Oak Aged Monk's Mistress Dark Strong Ale | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

very good
59 Ratings
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Oak Aged Monk's Mistress Dark Strong AleOak Aged Monk's Mistress Dark Strong Ale

Brewed by:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This version of Monk’s Mistress - aged in American Oak Barrels - takes seduction to the next level. Its dark, daunting flavors become softer, rounder and more fascinating as they meld with toasted oak and its prior tenant. This temptation is beyond irresistible.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-04-2005

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Ratings: 59 |  Reviews: 32
Photo of ccrida
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 vintage bomber poured into a tumbler, Oaked Age Monk's Mistress is dark, hazy brown with a creamy tan head leaving clingy, foamy lace.

Smell is big wood, vanilla, coconut, bourbon notes, more on the sweet side though then alcohol, really just some light phenols. Incredibly yummy.

Taste is awesome to the point of shifting your world view. Had this on draught at the loft too, and though it was too enjoyable to review, the bottled version isn't too far removed. Again, big wood, bourbon without the heat, nice brown sugars without being overly sugary, tempered by the very enjoyable vinousness, which I assume is a manifestation of the bourbon barrel, malt/candi base and esters, a beautiful confluence. Bourbon, red wine and BSDAs are my absolute favorite drinks, and this combines them all.

Mouthfeel is smooth and velvety, just enough dryness on the finish to keep it very nice. The light digestibility is aided thanks to the spirits, allowing this to slide down the throat better than no other.

Drinkability is crazy, this is an incredible beer. Especially because I'm pretty indifferent to the regular Monk's Mistress, it reinforces what a masterpiece to me this is. Smooth and tasty, perhaps their best beer I've had. Nitro at the loft only confirms my preference for bottle conditioning in all cases.

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Photo of Sixpoint
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the best beers I've had in a long time.

Unbelievable chocolate port aroma; a controlled oxidation type nuance of raisins and sherry.

Flavor is more nutty than chocolate. A very distinct toastiness as well, with a smooth almond type nuttiness in the finish. A little bready without being too grainy.

Subdued alcohol lingering under a warming finish. Velvet mouthfeel grabs tongue slightly but is immersed by a cleansing of mild hops.

Squeaky clean aftertaste makes impression fleeting but indellible. A fantastic creation.

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Photo of CharlieMurphy
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Midnight Sun 6/14/12

A: Dark as shitballs with virtually no head and a kale, dark green, tuquoise hue through light.

S: Bourbonnn. Sweet sugar, oatmeal, nutmeg, brown, sugar, dark barley extract, beat sugar, molasses, peat smoke over red wine tips and molasses ginger barbeque sauce (no this was no cooking concurrently)

M: OOOHHH MAN (YEM style) punches with old ale succinctness with all the flavors in the nose wrapped in a candied bacon package grand slammed with a bat forged from the essences of the nose polished with bourbon viscous used motor oil broiled high.

M: Smooth, rich, milky, full, contemptuous yet refined.

O: Widefooted ninja front kick of awesomeness. I would fight for a sixtel of this.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This pours a thick black pitch black. There’s an aroma of smokey chocolate. A whiff of tobacco. Some light coffee.

It’s smoothly flavored, and lightly floral. I find notes of dark stone fruit, some plums and figs, and a sweetness rounding it out. Delicious in its intensity.

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Photo of TheCrowsNest
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Dark reddish brown with a thin beige head. Fantastic aroma complexitites, it has this great biscuity character at first the leads into some nice Belgian phenols melded nicely with oak. The oak works so well with already fantastic quad, dark fruit, hints of spice.

Definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of hopdog
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle acquired in trade with DarkElf (thanks a ton for this one!).

Poured a dark brown with a very small sized off white head. Aromas of oak, vanilla, almonds, some dark fruits and port. Vinous tasting with oak, almonds, dark fruits, vanilla and caramel.

Notes from and tasted on 1/19/06

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Photo of gford217
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Jeremiah for this bottle, 2009 vintage.

Pours dark mahogany that shows through a brilliant deep copper when held up to light. There's a big creamy tan head that sticks to the glass aggressively on the way down and leaves a thick cap throughout.

The aroma is so complex and not quite as sweet as I was expecting. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of candi sugar, caramel, dark fruits and chocolate, but the most interesting part is the clean oak aroma, almost spicy, with hints of bourbon and vanilla.

