Founders Blushing Monk | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Blushing MonkFounders Blushing Monk

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Essentially an "Imperial Rübæus," this ale contains four times the amount of raspberries as Rübæus and is fermented with a Belgian yeast strain.

Added by granger10 on 09-15-2005

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Reviews: 613 | Ratings: 2,279
Photo of J0E
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I cracked open my bottle last night.

a: Poured into a snifter. A nice dark deepest red with a bright pink head about 2 fingers thick. The head dissipated fairly quickly with a nice amount of lacing afterward. Looks like a sparkling red wine.

s: So much raspberry! A hint of belgian yeast. Very sugary. Pretty much what I was expecting from the color, except the yeast adds a bit of complexity.

t: Very similar to the smell. A sugary cascade of sweet raspberry juice. Then a bit of a sour bite. It doesn't taste fake or contrived. Just real raspberry juice with a yeasty bread like finish. No alcohol burn at all. You'd think this was just sparkling juice.

m: A little syrupy, and plenty of carbonation.

o: This is the fruitiest beer I've had in a long time. It isn't something I'd want to drink regularly, but it is very well done. An interesting break from my usual stout or IPA.

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Photo of badboyrsl84
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark red like wine with a fuzzy red head.

Smell- hmm outstanding! Tons of sweet raspberries and a small hint of belgian.

Taste- F me! New Glarus has some competition with this one. Strong raspberries all the way out. Sweet up front and a little raspberry tart and Belgian hint at the end. Zero hint of alcohol.

Overall- its amazing and i usually share but with this one I hated sharing.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a snifter.
2011 batch sharred with the wife.

A- The appearance on this beer is really nice looking, dark blood red color, one finger dark pink head, red hues coming off the bottom, nice lacing and retention, well carbonated.
S- The aroma is very fruity, fresh raspberries take over the aroma, the yeast is present in the background.
T- Wow this one is very sweet with a slight tart taste to it, nice fizzy bite as well, this is a nice dessert beer, big raspberry flavors and Belgium yeast in the background, the only negative comment I have is it’s a little too sweet.
M- Medium mouthfeel, coats the palate, very sweet and tart.
O- Really enjoyed this beer, extremely easy drinkability, the abv is hidden well, the raspberry flavor coming out is fantastic, like I said earlier this beer gets to be a little too sweet after a couple of glasses. This is a beer to share with others.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into tulip - thanks to aviencko for sharing

Pours a brilliant ruby red color with some darker hues. Almost electric pink head with some bubblegum touches rests on top, filmy retention with some spots of lacing. I haven't seen a beer that looked like this since Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek.

Strong scents of raspberries, hints of faint alcohol and jam-like consistency. Sugar sweetness, slight natural tartness driven by under-ripe fruit edges. Faint yeast notes as well.

Sweet up front with raspberries and jam. Explosive berry flavor and soft natural tartness. Everything is fruit forward, clean, and right in your face, without too much manipulation. Despite the higher ABV, the alcohol is nearly nonexistent. Some syrupy sweetness towards the finish with some more raspberry flavor.

Fuller medium body, lower carbonation, sticky and lingering on the tongue, almost dries out the tongue after a while. One of the better non-sour fruit beers I've had, and definitely right up there with Raspberry Tart.

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Photo of 1Adam12
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours insanely red. I just stared at it for a few minutes admiring the awesome color. Smells of sweet sugary raspberry. The taste was light raspberry, and belgian yeast, followed by HUGE raspberry upon swallowing. Tastes extremely genuine, nothing fake about it. Carbonated, semi heavy, creamy, mouthfeel. Big time sipper, but actually got easier to drink as it warmed. Overall this was an awesome experience. The next bottle I open will be with a nice chocolate ganache. I feel it will pair perfectly with it.

Edit: oct 26 2013. This got amazing. So balanced and smooth. As far as fruit beers go, this could not be any better.

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Photo of beerhan
4.26/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage

Poured into a snifter. Blood red color with a thick pink foamy head the color of blush wine.

Smells very fruity, lots of raspberries of course that over dominate everything else as well as some candied sugar and a lot of yeast.

Taste is slightly tart with a finish similar to that of a triple. Thoroughly enjoyable. Very refreshing and not overly tart but just right.

Tickles the tongue with sourness but is incredible drinkable. The alcohol is almost non existent and I can't state enough how surprised I was that this beer is so good. Expensive but well worth the money.

