Style: Dark Belgian Ale
Availability: limited release, cans and draft
Pairing: Soft cheeses, date-nut bread, meat stew
I’ve been sitting on this review of 21st Amendment Monk’s Blood for some time now. The end of the year is always flooded with heavy, dark brews and somehow Monk’s Blood slid in with them. But this dark Belgian ale – the first of the brewery’s new “Insurrection Series” of limited edition brews – is a standout in that it is accessible, heavy but not overpowering, and oh so drinkable. I’ve given this to a few friends who are fans of more traditional stouts or even brown ales and won them over ever time.
Appearance: Monk’s Blood pour near black. My first tasting off tap had no head or lacing what so ever but subsequent pours from can developed a fine tan head with nice holding carbonation. From first glance, this beer is well thought out.
Smell: Chocolate my friends, lots of sweet chocolate. Behind that there is some healthy caramel notes as well. Behind that the Belgian characteristics come forward with some fall fruits (particularly apples and pears)
Taste: Taste is right in line with the nose. Lots of sweet chocolate (from the addition of candy sugars) and toffee/caramel notes. Behind that there’s some fig, oak and vanilla to round out the body. A very mild hoppiness just to hold it all together.
Mouthfeel: The carbonation is real fine (aka fine bubbles) and not overpowering. I have found that the draft is much lighter carbonated than the can but that can be expected. The result is a nice thick beer that can be sipped well.
Drinkability: Monk’s Blood goes down easy. It’s quite drinkable for such a sweet, dark beer, and its clear that a lot of love went into making this brew. I can easily go through two cans in a sitting without thinking twice and it easily pairs with a heavy winter meal (think a beef stew or even a nice baguette and soft cheese) unlike other beers of this intensity.
Overall: A limited release, scoop up a few four-packs of these canned chocolaty monsters. They are perfect to share with friends who like “candy beer” or on cold night. 21st Amendment Monk’s Blood is a sweet and satisfying beer treat to frequent often throughout the winter months.
Brewing Note: Monk’s Blood is an 8.3% alcohol, dark Belgian-style ale brewed with eight malts, Belgian candi sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean, dried local black mission figs and aged on oak for a flavor unlike anything you’ve ever had from a can. (source)