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Monk's Blood - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Monk's BloodMonk's Blood

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,278 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,278
Reviews: 514
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 13.35%
Wants: 82
Gots: 165 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
21st Amendment Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: taxguyjase on 09-10-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,278 | Reviews: 514
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a dark chestnut color. The head is two fingers high, with a mocha shade. It doesn't have the extreme bubbly froth of a typical Belgian - its texture is consistent throughout. Retention is okay at best, but some nice streaks of lacing stick to the glass. (3.5)

Smell: Now this is interesting. I do get some subtle oak first and foremost, with vanilla underlying that some. It almost smells barrel-aged!~ The base beer brings a good combination of dark fruit, bread, and black pepper. Again, my interest is completely piqued by this brew; I just wish the good aroma was a bit stronger. (3.5)

Taste: This beer does a damn good impression of a barrel-aged brew. Oak and vanilla dominate initially, leaving behind some gentle fruitiness in its wake. Dark fruits are sparse - instead, I seemingly get peach and apricot flavors. Cinnamon is very subtle, and that's good: I've had many a brew that was ruined by excess cinnamon (hi, 70% of all pumpkin ales!) My only niggle is that the whole thing doesn't seem very Belgian. That's okay - this one is great in its own little way. (4)

Mouthfeel: Quite clean for a BSDA. I don't get much yeastiness, nor much carbonation. No, the fizz is definitely there, just subdued. This beer is naturally dry, actually. The oak makes it borderline parching on the palate. By its own method, it manages to be every bit as easy drinking as the best BSDAs. (4)

Overall: This will not give Cuvee Van De Keizer Blauw any fits. What it WILL do, however, is provide a shockingly easy to drink Belgian-ale with prevalent hints of oak and vanilla. In a way, it almost seems bourbon barrel-aged. Definitely a worthy brew. (4)

3.85/5: This really carves out a nice niche in the world of BSDAs

Photo of mlockman
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

while I disagree with a review I saw that called it a "crushable Belgian dark strong ale," it is certainly not über complex. Nonetheless, it is chewy and very enjoyable for the style!

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

This is different but I like the oak is the most dominant flavor as the vanilla and figs hide in background I'm digging 21st brews

Photo of thebeers
3.64/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Deep ruby red with a modest tan head. Rich malts and a fruity aroma, with fig the most detectable. Allspice and vanilla hit first in the taste, with just the slightest tangy twang in the middle, and more vanilla sweetness and spice in the aftertaste and a tiny bit of alcohol warmth. Medium bodied. It's got all the flavor notes right, but not enough punch or depth to it for a sipping beer and perhaps a bit heavy-handed in the spicing. More of a crushable Belgian, which isn't really what I'm looking for from the style.

Photo of MjBrewhouse
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a fine offering from 21st amendment.Nicely balanced beer, mighty tasty.

Photo of SomethingClever
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12 oz can poured into snifter

A: dark brown brackish in color nice head

S: figs, dates, some honey, a little oak smells boozy

T: vanilla, a little sourish figs, raisins boozy

M: nice medium feel

O: this is a pretty good beer it's like a quad with attitude I wish it were thicker but otherwise it was pretty amazing

Photo of jcruelty
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Shout out to my friend Sandeep, the only person who reads these reviews. Sandeep try this beer. It's my fave from 21st Amendment, aside from Hell or High Watermelon which is more of a river beer.

I always try to write down thoughts on beers and end up with the same generic adjectives. "Smells yeasty. Head: good. Pours a nice... brown. HINTS OF VANILLA?" It's always vanilla. Or else pineapple (or maybe cherries)

Maybe I'm just swayed by the packaging. I like how 21st Amendment does everything in cans. But, the text on this can is written in an archaic old-timey font where r's look like f's. I couldn't read it all so I googled it:

"Legend has it that in the evenings, the monks would retire to their chambers & settle in with a few passages from the Good Book. But Brothers Nicolas and O’Sullivan [21st Amendment partners] had other plans. Working in the brewhouse all day, they were forced to repeat the same old recipes the elder monks had invented years before. They needed a little diversion. And found it in the cellar of the monastery with a fresh twist they put on the beer and the way they enjoyed it. Brother Nicolas (or Nico to his close friend) brought some hand-rolled cigars. O’Sullivan, the outspoken one, broke the vow of silence by spinning a remix of some Gregorian chants. Together, they’d throw down a couple nice hands of Texas Hold’Em and savor the handcrafted brew they created in secrecy. Everyday was good. Or so it seemed. But deep in his heart, Nico knew they were drifting into the ‘dark side’ of beer. Next thing you know they’d be skipping Lent. Then on night they’d face the Judgment for their actions with a hard knock at the door. Outside, the Abbots and elders would be holding stone in the air. A threat the brothers were sure would lead to the spilling of Monk’s Blood."

