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Bitter Monk - Anchorage Brewing Company

Bitter MonkBitter Monk

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

730 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 730
Reviews: 216
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 10.39%


Brewed by:
Anchorage Brewing Company visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Belgian style double IPA with Brettanomyces. this ale is aged in french oak chardonnay barrels. Brewed with Apollo, Citra, and Simcoe hops. Dry hopped in the barrel with Citra hops. Triple fermented- First in the tank with a Belgian yeast, second in french oak chardonnay barrels with brett, and finally in the bottle with a third yeast for natural carbonation.

100 IBU

(Beer added by: sprucetip on 08-26-2011)
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Ratings: 730 | Reviews: 216 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of dmatsui
dmatsui

California

5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A strong pour into wine glasses resulted in a 4-finger, bone white, sudsy and tight head that stuck around for a while. Alcohol legs visible, not much lacing due to the higher alcohol content. The beer itself is a beautiful, hazy gold/yellow.

If someone made a "BItter Monk" Cologne I would rock it all day. The girls might not want to play with me; I'd probably have a squad of beer geeks following me around. Upfront the hop complexity hits you with juicy citrus, pine and dank qualities. NIce use of CItra hops. The fragrance of Grapfruit, melon and apples also waft from the glass, a result of the Belgian yeast strain which also adds some savory, spicy notes. There is the slightest hint of funk and tart coming from the Brett, and the light malt bill provides just a touch of honey-covered bread notes.

Anchorage Brewing BItter Monk. Whoa.

First and foremost, this is a Double IPA. Anchorage put the hops first, and Bitter Monk is just full of earthy, fruity and full-flavored hops. I wasn't too sure what to look for in terms of the Apollo hop characteristics, but the Citra hops really came through nicely. It's hoppy as hell, but so incredibly well balanced with all of the other HUGE components. The Malt bill was just perfect, providing a light, sweet and understated backbone that lets the hops shine. The Belgian yeast marries perfectly with the hops and subtly provides a spicy, fruity and savory component to the brew. However, the yeast isn't so in-your-face as to mask the hops. The Brettanomyces was nothing short of a stroke of genius. It is faint, and if they didn't mention it on the bottle you might not know it was there, and instead be wondering what that vague tart zing and heady funk is coming from. The Brett added a really nice extra complexity to BItter Monk, but as with everything else, it is understated and perfectly balanced. BItter Monk is a hop bomb and definitely in the upper echelons of bitter, but the finish was just ridiculously smooth and slightly buttery and vaguely woody, earthy and oaky. The Aging in the Chardonnay barrels is probably responsible for that, and it truly made a huge difference.

I was really happy to share this bottle with a few hop head micro-lovers, and we all couldn't find enough good things to say about this beer. I admit I was a bit apprehensive when I got the bottle. I was presumptuous and thought that Bitter Monk was just going to be one of those trendy, earth-shattering, 20-ingredient adjunct messes that we see all to often. I really thought there was just going to be too much going on, but Anchorage Brewing balanced every component of this beer perfectly. It's definitely an occasional beer, but I really can't wait to get into another bottle, and I will have my eye on Anchorage Brewing from now on.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2012 18:12:09 | More by dmatsui
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured a lightly hazed golden, orangish color with a beautiful white cap, superb head retention. Beautiful beer.

S: Where do I begin? Very aromatic with layers of brett funk, floral, white wine, citrus and passion fruits and very slight alcohol note.

T: Amazingly great. This is the best beer I have had in a long time. First sip is a nice bretty, meet passion fruit/citrus and yeast. The wine barrel is very noticeable as well. There is a subtle hop bitterness here which is just right for this beer.

M: Medium bodied, carbonation is perfect, feels lightly sweet, dry, extremely flavorful and so damn good I want to just use it as mouthwash.

O: Easily worth the price. I am impressed by the complexity of this beer. Sometimes to much of a good thing is a bad thing but this was all GREAT!

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2013 15:49:58 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of OutFox
OutFox

New York

4.93/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just got these into my shop in Jersey City NJ.

Batch #1 July 2011 bottling.

25th Review!

A - Corked and caged 750ml bottle. Hazy golden with quite a nice head. Poured into a wine glass.
Great retention and good lacing.

