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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 cavedave
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%

Live review

A four finger foam factory finally deflates and remains a thick cap atop a very cloudy, dark straw colored beer.

Smell is a strong aroma of lemon and funk, neutral sweet, hints of citrus pith, floral, and even a bit of pine. Exceptionally alluring.

OMG this is one strong flavored, in your face blast of funkitude and hopaliciousness. It starts with a bitch slap of lemon and hormonal essence, barnyard, gains momentum with some righteous bitter, hits stride with piny resinous goodness, lets some sweet join the fun, and bitter citrus to emerge, and ends with brett, pine, and herbal bitter scraping furrows in my palate. Complex, exotic, and staggeringly delicious.

Bright carb. powers the flavors here, and it's highly viscous, though well attenuated (thank you Mr. Brett), with a finish that is magnificent and clean.

Super Friends set a high mark to equal for Brett IPA's, but Bitter Monk is another candidate for the IPA Hall Of Fame. If you see this, get it, you will enjoy it for sure.

cavedave, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of zoolzoo
3.68/5  rDev -14.8%

A: Hazy, lighter side of golden...almost straw colored. Huge white white head, quickly forming. Sticky lacing, lots of rings.

S: Lemony funk, brett - plopped right down on some citric hop flare. More funk than anything else...yeasty, peppery.

T: All of the traits described on the bottle except the DIPA part make the biggest initial showing. Brett is prominent, along with a suggestion of lemony citric qualities than I cannot attribute to hops. Big part of a wild ale up front. A strong bitterness emerges mid sip which begins to hint toward the base beer under all the funky stuff. Citric hop qualities are muted. This is sort of a Belgian IPA gone crazy, or something.

M: Medium body, high amount of carbonation. Very lively on the tongue.

O: Good. Kind of all over the place, though interesting. I personally dont think brett sits well within an IPA. You might disagree.

zoolzoo, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of OutFox
4.93/5  rDev +14.1%

Just got these into my shop in Jersey City NJ.

Batch #1 July 2011 bottling.

25th Review!

A - Corked and caged 750ml bottle. Hazy golden with quite a nice head. Poured into a wine glass.
Great retention and good lacing.

S - Holy f'in crap. This is a complex mess. Hops, Brett, oak, Chardonnay, yeast, I dunno this is ridiculous. I almost dont have the words for this I mean you smell so many different aspects at one time. Ive heard people call this a religious experience in a bottle and before I even taste this I know why. Holy sh!t.

T - Wow. I mean same as the nose with even more complexity than I could even imagine. The Brett/Chard aging gives it a different sort of weight. The hops dont come through till almost the end and it has this sort of stinging Brett acidity that is amazing. I havent had a sip in 3 minutes and I can still taste this beer.

M - It has the sort of middle weight without having to use the malt sweetness that is just doesnt exist in Belgian style Double IPAs

T - I dunno what to say. I was expecting greatness from this beer and it more than delivered. Cheers to Anchorage Brewing company for doing something completely out of the box.

OutFox, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of Kshock
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%

A- Nice light yellow color with good retention with a pearl white head. leaves some lacing on the glass.

S- Very floral with oak qualities, hint of chard. Very nice combination of aromas, enjoyed this a lot.

T- great fruity citrus, drys out a lot very qucikly. Bone dry on the end. finish is grapefruit.

M- Very light and fluffy. great carbonation, very dry.

O- Really unique beer.

Kshock, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Pours out a glowing citrus yellow and orange color, with tons of haziness. Pretty.

Amazing chunky brett and citrus hop aroma. Simcoe and Citra all over this one. And the Simcoe doesn't dominate with its uber bitterness either. Soft touches. Really get the plethora of hop smells all over the place from simple grapefruit, to tropical, to piney.

Same with the taste. Lots of bretty goodness, lots of citric hop tastes, perfect amount of bitterness, lightly sour, not overpowering the hop quotient here. Has almost a chardonnay or white wine like aspect to it from the spritziness. Hid the alcohol quite well. Everything just melds so nicely, great interplay.

