Monk's Blood | 21st Amendment Brewery

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Monk's BloodMonk's Blood

Brewed by:
21st Amendment Brewery
California, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Belgian Strong Dark ale brewed with cinnamon, on oak chips with figs.

Added by taxguyjase on 09-10-2009

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Reviews: 524 | Ratings: 1,408
Photo of stewart124
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark red with an inch of tan head. This lingers for a minute then leaves a pretty lace along the edge.

Figs, raisins, and brown sugar in the nose with just a hint of vanilla

Very strong dark belgian candy note with tangy fruit esters. Smooth and delicious mouthfeel that bodes well and lingers just enough coating the tongue and tastebuds. Very complex caramel characters and a slight biscuity note.

This is truly a treat to drink and the 8.5% is well hidden. The finish is super sharp and dry with a lingering fig character on the palate.

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Photo of yourchoice
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from can into a Chimay glass.

A - Muddy, murky reddish brown. A thick, but shallow head, a very light golden color that quickly dissipates.

S - cherries, figs, raisins, oak. The fruits would be nice without the oak odor, which almost smells partly burned.

T - What lacks in smell, is made up for with the taste. The oak and cherry really compliments each other. Maybe even a touch sour. I'm really into the flavors this is putting out. Wow.

M - Quite a bit of carbonation. Medium body. Nice.

D - Certainly not a session beer, but it's also not intended to be. A very good "take your time" beer. I may have to run out and buy more before it's sold out.

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Photo of edmedina
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pouring this beer and the head rises to two fingers high. It's a brownish color that is pretty bubbly. The color of the beer is a blood red or a burnt red color. It's very clear you can see right through it pretty easily. The aroma is a malty candy smell and it's pretty big. I can smell it a couple of feet away from my beer. I also pick up some alcohol raisin notes. My initial taste I get a fig, plum character also I picked up on a nut like flavor as well. Subsequent tastings a yeasty or a doughy feel mixed in with a brown sugar like quality is also present as well as a mild floral hoppy note but it is really in the back ground. The finish is a slight cloying taste with a mild bitterness or alcohol bite. Overall, I really find myself enjoying this beer a lot. It is a sipping beer that goes well with a cold winter night.

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Photo of mikedashg
4.37/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours very dark brownish mahogany slight ruby orange murky with a small to medium sized tan head.

S - Dark fruits, figs, prunes, red wine

T - Similar to nose, dark fruits, figs, prunes, raisin, sort of tart zippy/spicyness, sweet red wine. Dark malts and molasses. Really good complex flavor.

M - Moderate to moderately high carbonation, crisp finish

D - Easy drinking, moderate ABV from a can with tons of flavor. Can't go wrong here.

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Photo of themind
4.37/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I really like this beer but to be fair it's thick. Has notes of figs which compelled me to purchase this beer. After having a four pack over a stretch of time I went and got another.

Excellent beer, hides the alcohol and has great taste. The only real draw back is the thickness which doesn't bother me.

Bottom Line: try it you will like it! great beer from 21st!

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Photo of MadCat
4.37/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my first can review! Something about craft in a can feels special, at least while cans aren't very common for craft. The can says it is brewed with cinnamon, vanilla, oak chips, and dried figs, which is sorta cheating to get Belgian dark ale flavors, but I don't really care because if it makes it taste good, I'm cool with it.

Appearance: Dark brown color with a small white brown head that dissipates fast, but leaves decent lacing

Smell: Plums, figs, and vanilla dominate the nose, along with hints of alcohol. As it warms, very strong fig, plum, fruit smells come out.

Taste: Plums and figs hit you up front, with some hints of alcohol following it. Leaves an oaky vanilla aftertaste, which is rather pleasant. Theres some grape and other fruity tastes in there as well, along with some malty flavors. As it warms, the alcohol flavors start to disappear, surprisingly, and are replaced with stronger vanilla and fruit flavors.

Mouthfeel: Fully body with medium carbonation, pretty good for the style, semi dry finish

Overall: Not going to knock them for the fact that some of the stuff they added dominates the flavor profile. It is pretty good, not sure if I will buy it again, but I will certainly buy more 21st Amendment brews.

