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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

1,200 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,200
Reviews: 496
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 78
Gots: 122 | 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:
Beer added by: taxguyjase on 09-10-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,200 | Reviews: 496 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mikesgroove
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

another great extra thrown at me that i decided to pop open this evening. served cold and allowed to warm up, this one was consumed on 08/14/2010.

nice dark garnet pour. thick looking with a nice head of off white that caps it off quite well to a height of around two inches. smooth lacing flows down the sides of the glass

aroma is a little muddled. figs, dark fruits, lots of malts, and hints of raisins, but nothing really taking the lead and showing off for me. still though nicely put together and warming brings this out quite nicely. smooth and even feel, a bit filling at times even with more then adequate carbonation and a creamy finish. warm and soothing up front with figs, raisins, hits of spice and a touch of caramel malts, but i sit and wait for it to go somewhere that it never really does. nice clean finish with a light dryness and sweet touch to the palate.

overall not bad. i could drink it without issue but there is nothing really calling me back to it again.

Photo of russpowell
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to WoodyChandler for this one!

Pours a garnet hued chestnut with 2+ fingers of khaki colored head. Nice oily sheen to this, average head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit, cherry & dark chocolate, plus plums. Holds up pretty well over the course of 12 ozs..

T: Plums, figs, faint brown sugar & a touch of prunes up front. Oaky dryness, leafy hops, more pruney action once warm, faint dark cherry as well. Finishes with a bit too much woody dryness, port notes, figs & plums

MF: Medium bodied, slick, but carbonation is a bit sharp. Becomes somewhat warming after a while

Drinks pretty easy for the ABV & style, but more of a good entree' to the style versus a great example...

Photo of rudzud
1.53/5  rDev -59.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A - Murkey rust color with hardly any head that immediately disappeared with hardly any lacing.

S - Has to be a bad can or something. Just smells, well, rotten. Can't pick up anything other than an offputting smell. Wow.

T - If I pinch my nose I can drink this. Not because the taste is bad, but because of the smell coming off it. I can pick up yeast, carmal, and some weird fruityness.

M - Smooth with little carbonation. Ugh, the smell.

D - Just cant get past the smell. Its horrific! Definate drain pour this can is. Very shocked. I was pretty sure I had drank this before and liked it so I went after a lone can of this. Just must have been a rotten can. This should be much lower rated, but I remember how good this was. Would probably be mostly 4's or so if I had a different can.

Photo of DoctorDog
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz can poured into a snifter.

A: Dark brown/ruby appearance, and nearly opaque. ~1/2 fingers of tan, effervescing head, which dissipates rapidly to an oily cap.

S: Rich with raisins / dark fruits and cherry, quite vinous. Hints of alcohol.

T: Dark fruits abound. Sweetness is slightly on the high side. The oak notes come through fairly pronounced here, while I did not detect them in the aroma. A bit of a spicy bitterness to the finish, perhaps contributed to by the cinnamon (?). Alcohol presence is noted, but blends well into the mix.

M: Slightly low carbonation- Falls a bit short of where it needs to be here, and the beer suffers slightly for it. Medium feel.

D: Decent. Nice flavor and aroma....lags in the mouthfeel....one and done sipper

Future outlook: An enjoyable beer that could use some slight tweaking to make really good. First BSDA I've ever had in a can, and I'm inclined to snag a few sometime to see how they age.

Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz can into Orval chalice.

A. Poured 1/2 finger of head that disappeared very quick. Not much lacing. Color is chestnut brown.

S. Dark fruit, cherries, candi sugar, spices, some alcohol, raisins. Nice complex aroma. Nice fruit smells.

T. Caramel malt. Candi sugar. Sweet dark fruit. Cinnamon, was kind of faint but added a nice touch.

M. medium/full bodied. Low carbonation. Smooth. ABV is well hidden.

D. I can easily say this is the best canned BSDA I have ever had. Easy drinking. Nice mix of spice flavors and dark fruit.

Photo of stakem
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from notes taken on 5/27/10

Poured from a can into a snifter. Monk's blood appears with less than a finger of tanned head that receeds fairly fast. The color of this brew is a hazy amber color with red hues around the bottom and more of a brownish color across the top.

