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Monk's Elixir (Monk's Brew) | Mikkeller ApS

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Monk's Elixir (Monk's Brew)Monk's Elixir (Monk's Brew)

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed at De Proef Brouwerij, Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium.

Ingredients: Water, malt (pilsner and pale), candy syrup, cassonade sugar, hops (northern brewer, hallertauer and styrian goldings), ale yeast

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-22-2008

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Reviews: 151 | Ratings: 382
Photo of Lawl3ss
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled 750 ml bottle into a shaker pint. No visible bottling date.

Look- Near opaque brown, three fingers of beige head that fall to a cap that looks suspiciously like a mini-buttermilk biscuit. Generous amount of lace, even the glass between the rings is coated with suds.

Smell- Raisin, baker's chocolate, anise, cola, raspberry-esque sour tinge.

Taste- Molasses, dark amber honey, black cherry, chocolate-dipped almonds, toasted raisins. Floury aftertaste. Very light feel, no hint of the... what? 10%? Did a double-take there, I was expecting 8 or so. In any case, you wouldn't know it. Just the right level of sweetness. As it warms, it takes on a bit of woody brandy-like character. Flavor profile is very similar to a weakly-peated Scotch Ale, but remains true to the style with touches of Belgian yeast and dark candied fruits.

Mouthfeel- Light-medium body, very, very clean for a strong dark. A bit of stick, but it's neither cloying nor boozy. Slight warming. Exceptional drinkability.

Overall- A very light, refreshing dark ale. I don't believe that's something I've thought about the style before. Simple, nothing unexpected going on, but what it does, it does with style and depth. It also goes down too easily, if anything. I'd definitely spring on the barrel-aged version if I ever see it. Highly recommended.

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color w/ a one finger cocoa head. Good lacing on my snifter glass. Very dark, and impossible to see through. The nose is grapes, prunes, apple, caramel malt, and some spices- really well done. The taste profile is very similar, w/ warming really bringing out the richness in this brew. Feel is medium, with malt sweetness carrying the day. No evidence of the 10% abv here, and a nice lighter than expected finish. Overall, this is a fantastic beer- although it might be more of a BSDA than a Quad. I will definitely look for this one again- I enjoyed it. Cheers.

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Photo of Hopswagger
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

P: Pours a dirty brown body with chunky floaters and a airy khaki head that settles to a swirled wake. Milky lacing slips and slides around the edges.

S: Oxidation has set in. A treasure trove of dark fruits soaked in spiced rum, old leather, slight vegetable matter, graham cracker pie crust, and faint whiffs of banana bread.

T/M: Oxidation has hit this hard with a soapy residue masking the flavors and covering the palate. Dark fruits, heavy handed spice and bitter apple peels still shine through. Anise star, clove, cinnamon, and pippali pepper, cardboard, bready yeast and Belgian candy sugar. Stick body that has wondered on the side of light-medium. A hefty dose of carbonation allows this brew to tingle the entire mouth.

O: This bad boy has been in my closet for about 2 years and I kept forgetting about it. Glad I finally pulled it out and enjoyed it. Slightly oxidized but overall a great beer. I really enjoyed the dark fruits, spices and rum mingled into the yeasty backdrop.

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Photo of nick76
3.32/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

The aroma has alcohol, malt, caramel, fruit, and hops. The appearance is red/brown with a nice head and some haze and particles. The flavor is like the aroma with an acidic and paper finish. The palate is thin. Overall it's drinkable but nothing special.

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Photo of zaphodchak
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tiny offwhite head, deep brown body.

Nose contains dates, some plum and dark fruit.

The dates and dark fruit are present in the taste as well, along with a hint of orange on the aftertaste with a trace of booziness. Quite sweet and malty, similar to Gouden Carolus Classic. Very much a Belgian strong dark ale at heart, and i feel like it reminds me of something else, but I can't put my finger on what.

Feel is pretty nice and smooth.

Great quad, dark and full of bold dark fruit. I'd give it 6 months to tame the booziness though.