S - Holy f'in crap. This is a complex mess. Hops, Brett, oak, Chardonnay, yeast, I dunno this is ridiculous. I almost dont have the words for this I mean you smell so many different aspects at one time. Ive heard people call this a religious experience in a bottle and before I even taste this I know why. Holy sh!t.

T - Wow. I mean same as the nose with even more complexity than I could even imagine. The Brett/Chard aging gives it a different sort of weight. The hops dont come through till almost the end and it has this sort of stinging Brett acidity that is amazing. I havent had a sip in 3 minutes and I can still taste this beer.

M - It has the sort of middle weight without having to use the malt sweetness that is just doesnt exist in Belgian style Double IPAs

T - I dunno what to say. I was expecting greatness from this beer and it more than delivered. Cheers to Anchorage Brewing company for doing something completely out of the box.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2011 01:02:40 | More by OutFox
Photo of PainkeepBrewing
PainkeepBrewing

Oregon

4.93/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Corked bottle, served ~40-45 deg, in a brandy snifter.

A - Hazy golden, with still a significant amount of clarity. Decent sized pale white head that laces really well and sticks around.

S - Brett funk, floral, wine, very slight alcohol. A lot of brett funk that I personally really like.

T - Shazam. First sip is a combination of a blast of pleasant bitterness, followed by brett funk and slight belgian esters. Not a ton of dominant hops but they are definitely there. Lingering bitterness and funk on tongue afterwards. Really really delicious overall, a lot of different things going on that work well.

M - Not particularly thick, but lively carbonation gives a nice impression of mouthfeel.

O - One of the best beers I've had in a while. Personally got a ton of brett funk in both the nose and taste, it was carbonated accordingly, and was a really really fine drink. I didn't get a ton from the chardonnay barrels that I know of, though I'm sure it's a flavor in there that I'm tasting but not discerning. I would gladly pay the $12 for a few more bottles of this.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 01:41:44 | More by PainkeepBrewing
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef

Minnesota

4.9/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Muted and heavy hazen pale pear, yellowy gold hue capped tight and tall with a white crown of crunchy foam. The cap slowly sinks to a heavy skim and patchy lacing grazing the goblet in globby shapes.

Very huge and dry aroma of white grape, lime, fresh wild flowers, lemon, white peach fuzz, white grapefruit, spritzy tangerine, and earthy basement yeast. Also packed in is a wonderful little touch of good Ol' 9% ABV.

Taste is highly complexed with lots of high ended dry citrusy flavors and yeasty actions mixing like a spiked fruit punch, minus the sweetness. There is, however, a bit of caramel sweetness poking about within a orangeified candied citrusy kerfuffle behind the drying citrusy hoppyness. It's delicately woven but nearly brutish in its punch as it stands tall and long across the palate with a tempered tone of lemon, lime, Chardonnay white wine, grapefruit, tangy tangerine, pineapple, and then lays out the yeasty funk with a wonderfully handled and smooth Brett-ish tang and wild flower zip of spice. Immensely yummy and excellently complex!

Body is smooth, bold, peppy, large, lofty, dry with a nice mild play of tang in the middle to keep it all in check as it takes over the palate with a great character of citrusy things and yeasty candy tartness.

Ummm...excellent stuff! Period.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2011 01:52:18 | More by tavernjef
Photo of JimmyTango
JimmyTango

California

4.9/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Hazy yellow-to-orange with frothy pure white head.

S: Oh my god. Lemon zest, lemon custard, barnyard/ wet hay. Wet for sure. Hops? Deffinately, but more as a bitterness... not the floral or citrus rind that I expected. The belgian yeast is there in the background with some pineapple smells, but the nose is pretty sour.

T: Bitter! The taste is like the nose but with a tad more flowers and pineapple flavoring hops. Lemon is pretty dominant and when teamed up with the barnyard funk gives it a subtle cottage cheese flavor. Still more wet hay and some sourness from the brett. The malt base is hard to put a finger on, but I'm gonna say its there with a stale white bread character. Again, only a touch of belgian sweetness, just enough to upgrade the malt from stale french bread to stale wonder bread. Ya dig?

M: Foamy, light, delicate, and clean. Hop oil finish leaves you feeling a bit soapy.

