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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 bfree
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: nice 1 1/2" head that lingers for a while, sitting atop a dark brown beverage with some decent carbonation
S: malts, brown sugar, figs, cherries, hint of bourbon/alcohol
T: very malty and sweet at first with some bourbon flavor, fruity with hint of cherry and brown sugar, with a strong oaky taste at the end that lingers on the back of the tongue
M: medium bodied, bubbly carbonation that lasts throughout
D: overall it is a tasty beer and pretty complex with the fruity, malty, and oak/bourbon all rolled into one beverage, I would definitely recommend it if you like oak aged/bourbon barrel aged beers

Photo of nickd717
3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review dated 3/30/2009.

On tap at 21st Amendment during SF Beer Week. Not bad, but really didn’t do it for me overall. Dark blood-like red color with a small off-white head. Aroma of sweet malt, dark fruits, sugar, and yeast. Flavor was similar - really fruity with sweet and sour notes as well as some roastiness. Complex for sure, but I don’t think it came together all that well. Fairly full palate. Not too drinkable.

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

Poured from can into snifter, got a fizzy half finger of head that dissipated to a ring and a speckling within a couple of minutes. The body is a dirty brown with a slight orange tint to it, similar to what root beer might look like. There are some bubbles rising to the top, and a few floaters can be seen at the bottom of my glass.

The main aroma is figs and raisins, with some cinnamon and spice to help flesh it out. Vanilla and hints of sweet malt and oak round it out.

The flavor is true to the nose, but definitely talks to me more. The figs, vanilla, malt and wood are all much more well developed on the taste buds than they were in the nose. I also get hints of cherries on the back end, it was like they danced on my tongue, adding an excellent extra dimension to the flavor.

This beer was medium bodied and only a little sticky. The carbonation is heavy, helping push the beer over your tongue and down your gullet. Very refreshing.

Photo of TheSupremeAJ
4.32/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into Duvel tulip... luscious head fills to the top and dissipates in about 2 minutes. 40 degree pour... gonna let it warm up a bit. Aroma is smooth, fruity and rich... very pleasant and inviting. Citus hops are tangy. Flavor is very smooth, dark, rich and crisp. Ladies and gentleman, we seem to have a winner. Loses a few points for arrogant booziness, alcohol would have been hidden a little better in a 5-rated brew. Mouthfeel is smooth, lightly carbonated per style,

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

Poured 40 degrees into a Sam Adams pint glass.
4x12oz cans for $13USD.

Appearance is gorgeous, with a milky opacity - dark copper in color, with reflections of orange-red butterscotch.

Smell is huge, projecting strongly of banana and clove, spices and cream. Tertiary smells of vanilla and molasses maybe.

The taste doesn't realize the sweetness that the nose suggests. The banana and spice are there for sure, but it's dryer, and leaves the mouth feeling the same. More vanilla than was present in the nose. Rich and opulent though.

Mouthfeel is largely dry as stated, but isn't as heavy as I expected, and pleasingly slow. Tinged with effervescence.

I respect this beer more than I think that I actually enjoy it right now. I would love to try it again during the winter with foods that would match it in weight. Doing this in August I would imagine isn't the same.


Photo of jondeelee
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I first read the box for Monk's Blood, which boasted that the beer had been made with cinnamon and vanilla, and then aged on a bed of oak chips and dried figs, I thought, This will either be terrible, or fantastic. Luckily, it was the latter. Monk's Blood smells somewhat like champagne and fine port, with a heavy swing of Welch's grape juice, a good measure of chocolate malt, and just a hint of cinnamon.

On the tongue, the brew is multi-layered and fascinating. One layer is a nice bed of chocolate malt, complete with dark and milk chocolates, and deeply toasted grains. Another layer consists of a thick spread of figs, which add a creamy dark fruit ester tang. Still another layer brings in caramelized brown sugars and vanillas, bringing in a somewhat soda/Dr. Pepper-like buzz (which I mean in the best way possible). The fourth layer contributes a nice spiciness, with cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon making small cameos. A final layer adds just the right amount of grapefruit-bitter hops to balance everything out. The aftertaste is a lighter version of the main mouthful, and fades slowly. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is a splendid brew, and well-worth seeking out.

Photo of SFLpunk
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

12oz can thanks to Robtobfest! Bottom stamped 1038 0646...whatever that means.

Pours a mellow dark brown with some thin off-white head. Nose smells like your traditional Quad, vanilla, dried figs, oak...but of course those were added to this beer, so says the can.

