Monk's Blood - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Monk's BloodMonk's Blood

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BA SCORE
86
very good

1,185 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,185
Reviews: 493
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 77
Gots: 116 | FT: 3
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: taxguyjase on 09-10-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,185 | Reviews: 493 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of albern
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

If anything, this is a complex beer with a huge palate of overlapping flavors. The beer pours a fairly thick, syrupy, cloudy, slightly dull brown mahogany color. There isn't much head or lacing to the beer, but it has the consistency of very heavy brown sugar syrup.

The nose is woody and oaken, with plenty of ABV and raisins, and slightly rum soaked florals coming through. The taste is really complex, with a slighly different experience with each taste. This is a full bodied, Belgian dark, with lots of ABV, wooden and oaken notes, lots of spices, lots of candied sugars and probably some brown sugar too. This is a really malted up affair. There are slighly booze soaked fig or raisin notes, there are almost some nutty flavors coming through too. There is a nice dash of vanilla, although I'm not getting much cinnamon as the label proclaims. The oaky almost cherrywood flavors are the most pronounced. This is a really fine beer. The aftertaste is fairly modest, all things considered. Worth seeking out. L'Chaim.

Photo of ahalloin
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received as an extra in a trade with my man Rob in SF! Thanks man!

Pours a clear rusty glowing amber-copper color with an light tan head of minimal proportions but good lasting power. Nice look for a Belgian Strong Dark. A little on the clear side, but good.

The smell has a nice mix of toasty malt, dark fruits (raisins, plums), with touches of cinnamon. There is a slight astringent oak touch in the background.

The taste matches up well with the smell. I get prunes, raisins, and toasted malt in the front, moving to a hint of roasted chocolate, finishing with a slight bitterness and alcohol astringency. Finish is less dry than the benchmark Belgian strong darks like Rochefort 10, etc.

Mouthfeel is full but with a slightly lesser amount of carbonation than I would like. I would classify it as medium low carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty good. I think a drier finish would certainly help, and maybe try to lose the alcohol presence a touch.

Photo of zhooker
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought my lil bro a 4-pack for his birthday, shamelessly expecting that I would be offered a can. Needless to say, he delivered. The packaging -- a 4-pack of cans sealed in a rough cardboard cube -- is quirky, unpolished, and attractive.

Cracked open the can and poured it into a large snifter-type glass. The color was brown and dark amber, with the occasional lighter caramel hue. About two fingers of head formed and quickly dissipated to practically nothing. There was little to no lacing as the glass emptied, but nice legs streaked down the glass.

A sweet, roasted aroma wafted from the glass. The sweet includes both fruit notes -- at first I thought of apricot, but the can reveals it was probably fig -- and candied scents that were caramel-esque. The roastiness softened these sweet tones.

The roasted malts were the highlight of the first sip, the sweeter tones coming in the back. The sweetness overcame the roasted flavors quickly, by the third or fourth sip. The same fruit qualities of the nose come through in the mouth. What I thought was something caramel-like in the aroma feels more like vanilla on the tongue. By the end of the glass, the sweetness has really become too much -- creating a sugary thickness on the back of my tongue. This is really a warming type of beer, perfect for a comfy winter evening.

The almost sickly sweetness dominates the mouthfeel, building throughout the glass. The roasted malt flavors are present all over the tongue.

This brew is a little too sweet for me to enjoy more than one or two on any given night. The fruits and spices and vanilla all make it feel like late fall or early winter, somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I would gladly sip another sometime when the weather cools down.

Photo of homebrew311
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received as an extra from mymrnngjkt- thanks! I've been wanting to try this for a while!

A: pours a deep dark crimson, very little head, some spotty lacing, good clarity

S: loads of figs and vanilla up front, a noticeable tartness- like cranberries, some vinous character and acidic fruit on the finish, with some notes of oak and cherry. Not picking up any cinnamon on the aroma

T: very complex- lots of sweet fruits on the front, notes of candi sugar, red grapes, figs, sweetness turns tart and notes of vanilla come through mid palate. The cinnamon comes through on the finish with a slight warming sensation. Some chocolately notes in there as well. This beer is a roller coaster of flavor, but it doesn't seem that well balanced

MF: med. carbonation, slightly sticky

D: definitely the most interesting beer I've tried out of a can to date, very complex- but its at the expense of balance

