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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: 522 | Ratings: 1,400
Photo of dzni
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from can into snifter.

A - Dark brown, head dissipates quickly
S - orange, milk chocolate, cinnamon
T - Milk chocolate, toffee, slight woody note (i guess the oak?), plum (or is that the figs?)
M- Heavy body
D - I thought this was a pretty nice beer overall. The nose and taste were reasonably complex, in my opinion.

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Photo of oregonskibum
2.74/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a small snifter glass.

A: Color is a dark brown with a strong red/amber tint. I wouldn't go so far as to call it blood, but there's definitely some red tints. Head is a thin tan color that disappeared quickly, leaving a ring around the edge of the glass and quite a bit of lacing.

S: Noticed raisins, earthy spices, and alcohol on first smell. Some sour notes as well, along with other dark fruit flavors (prunes).

T: Weird. Taste is all over the place. Raisins and prunes. Some sweetness (brown sugar), light spices, bready notes, lightly sour at times, etc. Odd finish with some slight heat from alcohol. As it warms, picking up some apple too.

M: Mouthfeel is oily, almost cloying. Very low carbonation.

D: It was certainly complex, but not necessarily enjoyable. Perhaps it's a style thing, but I'm not sure that I'll buy this again.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured mahogany in color with a thin, creamy cap. Nose reveals figs with a hint of spice - definitely on target for the style. Taste consistent with nose with perhaps a hint of cocoa. Mouthfeel was medium-light with an easy carbonation and a slightly dry finish. Style consistent and drinks quite easy at 8.30%. Who knew a Belgian Strong Dark in a can could taste so good.

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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 lackenhauser
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really does look like blood when poured-a deep coppery, pale blood color. Malty and somewhat metallic aroma. Very solid malt flavor-hints of spices. Long lingering sweetness. Somewhat of a port flavor in the backround. Good full body-has a sweet, sticky, slickness to it. A really good beer overall. Some might find it too sweet or perhaps almost too full bodied but I like it. Nice US example of a Belgian.

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Photo of m1ked
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wifey picked up a 6er....nice. Have had 21's other can offerings and have enjoyed them, even the watermelon wheat.

A- Crack open a can and pour into a pint glass slowly down the middle which gives a huge off white foamey head. The beer itself is somewhat bloody in its appearance, a deep clear garnet/brown. Head slowllly shrinks down to an inch leaving behind significant lacing.

S- Raisiny, brown sugar, like a fruitcake with molasses, and a touch of bread crust too.

T- Metallic sweet candied belgian sugar, brown sugar/ molasses, slight sour bitter note. Lingering sweetness. There's a type of rye flavor almost.

M- Medium bodied/viscosity, slightly cloying, but not overly so.

D- Awesome to drink a Belgian Dubbel in a can, not my every day session beer for sure. More of my once in a while drinker. Surely have had better Dubbel's , but solid beer for sure.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the can a muddy dark brown color, topped off with a dollop of medium-brown foam. Somewhat winey on the nose, with raisins, prunes and brown sugar. Flavors of caramel, brown sugar, dark fruits, vanilla and oak. A nice example of the style, and another good argument in favor of canned beers.

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Photo of herman77
2.46/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Pours an odd dark burgundy color. Very hazy appearance when held up to a light. Minimal off white head that dies off quickly. No lacing.

S: Doesn't have much of a nose. What is there is an odd sour smell with dark fruits/figs. It also has a very weird damp cardboard smell.

T: Dark fruits, cherries and figs. A little earthiness in the mix too. Slightly sour grape taste near the finish. A slight spice to it too, probably from the cinnamon. Slight alcohol ting at the end. Odd taste that was off putting at first, but it grew on me a little by the end.

M/D: Medium to lighter mouthfeel. Somewhat smooth, carbonation is average. Drinkability isn't the best, it just doesn't do much for me. Its worth a try, but I won't be trying this again.

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Photo of Pahn
2.32/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz can into a tulip.

Appearance: Careful pour yields a one and a half inch, bubbly, off-white head that dissipates slowly leaving splotchy lacing. Pours hazy dark amber, and leaves sparse lacing.

Smell: Dull, 1-note malt sweetness. Smells like a bad Euro pale lager. Probably should give it a 1.

Taste: Mildly sugary, with a kind of tangy and sour flavor that manages to have almost no character at all. Finish a little dry. At first there's some apple up front, which comes to be a little dominant as the beer warms (in other words, the beer starts to taste a bit like apple juice). There's some alcohol heat in the finish. Too often tastes like it smells (bad). Occasionally has a decent, sweet taste reminiscent of okay Belgian ales.

Mouthfeel: Rather carbonated, and between light and medium bodied (closer to light). Most sips are decidedly chalky, which is pretty disgusting.

Drinkability: This beer is unremarkable and unpleasant. I've had it twice to make sure. The second can was difficult to finish.

