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

BA SCORE
87
very good
386 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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Monk's Elixir (Monk's Brew)Monk's Elixir (Monk's Brew)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS
Denmark
mikkeller.dk

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
386
Reviews:
154
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
12.05%
 
 
Wants:
27
Gots:
46
For Trade:
2
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 386 |  Reviews: 154
Photo of dcmchew
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"I'm like a monk with a taste for hookers."

--Moby

Caramel brown with generous highlights of crimson and orange. The golden beige colored crown was four full fingers following the pour and is persisting nicely. It looks even better as it melts and is no slouch at the laying down of lace.

The nose is darker than a Belgian amber and lighter than a Belgian dark. Since pale and pils malt don't provide a 'dark' color, aroma or flavor, those characteristics have to be coming from turbinado (cassonade) sugar and/or dark sugar syrup. The yeast is an estery beast, which is why the score is what it is.

This is very good beer that is kept from being world-class by a less than stellar mouthfeel. It tastes more like a BSDA than a quad. Then again, I never really have figured out the definite boundaries of the quadrupel style... assuming they exist. If the Belgians aren't sticklers, why should we be? Yes, I know that Mikkeller is a Danish brewery, but this ale was brewed in Belgium (at De Proef Brouwerij).

The flavor profile includes dark caramel, raisins, figs, a wee dollop of molasses, anise and clove. That's quite the feat given the ingredients list. The only explanation is that Belgian yeast is magical in the right hands. Sweet, bitter and spicy are balanced in beautiful fashion and the alcohol is buried without a trace.

With a bona fide Belgianesque mouthfeel, there's no doubt in my mind that the third and fifth scores (and the fourth, obviously) would be at least one notch higher. There simply isn't enough carbonation to keep the beer inflated and whipped creamy once it hits the tongue. Depth and complexity, as always, suffer.

Monk's Brew (U.S.)/Monk's Elixir (non-U.S.) is Mikkeller's homage to the great Trappist ales of Belgium. They deserve kudos for aiming high and for almost pulling it off. If you're a fan of this brewery and love BSDAs as much as I do, then the purchase price is well worth it. Bottom line: a few bubbles away from potential greatness.

 1,988 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev +2.6%

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

Minor head but typical of the style. Some spots as lace. The color is a cloudy neutral brown.

Awesome smell of roasted malts. Comes across as molasses without being too sweet. Beautiful.

This sweet but not overwhelming. There's a touch of bittering hop that provides balance without deviating from the style. Rich as one would expect.

This is a special brew worth seeking out.

 382 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thrill to see a bottle of this one in my fridge. Wrapped and caged I brought this one over for dinner last night. Served chilled and poured into a snifter.



Big dark brown pour here, nearly totally opaque with not much other then some light notes of reddish tint shining through on the sides and the bottom. Lots of light tan color foam on top reaches a height of around three inches then settles down nicely coating the inside of the glass. Rich notes of caramel, dark fruit, prunes, grapes, apples and a nice little bit of spice all playing off one an another quite well. Warming brings out even more sweetness and really gives it quite a bit of depth. Smooth with very subtle flavor here. Surprised there is not more of a boozy kick to be honest, but very well done here. Rich again with great fruit notes, and earthy spice like flavor and a touch of wood. Light finish, dry with a good bit of dark fruit sitting on the tongue long after the last sip.



Overall very solid, a nicely done version of the style for sure. I would have no issue at all with trying this one again, in fact I would very much like to seek it out. Nicely done as always from an always solid brewer.

 1,185 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.54/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mdfb79
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 01/02/11 notes. Brought to a local tasting by Travir (RB); thanks Gene!

a - Pours a mahogany brown color with an inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dark fruits, raisins, and bready malts.

t - Tastes of raisins, bready malts, and dark fruits, and alcohol.

m - Light body and moderate carbonation.

d - A nice, above average quad. Would like to have again.

 399 characters

Photo of vfgccp
4.52/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep dark chocolate. ½ finger of bone white head that held together with moderate retention and lacing.

S - Sweet raisins, prunes, brown sugar, hint of bready malt.

T - Chocolate covered raisins, brown sugar, caramel, dried pears. A gentle boozy warmth balances the sweetness perfectly. Brioche bread bridges the flavors throughout the profile.

M - Impossibly smooth. Touch of alcohol tingle in the finish, but in an enjoyable way.

