Monk's Blood
21st Amendment Brewery

Monk's BloodMonk's Blood
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Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #153
Ranked #20,207
3.86 | pDev: 12.69%
21st Amendment Brewery
California, United States
Very Good
Monk's BloodMonk's Blood
Notes: Belgian Strong Dark ale brewed with cinnamon, on oak chips with figs.
Reviews: 533 | Ratings: 1,451 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jzeilinger
jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Garnet red color with nice clarity and a cream colored head.

S - Dark fruit, plums, and sweet caramel malt.

T - Sweet caramel malt, plumb, and dark fruit with light and delicate cinnamon.

M - Thick and full bodied with silky softness.

O - The cinnamon has definitely faded, but overall, a solid beer.

Sep 09, 2020
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GarrettB from Colorado

3.32/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

April 5th, 2016 - This dark and fruity beer is a fun and interesting experience, and not easily replicated in other brews or breweries. In a shaker pint it looks just like a Coca Cola, and smells of craisins, chocolate covered cherries and cinnamon crusted almonds. With all these strong aromas I thought the flavor might be quite strong, but it's actually mild up front, and blossoms on the aftertastes, with gentle and light notes of cherry, and candy coated almonds, and somewhere in the back, a slight oakiness.

Jun 17, 2020
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HoppingMadMonk from New Jersey

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium carbonation with about a medium body. Has slight slick oily feel that coats the tongue and carbonation is a little prickly
Aroma is yeast, yeasty doughy bread,dried fruit, fruit cake - I mean that in a good way. Slight cherry liqueur and brandy as well
Taste is yeasty malty bread, fruit cake, mildly sweet, some cherry juice as well
This is much better warmer than too cold. Much more flavorful and interesting as opposed to when I first poured it after taking it out of the fridge.

Apr 14, 2020
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hman43 from North Carolina

4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: It pours brown with reddish hues. The head is light brown and head retention is good.

Smell: It has bread aromas with dark cherries and raisins. There are low levels of spice in the background.

Taste: It has raisin and dark cherry flavors balance with some bread. There is a moderate warming presence. There are some low spice elements in the background.

Feel: It has a medium full body with smooth alcohol warming.

Overall, plenty of bread, dark cherry, and raisin elements.

Mar 13, 2020
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BucannonXC5 from California

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Type: 12-oz. can
Glass: Monks House of Ale 12-oz. tulip
From: Trader Joe’s in La Mesa, Calif.
Price: $2.25
Purchased: Oct. 27, 2019
Consumed: Nov. 1, 2019
Reviewed as: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Misc.: Unable to decipher the canned on date

Picked this up on a whim. Not a big fan of 21st Amendment Brewery, but this one sounded good on the can as a Belgian-Style Dark Ale brewed with Cinnamon, Vanilla, Oak Chips and Dried Figs.” Online description was a bunch of nonsense, so leaving that out.

Poured a reddish brown color with three fingers of frothy khaki head. Lots of bubbles coming up along the sides of the glass at different speeds. World-class foamy lacing. Excellent retention. (Sight - 4.50)

Smelled figs, raisins, dates, oak, hints of cinnamon, plum and purple grape. Not much else, not like that is a bad thing. Even earthier from the can. (Smell - 3.75)

Tasted better than the smell. Got figs, raisins, dates, oak, peppery spice, cinnamon, plum, purple grape, sugary caramel and red apple. (Taste - 4.00)

Medium body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Long, slightly warming finish. (Feel - 4.25)

Thought this one was going to be good. It was actually probably better than it should have been, but not quite as good as I hoped after seeing the ingredients. Which I get does not make sense. (Overall - 4.00)

4.00 | 90 | A-

Dec 23, 2019
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andypeters1971 from Georgia

4.8/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Have not had or even seen this since 2013 in Maryland. I live in Georgia now and it's apparently not available here. This stinks because this is one of my all-time favorites. It has everything that I want in a packaged beer and then some. Hopefully it will come to my parts sooner rather than later.

Oct 01, 2019
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip, the appearance was a dark rugged malty brown color with a finger's worth of white foamy head that slid off at a moderate pace. Slight stringy lace.
The aroma had some figs, raisins, and date-like fruity character flowing over some allspice, nutmeg, winter pie spice, light earthiness, dark bread and a little bit of cocoa powder.
The flavor brought all of those prior mentioned aromas in semi-sweetly, yet bringing a dry semi-rugged yet bitterness in as it warmed. Also, noted some brown sugar in this as it warmed. Aftertaste was moderately sweet through that dark fruity quality, just a touch of the spice hit here.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sipping quality about it. Carbonation felt fine. ABV felt as projected.
Overall, pretty nice Belgian strong dark ale, well worthy of having again most likely during winter and also I wouldn't mind this with some straight cheese cake.

