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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

825 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 825
Reviews: 220
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 348
Gots: 93 | 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:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 825 | Reviews: 220
Photo of emerge077
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.39/5  rDev +1.6%
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!

Photo of jrenihan
4.46/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of iong516
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of bauermj
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Liquoric3
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of TripelMark
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of davewlfpckfan29
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of bahnfire
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of ppohio
4.72/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Photo of Brewing_Rob
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of Kuaff
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Photo of Butchnasty
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.19/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of GonzoHomebrewer
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of itracy63
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Jimmys
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of akang
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of CoolEthan
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Piddmeista
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of pathman
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of jayhoppin
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of MMBrew
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of dazedandconfused
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

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Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 825 ratings.