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Bitter Monk - Anchorage Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bitter MonkBitter Monk

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

803 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 803
Reviews: 216
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 315
Gots: 95 | 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:
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 803 | Reviews: 216 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

BillRoth, Jul 11, 2013
Photo of mdaschaf
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

mdaschaf, Nov 06, 2013
Photo of John_M
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At Max's today.

The beer pours a solid gold color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is, well, bitter... I really get a lot of dry citrus in this beer and not much else. As the beer warms a bit, I also pick up some white pepper and light pine, but the citrus really dominates. On the palate, this is a very serious Belgian style IPA, with a lot going on. There is honey, butter, vanilla, considerable dry citrus and orange zest... maybe some light cherry as well. Also, while there's some initial sweetness, that's quickly pushed aside, and I then get considerable bitterness in the long, dry finish. Mouthfeel is fairly full, with a long, light sweet, but ultimatley very bitter finish. I almost feel as if I pick up a little heat from alcohol in the finish, but there is so much bitterness from the hops, ultimately I can't really tell.

Very impressiive Belgian style IPA. I still prefer the mischief from bruery, but this is right up there.

John_M, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Batch #1 July 2011.

Minor pop off the bottle. One of the best forming heads I have ever witnessed. Perfectly uniform bubbles of white everywhere. A clumpy retention head sitting on top of a pale amber to glowing brass yellow twenty four carat gold edges with lots of rising carbonation present. I don't know what perfection is.. in many ways it is an anomaly. But this here looks like just a flat out perfection presented.. the head formation is what got me.

Nose is like a bretty grapefruit citrus ipa saison hybrid. Slightly vinous and green grape smelling. Great fantastic nose. Hop angle does not seem obvious, after some time funky sense wears off and becomes more citrus dominant, feeling mildly sour.

Taste is like drinking orange bretty bubblebath, and a mix of huge hoppy pine blast in the aftertaste. Drying hop rooftop feel, with medium texture just down the middle for thickness. Texture is almost vinous but taken over by pleasant hop dryness. Hot punching yeast all throughout.

One seriously slamming beer from this brewery what can I say. They are making some dam good beer up in Alaska.

smakawhat, Oct 01, 2011
Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -7.4%

DrBier, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of rab53
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

rab53, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev -7.4%

tdm168, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of Kelp
3.5/5  rDev -19%

Kelp, Jan 23, 2013
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.75/5  rDev +10%
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.

Beerandraiderfan, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of liamt07
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle I picked up while in Vegas from the Whole Foods on S Las Vegas Blvd. 750ml bottle corked and caged, Batch 1 from July 2011 - into a tulip.

Poured a hazy golden yellow, we split the yeast amongst us and its sat 'curtain-like' in each of our glasses in suspension. Looked pretty cool! Voluminous white head, very effervescent with a great rocky head and spotty lacing. Nose has pungent lemon, funk/brett, white wine notes, pine, a touch of cat pee, citrus zest and background tropical notes (derived from the Citra I'll guess). Alot of grassy notes as well, somewhat of a Noble hop character to it. Certainly extremely unique for a DIPA. Taste again has substantial lemon, tropical fruits with light tart and vinous/barrel notes. Herbal hops again with less brett than the nose. Light spiciness in the finish, certainly a solid amount of Belgian and brett flavours all around - works phenomenally with the hop profile. Bitterness is there but not overpowering. Fantastic, and I'll most certainly seek out future batches if given the chance.

liamt07, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of HopHead84
4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

10/9/2011

A: Hazy yellow orange with an impressive white sea foam cap. Very good retention and lots of lacing.

S: Ripe golden apples with notes of pear and Chardonnay. There's a good amount of oak. Brett imparts earth and leather. 

T: Moderate bitterness meets leather and earth. Apple is pervasive and there's a pronounced Chardonnay presence accompanying oak. The bitterness seems to clash with the Brett, but my palate gets used to the punishment after a while.

M: Lower medium body with lower high carbonation. Dry and sticky.

Overall: Fantastic aroma and a good flavor. The price tag is hefty, but if you split the cost with someone it's worth a try. 

HopHead84, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of ShanePB
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml corked and caged bottle. I've heard wonderful things about this being a "surprise of the year" beer so I had to give it a try, even at the (Philadelphia) expensive price point. Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Golden orange hazy body with a creamy, fluffy white head atop. A full retention cap stays throughout and it has really super sticky lacing on the walls. Honestly, this is an absolutely gorgeous looking beer.

S: Citrus, zest, smarties candy, chalk, white pepper, funk and some barnyard hay-like qualities. A faint bitterness is towards the back end allowing the hops to shine through to remind you this is in the IPA family. Nice aroma, nothing mind-blowing but it certainly isn't anything bad.

