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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

1,142 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,142
Reviews: 489
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 13.68%
Wants: 70
Gots: 106 | 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: 1,142 | Reviews: 489 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz can into a goblet.

Pours a deep ruby red, with a thin 1/2 finger covering of off-white frothy head. Retains with a thinnish wispy look that leaves a very light smattering of lace around the edges. The aroma is sweet, fruity, and even a little bit smokey. I'm getting a good bit of sugars, dark fruit, herbal hops, and spice. My only complaint is that this feels a bit light in the nose, especially compared to the taste.

The taste is pretty robust in the mouth, being sweet with bread and candy with a deep, dark cherry tang to it. There is also a touch of almost burnt malt or brown sugar character to this, with some hops providing a light bitterness. Some very light oaky astringency hangs on the edges but I do pick up a good bit of vanilla, which along with the spices, permeates the overall profile giving this both smoothness and pop. There really isn't any kind of distinct yeasty presence to this, with maybe just some drying nature to it in the finish, where it lingers along with a smack of sugar and fruit that hangs on the lips. The mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied, with a prickly creaminess that blows up in the back of the throat. I'm impressed with how this hides its big ABV, having about just the right amount of the warmth to it. No alcohol taste but just enough heat to give the present sweetness a sticky feel.

I was a bit shocked by this one (and not just because it's a Belgian Ale in a can!). The flavors here were a bit muddled at first but then overall really came together nicely for me in one potent and flavorful mix. Just the right amount of ABV here to, helping make this a pleasant and warming sipper on a cold night. I'm looking forward to more of these during the course of the winter.

Kegatron, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

TheManiacalOne, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +5.3%

RblWthACoz, Oct 15, 2012
Photo of russpowell
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to WoodyChandler for this one!

Pours a garnet hued chestnut with 2+ fingers of khaki colored head. Nice oily sheen to this, average head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit, cherry & dark chocolate, plus plums. Holds up pretty well over the course of 12 ozs..

T: Plums, figs, faint brown sugar & a touch of prunes up front. Oaky dryness, leafy hops, more pruney action once warm, faint dark cherry as well. Finishes with a bit too much woody dryness, port notes, figs & plums

MF: Medium bodied, slick, but carbonation is a bit sharp. Becomes somewhat warming after a while

Drinks pretty easy for the ABV & style, but more of a good entree' to the style versus a great example...

russpowell, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of jlindros
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tried this before, and have had a can sitting in the fridge waiting to do a review. Then got it as an extra from womencantsail today, so I figured it was a good time to do it.

A: Large frothy big bubbled 2 finger head rises over the very dark but somewhat clear brown color.

N: Brown sugar and dark malts dominate the nose. A little hop bitterness is there, as well as some dark fruits, plum, raisin. Lots of caramelized brown sugar.

T: Starts with lots of sweet dark malts. A chewy malt flavor with some light roast, Belgian malts, and caramel malt. Lots of dark fruits, raisin, plum, fig, etc. Again tons of caramelized brown sugar comes through. A touch of hop bitterness. It gets a very slight boozy quality but hides the 8.5% well.

M: Decent body and good carbonation.

F: Finishes still pretty sweet with more brown sugar and fruit. Some strange bitterness comes through on the finish too, but its a somewhat unpleasant bitterness. The sweetness, syrup, and brown sugar never wants to go away. That is probably the only downfall of this beer. I wonder if it will mellow as it ages. With how sweet it is, it makes it a tough drink actually.

jlindros, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

21st. Amendment Brewery, Monk's Blood. Belgian-style dark ale brewed with cinnamon, vanilla, oak chips, and dried figs. That's all I'll share from the label of this can. There's a long story in Gothic typeface that's difficult to read. It begins "Legend has it…" and I'll let your imagination run wild with the rest. Wait. I really should read it…. Couldn't. It's impossible. Can't make out 10% of the words. The rest are over-cooked and overly dramatic. Apparently, elder monks believe in capital punishment when dealing with young monks who tinker with old recipes. Sure, makes sense. Or maybe it was the cigars, "nice hands of Texas Hold 'Em" and "breaking the vow of silence by spinning a remix of Gregorian chants" that drew the Abbot's ire. I wouldn't know.

