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Monk's Blood | 21st Amendment Brewery

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BA SCORE
86
very good
522 Reviews
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Monk's BloodMonk's Blood
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
21st Amendment Brewery
California, United States
21st-amendment.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
522
Ratings:
1,401
Avg:
3.8
pDev:
21.32%
 
 
Wants:
89
Gots:
220
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 522 | Ratings: 1,401
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 capeannbass36
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- A fairly clear. deep reddish brown...maybe mahogany. Can definitely see through glass. 1 inch light coffee ice cream colored head that ran away quickly. Leaving decent lace.

S- Little sweet malt, hint of pepper. Do not smell the label ingredients mentioned. No vanilla, no cinnamon. Do not know what a dry fig smells like. Could be a hint of oak. I am trying, but not getting very much!

T- Unique for sure. What am I tasting? The dried figs?? Again no vanilla, no cinnamon. Have not tasted a beer remotely similar to this. Sweet malt maybe.

M- Medium. A little oily. A little sticky. Slightly dry at end.

O- I waited a couple weeks before purchasing this due to it being in a can. Tried it a month ago. Didn't know what to think. Still don't. Palate needs more of an education??
It really is not that bad. But...it is far from great.

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

Beer pours a hazy walnut brown with a small off white head.

Cinnamon and vanilla dominate the nose with some fruity deep malt.

Flavor is slightly sweet with the vanilla and cinnamon and even a bit of the figs on the back end. Very creamy mouthfeel.

I have had this beer a couple of times now, at the brewery and at home out of the can. I found that it is actually a nice beer to pair a cigar with as well.

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Photo of jbakajust1
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz pour into a Tear Drop snifter @ Bier Stein

A - Pours a deep garnet w/ ruby highlights, semi clear, fluffy 1 finger beige head that slow fades to a thick cap and leaves decent lacing.

S - Smells of caramel and toffee, chocolate, metal/blood, raisins & cherries, spicy phenols, floral, and sweet breads, yeasty, alcohol.

T - Tastes of chocolate, raisins & plums, caramel, biscuits, alcohol tastes of spices and rose water, floral, cloves & cinnamon.

M - Smooth, medium body, light semi dry finish w/ lingering spice and alcohol. Fizzy carbonation.

O - Very good Belgian. Impressed; I haven't enjoyed a 21 A beer I've had yet til now. Deep, rich, drinkable, complex. Metal/blood aroma is slightly off putting, but fades quick.

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Photo of nova009
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a Chimay chalice

A- pours an opaque dark brown with a slight red tint to it, small fizzy tan head appears and quickly dissipates, spotty lacing

S- definitely get dark fruits on the first hit, figs and raisins, a little plum as well, sweet candied sugar mixes in, im getting some ripe banana as well, getting very little spice on this

T- dark fruits dominate the palate, definitely getting banana in this and a too much for my liking, very sweet and sugary, slight alcohol burn, im not getting a lot of belgian yeast with this which is disappointing, not a lot of spiciness either

M- medium body, slightly high carbonation but not overly so, sticky and somewhat chewy as well

D- this beer is okay, it is entirely too sweet and has too much banana, i can drink this but only to a certain extent, considering the style there are a lot better beers out there

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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 Crossmd
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured 40 degrees into a Sam Adams pint glass.
4x12oz cans for $13USD.

Appearance is gorgeous, with a milky opacity - dark copper in color, with reflections of orange-red butterscotch.

Smell is huge, projecting strongly of banana and clove, spices and cream. Tertiary smells of vanilla and molasses maybe.

The taste doesn't realize the sweetness that the nose suggests. The banana and spice are there for sure, but it's dryer, and leaves the mouth feeling the same. More vanilla than was present in the nose. Rich and opulent though.

Mouthfeel is largely dry as stated, but isn't as heavy as I expected, and pleasingly slow. Tinged with effervescence.

I respect this beer more than I think that I actually enjoy it right now. I would love to try it again during the winter with foods that would match it in weight. Doing this in August I would imagine isn't the same.

