Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
87
very good
151 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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:
379
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
19.23%
 
 
Wants:
27
Gots:
47
For Trade:
2
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 151 | Ratings: 379
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.

 1,336 characters

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.

 616 characters

Photo of laituegonflable
2.67/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark amethysty-red colour with dense beige head that sticks around to a decent crown. Nice cradle of lace. Pretty damn fine.

Huge fruity nose, very candied with a blackcurrant and apple edge. Blackberry, cherry medicine, I could go on but yeah, it's definitely lacking something, needs more than just sweet fruit. Pretty poor and cloying, in fact.

Taste is similarly saccharine. Loads of fruit: apple, blackcurrant and black cherry with a slight weak cider edge and hardly any complexity to it, just sweet and a bit weak. Medicinal edge on the back but it falls short of being nicely phenolic or spicey. Really quite disappointed.

Full body, but not a lot of texture, just very simple.

It's probably hard to produce this particular fruit note from a beer but it just comes out as thinly sweet and under-fermented. Just not very enjoyable.

 850 characters

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

The brew pours a deep mahogany hue with nice carbonation that leaves behind a caramel laced two finger head and lacing everywhere,the smell is mainly alcohol and candy,it has a medium bodied syrupy mouthfeel which leaves your lips sticky and has tastes of boiled candy,brown sugar,medicinal hops,alcohol and finished with a barley sugar sweetness and overall its alright and definately hides a powerful punch behind its sweetness.

 430 characters

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).

 371 characters

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

 760 characters

Photo of srandycarter
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - No pop from the cork, but no worries. Nice, but small, head reduces to ring. Very little sticky lacing and some cascading walls of bubbles from the rim edge. Kind of a murky, flat brown.

S - Dark fruit, brown sugar.

T - Pumpernickel bread, cooked dark fruits, brown sugar and a bit of cocoa at finish.

M - Medium body, maybe too carbed for me, good balance.

D - Alcohol isn't obvious, and flavors are not sledgehammers. For the style, pretty drinkable.

 460 characters

Photo of mdagnew
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle bought online from Beermerchants.com

Poured a deep burgundy red / brown colour with a slight haze... Creamy tan head poured quite foamy but faded very quickly to thin covering with thick edging... fair amount of carbonation bubbles... light patchy lacing...

Aroma - Dark spicy fruits (raisins, prunes, some blackcurrents), strong toasted toffee maltiness, some molasses notes, caramel, light aniseed hints, some light rum traces, vanilla, some nuttiness, peppery hops...

Taste - Sweet and spicy fruits (definite raisins and prunes, spicy apples, some figs and blackcurrents), brown sugar / toffee sweetness, milk chocolate, toasted bready maltiness, strong Belgian yeastiness, light herbal notes, nice warming alcohol, liquorice hints, spicy hops...

Feel - Quite sharp and dry then some smoothness coming through after.. Medium / full bodied... Pretty drinkable considering the strength...

Overall - An excellent beer yet again from Mikkeller... recmmended..

 976 characters

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.

 539 characters

Photo of DarthKostrizer
2.43/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to RTaps and MrVonzipper for this one

Look: Dark brown in color with a 1/8 inch head and just ok retention

Smell: The nose carries some figs and plums and a artificial candy note. Which is backed up by a sweet yeast note

Taste: The beer is very dark fruit based and almost taste artificial or medicinal. The beer was overly sweet and reminded me of candied plums and sugar drenched figs. And finishes slightly funky but not the good funkyiness that is typical of belgian yeast

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation

Overall: I am not a fan of this Quad and to be honest it might be my least favorite of the style to date

 639 characters

Photo of GbVDave
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
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!

 593 characters

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.

 1,451 characters

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.

 797 characters

Photo of IronDjinn
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a brown 750 ml caged and corked bottle.

Loose spongy light beige head with great retention. Intense lacing. Body is a deep dark oaky brown, nearly opaque.

Dry icing sugar and dark dry fruit on the nose, low lying toasted notes, plum.

Flavour gets more complex, smooth chewy dark malt, toasted, bready and molasses sweet. Spicy dark dried fruit in the middle, plum and red grape notes too. Dry toasty, wafery dark chocolate finish, sticky dunkel-like aftertaste with spicy alcohol warmth.

Smooth nearly full-bodied mouthfeel, low carbonation, a bit sticky on the finish but still creamier and smooth than anything else.

