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Monk's Blood | 21st Amendment Brewery

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516 Reviews
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Monk's BloodMonk's Blood

Brewed by:
21st Amendment Brewery
California, United States | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by taxguyjase on 09-10-2009

User Reviews
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Reviews: 516 | Ratings: 1,371
Photo of OnThenIn
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Two fingers of light tan head on top of a very dark brown body with a ruby glow.

S: Very malty with a hint of dark fruits and a bit of spiciness.

T: The beer is a a bit bitter upfront with a nice bit of dark fruit. There is a strong presence of wood. It is very spicy like the aroma and with a bit of residual sweetness that lingers.

M: Medium body with good carbonation.

D: Not super drinkable, but with a decent mouthfeel. The beer is just whatever at best.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz can into a Duvel tulip.

A: Rather muddy, appropriately sanguine body with two fingers of soft, pillowy tan foam. Pretty good retention and some sticky lace. A bit more sediment than I'd like, but overall pretty good.

S: Burnt sugar, dark fruit esters, candied ginger, plenty of booze, and a weird vegetal hint; rhubarb?. Interesting at times, but really not a terribly inspiring nose considering the style. A little overbearing with the sugary sweetness.

T: More straightforwardly malty here, with the candied fruit and dry esters coming on the back side, right before a huge wave of alcohol. Not bad tasting by any means, but a bit too hot for 8.3%. There really isn't all that much going on, but it's pleasant for the most part.

M: Slick, sticky medium body with low, fine carbonation. A little lifeless.

D: Quite smooth, but also rather boozy.

Notes: This is an enjoyable brew, but it doesn't come close to standing out as a BSDA. Compared to just about every other beer in this style I've had, this one falls somewhat short. Still, it's a pretty decent value, and I always like getting a tasty beer out of a can.


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Photo of Furlinator
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours translucent dark brown with a thin khaki head that quickly fades and leaves faint spots of lace. Figs, cinnamon and a hint of vanilla aromas. Taste follows with some oak as well. Thin texture.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz can into my Trappist Westvleteren goblet (sacrilege?).

Brooding rusty liquid with a thin active beige slick and collar. Bronze and amber highlights vanish as quickly as they appear. Thin viscous legs thwart the attempts of the sandy lacing to adhere, smothering them back down.

Figs are prominent in the nose, though the other additions (cinnamon, vanilla, oak) are less detectable. Malt adds a touch of bready sweetness while the alcohol delivers a truncated list of esters.

Big malt sweetness, then a very brief blast of hops, followed by a growing fruitiness (cherry, dates, and a hint of clove-studded orange) on the palate. Finish continues to be fruit-forward and even possesses some vague tropical notes; medium-dry overall with a lingering bready piquancy.

A bit thin and a bit hot, but not terrible.

Easy-drinking, perhaps too much so; this is a light-hearted take on a sober style, adventurously crafted at the expense of style guidelines. The best Belgian-style beer I can remember having out of a can though...

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Photo of goblue3509
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep reddish color like a grapefruit or almost a clear tomoto juice with a obe finger off white head whiches gives way to some lace. The aroma is very inviting big vanilla and cinnomon notes with hints of oak and spices. The taste had a big vanilla and cinnomon taste over top of the caramel malt backbone, but there was a metallic taste in the end to the after taste that was a little off. The mouthfeel was creamy and enjoyable. Over all it would be hard to have more than one or two there was a nice start to the flavor but it faultered toward the end.

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Photo of brdc
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Can, poured into a goblet. Thanks stoutsnipas for this one.

It definitely does not look like blood, as someone else mentioned. Reddish brown, with a disappointingly thin and short lasting tan head. Nobody does a head like the true belgians. It does have nice lacing, though.
This is pleasant, if a bit odd. Medium bodied, soft carbonation lends a nice mouthfeel. Aroma has lots of spices, particularly cinnamon, and candy sugar. Fruits, particularly plums.
Flavor is as expected, with the same notes, but here the cinnamon gets a bit overwhelming. The first few sips are pleasant, a nice twist on the style, but by half glass it gets to be a bit too much, and drinkability suffers, a lot.

