Monk's Brew
Mikkeller ApS

Monk's BrewMonk's Brew
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Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #63
Ranked #10,792
3.96 | pDev: 11.87%
Mikkeller ApS
Very Good
Monk's BrewMonk's Brew
Notes: Formerly Monk's Elixir
View: Beers
Reviews: 172 | Ratings: 465 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Storm_Rryder
Storm_Rryder from Iowa

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good, this is very similar to a tripel. I can't really tell the difference between the two styles. Maybe the difference is simply the darkness from roasted malt that give the caramel like flavors. But it has the same spices as a tripel. A bit high ABV for a regular brew, quite enjoyable though. Not easily available here so unlikely to have it again but Im happy I had it.

Jan 07, 2021
Photo of Beersnake1
Beersnake1 from California

4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from fridge temp. Pours dark brown with tan head. Nose is dark fruit forward - grapes and cherries spring to mind. An interesting sweetness. Yeast, a hint of lemon, leather, and grass. The taste is really nice - fits in a Belgian quad category for me. Raisins, wood, bread, vanilla, dark chocolate, brown sugar, candy, malts, some nuts, and plums. Mouthfeel is very nice - not overly thick and viscous, but smooth. Alcohol not really detectable. I'm a fan.

Aug 30, 2020
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Got this from the Mikkeller beerfest in Boston a couple years back. Been waiting to drink it for a while. I don't see a date but it's gotta be like 2-3 years old.

Pours an off-white almost tan colored foamy thicker slight rocky almost 1 finger head with great retention and moderate lacing, dark hazy auburn brown color

Nose brings loads of fruit, various darker fruits with fig, raisin, prune, date, pear, a little chocolate, a bit nutty, some brown toasty darker malts, little caramelization, candi sugar, toffee, candied dried fruits, soft smooth alcohol with a little mulled wine and some oxidation with a touch winey and hint of paper oxidation but works well in general, a touch yeasty

Taste brings more malt up front, sweet candy malt, a bit of chocolate, toasted biscuity Belgian malt with some caramelized sugar, candi sugar, toffee, and more of the mulled wine with a little oxidized winey characters, some smooth soft alcohol as well as a little tingle, lots of fruits as well, fig and candied raisins, dates, a little bitterness, brown sugar raisin like, finishes with more mild oxidation and mulled wine as well as chocolate, biscuity toffee, and loads of candied fruit, a bit sticky

Mouth is med to fuller bod, rich almost chewy, smooth alcohol that gets a little tingly hot as it warms, loads of carbonation definitely too much and gets distracting

Overall I think the aging helped, the fruity esters exploded and the alcohol smoothed out, although it did come through a bit hot at times, carbonation goes overboard, malts were nice, oxidation had both good and bad points, so good beer that's a nice sipper but not incredible.

Dec 31, 2019
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Hat_Fulla_Beer from Canada (AB)

4.29/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle poured into tulip.

Pours a dark chestnut brown with three formidible fingers of cappucino head that leaves cool coral reef lace as it recedes.

Smells of dark sugar, candied fig and plum, caramel squares, milk chocolate, banana bread, peppery yeast and ghostly green hops.

Tastes of more candied dark fruit, spiced brown sugar, browning banana, caramel pudding, mild chocolatey sweetness and more soft leafy hops.

Feels interesting. Carbonation starts out peppy and prickly, then softens into a creamy smoothness. Finishes sweet.

Verdict: Vigorously recommended. Absolutely delicious.

Nov 30, 2019
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the big bottle in a snifter. This mighty fine ale pours
a muddled dark brownish black with a fantastic head of long
lingering khaki foam that settles to about 1/2 an inch with
excellent lacing. Nose of dark fruits, dark candy sugars, and
subtle Belgian spice of coriander and clove. Flavors remind
me of what Bornum USED to taste like---dark fruit notes of date
and fig, dark bread, dark brown sugars, and a touch of clove
with banana notes. Nice mouth feel; medium body, medium
high carbonation, and a sweet yet subtly dry finish showing some
wine characteristics.

Overall excellence from an excellent brewery!


Oct 23, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

2.75/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

"Best by 6/31/21"; drank 5/29/16 @ the Yarchives.

Opaque brown/purple rust appearance.

A normal pour yielded a HUGE khaki head; a thick curtain of lace.

