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

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very good
151 Reviews
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Monk's Elixir (Monk's Brew)Monk's Elixir (Monk's Brew)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS
Denmark | website

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
Reviews:
151
Ratings:
381
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
19.23%
 
 
Wants:
28
Gots:
46
For Trade:
2
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Reviews: 151 | Ratings: 381
Photo of biegaman
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is so dark and murky that frankly it's senseless to try and attach it a colour. If we should try perhaps very deep brown is as close as we'll come, although to the light very faint hints of cranberry can be noted. The splotch of head and yeast sediment that stands alone in the center of my glass resembles a solitary nebula in deep space.

I'm glad I've started reviewing the beer at a warmer temperature because notes of chocolate-covered raisin and port-macerated prune have only become unhitched as of recently. Granted, the aroma is not dynamic but it isn't dull either. It has dark, sticky malts and dark, sticky fruits as well as maybe a hint of sugar and spice. Very good.

The beer was supposedly inspired by the Trappist monasteries - and it tastes like it. Looking to my notes of the Rochefort 10, the Westvleteren 12 and St. Bernardus 12 I can remark similar characteristics of raisin paste, ginger glazed squash, plum pudding, sticky toffee pudding, vintage Italian reds, peanut brittle, lavender tea and the taste of whole grain bread, toasted and smeared with some sort of prune, raisin or currant jam.

The mouthfeel has the sweetness of caramel-coated nuts, the booze-accented complexities of an Hors d'age Armagnac and the spiciness of a time-honoured Belgian yeast. The afterthought gives mention to dried and preserved fruits (prune, apple) as well as spices (vanilla, cocoa) and nuts (almond, hazelnut, Brazil nut).

If this thing were talking religion it could probably get me to convert. Still, I'm not sure I'm ready to consider Monk's Elixir as good as all the authentic monks' brews but I'll grant it that it's a hell of a forgery! If it were cheaper (which it's definitely not!) it would certainly make a worthy substitute to those Belgian greats. And apparently you don't have to be Belgian to brew a quality Quad; the Danish must be a pious group of beer-drinkers!

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

The beer pours a dark brown color with very good head retention and fair lacing. On the the nose I get an attactive aroma of chocolate and brown sugar, with a hint of underlying spice. The flavors on the palate almost completely replicate the nose, with a moderate amount of sweetness. Mouthfeel is surprisingly light given the abv., though it's still what I would call medium bodied. The alcohol is very well disguised in this beer, though I confess I noticed it more and more as I went along.

Not one of my favorite beers from Mikkeller, but still pretty solid. Would probably not order it again, but was glad to have the opportunity to sample it.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: rich, dark brown hue with a bit of haze and two fingers of frothy tan foam atop. Quite attractive.

Smell: malty and sweet, with nice but subtle aromas of dates, raisin and tobacco. Not overly rich but still very good.

Taste: a little sweet, dusty and with a notable bit of alcoholic heat up front. The nicely dark fruit flavors from the aroma are here as well; not especially complex, but flavorful and satisfying. I like it.

Mouthfeel: body seems a little light for a quad, but there's a big carbonation and a pretty big creaminess that is a bit evanescent for the style. Still, not at all bad.

Overall: I like this beer, probably because I like musty, dusty quads. I'd have it again, no problem.

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Photo of weeare138
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Much thanks to hopdog & egajdzis for bringing this...
Appears a hazy orange gold with a fluggy white head and scattered lacing left around the glass.
Smell is of sugary high gravity Tripel with peach, yeast, apricot, vanilla, dough, and spices.
Taste is of the same aromas with coriander, bananas, and citrus.
Mouthfeel...abv is evident with some pils malt and sweetness standing out.
This one gushed upon opening but it turned out to be a pretty decent brew. Possibly could've been better with aging b/c abv is evident but not bad at all.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.17/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On-tap at the Local Taphouse for the Mikkeller Tap Takeover in Sydney. This was number 15 of 20.

Looks deep and pleasantly red, with a very full head of yellow-tinged ochre. Lots of retention. Minimal lace, but the colour and opacity is great.

Nose is... unpleasant. Really sticky and sweet apple cider character with a touch of booze to it and very little else. Sheesh. I dread to drink it.

Sickly and sweet on the palate, with astringent medicinal cherry and then a long, drawn out character of fermented apple. Despite this, the feel is quite thin and unpleasant.

Too much sugar in the wort! This smells like a fermented out sugar-drink. It's heavy, hot and unpleasant. This is not a great beer, and worse, it's a beer that gives the great examples of this style a bad name. Poor effort, Mikkeller.

