Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Monk's Blood | 21st Amendment Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
522 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 522 | Ratings: 1,400
Photo of FishGetter
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fairly dark brew, dark cherry color when held to the light. Thin head fades.
Sour cherries, vanilla, some hints of spices like cinnomon,canndied fruits, and light waffs of oak barrel. Great nose on this one.
Vannila bean flavors blend with cherries, faint sour, some cinnomon too. Not a big grain or hop profile however some hints are present. Great complexity, very distinct flavors. Sweet flavors knocked down with sour. Nice clean brew.
Heavy mouthfeel, especially when aggitated. Syrupy feel but not too over the top.
This one didn't disapoint. Great pairing of sweet and sour from a belgian ale. Proves great craft beer does come in a can.

 644 characters

Photo of Flightoficarus
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving type - Can into glass

A - Pours a murky mahogany color, with a light, off-white head.

S - Lots of dark fruits, especially cherries, plums, raisins

T - Similar to the smell, lots of dark fruit (espeically cherry), brown sugar, molasses, and just a hint of booze, but the ABV is very well concealed.

M - Super smooth and creamy, and quite decadent!

D - Goes down pretty damn easily. Could sneak up on ya if you're not careful!

Overall - an excellent American example of a Belgian style, and at the price it goes for, a steal of a deal! (It's like half the cost or sometimes less than the actual Belgian examples). Will be buying more of this. Prost!

 662 characters

Photo of ZAP
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Burgundy pour...light off white head..

S-A lot of dark fruits...cherries, plums, figs, prunes..

T-Dark fruits again...with a drying alcohol rip on the finsih

M-medium to full bodied...creamy...

D-Very well done...I love the abundance of dark fruit like flavors and the creamy texture to this.

 298 characters

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

Grabbed this at Gordon's on Main St.

A: This beer pours a mahogany/brownish color with a one finger of sudsy one finger head. Head recedes nicely leaving spotty legs of lacing.

S: Nose is of spice, spice, and spice - all fig, some mild oak, hints of banana and apple... but all very light and airy.

T: Taste starts with fig and dark fruits up in the forefront. Fig is extremely present with just a hint of plum and date. Moves to a hint of vanilla, oak, some prune, and a bit of caramel and molasses. Finish continues on the molasses taste with mild flavoring of banana and apple. Just a light hint of alcohol remains in the finish.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, a mixture of creamy yet oily on the tongue.

D: Well balanced, rather light, but nice kick to it. Sits well on the tongue and goes down easily. Not one to kick back with all night, but a nice beer to sit and enjoy one or two.

 900 characters

Photo of femALEist
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This dark belgian is brewed with 8 malts, Belgian candi sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean, dried local black mission figs and aged in oak barrels. Now this wasn't the first time I have had this beer- I have been enjoying it since it has come out but I have finally been able to take some notes on it last weekend. It poured a dark mahogany. It smelled like cinnamon, prunes, dates and some cereal malts. It tasted like caramel, roasted malt, figs, stewed raisins, molasses and some cinnamon spiciness. Ironically this beer is quite light bodied for 8.3%. It goes down easily and with much enjoyment on my part. Kudos!

 613 characters

Photo of CaliBeerLover86
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - The color is reddish-brown. Moderately carbonated, with a ¾ inch head with a moderate pour into a standard pint glass.

Smell - The smell is sweet, dark, roasty, and the slightest hint of dark chocolate.

Taste - Starts off immediately sweet, then a taste of alcohol, with a finish that tastes something like raisins or tart cherries (must be the fig), then maybe a hint of vanilla. There is definitely an oak undertone to the entire beer and the beer tastes almost like a red wine to me. I'm having a hard time tasting the vanilla or other spices. Tastes a lot like Dogfish head's Palo Santo Marron to me, but not as complex. My suggestion is to let this beer warm up before you drink it, I feel like you get more of a taste of alcohol when it's cold- much more enjoyable warmer. By no means a session beer, something to sip and savor.

Mouthfeel - Thick and mildly-heavy body. Chewy. Moderately carbonated.

Drinkability - I might have another if the price was right. Not a very drinkable beer, in that I could not drink one after another. But hey, it has 8.3% abv, not many beers at that high of an alcohol content would be. My opinion: not bad, not great, worth trying again on tap.

 1,203 characters

Photo of CPeterson
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A -- Pours a deep crimson amber, very fitting name for the beer. A thick head that dissipates into a thin skim and leaves traces of lacing.