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Photo of Daniellobo
2.88/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sweet fruitiness numbs the palate.

Presentation: 750 ml brown capped bottle. Lazy label with Founders branding in soft faded scarlet hue with the name of the brew and a cut out of a raspberry and faint images of the fruit in the white background. Shows vintage 2001, and 9.2% Alc. by Vol. Poured into a snifter.

A - Deep crimson pour, short pinkish head with moderate to low retention, and little lacing.

S - Intense raspberry nose, heavy and sweet. Quite mono-chord, faint yeasty touch in the background.

T - Ouch, the nose was actually a shy advanced of the things to come… Brutally sweet raspberry. Hefty sweetness destroying any nuances that this brew might be riding on. Imaginary yeasty touch in the distance, cloying sweetness screaming raspberry, and screaming annoyingly loud.

M - Medium-full body specially after the intense sense of the brew, moderate if fair carbonation that does not entertain much the brew beyond its hammering identity.

O - Not a horrible brew but the overwhelming and mono-chord fruitiness seriously compromises the drinkability. Two or three ounces as a curious taste are actually more than enough.

Notes: Founder's brews some of my all time favorite brews, and then stuff like this… It is not as bad as their Cerise but the experience with their fruit brews… This one lacks the complex boozy punch of say DFH's Fort, or the tart nuances of a good lambic. Quite surprised by the hype generated by this brew, and that this one was selected as the first release in big bottles.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage. Picked this bottle up at the Whole Foods on P St NW in DC. Served in a Founders tulip. Reviewed from my tasting sheet.

Pours a bright light purple color that is quite similar to a light grape juice. Really nice head with a slight pinkish hue. Spotty lacing on the way down. The nose brings loads of raspberry to the level of Barq's Raspberry Cream Soda. Not much depth, but I don't really care, especially once it gets into the flavor. There is some slight yeastiness on the backend of the flavor, but for the most part this is just a raspberry assault that is absolutely beautiful. Some light earthiness, especially in the feel. Lightly tart and fairly sweet, though not too much. Really outstanding beer.

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Photo of gordavidson
4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a very deep, dark purple liquid with some bloody highlights. The pink head is quick to rise and fall and leaves a ring on the surface.

S- A boatload of raspberries with some toasted bread on the finish. Simple but very intriguing.

T- Sweet raspberries... lots of them. A bit tart and bready on the finish. Overall, it is incredibly well balanced.

M- Light carbonation with a nice tartness on the finish. Clean and sweet.

O- Drinks extraordinarily well for the alcohol content. Simple, but really well done. Very sweet and would make for an excellent dessert beer.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A crazy strong raspberry ale that's all about the fruit. One dimensional throughout, this beer is every much a showcase for the raspberry in much the same way that hops are for IPA's. ...and wonderfully so.

A pour of blood-red releases a pinkish head of froath and sprite- caught somewhere between a Belgian pale ale and champagne. bright clarity gives a remarkable ruby red glow that reminds me of Lindeman's Framboise except with better clarity. Low on lace, the 12+% abv and dry malt base won't allow more.

Succulent and bright aromas of raspberry juice, freshly squeezed fills the nose. Background aromas of citric acids provide a subtle balance and moderate tart scent that provides roundness to the nose. Fructose sweetness blends well with the malts of soft powdered sugars for a less tart scent. The yeasty spice and fruit all reinforce the raspberry focus without confussion. An absolutely exquisite scent!

Flavors are nearly a mirror description of what's found in the nose: Raspberry on the forefront from the initial sip, through the depth of the gullet. Vine-rippened and freshly picked, the beer preserves all those juicy and vibrant fruit flavors with natural tasting sweetness and a smooth citric acidity that provides a tart balance to the fresh rapberry sweetness. Never sour or bitter, the beer is an flawless display of what raspberries should taste like in a beer. The surpressed malts, yeasty spice and fruitiness, and alcohol provide just enough support to the fruit without bringing attention to themselves.

Medium-full textures to start makes a quick transition towart fruity tartness, light pectin bite and slight astringency in finish as the carbonation proves fleeting and the tartness meshes with alcohol for a warm and dry finish with a memory of raspberry that lingers well into the next sip. Much lighter than New Glarus' Raspberry Tart for increased dryness and less interference from malt.

