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Bitter Monk | Anchorage Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
96
world-class
257 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
257
Ratings:
979
Avg:
4.34
pDev:
18.89%
 
 
Wants:
414
Gots:
124
For Trade:
8
Bitter MonkBitter Monk
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anchorage Brewing Company
Alaska, United States | website

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

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

Added by sprucetip on 08-26-2011

User Reviews
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Reviews: 257 | Ratings: 979
Photo of jrenihan
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #3, May 2013. From the description on the bottle, it appears that this beer no longer uses Simcoe hops- just Citra and Apollo.

Cloiudy golden with a large white head. Head fades steadily, but not totally, leaving a decent white head that does not go away. A bit of lace.

Amazing smell. Lots of tart-cherry Brett scents, along with lots of bright fruits and citrus. Pineapple, orange, green grape and more. Also a nice oak scent. Divine!

Taste is not as incredible as the nose (how could it be?), but is very nice. The Brett is strong, providing cherry and a lot of dry funk. The oak is also strong, particularly on the finish. The hops provide a nice range of fruit flavours, with the Citra standing out: pineapple, grapefruit and tangerine. There is a noticeable wine flavour from the Chardonnay barrels. The Belgian yeast is there, but is not dominant for me- the Brett overtakes it. Finish is quite bitter and dry.

Full bodied, moderate carbobation. Astringent, seriously dries the mouth.

Overall, terrific. The mixture of Brett and Citra is lovely. I find the Belgian aspect of the beer to not be a focus- comes across more like a Bretty American IPA, because the Citra is so much stronger than the Belgian yeast. Whatever you call it, it is delicious, and one of the best smelling beers I have ever encountered.

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Photo of ppohio
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

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Photo of Kuaff
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I found a bottle of this stuff the very same day it arrived. My bottle appears to be from batch number three, from May of this year. Glass: snifter. Temperature: cellar.

I am presented with two fingers of white fluff above an almost totally opaque golden straw color. Very, exceedingly cloudy. Looks kind of like liquid gold.

Oooooh, GOOD smell. INTENSE lemon and grapefruit, honey, fruity champaign, a bit of the hop scent of your typiccal DIPA, and a hint of pine. Woah!

It tastes sort of like lemon juice at first... acidic, sour, and sweet. Then the DIPA elements come in Substantial hop flavor and some bitter pine. It finishes with the same satisfying, biscuity aftertaste of some of my favorite DIPAs. I also feel like I just sucked on a lemon wedge, haha. I am thoroughly entertained by this ale. I might mention that it doesn't taste NEARLY as bitter as the 100 IBUs attributed to it would indicate. The sweet Belgian characteristics disguise the bitterness, much like the monk's robe.

It's got the typically spritzy carbonation of a Belgian ale. Feels right on.

Another imaginative triumph from Anchorage Brewing Company. It really IS equal parts Belgian ale and DIPA. I experienced the duality myself. Jeez, ABC should really expand their distribution and make their offerings easier to find, 'cause pretty much everything I've tried from them this year has been totally unique and at LEAST somewhat mind-blowing, if not mind-exploding.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed out of a brown 750 mL bottle marked "JULY 2011", which is the only time this one was brewed, as far as I know. That seems to be the modus operandi for Anchorage.

Appearance - Aggressive pour yields a frothy orangish cream head of lots of tiny bubbles, one finger thick. Lacing is silky and fleeting after head sticks around for a little while, but eventually fades into a healthy layering of spotty foam on top of the beer.

Smell - A full two years after the bottling date, the brett has made itself quite at home in this bottle. Brett funk and tartness dominate the nose, but still allow for veins of citrus zest to shine through unexpectedly but pleasantly.

Taste - Again, the barnyard funk is on full display here. In addition to that yeasty characteristic, there is a pretty detectable flavor profile from the Chardonnay barrels--some dry grape elements, as well as oaky vanilla undertones.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation has fallen off a little bit in two years, but not terribly. Light but close to moderate with a medium body that is slightly on the chewy side.