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Photo of wl0307
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the BSF bar, GBBF 2009, at around 7-8 quid. Coming in a big 750ml brown bottle, corked and caged; BB 07/04/2014, served cool in Hapkin's bulb-shaped sniffer.

A: pours a slightly murky, dark brown hue with mild red hues when seen against light; the beige beer head doesn't last long, retreating fast to a thin foam on top of rather fine fizziness.
S: as estery fruity as deeply malty, the aroma gives mixed hints of sour-sweet brown prunes, overripe black plums, slightly oxidised pears, estery honey notes (this bit quite like a barley wine), brown sugar soup, sweet citrus notes slightly like tangerines; after a good swirl, the syrupy and also bitter chocolaty characters of dark malts and sugar develop along with a bit more alcoholic edge. Hops are mild overall, leaving the stage mainly for the heavy malts and fruit esters. Likeable but not complex, at times smelling slightly "flat" actually.
T: lightly effervescent swallow of honey-flavoured dates, bitter-sweet chocolates, and semi-smoked red beans of malts slowly precedes a smooth aftertaste where hops and yeastiness render a semi-clean, semi-dry finish with an additional touch of herbal bitterness. But after this, the malt aroma and sweetened boiled red beans (a by-product of estery dark ales in general) seem to make a "kick-back" deep down the palate to prolong the aftertaste even more, whilst showing very little impact of alc. overall (but of course, as it warms up a bit, the alc. is more easily felt).
M&D: the carbonation remains mild and just enough to render a fresh palate, while the alc. (10%?) really hides very well - overall an easy drinker for this beer style, I'd say. The down side really is the lack of complexity. Although the structure is well in place - leading from estery fruitiness and malts through hop undertone towards a mellow and aromatic finish - I cannot help feeling a bit dissatisfied with the lack of more "colours" on the canvas.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brown body with one finger head with one finger head and minimal lace. A aroma that comes across as a little bit of dark fruit, more toffee and raisins than anything, and a hint of sugar and spice. Smooth, medium body, yeast keeps it smooth while adding a little chewiness, the dark fruits come out as I get raisins, figs, toffee and there is even a little bit of booze in the finish. Spicy edge gives it a little depth and adds balance and overall a pretty good brew.

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Photo of akorsak
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A corked and caged 750 mL bottle.

A: The quad is a dark chocolate syrup brown, very viscous with a mildly off-white head that laces all around the mouth of the glass.

S: Belgian chocolate and raisins, lots of dark aromas, drink the nose. The yeast strain screams 'Trappist' with a forboding complexity that I needed a while to place.

T: The taste is as compelling as the nose, a Trappist clone that hits all the right notes. Dark alefruits, driven by yeasty critters and an overabundance of candi sugars. Lots of raisin flavors here. A pleasant hop aftertaste settles down the sweetness.

M: The mouthfeel is very dark, loaded with rich fruit and sweet elements. The yeast has put in overtime in this beer.

D: At 10%, this is a sipping beer. I've enjoyed it over the past hour and a half and look forward to another hour.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.81/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

330ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $4.60

Appearance – Brown colour with a below average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell – Malts, caramel, dark fruits

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and something astringent. There is also some dark fruit flavour; but at times it seems like a grape crush soda type taste. The booze seems really well hidden.

Overall – Decent but with so many world class quads out there not much reason to have this one again. It seems a little amateurish when you stack it up against bernardus/rochefort/chimay etc.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into tulip 1/10/12

A dark brown with a ruby glow once held to the light, enough clarity to see bubbles moving some sediment around, two fingers of beige foam hangs around long enough to leave one thick ring of lace followed by a partial, ends as a thin film

S lots of over ripe bruised fruit, plum and banana mostly, smells a little sweet with burnt brown sugar and brewers candy. I might be crazy but cinnamon and whipped cream come out after a while, booze is hard to miss and just a faint sting on the deep whiffs

T almost disappointed the cinnamon and whipped cream faded in the mouth, I almost had a banana cream pie, a little boozy even for 10% and there’s some spice I can’t place, mild earthy notes and some sweet raisins

M a little thin and the bubbles don’t give it the life I was hoping for, more heat then I like but its not out of control, just a little left behind in the mouth

O nice beer but some age would help its cause, don’t get me wrong this is solid stuff but could be great down the road. A nice mix of flavors and worth a try for sure

I can’t remember what the cost of this one was and I guess that will determine if I buy a couple to age. Not up there with the Trappist versions but a respectable beer for sure

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice two finger, but it dissipates very quickly. Dark brown with some cherry highlights. Can't see any bubbles, but you can feel them on the tongue. Mild roasted malts and heavy tastd malts that have an undeniable sugary sweet aroma. The taste starts with Light roasted and candy syrup. The middle gets more balance with the toasted roasted malt flavors. The yeast adds more of a fruity, cake flavor. Pretty complex yeast flavors and very malty sweet. Hints of light chocolate with some earthy hints of hops.

