5 Monks
Avery Brewing Company

5 Monks5 Monks
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Belgian Quadrupel (Quad)
4.39 | pDev: 9.11%
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
5 Monks5 Monks
Notes: No. 22 in Avery's Barrel-Aged Series, 5 Monks, a 19.4% ABV Bourbon barrel-aged Belgian-style quintupel ale
Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 359 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Abe_Froman
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 7/2014
Opened 1/2019

Poured heavy with decent carbonated head that dissipated quickly.
Look: Hazy dark amber.
Smell: Dark fruits, cherries, molasses. Dark and sweet like a good Quad. Hints of warm alcohol.
Taste: Dark fruits hit the tongue first. Sugary vanilla and oak notes follow. A pleasant sharp cherry after taste.
Feel: Light syrup that leaves a light coating. Very fine carbonation tingles before quickly fading.
Overall: I wish 2014 me had bought a few.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.61/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled July 17th 2014.

It pours what looks to be a clear mahogany with a small and quickly disappearing head of off white foam. The ring around the glass is all I see now but there's some struggling lacing.

Brown sugar, molasses, dark pitted fruits, vanilla, oak, Bourbon aromas permeate my nose buds. The smell wouldn't be complete without mentioning the booze. It's there in spades.

Brown sugar, Bourbon, dark pitted fruit, figs, very sweet overall but not to the point of being cloying, at least to me. Wonderful flavours, lots of heat, oxidation is making its presence known. A few more years and how would it evolve? A super strong Thomas Hardy? JW Lees? I'll never know as this is my only bottle and I have held it in my cellar for +1 year.

As big a beer as this is, I don't reckon that the body is full. Carbonation is low and who the hell would want it to be lively??

I didn't buy this locally, I had to buy it online with several other Avery BA beers. No regrets.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A 2014 bottle, properly cellared. Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a medium to dark, slightly hazy, brown-orange with a thin, light khaki head that dissipates to patches with light lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, plums, raisins, dried apricot and peach, vanilla; light bourbon and oak, a bit boozy. Flavor is canid malt, mild caramel, mixed dried fruit, particularly apricots, bourbon, vanilla and boozy heat. Medium bodied with light creaminess and sharp carbonation. Whooee, this is a big ale. There's a quad in there somewhere, although this leans towards a non-hoppy American barleywine to my taste, although there definitely is some Belgian yeast fruit notes here. Except for the carbonation, this could be a nice light aperitif with its bold ABV. Hot for a quad, but with fine fruit and bourbon balance and substantial malt holding everything together. As usual for Avery's beasts, a truly fine evening slow sipper. It has aged gracefully and probably would have more years of happy aging. This bottle will not have that honor.

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Photo of Avitra
3.98/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It’s actually better than the score I gave it, but it’s better as a porter. This is just not a quad with its flavor profile. As it is it’s nice and syrupy and dark and cheery cherry and booze. And the porter typical vanilla and chocolate ice cream. Great porter, so so quad

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Photo of StraightNoChaser
4.61/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

look: Dark ruby with a surprising swath of reddish tan head on the pour though that rapidly dissipates to a slight ring around the edges of the glass.
nose: a decadently rich nose of dark fruits and bourbon. more like a high end Port than a beer.
taste: and the flavor does not disappoint after the stellar nose. Very similar to the nose and a bit of spice. This is a beast but a relatively gentle giant. The alcohol is present but much mellower than I would expect from a beer this big. Outstanding.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.52/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gold foil capped 12oz bottle from LambicPentameter (thanks man!). Bottled 7/17/2014. Served in a Barel and Barely teku.

Pours a cloudy burgundy chestnut with a quarter finger of ecrue head that quickly crackles away. The sparce lingering bubbles where a collar would typically rest could hardly be called retention and the thick nectar leaves no lacing whatsoever.

Sweet, inviting aromas of bourbon soaked raisins, candy syrup, toffee and oak. A hearty fusel alcohol drifts in and amongst all that glorious sweetness.

The flavor of wet, vanilla-like oak is right up front. The rich wood is quickly superseded by boozey but rounded bourbon, raisins/ dates, caramel, toffee, raw cane sugar, rum cake, overripe plums, faint musty raisin bread and a little subtle earthy leather. The alcohol presence commands my attention but this still drinks much smoother than expected from the impressive 19%+ abv, leaving this a tad boozey and utterly delicious.

Syrupy, thick feel with very light carbonation. That sticky, full liquid coats the tongue, making for a long lasting finish containing notes of bourbon soaked raisin cake, wet wood and brown sugar.

