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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

509 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 509
Hads: 1,336
Avg: 3.8
pDev: 21.32%
Wants: 82
Gots: 195 | FT: 2
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 509 | Hads: 1,336
Photo of alexhahn82
3.66/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A -- Decent 1 finger head that dissipates at a medium/quick pace, beautiful deep redish brown.

S -- Smells like a Belgian (beer not person). Yeast, Yeast, Yeast, maybe a hint of Oak in the scent.

T/M- Oak. Yeast. Alcohol. A slight hint of the cinnamon but that may be a subliminal plant from the label. Not a lot of Carbonation, but still a very pleasant beer. I want to say it has an almost bourbon like tone and quality though I know its just a neutral oak chip, it may be the cinnamon playing with the oak creating that illusion.

O -- This is a pretty healthy beer, very drinkable for the 8.3% ABV, definitely worth seeking out and giving it a shot.

PP (Price Point) - Picked it up for $8.79 for a four pack in a box, though the place I purchased it from it usually about %15 off of average retail amounts. Definitely delivers, proper quality and ABV bang for the buck!

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Photo of organicbrewer
3.41/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Dark ruby with a small tan head. Fairly clear.

S-prunes and raisins. Light cinnamon. No hop aroma. A bit light.

T-Cherry cola. Nice caramel sweetness. Very low hop bitterness. Some fig. I don't get any of the spices listed on the can but sometimes that's the point. Medium bitterness, keeps things balanced.

M-Oak only apparant in the slight astringent mouthfeel. Medium bodied. Medium carbonation, could use a bit more imho.

D-Nice beer. I think this is more like a big dubbel than a dark strong. This beer would open up with more carbonation. It would kick up the aroma and flavor a bit and make it seem drier. All and all a nice beer.

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Photo of taxguyjase
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew was extremely tasty, offering a nice blend of caramel, coffee and malt flavors with a medium body. With 35 IBUs, this beer has a hint of bitterness, but not much. The head was lacking on this one (sad face), but the color was a rich brown. You can smell the malt on this one, but it lack any alcohol scent, which was nice. No aftertaste on this one, you can expect the taste to be sharpest on the tip of your tongue, then fading as it goes down your throat. Be careful with this one, as it weighs in at 8.5% abv.

Taste - 4.5/5.0 - caramel, coffee, malt, oat - very tasty, medium body
Appearance - 3.5/5.0 - no head, but nice rich brown color
Smell - 3.5 - malty with oats - no alcohol scent
Feel - 4.0 - no aftertaste, taste sharpest on tip and middle of tongue
Drinkability - 4.0 - good beer, would definitely get again.

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Photo of ZebraCakez
3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a nice red - brown color with a tan one finger head.

S: The aroma of cinnamon and fruit stand out clearly, with a nice roasted malt undertone. Very appealing.

T: The dark fruits are very prominent. The cinnamon spice is there, but we'll balanced with a pleasant sweetness. The malt element is smooth. The alcohol adds it's own kick towards the end.

F: Smooth and creamy, but not too heavy. A nice level of carbonation.

O: A great brew, one totally worth trying. The fruity and spicy notes keep this beer relevant in a world full of great beer, this one has plenty of character.

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Photo of atomicbeer
3.57/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brown-red with a thin tan head that does not linger long. A few bubbles rising at the edges. Big oak cinnamon aroma with brown apple, clove, and prune. Taste is again oak with bourbony alcohol, brown apple, and Fig Newton. This beer is just a bit syrupy, warming, and a little spicy. Not a bad rendition although one is plenty.

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Photo of mikedashg
4.37/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours very dark brownish mahogany slight ruby orange murky with a small to medium sized tan head.

S - Dark fruits, figs, prunes, red wine

T - Similar to nose, dark fruits, figs, prunes, raisin, sort of tart zippy/spicyness, sweet red wine. Dark malts and molasses. Really good complex flavor.

M - Moderate to moderately high carbonation, crisp finish

D - Easy drinking, moderate ABV from a can with tons of flavor. Can't go wrong here.

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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

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Photo of HitokiriNate85
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Burgundy to brown with dark red highlights at the sides. Tan cap with lots of varied bubble sizes all over the surface. The head basically faded entirely after a few minutes and leaving behind just a little bit of lacing.

S - Surprised to get a little bit of vanilla and oak up front. I wasn't sure how noticeable they'd be, but they seem to play a nice, though mild part in the nose. There's a tartness in the background, presumably from the figs. It definitely reminds me a bit of brandy, though there's no real evident alcohol.

