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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

782 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 782
Reviews: 216
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 264
Gots: 95 | 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)
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Ratings: 782 | Reviews: 216 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of billshmeinke
billshmeinke

California

4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip.

Hazy straw/golden body with a huge four finger rocky head. Retention is awesome, and so is the lacing. A seriously amazing looking beer.

Smells of brett, dry and yeasty. Lots of fruity hoppiness. Pineapple and tangerine rind. Hints of oak and white wine too.

Tastes of oak, tannins, white wine, stone fruits, orange rind, tangerine rind, pineapple, grapefruit, some bretty funk, complex yeast notes. Pretty bitter and earthy finish. So layered and complex, it's ridiculous.

Full bodied, well carbonated, smooth texture with a nice carbonic bite on the end. Super dry as well.

I don't know what to say, I'm pretty blown away right now. One of the best beers I have tried this year and possibly ever. Ridiculously complex, super dry, just an amazing beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2011 05:56:01 | More by billshmeinke
Photo of Bubba83
Bubba83

California

4.63/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2011 08:05:25 | More by Bubba83
Photo of MrOH
MrOH

Maryland

4.63/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My wonderful GF bought this to celebrate her completing her first semester of grad school, and my getting promoted at work.

Hazy dark straw with HUGE creamy white head, excellent retention. Good lace that slides down the glass after a bit.

Pinepple, muskmelon, lychee, apricot, plum just loads of tropical and stone-fruit aromas. A slight piney note. Some burnt sugar. The brett contribution is small but noticeable. Katey says some chardonnay character is there.

BONE DRY. Huge dryness up front, then all of the tropical flavors come in. Oak pops up for a second, then a very bitter, slightly piney finish. Don't really get any brett personally, Katey says she gets a touch of sourness. As it warms, it softens a bit, and the bubblegum and stonefruit flavors from the primary yeast can come through. Brett funk is now noticeable, but still very subdued. Maybe an aged bottle would have more, although the hops would be gone by then. It's almost confusing to taste this.

Very light, high carbonation. Definitely suits the brew, but I would personally like a touch more body, not much, but I'm pretty sure this beer's gravity finished below 1.000.

Very intense. Definitely would never be a go-to of anything, but will definitely try to get another bottle or two to share with some folks who would "get it". Makes you have think about it as your drinking.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2011 02:01:03 | More by MrOH
Photo of Greywulfken
Greywulfken

New York

4.61/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: into a tulip, deep gold body with a 2-finger head of ivory fluff that settles into a filmy lid with lace all down the sides; bubbles stream in lines from the bottom of the glass

S: earthy, herbal and grassy - some distant pale fruit - farmhouse-like, suggestive of fresh grains and wet hay

T: bitter and oaky chardonnay - musky and funky, yeasty breads and bitter hops; only slight sweetness from the malt, perhaps something like pale fruit sweetness for a moment, but the predominance is tart, bitter (both?) brett funk, marking and cleansing the palate simultaneously

M: medium-light body, amply carbonated; buttery-feeling, great aftertaste, very drinkable

O: great beer, lots of complexity and depth - this is, like, my 3rd beer from Anchorage, and these guys are making some great brews. Definite buy and try.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2012 23:17:40 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of brewtus
brewtus

Ohio

4.61/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours hazy orangish yellow with a nice two finger head
S- lots of Brett, citra, belgian yeast, lemon, grassy,
T- oh yeah, great citrusy hops, pine, belgian yeast, grassy earthiness, substantial Brett, you can really taste the Chardonnay barrel, some funk
M- very nice, not too much carbonation
O- this is really really great, lots of complex flavors, much smoother finish than you'd expect from a 100 ibu belgian beer. Really glad I got to try this one. Definitely the gold standard for the style.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2013 04:06:31 | More by brewtus
Photo of JohnG190
JohnG190

New York

4.61/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy golden orange with an off-white head. Good retention and lacing. Lots of spicy yeast, citrus, pepper, grass, grape, oak, and lemon. Pepper and yeast hit the palate first, followed by faint hints of pine, lemon and apricot. The aftertaste is most interesting, grape, oak, lemon, green apple and notes of peach. Finishes dry and slightly bitter. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall, this is a fascinating beer. I have never had anything like Bitter Monk, but I will be seeking this out again soon!

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2013 22:30:17 | More by JohnG190
Photo of SPLITGRIN
SPLITGRIN

Kentucky

4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first brew from this brewery and a unique style to boot. I am not really sure what to expect but I an excited to try it.

A three finger off white head erupts atop the perfect golden orange straw colored body. Head fades to a swiss cheese like rocky foam. Fat waves of lace are left afterwards.

