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Monk's Blood - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Monk's BloodMonk's Blood

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

509 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 509
Hads: 1,333
Avg: 3.8
pDev: 21.32%
Wants: 82
Gots: 191 | FT: 2
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 509 | Hads: 1,333
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

21st. Amendment Brewery, Monk's Blood. Belgian-style dark ale brewed with cinnamon, vanilla, oak chips, and dried figs. That's all I'll share from the label of this can. There's a long story in Gothic typeface that's difficult to read. It begins "Legend has it…" and I'll let your imagination run wild with the rest. Wait. I really should read it…. Couldn't. It's impossible. Can't make out 10% of the words. The rest are over-cooked and overly dramatic. Apparently, elder monks believe in capital punishment when dealing with young monks who tinker with old recipes. Sure, makes sense. Or maybe it was the cigars, "nice hands of Texas Hold 'Em" and "breaking the vow of silence by spinning a remix of Gregorian chants" that drew the Abbot's ire. I wouldn't know.

Unfortunately, it tells me nothing about the beer.

8.3% ABV. 12 oz. can. brewed in Cold Springs, MN.

Dark, plum brown body, opaque, smallish cream-toned head, drifts down, but leaves lace.

Aroma: dark fruit aplenty. raisins, dates, figs. Plum. With plenty of spice, as well, and a hint of sweetness. Wait, more than a hint, with the vanilla and oak coming in loud and clear.

Taste: First sip is rich and full, with a complex mix of flavors coming together in the mouth. A touch sour, lush with fruit and spice, dark, deep and delicious. Reminds me of favorite authentic Belgian dark ales, with without that rare quality from the Belgian yeast. Comes close enough. Very delicious.

Full-bodied, long finish, deeply textured, with apparent alcohol. Rises higher with each additional drink. Rich, warming, and comfortable. But I couldn't more than two of this without causing trouble. In fact, I can feel the urge to raise a ruckus right about now.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

By the time I tasted this, my palate was pretty much wrecked by the terrible Iron Fist Spice of Life, but I still got a pretty good impression from this one. Served in a ball-stem goblet, a hazy, dark, reddish-brown color with a small off-white head. Aroma of bready malts, caramel, soft fruits and spice. Taste was a bit muted at first, but fleshed out a bit mid-palate onward. Caramel and candi-like sugars, bready, cinnamon and spice, and more of the soft, indistinct fruit I got on the nose, hints of cola and some phenol. Medium-bodied, fairly chewy, some alcohol warmth. Overall pretty decent, but I don't see myself having more than one glass in a session before moving on to something else.

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Photo of PeterIngemi
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz can into a duvel glass.

A: dark brown with a slight ruby tinge to it... Get a nice three finger tannish head that dissapates nicley, but not really leaving any lacing to speak of, deffinatly a nice lookin brew although, due to the name, I expected it to be more red... But not the case

S: comes wafting out of the can the moment I cracked it.... a blend of caramel and vanilla with toasty oak, the dried figs ate deffinatly apparent in the aroma as well... Along with a bit alcohol heat, complex and inviting.

T: much like the nose, I get figs and oak up front blending into vanilla and caramel, I'm not really getting the cinnamon, perhaps a touch on the finish witha bit of alcohol? A touch of chocolate and brown sugar in there as well, and now the beer has warmed a bit I deffinatly feel the cinnamon on the finish. Like the nose I find the flavor to have excellent complexity and balance.

M: medium bodied with lower carbonation, finishes dry, with a slight touch of bitterness. A bit of an oaky/spicy/bitter aftertaste that lingers for a bit.

O: a very nice brew that displays a nice amount of complexity and balance that I have not found in many of 21st amendments othe brews... I really enjoyed this beer and understand why it has the cult following that it does. Deffinatly a must try.

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Photo of BuxMontBeerLover
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 4pk at Wegmans in Warrington, PA

4pk - $10.99

Poured and enjoyed in a DFH Signature Glass

A - Beer pours a deep brown with a slightly reddish hue. Almost totally opaque but a bit of light shines through. Little to no head on the initial pour. Decent lacing left on the glass.

S - A slightly malty, fruity aroma with a hint of booze.

T - A beer that initially hits you with its pretty high booziness. The beer has a mixture of sweet malts, caramel, vanilla and something like raisins (dark fruit). This is a sipper for sure but overall is pretty good. Not a beer you'll be rushing through.

