Monk's Blood
21st Amendment Brewery

Monk's BloodMonk's Blood
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Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #153
Ranked #20,189
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
Reviews by thebeers:
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thebeers from Pennsylvania

3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Deep ruby red with a modest tan head. Rich malts and a fruity aroma, with fig the most detectable. Allspice and vanilla hit first in the taste, with just the slightest tangy twang in the middle, and more vanilla sweetness and spice in the aftertaste and a tiny bit of alcohol warmth. Medium bodied. It's got all the flavor notes right, but not enough punch or depth to it for a sipping beer and perhaps a bit heavy-handed in the spicing. More of a crushable Belgian, which isn't really what I'm looking for from the style.

May 14, 2015
More User Reviews:
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Jeffreysan from Maryland

5/5  rDev +29.5%

12 oz can, 2014 edition, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a pretty, completely opaque, dark mahogany color, with an eighth of a finger of white head that completely dissolved away into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Roasted malt, dried stone fruit, such as raisins, prunes and figs, dark molasses, Belgian yeast and candied sugar. Very nice.

Taste: Delicious! Strong notes of roasted malt, followed by dried stone fruit, such as raisins, prunes and figs. I also get notes of vanilla, candied sugar-like sweetness, and a touch of Belgian yeast funkiness. I love it!

Mouthfeel: Medium to slightly chewy. Very smooth, as there is practically no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 8.3%, there is a very pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: Another homerun from 21st Amendment, and one of my favorite American versions of a Belgian strong dark ale. Absolutely delicious!

Sep 11, 2014
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jcruelty from California

3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Shout out to my friend Sandeep, the only person who reads these reviews. Sandeep try this beer. It's my fave from 21st Amendment, aside from Hell or High Watermelon which is more of a river beer.

I always try to write down thoughts on beers and end up with the same generic adjectives. "Smells yeasty. Head: good. Pours a nice... brown. HINTS OF VANILLA?" It's always vanilla. Or else pineapple (or maybe cherries)

Maybe I'm just swayed by the packaging. I like how 21st Amendment does everything in cans. But, the text on this can is written in an archaic old-timey font where r's look like f's. I couldn't read it all so I googled it:

"Legend has it that in the evenings, the monks would retire to their chambers & settle in with a few passages from the Good Book. But Brothers Nicolas and O’Sullivan [21st Amendment partners] had other plans. Working in the brewhouse all day, they were forced to repeat the same old recipes the elder monks had invented years before. They needed a little diversion. And found it in the cellar of the monastery with a fresh twist they put on the beer and the way they enjoyed it. Brother Nicolas (or Nico to his close friend) brought some hand-rolled cigars. O’Sullivan, the outspoken one, broke the vow of silence by spinning a remix of some Gregorian chants. Together, they’d throw down a couple nice hands of Texas Hold’Em and savor the handcrafted brew they created in secrecy. Everyday was good. Or so it seemed. But deep in his heart, Nico knew they were drifting into the ‘dark side’ of beer. Next thing you know they’d be skipping Lent. Then on night they’d face the Judgment for their actions with a hard knock at the door. Outside, the Abbots and elders would be holding stone in the air. A threat the brothers were sure would lead to the spilling of Monk’s Blood."

Cheers if you made it through that. I didn't

Apr 20, 2015
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utopiajane from New York

3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours honey brownish with a ruby tint to it. Slight haze pretty glow. A fat head of tan foam that falls quickly and leaves a ring but no lace. Nose is soft malt with a light caramel over it. Touch of brown sugar on the nose. Soft bread and dark fruits. raisin and date, there's even some bright cherry. A touch of wood and a bit of spice. Drinks just like that. With a creamy supple mouthfeel punctuated by a touch of carbonation. It has a good lightness in the mouthfeel that I was not expecting for so high an abv. It is medium mouthfeel. A bit of alcohol grazes the palate before this sweetened bread with all it's fruit finishes dry and with a bit of earthy spice. It does finish a bit sweeter than I would like but overall very good.

Aug 14, 2014
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nickfl from Florida

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Jan 15, 2012
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BeerMe42 from New Jersey

4/5  rDev +3.6%

Nov 15, 2011
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TheSupremeAJ from Pennsylvania

4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into Duvel tulip... luscious head fills to the top and dissipates in about 2 minutes. 40 degree pour... gonna let it warm up a bit. Aroma is smooth, fruity and rich... very pleasant and inviting. Citus hops are tangy. Flavor is very smooth, dark, rich and crisp. Ladies and gentleman, we seem to have a winner. Loses a few points for arrogant booziness, alcohol would have been hidden a little better in a 5-rated brew. Mouthfeel is smooth, lightly carbonated per style,

Aug 08, 2011
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ambruns1979 from California

4/5  rDev +3.6%

Feb 20, 2012
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Benesi88 from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Nov 26, 2013
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Wheels2532 from Pennsylvania

4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Jun 02, 2015
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macrosmatic from Florida

3.83/5  rDev -0.8%

Thanks to eyebereej for sending this one! Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. can into a Florida Berliner Bash snifter.

