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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.
very good

1,168 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,168
Reviews: 490
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 13.68%
Wants: 73
Gots: 112 | 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: 1,168 | Reviews: 490 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ssmilkstout
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

ssmilkstout, Jul 21, 2014
Photo of NinjaJesus
4/5  rDev +5.3%

I am not usually a fan of dark beers but this Ale was surprisingly delicious. The notes of vanilla and figs added to the malty sweetness of this delicious brew. A higher ABV than expected, these cans pack a punch. Definitely worth a try

NinjaJesus, Sep 25, 2014
Photo of BillHem
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

BillHem, Jun 03, 2013
Photo of nsabo
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a Belgian strong ale reminiscent of a barleywine. Malt is the dominant taste, but the mouthfeel is a bit thin for a barleywine. 8.3% doesn't seem a terribly high abv to me, but this feels boozier than it is. The beer is aged with oak and brewed with vanilla, cinnamon, and figs. The nose is whiskey and raisins. I can't distinguish whether the faint vanilla taste comes from the oak or the vanilla or both, but it's subtle and goes well with the malt, even if this is sweeter than it could have been. Only the cinnamon feels out of place here. It's in the background, but it has a sharp spiciness to it that contradicts the otherwise smooth richness of the other flavors here.
Usually it's only popular styles with lower abvs - wheat beers, IPAs, etc. - that I see canned. It's always exciting to see a rarer style canned and ready for a hike.

nsabo, May 30, 2011
Photo of Srabe
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Srabe, Apr 12, 2013
Photo of turtlemead
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

turtlemead, Jun 02, 2012
Photo of Nightkota
4.75/5  rDev +25%

Nightkota, Oct 19, 2014
Photo of Mcculler
2.58/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours from the can a muddy, reddish brown with a pretty, foamy head that leaves traces of chunky lacing.

Smells of cherry cola, overripe banana peel, and alcohol.

Tastes of cherries, a little vinegar (which I dig), overripe banana peel, with a little solvent.

Medium carbonation, so so in the mouth.

Belgian abbey- style ale in a can? Cool! Unfortunately, the flaws and in this beer make it a one time pour.

Mcculler, Aug 12, 2012
Photo of jmshulk
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
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

jmshulk, May 20, 2011
Photo of JobyBroBeerski
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

JobyBroBeerski, Jan 31, 2013
Photo of Cincy_Brew
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Cincy_Brew, Oct 29, 2014
Photo of bfree
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: nice 1 1/2" head that lingers for a while, sitting atop a dark brown beverage with some decent carbonation
S: malts, brown sugar, figs, cherries, hint of bourbon/alcohol
T: very malty and sweet at first with some bourbon flavor, fruity with hint of cherry and brown sugar, with a strong oaky taste at the end that lingers on the back of the tongue
M: medium bodied, bubbly carbonation that lasts throughout
D: overall it is a tasty beer and pretty complex with the fruity, malty, and oak/bourbon all rolled into one beverage, I would definitely recommend it if you like oak aged/bourbon barrel aged beers

bfree, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of jhughes23
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

jhughes23, Feb 25, 2011
Photo of Montrose79
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Montrose79, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of treehouse
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
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....

treehouse, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of Errto
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a wine glass. Served with Chinese food as suggested by an article I read somewhere.

Appearance is dark, ruby red. Looks opaque from a distance, but up close it is perfectly translucent - no haze or sediment. Head is small but it lasts.

Smell is fruity, a bit sweet, small but noticeable alcohol presence, and that "Belgian-ness" that I assume is from the yeast.

Taste is actually a little on the sour side, not what I expected from the smell, sort of cherry-like, especially at the finish. Also sweet as expected, and just a touch of hop bitterness, barely noticeable. Alcohol was if anything less present than in the smell.

Mouthfeel was remarkably light for a Belgian Strong Dark, which was kind of a nice surprise. Carbonation is quite good.

Overall, this was a rather drinkable beer considering the ABV, the main thing that's stopping me from having another one right away is the sweetness. This style category is pretty competitve, and this probably isn't my favorite, but I'll certainly have it again, and I'm happy I still have three cans left.

Errto, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of jboucher
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

jboucher, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of mobyviacheslov
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

A--I poured this one into a glass, even though with most other 21st Ammendment Canned craft brews, I've tried them out of the can just for "fun". Couldn't bring myself to do it with a Belgian style ale though. There was virtually no head, though the outer rim of the beer maintained a tiny coagulation of bubbles that did leave level marks after each sip for around a minute before running back into the beer. The beer itself is a very dark, nearly opaque brown...in the low light of my kitchen it looked black. Light reveals a few ruby colors.