M - Light carbonation, medium mouthfeel.

O - I've heard a lot about this beer so decided to give it a try. Overall, it's good but not a beer I'd probably re-visit. It's good but just not as great as I was expecting.


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Photo of Sternfels
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz can into duvel tulip glass


T: Sweet fruity malts up front, sweet coffee sorta roasted malts and fruit Spicy sticxky chew sweet booze ending of great

M: warming spicy medium bodied


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Photo of CHickman
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours opaque brown color with a small foamy tan head that fades quickly, leaving decent lacing.

Smells like rum, caramel and sweet malt; very malty aroma with alcohol very present in the nose.

Tastes of sweet malt, caramel, brown sugar, toasted grains, dark fruit, light floral hops, cinnamon, and some light yeast; not as malty as expected by the nose and relatively sweet overall with a very noticeable alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel is creamy and silky smooth, with little carbonation and a medium body that goes down watery, but has enough alcohol bite to make this a slow sipper. Decent beer, but didn't live up to the hype and not one I’d seek out.

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a dark burgundy colored pour with 2 fingers of off white head. smells of grapes, alcohol, pecan, vanilla, strawberry. a very bitter sweet fruity mouthful! a hint of cherries, grapes, nuts, figs, a bit of dirt bitterness.. almost like drinking tree sap! medium bodied, nicely carbonated, light amount of creaminess. this is an overall hell of a beer. i wish it were a bit less carbonated and more syrupy on the mouthfeel, but i'll live. glad i got 3 more of these to savor throughout the next few months.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce can into a tulip-shaped Duvel glass.

A: Dark, murky, reddish brown color with a two-finger cap of tan foam that subsides to a thick ring, leaving behind a thin layer of lacing.

S: Plummy, sugary with hints of beets and raisins. An earthy, herbal aroma rises from the dark, fruity and spicy smell. Hints of dates, nutmeg, cinnamon and mace dot the lingering finish.

T: Sweet, chewy and fruity malts hit up front, delivering big doses of slick, sweet-roasted malts and fruity esters ranging from plum and raisin to figs and berries. The sweet palate breaks quickly with a hot rush of spicy, herbal and acidic booziness. The finish is sticky sweet with some traces of slick, grainy alcohol.

M: Full-bodied and somewhat acidic around mid-palate, this brew is warming, spicy and bracing.

O: The booze overpowers the fruity notes though and cut the sweetness a tad too deep. This 8.3% ABV dark Belgian strong ale would do well with some extensive wood-aging or at least to sit a while longer.

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Photo of SHODriver
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a deep brown with a small tan head that recedes quickly to a collar around the glass
S: smells sweet with notes of cherries and a little alcohol, some vanilla and an underlying oakiness
T: tastes fruity with notes of alcohol soaked cherries, a little chocolate, some oak, a bit of vanilla, and overall sweetness to it. The swallow brings about a bit of alcohol and more cherry flavor
M: meduim bodied with moderate carbonation
O: a tasty and complex belgian strong dark. it's a little harsh at times and the alcohol isn't masked well but it's pretty good. Trois Pistole is the beer that I compare others of this style to and this one falls a bit short.

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Photo of bcostner1
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip from the can.

A: Dark reddish-mahogany. Does not pour with overwhelming viscosity. Rich tan head that slowly dissipates and lingers around the edges. Nice looking beer.

S: Definite yeast presence. Hint of cinnamon. Dark fruits (figs and plums mixed in with some red grapes maybe). Faintest hint of alcohol. Overall, a very nice aroma; not too overpowering yet just enough to let you appreciate all of the elements.

T: For me, yeast dominates up front; not as much as in some other Belgian Strongs that I have tasted but it is definitely there. Slightest hint of cinnamon; not much. Some definite vanilla in the finish along with some oak and faint hops as well. Dark fruits are present throughout and provide a definite richness and sweetness to this brew. Very enjoyable.

M: Pretty easy drinker. ABV is well hidden and only slightly detectable at the finish. Not as thick or viscous as some others I have had of the style; slightly thin on the mouthfeel for me.

