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Bitter Monk - Anchorage Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bitter MonkBitter Monk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

228 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 228
Hads: 868
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 7.36%
Wants: 376
Gots: 104 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Anchorage Brewing Company visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: sprucetip on 08-26-2011

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 228 | Hads: 868
Photo of champ103
3.06/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours nearly perfectly clear. A bit of haze forms. A two finger white head forms with excellent retention. Lots of spiderweb looking lace is left all the way down the glass.
S: Very soapy hops up front. Almost dish detergent like. Very phenolic, grassy, spicy, citrusy. Lots of hops.
T: Again lots of hops. Soapy, slick, resiny. Plenty of grassy hops. Alcohol and bitterness in the finish.
M/D: A medium body. Sticky, soapy, resiny, oily. There is heat from the alcohol, but not over barring. Still a slow sipper.

Certainly enjoyably. Just to much soapy hops for my liking. I wish more barrel and Bretty yeast would come out. A one time purchase. (650 characters)

Photo of kscaldef
3.18/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Foams aggressively in my tulip. The big, fluffy white head has good retention and nice lacing. Pleasing golden color.

S: Some really intriguing herbal notes.. thyme and lavender? Some earthy wet dog notes. Warms up to more traditional Belgian aromas, clove, bubblegum

T: Starts with some floral hop flavors, then finishes bitter and herbal, with a real linger in the back of the mouth. Reminiscent of wormwood in the finish. A little sweetness in the front and mid-palate.

M: Dry and astringent. Medium-high carbonation. After a glass, I'm starting to get a post-nasal drip sort of feeling in the back of my throat... not particularly pleasant.

O: I wasn't much of a fan of this while still cold. (First pour was 30 minutes after removing from the fridge.) The first 8 oz or so were pretty harsh. After forgetting about it for a while and letting it warm up, it gets better, although never to something I'd consider great. At the price, I wouldn't buy it again. (968 characters)

Photo of claspada
3.38/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright hazy ripe lemon yellow with 2 inches of fluffy/bubbly white head that slowly recedes leaving sticky soapy/bubbly lacing along the goblet.

Aromas begin with a ton of sour citrus smells, could be hops and/or could be Brett yeast. Further examination leads me to believe it is the Brett as the sourness become more predominant. In the background you get some tropical and citrus hops but the Brett owns the show here. Lighter earthy/oakiness continues to emerge as well.

After the aromas the tastes are a bit surprising. The flavors are more akin to a DIPA than a Belgian Brett sour beer. Lots of bitter pithy lemony citrus and grapefruit hops initially assault the palate. As it warms you get a little more of the underlying vinous white grape, pear and lighter generic sour Brett flavors. Just like the nose the earthy and oaky flavors emerge as you continue to sip. Extreme bitterness dominates the show however and takes away from the delicate flavors imparted from the barrel and the Brett that I wish were more in the forefront.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium to higher carbonation. Finish is quite bitter, which is expected for 100 IBU, but the Brett sourness helps to balance the intensely bitter citrus hops. Finish is dry as as bone thanks to the ample hopping and Brett yeast fermentation. As it warms the bitterness becomes way too overbearing for me to enjoy and the Brett loses the balance that existed when it was at a slightly cooler temperature.

Overall this was definitely an experience for sure. The flavors and aromas were so contradictory and yet complemented each other quite well. My only issue was that I wish I consume this during the warmer months as I would have enjoyed it much more on a nice warm day. If you love sour beers and really bitter DIPAs you will love this. If you dislike either pass. I am on the fence as I like both but I think I prefer them separate. Still a high quality beer as this obviously took a lot of thought and care to craft such an intricate brew. If you can afford the elevated price tag, it's worth a go. (2,098 characters)

Photo of beerhan
3.4/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle thanks to match1112 .

I had slightly higher expectations for this one but needless to say it was good and I respect it but I was not that into this beer.

A-Golden orange with a sticky white lacing and a big head.

S-Smells very oaky and a bit of oranges. Some pine and grape.

T-Very barrel forward to say. The chardonnay barrel treatment really shines through and is just a little too overpowering. This really is not an IPA but some sort of hybrid between like a saison and something else.

M-Nice carbonation that really allows the flavors to shine through.

