Monk's Blood - 21st Amendment Brewery

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Monk's BloodMonk's Blood

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very good

1,186 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 1,186
Reviews: 493
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 77
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: 1,186 | Reviews: 493 | Display Reviews Only:
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
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
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
4.38/5  rDev +15%
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
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
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
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
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
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
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
3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
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
3.85/5  rDev +1%
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
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
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
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
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
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
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
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Photo of superdedooperboy
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12-ounce can poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a gorgeous deep ruby-mahogany with a thick two-fingered topping of creamy light tan foam that recedes quickly, settling to a fat crown and leaving behind a beautiful latticework of lacing on the walls of the glass as it drains away.

Aromas are lovely, with wonderful fruity notes of fig, dark cherry and raisin, with some mixed spice notes including cinnamon and peppercorn, with a hint of clove. A hint of alcohol peeks through the mix as well.

Fairly light in body with a moderate carbonation with tight, tiny bubbles tickling the tongue. The melange of flavors mimics the aroma rather well, with some sweet malt flavors of caramel and a hint of chocolate showing themselves up front, stepping alongside notes of dried calimyrna fig pulp, sweet dark cherries, cinnamon, faint vanilla bean, pepper and clove, with a mild boozy alcoholic note coming through and warming things a bit, leading into a semi-dry, fruity-spicy finish with hints of white pepper and smoke alongside a touch of dried fig lingering afterward.

An rather excellent example of the rather ambiguous "Belgian Strong Dark" style, the figs employed in the brew really enhance the fig notes that would normally be present in such a beer; the vanilla, oak chips and cinnamon play a bit more of a background role, though, and likely are hidden mostly by the yeast character, though they do seem to add a slight bit of character. Though alcohol is not extremely well-hidden, it actually adds to the beer and gives it a bit more depth of flavor. Drinkability shouldn't really be an issue in the style, and this is definitely not worthy of drinking in multiples. Two servings max would be a blessing worthy of monastic servitude.

Photo of nova009
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a Chimay chalice

A- pours an opaque dark brown with a slight red tint to it, small fizzy tan head appears and quickly dissipates, spotty lacing

S- definitely get dark fruits on the first hit, figs and raisins, a little plum as well, sweet candied sugar mixes in, im getting some ripe banana as well, getting very little spice on this

T- dark fruits dominate the palate, definitely getting banana in this and a too much for my liking, very sweet and sugary, slight alcohol burn, im not getting a lot of belgian yeast with this which is disappointing, not a lot of spiciness either

M- medium body, slightly high carbonation but not overly so, sticky and somewhat chewy as well

D- this beer is okay, it is entirely too sweet and has too much banana, i can drink this but only to a certain extent, considering the style there are a lot better beers out there

Photo of ne0m00re
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Live review of a 12 oz can stamped 1038 0815 on the bottom.
A: Dark mahogany, it poured with a dark cream two-finger head that died slowly to a good film and collar with lacing, but the bubbles are a bit big and not as tufty as I'd like.
S: Mild. Raisins and some craisins, very earthy with some walnuts, brown sugar and honey, somewhat floral with a slight alcohol on the nose... pretty good.
T: A very woody and earthy bitterness on the finish... not bad, but just interestingly rustic with the hops. Grape juice, vodka alcohol character that isn't overpowering, and a mild nuttiness throughout. It seems like they shot for Rochefort 6 possibly? Not bad, but not outstanding either.
M: Slightly syrupy, develops a froth, and then turns crisp. Not bad.
D: This isn't too bad... it is certainly worth getting a four-pack or trying it on-tap. There are much better examples of this style, though.

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

Poured from a can to a Darkness snifter,

Pours a nice ruby color with almost a finger of head. Every whiff seems to bring a different smell to me. Tart cherry and some fig. This beer dances across the tongue nicely. Cherry blended with oak and the slightest hint of vanilla. I seem to get a tiny bit of tartness up front, then it quickly fades. Man, I remember not liking this when I had it on tap last year. For an 8.3% abv beer it goes down easily. Actually quite a nice brew. Certainly pick some up.

Photo of VMWhelan
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark ruby with one finger of light tan head.

Strong scent of cherry syrup or maraschinos with lots of dark fruit (raisin/fig) and some brown or candied sugar.

Taste is similar to the smell. Cherries and dark fruits dominate followed by some toasty but sweet malt, as well as some spicyness and slight alcohol. Very sweet overall but balanced with some tartiness (from the Belgian yeast I'd assume).

Mouthfeel is medium-full with average carbonation.

Drinkability is decent. A little heavy but not too much. Tasty so it goes down easily.

Photo of radioscooter
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I confess. I have still not embraced the can. I know it's the low-carbon-imprint wave of the future and all, but I'm just not there yet.

Tried the Old Chubb by OB because of my love for Scotch Ales. Hated it.

Grabbed one can of this with no expectations. Strike that, I had negative expectations.

First - color is beautiful dark brown mahogany. Uncloudy. Beautiful stiff foam with a med-aggressive pour.

Smell says - surprise - Belgian dark ale. Great hints of dark fruit, fig, earthy and a little ether.

Taste just blew me away. All the malty, fruity, figgy, oaky, spicy goodness you'd expect out of some obscure imported Belgian bomber. Rich, medium to full bodied, mid to high flavorful.

Carbonation is a tiny bit high and I can't imagine how they'll pull off bottle-conditioning? (probably some memo I missed) which means it needs to be really drinkable as it leaves the brewery. This is pretty close.

Aftertaste is where it fails a bit - not a lot mind you, nothing as horrible as the chemicals Ommegang wants you to believe are all natural. But there's a tinge there. A little "canniness" maybe. But not enough to complain about.

Final: A wildly pleasant surprise.
Drink again? Absolutely. A little pricey here at $4 a can, otherwise, I'd buy a case.

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

12 oz can at 48 degrees into a Chimay chalice.

A: This pours an opaque dark red color with a finger of lightly tanned head that does not last but it laces okay.

S: Intense dark fruits, some candi sugar, and some spiciness. It is a somewhat mild nose for its style.

T: Sweet dark fruitiness dominates with light banana, candi sugar, and peppery yeast playing lesser roles. The fruit-forward flavor is very nice.

M: The body is medium with some creaminess and a sticky finish.

D: This is not very complex but its fruitiness really spoils my palate.

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

12oz can poured into a snifter.

A: Mahogany body. Pretty big head that dies quickly and leaves little lacing.

S: Figs, vanilla, and yeast.

T: Oak, dried figs, and some spices. Vanilla in the aftertaste. Alcohol is surprisingly strong.

M: Medium in body and carbonation.

D: All the elements of a solid Belgian are here, but it just doesn't come together. For fanatics only.

Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 1,186 ratings.