Monkswood | Brewery Vivant

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Brewed by:
Brewery Vivant
Michigan, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by tectactoe on 08-08-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2 | Ratings: 8
Reviews by JohnnyHopps:
Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Monkswood was consumed on tap at Brewery Vivant on 8/9/2013. It was described to me as a wood aged version of Solitude.

Appearance - Monkswood was a murky brown color with a few tiny white bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass.

Smell - Overall, the aroma was sweet. One might detect malt, wood, and perhaps a light hint of brown sugar.

Taste - In the initial taste, one detects sweet alcohol, bourbon, a candy sweetness, with bubbles that sweep the sweetness away quickly. Orange notes develop toward the aftertaste before fading to a dry after taste.

Mouthfeel - There is a certain smoothness amid the thickness of this drink. It lingers nicely on the back of the tongue.

Overall - This was probably the highlight of my stop at Brewery Vivant aside from Trebuchet. Brewery Vivant would do well to can this one.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap, Michigan Summer Beerfest 2013. Two tokens for this one... Damn! It better be good! It's a soft and muddled brown color, fairly opaque... Actually, incredibly opaque, except for at the very borders of the brew. The beige head is big and bubbly; it gives a little more oomph than many other wild ales, though it's still nothing to really gawk at.

The nose is about 70% barrel and 30% other stuff. Barrel including... well, oak and whiskey. For those who don't know, this beer is Vivant's Solitude aged in Jack Daniel's whiskey barrels. That fact becomes apparent with the first sniff; the whiskey is duly noted with a sharp sting of the nostrils atop a big plank of oak. Gentle cherries and lemons contribute a touch of fruitiness to the aroma, along with a damp and musty, blanket funk, but they're all secondary to the barrel overlord.

It tastes like a bourbon barrel, too. Seriously, though, the barrel is heavy on this one. It's got some astringently sharp cherry skin and lemon rind notes that sour things up just a bit, though the whiskey character cuts the sourness down to "mildly tart" levels. In turn, I guess, the tartness blunts the whiskey character, too... Checks and balances is the key to success, although balance isn't quite achieved with Monkswood.

I will say that it gets better as it warms, and by the finish, the whiskey barrel has calmed down and the fruits play softly into a sweet, malty finish. The front-end and nose of each sip is still potent enough to keep you awake, though, that's for sure. Thin bodied overall, soft mouth feel and medium carbonation. I have a hard time believing this is really only 7% ABV... smells and tastes higher.

I don't love sour or wild ales that incorporate spirit as over half of the perceivable flavor and aroma. It just doesn't work in my mind. That doesn't necessarily make it a bad beer, as this was far from unenjoyable. Just perhaps not my exact cup of tea. I wanted earl gray but I was given chamomile. That said, if this beer either had amped up funk and fruity tartness, or toned down whiskey barrel heft, it would actually be pretty damn excellent.

 2,128 characters

Photo of beergorrilla
2.75/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of DCdevyl78
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of CraigTravor
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of Zaphog
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of ccozzi
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Monkswood from Brewery Vivant
3.73 out of 5 based on 8 ratings.
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