T - The vanilla and oak notes aren't quite as prominent in the taste, but they're still there. Lightly tart fruit kind of underscores the entire package. It's not necessarily identifiable as fig to me, but it's nice and not overdone. Getting a bit more of a woody character now, though again, it's fairly light. I've been wondering about the cinnamon for a few minutes now, and I realize it provides a slight spiciness instead of a strong cinnamon taste. Malts chime in with a nice dark fruitiness that surrounds the whole profile. Finishes with just the slightest tartness, then a lingering sweetness.

MF - Nicely carbonated yet still managing to be chewy. Sticks to the tongue and really lingers.

D - Pretty nice. It has the advantage of being on the lower ABV end for the style, which definitely makes having more than one manageable. Monk's Blood offers up a lot of complexity and a mildness that I associate with the Rochefort lineup.

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Photo of challenja
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz can poured into a Redskins pint glass.

A: Dark viscous honey brown. Thick and impossibly inviting to the taste palates.
S: Sweet figs, dark malts, maple syrup, honey comb, brown sugar and prunes.
T: This is one impressive taste monster. The can says it all in taste profile. Vanilla syrup malts comes barreling through first. Cinnamon bites between the oak barrel and lays a nice slicing to the figs and back Prune tongue lashing.
M: Syrupy and refreshing. A perfect balance of carbonation and full mouthfeel. Its got a really great balance that punchs the flavors hard and lays them out wet, like a good Lesbian Porn Flick.
O: One of my top three Seasonal cold brews. This is 21st Amendments best offering to date!!

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Photo of bpw28
4.72/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Finger off white shaving cream thick head, Hazy Dark Brown (About a 27 SRM), Nice Lacing

Nose: Medium Roasted, Woody, Yeasty, Grape, Dark Fruit, Funky (The good belgian kind), spiced rum

Taste: Wow. Roasted Malt, Spicy, Dark Fruit (strong prune), Black Berries, Rum soaked Vanilla, Yeasty, Earthy, Peppery, Boozy, Funky (again, the good kind), Woody, Good Carb, Hop is clearly not the key player and theres just enough to round it out and I don't mind at all.

Final Thoughts: Wow. Alot going on in this. Alot. I was a little scared for this because of the lack of head, even though the head was a nice one despite size, but this is an amazing beer. I would drink this until my final breath. This has to be one of my favorites. Home run. Fireworks. Standing Applause. It might not be for everyone, but it sure is for me.

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Photo of Adamdc
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can poured into tulip.

A: Plain and simple, looks like a Coke. Very dark with some ruby highlights with a tan inch of foam. Appears very a carbonated (like a Coke).

S: Dark fruits with cinnamon and figs.

T: Lots of cherry, too much in fact. Very sweet and pretty one-dimensional. Alcohol not noticeable.

M: Pretty well-carbonated. Nice on the tongue.

D: Goes down pretty smoothly.

I didn't really love this one. Aroma was pretty subdued and taste was nothing special. My first 21st Amendment beer was a 'miss'.

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Photo of BigB415
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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Photo of IIKaRuII
4.01/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Arnolds Carry out for the suggestion on this one.
My first Craft can I can say, being someone who enjoys keeping one of each bottle I've tried. I am debating on trying to keep a can of this stuff as part of my collection.
Pours a cloudy dark blood red which holds true to its name, has a foamy powerful collar. very thick presence, with amazing retention.
Smells of pitted fruits. plum, cherrys. fig and vanilla. little spices at the very end that kind of stings the nostrils a bit.
taste is a very powerful dark cherry, with sugar and spices. yeasty presence. slight bananas.
Mouthfeel is a creamy and carbonated. not very bitter. Actually quiet pleasant on the palate. almost tastes like a cherry cream soda personally.
This is medium bodied. The alcohol is present but not overpowering for the high 8.3% given on the can. Is not bitter to say the least.

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Photo of Wegomlegging
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
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).

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Photo of Goldfish19
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

~ Purchased this 12 oz can from Big Z Beverage in Huntington, NY. This beer pours dark reddish brown with an off-white head that subsides rather quickly. I still cannot get over how this just poured right out of a can! The aroma consists of dark fruits, sugars, and sweet malts. The taste is very similar. Considering this beer is rated at 8.3% ABV, I found it very easy to drink.

All in all, Monk's Blood is complex, flavorful, and delicious. Thumbs up! ~

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Photo of CraftAleRookie
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of FishGetter
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fairly dark brew, dark cherry color when held to the light. Thin head fades.
Sour cherries, vanilla, some hints of spices like cinnomon,canndied fruits, and light waffs of oak barrel. Great nose on this one.
Vannila bean flavors blend with cherries, faint sour, some cinnomon too. Not a big grain or hop profile however some hints are present. Great complexity, very distinct flavors. Sweet flavors knocked down with sour. Nice clean brew.
Heavy mouthfeel, especially when aggitated. Syrupy feel but not too over the top.
This one didn't disapoint. Great pairing of sweet and sour from a belgian ale. Proves great craft beer does come in a can.