One of the worst Belgian style beers I've ever had. Worse than Leffe Blonde (which I hate), and insultingly priced at $3 a can--I wouldn't pay $3 for a 6pack of this. In fact, had I gotten this as a 4- or 6-pack, I would probably have sent most of it back to the brewery with an angry letter.

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Photo of jwhawkins81
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Aroma - Sweet malts and a definite spice note on the nose.

Appearance - Beer was dark with a light brown head that thinned pretty quickly.

Taste - Spice with a sweetness with level of dry tones. Kind of a heavier tripel without the bright spice tones more muted spice similar to a Christmas beer. Overall the flavor profile was smooth.

Notes - While smooth the beer wasn't highly drinkable.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to ybnorml for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a nice dark reddish color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy tan head, with some sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, slight yeast, slight vanilla, figs, plums, raisins, very slight cinnamon. The taste is malty, with some yeast notes, slight vanilla, dark fruits, very slight cinnamon. Medium body, the brew has a weird consistency, with a dry finish. Drinkable, this is a nice brew, finally got a chance to try it. Thanks Wayne.

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Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a Chimay chalice.

A: Medium head, fades quickly. Body is opaque dark brown.

S: A slight wine character jumps out, maybe its the figs.

T: Wow, good intense flavor. Honestly I can't pick out cinnamon, vanilla, or oak, but I think that's probably a good thing. A well executed dark strong...maybe a little sweet, but there is a firm bitterness to balance it out. There is a slight wine note, again I would guess from the figs.

M: Nice carbonation, small bubbles, pretty full.

D: The alcohol becomes more apparent when it warms, and the sweetness and bitterness linger a little on the palate.

Wasn't too sure about this when I saw the list of ingredients on the label, but they balanced the flavors well.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. can, 8.3% abv. Pours a mahogany color, with some lighter ruby edges. Tan head holds for a few minutes then fades to a thin layer.

Notes of fig, sour cherries and oak up front. Earthy and slightly buttery in the back.

Darker malt, figs and a faint sour cherry. A bit of oak that seems to dry things out a bit. A bit of spice and subtle yeasty notes.

Medium body, lower carbonation. Some warmth from alcohol. A nice balance here, some complexity. Nice beer.

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Photo of beertunes
3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 10oz glass. The beer poured a clear reddish brown color with a tan head that had OK retention and lacing. there was a sweet malty scent with some spice and fruit. The flavor also had slightly fruity, slightly sweet and malty taste with a bit of a tart finish. The body was full and smooth with a slightly sticky finish.The drinkability was typical for the style. Overall, a pretty typical example of the style.

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Photo of klewis
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a murky, dark brown with a moderate, frothy head that leaves a thick halo. Moderate lacing.

S: Big fruity aroma with figs, prunes, and cinnamon. Light phenols.

T: Fruity with an earthy oak taste in the back. Semi-sweet with flavors of dark fruits and spice. The fruit and sweetness depart quite quickly, leaving a mild astringency.

M: Medium-bodied with moderate-high carbonation. Dry and chalky finish.

D: For a Belgian in a can, pretty solid. Worth picking up again for the price.

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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 organicbrewer
3.41/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Dark ruby with a small tan head. Fairly clear.

S-prunes and raisins. Light cinnamon. No hop aroma. A bit light.

T-Cherry cola. Nice caramel sweetness. Very low hop bitterness. Some fig. I don't get any of the spices listed on the can but sometimes that's the point. Medium bitterness, keeps things balanced.

M-Oak only apparant in the slight astringent mouthfeel. Medium bodied. Medium carbonation, could use a bit more imho.

D-Nice beer. I think this is more like a big dubbel than a dark strong. This beer would open up with more carbonation. It would kick up the aroma and flavor a bit and make it seem drier. All and all a nice beer.

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Photo of emsroth
1.99/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

12oz can

App: Deep red-hued mahogany. Fairly cloudy. Fluffy tan head, but minimal lace.

Smell: Really not much going on here despite all of the ingredients. Some caramel, some roast malt, some herbal hops, and strong alcohol, but all this only if i dive my nose deep into the glass.

Taste: Again, not much going on here. Starts slightly fruity with a strong alcoholic bite. Ends with a solid earthiness from the herbal hops and coffee/toffee roasted malts.

Rather watery, slippery mouthfeel.

I wanted to like this beer. It sounded so good!

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Photo of rhinos00
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very excited to see the 21st Amendment canned beers in the shelves in Ohio. Poured from a can into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a dark, brown color that produced maroon hues when held into light. Produced a fingers width of white head that reduced to a thin, white ring.

S- Sweetness from malts and dark fruits. Background has a distinct, yet faint hint of cinnamon. Not overly complex, could have used a lot more.

T- Upfront the beer is dominated by oak and sweet fig flavors...actually sort of digging it. As the beer settles on the tongue a lighter, fruit cinnamon flavor comes forth. Finished with a dry, oak bitterness and touch of vanilla along with alcohol notes.

M- A little pedestrian. Dry and much too light bodied for this style of beer. Definitely could be improved upon.