Clove, plum & fresh bread notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Mild plum & fresh bread flavors up front; bold clove & booze heat notes on the finish.

This was drinkable but way too boozy & clove forward to be very enjoyable; perhaps I should have let this age much closer to 2021 after all?!

May 19, 2019
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josanguapo from Spain

5/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

En copa Teku. Viendo Los Vengadores - La Era de Ultron. Ricas frutas oscuras. Todo lo esperado en una quad belga deliciosamente bien implementado y con el alcohol muy bien oculto

Jan 14, 2019
Photo of Pontzie
Pontzie from Florida

3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: dark toasted brown color. Big thick yellow cream head. Flat appearance. Typical quad appearance.

S: fig like fruit scent that mixes with the malty caramel sugars and a certain presence of that alcohol that is ever a strength of quads.

T: deep rich fruit like figs and raisin and sour cherry pounce out front. There is a sourness in the back of the palatte that shows me down on this one.

F: A lasting finish that wants to be washed down with something a little lighter. Alcohol is held fairly well in this hut has been done better by others.

O:. Fair but a bit sour. A slow sipper that is definitely ok to work on.

Sep 01, 2018
Photo of rudzud
rudzud from Massachusetts

4.34/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Was given a bottle of this for attending the 2016 Boston Copenhagen Beer Fest.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a nice dark brown almost like a deep chestnut with a big off white two finger head that fades nice and slowly to leave some light sticky lacing and a dense creamy head.

S - Aromas of belgian sugars and esters, light fruitiness. Very nice dark fruits (raisins and figs), flashes of coca powder as well.

T - Taste is similar to the nose. Very nice belgian sugars and esters. Loads of dark fruits as well, little bit of toffee malt sweetness. Not overly sweet or cloy and the alcohol is hidden. Finish has just a little bit of lingering bitterness that is offset by the toffee and raisins.

M - Mouthfeel is almost brightly carbonated, slightly on the aggressive side. Alcohol is hidden quite well though!

O - Overall this beer had a really, really nice appearance and a lovely flavour profile. Drinking super, super pleasant right now...not sure how any lengthy aging to improve this.

Serving Type: Bottle

May 28, 2018
Photo of DBosco
DBosco from Massachusetts

4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is an excellent Belgian strong ale. After trying it a few times, I have to recommend drinking it at a warmer temperature, about 60 degrees. At colder temperatures, you taste more of the bitter hop flavors, and miss out on the complex dark fruit flavors. It just isn't nearly as good at a colder temp.

May 12, 2018
Photo of Jtee
Jtee from Canada (ON)

4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a 330ml bottle served at 14 degrees Celsius into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a veiled brown with 2cm of dense, tan head that settles into a cap within 3 minutes.

Aroma: Rich and complex - very inviting. Faint alcohol, chocolate, and underlying hops. Malty caramel and toffee along with dark fruits (figs, raisins, cherries) dominate the nose.

Taste: Follows suit with the aroma. Malty-rich caramel with strong notes of dark fruit (raisins and figs). I'm also noticing a faint chocolate note. The hops are overpowered by the malts and estery notes which contribute to the brew's low bitterness. The balance is sweet but not cloying. Faint alcohol shows up in the finish which is long, fruity, and malty.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium to full with surprisingly low carbonation. Creamy and smooth with a warming feeling from the alcohol. The finish is medium dry.

Overall: A delicious quad no doubt. For such high ABV the alcohol is well-hidden. Not your classic example of the style, but maybe that's what makes it interesting. Even though it's not my favourite within the style, I'd have it again given the chance. I'm looking forward to a chance to cellar one for some time.

Apr 03, 2017
Photo of janubio
janubio from Spain

3.57/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown colour, small head with long retention, good lace. Aroma of caramel, sugar, dark fruits. Medium to full body, average carbonation, sticky. Taste of dark fruits, caramel, wine, dark fruits.

Apr 02, 2017
Photo of joaopmgoncalves
joaopmgoncalves from Portugal

3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured to a Ledge chalice.

A: The body is opaque black to purple with some coppery hues. The head is beige and almost non-existent. A bit of lacing. No retention.
S: The aroma is very fruity, having tons of blackberries, blueberries, grapes. In the back, there's a bit of alcohol already showing up.
T: The taste has a big sugary to toffee base where all the fruit is able to shine through. However, you lose some of the acidity of these berries.
M: Body is medium to medium high. Carbonation is high. Alcohol shows its presence but isn't that strong. Bitterness is medium low.
O: Already expecting a rather interesting quad but far from the best ones.