O: This is my favorite beer. I was completely blown away, although it was very different from what I expected based on the description. For some reason I was picturing a much more malt forward and bigger/sweeter beer considering the label as a belgian IIPA with barrel aging, but no... Dry, balanced, and crazy complex with a damn-near perfect hop forward bitterness, mostly funky but nicely sour brett character, and a malt backdrop enhanced by the belgian yeast without being heavily fruity, spicy, or sweet.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2011 18:08:25 | More by JimmyTango
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

4.85/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle into Portsmouth tulip. Batch 1.

A: Pours a hazy dark citrus lemon/orange color with a billowing, soft and dense off-white head that slowy faded into a fluffy film which left chunks and streaks of sticky lacing down the glass.
S: Complex hoppy notes of citrus, tropical fruits, sweet fruit nectars, tangerines, and grapefruit pith all mixed with earthy, spicy and funky notes of Belgian yeasts and brett. This is one unique smelling brew.
T: Yep, a DIPA with Belgian yeast and brett. This beer tastes like the nose with the grapefruit pith bitterness, sweet tropical fruit hoppiness, and earthy funky brett standing out the most. I do get a bit of the vinous quality of the white barrel as well. The finish is lightly beer and the aftertaste is sweet and funky.
M: Medium-full body with a drying mouthfeel that has a pleasant bitterness in the finish. The carbonation is soft and full.
O: One of the best in the style and just a phenomenal beer. The hops and the brett work wonders together. I love the bottle as well. Highly recommend and a great beer all around.

EDIT: Rarely do I buy a new beer more than once, especially one that costs between $13 to $16 a bottle. Sure I'll buy six packs of old staples (Anchor, SN) or singles of my favorites (Pliny), but I've returned to this beer four times now. I love this beer. It's awesome! I'm bumping the scores up to include more 5's.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2011 01:07:01 | More by scottfrie
Photo of MrTopher
MrTopher

California

4.85/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bought this for the wife, with intentions on us splitting it, and we did, served into Duvel Tulips.

A – Pours a cloudy golden/straw yellow color, a nice thick Belgian style egg white in color, and exceptional lacking on the sides of the glass.

S – I could smell this from a good 3-4 feet away, rich hops (floral/fruit) and some farmhouse funks (guessing from the Brett), this just screams hybrid; “American Belgian Wild IPA”.

T – Great aggressive hoppy characters that just build and build. Here is how I experienced this beer; hop punch up front, then some chardonnay and oak characters, and then just the sour funk of the Brett with spices and earth characters.

M – A little on the thick side, but very inviting and well accepted, carbonation was spot on.

O – This has to be one of the better BA Belgian IPAs I have had, is this better than Hop God, NO. But it’s in a slightly different class as Hop God. I consider this more of a hybrid of an American Wild (aging with the Brett) and a Belgian IPA (the Belgian yeast and overall presentation); I think “American Belgian Wild IPA” is a great name. Parts of this beer remind me of Le Terroir, maybe a blend of the Hop God and Le Terroir, but on another level.
This is my first Anchorage Brewing, and hopefully not my last. I hope they keep bringing more great beers to CA.
This would be a great beer to cellar for a few months and see how much more the Brett develops.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2011 19:34:10 | More by MrTopher
Photo of mgironta
mgironta

New Jersey

4.83/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer came out of a corked and caged bomber. The cork was pretty easy to get out and only had a slight pop. The brew poured with a gigantic head, about three fingers of pure white head that was thick and fluffy and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, almost straw yellow with lots of active carbonation visible. I thought the color was pretty light for a Belgian IPA. The nose was all brett…not that I’m unhappy with that. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a brett beer. Wow, this was really different. The brew started with a bit of grapefruit and tart citrus with a bit of barnyard funk from the brett. It was really light (body-wise) for a Belgian IPA and the booze and IBUs are really well-balanced out by the flavors. The finish was relatively quick with a hint of citrus. The body was probably the lightest that I’ve ever had with a good dollop of carbonation. This beer was just fantastic to me. It was an easy drinker despite the ABV and was complex and quaffable. I would definitely have this bad boy again.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2012 02:45:15 | More by mgironta
Photo of sjccmd
sjccmd

Minnesota

4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light orange slightly hazy body with a creamy white head. Carbonation streams up from the bottom of the glass. Incredibly stick lacing.

