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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no score

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Reviews: 507
Hads: 1,310
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.61%
Wants: 84
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 Rhettroactive
3.37/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From can to Bruges hybrid glass on 3/16/11
*From notes

A: The crimson hue is nice, but the simple one finger head isn't. With a beer like this, I expect a really big, mammoth head and killer lacing. Not so much - this one dissipates quickly and hardly leaves anything behind.

S: Cinnamon sticks and cane sugar. It comes off a bit like Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. After the inital bouquet, slight prunes and hard candied sugar persist.

T: Fruity complexity hit the buds first. It's also slightly yeasty on the fore to mid, with a surprising and tasty pinch of vanilla extract and sun dried fruit on the finish. The alcohol is also present throughout, and the aftertaste reminds me a bit of nutrasweet.

M: Signifigantly overcabred for the style. You've got to keep in mind that a lot of brews within the Belgian Strong Dark category will be bottle conditioned. With a canned beer like Monk's Blood, it's simply not possible. This comes off thin, flabby and brash.

O: 21st Ammendment's Monk's Blood is not half bad. I can honestly say that it's one of only two beers they make that I didn't want to drainpour. This is a reasonably good option in a pinch, but something I wouldn't reach for with better options at hand.

I should note that as this warmed, I picked up quite a bit of rubbing alcohol on the palate. (1,316 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.66/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz can picked up Saturday at Brewforia... Cool to see this one. Poured into my Delirium goblet.

1" lite tan head goes away pretty quickly... the brew is very deeep red.

Nose is mild dark fruits.. lite caramel.. raisins and mild fig blossom a bit with alot of warmth... so do some tannic elements... just sooo mild.. I can't go higher than a 3.

Is this brewed with a Belgian yeast? Mild dark fruits remind me of sweet cherry essence and some old raisins.. something that reminds me of black tea tannins.. none of the advertised spices are crossing my palate.. and really, none of the expected phenols or esters are either.

No alcohol to really be found ... Body is about right for the style but the carbonation is too light .. the overall lack of an sort of Belgian complexities really make me turn my shoulder on this brew... that said, I is pretty okay for what it is, but to allude to any "Belgian" characteristics is a bad misstep. The bad thing for me, is the drinkability is actually pretty high if I look beyond my above negatives.. this would be a great camping beer where I want something different without having to think too much.

I appreciate ALL American breweries that are experimenting with Belgian styles, but this seems like it was brewed with a clean American yeast and then tried to mask that folly with spices and oak.

4/3/3.5/4/4.5 (1,359 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
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. (510 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.13/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 10oz glass. The beer poured a clear reddish brown color with a tan head that had OK retention and lacing. there was a sweet malty scent with some spice and fruit. The flavor also had slightly fruity, slightly sweet and malty taste with a bit of a tart finish. The body was full and smooth with a slightly sticky finish.The drinkability was typical for the style. Overall, a pretty typical example of the style. (422 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a small snifter. Dark red amber in the glass with a half finger off-white head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of fresh and dried dark stone fruit, particularly plums, sweet caramel malt, Belgian yeast. Flavor follows with semi sweet dark stone fruit, caramel malt, light Belgian yeast and spicing, hints of vanilla. Medium bodied with nice carbonation. A quite nice domestic take on the Belgian strong dark style with some dubbel characteristics. Enjoyable. 21st Amendment beer seems to be uneven, probably due to the fact that they are brewed at different locations, I've had one canned beer months apart that were alternatively great and truly awful. This was quite well made and encouraging. (711 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Belgian style dark ale brewed with cinnamon, vanilla, oak chips and dried figs.

A: Burnt autumn orange pour sits as a dark cranberry red in the vessel with a harvest gold tinted head that is thin and whispy and quick to dissipate leaving small speckled spots for lace. A dozen or so macro-sized yeast cake particles collect on the bottom of the vessel.

S: Oaky alcohol, caramel apples with some cinnamon and vanilla. The alcohol is quite dominant.

T: The flavor is sweet caramel grains, toasted with noticeable oaky alcohol. Apple skins, worty hints, honey with some sugary raisins. Warm and spicy alcohol with a bit of acidity. Spicy alcohol laced apple skins linger about after the swallow.

M: Warm and spicy alcohol with a medium fullness. High carbonation with lingering after thoughts of alcohol.

