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: 525 | Ratings: 1,410
Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
2.98/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

21st Amendment's Monk's Blood pours a tawny shade with hints of burgundy and amethyst, with a tall and heavy head weighing down the body just long enough for it to catch up and diminish the head in time for me to drink. Tons of lace left behind. Beautiful view, here.

All of the elements on the can are there in the aroma, mixed together : cinnamon, vanilla, oak chips; also dark fruits of figs, plums, and some burnt candied alcohol.

The flavor starts off innocently enough, with plum, grape, raisin, and hints of strawberry. That quickly changes though - as the beer morphs into burnt alcohol, acorns, and a total wave

Feel is medium bodied, harsh, and sandy. The finish is electrifying but also starchy.

I keep trying to like this, forcing myself to sip more to harvest some sort of redeeming value. I'm not finding any. I'll gladly pass next time.

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Photo of pmccallum86
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark cloudy maroon brown color.

Smell is of stale fruits and malts.

Dried fruits and brown sugar upfront. A little off taste in the finish, very average.

Medium carbonation, pretty average.

Definition of average beer. Nothing speacial and every aspect mediocre.

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Photo of Philabeerphia
3.01/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Can pops open with a nice carbonated hiss. I pour this can's contents into my snifter, revealing a dense, cola-colored beer. Light can move around well enough through this body: the beer possesses good clarity, but is so deeply shaded that only around the ruby edges is this quality apparent. Up top, a tight bone colored head appears but almost instantly fades into only a wisp, and then disappears completely. As you might guess, this beer leaves legs, not lacing on the side of the glass.

On the nose: The sharpest notes are like a root of some sorts, ginger-like almost, surrounded by rum soaked cherries. A yeasty spiciness warms things at the back. Otherwise this beer is floated by a backing of generic sugary syrup - bright and slightly cloying.

On the tongue: A heavy smothering of sweet rhubarb and cherry filling catch me by surprise on the first sip. Not sure I want to go back for a second sip of this "pie"... but I do and I find it better with each. Sweet, hot and messy... but also full and complex. Minced meat, flaky dough and raisins. Opens up into some tantalizing smoky and tart notes towards the back of the tongue. There is salvation in that finish, providing enough dry balance to render the glass palatable. The echoes of darker fruit are promising, but never fully develop. For each weakness there is a strength here. One of it's strengths is the full feel of carbonation and body, without too much coating.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.03/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

21st Amendment- Monks Blood

A- Dark cola brown with a fizzy light lacing head. Settles into a flat brown look.
S- Sugary dark ripe fruits like raisin and cherry with a ouch of cocoa.
T- Thick sweet dark dried fruits. Cherry, raisin, and dates blended into a thick sweet chocolate malt body. Finishes off thick and sweet.
M- Very thick and sweet. A mild dry chalky cocoa touch but fruity sweet throughout.

Overall- Fruity, chocolately,and sweet. Ehhhh.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.03/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Monk's Blood on tap at The Pony Bar, Hell's Kitchen, NY.

Appearance: Served in an eight-ounce glass, comes with a faint head that dissipates quickly, leaving a white mantle and bubbles around the glass. Auburn/reddish/fox-tail color, hazy and dark like a polluted estuary.

Smell: Carrot cake, walnut, dry fruit. Muddled, not much going on. Raisin puree.

Taste: Glue right away, some dark fruits, banana. Sweet, like baby food, ripe apricots and grapes. Also reminds of a dry-fruit mix, or when you pick all the dry fruit out of a granola mix and eat it.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, flavor and carbonation. Sweet, nutty. Almost feels like an energy drink, "slightly chilled and lightly carbonated".

Drinkability: Alright. Wouldn't want to drink again, but not too boozy or bothersome. Just unremarkable, boring and ultimately forgettable. You can do so much better in this style! Blah.

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Photo of Kranders
3.06/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An interesting dark Belgian beer. A little spicy with a big body. Kind of hard to describe in my opinion, and overall, I actually wasn't a huge fan. The whole beer just seemed kind of muddled to me. If I saw mix packs from 21st, I wouldn't be upset if this beer was in it, but I'd probably never pick up the beer on its own aging considering all the other really good beer they make.

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Photo of gameface23
3.09/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Ruddy brown with an off-white head that doesn't last very long.

