Monk's Mistress
Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Monk's MistressMonk's Mistress
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Style:
Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Ranked #41
ABV:
11.5%
Score:
90
Ranked #4,143
Avg:
4.08 | pDev: 9.31%
Reviews:
178
Ratings:
324
From:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
 
Alaska, United States
Avail:
Winter
Wants
  86
Gots
  47
SCORE
90
Outstanding
Monk's MistressMonk's Mistress
Notes: The inspiration for this beer’s name—previously, La Maitresse du Moine—is the beer itself. Its deep, intense flavors inspired the concept of a monk that seeks solace and satisfaction from the sensory pleasure and mind-provoking effects of this liquid temptress.

Mesmerizing Monk’s Mistress seduces your senses at first sip. Its daunting beauty and intriguing flavor fully captivate your attention. Belgian yeast adds character and complexity. We invite you to give in to this little bit of “heaven on earth”.

13 IBU
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Reviews: 178 | Ratings: 324
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Jason
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz brown bomber with a bottled on date on the side of the label.

Appearance: Quick to foam, slow to dissipate. Lots of action from the carbonation to keep the head alive, two shades away from black … very dark.

Smell: Faint licorice, soft yeast … dry malty twang. Quick flash of phenols, dark fruit and a light spicy alcohol.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Big alcoholic character, very boisterous and very warming. Smooth and crisp with a viscous mouth feel. Spicy up front with phenols and alcohol, very little hopping but it is not needed. Lots of dark fruit flavour; prune & black currant. Spices linger with clove, licorice, black pepper … further are some earthy tones, minerally.

Notes: Vastly complex, a sipping brew. Shared the bottle or spend the night getting through it.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

La Maitresse Du Moine was served from a 22 oz bottle. In a Duvel tulip, the beer was a very dark reddish brown (almost black), and was topped by a voluminous, creamy tan head that left sticky, fluffy sheets of tan lacing. The nose was an devastating explosion of sharp plumy-cherry figgy-raisin bomblets, accented with touches of dark dry chocolate and bready yeast. The taste pummeled my palate with a blast of black cherry/dried apricot sharp roasted dark maltiness that gained a bitter choclate-cherry edge during the transition to a highly bittered, very estery, dark chocolate-espresso finish that left lingering smooth cherry-cocoa essence. This beer was very warming, but the alcohol was well hidden throughout. The body was appropriate in fullness, and the carbonation was fluffy and energetic, facilitating the presentation of the estery flavors. This Alaskan monster was one of the most flavor-packed beers I have ever sampled...making it a slow-sipper, certainly not a negative but reducing the drinkability rating. A cross between a Belgain Strong dark and an Imperial Stout, this beauty will occupy your senses and warm your bones on a cold night. Thank you Thrasher for the excellent B-day present!

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Photo of drgonzo2k2
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Boto
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber: This pours with a big, huge foamy tan head. The color is an opaque brown. Nice aroma. A bit of a fruity smell, with notes of raisins and plums. Also a bit of caramel in the bouquet. Suprisinly, a hint of roasted coffee in the taste. Medium bodied, with some fruit, yeast and caramel taste also. Very Good!

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Photo of ybnorml
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale has a very dark brown body witha short lived light tan head. The smell of sweet dried fruit with a good hint of alcohol in the aroma wets the tast buds for what is to come. There is a quick maltiness at the start which moves quickly into the alcohol warmth and finishes with the dried fruit and a smooth balanced bitterness at the back of the tongue. A friendly warming brew that I could enjoy all night. But I am afraid two 22oz bottles of this and I would be all done.

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Photo of unclekeith
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of woemad
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big-ass 22oz bomber bottled almost a year ago according to the label, which indicates 4th week of November as the time in question. At 11%, I'm not too worried about it. Interestingly enough the label also states the amount of IBUs - 13. Any of those nitwits that claim all dark beers are bitter need to try this. Purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $8.99.

Poured a super dark brown color into a St. Bernardus goblet. Moderate-sized tan head that lingered in reduced form after it's initial drop. Said head is easily re-agitated into existence. When held up to direct light, there is just the faintest of ruby-ish highlights visible, if one looks really hard for them.

Big nose to this one. Toffee, cherries, prunes, brown sugar, oak barrels and booze all jump out right off the bat. As it warms it reminds me of cognac.

