Monk's Blood - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Monk's BloodMonk's Blood

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

1,304 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,304
Reviews: 519
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 13.35%
Wants: 83
Gots: 175 | 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: 1,304 | Reviews: 519
Reviews by TheFlern:
Photo of TheFlern
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown/red. Almost blackish but not really. Bone colored head. Decent lacing. Good retention.

Smell: sweet. smells like your normal belgian strong dark ale except this is a little more american. oak comes through with a little spiceyness which i assume is from the cinnamon.

taste: a little more alcohol than i was expecting. the oak is nice and smooth and very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: smooth, good amount of carbonation. Just a tad too much alcohol up front for me.

Overall: this is a very interesting beer from an interesting brewery. I hear this beer is going away which is sad. Get it while you can!

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jeffreysan
5/5  rDev +30.9%

12 oz can, 2014 edition, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a pretty, completely opaque, dark mahogany color, with an eighth of a finger of white head that completely dissolved away into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Roasted malt, dried stone fruit, such as raisins, prunes and figs, dark molasses, Belgian yeast and candied sugar. Very nice.

Taste: Delicious! Strong notes of roasted malt, followed by dried stone fruit, such as raisins, prunes and figs. I also get notes of vanilla, candied sugar-like sweetness, and a touch of Belgian yeast funkiness. I love it!

Mouthfeel: Medium to slightly chewy. Very smooth, as there is practically no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 8.3%, there is a very pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: Another homerun from 21st Amendment, and one of my favorite American versions of a Belgian strong dark ale. Absolutely delicious!

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 utopiajane
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours honey brownish with a ruby tint to it. Slight haze pretty glow. A fat head of tan foam that falls quickly and leaves a ring but no lace. Nose is soft malt with a light caramel over it. Touch of brown sugar on the nose. Soft bread and dark fruits. raisin and date, there's even some bright cherry. A touch of wood and a bit of spice. Drinks just like that. With a creamy supple mouthfeel punctuated by a touch of carbonation. It has a good lightness in the mouthfeel that I was not expecting for so high an abv. It is medium mouthfeel. A bit of alcohol grazes the palate before this sweetened bread with all it's fruit finishes dry and with a bit of earthy spice. It does finish a bit sweeter than I would like but overall very good.

Photo of oberon
3.41/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can a deep ruby tinged chesnut brown with a large light tannish colored head atop.Aromas of spiced cherries,brown sugar and malt loaf,maybe a bit much on the spiced cherries wich come into play even more on the palate.Dark fruit wich mainly means cherries and phenolic yeasty spice dominat the flavors with cakey brown sugar-like notes underneath,sweetish alcohol rounds out the finish.It's not horrible but there are many more complex and not so sweet versions of the style.

Photo of MadScientist
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pour a hazy deep copper with a creamy light tan head

Fruit esters are the first thing you smell then the malt aromas start to dominate. The malt aromas are kind of nondescript at first then resolve into some carmel and light toffee while the strong esters are of raisins and prunes. It has nice peppery phenols and a soft perfume alcohol aroma.

The first sip is like carmel covered marshmallows from the combination of the sweetness, vanilla, carmel and mouthfeel. There is also the pepper in there along with some of the dark fruit flavors. It has a medium-dry finish

The medium light body and moderately high carbonation combine to create a creaminess and softness on the palate. There is a bit of slickness from the diacetyl probably from the oak chips. The pepper and an odd spiciness start to dominate the other flavors after a few sips; I would really call the spiciness cinnamon and defiantly not clove.

There's a lot going on in this but the flavors muted and unfocused and the oak is barley coming through. It does it the marks for the style of being dark, rich, complex and strong and possible smooth depending on home much pepper you enjoy.

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

A - Pours a deep red with one finger of tan head. Head has decent retention and leaves a small amount of lacing.

S -- Initially sweet with big aromas of dark fruits. Lots of cherry, with some raisin, fig and plum. Dark bread, a bit of vanilla and cinnamon round it out.

T - Taste follows the nose pretty closely, with nice cherry and other dark fruits. Unlike the nose, in the taste the sweetness fruit the fruits is countered by some earthiness. Bready malts, some vanilla and some oak tannin dryness.

M - Medium mouthfeel that starts with some sticky sweetness and finishes dry.

