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: 526 | Ratings: 1,412
Photo of ElGordo
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sweet aroma of bready malt with notes of dark fruit (cherries?) and toffee. Body is a cloudy brown color with a touch of creamy white head floating on top. Palate is sweet, fruity, and spicy, with notes of cherries, nutmeg, allspice, and vanilla. Finish is warm and sweet, a bit more than is my usual preference. This certainly isn't a subtle beer, but it's still pretty tasty.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Belgian style dark ale brewed with cinnamon, vanilla, oak chips and dried figs.

A: Burnt autumn orange pour sits as a dark cranberry red in the vessel with a harvest gold tinted head that is thin and whispy and quick to dissipate leaving small speckled spots for lace. A dozen or so macro-sized yeast cake particles collect on the bottom of the vessel.

S: Oaky alcohol, caramel apples with some cinnamon and vanilla. The alcohol is quite dominant.

T: The flavor is sweet caramel grains, toasted with noticeable oaky alcohol. Apple skins, worty hints, honey with some sugary raisins. Warm and spicy alcohol with a bit of acidity. Spicy alcohol laced apple skins linger about after the swallow.

M: Warm and spicy alcohol with a medium fullness. High carbonation with lingering after thoughts of alcohol.

O: The alcohol is quite noticeable, perhaps a bit overshadowing for some of the finer points of the drink preventing the complexity from being more appreciated. Warming and spicy.

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Photo of stakem
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from notes taken on 5/27/10

Poured from a can into a snifter. Monk's blood appears with less than a finger of tanned head that receeds fairly fast. The color of this brew is a hazy amber color with red hues around the bottom and more of a brownish color across the top.

Aroma is sweet, fruity and floral. The malt is evident in a very candy sugar sort of way. Sweetness of the aroma comes off a bit like plums and raisins with a bit of mineral character thrown in as well. Taste is very malty sweet with dark sugar flavors similar to plum and raisin with some other spices included. Moderate alcohol presence and a touch of hops on the backend.

Medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. This is quite an easy drinking brew. There is a lingering flavor somewhat like vanilla. Slightly drying as it warms and the spice character starts to stick to the tongue. The spices tasting increasingly more like a bland grated cinnamon hang in the mouth increasing it's drying aspect. This cinnamon flavor is a bit out of place and brings out more of the belgian yeast flavor that tastes a bit green.

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Photo of esv
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served on tap from a jockey box in a coffee shop. Surprisingly, the ice was set to the side in the cooler and beer was served at a near perfect temp.

A) Opaquish brown, nearly no head. Falling to a white ring. Looks like very little carbonation.

S) Try as I might, the odds were against me smelling this beer. 16oz of beer in a 16oz glass. Even after drinking and I had a bowl, the coffee shop had burnt some beans in the roaster and I couldn't get it out of my nose. I thought I picked-up some fruit but who the hell knows. It seems to have a smallish nose.

T) Bubble-gum everywhere. Spicy perfume and alcohol permeates the experience. Sickening sweet, bitter finish. Definately improves as it warms. More raisins, less candy and stickier.

M) Medium-full mouthfeel, more carbonation than it looks. Cloying flavors that stick to the mouth. Not as sticky sweet as you might think.

BJCP says high carbonation. I didn't get that.
D) Is it suppose to be, is it relevant? ... but yeah, it's kind of down there for me. I'd love to have another Brother Thelonius to compare; that's the only other belgian dark strong ale I think I have had and I can't remember it but I gave it high ratings.

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Photo of thequeen711
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Scary name...Monk's Blood...the hop profile is more subtle...dark Belgian candy sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and figs.
Dark ruby red pour, leaving a beige head..Aroma is very sweet, hints of candy and figs, rich fig aftertaste. Rich, full-flavour brew with a hoppy mouthfeel, but the aftertaste is sweet figs!!!
How Healthy!!!

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Photo of Suds
3.49/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Murky brown color. Very slight (too shallow) head. The aroma is of sweet malt, with a healthy dose of phenolic character. Some distant cheesy hops, and a backdrop of alcohol. The taste is of spice, malt and fruit...almost citric (kiwi or papaya like...interesting...). Interesting yeast character. The beer is full and moderately heavy. Nice boozy warming. For the style, this beer has a very low carbonation. Interesting and fun, but not a beer that I'd go out of my way to have again.

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Photo of fastsrt
3.49/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce pour at blind tiger

A: dim lighting, but real dark amber

S: spicy, malts, belgan yeast.