Aroma is sweet, fruity and floral. The malt is evident in a very candy sugar sort of way. Sweetness of the aroma comes off a bit like plums and raisins with a bit of mineral character thrown in as well. Taste is very malty sweet with dark sugar flavors similar to plum and raisin with some other spices included. Moderate alcohol presence and a touch of hops on the backend.

Medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. This is quite an easy drinking brew. There is a lingering flavor somewhat like vanilla. Slightly drying as it warms and the spice character starts to stick to the tongue. The spices tasting increasingly more like a bland grated cinnamon hang in the mouth increasing it's drying aspect. This cinnamon flavor is a bit out of place and brings out more of the belgian yeast flavor that tastes a bit green.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Revisiting this one over a year later. Ratings remain the same, still quite delicious.

Pours a reddish brown color, somewhat cloudy with not much head and a fair lacing.

Smells spicy and sweet, with dark fruits, brown sugar, and a little bit yeasty.

Tastes very much like the style should, spices, yeast, fruits, and a sweet brown sugar flavor that lingers. There's a slight alcohol taste. Very nice overall flavor.

Mouthfeel is rich and smooth, not much carbonation, and just a faint sweet to bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability is a tad heavy going down, but when you're in the mood for something thick and flavorful, this is a great beer.

Got this one as an extra in a trade, and a very fine extra it was! The revisit was also obtained in a trade, and I was quite happy to have it again!

Photo of GbVDave
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz can into a St. Bernardus goblet.

A: Pours a muddy, caramel-brown with some rust colored highlights. The head is tan colored and nearly non-existant, mostly just a full bubbly ring that doesn't leave much lace. Carbonation is lazy.

S: I shared a can of this at DLD '10 with brokenleadedcask and that particular can had a definite asparagus aroma. This can smells more like what I imagine the brewers intended. Caramel, molassas, and candi sugar with raisins, booze muddled figs, cocoa, brown sugar, and ok maybe just a miniscule asparagus scent.

T: See above. Loads of caramel, dark fruit, and candi sugar. The dark fruit and alcohol are both more pronounced in the taste compared to the smell.

M: Starts off like it's going to be a huge sweet and syrupy mess. Those hints, however, quickly turn quite bitter and dry. In fact, it finishes very dry.

D: I really like the idea of a BSDA in a can. I certainly don't think this would be a great beach/picnic/bbq/block party beer, but it would be so fun to unleash this on BMC drinkers at a pig roast!


Photo of bamadog
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I received this as an extra in a trade a few months ago, and I wish I could remember who sent it to me as I would gladly thank him. So, if he happens to read this and knows who he is, thanks! Review is from notes taken on 7/7/2010 and poured from the can to a tulip.

Appearance: Pour is a deep and rich mahogany brown with some slight amber highlights; starts with a 1 and 1/2 finger light tan fluffy head; body is pretty clear and shows light and slow carbonation and modicum of bubbles sticking to the sides of the glass; head fades slowly to an uneven and incomplete skim; only a couple of spots of lacing are left behind.

Smell: Hmmm... Not very strong or robust, but there are hints of dark fruits, mostly figs and raisins, and a slight hint of tart cherries.

Taste: Much the smell, not especially potent, but the dark fruit (figs and raisins) and the lightly tart cherries are present (mostly in the aftertaste); there's a bit of a burnt sugary/caramel maltiness in the middle; slight vaporous alcohol lingers.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is present, but it comes across as mostly soft and the body is pretty smooth overall; a moderately moist stickiness is left all over the palate; the belly is actually left a little warm.

Drinkability: It's not bad, and I kind of dig it, but I do wish the scents and flavors were much more potent and robust, and with an ABV of 8.3% and the slight lack of flavors, it wouldn't be worth drinking more than one in a sitting. Definitely worth a shot though, especially for something that comes in a can.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks go out to Trey for providing this one. Tried this after the train wreck known as Hell or High Water Watermelon Wheat. I am more excited about this one.

The pour, even when aggressive, doesn't yield much carbonation. The color is a deep brown that lightens up to some amber as the level gets low. No lacing.

