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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

811 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 811
Reviews: 217
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 323
Gots: 95 | FT: 6
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: 811 | Reviews: 217 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of patpbr
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a hazy orange with a nice foamy head.
S - Tropical fruit, juicy grapefruit and lemon. Funk with a hint of bubblegum
T - First taste is like the noise. Great mix of citrus, pineapple, mango, and grapefruit. Notice the pepper and a nice hint of yeast and sour character. Bitterness is blended with a wonderful mix of flavors.
M - Medium body, the finish is on the dry side but finishes well, easy to drink.
O - I have only tried a few Belgian IPAs and this by far is a great one.

patpbr, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of fmccormi
4.56/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Straight pour from a 750ml/25.4oz cork-and-caged bottle to a stubby, stemmed tulip. Not sure on the exact bottling date, but I purchased this a couple of weeks ago and was told at the time that it is from the most recent batch. So, fresh-ish? Ehh, it’s a brett beer. It’ll be weird no matter what.

Appearance (3.5): A perfect two fingers of bone-white foam rises off the pour easily but not too aggressively, capping a glowing, moderately hazy, orange-tinted, light amber/straw-colored body. As the head dies down (at an average pace), it leaves a couple of small splotches of thin lacing here and there, and the remnants of a collar near the top of the glass. It looks beautiful right out of the gate, but retention and lacing are more or less average.

Smell (4.25): Nice musty tones, some dusty cereal grains, light peasant bread and slightly fruity wheat tones, some tangerine flesh, lemon juice, light orange peel, and all around just a very well-integrated aroma considering all of its far-flung components.

Taste (4.75): Holy shit nuts, what is going on here? All of the what’s in the nose is in here, too, but along with crazy fruit tones and tangy, citrusy bitterness. Musty, dusty cellary notes mixed with lightly tart, fruity wheat tones, some chewy, fresh-baked peasant bread come out of the gate first, but they’re quickly washed over by tart citrus flesh and zest and a really zingy finish that bridges hop flavor and bitterness remarkably well. Red grapefruit flesh, bitter orange peel, limeade, and tart brett flavor all mix together and swirl around and finish out with a seriously excellent grapefruit rind bitterness. As it warms, an earthy character comes out, that underpins everything else smoothly and cleanly. Crazy. Absolutely no booze. No off-note esters or out of place phenols from the yeast. Just extraordinarily well-integrated brett, malt, and hops. No way this is 9% ABV . . .

Mouthfeel (5.0): . . . because it drinks so damn ridiculously easy. Downright refreshing, honestly: just shy of medium weight with a soft but mature carbonation that foams modestly but fully, tingles lightly but all over, and leaves a dry, but not at all parching finish. I’m convinced this could not have a better feel, to be honest.

Overall (4.5): You’ve got to be kidding me. This beer is the kind of thing that gives me faith in craft brewing—that not everyone is doing their own version of the same old lineup, that some people are succeeding at executing the “what if” fantasy kind of beers (and doing it well), and that there are brewers making beer that’s essentially almost perfect on a regular basis. Absolutely, highly recommended. And yes, it’s worth the price.

fmccormi, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of chrisxdodge
5/5  rDev +15.7%

chrisxdodge, Dec 12, 2013
Photo of bcm75
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

bcm75, Dec 11, 2013
Photo of rogerdandy
4.75/5  rDev +10%

rogerdandy, Dec 10, 2013
Photo of magictacosinus
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I was so happy to find a bottle of this recently - it's by far the trickiest seasonal release from Anchorage get around here, for whatever reason. Bottled in May 2013. Poured out of a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass - split three ways.

Pours a nice, vivid orange-amber combo of a color, with obvious cloudiness given the diverse yeast strains. It's bubbly at first, with thick carbonation that rises to the thickened, foamy bone-white head at the top, but it soon dissipates into nothing over the course of consumption. A pity - with the Belgian and Champagne yeast strains, I thought this would hold itself together a little bit more rigidly. Still, it's pretty appealing to look at, given the color.

My God, given the yeast and hop diversity, you could smell this thing as soon as we popped the cork open. Dipping my nose into the glass, I get a plethora of some of the finest flavors from American DIPAs, Belgian strong ales, and saisons that I've consumed over the past year. It's a culmination of world-class factors if I've ever witnessed one: passion fruit, guava, grapefruit, pears, and apples when it comes to fruit, followed by pine, marijuana, and violets on the herbal scope. The Brett and oak rounds out the flavors nicely, with notes of grape must, baking soda, tobacco, leather, wet hay, and some light, barnyard-esque dampness. Extremely complex.

The complexity continues in the aroma, but nothing really prepared me on how elegant and gently layered this beer - especially one this seemingly rustic and diverse - could be. Wonderful tropical fruits ranging from passion fruit to mangoes hit the palate, followed by grapefruit, pine, hemp seeds, sage, and floral textures. The bitterness from these esters is immediately cut by the Brett, which provides a leather, tobacco, and wet straw texture that is funky and flavorful. Afterwards, the oak spices and sweetness from the grape must, as well as the different yeast strains, round things up with notes pears, pineapple, tobacco, and baking soda. Finishes bready and yeasty, with a bit of spiciness and crispness. Keeps your mouth cleansed for the next sip. As far as this hybrid goes, this is a masterpiece.

It's definitely not cheap ($18-20), but it's absolutely worth every penny here. With everything I've written above, no final culmination should be necessary. This could easily become overrun by the Brett over time, so I'd recommend having this as fresh as possible. The diversity of flavor, as well as the multi-layered texture, is what makes this beer so damn refreshing and versatile. Beer and wine drinkers alike must try this when they can.

magictacosinus, Dec 10, 2013
Photo of jono0101
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

jono0101, Dec 09, 2013
Photo of quine
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

quine, Dec 06, 2013
Photo of Thishops4u
1/5  rDev -76.9%

Thishops4u, Dec 06, 2013
Photo of Eighty
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Eighty, Dec 05, 2013
Photo of Whiskeydeez
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Whiskeydeez, Dec 01, 2013
Photo of vinny21bal
3.25/5  rDev -24.8%

vinny21bal, Nov 29, 2013
Photo of brewtus
4.61/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours hazy orangish yellow with a nice two finger head
S- lots of Brett, citra, belgian yeast, lemon, grassy,
T- oh yeah, great citrusy hops, pine, belgian yeast, grassy earthiness, substantial Brett, you can really taste the Chardonnay barrel, some funk
M- very nice, not too much carbonation
O- this is really really great, lots of complex flavors, much smoother finish than you'd expect from a 100 ibu belgian beer. Really glad I got to try this one. Definitely the gold standard for the style.

brewtus, Nov 29, 2013
Photo of Rick778
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Rick778, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of JohnnieNepal
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

JohnnieNepal, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of sblanton83
4/5  rDev -7.4%

sblanton83, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of Houser
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Houser, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of Bobbydigi
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Bobbydigi, Nov 26, 2013
Photo of goalie33
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

goalie33, Nov 26, 2013
Photo of Oakenator
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Oakenator, Nov 25, 2013
Photo of MDDMD
4.36/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-hazy golden color with a nice white head and good lacing

S-lemon, funky Brett, apples, vinous, wheat bread

T-lemon, apricot, grapes, wine, oak,grassy,yeasty, funky Brett,slightly tart, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp and dry

O-unique and delicious beer, great for enjoyable sipping, would definitely seek this out

MDDMD, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of StlHopHead77
4.75/5  rDev +10%

StlHopHead77, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of Gushue3
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Gushue3, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of Skunkdrool
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Skunkdrool, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

zestar, Nov 21, 2013
Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 811 ratings.