This is the 2nd time I have tried this beer and, honestly, I like it better the 2nd time around as opposed to the first. In my opinion, there are some better BSDA's out there but this one isn't bad at all. I wish the cinnamon and vanilla elements were a little bit more prominent because this would, in my opinion, make this one a little bit more unique for the style. Still, I will enjoy the remainder of my 4 pack and would have it again (though not necessarily seek it out).

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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 GilGarp
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz can served cold into a goblet.

Monk's Blood is a hazy redish amber with thin short-lived head.

Aroma is sweet and fruity with mild oaky vanilla.

The flavor is stronger than expected with big cherry and vanilla chacter.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated. Alcohol is strong but not over powering.

Overall a good strong beer that makes a nice pairing with cherry pie.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sweet aroma of bready malt with notes of dark fruit (cherries?) and toffee. Body is a cloudy brown color with a touch of creamy white head floating on top. Palate is sweet, fruity, and spicy, with notes of cherries, nutmeg, allspice, and vanilla. Finish is warm and sweet, a bit more than is my usual preference. This certainly isn't a subtle beer, but it's still pretty tasty.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from can into Chimay glass

Appearance – Pours a deep reddish brown color with a solid one finger light brown head. The head faded within a few minutes giving way to some nice lacing.

Smell – Yeast and banana aromas are the heaviest in the nose. There are many other very nice smells mixed with these however. Dark and tropical fruits aromas of cherries, raisin, fig , and mango are in there. There is also a good dose of malty breadiness which when mixed with the yeast and fruit and a bit of boozy aroma, create a very robust and pleasing smell.

Taste – A roasty malt backbone is present throughout the taste experience and is much heavier in the taste then was depicted in the nose. Up front some of the yeast flavors are present, but these begin to fade toward the middle. Some darker fruit flavors start developing as the yeastiness begins to fade. The fruit flavors are mainly raisin and fig in nature without a strong cherry presence even though this aroma was the strongest of the fruits. Toward the end a little bit of the yeast works its way back into the taste and is mixed with a much stronger alcohol flavor then would have been anticipated from the nose. These leave a somewhat unbalanced boozy taste left on the tongue at the end.

Mouthfeel – The body is a bit higher then medium in thickness/creaminess and the carbonation level is right around average. The body seems a bit light to me and would likely be better with some more chewiness.

Overall – While it had a very nice look and wonderful aroma, it was a bit lacking in mouthfeel and taste. It was to boozy at the end and the darker fruit flavors that I was expecting to experience were rather light in comparison to a more roasty malt flavor. Overall it is an OK Belgian dark, but not one to look for with any real frequency.

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Photo of Holland
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: thick, black to dark brown, with a nice tan to brown head that sticks to edges and covers the beer in a thin layer once it settles.

S: big roasted malt, yeast spice and fruity esters, red wine, and sweetness.

T: bitterness, spiciness, lot of malt, some sweetness, and a finish of oak and red wine. Very interesting and enjoyable.

M: well carbonated with a medium body. Not much to say, but well done with the light feeling carbonation.

O: interesting take on the style. I like it quite a bit, though I didn't think this style would be good in a can for some reason.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a snifter

A: pours a very hazy light molasses color with a finger of very creamy medium tan colored head which lingers nicely and leaves a minimal amount of lacing
S: very dark fruits, boot wax (oddly nice), and a pretty obvious alcohol note which stings gently
T: dark fruits linger on the palate long afterwards, but, prior to that the taste is mainly of deep malts which are nice, the very first sip, right on the tip of the tongue took me a long time to identify but ive finally realized that it is cinnamon which is very unique and starts the brew off very nicely
M: drinks slightly thick and leaves the mouth feel just a bit sticky, drinks with a gentle carbonation tingle up front
O: this is a pretty good brew, there just seems to be too much going on in the taste, i mean its just kinda all over the place, not a bad thing just an observation, on the otherhand, this is possibly the most complex beer ive seen come out of a can so its a toss up i suppose

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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 mvanaskie13
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a fluted ping glass, color is murky amber with copper edges and a light brown head that sits thick on top.

Smell yeast, bready, caramel, hints of raisans and light spices like cinnamon.

Taste is not overly sweet with a suprisinglyl dry overall presence; flavors are yeast and breadiness, caramel, raisans, figs and a mixed spice profile, getting some light cinnamon and esters also.

Mouthfeel is a little too drying, some flavors linger but not a big presence; I can't pin point it but the scent and flavor would seem to indicate a stronger presence.

