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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 Stinkypuss
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
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 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 BlazerT
3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Teku glass/trappis glass.
A: Very dark copper, medium, light tan colour head with good lacing.

S: Complex malty sweetness - caramel, toast. Moderate, perfumy alcohols aroma. Moderatly low dark fruits esters - plum, rasins, dried cherry. No recognizable hop aroma.

T: In taste very malty complex, bread/toast malts, moderatly sweet. Low bitterness. Finish is semi-sweet to sweet with characteristic dried fruit esters.

M: Medium to high carbonation. Medium to full body. Oily texture. Alcohol warmth is not as noticable, as its perfumy aroma, it’s rather smooth.

O: In overall complex malty beer, not the ideal because of too perfumy alcohol aroma, and too little dried fruits. Worth trying.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A bomber (25.4 oz.) for $14.99. Poured into a chalice.

Starts sweet but then the dark fruit dark fruit followed by faint whiskey takes over and ends with the whiskey/alcohol warming the palate. But this is not a beer with a bourbon chaser. I like this brew and at a 10+% ABV it has a great taste that will knock you on your ass if you are not careful. 4.25

A - Pours an opaque brown with garnet highlights with a one-finger tan head (halfway between rocky and mousey). Nice lacing. Minor alcohol legs. 3.75

S – Dark fruit, spicy, a bit of vanilla hidden behind everything else. 4.25

T – Malty, sweetness (not cloying), a bit of raisins and licorice, some alcohol. 4.25

MF – Med-heavy body, semi-dry finish, alcohol lasts on the palate, warming. 3.75

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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 jazzyjeff13
3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A 330ml bottle with a BB of Feb 2018. Picked up ages ago from Trembling Madness in York and stashed in my garage. This is Mikkeller's take on a Belgian quad.

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Bottle conditioned. A very dark brown that appears pitch black in the glass. Produces a large head of creamy beige foam with good retention; this slowly reduces to a thick surface layer. Some lacing. Aroma of fruity malt with hints of prunes, dried fruit, brown sugar, caramel, subtle yeast esters and earthiness. Sweet and malty, with a warming whiff of booze in the background.

Tastes of fruity malt with a yeasty finish. Notes of dried fruit, brown sugar, caramel, earthy yeast, faint esters and hints of stewed leaves. Quite sweet, with a touch of booze in the background. A lingering yeasty character upon swallowing; little bitterness to speak of. Mouthfeel is smooth and dry, with light carbonation and decent body for the style. Mildly astringent, followed by an aftertaste of sweet malt, vague fruitiness and earthy yeast.

Hmmmm - not terrible but certainly sub-par. It looks great, however the aroma and flavour have a lack of depth and development. The overall character is wishy-washy; sweet and fruity but not fully committed. Body is OK but not amazing. My impression is that it is under-attenuated, possibly due to not being fermented at a sufficiently high temperature. It falls short of the best that the style can offer. No need to hunt it down.

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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.

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

I let this warm a bit before opening. Pours a very dark brown with some amber and orange highlights, a bit of a head that is gone right quick. Rum raisin smell, bready, prunes, juicy fruit gum, good maple syrup.

The taste is more fruit, soaked in cognac: raisins, plums, dates. A bit of a smoky, burned taste, like crunchy, darkened pie crust. Tart apples, port.

This one stays with you for a while. Chewy mouthfeel but not overly syrupy. A lot is going on, and a lot is done very well.

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

Poured from a 750 ml bottle (no date) into tulip

A- dark cola-colored hue with glimpses of amber in the light. Small 1-finger head with good retention and nice steady lacing. A really good-looking brew.

S- Belgian maltiness with breads, raisins, and booze.

T- the candied sweetness comes out first but quickly fades into plums, prunes,molasses. Also, a good roasted malt flavor with some woody smokiness but not much. A bit dry on the back end.

M- light to medium carbonation and a medium-sized mouthfeel. A little boozy but not as heavy as you would think for a 10% abv brew.

