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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

802 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 802
Reviews: 216
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 307
Gots: 97 | FT: 8
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: 802 | Reviews: 216 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ElGallo
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

ElGallo, Dec 01, 2012
Photo of metalgdog
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

metalgdog, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of Alieniloquium
4.18/5  rDev -3.2%

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 cfrances33
4.45/5  rDev +3%

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.

cfrances33, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of sneaks2210
4/5  rDev -7.4%

sneaks2210, Nov 14, 2012
Photo of 2neardead
4/5  rDev -7.4%

2neardead, Nov 13, 2012
Photo of Pinknuggets
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%

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

Pinknuggets, Nov 13, 2012
Photo of dbrauneis
4.55/5  rDev +5.3%

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).

dbrauneis, Nov 11, 2012
Photo of daniellui
4.75/5  rDev +10%

daniellui, Nov 09, 2012
Photo of Beerbuddy21
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Beerbuddy21, Nov 09, 2012
Photo of Pintofbrown
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%

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.

Pintofbrown, Nov 09, 2012
Photo of VelvetExtract
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%

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.

VelvetExtract, Nov 09, 2012
Photo of CK21
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

CK21, Nov 05, 2012
Photo of Massbmx
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Massbmx, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of wdarcy77
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

wdarcy77, Oct 30, 2012
Photo of Caterwaul
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Caterwaul, Oct 25, 2012
Photo of popery
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%

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.

popery, Oct 22, 2012
Photo of Arbitrator
4.65/5  rDev +7.6%

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.

Arbitrator, Oct 22, 2012
Photo of McD0uche
3.83/5  rDev -11.3%

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.

McD0uche, Oct 22, 2012
Photo of CarolinaKev
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

CarolinaKev, Oct 20, 2012
Photo of wattershed
4/5  rDev -7.4%

wattershed, Oct 19, 2012
Photo of Googs
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Googs, Oct 19, 2012
Photo of TheRuss9585
4.75/5  rDev +10%

TheRuss9585, Oct 19, 2012
Photo of ortie
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

ortie, Oct 17, 2012
Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

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!

BEERchitect, Oct 16, 2012
Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 802 ratings.