91.

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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 radioscooter
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I confess. I have still not embraced the can. I know it's the low-carbon-imprint wave of the future and all, but I'm just not there yet.

Tried the Old Chubb by OB because of my love for Scotch Ales. Hated it.

Grabbed one can of this with no expectations. Strike that, I had negative expectations.

First - color is beautiful dark brown mahogany. Uncloudy. Beautiful stiff foam with a med-aggressive pour.

Smell says - surprise - Belgian dark ale. Great hints of dark fruit, fig, earthy and a little ether.

Taste just blew me away. All the malty, fruity, figgy, oaky, spicy goodness you'd expect out of some obscure imported Belgian bomber. Rich, medium to full bodied, mid to high flavorful.

Carbonation is a tiny bit high and I can't imagine how they'll pull off bottle-conditioning? (probably some memo I missed) which means it needs to be really drinkable as it leaves the brewery. This is pretty close.

Aftertaste is where it fails a bit - not a lot mind you, nothing as horrible as the chemicals Ommegang wants you to believe are all natural. But there's a tinge there. A little "canniness" maybe. But not enough to complain about.

Final: A wildly pleasant surprise.
Drink again? Absolutely. A little pricey here at $4 a can, otherwise, I'd buy a case.

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Photo of Kelly88
3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from its neat looking can into a chalice.

A- dark Ruby brown with a thin brown head. Streaky lacing after every sip

S- very under whelming aroma. Im picking up sweet fruit smells but they are muted. Might have poured too cold

T- fruit really welcomes you then that distinct Belgian yeast really enters the picture. This is a well made brew, I can't notice a drop of alcohol.

M- bubbly and crisp on the palate is quite refreshing

D- I could knock back the whole four pack if not for knowing this had such a high abv

Great beer that I really enjoy. Thank you to the threewisemen for the trade

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

This is my first offering from 21st Amendment. Thanks Chris! The presentation of this ale is pretty damn cool, I mean come on, who doesn't love a good canned craft, especially when it comes in a 4-pack.

This beer opens with a dull crack and pours a nice amber color. Good head retention around the majority of the glass. The smell is sweet with figs and cherries prominent. It also smells refreshing, almost watered down in fact. Perhaps this would make a good shower beer (but what doesn't?).

The taste is enjoyable, however, doesn't seem particularly memorable. In my opinion, all Belgian strong dare ales should be compared to Chimay Grande Reserve, and this one seems thin by comparison. The 8.3% alcohol is hidden well despite the overall "lightness" of the beer.

One can only wonder how this guy would age in the can. Perhaps I'll toss one in a dusty corner and forget about it for a few years!

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Photo of alexhahn82
3.66/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A -- Decent 1 finger head that dissipates at a medium/quick pace, beautiful deep redish brown.

S -- Smells like a Belgian (beer not person). Yeast, Yeast, Yeast, maybe a hint of Oak in the scent.

T/M- Oak. Yeast. Alcohol. A slight hint of the cinnamon but that may be a subliminal plant from the label. Not a lot of Carbonation, but still a very pleasant beer. I want to say it has an almost bourbon like tone and quality though I know its just a neutral oak chip, it may be the cinnamon playing with the oak creating that illusion.

O -- This is a pretty healthy beer, very drinkable for the 8.3% ABV, definitely worth seeking out and giving it a shot.

PP (Price Point) - Picked it up for $8.79 for a four pack in a box, though the place I purchased it from it usually about %15 off of average retail amounts. Definitely delivers, proper quality and ABV bang for the buck!

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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 atomicbeer
3.57/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brown-red with a thin tan head that does not linger long. A few bubbles rising at the edges. Big oak cinnamon aroma with brown apple, clove, and prune. Taste is again oak with bourbony alcohol, brown apple, and Fig Newton. This beer is just a bit syrupy, warming, and a little spicy. Not a bad rendition although one is plenty.