Wow. The aroma is incredibly fascinating. Lots of brett and hops, but they seem to compliment each other so well that it is almost hard to distinguish which is which. Bright citrus and tropical fruits. Pineapple and slightly cheesy barnyard funk. Earthy basement aroma. Incredibly floral.

WOW! I was thinking that there was no way the flavor could be as interesting as the aroma, but I was so wrong. Juicy hops, funky and earthy brett all balanced together. Crazy tropical fruit flavors that I don't even want to reduce to pineapple or mango...incredibly unique. It's pretty hard to describe this flavor. I would have never imagined brett and american hops could work together so well. Finishes with earthy and spicy with a solid hop bitterness.

Exceptionally creamy, but not heavy mouthfeel. High carbonation but not fizzy. Sticky hop resin fills out the mouth.

This is one of most unique beers I've had...even after having Love Buzz. I can't wait to see what this brewery does next.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 21:45:14 | More by sjccmd
Photo of jsh420
jsh420

Illinois

4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

batch 1
july 2011

pours cloudy golden yellow with a big chunky pillowy white head that had great retention and left lacing

smell is funky hoppy evergreen citrus tropical fruit - amazing!

taste - wow - an orval ipa - it works so well - the funk of the brett stands out and cuts through all other flavors bitter fruity hops and sweet malt

mouthfeel - medium body decent carbonation - smooth and creamy - could have used more bite

overall - one if not the best belgian ipa i have had - i can only knock it .5 for price @ 15 a bottle and mouthfeel - but i would gladly buy another bottle when the newest batch comes out this year

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2012 05:14:25 | More by jsh420
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a glowing citrus yellow and orange color, with tons of haziness. Pretty.

Amazing chunky brett and citrus hop aroma. Simcoe and Citra all over this one. And the Simcoe doesn't dominate with its uber bitterness either. Soft touches. Really get the plethora of hop smells all over the place from simple grapefruit, to tropical, to piney.

Same with the taste. Lots of bretty goodness, lots of citric hop tastes, perfect amount of bitterness, lightly sour, not overpowering the hop quotient here. Has almost a chardonnay or white wine like aspect to it from the spritziness. Hid the alcohol quite well. Everything just melds so nicely, great interplay.

The most unique dipa I've ever tasted. And not just unique, its f'n awesome. Don't know how belgian it is, the yeast certainly doesn't seem belgianesque, and the hops are definitely west coast stylee.

Pricey, I mean, the beer just nailed it, but still half point deduction for the price.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2011 18:11:51 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of falc0n2600
falc0n2600

California

4.74/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow! Wow wow wow. I had never had an Anchorage beer before but had heard good things, but this beer impressed the hell out of me. I'm a fan of brett and this beer, a Belgian IPA with brett, is definitely dominated by the funkiness. It's missing the harsh, leathery aspects of a lot of other brett beers and is instead light and fluffy. The color is amazing, bright and straw-colored. So unbelievably tasty, with rich citrus flavors, a bit of oakiness, but mostly that brett. Even at $15/bottle I would gladly have as many as I could drink.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2013 22:16:41 | More by falc0n2600
Photo of mudbug
mudbug

Oregon

4.73/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From the C&C Bottle (Batch number one) into a Tulip results in a slightly hazy orange body with a huge frothy, rocky head that ever so slowly settles into what looks like rounded icebergs, thick lacing sticks all over the sides, very pretty indeed!
Oh boy this one has aroma in spades, you don't have to get anywhere near the glass. Wet hay, roses, grapefruit, lemons. Not subtle in the least, mouthwatering and pungent.
Taste is complex to say the least, an astringent bitterness upfront lemon peel,grapefruit rind, unsalted cracker, the funk is subdued with a pleasant wet hay earthiness. just a hint of white wine and oak. A long lingering slightly sour bitterness ends it all, but makes you want more.
Did I mention the aroma? Oh boy I could just sniff this all night.
Juicy, what alcohol?
A Masterpiece!
Edit for 2013 edition. Perfect and consistent in every way. This is no one off wonder, it's the real deal!

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 00:02:29 | More by mudbug
Photo of ppohio
ppohio

Illinois

4.73/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch #2, June 2012. Had this beer in the fridge since June, so a little over a year of age on it.

