1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Monk's Blood - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Monk's BloodMonk's Blood

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,142 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,142
Reviews: 489
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 13.68%
Wants: 70
Gots: 106 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,142 | Reviews: 489 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AgentZero
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice extra thanks to beerworld.

A - Poors a reddish brown color with an off-white head that didn't leave much on the sides.

S - Belgian yeast, bananas, cinnamon, oak, vanilla. Really kind of a mix of sweet stuff that is not bad at all.

T - It's a bit on the sweet side, but you really are able to pick out the different flavors that are present. Cinnamon and vanilla are a nice touch to the oak and dark fruits.

M - Good carbonation, full, slightly syrupy.

O - Not a bad beer, not great, but the taste was enjoyable.

AgentZero, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of Malison
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Some nice foam when poured.

Dark brown/copper appearance

Not too much in the nose, but smells vaguely of Belgian yeast

Spice up front, sweeter flavor and then ending with a cinnamon and alcohol taste. Notes of vanilla and banana.

Overall a good beer but could use some subtlety.

Malison, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of gopens44
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark reddish brown with a thin foamy head.

S - Bananas, circus peanuts. That's all I could get out of it at varying temperatures.

T - Bananas, a little malty with a very pleasant Belgo thing going on but this finishes with a bit of an astringent alcohol taste.

M - Creamy and full bodied yet well carbonated with a touch of a hotness in the aftertaste

O - Very noble effort and possibly better with age to calm down the heat a little.

gopens44, Apr 11, 2011
Photo of CampusCrew
3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance: deep dark brown, lackig had retention

smell: cinnamon and belgian yeast, banana, borwn sugar

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

mouthfeel: medium bodied, good carbonation, not over done

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

CampusCrew, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of djeucalyptus
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

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

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

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

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

djeucalyptus, Apr 07, 2011
Photo of gford217
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz can.

Pours a dark, murky ruddy brown with hints of amber in the edges underneath a small creamy beige head that shows excellent lacing on the way down.

Aroma is sweet with candi sugar, fuity esters and lots of dark overripe fruits, especially cherries and plums. Also some chocolate and caramel sweetness. There are hints of spices but they're very subtle.

The taste is definitely a little more spicy up front, peppery almost, and the sweetness is less dominant though the cherries are still there. It's the candi sugar that throttles back a bit and the finish is lightly spicy with a noticeable alcohol burn going down.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation and drier than I was expecting in the finish.

This is a nice Belgian dark from 21st Amendment though it's not all that complex and lacks the body to be considered great.

gford217, Apr 07, 2011
Photo of TheHoppiest
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz can into an oversized wine glass. In my prior reviews of canned beer, I've reviewed the beer as it tasted from the can, figuring that since it was packaged that way rather than in a bottle or a keg, that it was intended to be consumed that way. However, I just couldn't bring myself to drink a BSDA from a can, so...

Pours a silty brown, with glints of garnet when held up to the light. Poured with 1/2" of off-white head that eventually reduced to a soapy lid. Nice filmy lacing as the beer is swirled.

Strong aroma of cherries, raisins, and plums, with hints of alcohol. Reminds me of a cherry cordial; sweet and fruity smelling.

Tannic fruit, yeast and malt hit up front. The fruit is more subdued in taste than it was in aroma, but there is still definite cherry, currant, and banana, with a slightly odd bitter/sour twist toward the finish of this beer. There's an oaky, earthy ending overlaid with a bite of alcohol that ends this as you finish the swallow.

Medium bodied, the mildly sour ending becomes more noticeable as you get further into this beer, and leaves the mouth feeling rather dry.

I'm certainly glad to have tasted this, but cannot say that I would hurry out to buy more. I've got a few more 21st Am beers I wish to try, ,but I'm beginning to wonder if their vision of craft beer in a can is little more than a gimmick.

TheHoppiest, Apr 06, 2011
Photo of elgiacomo
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz canned Feb 7, 2011. Served at cellar temp in a goblet.

Pours reddish brown with a fair light brown head that recedes to a wispy cap and leaves a few spots of lacing.

Aroma is dark fruits such as raisins, black cherries, figs, plums, some caramel, can pick up hints of the cinnamon, vanilla and oak additions which become more prominent as the beer warms. Fair to good strength (also improving as it warms).

Flavor is rich and rather sweet featuring dark fruits, cherries, dates, figs, raisins, caramel, vanilla, very little hop or yeast presence, alcohol is also very well hidden.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, oily, slick, a bit sticky, low to medium carbonation.

Very good BSDA with all the fruity esters one expects in the style, although it is lacking that signature Belgian yeast kick that others have.

elgiacomo, Apr 05, 2011
Photo of DamDweller
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

21st Amendment Monk's Blood

Poured the beer into a Duvel tulip glass. Has a nice deep brown maroon color to it. Smell is all about cinnamon. There are some hints of vanilla, but it seems to just add to the sweet cinnamon smell. The taste is very similar to the smell. Cinnamon and vanilla with hint of figs. Mouthfeel is good, carbonation is what is to be expected. Sits for a bit after swallowing. Overall it's a good beer. It would be nice if it cleaned off the tongue faster, but it has nice retention and pleasant smell.

Biba!

DamDweller, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of Suds
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Murky brown color. Very slight (too shallow) head. The aroma is of sweet malt, with a healthy dose of phenolic character. Some distant cheesy hops, and a backdrop of alcohol. The taste is of spice, malt and fruit...almost citric (kiwi or papaya like...interesting...). Interesting yeast character. The beer is full and moderately heavy. Nice boozy warming. For the style, this beer has a very low carbonation. Interesting and fun, but not a beer that I'd go out of my way to have again.

Suds, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of JayS2629
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very dark, muddy mahogany with a thin ring of creamy head that lingers well and leaves nice lacing. The smell is of dark fruits and brown sugar. Sweet smelling with ripe banana and belgian yeast. prune, raisin, dark cherry, vanilla, carmaels, oak and cinnamon. Sweet caramels, vanilla, a touch of chocolate, dark fruits, canamon, brown sugar, and a touch of earthy tones. Very sweet. Delicious. Medium bodied and very drinkable.

JayS2629, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of impending
2.7/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz can into a tulip. Pours a deep red, nearly opaque in the glass. Short lived minor head, minor lacing.

Very sweet aroma, strong rotten banana esters atop the vanilla and figs. Hints of airplane model glue yet invitingly mysterious.

Dark fruits nicely dominate the initial flavor. The oak, cinnamon and vanilla are barely perceptible. Fleeting taste of a zinc slug. The phenolic solvents come back strong on the aftertaste, this is its major weakness. Medium bodied mouthfeel.

cheers
jd

impending, Apr 01, 2011
Photo of ToasterChef
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A fine San Franciscan Can provided as an extra in a trade with smakawhat, chilled to cellar temperature and poured into a tulip glass.

A big light brown head dominates the pour. It is thick and foamy. The liquid is brown and dark with ruby (or is it bloody) highlights. Good lacing is left behind as the head settles.

A strong malt aroma has dark fruits in it: plums and prunes and some fermented red grapes. There is sweetness that I can't quite identify. The obvious source would be Belgian candi sugar, but I can't be sure that's what is in this beer.

Heavy malts give way to a crystalline sugar sweetness. As I swallow, alcohol and some mild bitterness come in and linger on.

The beer is thick and a touch syrupy. A good sized coat is left behind. Plenty of carbonation can be felt.

Overall, an enjoyable member of the strong Belgian dark family. I'm not going to go out of my way to trade for more, but if I come across some in my travels, I would purchase this again. I do look forward to visiting my brother out in San Fran and trying this one at the brewery. I bet this beer would shine when it's super fresh.

ToasterChef, Mar 31, 2011
Photo of HattedClassic
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As I sit upon the ancient chair in the pillaged abbey, I gaze into my skull goblet and ponder the sweet brew made from the head monk's blood.

Appearance: A dark reddish brown. The color seems closer to a deep, light pool of blood. The head goes up to about a finger and a half to two fingers and dissipates to just some lacing left on the top.

Smell: I get a noticeable whiff of cinnamon and dark fruits. Unfortunately, I also get a little bit of the alcohol which takes away from the sweet and sugary mixture.

Taste: The taste resembles the smell minus the alcohol. The cinnamon is very noticeable and seem to be touched with a hint of vanilla and brown sugar with slight cherry as it warms up.

Mouthfeel: The beer itself is decently thick with some light carbonation.

Overall: I have to say that this is a pretty delicious beer. I'm just sad that I only discovered it towards the end of March instead of February when it came out.

HattedClassic, Mar 30, 2011
Photo of OnThenIn
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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

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

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

M: Medium body with good carbonation.

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

OnThenIn, Mar 29, 2011
Photo of glid02
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a hazy brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with moderate amounts of vanilla and sugar-coated dark fruits. Also present are hints of brown sugar and lighter hints of molasses.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though more nuanced. Robust caramel malt flavors with hints of toastiness and nuttiness kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are solid amounts of brown sugar and booze-soaked raisins. Near the end of the sip mild amounts of vanilla come into play - sweeter and somewhat resembling extract more so than vanilla in other beers I've had - before fading out into a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with decent carbonation.

Drinkability is OK. I finished my glass without a problem however I'm not sure about another.

Overall I wasn't a big fan of this beer - there was a lot going on and the levels of each flavor didn't seem to be as they should be. Far from a bad beer but one not worth seeking.

glid02, Mar 29, 2011
Photo of Rickythejeweler
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Muddy mahagony, 2 finger tan head, very nice lacing.

S - Light raison, merlot, cinnamon.

T - Raison, black chery, cinnamon, vanilla, brown sugar.

M - Very smooth, perfect carbonation.

D - 2 cans is enough for one person, very filling and rich. It overall is like a better version of Rochefort 6. I just wish they aged it on oak for longer because I did not get much of the woody aspect.