Overall, a beer that I've been seeking for the better part of six months, due to how much I love everything that comes out of Anchorage it seems. This one isn't my favorite of their offerings, but it's darn close, and it's one that I really wish I could have tried fresh. It seems like the time has allowed the balance to flip from hop dominant with brett elements to the inverse.

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Photo of SSEngelbrecht
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A: This beer pours deep golden orange with two fingers of foamy head typical for brett beers.

S: The smell is hard for my to pin down. I get citrus fruit, funky brett, and chardonnay.

T: The complex flavors belie the hard (for me) to decipher aroma. I tasted tangerine on the first sip, and then more lemon and white grape. the farmhouse funk is there in force, balanced nicely by the bitter hops. There's more going on here than I can accurately describe.

M: this is a light/medium bodied beer with effervescent bubbles. It is crisp and refreshing.

O: I'm not generally a fan of this style, although I've had a bit of Rayon Vert that I loved. The category for Belgian style DIPA aged in chardonnay barrels is pretty slim (I think), but this beer is exceptional by any standard. It didn't convert me to brett beers, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and I learned some things by drinking it.

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Photo of DucksFan16
4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Re-rate on 02/05/2016. Poured from a growler that was filled at the brewery about an hour prior. Served from a snifter glass. Almost perfect in every way. Absolutely outstanding DIPA, one of the best anywhere. My first time having this on tap.

Original rating years ago 4.5 (from bottle).

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle from June 2012 poured into a tulip

The carbonation is easy to see no matter how you pour this beer. Hazy lemony/orangy beer with a huge foamy white head almost like bath soap. The head dissipates quickly but can be easily regained with a swirl.

The nose is intoxicating. First you get the Citra hops, then some funky Belgian yeast, and you can get some orange and spiciness like a Saison as well. It really makes you want to continue smelling, but it's time to drink.

Almost every taste is different. It is such a fun beer to drink, but better to share. It became tough to tackle the entire 750 mL because it is such a big beer. The 9% is well hidden but the strong flavors attack the palate. I think this drinks like a Citra DIPA vs a Saison. You absolutely get the Chardonnay as it warms. I get the hop punch on the front end but it fades into the orange/spice notes. I'm sure some of this has to do with the nearly year old bottle but it held up magnificently. This beer would be a great 3 yr vertical as it is bottle conditioned. Worth seeking out especially for a bottle share.

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Photo of bmwats
3.79/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

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Photo of Rope
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is one of Anchorage's best ventures.

Appearance-
Pours out like a Belgian, but you see the hop oils dance with the last few drops.

Smell-
Exactly as advertised, a bitter pine front with a hint of that spicy Belgian yeast.

Taste-
Powerful, the hops stay with you front to end laced with the Belgian taste.

Mouthfeel-
Oil to coat your mouth, and protect you from freezing in your Alaskan study.

Overall-
Fondly remembered, greatly missed. It comes close to what I would call "a thinkin' beer", but retains an approachable quality.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.59/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured out as a hazy golden color with a thick white head, the retention is clumpy. The lacing is sticky. The smell of the beer gets better as the beer warms up. There are aromas of lemon citrus and orange, some subtle oak and Brett on the nose. The taste of the beer is sweet with a slight tart bitterness with hints of honey in there. The mouthfeel is carbonated pretty well. Still very drinkable on the smoother side. Overall this is excellent. Really really good stuff.

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Photo of cvm4
4.66/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a golden straw color with a lovely two finger eggshell head. The body is not translucent at all.

S - Very funky... Good amount of belgian yeast with a nice citrus aroma and the chardonnay barrels come out in full force.

T - Bitter, grapefruit, funk, belgian yeast with ever so tart dry white grapes in the end.

M - Medium bodied and high carbonation. Nice, crisp & dry finish.

O - A truly fantastic beer! Just wished the bottle was never ending.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.17/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

1731st Review on BA
Bottle to Pinot Noir Glass
750 Ml C/C

Batch 2
Purchased at El Cerrito Liquor

App- A glowing orange with a bit of a yellow and creme tinge behind it. A nice and puffy head. Cracky and puffy white head that faded very slowly. Great cling and lace behind it.