The taste is super smooth and a big combination of dark fruits, candi sugar and bourbon and oak. There is a bit of dark chocolate and vanilla and the same spiciness I got in the aroma. The bourbon burns a bit in the finish.

The mouthfeel is velvety with strong carbonation, sweet and spicy all together on the palate.

This is an excellent, excellent beer, probably slightly better than the original, which is quite a high hurdle for me. Extraordinarily drinkable for the listed 11.5% ABV. The barrel character really evens out the underlying beer. Wonderful stuff.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber courtesy of the fair Skyhand. Thanks Kim!

Pours a deep mahogany with orange and slightly tan hues. A small tan head tops this one off. Retention is okay and lacing is the same. The head gives way to a small white collar that is quite nice and just a bit inviting.
Smell is dark chocolate covered cherries, oakiness, and quite a bit of dark fruits (figs, raisins, etc). Slightly wine-like.
Taste is dark fruit (see above), very mild bourbon flavors, chocolate, cherries, and that same wine like character from the nose. Taste is slightly nutty and just a bit off of what I would think an American Strong Ale would be (which in this case is good). All of the flavors seem to be brought together quite well by the oakiness of this beer. Alcohol in this beer is hidden remarkably well.
Mouthfeel is great, sweet but not too sweet, coats the tongue and leaves a pleasant aftertaste.
Overall, a unique and pleasant experiance. I feel honored to be one of the few people to have had a chance to try this. A very good beer.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As originally reviewed on 12/23/2006:

Vintage 2006, aged for seven months in oak bourbon barrels this time around. 11% ABV this year and kicks ass.

Pours dark brown, almost black, mostly opaque with mahogany edging. A tan, fairly dense head rises without much encouragement, and recedes to a skim coat within two minutes.
Scattered dots of lacework remain after the initial sips.
Aromatics lead off with caramel and chocolate with bourbony wood.
Some light phenols wink belgian, but the main stage is set by these three components.
Rummy raisins with hints of vanilla and hazelnut accent the barell aging profile, and the bourbon is complementary, not overbearing.
Mildly vineous without being overly boozy.
Mouthfeel is creamy and slickish, slightly tacky and lingering.
Pallet is rich and smooth. 11%? Hard to believe.
Cocoa nubs steeped in dark rum, raisins, figs, and oaky bourbon.
The wood character is subdued, not tannic, and a testament to the art of blending.
Finishes increasingly warming, in a sneeky kind of way, with lingering caramel, chocolate, and rum notes.
Each exhale reminds one of the bourbon.
Extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to try this treasure thanks to my northern friend Tim.

Vintage 2005 as reviewed on 6/29/2008.

This version of the Monk's Mistress was aged in Cabernet oak casks. 9.5% abv.

Pours dark mahogany with amber edging. A small head of almost a quarter-inch was short lived. A few errant lines of lacing above a mostly placid surface.

Aromatics lead off with a myriad of complexities. Plump raisins, musty grapes, chocolate drizzeled apples and cherries, and oaky tannins. As the brew warms and breaths a large Port quality steps forward.
Alcohol is warming, and there's a ton of vineousity.

Medium bodied, but chewy, tacky, and lush. A light tartness drys out the mouthfeel on the back of the tongue.

Rich malt, dark chocolate, and red wine start the pallet. Ripe cherries, red grapes, and port-soaked raisins step forward.
The intense vineousity rolls out, and the melange of cocoa, fruit, and wine become quite balanced as it lingers.
Quite dry and lightly tart.

Finishes with an almost boozy alcohol, plenty of Cabernet essense, ripe fruit, and a shadow of Oak.

Wowza, what an intense beer. The Cabernet aging adds an incredible depth of character. The oak is pretty subdued, but drys out the beer nicely.
This would be a great beer to have with a juicy, thick Porterhouse.

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Photo of grumpy
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Oaked Monk's Mistress lives again! New release on 10/20/06. This time around, it has been aged in bourbon barrels. The last release was, I think(?), new oak. At any rate, this stuff is the bomb. And at $9 a bomber, it should be.

