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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 LiquidCucumber
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark cloudy rust, almost brown. Pours with a massive head.

S - Hugely sweet malts flanked by tons of fruits; figs, plums, dates etc. A touch of cinnamon.

T - That cinnamon and fruit from the smell comes in play nicely here. The flavors mesh together well enough to remind me of a poor man's Three Philosophers; perhaps better in some ways, but rough around the edges. The booze comes out a little too much for my liking and there is a certain tang from the spice that I imagine would be able to be eliminated.

M - Medium body and fairly highly carbonated. This one's film sticks in your mouth for a while.

D - Not too bad, and definitely will be picking up again, but isn't the best BSDA in existance. That being said, Unibroue's 4-pack pricing seems to keep going up to as high as $11 or $12 and at equivalent $4.50 per bomber, this beer is going to be a great budget Belgian!

Photo of Kendo
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the can into a Duvel tulip. Body appears to be dark brown until it's backlit - at which point I "get" the name of the beer - it's mahogany bordering on ruby-red in color. Small light tan/khaki head on top. Leaves behind decent lacing.

S: Dark dried fruits - raisins and figs. Cinnamon is there too, more noted as it warms up a bit. The nose in general is fairly muted though.

T: Nice - all sorts of fruit: figs, ripe apples, plums. Cinnamon spice. Finishes fairly clean with some woody astringency that lingers into the aftertaste. At times it reminds me of a soda - so I'm guessing that's the vanilla creating the illusion of Creme Soda in my mind, though I don't think there's enough vanilla present for me to consciously identify it.

M: This is where the beer can't sustain its purported Belgian-ness. The best Belgians have a fizziness to them that lightens the beer on the palate at the finish. Here, the carbonation is not quite active enough to impart the same feeling. Call the body medium in heft, with subtle carbonation. Nothing wrong with the feel, mind you, but nothing that kicks it up a notch.

D: Good. Interesting flavors and the 8.3% ABV is well-hidden in the taste. It's noted in the head though.

Photo of mdr4669
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark mahogany that tames at the bottom to a ruby red color. 2 fingers of fluffy head with good retention and lacing.

Scent: Cinnamon scent with hints of vanilla and smoked oak.

Taste: This beer is the illegitimate child of a great amber brew and "Big Red" chewing gum. First thing you taste is the candy cinnamon, which fades into a fine burn a higher ABV brew. In my opinion it is quite good.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and a little heavy, but all in all quite a treat.

Drinkability: Very good, but could not have more than two of these at a time. It's just that type of brew.

Photo of philbe311
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Less than fingers worth of creamy light tan colored head quickly dissipates leaving only a hazy lacing... A shiny glossed medium brown color... Random carbonation throughout some of which latches to the sides of the glass...

S - Tobacco... Brown Sugar... Raisins... Faint hints of coffee...

T - The dominate flavor on the palette is that of tobacco... Raisins... Also present are some muted brown sugar, caramel, toffee, bubblegum and fig...

M - Medium to full bodied... Sharp biting carbonation... Sturdy... Absent of any of the depth or complexity that I expect in the style... A bit harsh... A bit chalky...

D - A respectable enough offering, but average at best both in terms of the brewery and the style... 21st Amendment and the Belgian Strong Dark Ale style both have much more to offer... I would drink again in a pinch but would neither recommend or invest in a sixer...

Photo of esv
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served on tap from a jockey box in a coffee shop. Surprisingly, the ice was set to the side in the cooler and beer was served at a near perfect temp.

A) Opaquish brown, nearly no head. Falling to a white ring. Looks like very little carbonation.

S) Try as I might, the odds were against me smelling this beer. 16oz of beer in a 16oz glass. Even after drinking and I had a bowl, the coffee shop had burnt some beans in the roaster and I couldn't get it out of my nose. I thought I picked-up some fruit but who the hell knows. It seems to have a smallish nose.

T) Bubble-gum everywhere. Spicy perfume and alcohol permeates the experience. Sickening sweet, bitter finish. Definately improves as it warms. More raisins, less candy and stickier.

M) Medium-full mouthfeel, more carbonation than it looks. Cloying flavors that stick to the mouth. Not as sticky sweet as you might think.