Nose is very cool tingle that is full of complexity in itself. Every thing plays here with all the flavors. Hints of crisp fruit, zesty hops, powdery sweetness and sour tannins all come through. This nose is very attractive.

With first sip this drinks much like a champagne, just not quite as carbonated. Crisp and fruity up front with a backbone of malt. It really dries out on the mouthfeel and turns to a wonderfully bitter consistency. A delicious brew that is a wonderful change of pace to almost anything else out there.

Super drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2012 01:50:05 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of BarryMFBurton
BarryMFBurton

Indiana

4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I don’t know the release schedule for Anchorage, so it was a nice surprise when the local liquor store got a case of Bitter Monk. Cheers!

Bottled six months before the date of this tasting: Batch #3, May 2013.

A: Bright gold with a substantial amount of haze; the head – a gorgeous, silky white – sits at half-an-inch for minutes, leaving webs of lacing here and there.

S: Phenomenal; this nose is absolutely slathered in aromas of pure, juicy fruit, like you’re cutting into a fresh grapefruit. White grape and lemon support. The brett and barrel are wonderful in their own right, giving off an herbal, woody funk of lemongrass, wildflowers, and cedar sawdust.

T: Every sip of this beer shines with bright, brilliant flavor. Prominent in the front of the palate are tastes of tangerine, grapefruit, overripe berry, and a subdued sharpness of olive juice from the brett. Notes of barnyard straw, white pepper, white grape must, and grass finish it. Mildly dry aftertaste.

M: Velvety-smooth; perfectly carbonated with a light-to-medium body.

O: Incredible: one of the best brett beers I’ve ever had. When a beer’s this great, there’s nothing more to say but wow.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2013 00:24:29 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of notchucknorris
notchucknorris

California

4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy apricot color with a huge fluffy white head. Leaves loads of lacing down the glass. Looks pretty awesome.

S: Huge citrus hop aroma. Vanilla, lemon, grapefruit, nilla wafers, just a touch of Brett and some oak. Really complex and absolutely incredible.

T: A nice hit of Citra right away with some mango, white grape, and pink grapefruit. Some honey and caramel malts in the middle before a finish of peppery and earthy hops. Some oak and Chardonnay dry the finish a touch as well.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2012 20:24:53 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of Jules11788
Jules11788

California

4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a cloudy golden yellow color; fat 3 finger-width head, very sticky lacing. This beer looks super enticing

S: As soon as I poured this I could smell the delicious tart hoppiness exploding from the glass. Musty fruit tartness followed by a sweet floral/fruity hops in the back of the nose. Amazing

T: Super hoppy bitterness mixed with a creamy tartness, like a smooth buttery chardonnay with a hoppy backbone; the flavors expand nicely as they move down the tongue, finishes slightly dry with some more tartness and bitter hops. Absolutely delicious

M: Thick, yet somehow finishes light and dry; tingly and full-bodied with medium carbonation

O: This is a fantastic Belgian IPA, and one of the absolute best beers I've had in a while

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 20:19:27 | More by Jules11788
Photo of macrosmatic
macrosmatic

Florida

4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 750 mL corked and caged bottle into a Cigar City pint glass.

A: Pours a very hazy dark yellow, with lots of carb and just over a finger's worth of big-bubble white head.

S: Quite funky, with lemon citrus, barnyard, grassy, peppery and yeasty notes. Reminds me quite a bit of a saison.

T: Follows the nose, but way more hop presence than the aroma – big citrus (orange and grapefruit) and a bit of tropical fruits. Then yeasty, with some fruity esters. A very nice Brett funk and barnyard as well – horse blanket, wet hay, and grassy. There is a subdued vinous character as well. The Brett and the citrus and the yeast esters mix superbly. Citrus hop bitterness (grapefruit rind) in the hang with some residual funk, and the finish is quite dry.

M: Medium body and carbonation sensation. The alcohol is noticeable, but even that seems to blend well with everything going on in here.

O: This was really, really good. Excellent beer. Lots of hop flavor, but still blends very well with all the wonderful Brett characteristics brought out here. Absolutely love this one.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2013 03:03:48 | More by macrosmatic
Photo of ChaseT
ChaseT

Oregon

4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pale straw color with excellent head.

S: Citrus and barnyard funk.

T: Exceptionally interesting combination of bitterness, lemony citrus, and slight sour. High amount of bitter aftertaste.

M: Excellent.