Photo of rootbeerman
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

still getting used to pouring cans into a glass, first try was onto my desk, now into my duvel tulip

A: pours well the name says it all, blood red maybe leaning a bit more towards reddish brown, the head was off white and a finger or so thick.
S: sweet malt with some candied fruit and a bit of cinnamon
T: as this warms the taste gets better and more complex, right now it is almost room temp, im getting sweet malt with sour cherries, raisins, and slight bit of cinnamon and even clove
M: as of the last few sips it has lost its carbonation due to glass choice, but the first few had a medium to low carbonation and is silky in the mouth.
D: decent but not the best, should be served at just 50F or so and let warm to room temp to get better flavors.

if this was from Belgium and in a bottle i would be completely unimpressed, but its from the USA and in a can so its pretty good especially because its in a can

Photo of guess98224
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

We served this in little bourbon stem glasses.

Appearance: Blood red with a fine lace.
Smell: I didn't really notice the smell.
Taste: Very fruity, tart, and malty. Tasted like a Belgium quad with fruit overtones. Cinnamon and vanilla with a little licorice in there.
Mouthfeel: About average. No real tongue coating.
Drinkability: Very drinkable. Do not drink out of the can, that would be an abomination.

This was quite the surprise. Clever packaging. The can art was great, including the story about the monks.

I was surprised something out of a can could take this good.

We served this at our anniversary party along with Dark Lord, and Life & Limb. This was a real favorite of everyone at the party, with the exception of my daughter who grabbed the bottle of Life & Limb and would not share. We went through eight cans of the Monks Blood in one night.

We went back to the two places where we bought it, and it was sold out. Very disappointing.

Photo of DrJay
3.05/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a chalice. Looks a bit hazy, deep reddish brown with a fine beige cap. Sticky, spotty lacing. The aroma was heavy on malts and fruits - bread and toffee, raisins and figs, earthy, slight alcohol, brown sugar and cocoa. Sweet toffee flavour up front, spicy notes appear mid-palate along with dried fruits with a fair bit of alcohol and grain character bringing up the rear. It's not immediately clear to me whether the flavours are just subtle, or are a little thin when compared to the aroma, but it's pretty mild tasting overall. Full bodied with very fine carbonation, alcohol warmth, decent texture. Not bad, but a little underwhelming. After getting through the full can, it seems like the flavour just didn't come together for me - too much alcohol for the rest of the flavour profile.

Photo of Bfarr
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A hazy dark brown with a little red and a huge tan head with indiscriminant lacing. Aromas of caramel and cherry maybe just a little oak if you search for it. Flavors of figs and vanilla with a little caramel. Oak flavors come out a little in the dry, boozy finish. Mouthfeel is a mix of creamy and fuzzy.

Monk's Blood... Great name. And a great story on the can. Unfortunately, a lot of the flavors the list on the can are quite subdued all around and you're left with a decent strong dark ale in a can. Easily something to take along with you somewhere but otherwise nothing too outstanding.

Photo of Adamdc
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can poured into tulip.

A: Plain and simple, looks like a Coke. Very dark with some ruby highlights with a tan inch of foam. Appears very a carbonated (like a Coke).

S: Dark fruits with cinnamon and figs.

T: Lots of cherry, too much in fact. Very sweet and pretty one-dimensional. Alcohol not noticeable.

M: Pretty well-carbonated. Nice on the tongue.

D: Goes down pretty smoothly.

I didn't really love this one. Aroma was pretty subdued and taste was nothing special. My first 21st Amendment beer was a 'miss'.

Photo of MarvinSnyder
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

5-23-10 - poured into a Dogfish Head snifter - 12Fl.oz. can

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark brown with ruby highlights. It has some decent lacing and a creamy head.

Smell: Aroma of dark fruits shines through, especially cherries and plums. There are also, hints of vanilla, caramel and spice.

Taste: Spicy with dark fruit and malt flavors. Molasses, caramel, toast, and a hint of cinnamon are also present. You can taste the alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation. This beer has a creamy feel, but is a little thin on the palate.

Drinkability: Drinkable with a creamy texture and a fairly crisp delivery.

