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Monk's Blood - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Monk's BloodMonk's Blood

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,180 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,180
Reviews: 492
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 76
Gots: 115 | 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: 1,180 | Reviews: 492 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jhughes23
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
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
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
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
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
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
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
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
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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

The color was of a dark brown with a reddish hue. Foam was tan that disapated in a short time, but a medium amount of lace on the side of glass. The smell had a complex aroma of roasted malts, fruit and spices, with a hint of sweetness. The taste of roasted malts, complex spices and fruit (cinnamon, allspice, vanilla, fig, etc.) A nice balance of sweet & tart, with just a touch of sourness, to bring this ale to a nice balance of all component into one way above average beer.

Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter. This years batch (2011).

Pours a crimson tinged brown with tons of lacing and a ring of head. Good start.

The smell is interesting/strange with a melange of spices and fruits...Coconut, grape, oak and a little vanilla, cherry, as well as some of the dried fruit character probably from the figs.

The taste is sweet and malty overall. Some of the cinnamon and dired figs come through, with other fruits like a dark fruit punch medley almost. A little alcohol sweetness and ripe bananas come through too, overall the taste is a little confusing. There are some beers where you have different flavors poking out with each sip and its a good thing, this one that happens but it just seems a little schizo.

A little thinner than I would had liked with a little burn but not too bad overall. Not the best drinker in the world. Had with some friends that were not big beer guys and they didn't really enjoy this one, and I wasn't too impressed either, but it was interesting I'll give it that.

Photo of fastsrt
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce pour at blind tiger

A: dim lighting, but real dark amber

S: spicy, malts, belgan yeast.

T: Christmas ale like Spice Ginger figs nutmeg cinnomon

M: mild carbonation, sweet

D: good I had this one on draft and have a can in my fridge, I don't think I would drink this beer again, it is good but not stand out, tastes like something I have had before

sat down with a can and found it Has a very perfumy taste to it

Photo of smakawhat
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the can into a tulip glass.

Off the pour is a dark dense indian-red body with a nice settling tiny bubbles of light brown cream. Head is about two fingers tall then slowly receeds leaving a nice lace of ring. Can't see any carbonation from the bottom. This looks real good.

Fruit cherry and yeasty-brett like character on the nose. Even a hint of bread like fruitcake feeling. This really smells like fruit cake and I don't even LIKE fruitcake. This is great.

Tasty dried sweet cherries at first, followed with a quinine finish. Somewhat hop like in bitters, but a big yeasty brett feeling coupled with dried fruits and some bread character. Tastes like it smells, fruitcake in a glass. A little carbonated though and gaseous unfortunately, but leaves a nice tingle of tight tonic water feeling on the finish. Still very masked alcohol and not even boozy.

This is a real good product I am impressed. Very high drinkability for me.

Photo of iRoy
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

21st Amendment really never ceases to amaze me. Been looking forward to copping this Seasonal Brew and I'm so glad I did, County Wide in Valley Stream just got it in. Nice head with an average smell, nothing special in that department. Great tasting though and very drinkable for a beer with ~8%, already on my second can. Appearance wise it's a nice dark ruby red and like I said very drinkable. I just had my first can with an Italian Sub and enjoyed every bite, def. a good beer to have with food. Nothing really to complain about. Slightly sweet aftertaste.

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

12 oz can poured into a Unibroue tulip. 8.3% ABV, "Brewed with cinnamon, vanilla, oak chips, and dried figs." No date.

Thanks to Beerwolf77 for can #3/3!

A - Monk's Blood certainly seems like blood with it's deep crimson color. Beautiful clarity and a quickly forming, slowly fading white oak head. Good lace left on the glass is icing on the bloody cake.

S - Dried figs are most predominant with a mild Belgian candi sugar and yeast background. Mellow malt with hints of vanilla, suggestions of honey-draped, gooey bread follow through as it ends with traces of oak chips. No cinnamon in here so far.

T - This subtle-yet-complex beer offers new flavors to find with each sip. Lots of Belgian influence from the yeast and dark fruit esters of plum and cherry to the lingering sweet sugars. Figs add a very nice touch. Vanilla pokes in and out while honey and smooth caramel malt provide a base for this beer. Again, no cinnamon though.

M - Medium-bodied and smooth, Monk's Blood is fairly carbonated with a subtly dry finish that balances the sweetness well.

D - Very good Belgian-style beer. The yeast is well-done and the subtle nuances beg for another sip. A great brew all around!

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

Acquired from Jayli so a big "Thank You" goes out to her. Poured from a 12oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, brown sugar, fruit, some spices and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of fruit, brown sugar, caramel and some spice. Then a hearty malt character comes in along with some Belgian yeast. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, it's a decent beer to drink for a while but there are others in the style that I would choose first.

Photo of gameface23
3.1/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Ruddy brown with an off-white head that doesn't last very long.

S: Vegemite, dried dark fruits.

T: Starts off with sweet prunes and plums, brown sugar sweetness, and finishes with a gentle warming of cinnamon spice.

M: Medium bodied.

D: Not my favorite.