Unfortunately, it tells me nothing about the beer.

8.3% ABV. 12 oz. can. brewed in Cold Springs, MN.

Dark, plum brown body, opaque, smallish cream-toned head, drifts down, but leaves lace.

Aroma: dark fruit aplenty. raisins, dates, figs. Plum. With plenty of spice, as well, and a hint of sweetness. Wait, more than a hint, with the vanilla and oak coming in loud and clear.

Taste: First sip is rich and full, with a complex mix of flavors coming together in the mouth. A touch sour, lush with fruit and spice, dark, deep and delicious. Reminds me of favorite authentic Belgian dark ales, with without that rare quality from the Belgian yeast. Comes close enough. Very delicious.

Full-bodied, long finish, deeply textured, with apparent alcohol. Rises higher with each additional drink. Rich, warming, and comfortable. But I couldn't more than two of this without causing trouble. In fact, I can feel the urge to raise a ruckus right about now.

feloniousmonk, May 22, 2012
Photo of drabmuh
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My wife picked this out at the liquor store based on the crazy packaging, I didn't realize it came from 21st amendment until we opened it later that night. A pleasant surprise.

Beer poured from a can into an etched tulip glass. Beer is dark brown / red (can barely see through it). THICK! AGGRESSIVE! head. Head consists of off white small to medium bubbles and there is a ton of lacing as the initial head settles to a much more modest and practical level after a minute. Rate of carbonation is moderate and is good enough to keep the head propped up for the duration of the beer. At the corners of the glass you can see the red hue to the beer and that even though it is dark there is nothing to see here, beer is totally clear. Honestly, I think its one of the most attractive beers I've seen in a while.

Aroma is nice and spicy with the familiar smell of the esters Belgian ale yeast throw off at warmer temperatures of fermentation. Overall the aroma is a little light but its still really enjoyable. There are no hop / bitter aromas associated. There is some sweetness in the nose, could be malt or perhaps some alcohol. Aroma could have been slightly more aggressive.

This beer set me up for high hopes in a lot of ways. The flavors kind of let me down though. Beer has a medium body and there is a slight boozy character to it. There is no hint of roast or of hop based bitterness leaving the back of the palate blank when confronted with the sweetness from the alcohol and malt up front. Beer seems to be disconnected. There is no aftertaste and overall I'd say its worth a look, but I won't be very quick to finish my 4 pack.

drabmuh, Dec 17, 2009
Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +5.3%

oline73, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

By the time I tasted this, my palate was pretty much wrecked by the terrible Iron Fist Spice of Life, but I still got a pretty good impression from this one. Served in a ball-stem goblet, a hazy, dark, reddish-brown color with a small off-white head. Aroma of bready malts, caramel, soft fruits and spice. Taste was a bit muted at first, but fleshed out a bit mid-palate onward. Caramel and candi-like sugars, bready, cinnamon and spice, and more of the soft, indistinct fruit I got on the nose, hints of cola and some phenol. Medium-bodied, fairly chewy, some alcohol warmth. Overall pretty decent, but I don't see myself having more than one glass in a session before moving on to something else.

Rifugium, May 15, 2012
Photo of mactrail
3.59/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark coppery brown in the Gulpener tulip. Quite sudsy in the mouth. The aroma is really unusual. It's a fruit candy smell, or something like cranberry fudge.

This is on the sweet side with an expansive cedar wood flavor. The flavorings are hardly restrained, and it does taste like Fig Newtons. Sugar and spice and a cookie dough flavors. Brown sugar and fruitcake soaked in sweet wine. It's the citrus and vanilla aromatics of Cuarante Y Tres liqueur.

