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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 mikereaser
5/5  rDev +15.7%

mikereaser, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of nataku00
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a golden color with a slight haze to it, with three fingers of pillowy frothy snow white head. Head dissipates after a few minutes, leaving a lot of sticky lacing to an even thin layer of foam along the surface. Plenty of small bubble carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

Nose is interesting, definitely getting a bit of brettanomyces funk, wet earthiness, combined with some lemon peel, fresh pine and herbal notes. Some sweetness as well, probably from the yeast, fruity esters like green apple, pear, along with some biscuit malts.

Taking a sip, pine and earthy hop bitterness, with a tongue numbing amount of citrus, lemon and grapefruit peel. Mild funk comes through mid tongue, wet soil like. Not much malt on the tongue as it gets assaulted with more bitter astringent hops through to the very dry finish. Lingering bitter citrus and herbal hop bitterness on the tongue, staying for several minutes. This is a bigger hop bomb than many DIPA's I've tried.

Light body with some zesty but refreshing carbonation, but not enough to keep the tongue clean of the massive hops. Alcohol is well hidden, but this is a bit of a sipper due to the amount of hop bitterness. An interesting beer, but this may be overly bitter for my palate as it overwhelms much of the yeast and malt character that a Belgian IPA should have on the tongue.

nataku00, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of jfstilling
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

jfstilling, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of champ103
3.05/5  rDev -29.4%

A: Pours nearly perfectly clear. A bit of haze forms. A two finger white head forms with excellent retention. Lots of spiderweb looking lace is left all the way down the glass.
S: Very soapy hops up front. Almost dish detergent like. Very phenolic, grassy, spicy, citrusy. Lots of hops.
T: Again lots of hops. Soapy, slick, resiny. Plenty of grassy hops. Alcohol and bitterness in the finish.
M/D: A medium body. Sticky, soapy, resiny, oily. There is heat from the alcohol, but not over barring. Still a slow sipper.

Certainly enjoyably. Just to much soapy hops for my liking. I wish more barrel and Bretty yeast would come out. A one time purchase.

champ103, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of pperez38
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

pperez38, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of Diomede
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Diomede, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of mkotsayfan
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a pint glass. Pours a light golden yellow with a lot of white frothy head. The aroma has lots of citrus, sourness from the Brett, some grassy notes. The taste involves a battle for your taste bud's attention: bitterness from the hops or the sourness from the Brett, certainly a delightful battle to witness. There is also a nice balance of tart and sweetness. The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with nice carbonation, with a nice dry finish.

Overall a quality beer, the brett sourness and bitterness blend very nicely, and the other flavors balance out the beer very well. Looking forward to some more beers from Anchorage Brewing.

mkotsayfan, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of beer2day
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%

Bright yellow pour with lots of haze. Very thick 2+ finger head, standing tall above the top of the glass. Retains very well and laces all around.

Bright nose with a complex feel. Chardonnay compliments the brett with a distinct oak component. Lemon and strawgrass underneath. Quite grassy, actually.

Complex flavor here, too. Definite Belgian feel, with sour flavors but the chard and oak really sweeten things up. Wood chips, light citrus, and earthy hops all come together. Finish is more sweet than dry, with light citrus again and a crisp accent from the chard. Complex and very unique.

Feel is about right for the flavors. Slightly thick and syrupy, but not overpowering.

One of the more unique beers I've tasted this year - and I mean that as a compliment.

beer2day, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of BARFLYB
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%

25oz Corked and Caged bottle split with Oglmcdgl into some glasses.

Bitter Monk fills the glass with a bright yellow look with some deep gold tints in certain spots. A nice bright white billowy foamy head of foam graces the top leaving droppings on the glass, sheets even. Smell is heavenly, the brett is right up there and fills the nostrils. Citrus hop aroma is amped up as well as lemon. The char does not really come through. Some bubblegum scent wit some integration. On first sips I can tell this is big beer, it's bold, bitter and somewhat abrasive without going overt the hill. Lemon, citra hop flavor, grapefruit, brett make up the flavor profile. I don't get any char and the oak is faint, if there at all. The lemon and bitterness last for a while afterwards. BOLD. Feel is a healthy medium with a whole lot of carb that sparks. This beer causes tingles on my tounge. A great beer that delivers on everything on the bottle, sand huge barrel flavor, yet drinking this now, too much of that may have killed what make this stand out.