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Photo of kevinlater
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle into goblet. best before "25/06/20" clearly marked on the cap, consumed on november 29, 2014

a: very interesting. the top of the beer is an opaque mahogany, but there's a kind of gradient towards the bottom of the glass where the beer turns into a transparent caramel-ruby red mix. nearly two fingers of khaki-coloured head

s: a sweet and fantastic dark fruit profile to begin with. almost vinous. grapes, rich dates, figs, plums, cherries. banana and caramel in the middle. musty-like notes toward the end. great aroma, but could benefit from being a bit stronger

t: follows the nose. a very rich, fruity, and sweet beer. the ripe dark fruits are in the front, with subtle caramel malt in the middle, and the musty, moderate bitterness at the end. alcohol tastes are well-hidden, but you can feel a bit of heat as the beer goes down. i'm even getting notes of orange/grapefruit rind somewhere near the back end. the bitterness lingers and is appropriate to balance all the richness

m: low-to-moderate, somewhat prickly carbonation. disappears as the beer warms though. light-to-medium body. mildly sticky

o: good fruit-forward quad. expensive, but worth trying

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Photo of megahurts4
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mikkeller Monk's Brew (also known as Monk's Elixir)

Appearance: Dark brown (orange tint) with good lacing.

Smell: Prunes, dark fruits, and roasted malts.

Taste: Prunes, dark fruits, very subtle hops, and warm roasted malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light and smooth.

Bottom line:
This is a very good beer. It is very smooth and inviting. This has a very pleasant flavor that will make you want more. It is not hoppy like other Mikkellers. There is a very slight sweetness in with the slight-bitter finish.

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Photo of theboozecruise
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml corked bottle into a Chimay tulip glass. Not much pop on the cork, and not much head on the pour. I sure hope I didn't get a bad bottle.

The appearance is a dark brown with hints of crimson... what little head there was was a tannish color, but didn't last long.

A smell that brings about what I'd expect from a Belgian Quad, a little malt, a definite alcohol presence, a lot of fruit in the aroma. Very nice aroma.

The taste is more of the same, no surprises. Very well balanced but nothing that blows you away either. Fantastic mouthfeel, the carbonation is present despite the fears that I had a flat bottle.

Hard to give it more than a 4.0 on the drinkability... the alcohol presence is there and the taste is pretty strong, but I'm sure going to enjoy wiping out this 750ml of beer.


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Photo of lmaduells
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A beer that promised, but compared to quadruple tradiocionals, is back. Lacks depth, complexity, flavors, beer is a little worked. A bit disappointing, while being a good beer.

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Photo of BobZ
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Ruddy brown with a nice 1" head that recedes to about a 1/4". A few yeasty floaties.

Smell: Dark fruit sweetness with molasses..

Taste: To style, dark raisin flavor with molasses an some bready malt. Well balanced complexity and like most quads it gets better as the temperature rises. The flavors all work very well together, the alcohol adds some warmth but is otherwise masked..

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy on the palate,.

Overall: A very solid example of a Belgian quad, delicious.

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Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml into Chalice.

A. Poured a well carbonated 3 finger head. Thick lacing. Very good retention. Color is a dark ruby brown.

S. Nice quad smell. Dark fruit, spices, belgian yeast. Has the nice dark grape aroma of good quads. Smells very sweet and appealing. Really good aroma. Complex and inviting.

T. Taste is very good as well. Dark fruit. Nice sweetness. Pretty impressed with this beer. Lacks some of the complexity of the very top Quads.

M. Medium bodied. Well carbonated. Finishes with just a bit of lingering sweetness.

O. Overall I am pretty surprised at the quality of this beer. Great aroma. Good taste. Missing some of the complexity of the very best quads. This is one that I would definitely seek out again. I like that it is a touch on the sweet side.

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a 2009 very fresh edition, BB is 10/12/14. One to two finger tan head reduced to a circle of fluffy stuff in centre glass with lots of exposed dark brown liquid staring out at me. Lace is spotty and there is a ring that remains. On the surface, there appears to be no active carbonation but a bright light reveals several active strands of tiny bubbles from the bottom of my Chimay goblet feeding outward and into that ring.