Comments: My first review of a beer in a can. Overall, a good beer that brings forth some nice elements. However, I really think monk's blood should be served in a bottle. In my opinion, some beers and styles just seem to lend themselves to certain containers.

Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally a can review!

A - Well besides the kickass name and label you get a dark amber hue with slight carbonation and mild bubbly head.
S - Wow the Belgian yeast is strong in this one! Along side is muted figs and slight herbal.
T - Well tastes of well balanced fruit, cinnamon, and vanilla all oak cast. Very minimal bitterness from the yeast vet alcohol is only present when warmed.
M - Very light and carbonated surprising for the ABV.
D - Well at 4 dollars a can or 50 dollars a case, PA is pretty strict when enjoying this beer in say a reasonable 10 dollars a four pack. Ow well some day yet great brew.

Photo of Kelly88
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from its neat looking can into a chalice.

A- dark Ruby brown with a thin brown head. Streaky lacing after every sip

S- very under whelming aroma. Im picking up sweet fruit smells but they are muted. Might have poured too cold

T- fruit really welcomes you then that distinct Belgian yeast really enters the picture. This is a well made brew, I can't notice a drop of alcohol.

M- bubbly and crisp on the palate is quite refreshing

D- I could knock back the whole four pack if not for knowing this had such a high abv

Great beer that I really enjoy. Thank you to the threewisemen for the trade

Photo of beerguy101
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 12/18/2009. This Belgian Quadruple pours a medium brown color with some very nice ruby highlights. Medium sized tan foamy head, with nice lacing and good retention. The aroma is fruity, caramel, spicy and sweet. A medium bodied quadruple. The malts are fruity and sweet. There is a hint of figs and some vanilla. The hops are earthy. Nice balance. It has that Belgian sweetness (candi sugar?) yet it doesn't have that estery yeasty flavor. Nice beer, sweet without being cloying. The cinnamon shows up at the finish. A nice quad in a can. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is sweet.

Photo of dzni
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from can into snifter.

A - Dark brown, head dissipates quickly
S - orange, milk chocolate, cinnamon
T - Milk chocolate, toffee, slight woody note (i guess the oak?), plum (or is that the figs?)
M- Heavy body
D - I thought this was a pretty nice beer overall. The nose and taste were reasonably complex, in my opinion.

Photo of oregonskibum
2.75/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

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

A: Color is a dark brown with a strong red/amber tint. I wouldn't go so far as to call it blood, but there's definitely some red tints. Head is a thin tan color that disappeared quickly, leaving a ring around the edge of the glass and quite a bit of lacing.

S: Noticed raisins, earthy spices, and alcohol on first smell. Some sour notes as well, along with other dark fruit flavors (prunes).

T: Weird. Taste is all over the place. Raisins and prunes. Some sweetness (brown sugar), light spices, bready notes, lightly sour at times, etc. Odd finish with some slight heat from alcohol. As it warms, picking up some apple too.

M: Mouthfeel is oily, almost cloying. Very low carbonation.

D: It was certainly complex, but not necessarily enjoyable. Perhaps it's a style thing, but I'm not sure that I'll buy this again.

Photo of Jwale73
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured mahogany in color with a thin, creamy cap. Nose reveals figs with a hint of spice - definitely on target for the style. Taste consistent with nose with perhaps a hint of cocoa. Mouthfeel was medium-light with an easy carbonation and a slightly dry finish. Style consistent and drinks quite easy at 8.30%. Who knew a Belgian Strong Dark in a can could taste so good.

Photo of brdc
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

Photo of lackenhauser
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really does look like blood when poured-a deep coppery, pale blood color. Malty and somewhat metallic aroma. Very solid malt flavor-hints of spices. Long lingering sweetness. Somewhat of a port flavor in the backround. Good full body-has a sweet, sticky, slickness to it. A really good beer overall. Some might find it too sweet or perhaps almost too full bodied but I like it. Nice US example of a Belgian.

Photo of m1ked
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wifey picked up a 6er....nice. Have had 21's other can offerings and have enjoyed them, even the watermelon wheat.

A- Crack open a can and pour into a pint glass slowly down the middle which gives a huge off white foamey head. The beer itself is somewhat bloody in its appearance, a deep clear garnet/brown. Head slowllly shrinks down to an inch leaving behind significant lacing.