The most unique dipa I've ever tasted. And not just unique, its f'n awesome. Don't know how belgian it is, the yeast certainly doesn't seem belgianesque, and the hops are definitely west coast stylee.

Pricey, I mean, the beer just nailed it, but still half point deduction for the price.

Beerandraiderfan, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of kkipple
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%

From Green's on Piney Grove, that bane of my wallet. Shared with no one, and poured into a big Tripel Karmeliet glass one autumn night just after another birthday. Bottle has a wealth of information and reads: Batch #, July/2011. The cork releases with a very loud pop. Here we go.

A. Dusty pale gold, a fine finger tall white foam which never falters over an hour of drinking. Minor lace - but the eternal head is impressive and quite worth nothing.

S. Good heavens. Very Allagash Little Big Beer. Massive pungent tart-ester sharpness, acidic, loads of bitter green hops, Brett, pineapple-citrus, a hint-o-funk, lemongrass, lactic, hot alcohol, unripe apple, Citra hops, phenolic, (if you want to get boring)... and the Chardonnay...!!! Ultimately a tad more hop forward, but this works together extremely well. Aggressive, complex, balanced, unusual, fun. Top marks. Memorable.

T. Woah... this is a BIG DEAL. Think of a super amped up & drier Raging Bitch, but with a better, less distracting and more Belgian hop profile. Never mind the Citra, this just works. Meanwhile, the Chardonnay / oak combo is doing yeoman's work on my tastebuds and the Brett adds more complexity to an already stunningly ambitious brew. Lots of grapefruit, but always in context. There is very strong white wine flavor here, which absolutely works for me, and the dryness of the beer is pronounced even more by the highly bitter (but NOT medicinal or abrasive) hop presence. This is a superbly crafted beer that never goes too loud on one channel, although if you don't like lots of lingering bitterness and white wine this will probably not be your thing. It is mine.

M / O. Frankly the mouthfeel is dead on. Perfect, soft carbonation aids a dry, wine-heavy beer that has an everlasting finish of rolling leafy hop bitters and dry oak, with that sour, fun Brettanomyces and wine combination that I am just loving. You know there is booze here, but with something this delicious, who cares?

Bitter Monk is admittedly an odd beer, but if the stars align and you like:

Belgian IPAs
Big, bitter DIPAs with American Hops
Complex, sour beer (Jolly Pumpkin, Fantome)
Oak and White Wine

Then you will be transported to the Seventh Heaven of Beer. At some level, this stuff becomes very subjective.

Let me wrap up. My fascination with this beer stems from the fact that I know this sort of triple-fermented, barrel aged, funk-ified beer is extremely hard to get right and in balance, but frankly, Anchorage has just nailed it here. This is a beer that swings for the fences and connects with a Grand Slam. Know what you are getting into before laying down your $15 bucks, but if you can dig it, you will dig it deep.

Bottom line: One of the best new beers I've had in 2011, and instantly makes me want to buy more Anchorage beer.

kkipple, Oct 12, 2011
Photo of HopHead84
4.18/5  rDev -3.2%

10/9/2011

A: Hazy yellow orange with an impressive white sea foam cap. Very good retention and lots of lacing.

S: Ripe golden apples with notes of pear and Chardonnay. There's a good amount of oak. Brett imparts earth and leather. 

T: Moderate bitterness meets leather and earth. Apple is pervasive and there's a pronounced Chardonnay presence accompanying oak. The bitterness seems to clash with the Brett, but my palate gets used to the punishment after a while.

M: Lower medium body with lower high carbonation. Dry and sticky.

Overall: Fantastic aroma and a good flavor. The price tag is hefty, but if you split the cost with someone it's worth a try. 

HopHead84, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of zeff80
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%

A - Poured out a cloudy, golden orange color with a two-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left thin rings of sticky lace on the glass.

S - It smelled phenolic and funky with a nice caramel nose.

T - Good funky, yeasty bite upon first sip. Nice, sweet caramel backbone and a bitter hop bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a clean finish.