The nose is of figs, dates and raisins but is not overly pronounced, also a rum or brandy fruit cake odour. There is a slightly sour dark fruit taste with a pomegranite sweetness competing to tickle the tastebuds. With air, some banana and clove notes, hints of coffee, and a long finish that has a bit of alcohol heat. The mouthfeel is rewarding, rich and smooth with good body. This beer demands to be sipped and savoured, it has some depth and complexity to it and might be better savoured with some ageing although can be enjoyed now as well.

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Photo of whatthehull
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted sept 13th 2011 (from notes)


A - Deep dark sludgy brown, three finger tan head and some sugar legs

S - super sweet, tons of malts, some nice yeast and a slight dark fruit

T - very sweet, raisins, dates, sour plums, alcohol, nice bitter, slight hop, great yeast, dark fruit, toastiness, huge malt and lots of earth

M - full bodied, low acidity, medium balance, nice complexity and long finish

D - very nice, boozey, very dark, lots of flavor and surprisingly easy to drink for a huge beer

Final thought - try this one for sure. Love these brewers

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Photo of roblowther
3.09/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Haven't had a Danish quad, let's see what the Danes got! Very dark, almost black in color with a very light tan head that forms a dense, creamy layer and laces nicely. Interesting, looks more like a Belgian Strong Dark. Intense chocolate aroma, with plums and cherries. Dry taste throughout, pleasantly malty with a bread-dominant flavor and a nice chalky finish. Not complex at all, sort of a one-note orchestra, but they hit the note. Mouthfeel is a little sticky and a little flat. Drinkability is decent, but the strong roasted aftertaste limits it for me. An interesting derivation of the style, but very simple and a little dry. Its an interesting brew but definitely not a standard for a Quad.

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Photo of Digimaika2
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

(4.0) A: Dark mahogany brown with a tall head that quickly recedes to a thin ring. Nice lacing that clings.

(3.75) S: Caramel, toffee, oak, raisins, plum, nutty qualities, and mix of spices. Smooth with a nice woody-toffee aroma overall.

(4.0) T: Caramel, brown sugar, plum, oak, raisins, spices, and hints of cherries. A very good mix of different textbook quad flavours, each identifiable separately and combined. Not the boldest and most flavourful quad but agreeable nonetheless.

(3.75) M: Lighter bodied with a standard higher carbonation for the style. Pleasantly dry and chalky.

(4.0) D: Pretty good quad highlighted by smooth caramel, woody, and dark fruit flavours.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of BeanBone
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A thick dark brown, very nearly black, body capped by a finger and a half of beige head that features solid retention and great lacing.

Aroma: Dark-fruity yeast and a rich caramel malt body with notes of sticky toffee pudding and burnt sugar. As it warms, a medium alcohol character begins to emerge.

Flavor: Raisiny and date-like yeast esters over a malt body featuring toffee, burnt sugar, and a couple of grainy notes. Mild, herbal hops strive to keep everything balanced. There's a little bit of mild alcohol throughout, adding some needed complexity. Dark fruit, grainy malt, and mild booze in the finish.

Mouthfeel: A somewhat creamy medium body with smooth medium carbonation and a drying finish. A few hints of warmth from the alcohol.

Drinkability: Much easier drinking than the double-digit alcohol content would suggest, this is a beer that can sneak up on you if you're not careful.

Verdict: Monk's Brew is a solid, though generally unexciting dark Belgian that would benefit greatly from more intensity. Just watch out for that well-hidden punch!

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Photo of Arenbeer
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 corked and caged bottle received from abrand, thanks a lot man!

Poured into a DFH Snifter Glass

A- Pours a really dark murky brown with a nice 2 finger tan/ off white head that doesn't stick around but LLAB and leaves some fossils of it's existence!

S- Sweet malts and caramel with a pretty decent alcohol presence and booziness but not enough to turn one away. Roasted burnt Dark fruits and real sweet brown sugar are also apparent.

T- Real sweet caramel malts with a great dark fruit presence like raisins, figs, plums, or grapes. Also a lot of sweetness from the molasses sugar with a decent booze finish that for 10% is barely noticeable even when it warms up to room temp.

M- Full body but not as thick most quads are. Has moderate to lower carbonation with a more wet finish. Not to much bitterness or dry.

Great beer overall, definitely worth a try if you like sweet Belgian style brews.