O: The alcohol is quite noticeable, perhaps a bit overshadowing for some of the finer points of the drink preventing the complexity from being more appreciated. Warming and spicy. (991 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Dark mahogany body with an ambivalent combination of bright ruby and muddy brown highlights. Khaki head with ok retention and low lace.

S - Sweet cherry cordial, muscat grape. A little artificial on the cherry note. Touches of cedar and caramel.

T - Very similar to the nose. Sweet (maybe overly sweet) cherry pie filling. Oak, caramel, molasses, pumpernickel bread, and raisin bran muffins.

M - Medium body. Nice carbonation.

O - The style edges sweet, but this beer still a touch too sweet. That said there's a really nice, well balanced complexity to the flavor profile. (584 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.31/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz can into a tulip.

Appearance: hazy dark, chocolatey brown with a finger of thick tan head. Looks good to me.

Smell: a little sweet and malty but I get a lot of the old band-aid aroma which, while it doesn't really offend me, doesn't seem like it would be on purpose. Underneath that is a little woodiness which is nice, but overall I'm not terribly impressed.

Taste: flavor is more complex than the aroma, but sadly it also includes the band-aids (though it is a much smaller percentage of the flavor profile). Woodiness also remains, but this is nice. There is a little fruitiness present which consists of a little plum and perhaps a little cherry. Overall, not too bad, but not great.

Mouthfeel: sticky with a medium body. Carbonation seems a little low to me, at least for the style, so there is not as much creaminess as I like. Not bad, not great.

Drinkability: this beer just doesn't come together for me. It's far from bad, but it has a few problems for which its redeeming qualities fail to compensate. I won't seek it out again, at least not this year, but I won't outright knock it, either. (1,123 characters)

Photo of DrJay
3.12/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a chalice. Looks a bit hazy, deep reddish brown with a fine beige cap. Sticky, spotty lacing. The aroma was heavy on malts and fruits - bread and toffee, raisins and figs, earthy, slight alcohol, brown sugar and cocoa. Sweet toffee flavour up front, spicy notes appear mid-palate along with dried fruits with a fair bit of alcohol and grain character bringing up the rear. It's not immediately clear to me whether the flavours are just subtle, or are a little thin when compared to the aroma, but it's pretty mild tasting overall. Full bodied with very fine carbonation, alcohol warmth, decent texture. Not bad, but a little underwhelming. After getting through the full can, it seems like the flavour just didn't come together for me - too much alcohol for the rest of the flavour profile. (802 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a dark amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smells of dark fruits and spices. Taste is like it smells, dark fruit and spices, some notes of alcohol. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer. (275 characters)

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice malty murky brown. Some orange/amber through the light. No head but a slight rim around the edges.

S - Smells like tangy yeast, bannana, caramel and sweet malt.

T - Nice rich flavor with toffee, sweet malts and plenty of warm alcohol. The alcohol is sweet and smooth on the palate. Some dark sugars here as well. Oaky vanilla notes floating around. Through some more sipping, malt and faint chocolate are picked up.

M - It's pretty effervescent on the tongue but a nice medium body and well balanced with the flavors. Nothing here is overpowering. If anything the alcohol warming on the way down is noticable.

Notes - A nice solid choice here. All the expected flavors of a BSDA but not too rich or syruppy. Medium bodied and pretty easy to drink. Well balanced. (784 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark iron rich blood appearance. Bubbly beige head has some stick to it. rum, figs, raisins, cinnamon, tree bark. Lots of stuff going on here in the nose. Same on the buds. Lots of flavors and depth. Cherry based fig backbone. Cinnamon and vanilla accent nicely. Raisins. Woodiness. Fairly sweet, but not overly so. This is good. I'd give it a 4.25 in flavor if I could, but this is on the 4 side o fit rather than the 4.5 side of it. Mouthfeel is very even keel. Lightly carbonated and the alcohol is hidden quite nicely. (522 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce can. Served in a DFH Signature Glass, the beer pours a dark reddish/brown color with about a half inch light tan head. Head retention is decent, and there's a good amount of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is dark fruit (fig, raisin, cherry), cinnamon, candi sugar and vanilla. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's the addition of some peppery spice and a bit of oak. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy with good carbonation. Drinkability is OK, it's not hard to drink at all. I think it's a solid brew and worth trying. (544 characters)

Photo of glid02
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a hazy brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with moderate amounts of vanilla and sugar-coated dark fruits. Also present are hints of brown sugar and lighter hints of molasses.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though more nuanced. Robust caramel malt flavors with hints of toastiness and nuttiness kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are solid amounts of brown sugar and booze-soaked raisins. Near the end of the sip mild amounts of vanilla come into play - sweeter and somewhat resembling extract more so than vanilla in other beers I've had - before fading out into a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with decent carbonation.