O-This beer was good but I was not that into it. It is pretty drinkable for what it is but i think it is a one try beer for me. (705 characters)

Photo of bishopdc0
3.49/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared a bottle with my wife. This beer is golden straw colored with a big big white head. Beautiful

The nose is mainly brett, sour with a citrus freshness in the back I want more but only because of all the possibilities, belgiana. Brett, hops barrals

Don't be fooled this is all sour starts light and refreshing great mouth . The flavor of hops come in, I'm not able to distinguish which overall finish bitter earthiness. (427 characters)

Photo of MADhombrewer
3.49/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml cork and caged bottle poured into a HOTD tulip. Bottle is dated batch #1 July 2011

Appearance- Nice light orange color with a beautiful white head. Lacing is all over the place. 4.5/5

Smell- A funky orange aroma is the first thing I smell. Bits of grassy hops as well. 3/5

Taste- Belgian yeast with lots of citrus hop flavor. Lots going on here. Alcohol hits you pretty fast. Big bitterness that evens in the end. There is a small sourness that the brett imparts. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel- Very even mouthfeel. 4/5

Overall- Good beer. I can see why everyone is loving this. I don't know if the Belgian IPA style is really my thing. Maybe it is the brett that is turning me off slightly. 3.5/5 (694 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
3.52/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to dogbones for the bottle!

Poured a bright yellow/orange with a huge frothy white head. Good lacing down the glass and lots of bubbles.

The overpowering aroma is a pleasant dry white wine. Oakiness, some citrus zest and just a touch of the brett shine through.

There is quite a bit going on in the flavor and it's different than the nose. The wine comes through much less here although there are still some wine notes with a moderate amount of oak. A bit of a citrus burst, but this really doesn't taste like 100 IBU's. The character I get most of the spicy Belgian yeast which slightly overpowers all the other flavors which I'd probably like better. I do like the slight brett undertone though.

Good mouthfeel and pretty solid carbonation.

A little disappointed by this one especially after the appearance and aroma. The Belgian yeast cuts through all the other flavors and I'm not a huge fan of Belgian yeast in a lighter ale. Very complex and definitely interesting, but just an ok taste. (1,005 characters)

Photo of SFLpunk
3.63/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Purchased at Winooski Beverage Warehouse. $14. 750mL brown glass cork and caged bottle. No date (lowers my over-all score).

Pours a hazy golden color with thick bleach-white head. Very foamy, presumably from the brett. Nose is dominated by brett, woody, a little fruity, a touch earthy, but somewhat honeyed. Palate is low in carbonation, and prickly with alcohol, bitterness and drying funk. Lemon rind, woody texture, pale honey sweetness, and funk.

Notes: As with most Funkified IPAs, the brett takes over the beer and overrides the hoppy characteristics. (560 characters)

Photo of zoolzoo
3.68/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy, lighter side of golden...almost straw colored. Huge white white head, quickly forming. Sticky lacing, lots of rings.

S: Lemony funk, brett - plopped right down on some citric hop flare. More funk than anything else...yeasty, peppery.

T: All of the traits described on the bottle except the DIPA part make the biggest initial showing. Brett is prominent, along with a suggestion of lemony citric qualities than I cannot attribute to hops. Big part of a wild ale up front. A strong bitterness emerges mid sip which begins to hint toward the base beer under all the funky stuff. Citric hop qualities are muted. This is sort of a Belgian IPA gone crazy, or something.

M: Medium body, high amount of carbonation. Very lively on the tongue.

O: Good. Kind of all over the place, though interesting. I personally dont think brett sits well within an IPA. You might disagree. (880 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.7/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For a Belgian IPA, this definitely touches what I like for the style. There are numerous detractors though. First off, it seems a bit boozy. There just seems to be interference on the delivery of flavor. And it's kind of soapy. Eh. I've had a really intense day and I don't feel like getting into this. I've had better Belgian IPAs; recently even. This beer is "okay", but not really working for me much beyond that. (416 characters)

Photo of mrandypandy
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml caged and corked bottle purchased on my current trip to Oregon. Poured into a clear plastic hotel cup. Classy.

A - Pours a very hazy orange, medium white head that leaves decent lacing. Lots of bubbles/carbonation visible.
S - The brett funkyness really comes through in the nose, with a fruity citrus character for good measure. There is something else I can't put my finger on... bubblegum perhaps?
T - Not as potent as the armoa leads this up to be. Citrus hops leads the way with an earthy barnyard quality in the finish. No oak, no chardonnay, nothing really "belgian" either. Strong bitterness.
M - Strange. I was expecting a much bigger body on this, but it's very light and thin. Watery almost. Good carbonation though.
O - Good, but not great. I was expecting more of the brett and belgian aspects to stand in the forefront, but the IPA and bitterness is what leads from the beginning. No real detection of the oak or chardonnay. However, I would certainly like to toss one in the cellar for a while just to see how it changes over time. Plus, I did seem to enjoy it more as I worked through the bottle... (1,122 characters)

Photo of ummswimmin
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a very interesting twist on a double IPA. It looks like a belgian, but you get a lot of the hoppiness in the smell.