BARFLYB, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of bfields4
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%

Pours a cloudy straw yellow. Nice lively frothy white head.

Various citrus aromas are abundantly present. Lemony Belgian sour funk bit of hoppy grapefruit. A little sugary candy tartness too.

Tart to begin with starts off with the Belgian influence. Melds nicely into that sweet ipa style citrus bite. Pineapple, grapefruit and pear. As the beer progresses I get more of that Belgian candi sugar brett backing lurking around. The chardonnay barrels add a nice touch incorporating a little bit more of the white wine effects and finishes fairly dry and crisp I'm assuming with the help of that.

Beer starts off with great flavor and complexity comes on nicely as you delve deeper into its flavors. Good crisp body. Boozy, but not in your face with it. I know a lot of folks don't like this style, but I see some real opportunity here with this guy, Cali-Belgique, and Urthely Hop-It being three of my favorite beers and so vastly different within the same subcategory.

bfields4, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of Rizalini
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Rizalini, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of ThirstyHerf
5/5  rDev +15.7%

ThirstyHerf, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.8/5  rDev -12%

A: Pours a beautiful cloudy golden yellow. There is a big puffy two fingers of white head that dissipates slowly.

S: This beer is full of fun scents. I'm picking up brett, lemon zest, floral esters, wine characteristics, and a really mellow Belgian yeast sweetness. It's an incredible complex and intriguing aroma.

T: The fist blast is candy sweetness and lemony hops. Following quickly is the unmistakable brett. Next, I get blasted with huge bitters (probably from the chardonnay wine barrel treatment). I actually think this beer falls short in the finish. It's way too bitter.

M: Medium bodied beer. It starts of wet (for about a second) and finishes super dry, desert dry.

O: I think the look and smell of this beer are amazing, but the taste falls a bit short for my liking. I'm not a big fan of the ultra dryness of this beer either. But overall, it's still a decent brew.

trxxpaxxs, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of DaveHack
5/5  rDev +15.7%

DaveHack, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of nppeders
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%

appearance - hazy yellowish orange with a rocky white head.

smell - brett funk in the nose (brett c?), much stronger then I was expecting. Also get some citus, and fruityness in the nose which cold be the hops or the brett, sacc or a combo. Not really sure. Lodes of funk though!

taste - started off with a nice burst of sweetness, citrus, pineapple, the middle hits you with a tartness, and brett, and then the finish is long with the chardonnay butteryness coating the mouth. It finish's dry and bitter and buttery. Lot's of the chardonnay barrel aging came through in the finish which was a surprise. Maybe a little aggressive. There is a whole lot going on here.

mouthfeel - medium mouthfeel, medium to high carbonation.

overall - This was my favorite beer drinking experience at the Bodega in Lacrosse over Thanksgiving weekend! So glad that they continue to bring in amazing beers! I really had no idea this type of beer could be done. A brett barrel aged DIPA. That being said, they certainly got it done extremely well up in Anchorage. This is a fantastic beer and I'm glad I tried it even though I paid $25 for the bomber at a bar. Heck it was thanksgiving and I couldn't resist! Beside the chardonnay barrels adding maybe a touch too much and creating "a little too much going on" this is a great beer, and a style that I look forward to trying again in the future and maybe brewing myself!

nppeders, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of ShanePB
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%

750 ml corked and caged bottle. I've heard wonderful things about this being a "surprise of the year" beer so I had to give it a try, even at the (Philadelphia) expensive price point. Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Golden orange hazy body with a creamy, fluffy white head atop. A full retention cap stays throughout and it has really super sticky lacing on the walls. Honestly, this is an absolutely gorgeous looking beer.

S: Citrus, zest, smarties candy, chalk, white pepper, funk and some barnyard hay-like qualities. A faint bitterness is towards the back end allowing the hops to shine through to remind you this is in the IPA family. Nice aroma, nothing mind-blowing but it certainly isn't anything bad.

T: Bitter hop zest and citrus oils are the first to hit the palate. A slightly spicy yeast note comes in, along with more smarties candy and chalkiness. Dry wood and crisp white grapes are towards the back end bringing in some of the barrel treatment. After the swallow, a bit of a burn is in the chest perhaps from the alcohol?

M: Nice carbonation, on the lower end of the scale giving this a real creamy smooth feel. Very dry and bitter in the finish. Not a complete determent but I would have preferred it more clean.