Drinkability is OK. I finished my glass without a problem however I'm not sure about another.

Overall I wasn't a big fan of this beer - there was a lot going on and the levels of each flavor didn't seem to be as they should be. Far from a bad beer but one not worth seeking. (1,084 characters)

Photo of claspada
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aromas begin with your typical Belgian yeast smells: clove, banana and a little peppery spice. You are then greeted with caramel and toffee malts which are quite enticing.
The tastes begin in the opposite direction with waves of caramel and biscuity maltiness. You then get the yeasty, estery, phenols Belgian yeast flavors, but they are not overwhelming by any means which is good because I dislike overly aggressive strong Belgian yeast flavors. The flavors finish with a sweet toffee finish.
Mouthfeel is quite full and sweet. Carbonation is enough, but I could have used a little more for the style.
Overall this is a good Belgian Dubbel style ale, wouldn't classify it as a Belgian dark strong because it is lacking any of the dark fruitiness that complements that style. A bit sweet overall but still tasty; worth a taste if available. (842 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally a can review!

A - Well besides the kickass name and label you get a dark amber hue with slight carbonation and mild bubbly head.
S - Wow the Belgian yeast is strong in this one! Along side is muted figs and slight herbal.
T - Well tastes of well balanced fruit, cinnamon, and vanilla all oak cast. Very minimal bitterness from the yeast vet alcohol is only present when warmed.
M - Very light and carbonated surprising for the ABV.
D - Well at 4 dollars a can or 50 dollars a case, PA is pretty strict when enjoying this beer in say a reasonable 10 dollars a four pack. Ow well some day yet great brew. (611 characters)

Photo of rudzud
1.53/5  rDev -59.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A - Murkey rust color with hardly any head that immediately disappeared with hardly any lacing.

S - Has to be a bad can or something. Just smells, well, rotten. Can't pick up anything other than an offputting smell. Wow.

T - If I pinch my nose I can drink this. Not because the taste is bad, but because of the smell coming off it. I can pick up yeast, carmal, and some weird fruityness.

M - Smooth with little carbonation. Ugh, the smell.

D - Just cant get past the smell. Its horrific! Definate drain pour this can is. Very shocked. I was pretty sure I had drank this before and liked it so I went after a lone can of this. Just must have been a rotten can. This should be much lower rated, but I remember how good this was. Would probably be mostly 4's or so if I had a different can. (791 characters)

Photo of ccrida
2.11/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On draught at the Collins Pub, served in a small chalice, Monk's Blood is dark ruby with a small off-white head that leaves very light nice lace.

Smell is rich, sweet, dates and prune. Some is off, what is the FG of this, like 1.040??

Taste is similar, too sweet though for my taste in the style, and lacking esters. The alcohol creeps out a bit too much.

Mouthfeel is semi-dry, medium bodied, lacking digestibility.

Drinkability is on the lower side style wise. I knew I'd had this before and didn't like it, and am wondering why I bothered again. Fail. (561 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
2.81/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

mmmm... canned BSDA. Thank you, Peter!

A deep ruby red with a really dense and creamy light-brown head, this beer is quite gorgeous. With nice, red highlights, this is really a beautiful beer. The nose? Not so much. Plenty of adjuncts atop a very big and sweet beer, this is a touch disappointing. The dried fig character is immediately noticeable, along with the vanilla, some raisin character and a touch of alcohol. The cinnamon doesn't really jump out and the oak is noticeable as a mildly woody character. There's also a touch of chocolate syrup and some raisins. Decent.