O - Might not be the most complex BSDA, but this was very enjoyable and dangerously drinkable beer that I would have again.

Photo of DamDweller
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

21st Amendment Monk's Blood

Poured the beer into a Duvel tulip glass. Has a nice deep brown maroon color to it. Smell is all about cinnamon. There are some hints of vanilla, but it seems to just add to the sweet cinnamon smell. The taste is very similar to the smell. Cinnamon and vanilla with hint of figs. Mouthfeel is good, carbonation is what is to be expected. Sits for a bit after swallowing. Overall it's a good beer. It would be nice if it cleaned off the tongue faster, but it has nice retention and pleasant smell.

Biba!

Photo of marvin213
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks a little blood-like, though this lifeblood would need significantly more oxygen. The mud brown liquid is just muddy enough to be opaque, but it nevertheless looks thin. Head hangs round.

The smell is a real nice cinnamon and vanilla. For better or for worse, it hardly smells like alcohol. It's a tangy sweet, and I'm delighted that it's not that dark-candied sugar so prevalent in other BSDAs. The feel is SO light for what I thought would be kind of a thick and chewy, Belgian yeast-dominated beer. In addition to that cinnamon and vanilla, there's only a slight Belgian twang with almost a cherry almond finish. It's like a light dessert, yet thin enough for an aperitif. In sum, it's probably the best beer I've had from the brewers at 21st Amendment.

Photo of glaze0101
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

So what is this bloody beer anyway? Well, to start with, it kinda looks like blood. It is a brownish red colour like a blood stain that has been through the wash. This ale has little to no head, and no lacing (though I must admit I'm not sure my glass is "beer clean" tonight) The aroma is kinda like a rotten fruit, in a good way. Figs, some citrus and vanilla are in the aroma and the flavour. The yeast is very strong and present with only a slight bitterness from the hops. Well balanced and odd. So odd, I think I like it!

Photo of jmshulk
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep red-ish brown, small head that dissipated quickly to a ring.

Aroma: Some dark fruit, plums and cherries, with little hints at cinnamon, vanilla and bourbon.

Taste: There is some more cherry/plum like flavors up front. It's not too boozy, but there is a little bit there to balance out the sweetness. It finished with a touch of bitterness. Could finish a little more dry.

Feel: It has a decent amount of carbonation and a nice medium body.

Overall: I really enjoy this beer, its a nice one to sit down with and slowly sip and enjoy as the flavors change with warmth. This is a beer I hope to see pop up in stores around February for a long time!

Serving: 12 oz. can
Date: 5/19/2011

Photo of Billolick
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gotta love living in a country where its brewers will brew quality Belgian style brew and put it in a can! This one pours a nice rudy shade of dark mahogony with some ruby glimmers, loose dark khaki head, clears out pretty rapidly, leaving a thin film, a collar and ample spots of fine lacing. The nose is loaded with darker ripe fruits, cherries and figs come to mind as well as raisins and light rum. Flavorful and quite tasty, with more dark fruit notes, raisins, figs, dark grapes, vanilla and perhaps a wiff of the advertized (on the can) cinnamon. Great winter brew, pleasant and easy drinking. On the sweat side buy nowhere near cloying. Nice beer to take winter camping, easy to pack in and worth the effort...Christmas dinner desert beer and/or as a quality night capper

Photo of tigg924
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: red/brown in color, 1/4 inch head, clear, moderate carbonation

Smell: bread and alcohol

Taste: bread, dark fruit, spice, alcohol, and sugar

Mouthfeel: very sweet and sticky, moderate carbonation, medium bodied

Drinkability: A nice malty, bready Belgian treat that I want more of. The alcohol is there but not overpowering. The best of what they have sent east so far.

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to exiled for sharing this can.

Pours dark red/brown with a khaki head. The aroma is a mix of dark fruit (figs, prunes) with a sour note, not what I was expecting but still a good smell. The flavor is more of the same with dark fruit and vanilla with some sour aspects, but not quite as much sourness as was in the aroma. The vanilla is strong in the aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel and lower carbonation.

Photo of bsp77
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from can into Snifter.

Appearance: Dark brown with a reddish-orange tint. Minimal head and lacing.

Smell: Figs, vanilla, dark fruit, clove and an overall stale mustiness.

Taste: Nice balance of sweet and earthy malts, with notes of vanilla, brown sugar, figs, oak, and maybe just a hint of the cinnamon that is supposedly there. Definitely finishes more on the musty side than sweet.

