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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: 309
Gots: 96 | 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 ales4baldo
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

ales4baldo, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of fehrminator
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

fehrminator, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of Soonami
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Soonami, Jan 31, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml corked and caged bottle into a couple of glasses.

Pours a clear copper, with 2 fingers of rich, bright-white head. This retains with a robust foaminess, leaving back a sticky looking latticework of lacing. The aroma smells floral, musty, zesty, and piney, all wrapped up in one, with an underlying mix of juicy citrus and sweet grains adding a strong ripe twang to this. Just a light touch of warmth kisses the nose about every other whiff of this. Man, those Simcoe hops are really standing out to me the strongest here.

The taste is bitter grapefruit, juicy tropical fruit, hefty malt sweetness, and a lemony and earthy smack of flavor from the Brett. The Brett pulls into the finish, mingling with dry Chardonnay notes that come in off the sides, with an oaky feel that sticks to the tongue along with some lingering dry resins. The mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied, with a smooth oily creaminess that actually flows rather easily in the mouth despite the high ABV here. There is just enough of a prickly crispness to this to help keep those hops lively on the tongue.

I wish that I could have gotten to this one a little fresher but I was pleased to find that the hops still packed a flavorful punch here, blending in wonderfully with the Brett and barrel notes to form a beautiful marriage of flavors. I’ll be seeking this one out again. It’s damn tasty.

Kegatron, Jan 31, 2012
Photo of benart
4/5  rDev -7.4%

benart, Jan 31, 2012
Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev -7.4%

THECPJ, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of Steggun
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Steggun, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of Soneast
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Soneast, Jan 28, 2012
Photo of IpeeA
3.5/5  rDev -19%

IpeeA, Jan 28, 2012
Photo of ROWDYMELT
4/5  rDev -7.4%

ROWDYMELT, Jan 26, 2012
Photo of jsh420
4.8/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

batch 1
july 2011

pours cloudy golden yellow with a big chunky pillowy white head that had great retention and left lacing

smell is funky hoppy evergreen citrus tropical fruit - amazing!

taste - wow - an orval ipa - it works so well - the funk of the brett stands out and cuts through all other flavors bitter fruity hops and sweet malt

mouthfeel - medium body decent carbonation - smooth and creamy - could have used more bite

overall - one if not the best belgian ipa i have had - i can only knock it .5 for price @ 15 a bottle and mouthfeel - but i would gladly buy another bottle when the newest batch comes out this year

jsh420, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of roblund
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

roblund, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of ohtheguilt
4/5  rDev -7.4%

ohtheguilt, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of stakem
4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kegatron for sharing this brew with me. Poured into a snifter, the brew appears a clear golden color with a finger of white froth. As the cap fades, a wall of lace sticks to the glass.

The smell is bright with hops that are herbal. Some hints of catty quality mix with a floral aspect that blends into cheese. A hint of stinky feet is present along with minor woody notes and some juicy fruits. Some brett'd quality is evident throughout the nose that accents the herbal aspects of the hops.

The taste is very herbal and cheesy to catty from the hops. There is a dry woody flavor present that blends with an oily bitterness that clings to the inside of the mouth. This is a bold brew as far as Belgian ipas go but it blends together well. The aftertaste showcases grapefruit pulp/zest.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Bitter and enjoyable with a pleasant depth of flavors. The alcohol is integrated pretty well. The contrast of dry brett'd wood flavors and hoppy bitterness worked in this offering. At 5+ months old, id say this is holding up pretty well an would be interesting to see how it further developes.

stakem, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of agotz
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

agotz, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

God, this was a great beer!
A golden color that was a little bit hazy. Thick white head that lasted forever. Very well carbonated; a lot of bubbles.

Sweet malt aroma. Also citrus, grape, and fruit.

Exciting taste. Some biscuity malt. Grapefruit, grapes, tropical fruit. A little oak.

Complex mouthfeel. Hoppy, malty, and fruity all at the same time.

Easily one of the best IPAs I've tried.

lordofthewiens, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of ehammond1
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2011)

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Hazy orange and dark yellow, nearly auburn, with a thickly forming, persistent near-white head with decent retention that left sticky rings of lace down the glass.

A hugely aromatic and interesting aroma, without any one element becoming too dominant or distracting. There's plenty of big, hoppy, citrus elements here, like grapefruit and lemon, along with big blasts of funky (Brett) yeast, earth and grass, and a bit of alcohol sting, especially as the beer warms to room temperature.

A boldly flavorful and complex beer, and again, all the discernible elements stand out on their own: big, yet balanced flavors of citrus, very funky yeast, earthy elements, along with a ton of overall bitterness. There's also a bit of white-grape flavor as well after the bitterness washes away. Incredible!

Medium bodied with high carbonation.

A fantastic Belgian IPA. This one is unlike any I've ever tried before; it's both far more complex and far more bitter than any other example I've tried within the style. Superb!

ehammond1, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of jsanford
4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a Tulip Glass.