From my experience so far Mikkeller seems to be a bit hit and miss--at least regarding my own palate--but I give them/him credit for pushing the limits and experimenting. This time around was pretty close to a philospher's stone, great quad or dark ale or whatever they're trying to pass this off as, excellent dark Belgian ale that's worth going back to. Check this one out for sure and stock up on it.

 1,033 characters

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.

 480 characters

Photo of Crosling
3.59/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark ruby/burgundy color with a full head that forms interesting shapes. Aroma is pretty vibrant and shows some juicy dark fruits. Flavor has some hints of banana to accompany the dark fruit notes. It is lacking in body and texture for me. Hmmm, it's pretty good. Young right now. Somewhat disappointing in that it isn't in the same league as some of the better Belgian strongs, but it's still a tasty, well brewed Belgian style ale, certainly better than almost all American versions.

 485 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

330 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO; best before June 25 2020. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours a dark, brownish-amber colour with some lovely crimson tinges under the light. It's crowned with one finger of creamy, resilient light beige-coloured head that very gradually recedes into a thinner, lumpier cap and collar. The aroma is rich and yeasty, offering up fruity notes of prune, raisin/red grape, fig and cherry, all atop a backbone of sugary caramel sweetness. Minor hints of cocoa and anise are also detectable. Not bad at all, but still tame for a quad.

Delicious, malty, strong and complex; exactly what I am looking for in this style. Treacle and candi sugar are a constant underlying presence, but it is the range of dark fruits that demands my taste buds' attention. Flavours of plum, red grape and black cherry are loudly and clearly present, in addition to banana, fig and apple flesh. A mild note of chocolate is soon overtaken by a spicy finish that includes a mixture of clove and anise, accompanied by an herbal bitterness. The aftertaste includes a roasted note, which slowly fades into a raisiny booziness. On the lighter side of full-bodied, with rather weak carbonation levels that provide this abbey-style ale with a smooth, creamy feel in the mouth.

Final Grade: 4.17, an excellent A-. Monk's Brew is certainly not the best quad I've ever had, but it's still a pretty damn good one. I love the flavour profile of this one, but unfortunately it suffers from a few forgiveable flaws - namely, the relatively limp mouthfeel and (comparatively) straightforward bouquet. Like all Mikkeller beers this is not a cheap tipple, but going by the typical price point of an imported quad, it's certainly not unreasonably expensive for this market. Very good stuff, and definitely worth a try for any BSDA/Quad fans, but not world-class.

 1,855 characters

Photo of bnes09
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Milk chocolate brown color. Very hazy. Pours an enormous , Irish cream-colored head which sticks around forever. Leaves silky lace reminants all over the glass.

Huge, malty, caramel aroma with hints of oak, bourbon and yeast.

Flavor follows the nose. Malt quality is dense with figs, dates and caramel. Mild hop presence suggesting herbs and leaves. Hint of oak but enough to mellow it out. Has a somewhat spicy aftertaste.

Full bodied. Low carbonation. Dense feel.

Overall, a solid barrel-aged quad. Nothing stands out from other examples. Its just complex and tasty.

 583 characters

Photo of Chico1985
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750ml split amongst peoples.

A - Very dark red pour with some haze, not much clarity. Lots of beige foam eventually falls to a thick splotchy cap with lots-o-lacing.

S - Apple and raisin, red grape, touch of caramelly bread and molasses, alcohol. Kind of faint overall.

T - Big red grape, sharp boozy raisin, anise, candi sugar, some peppery spice, molasses. An improvement over the scent, but a bit muddled and boozy.

M - Pretty hefty, almost syrupy, handles all the foamy carbonation quite well. It's a bit hot, moreso than expected.

O - Some pretty good waves of sugary dark fruit spice flavors, but the syrupy sweetness and booziness kinda drag this down for me.

 672 characters

Photo of stephens101
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with some interspersed garnett hues. Has a smallish off-white head that has very little staying power. Some tiny dots and fingers of lace stick around.

Big welcome sweet malts assault the nose with grape and grain following closely behind. Tastes fruity (figs, grapes) and vinous with a discernible alcohol heat at the end. Notes of licorice, grain, saffron bitterness and very subtle sweet chocolate also exist. Has a medium to heavy mouth-feel and a slightly creamy middle and dry at the edges.

Complex and tasty brew. Not quite as smooth as some of it's more established brethren, but a damn good Quad for a change of pace.

 647 characters

Photo of mick303
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle from the lcbo, this one is tried fresh and there are two more cellaring. In a tulip glass this is a dark ruby brown colour with a nice film of light tan head and nice lacing.

