5 Monks | Avery Brewing Company

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348 Ratings
5 Monks5 Monks

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 19.40%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No. 22 in Avery's Barrel-Aged Series, 5 Monks, a 19.4% ABV Bourbon barrel-aged Belgian-style quintupel ale

Added by ThatsThatDude on 04-04-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 348 |  Reviews: 35
Reviews by alexipa:
Photo of alexipa
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
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 ryan1788a5
4.26/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a goblet.

A: pours a murky brown color. Sandy colored head dissipates after a bit. Thin and delicate rings of lacing.

S: Brown sugar, dark caramel, caramel-chocolate chews, Belgian yeasty spice, plum and grape, wafts of oak and woody bourbon. Well put together nose, and it actually smells very tame for its size.

T: Rich and thick dark caramel, decadent chocolates. Currant and plum esters. Rum raisin. Belgian yeast. Woody barrel character has a strong pull. Bourbon flexes some muscle. Barrel char. Strong and spicy alcohol. Long and warming finish of bourbon, dry chocolatey notes, and plum/grape candi sugar.

M: Rich and decadent without being weighty or sticky. Firm and round in the mouth, but lithe and supple. Low carbonation adds just a slight scrubbing feel. Huge soothing warmth.

O: The sheer brawn of it takes away from the overall complexity a bit, but you won't find me complaining. It warms every inch of your body like a heated blanket. Aside from that big warmth, this beer stays very light on its feet for a 19.4% abv behemoth. This was the perfect beer with which to usher in the first truly chilly night of the fall season.

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Photo of Dope
3.99/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled July 17, 2014. Approaching 3 months old.

A: Pours a super dark brown; not quite black. Tall but very fizzy, soda-like medium-brown head. Head fizzes out quickly and loudy, leaving nary a trace of lacing.

S: Like getting punched in the face. Actually made me wince the first time I sniffed it. Huge boozy and sweet aroma. Heavy, heavy, heavy, HEAVY caramel with dark fruit (raisins primarily) nuclear bombs punctuating it. Lots of fig and some mild grape and cherry. Prunes, to boot. Big quad aromas cranked up to 11. Or...20, maybe 30.

T: Welp, more of the same. Sickly sweet and heavy caramel, heavy dark breads, every overpowering malty taste ever. Taste reminds me of a big eisbock, in fact I wonder if that's how they got such a high ABV. Heavy dark fruits in the middle, raisins and prunes primarily. Very boozy...well that's an understatement. It's a booze bomb, especially in the finish with a distinct alcohol flavor and belly-warming sensation. Again, this is basically your typical quad, just at least 200% more potent in all ways.

M: Heavy, thick, cloying, syrupy. An extreme example of a sipper.

O: A "quint", indeed. Mega-quad flavors, surprisingly well balanced. Just huge. The fruit and malt and alcohol flavors in this literally made my ears ring. Drinkability is of course is about as low as it gets. It's like trying to swig on a bottle of cognac. You have to take your time with this one. It's good, but it's a bit much.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

A: deep dark brown body with a slim cap of tan foam that slimmed into a collar

S: rich bourbon-sweetened fruit, but with a dusky (?) edge; barrel vapors of whiskey and wood

T: rich booze fruits, but not necessarily a "boozy" beer in that it avoids being too sweet; brings forward the fruits like fig and date, but the caramel and brown sugar sweet notes don't become cloying or overtake the elegance of the ale

M: medium bodied, smooth and slick, very little stickiness - some drying on the finish owing to the barrel-aging; some tingles of spice perk up among the dark fruits and drying vapors

O: lush and high abv sipper pulls together aspects of quads and barleywines, perfectly barrel-aged in bourbon barrels; absolutely worth the $15 and absolutely a top quad.

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Photo of Immortale25
4/5  rDev -8.3%
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 BigRedDog
3.98/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark rich brown. Beige colored head. Not great head retension, but that is to be expected. Decent lacing.

Smell is forward with caramel, vanilla, and booze. Some dark candied fruit.

Taste is pretty consistent with the nose. A little more dark fruit present in taste than on the nose. Nice sweet candied date notes that mellows into an oaky, vanilla flavor.

Mouthfeel has some booze warmth from the barrel aging.