O - This is a really great beer. Anchorage has done another great one.

zeff80, Oct 07, 2011
Photo of MADhombrewer
3.5/5  rDev -19%

750ml cork and caged bottle poured into a HOTD tulip. Bottle is dated batch #1 July 2011

Appearance- Nice light orange color with a beautiful white head. Lacing is all over the place. 4.5/5

Smell- A funky orange aroma is the first thing I smell. Bits of grassy hops as well. 3/5

Taste- Belgian yeast with lots of citrus hop flavor. Lots going on here. Alcohol hits you pretty fast. Big bitterness that evens in the end. There is a small sourness that the brett imparts. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel- Very even mouthfeel. 4/5

Overall- Good beer. I can see why everyone is loving this. I don't know if the Belgian IPA style is really my thing. Maybe it is the brett that is turning me off slightly. 3.5/5

MADhombrewer, Oct 06, 2011
Photo of UnknownKoger
4.65/5  rDev +7.6%

Poured from cork and caged bottle into Bruery tulip. Color is golden yellow. Huge head! Dissipates fairly quickly into a nice foamy island with a ring around the glass.

Smell is absolutely fantastic. Hops and brett right in the nose. Some funky sweetness. This is mouthwatering.

Taste is really unique and pretty outstanding. There's the bitterness of the hops right upfront, but it's balanced extremely well by the brett and the oak aging. This is complex and delicious.

Mouthfeel is very nice. Very well carbonated and light and springy. This feels and tastes great.

Overall, this is a very exciting beer, and I would buy it again without a doubt.

UnknownKoger, Oct 06, 2011
Photo of chodinheaven
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%

Big foamy white head on top of a hazy yellow beer with orange highlights. Looks like a wheat beer really. The head dissapates slowly, leaving patchy rings of lacing with it as it goes. Chardonnay is definitely present in the smell, with a sharp note that reminds me of fresh tangerines at first. The wine smell masks others, but alcohol comes through softly. Floral hops faintly work their way to the top as well. Interesting smell for a Belgian IPA. The chardonnay really takes the stage here.

Lots of flavors hit all at once and then the complexity lingers on. The chardonnay barrel aging definitely had an effect on this beer, giving it some wine like characteristics that play pretty well with the three yeasts and intensly bitter citrus and piney hops. The citra hops are the most evident of the three used, giving an orange citrus flavor that is distinct from the chardonnay and slight resiny hop taste. This is one of those beers that you can just tell a ton of ingredients were put together to make a pretty cohesive and complex brew. It is rich with flavor and there is never a dull sip. The backbone that levels all the flavors out evenly is the biscuity maltiness found smack dab in the middle of it all. Its not as noticeable due to the plethora of other and more intense flavors, but its there, and it holds this beer together. Surprisingly not as boozy in the taste as I had expected so this one will sneak up on you at 9% and very drinkable. The bitterness threatens to take over on each sip, but the malts, chardonnay flavors, citrus, and three unique yeasts hold out and make a name for themselves. That characteristic double IPA flavor of hops is definitely there though, and a major player in the complexity of this beer. There is a smokiness to them as well that could be part of the oak barrel aging. Between the bitterness and the sweetness from the orange citrus, this beer has a unique balance to it. Its extremely bitter on the back and sides of the tongue and then lingers forever, but there is a certain sweetness that the chardonnay and the citrus bring to the beer that compliments that sharp bitterness. The mouthfeel is crisp and clean with a little wine-like bite that finishes the character off. It finishes dry but lingering, a good combination that led to reapeated sips.

Unique beer. Worth a shot if you have a spare 15 bucks or so. Great to share, celebrate with, or just enjoy being challenged with in your spare time. I will most likely be checking out Anchorage's other offerings if I can find them. This was a pretty impressive first.

chodinheaven, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of jethrodium
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%

750 ml bottle. Pours a hazy golden amber with a two finger pillowy white head that sticks around for a while and leaves a large amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is strong brett funk, some lemon zest, mango, grapefruit, and pineapple. Pretty awesome. You can definitely tell there is some citra used. The initial taste has a hint of sweetness with some funky oak flavors and lemon zest. Then the pineapple and mango come through. The finish has a good bitterness with some brett funk. The finish is quite dry. Overall a really smooth beer. Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Awesome beer. It was a bit pricey ($14 for 750ml), but I think it is definitely worth trying at that price. Reminded me of a hopped up version of Orval.

jethrodium, Oct 04, 2011
Photo of Neffbeer
4.1/5  rDev -5.1%

Poured into a Portsmouth Tulip

A: A light murky yellow body accompanied by an orange hue greats my glass with no discernible clarity. The mountain of dry hops is at fault I am assuming. There is a two finger white head that hangs on for a long time and slowly forms chunky mountains. It left behind a bunch of lacing along the sides of the glass as well.