An insanely intense display of raspberry! Avoiding all the common flaws of typical fruit beers, and with the excessive use of fruit, it's remarkable how vibrant and true that this beer is to nature and the character of the plant.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased locally, shared with Yagman3000.

a - i expected pink, but i got RED. deep passionate red. soft pink foamy head that dissipated quick. very deep and dark core, but lighter around the edge by the glass. this beer says passion, this beer says lust, this beer says raspberry.

s - WOW. that is NO joke. you want to talk raspberry? i don't...i can't talk after that smell...IN YOUR FACE RASPBERRY. i wouldn't be surprised if this was a fruit juice. sweet, a little booze. hard core.

t - as expected raspberry. a bit wine-cooler-ish...definitely sweeter than i had expected, but good. captures the flavor really well. pushes the boundaries of what a beer can be.

m - the mouthfeel jumped at me at first. very carbonated...almost flavored seltzer like. fizzy...fruity. i think that the mouthfeel is what makes this beer odd to a fizzy fruit soda, but it is a beer.

o - i have no problems drinking this beer and find it to feel more beer like than many other vedgie beers, but i don't know...something about it...maybe it is just the style in general, but it doesn't feel like beer to me. i think it is the mouth. overall an enjoyable experience and i plan to try and get ahold of a few more bottles...very good.

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Photo of Yagman3000
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared generously by fellow BA Cosmicevan. Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a goblet.

Looks a beautiful and surprising purple red color. This looks like it is going to be strongly flavored. Small foamy ring remains at rest on top.

Smells deliciously of raspberries. Very heavily scented and I'm hoping it's more on the sweet side than the tart.

Tastes rather sweet - almost boysenberry jam - but its mouthfeel takes over soon after. No hops and limited maltiness.

Mouthfeel is slightly fizzy and carbonated.

Overall a really nice beer that is one of the stronger flavored fruit beers I've tried. And, for s 9.2% beer, it's a great dessert.

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Photo of NCBeerFan
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been anxious to try this brew since Founders announced they were going to be bottling it. Pours a magnificent, deep burgundy with a slight pinkish-tinged head. The aroma is dominated by raspberries, with some candied sugar coming through just a bit. The taste closely follows the smell, with the sweet raspberries more apparent on the initial taste, and a more tart, drying finish…quite pleasant. This is a brew that I couldn't drink regularly, but as a dessert beer (cherry/peach cobbler come to mind), or maybe even paired with fruit salad, this beer would be perfect. The alcohol really isn't that apparent, although I'm sure after a 750ml bottle of this, you'd likely know it was there!! Glad I have another bottle to try in one of these scenarios….nice job Founders.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The body is an opaque, deep, dark red. It's almost a shade of violet and the head is a deep pink hue. It's really a great looking beer.

The smell is all raspberries and sugar. It seriously smells like a glass of sweetened raspberry juice would.

Just as the smell, the taste is completely one dimensional but it works. It's superbly tart and sweet at the same time.

Mouthfeel has a light syrup consistency but still cut with good carbonation. It wouldn't work well with most beers but because of the fruity nature of this it seems perfect.

This is an outstanding beer. It was a chore to finish a 750 because of the high sweetness, but one glass is extremely easy to put down. The abv (note 9.2% on the label, not 12.3%) is non-existant.

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Photo of CuttDeez
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a pint glass.

A - A dark ruby red body of a beer. The head is large foamy and fizzy with a pink hue.

S - Awesome sweet smelling fruity sugary aroma that screams raspberries.

T & M & D - The sugary sweetness is right in the front and in the middle. The raspberries are there throughout the whole mouth and it is gooood! There is a nice tart level without being too dry and puckering. The beer finished pretty smooth and easy.

O - Great beer and it was more complex than your average fruit beer. It hid it's alchohol well and was crisp and refreshing. Great beer.


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Photo of Brew33
3.76/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 Blushing Monk

I won't claim to be a big fan of Fruit beers. I love traditional fruit Lambics but most fruit beers leave me looking for more.

Blushing Monk looks like Black Cherry KoolAid in color. A very rich red color. Very viscous, little carbonation which is perfect for this beer. The aroma is all raspberries. Just a ton of ripe berry in the aroma. Much more sweet than tart. I'm getting a metallic aroma too.