Palate is sharp with an alcohol tinge. Boozy for sure. Flavors are a bit thinner than I expected based on the nose, but dried dark fruits (figs, dates, etc), vanilla, toasted oak, milk chocolate, dark wool, etc. Medium-light-bodied for the style. Semi-short finish.

Notes: The nose is pretty friggin' great. The palate feels thin for the style and the flavors that it's supporting. Seems a bit thinned out by the alcohol presence. Solid though, my first Belgian-style canned beer.

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

So a coworker bought a 4 pack of this based on how cool the can looked. He hated it so he gave me the remaining 3.

Poured from a can into a snifter.

Pours a lighter shade of brown with a redish hue with a small tan head.
Smells of cherry vanilla and oak with some slight alcohol burn.
Tastes strongly of belgian yeast cinnamon and dark fruits with a nice oak aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is pretty on point for the style.
Overall pretty good beer, I don't think I have seen many belgian style beers in cans. Pretty suprising.

Photo of mntlover
3.36/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a murky amber brown with a two finger tan head that falls to a cap with some lace.

Aroma is dark fruity malts some cherry hints with light spice. Overall seems little subdued for the style.

Taste is brown sugary malt with some dark fruits and spicy alcohol notes and light vanilla hints. Not really bad but then again not very complex or exciting either.

Mouthfeel is good medium body with descent level of carbonation.

Overall eh worth a try, I know I have been wanting to try it, but wont be trying it again.

Photo of Bonis
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes: 3/29/11

A - Very dark amber in color. 1/2 inch tan foam fades quickly. Appears quite bubbly.

S - Spicy, yeasty, fruity, boozy. Figs and cinnamon are noted, and a touch of vanilla, but no real oak is apparent. Very sweet from the malts, little to no hops are present, as I expected.

T - Not the greatest tasting example of a BSDA, but they did a nice job here. The spices and additives to this beer actually mingle fairly well to produce a nice Americanized version of this ale. Fruity and sweet, spicy and phenolic at the same time. There is a touch of warming booze on the back end, but nothing offensive or anything.

M - A little bubbly for my liking, but definitely on par for the style.

Overall, a good beer that I look forward to having next year. Just disappointed that I only picked up one 4 pack.

Photo of vande
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Mahogony in color with a tannish top to it. Somewhat thicker in appearance.

S: Sweetness. Vanilla blended nicely with dark cherries, plums, malty with sugar...brown sugar...

T: Sweet like the smell. The darker fruits come through sprinkled with sugar, malt on top. Tasts like a Belgian out of can..Interesting :)

M: Tad lighter than I thought, but still decent. Medium bodied, soft beer.

O: Likeable! I have a couple more in the fridge in which I'll enjoy or introduce to a friend..

Photo of atomicbeer
3.57/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brown-red with a thin tan head that does not linger long. A few bubbles rising at the edges. Big oak cinnamon aroma with brown apple, clove, and prune. Taste is again oak with bourbony alcohol, brown apple, and Fig Newton. This beer is just a bit syrupy, warming, and a little spicy. Not a bad rendition although one is plenty.

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

Never been too impressed with 21st Amendment's stuff, but had to pick this up. If nothing else, the name alone merits a try. Can into Belgian glass.

Pours a dark murky brown with a thick and creamy beige head. Carbonation eventually fizzles out but quickly returns with a swirl of the glass.

Nose is full of dark fruit, mainly plum with some pretty viscous surrounding spices. Very prevalent vanilla and cinnamon aromas. A lot going on here...

Tastes just as the nose leads on. Dark fruit and malt sugary sweetness up front, leading way into some vanilla spiciness. Finishes off boozy warm with a kick of... figs? I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but that's what it is according to the label. Interesting finish that grows on me as the beer warms. Definitely most enjoyable at cellar temp.

Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Slick mouth feel with a slight, but not overpowering alcohol presence. One in a night is probably enough for me.

Overall, a nice offering. Not the greatest thing ever made, but a solid and creative American Belgian, especially for the price point. The fact that it's sold in a can earns bonus points, but please use a glass. Cheers!

Photo of avaldivia
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Reddish brown with a head that was about 2 fingers wide.

S: Fruity, bit of an oak scent. Smells boozy, definitely made my nostrils flare a bit but in a way I liked.

T: Boom! Starts of with a fruity spicy kick that then goes a bit malty and finishes off with a bite. I really enjoyed the boozy kick to this beer. It was noticeable but not overpowering.

M: Nice medium body. Good carbonation.

