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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

1,194 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
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Ratings: 1,194 | Reviews: 495 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ccrida
2.11/5  rDev -44.6%
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.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Photo of MadCat
4.37/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

Photo of sixerofelixir
4.62/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz can. Bottled on/packaged on date stamps on outside of 4-pack carton, as well as on the can bottom. A lot of writing on the can, as well. Sampled in my Duvel tulip glass - it's already earning bonus pts.. (j/k)

Pours an un-see-thru mahogany brown. A tan head rears back after the 1st sip and becomes a ring. Smell is of the richer malts, plenty of fruitiness, fig and cherry. A smooth top, which may be the vanilla. Taste is golden: real raisins, dark berries, hard tack candies.. all sorts of goodness. A bitterness all the while fades amongst the back. A heat for the feel is dispelled by the utter smoothness of this beer. The oak is mild at best, and the cinnamon is only a smidge, thanks. Excellent beer here, one I wish to return to very soon. The best I've had in a can so far.

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

I never know what to expect when someone says they're making a "Belgian Ale". I'm not sure if it will be 12% IPA or a porter on steriods. This on had a smooth start with a hint of hops. Carmel flavor as the maltiness comes through. Slightly bitter finish, but fine, even for a lager boy like me :-)

Photo of pzrhsau
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice rich dark red color with a decent sized lace of head.
S: Sweet dark fruit aroma, some plum and pear aromas coupled with a sweetness from the malt.
T: Rich and slightly dry flavor of fruit. Some good raisiny character. Sweet complex flavor that finishes with some good spiciness.
D/M: Very drinkable overall. Lighter than I was expecting but it really has a very nice complex flavor to it.

Photo of goblue3509
3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep reddish color like a grapefruit or almost a clear tomoto juice with a obe finger off white head whiches gives way to some lace. The aroma is very inviting big vanilla and cinnomon notes with hints of oak and spices. The taste had a big vanilla and cinnomon taste over top of the caramel malt backbone, but there was a metallic taste in the end to the after taste that was a little off. The mouthfeel was creamy and enjoyable. Over all it would be hard to have more than one or two there was a nice start to the flavor but it faultered toward the end.

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

A cup of zest. Looks good, cloudy grapefruit. Tasty, very drinkable, licorice, cinammon. Sweetish from the yeast and cinammon, some dark fruit. Yeast and spice aromas.Not true to the style but fun, would have this again.Thank Mike D. for ringing it back, via Jason.

Photo of JamnesCameron
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

Pours a clear deep garnet, with a light tan head that does not last. Some lacing.

Aroma of cinnamon, vanilla, oak, dark fruit (can't quite pick out the dried figs), some spicy yeast. Spicing is subtle, not overpowering.

Flavors of a big, malty caramelly belgian brew, with the spicy yeast signature, with hints of spicing. Picking up the cinnamon, oak and vanilla, all very subtle. A little alcohol heat. Finish is medium, warming alcohol, oak, and spicy belgian yeast slowly fade.

Mouthfeel is big, chewy, light prickle of carbonation, and warming alcohol.

Overall very nice beer. I was expecting an overpowering potpourri of flavors and aromas, this was rather subtle. Had to concentrate to pick out the particular elements.

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.37/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From can to Bruges hybrid glass on 3/16/11
*From notes

A: The crimson hue is nice, but the simple one finger head isn't. With a beer like this, I expect a really big, mammoth head and killer lacing. Not so much - this one dissipates quickly and hardly leaves anything behind.

S: Cinnamon sticks and cane sugar. It comes off a bit like Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. After the inital bouquet, slight prunes and hard candied sugar persist.

T: Fruity complexity hit the buds first. It's also slightly yeasty on the fore to mid, with a surprising and tasty pinch of vanilla extract and sun dried fruit on the finish. The alcohol is also present throughout, and the aftertaste reminds me a bit of nutrasweet.

M: Signifigantly overcabred for the style. You've got to keep in mind that a lot of brews within the Belgian Strong Dark category will be bottle conditioned. With a canned beer like Monk's Blood, it's simply not possible. This comes off thin, flabby and brash.

O: 21st Ammendment's Monk's Blood is not half bad. I can honestly say that it's one of only two beers they make that I didn't want to drainpour. This is a reasonably good option in a pinch, but something I wouldn't reach for with better options at hand.

I should note that as this warmed, I picked up quite a bit of rubbing alcohol on the palate.

Photo of stercomm
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First off, great art work on the can and 4-pak packaging.

A - Darkamber in color, 2 fingers tan head, layered small lacing along thesides of the glass.

S - Interesting nose on this beer, figs, cloves, glycerol

T - Very nicely balanced, figs, clove,candied sugar, malty yet finishes nice and dry.

M - Light bodied, mild carbonation, starts sweet ends dry.

D - I like this, is definitely a Belgium Strong Ale, good balance, smooth finish, nice lingering tastes to savor.

