Monk Madness (JLS Release #18) | Rogue Ales

185 Reviews
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Monk Madness (JLS Release #18)Monk Madness (JLS Release #18)

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.40%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by weeare138 on 10-02-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 185 | Ratings: 200
Photo of vanrassel
3.06/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not sure what this beer is supposed to be, and I wonder if the good folks at Rogue — whose craftsmanship is usually beyond reproach — know either. I mean, what's with the Belgian reference, "monk madness" when this isn't a Belgian style of any sort? Maybe I've lost my sense of humour....

At any rate, this is a good-looking beer, pouring with a three-finger beige head over a dark copper-coloured body. Not much to the smell, however: a vague chocolate aroma with a yeasty funk.

I thought the flavour had a bit of rye to it (I know it's not an ingredient) and bitter, dry hops really came through. Sweet chocolate and malted milk provide some balance but don't even things out. The carbonation is prickly and a sticky finish coated my palate. Overall an interesting experience, but not one I necessarily enjoyed — despite repeated attempts.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$5.49 for a 22oz bomber. Brewed with 2-row pale, Belgian Munich, Belgian Special B, Weyemann Melonoidin, and amber malts. Hopped with "Belgian Nobles" (whatever that means...Saaz?), Chinook, Amarillo, Centennial, and Summit hops. Fermented with Rogues Pacman yeast.

O.G.=18 degrees plato. 68 IBU. 78 Alpha Acids. 36 degrees Lovibond.

Pours out to a cloudy dark amber, forming a small khaki-yellow head with average retention and sparse lacing. Finely beaded Rogue carbonation, moderate level. Aroma is nutty at first with that beautiful ester profile and residual sugars I love about the Pacman yeast. Swirling produces a nice head and brings out some slightly skunky MJ Amarillo. Gotta love it. Beautiful nose. Mouthfeel is silky smooth with a nice hop astringency and bite. Taste begins with big amber malts and lots of darkened fruits, candy-like residual sugars, followed by a big peppery blast of green, oily hops and a moderately strong bitterness. Nuts, some sugars, and a hint of toast linger in the finish, but are quickly eeked out by the big herbal bitterness. Cleanly fermented. Alcohol is imperceptable. At first the herbal hops seem a bit out of place and somewhat harsh, but they're growing on me (as hops do). Not balanced...out of whack but in a quirky and pleasant way.

With a monk on the front, I thought this might be a dubbel. Not to be's a big hoppy brown, not far removed from a sweeter version of Arrogant Bastard. A very good brew. Rogue rekindles my faith after some bombers of their last few experiments which didn't turn out so well. Kudos...Northwest style...Boo-yah.

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Photo of hckyfn9999
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy mahogany color with some golden hues. There is a nice creamy, one and a half finger, tan head, with good retention and lacing. Aroma is of piney hops, bread like malt and caramel.
Taste is very hoppy. Lots of resinous pine noted in the aroma to go along with a solid background of malt. Mouthfeel is medium to full and features a pleasant level of carbonation. Alcohol is pretty well hidden. As others have said, i dont know what this has to do with monks as the name implies, but its a pretty decent brown.

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Photo of prototypic
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It's dark brown and has a creamy tan, one-finger head. Head had good retention and laced the glass nicely.

Smell: Initially, it has a very good toasted nut aroma. Also features strong caramel and toffee malts. Hops are certainly present. Smells like a mix of pine and floral hops. Neither seems to overpower the other. Very good smelling brew.

Taste: It's pretty straight forward. Tastes like a great blend of caramel-toffee malts and toasted nuts. It also has a bit of hop bitterness on the tail end and a light yeasty/biscuity taste.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied, well carbonated, and easy to drink. Pretty typical for a Rogue offering. Certainly could be a session beer. Overall, it's a good beer. I'll drink it again.

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Photo of williamherbert
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle...

Colossal ice cream float had. Deep, hazy dark red. Lots of carbonation, and a massive icy lace.

A very pungent malty (almost Belgian) smell. Spicy but very dark and very nutty.

Heavy roasted malt. Quite a sour accent. Hops are there but in the background. Has a sweet/sour mix of toffee. There is a taffy/caramel element. A bit much. Strong.

Thick and creamy but bubbly. Stays on the tongue long after. Really thick. Formidable. It tastes good but is very strong. Both sweet and pungent.

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Photo of EveL
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving was a 22oz bottle

Color is a deep red. Head was about an inch.

