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Monk's Blood - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Monk's BloodMonk's Blood

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

1,178 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,178
Reviews: 491
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 75
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: 1,178 | Reviews: 491 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chodinheaven
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep burnt orange color and nearly opaque. The dark color is matched by a beautiful and thick off-white head that likes to stick around. The smell is extremely interesting, with bananas coming to mind first followed by deep dark roasted malts, tobacco leaves and booze.

Taste is full-bodied and creamy in the mouthfeel. Touches of warming alcohol in the taste are present after dark roasty malts and caramel. Hops just barely add a smidge of balance that works well for the style. The taste I've noticed in other Begian styles, the belgian yeast strain, is present in this one and adds a uniqueness to this that sets it apart from other strong ales I've had. Good beer, doesn't disappoint for fans of 21st Amendment brewery.

Photo of adamette
4.55/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Live review. Poured from the 12 oz. can that I bought as part of a 4 pack for $8.99 from World Wines & Liquor in Mentor a few weeks ago into my Brewery Ommegang gold rimmed Westvleteren style goblet. My favorite “group” of beers are the Trappists so I am sucker for anything related to “monks” I guess. Who knows, this could be my new favorite beer from a can (although it will have to quite something to replace Oskar Blues Ten Fidy).

A Nice fluffy brown head over a dark caramel, mahogany body that looks in the neighborhood of a blood color. Good, solid look. 4.0

S Somewhat distant Belgian yeast and lightly sweet malt scent. I expect those notes to really come through in the taste, however. I like the smell since it reminds me of a mature version of the style, not trying too hard. 4.0

T Very, very good indeed. The light sweetness to the nose now presents as a solid force in the taste but the sweetness is a nice earthy sweetness with hints of the cinnamon, vanilla and oak chips mentioned on the front of the can. All of it just really works. I cannot understand how the taste of this beer can be improved. Bravo! 5.0

M Very nice thickness which you would expect from the style. Again, good for this category. 4.0

D Well I simply cannot taste the 8.3% ABV if that tells you anything. I could have 3 or 4 of these with ease. 4.5

Notes: I will certainly need to try more from this brewery (this was my first) due to the excellent presentation that this one showed me tonight. I think that it is a bargain at this price too!

Photo of jorg2619
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at wegmans only regular 21 a beer I had not tried.
The pour on this quad or strong ale is good as to be expected opaque ruddy rubby come crayon brown. there is substantial light tan head that disapates into a halo of bubbles and a few clumps of head
The smell is heavy in Belgiun yeast spice malty sugary syrup smell very quad like.
The taste of Monks Blood is sweet dark fruits such plums and raisins flood my mouth the yeast spice is very subdued clashing with the mulled sweetness of the malts and hint of figs. I am not detecting much oak or vanilla. There is good mouthfeel and I find this a very drinkable strong ale. Definitely worth picking up a few to explore.

Photo of bpw28
4.75/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Finger off white shaving cream thick head, Hazy Dark Brown (About a 27 SRM), Nice Lacing

Nose: Medium Roasted, Woody, Yeasty, Grape, Dark Fruit, Funky (The good belgian kind), spiced rum

Taste: Wow. Roasted Malt, Spicy, Dark Fruit (strong prune), Black Berries, Rum soaked Vanilla, Yeasty, Earthy, Peppery, Boozy, Funky (again, the good kind), Woody, Good Carb, Hop is clearly not the key player and theres just enough to round it out and I don't mind at all.

Final Thoughts: Wow. Alot going on in this. Alot. I was a little scared for this because of the lack of head, even though the head was a nice one despite size, but this is an amazing beer. I would drink this until my final breath. This has to be one of my favorites. Home run. Fireworks. Standing Applause. It might not be for everyone, but it sure is for me.

Photo of Hoptometrist
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can into a tulip glass

A- Pours a cherry wood color (reddish brown) with a two and a half finger yellowish-brown head with lots of tiny bubbles. The head dissipated rapidly and left little lacing.

S- Dark fruit (raisin, fig), alcohol, cherry, and the slightest bit of vanilla

T- Dark fruit, mildly sour cherry notes, rock candy sugar, the alcohol lets itself me known, and some indistinct bitterness

M- A little syrupy and sticky, but has pretty decent carbonation to get it from being too cloyingly sweet and syrupy

O- I enjoyed this beer, it had quite the alcohol kick that I was not expecting, it let itself be known but it was not too much. I was hoping for some yeasty aromas and flavors to show up in this beer a little, but there were absent. Overall a pretty unique beer that kept me interested in this brewery.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Deep amber brownish color. Just under two fingers of beige, creamy head with below average retention and a decent sized ring of lacing.