S -- Smells light and airy, almost contradictory to the appearance with hints of dark fruit (figs evidently) and smoke.

T -- Tastes of dark fruit, spices, light wood, and light hops. Even with a solid 8.3 %, I can't really detect the alcohol. None of the flavors are overbearing, and blend very nicely.

M -- Light without being thin and proper carbonation levels for the style I would think.

D -- Very drinkable and approachable even for the uninitiated. Solid brew all around. Outside of brand whores, I would recommend this to anyone.

 680 characters

Photo of stoutfiend27
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

can sent by genghis22..thanks again bro...poured into a snifter

a-deep cola brown...one finger hazy white head...fell to a nice collar and some lacing..

s-some candy and spice up front..some nutmeg and cinnamon...prunes and a faint yeasty smell...very rich

t-starts off sweet...the phenol yeasty character steps up on this one...the spices are all in the middle..i get some cinnamon and allspice...there is a hint of vanilla and wood towards the end..finishes a bit spicy..

m-a tad thinner then i would have liked...but it is creamy as i would have expected...the spices leave a little tingling on the tongue and the carbonation is spot on...

d-i would have no problem getting through a six/four pack however this comes at all..as a package it is quite inviting just fall a little short on the mouthfeel for me..

another great beer sent my way by an ever so courteous friend...

 883 characters

Photo of CoolJosh
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ran across this at 3 Sons in Wexford. TenFidy taught me that you shouldn't just a beer by it's container. I thought that I had seen everything, until I ran across this Belgian-in-a-can...

Pours a pretty hideous rusted brown body, full of haze. Some decent light yellow head rests nicely on top, but doesn't kicks too soon.

The smell and taste are subpar, which definitely exceeds expectations. Their watermellon wit was one of the worst beers I've ever had, surprisingly they've done a half decent job at hitting the main points of the style. By no means does this compare to the more complex quads out there, but it holds its own. The taste and smell are of cola, vanilla, belgian candied sugar, raisins, fig, and light cocoa nibs.

The mouthfeel is fairly substantial and a little bit on the heavier side. All in all, I would recommend this beer, but by no means would I point to this as best within style. OLE!

 916 characters

Photo of chicagobeerriot
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly veiled medium-brown that shows off crimson highlights when held to the light. A thin, off-white head rapidly dissipates to whisps that provide a little bit of lacing as you sip.

For me, the smell is the best aspect of this beer as it shows off the complexity of the ingredients. Hearty bread and toffee notes are complemented by cherry (not an actual ingredient), cinnimon, nutmeg (not an ingredient), plum (probably from the figs) and vanilla. Although brewed with oak chips, I don't get a lot of wood characteristics on the nose, but let's see what the flavor brings.

The flavor isn't quite as immersive as the smell, but it still shows off a lot of tricks. Bread and earth flavors are complemented by some really nice plum and toffee sweetness and even some light fruit notes at the end. The finish shows a bit more alcohol than some of the champions of the style, but it is still relatively smooth for an 8.3% beer. There is a trace of vanilla and spice in the background, but otherwise some of the complexity that showed up on the nose didn't arrive when it came time for the main event. One word of advice: the beer definitely opens up as it approaches room temperature, so try to be patient. Seems like you could work out some really good food pairings with this one(duck?, coq au vin?). On it's own, Monk's Blood is a perfectly fine evening sipper.

 1,374 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
3.24/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-this looks awesome, it is a dark hazy red looking like a thick deep color of blood, seriously it does, I didn't even realize the name when I thought it looked like blood. The head is a dark tan, almost a woody brown. It is thick and creamy, tight, with huge retention and a thick lace that pretty much coats everything it touches

S-bready malts are strong up front and have a real presence. Notes of phenol comes in towards the middle but is then taken over by an immediate presence of rum soaked dark fruits in the form of dark cherries and plum

T-the taste follows the nose and seems quite boozy. Toasted biscuit and bready malts are right up front. Light phenols and caramel lie underneath the initial bready malt and the dark fruity finish. The dark fruits are strong in the back, the alcohol is definitely present and it finishes quite tart. Tart cherries, rum soaked plums.

M-it is pretty thin and light in body. It is very smooth on the palate and the carbonation seems to be well done. The finish is lightly crisp and astringent.

D-this is quite boozy and seems a little all over the place in terms of taste. The flavors are there to be solid but they don't blend well together.