O- pretty good quad. A little heavier and darker than some of my normal faves. Seems a bit more like a BSDA. It was one I wanted to try but would be 10deep on my list of quads that I would seek out at the store.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark black with a touch of brown around the edges and a finger of frothy khaki-brown head. Fades normal.

S - Sweet dark caramel malts, plums, raisins, other dark fruits, Belgian yeast, clove and other spices, candi sugars, some booze.

T - Sweet dark caramel malts, plums, raisins, dates, other dark fruits, Belgian yeasts, clove, other spices, candi sugars, some booze.

M - Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Smooth with a sweet, spicy, warming finish.

D - Really nicely balanced Quad with a great mouthfeel. Great yeast character.

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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 DoktorZee
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 333ml bottle into a tulip. Cap with a best before of 15/02/18!

A - deep brown in color with ruby highlights when viewed through light; very little head that resolves exceptionally quickly with almost no lacing.

S - lots of dark fruits on the nose: rasin and plum, with some caramel malts

T - very tasty dark fruit backbone with lots of raisin, fig and a bit of caramel in the finish. Maybe even a hint of licorice. Considerably less sweet than other Quads I've had; much more drinkable as a result. Less intense in the finish than I'd expect, but still balanced with a lot of dark fruit and spiciness lingering on the tongue.

M - much lighter mouthfeel than expected, at most it's medium bodied and not syrupy in the least; it's certainly not crisp and only has light carbonation, but it's not overly heavy.

Overall this is a really interesting Quad. In some ways it tastes a lot like a Belgian Strong Dark Ale as it lacks the sweetness I've had in other Quads, though it's certainly got the alcohol. Very tasty beer. Very highly recommended!

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

yet another brilliant and distinct beer from mikkeller, the king as far as i am concerned. this one pours really dark, chalky black in color, with some dark brown yeast floaters and a two inch white head with wonderful retention. the nose is alcoholic for sure, dark malts, but not bitter and toasty, sort of mineral rich, volcanic in some way. the yeast is spicy and bright, but not overbearing. its somehow delicate in such a massive brew. in the flavor i pick up something sweet but not sugary, kind of like the birch syrup beers, but to a lesser degree. really awesome malt profile, earthy and lighter despite its color. alcohol is invisible until it warms, and the yeast is classically belgian while also adding some interesting fruity elements to an otherwise black beer. feel is lovely too, great carbonation, velvety glide down the throat, and a full body that remains super drinkable. overall this is a perfect example of what a belgian strong dark ale can be, and its one i had no problem dirnking a 750ml of, despite its 10% abv. this was a special treat.

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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 UCLABrewN84
3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Congregation Ale House in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a clear dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, dark fruit, alcohol, and some slight spice aromas. Taste is much the same with a medium amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a great aroma but the flavors just don’t match up very well.

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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.

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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 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 impending
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


750ml into a tulip. Pours an opaque walnut with garnet highlights, coffee ice cream colored towering head, nice lacing.

Aroma is of a belgian stout. Semi sweet chocolate with a nearby bowl of mixed berries and cherries and yeast, a lot of yeast. Slight roastiness.

Taste is precisely as the nose predicted but amplified. Initially low in sweetness. Pleasant long lasting yeasty mildly bitter as in unsweetened chocolate aftertaste, again quietly roasty. Alcohol is present but perfectly blended as a flavor component. Medium bodied smooth creamy mouthfeel. Shines with warmth as it sweetens and the roast peaks. delicious

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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 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 cvm4
3.35/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is the hardest cork I've ever tried to get out of a bottle. Say no to synthetic corks!

A - Pours a murky brown with a tan one finger head. It's not pretty to look at.

S - The smell comes off sweet. I'm getting some raisins, prunes and caramel.

T - A bit sweet and syrupy. Once that subsides, then you're left with figs/raisins/dates. The finish does last a while and so does the alcohol presence.

M - Somewhat thin and watery. Could use more substance.

O - Nothing to rave about here. Just a good mid-road quad that offers nothing new or something you can't live without.

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