Feel: Low carbonation, syrupy but relatively light body in comparison to the malty taste.

Drinkability: This is a very nice example of a Belgian Strong Ale that somehow manages to be full-flavored yet easy to drink, while also masking its high alcohol quite well.

Photo of NilocRellim
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the can.

Cloudy, brownish-red in colour. There was an interesting nose to it: vanilla, malts, raisen, oak and you could definitely smell the alcohol in it. The taste had a heavy oak taste with a hint of bitterness. Sweet, Belgian-yeast finish. You could tell that it is 8.3% ABV.

Would I buy it again? Yes.

Photo of jondeelee
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I first read the box for Monk's Blood, which boasted that the beer had been made with cinnamon and vanilla, and then aged on a bed of oak chips and dried figs, I thought, This will either be terrible, or fantastic. Luckily, it was the latter. Monk's Blood smells somewhat like champagne and fine port, with a heavy swing of Welch's grape juice, a good measure of chocolate malt, and just a hint of cinnamon.

On the tongue, the brew is multi-layered and fascinating. One layer is a nice bed of chocolate malt, complete with dark and milk chocolates, and deeply toasted grains. Another layer consists of a thick spread of figs, which add a creamy dark fruit ester tang. Still another layer brings in caramelized brown sugars and vanillas, bringing in a somewhat soda/Dr. Pepper-like buzz (which I mean in the best way possible). The fourth layer contributes a nice spiciness, with cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon making small cameos. A final layer adds just the right amount of grapefruit-bitter hops to balance everything out. The aftertaste is a lighter version of the main mouthful, and fades slowly. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is a splendid brew, and well-worth seeking out.

Photo of pat61
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%

Dark malts, dried fruit, spice and faint vanilla dominate the nose.
Brilliant ruby brown under a 1/2" finely buddle dense lightly tan tinted foam cap. Lacy, slight legs.
Palate begins with mild dark malts, very slight roast - more dark caramel, possible chocolate, dried fruits - figs and dates. Mid-palate cinnamon and dried fruit interaction becomes more prominent with vanilla notes. Finishes with a touch of astringency from the spice, light hop accent.
Lingering aftertastes of malt and dried fruit.
Medium full body and medium to medium high carbonation, oily with a slight slickness in the aftertaste.
Good bitter mixed drink substitute.

Photo of MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a Duvel tulip glass. Canned on 03/05/12.

Appearance: Pours a dark and very hazy brown with some hints of ruby red. Moderate amount of bubbles and a little bit of sediment. Decent two fingers of off white head that fades into a thin patchy layer. Good amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell: A pretty vibrant and sweet aroma. Big aroma of Belgian yeast and bananas leap out to the nose. Good hints of sweet bready roasted caramel malts. Big hints of dark fruits with some dark cherries, figs, and raisins. Also some hints of candied sugar, cinnamon, oak, and vanilla. Smells somewhat boozy.

Taste: Starts out with some sharp spicy Belgian yeast and clove. Then the malts and dark fruits take over. Bready caramel malts that are lightly roasted. Big banana taste. Sweet dark fruits with notes of figs, dark cherries, raisins, and plum. Hints of candied sugar and cinnamon spice. Also some vanilla and oak chips. A pretty good tasting jammy mix.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Creamy and somewhat sticky. Alcohol is hidden pretty well.

Overall: A pretty solid and interesting take on a dark Belgian ale. Very nice dark fruit taste and the spices add a nice twist.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a deep crimson mahogany red hue with light tan head and speckled lacing surrounding the sides of my Allagash chalice. Light beige head with thin speckled lacing. Aroma has a sweet sugar backing with hints of vanilla and spice. Sharp sweetness filled with raisins and plum, and I guess fig additions according to my can. A touch of cider like notes to it, very cohesive with mellow booze. Flavor is nice slightly acidic with raisins and figs exchanging strokes of flavor ample bitterness to balance it out, and a touch of mellow alcohol in the finish this brew from a can for 8 bucks a 4 pack equates to a good deal. Mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied with slightly sticky edges a nice all around drinking experience especially for a canned strong Belgian style dark ale. Drinkability was solid a beer I will revisit during the next three cans offered by this small brewer.