S- Raisiny, brown sugar, like a fruitcake with molasses, and a touch of bread crust too.

T- Metallic sweet candied belgian sugar, brown sugar/ molasses, slight sour bitter note. Lingering sweetness. There's a type of rye flavor almost.

M- Medium bodied/viscosity, slightly cloying, but not overly so.

D- Awesome to drink a Belgian Dubbel in a can, not my every day session beer for sure. More of my once in a while drinker. Surely have had better Dubbel's , but solid beer for sure.

Photo of emmasdad
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the can a muddy dark brown color, topped off with a dollop of medium-brown foam. Somewhat winey on the nose, with raisins, prunes and brown sugar. Flavors of caramel, brown sugar, dark fruits, vanilla and oak. A nice example of the style, and another good argument in favor of canned beers.

Photo of herman77
2.45/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Pours an odd dark burgundy color. Very hazy appearance when held up to a light. Minimal off white head that dies off quickly. No lacing.

S: Doesn't have much of a nose. What is there is an odd sour smell with dark fruits/figs. It also has a very weird damp cardboard smell.

T: Dark fruits, cherries and figs. A little earthiness in the mix too. Slightly sour grape taste near the finish. A slight spice to it too, probably from the cinnamon. Slight alcohol ting at the end. Odd taste that was off putting at first, but it grew on me a little by the end.

M/D: Medium to lighter mouthfeel. Somewhat smooth, carbonation is average. Drinkability isn't the best, it just doesn't do much for me. Its worth a try, but I won't be trying this again.

Photo of Pahn
2.33/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz can into a tulip.

Appearance: Careful pour yields a one and a half inch, bubbly, off-white head that dissipates slowly leaving splotchy lacing. Pours hazy dark amber, and leaves sparse lacing.

Smell: Dull, 1-note malt sweetness. Smells like a bad Euro pale lager. Probably should give it a 1.

Taste: Mildly sugary, with a kind of tangy and sour flavor that manages to have almost no character at all. Finish a little dry. At first there's some apple up front, which comes to be a little dominant as the beer warms (in other words, the beer starts to taste a bit like apple juice). There's some alcohol heat in the finish. Too often tastes like it smells (bad). Occasionally has a decent, sweet taste reminiscent of okay Belgian ales.

Mouthfeel: Rather carbonated, and between light and medium bodied (closer to light). Most sips are decidedly chalky, which is pretty disgusting.

Drinkability: This beer is unremarkable and unpleasant. I've had it twice to make sure. The second can was difficult to finish.

One of the worst Belgian style beers I've ever had. Worse than Leffe Blonde (which I hate), and insultingly priced at $3 a can--I wouldn't pay $3 for a 6pack of this. In fact, had I gotten this as a 4- or 6-pack, I would probably have sent most of it back to the brewery with an angry letter.

Photo of jwhawkins81
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Aroma - Sweet malts and a definite spice note on the nose.

Appearance - Beer was dark with a light brown head that thinned pretty quickly.

Taste - Spice with a sweetness with level of dry tones. Kind of a heavier tripel without the bright spice tones more muted spice similar to a Christmas beer. Overall the flavor profile was smooth.

Notes - While smooth the beer wasn't highly drinkable.

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

Thanks goes out to ybnorml for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a nice dark reddish color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy tan head, with some sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, slight yeast, slight vanilla, figs, plums, raisins, very slight cinnamon. The taste is malty, with some yeast notes, slight vanilla, dark fruits, very slight cinnamon. Medium body, the brew has a weird consistency, with a dry finish. Drinkable, this is a nice brew, finally got a chance to try it. Thanks Wayne.

Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a Chimay chalice.

A: Medium head, fades quickly. Body is opaque dark brown.

S: A slight wine character jumps out, maybe its the figs.

T: Wow, good intense flavor. Honestly I can't pick out cinnamon, vanilla, or oak, but I think that's probably a good thing. A well executed dark strong...maybe a little sweet, but there is a firm bitterness to balance it out. There is a slight wine note, again I would guess from the figs.

M: Nice carbonation, small bubbles, pretty full.

D: The alcohol becomes more apparent when it warms, and the sweetness and bitterness linger a little on the palate.

Wasn't too sure about this when I saw the list of ingredients on the label, but they balanced the flavors well.

Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 1,185 ratings.