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Photo of Philousa
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, this looks like tobacco or leather. Good amount of initial head thins out like a high ABV beer. A few whiffs yield brown sugar, dates, raisins, allspice. No hops to speak of. Kinda woody, but it's faint. Dates are palpable. Some dark chocolate, and that too-much-candied-sugar taste is there, but faint. Rich and smooth. Touch of juicy stone fruit. Bitterness is harsh at a colder temp, but smooths out as it warms.

This one ain't perfect, but I would give it the thumbs up. The candied sugar is a little heavy handed, and the bitterness comes off like burnt sugar at a colder temperature, but both aren't as bad halfway through. It's definitely complex enough to be called a Belgian Strong Dark and own the name. Balance this one out and it's a homer.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 21st can. Color is a rich brown, reddish tints, but mostly dark.

Smell is murky, jammy, figs, some notes of cinammon.

Taste is a complicated blend of spices and fruits. The alcohol is noted and warms. Can get a bit punchy as the beer warms - this also brings out some woodiness. I read there is vanilla, but that is buried in the swirling dark fruit.

Overally pretty good - the latter half of the beer was a bit tough for me.

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of the can to a goblet. A dark cherry red. A small amount of fluffy white head settled on top for about half of the beer. The nose is mainly sweet and fruity. A tangy sweetness. The flavor has a ton of sweetness dominated by raisins,figs and earthy red grape. There is a lot of sweetness but a good tingle of alcohol. I feel like there are a lot of leftover sugars.

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Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Date: 15 March 2011
Glass: Sierra Nevada XXX snifter
Type: 12fl oz can

Poured softly, producing a 1.5-finger head, reduces to a thin film, lacing is better-than-average, color is crimson-brown.

Aroma is quite complex, beginning with heavy bready malts, moving into cinnamon and nutmeg. Until this beer warms up, I can't sense anything else.

Taste is extremely bready, moderate levels of cinnamon, brown sugar, medicinal black cherries. When warmed, the black cherries match up well with the now-apparent figs. Belgian yeast flavor is subtle but makes a break backbone. Cherry attaches to the palate with some caramel and slight bitterness. Carbonation is moderate and delightful. Certainly a low-heat sipper, which is actually best between 45-50ºF. The cherries lower the drinkability. Perhaps this would be tasty with dessert.

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Photo of SuperSpy
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is a very reddish brown with an almost pinkish head. Appropriately named.

Caramel, vanilla, cinnamon and a bit of apple make up the aroma. The aroma is exactly what the beer advertises itself to be.

This flavor is all over the place. Plenty of earthy hops to start but it's quickly overpowered by cinnamon and incredibly boozy cherries. The aftertaste is still full of alcohol and cherries, along with figs and an earthy hop dryness. Again, this is what the beer advertises itself to be, but the flavors don't seem to blend as well as they could and seem to be battling each other for dominance.

This is worth drinking once or twice but it tastes like some of the fruit needs to be tamed down a bit. I think I'll let a can or two age a few months and give it another try.

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Photo of hardy008
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mahogany color with ruby highlights, and a light tan head which does not last long. Smells of dark fruit and brown sugar. Likewise for the taste. While still good, this is not as complex as other Belgian Strong Dark Ales.

Sweet, medium bodied, carbonation is decent. The alcohol is not well hidden. Still a tasty, drinkable brew, but a few notches below the better beers in this category.

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Photo of negroobserver
3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance.. dark brown color. Pours with about a half inch of fluffy cream colored head. Visible yeast and residue in glass. Probably not filtered.

Smell... Strong fruity and banana notes.

Taste... tastes a bit malty. A little sweet with slight sourness in the middle. Moderate bitter finish

Mouthfeel... The beer has nice density or depth. Not too light or watery. Slight sting on the tongue because of the alcohol.

Overall... A nice enjoyable beer, but there is nothing spectacular about the beer.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Moe's in Lee, MA. Pours a dark brown, almost black, with a small white head that disappears almost immediately. Smell is decent, dark fruits. Taste is interesting, grapes, sour apple, rum, raisins. Quite the strange tasting brew, couldn't really decide whether I enjoyed it or not. Alcohol definitely shows through towards the end, carbonation was low but overall mouthfeel felt a bit flat. It's interesting, I'll give it that, but I probably wouldn't get this again.

