Brew Review – Be Mine & 2019 Grand Cru by Barrel of Monks @barrelofmonks

By now, I hope that you have been able to see the podcast that I recorded from the recent Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest in West Palm.

If you didn’t, I recorded a podcast from the event with Kevin Rolston from 97.9 WRMF’s KVJ Show, Tiffani, the beer director from DAS Craft Beer and Pizza (Also our sponsor), and yours truly. Together, we interviewed several breweries that were pouring at the event, half of which were from South Florida.

I already knew what Due South was going to bring, and I didn’t really have an idea for what Funky Buddha was going to do. I was, however, very interested to see what would happen with Barrel of Monks.

They’re a particular favorite of mine, and the interview/tasting could have gone one of two ways. Either I would be drinking Single in the Sun and White Wizard Wit, or they were going to bring some fire.

As much as I love their Single and Witbier, co-owner Kevin Abbott brought the heat with him. In maybe more ways than one.

The first bottle he opened was one that I had seen in their tap room but never got, Be Mine (Quadrupel, 10.5% ABV). This was a treatment of their already fantastic Quadrophonic quad, but brewed with cacao nibs, vanilla, and tart cherry juice from Michigan.

What they ended up with was a sensual, velvety sweetness coming from a beer already bursting with chewy malt notes and strong currents of dark fruits like plum and raisin. Everyone on the podcast agreed that if you could brew the essence of a cherry cordial candy (the ones with the cherry and liqueur and a hard chocolate shell), Be Mine would be that.

The other beer he brought was their 2019 Grand Cru (Imperial Red Ale, 10% ABV, 20 IBU). The Grand Cru series is more of a special designation for something they like to play with every year, and the 2019 version was an Imperial Belgian Red Ale. This one was extra special, since it had just finished fermentation 2 days before we recorded the podcast and doesn’t actually get released until August.

What surprised me most is this one was a bit sweeter than Be Mine, more than I had expected. It’s still a heavy beer, and you have a lot of those molasses and brown sugar notes mixed in with the plum, raisin, and ever-so-light chicory. The end beer felt a little bit electric, and there was a brightness to the end result.

Whereas Be Mine had the feel of a dark and romantic candlelit room, Grand Cru was more like the morning after, opening the shades to a beautiful seascape with a bright sun in a cloudless sky.

Those might be the fluffiest ways I’ve ever described beer on this blog, but I stick by them and continue to be impressed with the beers and everything coming out of Boca.

Because we had a long way to go in the podcast, we didn’t necessarily finish all of our samples, but off-mic Tiffani said she wanted to definitely finish her samples. And I disagreed with her slightly.

I finished my samples, I wanted to finish the rest of the bottle as well.

Special thanks to Kevin Abbott for the beer and the information, and shout out to Tiffani and the team at DAS Craft Beer and Pizza, plus Kevin Rolston and the KVJ Show team at 97.9 WRMF.

If you’re interested in the podcast, the live version with video is up on the KVJ Show page on Facebook, and I should be releasing the audio to the Florida Beer Podcast with in the coming days.

Drink Florida Craft,

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