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Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy deep brown/mahogany into my pint glass with two fingers of tan head, really nice retention and lacing.

S - Deep malts, dark fruits, raisin, prune, cherry, brown sugar/molasses, clove and spice.

T - Sweet caramel and toffee, some cocoa in there, clove, dark cherries and raisin, figs with a bit of sourness to it.

M - Medium to full in body, sweet and sticky.

D - This is very drinkable and quite enjoyable to boot. It's sweet and fruity and overall really good.

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Photo of MarkQ617
4.25/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of Spineypanda
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Has a dark brown color with a nice large head. Big a fluffy!
Smells of yeasts and some esters that give it an alcohol smell, but not an overwhelming one. Has a bit of the roasted malts smell and some caramel.
Tastes like it has some dark fruits to it, a bit of the caramel taste, but an overall great flavor.

I will enjoy again.

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Photo of jdklks
3.41/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one was a let down from a brewery that is quickly becoming one of my favorites. The appearance is dark brown with light highlights on the edges and through the middle when backlit. The head was almost non-existent, but what did foam was a dark shade of tan (not quite getting to brown). The aroma (much like the taste unfortunately) is enormously underwhelming. Some beligian yeast (not much), some figs and perhaps apricot, a little brown sugar sweetness, and alcohol. Not all that impressed.

The flavor is not nearly as complex as I've come to expect from the style. The brown sugar that usually highlights the overall sweetness in the style (especially complimenting the dark fruits) is burnt and not all that pleasant. Belgian yeast and alcohol are about all that remain after the roasty sugars have had their way. Not complex at all. "Safe" would describe what Mikkeller has done with the style, and safe is not at all THEIR style. What happened here??? no one knows.

Mouthfeel is a little undercarbonated and, perhaps because of this, too syrupy for a quad. The drinkability is so-so. I finished the bottle, but wouldn't want any more.

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Photo of erz316
3.86/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

corked bottle with 07/04/14 on the cork, served in maudite snifter.

A - very dark brown body, very very dark brown. head is a light cream colour, decent amount of foam, and falls down kinda quickly. very good lacing. no real complaints, but its no westy.

S - the smell is a bit off, nothing of the complexities that a quad should be. smells very malty, slightly fruity: prunes, dates, figs, raisins, but overall it just kind of smells like malts, slightly sweet, so like a fruit bread i guess. it kind of smells generic; if this brew were lighter coloured I wouldnt have clue as to what style it is. smells way

T - i'm really not that impressed. it has some of the right stuff, but not the whole picture. initial taste is more like a very carbonated bock than a quad: it has mainly a malt flavour, and some alcohol. there is a certain fruitiness to it, something like black cherries; the overall flavour is a bit spicy as well. the finish is just malty and a bit sweet, sometimes the alcohol comes out and burns, but not often. the aftertaste is just malty, which fades to almost nothing is no time at all.

MF&D - the feel is excellent, despite the lacking flavours. there is that perfect balance between levity of body and carbonation, but the body is just a bit too light to be perfect. despite the overall lack of performance on the flavour front, the brew is still quite pleasurable to drink, mainly because it goes down so easily.

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Photo of Slack
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of bkilpatr
3.72/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Chimay glass. Bottle is corked & caged. Cork has 07/04/14 printed on it. Cork came out with a decent pop.

Pours a deep dark mahogany brownish-black color. About a finger of tan head was produced. The head slowly settled to a thin layer. Decent retention and lacing. Aroma is sweet malt, biscuit, dark fruit (raisin, fig, date, plum), brown sugar, and a touch of alcohol.

The first sip is quite tasty. Flavors of sweet malt, candied sugar, raisin, fig, and chocolate. After that comes the familiar Belgian yeasty bread taste. The flavor is a bit heavy on the fruit taste, and has a strong alcohol taste to it.

Feel is very nice. Smooth and creamy yet well-carbonated. No lingering aftertaste. Some warming from the alcohol. Drinkability is decent. The alcohol is definitely noticeable.

Overall, a pretty good Quad. Might be a bit much for one person though, I recommend splitting with a friend or two.

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Monk's Elixir (Monk's Brew) from Mikkeller ApS
3.9 out of 5 based on 382 ratings.
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