T: Christmas ale like Spice Ginger figs nutmeg cinnomon

M: mild carbonation, sweet

D: good I had this one on draft and have a can in my fridge, I don't think I would drink this beer again, it is good but not stand out, tastes like something I have had before

sat down with a can and found it Has a very perfumy taste to it

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Photo of tobin999
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

i just picked this up for the store because it looked interesting no other reason

from a can in to my darkness goblet

A: nice very dark brown with one fat finger of

S: figs fairly sweet faint vanilla

T: starts a bit tart then moves it to a vanilla carmel flavor and finishs with dark fruit sweetness

M: imo quite abit lighter then i would have thought

D: quite drinkable now if you dont mid i will now have another

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Photo of OnThenIn
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Two fingers of light tan head on top of a very dark brown body with a ruby glow.

S: Very malty with a hint of dark fruits and a bit of spiciness.

T: The beer is a a bit bitter upfront with a nice bit of dark fruit. There is a strong presence of wood. It is very spicy like the aroma and with a bit of residual sweetness that lingers.

M: Medium body with good carbonation.

D: Not super drinkable, but with a decent mouthfeel. The beer is just whatever at best.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz can into a Duvel tulip.

A: Rather muddy, appropriately sanguine body with two fingers of soft, pillowy tan foam. Pretty good retention and some sticky lace. A bit more sediment than I'd like, but overall pretty good.

S: Burnt sugar, dark fruit esters, candied ginger, plenty of booze, and a weird vegetal hint; rhubarb?. Interesting at times, but really not a terribly inspiring nose considering the style. A little overbearing with the sugary sweetness.

T: More straightforwardly malty here, with the candied fruit and dry esters coming on the back side, right before a huge wave of alcohol. Not bad tasting by any means, but a bit too hot for 8.3%. There really isn't all that much going on, but it's pleasant for the most part.

M: Slick, sticky medium body with low, fine carbonation. A little lifeless.

D: Quite smooth, but also rather boozy.

Notes: This is an enjoyable brew, but it doesn't come close to standing out as a BSDA. Compared to just about every other beer in this style I've had, this one falls somewhat short. Still, it's a pretty decent value, and I always like getting a tasty beer out of a can.


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Photo of Furlinator
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz can into my Trappist Westvleteren goblet (sacrilege?).

Brooding rusty liquid with a thin active beige slick and collar. Bronze and amber highlights vanish as quickly as they appear. Thin viscous legs thwart the attempts of the sandy lacing to adhere, smothering them back down.

Figs are prominent in the nose, though the other additions (cinnamon, vanilla, oak) are less detectable. Malt adds a touch of bready sweetness while the alcohol delivers a truncated list of esters.

Big malt sweetness, then a very brief blast of hops, followed by a growing fruitiness (cherry, dates, and a hint of clove-studded orange) on the palate. Finish continues to be fruit-forward and even possesses some vague tropical notes; medium-dry overall with a lingering bready piquancy.

A bit thin and a bit hot, but not terrible.

Easy-drinking, perhaps too much so; this is a light-hearted take on a sober style, adventurously crafted at the expense of style guidelines. The best Belgian-style beer I can remember having out of a can though...

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Photo of goblue3509
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep reddish color like a grapefruit or almost a clear tomoto juice with a obe finger off white head whiches gives way to some lace. The aroma is very inviting big vanilla and cinnomon notes with hints of oak and spices. The taste had a big vanilla and cinnomon taste over top of the caramel malt backbone, but there was a metallic taste in the end to the after taste that was a little off. The mouthfeel was creamy and enjoyable. Over all it would be hard to have more than one or two there was a nice start to the flavor but it faultered toward the end.

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Photo of brdc
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Can, poured into a goblet. Thanks stoutsnipas for this one.

It definitely does not look like blood, as someone else mentioned. Reddish brown, with a disappointingly thin and short lasting tan head. Nobody does a head like the true belgians. It does have nice lacing, though.
This is pleasant, if a bit odd. Medium bodied, soft carbonation lends a nice mouthfeel. Aroma has lots of spices, particularly cinnamon, and candy sugar. Fruits, particularly plums.
Flavor is as expected, with the same notes, but here the cinnamon gets a bit overwhelming. The first few sips are pleasant, a nice twist on the style, but by half glass it gets to be a bit too much, and drinkability suffers, a lot.

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Photo of Philousa
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, this looks like tobacco or leather. Good amount of initial head thins out like a high ABV beer. A few whiffs yield brown sugar, dates, raisins, allspice. No hops to speak of. Kinda woody, but it's faint. Dates are palpable. Some dark chocolate, and that too-much-candied-sugar taste is there, but faint. Rich and smooth. Touch of juicy stone fruit. Bitterness is harsh at a colder temp, but smooths out as it warms.

This one ain't perfect, but I would give it the thumbs up. The candied sugar is a little heavy handed, and the bitterness comes off like burnt sugar at a colder temperature, but both aren't as bad halfway through. It's definitely complex enough to be called a Belgian Strong Dark and own the name. Balance this one out and it's a homer.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 21st can. Color is a rich brown, reddish tints, but mostly dark.

Smell is murky, jammy, figs, some notes of cinammon.

