Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

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: 866
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 3.68%
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 228 | Hads: 866
Photo of magictacosinus
4.67/5  rDev +7.4%
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. (2,624 characters)

Photo of brewtus
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (500 characters)

Photo of MDDMD
4.35/5  rDev 0%
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 (353 characters)

Photo of macrosmatic
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 750 mL corked and caged bottle into a Cigar City pint glass.

A: Pours a very hazy dark yellow, with lots of carb and just over a finger's worth of big-bubble white head.

S: Quite funky, with lemon citrus, barnyard, grassy, peppery and yeasty notes. Reminds me quite a bit of a saison.

T: Follows the nose, but way more hop presence than the aroma – big citrus (orange and grapefruit) and a bit of tropical fruits. Then yeasty, with some fruity esters. A very nice Brett funk and barnyard as well – horse blanket, wet hay, and grassy. There is a subdued vinous character as well. The Brett and the citrus and the yeast esters mix superbly. Citrus hop bitterness (grapefruit rind) in the hang with some residual funk, and the finish is quite dry.

M: Medium body and carbonation sensation. The alcohol is noticeable, but even that seems to blend well with everything going on in here.

O: This was really, really good. Excellent beer. Lots of hop flavor, but still blends very well with all the wonderful Brett characteristics brought out here. Absolutely love this one. (1,108 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
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. (817 characters)

Photo of JohnG190
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy golden orange with an off-white head. Good retention and lacing. Lots of spicy yeast, citrus, pepper, grass, grape, oak, and lemon. Pepper and yeast hit the palate first, followed by faint hints of pine, lemon and apricot. The aftertaste is most interesting, grape, oak, lemon, green apple and notes of peach. Finishes dry and slightly bitter. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall, this is a fascinating beer. I have never had anything like Bitter Monk, but I will be seeking this out again soon! (523 characters)

Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.61/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I don’t know the release schedule for Anchorage, so it was a nice surprise when the local liquor store got a case of Bitter Monk. Cheers!

Bottled six months before the date of this tasting: Batch #3, May 2013.

A: Bright gold with a substantial amount of haze; the head – a gorgeous, silky white – sits at half-an-inch for minutes, leaving webs of lacing here and there.

S: Phenomenal; this nose is absolutely slathered in aromas of pure, juicy fruit, like you’re cutting into a fresh grapefruit. White grape and lemon support. The brett and barrel are wonderful in their own right, giving off an herbal, woody funk of lemongrass, wildflowers, and cedar sawdust.

T: Every sip of this beer shines with bright, brilliant flavor. Prominent in the front of the palate are tastes of tangerine, grapefruit, overripe berry, and a subdued sharpness of olive juice from the brett. Notes of barnyard straw, white pepper, white grape must, and grass finish it. Mildly dry aftertaste.

M: Velvety-smooth; perfectly carbonated with a light-to-medium body.

O: Incredible: one of the best brett beers I’ve ever had. When a beer’s this great, there’s nothing more to say but wow. (1,181 characters)

Photo of Justin_Neff
4.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle - Batch #3, May 2013

A: Pours a hazy, straw yellow. Big, white, pillowy head that hangs around for several minutes, leaving very little lacing. Looks like a tripel from the pour.

S: This smells brilliant. Hoppy upfront with funky tart Brett. Peaches and apricots.

T: Citra hops upfront. Sweet exotic fruits. The funk and Brett isn't overbearing, but meshes with the hops brilliantly. Subtle oak underlying everything. There's a unique sweet kind of bitterness towards the finish that leaves a lingering apricot flavor.

M: Dry. Drinks like a white wine. Prickly. Full body. Heavy carbonation.

O: This is my favorite anchorage brew by a longshot thus far. The complexity of this one is immaculate. Every sip is a little different. Hoppy yet funky. Big fan. (766 characters)

Photo of zhanson88
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy straw color with a high level of carbonation. About 1.5" of eggshell white head forms after the pour, which has a nice tight structure to it, almost pillow like. Very good retention and lacing. Very good looking beer.

Smell: Funky up front. No sourness component, but just pure Brett funk. Underneath a plethora of hop scents. Very tropical in nature with pineapple, mango, and citrus.