O: Going forward, I don't think there are any other breweries whose releases I am more interested in and excited about these days. This beer is incredibly tasty and unlike anything else I've ever tried.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2011 03:26:40 | More by ChaseT
Photo of VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract

Massachusetts

4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2012 02:51:38 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured out as a hazy golden color with a thick white head, the retention is clumpy. The lacing is sticky. The smell of the beer gets better as the beer warms up. There are aromas of lemon citrus and orange, some subtle oak and Brett on the nose. The taste of the beer is sweet with a slight tart bitterness with hints of honey in there. The mouthfeel is carbonated pretty well. Still very drinkable on the smoother side. Overall this is excellent. Really really good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 03:37:51 | More by Knapp85
Photo of DovaliHops
DovaliHops

California

4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2. Pours a very hazy, golden color with a hint of orange. Medium white head that disappears quickly. Scent is WOW! Amazing aroma to this beer. Funky wild yeast with some tropical and citrus fruits. Nice pineapple with some orange and lovely hoppiness. The more I let my nose get familiar with this beer, the more french oak and chardonnay I get. Very complex. I could sniff this beer all day. Taste is initially tart with some white grapes and tart green apples. Some citrus and tropical fruit flavors...wow, just wow. A hint of butter. The hops, fruit, oak, and chardonnay flavors blend so well with a subtle funkiness that just makes me wonder how this beer will taste after the Brett works its magic over time. Gotta grab another bottle to sit on. So much complexities going on here. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, nice bite, yet slightly chewy. Drinkability is very high for almost 10%. Alcohol is present, but not very much so. Overall, this is just another great beer from a brewery I have grown very fond of over the last year. I have yet to find an Anchorage beer I didn't think was good.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2012 07:45:10 | More by DovaliHops
Photo of draheim
draheim

Washington

4.59/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle (batch 3, May 2013) into a tulip. Pours a slightly hazy orange/straw color w/ a big fluffy white head that leaves sticky chunks of lacing. Bright lively carbonation rises from the bottle of the glass.

Aroma is a big burst of tropical citrus, Belgian yeast, sour green apples, and a nice bretty funk.

Taste is a complex combination of juicy grapefruit and orange, Belgian yeast and brett, bitter hops, and pale malt. Just the slightest hint of Chardonnay gives it a vaguely vinous twist. 8% ABV is invisible.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, balanced, smooth. Really nice clean dry finish.

Overall this is a great marriage of Belgian and American brewing traditions. So far, my favorite beer by Anchorage. I don't love a lot of beers, but I love this one. I can't imagine anything that would make it much better.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2013 20:56:05 | More by draheim
Photo of Neorebel
Neorebel

New Jersey

4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bitter Monk's appearance is a hazy, pale amber hue. It's head begins as a fizzy soapy head but dissipates to a small ring sticking to the side of the glass. The aroma is nothing short of incredible and fascinating! The multi-layered hop scents, lemon, kiwi, and clove, all married to the brett/yeast earthy notes, wine-like characteristics, and a creamy hint to it make this one of the best smelling beers I have ever taken a whiff of. Taste - WOW! Not to be taken lightly this beer begins with the earthy brett, and quickly the piny hops jump in as well. The finish is pleasantly bitter with the flavor of the wine barrel revealing itself. The body and mouthfeel are not too overpowering, and it's got, I'd say a 7 on a scale of 1-10 in terms of alcohol heat. I am enjoying the warming sensations and pleasant buzz right away. Overall, the beer's a rare treat not to be missed. Top shelf- buy with confidence. I would also like to note that the beer was bottled in July 2011 and drank July 2012, with plenty of hop flavors very much present.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2012 06:06:20 | More by Neorebel
Photo of ktrillionaire
ktrillionaire

Florida

4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This brew lives up to the billing: it is tremendously bitter, and heavily Belgianesque in character. Bitter Monk pours a surprisingly pale translucent golden hue, topped with a very healthy white cap of rocky froth. The nose is pungently bitter with notes of heavy grapefruit pith and elderflower being highly prominent. The bitter apple-pineapple flavor imparted by the brett pairs well with the hop addition, as they mimic one another's flavor in some ways. I keep thinking this is very much like Cantillon's Mamouche - or like an elderflower IPA. The pale malt base is evocative of the classic Orval or Duvel approach; there is no caramel to be found here. The mouthfeel is quite effervescent, and thereby bordering on prickly; though it is not offensive, I'd have preferred a softer feel. That said, in every way this is a challenging, ass-kicking type of beer, so the feel is in that vein as well. A very good example of the style; probably the best I've had.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2011 18:47:12 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of fmccormi
fmccormi

New York

4.56/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Straight pour from a 750ml/25.4oz cork-and-caged bottle to a stubby, stemmed tulip. Not sure on the exact bottling date, but I purchased this a couple of weeks ago and was told at the time that it is from the most recent batch. So, fresh-ish? Ehh, it’s a brett beer. It’ll be weird no matter what.

