Beer Review: Monkish Brewing Company Dark Night of the Soul (2014)

Brewery: Monkish Brewing Company
Beer: Dark Night of the Soul
Style: Belgian Impeial Stout
ABV: 11.1%
Character: A Belgianized Imperial Stout
Ratings: BA: — | RB: —
Metal Connection: MAYHEM – Dark Night of the Soul

BeerMetalDude Rating: 4.5/5

My good trading buddy from California, Jorge Espinoza of the awesome beer blog site, animebeers.com sent me this dark little gem of a beer. Lately, Monkish Brewing Co. has gotten heavily into the IPA game, mainly the craze over the NE style, cloudy stuff. I have seen a lot of trades for L.A. Hat, Spock It, Smarter than Spock, Ghetto Style Proverbs, and My First Canning Line to name a few. I have not really jumped n that bandwagon yet though, and I am still looking for different styles. This particular bottle was sent back in 2014, and only recently drank. I am glad I held onto this beer. It aged beautifully. Thanks again to my friend, Jorge, for the hookup.

Well, like most Metal heads out there, my favorite color is black, my wardrobe consists of mostly black, my soul is black, and this god damned beer label is BLACK! Everything is black! The lettering is a lighter shade of the dark color printed on a label that is a darker shade of the evil color. The monkish crest logo sits atop the label in the same color. Everything was really hard to read, and definitely hard as fuck to photograph. The photo used here on this review is the best shot I could get of this dark label. The only thing that sticks out is a small crest logo in white at the bottom of the label. Way to get me worked up while shooting this beer, Monkish. Way to go, indeed!

Poured into an AleSmith Brewing Company snifter glass, this beer appeared black as oil. It was topped with a 1/5 of an inch dark khaki fizzy head, which quickly faded away, leaving no lacing.

A lot of dark aromas like, raisins, figs, dark chocolate, dark cherries, brown sugar, molasses, oak wood, anise, clove, leather, tobacco, caramel, vanilla, booze, nuts, dark bread, earthiness, and a hint of banana underneath all the rest. Yeah, a lot was actually going on in this beer. Each whiff picked up more and more, especially as the beer warmed up. The lingering scent in the nose was dark bread, earthiness, tobacco and leather.

Just like the nose, each sip of this beer more and more flavors arose and shined through the darkness. Right up front I was met with dark chocolate, brown sugar, molasses, oak wood, then quickly followed by dark fruits like raisins, figs, and dark cherries. Other interesting characters showed up like anise, clove, leather, tobacco, caramel, vanilla, booze, nuts, dark bread, earthiness, and a hint of banana underneath all that dark beer taste. A very tasty beer. The aftertaste was dark bread, earthiness, tobacco, leather, and the hint of banana.

Body is actually lighter than I thought it would be. It was still in the medium sized thickness, but I was expecting this one to be really thick and heavy. The mouthfeel was slick and not having a very boozy bite. There was barely any carbonation. This one finished slick as well.

A damn mighty fine beer was Dark Night of the Soul, especially with a couple of years aged on it. I am not sure how the flavors would have been on this one if I had drank it fresher. These dark flavors really popped out, and were plentiful, giving this beer a rather complex overall flavor. Doing some research on this beer, it was said that only 50 cases of this beer were made, so I am damn lucky to have had this one. Thanks again to my buddy Jorge! Check out his site at animebeers.com.

Metal Connection: Finding this Metal Connection was too damn easy. Not sure if the fellows over at Monkish are Metal heads or not, but maybe they named this beer after this very song chosen here by the same name by the legendary Black Metal band, Mayhem from Norway. Mayhem, of course is one of the founding fathers of Black Metal. Being formed in 1984, the band released a few demos until their debut album, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas was originally released in 1994 on Deathlike Silence. So much history, some good, some bad revolve around this band.

Band members, Euronymous and Dead are famously known for their musical contributions and deaths. Euronymous was murdered by friend, and at one point, fellow band member Varg Vikernes (a.k.a. Count Grishnackh) in 1993, and Dead committed suicide by shotgun to the head and slit wrists.

The band carried on with bassist, Necrobutcher being the sole original member, and drummer, Hellhammer being a long time member since 1988. Mayhem would have two main vocalist since the deaths. I am talking about the wild front men, Maniac, and Attila Csihar. Both had their own wild and crazy stage presence while fronting this band. Attila was their vocalist in 1993 and is featured on their debut album, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, and returned to the band in 2004 and is still their current front man. In 2004, Mayhem released the full length album, Chimera on Season of Mist. This album features Maniac on vocals. Mayhem have paved their own warpath, creating some of the weirdest songs around the Black Metal genre. “Dark Night of the Soul” is one of these strange tunes. The riffs, vocal patterns, and time signatures are all very strange throughout this song. This is an excellent example of exactly how odd their music can be.

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