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Photo of taxguyjase
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew was extremely tasty, offering a nice blend of caramel, coffee and malt flavors with a medium body. With 35 IBUs, this beer has a hint of bitterness, but not much. The head was lacking on this one (sad face), but the color was a rich brown. You can smell the malt on this one, but it lack any alcohol scent, which was nice. No aftertaste on this one, you can expect the taste to be sharpest on the tip of your tongue, then fading as it goes down your throat. Be careful with this one, as it weighs in at 8.5% abv.


Taste - 4.5/5.0 - caramel, coffee, malt, oat - very tasty, medium body
Appearance - 3.5/5.0 - no head, but nice rich brown color
Smell - 3.5 - malty with oats - no alcohol scent
Feel - 4.0 - no aftertaste, taste sharpest on tip and middle of tongue
Drinkability - 4.0 - good beer, would definitely get again.

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Photo of ZebraCakez
3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a nice red - brown color with a tan one finger head.

S: The aroma of cinnamon and fruit stand out clearly, with a nice roasted malt undertone. Very appealing.

T: The dark fruits are very prominent. The cinnamon spice is there, but we'll balanced with a pleasant sweetness. The malt element is smooth. The alcohol adds it's own kick towards the end.

F: Smooth and creamy, but not too heavy. A nice level of carbonation.

O: A great brew, one totally worth trying. The fruity and spicy notes keep this beer relevant in a world full of great beer, this one has plenty of character.

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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 NinjaJesus
4/5  rDev +5.3%

I am not usually a fan of dark beers but this Ale was surprisingly delicious. The notes of vanilla and figs added to the malty sweetness of this delicious brew. A higher ABV than expected, these cans pack a punch. Definitely worth a try

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Photo of challenja
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz can poured into a Redskins pint glass.

A: Dark viscous honey brown. Thick and impossibly inviting to the taste palates.
S: Sweet figs, dark malts, maple syrup, honey comb, brown sugar and prunes.
T: This is one impressive taste monster. The can says it all in taste profile. Vanilla syrup malts comes barreling through first. Cinnamon bites between the oak barrel and lays a nice slicing to the figs and back Prune tongue lashing.
M: Syrupy and refreshing. A perfect balance of carbonation and full mouthfeel. Its got a really great balance that punchs the flavors hard and lays them out wet, like a good Lesbian Porn Flick.
O: One of my top three Seasonal cold brews. This is 21st Amendments best offering to date!!

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Photo of jcruelty
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Shout out to my friend Sandeep, the only person who reads these reviews. Sandeep try this beer. It's my fave from 21st Amendment, aside from Hell or High Watermelon which is more of a river beer.

I always try to write down thoughts on beers and end up with the same generic adjectives. "Smells yeasty. Head: good. Pours a nice... brown. HINTS OF VANILLA?" It's always vanilla. Or else pineapple (or maybe cherries)

Maybe I'm just swayed by the packaging. I like how 21st Amendment does everything in cans. But, the text on this can is written in an archaic old-timey font where r's look like f's. I couldn't read it all so I googled it:

"Legend has it that in the evenings, the monks would retire to their chambers & settle in with a few passages from the Good Book. But Brothers Nicolas and O’Sullivan [21st Amendment partners] had other plans. Working in the brewhouse all day, they were forced to repeat the same old recipes the elder monks had invented years before. They needed a little diversion. And found it in the cellar of the monastery with a fresh twist they put on the beer and the way they enjoyed it. Brother Nicolas (or Nico to his close friend) brought some hand-rolled cigars. O’Sullivan, the outspoken one, broke the vow of silence by spinning a remix of some Gregorian chants. Together, they’d throw down a couple nice hands of Texas Hold’Em and savor the handcrafted brew they created in secrecy. Everyday was good. Or so it seemed. But deep in his heart, Nico knew they were drifting into the ‘dark side’ of beer. Next thing you know they’d be skipping Lent. Then on night they’d face the Judgment for their actions with a hard knock at the door. Outside, the Abbots and elders would be holding stone in the air. A threat the brothers were sure would lead to the spilling of Monk’s Blood."