Cheers if you made it through that. I didn't

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.26/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

21st Amendment Brewery "Monk's Blood"
12 oz. can, "Canned on: 03/04/15 2346" = fresh
$3.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Wow, I had no idea this was such an expensive beer. It must be the figs, right? There's also oak chips, vanilla, and cinnamon added - which are pleasantly kept in check. The figs are right upfront in the fruitiness, but the oak is probably the most dominant of the 'extraneous' ingredients beyond that, and it can somewhat overlap with the vanilla. The cinnamon gives a pleasant bite and flavor in the back, and beyond that there's a very nice 'red fruit' fruitiness and soft smear of yeasty phenolics. It's a darkish beer and there's some caramel, brown sugar, and even a hint of molasses to it, but they just become equal components within the overall flavor; and with that said, it's remarkably well-rounded given everything that's going on within it - it would have been easy to let a beer like this jump the rails, but they've thankfully kept it in check.

When I sat down to review this I saw it was listed alongside Chimay Grande Reserve (Blue) and I was somewhat surprised and assumed it just got lumped into the category, but having tasted it I see how it totally fits. I've always put quality over price, and I'll say that this one is totally worth the cost. Absolutely worth trying! Don't miss out on this one!

Photo of djchrismac
4.85/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

My second shot at a 21st Amendment beer. Did not care for the Back In Black. This beer was pretty amazing though.

Photo of Beerma
4.29/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Smooth yet rich yummy! expensive I have good taste.

Photo of mothmanscott
4.09/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, murky, medium brown producing 2+ fingers of moderately lasting, tan, frothy head that leaves nice strings & rings of lacing. Aroma pumpernickel, dark fruits, roast, molasses, faint cocoa & floral hop tones. Taste is similar but more robust with cherry, coriander, hints of anise, cloves & more cocoa than in the nose. Finishes very peppery/spicy with a chocolate cherry cordial, molasses, coriander aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, medium carbonation, silky/creamy but with a light spice bite in the finish.

Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.14/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Review taken back in 2014 from extensive notes in my book.

12 oz blackest of copper cans that even looks deep ruby at times. A pretty awesome color anyway. Artwork displays some sort of monk drama if there is such a thing. Overall good artwork. Poured into a stemmed goblet.

A - dark and deep ruby red with hints of deep brown red mahogany to it. Head poured with some good size and settled quickly into a thin ring of sticky lacing.

S - yeast notes are wonderful and make me wonder if this strain was indeed made by the monks themselves. Dark fruits and ripe fig, some belgian spice with cinnamon notes creeping up. Sweet sugary malt and warm vanilla notes are a base layer. Even an Oaked character to this with hints of caramel.

T - candied sugar, small hint of sweet chocolate, vanilla, fig and dark fruits such as ripe dates. An oakiness to the sweet malt backbone. Dark Belgian spices and cinnamon lay over note after note of a well created profile. The Oaked staples a complex yet inviting flavors together. Very nice offering.

M - this was the only blem in this ale. Medium bodied with an American style texture which isn't underwhelming but while the monks pull off less thick big bodied beers the stickiness and flavors cling to every inch of the mouth. This was sort of there and gone but still good. Not great just a good feel. As this warmed I gave the slight booziness an open armed greeting as it only added to its superb flavor.

O - the mouthfeel really can't stop one from not enjoying such a good flavored and tasty ale. This is Belgian inspired with American style and one I would drink again in the future. If you have the chance grab a few of these. Monk's Blood is worth the buy.