Feb 15, 2017
Photo of Everydayoff
Everydayoff from Thailand

4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap served in a stemmed glass at Mikkeller Bangkok.

Very deep chestnut brown color, it comes with a finger of frothy tan head that stays for a while before collapsing to some bubble film atop and leaving lots of lacing patch and spot on the glass-side.

Quite interesting, strong note of black grape together reinforcing with prune, dark raisin, raspberry, and cherry. It is also with a touch of barrel yet with phenolic spice, winy, candy sugar, and molasses. Malt is not sunken but nicely presented with its bread, candy, and caramel.

Wow this one is so tasty. Everything is very well control in good harmony. The taste is a delicious and complex blended between all the characters, solid bready and caramel malt as a backbone, black grape, prune, dark raisin, raspberry, cherry, winy, barrel, phenolic spice, candy sugar, molasses, tasty indeed.

The body is medium with some bold touch through the palate, some crispness and moderate carbonation, smooth through the mouthfeel with a very dry finish.

Complex, refined, but easy to drink Quad, alcohol is very well hidden, great brew.

Feb 01, 2017
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moose1980 from Germany

4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review for the non-fruited/non-BA version (there is a separate listing for that beer, to which I believe the 'Notes / Commercial Description' for this listing is referring).

Brown/dark caramel and muddy. Dense, three-finger, cream-colored head that dissipates slowly. Looks like many Quads - not the most appealing looking beer, but at the same time it somehow fits perfectly with the dark fruit aromas and flavors. Aroma is super fruity: everything from red grapes, apples, prunes, and crushed blueberries, to hints of passion fruit and pomegranate. Additional notes of bready malts bring to mind jam-smeared toast. No real spiciness. The taste is not as sweet as the nose leads one to expect. Malty indeed, but with a bitter middle and ending, though not overly dry. The 10% ABV is very well-hidden. While the flavors are not as complex as the aromas, the beer is certainly very well-balanced. Medium body and carbonation.

Overall, for the style, an impressive beer from Mikkeller.

Oct 28, 2016
Photo of Mindcrime1000
Mindcrime1000 from South Dakota

4.16/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a single-serve bottle

Look--Pours like a BDSA should (this is mislabeled as a pale by the way--this is a Quad all the way)--A two finger tan/brown mottled head that quickly settles to a persistent ring on the glass. A bit darker than most of the style.

Smell--Toasty, bready, and dark-fruity with some coffee notes. Excellent aroma--just wish there was a wee bit more of it.

Taste--Like a Cabernet/Shiraz blend of red wine, this is Quad meets Imperial Stout. Sweet dried fruit, burnt/brown sugar (this one is brewed with both demerara AND dark cassonade--WOW), and forward malt meets bitter dark chocolate and coffee in an excellent balance. The alcohol (yes is this 10%) is barely noticed. If there is one complaint, it is that it might be shaded a little to sweet--but this is awfully good.

Mouthfeel--Full bodied but not heavy. Could maybe use just a little more carbonation.

Overall--This is an excellent Belgian Dark Strong. I will definitely purchase again.

Oct 23, 2016
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Andrewharemza from Australia

4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From bottle, pours a hazey dark brown colour with a good creamy head that disapates to a small thin layer. Aroma dark fruit, sweet, candy, caramel. Taste candy, caramel, malt, dark fruit. Very nice.

Jul 01, 2016
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ScruffySouthpaw from New York

3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served in a small flute from the tap at Skúli Craft bar in Reykjavik.

Appearance: Hazy brown color with medium bubbles a white head. Head initially rose to maybe half a finger's length.

Smell: Light hops and maybe honey, that's it. Done.

Taste: Grapes and honey with a dose of malts. Comes off a little sweet with smooth bitterness. Has a slight yeast notes which create a significant sour characteristic to the beer.

Mouth: Medium bodied with medium carbonation at best and a average stickiness. The after taste still lingers but dissipates and hard to give it that lust rating.