 1,192 characters

Photo of paco1029384756
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can thanks to ericwo.

Pours a deep clear ruby color with one and a half fingers of creamy off white head.

Scent of sweet dark fruit, sugars, sweet juicy hops, and soda. I would almost consider this more of an American Strong Dark Ale; a little different, but I like it.

Taste of sweet dark fruit, a bit of vanilla, a hint of alcohol, and sugars. Finishes dry with a sugary sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy bodied and has a smooth carbonation.

 450 characters

Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark red with a little bit of head
S: You can smell a bit of hops
T: It tastes like a strong beer with some sweetness and a bit of hops in the aftertaste
M: It goes down smooth and definitely tastes like a strong beer
D: This is a beer to sip and enjoy

 272 characters

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.

 572 characters

Photo of jampics2
3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a reddish brown with some nice eggshell colored head that sticks around for a while.

Smells of strong fig with some vanilla and caramel. Strange.

Woah! This tastes like the filling from Fig Newtons. Wood, cinnamon, vanilla, and some brown sugar. Cherry and chocolate. But not terribly good, just very interesting. A unique beverage, more of a fig brew than a BSDA.

Mouthfeel is nice, good mix of carb/creamyness for the style.

Drinkability is average. I don't really like this too much personally, but it's a unique beer.

 532 characters

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

Be sure to read the story on the can! Entertaining, and if you bought this in the 4-pack box, it's an easier read on the box than the can. In any case, the idea of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale brewed with cinnamon, oak chips, vanilla and figs, in a CAN, no less, is the stuff dreams are made of. I hope so, anyway...

Pours out the color of reddish/dark brown rust, with a tan head that doesn't produce much in the way of thickness, but looks good while it lasts. Monk's blood? Sure, I'll buy that.

The aroma is nearly one-dimensional, surprisingly, and very much dominated by fig. Oak is embedded deeply into the background. Somewhat grape-like, and a decent bit of raisin too...

Like the aroma, the flavor is dominated by fig, although some cinnamon pops out. Vanilla and oak are barely perceptible at first, but with time, contemplation and warming, they emerge and mingle with the other ingredients. Sour dark fruits show up, as does something like prune juice. Alcohol is a low glow in the back; finishes a bit bitter; not in a hoppy way, but in a young/green wood sort of way. No doubt an interesting flavor.

Mouthfeel is wonderful, a big slick and semi-creamy thing that offers just enough carbonation to add some razzle-dazzle. A little sticky, which seems to keep the bitterness from the finish tight in the mouth.

There's so much stuff in this beer, it's no wonder it lacks some of the more familiar/traditional traits of a strong Belgian dark. I expected something different, and didn't even like it at first, but it grew on me. It certainly doesn't offer up its secrets with the first few sips. Anyone into adventurous brewing and overall complexity should check this out.

 1,685 characters

Photo of eweneek83
4.48/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance - e beautiful looking beer, much like a dry stout.

Smell - Smells like jesus muffins. chocolate, cinnamon, molasses, and a tiny bit of malt.

Taste - A bit of a vanilla rush at 1st that gives way to an oak-like chocolate taste, then rolls out into a Belgian Style ale. A big taste, but not overpowering. very well balanced. I am totally impressed. some other dominant taste too, but can't put my dick on it.

mouthfeel - Just when you curl up in a ball in the corner of your bedroom, the beer comes to you and says "It's okay, i'll never overpower you, taste how smooth and inviting I am." Very smooth sweet and creamy for a belgian style ale.

Drinkability - for such a high ABV (8.3) the drinkability is very good. I could waste 4 cans of this stuff and still want more. 21st Ammendment is on to something.

 820 characters

Photo of tpd975
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A very deep shade of amber with a nice tall off white head. No real retention but it does leave behind some spotty lace.

S: Aromas of sweet caramel and brown sugar malt. Light cherry with a nice addition of spice.

T: Malty for sure. Lots of caramel and dark molasses. Light dark fruit and a tinge of cinnamon.

M: Medium in body, pretty smooth, nicely carbed.

D: Okay, I was expecting more, but it is a solid offering. Bonus points for being in a can.

 457 characters

Photo of Cylinsier
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From a can.

Pours a dark mahogany with off-white head. Head is thin but retains as a lacing very well. Glows cherry red when held up to the light.

Smells of dark sugary malts, biscuity grains and very mild hops.

