Monk Madness (JLS Release #18) | Rogue Ales

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Monk Madness (JLS Release #18)Monk Madness (JLS Release #18)
200 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 200 |  Reviews: 185
Photo of GreenWBush
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

When I first heard about this beer, I got very excited…only when I found out they weren’t using Belgian yeast the interest sort of waned. But once it showed up I gave it a shot anyway…leave the ingredient inspection to the homebrewers, I’m a taster…even if this is basically Belgian only in the malt department (and a few aged Belgo hops).

Appearance is deep and Bing-cherry red. Spaced out lace adhesion. Cheese-ball bottle design, too.

Nose has a somewhat factory-issue Rogue-iness, IPA aroma with mild suggestions of Orval-like earth-hops. Creamy. Spicy hops coming up through a girthy malt-base.

Taste is interesting. The label’s semi-sweet description is somewhat right-on, a dry malt-foundation with slight peaks of chocolate and mouth-drying multi-layered hop attacks. More IPA than BSPA, clearly and obviously. Hints of the latter come despite the yeast, but this does show how yeast is the Belgo-secret.

The chameleon nature of this beer seems to serve it, in at least that it seems versatile and well-advised for food pairings. Hops add fruit; malt makes meaty and pithy. Training wheels “hop” beer. I think this really would have benefited from Belgian yeast, though.

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Photo of Night
3.71/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours crimson with an slight orange tone – light haze. Large, foamy, tan head with a lightly creamy center. Nice sticky seafoam lacing leaves spots and small arcs all over. Aroma is fresh and hoppy: a grassy, lightly herbal quality dominates with an undertone of fresh-bread buttery malts. A hint of grapefruit throughout. Mouthfeel is mildly creamy, medium-bodied, and light on the carbonation. Malts are grainy, nutty, and up-front in the flavor – some light toffee or hazelnut; bitter herbal and floral hops round out the background. Finish is a bit soapy and bitter with a nice sweet-buttery note; a touch of saltiness. Aftertaste is easy and softly bitter.

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Photo of BlindPig
3.05/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- About a 2" tan head on a cloudy brown body with few amber hues.
S- Sweet malt body underneath a bunch of hops. Light spice in the hops along with grapefruit and light grass.
T- A very different blend of flavors. It's sweet yet spicy. Grapefruit, grass, light pine, and some kind of spicy hops. Does have a really big bitterness to it. You can taste the malts underneath and gives it a big malty body.
M- Full/medium body with medium carbonation and a dry and bitter finish.
D- It is very different and seems like they couldn't make their mind up on what they wanted to do.

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Photo of kdog630
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a rich copper color in a snifter. Decent head with plenty of lacing. Complex but balanced aroma. The bottle says 60 IBU, but the hops are not overwhelming.

Flavor is as complex as the aroma and becomes richer as the brew warms. Really fills the mouth and has an excellent finish. I would love to see how this ages. I'll have to show some will power and cellar a bottle. Would definately add warmth to a cold Midwestern winter night.

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Photo of SetarconeX
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rogue Ales tend to be known for their over-the-top hop content. Usually, I don't mind that too much, but in this particular case, I wonder if the hops aren't instead covering up what's underneath a really tasty brown ale.

Still, it's a good brew. Deep brown with a hint of red. Hops and a bit of sweetness on the nose. Hops and more hops on the taste, though there's a tiny bit of malt down there somewhere. Definitely not boring. More a session beer though, not drinkable enough for my standard beer rotation. Give it a go.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber, thanks to Joe at Walnut Liquorette, for giving me this bottle, free of charge, with my purchase,

A: Dark brown, the head has excellent retention, almost like a good tap beer.

S: Roast, lots of malt and caramel, candied sugar, and a fair bit of hop astringency.