Big taste to this one as well. Like the nose, this is sweet, with rich chocolate notes, but vying with cherries and brown sugar. There's an oakey wine-like flavor in the background. Hovering over all is a potent boozy warm sensation that kindly yet firmly tells you not to screw around with this beer. Slight dry note at the swallow.

Fairly full-bodied, but not as much as you'd expect given the flavor profile and the abv. There's definitely some Belgian candy sugar at work here. Rich, coating mouthfeel.

After a long couple of days and on a cold night after dinner, this really hits the spot. Who needs dessert if they have this on hand? Not a session beer by any means, but an outstanding beer to quaff for dessert and/or a nightcap. Definitely among the better American versions of the style.

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Photo of ReeseMax3
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of alexgash
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle purchased at the brewery in June and served at 45 degrees F.

Pours a maple syrup brown with a large, thick, firm, light cocoa head. Nice lacing and retention. Nose of molasses, figs, prunes, caramel, sweet fruity candy, and light cocoa. There's a metallic vinous twang to it as well. Good complexity.

Dry, bitterish chocolate up front, followed immediately by sweet, sugary dark fruits: raisins, figs, and plums. The fruity sweetness has a warm, rummy edge to it. Turns slightly bitter with a tangy, vinous-tannin dryness. Espresso and dark chocolate bitterness mix with dark fruits in the warming finish. Very nice! Full-bodied, with a syrupy feel. Luxurious carbonation makes for an easy, warming beer.

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Photo of drinkAK
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep pitch-brown color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of light dry fruit with a spicy yeast and some light alcohol ester showing. Taste is quite charming with good notes of dry fruits and some spicy yeast leading way to some warm alcohol. Body is fuller then average with good carbonation. I thought a bit too much alcohol was showing and the yeast strain that was used was somewhat too spicy.

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Photo of ThisMoonlife
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of RoyalT
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Dark brown in color and carbonated. The head was mighty and Belgian with good retention. It left a big ol' puddle in the middle of the ale.

Smell – Almost no smell. Let me put it aside and come back to it when it warms.

Give this one just five minutes and the aroma comes alive. The dark malt and huge butter rush to the nostrils along with big cane sugar and a warning of alcohol

Taste – Lovely dark malts form the backbone of this ale. I mean, these are seriously dark, full of chocolate and even a little bit of coffee and very yeasty. There’s some light fruiting in there along with lots of sugar, particularly raw and cane.

Lots of dark spices as well, especially allspice, and maybe a little bit of hop balance. All this comes together to form one big, murky, malty dark ale. As Jim Carrey said in The Mask, “I looove it!”

Mouthfeel – High level of fluffy carbonation and full in the mouth. There’s a slight sting of alcohol to this 9.0 BSDA, but not too much.

Drinkability – If you like full, fluffy BSDAs with the emphasis on “dark” give this one a try. I thought it was awesome

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Photo of CanisMajor
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of HighGravity
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brewery just recently became available in Massachusetts. If this beer fairly represents what else they have in store, I can't wait to try the rest. Darker than dark pour leaves a great amber head. Sweet maltiness on the nose leads into touches of raisons, dates, and plums. The high alcohol (9% ABV) and perfect amount of hops combats most of the sweetness to leave a perfectly balanced strong ale. Very weighty and clinging mouthfeel are most desirable. I absolutely loved this beer and would not hesitate to pick up a full case. Very creative label too.

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Photo of Thirstygoat
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottled August 2007; Sampled January 2008
Quite well carbonated, a very careful pour produces a fat, five finger thick, light brown colored head that grows above the top of my tulip glass. The beer is quite dark, with an opaque, deeply burnt brown color that shows some clear, ruby hued highlights around the edges when held up to the lightly. Earthy, concentrated notes of dark fruit is the most evident part of the aroma; aromas of roasted, slightly burnt raisins is definitely noticeable. Quite spicy as well with notes of white pepper, substantial clove, some allspice, touches of mace and a woody, slightly savory note similar to a cross between sarsaparilla, birch and a touch of cinnamon bark. Quite aromatic, one of those beers whose aroma jumps out of the glass. This seems like quite a decadent tipple based on the aroma. Even 5 minutes later I still have four fingers of head on this brew, that is why I love tulip glasses as I can still easily get a sip of the brew under all this foam. This does leave quite a few patches of sticky foam on the sides of my glass as I slowly work my way through the beer.