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Photo of CampusCrew
3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance: deep dark brown, lackig had retention

smell: cinnamon and belgian yeast, banana, borwn sugar

taste: carmelized malt, brown sugar, cinnanmon, lots of banana, but belgian yeast flavor taked over the beer. oak aging is lost or not present, awful sweet and weird finish

mouthfeel: medium bodied, good carbonation, not over done

drinkability: It's a interesting and pretty good beer, but it's not great by any means. figuring all the additives of flavor... it should be more complex and have better balance.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly clear ruby red dark brown color with a fluffy off white head that leaves pretty good lacing.

Nose is alot of candi sugar like sweetness and slight spice.

ugh. akwardly thin, the spice profile is a mess, and the vanilla is nearly non-existent. The base beer doesn't seem that great either, pretty boring.

Mouthfeel is about right at first, but dies off kind of thin on the finish. Slightly overcarbonated, but ok.

Drinkability would be alright if it tasted better, but as it is it still drinks pretty well for 8.5%

Overall, a boring beer to be honest. It isn't great, it isn't terrible, just messy and kind of blah. Give it a try. Cool to see a belgian style in a can at least, hopefully someone out will can a nice belgian IPA soon! Ok beer, try it when you get the time/boredom.

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Photo of tone77
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a dark amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smells of dark fruits and spices. Taste is like it smells, dark fruit and spices, some notes of alcohol. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours a dark raisiny reddish-brown with golden date-like highlights. Substantially murky. A decent two-finger khakhi head has decent retention, fading to a collar that leaves behind fair gobs of lacing.

Dark fruit. Raisins and figs. Candi sugar. Characteristic belgian esters. Apple, a hint of clove, hint of cinnamon. Not bad, but not all that enticing.

Hmm... sugar, alcohol heat, cinnamon, clove, brown sugar, hints of belgian doughiness. Raisins. Maybe it's the figs? Kind of lacking something, but not sure what. Seems fairly typicial bsda profile, with a hint more sugar and spice. Almost reminds me of a pound cake with belgian yeast.

Mouth is full and creamy with ample carbonation that helps carry the flavors decently. A drying finish that is surprisingly potent for the level of syrupiness here. An interesting twist, although I'm not sure it's necessarily working together... cloying opposites don't always make harmony.

All in all, I was really hoping this one would be stellar. The vanilla and oak chips seem kind of lost to me, with the fruitiness and belgian esters taking center stage. Admittedly, I'm not a huge bsda fan, so that could be part of the deal here, but I'm just not quite as impressed as I was hoping.

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Photo of mobyviacheslov
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

A--I poured this one into a glass, even though with most other 21st Ammendment Canned craft brews, I've tried them out of the can just for "fun". Couldn't bring myself to do it with a Belgian style ale though. There was virtually no head, though the outer rim of the beer maintained a tiny coagulation of bubbles that did leave level marks after each sip for around a minute before running back into the beer. The beer itself is a very dark, nearly opaque brown...in the low light of my kitchen it looked black. Light reveals a few ruby colors.

S--the nose was very mild, with hints of caramel and dried fruit. Not a lot of character to the nose...perhaps the canning process or the can itself reduces the smells that the lees and sediment in a bottled belgian usually benefits from.

T--First of all, I waited about an hour after taking the can out of the fridge, but it still felt about 40 degrees (problem I've had with all canned micros). My first sip, all I could taste was CAN, though this didn't happen with others from this brewery...perhaps it was mental, since a belgian in a can is still weird to me...considering that "flavor" went away on subsequent sips. There are some intriguingly tart caramel flavors, which are very contradicting but it works quite well. There are underlying tobacco flavors as well. The initial flavor burst is malty and very true to the style, and the finish brings out the tart and tobacco flavors. Its not the most sophisticated, strong, or complex ale in the world, but certainly better than I was expecting. I will let the last half of this sit out for a little while and see if the temperature can help bring out more pungent flavors.