T: Very malty, with lots of caramel and toffee, but with also a bit of a hop attack, with plenty of citrus fruits, along with lots of tropical fruits, like mango and papaya. From the label, I thought this would be a Belgain-style beer, it isn't, it seems like a cross between an American Brown, an English Pale Ale, and maybe a bit of a dubbel, but only slightly. It is a very interesting taste.

M: Thin, a little to thin for the style, but creamy and smooth, so it's not a total loss.

D: Very good, an interesting beer, to say the least, it seems like it's coming from all different places and directions, but they come together to make a truly quality beer. Definitely worth a try for the adventurous beer drinker.

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Photo of jettjon
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 750 ml capped bottle, decants with an unexpected cascade of foam. Into my crystal mug, it’s a deep reddish-brown with no carbonation evident. One finger brown head fades quickly to a cap and heavy ring, with good sheetlike lacing. Good retention. Nose is bready and of toasted malt, semi-sweet malt, and a touch of tea. Tastes of tea-like hops, middle-sweet malt, burnt toast, with a sticky, lightly bitter finish. Mouth is full and semi-creamy with gentle carbation. Exceptionally smooth and refreshing. Drinkability is excellent; it’s easy going and smooth. A bit stout at 7.4%, but very drinkable nonetheless.

Overall: A good, mellow, very drinkable brown. Recommended.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.26/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Coppery candied cherry with orange juicy edges. I love beer that looks like a tropical sunset after a tropical storm. The semi-tacky head is roughly equal parts pale orange, ecru and gold. Despite less glass coverage than expected, what sticks looks pretty damn good. Note: much more lace ends up on the glass in the end.

I hope the nose comes into its own with warming because right now I can't appreciate much. Monk Madness smells like an American-hopped American brown ale (which is what it is), but that's where the specifics end. Although warming doesn't help a great deal, I can eventually appreciate iced tea with a twist of lemon.

This is yet another solid brew from the boys out in Newport, OR. I was a bit taken aback (and pleased) by the hoppiness until I remember what brewery I'm dealing with. A quick glance at the silk-screened bottle informs me that 68 IBUs are present. At least.

The only things Belgian about this beer are two types of malt and one type of hops ('Belgian nobles', whatever the hell they are). Otherwise, we have four rip roarin' Americans that go by the names Chinook, Amarillo, Centennial and Summit. It doesn't take a finely tuned palate to appreciate the citrus rind underneath all the malt.

In typical Rogue fashion, the use of their neutral PacMan yeast allows the quality ingredients to shine. And shine they do. The flavor profile consists of brown bread soaked with melted caramel and spread with thick layers of lemon, orange and grapefruit marmalade. This fine ale is at least as sweet as it is bitter, with spicy not far behind. I'm becoming more and more impressed as the ounces disappear.

Only Great Lakes delivers mouthfeels that are better (beer after beer after beer) than Rogue. Most brown ales would kill to be this lightly viscous, this silky smooth, this mouthfilling. How do they get bottled beer to feel like it came fresh off the tap?

Monk Madness deserves to be a regular release. It's one of the best American brown ales that I can remember drinking (Surly Bender notwithstanding). I now wish that I had snagged a handful of bombers instead of just this one.

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Photo of Kendo
4.42/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Into a pint glass from the bomber. The result -- a 2.5 finger bubbly tan head settles over a mahogany-brown body. A good amount of splotchy lacing on the way down the glass.

S: Nice mix between sweet malty stuff and hops. Caramel, molasses and brown sugar all weigh in on the malt side, with those grapefruity, piney hops there in strength as well. Nice on the nose if you're a fan of west coast IPAs.

T: Follows the nose pretty well -- sweet caramel malt, sugar and brown bread. Grapefruity juice and a surprisingly dry finish.

M: Medium-bodied, maybe a tad bit too carbonated, especially at first.

D: Very good.

Notes: Reminded me of a Pacific Northwest Altbier, if you can imagine such a style. I'm a big fan of Brown Ales that have a real hop presence, so this was a nice find. I will definitely get it again.