A: Very hazy brown, with a thin white head and visible carbonation on the low side. 3.75/5

S: Malty, sweet, ethanol burn, oak tannins, and some dark fruit - figs/dates/raisins, and some spices. 15/20

T: Sweet toasted malts, big dark juicy figs, sweet ethanol booziness, oak dryness with vanilla, and a light cinnamon near the swallow. Finishes with sweet sticky fruits and boozy sweetness but still dry - very well-attenuated. 34.5/45

M: Medium body, carbonation sensation average to a touch low. Seems hotter than the listed ABV, but isn't obnoxious about it. 7.5/10

O: This was a solid, tasty beer - if nothing truly great. An unusual style to have available in cans makes it stand out some. Recommended for a change of pace on the golf course or the beach. 14.5/20

Estimated final score: 3.83
Calculated final score: 75.25/100
Old BA score: 3.76

Aug 18, 2014
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mdwalsh from Iowa

3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had this at Stub and Herb's, didn't know I was trying anything special!

A: Dark brown with a small head. There's no active carbonation

S: Weak, vaguely Belgian.

T: Dry and grainy, almost roasted. Some good complexity

M: Smooth

D: Very drinkable

Dec 14, 2009
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vrbulldog22 from Ohio

3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

Oct 23, 2013
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Nage37 from California

4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Jun 02, 2014
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Needmorebeer312 from Washington

4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Apr 28, 2014
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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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sinstaineddemon from Connecticut

3.57/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - rich dark antique wood color with a half finger of white head to hazy to note any carbonation or sediment

S- the vanilla hits first, a nice oaky vanilla combination. The figs do play a small role in the nose, but I can't find the cinnamon. Roasted malts supply an incredible vehicle for the adjuncts to blossom.

T - A weird amalgamation of flavors, the cinnamon and hops cuts the vanilla sweetness like a katana, the flavor is complex and layered,but the combination is strange and not the best pairing

M&D - however, the strangeness and uniqueness is what it has going for it. it is smooth and disappears quickly as you struggle to pinpoint the flavors, a good beer with one of the most unusual flavors (without being downright freaky)

Sep 16, 2012
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Liverpool08 from Massachusetts

4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby red. Nice dark head. Aroma is boozy with dried fruits and a bit of funk. Flavor is very inviting. Dark cherries and booze with a bit of sour funk as well. Each sip warms the mouth and adds different flavors such as vanilla, plum and sour fruit. It ends just a little bitter which helps balance out the sweet fruit taste. This is a really nice brew. Best beer from a can I have ever had!

May 28, 2011
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Dougwillhike from New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

May 17, 2015
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Hanzo from Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Jun 08, 2012
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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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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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szmnnl99 from Michigan

4/5  rDev +3.6%

May 25, 2012
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MetalHopHead6 from Virginia

3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Monk's Blood poured mahogany with red highlights and a one-finger tan head that quickly dissipated. The glass was left clear.

The smell and taste were like sweet dried fruit and booze. The feel was remarkably smooth with no carbonation and only a slight lingering sweetness. Despite the high ABV, this ale was light and refreshing.

Monk's Blood is dark in name and color but light in taste and feel. It doesn't seem quite heavy enough for the style, but it's delicious, warming, and so easy the alcohol sneaks up on you. It would be perfect, and dangerous, at a holiday party.

Dec 23, 2009
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bcostner1 from Tennessee

3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip from the can.

A: Dark reddish-mahogany. Does not pour with overwhelming viscosity. Rich tan head that slowly dissipates and lingers around the edges. Nice looking beer.

S: Definite yeast presence. Hint of cinnamon. Dark fruits (figs and plums mixed in with some red grapes maybe). Faintest hint of alcohol. Overall, a very nice aroma; not too overpowering yet just enough to let you appreciate all of the elements.

T: For me, yeast dominates up front; not as much as in some other Belgian Strongs that I have tasted but it is definitely there. Slightest hint of cinnamon; not much. Some definite vanilla in the finish along with some oak and faint hops as well. Dark fruits are present throughout and provide a definite richness and sweetness to this brew. Very enjoyable.

M: Pretty easy drinker. ABV is well hidden and only slightly detectable at the finish. Not as thick or viscous as some others I have had of the style; slightly thin on the mouthfeel for me.

This is the 2nd time I have tried this beer and, honestly, I like it better the 2nd time around as opposed to the first. In my opinion, there are some better BSDA's out there but this one isn't bad at all. I wish the cinnamon and vanilla elements were a little bit more prominent because this would, in my opinion, make this one a little bit more unique for the style. Still, I will enjoy the remainder of my 4 pack and would have it again (though not necessarily seek it out).

May 03, 2012
Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 1451 ratings