Sweet tasting and quite redolent of dark fruit; raisin puree, prunes, dried figs and perhaps a touch of dried cherry and dried cranberry. The beer finishes with a cola like spiciness as well as a dusty, browned malt note, notes of cocoa powder and a touch of hop bitterness. While fairly sweet the beer is actually some what light feeling, at least it is light feeling for a beer of this strength and sweetness as this is most definitely a sipping brew. It is thick enough that the slightly excessive carbonation is barely noticed. The carbonation does add a peppery, carbonic bit to this brew though. There is quite a bit of dark malt character here; from toasty grain notes, to touches of chocolate, a dusting of roast coffee, lots of brown sugar notes and darkly caramelized, sweet malt. The beer has a touch of tartness to it in the finish that seems a product of both the dark grain and some yeast by products.

As the beer warms up a bit and loses more of the carbonation, it actually seems to get a bit lighter on the palate, becomes a bit less sweet with more of a balance to the chocolate/cocoa dark malt notes. A hint of tamarind becomes noticeable as it couples with the soft tartness in the finish. This has a lot more dark malt character than one would typically get in a beer from Belgium, but I like that added dimension in this brew (after all this isn't Belgian). The dark malt helps to balance the huge, dark fruit character. This is quite a good beer; it can be a bit sweet at first and perhaps a bit on the thin side after a while, but it is definitely enjoyable.

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Photo of SlothB77
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of mentor
3.82/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Bottle foamed over a just a bit. Been in my cellar at least a year, perhaps two. Notch on the bottle is July and the week is between the 2 and 3, probably meant to be 2. Pours an easy 4 finger head over a black liquid with dark ruby edgings. Smells of blueberry pancakes. Strawberry syrup, cream, and some belgian phenolic. Some dry chocolate and toffee-like DME.

Tastes blueberry, blackberry, dry chocolate, allspice, almond, and some belgian edginess. Wet in the mouth, but drying finish that leads to a peppery close. Nutmeg and old allspice (like sat in the sun for a couple years) in the aftertaste. Later sips reveal some oakiness, gentle clean alcohol, fall leaves (imagine the smell as a taste), cigarette ash, and a dash of cherry. Complex and interesting, though not always flavors i consider pleasing.

Md-light in the mouth, but some dextrin creaminess in the body. Way too strong carbonation and fair drinkability. THe almond character came on stronger as the bottle emptied and even began to wear.

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Photo of DevinK
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of MediocreatBest
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

murky purple-ish brown. first time i have seen a shimmering head. Very large head as well, after the first pur into the glas not only was the head in the glass large but inside the bottle was a mountanous amount of foamy goodness. Smells sweet and pruny. also a smell i associate with barley wines that i beleive to be either sherry or port type smell, not being a wine person i have no idea, but from reading other reviews i have narrowed down what to associate that smell with. taste is bursting with raison flavor as well as a candy sugar sweetness.the alcohol provides a nice backbone and as it warms the pronounced raison flavor becomes more pungent but blends with the alcohol, and the newly arriving cherry flavor to provide a warming, almost burning, but still good, sensation as it trickles down your throat. Takes on a strong ale(thomas hardy/ j.w.lees) feel more so then a the designated style. not as bubbly in mouthfeel as one would assume from the amount of head. Got a buzz after one, but still drinakble, i wouldnt pound them, but i could have a second.

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Photo of andy1701
3/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of akorsak
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 650 mL bomber from Liquid Solutions.

A: The Belgian dark ale is beyond dark, a deep crimson red that could be considered black if there were less light in the room. A large head, over three fingers, blanketed the glass on the first pour. Subsequent pours tried to recreate that magic. No lacing.

S: The nose is loaded with fruit, dark and sweet. Raisins and grapes are prominent, as is baker's chocolate. Caramel malts and yeast (again the yeast) fire on multiple cylinders.

T: Bam! This is how a Belgian dark ale should taste. Dark malts, caramel and chocolate, lead off with dark candi sugars and Belgian yeast bringing up the rear. The middle of the sip is spice, the yeast adding a twist, that is coupled with a sharp bite from the carbonation. Delicious and warming, an excellent end to my day.

M: Belgian, sweet and mysterious, this has a taste that can't disappoint. Dark fruits sugars, caramel and chocolate all in one 650 mL bottle.

D: Over 11%, this one is a beer to sip slowly. The depth of flavor makes me want to come back for more.

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Photo of alaimoa
2.75/5  rDev -32.6%

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Monk's Mistress from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 324 ratings