Avery once again shows that they really have a handle on extreme brewing. While 5 Monks definitely riffs off of the American quad style this is a much bolder and more intense experience. Calling this a quadrupel is similar to calling a quad a dubbel. Ultimately my love of what most might consider overly sweet and boozey makes this an absolute winner.

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Photo of maximum12
4.58/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Despite the $15.99 price tag for this 12 oz. bottle, I found a way to fit this into my 49 lb. suitcase during my last return trip from California…yes, OK, & one Tweak next to it. Bottled July 17, 2014 at a rip-roaring 19.39% ABV. Hey Monday; blow me.

The pour is a dark brown with a teaspoon of arterial red & finger swab of ear wax orange. Surprisingly lively for a big beer nosing towards 18 months of age. The nose speaks of the barrel, loudly, & then of sweet vanilla & soft whisper of Belgian yeast. But barrel.

5 Monks – is that how many it took to polish off this small bottle? The first thing I notice is the alcohol heat, a welcome addition since it’s -4 here right now. Next is toffee that some careless lout dropped into a bourbon barrel for about two decade – toffee, bourbon, alcohol, toffee, bourbon, alcohol, these are a few of my favorite things…more? Underneath the towering inferno is a touch of spice with rye whiskey overtones, Arabian Night dates, figs, & prunes (is there really a difference?), carmelized honey, brown sugar. Really sweet. Sticky, decadent, thick, an after-dinner treat. I would love to see how much of this I could drink before I couldn’t find my keyboard.

I was hoping this was in the mold of Tweak. It is. A monster of a beer that brings the heat, the complexity, & the pure joy of afternoon delight. Please don’t wake me when it’s over. A top-shelf, elite beer. I wish I’d bought the entire shelf.

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Photo of zac16125
4.19/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a snifter
Bottled on: July 17, 2014

Thanks to tchipharveyslake for generously sending this one over as an extra!

A: Very dark brown, nearly black, less than 1 fingers width of fizzy light tan head that dissipates fairly quickly and leaves essentially no lacing but some alcohol legs. 4.25

S: Super boozy, caramel and candied sugar, fusel ethanol, some dark fruits. 4

T: Wow, remarkable unboozy in the taste. Tons of dark fruits like fig and dates, caramel, subtle anise/licorice. Mild sharp ethanol comes out during the drink, but its not hot at all. I also get bitterness and subtle cocoa. I don’t get significant barrel characters, but still very nice. 4.25

M/D: Full bodied but not thick or syrupy, carbonation low but appropriate, ABV is noticeable but considering the absurd level is actually remarkable well masked, drinkability all things considered is quite good. 4.25

O: I really enjoyed this beer. The second highest ABV beer I’ve ever had, and they pulled it off well. Sweet but not cloying, boozy but not hot, and just damn good. 4.25

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Photo of geodonnokepyo
3.98/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Aged a year and a half
Zero carb. Some sediment.
Smells like plum, raisin, wood, light bourbon.
Bourbon and wood are prominent flavors. With slight caramel and dark fruits.
Still very boozy, but definitely an enjoyable sipper.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

In the land between barleywine and Belgian stronger, darker ale is where this massive elixir resides. Sipping much more like a barley liqueur than beer, the flavors and power that's packed inside 5 Monks aligns it much more with port or sherry than of normal ale.

Avery's bourbon barrel-aged "quintuple" ale pours nearly still and with the most slender collar of foam about its edges. Underneath, the golden-rust hues begin to billow over with liqueur-soaked dark fruit and the unmistakable nose burnt of whiskey. Its initial taste is surprisingly sweet with brown sugar, toffee, honey and mild molasses.

And with its complexities unfolding on the middle palate, those fruits awaken with date, raisin, fig, apricot, cherry, pineapple and red apple- all seeming of the condensed and dehydrated variety. Its underlying cakey body is slow to recede as it lays down its spicy sweet taste to resemble spice cake or fruitcake. A slim balance is geared toward cinnamon and peppercorn with the broad and woodsy bitterness of hops lurking in the recesses.

Growing caramels, vanillans and weathered oak flavor frames the lasting impressions of taste, but does so also with a challenge from vinous brandy-type flavors and numbing warmth. Its sweet and spicy linger shows no sign of letting up as it accompanies pan-seared duck and blue cheese in harmony.

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Photo of Immortale25
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish traditional oversized snifter. Label says Bottled: July 17, 2014.

A- Pours a medium brown color with not much head, just some dark tan surface foam that soon fades to nothing. Minimal lacing.

S- Huge wash of bourbon erupts from the glass with some sweet dark fruit trailing behind it. Plenty of alcohol fume.

