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

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87
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
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
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 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 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 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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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.

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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 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!

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
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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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.

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

Appearance: Pours as dark as could be with about an inch head after a pretty careful pour. The head started fading after the pour, but was at least half its original height after a solid minute. There is already some lacing left on the glass after the head falls. The head never completely disappeared, and ended up as a creamy tan layer on top that left a solid wall of lace after drinking the beer.

Aroma: I initially got a whole lot of the sweet dark fruit wholesommy goodness that you get with the Belgian Strong Dark series. So far so good. As the head falls a bit, there is a bit more raisin coming out and the alcohol is already making a showing in the cold beer adding some spice. There is a bit of a smokey aroma coming out as it warms that is a little unusual, but is adding complexity so it isn't screwing anything up.

Taste: The flavor follows the aroma pretty closely. There is lots of sweetness and dark fruit along with a strong alcoholic presence all mixing together to make the aroma come across like some exotic dessert...as it should be for this style. The body is light to medium, which is surprising for a beer so big. The carbonation is also high, so the beer comes across the palate dangerously drinkable. If it weren't for the lingering heat that is left on the back of the throat after the sip, it would be a subtle butt kicker. As it is, it is really well blended and the alcohol is reserved, but it is definitely there...so this still isn't a "slammer" by any means.

Opinion: This is a very good beer. I don't know how much it fits into the "quad" category versus the "strong dark" category. I would put it in the latter as it holds up against some of the great beers like St Bernardus Abt 12 and the likes...so this is not a beer to be taken lightly. That said, I prefer the blatant drinkability that you get with some of the other Strong Darks over this one as this has a relatively assertive dark malt character that isn't quite as "quaffable" as it is adding acidity and a burnt toffee note that slows down the whole drinking process. Either way, this is a very good beer and I would recommend that you pick one up and try it for yourself. It is good enough that it just may be YOUR beer.

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Photo of Zraly
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A small tasting on-tap at The Birch. Served in a small snifter.

Pours a dark garnet-brown with a touch of head. Really wonderful smell of cherries and dough -- smells like a bakery.

Rich, dark fruits predominate upfront with a touch of funk and phenols to play secondary roles. The alcohol is definitely present, as well as nut note. This reminds me a bit of a black forest cake. It tastes very good but given the weight and fairly heavy body, it is a bit think toward the end of the finish.

Overall, a really nice dessert beer.

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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 Mora2000
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours medium to dark brown with an off-white head. Aroma is caramel malt, candi sugar, alcohol and some dark fruit. Flavor is similar with a very sweet, dark fruit flavor. Alcohol is present. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not one of the best quadrupels I have tasted, but a pretty good beer overall.

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

The beer is clouded brown and black, a tan head leaving little lacing but good curtains.

The smell is ripe fruits and yeast, almost home brewed plum wine in the fermentation phase. Other fruits as well. Slightly alcoholic.

Starting with the sweet taste of sponge cake, apple jam with almonds, sherry and donuts.

Medium low carbonation, a soft, sticky and oily feeling, a huge body.

Raw, a bit alcoholic, but very interesting, and probably with a big potential in 5 - 10 years.

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

750ml bottle. Synthetic cork stamped 07/04/14.

Poured a medium brown color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of dark fruits, caramel, some yeast, a little woody, and some chocolate. Tastes of dark fruits, lighter yeast, chocolate, caramel, and a little bready. Light to medium alcohol burn that creeps up a few seconds after I drank (but overall well hidden).

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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 froghop
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a dark brown with a small tan head, and good lacing.

smell is of dark fruits, malt, slight cocoa in the back, some coffee.

taste is very nice, not overpowering, prunes, raisins, purple grapes, touch of sweetness, some malt, and a touch of coffee, aftertaste is thick on the tongue.

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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.

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Photo of russwbeck
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks go out to Exiled for this bottle.

A: Dark pour with an interestingly colored head. Good lacing, not much retention.

S: Very sweet smell. Esters dominating the smell, cloves, bananas, and darker fruits.

T: Taste is sweet like the smell. Caramels, malts, and dark fruits. Boozy finish to warm me up on this cold Pennsylvanian day.

MF: Medium bodied, smooth on the palate. Not as think as quads come.

D: Kind of sweet and pretty high ABV. Drinkability would depend on how you like the sweetness.

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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 tmoneyba
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy brown color with an average frothy brown head that mostly lasted with excellent lacing. Moderate to heavy toasted malt, caramel, chocolate and small alcohol aroma. Medium body with a smooth sticky texture and flat carbonation. Medium to heavy chocolate sweet flavor with a medium to heavy sweet finish of moderate to long duration. Solid complex brew.

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Photo of NVP12345
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I wouldn't call this a conventional quad -- the roasted malty flavor and lighter, less-carbonated mouthfeel combined with the usual fruit and spice make this beer feel more like a blend of a quad and stout. It's highly drinkable and enjoyable, but I prefer a quad to be slightly less sweet and to have a fuller body. Worth trying, but I wouldn't go out of my way to pick it up again as it's more expensive than some other truly great quads (namely St Bernardus ABT12).

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A great addition to follow the Jackie Brown along my Mikkeller tour. The beer has a well-attenuated, ester-forward demeanor but lacks that 'it' that could make it compare favorably to Trappist versions.

The pour brings a wonderful raison-y colored mohogany, brown, Amber color with a purple-ish highlight here and there. Great lightly tanned head formation, very good retention, and a lot of lacing. A formitable Grand Cru look.

Deep aromas of sweeter bread malts (think fruitcake), along with strong esters of grapes, figs, dates, raisons, apples, cherries, and appricots decorate the nose quite nicely. Spices of corriander, orange peel, alcohol, white pepper, and to a lesser extent- cumin tickle the nose and give an intrigue to the beer going into taste.

Flavors are similar to the nose, favoring the esters above the malts and supressing the spiciness just a bit. Rum-soaked fruitcake lays the foundation for maltiness, esters, and ethynol profiles. Bready throughout but with heavy fruit overtones. Spices help to give complexity and variety to the beer in the absence of meaningful hop flavor.

The body might be where this beer separates from traditional Belgian varieties. Medium fullness and roundness, where the authentic ones are soundly full and robust. Still, this beer finishes quite dry, medium malty, medium on bitterness and bite, and medium on alcohol. Maybe too timid? But then we've seen American versions that throw caution to the wind and instead of increasing the intrigue, we create a mess of a beer. I think this beer is on the right track, but not quite reaching its intended destination.

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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 gford217
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark, murky mahogany with a two-finger cream-colored head that lingers throughout the session leaving lots of lacing. The smell was very sweet with caramelized sugar and dark fruits dominating. The taste has a big sweetness of caramel malts and Belgian yeast forming a backbone on which dark fruits and chocolate. The alcohol makes itself known in the taste as well. The mouthfeel is medium bodied but a little lighter than most quads I've had with tons of carbonation. This is a very good example of a quad but probably a step down from the best. Still, very, very good.

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

A: Pours a hazy brown with a small, off-white head that's quick to recede leaving a persistent lacing that lasts for the duration of the beer.

S: Belgian sugar and yeastiness, some oakiness, and a lot of dark fruits - cherry chief among them. Strong esters.

T: Predominant dark fruits with candy sugar coming in right behind it. A bready/malty base, some light tannins come in on the backend.

M: Very smooth with damn near perfect carbonation for the style. Leaves just enough coating on the tongue to want to take another drink.

D: Goes down easy for a big beer and the ABV is well hidden.

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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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