BJCP says high carbonation. I didn't get that.
D) Is it suppose to be, is it relevant? ... but yeah, it's kind of down there for me. I'd love to have another Brother Thelonius to compare; that's the only other belgian dark strong ale I think I have had and I can't remember it but I gave it high ratings.

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

This brew is, indeed, a bloody reddish brown in my glass. A light brown head forms at about 3/4 of a finger but sits nice and tight on top, remaining as a thick foam after it takes the time to dissipate and depositing more lacing that I expected.
The nose has the strength of a BSDA without kicking me in the face with alcohol. It's there, of course, but it allows other aromas to come off as well. Even though those aren't as strong as in a world-class Trappist-brewed version, in this one they still come out because the alcohol doesn't mask it. There's a nice spice coming off with notes of dark fruits but less of the candied sugars aroma typical (again, still there, just not as strong). Given the aroma, if you want a BSDA that's less on the sweet side for the style but still has the strength and character, this seems to be the one. There's quite a malts presence as well as well as, of course, the nice Belgian yeast I love.
The flavor is what I'd expect from the aroma; the yeast and spiciness pull up first underneath a strong malt, then gives way to an interesting flavor of dark fruits without the typical sweetness. Don't get me wrong, there's a touch of sweetness, but I'm sure this is far on the drier edge for the style. As in the nose, it has less of the sweetness without losing the strength or character. Some woods really come through with hints of a more vanilla sweetness than candy sugars, and there's certainly some fig or dates in here. Alcohol is exceptionally well toned down.
The body is on the fuller side of medium, and an adequate but light carbonation works appropriately. There's enough crispness to it to offer something without taking from the smoothness that comes after and lasts in a lingering semi-dry finish.
Having just founf out this was oak-aged (at the end of this review), it all makes sense now. It's an interesting idea, as it makes a typically sweet beer way over to the drier side. This is a great one to try and the most drinkable beer I've had with this ABV.

Photo of jboucher
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Opaque dark auburn ruby hue with a chunky thick head and patchy lacing.

Smell: Notes of dark fruits such as cherry, plum, and prune. Figs with slight hints of vanilla are also present. Vague cinnamon aroma. Very spicy with a nice complex nose.

Taste: Blend of figs and oak upon arrival. Slight cherry notes on the finish. Prune enters as it warms. Cinnamon and vanilla notes are present as well. Very complex.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, decent level of carbonation. Fairly smooth and creamy.

Drinkability: Definitely not a session brew. This beer peaks when it warms up, as most of the flavors arise later in the game.

Ending notes: A complex brew. Enjoyable while sipping. This brew had a lot of hype surround it and I can't say that it lived up to its expectations. I did enjoy it, and I would probably get it again, if I came across it and was looking for something a little different.

Photo of justintcoons
4.11/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark ruby red with explosive fluffy head. Low carbonation.

N: Rust, earth and candy sugar (all in a good way).

T: Medicinal cherry and grape, grapefruit, candy sugar, toffee, brown sugar, apple and subtle spices.

M: Slick and smooth.

D: Easy drinkability. Smooth and delicious!

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

A- Pours a deep brown dark copper body with some red highlights, small light brown head.

S- Sweet candy malts, candied raisins, candied bread, candied brown sugar, basically lots of sugar and breadiness, a delicious edible smell.

T- Not as sweet as the nose, more concentrated brown baked bready thickness, the sweetness is not lost but its more yeasty and bready with honey dripping off the breads. I can detect the booze but for the most part its hidden in the breads.

M- Thick and a slight chewiness which appropriately brings out the taste.

D- Delicious brew to end the evening with, pick it up if you see, it can challenge authentic Belgian brew.

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

Pours beautifully, dark amber with a textbook head that lingers and invites. Scents of burnt sugar and fruit with something slightly similar to yeasty, but not very strong. Flavor is good, malty and bitter with a sweet alcohol on the back of the throat. Mouthfeel is very nice and smooth, as is drinkability but not for all night, as this little doozy packs a punch. Overall this beer was right up my abbey (wow that was a bad joke).