Side note: BA says 21st is from San Francisco, CA, but my can of beer says it is from Cold Spring, MN. Dunno if it is contracted out or what, but I though that was interesting to note.

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Photo of optimistictour
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is definitely the best beer I've had in a can.

Looking very dark red (hence the name I guess), slightly opaque with a proper medium thickness head, this fits the Belgian Dark tag perfectly.

It smells of fruits and spices, raisins and cinnamon, a bit muted but solid and expected.

The taste is positively bursting with everything I can smell, and comes across almost refreshing, especially for the style. Caramelly yet 'bright' - most examples of this style weigh me down (in a good way) but this one feels great for a hot day outside, even.

It feels spectacular going down. A very full, textured experience, it's indeed lighter feeling and masks its considerable alcohol more than other Belgian Darks I've had. In fact it could easily pass as a lighter offering if it weren't for the full bodied taste - even my gf enjoys this one and she isn't normally a fan of anything "too dark" or "too heavy."

It's not the best of its kind but the unique packaging, reasonable price, and friendly demeanor means it's one of my favorites, a beer I share with friends whenever possible.

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Photo of BeerManDan
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The color was of a dark brown with a reddish hue. Foam was tan that disapated in a short time, but a medium amount of lace on the side of glass. The smell had a complex aroma of roasted malts, fruit and spices, with a hint of sweetness. The taste of roasted malts, complex spices and fruit (cinnamon, allspice, vanilla, fig, etc.) A nice balance of sweet & tart, with just a touch of sourness, to bring this ale to a nice balance of all component into one way above average beer.

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Photo of stercomm
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First off, great art work on the can and 4-pak packaging.

A - Darkamber in color, 2 fingers tan head, layered small lacing along thesides of the glass.

S - Interesting nose on this beer, figs, cloves, glycerol

T - Very nicely balanced, figs, clove,candied sugar, malty yet finishes nice and dry.

M - Light bodied, mild carbonation, starts sweet ends dry.

D - I like this, is definitely a Belgium Strong Ale, good balance, smooth finish, nice lingering tastes to savor.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - Can

Appearance Dark tan/molasses brown. Nice 1/2 tan creamy head and good lacing.

Smell - Dark fruits like fig, rasin, plum, cherries and honey. Malts along with some cinnimon, spices, and a little vanilla note. Yeast and a little nut comes out to finish off a nice aroma for the style.

Taste - A surpising oak and sweet dark fruit flavor at first sip. Lots of spices, fruits, some sugars, cinnamon and some alcohol also. Lots of flavors in each drink, yet balanced pretty well. Some nutty malt and a little nutmeg finish this beer off.

Mouthfeel - Its medium thickness, with a ton of flavor. Tounge gets spices, oak, malts, alcohol and sugars. Palette gets more oak, fruits, sugars, and some booze. Aftertaste is sweet, malty, and spicy.

Overall - I really enjoyed this. Loved the oaked/cinnimon/nutmeg flavor it provided. Alot of flavors mixed into one beer. Its different, almost at times i think im drinking a winter warmer. Its got decent balance, the alcohol does overpower a little but if you want something different and high on flavor, give this a shot.

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Photo of ebby82
4.34/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours the color of tanned leather into a tulip glass. There is a very significant head.

A- The aroma is amazing. Very fruity, you can definitely notice the fig, a slight presence of Belgian yeast. I really like the aroma on this.

T- The taste is again of dark fruit, probably the figs. On the back of the tongue you notice the oak.

M- Very smooth for such a strong beer. The body is light and very drinkable.

This is the first Belgian style I've had from a can, and it did not disappoint.

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Photo of TheSupremeAJ
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
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,

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: Caramel with a full tan head.
smell: oh man...fruity, vanilla goodness. That is exquisite.
taste: just as good as the nose predicts! very nice.
This is just a much better beer than i expected. must go back for more. Not sure how to compare to real Belgians but this is a fine brew.