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Photo of OrangeAmps
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in fall river, MA. poured into a large goblet. Very nice!

Pours a deep red/brown amalgam with a frothy white head. Beautiful looking beer, and in the goblet it was in it looked especially nice. The smells i was getting from this beer were great: banana, yeast, spices, dark fuits, and slight alcohol.

The taste was incredible at first. Halfway through the goblet, i began to dislike it, first a bit, and then pretty intensely. I dont know why, to be honest. But this beer definitely gets less appealing once you get deep into the glass. And its not the temperature or anything, because it didnt have time to cool very rapidly. Its just a very rich and robust beer that takes a lot to get through.

And for the style, i much prefer Gulden Draak. Its infinitely more drinkable.

still, a great beer.

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Photo of jcruelty
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Shout out to my friend Sandeep, the only person who reads these reviews. Sandeep try this beer. It's my fave from 21st Amendment, aside from Hell or High Watermelon which is more of a river beer.

I always try to write down thoughts on beers and end up with the same generic adjectives. "Smells yeasty. Head: good. Pours a nice... brown. HINTS OF VANILLA?" It's always vanilla. Or else pineapple (or maybe cherries)

Maybe I'm just swayed by the packaging. I like how 21st Amendment does everything in cans. But, the text on this can is written in an archaic old-timey font where r's look like f's. I couldn't read it all so I googled it:

"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 [21st Amendment partners] had other plans. Working in the brewhouse all day, they were forced to repeat the same old recipes the elder monks had invented years before. They needed a little diversion. And found it in the cellar of the monastery with a fresh twist 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 created in secrecy. Everyday was good. Or so it seemed. But deep in his heart, Nico knew they were drifting into the ‘dark side’ of beer. Next thing you know they’d be skipping Lent. Then on night they’d face the Judgment for their actions with a hard knock at the door. Outside, the Abbots and elders would be holding stone in the air. A threat the brothers were sure would lead to the spilling of Monk’s Blood."

Cheers if you made it through that. I didn't

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Photo of mdr4669
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of VMWhelan
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark ruby with one finger of light tan head.

Strong scent of cherry syrup or maraschinos with lots of dark fruit (raisin/fig) and some brown or candied sugar.

Taste is similar to the smell. Cherries and dark fruits dominate followed by some toasty but sweet malt, as well as some spicyness and slight alcohol. Very sweet overall but balanced with some tartiness (from the Belgian yeast I'd assume).

Mouthfeel is medium-full with average carbonation.

Drinkability is decent. A little heavy but not too much. Tasty so it goes down easily.

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Photo of SRossman
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out of its can into my Chimay glass with a small beige head building to about a 1/4inch which fades quickly. One thing that American breweries seem to often fall short on, in terms of replicating Belgian beers, is that huge pillowy head and this one isn't an exception. It has a dark cherry cola like color to it.

Aroma: Lots of intense malt sweetness that is accentuated by a rich dark fruit character and some spice. I get the faint hint of cherry along with cinnamon and vanilla.

Taste: Very balanced flavor profile. Exhibits what is expected in subtle form, dark burnt sugars, some spice and that dark fruit. Booze is there but not too overwhelming. Nothings popping really, all subtle flavors.

MF/D: It feels just a bit thin for its style and ABV. The carbonation helps keep it together but it could benefit from a slightly fuller body.

This is a solid offering. Nothing mind blowing but certainly not weak by any means. I look forward to trying more 21A in the future.

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Photo of Kranders
3.06/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An interesting dark Belgian beer. A little spicy with a big body. Kind of hard to describe in my opinion, and overall, I actually wasn't a huge fan. The whole beer just seemed kind of muddled to me. If I saw mix packs from 21st, I wouldn't be upset if this beer was in it, but I'd probably never pick up the beer on its own aging considering all the other really good beer they make.

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Photo of esv
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

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Photo of GregPearson33
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep maple amber color with an inviting one-finger thick head of almost indiscernibly small bubbles that dissipated after about a minute. The smell is a little fruity and sweet, with an inviting malt aroma.

Wow this is drinkable! For 8+% ABV I was expecting a heavy brew, but the first thing I noticed was its relatively light the mouthfeel, probably aided by substantial carbonation. The taste is sweet with some faint cherry and vanilla. The fruitiness is particularly evident in the finish, as is some spice (cinnamon?). While this isn't a beer I'd choose for myself, I think it's worth a try. I think next time I have it -- or offer it up -- it will be as an apre dinner brew -- I could see it going really well as a with some sort of dark chocolate/raspberry creation!

Also, really dig the can -- awesome art/labeling.

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Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 509 ratings.