Photo of chinchill
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The 12 oz can poured clear, dark red-brown with a semi-durable tan head that left fine sticky lacing.

Feel: Full body with excellent, soft carbonation.

Cinnamon, vanilla and figs in the nose.

Cinnamon, vanilla and figs dominate the flavor which also has a touch of oak and a malt base. Moderately spicy. About equal balance of bitter and sweet.

O: tasty and complex. Worth seeking.

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

Never been too impressed with 21st Amendment's stuff, but had to pick this up. If nothing else, the name alone merits a try. Can into Belgian glass.

Pours a dark murky brown with a thick and creamy beige head. Carbonation eventually fizzles out but quickly returns with a swirl of the glass.

Nose is full of dark fruit, mainly plum with some pretty viscous surrounding spices. Very prevalent vanilla and cinnamon aromas. A lot going on here...

Tastes just as the nose leads on. Dark fruit and malt sugary sweetness up front, leading way into some vanilla spiciness. Finishes off boozy warm with a kick of... figs? I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but that's what it is according to the label. Interesting finish that grows on me as the beer warms. Definitely most enjoyable at cellar temp.

Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Slick mouth feel with a slight, but not overpowering alcohol presence. One in a night is probably enough for me.

Overall, a nice offering. Not the greatest thing ever made, but a solid and creative American Belgian, especially for the price point. The fact that it's sold in a can earns bonus points, but please use a glass. Cheers!

Photo of glid02
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a hazy brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with moderate amounts of vanilla and sugar-coated dark fruits. Also present are hints of brown sugar and lighter hints of molasses.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though more nuanced. Robust caramel malt flavors with hints of toastiness and nuttiness kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are solid amounts of brown sugar and booze-soaked raisins. Near the end of the sip mild amounts of vanilla come into play - sweeter and somewhat resembling extract more so than vanilla in other beers I've had - before fading out into a mildly bitter ending.

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

Drinkability is OK. I finished my glass without a problem however I'm not sure about another.

Overall I wasn't a big fan of this beer - there was a lot going on and the levels of each flavor didn't seem to be as they should be. Far from a bad beer but one not worth seeking.

Photo of Brenden
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew is, indeed, a bloody reddish brown in my glass. A light brown head forms at about 3/4 of a finger but sits nice and tight on top, remaining as a thick foam after it takes the time to dissipate and depositing more lacing that I expected.
The nose has the strength of a BSDA without kicking me in the face with alcohol. It's there, of course, but it allows other aromas to come off as well. Even though those aren't as strong as in a world-class Trappist-brewed version, in this one they still come out because the alcohol doesn't mask it. There's a nice spice coming off with notes of dark fruits but less of the candied sugars aroma typical (again, still there, just not as strong). Given the aroma, if you want a BSDA that's less on the sweet side for the style but still has the strength and character, this seems to be the one. There's quite a malts presence as well as well as, of course, the nice Belgian yeast I love.
The flavor is what I'd expect from the aroma; the yeast and spiciness pull up first underneath a strong malt, then gives way to an interesting flavor of dark fruits without the typical sweetness. Don't get me wrong, there's a touch of sweetness, but I'm sure this is far on the drier edge for the style. As in the nose, it has less of the sweetness without losing the strength or character. Some woods really come through with hints of a more vanilla sweetness than candy sugars, and there's certainly some fig or dates in here. Alcohol is exceptionally well toned down.
The body is on the fuller side of medium, and an adequate but light carbonation works appropriately. There's enough crispness to it to offer something without taking from the smoothness that comes after and lasts in a lingering semi-dry finish.
Having just founf out this was oak-aged (at the end of this review), it all makes sense now. It's an interesting idea, as it makes a typically sweet beer way over to the drier side. This is a great one to try and the most drinkable beer I've had with this ABV.

Photo of mbatley
3.59/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a 12oz snifter...

Dark, opaque brown

Not a lot of nose but enough to let you know that the vanilla and dark Belgian flavors will predominate

Taste: Whao, vanilla. Right up front. We'll see how it lasts as it opens and warms... slight oak and cinnamon but nice in their balance. Clean and nicely dry finish.

FYI, as the beer opened and warmed a bit the vanilla became less pronounced but I think I still would have liked it to be less and the malty, esters of the Belgian yeast to predominate a bit more. Overall good, but not great.

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Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 1,304 ratings.