The beer pours just cloudy with a white fluffy head. Aroma has citrus, lemon, and floral funk from the brett. Despite being a year old there is a significant and wonderful hop bitterness to the beer, and the brett has built up with age. The alcohol is balanced by present. There is a lot of carbonation in the form of aggressive, tiny bubbles, but that didn't bother me in terms of drinkability. Medium body that is never syrupy which can be an issue in double IPAs. Flavor has orange and lemon peel, spices (couldn't mistake this for anything but a belgian beer), brett yeast, and still a bit of pine/resin. It is quite dry, and absolutely delicious. There is a ton to work through in both aroma and flavor of this beer, but unfortunately it tastes so damn good that you'll be hard pressed to take your time.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2013 04:55:23 | More by ppohio
Photo of caskstrength
caskstrength

Minnesota

4.72/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stumbled on to a few bottles of this. I didn't realize it's the work of the ex-Midnight Sun lead brewer until I looked it up here. I hear he did some good stuff there.

Pours light yellow, generous white carbonation, pretty cloudy. Looks good.

I'm still trying to figure out the smells. Lemon, grapefruit, funk, orange peels. Belgian yeast-like flavors subtly weaved into the above mentioned things.

Tastes even better. Quite complex. Bitter citrus, lemon, orange, hay, yeast, earth. Damn, this is crazy tasty. Each sip is different, so much going on. I can't figure this all out. Wine barrels, triple fermentation, brett additions. Seems it was worth the fuss.

Dry mouthfeel, bites with bitter, pithy things. Enough sweetness to balance.

Wow. It's fun to find a beer that takes you where you've never been.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2011 23:22:09 | More by caskstrength
Photo of daledeee
daledeee

Iowa

4.71/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A 750 ml bottle.

Poured into a chalice. Great bright yellow or gold with lots of bubbles. Nice white head and lacing.

Nose is yeast and citrus. Nice and fresh smelling but yet funky.

Taste...well taste treat. Plenty of grapefruit. I specially like the mix of grapefruit, brett and Belgian yeast. This beer is truly unique. The tastes are not overpowering and in your face like some IPA but the flavor lingers for some time on your palate. Mouth feel is beautifully crisp and clean. I would never guess this has 9%.

Truly a fine beer. I am sad they are only brewing this once. Everything I have had from these folks has been a taste treat. I can honestly say this brew is unique to anything else I have tried.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2013 01:45:53 | More by daledeee
Photo of oceanman907
oceanman907

Alaska

4.71/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured into by Deschutes Tulip, Brewed May 2013

Well I have had the Bitter Monk Before many a time but I am finally reviewing it since I just polished off a bottle and man is it as good as I remember. I like my DIPAs to be a bighter color than the typical burnt orange/ haziness of many and this beer has a beautiful sunshine yellow/ brassy hue w/ ridiculous head retention (I'm talking over an hour and there was still a rim on my friends glass). But the smell of this beer is truly heavenly for a hop head, it starts out with that brett sour apple turning into barnyard scent which is then replaced by grapefruit, passion fruit, mango, hop phenols and finishes with a hit of oaky leather. The taste is just as good brett flavors are forward with a center of this beer is pure hoppy goodness, with a lingering barrel finish that is very very dry. This dryness was amazing for the taste but did hurt the feel of the beer slightly and it could have been more carbonated (the top did fly off though...) all in all hard to find fault with this one a great beer that really is proud to represent the style of Belgian IPA, god Gabe is good....

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2013 11:36:50 | More by oceanman907
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hopsbreath

Oregon

4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up at Beaumont Market in Portland, Oregon for $13. Taking my time, and pouring by parts into a Meyer's Duvel tulip, I managed to drink the whole 75cl bottle over the span of a couple hours. I didn't see this information in the other reviews so here's some bottle flash: "Ale brewed with Apollo, Citra, and Simcoe hops. Dry hopped in the barrel with Citra hops. TRIPLE FERMENTED - First in the tank with a belgian yeast, second in french oak chardonnay barrels with brett, and finally in the bottle with a third yeast for natural carbonation. Batch #1 July/2011"

A: Slightly hazy guava in the glass, huge rocky white head, lots of clumpy lacing. Are you not entertained?! About as appetizing as a beer can look. 5/5

S: Brighter citrus consisting of lemon and lime, some nice wood, Brett earth in full display, and a definite grapiness. I honestly didn't know that this was done in wine barrels before the pour, so I checked the label to see if Nelson Sauvin hops were used. Nope, French Oak Chardonnay. The wine is easily appreciated. 4/5

