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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

1,210 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,210
Reviews: 500
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.39%
Wants: 79
Gots: 127 | 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: 1,210 | Reviews: 500
Photo of Chaney
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark cloudy maroon color, with a ridiculously frothy and over-the-top 2 finger + head. I had to wait a few minutes before drinking for that sucker to subside.

S: Despite all of the yummy ingredients in this brew, the figs took center stage on the nose. The vanilla also gave this a very dessert-like quality. Once I worked harder for it, I found the cinnamon and oak.

T: Very high pitched, bright and colorful use of the figs. Sure this was a dark brew overall, but the figs made this one fruity mother! A bit of Belgian funk wrapped itself around the other spices. Awesome!

M: Thick, carbonated enough for this style, and VERY spicy! The sweetness was more of the brown sugar variety.

D: I know I am giving this a higher review than many others on here, but I found this brew very memorable and feel it flat out deserves high kudos!

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a Chimay goblet. Pours a hazy brown/plum with a pretty decent inch of off-white head. The lace is nice, lasting, but not for the duration of the beer.
The smell is... fault first, a little bit like candy. However, banana Runts, plum, candy sugar, floral hops and heather. Strange but good.
The taste mirrors the smell but ends up a little on the sweet side, Banana in full effect, more dried apple than pear, earth, floral hops and not as much alcohol as I expected.
The mouth is thin and the aftertaste is a little sweet and long lasting.
$1.99 for a can (haven't seen a sixer in a while) and I'm sold. I'd love to age a few and see if it chills out and shows more character and less sweet.

Photo of ajfa531
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I wish I had this beer when I was reading The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.

Can poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

Pours a dark, hazy brown with almost a finger's worth of foam. The head is an off-white color. There IS retention, but, expected a bigger head. Maybe a little darker than off-white. Holding the glass up to a light, the dark orange, slight red colors come out. There is still a noticeable haze. Blood is a good descriptor. Fine bubbles than stick to the glass.

The biggest aroma are dark sugars and spiciness. The can says cinnamon, but, it's more of a Big Red/Golgschlager hot cinnamon. It could be the slight booze in the nose. Slight oak notes. The latter two come out most in the second pour after warming up. It's nice.

Sweet flavor. Dark sugars. Yeast spiciness. The vanilla is subtle after I swallow. It comes out with hot cinnamon. I'm getting a lot of belgo yeast flavor. (I don't think I decanted very well. Is this possible with a can?) However, this is not the worst thin in the word. I enjoy the flavor.

I feel that the yeast suspended in the beer adds to the mouthfeel. Medium body. The beer sticks to the glass and it sticks to my mouth and tongue. The lingering flavors are pleasant, so, this is a good thing.

A solid beer. I don't pick up Belgian-styles to often, so, I'm glad this one was nice. I wouldn't have multiples of this in one night, but, I'd look for a single every now and then.

Photo of Groucho75
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mmmm. Been looking forward to this since I read about it a few months back on 21st's website. $9 for a four-pack from my ever-reliable S&N Package.

Can with 1038 0630 marked on the bottom. I guess I should really be enjoying this from the can, but I couldn't help but pouring into my Duvel goblet.

Nice plummy/brownish tinge to fit the profile. Some carbonation with average lacing. The one to two fingers of foam lingers for a little while, but eventually evaporates.

Hints of figs, vanilla, candy sugar, and bourbon on the nose.

The taste tells me up front that while not Belgian, 21st has done their homework. That forward banana flavor and maltiness is unmistakable. Taking my time to savor the sips here. Their Fireside Chat left a bad taste in my mouth (literally) so I'm happy to find their next offering to be more to my liking.

The texture is smooth and the alcohol balances nicely. Not too heavy, but you can taste the ABV for sure.

*Very* drinkable. Just my luck that there are some really nice Belgian style craft brews out right now, because if I polish off too many of these, I can always get something else.

Well done, 21'st. Keep brewing this one.

Photo of brew3crew
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at whole Foods in norwood, Cincinnati

A-medium brown in color with a nice amount of head that retains though out.
S-dried fruit with roasted malts
T-alot like it smells with some cherries and nice roastiness to it
M-medium bdoy and very smooth
D-very drinkable and my taste was gone in no time. Very drinkable especially considering abv...

Photo of pdoran10
3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a dark brown menacing color with a good amount of haze. Three fingers of off white head that leave some amazing lacing.

Smell is dark fruit a hint of booze and a slightly off putting metallic acidity.

Taste is nice plum, and sugary malt flavor. A bit of alcohol heat and not all that complex. Nice straightforward BSDA flavors, nothing special.

Moutfeel is substantial with moderate/low carbonation. Well done here.

This beer tastes a bit young and hot right now. Nice flavors, but the alcohol heat is enough to make me only want one. Seems like this beer could use a bit of age.

Photo of pmccallum86
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark cloudy maroon brown color.

Smell is of stale fruits and malts.

Dried fruits and brown sugar upfront. A little off taste in the finish, very average.

Medium carbonation, pretty average.

Definition of average beer. Nothing speacial and every aspect mediocre.

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

Nice dark body with some highly visible carbonation. It has a very thin layer of off-white head for the style, but it looks like it will lace though.

The smell is on point. Very smoked/tobacco/roasted smell of malts and a slight raisin smell as well. It has a very faint 'belgian' smell to it.

The beer itself is pretty smooth, but it tastes like circus peanuts, quite literally. I like circus peanuts though. That being said, it's really sweet. This taste lasts throughout the beer. I'm looking forward to this one warming up a bit in the glass.

Mouthfeel is very smooth but not too silky. It almost feels like a milk stout on the tongue.

Totally drinkable beer, nice that it is in cans.

Photo of GRG1313
2.58/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Copper brown with red tints and a nice lighter khaki head.

Nose is big, full and rich bananas. Smells Belgian and would so identify in a blind tasting based on smell, although there is some fig and cinnamon character present.

Mouthfeel is medium thin but well balanced.

Flavors are rich and assertive but very sweet in all respects. Huge sugar front palate that goes to a sweet coffee/light carmel but retaining the sugar character and sweetness right through the palate and into the finish.

Finish is a nice toast/coffee/carmel bitter that end with a grapefruit skin oil character but with the sugar being so strong it lingers in your mouth.

Too sweet to drink and almost too sweet to even sip for my taste.

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

ruby tea...colored...

smell..bubblegum sour stone fruits...some wheat there..

mouhted...moar bubblegum...a smidgen of cherries...plenty of malt...hops are well balanced with the other dark fruits...i cannot really taste the cinnamon or vanilla that the can says is in there...

will not need to try this again unless it is on draft....

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.

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Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 1,210 ratings.