Monk-Y Business

Monks, by and large, are an interesting lot.  Perhaps it is only because we see their antics and are not acquainted with their everyday lives that I think that, but the things they have come up with for entertainment certainly are interesting.  This is a picture of Buddhist Monks holding four spears that are supporting another crazy monk that is doing the whole “God makes me strong” mind over matter nonsense.  All I can say is I hope he bleeds a little…

Why do I want him to bleed?  Well because Monk’s Blood is one of the tastiest brews I’ve ever had.  Ok, so I really don’t want him to bleed, and Monk’s Blood doesn’t have any real blood of monks in it either, but it is an absolutely delightfully crafted Belgian Ale that takes all the goodness of the Belgian style and adds just the right amount of cinnamon, Vanilla, Oak Chips, and Figs, plus a little monk inspired magic, I suspect, to make this superior beer.

The pour is a deep crimson red with a tan head that dissipated quickly but left some lacing on the glass.  The nose is pure fruit with the figs featured prominently with tones of cherries, plums, pears, and honey.  There was a bready quality to the nose as well that reminded me of a Christmas Holiday bread.

The flavor of this beer was sweet, but not overly so.  It was definitely a beer first approach that 21st amendment took to crafting this brew.  I think that the oak chips balance out nicely the sweetness of the vanilla and figs.  The flavor starts sweet with the bready qualities up front, and is rounded out by the figs and cinnamon on the back of the tongue.  The 8.3% ABV helps keep the beer from being too sweet, but it drinks like a session beer.  The alcohol is well masked by the brew.

I absolutely flipped over this beer.  This is perhaps one of the best beers I have ever had.  The malty richness and heavy mouthfeel gave this beer an exquisite quality and made it very drinkable.  I should have picked up a six pack.  This will be one of my favorites and a regular pour for me.


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14 Comments on “Monk-Y Business”

  1. February 10, 2010 at 11:06 am #

    I am pretty desperate to try this one.

    I have been wondering about the carbonation. Most Belgian beer of this style are bottled in thicker beer bottles that can tolerate the pressure of higher carbonation. A few American brewers use normal bottles and tame down the carbonation level of their Belgian style product. It may be carbonated more than a typical ale, but not as much as the real deal in the thicker bottle.

    What was this like??? I don’t know if cans will tolerate the pressures that thick beer bottles do.

    • Don
      February 10, 2010 at 11:14 am #

      It was perfect! Good carbonation, but not crazy like a sour. Bubbles came up from the bottom when I poured it. Nate it is a beautiful beer! You should be able to get it. 21st amendment brewery is in Cold Spring MN. Pretty close to you by comparison to me. Find it! You won’t be disappointed.

      • February 10, 2010 at 11:30 am #

        I’ve tried to find it. Stupid distribution. Now there is some legal FUBAR that needs some repeal.

        • Don
          February 10, 2010 at 11:34 am #

          It must be the Minnesota/Ohio Trade embargo of 1835 that is mucking up the works for you Nate. I don’t know, I just made that up, but it is a great brew. I’m going to see if I can get any more.

  2. February 10, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    21st amendment just hit Virginia so I should be able to try this soon. Heard nothing but good stuff about this brew.

    • Don
      February 10, 2010 at 11:32 am #

      I loved it, but I have a friend that absolutely hates sweet beers, and he didn’t care for it. If you like a spectrum of beer flavors, I don’t see how you wouldn’t love this one!

  3. @BeerPoet
    February 10, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    Here’s my tweet review from last Friday, Don:

    21st Amendment Monk’s Blood:
    No head. Creme brulee, Turkish fig nose. Over-the-top tang hides Crackerjack yummy. Belgian style cloaked a can.

    The beer was good Don. All of the Belgian flavors were there. There was a tangy, black-strap molasses flavor that seem to overpower the more subtle characteristics. Could have dialed back on that IMO.

    I also wonder about Nate’s carbonation/can comment. My can seemed a bit flat. Carbonation was there, just not what I’m used to for this style. I certainly didn’t get the level of head you got in your glass. Maybe my pour was too gentle.

    I think Monk’s Blood is a valiant effort. You gotta have some balls to put a Belgian style beer in a can. They instantly set themselves up for a tough comparison to bottled Belgians. Did it measure up? Not sure. But it is damn good beer in can!

    • Don
      February 10, 2010 at 11:57 am #

      I agree Chad, It is damn good beer in a can! I’m probably less of a Belgian purest when it comes to my palate. Some of them are interesting, but I really don’t have a love affair going with Belgian beers. That is probably why I liked this so much. It took the Begian style, that is definitely present in the flavor profile, and messed with it to make, in my opinion, a beer superior to a true Belgian. I thought that the smokiness from the oak balanced out the sweet flavors for me. It was a bit of a tight rope walk, but I think they made it to the other side without a net!

  4. February 10, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    That picture reminded me of myself metaphorically after this week @ the office, except I think that guy on the spears is getting it easy! (Its been a bad week so far!)


    I’ve heard a lot about this beer, it seems to be generating a lot of buzz online and from your description it sounds like something I’d like. I’ll buy some if I see it.

    • Don
      February 10, 2010 at 1:09 pm #

      Do it Scott. You’ll like it. It was about $3 a can, but if I can find more after payday I’m buying a 6. Perhaps the spears would be gyrating for more of an office metaphor.

  5. February 10, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    Mikey want some!

    • Don
      February 10, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

      I bet Whole Foods will get in a shipment sooner or later. It should be coming your way.

  6. February 10, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    Looks like it would ship well in that can, Don. Say to New Jersey…

    • Don
      February 10, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

      I’m sure it would Jim. I think there might be a few in that fancy shipping carton you’ve got if it ever comes my way. Until that time, I guess I’ll just have to keep enjoying my Monks Blood all by myself. I must say that this is a rather fun twist of events for me too. I think this is the first time I’ve gotten something that the rest of you haven’t been able to. Yeah…I’m Gloatin’….

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