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

A: This poured a cloudy dark mahogany with a little tan head.
S: It smelled like nuts and raisins, with some toffee and creamy yeast and a bit of coffee and chocolate.
T: It tasted very nutty, with some bready yeast and a little earthy chocolate and toffee. It had a mild and malty aftertaste, with some alcohol warming.
M: It was thick with a little carbonation. Quite full body.
D: This was not very Belgian, but it was a nice dark and malty ale. Great body, but it was fairly hot in the finish, so this needed to be sipped. Age really might help this one. It's decent fresh, but mostly enjoyable just for the novelty of drinking a BSDA out of a can.

Photo of IronLover
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep mahogany with ruby red hihglights and a big soft, fluffy off-white head. Excellent retention that leaves beautiful sheets of sticky froth on the glass after each sip. Buttery smooth, thick syrupy feel. Lazy, light carbonation as the carbonation fights through this heavier bodied strong ale. Intense dark fruit aromas and flavors, figs and raisins. Aromas are mostly sweet with a bit of tartness masking the higher ABV. Intense seetness and flowery hoppy finish nicely hide the alcohol. Enjoyed this thoroughly. Definitely a sipper.

Photo of augustgarage
3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz can into my Trappist Westvleteren goblet (sacrilege?).

Brooding rusty liquid with a thin active beige slick and collar. Bronze and amber highlights vanish as quickly as they appear. Thin viscous legs thwart the attempts of the sandy lacing to adhere, smothering them back down.

Figs are prominent in the nose, though the other additions (cinnamon, vanilla, oak) are less detectable. Malt adds a touch of bready sweetness while the alcohol delivers a truncated list of esters.

Big malt sweetness, then a very brief blast of hops, followed by a growing fruitiness (cherry, dates, and a hint of clove-studded orange) on the palate. Finish continues to be fruit-forward and even possesses some vague tropical notes; medium-dry overall with a lingering bready piquancy.

A bit thin and a bit hot, but not terrible.

Easy-drinking, perhaps too much so; this is a light-hearted take on a sober style, adventurously crafted at the expense of style guidelines. The best Belgian-style beer I can remember having out of a can though...

Photo of hosehead83
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. can into a wine goblet.
Clody brown/caramel in color, with a short, frothy head of tan foam.
Aroma-caramel, cinnamon,vanilla
Taste-Very Belgianesque, plums, raisins,vanilla, oakey spiciness, brown sugar. Complex with good character, warming alcohol in the finish.
A Belgian dark ale from a can? Seems almost sacreligious! Although Belgian brewing monks should not be worried, this brew is a pretty fine offering of the style. Sip slowly and enjoy!

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

Aroma is candi sweet. A little Belgian yeast in the background, but mostly spicy sweetness. Kind of a typical 21st Amendment sweetart smell.

Flavor is rich and fruity, banana and pineapple, spicy with a gentle dark belgian-style background. Sweetness abounds.

Very smooth mouthfeel, good level of carbonation. A touch of booze on the finish, but overall ABV is well hidden. Pleasant lingering finish.

Photo of ZeroSignal
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz can with a batch code, poured into a DFH snifter

A - Dark, dark brown...almost black but I can see the shades of brown at the edges of the snifter. Tight, off white head rises about a half inch and quickly settles to a skim; light lace.

S - Ripe, dark fruits; raisins and plums.

T&M - Lot's of dark, fruity flavors. Malty and fruity sweetness is contrasted and balanced by a light bitterness, which also lends a little crispness to the drink. The alcohol is well hidden, and all told I'm finding the flavors to be somewhat simple, but very well done and balanced; medium bodied

D - Well hidden ABV, good balance and nice flavors. It's not the greatness that is Chimay Blue, but it's pretty darn good

Photo of mjn5036
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A canned Belgian strong dark ale? ...interesting, but let's roll with it. Popped the top and poured into a large snifter. This one pours a deep mahogany with burnt sienna highlights. A sizeable, one finger, cream colored head rises up in a surge of bubbles and quickly fades away. A fair amount of thin, wispy lacing is left on the sides of the glass.

Nose is an arrangement of dark fruits, including figs and prunes, spiced Belgian sugars and a heavy dash of cinnamon. Oak comes through slightly as well as a hint of vanilla.

Taste comes on strong with caramel and cinnamon with spiced dark fruit. It has a sweet vanilla aspect but isn't cloying. Oak and raison on the finish.