T- Smoother than the aroma lets on. Lots of dark fruit including raisin and fig, plus some honey. The bourbon then shows itself which is quite strong and hot. Not as sweet as you'd expect from such a high gravity beer.

M- Somewhat syrupy with a booze burn in the throat. Low carbonation and a fullish body.

O- About what you would expect from a BA quad that's this strong. Drinks more like port but not as creamy and more boozy. Also, the bourbon doesn't add a whole lot of extra depth, just amps up the alcohol presence even more. Took me over an hour and a half to finish the 12 oz. bottle.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

July 2014 bottle, aged in my aging refrigerator since and poured into Teku glass.

Pours a deep chestnut brown, very dark. A tiny bit of fizzly head, maybe a finger, quickly disappears. Some tiny carbonation bubbles evident.

Smell is mmmm bourbon. Also vanilla, roasted malts, dark fruits. A little whiff of alcohol (hard to hide at this amazing ABV).

Taste largely follows the smell. Bourbon and vanilla and fruit up front, some oak and alcohol at the end.

Well-balanced. Full-bodied but not syrupy, a moderate amount of carbonation. Not too much alcohol burn or drying, but it's certainly present.

Just fantastic. Drink slowly.

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Photo of BradC
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark reddish brown, not much head or lacing here. Smells of plum, raisins, caramel, toffee, vanilla. Tastes follows the aroma, plus a good bit of heat from the alcohol. But, at 19.39%, it's still pretty drinkable.

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Photo of Damian
4.9/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Pemberton Farms Market, Cambridge, MA
Bottled: July 17 2014
Served in a cervoise

Tawny, orange-mahogany appearance. Somewhat viscous and almost cordial-like. The beer was capped by a thin film of beige colored bubbles that quickly dropped to a frothy ring.

The nose was amazing and had tons going on. Rich and sweet but not overly so. Strong dark fruit, caramel and toffee notes. Raisins and plums dominated. Good dose of brown sugar. Some vanilla came through as well. Loads of bourbon but not a lot of alcohol heat. Remarkable considering that this beer clocks in at 19.39% ABV. The only thing that seemed to be missing was the Belgian yeast character, but it was still fantastic without it.

The flavor profile was very similar to the nose and just as spectacular. Sweet yet not cloying. The beer was anchored by a huge caramel malt base. Like in the aroma, there was no Belgian character, but that hardly affected the overall complexity. Very bready with intense vanilla notes. Loads of raisins, plums and figs. Bourbon came through big time on the back end and in the finish. Not much alcohol heat for nearly 20% however. The booziness kicked in after the swallow but the beer never turned overly hot.

The mouthfeel was rich and robust for the style but not too syrupy or heavy. Silky smooth and supple on the palate. A fine yet aggressive carbonation gave the beer a rich, creamy frothiness.

5 Monks was definitely the best Avery beer that I have ever sampled. At nearly 20% ABV, it drank like a dream. In fact, I have tried beers in the 12-13% range that seemed a lot hotter. I really hope they brew this again someday.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

what a beast of a beer. this series from avery is pretty insane, especially these freakishly strong ones. while this is probably mind blowing out of the context of the others, when considered against the likes of uncle jacobs and black tot and the other really strong ones, there are some common linkages, and the wow factor is far less, although if you like bourbon, this one is not to be missed. perhaps the most intense expression of bourbon i have known in a beer. i like it a lot, but its super sweet, and even splitting the bottle two ways was quite a lot of this to drink. it looks gnarly too, thick as they come, red brown in color with almost no head, but streaky on the edges of the glass from all the sugar, like a cloudy cognac. it smells like barleywine on steroids, there really is no belgian linkages, although the call this a quintuple, some play on word for a huge quad. the yeast factor is pretty minimal, especially in a beer that probably needed tons of pitches, just not belgian to me. an english biscuity and caramely sweet malt base is what i taste the most prominently, along of course with the vanilla and oak from the whiskey, and in fact the whiskey itself. i love the thickness and slickness of it all, and it warms up really nicely. it feels hot, but not any hotter than something in the 12% range, thats the most impressive part i think. sticky sweet like bread pudding though, and im left as sugar high as i am drunk, which is a fun combination for a little while, but then gets pretty ugly. this is one for savoring and sipping in a decent sized group, even a two way split felt arrogant to me. special beer though, worth it if you can still track one down.

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Photo of kamoosekazi
4.82/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

You better pull an extra glass or two to share this monster 12oz bottle. At 19.3% this was a killer to finish by myself. I had to sit around for an extra hour with another plate of meat and cheese to ease. Full flavor and a strong aroma, you can definitely taste the whiskey from the barrel its aged in.
Not for amatuer beer drinkers.