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Photo of CortexBomb
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pour is dark amber, inch thick off white head on top, nice lacing beautiful look. Nose is light and fruity, pears, malts. Sort of brown sugary even. Really appealing.

Taste starts off with a tangy grapefruit hopping, then washes into some malted goodness which has some of those brown sugary aspects. The hops continue to swirl around, very tangy even after it's been sitting in your mouth for a bit. Crisp. Finish leaves a strong hop presence on your tongue. Pretty darn good stuff, not as tasty as the nose would have made me hope, but interesting things going on here with the hops.

Mouth, not thick, but good bitters in all of the right places. Drinkability, just average. It's not hard to drink, but it doesn't refuse to be set down either.

Overall: A different brew by the folks at Rogue, and good stuff. I agree with the posters who feel that this is something to reach for if you're in the ESB mood rather than the Belgian though. The label is somewhat misleading in that regard.

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Photo of horshack7
3.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a very dark amber more towards the red side the spectrum. Nice head rentention about two fingers worth. The head on it is very foamy witha tan hue.

Aromas: Slight caramel notes. Light cinnamon notes and other dried fruits.

Taste: A very nice yet slight hop bitterness a little crisp on the pallate medium to full bodied. A very slight hint of chocolate. A little malty yet balanced between hops and malts. The hop bitterness in this one is nicely unique.

Notes: This one is drinakable yet it packs a little hop punch to it a very tasty brew nice laceing from start to finish. Cheers

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Photo of mnj21655
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby brown with a nice, pillowy 2 finger head with decent retention and sticky lacing. Smells predominantly of nice piney hops with caramel and biscuity maltiness in the background. Taste is ever-present piney hops with a nice caramel malt backbone. Bitterness from the hops hits you upfront before the piney hop flavor follows. Nice medium body with low to moderate carbonation. Good drinkability, looks great, smells great, tastes pretty damn good, and hides its alcohol well. I think this may be just a bit too hoppy for the style but this is thoroughly enjoyable none-the-less.

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Photo of icemonkey908
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another interesting brew from Rogue. This one, called Monk Madness, doesn't really taste like any Belgian sytle beers I have sampled. Oh well, it is still a very impressive beer.

Pours a deep amber, brown with a couple finger head that sticks to the glass. Aroma is rich carmel maltiness with some hints of roastiness. The taste is very surprising since the hops present up front without hesitation. It would be hard to gather this from the aroma. Nevertheless, a very complex beer, well worth sipping and pondering.

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Photo of Dansting
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Poured a cloudy purplish-brown color with a medium light-brown head. Sweet aroma of alcohol, malts, and toffee. Flavor is a bitter blend of grapefruit, toffee, and pine. Not one of my favorite strong brown ales, but not bad. Might not buy again for the price.

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Photo of brentk56
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber color with a prodigious head that retains well and leaves plenty of lacing all the way down

Smell: Plenty of pine and tropical/citrus fruit esters in the aroma along with an underpinning base of caramel

Taste: Starts out with a subtle blend of caramel and pine, with the piney and citrus flavors attempting to burst forward by mid-palate; after the swallow, the pithy fruit flavors explode and are joined by a metallic/herbal element that lasts for several minutes

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with plenty of prickly carbonation

Drinkability: A bit out of balance, and the metallic finish is a drawback; otherwise enjoyable and certainly different for a brown ale. Not sure why this is considered a brown as it neither looks, smells nor taste like one. Forget that its not a Belgian; it's also not a brown; I think northyorksammy got it right - this is an American Strong Ale

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Photo of vanrassel
3.06/5  rDev -17.5%
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 +16.4%
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 +6.5%
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 +1.6%
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 -0.8%
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 -3.5%
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 +0.5%
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 +10.5%
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 +5.7%
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 -45.6%
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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Monk Madness (JLS Release #18) from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 200 ratings