Monk's Blood is light on the tongue but a little less carbonated than I would think for the style. It is creamy throughout with a dry finish. Alcohol is noticeable but not overbearing. It is really a decent example of the style.

Photo of yourchoice
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from can into a Chimay glass.

A - Muddy, murky reddish brown. A thick, but shallow head, a very light golden color that quickly dissipates.

S - cherries, figs, raisins, oak. The fruits would be nice without the oak odor, which almost smells partly burned.

T - What lacks in smell, is made up for with the taste. The oak and cherry really compliments each other. Maybe even a touch sour. I'm really into the flavors this is putting out. Wow.

M - Quite a bit of carbonation. Medium body. Nice.

D - Certainly not a session beer, but it's also not intended to be. A very good "take your time" beer. I may have to run out and buy more before it's sold out.

Photo of john100
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

At first this is a great tasting beer, but has strong after taste that is not too pleasing.

All-in-all i believe this is a great beer once you get past after taste.

Suggest to keep drinking and not stop to avoid after taste

This is more of a Xmas beer with it sweet tastes...gonna keep this in the basement until next year.
also like the 4 pack packages it comes in...make for a good Xmas gift next year

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep hazy red, not too much brown, thick frothy tan head that dissipates quickly.

S - heat, cherries, plums, wood. Not bad, but I don't know if it's quite right for a BSDA.

T - A weird sweet thing going on. Woody. Tastes like oaked Dr. Pepper. Diacetyl aftertaste.

M - medium thin body, a bit dry. Leaves a buttery coating, makes your mouth feel dirty.

D - Well, this is not my favorite. I don't like drinking it very much, and I don't think it's a good BSDA.

Photo of jhughes23
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on Tap into Belgium Glass

A: Dark Semi-Cloudy Red....aka Monks Blood. Definitely attracted attention from other bar patrons around me.

S: Raisony, Cherry, Malty...none very overpowering though

T: Raisons and Cherry, Alcohol, Malty.

M: Definitely an alcohol feel, Carbonation, but easier to drink than you would think

Better than I was expecting. Big Heavy Sweet Beer. In no way a Session beer. But it is a Fun beer to have when it's around.

Photo of bonkers
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a 12 ounce can into a snifter, deep brown pour with sticky 2 finger white head, light lacing. The aroma was full of cinamon, vanilla, and oak. Lots of cinamon, but not overpowering, vanilla, and dark fruit round it out. It has a lingering sweetness. The body is medium, well carbonated. A little different take on a Belgian and I liked it.

Photo of Kenny411
3.31/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Can poured into a glass. The pour is very dark and cloudy with a reddish hint. The taste is very smooth i was able to pick up the oak and the vanilla but i wasn't about to pick up cinnamon. Slightly sweet and good taste with a lingering aftertaste. Very drinkable for 8.3%.

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

On tap at ChurchKey in Washington, DC. Poured into a snifter glass. Beer was served up near room temperature which is the norm for ChurchKey. Pours a cloudy, muddy dark red brown color. Small tan head but fizzles quick, but retains nice lacing throughout the session. Malty aroma, sweet dark malts, some dried fruits. The flavor starts off quite sweet and malty. Not sugary as such, but a bit sweet. Moderately balanced by a roasted maltiness and some warming alcohol. Dried fruits picking up in the flavor as well, along with a bit of Belgian yeast in the finish. There is also a tart fruit note in the finish, almost like a good kriek, albeit much more subtle. Medium bodied and decent carbonation throughout. Quite guaffable indeed.

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

Poured a murky brownish amber into a tulip with a finger of quick-receding light khaki head. Aroma dominated by the usual banana, clove, and spice of Belgian yeast with some dark fruit in the background and just a trace of vanilla.

Moderate carbonation and a creamy, slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Quite sweet up front with lots of banana, cherry, and vanilla followed by biscuity malt, grape, fig, and a hint of bitterness on the gently warming finish.

Quite tasty with a blend of flavors that may not have fully integrated, but they didn't exactly clash either. Wasn't expecting the dark fruit elements to dominate so much, but they blended fairly well with the vanilla. Didn't detect much overt oak chip character. Definitely worth trying at least once, although the sweetness became a bit much for my taste.

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