Monday Night Tears of My Enemies

We talked with Monday Night Brewing‘s Head Brewer Peter Kiley about Tears of My Enemies…

Can you tell us a little about the beer?

Tears of My Enemies is an imperial milk stout that was aged on Ugandan vanilla beans, infused with  Batdorf & Bronson whole bean coffee — all while living in 18-year-old scotch barrels for 8 months. The base recipe of this beer was built using 2-row, flaked oats, roasted barley, carapils, chocolate and dark crystal malts. The only hop used was East Kent Goldings and a healthy serving of lactose was added to the end of the boil. It clocks in at 9.3% ABV and is what we at MNB refer to as a “club banger.” When drinking it, obvious notes of milk chocolate, vanilla and coffee blend together in a way that is nothing short of harmonious. With every breath the flavors of scotch and old wood creep up from the background to help guide the experience away from the world of the mundane milk stout, to a land of delicate but deliberate complexity. Wow, that sounded awesomely pretentious. Please excuse my douchiness, it’s hard to contain my excitement about this beer.

Where did the name come from?

Like all of MNB’s beers, our director of marketing, Jonathan Baker, gave birth to the name. Originally, I had been referring to the non BA version as Pump & Dump, but we all knew that it was to be short-lived if we had any hope of it being received well in the market. The way that we view it is that the tears of your enemies are the sweetest most delicious thing that a person can enjoy. Just imagine all of the people who have removed joy from your life or that have been a complete ass hat to you. Now imagine that you could not only seek revenge but actually taste it. It would taste amazing. It does taste amazing. TOME is that liquid, and like the saying says, it is best served cold.

You don’t see a lot of Scotch barrel aged beers, how did Tears of My Enemies come about?

TOME is a beer that is close to my heart. It started over two years ago when my father, brother and I brewed the first iteration of this beer together. After making changes to the recipe throughout the years I landed on a final formula. The first scaled up version of this beer was released in our taproom after brewing it on our 5 barrel system. Its initial name wasn’t commercially viable (or appropriate) but we knew that the product had potential. Around this same time I was lucky enough to have a conversation with one of my favorite barrel brokers that was far from ordinary. We had developed a rapport that was unique in the sense that she was always looking to make me happy (very rare) and that she also loved to impress me with what she could find around the world (also very rare). When she told me that she had procured 18-year-old scotch barrels from a very reputable producer I had to pull the trigger. Once the barrels were in-house it was only a matter of time before I convinced our brewmaster, Adam Bishop, to give me the green light. I guess the rest is just history now.

I know some stouts are brewed to go into a barrel and not really meant to stand on their own, was this one of those beers or is it one you had that you thought would be good in a Scotch barrel?

To be completely honest, my initial plan was just to make the beer, BA or not. I truly believed that I was onto something with this recipe and I just wanted it to be given a shot. Once all of the pieces fell into place I knew that it was only a matter of time before it would get its chance to go out into the wild. As for the scotch barrel, sometimes as a brewer you just have to look around and see what you have to use. I had scotch barrels. They were amazing barrels so I felt extremely confident in using them but if I had been given complete financial freedom in constructing this beer I don’t know if I would have chosen scotch barrels. Funny how things work out.

Peter Kiley
Monday Night Brewing’s Head Brewer Peter Kiley looks out over their tasting room patio.  Perhaps pondering his next brew, perhaps just pondering life. (Credit: Skyler Photography)

Tears of My Enemies is part of your limited Black Tie series, I know we’ve seen some of them pop back up occasionally.  Is this a one-time brew or will we see it again?

All good things in time. We like to keep things exciting with the beers that we release in the Black Tie Series, but with that said, wouldn’t it be fun to see what this beer would taste like in a different barrel…or maybe two?

What’s coming from Monday Night Brewing in the future that we should look out for?

Everything! To be honest, our team at MNB is on fire right now. We have been quietly innovating and exploring what beer can be all while maintaining a fierce focus on our core brands. In a few months we will be opening our new location in southwest Atlanta that will be solely focused on barrel aged (sour & non sour) and wild/funky beers. Since we will be developing a 2.5 acre orchard feet from the door, comprised of native fruiting species, it will be an awesome complement to our koelschip room where we will be able to explore the influence of Atlanta’s atmospheric terroir. What we have in the pipelines for our Black Tie Series moving forward, as well as our new location, will serve as a point of excitement for our fans and a point of pride for our brand. We forever want to make Georgia proud.

Tim’s Tasting Notes:

Monday Night has been releasing some amazing brews lately, and Tears of My Enemies is no exception.  The beer pours midnight black with a short but dense creamy head.   Aroma is strong chocolate, reminiscent of hot cocoa, with just a touch of peaty Scotch.  Tears says hello to your palate with a firm but velvety soft handshake that lingers without being annoying like some guy who describes the mouthfeel of a beer as a firm but velvety soft handshake.  Pronounced cocoa and the same hint of peaty Scotch are the most noticeable flavors, with some oaky vanilla and roasty coffee in the background.  Overall this is one of my favorite offerings from Monday Night, and an all-around deliciously drinkable stout.

Suggested pairings: Actual tears of your enemies, coffee cake, chocolate truffles