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

Monk's Elixir (Monk's Brew)Monk's Elixir (Monk's Brew)
BA SCORE
78.1%
Liked This Beer
3.92 w/ 388 ratings
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
Ranking:
#6,404
Reviews:
154
Ratings:
388
Liked:
303
Avg:
3.92/5
pDev:
11.99%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
28
Gots:
47
Trade:
2
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 388 |  Reviews: 154
Photo of igl
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into chalice.

Pours a murky brown, dark, with a fluffy off-white head that settles quickly into a thin creamy cap.

Nose is dark fruit and brown sugar, with some yeast coming through as well.

Taste is light. Some doughy brown sugar up front, lots and lots of dark fruit/raisins. Hint of cocoa. Very light, earthy bitterness towards the finish. Almost no alcohol in taste, but a bit spicy and warming on the finish. Lacks depth and complexity for the size of the beer. On the flip side, still quite flavorful, and very drinkable for a 10% beer.

Carbonation is light, delicate, a bit fluffy, medium bodied.

 614 characters

Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
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 lmaduells
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
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 SpecsBEERMAN
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a cork finished 750ML bottle.

Pours a deep brown color with ample tight and creamy tan head. The aroma is slightly fruity, mostly raisin, fig and plum. The taste profile consists of the same, slightly sweet and fruity. I hate to sound like a Bud Light commercial, but this beer's drinkability is through the roof. light bodied, yet full flavored beer that lets her hair down and reveals the alcohol content as she warms up.

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Photo of Jtee
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
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 to a cap within three 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 a bit 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.

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Photo of akorsak
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
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 biegaman
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
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!

 1,905 characters

Photo of Electros
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Bf_89
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Fabianno
4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of CrazyDavros
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
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 GbVDave
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a corked, caged, and silver foil wrapped 750ml bottle into two St. Bernardus goblets. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a dark brown, very cola-like, with a small light-khaki head that leaves a little bit of spotty lace.

S: Aromas of caramel, toffee, toasted nuts, dark fruit, and cola-nut.

T: See above. Also tasted were spices, dark chocolate, white pepper, roasted nut, spicy figs & raisins, and toasty malt.

M: Medium bodied, slick and peppery, with a nice bit of dryness at the finish.

D: This one shows off barely a trace of its' 10%. Goes down far too easy!

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazed brown with a white head.
Smells of fruit, leather, must, stale breath.
In the taste, sugary with figs and brown sugar.
Nice Trappist abbey vibe going on here.
Medium bodied, medium carbonation.
Overall, this is a good abbey style quad, much better than the usual American craft versions of the style. Definitely worth checking out.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into chalice; no bottle dating, but likely at least a few years old.. Pours hazy extremely dark brown, almost black color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass; with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big raisin, prune, molasses, cocoa, toast, pepper, clove, toffee, roasted malt, dark bread, dark candi sugar, dark earthiness, and yeast spiciness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark malt and spicy yeast esters. Taste of raisin, prune, date, cocoa, molasses, toast, toffee, dark bread, dark candi sugar, light clove, and dark earthiness. Lingering notes of dark fruit, cocoa, molasses, toast, toffee, dark bread, dark candi sugar, light clove, and dark earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice balance and complexity of robust dark malt flavors with fruity/spicy yeast esters; and zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy and slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish; but still definitely a slow sipper. Overall this is an excellent Quadrupel style. Great balance, complexity, and robustness of dark malt and fruity yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on slowly. A very enjoyable offering; this ages very nicely.

 1,407 characters

Photo of Gehrig
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the great Crane Alley in Urbana, IL.

One and one-half fingers of dark tan froth top a deep brown body with ruby trim; ample lacing and good duration start out this experience quite right. Excellent, aromatic beer--lots of cherry, grape, chocolate, and caramel.

The taste is good, but doesn't quite deliver the promise that the nose portends. Plenty of fruit present, no doubt; some chocolate malt in tow, and a good balance between sweet and sour, the latter of which primarily appears in the finish. Some dried fruit emerge with some patience as well, especially fig and raisin. But it's not quite as rich as I had hoped; good stuff, no question, but not quite top-notch Quad territory.

The mouthfeel is revealing on this, for it's a bit flat. Definitely, Monk's Elixir could use more effervescence, which makes some of the Quads as great as they are--3P, The Reverend, St. Bernardus Abt. 12, Rochefort 10 definitely come to mind as exhibiting a better mouthfeel, in good part to better effervescence.

Overall, though, this is a very good Quad, very much in the tradition of Rochefort. A bit more flavor, a bit more effervescence, and this would be top flight. As it is, however, it is no slouch and is well worth enjoying. That the 10% ABV scarcely appears is a testament to its quality.

Quite enjoyable!

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Photo of dcmchew
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of glid02
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
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 avalon07
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
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 cosmicevan
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
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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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of BobZ
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
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 Drinkalot
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of WesWes
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
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!

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap @ St. Charles Tap House. $3 draft Mondays. Yeah buddy.

Pours a very dark brown color with cola colored edging. Light tan creamy head leaves plenty of legs.

The nose is candy like with brown sugar, molasses, bread, and sicy yeast. Its smelling a bit sweet and definitely inviting.

The taste is sweet and dessert-like with candied fruit flavors. Caramel, brown sugar and plum. Tasty.

The mouthfeel is creamy and delicately smooth. My favorite characteristic of this beer.

Overall, this is a decent and surprisingly drinkable quad, given the ABV. Enjoyable and at $3, can't beat it.

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Monk's Elixir (Monk's Brew) from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 78.1% out of 100 with 388 ratings
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