Jul 07, 2017
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Bouleboubier from New Jersey

4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

(12 oz can, canned on 02/25/16... poured into a Chouffe tulip)

L: clear, garnet liquid with little to no foam action... slight haze with the remainder of the can poured in; tan head forms without lasting long

S: port, prune, hint of brown sugar, cherry brandy... the label says 'cinnamon' and 'vanilla', but there seems to be only background hints of each, while the woodiness of the oak slowly emerges... pungent, inviting, balanced portions of fruity and sweet... the booze isn't hot but it opens up the sinuses... overall, lovely, and doesn't smell of extract or candy

T: richly dark-fruity, lightly roasty, with a thread of leather and tobacco... the vanilla of the oak lingers in the aftertaste, while the character of the fruit dies away a bit leaving more of a dark-caramelized sugar flavor... I suppose the fruit nuance falls between fig and prune, though more much more the latter... the cinnamon flavor does slowly emerge in the aftertaste along with its phenolic effects... overall, flavor clarity is muddled but altogether rather bold

F: glassy-smooth, soft-slick flow, firm shock... subtle hot, astringent shock on the front of the tongue, while a mildly fiery hum hangs in the backs of the palate... very delicate gassy tingle, but otherwise relatively still... palate goes a little numb (see: 'cinnamon' above) and mouth gets slightly parched after the first few sips - the numbness (c/w the booze) seems to make this feel drier than it may actually be

O: the addition of the figs seems superfluous - such flavors can be achieved perhaps better through dark sugars/crystal malts... all in all not bad - this was maybe my 3rd or 4th time having this, first time really picking it apart... could do another if the mood/atmosphere allows; doable all seasons minus summer

Apr 02, 2017
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detgfrsh from Texas

3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From a can brewed on 2/26/16. Accidentally aged, in that case. Pours a dark brown, almost black, with a finger of tan head. Not much smell, a hint of spice and caramel. Generously carbonated with a slightly syrupy feel. Tastes of dark fruit and coffee. Alcohol very noticeable. Very sweet, and not quite as complex as the Belgian versions of this style.

Mar 19, 2017
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timmos1 from California

4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at 21 a. Had it in can now at brewery on a cold January day. The can was better. Dark leather if it was soaked in brown sugar. Very sweet, warm. Not getting much in the way of Belgian yeast flavor. Don't compare to westmalle or st Bernardus. It's a California thing. Finishes hoppy bitter, not sweet. Tasting a bit of star anise here. It's good warmed up. If you want a warm beer take this over fireside chat.

Jan 16, 2017
Photo of Act25
Act25 from New Jersey

3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I guess I was in the mood for sweet.
A) Dark ruby, modest haze, tan lasting and lacing head. Looker ruby.
S) Coffee, Grain house, wet malt, must and figgy sweetness.
T) squashed, slightly fermented, coffee soaked fruit cake and berries. Cola like, with just enough peppery bitters to finish.
F) Too sweet, but oddly, scrubbing and bittering saves it.
O) Awesome alternative to the style, Try 6.

Jan 12, 2017
Photo of breardon1776
breardon1776 from New York

4.65/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow...loved this beer. Super smooth and refreshing for a dark Belgian ale. Served in glass while at 21st Amendment Brewery. Not as heady a I would normally like but hat was about the lowest rating I gave (3.75). Great color and aroma. Taste and feel both got a 5.0...truly impressed. Overall a 4.5 I would order this beer over and over again.

Sep 28, 2016
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drtth from Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a clear, slightly reddish brown color with a 1/4" light tan head that soon recedes to a ring and a thin layer on the surface. Sipping creates a couple of arches and some scattered small patches of lacing on the side of the glass.

The aromas include some dark fruits (the figs) with a touch spiciness and some malt.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose, with the dark fruit resolving itself to be almost a blend between figs and some sweet cherry. The malt sweetness is much like brown sugar with an undertone of slight spiciness of vanilla and cinnamon in the background. That background also seems to have an almost smoky or charred character.

The mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied and slightly prickly with the light but persistent carbonation. The finish begins as the fig-cherry sweetness becomes slightly bitter and somewhat dry with the vanilla and cinnamon spiciness showing a bit more. Meanwhile the dark fruit lingers a bit in the back of the palate until everything just fades away.

This is an interesting take on a BSDA and while I could have another I don't think I'll be repeating the purchase since I prefer the flavor profile of the Unibroue Maudite which is just as accessible and a BSDA I enjoy more and the flavor profile seems better integrated.

Sep 05, 2016
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Gajo74 from New York

3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the can into a glass; brown color with a thick foam head that soon disapated and did not retain as well as traditional BSDA.
Sweetness in the aroma; malts, vanilla, cinnamon, bubblegum and figs with a slightly tangy scent. The aroma was not particularly strong, rather, it tends to come and go.
Sweet on the tongue and mouth. Creamy and smooth. Medium to full bodied. Easy to drink. A bit too sweet for my taste, however, there is some alcohol spice.
Not a bad approximation of style, but nothing near the authentic Belgian classics.