The aroma is nicely balanced with some dark fruits - figs and dates - from the Belgian yeasts. There are also some great notes of caramel. I wish there was a bit more complexity, but this is still pretty good.

The taste brings the caramel back around, but this time, it completely drowns out the other flavors. There is a warm sweetness that comes in at the end though.

A bit too smooth for a Belgian, in my opinion. It did make it very easy to drink, though. Though this beer wasn't my favorite, I would certainly drink it again.

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

I've enjoyed this tasty beer a bunch of times, but haven't yet given it it's proper review. Time to remedy that...

Appearance: With an easy pour, the beer is a deep, robust reddish brown color. There's very little head on top of this bad boy, but I blame my girly pour for that. A quick swirl in the glass shows some smooth, soapy lacing sliding down the sides of the glass.

Smell: Plenty of dark, sweet, candied fruit, a bit of booze, and a slight bready kind of quality.

Taste: The dark, sweet fruit takes the lead here. Plums and cherries stand out the most. There's a nice Belgian yeast quality to it, and despite what I picked up in the nose there's not too much booziness going on. Not exactly a mind blowing beer, but it is a good tasting one.

Mouthfeel: Could use a tad more fizz, but I'm nit-picking with that. Nice medium body, good texture.

Drinkability: An enjoyable beer, it has some nice flavor that doesn't go overboard. A great beer to relax with and take the edge off the day. Try it if you can get it.

Photo of scifan
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Recieved this one as an extra in a trade with emmasdad. Cool looking can, poured it into my Portsmouth balloon glass.
Pours a dark chesnut brown with a light tan head that looks impressive at first but quickly settles down to mere ring around the glass.
Sweet dark fruits dominate the aroma. Plum and raisin come to mind. Also picking up some nice spicy yeast as well. Hints of vanilla and oak linger in the background. I thought the nose was a little subdued at first but as the beer warmed it came around nicely.
First sip reveals dark fruits flavors, and a slightly fruity, spicy belgain yeast character come through. Left with a slightly sweet aftertaste. The alcohol lets itself known as well.
Thought this one was a little too thin and just a touch overcarbonated. Overall a good american style belgian. Glad to have tried and wish I had regular access.

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

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Dark reddish-brown with a thin coating of beige head. No highlights so much as a burnt orange haze against the light.

Smell has a sweetness like fruit & bubblegum, or cherry pie filling. A little vanilla, some cooked orange peel & apple, a spiciness not unlike potpourri.

Tastes of dark fruits (plums, raisins, fig, dark cherries), cinnamon, a little bready yeast & some alcohol heat. Not bad but a pretty generic Belgian dark character, nothing "popping" for me.

Medium-full body, a little chewy. Ends dry but leaves a sugary feel in the aftertaste.

Not bad, but like I said, kind of generic. Not sure the booze is worth the pay-off.

Photo of Bendurgin
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this into a tulip. Pours a dark ruby color with a rocky light tan head that is about a finger and a half. Decent head retention on this beer. I smell dark fruits; mainly cherries come to mind. Vanilla a hint of alcohol run through my nostrils. but I mostly smell cherries. Also a spice that I couldn't quite pinpoint until I read the can. Cinnamon. That's what I'm smelling, but it's faint. Rich malts and dark fruits dominate my pallet on this. A caramel sweetness is present and it finishes with just a little spiciness from the cinnamon and a touch vanilla. This is very rich and the flavors are nicely layered. Decent mouth feel, the body is a little lighter than I would expect and the spiciness from the cinnamon detracts a little bit, but nothing overly offensive. Glad I chose this as a night cap.

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Kasteel chalice.

An interesting read on the outside, an interesting concoction on the inside. It pours a very dark garnet-brown topped by a half-finger of ecru foam. The nose comprises figs, dark roasted malts, raisins, and a bit of oak. The taste holds notes of everything listed above, along with brown sugar and some bitter chocolate powder. The body is a heavy medium, with a light carbonation and a thick, almost chewy feel. Overall, a strong Belgian, especially considering its aluminum origins (such has been my experience). Get some!

Photo of albern
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
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
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
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
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
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
3.58/5  rDev -6%
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
4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
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
3.12/5  rDev -18.1%
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
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
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
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 1,200 ratings.