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Photo of blackie
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

so this is the new year...

four cans purchased in an awesome cardboard cube from Whole Foods Arlington

a: unibroue tulip, deep garnet-brown in color with a frothy tan head falling back to a thin layer

s: loads of oak draped around a smooth, toasty Belgian malt profile and lots of varied sour-sweet berries, cinnamon bark in good balance with vanilla barely there, tobacco-y black figs with sugary date and raisin, glimpses of root-herb tea, minor sweet alcohol edge, unique and intriguing stuff with a distinctly vinous side

m: carbonation lively and a bit rocky, body a lighter medium

t: nicely malted with burnt sugars and sour, almost tannic fruits laying a complex bed for the full, oaky toasted middle, meaty black figs and sweet date, cinnamon harmonizes well with the dry, even oakier finish as dark sugars linger on the lips, lots of push-pull between dry and sweet, a challenging beer to score with lots happening if a bit rough-hewn, packed with heavy, dark flavors

d: the warming effect comes quickly, a pleasant sipper

new apartment, no internet, cellular review

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Photo of Liverpool08
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
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!

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Photo of jondeelee
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I first read the box for Monk's Blood, which boasted that the beer had been made with cinnamon and vanilla, and then aged on a bed of oak chips and dried figs, I thought, This will either be terrible, or fantastic. Luckily, it was the latter. Monk's Blood smells somewhat like champagne and fine port, with a heavy swing of Welch's grape juice, a good measure of chocolate malt, and just a hint of cinnamon.

On the tongue, the brew is multi-layered and fascinating. One layer is a nice bed of chocolate malt, complete with dark and milk chocolates, and deeply toasted grains. Another layer consists of a thick spread of figs, which add a creamy dark fruit ester tang. Still another layer brings in caramelized brown sugars and vanillas, bringing in a somewhat soda/Dr. Pepper-like buzz (which I mean in the best way possible). The fourth layer contributes a nice spiciness, with cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon making small cameos. A final layer adds just the right amount of grapefruit-bitter hops to balance everything out. The aftertaste is a lighter version of the main mouthful, and fades slowly. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is a splendid brew, and well-worth seeking out.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a Duvel tulip glass. Canned on 03/05/12.

Appearance: Pours a dark and very hazy brown with some hints of ruby red. Moderate amount of bubbles and a little bit of sediment. Decent two fingers of off white head that fades into a thin patchy layer. Good amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell: A pretty vibrant and sweet aroma. Big aroma of Belgian yeast and bananas leap out to the nose. Good hints of sweet bready roasted caramel malts. Big hints of dark fruits with some dark cherries, figs, and raisins. Also some hints of candied sugar, cinnamon, oak, and vanilla. Smells somewhat boozy.

Taste: Starts out with some sharp spicy Belgian yeast and clove. Then the malts and dark fruits take over. Bready caramel malts that are lightly roasted. Big banana taste. Sweet dark fruits with notes of figs, dark cherries, raisins, and plum. Hints of candied sugar and cinnamon spice. Also some vanilla and oak chips. A pretty good tasting jammy mix.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Creamy and somewhat sticky. Alcohol is hidden pretty well.

Overall: A pretty solid and interesting take on a dark Belgian ale. Very nice dark fruit taste and the spices add a nice twist.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours a tawny brown, some slight turbidity in the Sam Adams glass. A good two fingers of thick, creamy head form up and look to be around a while. The head is fading back ever slowly, leaving a thick wall of lace behind.

Aroma - had a nice toasty grain at the opening. Notes of spice, light vanilla and cinnamon ride below the Belgian yeast scent.

Taste - good toasty grain, some anise in support. Alcohol presence is felt mid-palate. Light spices follow, sort of a clovey flavor, raisiny, and more abv heat. The malt persists, keeping some of the grain element around throughout. Finishes warm, toasty, with the Belgian yeast having more impact than any added spices, though the vanilla does come through more as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel - a fair amount of smoothness, low carbonation. Creamy and full feeling.

Drinkability - the first Belgian style I've had in a can, and one of the best canned beers, period.

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Photo of Chaney
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark cloudy maroon color, with a ridiculously frothy and over-the-top 2 finger + head. I had to wait a few minutes before drinking for that sucker to subside.

S: Despite all of the yummy ingredients in this brew, the figs took center stage on the nose. The vanilla also gave this a very dessert-like quality. Once I worked harder for it, I found the cinnamon and oak.

T: Very high pitched, bright and colorful use of the figs. Sure this was a dark brew overall, but the figs made this one fruity mother! A bit of Belgian funk wrapped itself around the other spices. Awesome!