This was a very interesting beer, and the only comparison I could make was to Iron Hill's Savage IPA. Still, it's definitely a unique beer with lots of complexity and flavor.

ShanePB, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of ChrisSRT4
5/5  rDev +15.7%

ChrisSRT4, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of Bubba83
4.63/5  rDev +7.2%

Poured from a 750ml into an Allagash tulip at around 45 degrees. Going to let this warm up a bit while I appreciate the aroma. Pours a nice sun color with tones of hazy peach towards the middle of the glass. A big and bright white head rests on top, looks very light and airy. Bubbles rise from the depths of the glass up to the top, keeping the head stable and everlasting. Very awesome lacing down the sides of the glass, it's a stunning looking beer.

The aroma reminds me a lot of Midnight Sun/Ballast Point's 3767. That shouldn't be a surprise since that's also a DIPA aged in French Oak with Brett, although that beer used Cabernet Sauvignon barrels. There's a very impressive depth in the aroma, the french oak is immediately apparent, lots of vanilla and other oak notes. The brett funk is here too, a lot of straw and hay along with some nice citrusy lemon and grapefruit from the hops.

The flavor reminds me a lot of 3767 as well, they seem very close in flavor profile. There's a little bit of light bready sweetness at first, but the brett is contributing a lot to the flavor afterwards. Huge funky barnyard flavors, under ripe green apple, slight ink, along with a dry and prolonged sour taste. At the swallow there's a good burst of bright citrus, mostly lemon and grapefruit. There's a little bit of that trademark french oak vanilla/butter underneath it all, which kind of rounds things out nicely. It's a beer that confuses the palate, and is interesting at every sip.

Digging the mouthfeel too. A nice medium body that feels oily and smooth in the mouth, but there's plenty of carbonation as well. It's fairly high in the carbonation department, but I like that in beers like this one. It definitely dries out the mouth a bit, it's ultra dry! I always like beers that do that, but your mileage may vary.

A very well made beer. There's something about this combination of belgian/brett yeasts and IPA that I enjoy when it's done right, and the french oak adds an interesting component that tends to bring everything together. I am really glad I found another beer like 3767 since I enjoyed that so much, however at $15.99 per 750ml I'm not sure how often I'd revisit this.

Bubba83, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of jjanega08
4.55/5  rDev +5.3%

July 2011 Batch #1

A= The pour is a bright yellow color. The brightest yellow color I've ever seen in a beer. The head is thick and frothy looking and rises to a couple fingers high before falling to a frothy layer on top of the glass. The lacing is pretty good but it's not your typical sheets it's more of a spotty film.

S= Immediatly after opening the bottle I got quite a bit of Brett. Tons of brett in the nose and a nice hop blend to that compliments the brett in a unique way that I can't really explain. Interesting mix of brett and fruity hops. Unlike anything I've ever smelled.

T= The taste is again one of the most unique things I've ever tasted. Really nice mix of bright hops and a woody tannin barrel flavor. A tasty bretty flavor that actually seems to be maybe a little sour for typical brett only innoculation but that may be chardonnay. Really unique and interesting mix of flavors that all seem to work somehow in unison.

M= Bright carbonation as well as a thick lasting flavor that sheets on the tongue.

O= This is unlike anything I've ever tasted. Totally unique and very delicious. I always love it when a brewer comes out with a beer that is unique. This is one of those. Really unable to fully explain it. A tasty beer that is worth buying and buying. Try this beer. Hopefully the other beers from this brewery will be just as good.

jjanega08, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of starrdogg
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

starrdogg, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -7.4%

JAHMUR, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of jag21
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

jag21, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of CypherEnigma
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

CypherEnigma, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of helmstreet
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%

Poured in a tulip glass.

Cloudy, light orange body topped by a thick, rocky white head that falls quickly. The citrusy hop aroma slips into piney, grassy farm notes where the line between Brett and hop blurs. The high carbonation makes it almost chewy. As it moves from lips to throat there's a great balance of malt and hops with lemony flavors becoming bready then slightly briney, leaving a dry aftertaste that's half sour half bitter. You can feel the oak in your jowls. This is a complex beer--simply wonderful.

helmstreet, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of paxchristi
5/5  rDev +15.7%

paxchristi, Nov 27, 2011
Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 802 ratings.