1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Monk's Blood - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Monk's BloodMonk's Blood

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,194 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,194
Reviews: 495
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 78
Gots: 118 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,194 | Reviews: 495 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Snow81
4.51/5  rDev +18.4%
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
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
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
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
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
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
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
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
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
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
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
3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
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
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
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
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
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
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
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
3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
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
3.17/5  rDev -16.8%
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
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
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
3.32/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

Photo of Arithmeticus
3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark brown with tinges of red; abundant head, beautiful threads of carbonation; decent lacing
S: big burst of malty, brown sugar smell; dissipates quickly, though
T: sweet, spiced, very interesting; overtones of cherry, cinnamon, and anise; I can see why some may not like this flavor because it is both sweet and bitter (esp. in the aftertaste), but I personally enjoyed this transition

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

Dark brown with some hints of orange, pours with about an inch of head that fades fairly quickly leaving some lacing. Smell starts with some dark fruit- cherries and plums, a bit sherry-ish, cinnamon though I'm not sure if I could have picked it out without knowing it was in there. Taste, candied plums with some alcohol on the finish, some bitterness. Medium bodied, a little creamy, finishes dry.

Overall, I really enjoy this beer though it does seem a bit rough. I would really like to try an aged version.

Photo of zeledonia
2.58/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a deep, dark amber brown. Shows reddish when held to the light. A decent but not amazing amount of off-white head that recedes rather quickly but leaves good lacing.

Smell is a whole lotta sweet malt, figs, some Belgian-y yeast, and a bit of spice. Solid, but not super complex. Good enough that I'm definitely excited to taste it, but not so good that I'm convinced it'll be delicious. There's something hiding there in the background that doesn't feel quite right - an over-sweetness, or a touch of unpleasant bitter.

Taste is not so good. It starts out well enough, with caramel malts, brown sugar, some dark fruit. But then a sharpness comes in, a bit of acrid bitterness, that really doesn't go well with the other flavors in the beer. This flavor dominates the finish, and lingers beyond its welcome. Very un-smooth. And sadly, as it warms up and I taste it more, it just gets worse. This is the second beer I've had recently that reminded me of cough syrup. Fortunately, there are some good tastes in there, and the bad ones aren't totally overpowering.

Mouthfeel is okay; a bit syrupy, medium-bodied, light on the carbonation, holds the flavors in the mouth well. The only problem is, those flavors it holds in the mouth (especially the finish) are just bad.

This came damn near to being a drain-pour (in fact, I drain-poured the last quarter - a first for me). I continued on with the beer more to document exactly why I dislike it. Blech. The bitterness in the latter half of the flavor really kills this beer. I do NOT plan on drinking this again.

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

from a 12 oz can

A- it pours a murky dark mahogany brown with a small tan head.. lacing appears and coat's the glass as you drink it

S- is dark fruits with sweet malts some belgian yeast ,with vanilla bean and an aged oak smell

T- follows the nose dark fruits meet belgian funk with very sweet malts..some hops with a vanilla wood finish

M- is full and robust,creamy smooth and very sweet and fruity

O- nicely done with lots of belgian goodness would only want one of these in an evening but do want to have this several more times

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

12oz Can into a Snifter Glass

Served at fridge temperature.

A- Pours a really nice dark reddish brown with a thin less than a finger off white head that doesn't stick around at all. Leaves a small amount of splotchy lacing on the glass but not much and also some nice alcohol legs on the glass as well for only %8.3.

S- Up front I'm getting a lot of notes from the Belgian yeast like banana, clove like spice, and the cinnamon as well. Digging deeper i get subtle hints of oak, vanilla, dark fruits, and some alcohol but not much.

T- Creamy malts and oak hit the palate first leading into some really nice sweet burnt sugars and dark fruits. But surprisingly the taste finish's off with a some what bittersweet cinnamon and more oak and vanilla. The taste is definitely more dark ingredient oriented for example the usual fruity Belgian yeast flavors don't come through as much as the aroma and are pretty much non existent. Plenty of raisins, figs, burnt sugars, and sweet vanilla from the oak.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a nice slight bitter finish but more sweet.


Photo of Kromes
4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy brown color with no real head to speak of.

S: Belgian sugar, figs, alcohol, dark fruit, raisin, yeast, and a little hop.

T: A strong, sweet belgian sugar and alcohol flavor up front. There is also a sweet raisiny fruitiness in there. The alcohol flavor is a bit overpowering and it masks some of the other flavors. There is a vanilla, oak, bourbon quality to it and after a while the cinammon comes through...a bitter alcohol warmth rounds out the finish.

M: A medium, heavy feel with somewhat low carbonation. Could use a bit more.

O: Pretty good. There are no off flavors. After the alcohol assault, your tongue is able to detect more depth to the beer towards the end of the glass.

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

A: Pours a dark cherrywood color with a very small head that dissipates leaving a patch of very tiny bubbles.

S: Belgian yeast is immediately apparent (what with this being a Belgian and all) followed by a sweet maltiness and some dark fruits. There is also a slight hint of vanilla and a little bit of oak.

T: A little bit of spicy-ness up front followed by a malty flavor that also has a slight brown sugar taste. I'm also picking up a little bit of banana bread and a little bit of caramel.

M: Big body with a very light amount of carbonation.

O: Overall, this is quite a tasty beer, easy to drink, I'd buy it again.

Photo of capeannbass36
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- A fairly clear. deep reddish brown...maybe mahogany. Can definitely see through glass. 1 inch light coffee ice cream colored head that ran away quickly. Leaving decent lace.

S- Little sweet malt, hint of pepper. Do not smell the label ingredients mentioned. No vanilla, no cinnamon. Do not know what a dry fig smells like. Could be a hint of oak. I am trying, but not getting very much!

T- Unique for sure. What am I tasting? The dried figs?? Again no vanilla, no cinnamon. Have not tasted a beer remotely similar to this. Sweet malt maybe.

M- Medium. A little oily. A little sticky. Slightly dry at end.

O- I waited a couple weeks before purchasing this due to it being in a can. Tried it a month ago. Didn't know what to think. Still don't. Palate needs more of an education??
It really is not that bad. But...it is far from great.

Photo of uustal
3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep reddish brown with a bit of a purple hue. One-finger coffee cream colored head. Decent lacing and retention. Aroma of plums, raisins, cherry, bit of spice. Flavor started off with a sweet burst of cherry initially. Dark fruits, dates, plum, sticky sweet bread malt before the spicy finish. Good amount of pepper to go along with the Belgian spices.

Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 1,194 ratings.