S: Vegemite, dried dark fruits.

T: Starts off with sweet prunes and plums, brown sugar sweetness, and finishes with a gentle warming of cinnamon spice.

M: Medium bodied.

D: Not my favorite.

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Photo of DrJay
3.12/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a chalice. Looks a bit hazy, deep reddish brown with a fine beige cap. Sticky, spotty lacing. The aroma was heavy on malts and fruits - bread and toffee, raisins and figs, earthy, slight alcohol, brown sugar and cocoa. Sweet toffee flavour up front, spicy notes appear mid-palate along with dried fruits with a fair bit of alcohol and grain character bringing up the rear. It's not immediately clear to me whether the flavours are just subtle, or are a little thin when compared to the aroma, but it's pretty mild tasting overall. Full bodied with very fine carbonation, alcohol warmth, decent texture. Not bad, but a little underwhelming. After getting through the full can, it seems like the flavour just didn't come together for me - too much alcohol for the rest of the flavour profile.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep hazy red, not too much brown, thick frothy tan head that dissipates quickly.

S - heat, cherries, plums, wood. Not bad, but I don't know if it's quite right for a BSDA.

T - A weird sweet thing going on. Woody. Tastes like oaked Dr. Pepper. Diacetyl aftertaste.

M - medium thin body, a bit dry. Leaves a buttery coating, makes your mouth feel dirty.

D - Well, this is not my favorite. I don't like drinking it very much, and I don't think it's a good BSDA.

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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 nickd717
3.15/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review dated 3/30/2009.

On tap at 21st Amendment during SF Beer Week. Not bad, but really didn’t do it for me overall. Dark blood-like red color with a small off-white head. Aroma of sweet malt, dark fruits, sugar, and yeast. Flavor was similar - really fruity with sweet and sour notes as well as some roastiness. Complex for sure, but I don’t think it came together all that well. Fairly full palate. Not too drinkable.

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Photo of harrymel
3.15/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Vint 2012
Pours a diaphanous black ale with a ring and central cap of light tan foam. Smells of banana, vanilla, a hint of lemon, sugar and belgian yeast. Flavor of cola with hints of cherry/artifical strawberry. As odd as this sounds, the flavor reminds me of red twizzlers - seriously. I'm not disappointed by this, but caught off-guard. I actually, kinda dig in a novelty sort of way. Medium bodied with hi carb. Semi slick finish. Overall a decent beverage, I've got one that's a year old in the cellar, we will see how it holds up tomorrow. 2.5/2.5/3.5/3/3.5

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.16/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Can: Poured a dark burgundy color ale with a large light brown foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma consists of dry figs with quite a bit of residual sugar and some caramelized malt. Taste is also dominated by caramelized malt with too much residual sugar and some dry figs. Body is about average with good carbonation and light apparent alcohol. I thought this one was lacking balance with too much residuals sugar. It could be my mind playing tricks but I prefer my Belgian ale bottle conditioned not in cans.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.17/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This beer pours a brown color with amber hues. The head is one inch in height, and recedes slowly into a small cap of lacing. The aroma is of figs, cherries, cinnamon, and sugar. The taste is very sweet with only a mild yeast character. In fact, the sweetness overpowers everything detected in the aroma but the figs. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a cloying texture, and low carbonation. Overall, this beer just doesn't do it for me. Perhaps, someone with a severe sweet tooth could find this beer desirable, but I can't see myself drinking it again.

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Photo of CHickman
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours opaque brown color with a small foamy tan head that fades quickly, leaving decent lacing.

Smells like rum, caramel and sweet malt; very malty aroma with alcohol very present in the nose.

Tastes of sweet malt, caramel, brown sugar, toasted grains, dark fruit, light floral hops, cinnamon, and some light yeast; not as malty as expected by the nose and relatively sweet overall with a very noticeable alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel is creamy and silky smooth, with little carbonation and a medium body that goes down watery, but has enough alcohol bite to make this a slow sipper. Decent beer, but didn't live up to the hype and not one I’d seek out.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.22/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: ruddy rusty-brown, slight haze, not much head formation

Aroma: biscuity malt, raisins, brown sugar, rum, oak

Flavor: sweet maltiness with notes of dark caramel, molasses, vanilla, and a sour-milk tartness; finishes sweet a raisiny aftertaste

Mouthfeel: full body, pert carbonation, slick, and alcohol warmth in the throat

Other comments: I've got a bone to pick with the can/package design because you can barely read it! The font and white-on-black makes it almost illegible.

