5 Monks
Avery Brewing Company

5 Monks5 Monks
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Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Quadrupel (Quad)
4.36 | pDev: 9.17%
Mar 02, 2021
Apr 04, 2014
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
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4.3 by hopley from Massachusetts on Mar 02, 2021
Photo of rand
4.63/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by rand from California

12 oz bottle into a snifter

Wow...have had this beer squirreled away for 6 years now, figured with 20% ABV it would hold up well. Discerning from previous reviews, the commonly noted nuances are distinct - carob, ripe pit fruit, raisin. Bourbon-barrel aging has left a permanent caramel aspect in the bouquet, which is full of oak. Flavors are as boozy as expected, but everything is reigned-in and smooth. Moderate carbonation plays well off of the brew’s leathery, bittersweet undertone. Obviously a sipper, but dangerously drinkable. A retired masterpiece.

Jan 15, 2021
4.22 by BKotch from Texas on Apr 30, 2020
4.35 by smi69 from New York on Apr 03, 2020
3.82 by Sound_Explorer from Washington on Dec 23, 2019
Photo of Abe_Froman
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by Abe_Froman from Massachusetts

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.

Jan 19, 2019
4.25 by BdM from Netherlands on Jan 04, 2019
Photo of Bitterbill
4.61/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by Bitterbill from Wyoming

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.

Nov 22, 2018
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by LiquidAmber from Washington

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.

Oct 10, 2018
Photo of Avitra
3.98/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by Avitra from Switzerland

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

Sep 01, 2018
Photo of StraightNoChaser
4.61/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75
by StraightNoChaser from Georgia

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.

Jun 22, 2018
4.46 by ivyman from Massachusetts on May 29, 2018
4.41 by mattreitz49 from Florida on Apr 04, 2018
4.53 by Kurmaraja from California on Sep 28, 2017
Photo of CoreyC
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by CoreyC from Wisconsin


Jun 02, 2017
4.06 by Casey_L from Texas on May 06, 2017
4.18 by kingmaker from Louisiana on Aug 12, 2016
4.41 by JakerLou from New Hampshire on Aug 04, 2016
5 by Johnct from New York on Jul 13, 2016
4.26 by rawfish from California on Jul 11, 2016
4.33 by Texasfan549 from Texas on Apr 04, 2016
4.25 by kwgduke from Pennsylvania on Mar 24, 2016
3.44 by DanGeo from Michigan on Mar 08, 2016
4.01 by AlexFields from Tennessee on Feb 13, 2016
Photo of ThickNStout
4.52/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by ThickNStout from Georgia

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.

Feb 09, 2016
4.56 by Doomcifer from Rhode Island on Jan 23, 2016
Photo of maximum12
4.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by maximum12 from Minnesota

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.

Jan 19, 2016
4.71 by Bogdawg from Massachusetts on Jan 16, 2016
4.67 by trainingwithkev from New York on Jan 16, 2016
Photo of zac16125
4.19/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by zac16125 from South Carolina

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

Jan 04, 2016
4.11 by kdivers from New Hampshire on Jan 01, 2016
4.34 by Kevlee722 from Washington on Dec 24, 2015
Photo of geodonnokepyo
3.98/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by geodonnokepyo from Pennsylvania

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.

Dec 20, 2015
4.21 by ChrisP802 from Vermont on Dec 12, 2015
4.27 by lochraneg from New Hampshire on Dec 09, 2015
4.56 by LAND_MINE from Virginia on Nov 08, 2015
Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by BEERchitect from Kentucky

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.

Oct 22, 2015
Photo of Immortale25
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by Immortale25 from North Carolina

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.

Oct 14, 2015
4.2 by dshansen1184 from Washington on Oct 14, 2015
4.83 by deonreds from New York on Oct 03, 2015
5 Monks from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 361 ratings