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

From a can, four pack in Minnesota. Ruby plum appearance. Slight haze throughout. Cleat through the edges. Two short fingers of head. Leaves little lacing and very little foam.

S prune, raisiny, alcohol, slight cinnamon. Rounded malt.

T alcohol that is a touch potent. Figs are there along with specialty grains enveloping malt. Belgian, definitely Belgian. Bitterness that is well-balanced.

M smooth aftertaste for all the potency of the flavors. Nice taste.

Recommend it highly. Somewhere between a dubbel and a imperial stout. Glad to have 21st in MN.

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

Monk's Blood pours a deep red color. Really nice looking. It's moderately hazy, and has a strong crimson look when held to light. A tan head tops it, and rises to about a finger and a half in depth. It recedes somewhat quickly, and leaves a lighter, spotty lacing on the glass. That color is damn nice.

The nose isn't bad, but it's definitely lacking in strength. It's primarily spicy with a touch of dark fruit. Cinnamon and clove are noted. Fig and light raisin blend nicely with the spices. There's a little yeast, but more would be better. There are some very subtle notes of oak and vanilla, but they're not readily apparent. Alcohol is masked well. More strength would really help here.

The flavor is good. Easily a notch above the nose. It's malty and slightly sweet up front. Dark fruit flavors of raisin and fig are noted. They're flavorful and add a nice tangy twist. Cinnamon, clove, and vanilla flavors quickly follow and complement the other flavors extremely well. There's a distinct oak flavor that's more prominent than expected. It adds character and quality depth. Belgian yeast is there, but I'd really like more. Alcohol is buried. Finishes spicy, tangy, and oaky.

Monk's Blood has a body that's on the lighter side of medium. Carbonation is dialed down nicely, and it nearly feels smooth. It won't be confused with an authentic Belgian though. For what it's worth, it goes down rather easy, especially for a beer of its size.

I was apprehensive about Monk's Blood, but 21st Amendment did a very credible job taking on the BSDA style. It's good, not great. It needs more strength on the nose, more Belgian yeast, and maybe even a bit more body. Nevertheless, it's well worth checking out. Good stuff.

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

appearance: Caramel with a full tan head.
smell: oh man...fruity, vanilla goodness. That is exquisite.
taste: just as good as the nose predicts! very nice.
This is just a much better beer than i expected. must go back for more. Not sure how to compare to real Belgians but this is a fine brew.

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

Been a fan of 21st Amendment since visiting the brewpub in San Fran late last year. Monks Blood caught my eye on my latest trip to Half Time.

A - Pours a nice dark brown. A representative looking Belgian Dark Ale. Nice head recedes to leave a good lacing around the top of the beer.

S - Really sweet. The candi sugar, cinnamon and figs are heavily present in the nose of this beer.

T - A really sweet taste makes this a super enjoyable beer. Your typical Belgian dark usually has a strong alcohol taste but there is none of that here. A great job masking the strength of this beer.

D - Yum. Goes down nice and smooth. A really sweet beer that is a little different twist on the Belgian Dark ale.

M - Good body, Good carbonation. I'd highly recommend this one.

A good comparison is a Ommengang Abbey Ale with a spike of sweetness. Well Done!

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

A - Pours a nice malty murky brown. Some orange/amber through the light. No head but a slight rim around the edges.

S - Smells like tangy yeast, bannana, caramel and sweet malt.

T - Nice rich flavor with toffee, sweet malts and plenty of warm alcohol. The alcohol is sweet and smooth on the palate. Some dark sugars here as well. Oaky vanilla notes floating around. Through some more sipping, malt and faint chocolate are picked up.

M - It's pretty effervescent on the tongue but a nice medium body and well balanced with the flavors. Nothing here is overpowering. If anything the alcohol warming on the way down is noticable.

Notes - A nice solid choice here. All the expected flavors of a BSDA but not too rich or syruppy. Medium bodied and pretty easy to drink. Well balanced.

Photo of Blanco
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a dark brown color with a slight reddish hue. Small and lively tan head. decent lacing. smells of belgian spices, malt and a hint of cinnamon. taste is fairly basic. slight hint of cinnamon, almost like a dr. pepper. decent mouthfeel. Overall, this is a decent beer. a little basic in flavor, but a nice sipper.

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

Aromas begin with your typical Belgian yeast smells: clove, banana and a little peppery spice. You are then greeted with caramel and toffee malts which are quite enticing.
The tastes begin in the opposite direction with waves of caramel and biscuity maltiness. You then get the yeasty, estery, phenols Belgian yeast flavors, but they are not overwhelming by any means which is good because I dislike overly aggressive strong Belgian yeast flavors. The flavors finish with a sweet toffee finish.
Mouthfeel is quite full and sweet. Carbonation is enough, but I could have used a little more for the style.
Overall this is a good Belgian Dubbel style ale, wouldn't classify it as a Belgian dark strong because it is lacking any of the dark fruitiness that complements that style. A bit sweet overall but still tasty; worth a taste if available.