Overall a good beer. Avery has done another great job with their barrel program.

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Photo of zac16125
4.19/5  rDev -3.9%
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 UCLABrewN84
4.44/5  rDev +1.8%

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with brown sugar, caramel, toffee, vanilla, and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of wood bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with fantastic barrel aged aspects and an alcohol presence that is well hidden for its high ABV.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of kamoosekazi
4.82/5  rDev +10.6%
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 Resuin
4.6/5  rDev +5.5%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a teku. This was bottled July 17, 2014 so is pretty fresh.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with a very slight maroonish hue, and leaves a finger of light tan head that fades quickly to a tan layer around the rim of the glass. (4.5)

Smell: Big bourbon soaked raisins, massive figs, vanilla, some fudgey chocolate, plenty of oak, hint of berries as well. Nice, huge aroma. (4.75)

Taste: The oak hits me up front, along with the dark fruits and vanilla. Some chocolate in there, butterscotch, molasses, a dash of cloves and a hint of alcohol. It all plays really nicely together. I can tell this is a variation of a belgian-style quad, but it's much bigger. (4.5)

Mouth-feel: Medium carbonation with a thick, creamy body. Lovely for the style - not too syrupy like some massive beers. (4.75)

Overall: A very well done "quint" beer - definitely has all the ingredients of a "quad" but more. The bourbon barrels big vanilla and sweetness play nicely in it, and this is a very drinkable but strong brew for sipping. (4.6)

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Decided to take the plunge. Poured into a snifter from a 12oz bottle.

Pours a murky muddy mahogany brown color with a nice light tan head. The head rises to about a half-inch which is somewhat surprising considering the ABV. The head recedes quickly down to a nice thin film.

Aroma is exquisite. Just delicious. Notes of slight leather with some nice molasses and caramel notes. Sweet dark ripened fruits permeate throughout. Notes of mild chocolate sweetness with nice vanilla spice, slight honey notes and a delicious barrel backbone.

This is delectable. Flavor starts off with some amazing sweet dark fruit notes coated in delicious molasses notes. Then your mouth explodes. High ABV heat comes up and punches you in the face; coating the palette and lending a nice warmth. The barrel notes are exquisite. Vanilla notes, oak and some honey are present i the middle and back end of the brew as the heat subsides. The mouthfeel is medium. The style gives it some heft and oilyness but the ABV makes it a little light on its feet.

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Photo of maximum12
4.58/5  rDev +5%
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 BlurryVisi0n
4.78/5  rDev +9.6%
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 StonedTrippin
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
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 spoony
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%

From a 355 ml bottle (July 17, 2014) into a snifter. Reviewed from notes dated August 26, 2014.

A-The beer lacks anything you might call a head. There is just a thin film of foam sitting on top of an iced-tea colored beer. The brew is murky with reddish highlights. It is not as dark as you might expect for a quad or quint or BSDA or whatever.

S-The aroma is huge and boozy...almost over-the-top. I smell caramel, vanilla, and oak (presumably from the bourbon barrel), as well as a the base beer flavors of molasses, dark fruit (plum), tobacco, and alcohol. It is hot, but not unbearable and about what you would expect for the ABV.

T-The taste is similar with huge bourbon flavors of vanilla, caramel, burnt sugar, oak, and alcohol. The big bourbon flavors don't overwhelm the base beer, however, and I can still taste plenty of tobacco, molasses, overripe fruit, clove, and pepper. The sweetness is big and reminds me a tawny port.

M-The feel is medium in heft with a solventy, syrupy feel that you would expect at this level of ABV. A quick hit of sharp carbonation keeps the beer from feeling cloying.

O-I was skeptical of this beer at first since I have not enjoyed other barrel aged quads that much and because the huge ABV sounded gimmicky, but color me converted. The flavors from the barrel are huge, but this beer easily holds it own and the result is a monster that is perfect for sipping as a dessert.

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Photo of neurobot01
4.06/5  rDev -6.9%
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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Photo of DanGeo
3.44/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of SkiBum22
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%

Photo of ajkelly451
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Doomcifer
4.56/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JakerLou
4.41/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Prospero
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Franziskaner
4.04/5  rDev -7.3%
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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5 Monks from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.36 out of 5 with 348 ratings