T: Out of left field this suddenly becomes quite the DIPA. The nose promised a complex beer but the taste is pungent and aggressive with the hops right out of the gate. Big citrus and deep bitterness truly define tongue numbing. Only after going back for a sip or two can the earthiness and spice really be singled out and only then by thinking about it. I've used the term grapefruit frequently in the past when describing IPA's, but this is the truest representation I've ever had of eating a segment of the fruit, membrane and all. Even the long tingly bitter finish is intact. I think it's best to consider the taste as the sum of it's parts rather than individual components. The hops lend the great bitterness and citrus, the brett gives a true earthiness that can only be found in pith, the wine barrels further enhance the organic nature of raw grapefruit. I say again, this is grapefruit in a glass. As simple as that sounds, this is remarkable and unique. 5/5

M: Full, astringent, quaffable, and bone dry. 5/5

O: A stunner of a beer. The second beer I've had from Anchorage and the second home run as well. The brewer's talent seems incredible. The grapefruit segment I described in the flavor could be a happy accident but that just seems too uncanny to be chance. This beer was designed to be that way and that just might be the most impressive thing about it. I don't like Belgian IPA's. It doesn't matter this time though because Bitter Monk is in a league of it's own. Find me a valid comparison. I don't believe it exists. 4.5/5

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2011 03:33:27 | More by hopsbreath
Photo of flannelman808
flannelman808

California

4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Update-Great not epic-
This is loosing much of the citra contribution as it's aging. What is left behind, while good, is more akin to a belgian strong golden and not a belgian/american dipa. Still complex, still quite good, but not the mammoth it is for the first month or so. But who knows, in a year maybe this Mother goes sour. boom goes the dynomite.
...but the first 1-2 months are the truth.

A: Pale murky orange colored brew, topped with a near true white head. Perfect sea foam lacing clings to a glass it should not be able to. Retention is quite good as well.

S: Oh my god. This smells amazing! Grapefruit and other citrus (tart tangerine) notes are very pronounced, Sour grapes and just a hint of oak follow. The nose suggest that this stuff could be sour.

T: This is BY FAR the best beer of it's style available today. A fruit salad of bitter citrus rinds blend into a spicy complex and astringent mix of flavors. The oak is present in a drying sense which is always a good thing. Flavors which just boarder on acidic accompany the lot in an a way which compliments everything else. The finish is extremely long (and remarkably bitter).

M: Long finishing sticky and carbonic.

O: I'm stunned by this beer. It is truly a beer to search for and an instant classic for me. I dare say I wouldn't mind aging a bottle for a year or more as well to see if that brett changes things things over time. Epic.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2011 22:15:35 | More by flannelman808
Photo of kkipple
kkipple

South Carolina

4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From Green's on Piney Grove, that bane of my wallet. Shared with no one, and poured into a big Tripel Karmeliet glass one autumn night just after another birthday. Bottle has a wealth of information and reads: Batch #, July/2011. The cork releases with a very loud pop. Here we go.

A. Dusty pale gold, a fine finger tall white foam which never falters over an hour of drinking. Minor lace - but the eternal head is impressive and quite worth nothing.

S. Good heavens. Very Allagash Little Big Beer. Massive pungent tart-ester sharpness, acidic, loads of bitter green hops, Brett, pineapple-citrus, a hint-o-funk, lemongrass, lactic, hot alcohol, unripe apple, Citra hops, phenolic, (if you want to get boring)... and the Chardonnay...!!! Ultimately a tad more hop forward, but this works together extremely well. Aggressive, complex, balanced, unusual, fun. Top marks. Memorable.

T. Woah... this is a BIG DEAL. Think of a super amped up & drier Raging Bitch, but with a better, less distracting and more Belgian hop profile. Never mind the Citra, this just works. Meanwhile, the Chardonnay / oak combo is doing yeoman's work on my tastebuds and the Brett adds more complexity to an already stunningly ambitious brew. Lots of grapefruit, but always in context. There is very strong white wine flavor here, which absolutely works for me, and the dryness of the beer is pronounced even more by the highly bitter (but NOT medicinal or abrasive) hop presence. This is a superbly crafted beer that never goes too loud on one channel, although if you don't like lots of lingering bitterness and white wine this will probably not be your thing. It is mine.