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

Poured into a DFH Signature Glass- (number 10 in a series of tastings for the 2010 Holiday).

A- Deep ruby red, foamy 3/4 inch head. Head lingered nicely, and transformed into a nice sticky lace.

S- Barley, malt, bits of hop- really faint notes of dried fruits.

T- Molasses, malt, vanilla, toffee- the spices and other interesting ingredients make this more like a Holiday ale.

M- after pouring with such a large foamy head, I was expecting more fizz from this brew- I guess it lost it's punch when forming the head! A bit on the flat side, but the thicker viscosity helped make up a bit for the weakness.

D- Overall, not a bad taste for the value- and interesting a repeatable ale that's I'd likely gravitate toward over the Christmas Holiday.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.88/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed on 4/15/2010. Can. Pours a clear dark brown with a small white head. Aroma of sugary malt, soda, vegetal spices. Flavor of sweet, candy-like malt (like Sour patch kids), super sweet with some fruity notes. Very sugary and a touch of sour. Wow, really weird quad. Nothing really comes out except the sugary sweet candy-like notes. Sugar bomb.

Photo of robwestcott
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to beandip for this one.

poured from the can a deep dark ruby brown to a sun king shaped pint with a wisp of a short lasting reddish brown head with minimal retention.

aroma of belgian yeasts, dark fruits, ripe figs.

dark fruits, super sweet malts, almost to the point of cloyingly sweet. brown sugars, maple (?).

medium bodied, medium carbonation, sweet, big malts, no significant hop presence.

drinkable - perhaps one or two.

Photo of NightINgale
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 batch. 12 US.fl.oz can poured into my tulip glass...

A - Cloudy brown body, with a thin, yet frothy caramel head. Decent head retention (could be better...) and some lacing. No carbonation can be seen.

S - Dark fruit (plums, figs, raisins) dominate the nose. The aroma is also fairly roasty, with caramel notes and just a hint of woodiness and vanilla. Some hops can be distinguished. The beer does not smell yeasty like some Belgian or Canadian examples of the style.

T - Starts out with a mild tartness, which is rather unusual, yet pleasant. A strong dark fruit flavour starts coming out more and more, lingering for a while. Moderately sweet and fairly roasty. The finish is a little bitter, fairly bready, and with hints of dark fruit.

M - Medium-bodied and quite smooth. The carbonation is on the low side. Fairly spicy. Not boozy, although the alcohol taste starts coming through after the beer warms up a little.

D - Drinks pretty smoothly. For a Belgian-style dark ale, this is very drinkable.

Overall, this is an interesting twist on the Belgian style; it is similar enough, yet with its own character. One of the tastiest canned beers I've tasted to date!

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

12oz can. Ha.

Pours murky amber with a reddish hue and a half inch head of beige. A full skim coat and sheeted lacing throughout the glass.

Aromatics lead off with raisins, cherries, cocoa, and a hint of smoke. Fruity and clovey with a sweet promise.

Medium bodied with a sticky, tacky mouthfeel. Slightly syrupy with carbonation light for the style.

Rich malt, rum-soaked raisins, and cherries start the palate. A slight tartness steps forward along with brown sugar and dark caramel.

Finishes with a faint tartness, cherries, warming alcohol and dark sugars.

Fairly tasty, but the low carbonation doesn't do the beer justice. And the can thing? Not so much.

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

12 oz can poured into a chalice. I have to say, pouring a beer like this out of a can is kinda strange but hey, why not.

Look: murky, reddish brown, with a fairly thin off white head that ends up as a thin layer of foam at the top of the beer. The beer itself is a nice color, looking fairly typical of the style. Red orange highlights lurk at the sides. There's some lacing but not a whole lot.

Smell: dark fruit, dark chocolate and some alcohol in the smell.

Taste: dark caramel, dark fruits, dark chocolate, vanilla, some hints of cinnamon and hints of oak. There's a good deal going on here. The alcohol is actually quite hidden in the taste even if its there in the smell. There are also some hints of port. The spices are very subdued.

Feel: medium bodied, sharp carbonation, alcohol is well hidden until it is room temperature and then its just a little warm.

Drink: one of the more drinkable Belgian Dark Strong Ales I've had. Easily could do two or three if I wanted to.

Overall, an interesting brew. Something is very strange about pouring a can of Belgian beer but its still damn tasty. I definitely recommend it.

Photo of beergod1
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When I poured it into my DFH Glass, It looked like Cherry cola, But seamed to darken to a Clear Brown with a ruby hue.Creamy light tan head about 1/4" high. Aroma is very slight. Pleasant flavor. Light sweetness with some hop bitterness. light body for an 8%. Clean palate. Not bad for an over all beer, but not something that stands out leagues above other trappist-style beer. Won't seek it out, but will buy it if the mood strikes.

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

A ginormous thank you to BJ for this hookup! 45°F from the fridge, allowed to sit on the counter for 15 minutes before pouring into a Gulden Draak tulip.