D - Does a great job of hiding the 10% abv. It's smoothness and great flavor keep you coming back till it's gone.

 554 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Sloeber tulip glass.

"Monk's Brew", eh? Well, it must be true, as those two guys on the bottle are both tonsured. That's about all it takes for me. The pour is as dark as a monk's robe and has the same coloration: dark, dusty black-brown, with that lighter splash on top (normally, this would be the monk's head, but this time it's the beer's). Though he may spend quite a bit of his time praying, the monk also toils diligently in the garden. Returning, he reeks of walnuts, dust, figs, wheat, and sawdust. When he brews, he likes to assimilate many of these scents into his beers; it's what he knows, what he loves. Thus, walnuts, wheat, sawdust, raisins, dried oak, and plenty o' brown sugar pervade his concoctions. Yeah, he's heavy (there's a Hollies-based joke in there somewhere, but I'm too lazy to tease it out), but he ain't no Tuck, that fat lunatic. (Is it me, or was Friar Tuck a symbol of a greedy church looking to stick it to a strangely newly-assertive crown? Or was it the same greedy church stricken by guilt and looking to make amends? Too literary, I know, but this brew has brought these ideas out of some demented corner of my mind.) He's also not all that bubbly, but he'll always have a welcoming ear should you come a-knocking at his cell door. Although confessions with him can be spiritually uplifting, I have trouble seeing him all that often, as he is usually a bit too booze-headed.

 1,426 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer is dark, chestnut brown with a quarter inch of beige head. The aroma brings alcohol, malt, yeast, respectively. The taste is earthy, with an understated yeast flavor, as well as a healthy amount of rich malt. Silky smooth on the palate with alcohol well hidden, the feel is delicate and impressive. A good quad, I would have it again.

 343 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep reddish brown. Big cream head. Settles to pretty patterns of wisps and a chunky collar. Nice lacing.

Smell - Fruity. Figgy and sweet smelling. Brown sugar. Booze.

Taste - Sweet and sugary. More dark fruits. Earthy and bitter. Lots of caramel. Lingering sugars.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Medium carbonation. Very sweet.

Overall - This is excessively sweet. Not even a caramelly sweetness or brown sugar. Just lots of unexciting sugar.

 494 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy dark brown with beautiful ruby highlights when held to light. Huge fluffy off white head persists forever. Smells of dark fruits, brown sugar, spicy yeast, and a touch of alcohol. Taste is very nice with lots of dark fruits, spices, sweet malts, maybe a touch of alcohol. Mouthfeel is creamy and a little syrupy, body is full, carbonation is crisp but not overpowering. I liked this one a lot.

 415 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of rolltide8425
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of SadMachine
4.34/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of t2grogan
5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

 940 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A mediocre quad from Mikkeller. Beer is brown and very hazy with a weak thin head of off white tiny bubbles that quickly breaks but rallies to forms a little lacing on the glass.

Aroma is super sweet...lots of caramel, shorted out my circuits. I bet this is going to be a cloying mess.

Not quite...its thinner on teh palate than it should be (especially being that sweet). I suppose its the high alcohol that does that. At least the beer isn't hot, it kind of tastes like melt caramel in beer form. Carbonation is low in the mouth, its way way too sweet for me. Not feeling it. There are quads infinitely better than this.

 625 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle
Silver Foil
Caged/Corked

Poured into my Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass, a very nice cloudy grapey color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy light tan head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with lots of grapes, raisins, figs, plums, with some caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, with lots of dark fruits. Medium body, the ABV is hidden very well for the brew. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew.

 429 characters

Photo of liamt07
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of WesWes
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a cloudy, dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a mild caramel malt scent as well as a decent amount of fruity yeast esters. It's devoid of any alcohol aroma. In fact, the entire aroma is pretty easy going for a quad; caramel/roasted malt, candy sugar, and Belgian yeast. The taste is good as well. It is a damn easy drinking 10% abv beer. It goes down the hatch smooth with some caramel malt and candy sugar flavor as well as some Belgian yeast character. The mouthfeel is fine. It's a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This has got to be one of the easiest drinking Belgians of all time. It's so damn smooth. Hooray Beer!

 711 characters

Photo of a77cj7
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Monk's Elixir (Monk's Brew) from Mikkeller ApS
3.9 out of 5 based on 386 ratings.
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