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Photo of ThePaleRider
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Very cloudy, brown ale. Very thin tan head lingers and just holds on. Very thick legs, this brew is going to be a monster!

S - Huge Belgian sugars and yeast. Lots of vanilla, oak, sugar. Really, really impressed that this doesn't smell boozy.

T - Smack right in the mouth. Very sweet and loaded with vanilla. Lots of caramel and oak. As it warms up it's becoming an oak bomb. A little alcohol finish, but not bad for the abv.

F - Very sticky and thick. Slight alcohol burn and no carbonation, surprise!!

O - Really fun play on the big Belgian ale, but doesn't quite hit the mark as it's way too strong.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.04/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky dark brown in color. A fingernail of khaki colored head covers the majority of the top. Sweet aroma of bourbon absolutely dominates the nose. There's plenty of dark malt in there as well. The flavor is very much dominated by sweet bourbon. There's more than enough dark malt in the mix. The mouth is very thick and sticky.

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Photo of Houser
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

i really enjoyed this. looks darker than i thought, and smells of bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and dark fruits. taste is much the same with a little heat on the back end. as boozy as this is, i expected it to be moreso, well done.

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Photo of deford
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a bottle dated July, 17, 2014 into a Firestone Walker Snifter.

L- Pours very dark...appears red when held to the light. Nice straw colored head of fine bubbles that fades pretty quick leaving a thick ring around the glass.

S- Dark fruits and toffee...sweet bubblegum? Caramel, figs.

T- Very sticky sweet caramel candy, prunes, char, oak, figs, cocoa. Wow, just so much going on, every drink holds something new...big booze burn on the finish that hangs around for a bit, not really hot, just enough to remind you it's there.

F- Think velvet....

O- A fabulous beer with extraordinary flavors and a great nose. The heat is a bit noticeable, not overpowering just noticeable...and I think that brings it down a notch or two.

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Photo of erushing
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

This bottle was too hot for my tastes. It had the standard quad flavors I was looking for for an instant and then it was all alcohol. All complexity was lost.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well it's a tasty one, but I wouldn't quite say it's as world-class as the ratings so far indicate. The heat from the high ABV is pretty well hidden, which is a feat in and of itself given the 19.4% level of EtOH. But as quads go, it's good, but not my favorite.

The usual suspects are all there, much as I suspected. Fruity, yeasty, Belgian flavors and aromas, very complex, accented pretty well from the barrel aging. I suppose I'd say it's worth a try, but if you don't already have yours, good luck getting one (I'm sure the white whale hunters have already snatched most of them up).

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Bottle: Poured a dirty murky brown color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet malt notes with candi sugar and dry raisins is quite nice while also smelling of excess. Taste is quite sweet with loads of residual candi sugar notes with some dry fruits notes also perceptible and some warming alcohol easily noticeable. Body is full with limited filtration and good carbonation with quite a bit of warming alcohol. Quite extreme and not something I would drink on a regular basis but very enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Transparent bodied brown, heavy bubbles to go with it and a little head that looks off-white.

Smell: Seriously smells like whiskey.

Taste: Wow what a complexity of flavors. Sweet butter-scotch and a heavy yeast. Honey and caramel tones followed by a light malts. Bitter/sweet, absolutely addicting taste.

Mouth: Sticky syrup with a caramel after taste. Mouth is medium at best but beyond makes up for it with it's crazy stickiness.

Overall: Avery might be my favorite brewery and most than likely sealed the deal with this beer. I love a lot of their concoctions....and this might be their number two to me (Maharaja being the first). If you see this buy it and do not share...drink every ounce and fall in lust. Salud!

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Photo of neurobot01
4.06/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a (small) bottle dated July 2014 into a snifter at fridge temp, allowed to warm.

Look: surprisingly light-colored and fizzy. Very little head. SRM ~= 11.

Smell: pretty understated, surprisingly. Some fig, whiskey, molasses.

Taste: sweet, but not what I'd consider overly so. Dark candied fruits, whiskey, brown sugar, coconut, maybe some esters, and of course, a prominent alcohol burn. A little disappointing complexity-wise. Delicious, but not the mind-blowing delicious the price implies.

Feel: for me, the weakest element of the beer. Although it got less pronounced as time went on, this started very fizzy in the mouthfeel, and very light-bodied; I suppose that stylistically, it's acceptable, but I'd prefer slightly less carb and more body.

Overall: i thoroughly enjoyed this beer; it was basically like drinking a rich (over-carbonated) dessert. That being said, it cost about as much as Stickee Monkee, and yet manages to not be quite as good as that. Wouldn't really recommend.

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5 Monks from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 359 ratings