3.0 S: Cocoa, caramel, prune, fig, raisin, and vanilla. The cinnamon is detectable and not overdone, but I don't think it helps. The yeast gives off a slight peppery spiciness. Overall, it isn't that bad, but there is something I don't care for. It's as if the aromas are muddled and antagonistic with each other. I think the cinnamon is the main culprit here.

3.5 T: The taste is like the nose, but omits what I don't like about it. Cocoa, caramel, dark fruits, vanilla, and light cinnamon. Again, peppery yeast. This is a little more bitter than I'd care for.

3.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. I'd prefer the carbonation to be spritzier than it is and creamier as well.

3.0 D: This isn't horrible, but it is solidly average. I think the adjuncts might have taken away from what would have been a better beer.

Photo of nsabo
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a Belgian strong ale reminiscent of a barleywine. Malt is the dominant taste, but the mouthfeel is a bit thin for a barleywine. 8.3% doesn't seem a terribly high abv to me, but this feels boozier than it is. The beer is aged with oak and brewed with vanilla, cinnamon, and figs. The nose is whiskey and raisins. I can't distinguish whether the faint vanilla taste comes from the oak or the vanilla or both, but it's subtle and goes well with the malt, even if this is sweeter than it could have been. Only the cinnamon feels out of place here. It's in the background, but it has a sharp spiciness to it that contradicts the otherwise smooth richness of the other flavors here.
Usually it's only popular styles with lower abvs - wheat beers, IPAs, etc. - that I see canned. It's always exciting to see a rarer style canned and ready for a hike.

Photo of chilidog
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first craft can! Poured into a pint.

Nice pour, brownish amber, tan head that fades to not much of a film. No real lace.

Aroma's of malts, toasted grains, cane sweet barralness.

Taste of caramel malts, cane sugar, slight alcohol followed by earthy base.

Mouthfeel thins abit, most likely the metal tinge of the can.

Overall, very much suprised and enjoyed, would buy again. Nice abv. touch.

Photo of Liverpool08
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby red. Nice dark head. Aroma is boozy with dried fruits and a bit of funk. Flavor is very inviting. Dark cherries and booze with a bit of sour funk as well. Each sip warms the mouth and adds different flavors such as vanilla, plum and sour fruit. It ends just a little bitter which helps balance out the sweet fruit taste. This is a really nice brew. Best beer from a can I have ever had!

Photo of Snow81
4.55/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Heavy amber with a thick haze

Head: Nice frosty dark tan head

Smell: Heavy sweet malt, coriander is there with some heat

Taste: Get some heat right off the bat that turns into a rich malty layer with a subtle bitter hop

Weight: Light body with a high to medium carbonation

Finish: Bit of a dry on the end with a rich maltyness and back notes of a subtle bitter hop. Very sticky on the lips

Photo of BigB415
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark red with huge head. Smells of plums and cinnamon. Taste of plums, all this plum makes the beer very sweet. First taste I get alcohol then it subsides to the sweetness and sourness but I think the sour is very nice it's not overwhelming. Overall I really like it, the sweet, fruit, and sour notes really give it a nice kick and add a nice depth to the beer.

Photo of jmshulk
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep red-ish brown, small head that dissipated quickly to a ring.

Aroma: Some dark fruit, plums and cherries, with little hints at cinnamon, vanilla and bourbon.

Taste: There is some more cherry/plum like flavors up front. It's not too boozy, but there is a little bit there to balance out the sweetness. It finished with a touch of bitterness. Could finish a little more dry.

Feel: It has a decent amount of carbonation and a nice medium body.

Overall: I really enjoy this beer, its a nice one to sit down with and slowly sip and enjoy as the flavors change with warmth. This is a beer I hope to see pop up in stores around February for a long time!

Serving: 12 oz. can
Date: 5/19/2011

Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A powerful, yet seductively sweet American rendition of Belgian strong dark ales. Very sweet but with complex alcohols, candied sweetness, and spicy yeast character: this beer makes up a lot of ground on its more authentic bretheren.

Dark ruby and with a modest haze, the beer has a fuller look, carrying a dense lightly tanned head and solid lace. A good looking beer overall.