Rickythejeweler, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of medic25
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First impression is a strange one; the can is a very cool design, but it seems odd to be pouring a can into a Chimay chalice. Color is a tawny brown with a thin white head. Sweet aroma, although not terribly strong. Taste is very pleasant; fruity, mostly figs, with a bready, malty component that melds nicely with the fruity sweetness. Alcohol is very well hidden, and the beer goes down easily, if not terribly complex. Very enjoyable beer; wish we could get these cans in Connecticut to make for easy traveling.

medic25, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of bnmir
4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark reddish brown and nearly opaque, when held to strong light the beer is moderately cloudy.
A thin head dissapates quickly leaving only light traces on the glass. The aroma is reminiscent of dark fruits. Carbonation is medium high and the beer has noticeable body, but would not be considered thick or heavy.
Initial sweetness gives way to dark raisin and spiciness with nice depth of flavors. Lightly bittered, the finish is slight alcohol heat, oak tannin, and spices linger on the palate.

bnmir, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of ebby82
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours the color of tanned leather into a tulip glass. There is a very significant head.

A- The aroma is amazing. Very fruity, you can definitely notice the fig, a slight presence of Belgian yeast. I really like the aroma on this.

T- The taste is again of dark fruit, probably the figs. On the back of the tongue you notice the oak.

M- Very smooth for such a strong beer. The body is light and very drinkable.

This is the first Belgian style I've had from a can, and it did not disappoint.

ebby82, Mar 26, 2011
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 ounce can picked up at the Beer Stop for $3. Poured into a wine glass. The ale appears a hazy copper color with a bit of crimson red in the light. Topped off with about an inch of creamy off with foam. Nose and flavors consist of sweet caramel, candied cherries and figs, cinnamon finally shows through as the ale warms. Lots of esters here. Mouthfeel is a tad dry with ample carbonation and a bittersweet finish.

ClockworkOrange, Mar 26, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: In the glass it's quite a dark amber-hued body under a medium-sized, off-white head.

Smell: Sweetish on the nose, toasty, caramelly, hinting of vanilla, and with a vibrantly rich scent of sugary candy-coated and cinnamon spiced fruits.

Taste: Sweet upfront, with bready, toasty, caramelized maltiness. Fruitiness tasting of black cherries and macerated figs, but it's a bit hearty, like a spoonful of jam. Yeasty, with a noted spiciness given an extra little boost from the added cinnamon. A bit of zestful oak buried in there. No more than a slight bitterness coming through all the add-ons. Finishes drying, fairly smooth, warming, and with some enduring hints of fruit and spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Just a notch above medium carbonation.

Overall: A nice albeit gussied up beer. The slight rise in carbonation aids in the overall drinkability of this one, though a bit less sweetness would be appreciated. Pretty enjoyable.

ChainGangGuy, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of ccrida
2.1/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On draught at the Collins Pub, served in a small chalice, Monk's Blood is dark ruby with a small off-white head that leaves very light nice lace.

Smell is rich, sweet, dates and prune. Some is off, what is the FG of this, like 1.040??

Taste is similar, too sweet though for my taste in the style, and lacking esters. The alcohol creeps out a bit too much.

Mouthfeel is semi-dry, medium bodied, lacking digestibility.

Drinkability is on the lower side style wise. I knew I'd had this before and didn't like it, and am wondering why I bothered again. Fail.

ccrida, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange-ish to deep amber color with a light tan head. In the aroma, Belgian candy sugar, dark fruits, especially raisin and fig. In the taste, raisin, figs, dark fruit, and a perfect hint of alcohol. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry dark fruit and alcohol aftertaste. Nice dark fruit and alcohol presence, easy to drink, and quite tasty.

OWSLEY069, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of MadCat
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my first can review! Something about craft in a can feels special, at least while cans aren't very common for craft. The can says it is brewed with cinnamon, vanilla, oak chips, and dried figs, which is sorta cheating to get Belgian dark ale flavors, but I don't really care because if it makes it taste good, I'm cool with it.

Appearance: Dark brown color with a small white brown head that dissipates fast, but leaves decent lacing

Smell: Plums, figs, and vanilla dominate the nose, along with hints of alcohol. As it warms, very strong fig, plum, fruit smells come out.

Taste: Plums and figs hit you up front, with some hints of alcohol following it. Leaves an oaky vanilla aftertaste, which is rather pleasant. Theres some grape and other fruity tastes in there as well, along with some malty flavors. As it warms, the alcohol flavors start to disappear, surprisingly, and are replaced with stronger vanilla and fruit flavors.

Mouthfeel: Fully body with medium carbonation, pretty good for the style, semi dry finish

Overall: Not going to knock them for the fact that some of the stuff they added dominates the flavor profile. It is pretty good, not sure if I will buy it again, but I will certainly buy more 21st Amendment brews.

Side note: BA says 21st is from San Francisco, CA, but my can of beer says it is from Cold Spring, MN. Dunno if it is contracted out or what, but I though that was interesting to note.

MadCat, Mar 24, 2011
Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 1,142 ratings.