1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

1,178 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,178
Reviews: 491
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 75
Gots: 116 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,178 | Reviews: 491 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of woodychandler
4/5  rDev +5%
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!

Photo of dbrauneis
3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a lightly hazy very dark crimson red in color with light amounts of active visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and some dark brown + amber highlights. The beer has a four finger tall foamy tan head that slowly reduces to a pillowy thick layer covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to slightly stronger aromas of dark fruits (cherry, fig, and raisin) and candi sugar with quite a bit of sweetness. Light aromas of something slightly woody and dark malts + just a hint of vanilla. Notes of alcohol in the finish.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of dark malts and toasted malts with a moderate to significant amount of candi sugar sweetness. There are slightly stronger than moderate flavors of dark fruits (cherry, fig, and raisin) and some light hints of herbal hops in the finish. Very light notes of woodiness and alcohol in the finish. Light amounts of bitterness in the finish which does not linger for long.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Moderate amounts of alcohol warming in the finish with some slightly sticky notes in the mouthfeel as well.

O: This one has a great smell and is fairly enjoyable to the taste, though I wish the alcohol was a little more well hidden. Definitely a slow sipper.

Photo of corby112
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
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

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce can into tulip glass, canned on 3/26/2012. Pours lightly cloudy red copper color with a nice 2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of molasses, banana, clove, pear, fig, cinnamon, allspice, dark bread, candi sugar, oak, pepper, and yeast spiciness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of prune, brown sugar, fig, dark bread, toast, cinnamon, clove, ripe banana, oak, candi sugar, earth, and yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of dark fruit, brown sugar, dark bread, toast, candi sugar, clove, cinnamon, banana, earth, oak, and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Solid flavor balance and good complexity; a touch too bready and spicy; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a creamy, slick, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good Belgian strong dark ale. Nice complexity and solid flavor balance; and very smooth to sip on. I enjoyed this quite a bit.

Photo of Billolick
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gotta love living in a country where its brewers will brew quality Belgian style brew and put it in a can! This one pours a nice rudy shade of dark mahogony with some ruby glimmers, loose dark khaki head, clears out pretty rapidly, leaving a thin film, a collar and ample spots of fine lacing. The nose is loaded with darker ripe fruits, cherries and figs come to mind as well as raisins and light rum. Flavorful and quite tasty, with more dark fruit notes, raisins, figs, dark grapes, vanilla and perhaps a wiff of the advertized (on the can) cinnamon. Great winter brew, pleasant and easy drinking. On the sweat side buy nowhere near cloying. Nice beer to take winter camping, easy to pack in and worth the effort...Christmas dinner desert beer and/or as a quality night capper

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of mothman
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had at stubs.

Poured into a goblet.

Pours hardly and head. No retention or lace. Color is a deep brown, call it black.

Aroma: Cherries, raisins, dark malts, chocolate. Decent, but nothing special.

Taste: Lots of dark fruits mixed in with a metallic taste. Some chocolate and toffee. Nothing impressing.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat smooth, a little crisp. Medium bodied with a low amount of carbonation. Ends a little sticky with malt aftertaste flavors.

Overall, this beer was unimpressive. Nothing I want to have again. I don't think they should have let cold spring brew this beer, as I think it could have turned out so much better.

Photo of tempest
3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Stub & Herb's for $5 a goblet. Eh, this came off like another American attempt on a Belgian beer that doesn't quite make it. The aroma has a pleasant toast crust and cocoa character that reminds me of Belgian stouts. The flavor then splits into chocolate roast and cherry juice. Those would be ok, but they're accompanied by an acetone note that throws this whole beer off.

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

Poured a dark reddish brown with good carbonation and a small white head Nose is dark fruits. Taste is grapes, booze, rum, figs, raisins and very good at that. Alcohol definitely shows through towards the end. Very goos overall and would drink again and recommend.

Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of BARFLYB
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can into a tulip glass. Glad to see a BSDA in a can, what a world.

A- A sound when the can was opened, Monk's Blood pours a very light woody brown color with some reddish tints. Up towards light it looks like a very cloudy red mess. The beer looks good though with a off white beige head about a inch in height leaving marks here and there. Close enough to blood to me, nice color, I like it.

S- The smell was off centered and all over the place. Not really resembling a true BSDA, it is a good attempt with dark fruits with plum and slight cherry. Getting some small wood and oak and some light spices. Don't really get any cinnamon as advertised. Some sweet vanilla and light toffee with warming. A slight metallic/sour OFF thing going on that is noticable, maybe something with the oak.

T- This tastes good enough to be classified as such but there is that slight off taste that comes off as a glitch in the brewing process, slightly bad sour taste. Other than that this is fine, Dried figs with light plum fruit and some cinnamon sneaks in at the end with some caramel from the malt, some brown sugar as well. Getting some wood and vanilla in the middle I think more Belgian yeast would have made this a bit more authentic as I did not really see the Belgian inspiration in this.

M,D- Monk's blood has a medium body that is easy enough to drink and also does not show it's strength, the alcohol does not come into play. A off taste does but that's about it, this is a good attempt. While the carb is nice, I usually find more in many other's of the same style, blood may have used more. The drinkability is easy, I actually took my time with it to see where it was going. This just got better with time. Will be getting more and i may cellar a can or two.

Photo of Zorro
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear deep brown colored beer. Small tan head.

Strong chocolate and vanilla aroma. There is some fig and oak in here too. There is a cake batter smell here that I can best describe as chocolate cake.

Starts out sweet with a wheat toast with chocolate syrup flavor. Lots of chocolate and vanilla in this basically it tastes like chocolate cake.

Mouthfeel is a little light.