Jesus Christ, what is this shit? Well, that was my initial reaction, but as I revisit this, what I'm struck by is the massive fig character of this beer, just so in your face. With a big fruity character, there's also some cherry juice and a mild tartness. Oak and vanilla appear mid-palate with a moderate grainy astringency. Quite cola-like, this is drying on the finish with a blend of cherry juice and figs, this is not particularly exciting. Medium-light in body with a high level of carbonation, this is a passable attempt at a Belgian dark, but it lacks nuance, complexity and enjoyability. (1,176 characters)

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

12 oz can poured into a Unibroue tulip. 8.3% ABV, "Brewed with cinnamon, vanilla, oak chips, and dried figs." No date.

Thanks to Beerwolf77 for can #3/3!

A - Monk's Blood certainly seems like blood with it's deep crimson color. Beautiful clarity and a quickly forming, slowly fading white oak head. Good lace left on the glass is icing on the bloody cake.

S - Dried figs are most predominant with a mild Belgian candi sugar and yeast background. Mellow malt with hints of vanilla, suggestions of honey-draped, gooey bread follow through as it ends with traces of oak chips. No cinnamon in here so far.

T - This subtle-yet-complex beer offers new flavors to find with each sip. Lots of Belgian influence from the yeast and dark fruit esters of plum and cherry to the lingering sweet sugars. Figs add a very nice touch. Vanilla pokes in and out while honey and smooth caramel malt provide a base for this beer. Again, no cinnamon though.

M - Medium-bodied and smooth, Monk's Blood is fairly carbonated with a subtly dry finish that balances the sweetness well.

D - Very good Belgian-style beer. The yeast is well-done and the subtle nuances beg for another sip. A great brew all around! (1,190 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque chocolaty brown with a thick light tan head. Rich aroma has a malty core and cinnamon, caramel and apple notes plus hints of wood and cloves. Excellent flavor has malty, fruity, cinnamon, horehound and hoppy notes. Bitterness is subtle and nicely balances the sweet component. Lively, fizzy texture has firm body and leaves a woody, fruity finish. Take, drink, this is monk’s blood! :D (403 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a brownish color, tints of red, with decent head that left some lace. A semi-sweet smell of minor sugary malt along with some tart fruits for a balanced aroma, although the typical Belgian yeast/orange smell I find in most ales is lacking. Medium-bodied beer that has a mix of tart fruit and some citric notes along with hints of caramel malt and some stickiness to it. Gets a tad too sticky and becomes chewey but other than that this is an easy drinker but just a tad too mellow for my liking. (502 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
2.86/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a murky dark brown color. Head is frothy and of regular stature. Head retains well and leaves consistent lacing rings.

S-Whoa big banana notes. Also some underlying cherry notes. Smells like a mixture between banana bread and cherry lozenges. Lightly oaked too. A unusual and enticing nose with plenty going on.

T-The artificial cherry flavor leaves a grimace on my face. Not too much hoppiness. The complexity is lost in the cherry cough-syrup maelstrom. Plums and figs come out too. Spices linger. Oak is masked more than in the nose. Not a big fan of the overly stressed cherry flavor.

M-Full bodied. Moderate carbonation. A bit sticky.

O/D-Not a fan of this beer. I haven't come across a brew with that artificial fruit flavor that I have enjoyed. Not my style. Glad I only bought one can. I did not enjoy this beer but I can understand why some people may. Once again, just not for me. (903 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured mahogany in color with a thin, creamy cap. Nose reveals figs with a hint of spice - definitely on target for the style. Taste consistent with nose with perhaps a hint of cocoa. Mouthfeel was medium-light with an easy carbonation and a slightly dry finish. Style consistent and drinks quite easy at 8.30%. Who knew a Belgian Strong Dark in a can could taste so good. (372 characters)

Photo of rfgetz
3.32/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a mahogany brown with more noticeable red highlights when held against the light. Small bit of tan head gone quickly. Scent is filled with all things Belgian - banana, bubblegum, bready yeast, spice and dark fruit. Taste comes across as very muddled and earthen - none of the components of scent stand out particularly well against a backdrop of brown sugary sweet malt. Quite a bit of solventy alcohol, tannic woodyness and sharp bitterness prevent anything from shunning through. Medium bodied, appropriate carbonation. The listed ingredients made me very interested in trying this beer, but when they are hard to pinpoint under some harsh notes, it makes for a disappointing beer. (689 characters)

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