-smokey wood, notes of olive, sweet plums, pepper, chalky and ashy in the back.

T-the sweet dark fruity esters up front, olives, touch of pepper, notes of chalk and ash in the back.

M-extremely smooth and creamy on the palate, syrupy but thin and falls off in the back.

D-this is a little off, has some different flavors going on. not impressed and really a little offensive.

Photo of gford217
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Jeremiah for this bottle, 2009 vintage.

Pours dark mahogany that shows through a brilliant deep copper when held up to light. There's a big creamy tan head that sticks to the glass aggressively on the way down and leaves a thick cap throughout.

The aroma is so complex and not quite as sweet as I was expecting. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of candi sugar, caramel, dark fruits and chocolate, but the most interesting part is the clean oak aroma, almost spicy, with hints of bourbon and vanilla.

The taste is super smooth and a big combination of dark fruits, candi sugar and bourbon and oak. There is a bit of dark chocolate and vanilla and the same spiciness I got in the aroma. The bourbon burns a bit in the finish.

The mouthfeel is velvety with strong carbonation, sweet and spicy all together on the palate.

This is an excellent, excellent beer, probably slightly better than the original, which is quite a high hurdle for me. Extraordinarily drinkable for the listed 11.5% ABV. The barrel character really evens out the underlying beer. Wonderful stuff.

Photo of ccrida
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 vintage bomber poured into a tumbler, Oaked Age Monk's Mistress is dark, hazy brown with a creamy tan head leaving clingy, foamy lace.

Smell is big wood, vanilla, coconut, bourbon notes, more on the sweet side though then alcohol, really just some light phenols. Incredibly yummy.

Taste is awesome to the point of shifting your world view. Had this on draught at the loft too, and though it was too enjoyable to review, the bottled version isn't too far removed. Again, big wood, bourbon without the heat, nice brown sugars without being overly sugary, tempered by the very enjoyable vinousness, which I assume is a manifestation of the bourbon barrel, malt/candi base and esters, a beautiful confluence. Bourbon, red wine and BSDAs are my absolute favorite drinks, and this combines them all.

Mouthfeel is smooth and velvety, just enough dryness on the finish to keep it very nice. The light digestibility is aided thanks to the spirits, allowing this to slide down the throat better than no other.

Drinkability is crazy, this is an incredible beer. Especially because I'm pretty indifferent to the regular Monk's Mistress, it reinforces what a masterpiece to me this is. Smooth and tasty, perhaps their best beer I've had. Nitro at the loft only confirms my preference for bottle conditioning in all cases.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2009 release. 11.5%

Ahh, my first bottle of this since an 05 vintage about a year ago. Excited.

Pours a deep ruby red brown color with a very large head by barrel aged standards that is off white and leaves nice lacing.

Nose is full of dark fruits. Figs and caramel, a little belgian yeast in the nose, and seems like some slight spices as well. Little bita booze.

Wow. Incredibly smooth. They definitely cranked up the smoothometer on this one. Skibbledy-doo-bop! Huge sweet dark fruit notes lurk and intimidate like Hall and Oates in a dark alley. Some vanilla like presence is in there. Creamy. The barrel aging is just about perfect on this one. Great bourbony presence without being too heavy. It was in barrels for quite some time if i remember right, so im glad they had the patience to let it sit. Very well done. The finish is not bitter at all, but it is a tiny touch hot at this point, but thats to be expected in a beer this large.

Mouthfeel is exquisite here. Nice and viscous, super creamy, and perfectly carbonated. Really can't complain about anything here. I would give this a 5.5 if i could. Smooth Jesus couldn't have done it better himself.

Drinkability is damn fine for a beer of this size, and a beer this extensively barrel aged. It is still a tiny bit hot at this point, but nothing at all worth griping about, and like i said before, if you picked up an 11.5% barrel aged beer thinking you were gonna slam it out of a brown bag at the company picnic this summer... well...that's what a fool beleives.

Overall, another excellent beer from Midnight Sun. These guys keep shelling out way more beer than the average brewery of their size is capable of, and nearly all of it is as top shelf as it gets for a good price. If this brewery is not in your top 10 list by this point, your palate is in serious need of a Messina style breakdown.

Now serving excellent panini's, soups that will make you wanna quit the doobies, and an assortment of other great food, Midnight Sun is a must stop on any beer geeks list in anchorage. So hop in the trans-am (if you can find your keys), crank up some yacht rock, and git on down to the brewery for some good ol' drinkin, grubbin, and a few nostialgic tales between friends.

Photo of Floydster
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle provided by WeeHeavySD at the SeaO'Floydster tasting, thanks for bringing this Jon, this was actually the eleven percent bourbon barrel aged verision rather than the cabarnet, reviewed from notes, poured into my Stone sampling glass

A-Very dark brown and almost black, 3/4 inch creamy light tan head, good retention, not much lacing
S-Bourbon, oak, vanilla, raisins, Belgian yeast, prunes, figs, caramel, and candied pecans
T-Starts off with big bourbon and vanilla taste, sweet malts and Belgian yeast in the middle, warm finish with lots of vanilla, oak comes out more later on and it sustains some dryness throughout, much more hot than the normal Monk's Mistress, and this has a lot more overall strength in both feel and flavor
M-Sweet, boozy, and dry mouthfeel, medium bodied, just the right amount of carbonation, taste lingered well
D-Alcohol was hidden nicely for a beer over ten percent but still a little heavy, got sweeter as time went by, lots of malt too, could have used more toasted notes for balance but still drinkable

I enjoyed this beer quite a bit and was my favorite of the four Midnight Sun beers that night, I hope to try the other version of this soon, barrel aging made an already good beer even better in this case, would like to drink again, recommended

Photo of seaoflament
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jon (weeheavysd) for sharing this rarity at the SeaofFloydster Tasting on March 28th. I had the opportunity to try the non-oak aged version from Dr.Bill at an AleSmith release and thought the regular version was really tasty so I was looking forward to this one.