S: I can seriously smell the beer from a couple of feet away. There is tons of citrus in the nose in the form of oranges, grapefruit, and mangoes. The brett kicks in pretty strongly as well with some must and funk. As I keep smelling it the oak barrels push through with an element of white wine.

T: The flavors are really intense as the hops kick in first with a zesty onslaught of citrus. Mid palate the oak really grabs hold and brings the vinous qualities with it. It finishes quite bitter and dry with a wave of brett-filled funkiness.

M: Spritzy and light it reminds me of a saison in feel.

O: Quite the unique beer and probably the only 'IPA' I have had that actually improved with barrel aging. I'd buy it again.

Neffbeer, Oct 03, 2011
Photo of DaveHS
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%

A-Pours hazy light amber with over 2 inches of fluffy eggshell white head. Leaves rings of complex lacing down the glass and a thin cap of foam floating on top.

S-Bright, citrusy hops, brettanomyces funk,pineapple, lavender,pear juice.

T/M-Tasty, chewy brettanomyces barnyard funk is nicely complemented by the citrusy, lemony hops. Dry, simple malt profile has notes of buttery pie crust. The finish is dry, with bitter earthy hops.

O-This is the second Anchorage beer I've had now, and it's another winner. I'm liking what these guys are doing.

DaveHS, Oct 03, 2011
Photo of metter98
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

A: The beer is cloudy yellow in color and almost resembles a variant of lemonade. It poured with a finger high white head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are moderate to strong aromas of sourness in the nose along with some hints of citrusy hops.
T: The taste is quite sour but is also very balanced with the underlying malts so it isn’t overpowering. It is also complex with flavors of citrus and grapes.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness in the finish.
O: This beer is very well balanced and the sourness and complex flavors make it a very interesting beer to sip.

metter98, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of drabmuh
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%

Poured into a New Belgium beer glass from a 750 ml bottle. At the time of this review, this is the #17 beer on the "Top Beers - New" list on beeradvocate.com and the #4 Top Belgian IPA on the best of styles lists, it deserves it, the only barrel aged IPA I've had that I find palatable.

Beer is amber / dark yellow with a mild haze, nice white head, good retention, nice lacing, moderate to high carbonation.

Aroma is funky and citrusy from the hops, some oak sneaks through, the Brett is really pronounced in this beer.

Beer is medium to light in body and has this great midpalate arrangement of hops and yeast character, mild funk, some oak on the back, moderately dry finish, a great beer overall.

drabmuh, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
4.53/5  rDev +4.9%

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Batch #1 July 2011.

Minor pop off the bottle. One of the best forming heads I have ever witnessed. Perfectly uniform bubbles of white everywhere. A clumpy retention head sitting on top of a pale amber to glowing brass yellow twenty four carat gold edges with lots of rising carbonation present. I don't know what perfection is.. in many ways it is an anomaly. But this here looks like just a flat out perfection presented.. the head formation is what got me.

Nose is like a bretty grapefruit citrus ipa saison hybrid. Slightly vinous and green grape smelling. Great fantastic nose. Hop angle does not seem obvious, after some time funky sense wears off and becomes more citrus dominant, feeling mildly sour.

Taste is like drinking orange bretty bubblebath, and a mix of huge hoppy pine blast in the aftertaste. Drying hop rooftop feel, with medium texture just down the middle for thickness. Texture is almost vinous but taken over by pleasant hop dryness. Hot punching yeast all throughout.

One seriously slamming beer from this brewery what can I say. They are making some dam good beer up in Alaska.

smakawhat, Oct 01, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Picked this up at Connecticut Avenue in DC. Served in a Mikasa tulip.