M--This is my only real problem with the beer. Waaaay to much carbonation going on here. Its not bud-light carbonation, but its more than I expected. I have had many belgian ales with higher than average carbonation, and it generally is a plus, adding a pop to your tongue that amplifies the subtle flavors...in this case, it seems to overpower them, perhaps causing the mild flavors.

D--Well, due to the fact that I drank this waaay to cold, and its carbonation level, this beer actually comes off as very drinkable. Like, "have 10 or so at a barbeque" drinkable. Probably dangerous due to the ABV. As I've said about other 21st canned beers, this would actually be a great barbeque beer if you want to slum it out of a can, but still feel snob-superior to the MGD drinkers.
Serving Type: 12 oz can, poured in
to a snifter, probably around 40 degrees.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter. This years batch (2011).

Pours a crimson tinged brown with tons of lacing and a ring of head. Good start.

The smell is interesting/strange with a melange of spices and fruits...Coconut, grape, oak and a little vanilla, cherry, as well as some of the dried fruit character probably from the figs.

The taste is sweet and malty overall. Some of the cinnamon and dired figs come through, with other fruits like a dark fruit punch medley almost. A little alcohol sweetness and ripe bananas come through too, overall the taste is a little confusing. There are some beers where you have different flavors poking out with each sip and its a good thing, this one that happens but it just seems a little schizo.

A little thinner than I would had liked with a little burn but not too bad overall. Not the best drinker in the world. Had with some friends that were not big beer guys and they didn't really enjoy this one, and I wasn't too impressed either, but it was interesting I'll give it that.

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Photo of oberon
3.41/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

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Photo of WSB
3.41/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours an amber/red color, and appeared cloudy. Nice thin head that grabs the glass

Smell was disappointing, I hoped for the cinnamon and figs listed on the label, and only got some wood notes and malt.

Taste was good. The aging on oak was obvious on the palate, as was the vanilla accents. Alcohol was pronounced.

Mouthfeel was ale-like, thick, smooth, and the alcohol numbed the tongue (8.3% will do that)

Overall a good beer, although aging it on the oak seems to have mellowed and muddled the flavors. I'd love to try this sans the aging on oak.

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Photo of organicbrewer
3.41/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Dark ruby with a small tan head. Fairly clear.

S-prunes and raisins. Light cinnamon. No hop aroma. A bit light.

T-Cherry cola. Nice caramel sweetness. Very low hop bitterness. Some fig. I don't get any of the spices listed on the can but sometimes that's the point. Medium bitterness, keeps things balanced.

M-Oak only apparant in the slight astringent mouthfeel. Medium bodied. Medium carbonation, could use a bit more imho.

D-Nice beer. I think this is more like a big dubbel than a dark strong. This beer would open up with more carbonation. It would kick up the aroma and flavor a bit and make it seem drier. All and all a nice beer.

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Photo of jIsh
3.41/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my first offering from 21st Amendment. Thanks Chris! The presentation of this ale is pretty damn cool, I mean come on, who doesn't love a good canned craft, especially when it comes in a 4-pack.

This beer opens with a dull crack and pours a nice amber color. Good head retention around the majority of the glass. The smell is sweet with figs and cherries prominent. It also smells refreshing, almost watered down in fact. Perhaps this would make a good shower beer (but what doesn't?).

The taste is enjoyable, however, doesn't seem particularly memorable. In my opinion, all Belgian strong dare ales should be compared to Chimay Grande Reserve, and this one seems thin by comparison. The 8.3% alcohol is hidden well despite the overall "lightness" of the beer.

One can only wonder how this guy would age in the can. Perhaps I'll toss one in a dusty corner and forget about it for a few years!

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Photo of gamwich
3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the cool looking can into a St Bernardus goblet. A cafe au lait colored head dissipates quickly. The color is a striking reddish-brown, appropriate given the name. Minimal lacing. The nose is sweet, with some bready yeast and cinnamon. The flavor is mostly sweet malts and some booze. There are hints of other things, but these are fleeting. The finish is fairly dry.

Not a bad beer, but certainly not a great BSDA.

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Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 516 ratings.