You also smell some sour from the belgian presence in this beer. The chardonnay presence in the smell was a little weird.

The taste is very good. You get the hoppy presence from some very different hop types. It was a little different than what you would expect from the double IPA. This is tempered by the belgian flavor. The chardonnay does a good job.

So, why not a higher taste score? This beer runs into a wall as it warms. In the same way that a warm chardonnay is undrinkable, this beer needs to stay chilled. When warm, you get a ton of wine flavor and bitterness.

This was a very good beer. Share it with a friend to avoid getting it to warm. (780 characters)

Photo of bmwats
3.79/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a footed tulip.

A: Hazy golden-orange hue. Pours about a finger and half, bubbly white head. Settles pretty quickly. Peak and valley lacing.

S: Hay and wheat prominent. A little citrus, and coriander.

T: Hoppy, yeasty, and bitter. Slight tinge of citrus, sweetness, and spice.

M: Light body, dry bitter finish.

D: Sip and enjoy. The character will dictate it.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Interesting hue, nice head, and some solid lacing. Nose is hay and wheat with fruit and spice components. Yeasty and hoppy with citrus and spice. Overall, this is a pretty good quaff. (609 characters)

Photo of nataku00
3.8/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a golden color with a slight haze to it, with three fingers of pillowy frothy snow white head. Head dissipates after a few minutes, leaving a lot of sticky lacing to an even thin layer of foam along the surface. Plenty of small bubble carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

Nose is interesting, definitely getting a bit of brettanomyces funk, wet earthiness, combined with some lemon peel, fresh pine and herbal notes. Some sweetness as well, probably from the yeast, fruity esters like green apple, pear, along with some biscuit malts.

Taking a sip, pine and earthy hop bitterness, with a tongue numbing amount of citrus, lemon and grapefruit peel. Mild funk comes through mid tongue, wet soil like. Not much malt on the tongue as it gets assaulted with more bitter astringent hops through to the very dry finish. Lingering bitter citrus and herbal hop bitterness on the tongue, staying for several minutes. This is a bigger hop bomb than many DIPA's I've tried.

Light body with some zesty but refreshing carbonation, but not enough to keep the tongue clean of the massive hops. Alcohol is well hidden, but this is a bit of a sipper due to the amount of hop bitterness. An interesting beer, but this may be overly bitter for my palate as it overwhelms much of the yeast and malt character that a Belgian IPA should have on the tongue. (1,402 characters)

Photo of McD0uche
3.85/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on 10.21.2012, from bottle to pint glass.

A: A nice golden color that is more orange in the middle of the glass and more yellow around the edges. After the pour, a nice two-finger head blew up and lived for a good while before disappearing. Lacing is pronounced.

S: Lemon, grapefruit, hops, earthy malts, and some grassy floral undertones. A little funkiness here and there.

T: Earthy malts typical in Belgians, with fruits, hops, and grassy/floral notes mixed in typical of IPAs. Starts sweet and ends with a bitter taste that lingers on the tongue.

M: Medium/light bodied, with the perfect amount of carbonation. Nothing overpowering or unpleasant.

O: This was good to me, and I'm not really a big fan of Belgians. (730 characters)

Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.85/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a beautiful cloudy golden yellow. There is a big puffy two fingers of white head that dissipates slowly.

S: This beer is full of fun scents. I'm picking up brett, lemon zest, floral esters, wine characteristics, and a really mellow Belgian yeast sweetness. It's an incredible complex and intriguing aroma.

T: The fist blast is candy sweetness and lemony hops. Following quickly is the unmistakable brett. Next, I get blasted with huge bitters (probably from the chardonnay wine barrel treatment). I actually think this beer falls short in the finish. It's way too bitter.

M: Medium bodied beer. It starts of wet (for about a second) and finishes super dry, desert dry.

O: I think the look and smell of this beer are amazing, but the taste falls a bit short for my liking. I'm not a big fan of the ultra dryness of this beer either. But overall, it's still a decent brew. (883 characters)

Photo of suspect
3.88/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Duvel Tulip. Split with my brother-in-law.

A: Bright golden color - relatively aggressive pour leads to a 2 finger head. Hazy, not clear.

S: Funk. Barnyard, funky, feet and some light malt flavor as well. We couldn't come up with why it smelled like feet and then we realized it was the Brett.

T: Brett rules. It's such a nice combination of funky barnyard, citrus zest and hoppy bitter mixed all in together.

M: Light body, nice carbonation.

O: Easy drinker, funky ass brett. I love this yeast when done well...this is middle of the pack Brett beer, which makes it excellent. (614 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
3.88/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a medium-sized Duvel tulip.

A: Clear gold body under an inch of creamy white head. Good retention, plenty of lace. Very nice.