Poured a dark cola color with a thin ring.

The aroma started with some sweet cherry, brown sugar, and tangy maple syrup. Later on the beer opened up some toasted malts, brown sugar, and somewhat of a brandy aroma.

Very tasty and malty. Toasted malts upfront with some caramel candy. A mixture of sweet dark fruits like raisins and dates. More caramel candy in the finish. Low carbonation but very smooth and easy to drink. I hope I get to drink this one again.

Photo of hopdog
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle acquired in trade with DarkElf (thanks a ton for this one!).

Poured a dark brown with a very small sized off white head. Aromas of oak, vanilla, almonds, some dark fruits and port. Vinous tasting with oak, almonds, dark fruits, vanilla and caramel.

Notes from and tasted on 1/19/06

Photo of brewandbbq
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As originally reviewed on 12/23/2006:

Vintage 2006, aged for seven months in oak bourbon barrels this time around. 11% ABV this year and kicks ass.

Pours dark brown, almost black, mostly opaque with mahogany edging. A tan, fairly dense head rises without much encouragement, and recedes to a skim coat within two minutes.
Scattered dots of lacework remain after the initial sips.
Aromatics lead off with caramel and chocolate with bourbony wood.
Some light phenols wink belgian, but the main stage is set by these three components.
Rummy raisins with hints of vanilla and hazelnut accent the barell aging profile, and the bourbon is complementary, not overbearing.
Mildly vineous without being overly boozy.
Mouthfeel is creamy and slickish, slightly tacky and lingering.
Pallet is rich and smooth. 11%? Hard to believe.
Cocoa nubs steeped in dark rum, raisins, figs, and oaky bourbon.
The wood character is subdued, not tannic, and a testament to the art of blending.
Finishes increasingly warming, in a sneeky kind of way, with lingering caramel, chocolate, and rum notes.
Each exhale reminds one of the bourbon.
Extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to try this treasure thanks to my northern friend Tim.

Vintage 2005 as reviewed on 6/29/2008.

This version of the Monk's Mistress was aged in Cabernet oak casks. 9.5% abv.

Pours dark mahogany with amber edging. A small head of almost a quarter-inch was short lived. A few errant lines of lacing above a mostly placid surface.

Aromatics lead off with a myriad of complexities. Plump raisins, musty grapes, chocolate drizzeled apples and cherries, and oaky tannins. As the brew warms and breaths a large Port quality steps forward.
Alcohol is warming, and there's a ton of vineousity.

Medium bodied, but chewy, tacky, and lush. A light tartness drys out the mouthfeel on the back of the tongue.

Rich malt, dark chocolate, and red wine start the pallet. Ripe cherries, red grapes, and port-soaked raisins step forward.
The intense vineousity rolls out, and the melange of cocoa, fruit, and wine become quite balanced as it lingers.
Quite dry and lightly tart.

Finishes with an almost boozy alcohol, plenty of Cabernet essense, ripe fruit, and a shadow of Oak.

Wowza, what an intense beer. The Cabernet aging adds an incredible depth of character. The oak is pretty subdued, but drys out the beer nicely.
This would be a great beer to have with a juicy, thick Porterhouse.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 bottle. Bourbon version.

Appearance: Pours a vaguely clearish, dark reddish-brown body with a small, off-white head.

Smell: Man, it's like cramming your damn face into a vat of dark fruit syrup. Dark malts with a strong bourbon barrel influence, heavy on the vanilla.

Taste: Dark maltiness displaying a blend of molasses and chocolate. Heavy on the dark fruits, vanilla, and brown sugar. Tons of sweetness from the word "go". Some slight alcohol warmth. Bourbon-soaked, fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-carbonation. Luscious, sticky mouthfeel.

Drinkability: You'd have to be a complete yutz not to love this one.

Photo of grumpy
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Oaked Monk's Mistress lives again! New release on 10/20/06. This time around, it has been aged in bourbon barrels. The last release was, I think(?), new oak. At any rate, this stuff is the bomb. And at $9 a bomber, it should be.

The taste and aroma are what you would expect – brown sugar, molasses, bourbon, vanilla, oak, yeast. The Bourbon effect is middle of the road in that is more than subtle, but not overpowering. Just about right. A nice tan head with moderate lacing, Adequate mouthfeel and VERY easy to quaff waaay too quickly. Delicious.

Photo of Goldorak
3.45/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Not totally, but almost opaque, somewhere between really dark brown and black.

Smell: Very british, old ale aromas that forebode a very heavy brew. Cocoa and port, hazelnuts, and a lactic mix of sweet and sour, no doubt from the oak.

Taste: Decent roasted malt, I really didn't pick up much vanilla, vinious or woody flavors I was expecting. Frankly the regular Maîtresse du Moine was fine enough as it is to make this barrel-bastardized version, which did nothing but stole part of the soul of an otherwise very good Beer, only to leave a less complete, less complex, more cloying shadow of it's former self. It's still allright, boasted a surprisingly subdued alcohol finish, but just another example that this barrel-aged craze is taking on way too much proportions.

Oak Aged Monk's Mistress Dark Strong Ale from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.