S - fresh this has a pretty strong dark fruit spice to it, plums and figs mixed with some sugary/caramelly esters. Some harsher alcohol spirit aromas as well, raisins, dried cherries. Some dry hay as well.

T - big robust dark fruit profile with a lot of sweetness, transitioning into more full spices and slightly bitter dried fruit with a lot of yeasty character. Starts with lush plums, apricot, dates, brown sugar, then more dry caramelly raisin, eventually getting more spicy with dry chili maybe and loses quite a bit of the fruitiness, as more of the yeasty earthy notes come up, earthy and peppery, with a dunnage character as well, with some of the dry dry fruits hanging on as it lingers on a spicy finish.

M - Big, full bodied, but good balance as the fruitiness dries out, fairly strong satisfying carbonation throughout. The alcohol on the aroma is well hidden and intigrated in the body. Sweet and desserty on the start, getting a bit more bitter and spicy on the finish.

Overall, this was a satisfying dessert-like quad. Very assertive strength and yeasty spiciness, while it maintains a satisfying drinkability, I feel it lacks the finesse of some premier Belgian examples, this (at least young) has an assertive rich fruit character, with more cinnamon/nutmeg/pepper spice developing to carry through to a dry finish with sticky caramel throughout. Enjoyable, and I hope to see it develop some complexity and nuance.

 1,627 characters

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

this divine brew pours up a solid brown color with a thin off white head. very nice retentive lacing. in thine nose, i detect aromas of dark fruits, pears, red grapes, caramel malts, a nice quad aroma. the taste is rich malt, cocoa powder, dark fruits again, plums, dark grapes. no alcohol detected at all, masks it quite well....indubitably. very smooth, medium bodied, low carbo. a very tasty brew. eating a steak whilst enjoying this brew, really makes this beer taste like a cognac.

 486 characters

Photo of peabody
3.39/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours out like a good quad with 1/2 finger of off-white suds. Not a lot of lacing but very nice legs. A root beer color but much more cloudy.
Smell is caramel and fig with a very malty and sugary aroma.
Taste is very odd here. Kind of a bitterness like an IPA and not much maltysugars like are in the smell. You really can't taste the alcohol but you can feel it. Like a bourbon/scotch flavor added in there to booze it up.
Mouthfeel is fairly clean and only the last bit, after the alcohol has left,there is a slight stickyness. NOt a sweet stickyness,
Drinkability would be OK if it tasted more like a good quad.
Not really that good.

 637 characters

Photo of Oxymoron
2.99/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Collaboration. Pours a dark burgundy color with a rudy red hue through out. Somewhat cloudy but a bit of chill haze. A soft white head with good retention and lacing but did dissipate through the tasting.

The nose has some good and some bad notes. There is a great bready mixed with a crystal malt aroma. Some melanodian almost Special B-esk malt aroma. Noticeable fig and raisin notes as well, with a hint of banana and cloves. A light plum note as well. Some butyric aromas are really off setting and leave a dirty drains type or image. Dank. On the back end there is a light black strap molasses note as well, that has the minerally off aroma that is just a big deterrent for me.

The taste is similar. Great malt notes with a stronger crystal and caramel malt notes. Some Belgian grainy flavors with a light bready/biscuit thing. Some yeasty notes but backs off versus the nose. The same off butyric notes are present in the taste. Really hard getting past this dank flavor. Some herbal and ester notes in the finish as well.

Moderate body with good carbonation. Overall really hard to get past the dank notes. Surprised this isn't rated lower.

 1,150 characters

Photo of falloutsnow
3.56/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap on 2010-10-20 at Max & Joe's in Omaha, NE.
Served in a flute glass.

Arrives with a tall, dense head composed of fairly small bubbles. Head retention is excellent, and lacing alongside the glass is above average, too. Body is dark brown, opaque, with some visible carbonation.

Scent is of syrupy prunes and candy sugar, perhaps hints of dried figs and raisins, too. Hides the ethanol well. This isn't particularly complex, but seems to be above average for the style.

Taste of similarly syrupy prunes, sweet malts, faint chocolate and anise. Ethanol appears as it warms. Not as pleasing or complex as Rochefort or Bernardus, but still tasty.

Body is medium weight. Fairly smooth with good matching carbonation levels. No real warmth from the ethanol. Finish is dry and slightly syrupy. Mouthfeel becomes a bit watery with increasing temperature. A bit disappointing here.

This was an OK quadrupel, something I'm glad to have tried, but don't feel an amazing need to revisit again.

 995 characters

Monk's Elixir (Monk's Brew) from Mikkeller ApS
87 out of 100 based on 151 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe