Monk's Blood - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Monk's BloodMonk's Blood

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

507 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 507
Hads: 1,311
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.61%
Wants: 84
Gots: 178 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
21st Amendment Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: taxguyjase on 09-10-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 507 | Hads: 1,311
Photo of OldeSchool
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%

A: Pours dark amber with a big, fizzy head that dissipated very quickly. It looked a lot like a cola to my eye.

S: Fruity with a bit of vanilla and spice. Pleasant.

T: Dark fruit with some hints of vanilla and a flavor I'm having trouble describing; the can says it's brewed with figs, so that might be it.

M: Medium; it isn't as heavy as some higher ABVs I've tried, but far from watery. Not bad, overall.

O: Very interesting beer; I would definitely recommend it if you're in the mood for something flavorful and just a bit different. (540 characters)

Photo of Scrapss
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

This was poured from the can to the weizen style glass, almost a nonic.

A: Dark, nearly opaque, looks like cherry coke. minimal lacing, with a 0.5 mm ring left from a minimal 1 finger head that disappeared very quickly.

S: It is yeasty cherry coke. Sopt on this profile.

T: Follows nose, with a bit of puckeryness. Cherry coke notes with yeasty underbite.

M: It is on the lighter side of medium full. Dry puckery notes from taste are left with a chalky undercurrent and that ephemeral cherry coke hit on the aftertaste. Faintly dry.

O: Definitely worth a quaff. Has some interesting flavors and follows the style within a shadow of a reason. The cherry coke and yeast are what I get from most belgian dubbel and this does not disappoint. (754 characters)

Photo of macrosmatic
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%

Thanks to eyebereej for sending this one! Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. can into a Florida Berliner Bash snifter.

A: Very hazy brown, with a thin white head and visible carbonation on the low side. 3.75/5

S: Malty, sweet, ethanol burn, oak tannins, and some dark fruit - figs/dates/raisins, and some spices. 15/20

T: Sweet toasted malts, big dark juicy figs, sweet ethanol booziness, oak dryness with vanilla, and a light cinnamon near the swallow. Finishes with sweet sticky fruits and boozy sweetness but still dry - very well-attenuated. 34.5/45

M: Medium body, carbonation sensation average to a touch low. Seems hotter than the listed ABV, but isn't obnoxious about it. 7.5/10

O: This was a solid, tasty beer - if nothing truly great. An unusual style to have available in cans makes it stand out some. Recommended for a change of pace on the golf course or the beach. 14.5/20

Estimated final score: 3.83
Calculated final score: 75.25/100
Old BA score: 3.76 (978 characters)

Photo of utopiajane
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours honey brownish with a ruby tint to it. Slight haze pretty glow. A fat head of tan foam that falls quickly and leaves a ring but no lace. Nose is soft malt with a light caramel over it. Touch of brown sugar on the nose. Soft bread and dark fruits. raisin and date, there's even some bright cherry. A touch of wood and a bit of spice. Drinks just like that. With a creamy supple mouthfeel punctuated by a touch of carbonation. It has a good lightness in the mouthfeel that I was not expecting for so high an abv. It is medium mouthfeel. A bit of alcohol grazes the palate before this sweetened bread with all it's fruit finishes dry and with a bit of earthy spice. It does finish a bit sweeter than I would like but overall very good. (738 characters)

Photo of JamesMN
3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Canned on 3/3/14.

Appearance: Intense dark brown with a touch of red and quite murky, although it didn't look like much sediment came out of the can. About one finger of light tan froth. Patches of effervescence stuck to the sides of the glass about halfway down. Doesn't look super appetizing but doesn't repulse me either.

Aroma: Clean yeasty bread. Bit of dark belgian malt depth and a hint of vanilla. Some deep red wine notes.

Taste: Very sweet up front. A mix of raisin and fig flavors combine with the malt to deliver a serious sweet liqueur flavor. This nearly cloying flavor is broadened during the finish. A more subtle red wine flavor really deepens the experience and carries through the aftertaste. A moderate bitterness appears in the aftertaste as well and is the last thing to fade. Don't detect the vanilla or oak chip additions but this is still a full flavored brew. Slight warmth from the 8.3% ABV, which only heightens the experience.

Mouthfeel: Full in body with unobtrusive carbonation supplied by very tiny bubbles akin to the belgian style. A bit below average in drinkability because it feels so viscous from all the sugar.

Final Thoughts: While it's very good, I have a hard time rating Monk's Blood as exceptional. This is due to the almost dabilitating amount of sweetness in this beer. Wish the oak chips could have shined through to bring a little balance. As it stands, Monk's Blood is just too sweet to be completely enjoyable. Would I drink it again? No, but I would recommend it to fans of the style. (1,540 characters)

Photo of schoolboy
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Monk's blood has been a go to, over the top Belgian style for me for years. It is a great example of A,merican brewers doing Belgian better than the Belgians.

It has that red tinge that have it a banner. The aroma is fruity and real.

The taste bites nice and big, like a double should. The aftertaste is log lasting and slightly sour.

This is a beer you will want again and again, as I do. (395 characters)

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

A - Dark mahogany body with an ambivalent combination of bright ruby and muddy brown highlights. Khaki head with ok retention and low lace.

S - Sweet cherry cordial, muscat grape. A little artificial on the cherry note. Touches of cedar and caramel.

T - Very similar to the nose. Sweet (maybe overly sweet) cherry pie filling. Oak, caramel, molasses, pumpernickel bread, and raisin bran muffins.

M - Medium body. Nice carbonation.

O - The style edges sweet, but this beer still a touch too sweet. That said there's a really nice, well balanced complexity to the flavor profile. (584 characters)

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

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

Feel: Full body with excellent, soft carbonation.

Cinnamon, vanilla and figs in the nose.

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

O: tasty and complex. Worth seeking. (389 characters)

Photo of EdwardK77
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- Limited head quickly dissipates over a brown ale. Slight effervescence continues throughout the drinking experience.

S- As it warms, the baking spice autumnal smells come through. A pleasant smelling beer.

T- Stays in keeping with the smell, not overpowering with any booze flavor. At the colder temp, the flavors aren't too pronounced. (Probably intensifies and smooths out as it warms up)

M- A little thin for a high alcohol ale, no burn present.

O- Definitely a drink that I should have left on my counter for a while before drinking it. I'm not running to the store to get another but I certainly wouldn't turn one down if it were offered to me. (656 characters)

Photo of Paincane
4.51/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Opaque mahogany colored body is topped by a creamy khaki head.
S: Vanilla, oak, fig and spice aromas make for a beautiful bouquet.
T: Flavors include cinnamon, vanilla, dried dark fruits and a bit of booziness.
M: Medium bodied, very flavorful and enjoyable.
O: Delicious, excellent brew. (296 characters)

Photo of Nugganooch
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz can purchased from the Trader Joe’s in Santa Rosa, CA
Noted on 06/13/2014 with a hotel tumbler type glass

A: A lively Belgian from the can. Produces a massive khaki billow with insane amount of hang time on it. Locks in a garnet looking body underneath it all with some midway lucidity to it. Dem ruby tones. Looks fantastic really despite the ridiculous amount of head that formed. Leaves the glass caked with stick.

S: Dark toasted caramels and date sugars with dark fruit accents of plum and fig abound from the can. Definitely smells sugary sweet and I get some subtle cinnamon and cardamom type spices mixed in. Bread crust and yeasty aromas round out the rest of the nose. Smells a bit sweet but gives you a good sense of the complexity to this one.

T: Starts off sweet with loads of malt sugars and dark Belgian candi giving likeness to dark breads, date, and fig. There is a light dusting of cinnamon and cardamom type spices mixed in and everything comes together like a spiced raisin bread. There is a moderate level of hoppy bitterness with moments of orange peel that starts to thin and dry the finish out. I get some woodland earthiness in the end followed by a wash of warming alcohol presence. A bit on the sweet side but in the end this is very tasty.

M: The body is certainly on the fuller side however mouth feel is smooth and lush on the palate. Leaves you with some sticky sugary residues and some warming alcohol.

D: I think user Sammy said it best…Not true to the style but fun to try and would definitely have again. Lots of integrated flavors built into this one and fairly easy to quaff on account of the great mouth feel. But they give you a lot to explore so it’s fun to take your time with this one. My highest score from 21st Amendment yet. (1,787 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a lightly hazy very dark crimson red in color with light amounts of active visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and some dark brown + amber highlights. The beer has a four finger tall foamy tan head that slowly reduces to a pillowy thick layer covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to slightly stronger aromas of dark fruits (cherry, fig, and raisin) and candi sugar with quite a bit of sweetness. Light aromas of something slightly woody and dark malts + just a hint of vanilla. Notes of alcohol in the finish.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of dark malts and toasted malts with a moderate to significant amount of candi sugar sweetness. There are slightly stronger than moderate flavors of dark fruits (cherry, fig, and raisin) and some light hints of herbal hops in the finish. Very light notes of woodiness and alcohol in the finish. Light amounts of bitterness in the finish which does not linger for long.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Moderate amounts of alcohol warming in the finish with some slightly sticky notes in the mouthfeel as well.

O: This one has a great smell and is fairly enjoyable to the taste, though I wish the alcohol was a little more well hidden. Definitely a slow sipper. (1,394 characters)

Photo of GallowsThief
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at Habersham’s in Savannah, Ga. Poured out of a 12 oz. can.

A – Poured out a root beer brown with some golden highlights. Produced a finger of off white head that left some nice lacing around the glass.

S – Dark fruits, raisins, cherry and fig. Also has a crystallized sugar smell. Reminds me of hard sugar candy on a stick you find in candy specialty stores.

T – Starts out with a touch of vanilla and cinnamon. Nice sweet taste but not cloying. Follows with the dark fruits you get in the smell. Bunch of fig and raisin flavors. Caramel malts finish this one off with some pepper notes.

M – Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Smooth and clean on the palate.

O – Dug this one. Not overly complex taste just plain good with a great subtle mix. You can taste all the flavors and drink this one all night long. (840 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a small snifter. Dark red amber in the glass with a half finger off-white head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of fresh and dried dark stone fruit, particularly plums, sweet caramel malt, Belgian yeast. Flavor follows with semi sweet dark stone fruit, caramel malt, light Belgian yeast and spicing, hints of vanilla. Medium bodied with nice carbonation. A quite nice domestic take on the Belgian strong dark style with some dubbel characteristics. Enjoyable. 21st Amendment beer seems to be uneven, probably due to the fact that they are brewed at different locations, I've had one canned beer months apart that were alternatively great and truly awful. This was quite well made and encouraging. (711 characters)

Photo of whiterabbit
2.75/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

A - pours a darker brown slight ruby when held to light. Some dark gold. Nice looking in glass.

S - raisin, plum, spice. Good, nothing jumps out.

T - alcohol, some raisin, some grape, mostly alcohol

M - again alcohol. Not well hidden, warming, but not inviting

O - to each his own, totally missed the mark for me. Far better and enjoyable Belgians out there. Dispite some cellering, a boozy mess. Lacked depth, flavor, and body. Will have another down the road to see if opinion changes, and if so, will edit post. (518 characters)

Photo of Reidrover
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz single can bought from LIfesource Natural Grocer in Salem OR. $2.59 Pours a brown with garnet aspects around the edges. Large creamy thick light tan coloured head. Creamy fudge like aromas foillowed by raisin and spice. Slightly cheesy and earthy ,complex. Very smooth and balanced taste with the same as the aroma, but a touch of alcohol and herbal bitterness. Palate is just fine..reasonably smooth and easily drinkable. Its OK but not up to the Belgian standards. (472 characters)

Photo of stevoj
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

More then pleased to see an American brewery nail the Belgian style. True to character throughout. Deep dark brown/ruby. with oily beige head. Nice aroma of dried fruit and wood, taste more of the same, mild hops bitterness. Would not be out of place in a Brussels street café.... (281 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This pours a ruddy raisiny-colored muddy amber.

There’s a light aroma with stone fruits. Some fig, dates, a candied orange peel.

There’s more stone fruits on the palate, some cocoa nibs, orange peel, a touch of cinnamon?
It’s rich, malty and sweet, with a rounded smoothness.

I enjoyed it but don’t think I could commit to more than one. I remember liking this one more, but I’m going to chalk that up to my tastes in beer changing so much since it was last released. (483 characters)

Photo of seand
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a deep red with a small amount of tan head, which dissipates to a ring around the edge of the glass with some spotty surface film.

S: Sweet and lightly boozy, with notes of dark fruit.

T: Also sweet and a bit boozy, leading into some amount of yeast and astringent notes.

M: Medium to full body, medium carbonation.

Overall, quite pleasant. I probably wouldn't get a lot of this, but it's a bit different and certainly worth a try. (444 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark coppery brown in the Gulpener tulip. Quite sudsy in the mouth. The aroma is really unusual. It's a fruit candy smell, or something like cranberry fudge.

This is on the sweet side with an expansive cedar wood flavor. The flavorings are hardly restrained, and it does taste like Fig Newtons. Sugar and spice and a cookie dough flavors. Brown sugar and fruitcake soaked in sweet wine. It's the citrus and vanilla aromatics of Cuarante Y Tres liqueur.

Spicy dessert in a bottle. The vanilla seems to get stronger as the Belgian yeast works on it. Fairly dry at the finish, but the next sip starts out just as sugary. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle. (687 characters)

Photo of StJamesGate
4.11/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Can from 2012 at the brewery, San Francisco.
Muddy oxblood with tan film.
Barrel, candy sugar, rum, and cherry stones on the nose.
Brown sugar, a flash of vanilla, spicy warmth, cream soda, and fig chutney.
Brandy finish and sweet linger.
Med-full, chewy, round.

Two years on this and it’s way mellow and smooth. Don’t so much get figs, but good balance of sugar and spice. Broad strokes of a Belgian more than nuance, but solid and moreish. (450 characters)

Photo of Phelps
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I first developed a taste for Monk’s Blood during a judging competition -- I was ranking brews for a medal round at the 2014 AmeriCAN Canned Craft Beer Festival. As the tasting was blind, I didn’t know what the beer was at the time. All I knew was that, as soon as that beer hit my lips, it was love. The brew reminded me of candy I had devoured when younger, though I couldn’t -- and still can’t -- determine what kind of candy it was. Those caramel-coated green apple suckers, maybe? Fig Newtons? It was something sweet and delicious, anyway -- much like this beer.

Beneath an aroma replete with fig and sweet cherry, caramel and maple, we get a flavor that leads with candy sugar, oaky vanilla and fig before giving way to green apple, bread crust and booze in a slightly drying finish. I like to let the glass warm a bit, as the malt sweetness that makes this beer so unique and tasty becomes more apparent with heat. (931 characters)

Photo of delta490
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep slightly cloudy ruby with a short lasting tan head that hangs on around the circumference of the glass. The aroma is sweet and fruity with a hint of spice. The taste is also sweet and fruity, this time with more distinct notes of cherry and a little vanilla. The mouthfeel is thick and smooth, with a silky finish. This is a very good, moderately complex, Belgian dark ale. (387 characters)

Photo of JWU
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

a 12oz. can poured into a snifter.

A- a murky mahogany, with a thin off white head.

S- Big sweetness. Lots of dark fruit, some spice and the booze is certainly there.

T- Big dark fruit notes, fig, raisin, bing cherries, some light cinnamon and vanilla notes. Booze is there on the finish as well as some closing hop bitterness.

M- medium to full, generally a tad abrasive on the palette from alcohol and drying of the hops.

A- a good, but not great stab at a belgian dark (476 characters)

Photo of ksimons
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-pours a dark chestnut with a fingers worth of khaki colored head

S-caramel malt, dark fruit sweetness, vanilla, and light cocoa

T-a caramel malt backbone, vanilla, dark fruits, and some light cinnamon spice

M-medium body, moderate carbonation

Overall a good beer, not an amazing representation of the style though. Goes down pretty easy. (343 characters)

Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 507 ratings.