VERY drinkable. While you drink this it is so mild you don't think there is any alcohol in it. Dangerously tasty.

Photo of jdhilt
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%

Pours a one finger off-white head that fades quickly leaving no lace. Dark brown color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Burnt dark fruit nose and flavor is roasted malt and hints of brown sugar. $3.99 for a 12oz dark brown can from Julio’s Liquors Westborough, Ma. Canned Mar 3, 2014.

Photo of smakawhat
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the can into a tulip glass.

Off the pour is a dark dense indian-red body with a nice settling tiny bubbles of light brown cream. Head is about two fingers tall then slowly receeds leaving a nice lace of ring. Can't see any carbonation from the bottom. This looks real good.

Fruit cherry and yeasty-brett like character on the nose. Even a hint of bread like fruitcake feeling. This really smells like fruit cake and I don't even LIKE fruitcake. This is great.

Tasty dried sweet cherries at first, followed with a quinine finish. Somewhat hop like in bitters, but a big yeasty brett feeling coupled with dried fruits and some bread character. Tastes like it smells, fruitcake in a glass. A little carbonated though and gaseous unfortunately, but leaves a nice tingle of tight tonic water feeling on the finish. Still very masked alcohol and not even boozy.

This is a real good product I am impressed. Very high drinkability for me.

Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

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

Thanks goes out to ybnorml for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a nice dark reddish color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy tan head, with some sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, slight yeast, slight vanilla, figs, plums, raisins, very slight cinnamon. The taste is malty, with some yeast notes, slight vanilla, dark fruits, very slight cinnamon. Medium body, the brew has a weird consistency, with a dry finish. Drinkable, this is a nice brew, finally got a chance to try it. Thanks Wayne.

Photo of chinchill
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The 12 oz can poured clear, dark red-brown with a semi-durable tan head that left fine sticky lacing.

Feel: Full body with excellent, soft carbonation.

Cinnamon, vanilla and figs in the nose.

Cinnamon, vanilla and figs dominate the flavor which also has a touch of oak and a malt base. Moderately spicy. About equal balance of bitter and sweet.

O: tasty and complex. Worth seeking.

Photo of John_M
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

After just trying the back in black, I'm almost wondering if these beers didn't travel very well from SF (I don't travel very well from SF myself, so I can hardly fault these beers). There are some similarities that I normally wouldn't expect in the aroma and flavor profile. In any event, I get something of a dark brown color with very good head retention and lacing. On the nose I get brown sugar, a hint of chocolate, and some cola. On the palate this beer is much better tasting, with some nice chocolate, maraschino cherry, a touch of cola, brown sugar, vanilla and underlying spice. Mouthfeel is fairly decent and is surprisingly light. Still, this beer has plenty of flavor with the alcohol well disguised. The beer menu at Max's says the abv. is 11.7%, which would be pretty astonishing. The 8.5% listed on this site seems much more in line with what I'm drinking.

A nice beer from this brewery. Probably the best I've had from them.

Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - deep amber bordering on dark brown; thick layer of brown head; great retention

S - bread, belgian yeast, caramel

T - warm alcohol, yeast, bread, caramel, spicy, funky

M - medium bodied, warm, smooth, good carbonation

This is a decent beer. It has good flavor and drinkability. Even more evidence that good beer can come from a can.

Photo of ppoitras
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can purchased as a single at Julio's, Westboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" tan head over the slightly cloudy burgundy brew. Head lasts alright, with good legs but quick-falling lace. Aroma is dark fruits, alcohol, and spices. Taste is malty to start, fruity and tart in the middle, and then warms up with alcohol and another shot of sweetness to close. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is good for the style. Better than I expected, not being the biggest spiced beer fan.

Photo of billab914
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into my Ithaca glass. It poured dark mahogany in color with a dense, tan colored head to it. Nice lacing as I drank it, nice color too.

The aroma has a rich maltiness to it with notes of caramel, brown sugar and a touch of cherry. The Belgian yeast is a noticeable, but seems to play a minor role. There is a touch or rum there as well.

The taste follows through with the rich, sweet malt flavors. I get a lot more of the dark fruit/cherry flavors coming out and a little less caramel and brown sugar. Again, the Belgian yeast is noticeable but more in the background. A little of the alcohol, slight rum like flavor is in the finish.

The mouthfeel is leaning towards the heavier side with carbonation being a little below average. Overall, I thought it was a pretty good beer. I really liked the dark fruit and cherry flavors coming out of the malts. It did feel a little overly sweet at times, but overall i really enjoyed it.

Photo of HopHead84
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2/1/2010

Thanks for the extra, WorldWideStout. Poured into a snifter from a can, the beer is deep reddish brown with a frothy one inch head, good retention, and minimal lacing.

The nose is rich and of sweet plums, grapes, figs, cocoa, and spices. It's lightly tart, and there's a substantial bready malt base. Alcohol is evident in the aroma at a low level.

The flavor is lightly and pleasantly sour with a bready malt foundation and a prominent dark fruit presence in the form of plums, grapes, prunes, figs, and dates. Cocoa is evident, and alcohol is well hidden. Alcohol is most noticeable in the lightly tart dark fruit finish. A solid Belgian Strong Dark.

Photo of plaid75
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at DEKs, Rocky Point, New York.

Poured a deep black hue with a two finger foamy off white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured sour notes, soft cocoa and a slight ester.

The taste was a bit more sour than I had expected. Otherwise sift malts, cocoa and caramel appeared. Not as much dark fruit as expected.

The mouthfeel was toward the smoother side of the style.

Overall a tasty ale. The sourness was a bit off putting however.

Photo of sendbeer
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 1,178 ratings.