A - poured murky raisin-brown with a decently long lived off-white head that remained as a ring and adorning the glass with specs of lace. 4.0

S - rich maltiness of caramel, brown sugar, and prunes. A touch of fig and oak follows. Not much in the vanilla or cinnamon department. Hint of raisins as well. Very well executed. A glorified dubbel that hasn't lost its identity. 4.5

T - brown sugar and caramel dominates. Raisins and prunes follow closely but I'm afraid the vanilla and oak are lost completely. Cinnamon is noticed in the finish. This is very good for a dubbel. I was just expecting a bit more assertiveness from the oak, vanilla, and cinnamon. 4.0 (I had a 3.5 here, but as it warmed even more, the tastes came out a bit more. Sweet.)

M - nice, smooth and medium bodied. Carbonation is nicely done. I wouldn't mind a touch more though. 4.0

D - quite drinkable indeed. I would have this every week if I could. A nice fireside beer in winter. 4.5

Overall - Definitely a dynamic beer. I recommend serving it at 50°F and enjoy it up to 60°F. Thanks again BJ! This is a great nightcap!

Photo of u2carew
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into Westmalle goblet.
A) Pours with a finger thick head, then settles slowly. Head and lacing is tan and creamy. Body is a cloudy mahogany color.
S) Cherries. Raisins. Typical Belgian style aroma.
T) Sweet up front. Great malt tones - cherries, brown sugar. Alcohol towards the finish. Hints of spices - cinnamon, anise, vanilla.
M) Medium to full body. Alcohol warmth. Smooth.
D) A well crafted Belgian brew - in a can!

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

Chestnut brown with red-orange highlights and bright Sunkist edges. A splendid looking crown of pale golden foam occupies the upper third of the glass, shrinks slooowly, and does a pretty good job when it comes to lace deposition.

To their credit, the brewers spent time in Belgium learning the finer points of crafting a BSDA. It shows. The nose features the usual medium-dark fruit of the style and is spicier than most, probably due to the use of cinnamon. Here's hoping they added just the right amount because too much could overwhelm the rest of the flavor profile.

I'm all for putting beer in cans, but putting beer of this style in cans just seems... wrong somehow. A pale ale? Sure. An IPA? Okay. Even an American Imperial stout? Why not? BSDAs should come in corked-and-caged 750 ml bottles. In the end, it doesn't matter because this is good beer no matter what vessel it was packaged in.

First of all, the Belgian brasseries don't need to worry that 21st Amendment has one-upped them. Monk's Blood is tasty, but it isn't anywhere near world-class. The added ingredients give it a complexity that the best Belgians achieve with malt, hops, yeast, candi sugar and water. These include cinnamon, vanilla beans and dried black Mission figs. Oh yeah, and oak aging.

Thankfully, the cinnamon isn't overdone. Flavors include dark caramel, ripe figs, vanilla, anise, clove, cinnamon, and hints of bourbon. That last one is most likely due to the oak and the vanilla. This is enjoyable beer that is even more drinkable by virtue of expertly masked alcohol.

The mouthfeel doesn't impress when beer first contacts tongue, but it holds on very well and stays (mostly) inflated until the end of each mouthful. Improvement with warming allowed me to go with the higher of the two considered scores.

Monk's Blood is a wonderful first effort at Belgian-style ale from 21st Amendment and is my favorite (so far) of their canned beers. By traveling to Belgium and learning at the feet of the masters, the brewers showed the BSDA style the respect it deserves. And they deserve respect for the end result.

Photo of jdense
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. can shared with buddy at end of night of beer debauchery 9.28.2010 poured into wine tumblers.

One finger of light brown head, very quick dissipation with minimal lacing on top of dark brown body with garnet highlights, a bit of visible carbonation when held up closely to bright light. Nose is fairly sweet, plums raisins, a bit of spice, and some floral hops. Taste mirror the nose, the plum esters predominate. Mouthfeel is on the full side, not a lot of effervescence, with a fairly dry finish. Certainly the best BSDA I've had in a can, but I was a bit perplexed to see this was contract brewed in Maryland. What gives on that??? Pretty wicked alcohol kick minimizes drinkability, one shared is sufficient. While I like the convenience of cans, I'll pass next time.

Photo of woosterbill
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz can into a Duvel tulip.

A: Rather muddy, appropriately sanguine body with two fingers of soft, pillowy tan foam. Pretty good retention and some sticky lace. A bit more sediment than I'd like, but overall pretty good.

S: Burnt sugar, dark fruit esters, candied ginger, plenty of booze, and a weird vegetal hint; rhubarb?. Interesting at times, but really not a terribly inspiring nose considering the style. A little overbearing with the sugary sweetness.

T: More straightforwardly malty here, with the candied fruit and dry esters coming on the back side, right before a huge wave of alcohol. Not bad tasting by any means, but a bit too hot for 8.3%. There really isn't all that much going on, but it's pleasant for the most part.

M: Slick, sticky medium body with low, fine carbonation. A little lifeless.

D: Quite smooth, but also rather boozy.

Notes: This is an enjoyable brew, but it doesn't come close to standing out as a BSDA. Compared to just about every other beer in this style I've had, this one falls somewhat short. Still, it's a pretty decent value, and I always like getting a tasty beer out of a can.

Cheers!

Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 1,180 ratings.