A - Pours a hazy light gold with a soapy white head that fades to a slight patch and ring.
S - Intense tropical hop aromas of passion fruit, pineapple, mango, and peach with a touch of white grape, oak, and Brettanomyces. Absolutely stunning!
T - Taste is similar to the nose, tons of tropical hops, white wine, oak, and funky, earthy Brettanomyces character. Surprisingly easy-drinking, I could have probably finished off this bottle by myself!
M - Crisp and dry, with a medium body and good, sharp carbonation.
O - Right out the gate, this Anchorage Brewing Co. is doing some amazing things. Complex, funky, and delicious, I can't wait to see what's next!

jsanford, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of maximum12
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 1, July 2011, finally reached this neck of the woods recently, & just had to give it a whirl. Big 750 ML bottle split in two.

Poured to leave a good 3-4 ounces in the bottle to avoid whatever dead yeasties may be lurking, the beer is 70% opaque orange, fizzy. Nose comes off a different IPA trail, huge & juicy light fruits, light funk, touch of wine. Nice.

Bitter Monk strikes a blow for the unique: second night in a row I've had a beer like nothing I've encountered before. Bitterness & funk vie for the mantle of Top Runway Chef: wow. Hard to know where to start. Slap-happy bitterness pummels the tongue. Mild funkiness twines its way in & complements. Light, citrusy fruit, lovely drying wood, slippery shot of vinous quality. Distinct pine leaves a nice lasting impression as the door hits me in the ass. Dead on. Something this weird shouldn't be this easy to drink.

Bloody excellent beer. I don't know anything about this brewery, but this is simply fantastic. Gorgeously complex, but even better, complex in a way that all the tastes complement one another continually. Wow.

maximum12, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of cestlavie
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

cestlavie, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of TheGordianKnot
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into DL snifter...

A- First- hells fuck yes to the bottle art, A+++! Pours hazy golden color. Nice off white head. Dense and stable bubbly head. Very nice.

S- Incredibly light and lemony. Funky zest, barnyard, white grapes, floral, and tropical to round it out. Crisp and refreshingly balanced aroma.

T/M- Very very funky. Bitter, but not as hoppy as the nose leads you. Barnyard flavors, old leather, hay, dirty/earthy hops all around. Add a touch of lighter fruitiness (absence could be just that its not super fresh) and this is top notch Belgian IPA. Incredibly dry finish, lot of carbonation, medium body, coates the palate.

O-.Absolutely stellar beer. One of, if not the, best Belgian IPAs I've had. Would love to have again, preferably super fresh. Might try and trade for this down the road. Very refreshing and perfectly balanced brett funk.

TheGordianKnot, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of N8DAGR8
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

N8DAGR8, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of sholland119
4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very excited to pick up a coupple of bottles of this in Las Vegas. It came and went from our area in a big hurry.

A-A hazy, almost muddy golden apricot with a huge frothy head and some good sticky lacing.

S-Huge citrus, peppery brett. What a terrific blend of aromas.

T-Really outstanding in all ways. Citrus bitterness throughout but mostly in front, brett notes in the middle and finish, and long grapefruit bitterness in the finish. Belgian yeast notes underpuin all the flavors.

M-Medium bodied, nicely dry.

O-Tremendous beer. I love this marriage of big hops, good brett and Belgian goodness.

HV

sholland119, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of jmarsh123
3.45/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to dogbones for the bottle!

Poured a bright yellow/orange with a huge frothy white head. Good lacing down the glass and lots of bubbles.

The overpowering aroma is a pleasant dry white wine. Oakiness, some citrus zest and just a touch of the brett shine through.

There is quite a bit going on in the flavor and it's different than the nose. The wine comes through much less here although there are still some wine notes with a moderate amount of oak. A bit of a citrus burst, but this really doesn't taste like 100 IBU's. The character I get most of the spicy Belgian yeast which slightly overpowers all the other flavors which I'd probably like better. I do like the slight brett undertone though.

Good mouthfeel and pretty solid carbonation.

A little disappointed by this one especially after the appearance and aroma. The Belgian yeast cuts through all the other flavors and I'm not a huge fan of Belgian yeast in a lighter ale. Very complex and definitely interesting, but just an ok taste.

jmarsh123, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of Damian
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from a 1 pt. 9.4 fl. oz./750ml bottle
Batch #1 July/2011
Served in a tulip
Thanks to my friend Matt for hooking me up with this.

Orangey-amber and slightly hazed appearance. The liquid was topped by a two-finger, bubbly, bright white, sea foam head. Excellent retention. The head faded to a substantial dollup of froth and eventually fell to a clingy film. Chunks of lacing stuck along the glass.

The nose was very unique. There was an interesting interplay between strong Chardonnay wine notes, Brettanomyces and crisp, bright, lemony hops. A powdery, dry, Belgian-like yeastiness was apparent. Smooth, grassy, Saaz hops came through as well.

The taste was crisp and bright. Somewhat sharp and hoppy with a lemony bite on the front end. The malt profile was light and pilsner-like. Lots of white wine and Brett in the center. Orange rind was also noticeable. The finish was crisp, piney and quite bitter, with strong oak and grapefruit notes. Super dry and tannic.

The mouthfeel was creamy, frothy and lighter bodied. Smooth and supple on the palate. The liquid contained a crisp, bubbly effervescence.

Bitter Monk is a very unique beer, and I applaud the folks at Anchorage Brewing Company in their efforts to push boundaries. However, the combination of intense Brett, oak and bitter hops was a lot to deal with (as was the $18 price tag). I would recommend splitting up a bottle amongst multiple drinkers, as consuming this beer in quantity can become a bit overwhelming.

Damian, Jan 08, 2012
Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 802 ratings.