M / O. Frankly the mouthfeel is dead on. Perfect, soft carbonation aids a dry, wine-heavy beer that has an everlasting finish of rolling leafy hop bitters and dry oak, with that sour, fun Brettanomyces and wine combination that I am just loving. You know there is booze here, but with something this delicious, who cares?

Bitter Monk is admittedly an odd beer, but if the stars align and you like:

Belgian IPAs
Big, bitter DIPAs with American Hops
Complex, sour beer (Jolly Pumpkin, Fantome)
Oak and White Wine

Then you will be transported to the Seventh Heaven of Beer. At some level, this stuff becomes very subjective.

Let me wrap up. My fascination with this beer stems from the fact that I know this sort of triple-fermented, barrel aged, funk-ified beer is extremely hard to get right and in balance, but frankly, Anchorage has just nailed it here. This is a beer that swings for the fences and connects with a Grand Slam. Know what you are getting into before laying down your $15 bucks, but if you can dig it, you will dig it deep.

Bottom line: One of the best new beers I've had in 2011, and instantly makes me want to buy more Anchorage beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 00:46:20 | More by kkipple
Photo of mrand01
mrand01

New Jersey

4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Opaque amber/orange with about 1/2" of thick white head. Decent retention with hardly any lacing.

S: Lemons, citrus fruits, a little funk. Hops are hardly in the nose here, but it smells amazing.

T: Whoa. This one starts out sour and zesty and takes a quick turn to the citrus hops. The oak from the chardonnay barrels really comes through, with the wine notes melding with the hops perfectly. Amazingly complex.

M: A little sticky, medium bodied with sharp carbonation.

O: This beer is ridiculously good. Who would have thought a sour IPA would be a good idea?

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2011 00:09:56 | More by mrand01
Photo of helmstreet
helmstreet

Kentucky

4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a tulip glass.

Cloudy, light orange body topped by a thick, rocky white head that falls quickly. The citrusy hop aroma slips into piney, grassy farm notes where the line between Brett and hop blurs. The high carbonation makes it almost chewy. As it moves from lips to throat there's a great balance of malt and hops with lemony flavors becoming bready then slightly briney, leaving a dry aftertaste that's half sour half bitter. You can feel the oak in your jowls. This is a complex beer--simply wonderful.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2011 20:25:38 | More by helmstreet
Photo of pixieskid
pixieskid

Germany

4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

IMO Anchorage Brewing Company is off to a killer start, this thing is incredible. I wish I could say it was totally original but it is rather reminiscent of Mikkeller's Nelson Sauvignon...either way, well executed and very enjoyable!

Pours an orange hue with a solid 3 finger head. Dissipates slowly leaving a a small white head throughout the whole tasting.
Nose; woah! Tropical fruits; starfruit and mango, desert white wine, and a lingering citrus hop note.
Taste; pineapple, grapefruit, chardonay, oak, brett. This beer smells and tastes exactly as it is depicted on the bottle. Finishes with a dry mouthfeel and earthy/brettiness, balanced bitterness for the stated 100ibus.

Overall; I love this beer and at about half the price of Nelson Sauvignon (stateside, at least) this is a perfect concept beer that blends intense hoppiness and white wine tartness.

Congrats to Gabe Fletcher on his newest endeavor; so far so good...gonna go out and buy a bottle of Love Buzz this week!

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2011 01:18:05 | More by pixieskid
Photo of ngeunit1
ngeunit1

California

4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a hazy golden-orange color with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down very slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is full of citrus and tropical fruit hops with some grapefruit, orange, and pineapple, with some Belgian yeast, Brett, funk, lemon, and some oak.

T - Starts off with lots of citrus and tropical hops with some strong grapefruit, pineapple, and orange flavor and some bitterness alongside some Belgian yeast esters coming through. Though the middle, some light pine comes through with stronger bitterness, oak, and some Brett funkiness. The finish is a mix of citrus and tropical hops, bitterness, oak, Belgian yeast, Brett, and some funk.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate-plus carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry, bitter, and funky finish.

D - Very drinkable. The combination of DIPA level of hops, Belgian yeast, Brett, and some oak aged barrel aging comes together to create a complex and very well balanced beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2012 05:25:59 | More by ngeunit1
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Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 730 ratings.