The taste is very rich and malty. Dark fruits like figs mixed with brown sugar or molasses. Very mild tartness too, like a bit of citrus. The hops are incredibly subtle, but there at the very end.

Feels a bit more full than average, and has the lightest tingle of carbonation on the tongue.

A very unique take, this beer offers a lot to like but the tartness in the taste doesn't seem to fit. Pretty good, worth trying, but maybe a case of experimentation giving off slightly different results than expected.

 729 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
2.81/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

mmmm... canned BSDA. Thank you, Peter!

A deep ruby red with a really dense and creamy light-brown head, this beer is quite gorgeous. With nice, red highlights, this is really a beautiful beer. The nose? Not so much. Plenty of adjuncts atop a very big and sweet beer, this is a touch disappointing. The dried fig character is immediately noticeable, along with the vanilla, some raisin character and a touch of alcohol. The cinnamon doesn't really jump out and the oak is noticeable as a mildly woody character. There's also a touch of chocolate syrup and some raisins. Decent.

Jesus Christ, what is this shit? Well, that was my initial reaction, but as I revisit this, what I'm struck by is the massive fig character of this beer, just so in your face. With a big fruity character, there's also some cherry juice and a mild tartness. Oak and vanilla appear mid-palate with a moderate grainy astringency. Quite cola-like, this is drying on the finish with a blend of cherry juice and figs, this is not particularly exciting. Medium-light in body with a high level of carbonation, this is a passable attempt at a Belgian dark, but it lacks nuance, complexity and enjoyability.

 1,176 characters

Photo of KeefD
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber with some orange highlights topped off with an inch high khaki colored head that left light lacing on the glass. Strong alcohol upon first smell, but it followed up by some cinnamon, vanilla, and Belgian yeast. Taste is stronger than what I expected. Lots of different things going on here, sweet, oaky, with a touch of vanilla and some very soft vanilla. Not picking up on too much figs, but there's a definitely a dark fruity background. The alcohol is a bit hot, however. I think this one will actually age pretty well as some of the additional flavorings added will fade and the alcohol will mellow. Medium bodied, amost creamy with light carbonation. Not a bad brew. I'm going to let a few cans of this sit in my basement for a few months and see where it goes.

 777 characters

Photo of jjanega08
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A= pours a deep brown color. Mahogony highlights around the beer with a nice thin head covering the top of the beer. The head is pretty small for a Belgian beer and fades fast to a thin skin with spotty lacing.

S= Smells interesting. Some decent Belgian spice to it. Darker smells coming through with pears that I typically associate with Belgian yeast. Nothing exceptional and somewhat muted.

T= Quite nice actually. I didn't expect it to taste so good. Nice hershey candy sort of flavor. I really can't explain why it's hersey like. Great toffee notes. The yeast melds nicely with the darker roastier flavors. Heath bar sort of. Hard to explain but good.

M= Nice carbonation and nice creamy feeling. Dry finish.

D= Pretty good. This beer is sort of candy like and I have a tough time explaining it but I like it. I feel like the lower carbonation really fits this beer despite not fitting to the Belgian style.

 916 characters

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

Clear deep brown colored beer. Small tan head.

Strong chocolate and vanilla aroma. There is some fig and oak in here too. There is a cake batter smell here that I can best describe as chocolate cake.

Starts out sweet with a wheat toast with chocolate syrup flavor. Lots of chocolate and vanilla in this basically it tastes like chocolate cake.

Mouthfeel is a little light.

VERY drinkable. While you drink this it is so mild you don't think there is any alcohol in it. Dangerously tasty.

 490 characters

Photo of GregPearson33
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep maple amber color with an inviting one-finger thick head of almost indiscernibly small bubbles that dissipated after about a minute. The smell is a little fruity and sweet, with an inviting malt aroma.

Wow this is drinkable! For 8+% ABV I was expecting a heavy brew, but the first thing I noticed was its relatively light the mouthfeel, probably aided by substantial carbonation. The taste is sweet with some faint cherry and vanilla. The fruitiness is particularly evident in the finish, as is some spice (cinnamon?). While this isn't a beer I'd choose for myself, I think it's worth a try. I think next time I have it -- or offer it up -- it will be as an apre dinner brew -- I could see it going really well as a with some sort of dark chocolate/raspberry creation!

Also, really dig the can -- awesome art/labeling.

 835 characters

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.

 398 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!