The flavor is best described as a raspberry bomb. Very sweet, Little evidence of hops, malt, or yeast initially. The yeast becomes more apparent as it warms. Some of that metallic quality shows up in the finish. Long, sweet, finish. This is a $16, liquid dessert. The mouthfeel is very full. A big beer to be sure. Overall, it's not really my cup of tea but it's a well made beer.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a BrewDog cervoise glass. From notes. Reviewed 9 July 2011. This was our last beer of the night, and it put me under. Consider it a drunk review.

A: So damn pink. Thin head, some bubbles. The rich pinkness is enchantingly interesting.

S: Very sweet. Lots of berries. It's pleasant, if one-dimensional. Honestly, I'm still more interested in looking at it than smelling it.

T: Nothing like what I expected. I've never liked fruit beers, so this was unexpectedly magnificent. Tart, lovely, and full of raspberries. Lovely sipping, and easily the best 'sour' beer I've ever tasted.

M: Light and puckery, tart and moreish. I really enjoy the feeling, especially after a night of imperial stouts.

O: I love it. It doesn't do much else other than tart raspberries, but then again it doesn't need to. Again, this is hands-down the best fruit beer I've come across. Highly recommended, despite the hefty price tag.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up from the local Binny’s for $15.99. I’ve been excited to try this. 2011 bottle, 9.2%.

Appearance – Pours a crazy deep vibrant red into my tulip. About two fingers of awesome looking pink head is achieved with a moderate pour, which dissipates relatively quickly leaving spotty lacing.

Smell – I was anticipating raspberries, and I was not disappointed. Just loads of raspberries – smells like when you puree them to make jam. Slight Belgian yeast and dark malts/caramel come through as the beer warms. But hands down, raspberries dominate the nose.

Taste – Wow, what an interesting beer. Though the beer itself is not “sour” per-say, it still has tartness from the raspberries which immediately makes my mouth pucker with the first sip. It really is like drinking puréed raspberries, some nice bready Belgian yeast is noticeable, and ends with more raspberry flavor. One dimensional? Somewhat, but at the same time it is doing what it does so well.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, creamy but not syrupy (much less syrupy than say Belgian Red), and finishes just a hint dry oddly.

Overall – Being a huge raspberry fan in general, I knew I’d like this beer. After drinking it I can confidently say I would buy this again in a heartbeat. I will state, however, that the price is pushing it, but for being such a unique brew, and one that hides the alcohol so well, it is really worth it. Try this if you can; it is worth the money.

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Photo of samie85
4.88/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 vintage; 9.2%.

A-Pours a ridiculously extravagant dark fuchsia color with a half finger reddish head.

S-Huge mouth-watering aromas of ripe raspberry mingle with some light malt and cocoa.

T-Love the complexity with some light chocolate mixed in with huge tart raspberry notes and finishes with a light bitterness.

M-Rich and luxuriously thick feel with low carbonation but a crisp finish.

D-A ridiculously enjoyable beer; way more complex than any other fruit beer I've had; most are one-note fruit bombs. This one has the fruit bomb character but also some nice chocolate with a slight bitter character that keeps me coming back for more. I don't, however, get any of the Belgian yeast character.

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Photo of heyta
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage 750ml bottle

A- Deep but bright garnet color with an amazing head. The head stuck around like on a witbier. Amazing retention.

S - Just opening the bottle I caught a whiff of raspberry and had to dive in for more. This is one of the seriously best smelling beers ever. I really wonder how long this fresh raspberry smell can last, and how this will drink in a year.

T - Fairly one dimensional here with the raspberry, but the alcohol buoys this one to a much fuller taste than Raspberry Tart, which is the only beer that comes to mind as similar. Very exceptional raspberry taste -- I keep going back for more.

M - Carbonation seems to fit the style well. It's definitely a heavy drink with a full mouthfeel.

O - At $13.99 a bottle, it's not as bad as in some places here, and after trying it, I went back to the store for more. This is also a fairly versatile beer, as it would pair exceptionally well with a rich chocolate cake (think flourless) or even just some dark chocolate. Also would be a great dessert beer on it's own.