Pours a moderately-hazed apricot-orange with a killer white head that lasts nearly throughout. As it slowly recedes, there's plenty of lacing left in its wake.

The nose is extraordinary from the start. Lots of fresh fruit notes. It immediately reminds me of Super Friends with the combination of tropical and citrus hops plus the nice Brett twang. Beautifully intertwined. The flavor continues on from there with the same hop notes plus a bit of pineapple and grapefruit. Light funk underneath the hits, providing a nice dryness to the finish, which goes along quite well with the hoppy bitterness.

All in all, really a fantastic beer. I quite liked Whiteout Wit, but this beer really went to the next level.

Thorpe429, Sep 30, 2011
Photo of Verecund
4.45/5  rDev +3%

Opened on September 29, 2011. Was pleased to see that this hit a local shop - in good quantities - because Anchorage Brewing Company starting up was one of the things I was most looking forward to in the beer world for 2011.

Pours a slightly hazy bright gold with a substantial head of four fingers. Very pillowy, with large bubbles clinging to the side of the glass. Okay lacing.

White wine vinousness, prominent citrus (lemon, lime) notes, brett c., faintly earthy and woody. Very clean and appetizing. There's just a hint of sweet and bitter grapefruit in the background, reminding me that this is a Belgian IPA.

Pithy citrus and grapefruit bitterness washes over my palate. (Where was this hiding on the nose?) The lemon-lime sourness takes a backseat, but it's there, especially on the front of the palate, if you're looking for it. The brett has already dried this out, so the mid-to-late-palate really shines, screaming [pithy] grapefruit that transitions to a more citrus profile on the finish.

Medium bodied, medium-high carbonation. Some warming heat. Fairly dry, though there's a tiny bit of sweetness on the front palate.

This is a fantastic Belgian IPA. I still can't believe the contrast between the nose and taste, but both deliver in their own ways. I anticipate good things from this brewery. While I'm curious how the brett will treat Bitter Monk, I would drink now to experience the bright citrus/grapefruit bitterness.

Verecund, Sep 29, 2011
Photo of John_M
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%

At Max's today.

The beer pours a solid gold color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is, well, bitter... I really get a lot of dry citrus in this beer and not much else. As the beer warms a bit, I also pick up some white pepper and light pine, but the citrus really dominates. On the palate, this is a very serious Belgian style IPA, with a lot going on. There is honey, butter, vanilla, considerable dry citrus and orange zest... maybe some light cherry as well. Also, while there's some initial sweetness, that's quickly pushed aside, and I then get considerable bitterness in the long, dry finish. Mouthfeel is fairly full, with a long, light sweet, but ultimatley very bitter finish. I almost feel as if I pick up a little heat from alcohol in the finish, but there is so much bitterness from the hops, ultimately I can't really tell.

Very impressiive Belgian style IPA. I still prefer the mischief from bruery, but this is right up there.

John_M, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of flannelman808
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%

Update-Great not epic-
This is loosing much of the citra contribution as it's aging. What is left behind, while good, is more akin to a belgian strong golden and not a belgian/american dipa. Still complex, still quite good, but not the mammoth it is for the first month or so. But who knows, in a year maybe this Mother goes sour. boom goes the dynomite.
...but the first 1-2 months are the truth.

A: Pale murky orange colored brew, topped with a near true white head. Perfect sea foam lacing clings to a glass it should not be able to. Retention is quite good as well.

S: Oh my god. This smells amazing! Grapefruit and other citrus (tart tangerine) notes are very pronounced, Sour grapes and just a hint of oak follow. The nose suggest that this stuff could be sour.

T: This is BY FAR the best beer of it's style available today. A fruit salad of bitter citrus rinds blend into a spicy complex and astringent mix of flavors. The oak is present in a drying sense which is always a good thing. Flavors which just boarder on acidic accompany the lot in an a way which compliments everything else. The finish is extremely long (and remarkably bitter).

M: Long finishing sticky and carbonic.