Smell- The Brett takes over and creates a nice funk blended with the hops and the yeast behind this one. Dry, hoppy, citrus and yeast. A great combination especially with the barrel aged wine behind it.

Taste- I liked this beer. I didnt get blown away by it, but I really enjoyed it. I think the price affected me. The beer itself was a very nice mixture of what I would say was a attempt at a very layered beer. Spot on Anchorage. Huge notes of the barrel come in, with the duality of the citrus and the dry tannic of the barrels they used. The DIPA flavor was a bit of a background noise with the Brett stealing the show.

Mouth- A solid medium body with a certain dry grassy feel to it. A bit of a cracker flavor remains with some funk, yeast and citrus zest to balance this all out really.

Drink- I paired this with artichokes, italian chicken and ravioli. Holy cow was that a good idea. Nice job anchorage. I was hesitant when this 1st came out. Glad the ticker in me had to tick this one.

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Photo of daledeee
4.67/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Photo of fdig23
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Beer Heaven in Philly

Appearance: Glowing cloudy golden orange with a perfect thin white head

Nose: Grapefruit jumps out of the glass followed by some caramel and farmyard undertones. Candied oranges and toasted bread are present as well.

Taste: Grapefruit juice flavor is up front followed by toasty bread, peaches, funky rotten apples, and a creamy vanilla note. Finishes with butterscotch oak and astringency like eating fresh grapefruit.

Mouthfeel: Very full and creamy, maybe a bit too much so.

Overall: Extremely delicious, drinkable, original, and unusual brew. Grapefruit forward hops, brett, and Chardonnay oak is a weird and wonderful combination. Definitely makes me want to try more from Anchorage.

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Photo of ccrida
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Bitter Monk is hazy gold with a huge white head leaving sticky lace.

Smell is very musty, very herbal, with sweet tropical fruits, marmalade.

Taste is bitter, herbal hops and lots of pineapple notes from the Brett. More must, a sharpness. Oranges. Pretty good, big BIPA, similar ABC profile.

Mouthfeel is oily but dry, very rustic, medium body.

Drinkability is pretty good, big flavors, but not as complex as the recipe and and barrel-blending suggest - as i often find with Brett.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Murky and hazy pale orange body. Big off-white head. Good retention.

Smell - Brett all over. Acidic notes and a lot of Belgian yeast. Pine hop profile isn't my favorite, but the Brett keeps it interesting.

Taste - Hops at first. Just a touch of sweetness before the Brett takes over. Surprisingly Bretty for how fresh the bottle is. A little tang in the back and quite a bit of bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Dry and bitter. A little harsh as a result. The Brett accentuates the bitterness in the finish.

Overall - Excellent beer. Bretted to hell, but well done. The hops manage to come through despite being a Brett bomb.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour: Hazy deep orange, with some pink hues mixed in. Nice three finger off white, fluffy, and soapy head. Super sticky, and leaves frothy lacing, and the head sticks around.

Smell: Pink lemonade first. Umm… wut? WOW. Next comes a nice bretty funk, followed by a nice lemon zest. Some bready yeast and a light spiciness, but the chard barrel really owns the nose.

Taste: Amazing! More pink lemonade up front, followed by a clean oak barrels. A nice brett funk sets in, a long with some hay and a light pear tartness. Some spicy red peppercorn comes along next, and I get more traces of the chard barrels. Finishes with clean peppercorn, pink lemonade, and brett.

Mouthfeel: Like LoveBuzz, this is heavier than one might expect. Super juicy, with such a huge taste, it has to be sipped. All the while, this beer maintains a nice refreshing drinkability. A light tartness, but only just.

Overall: Another winner from Anchorage… this brewery now has my full attention after this and LoveBuzz.