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Photo of Preismj
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: Dark red with a nice velvety pink head. good carbonation to it and decent lacing. Looks beautiful and rich...nice thickness to it

s: like dark fruit and sourness. hints of sweet alcohol permeate from the rim here.

t: raspberry up front and a mixture of dark berry in the mid. a hint of the typical belgian flair as you let this dry on the palette. There is a bit of heat this this, though it is a sweet wine like presence of alcohol that is welcome. I had the pleasure of trying this next to lindemans. I'd be interested to have a version of the framboise that was more in the 6-7% range...though I'm very curious of the heat this used to have when it was at 12.3%.

m: rich, creamy and with just enough fizz. any thinner here and it would have not been good.

o: a greate brew. Nice fruit flavor and just sweet enough that I can finish the bomber without feeling ill. Highly recommend

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Photo of ridglens
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear purple/red/pink beer poured into a bruery snifter. a very pretty color. Bubbly pink head gets about 2.5 fingers big, but quickly dies to a thin ring/layer. there is a medium amount of pink lacing left behind. swirling gets a great flow of bubbles, and leaves more lacing. A very pretty beer.

S- expecting nothing but raspberries, and that isn't far from the truth. Huge smell of wonderful fresh raspberries, haven't smelled anything close since rasp. tart, and i think this is better....maybe
behind the raspberries are some more beer-y smells, some light wood/malf smells, but you have to dig. also some alcohol smell as well... smells mighty tasty.

T- Woah! raspberries everywhere! also some great wood flavors, and a little oatiness? great initial taste! there is some alcohol taste as well, but not an off-putting amount. The only issue is the aftertaste. it's not terrible, but its kind of a tartness that is a hair rotten/lambic ish (normally wonderful) that doesn't quite fit. i think it's the huge shift from sweet to tart, but it adds a bit of bight to the beer that isn't altogether wonderful.

M- not as cloyingly syrupy as I expected, which is a great thing. the carbonation is also at a really nice level, the bubbles break up the sweetness on your tongue and accentuates the tartness.

O- Not a perfect beer, but they hit the mark they were aiming for. it is really good, and definitely worth seeking out. Cheers!

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Photo of khumbard
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle poured into a Founders tulip.

Pours a very deep red with a pink head. One of the best thing about fruit beers is how they look, and this one is better than I expected.

Smell is huge raspberries of course. Smells sweet and tart, behind it is some belgian yeast character... but who are we kidding, the raspberries are the star.

Taste is very solid. Starts off with sweet raspberries, some fruity belgian malt/yeast influence, and finishes off with a tart raspberry kick. I would not put this into the sour category, but its more like the tartness of a fresh raspberry.

Mouthfeel is nice. Good carbonation level, but it finishes just a little bit too sticky for me to give it more than a 4.

Overall I am pleasantly surprised by this release. I expected it to be good, but I'm not usually a really huge fan of non-sour fruit beers. As usual, Founders delivers. It's pricey, but I wouldn't turn down another one for sure. Probably the best fruit beer I've had.

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Photo of ahlavato
4.88/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

At 14.99 per bottle, I can't see picking this one up all too often, though its rarity assures I will not have the opportunity.

Like pretty much everything Founders makes, this beer is worth trying even if its style is not your typical cup of tea. It is a more drinkable raspberry than new glarus's raspberry tart and the considerable alcohol is masked rather well. In fact, the only evidence is a gentle warming after the fruity tartness fades.

Strongly recommended, even if only a rare diversion from the myriad IPA's and stouts that populated my fridge normally.

Note that its alcohol content, according to the label, is 9.2%, not 12.3.

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Photo of BlackWolfsburg
4.26/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Paid $19.99 for the 750 ML bottle in Western PA, hope it's worth it.

Appearance- Well this is a beautiful beer, and not at all what I expected it to look like. A very striking dark purple that turns into a deep ruby red when held to the light. It looks more like a wine than a beer.

Smell- Raspberry to the max! What did you expect? The Raspberries pretty much overpower anything else.

Taste- Raspberries, raspberries, and raspberries. Don't think that's all this beer has to offer though, you'll also get some very nice tart red wine notes along with figs and dark plums.

Mouthfeel- This is where the beer shines the most. The mouthfeel is just absolutely perfect. Velvety smooth and rolls over the tongue with a very gentle tickle of carbonation. If this beer had been carbonated more it would have been ruined.

Overall- I would seek this out again but I don't think I would pay $19.99 for a 750 again. As far as fruit beers go this is an awesome one.

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Founders Blushing Monk from Founders Brewing Company
4.14 out of 5 based on 2,279 ratings.
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