Smell is earthy with lots of malt

Taste is complex with sweet malt immediately followed by what can only be described as a burnt malt taste lead into the long dry and hoppy end. Unfortunately nothing really seems to shine through and it is difficult to remember where one part ends and the next begins. Kudos for the complexity though

Mouth feel is thick and moderate carbonation. Maybe a bit too much carbonation as I feel a little less could help this beer shine more.

Overall this is an interesting brew. I feel it's only fault is that it tries to be way too much and this ends up taking away from the individual parts.

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Photo of gmcfarre
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber poured into Imperial Pint Glass
Decanted @ 52 degrees

A - Pours a ruby brown translucent color with an overwhelming 2+ inch head that threatened to overrun my glass. Head settles at 1/2 inch with large bubbles that lace but rarely stick.

S - Dry malt with touches of earth and a slightly nuttiness. Not much hop represented in the smell.

T - This brew presents a very dry malt flavor, almost rye-like, that encompasses but doesn't dominate the beer. Hop bitterness is well represented near the finish, but don't expect much floral or fruit activity on your tongue. Slightly sweet up front with an earthy & nutty flavor.

M - Moderate carbonation with a slightly puckering, mouth-coating feel. Very dry and bitter in the aftertaste.

D - High ABV for the style makes this bomber difficult to finish on my own. A good beer to share and worth picking up, but I doubt it will become a regular. Drank well with an extra sharp cheddar cheese and crackers.

As a bizarre side note, I was recently at an Anthropologie clothing store with my girlfriend in Denver when I noticed a vase made from a bottle of this beer. The bottle had been blown to a traditional vase shape and I assume the heating process made the color fade from the silkscreen label. As awesome as it was, I couldn't justify nor afford the ridiculous $158 price tag.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled March 2007
Pours with a brilliantly clear, ruby red, amber color that is topped by a frothy, initially three finger thick tan colored head. Initially it is a touch fruity, yet there is a raw hop character that is fairly green, quite noticeable, yet not really all that dominating. There is some malt aromatics around the edges of the aroma here; mainly notes of caramelized bread crust, toasty biscuit malt and a touch of raisin like fruitiness around the edges. There are definitely some vegetal hop notes here as well; green onions or even a touch of garlic make up the aroma profile (looking at the label I see that it has Summit hops, which to me have green onion and garlic undertones to the more typically noticed fruity notes). Actually if you dig around a bit a nice hop fruit character (sweet citrus, tangelo, and apricot) as well as a fresh from the toaster whole wheat toast characters are quite noticeable as well.

Fairly sweet taste up front with a soft raisin like fruitiness and a caramelized grain note. It quickly picks up a touch of dark grain sharpness and lots of biting, herbal hop character. As the beer warms a bit the hop fruitiness becomes a bit more noticeable, in addition to the citrus notes a nice, soft berry note becomes apparent. There is a nice gripping bitterness here as well, though at times it can be a bit green and astringently herbal. A herbal / menthol character is evident but really quite well balanced by the fruity hop notes; neither is dominant, but both together certainly play the leading roles in this beer. I really like how the sweet citrus notes interlace with the sharper hop notes of garlic, green onions and (are you detecting a recurring theme here) the herbaceously, freshly cut green flavors here. Other than that initially noticeable malt character the malt tends to play a supporting role; it is not as subservient as one would see in a nicely balanced, yet hop focused IPA, yet instead has lots of fairly noticeable, interesting, malty notes that play a secondary role. Raisin character, concentrated plum, a touch of fig, caramelized brown sugar, molasses, lots of caramelized sweet bread notes, toasted malt and even a touch of cracker-like biscuit character.

The more I root around in this brew, the more I am coming to like it. The complexity is what really grabs my interest here; I certainly would not say this is the most balanced brew in the world, there are a lot of harsher, herbaceous notes here that don't quite jive with the malt or citrus hop character, but they do bring something to the table. These notes bring a sort of palate cleansing effect, without actually requiring a separate palate cleansing between each sip. I wasn't not expecting much from this brew, but it has nicely surprised me in the end and I am definitely enjoying it.

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Photo of CharlieMopps
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Two and a half fingers of thick, foaming head with a deep ruby red, almost maroon color of the beer itself. Good retention and lacing.

S: Sweet sugary malt scent, spicy background notes and a distinct hoppy side cutting through. Complex and inviting smell.

T: A well-balanced toasted malt flavor contrasted with a hop bitterness that rounds out the finish, carrying the heavier malt taste away. Somewhat spicy and yeasty, with an array of tastes hitting the palate at once. Leaves a lingering citrusy aftertaste.

M: Appropriately carbonated, with a thicker texture that suits the flavor well.