Cheers if you made it through that. I didn't

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Photo of HitokiriNate85
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Burgundy to brown with dark red highlights at the sides. Tan cap with lots of varied bubble sizes all over the surface. The head basically faded entirely after a few minutes and leaving behind just a little bit of lacing.

S - Surprised to get a little bit of vanilla and oak up front. I wasn't sure how noticeable they'd be, but they seem to play a nice, though mild part in the nose. There's a tartness in the background, presumably from the figs. It definitely reminds me a bit of brandy, though there's no real evident alcohol.

T - The vanilla and oak notes aren't quite as prominent in the taste, but they're still there. Lightly tart fruit kind of underscores the entire package. It's not necessarily identifiable as fig to me, but it's nice and not overdone. Getting a bit more of a woody character now, though again, it's fairly light. I've been wondering about the cinnamon for a few minutes now, and I realize it provides a slight spiciness instead of a strong cinnamon taste. Malts chime in with a nice dark fruitiness that surrounds the whole profile. Finishes with just the slightest tartness, then a lingering sweetness.

MF - Nicely carbonated yet still managing to be chewy. Sticks to the tongue and really lingers.

D - Pretty nice. It has the advantage of being on the lower ABV end for the style, which definitely makes having more than one manageable. Monk's Blood offers up a lot of complexity and a mildness that I associate with the Rochefort lineup.

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Photo of bpw28
4.72/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Finger off white shaving cream thick head, Hazy Dark Brown (About a 27 SRM), Nice Lacing

Nose: Medium Roasted, Woody, Yeasty, Grape, Dark Fruit, Funky (The good belgian kind), spiced rum

Taste: Wow. Roasted Malt, Spicy, Dark Fruit (strong prune), Black Berries, Rum soaked Vanilla, Yeasty, Earthy, Peppery, Boozy, Funky (again, the good kind), Woody, Good Carb, Hop is clearly not the key player and theres just enough to round it out and I don't mind at all.

Final Thoughts: Wow. Alot going on in this. Alot. I was a little scared for this because of the lack of head, even though the head was a nice one despite size, but this is an amazing beer. I would drink this until my final breath. This has to be one of my favorites. Home run. Fireworks. Standing Applause. It might not be for everyone, but it sure is for me.

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

12 oz can poured into tulip.

A: Plain and simple, looks like a Coke. Very dark with some ruby highlights with a tan inch of foam. Appears very a carbonated (like a Coke).

S: Dark fruits with cinnamon and figs.

T: Lots of cherry, too much in fact. Very sweet and pretty one-dimensional. Alcohol not noticeable.

M: Pretty well-carbonated. Nice on the tongue.

D: Goes down pretty smoothly.

I didn't really love this one. Aroma was pretty subdued and taste was nothing special. My first 21st Amendment beer was a 'miss'.

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Photo of BigB415
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark red with huge head. Smells of plums and cinnamon. Taste of plums, all this plum makes the beer very sweet. First taste I get alcohol then it subsides to the sweetness and sourness but I think the sour is very nice it's not overwhelming. Overall I really like it, the sweet, fruit, and sour notes really give it a nice kick and add a nice depth to the beer.

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Photo of IIKaRuII
4.01/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Arnolds Carry out for the suggestion on this one.
My first Craft can I can say, being someone who enjoys keeping one of each bottle I've tried. I am debating on trying to keep a can of this stuff as part of my collection.
Pours a cloudy dark blood red which holds true to its name, has a foamy powerful collar. very thick presence, with amazing retention.
Smells of pitted fruits. plum, cherrys. fig and vanilla. little spices at the very end that kind of stings the nostrils a bit.
taste is a very powerful dark cherry, with sugar and spices. yeasty presence. slight bananas.
Mouthfeel is a creamy and carbonated. not very bitter. Actually quiet pleasant on the palate. almost tastes like a cherry cream soda personally.
This is medium bodied. The alcohol is present but not overpowering for the high 8.3% given on the can. Is not bitter to say the least.

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Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery
3.8 out of 5 based on 1,401 ratings.
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