S: Hops + brett. Citrus, dry hay, and more generic herbal indulgence. Powerful without a doubt, but somehow less than great.

T: Follows the nose: grapefruit, spruce, orange, hay, and bitterness. Very dry, very bitter, and very tasty.

M: Lively, frothy medium body. Creamy and nice.

O: This was enjoyable, but nowhere near $20 enjoyable. Surprisingly enough, it was my least favorite Anchorage beer I've tried (behind Whiteout Wit and Love Buzz). I won't be buying any more of their beers at such a price point, but would certainly recommend them as being worth trying once.

Cheers! (733 characters)

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.88/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle with a hazy golden amber with a two finger white head that sticks around for a while and leaves a large amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is strong brett funk, some lemon zest, mango, grapefruit, and pineapple. The initial taste has a hint of sweetness with some funky oak flavors and lemon zest. Then the pineapple and mango come through. The finish has a good bitterness with some brett funk. The finish is quite dry. Overall a really smooth beer. Bitterness is a bit much, but afterall.. it is in the name. Interesting beer for sure. (557 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
3.9/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pour is lightly hazed golden yellow with a white head and some bubbles. Nose has a strong clementine citrus and pineapple, strong perfume aroma, and a fair bit of lightly tanged yeast. Taste is also huge tropical fruits, light bitterness in the finish. Lots of pineapple, clementine orange, tangy yeast. Lighter perfume with a moderately bitter finish, quite dry in the finish. (377 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
3.92/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into an Allagash cervoise glass. Batch #2 (June 2012).

A: Pours begrudgingly, glugging out of the small opening. A finger of churning, solid white head. The beer is milky, cloudy, pale, and lightly opaque. Some visible carbonation.

S: Plentiful, bitter, American hops. Solid IPA, but so far, nothing special.

T: Hmm. Interesting. The Brett is noticeable, but dampened (perhaps by oak aging?). There is substantial carbonation that helps to (only somewhat) cut the bitterness. Definitely 100+ IBUs. As it warms, it expands, and more of the Citra-Chardonnay fruitiness comes to the fore. I enjoy this.

M: Wood-dry, spicy, carbonated, and engaging.

O: I don't know...the holistic production didn't do it for me. Interesting -- good even -- but not particularly 'drinkable' and certainly not worth the price. (836 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber from Bierkraft. Pours up hazy fruity coloured body with a quarter inch of retained head. Funky aroma. It all works - the brett, the barreling with fruity nuances, the hopping. Easy mouthfeel and a pleasant drinker, as I finished it all over an hour's lunch. (264 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
3.96/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Pours a hazy dark yellow with a big fluffy wihite head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is a lot of brett and musty yeast with old fruits and bread. Some dirty sock comes out as it warms.

The flavor is a lot of brett with some old fruit and bready malt. There's a decent amount of bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, I like it. The best Beligan IPA I've had. i like the use of Brett instead of traditional Belgian yeast. It also has good noticeable bitterness. Only downside is price at $17 a bottle. (597 characters)

Photo of farrago
3.96/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a big, three plus finger head of loosely knit foam, bleached white, its airy nature causes it to sizzle off at a steady pace, at the same time the lacing is wispy and even fluffy but that lasts a good long time. The gauziness to the liquid teases out some deepening orange hues to the base yellow, not many bubbles, somewhat flat visual appearance. The nose has a fresh directness to it, white grapefruit energizing pear, apple, and peach fruit scents, only lightly herbal, salt and pepper, dried bread crust, has a sourness to it and cleaner than expected, zips in and zips out. Medium-bodied, the carbonation never quite catches so it stays soft and does not percolate as it might otherwise. Cinnamon, nutmeg sprinkled on top of pear, apricot, peach, pineapple fruit. The white grapefruit, lemon citrus by far the most aggressive element, and here the grassiness turned up a notch, contributes to its overall sourness. Floral, notes of quinine and saline. Becomes more dry through the finish, has earthiness but, again, of a clean nature, no real funk. Glides well and there’s no rough spots at all. About as quaffable as one might expect from such a brew. (1,166 characters)

Photo of match1112
3.98/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a hazy golden yelow with a georgeous three finger bright white head that never really goes away, just settles to a frothy cap with tons of sticky lacing. smell is amazing. there is sweet malts and hops mixed with the funk of brett and topped off with a nice chardonnay aroma. taste is also pleasing, you get all the flavors that the nose picked up, and they blend beautifuly. mouthfeel is that of a medium bodied creamy feel with nice level of carbonation. you also have a long dry bitter finish from the 100 ibu's. overall i really like this beer, but i think it would be better if they toned down the ibu's and turned this dipa into a saison. (650 characters)

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Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 228 ratings.