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark maroon/mahogany color with a little under 2 fingers of head that fade down to a thin ring of lace

S: Belgian yeast, spices, vanilla, oak, and dark fruits all stand out. Mix of cinnamon, vanilla, and oak are most up front

T: Starts off with the vanilla and cinnamon, and then goes into the yeasty notes that provide more general spiciness and some fruitiness. Oak comes out a little dry, along with some of the lightly sweet dark fruits. Finishes with some nuttiness and cherry notes with lingering yeast/spice notes

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A nicely layered American-made BSDA with plenty going on. Drinks very easily for being 8.3%, with the alcohol being hidden mostly by the yeast and complexity. Definitely worth picking up if you're into BSDAs, as it's interesting to compare to the Belgians

Photo of ThaneMcC
4.24/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a dark red with about a finger of off white foam. Good amount of effervescence. Smells of toasted grain, prune/raisin, hint of vanilla. Tastes malty, sweet forward without being overpowering, dark fruit (prune/fig), nice mid note twang, almost metallic taste, bit of oaky, vanilla notes and transitions a pretty clean finish. Carbonation more appreciable as it warms, as is the complexity of the flavors. Medium bodied and very smooth. Well balanced overall. Purchased in a pack of four – good price point for a solid and tasty beer. ABV well hidden. It reminded me a bit of Three Philosophers – another great beer.

Photo of justjonas
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very drinkable for the heavier style. Will definitely seek out/buy again.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a half finger of head on a dark straw body.
The aroma is clean dark fruits and grains. Nice.
The taste has a mild caramel sweetness start, metallic bitter middle, ripe fruit finish.
The texture is thicker with low carbonation.
Enjoyable.

Photo of Schobie
4.65/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Strong and bold. Like me.

Photo of deschutes_fan
4.04/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aged this can for a year (canned March '14)

-Smell is mild vanilla and cinnamon
-Taste is of a malty cola, not much hops left and quite smooth.

Overall a solid and unique beer. The name is more fitting when fresh, as it is more viscous and "blood-like", but the flavor is a bit raw then. With a year on it, it is still a solid beer, but I would probably prefer it at the 6-9 month mark the most.

Photo of Noahtrumble
4.31/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Not sure what it is, but pretty good. Maybe a lager?

Photo of garymuchow
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Surprisingly tight aroma for style. If dig deep can find some soft and rich dark malt with hints of darker fruit. Surprisingly there is a lack of yeast character in the aroma.
Head is dark and medium size but it leaves rather quickly. Deep red to brown and largely clear.
Flavor carries more of what I expect and am looking for. Nice richness with some sweetness but not crossing any threshold. Lengthy dryness (it starts early and finishes late). Some fruit, but more straight malt character. Yeast offers some contribution with mild phenols, but really not too much other than that. Opens up with time to take on some enjoyable flavors -toffee, pleasant alcohol and I think the figs kick in. I don't get much for spicing and the vanilla and oak lurk in the background, but do contribute to the overall complexity, but this grows with time and becomes more apparent.
Highly carbonated with a bit of a bite when drinking and seems a little light underneath.
I can't complain too much as the price is not excessive for this, but this isn't a top notch version of style. Great name.

Photo of JGam115
3.44/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's back. Sanguine with laced off white foam. Syrupy molasses, hint of cinnamon, grape juice. Lite carbonation, cola flavor with French vanilla.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to my buddy for sharing this one with me. cool beer with oak and cinnamon and vanilla and figs. all of those elements are in play in this burgundy cherrywood colored brew. the vanilla is most abundant in the nose, i hardly get the cinnamon at all there, and the figs are enjoyably forward too. not a lot of fig beers out there, so this is fun. i wish for more carbonation right away, it looks flat in the glass, and feels heavy on the palate because of its lack of bubbles. the flavors are great though, all united and mellowed by the oak, the vanilla is nice, and the cinnamon is a subtle accent that works really well with the figs and gives the whole thing a very winter seasonal feel. very holiday. its thick beer, enhanced more by its stillness, its palate coating and belly filling, but in a great way. the figs are distinct, especially in the finish, and all of the elements come together expertly well i think. cool beer, not hot on the booze at all, and very unique. good stuff, but i wouldnt do more than one can in a single sitting.

Photo of Takezo
3.13/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Tastes like cherry cough syrup

Photo of ZebraCakez
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a nice red - brown color with a tan one finger head.

S: The aroma of cinnamon and fruit stand out clearly, with a nice roasted malt undertone. Very appealing.

T: The dark fruits are very prominent. The cinnamon spice is there, but we'll balanced with a pleasant sweetness. The malt element is smooth. The alcohol adds it's own kick towards the end.

F: Smooth and creamy, but not too heavy. A nice level of carbonation.

O: A great brew, one totally worth trying. The fruity and spicy notes keep this beer relevant in a world full of great beer, this one has plenty of character.

Photo of Manbear
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

Dark and smooth. 4 pack not big enough haha. Love the packaging.

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Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 1,278 ratings.