Taste: Veritable explosion of tropical hop flavors up front. Mango, peach, and pineapple are prevalent. A perfect amount of Bretty funk along with a bit of bitterness on the back end and finish.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Medium bodied with ample carbonation. The Brett funk and bitterness on the back end lends to a dry finish that makes you want to take another sip. Overall, I enjoyed this beer a great deal. The hop character and funk blend perfectly together and create a great product. Easily the best Belgian IPA I have tried to this point. (953 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
5/5  rDev +14.9%
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! (797 characters)

Photo of dudeman
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

batch #3 from May 2013 reviewed in Oct so likely missed the dry hop punch - aged it a bit to see how the sour developed

Poured with vigor into Ommegang tulip

Pours a hazy brilliant yellow orange

1 finger of poofy white head that dissipates within a few min

nose is immediate sour funk with some candy apples and fruit loops, not a malty-sweet old ipa sweet smell but a fruity sugar thing

Tart then sweet with a serious sour, bitter yet overall sweet and fruity experience for 7-10 sec. How does the man do it?!? (516 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
4.47/5  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 (1,526 characters)

Photo of TwelveOunces
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750Ml poured into a tulip glass

A- Pours a lighter color then I thought. A bright orange. A very hazy beer. A quickly dissipating head.

S- A lot more tropical then I expected. A barnyard hay like smell. An undeniable hop presence.

T- A very hoppy beer. The bitterness gets drowned by the other flavors. A tropical hop flavor. Apricots, papaya, grapefruit. A strong Brett flavor that helps take focus off the hops. A strong Belgian flavor and a massive smooth body that comes with Belgian yeast. Not too bitter, nor sour. A complex and interesting beer that keeps changing.

M- A lot of body to this beer. Bitter but not as bad as other DIPA's.

O- A pretty awesome beer. Very different and well done. (704 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Bottle from Tipples. Batch #3/May 2013 poured Sept. 28, 2013. Pours a cloudy yellow with small white head. Aroma of lemon zest, pineapple, dry oak, brett, orange peel. Very interesting. Flavor is big pineapple juice with definite Brett presence and lingering oak and pineapple. Bitter is there for sure. Juicy balanced by the effervescent mouthfeel, which makes it feel light on the palate for a DIPA. Very unique beer that delivers on the flavors it advertises. (462 characters)

Photo of falc0n2600
4.74/5  rDev +9%
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. (539 characters)

Photo of shand
4.64/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Alright. After trying a year-old Galaxy White IPA and now this four month old Bitter Monk, I'm glad to say that Anchorage are single-handedly providing a reason for that terrible mishmash of styles known as a "Belgian IPA" to exist. The flavor profile is nearly perfect, the Brett and the slight butteriness from the Chardonnay barrels do very interesting things with the heavy fruity hopping and oak. Lightly sour at first, some more influence from the hops quickly rushes in, with the yeast and oak providing a strong backbone for the finish. Much like the Galaxy White IPA, the mouthfeel is extremely dry because of the whole brett + lots of hops thing. An exceptional beer. Anchorage's Belgian IPAs are so good, they make everybody else trying the style look like amateurs. As good as the style gets. (804 characters)

Photo of artoolemomo
4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours up a good amount of head that has pretty good retention. The head is a pure cotton white while the body is a hazy lemon yellow mixed with golden straw that is mostly lemon yellow when held up to the light. Some lacing is left behind. Very little lacing after a few drinks. Almost non-existent.

Nose- Tons of Brett, tons of funk, tons of straw. Moldy cheese, mushrooms, and grass. Tart apple, cherry and strawberry. A little bit of earthiness. The funk and the sour fruit combine perfectly. I feel like I'm back at Zwanze Day already.