Spicy dessert in a bottle. The vanilla seems to get stronger as the Belgian yeast works on it. Fairly dry at the finish, but the next sip starts out just as sugary. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle.

mactrail, May 14, 2014
Photo of mdfb79
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark brown with a hint of red when held up to light. Had a very nice head, about1-2 fingers with great retention.

s - Smells of fruit, bread, and a little bit of alcohol at the end.

t - Has a largely fruit taste, cherries and plum jump out. Also has a sweet molasses taste to it. Very nice.

m - Medium body that was a little lighter than I was expecting. Small amount of carbonation, feels great.

d - I really liked this dark ale. It not only looked, smelled, and felt great, but had a very complex taste that was unique, but tasty. I would definitely try this again.

mdfb79, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Mora2000, Jan 11, 2010
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

DrunkinYogi, Jul 30, 2012
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of smcolw
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours ruby brown with a glowing clarity. Thick beige head that settles slowly, but doesn't leave much lace.

Sweet caramel aroma of darker crystal malts. No notable hop to the nose.

This is a tale of a sweet, rich beer. Here, I can detect the slightest of hop bitterness. Lots of sweet cola flavor. The alcohol doesn't show up until the swallow. Very true to the style even with the oily body.

smcolw, Feb 20, 2010
Photo of kojevergas
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

355ml can served into a conical USC branded mini pint glass in me friend Bo's gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the style.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with extra vigor by accident; I'm used to pouring from bottles.

Paired with pretzel rods.

A: Pours a four finger khaki head of nice cream and thickness, and great retention (though the pour was very aggressive). Colour is a nontransparent caramel-copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Predictable for the style, but appealing.

Sm: Fig, raisin, alcohol, biscuit malt, dark malt, caramel, some plum, and toasted malt. Very appealing and enjoyable. Fig is dominant. A somewhat strong aroma.

T: Raisin and fig over top a caramel and dark sugar build, with biscuit malt throughout. A tasty little beer. Hints of plum - though not in a dark quadrupel sense. Nicely balanced, though the style demands more of a yeasty build. I do like it. No alcohol comes through.

Mf: Far too light and smooth. Needs more of a presence. Wet and refreshing, but no beer in this style should be refreshing. Way too thin. Weak.

Dr: Quite drinkable. It doesn't hold a candle to other better beers in the style, but I quite like it. Hides its ABV quite well. A great effort from 21st Amendment.

Low B-

kojevergas, Aug 19, 2012
Photo of XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

XmnwildX12, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

oriolesfan4, Jul 12, 2013
Photo of imperialking
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

imperialking, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +5.3%

InspectorBob, May 22, 2013
Photo of woodychandler
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The CANQuest is achieving new heights! CAN you dig it? People are really excited to be trading CANs with me and it is much easier to do so than with bottles.

My pour created two fingers' worth of light-tan head that started to fall almost immediately, creating some nice lacing as it went. Color was a deep raspberry-red with ruby highlights and a slight haze, although it was difficult to tell, given its intense color. The nose had a mustiness driven by the Belgian yeast along with a dark fruitiness courtesy of the figs. I was reminded of being in an open-air market in Israel when smelling it. Mouthfeel was medium with an interesting layering of its flavors on the tongue. The figgy mustiness was immediate, followed by the oakiness. The finish was really dry, dusty really, with the cinnamon lingering after the swallow. As Brother Woody of the Order of Disorder, I would certainly drink this during Lent and I would NEVER take up stones against fellow pseudo-monks, especially Sean-O. I would not want a steady diet of it, but given its 4-pack packaging, I doubt that they intended it it for mass consumption. Worth seeking out/trading for.