O: one I always pick up as soon as it is released. Very enjoyable and a good beer to have every now and then.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pouring a cellar temp can into a pint glass. The beer pours a deep mahogany hue and gives some garnet highlights on the edges of the glass.
Fluffy beige head of 1 cm foams up and fades gradually through the sampling.
Aroma is rich and malty with some brown sugar and a bit of general sweet spiciness maybe a bit of vanilla and definitely some dark fruit. The nose isnt overpowering but is appealing.
First sip reveals an average body and fine tingly carbonation.
Flavor is malt from start to finish with some funky spice and a bit of booze on the very end of the swallow.
Flavors from brown sugar plums, and figs are prevelant with a bit of warming booze coming through at the end.
No hop presence detected anywhere that I can detect and the beer is very nice to drink. I wish I had more than the 4 pack of cans of this tasty brew.

Photo of alexhahn82
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A -- Decent 1 finger head that dissipates at a medium/quick pace, beautiful deep redish brown.

S -- Smells like a Belgian (beer not person). Yeast, Yeast, Yeast, maybe a hint of Oak in the scent.

T/M- Oak. Yeast. Alcohol. A slight hint of the cinnamon but that may be a subliminal plant from the label. Not a lot of Carbonation, but still a very pleasant beer. I want to say it has an almost bourbon like tone and quality though I know its just a neutral oak chip, it may be the cinnamon playing with the oak creating that illusion.

O -- This is a pretty healthy beer, very drinkable for the 8.3% ABV, definitely worth seeking out and giving it a shot.

PP (Price Point) - Picked it up for $8.79 for a four pack in a box, though the place I purchased it from it usually about %15 off of average retail amounts. Definitely delivers, proper quality and ABV bang for the buck!

Photo of balzern
2.61/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Red/ brown with a white head. Faded pretty fast.

S- Vanilla, chocolate, dark fruits, and oak. Cherry too but mostly dark fruits. Kinda pruney plum smell.

T- Like a dark fruit cocktail with dark chocolate shavings. I didn't get much Belgian from this beer but did get a ton of the dark fruits. The alcohol was really evident in this and had a burn to it which I did not care for.

M- Moderately carbonated and crisp.

O- I did not enjoy this beer and will not get it again. The kicker for me - the alochol was too in my face and the burn was annoying.

Photo of Tschnab
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- a brownish red with a small off white head that fades pretty quickly.

S- vanilla, artificial cherries, rum, really sweet.

T- I can do the beer geek thing where I say it tastes like oak, figs, rum, vanilla, spice, and dark fruit...but honestly, the biggest flavor I'm getting here is cherry tootsie pop (before the chocolate). The other qualities are still there, but really, I keep wondering how many sips does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop.

O- a good beer that is quite good tasting, but suffers from being a little one dimensial. It is really, really sweet, and doesn't give me many Belgian qualities.

Photo of samie85
2.45/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Reviewed from notes; originally 6/11/11.

A-Pours a ruby-hued brown color with two fingers of off white head.

S-Smells of vanilla and cinnamon spices with oaky and dark fruit notes.

T-Cinnamon and very overpowering dark fruit notes with some cheap cognac notes.

M-Medium bodied with very drying and hot alcohol notes that linger in the mouth and throat; low level of carbonation.

D-Pretty rough, and very alcoholic beer that's just not my thing.

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

Cryptic as it may sound, this oddly named beer fit right in with the evening’s main course, lamb.

Little on the nose, but like a bowl of boozy hard candies bathed in a home-made marmalade as it hit my tongue. Bitterness followed a cherry-soured, burnt sugar sweetness.

Decent offering, and my favorite yet of the three variants by 21st Amendment I’ve consumed thus far. Perfect for a random cool spring night out by the grill, but I couldn’t see making this a staple.

Photo of BeerAmbassador
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer pours a hazy walnut brown with a small off white head.

Cinnamon and vanilla dominate the nose with some fruity deep malt.

Flavor is slightly sweet with the vanilla and cinnamon and even a bit of the figs on the back end. Very creamy mouthfeel.

I have had this beer a couple of times now, at the brewery and at home out of the can. I found that it is actually a nice beer to pair a cigar with as well.

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

Appearance: Pours a very hazy deep reddish brown with a quarter inch of off white head after a pretty aggressive pour. The head dissipates quickly.
Smell: Smells of Belgian yeasts blending with malt and cinnamon.
Taste: Strong cinnamon flavor that fades but never really leaves the taste buds, the cinnamon blends well with the Belgian yeast flavor but maybe a little over powered by it.
Mouthfeel: I like how the beer feels in the mouth it is thick but still flows around the tongue beautifully.

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
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
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
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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