Monk's Blood - 21st Amendment Brewery

Not Rated.
Monk's BloodMonk's Blood

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

507 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 507
Hads: 1,310
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.61%
Wants: 83
Gots: 178 | FT: 4
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 507 | Hads: 1,310
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After Med invites me over, feeds me beer and tolerates me singing Iron Maiden on Rock Band, he still has the decency to send me home with a can of Monk's Blood. What a guy. Cheers to Med!

Well, it's red. That's a relief. I was a little worried, what with the name and all. Actually it's a ruby port color with a dull brown to it. This one has just a slight haze. The head here is an irregular tan film with a thick collar.

Smells of dark dried fruits and a hodgepodge of light but pungent, earthy herbs. There's a touch of charred sugars here too with a touch of distant sour.

Tastes of an eclectic buzz of flavors. There seems to be a sour snap running down the middle with some soft sweetness off to the sides. The sour is a touch of plumb skin, rhubarb and under-ripe strawberry that fades to tobacco. The sweet picks up on this too with similar sweet fruity notes that fades to light garden flowers and a touch of birch bark. There's quite a bit going on here.

Feels dense but slick and smooth with a very softly stated carbonation.

Very nice. Definitely one to share with wine-snob friends who think beer lacks character, especially coming from a can! Maybe a little too busy to drink many of, but it is quite an accomplishment. (1,238 characters)

Photo of bnmir
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark reddish brown and nearly opaque, when held to strong light the beer is moderately cloudy.
A thin head dissapates quickly leaving only light traces on the glass. The aroma is reminiscent of dark fruits. Carbonation is medium high and the beer has noticeable body, but would not be considered thick or heavy.
Initial sweetness gives way to dark raisin and spiciness with nice depth of flavors. Lightly bittered, the finish is slight alcohol heat, oak tannin, and spices linger on the palate. (494 characters)

Photo of morimech
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Dark plum colored with a small off-white head. A little sticky lacing.

Smell- Full of dark fruit, figs, dates, and prunes. Some spices like cinnamon and cloves. Also some vanilla.

Taste- A lot of dark fruit upfront. Belgian yeast flavors. Just faint hints of the cinnamon and vanilla that compliments the rest of the flavors nicely. Just a little sweet overall.

Mouthfeel- Almost as good as anything in a bottle. Medium body and light carbonation. Great texture.

Drinkability- Tastes fresh and lively thanks to the storage vessel. Proof that any style benefits from being canned. (595 characters)

Photo of soupyman10
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Church Key after being disappointed by another US Belgian, Allagash Four. This one held up a lot better in my opinion, although I'm not sure how Belgian-y it was - seemed a lot more like a US stout with a little extra sugar, but that's just me. It was mostly what you'd expect - dark brew with a solid head, then lots of chocolate, dried fruit, and molasses. Solid, if perhaps unexceptional (not a Gouden Carolus by any means). Would probably get it again, though, given the remarkably cheap price tag. (516 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
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. (366 characters)

Photo of albern
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

If anything, this is a complex beer with a huge palate of overlapping flavors. The beer pours a fairly thick, syrupy, cloudy, slightly dull brown mahogany color. There isn't much head or lacing to the beer, but it has the consistency of very heavy brown sugar syrup.

The nose is woody and oaken, with plenty of ABV and raisins, and slightly rum soaked florals coming through. The taste is really complex, with a slighly different experience with each taste. This is a full bodied, Belgian dark, with lots of ABV, wooden and oaken notes, lots of spices, lots of candied sugars and probably some brown sugar too. This is a really malted up affair. There are slighly booze soaked fig or raisin notes, there are almost some nutty flavors coming through too. There is a nice dash of vanilla, although I'm not getting much cinnamon as the label proclaims. The oaky almost cherrywood flavors are the most pronounced. This is a really fine beer. The aftertaste is fairly modest, all things considered. Worth seeking out. L'Chaim. (1,022 characters)

Photo of BigB415
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark red with huge head. Smells of plums and cinnamon. Taste of plums, all this plum makes the beer very sweet. First taste I get alcohol then it subsides to the sweetness and sourness but I think the sour is very nice it's not overwhelming. Overall I really like it, the sweet, fruit, and sour notes really give it a nice kick and add a nice depth to the beer. (367 characters)

Photo of iRoy
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
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. (561 characters)

Photo of DmanGTR
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
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! (1,256 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to exiled for sharing this can.

Pours dark red/brown with a khaki head. The aroma is a mix of dark fruit (figs, prunes) with a sour note, not what I was expecting but still a good smell. The flavor is more of the same with dark fruit and vanilla with some sour aspects, but not quite as much sourness as was in the aroma. The vanilla is strong in the aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel and lower carbonation. (410 characters)

Photo of mlockman
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

while I disagree with a review I saw that called it a "crushable Belgian dark strong ale," it is certainly not über complex. Nonetheless, it is chewy and very enjoyable for the style! (185 characters)

Photo of Phelps
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I first developed a taste for Monk’s Blood during a judging competition -- I was ranking brews for a medal round at the 2014 AmeriCAN Canned Craft Beer Festival. As the tasting was blind, I didn’t know what the beer was at the time. All I knew was that, as soon as that beer hit my lips, it was love. The brew reminded me of candy I had devoured when younger, though I couldn’t -- and still can’t -- determine what kind of candy it was. Those caramel-coated green apple suckers, maybe? Fig Newtons? It was something sweet and delicious, anyway -- much like this beer.