D: Overall, a pretty good beer, with multiple malts and flavors coming at you to keep your palate on its toes. Although it seemed like it'd be a Belgian, Rogue throws you for a loop, and it's the taste that truly counts.

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Photo of mymrnngjckt
2.02/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had a bottle of this at the River Street Ale House.

The appereance was a chocolatly brown color. It looked very appealing to the eye. However, the look of it was the only good thing.

The beer smelled like burning plastic. The smell alone made me not want to drink this. Congratulations Rogue, this was a first.

If the beer smelled bad, the taste was 1000 times worse. It tasted like dirt. Old dirt.

Mouthfeel - It tasted like dirt and it felt like a pile of sod in my mouth.

Drinkability: I was happy when I was done drinking it. At one point, I thought about rinsing my mouth out with urinal water just to get the taste of dirt out.

This beer sucked.

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Photo of PlaywrightSam
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into snifter. A: Dark brown with some hints of red, a good amount of creamy, light brown head. S: Very hoppy, a lot of very distant notes that I can’t put my finger on. Maybe some grapefruit, a little malltiness. T: As expected, very hoppy. There are so many ingredients that they all come together to form this spicy sort of blanket, a complete cluster dominated by the hops, dry finish. M: Farily carbonated, not overwhelming. For the high ABV it really doesn’t register ver much. D: Definitely not a Belgian, but very, very enjoyable in it’s own right. Definitely worth a try, if not two.

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Photo of Tballz420
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown to black body, tan head that sticks all over the glass. Candy malt nose, with a hint of alcohol. Hops linger in the backround. Medium to full bodied, Candy malts, some caramel elements, full complement of bitter hops. Alcohol becomes apparent as the beer warms. Interesting beer.

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Photo of ericj551
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My roommate tried this beer with me and his first thought was that it tasted like "really good shampoo." He meant that in a good way.

Monk Madness pours a ruby red with a foamy head and nice lacing. Aroma is fruity malts and a hint of citrusy hops. Taste is dominated by hops, with some nice raisiny malt flavor. Hops are citrusy, with grapefruit and pine flavor. I liked this more the first time I had it, it seemed more balanced.

As a take on the American Brown Ale, its a pretty good beer, but I don't really think there is anything Belgian about it. Pacman yeast is just too clean.

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Photo of elricorico
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My bottle is marked with only 6% ABV. I poured rather quickly and created a large, foamy tan head on top of a medium brown beer. Sticky lacing abounds, and the head is not quick to dissapear.

First noted in the aroma is piney hops. In fact, enough hops to keep me from pulling out any malt aromas.

Taste runs from a quick flash of sweet toffee that is then washed away in a range of hop flavours. Citrus and pine dominate the flavour, and the pine seems to hold the edge in the finish. Not bad, but feel a little one dimensional.

The body feels like an ipa, there is a bit of oily feel to it. The carbonation is pretty strong.

This one just doesn't stand out for me amongst the othe Rogue offerings. Just a hopped up brown really. Decent beer, but forgettable.

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Photo of BeerDonkey
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Different than you think. Mention Monk and you expect Belgian. Well this one isn't, if you can get past the fact you didn't get anything close to a Belgian style beer then you'll be satisified. But why not call it what it is: a double red, imperial american brown or something like that? That's pretty annoying.

Head gives away quickly to a opaque dark amber. Nice sweet aroma of malt and hops typical of most "reds", nothing overwhelming. Tastes like a well balanced amber/red, a little higher in alcohol, but great combination of malt and hops. A great West coast amber. I just wish they called it that. If they did it would've been a 4.5 for me.

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Photo of tonistruth
4.45/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pour produe a copper brew w/amber hues and a 2 finger taunt foamy tan head that was not going anywhere, leaves lace everywhere on glass

S- toasted, grassy, piney, citrus, orange, melon

T- malty w/ a crisp, hoppy edge. toasted malts, grassy and earthy, sweet citrus and melon fruit flavors from malts when brew warms. Good balance, complex

M- this is a palatte number, near medium body, smooth to coarse at times, coarse bite at finish.

D- amazingly complex and damn tasty, definetly a brew to check out, this brew caught me by surprise and what a wonderful surprise it was

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Photo of ski271
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lightly hazy amber-ruby with a medium-sized, light tan, frothy, slowly diminishing head. Very nice hop aroma balanced by a mild yet solid roasted malt base. Pine, toffee, citrus and herbs. Taste follows suit with citrus, earth and resin flavors blending nicely. It has a medium body, creamy-turning-dry texture, and moderate carbonation. Yet another successful beer from Rogue. Nothing spectacular but worth a try for sure.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A surprisingly enjoyable offering from Rogue despite not being at all what you might think. This is a spicy American brown ale, five malts and five hops, from Chinook citrus aroma hops to the spice-like Belgian varieties. Spiciness also emerges from the alcohol content, a touch high for being really comfortable, but really just a warming reminder of what you're drinking. Solid outing. Picked up on a late-season sale, not the least disappointed.