O: I'm stunned by this beer. It is truly a beer to search for and an instant classic for me. I dare say I wouldn't mind aging a bottle for a year or more as well to see if that brett changes things things over time. Epic.

flannelman808, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of Monkeyknife
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Poured from the bottle a hazy nectarine-yellow with two fingers of rich and rocky off-white head. Tons of lacing left behind.

Aroma of Juicyfruit gum, Belgian yeast, white wine, lemon and fresh earth.

Much like the aroma, tastes of Juicyfruit gum, tart lemon, white wine, Belgian yeast and a hint of spiciness. Finishes with a light medicinal tang. The 9% alcohol is well hidden in this one.

Lighter bodied and dry with a sharp carbonation.

I loved this beer. A lot of character and personality in every sip. Anchorage Brewing is doing a lot of things right.

Monkeyknife, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of brotherloco
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%

750ml C&C bottle. Batch #1 - July 2011. Served in a tulip.

Pours a cloudy gold with a giant pillowy 3+ finger white head. Good bit of lacing.

Aroma is a blend of citrus, white wine, and brett notes. A real floral and grassy character in the background.

Flavor tilts towards a light sourness that dominates the citrusy hops. Fruity middle that is medium dry. A very pleasant bitterness comes on in the finish and dissipates quickly, leaving a sharp tart aftertaste. Maybe a sting of booze in the finish but overall the alcohol is buried.

Medium bodied with soft natural medium carbonation. Amazing mouthfeel and incredibly drinkable.

Certainly the most unique DIPA I've tasted. Flavor is much more rounded out than a typical hop bomb. The hops are certainly present, but collaborate with all the flavor brought on by the brett and multiple fermentations.

brotherloco, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of hopsbreath
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%

Picked up at Beaumont Market in Portland, Oregon for $13. Taking my time, and pouring by parts into a Meyer's Duvel tulip, I managed to drink the whole 75cl bottle over the span of a couple hours. I didn't see this information in the other reviews so here's some bottle flash: "Ale 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. Batch #1 July/2011"

A: Slightly hazy guava in the glass, huge rocky white head, lots of clumpy lacing. Are you not entertained?! About as appetizing as a beer can look. 5/5

S: Brighter citrus consisting of lemon and lime, some nice wood, Brett earth in full display, and a definite grapiness. I honestly didn't know that this was done in wine barrels before the pour, so I checked the label to see if Nelson Sauvin hops were used. Nope, French Oak Chardonnay. The wine is easily appreciated. 4/5

T: Out of left field this suddenly becomes quite the DIPA. The nose promised a complex beer but the taste is pungent and aggressive with the hops right out of the gate. Big citrus and deep bitterness truly define tongue numbing. Only after going back for a sip or two can the earthiness and spice really be singled out and only then by thinking about it. I've used the term grapefruit frequently in the past when describing IPA's, but this is the truest representation I've ever had of eating a segment of the fruit, membrane and all. Even the long tingly bitter finish is intact. I think it's best to consider the taste as the sum of it's parts rather than individual components. The hops lend the great bitterness and citrus, the brett gives a true earthiness that can only be found in pith, the wine barrels further enhance the organic nature of raw grapefruit. I say again, this is grapefruit in a glass. As simple as that sounds, this is remarkable and unique. 5/5

M: Full, astringent, quaffable, and bone dry. 5/5

O: A stunner of a beer. The second beer I've had from Anchorage and the second home run as well. The brewer's talent seems incredible. The grapefruit segment I described in the flavor could be a happy accident but that just seems too uncanny to be chance. This beer was designed to be that way and that just might be the most impressive thing about it. I don't like Belgian IPA's. It doesn't matter this time though because Bitter Monk is in a league of it's own. Find me a valid comparison. I don't believe it exists. 4.5/5

hopsbreath, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%

25.4oz bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip Glass.
Batch 1

A - Pours a cloudy medium orange with a two finger yellowish head. Spots of lacing are left on the glass.

S - Yeast, citrus - mostly lemons.

T - Hoppy citrus, slight pine, and still some yeast in the background.

D - Tons of carbonation, lighter body.

O - Nice since the yeast wasn't overpowering. Another winner for Anchorage brewing.

HuskyinPDX, Sep 12, 2011
Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 802 ratings.