Photo of tlazaroff
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Dark brown with a few highlights around the edges. Visible carbonation brings up a mocha head.
S: Banana, plum, toffee, caramel, I will never get sick of this aroma.
T: Sweet but a tad tart, it tastes of a mix of dark fruits and maple syrup. A bit of alcohol is detected on the palate, but is hidden well.
M: Between heavy and medium bodied, with moderate carbonation. A bit syrupy, but also viscous.
D: Low to moderate drinkability due to ABV.

Photo of TheAdventurella
3.89/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

21 Amendment's Monk's Blood pours a medium brown, though the packaging says it is red in color. The beer has an initial sting of the high alcohol content. However, the end taste and aftertaste have a very complex feeling of both different fruits and spices, including cinnamon

Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Date: 15 March 2011
Glass: Sierra Nevada XXX snifter
Type: 12fl oz can

Poured softly, producing a 1.5-finger head, reduces to a thin film, lacing is better-than-average, color is crimson-brown.

Aroma is quite complex, beginning with heavy bready malts, moving into cinnamon and nutmeg. Until this beer warms up, I can't sense anything else.

Taste is extremely bready, moderate levels of cinnamon, brown sugar, medicinal black cherries. When warmed, the black cherries match up well with the now-apparent figs. Belgian yeast flavor is subtle but makes a break backbone. Cherry attaches to the palate with some caramel and slight bitterness. Carbonation is moderate and delightful. Certainly a low-heat sipper, which is actually best between 45-50ºF. The cherries lower the drinkability. Perhaps this would be tasty with dessert.

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

Thanks Arnolds Carry out for the suggestion on this one.
My first Craft can I can say, being someone who enjoys keeping one of each bottle I've tried. I am debating on trying to keep a can of this stuff as part of my collection.
Pours a cloudy dark blood red which holds true to its name, has a foamy powerful collar. very thick presence, with amazing retention.
Smells of pitted fruits. plum, cherrys. fig and vanilla. little spices at the very end that kind of stings the nostrils a bit.
taste is a very powerful dark cherry, with sugar and spices. yeasty presence. slight bananas.
Mouthfeel is a creamy and carbonated. not very bitter. Actually quiet pleasant on the palate. almost tastes like a cherry cream soda personally.
This is medium bodied. The alcohol is present but not overpowering for the high 8.3% given on the can. Is not bitter to say the least.

Photo of Dotcubed
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Heard about this beer a while back but didn't jump on it before it sold out, or went out of season.
I knew they made interesting beers, the watermelon lager was amazing.

Cans are possibly the perfect container, but I paid 2.50 ea for four 12 oz, which was not a deal compared to the Surly tall boys.
I know Jersey can't be cheap, and I like quality, package is key to a sale off the shelf.

Looks very atypical, dark reddish with a black gradient to it.
If my tulip glass was bigger, wider...a stunningly sanguine glass chalice. Lacks stable foam that came with a pour. If it held more than the simple ring, an easy 4.0
Maybe if there was a date code a generous 4.5

Good smell, very sweet. Not as fragrant when I opened it.

Foamy in the cheeks. Char, huge vanilla. Cherries? Dry and warming, medium to heavy weight to it. Delicious Belgian feel makes me rethink not liking beers with oak to them. Love to score this higher....
Super sweet, not for some, making drinkability decline.
Not recalling much that tasted this good.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.03/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Monk's Blood on tap at The Pony Bar, Hell's Kitchen, NY.

Appearance: Served in an eight-ounce glass, comes with a faint head that dissipates quickly, leaving a white mantle and bubbles around the glass. Auburn/reddish/fox-tail color, hazy and dark like a polluted estuary.

Smell: Carrot cake, walnut, dry fruit. Muddled, not much going on. Raisin puree.

Taste: Glue right away, some dark fruits, banana. Sweet, like baby food, ripe apricots and grapes. Also reminds of a dry-fruit mix, or when you pick all the dry fruit out of a granola mix and eat it.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, flavor and carbonation. Sweet, nutty. Almost feels like an energy drink, "slightly chilled and lightly carbonated".

Drinkability: Alright. Wouldn't want to drink again, but not too boozy or bothersome. Just unremarkable, boring and ultimately forgettable. You can do so much better in this style! Blah.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce can. Served in a DFH Signature Glass, the beer pours a dark reddish/brown color with about a half inch light tan head. Head retention is decent, and there's a good amount of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is dark fruit (fig, raisin, cherry), cinnamon, candi sugar and vanilla. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's the addition of some peppery spice and a bit of oak. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy with good carbonation. Drinkability is OK, it's not hard to drink at all. I think it's a solid brew and worth trying.

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