T: Bitter hop zest and citrus oils are the first to hit the palate. A slightly spicy yeast note comes in, along with more smarties candy and chalkiness. Dry wood and crisp white grapes are towards the back end bringing in some of the barrel treatment. After the swallow, a bit of a burn is in the chest perhaps from the alcohol?

M: Nice carbonation, on the lower end of the scale giving this a real creamy smooth feel. Very dry and bitter in the finish. Not a complete determent but I would have preferred it more clean.

This was a very interesting beer, and the only comparison I could make was to Iron Hill's Savage IPA. Still, it's definitely a unique beer with lots of complexity and flavor.

ShanePB, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25.4oz bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip Glass.
Batch 1

A - Pours a cloudy medium orange with a two finger yellowish head. Spots of lacing are left on the glass.

S - Yeast, citrus - mostly lemons.

T - Hoppy citrus, slight pine, and still some yeast in the background.

D - Tons of carbonation, lighter body.

O - Nice since the yeast wasn't overpowering. Another winner for Anchorage brewing.

HuskyinPDX, Sep 12, 2011
Photo of Alieniloquium
4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Alieniloquium, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up this bomber in Joliet, about $14. We haven't seen distribution of Anchorage in OH yet so I was glad to grab one.

It pours pale orange with a touch of haze and a beautiful head, rocky and pillowy with a touch of lace here and there. The nose is very nice too, pungent hops and bret. I'm not sure how old this bottle is but the hops still seem fresh.

Lots of citrus flavor in the start of each sip, with a bitter funkiness behind. Dry aftertaste with lingering acrid bitterness, delicious. Strong carbonation, with a peppery bite on my tongue. This tastes a lot better than I expected, possibly my favorite "Belgian" IPA.

TurdFurgison, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev -7.4%

THECPJ, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of dirtylou
4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle

Ale Aslyum chalice - lot of great things involved here - citra hops, brett, french oak chardonnay barrels. I love all of those things and naturally found this beer to be quite great - very lush fruit profile - papaya, melon, mango, citrus, lemon. Both the barrel and the brett are great compliments to the hops - everything marries quite well.

dirtylou, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of wordemupg
4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into tulip 9/10/13, an extra from Rutager? ya I said extra, cheers dude

S bright hazy yellow liquid, I can't see many bubbles through the haze but two fingers worth of foam hangs on long enough to leave plenty of random lace before falling to a thin film

S tropical fruit come out strong, pineapple, peach, passion-fruit, kiwi, and tangerine, I get a little green apple and catty citra notes but considering this brews 6 months old I'm amazed how hopped up it is, some dry white vinous notes and a little brett mingle with some faint oak and Belgian flair , some sexy shit going on here and I wouldn't change anything

T the nose was a hard act to follow, some booze comes out, some spruce and lemon rind, more wood and the brett's still mild and the hops are strong but not over the top like on the nose

M medium-full, bitter as all hell, just a little heat but its well under control, lots of woody tropical fruit lingering

O I don't dish out 5's all that often but the nose is kicking ass here and I don't have anything to complain about elsewhere, another great example of "I'd love to try a bottle off the line and another one years down the road" that being said I'm stoked wit what's in my glass today

when I think about the only other brew I've had from Anchorage was another serious winner and I think I dropped the 5 on the Galaxy IPA's nose as well. I'd love to have several of these to sit on and drink periodically but I have a feeling I caught it at a good age today

wordemupg, Oct 10, 2013
Photo of drummermattie02
4/5  rDev -7.4%

drummermattie02, Feb 15, 2013
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.14/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a hazy, medium golden amber with a thin white head that stays as a fine thick film with lacing. Aroma of Brett, white wine, apple, light citrus and light grassy hops. Flavor is also distinctive Brett, lemon, tangerine, stone fruit, mildly vinous, light coriander; finishes very dry with Brett and lingering hop bitterness with no distinct hop flavor. Medium bodied with peppery active carbonation. The yeast strain here leans more towards a saison yeast than Belgian, but there are light Belgian yeast and spicing elements present in the complex flavor. This is almos too dry for me, but the complexity of the flavor really made this enjoyable to drink. Dryness and light vinousness gives it a champagne like character, if champagne had Brett. Nicely made and interesting.

LiquidAmber, Oct 24, 2013
Photo of chippo33
3.5/5  rDev -19%

chippo33, Dec 18, 2012
Photo of GraduatedCashew
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

GraduatedCashew, Oct 07, 2013
Photo of Cynic-ale
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Cynic-ale, Feb 17, 2014
Photo of ccrida
4/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

ccrida, Jan 02, 2013
Photo of jrallen34
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

jrallen34, Jan 28, 2013
Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 803 ratings.