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Photo of Pinknuggets
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into a pint glass

A: really golden color almost yellow nice white to tan head like 2cm head completely opaque

S: orangey tropical fruit to start lots of floral fresh hops almost a little white winey and bitter malt to finish

T: lots of light hops you can taste the Brett immediately almost like a mix of wine champagne beer and I don't usually like those first two things but this is balanced perfectly there a citrusy malty finish with a smooth bitterness that lasts

M: it's clean and light which makes it very drinkable but I feel like it should have a little more carbonation for a better feel

O: I usually don't like this style but this is really well balanced and drinkable the Brett is actually a positive for me as it works really well solid beer would buy again

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.57/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy medium straw yellow in color with light amounts of visible carbonation near the surface. The beer has a two finger tall white head that reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of sourness/tartness from the brett with some barnyard funk over the top of clementine/tangerine citrus hops.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of pale malts with quite a bit of sourness/tartness from the brett. There are some lighter notes of barnyard funk and clementine/tangerine citrus hops which lend a light amount of bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Easy to drink as the high ABV is very well hidden and there is a very good balance to the flavors (not overly bitter or sweet) with the brett really enhancing the overall flavors of the beer. Great amounts of complexity to the smell and taste making it very enjoyable - definitely a great beer to sip on during football... Glad I got a second chance to have this one now that I have started reviewing (previously it was the best beer I had on New Year's Eve 2011 which included many nice beers).

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Photo of Pintofbrown
4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got bitter with my inner monk with a goblet.

Appearance- My pour results in a dense and pillowy white foam. It recedes slowly, and leaves behind a big ring of just as dense lace. The opaque, yeasty body goes from a bright lemon meringue to a darker copper. This offering looks like it came to dominate.

Smell- The brett comes through big time! This beer has a huge sour nose with a bit yeasty, barnyard scent. I cannot say I get any hop notes, maybe a little citrus underneath. It is hard to say.

Taste- Again, the brett really takes center stage in this beer. Unlike the nose, however, there a citrus-y note in mid-drink that manages to peak through the sourness. I also feel a little resin in the finish. This guy is sour all the way down!

Mouth feel- This beer has a big body and really sticks to the cheeks. I feel like for how well the bubbles have been harnessed, it could be a little less slick. Other than that, this big beer certainly feels big.

Overall- Even though I enjoyed this beer immensely, I am unsure that Bitter Monk lives up to the IPA moniker. The brett especially comes through strong in this beer with the hops being more of an after thought than a main player. I would have this again, maybe my bottle has just gotten too old to really showcase its hop forward potential.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.62/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very excited for this one.

A-Pours a hazy golden hue. Head is white and fluffy. Head retains perfectly. It leaves long serpents of lacing along the glass. Quite pretty. Body of the beer absolutely glows.

S-Goodness, what an aroma. Packed full of herbal, citrus and grassy hops. Quite a broad hop spectrum with plenty of exotic fruit. The hops are supplemented by a musty, dusty fog of Brett. Oh, how I love the Brett here. The Chardonnay barrel lends an obvious vinous quality and further intensifies the fruitiness. Just a beautiful aroma.

T-The flavor is amazing as well. The tropical hops begin the journey and then are immediately washed away by a bitter, coercive wave of grassy hops. The Brett follows the hops and lingers forever. They really melded the yeast and the hops with exquisite precision. The wine barrel sets in elegantly on the back end of the flavor resume. Just too many flavors to name…but I will try until it becomes annoying: pineapple, clementine, clove, stone fruit, hay, grass, apple, eucalyptus, white grape, and on it goes.

M-Where is that 9%? Goes down quite easily. High bitterness. Full bubbles. Very drinkable. I want to slowly sip and further dissect the flavors, but I can't help but gulp.

O/D-First I must say that I paired this with a cake of St. Marcellin cheese and it was absolutely awe inspiring. This is blatantly the best Belgian IPA I have had the pleasure of laying lip upon. The Chard barrels and the Brett infusion elevate this to a whole new level. Incredibly lucky to stumble upon this.

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Photo of popery
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a great a Belgian-style DIPA. It pours yellow gold and quite hazy. Thick white head, a heavy blanket of foam. Lots of tropical fruit flavored hops in the aroma. It's big on pineapple, mango, guava, raspberry and tangerine. Just a mouth-watering fruitiness. The brett funk blends in nicely, contributing some funk and probably helping some of the fruit aroma. Some earthier tones are also in there. The taste is relatively dry with a mild to medium bitter finish. That said, there's still some nice light malt sweetness, which allows the hop flavors to shine. Feel is soft and light. There's some prickle from the hops, but it's still a smooth rich beer. Bitter Monk is another excellent beer from Anchorage, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite breweries.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Batch 2. From notes.