Grain, malt, sweetness all hit the nose with a musty and sugary scent Fruity with plumbs, raspberries, figs, dates, grape, and raisons, the beer is decidedly fruity and alcoholic to the nose. With no real hop influence, the beer relies on spicy alcohol scent and delicate sugarly malts with esters to carry the beer.

Sweet with maltiness and sugars take the flavors through a range of grainy-sweet and malty rich taste: caramelized sugars, mild maltiness, and a somewhat cola-like flavor shapes the complex barley profile. Esters bleed in and out of the sweetness and amplify the sugary affect with the figs, dates, and grape character that's described in aroma. Light herbal hops fade out of flavor quickly and only adds a slight bitter balance to assist the peppery phenolics and alcohol going into the finish.

Very sweet feeling on the palate, the beer is medium-sweet with early creaminess that allows for the take over of a tacky sugary feel in finish. Alcohol warmth and spicy dryness helps to diffuse the sweetness late but the beer only finishes semi-dry and without the true succulent feel of well made Belgian varieties.

Even with a few characteristics that degrade it from those authentic Belgian ales, Monks blood offers enough complexity, balance, and quality in taste to garner good marks. It's a very good beer who should win over any Belgian beer fan.

Thanks Tim!

Photo of optimistictour
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is definitely the best beer I've had in a can.

Looking very dark red (hence the name I guess), slightly opaque with a proper medium thickness head, this fits the Belgian Dark tag perfectly.

It smells of fruits and spices, raisins and cinnamon, a bit muted but solid and expected.

The taste is positively bursting with everything I can smell, and comes across almost refreshing, especially for the style. Caramelly yet 'bright' - most examples of this style weigh me down (in a good way) but this one feels great for a hot day outside, even.

It feels spectacular going down. A very full, textured experience, it's indeed lighter feeling and masks its considerable alcohol more than other Belgian Darks I've had. In fact it could easily pass as a lighter offering if it weren't for the full bodied taste - even my gf enjoys this one and she isn't normally a fan of anything "too dark" or "too heavy."

It's not the best of its kind but the unique packaging, reasonable price, and friendly demeanor means it's one of my favorites, a beer I share with friends whenever possible.

Photo of teromous
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a medium shade of brown with a sweet tea look around the edges of the glass. The head is very large, well over a thumbs width and egg shell white.

S: It smells like raisins with some familiar Belgian esters. It's not overly complex.

T: It tastes sweet like a mixture of molasses and malt. There's a dry fruity flavor similar to the raisin smell. At the end of the drink there's a very light hint of oak flavor. It's a very tasty beer, but I feel it's not as strong in flavors as its counterparts. It's very well balanced in flavor, but generally Belgian strongs are...well stronger.

M: It's really smooth and is exceptionally easy to drink. It is amazingly comfortable to drink and has the perfect balance of carbonation.

O: I would love to drink this one again. It's not my favorite Belgian strong by any means, but it is a wonderful beer.

Photo of jIsh
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my first offering from 21st Amendment. Thanks Chris! The presentation of this ale is pretty damn cool, I mean come on, who doesn't love a good canned craft, especially when it comes in a 4-pack.

This beer opens with a dull crack and pours a nice amber color. Good head retention around the majority of the glass. The smell is sweet with figs and cherries prominent. It also smells refreshing, almost watered down in fact. Perhaps this would make a good shower beer (but what doesn't?).

The taste is enjoyable, however, doesn't seem particularly memorable. In my opinion, all Belgian strong dare ales should be compared to Chimay Grande Reserve, and this one seems thin by comparison. The 8.3% alcohol is hidden well despite the overall "lightness" of the beer.

One can only wonder how this guy would age in the can. Perhaps I'll toss one in a dusty corner and forget about it for a few years!

Photo of BrianBoruma
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz can poured into snifter glass

Appearance: Finger thick head that dissipates quickly does cling to the side as I drink down the glass. Black, but with ruby highlights when held to the light.

Smell: Spicy, I get some cinnamon and nutmeg i think. A lot of darker fruits (plums and raisins.)

Taste: The spicy from the nose definitely comes through. It apparently has oak chips in there somewhere (according to the can) but I don't taste those at all. I get a lot of the fruit and some caramel now too. It's caramel, spicy and fruit all the way. It's nice. Alcohol warmth is quite present as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium full. Carbonation is definitely present in this one. Feels a bit slick too, not sure what that's from.

Overall: Quite good. Wouldn't be pounding these back all night but it's great for what it is.