Taste is a complicated blend of spices and fruits. The alcohol is noted and warms. Can get a bit punchy as the beer warms - this also brings out some woodiness. I read there is vanilla, but that is buried in the swirling dark fruit.

Overally pretty good - the latter half of the beer was a bit tough for me.

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of the can to a goblet. A dark cherry red. A small amount of fluffy white head settled on top for about half of the beer. The nose is mainly sweet and fruity. A tangy sweetness. The flavor has a ton of sweetness dominated by raisins,figs and earthy red grape. There is a lot of sweetness but a good tingle of alcohol. I feel like there are a lot of leftover sugars.

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Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Date: 15 March 2011
Glass: Sierra Nevada XXX snifter
Type: 12fl oz can

Poured softly, producing a 1.5-finger head, reduces to a thin film, lacing is better-than-average, color is crimson-brown.

Aroma is quite complex, beginning with heavy bready malts, moving into cinnamon and nutmeg. Until this beer warms up, I can't sense anything else.

Taste is extremely bready, moderate levels of cinnamon, brown sugar, medicinal black cherries. When warmed, the black cherries match up well with the now-apparent figs. Belgian yeast flavor is subtle but makes a break backbone. Cherry attaches to the palate with some caramel and slight bitterness. Carbonation is moderate and delightful. Certainly a low-heat sipper, which is actually best between 45-50ºF. The cherries lower the drinkability. Perhaps this would be tasty with dessert.

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Photo of SuperSpy
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is a very reddish brown with an almost pinkish head. Appropriately named.

Caramel, vanilla, cinnamon and a bit of apple make up the aroma. The aroma is exactly what the beer advertises itself to be.

This flavor is all over the place. Plenty of earthy hops to start but it's quickly overpowered by cinnamon and incredibly boozy cherries. The aftertaste is still full of alcohol and cherries, along with figs and an earthy hop dryness. Again, this is what the beer advertises itself to be, but the flavors don't seem to blend as well as they could and seem to be battling each other for dominance.

This is worth drinking once or twice but it tastes like some of the fruit needs to be tamed down a bit. I think I'll let a can or two age a few months and give it another try.

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Photo of hardy008
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mahogany color with ruby highlights, and a light tan head which does not last long. Smells of dark fruit and brown sugar. Likewise for the taste. While still good, this is not as complex as other Belgian Strong Dark Ales.

Sweet, medium bodied, carbonation is decent. The alcohol is not well hidden. Still a tasty, drinkable brew, but a few notches below the better beers in this category.

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Photo of negroobserver
3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance.. dark brown color. Pours with about a half inch of fluffy cream colored head. Visible yeast and residue in glass. Probably not filtered.

Smell... Strong fruity and banana notes.

Taste... tastes a bit malty. A little sweet with slight sourness in the middle. Moderate bitter finish

Mouthfeel... The beer has nice density or depth. Not too light or watery. Slight sting on the tongue because of the alcohol.

Overall... A nice enjoyable beer, but there is nothing spectacular about the beer.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Moe's in Lee, MA. Pours a dark brown, almost black, with a small white head that disappears almost immediately. Smell is decent, dark fruits. Taste is interesting, grapes, sour apple, rum, raisins. Quite the strange tasting brew, couldn't really decide whether I enjoyed it or not. Alcohol definitely shows through towards the end, carbonation was low but overall mouthfeel felt a bit flat. It's interesting, I'll give it that, but I probably wouldn't get this again.

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Photo of CampusCrew
3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance: deep dark brown, lackig had retention

smell: cinnamon and belgian yeast, banana, borwn sugar

taste: carmelized malt, brown sugar, cinnanmon, lots of banana, but belgian yeast flavor taked over the beer. oak aging is lost or not present, awful sweet and weird finish

mouthfeel: medium bodied, good carbonation, not over done

drinkability: It's a interesting and pretty good beer, but it's not great by any means. figuring all the additives of flavor... it should be more complex and have better balance.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly clear ruby red dark brown color with a fluffy off white head that leaves pretty good lacing.

Nose is alot of candi sugar like sweetness and slight spice.

ugh. akwardly thin, the spice profile is a mess, and the vanilla is nearly non-existent. The base beer doesn't seem that great either, pretty boring.

Mouthfeel is about right at first, but dies off kind of thin on the finish. Slightly overcarbonated, but ok.

Drinkability would be alright if it tasted better, but as it is it still drinks pretty well for 8.5%

Overall, a boring beer to be honest. It isn't great, it isn't terrible, just messy and kind of blah. Give it a try. Cool to see a belgian style in a can at least, hopefully someone out will can a nice belgian IPA soon! Ok beer, try it when you get the time/boredom.

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Photo of tone77
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a dark amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smells of dark fruits and spices. Taste is like it smells, dark fruit and spices, some notes of alcohol. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

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Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
3.8 out of 5 based on 1,412 ratings.
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