M: Thick, carbonated enough for this style, and VERY spicy! The sweetness was more of the brown sugar variety.

D: I know I am giving this a higher review than many others on here, but I found this brew very memorable and feel it flat out deserves high kudos!

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Photo of HopNuggets
4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured 12oz can (great labeling) into a Chimay goblet.

A - Pours a 1 finger off white head that dissipates to leave a covering and lacing down the glass. A deep red color and where the light comes in is a brick red.

S - Hints of vanilla and fig.

T - Tastes very good like you are eating the filling of a Fig Newton straight, vanilla, and a hint of cinnamon, not overly malty and overall very balanced.

M - Light on the palate with good carbonation.

D - Very drinkable for a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Light on the palate and I could even drink this on a hot summer day.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.26/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

21st Amendment Brewery "Monk's Blood"
12 oz. can, "Canned on: 03/04/15 2346" = fresh
$3.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Wow, I had no idea this was such an expensive beer. It must be the figs, right? There's also oak chips, vanilla, and cinnamon added - which are pleasantly kept in check. The figs are right upfront in the fruitiness, but the oak is probably the most dominant of the 'extraneous' ingredients beyond that, and it can somewhat overlap with the vanilla. The cinnamon gives a pleasant bite and flavor in the back, and beyond that there's a very nice 'red fruit' fruitiness and soft smear of yeasty phenolics. It's a darkish beer and there's some caramel, brown sugar, and even a hint of molasses to it, but they just become equal components within the overall flavor; and with that said, it's remarkably well-rounded given everything that's going on within it - it would have been easy to let a beer like this jump the rails, but they've thankfully kept it in check.

When I sat down to review this I saw it was listed alongside Chimay Grande Reserve (Blue) and I was somewhat surprised and assumed it just got lumped into the category, but having tasted it I see how it totally fits. I've always put quality over price, and I'll say that this one is totally worth the cost. Absolutely worth trying! Don't miss out on this one!

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Photo of smakawhat
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the can into a tulip glass.

Off the pour is a dark dense indian-red body with a nice settling tiny bubbles of light brown cream. Head is about two fingers tall then slowly receeds leaving a nice lace of ring. Can't see any carbonation from the bottom. This looks real good.

Fruit cherry and yeasty-brett like character on the nose. Even a hint of bread like fruitcake feeling. This really smells like fruit cake and I don't even LIKE fruitcake. This is great.

Tasty dried sweet cherries at first, followed with a quinine finish. Somewhat hop like in bitters, but a big yeasty brett feeling coupled with dried fruits and some bread character. Tastes like it smells, fruitcake in a glass. A little carbonated though and gaseous unfortunately, but leaves a nice tingle of tight tonic water feeling on the finish. Still very masked alcohol and not even boozy.

This is a real good product I am impressed. Very high drinkability for me.

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Photo of avaldivia
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Reddish brown with a head that was about 2 fingers wide.

S: Fruity, bit of an oak scent. Smells boozy, definitely made my nostrils flare a bit but in a way I liked.

T: Boom! Starts of with a fruity spicy kick that then goes a bit malty and finishes off with a bite. I really enjoyed the boozy kick to this beer. It was noticeable but not overpowering.

M: Nice medium body. Good carbonation.

O: one I always pick up as soon as it is released. Very enjoyable and a good beer to have every now and then.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Monk's blood has been a go to, over the top Belgian style for me for years. It is a great example of A,merican brewers doing Belgian better than the Belgians.

It has that red tinge that have it a banner. The aroma is fruity and real.

The taste bites nice and big, like a double should. The aftertaste is log lasting and slightly sour.

This is a beer you will want again and again, as I do.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark iron rich blood appearance. Bubbly beige head has some stick to it. rum, figs, raisins, cinnamon, tree bark. Lots of stuff going on here in the nose. Same on the buds. Lots of flavors and depth. Cherry based fig backbone. Cinnamon and vanilla accent nicely. Raisins. Woodiness. Fairly sweet, but not overly so. This is good. I'd give it a 4.25 in flavor if I could, but this is on the 4 side o fit rather than the 4.5 side of it. Mouthfeel is very even keel. Lightly carbonated and the alcohol is hidden quite nicely.

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Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
3.8 out of 5 based on 1,408 ratings.
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