I’ve been wanting to try this for months. From the first time I heard about it, I knew I had to have it. Unfortunately, I can’t buy it around Buffalo (sigh). When Deron (of Top 5 Beers fame) told me his pal, Murf, had picked some up in Boston, I nearly fell out of my chair. Yesterday afternoon, Deron snuck into the office and near-slammed a can of it on my desk. Of course, I just had to try it last night, and I’m glad I did.
Monk’s Blood is 8.3% ABV and brewed with vanilla, fig, oak chips and cinnamon… a combination that sounded far too interesting not to try. It poured a deep ruby with a two-finger head that dissipated with a quickness. It offered up a very sweet aroma, mostly of raisins (I imagine from the fig) with vanilla and a hint of brett. By the end of my second long sniff, some bitter notes burst through the sweet. Intriguing aroma, for sure.
In my first sip, I could most definitely taste the fig. This Belgian Strong Dark Ale is lightly sweet while it’s swirling around in my mouth, with an aftertaste that’s reminiscent of sour cherry. The yeast is also very present; I could taste the brett that I smelled before sipping. Some people may not dig this (best way to describe it is like a band-aid) but I assure you, if you like Ommegang Biere de Mars, you’ll enjoy Monk’s Blood. Heat from the cinnamon and alcohol danced together through the finish.
In regards to mouthfeel, I could only feel its light, crisp carbonation on the edges and tip of my tongue. The rest of the sip is a more full-bodied one. I’d have to say overall, it has a medium mouthfeel; not so heavy that I couldn’t have more than one. I wouldn’t call this a session beer, as too many would leave me on the floor, but I’d definitely like to come into Monk’s Blood again. If you have it by you, I recommend you try some for yourself.
And Deron, thanks again. You’re the best, mang.
[techtags:BEER REVIEWS, 21ST AMENDMENT, MONK’S BLOOD, BELGIAN ALE, BELGIAN STRONG ALE, DARK ALE]