S--the nose was very mild, with hints of caramel and dried fruit. Not a lot of character to the nose...perhaps the canning process or the can itself reduces the smells that the lees and sediment in a bottled belgian usually benefits from.

T--First of all, I waited about an hour after taking the can out of the fridge, but it still felt about 40 degrees (problem I've had with all canned micros). My first sip, all I could taste was CAN, though this didn't happen with others from this brewery...perhaps it was mental, since a belgian in a can is still weird to me...considering that "flavor" went away on subsequent sips. There are some intriguingly tart caramel flavors, which are very contradicting but it works quite well. There are underlying tobacco flavors as well. The initial flavor burst is malty and very true to the style, and the finish brings out the tart and tobacco flavors. Its not the most sophisticated, strong, or complex ale in the world, but certainly better than I was expecting. I will let the last half of this sit out for a little while and see if the temperature can help bring out more pungent flavors.

M--This is my only real problem with the beer. Waaaay to much carbonation going on here. Its not bud-light carbonation, but its more than I expected. I have had many belgian ales with higher than average carbonation, and it generally is a plus, adding a pop to your tongue that amplifies the subtle flavors...in this case, it seems to overpower them, perhaps causing the mild flavors.

D--Well, due to the fact that I drank this waaay to cold, and its carbonation level, this beer actually comes off as very drinkable. Like, "have 10 or so at a barbeque" drinkable. Probably dangerous due to the ABV. As I've said about other 21st canned beers, this would actually be a great barbeque beer if you want to slum it out of a can, but still feel snob-superior to the MGD drinkers.
Serving Type: 12 oz can, poured in
to a snifter, probably around 40 degrees.

mobyviacheslov, Feb 21, 2010
Photo of STG228
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

STG228, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of ShaneSmith
3/5  rDev -21.1%

ShaneSmith, Nov 18, 2014
Photo of sasky7777
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

sasky7777, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of Newkie
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark ruby-brown, but lighter than expected. Not much head to speak of. Anything that's there disappears rather quickly.

S: Sweet cocoa, sour candy, some bready malt, cherry.

T: Sour flavor giving way to lots of raisin like flavors. Some molasses in there. I can taste the vanilla and fig, and some oak, but not really getting the cinnamon they claim. Overall, rather nice, but not as complex as I expected.

M: Lighter mouthfeel and very smooth. Carbonation is a touch low for my liking.

D: Very drinkable and hides the alcohol as well as, if not better than, any other 8.5% beer I've had.

Not a bad beer. A different and interesting attempt from 21st that I may revisit.

Newkie, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of WSB
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours an amber/red color, and appeared cloudy. Nice thin head that grabs the glass

Smell was disappointing, I hoped for the cinnamon and figs listed on the label, and only got some wood notes and malt.

Taste was good. The aging on oak was obvious on the palate, as was the vanilla accents. Alcohol was pronounced.

Mouthfeel was ale-like, thick, smooth, and the alcohol numbed the tongue (8.3% will do that)

Overall a good beer, although aging it on the oak seems to have mellowed and muddled the flavors. I'd love to try this sans the aging on oak.

WSB, May 10, 2011
Photo of zhooker
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought my lil bro a 4-pack for his birthday, shamelessly expecting that I would be offered a can. Needless to say, he delivered. The packaging -- a 4-pack of cans sealed in a rough cardboard cube -- is quirky, unpolished, and attractive.

Cracked open the can and poured it into a large snifter-type glass. The color was brown and dark amber, with the occasional lighter caramel hue. About two fingers of head formed and quickly dissipated to practically nothing. There was little to no lacing as the glass emptied, but nice legs streaked down the glass.

A sweet, roasted aroma wafted from the glass. The sweet includes both fruit notes -- at first I thought of apricot, but the can reveals it was probably fig -- and candied scents that were caramel-esque. The roastiness softened these sweet tones.

The roasted malts were the highlight of the first sip, the sweeter tones coming in the back. The sweetness overcame the roasted flavors quickly, by the third or fourth sip. The same fruit qualities of the nose come through in the mouth. What I thought was something caramel-like in the aroma feels more like vanilla on the tongue. By the end of the glass, the sweetness has really become too much -- creating a sugary thickness on the back of my tongue. This is really a warming type of beer, perfect for a comfy winter evening.

The almost sickly sweetness dominates the mouthfeel, building throughout the glass. The roasted malt flavors are present all over the tongue.

This brew is a little too sweet for me to enjoy more than one or two on any given night. The fruits and spices and vanilla all make it feel like late fall or early winter, somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I would gladly sip another sometime when the weather cools down.

zhooker, Jun 08, 2010
Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 1,168 ratings.