Photo of chugalug06
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Aggressive pour! Holly Head! Large brown fluffy head with delicate lacing teirs left behind. Brew is very dark cloudy red with a brown and orange tint. Great head retention too.

S - Definitely has a slight Belgian scent, but by no means your "typical" Belgian scent. Raisin, dates, and caramel dominate... Smells dark! Very light scent, not a heavy Belgian.

T - Very sweet, not like your typical Belgian Dark... Good, but slightly off flavor. Not sure if it a freshy, or not... Very good, but just a little weird.

M - Very dry and catchy, I think it's from the alcohol %. Almost a sand like texture to it. Good brew. Over carbonated, but it doesn't draw too much from the texture/flavor of the medium bodied brew.

D - Very good drinkability, I may have to seek this one out in the future.

Great brew in a great trade! Super glad I go to try it! A little all over the place, but still a quality unique brew. I may just have to age one, or two....

+1 for being in an awesome CAN!

Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of the can to a goblet. A dark cherry red. A small amount of fluffy white head settled on top for about half of the beer. The nose is mainly sweet and fruity. A tangy sweetness. The flavor has a ton of sweetness dominated by raisins,figs and earthy red grape. There is a lot of sweetness but a good tingle of alcohol. I feel like there are a lot of leftover sugars.

Photo of gamwich
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the cool looking can into a St Bernardus goblet. A cafe au lait colored head dissipates quickly. The color is a striking reddish-brown, appropriate given the name. Minimal lacing. The nose is sweet, with some bready yeast and cinnamon. The flavor is mostly sweet malts and some booze. There are hints of other things, but these are fleeting. The finish is fairly dry.

Not a bad beer, but certainly not a great BSDA.

Photo of WSB
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours an amber/red color, and appeared cloudy. Nice thin head that grabs the glass

Smell was disappointing, I hoped for the cinnamon and figs listed on the label, and only got some wood notes and malt.

Taste was good. The aging on oak was obvious on the palate, as was the vanilla accents. Alcohol was pronounced.

Mouthfeel was ale-like, thick, smooth, and the alcohol numbed the tongue (8.3% will do that)

Overall a good beer, although aging it on the oak seems to have mellowed and muddled the flavors. I'd love to try this sans the aging on oak.

Photo of Paul68
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass a reddish brown color with a cream colored head that faded fast and left little lacing.

Smells a fruity like cherries,bananas,brown sugar.

Tastes is fruity and malty with cherry and cinnamon flavors. has a little bitterness at the end and some alcohol as it warms.

Overall not that bad of a beer. it does have it's belgium characteristics but is also a little different than the usual.

Photo of KarlHungus
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This beer pours a brown color with amber hues. The head is one inch in height, and recedes slowly into a small cap of lacing. The aroma is of figs, cherries, cinnamon, and sugar. The taste is very sweet with only a mild yeast character. In fact, the sweetness overpowers everything detected in the aroma but the figs. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a cloying texture, and low carbonation. Overall, this beer just doesn't do it for me. Perhaps, someone with a severe sweet tooth could find this beer desirable, but I can't see myself drinking it again.

Photo of OrangeAmps
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in fall river, MA. poured into a large goblet. Very nice!

Pours a deep red/brown amalgam with a frothy white head. Beautiful looking beer, and in the goblet it was in it looked especially nice. The smells i was getting from this beer were great: banana, yeast, spices, dark fuits, and slight alcohol.

The taste was incredible at first. Halfway through the goblet, i began to dislike it, first a bit, and then pretty intensely. I dont know why, to be honest. But this beer definitely gets less appealing once you get deep into the glass. And its not the temperature or anything, because it didnt have time to cool very rapidly. Its just a very rich and robust beer that takes a lot to get through.

And for the style, i much prefer Gulden Draak. Its infinitely more drinkable.

still, a great beer.

Photo of rfgetz
3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a mahogany brown with more noticeable red highlights when held against the light. Small bit of tan head gone quickly. Scent is filled with all things Belgian - banana, bubblegum, bready yeast, spice and dark fruit. Taste comes across as very muddled and earthen - none of the components of scent stand out particularly well against a backdrop of brown sugary sweet malt. Quite a bit of solventy alcohol, tannic woodyness and sharp bitterness prevent anything from shunning through. Medium bodied, appropriate carbonation. The listed ingredients made me very interested in trying this beer, but when they are hard to pinpoint under some harsh notes, it makes for a disappointing beer.

Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 1,178 ratings.