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

On-tap at Stub & Herb's for $5 a goblet. Eh, this came off like another American attempt on a Belgian beer that doesn't quite make it. The aroma has a pleasant toast crust and cocoa character that reminds me of Belgian stouts. The flavor then splits into chocolate roast and cherry juice. Those would be ok, but they're accompanied by an acetone note that throws this whole beer off.

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

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Deep amber brownish color. Just under two fingers of beige, creamy head with below average retention and a decent sized ring of lacing.

3.0 S: Cocoa, caramel, prune, fig, raisin, and vanilla. The cinnamon is detectable and not overdone, but I don't think it helps. The yeast gives off a slight peppery spiciness. Overall, it isn't that bad, but there is something I don't care for. It's as if the aromas are muddled and antagonistic with each other. I think the cinnamon is the main culprit here.

3.5 T: The taste is like the nose, but omits what I don't like about it. Cocoa, caramel, dark fruits, vanilla, and light cinnamon. Again, peppery yeast. This is a little more bitter than I'd care for.

3.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. I'd prefer the carbonation to be spritzier than it is and creamier as well.

3.0 D: This isn't horrible, but it is solidly average. I think the adjuncts might have taken away from what would have been a better beer.

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Photo of brentk56
3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a tea brown color with a modest cap that leaves some dots and dashes of lace

Smell: Figs and caramel, with some earthy and fruity tones

Taste: Brown bread, up front, with a Juicy Fruit, fig and cherry character developing; by mid-palate, a harsh, oaky, cinnamony phenolic flavor arrives and lingers in the aftertaste, with a hint of cherry on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Not too crazy about this one; Belgians are tricky and some breweries struggle to deliver the package; this beer is an example of that problem

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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.

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Photo of doughanson78
3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz can poured into a pint glass.

A: Darker brown with red tint. Minimal light getting through. Two finger off white head with good retention and lacing.

S: Light floral hops upfront with lots of dark fruity malts coming through, with figs, plums and cherries. Decent Belgian yeast aromas mixed with alcohol.

T: Dark fruits, figs and plums, some light cherries. Belgian yeast with some floral hop bitterness. A different type alcohol bite coming through in the end that faintly resembles hairspray. Finishing with a slight nuttiness.

M: Medium body. Medium carbonation. A slight crispness. Slightly dry.

O: An alright beer. The hairspray alcohol flavor throws it off a tad. Not really a beer for me.

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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.

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

pours a dark brown color with a slight reddish hue. Small and lively tan head. decent lacing. smells of belgian spices, malt and a hint of cinnamon. taste is fairly basic. slight hint of cinnamon, almost like a dr. pepper. decent mouthfeel. Overall, this is a decent beer. a little basic in flavor, but a nice sipper.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

355ml can served into a conical USC branded mini pint glass in me friend Bo's gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the style.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with extra vigor by accident; I'm used to pouring from bottles.

Paired with pretzel rods.

A: Pours a four finger khaki head of nice cream and thickness, and great retention (though the pour was very aggressive). Colour is a nontransparent caramel-copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Predictable for the style, but appealing.

Sm: Fig, raisin, alcohol, biscuit malt, dark malt, caramel, some plum, and toasted malt. Very appealing and enjoyable. Fig is dominant. A somewhat strong aroma.

T: Raisin and fig over top a caramel and dark sugar build, with biscuit malt throughout. A tasty little beer. Hints of plum - though not in a dark quadrupel sense. Nicely balanced, though the style demands more of a yeasty build. I do like it. No alcohol comes through.

Mf: Far too light and smooth. Needs more of a presence. Wet and refreshing, but no beer in this style should be refreshing. Way too thin. Weak.

Dr: Quite drinkable. It doesn't hold a candle to other better beers in the style, but I quite like it. Hides its ABV quite well. A great effort from 21st Amendment.

Low B-

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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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Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
3.8 out of 5 based on 1,410 ratings.
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