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Wednesday, January 20th 2010

Monk's Blood
(21st Amendment Brewery)

Wow, the world of canned beers is really getting interesting. This latest offering from 21st Amendment in San Francisco is proof that many craft beer drinkers are totally okay with good beer coming in a can, especially if its an 8.5% Belgian-style dark ale! I'm looking forward to more of their "Insurrection Series" releases. 

From the 21st Amendment site:

"Monk’s Blood pays homage to the monks of Belgium’s monasteries who have been brewing some of the world’s great beer for centuries. During times of fasting, the monks subsist solely on beer, which they refer to as “liquid bread”. Beer, quite literally, is in their blood. The most sublime of the monk’s premium brews is dark like blood, rich and nourishing.

21st Amendment founders Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan traveled to Belgium to develop the recipe for this special beer, visiting small, traditional breweries in the hop fields of west Flanders, not far from the famous Trappist abbey of Westvletren. Monk’s Blood is designed to pair beautifully with rich winter stews, creamy cheeses, unctuous desserts or just by itself, in a Belgian tulip glass, with a good book by the fire."

Here we go...

Pour - deep dark plum in color but glowing blood red when held to the light. Head is fizzy and about an inch to start before it slinks away rather quickly and leaves just a wispy ring around the inside of the glass. 


Aroma - dark cherry, bitter fruits, caramel/brown sugar and some sourness.  


Taste - starts off sweet and estery/fruity (sweet dark fruits like plums and cherries) with a crisp tart finish. Vert smooth but without the spices I was expecting. This is actually a very subtle beer with a lot of nice flavor, it's almost juicy tasting with some hints of vanilla. It all comes together very nicely and even at 8.5% this is a beer that drinks well below its weight.


Overall - one hell of a canned beer. This is such a departure from 21st Amendment's other canned offerings. I really like how all of the flavors and spices come together not to produce something extreme but something very easy drinking and flavorful. I am looking forward to trying their next limited canned release. 


Note - along with the absolutely ridiculous grain bill that this beer has, it is also brewed with the following: Dark Belgian Candi Sugar, Cinnamon, Vanilla Bean, Dried Black Mission Figs and aged on oak.



Monk Scale:
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Monk's Blood
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Brewery: 21st Amendment Brewery
City: 
San Francisco, California  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Belgian pilsner, Two-row pale, Caramunich, Caravienne, Aromatic, Special B, Flaked Oats & Flaked Wheat
Hops: Amarillo, Magnum & Centennial
ABV: 8.5%
IBUs: 34
Date: January 20th, 2010

Posted by Russ


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