Note: I also had this, fresher, and on tap. It may have been my pessimistic colleague, but I didn't enjoy it as much. I think the hops enjoy a little downtime, as they came out far less strong out of the older bottle. Worth a cellaring attempt, don't go out of your way.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Light rootbeer color with hazelnut nightlights. Overall clean with a lot of bubble movement. Head is full and frothy with swiss cheese like bubbles through it.

S: Almond butter, cold coffee, powdered cocoa and some citrus hops.

T: Begins with a lot of red berries at the front of the tongue and buttery citrus fruits across the middle. Chocolate malts hit the sides adding a roasted dimension while caramely bread slowly sets in. Then comes the bitterness…aggressive and dominating. Bitterness is a bit overdone as it brings a metallic tone to it. Finishes very bitter with hints of grapefruit and a bit of earthiness.

M: Medium body with a soft and full mouthfeel.

D: Good tasting but the bitterness is over the top making the beer unbalanced.

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Photo of WesWes
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice roasted malt scent that is quite toastey with hints of burnt toffee. The taste is decent. It has quite an intense bitterness that really breaks through the layers of roasted malt. It goes down easy and finishes with burnt toffee and loads of bitter hops. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a decent brown ale. I like the malt content, but the hops are a little much, even for a hophead like me.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a very, very dark amber body with a tall, beige-colored head that provided some spectacular-looking lace.

Smell: A thichk, rich breadiness prevails in the aroma, with lesser notes of citrus and spice peaking out from behind the freshly-baked loaves.

Taste: By far, one of the most pronounced, clear cut toast-like flavors I have ever come across. Throw in some hints of brown sugar and cocoa, and it makes for one very complex malt profile. Plus, got a load of that spiciness! A crisp, citrusy hop flavor begins to creep in like an early morning fog just before you make your way to the moderately bitter finish. To credit of the brewers, this one wasn't resentfully hopped into oblivion. Reasonable! Responsible, even! Good job, Rogue.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, but surprisingly chewy and creamy.

Drinkability: This was nice, and certainly very interesting. Heck, I may even purchase another bomber of 'Monk Madness'. No promises, though.

I've had a few people tell me Rogue managed to push the hop meter to "WAY 2 X-TREME" in regards to this release, but for me it was rather well-balanced. Go figure.

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Photo of meatyard
2.97/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cloudy brown with a short, light tan head that leaves light lacing.
The smell is a nutty and sweet malt.
The taste is slightly sweet, lightly breadlike but dominently bitter. I don't find this particular bitter taste very pleasant either.
The mouthfeel is medium.
For me the drinkability will be limited to this one.
It looks like this style is not for me. The name led me, too, to think this might be a Belgian style of some sort.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is brown and fairly clear. It poured with a nice tan head and some decent lacing. The beer smells strong of malt – no hop notes in the nose. The taste is malty and not too sweet. The hops do a good job of rounding out the finish. The mouthfeel is quite full and a bit creamy. This is a delightful offering from Rogue and I think it falls into the highly drinkable category.

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Photo of montageman
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Deep reddish brown color with a thick, rich two finger head that is slow to disappear. Tremendous lacing is also present - very nice looking beer. Sweet and roasty smells are immediately evident followed by a slight floral character. Taste is totally balanced - sweet, hoppy bitterness, and malt backbone - really good stuff. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, carbonation is moderate, which works well here. This is a highly drinkable and tasty brew - no complaints. Highly recommended.

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

a - pours a deep reddish brown, quite hazy, two-finger tan head, retention around the edges, little retention

s - sweet caramel aroma dominates, bready maltiness, a little bit of piney hops, very slight hint of alcohol

t - sweet caramel flavor up front, mild breadiness in the body, nice pronounced piney hop bitterness develops and lasts throughout the long finish, not much evidence of alcohol

m - medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, dry finish, nice alcohol warming

d - pretty drinkable, the abv and dry finish might limit somewhat, but the taste is interesting and does not have much of an alcohol component

I liked this beer much more than the previous ratings would suggest. Very nice ale that I don't really look at as an American brown, but then again, I couldn't really care less about classifications. One of the better Rogue offerings I've had.

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Monk Madness (JLS Release #18) from Rogue Ales
3.72 out of 5 based on 200 ratings.
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