From the CAN: "Legend has it that in the evenings, the monks would retire to their chambers & settle in with a few passages from the Good Book. But Brothers Nicolas and O'Sullivan had other plans. Working in the brewhouse all day, they were forced to repeat the same old recipes the elder monks had unveiled years before. They needed a little diversion. And found it in the cellar with a fresh must they put on the beer and the way they enjoyed it. Brother Nicolas (or 'Nico' to his close friend) brought some hand rolled cigars. O'Sullivan, the outspoken one, broke the vow of silence by spinning a remix of some Gregorian chants. Together, they'd throw down a couple nice hands of Texas Hold 'Em and savor the handcrafted brew they'd created in secret. Everything was good. Or so it seemed. But deep in his heart, Nico knew they were delving into the 'dark side' of beer. Next thing you knew, they'd be skipping Lent. Then one night, they'd face the Judgement for their actions with a hard knock on the door. Outside, the Abbot and elders would be holding stones in the air. A threat the brothers were sure would lead to the spilling of Monk's Blood. Belgian-style Dark Ale brewed with cinnamon, vanilla, oak chips, and dried figs." Whew!

woodychandler, Jan 06, 2010
Photo of yourefragile
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can with pretty cool artwork. I think this is the first Belgian-style beer I've had from a can.

Pours into a tulip, a dark, clear mahogany red color with high carbonation and an airy, thick beige head. Quickly fades to a crown and broken rings of clumpy lacing. Aroma is fairly strong and sweet, dark fruit, figs, yeast, lots of sugars. Mild tangy sourness to the nose but little presence of hops or whatever oak aging occurred. Flavor throughout is dominated by tangy and sweet notes, very little alcohol presence. Flavor starts on front of palate with sweet dark fruits, figs, candi sugar, raisins, etc before becoming drier and more tangy toward the finish with a light hop bite. I also pick up a little cinnamon in the finish, but little in the way of other spices. Mouthfeel is medium full, with low carbonation, probably more carbonation would help clean up the finish. Interesting beer, but overall this is a little too sweet for my tastes and the dry, slightly bitter finish clashes with the flavors in the body.

yourefragile, Dec 05, 2009
Photo of corby112
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark blood red mahogany color with cloudy ruby edges and a one finger light beige head that slowly settles into a thin lasting ring.

Slightly roasted malt aroma with lots of sweet dark fruit notes, candy sugar, earthy wooden oak and subtle vanilla. Slightly vinous with lots of dark fruit, especially grape, fig, raisin and plum. Again, there is some subtle oaky tannis, vanilla and sweet alcohol from the barrel aging. Very sweet with subtle roasted character.

Slightly chewy body that's on the fuller end. Roasted chocolate/caramel maltiness balanced by lots of estery sweet dark fruit notes, candy sugar and subtle earthy oak. Very vinous from the barrel aging with lots of smooth vanilla character. Very sweet dark fruit presence, especially sour tart cherry, plum, raisin, fig and raisin. A bit too sweet for my liking but overall decently balanced. The ABV is very well masked making this beer very quaffable. Complex, flavorful and very unique. I'll definitely be drinking this again

corby112, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of orangesol
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

orangesol, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of stakem
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from notes taken on 5/27/10

Poured from a can into a snifter. Monk's blood appears with less than a finger of tanned head that receeds fairly fast. The color of this brew is a hazy amber color with red hues around the bottom and more of a brownish color across the top.

Aroma is sweet, fruity and floral. The malt is evident in a very candy sugar sort of way. Sweetness of the aroma comes off a bit like plums and raisins with a bit of mineral character thrown in as well. Taste is very malty sweet with dark sugar flavors similar to plum and raisin with some other spices included. Moderate alcohol presence and a touch of hops on the backend.

Medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. This is quite an easy drinking brew. There is a lingering flavor somewhat like vanilla. Slightly drying as it warms and the spice character starts to stick to the tongue. The spices tasting increasingly more like a bland grated cinnamon hang in the mouth increasing it's drying aspect. This cinnamon flavor is a bit out of place and brings out more of the belgian yeast flavor that tastes a bit green.

stakem, Jul 20, 2010
Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 1,142 ratings.