Traveling for Your Passion
A Review of Monk's Elixir by Mikkeller
Posted on 11/19/2012 by Chops
                   
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Alas, we have officially reached the last beer review from my journey to the world famous Mikkeller Bar in Copenhagen, Denmark. At the risk of repeating myself, every beer geek owes it to themselves to travel for their passion. If you are lucky enough to possess the means to visit beer pilgrimage places like the Mikkeller Bar, then make it a point to do so. Your status as an enthusiast demands it. Beer geeks with limited means can also get in on the action. Today's world is littered with craft breweries that relish the opportunity to showcase their nectar. Start local and branch out when you can. Enjoying an awesome craft beer can be a wonderful experience, but enjoying it at its birthplace is always a more enriching experience. Granted, Mikkeller's Monk's Elixir Belgian Quad was not brewed at the Mikkeller Bar (none of them are). But in the magical gypsy brewing world of Mikkeller, a tap at the Copenhagen bar is as close to home base as you will ever get.

In the glass, this beer has a dark mahogany brown coloration with a ruby red hue. It comes with a creamy white head that dissipates normally. I was also able to find some yeasty floaters swirling around. On the nose, I detected a thick malty bready aroma resting on top of a biting alcohol burn. The aroma also has a tart sourness along with hints of dark fruits. As with most Mikkeller brews, this one has an inherent aggression. Belgian Quads always have a potent strength, but adding Mikkeller to the equation ups the ante.

Strangely enough, it was the mouthfeel that initially caught my attention on that first sip. It's very thick and smooth like a good Belgian Quad should be, but it also has quite a kick. It's a one-two punch of alcohol and hops that really capture your taste buds' attention. But, it's not so aggressive as to be distracting. There is a syrupy quality that tends to soften the mouthfeel and the flavor profile. The alcohol burn adds a Scotch like taste that comes across as woody. There is a rich sweetness that really defines this beer's flavor. I found lots of dark fruit like cherries and plums, along with savory malt and brown sugar. The signature bready Belgian yeasts play a lesser role in this beer than usual, but I didn't see this as a detriment. This beer is already very sweet with a thick malty character. Kicking up the Belgian signature would almost be too much to handle. The beer finishes with a tart aftertaste that is also slightly bitter.

Overall, Mikkeller Monk's Elixir Belgian Quad is a rich brew with a complex personality. Big Belgians are well known to be complex delights and this beer is no different. It's easy to detect the Mikkeller punch, but it is restrained enough to be accessible for the style. Consequently, I can recommend this beer to any seasoned beer fan or any fan of fine Belgian beers. It should go without saying that this beer is way too big for novices. Quads by themselves are already too big for the most part, but couple it with the Mikkeller name and you have a giant flashing warning sign for beginner palates.

And so ends my fantastic experience at the Mikkeller Bar. I greatly enjoyed my visit and cannot wait to return. I sincerely hope that you enjoyed reading these reviews and that I somehow managed to inspire your beer travels. Seeing the world is an exciting adventure, but doing it with a great beer in hand is even better.

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Monk's Elixir by Mikkeller
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