Overall, a very solid beer from a can and a solid belgian; flavors are interesting and unique but it's missing something in its mouthfeel and presence.

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Photo of challenja
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz can poured into a Redskins pint glass.

A: Dark viscous honey brown. Thick and impossibly inviting to the taste palates.
S: Sweet figs, dark malts, maple syrup, honey comb, brown sugar and prunes.
T: This is one impressive taste monster. The can says it all in taste profile. Vanilla syrup malts comes barreling through first. Cinnamon bites between the oak barrel and lays a nice slicing to the figs and back Prune tongue lashing.
M: Syrupy and refreshing. A perfect balance of carbonation and full mouthfeel. Its got a really great balance that punchs the flavors hard and lays them out wet, like a good Lesbian Porn Flick.
O: One of my top three Seasonal cold brews. This is 21st Amendments best offering to date!!

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Photo of mptorpey
4.53/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A great rich brown almost rasin with a nice smooth white head.

S: A rich spice and rasin or fig jam. Cinnimum is quite also perdominate.

T: A very complex beer with lots of jam and spice. Jig is quite up frount and finishes with loads of spice like cumin and cinnimum. Very rich and dence. As it warms the ABV is hightned.

M: Very rich dnece long finish. Smooth with a some what sweentenss in the end.

O: A great beer but a little hard to drink more that one because it has such a richness and complexiness to it.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

can generously tossed my way from ant880. enjoyed from a trois pistoles chalice.

a - brew poured a caramel amber that settled in the glass as an almost purple. nice full finger of creamy to style head. head slowly fizzed away leaving some stringy lacing. attractive...especially for an american take on one of my favorite styles.

s - figs, grapes, raisins. some nuttiness with nice malty grains and good sweetness. pretty balanced.

t - as the nose suggests dark fruit leading with figs. there is a strong presence of nuttiness and toasted malts. some sweetness but finishes malty and a bit dry.

m - not as creamy as i expect for the style, but hell of a job for something state-side.

o - overall, paint me impressed. it isn't often that you try an american take on a belgian strong dark that catches the style properly. this beer won't hold up to the true pioneers of the style and there are some american breweries that do it better, but this is definitely a beer on the top end of list for the style originating in the US. cheers 21st amendment...nicely done. will definitely be revisiting this one again.

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Photo of jsprain1
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Very dark amber, with a thin white head. Lasts decently well and leaves lots of lacing.
S- The aroma is very nice, with emphasis on sweetness with a touch of sugary notes. There is also a fair bit of very sweet chocolate. Ever so slightly yeasty.
T- Sweet, with toasted bread, sugary candy, and a fair amount of cocoa in there. A bit of yeastyness comes through in the back of the tongue.
M- Decently full body, with medium-high carb. Definitely has a sipping texture.
O- Overall a tasty beer and one of the better made examples of an American-made Belgian style.

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Photo of droomyster
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a richly frumpy head of tan foam with excellent retention. Sweet aromas of dark fruits like raisins and dates and plums. A date-like taste dominates the front and midpalate, with a lot of dark fruity sweetness and belgian spiciness growing larger on the mid to backpalates. Extremely rich and concentrated, more so than other Belgian Strong Dark Ales that I've had. I like this a lot and will definitely buy it again.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - Can

Appearance Dark tan/molasses brown. Nice 1/2 tan creamy head and good lacing.

Smell - Dark fruits like fig, rasin, plum, cherries and honey. Malts along with some cinnimon, spices, and a little vanilla note. Yeast and a little nut comes out to finish off a nice aroma for the style.

Taste - A surpising oak and sweet dark fruit flavor at first sip. Lots of spices, fruits, some sugars, cinnamon and some alcohol also. Lots of flavors in each drink, yet balanced pretty well. Some nutty malt and a little nutmeg finish this beer off.

Mouthfeel - Its medium thickness, with a ton of flavor. Tounge gets spices, oak, malts, alcohol and sugars. Palette gets more oak, fruits, sugars, and some booze. Aftertaste is sweet, malty, and spicy.

Overall - I really enjoyed this. Loved the oaked/cinnimon/nutmeg flavor it provided. Alot of flavors mixed into one beer. Its different, almost at times i think im drinking a winter warmer. Its got decent balance, the alcohol does overpower a little but if you want something different and high on flavor, give this a shot.

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Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 509 ratings.