D- Easily would have been a 4.0, but this beer had a surprising alcohol kick in the end. I have had many high alcohol beers that did not have the effect this one had.

Overall, a pretty decent beer. I think the fact that it is canned gives this beer a leg up on other beers with similar quality. Definitely may find it's way into my golf bag this summer.

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Photo of chaz01
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A couple of sample pours at a local beer tasting event from a 12 ounce can.

A: Very dark brown, average head, some bubbles noticed rising up from the glass.

S:Sweet malty smell, earthy grains

T: A little bit on the sweet side, with lots of dark fruit flavors like raisins and plums. I was expecting a tinny metallic taste from the can, but pleasantly found none.

M: Maybe a little bit thin on the palate for such a big beer, but overall is very smooth. Nice carbonation and finish kept me coming back for more.

D: I think this would go great with a hearty meal, or stands up well by itself. Despite the 8.3 ABV, was very smooth -- could drink more than one of these. The cans would make it ideal for some place where bottles are prohibited like a pool, etc.

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Photo of bsp77
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from can into Snifter.

Appearance: Dark brown with a reddish-orange tint. Minimal head and lacing.

Smell: Figs, vanilla, dark fruit, clove and an overall stale mustiness.

Taste: Nice balance of sweet and earthy malts, with notes of vanilla, brown sugar, figs, oak, and maybe just a hint of the cinnamon that is supposedly there. Definitely finishes more on the musty side than sweet.

Feel: Low carbonation, syrupy but relatively light body in comparison to the malty taste.

Drinkability: This is a very nice example of a Belgian Strong Ale that somehow manages to be full-flavored yet easy to drink, while also masking its high alcohol quite well.

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Photo of pwoody11
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed at just below room temp. Maybe 67F?

Poured a dark red almost mahogany color. With off white head.

Aroma is a bit sour. Dark fruit mostly.

Taste is cherry-like. Cinnamon. Nice balance between sweet and sour. A little heat pokes through, but it's welcomed and not overpowering.

Decent brew.

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Photo of Beejay
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark murky brown, with light tan colored head

S: Fruity, maybe some bubblegum. Cloves, dried fruit, banana bread, and perhaps some woody scents. To be honest i thought i would pick up more, but perhaps not.

T: Yeasty at first, followed by a punch with fruits and spices. Dark fruits dominate, with some undertone from the fig. Sadly I don't pick up a lot of the oak or vanilla. Still tastes real nice.

M: Thick, slightly syrupy, with good carbonation.

D: Good, not amazing. But good. I have had this twice now, and really enjoy it, but I feel like the cinnamon, oak, and vanilla get lost. And there are a lot of other brews in this style that are excellent.

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Photo of mcallister
3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Brick colored with a crimson hint when held to light. Medium off white head fluffy and thick, thin layer of lace.

Dark fruits and red currant with thick dark malts, slightly spicey with an edge of sweetness. Fig, date, raisin, and plum. Full of dried fruit ester. Hints of chocolate.

Flavor very much like the aroma. Very dry anhydrous finish, bitter hops and long finish. Fig, and plum lead the way, alcohol burn in the chest, bitey carbonation and black cherry. Mouth is just kinda blah on this one very homebrew like.

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Photo of number1bum
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mymrnngjckt for a can of this puppy.

Pours a reddish dark brown, sort of a mahogany color, with a good three fingers of creamy tan head. Keeps a pretty full lace and leaves some good webbing on the sides.

First thing I smell is the figs, or at least dark fruit; but since I know this is brewed with figs I can sound smart. Shit, I gave it away. Anyway...there's some sweet dark malts here too, caramel and maybe some molasses. A bit of an earthy, peat moss sort of aroma too. All that said, it's a struggle to find much more in this nose; I know there is cinnamon in here, but I have to go searching for it and try to convince myself that I smell it. Vanilla and oak? Not so much. It seems a little more simplistic than it should.

Taste starts off with some dark fruits and dark caramel sweetness. Like the nose I'm thinking there is more to this sweetness; molasses maybe? Doesn't really strike me as candi sugar. Whatever. Hey there are those figs again. A bit of cherry too. I get more cinnamon now than I did from the nose; it mingles with some earthy flavors and forms a nice element to this beer. I get a hint of vanilla, and I think the oak is probably contributing a bit of peppery spice and some of that earthiness. Still, like I said before, it seems like this should be more complex than it is. Did they use a Belgian yeast strain here? Doesn't show.

This mouthfeel is rich and thick, with a very full body that is downright chewy. It's very creamy, although it's tempered just a bit by some very active carbonation. Nevertheless, the feel on this one is really nice.

This is pretty tasty stuff, although as I've said a few times, with the various ingredients they list on the can it seems like it should be more complex than it is. It's also pretty lacking in any character that seems "Belgian." All that said, it's still pretty tasty and worth picking up.

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Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
3.8 out of 5 based on 1,400 ratings.
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