Sean Coughlin's picture

Judge's Review: 93 Rating - Cloaks & Mirrors by Monday Night Brewing

November, 2019
Judges Rating: 
19 / 24
6 / 6
40 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Cloaks & Mirrors by Monday Night Brewing is being evaluated in the category of Mixed-Style Beer (2015 BJCP Category 34B) as a sour milkshake IPA with peaches, cinnamon and vanilla.    

The aroma sets the scene for a sour beer –a clean lactic scent emerges from the glass with a light lemon note. There is an underlying bread presence from the malt and a very light citrus hop presence with orange and stone fruit. No vanilla or cinnamon is perceptible. 

The beer is a hazy blonde with a dense white head that persists extremely well. The flavor has quite a bit more to offer than the aroma! Peach is ripe and dominant with enough vanilla to give it sweetness and a bit of cinnamon that makes its presence known in the moderately sweet finish. The acidity is fairly mild and any hop bitterness is restrained in the overall balance. There is light citrus hop flavor that is complementary of the bold peach profile without overshadowing it.      

This is a delicious beer that has all the elements of great peach cobbler – the fruit and the crust. This beer may not quite fit the mold for a “sour IPA” for a base style due to the restrained bitterness but I think there’s enough hop flavor present to make the argument. With as much as this beer has going on, it does a wonderful job of showcasing each ingredient in the flavor. While flavor of beer often closely follows aroma, this beer is a good example of one that does not. Peach, cinnamon, and vanilla were completely absent until the taste buds were engaged. Intriguing, well-balanced, delicious and surprising!