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Photo of avalon07
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a dark brown color and a thick texture. There was a big, foamy, off white, long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: A good aroma of yeast, malt, hops and a sweet component.

T: Tasted of Belgian yeast, malt, a slight hoppy presence, and a syrupy quality. Some alcohol esters present as well. A solid and surprisingly subtle flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a super dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: In general, this is an all around good, drinkable beer.

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Photo of bark
3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sold as "Monk's Elexir" in Europe.

The colour is dark brown-red, the liquid clear. The beige compact head is finger thick.

The smell is mild. I noted some marzipan, raisins and beeswax.

The taste is dry and surprisingly light. Raisins, yeast and some sweetness. The body is low. The long aftertaste is light and fresh with notes of Coca Cola, nuts, raw beef and a hint of yeast.

The carbonation is strong; the small bubbles are sharp in the mouth. The liquid is mid-smooth.

A strong Belgian-style beer without any traces of alcohol. But there is not much of anything else init either.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Beer Deluxe simply labelled Monk's Elixir. From notes.

A - Poured a very dark brown, almost black. Good carbonation, one finger of light brown head left a film of retention and spotty lace.

S - Sugar with sugar fruits. Yeast and creamy chocolate. Prune perhaps and alot more lighter dark fruits. Very neat.

T - Lot's of dark fruit, sugar, light chocolate, caramel apples, and raisins.

M - Decent carbonation, full body and a sweet finish.

O/D - A really nice Quad. Maybe too sweet but tasty all the way through and had nothing to complain about.

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Photo of drpimento
4.37/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mmmmm malty heaven. Poured with a nice off white head and lots of lace. Color is a cloudy amber brown. Aroma is very malty yeast dark ripe fruit. Flavor is like nose. Easy drinking. Body is good and ditto carbonation. Finish is nice and on the short side.

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

Dark brown colour with deep garnet highlights. Small, creamy tan head. Fair head retention.

Really dense, dark fruit aroma with lots of date, raisin, plum, fig and berry notes. Alcohol and spice add balance and interest.

Bold and very rich with lots of dark fruit and rich malt. The bready melanoidins add depth along with some nice mild spice. Really good.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Nice.

A rich Belgian strong ale with lots of great flavour. This is certainly a brooding Belgian rather than a brighter one.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.49/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this from a 750ml bottle, corked and caged with silver foil on top. Huge thanks to BelgianBeerGal, who gave me this as an extra in a trade. The beer was dark murky brown with a thick tan foam, not much lace. The smell is just about perfect, this has a very similar aroma to Westvleteren 12. Dark fruits (plums, figs, etc) with delicious esters and some alcohol. The taste is nearly as good, although I taste some spice (maybe coriander) that I didn't detect in the aroma. The body is thick and coating, the flavor lasts a long time. Absolutely recommended.

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Photo of glid02
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Leon's Full Service in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy golden-brown color with a one-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of grainy caramel malts with solid amounts of raisins and brown sugar. As the beer warms the aroma sweetens up a bit and alcohol is noticeable.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth caramel malt flavors up front are joined quickly by booze-soaked figs and raisins. Midway through the sip the fruit flavors fade a bit and brown sugar and heavier molasses flavors make an appearance. The molasses and caramel malt flavors carry through to a mildly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I wasn't a huge fan of this beer as it seemed heavy on the malt side and the fruit flavors weren't as well integrated as the better beers of the style. Still, it's a solid beer and it's worth a shot to see for yourself.

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Photo of champ103
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a cloudy dark brown color. A large beige head rises to over two fingers. The head has very good retention. Light lace is left behind.
S: This has a great spicy aroma up front. Some Belgian yeast as well. Sweet malts, bread/biscuit, and dark fruits come out as this warms up.
T: Spicy flavors with some yeast and sweet malt. Alcohol lingers around as well.
M/D: A medium body but a little over carbonated for me. The alcohol shows, but I am enjoying sipping on this.

I split this with a friend. Thats the way to go with this. A little to strong for me to sip it by myself, but it is very enjoyable. One of the better Mikkeller beers I have had. Recommended.

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Photo of AgentMunky
2.86/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet.

A: A fizzy finger of tannish head tops tops a ruddy, opaque dark brown beer. Good lacing.

S: Not particularly impressive. Slightly (cherry) cough syrupy. Dark fruits, heavy sugars, clumsy spices.