Beneath an aroma replete with fig and sweet cherry, caramel and maple, we get a flavor that leads with candy sugar, oaky vanilla and fig before giving way to green apple, bread crust and booze in a slightly drying finish. I like to let the glass warm a bit, as the malt sweetness that makes this beer so unique and tasty becomes more apparent with heat. (931 characters)

Photo of BigMike
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. Color is like a dark cranberry. Off white head of just over a finger. It disappears quickly with minimal lacing left.

Lot's of raisins in the nose along with some bing cherry. A lot of caramel sweetness and some cinnamon.

Theres a slight tartness with the taste. Kind of like tart cherries. Lot's of raisins and a touch of oak. A very faint amount of vanilla also.

Nice mouthfeel. Kind of sticky in the mouth but very smooth. Low carbonation.

Drinkability is really good. I like this beer a lot. No alcohol presence at all. I would recommend this for sure.
92/100 (589 characters)

Photo of hosehead83
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
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! (469 characters)

Photo of Dotcubed
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
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. (1,035 characters)

Photo of CPeterson
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A -- Pours a deep crimson amber, very fitting name for the beer. A thick head that dissipates into a thin skim and leaves traces of lacing.

S -- Smells light and airy, almost contradictory to the appearance with hints of dark fruit (figs evidently) and smoke.

T -- Tastes of dark fruit, spices, light wood, and light hops. Even with a solid 8.3 %, I can't really detect the alcohol. None of the flavors are overbearing, and blend very nicely.

M -- Light without being thin and proper carbonation levels for the style I would think.

D -- Very drinkable and approachable even for the uninitiated. Solid brew all around. Outside of brand whores, I would recommend this to anyone. (680 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark red, actually looks a bit like coagulated blood, with a mocha head. Good for halloween I guess.

S: Grape, lemon and vanilla in an interesting nose.

T: Cherry and grape are the dominant flavors and it is delicious. Some orange rind and fruity Belgian yeast esters are present as well.

M: Medium-full bodied and smooth.

O: Delicious and well worth a try. If you can find it, try it. (392 characters)

Photo of htomsirveaux
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this on tap at the brewery, 2 Dec 2009.

Pours with a small tan head that quickly dissipates. Clear dark reddish brown in color. Lightly carbonated. Aroma is moderate, smells of figs, raisins, brown sugar.

Starts fruity tart, dried fruit dominates, fig, raisin, plums. Lots of fig throughout, some brown sugar. Cinnamon is definitely noticeable, vanilla not so much. Medium body.

Finish is slightly tart with a lingering hint of sugar and fig, some alcohol.

Figs as an ingredient sounded a bit odd but worked nicely with this beer. (541 characters)

Photo of jmshulk
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep red-ish brown, small head that dissipated quickly to a ring.

Aroma: Some dark fruit, plums and cherries, with little hints at cinnamon, vanilla and bourbon.

Taste: There is some more cherry/plum like flavors up front. It's not too boozy, but there is a little bit there to balance out the sweetness. It finished with a touch of bitterness. Could finish a little more dry.

Feel: It has a decent amount of carbonation and a nice medium body.

Overall: I really enjoy this beer, its a nice one to sit down with and slowly sip and enjoy as the flavors change with warmth. This is a beer I hope to see pop up in stores around February for a long time!

Serving: 12 oz. can
Date: 5/19/2011 (703 characters)

Photo of NightINgale
4.17/5  rDev +10%
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! (1,177 characters)

Photo of Flightoficarus
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving type - Can into glass

A - Pours a murky mahogany color, with a light, off-white head.

S - Lots of dark fruits, especially cherries, plums, raisins

T - Similar to the smell, lots of dark fruit (espeically cherry), brown sugar, molasses, and just a hint of booze, but the ABV is very well concealed.

M - Super smooth and creamy, and quite decadent!

D - Goes down pretty damn easily. Could sneak up on ya if you're not careful!

Overall - an excellent American example of a Belgian style, and at the price it goes for, a steal of a deal! (It's like half the cost or sometimes less than the actual Belgian examples). Will be buying more of this. Prost! (662 characters)

Photo of Wegomlegging
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
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). (433 characters)

Photo of mgironta
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The brew poured a slightly reddish-brown color and was a bit cloudy. The head was pure white and one finger. It dissipated after a few minutes and left some lacing on the glass. The nose presented with some booze, raisins and dark fruit and a hint of Belgian yeast. The taste is definitely dark fruit coupled with moderate carbonation and a hint of fig. The alcohol is pretty well hidden in the taste. A bit of spice also came out, specifically cinnamon. The body is a little lighter than expected, but very pleasant. This is definitely an easy Belgian style brew to drink and if not for the alcohol I would. The finish lingers a bit and for me, that’s where I got a bit of heat from the booze. This is a brew that does not disappoint. I would definitely have this again. (773 characters)

Photo of vande
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Mahogony in color with a tannish top to it. Somewhat thicker in appearance.

S: Sweetness. Vanilla blended nicely with dark cherries, plums, malty with sugar...brown sugar...

T: Sweet like the smell. The darker fruits come through sprinkled with sugar, malt on top. Tasts like a Belgian out of can..Interesting :)

M: Tad lighter than I thought, but still decent. Medium bodied, soft beer.

O: Likeable! I have a couple more in the fridge in which I'll enjoy or introduce to a friend.. (489 characters)

Photo of stevoj
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

More then pleased to see an American brewery nail the Belgian style. True to character throughout. Deep dark brown/ruby. with oily beige head. Nice aroma of dried fruit and wood, taste more of the same, mild hops bitterness. Would not be out of place in a Brussels street café.... (281 characters)

Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 507 ratings.