Overall: Pretty good brew, I personally enjoyed it compared to some prior brews but when you compared it to other quads it's quite a few tweaks to go. Salud

Apr 29, 2016
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Rockjocknroll from California

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Being a fan of traditional trappist and belgian yeast/beers/etc. I was excited to try this affordable beer. The look is like any other great belgian; thick and roasty dark with large carbonation. Drank this out of a St. Berndardus goblet.

The nose is delicious classic belgian with plenty of figs, caramel, dates, and brown sugar. The taste however turns off pretty quickly with uncomplimentary flavors. The tannins from the wine barrels and flavors from the added raspberries do not work very well with the yeast and roasted malt. The mix brings out too much tart and dry when the style screams for big, thick sweet flavors.

Not a bad beer and more enjoyable and balanced as it warms but I would not purchase it again. Mikkeller once again shows me that he is a gamble...sometimes you hit the jackpot and sometimes you're stuck with a drink you don't quite want to finish.

Apr 28, 2016
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Sak3 from Connecticut

3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An honestly plain and not interesting brown coloring.

An unoriginal smell of hops that I find in most beers.

The taste is a smooth and enjoyable one.

Overall I found the taste of this beverage to be exceptional and every other part of it to be "meh". But we all know that the taste is king!

Apr 14, 2016
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark red-orange with a fine two finger light khaki head with great retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of candi and light caramel malt, raisins, dates, apples, plums and light white wine, nice. Flavor follows, with candi and caramel malt, fresh and dried plums, dates, raisins, toffee. Semi-sweet at first, but drier into a dark fruit and hoppy finish, with a European grassy hop profile. Medium bodied with light creaminess and active, peppery carbonation. The flavor starts a classic Belgain quad, but finishes with an interesting drier, hoppy flavor with lingering grassy hop bitterness. The hops are a bit of a surprise at first, but taste good. The robust fruit flavors support the hops well. Drier in the finish than traditional quads. Alcohol covered well. A very nice off-beat quadrupel with an above average interesting flavor progression and great carbonation. Interesting and flavorful.

Mar 30, 2016
Photo of Slack
Slack from Virginia

3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deep brown in color with haze and about ½ inch of head.

Smell is mild dark fruit, malt, oak, and booze.

Taste is a lot of rich dark fruit mixed with booze and malt. Oak and anise notes are there.

Mouthful is medium, smooth, and creamy. Carbonation is medium. Finish is dry and somewhat bitter.

The beer seems to surpass a strong dark but fall short of a quad. The aroma is good and the flavors are pronounced however the mouthful is lighter and carbonation heavier than would be expected.

Feb 14, 2016
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ccg from Virginia

3.89/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep chestnut color with a creamy layer foam and great retention.
The smell is surprisingly powerful. As soon as it's poured, I can immediately smell jammy and tart raspberry and a deep sweetness, like port or sherry. Getting closer, it has a distinct, slightly sour funk to it, along with unsweet chocolate.
The taste is mostly tart. The raspberry appears mid-palate, but it's tart all the way through. I might have misunderstood what this beer was going to be, but I was expecting more Belgian-style fruity/malt sweetness to balance the tart and funk. There is a bit of earthiness as well, probably from the wine barrels.
The mouthfeel is a little difficult for me to judge. With that funk on the nose and the tart flavor, my senses are a little overwhelmed. It has a little bit of a syrupy effect but also comes across a little bit on the thin side.
Overall, I'm glad I went outside of my comfort zone to try a new style. As somebody who mostly enjoys stouts, English-style barleywines, quads, old ales, and scotch ales, I found it a little bit challenging, but if you like tart funk and don't have a huge sweet-tooth, give this one a try.

Dec 06, 2015
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Beer-Revelry from Texas

3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is a decent representation of the Belgian quad style. It has the wine notes down very well, a good, rich and deep flavor of a rich dry Cabernet, but it had a sweet finish like a merlot. However, this beer did not had the date and brown sugar Flavors that I've found in the best quality quads. As it stands, a decently good representation of the style, for fans of quads, if accessible, give it a shot, but it isn't worth hunting down and waiting in line for.

Sep 01, 2015
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MarkQ617 from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this poured into a pint glass. This is my first review where all aspects were the same rating. The color is a deep brown, not too dark. The taste is a syrupy sweet with a sour aftertaste, very nice. The mouthfeel is perfect for the genre. Really impressed.

Aug 09, 2015
Monk's Brew from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 465 ratings