Aug 16, 2016
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GoBearsWalter34 from Illinois

3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark, ruby red with a thin, off-white head.
Smells of dark fruits, such as cherry, and malt.
Tastes of burnt cherry and other dark fruits. Carries a bite, then a medicine/cough syrup finish. Definite alcohol burn. As I let it warm, the medicine and alcohol burn disappeared, and allowed the taste and feel to flow together. After it warmed, I got a little vanilla and the cinnamon. A good winter sipper.

Aug 09, 2016
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hoptheology from South Dakota

2.98/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

21st Amendment's Monk's Blood pours a tawny shade with hints of burgundy and amethyst, with a tall and heavy head weighing down the body just long enough for it to catch up and diminish the head in time for me to drink. Tons of lace left behind. Beautiful view, here.

All of the elements on the can are there in the aroma, mixed together : cinnamon, vanilla, oak chips; also dark fruits of figs, plums, and some burnt candied alcohol.

The flavor starts off innocently enough, with plum, grape, raisin, and hints of strawberry. That quickly changes though - as the beer morphs into burnt alcohol, acorns, and a total wave

Feel is medium bodied, harsh, and sandy. The finish is electrifying but also starchy.

I keep trying to like this, forcing myself to sip more to harvest some sort of redeeming value. I'm not finding any. I'll gladly pass next time.

Jun 23, 2016
Photo of MikeWard
MikeWard from Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

part of a flight on draft at champs sports bar in Altoona, pa. apparently a winter beer, but should hold up ok. let's see

looks nice in the 5oz glass. brown body with some burgundy tones, small dirty white head which persists leaving decent lacing.

aroma is a tad boozy, but with rich dark fruit aromas.

the alcohol is hidden. a bit bitter on the tongue. getting an enjoyable mix of berries and plums in the taste, just enough warmth from the abv to remind you it's there. didn't get anything in the way of spices.

feel is around medium. finish doesn't linger.

all in all an enjoyable drink. pint would likely have been a bit heavy to deal with.

Jun 12, 2016
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Furlinator from California

3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours translucent dark brown with a thin khaki head that quickly fades and leaves faint spots of lace. Figs, cinnamon and a hint of vanilla aromas. Taste follows with some oak as well. Thin texture.

May 25, 2016
Photo of coldy
coldy from Delaware

4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is an instant addition to the favorites list. This has a mixture of spice and fruit that works wonderfully together. This is a rather strong beer based on ABV, but you wouldn't know it. This is one that is best served a bit warmer than refrigerator temperature. Pour in a snifter and enjoy...

May 14, 2016
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Ynotxmas76 from Pennsylvania

4.85/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Absolutely love this beer, def their best, so smooth like The Iceman George Gervin, hints of vanilla, cherry, very drankable, love the can, highly recommended. CHEERS!!

Apr 20, 2016
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Lingenbrau from Oregon

3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep reddish, clear brown with a big rocky cream colored head. Smells right for style with fig, prune, clove and spice. Flavor is close, but almost has an extract homebrew taste to it, with a very sharp, dry finish, and a slightly inappropriate bitterness. Good American take on a Belgian dubbel, but just off a bit. Cheers!

Apr 17, 2016
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Brolo75 from California

3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce can poured into a tulip

A: Pours mahogany red with an off white head, beer is clear, light comes through when held up, not a lot of carbonation, no lacing.

A: Belgian yeast, dark fruits like plums and raisins, some toffee, pretty mild.

T: Touch of dark fruits up front, raisins, toffee, some spice, finish is dry with aftertaste of raisins, very subtle flavors.

M: Medium/light body with a dry finish, low carbonation.

O: Not as good as I was expecting, a drinkable beer with subtle aromas and flavors, not that tasty, lacks punch in the taste.

Apr 07, 2016
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edward_boumil from New York

3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice brown colored beer, bubbly head that fades out to a thin film. Partially hazy, with apparent carbonation. Aroma is of toffee, toast, and raisin. Flavor is a little unbalanced in that it is a hair to bitter, could use a touch of sweetness to balance out the bitterness, and a bit 1 dimensional in its dark fruit character.

Apr 06, 2016
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Brew_42 from Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Reddish Amber with a thinning off white head.

Smell is yeasty and spicy. Hints on vanilla

Taste is spice and sweetness with a dark fruit aftertaste.

Mouthfeel medium

Overall not a bad Belgian style ale. Worth a try.

Mar 20, 2016
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snaotheus from Washington

3.51/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz can given to me by a co-worker. Canned on 03/05/15. Thank you, 21st Amendment, for clearly, noticeably, and understandably dating your beer! Served in a snifter.

Pours dark gray-brown with little head and lots of carbonation. Smell is spicy, dark fruits, very mild.

Taste is very dark fruity -- plum, dates. Maybe even some grapes.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly dry. Overall, nice solid dark ale.

Sep 26, 2015
Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 1451 ratings