The taste and aroma are what you would expect – brown sugar, molasses, bourbon, vanilla, oak, yeast. The Bourbon effect is middle of the road in that is more than subtle, but not overpowering. Just about right. A nice tan head with moderate lacing, Adequate mouthfeel and VERY easy to quaff waaay too quickly. Delicious.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dark brown, nearly opaque with only the slightest bit of light coming through on both the sides and the bottom of the glass. Very rich color, with slight reddish tints, but mostly just a deep russet brown. A smallish maybe one finger high head of gold and tan

wood and oak like aroma mixed in as well.. Lots of oak notes still underlying, however these were now being layered in with a good bit of dark fruity notes, plums, or raisins perhaps. Still a touch hot from the aroma, as the alcohol was very discernable. There was definitely some spiciness to it as well, like a good spiced rum smell almost. Very dark and complex, I was getting the feeling that this one was going to put a hurting on me. A full on blast of spiced alcohol was the first thing that I noticed, kinda hot, but as it warmed it mellowed out and by the end of the session had all but blended into the background and simply become an outstanding ale. Loads of dark fruit notes were permeating through the flavor. Prunes, Raisins, Figs all very discernable in the flavor and really adding balance to it

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Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of ajs4bd
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 bottle. Bourbon version.

Appearance: Pours a vaguely clearish, dark reddish-brown body with a small, off-white head.

Smell: Man, it's like cramming your damn face into a vat of dark fruit syrup. Dark malts with a strong bourbon barrel influence, heavy on the vanilla.

Taste: Dark maltiness displaying a blend of molasses and chocolate. Heavy on the dark fruits, vanilla, and brown sugar. Tons of sweetness from the word "go". Some slight alcohol warmth. Bourbon-soaked, fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-carbonation. Luscious, sticky mouthfeel.

Drinkability: You'd have to be a complete yutz not to love this one.

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Photo of Kuaff
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I sure was excited to find this oak-aged version of one of my top favorite beers ever! As usual, cellar temperature into my snifter.

Like regular Monk's Mistress, it's a deep, dark murky brown that appears black if you're not holding it right up to some light. A one-finger beige head that's miniscule in comparison to the collossal cloud which crowns the non-oak-aged one.

It smells much like the standard version (you can see my review of that one for more details), but with an intense aroma of bourbon and vanilla that kind of blends with the original aroma to create a milky chocolate smell. Smells kind of earthy, and a raisin scent really jumps out too.

A very sweet vanilla and bourbon taste at first. This characteristic takes a prominent position in the profile. Some maple syrup too. The flavors of the original beer are still there (again, see that review), but just a bit buried. It definitely has more alcohol heat than the original, but the booze is still pretty well-masked.

As sweet as this beer is, it's fitting that the mouthfeel is syrupy and sticky, hehe. I think it's a little less carbonated than the original.

Well, it's a fantastic ale still, but to me, it just doesn't quite have the balance of the stadard version. However, the oak-aging is an interesting tweak to say the least, and it's still pretty delicious. If I'm ever in the mood for a heavy dose of bourbon and sweet vanilla in addition to the fabulous flavors of the magnificent Monk's Mistress, this version will certainly fit the bill.

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Photo of oceanman907
4.44/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Had at the Brewery off the Nitro Tap and in a MS Goblet

A- Wow... As with the nitro pour on this beer gives it a minimal but attractive creamy brown head, a perfect look for a rainy alaska day. As I drank it the beer yielded its typical dark brown black color that only shows light in the bottom of the glass.

S-Again this beer's scent has been improved though the bourbon aging, getting a stronger vanilla scent and an even stronger alcohol/ warming scent than the standard Monks, on top of the typical brown sugar, cinnamon, with the slightest hint of a warm biscuit lingering.

T- Well this is where the nitro really packs in the complexity. There is really too much going on here to describe, but the oak is strong on the front of the palate, intermingling with the warmth of the alcohol which is more noticeable than in the non-oaked version. More dark fruit, brown sugar, slight cinnamon bitterness/ spiciness, with that biscuit finish, more than that but what can I say really, the nitro almost does too much (but not really)

M-This is where the beer could improve, really too cloying and bready in the mouth, small sips are required, but it is a big nitro beer so really par for the course.

O- A really special and fantastic beer that has a lot going for it, so complex with a deep range of flavors that really give this oaked nitro version the regular Monk's a shot into that special dimension.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2009 release. 11.5%

Ahh, my first bottle of this since an 05 vintage about a year ago. Excited.

Pours a deep ruby red brown color with a very large head by barrel aged standards that is off white and leaves nice lacing.