T: Hrm. Disappointing. Highly so. I honestly don't think I can count this as a success. Lightly spicy, which is the only respite from a bland wall of heavy-sweet malt. The cough syrup doesn't particularly go away. Bah.

M: Not SO bad. I think the candy syrup kills it.

O: Poor effort. Would not have again. Not recommended and not sure I want to finish the whole beer...I'm sad, but this is Mikkeller. You lose some, you win most. :)

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Photo of ccrida
3.57/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml foiled champagne bottle (bottle stamped 07/04/11), Monk's Brew is a murky chestnut with a small off-white head that quickly subsides to a large bubbled collar that leaves very light lace.

Smell is very grape like, even as it warms, I really dont' get more then grape soda, perhaps a bit less sweet malt. It's appealing, but not necessarily as beer, or even a really fruity quad. While I really dig it, it seems way to simple and one dimensional. Or maybe I'm being to much of a beer snob? Fanta grape is one of my all time favorite soda's (2nd to Cherokee Red), but not necessarily what I look for in quad's, or any beer for that matter.

Taste is also very heavy on the grape fruitiness, malt/sugar/esters. Like the nose, it's kool-aide with a bit of spiciness to remind you it's beer, but nevertheless very unusual, if quite tasty. Still, it's a bit too much, and lacking depth, even after at least a few month's in my cellar.

Mouthfeel is very fully carbonated, lush.

Drinkability is ok, I always expect too much from the De Proef brewed Mikkeller's, but they never really measure up, and this one is no exception. While it's pretty tasty, it seems like all caramelized sugar and esters, which is fine, if not that sophisticated. IIRC, the price isn't helping the score either. The bottom line is it took a long while to work through, and I wasn't carving another, ever.

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Photo of FLima
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color, poured 3 fingers of head with a long retention.
Predominant sour and fruity aroma.
Caramel taste with hints of citrics, lemon type, and cherries and plum. Also, notes of licorice and fig. Mildly sour and acid. Aftertaste is a bit dry. Its 10.5% ABV is well hidden.
Light to medium body with light carbonation and small bubbles.
Really interesting and surprising beer, it smells sour but when you taste it, it is just like someone added just a few lemon drops. I hope they did not target to do a copy of Belgian Quads, which is not Mikkeller’s style, I believe they just got a base to brew something new and challenging. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Pencible
4.56/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured a translucent dark mahogany with some light tan head.
S: It smelled like rick dark fruits (plumb, raisin, cherry) and brown sugar and molasses, with a bit of oak and bourbon.
T: It tasted like brown sugar and molasses and powdered sugar, with plumb and dark cherry and raisin, as well as earthy chocolate and creamy yeast. It had a sweet and mellow aftertaste.
M: It was thick and creamy with smooth carbonation.
D: This was absolutely fantastic with tons of complexity and rich flavors. It had amazing body too, and hid the alcohol like crazy, so it was infinitely easy to drink. Reminiscent of Van De Keizer (blue), which is one of my favorite dark Belgian ales ever. This could maybe improve with age, but I already love it fresh.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with a small, fading head.
Nose shows sultanas, spicy phenols, golden syrup, port notes and caramelised bananas.
Flavours include more sultanas and dried dark fruit, treacle, port, brown sugar and over-ripe banana. Also some soft booze. Pretty sweet.
Carbonation seems just a little full-on, even considering the sweetness.
Very enjoyable stuff.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a - opened the 750 and poured into my La Trappe chalice (damn that cork was tough to get out). Poured a nice shiny plum purple with a frothy, yet bubbly head. looks pretty good to style and has an almost authentic head unlike many quads that don't originate in belgium.

s - much sweeter than i had expected. really candy like. fruit punch, grape ade. kind of creamy. smells like a solid quad with some sweet added. inviting for sure.

t - much spicier than the nose suggests. in fact the sweetness is swapped out for tart bitterness and first. as the brew opens up, a lot of wonderful other characteristics come out. dark fruits, plums, raisins...somewhat classic just peppery.

m - nice rich full mouth. i can let the beer sit in my mouth and really sop it up. the aftertaste is overly bitter at first, but once my palette warmed up to the beer the authentic quad creaminess really came through.

d - was really in the mood for a quad tonight. at first my nose told me this would be too sweet, then my initial first sip told me it was too bitter...then when my tastes buds dug into the beer, it really became the beer that i was hoping to enjoy tonight. the creaminess and body are like many classics and the flavor, although on the bitter side, really hit the mark. this is a solid beer...in a style where this is stiff competition.

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Monk's Elixir (Monk's Brew) from Mikkeller ApS
3.9 out of 5 based on 381 ratings.
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