Taste- The sour notes of the aroma flit around the edge of the tongue with not nearly as much tartness as is expressed on the aroma. Notes of oak appear while an overall funk tends to dominate the middle (stinky cheese, straw, mushrooms, and grass). The IPA notes are somewhat subtle- some wood, some resin, a little bit of citrus, but Brett is the star of this show. This beer is so well integrated and so complex that it is a little difficult for me to separate everything. Definite Belgian yeast with a good amount of spice, wood, and bitter notes but it's much more accessible than a lot of yeast that I come across. It tucks itself warmly inside the overall Brett and gives it some backbone. There is orange, lemon, grapefruit, and pear but these are bullied by the Brett. Bananas, clove, and cinnamon on the finish. However, anything I write about individual notes seem to be a disservice to this beer. It changes with every taste and offers something new with every single one. More pine and resin are starting to assert themselves on the finish while the tart esters are beginning to fade (at least, for the moment). Orange peel, lemon peel, coriander. This beer is a delight to drink. Beyond solid, this is a really good beer. I generally find Belgian IPAs to have some undesirable aspect to them but this has such integration that I'm not finding these faults.

Mouthfeel- Fairly light bodied with a good amount of carbonation. The clean, dry finish is exquisite. Light notes of syrup to the texture.

Drinkability- Extremely easy going to the point that it compels you. Clean and crisp. 13 bucks for a 750 mL bottle is quite reasonable.

Overall- Very solid beer, almost great. Probably the best beer that I've had in this style. If you slapped an import label and told me it was from Belgium, I wouldn't have any reason not to believe you on taste alone. Great balance and a must try. (2,455 characters)

Photo of draheim
4.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle (batch 3, May 2013) into a tulip. Pours a slightly hazy orange/straw color w/ a big fluffy white head that leaves sticky chunks of lacing. Bright lively carbonation rises from the bottle of the glass.

Aroma is a big burst of tropical citrus, Belgian yeast, sour green apples, and a nice bretty funk.

Taste is a complex combination of juicy grapefruit and orange, Belgian yeast and brett, bitter hops, and pale malt. Just the slightest hint of Chardonnay gives it a vaguely vinous twist. 8% ABV is invisible.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, balanced, smooth. Really nice clean dry finish.

Overall this is a great marriage of Belgian and American brewing traditions. So far, my favorite beer by Anchorage. I don't love a lot of beers, but I love this one. I can't imagine anything that would make it much better. (823 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.64/5  rDev +6.7%
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. (357 characters)

Photo of oceanman907
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
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.... (1,140 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a red cup, looked dark orange on the way in with plenty of resulting creamy foam. Plenty of lace and lasting retention.

Tropical fruit melange in the aroma, hard to pin down any one fruit. Woody with slight hints of white wine. Really well melded, though aroma is more mellow than the taste.

Grapefruit, melon, papaya, bitter greenery, dry woody aftertaste.
Supple feel, juicy and medium bodied, very fruit forward. Resiny bitter aftertaste, complex and unique. A slight Brett presence, but it's in the background. Very tasty, highly recommended. (561 characters)

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a d'Achouffe tulip. The beer is an extremely hazy light orange. My mouth is watering just looking at the color of this beer. It sports a big majestic white head that lasts a little while before dissipating down to a chunky lacing. The nose is very fruity. Lots of pineapples and apricots hit you along with some marmalade and a hint of honey.

Medium body, firm feel, and bitter, fruity flavor. Harsh, bitter notes of orange and grapefruit greet you first. There is just enough of a malt backbone to balance it and keep it from getting astringent. On the back of the palate, the bitterness recedes a bit and is replaced by a refreshingly sour lemony character. The finish is dry and a little acidic. Very drinkable and very refreshing. The body seems light for such a strong beer, but it complements the fruity, bitter, slightly sour flavors perfectly.

I haven't explored very many Belgian-style IPAs, but this is an absolutely stellar beer. I'm definitely going to look for other examples of this style in the future and I'm really looking forward to trying some other beers from Anchorage, whose distribution to my area started not too long ago. I just love the combination of bitter and sour in this beer. You know there is sweetness there too, otherwise the beverage would be undrinkable, but it's buried under the other flavors. It's not that often I drink a beer and think ``wow, that's something I haven't tasted before''. Nicely done Anchorage! (1,479 characters)

Photo of jrenihan
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
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. (1,329 characters)

Photo of ppohio
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
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. (909 characters)

Photo of Kuaff
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (1,452 characters)

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