Nose is full of dark fruits. Figs and caramel, a little belgian yeast in the nose, and seems like some slight spices as well. Little bita booze.

Wow. Incredibly smooth. They definitely cranked up the smoothometer on this one. Skibbledy-doo-bop! Huge sweet dark fruit notes lurk and intimidate like Hall and Oates in a dark alley. Some vanilla like presence is in there. Creamy. The barrel aging is just about perfect on this one. Great bourbony presence without being too heavy. It was in barrels for quite some time if i remember right, so im glad they had the patience to let it sit. Very well done. The finish is not bitter at all, but it is a tiny touch hot at this point, but thats to be expected in a beer this large.

Mouthfeel is exquisite here. Nice and viscous, super creamy, and perfectly carbonated. Really can't complain about anything here. I would give this a 5.5 if i could. Smooth Jesus couldn't have done it better himself.

Drinkability is damn fine for a beer of this size, and a beer this extensively barrel aged. It is still a tiny bit hot at this point, but nothing at all worth griping about, and like i said before, if you picked up an 11.5% barrel aged beer thinking you were gonna slam it out of a brown bag at the company picnic this summer... well...that's what a fool beleives.

Overall, another excellent beer from Midnight Sun. These guys keep shelling out way more beer than the average brewery of their size is capable of, and nearly all of it is as top shelf as it gets for a good price. If this brewery is not in your top 10 list by this point, your palate is in serious need of a Messina style breakdown.

Now serving excellent panini's, soups that will make you wanna quit the doobies, and an assortment of other great food, Midnight Sun is a must stop on any beer geeks list in anchorage. So hop in the trans-am (if you can find your keys), crank up some yacht rock, and git on down to the brewery for some good ol' drinkin, grubbin, and a few nostialgic tales between friends.

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Photo of Floydster
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle provided by WeeHeavySD at the SeaO'Floydster tasting, thanks for bringing this Jon, this was actually the eleven percent bourbon barrel aged verision rather than the cabarnet, reviewed from notes, poured into my Stone sampling glass

A-Very dark brown and almost black, 3/4 inch creamy light tan head, good retention, not much lacing
S-Bourbon, oak, vanilla, raisins, Belgian yeast, prunes, figs, caramel, and candied pecans
T-Starts off with big bourbon and vanilla taste, sweet malts and Belgian yeast in the middle, warm finish with lots of vanilla, oak comes out more later on and it sustains some dryness throughout, much more hot than the normal Monk's Mistress, and this has a lot more overall strength in both feel and flavor
M-Sweet, boozy, and dry mouthfeel, medium bodied, just the right amount of carbonation, taste lingered well
D-Alcohol was hidden nicely for a beer over ten percent but still a little heavy, got sweeter as time went by, lots of malt too, could have used more toasted notes for balance but still drinkable

I enjoyed this beer quite a bit and was my favorite of the four Midnight Sun beers that night, I hope to try the other version of this soon, barrel aging made an already good beer even better in this case, would like to drink again, recommended

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Photo of seaoflament
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jon (weeheavysd) for sharing this rarity at the SeaofFloydster Tasting on March 28th. I had the opportunity to try the non-oak aged version from Dr.Bill at an AleSmith release and thought the regular version was really tasty so I was looking forward to this one.

Poured a dark cola color with a thin ring.

The aroma started with some sweet cherry, brown sugar, and tangy maple syrup. Later on the beer opened up some toasted malts, brown sugar, and somewhat of a brandy aroma.

Very tasty and malty. Toasted malts upfront with some caramel candy. A mixture of sweet dark fruits like raisins and dates. More caramel candy in the finish. Low carbonation but very smooth and easy to drink. I hope I get to drink this one again.

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Photo of tpd975
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice rich deep dark brown hue with a nice tall off white head. Awesome retention with nice thick chunky lace.

S: Lightly roasted, with nice Belgian yeasty notes. Subtle oak with very light banana.

T: Not as bold I thought it would be. Fresh oak, belgian yeast with hints of banana. Light roasted malt and chocolate and dark fruit. Subtle for a BA beer but really nice nonetheless.

M: Medium in body, smooth, rich, sweet, malty, good.

D: One that you could sit down and sip on all day. No indication of the ABV here!!!

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Photo of unclekeith
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Anaxagoris
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of itracy63
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

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Oak Aged Monk's Mistress Dark Strong Ale from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 59 ratings.
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