A: Pours a hazy golden-orange body. Despite a careful pour, the head rises to a vigorous 4 fingers in height in my tulip. It recedes slowly, leaving clumps of bubbles down the sides as it collapses into a thin collar.

S: Incredibly tropical, fruit-forward hop nose: pineapple, tangerine, lime, apricot, mango, white wine. This hits my sweet spot for noses; a nice twist is its small introduction of a hay-like brett presence. Thankfully, this is young and the brett hasn't really taken hold yet. I don't want it to; as an IPA alone, this is outstanding.

T: Bitter Monk has a beautiful fruit cornucopia. Pineapple dominates; I really love this flavor in beer, and to find it on the nose and taste is a real treat. I know some brett strains can enhance this flavor, so maybe it will persist with age. As noted before, I pick up tangerine, lime, apricot, mango, and white grapes. The bitterness is more pronounced than I like; the beer is pretty dry (a perception enhanced by its slightly tannic finish), so there isn't a lot to counteract the acridity.

M: Up front, there is a perceived sweetness -- I say perceived because the beer finishes dry and bitter (the latter being a bit of a drawback). It makes me wonder how the brett will evolve the beer; there can't be a lot of sugar for it to work with. Time will tell, I suppose. I'm certainly not bothering to age it. Good carbonation, no trace of the ABV.

O: I've been pretty underwhelmed by everything else that ABC has released so far, but this one blew me out of the water with the first batch. I bought 3 bottles of the second batch -- and I will continue to buy more of later ones. This is a winner (fresh, at least). I don't intend to age it.

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Photo of McD0uche
3.85/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Anchorage Brewing is quickly becoming the pretty girl on the block. Everything they allow me to taste seduces my palate and entrances me with its high level of complexity, full tart-bitter interplay, and powdery acidity that's impossible to refuse. What's there not to like with all that layered onto an imperial IPA base recipe?

The beer pours with a creamy lightness that captures a stern golden hue. As the refined carbonaiton separates from the citrusy liquid beneath, it builds a creamy, cottony foam that proves formidable of both Belgian ales and IPAs. Sticky lace adorns the glass evenly and artistically. This is a highly aesthetically appealing beer!

Mouthwatering aromas of citrus and tropical fruit provides a sweet and sour interplay that tingles the nose with lemons, limes, tangerine, pineapple, apricot, and mangos. Acidic white wine and white grapes continue to wash the nose with wave after wave of complex aromatics. Thin honeyish caramel notes inform the sweeter citrus notes but never seem sweet unto itself.

Creamy, sweet and dry all at the same time- the beer seems to put on a magic show in the mouth. Like "Pop Rocks" candy, the sweet, sour, musty, acidity pulls the taste buds in a lot of directions. Dried lemons and oranges provide a woodish dust taste to complement the zesty citrus notes. Savory sweetness of "Hawaiian Punch" seem to strike the sensetivities of the teeth and gums, and then make me beg for more. Finish with a bone-dry malt taste, the hops carry the beer with smooth bitterness and wineish vinous wood notes.

Creamy from start to finish, but the fine carbonation and dry malt textures evade sweetness in the mouthfeel. The beer is arid, and seems to float just above the tongue, but caresses the palate all at the same time- in true Belgianesque fashion. As the beer dissolves at mid palate, the cotton candy textures carry a whimsical perfume into the gullet and beyond. Powdery wood astringency, evaporation alcohol, and the dry malt-hop interplay keeps me revisiting the glass much quicker than a nine-percent beer should.

With the care and attention to brewing details, Anchorage is proving time and time again that they are not simply content to meet the standards of Belgo-American ales, but far exceed them. Wine barrels, brettanomyces, triple fermentation, exclusive hops and technique cause a ton of work for small rewards- but its far worth it!

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Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 257 ratings.