Appearance (3.5): A perfect two fingers of bone-white foam rises off the pour easily but not too aggressively, capping a glowing, moderately hazy, orange-tinted, light amber/straw-colored body. As the head dies down (at an average pace), it leaves a couple of small splotches of thin lacing here and there, and the remnants of a collar near the top of the glass. It looks beautiful right out of the gate, but retention and lacing are more or less average.

Smell (4.25): Nice musty tones, some dusty cereal grains, light peasant bread and slightly fruity wheat tones, some tangerine flesh, lemon juice, light orange peel, and all around just a very well-integrated aroma considering all of its far-flung components.

Taste (4.75): Holy shit nuts, what is going on here? All of the what’s in the nose is in here, too, but along with crazy fruit tones and tangy, citrusy bitterness. Musty, dusty cellary notes mixed with lightly tart, fruity wheat tones, some chewy, fresh-baked peasant bread come out of the gate first, but they’re quickly washed over by tart citrus flesh and zest and a really zingy finish that bridges hop flavor and bitterness remarkably well. Red grapefruit flesh, bitter orange peel, limeade, and tart brett flavor all mix together and swirl around and finish out with a seriously excellent grapefruit rind bitterness. As it warms, an earthy character comes out, that underpins everything else smoothly and cleanly. Crazy. Absolutely no booze. No off-note esters or out of place phenols from the yeast. Just extraordinarily well-integrated brett, malt, and hops. No way this is 9% ABV . . .

Mouthfeel (5.0): . . . because it drinks so damn ridiculously easy. Downright refreshing, honestly: just shy of medium weight with a soft but mature carbonation that foams modestly but fully, tingles lightly but all over, and leaves a dry, but not at all parching finish. I’m convinced this could not have a better feel, to be honest.

Overall (4.5): You’ve got to be kidding me. This beer is the kind of thing that gives me faith in craft brewing—that not everyone is doing their own version of the same old lineup, that some people are succeeding at executing the “what if” fantasy kind of beers (and doing it well), and that there are brewers making beer that’s essentially almost perfect on a regular basis. Absolutely, highly recommended. And yes, it’s worth the price.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2013 01:49:51 | More by fmccormi
Photo of TCHopCraver
TCHopCraver

Michigan

4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Really excited for this one. Belgian Double IPA with Brett aged in French Oak Chard barrels. Crazy.

Out of the bottle the Bitter Monk is a delightful golden-yellow with a slightly off-white, 2 finger head poured into a pint glass. The head is extremely dense and foamy. Lots of little carbonation bubbles rush upward through a slightly hazy appearance from a little yeast that got into the glass. The lacing left on the glass is clumpy and sticky.

The aroma is all over the place. A sour, tart Granny Smith apple-esque smell is the first smell that infiltrates my nostrils. This is supported by hoppy citrus aromas of lemon, lime, and grapefruit. There is plenty of a bready yeast aroma in there, too. It's very interesting smelling the tart Brett mingling with such a strong hop aroma. Really good.

Whoa, that is an exciting and unique flavor. Oh meh gah... This is possibly the most original flavor I've ever gotten out of a beer. The first taste on my palate is of strong, dank, citrusy hops on the sides of my mouth (heavy on grapefruit flavors). This is complemented by a sour of explosion of sour apple and lime that also lands on the sides of my mouth, as well as straight on my tongue. Layering on top of those complex flavors is a buttery, oaky creaminess, which lasts for just a bit before being washed out by the Brett sourness and citrus hops. All the while there exists a very earthy and floral flavor.
There is a lot of crazy shyte happening in this beer. Awesome.

The mouthfeel is varied and exciting. The body of the beer is medium-full with a very creamy feel on the tongue, but all the while there is a puckering sourness and a puckering dankness from the Brett and the citrusy hops. The finish is all bitterness as the hops take over the reins.

I sound like a broken record, but this is a really crazy beer and I very much enjoyed it. If you like taking a palate adventure when you drink beer, this is the beer for you. So hoppy, so tart, and so creamy. Very interesting and highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 02:33:40 | More by TCHopCraver
Photo of Justin_Neff
Justin_Neff

Ohio

4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle - Batch #3, May 2013

A: Pours a hazy, straw yellow. Big, white, pillowy head that hangs around for several minutes, leaving very little lacing. Looks like a tripel from the pour.

S: This smells brilliant. Hoppy upfront with funky tart Brett. Peaches and apricots.

T: Citra hops upfront. Sweet exotic fruits. The funk and Brett isn't overbearing, but meshes with the hops brilliantly. Subtle oak underlying everything. There's a unique sweet kind of bitterness towards the finish that leaves a lingering apricot flavor.

M: Dry. Drinks like a white wine. Prickly. Full body. Heavy carbonation.

O: This is my favorite anchorage brew by a longshot thus far. The complexity of this one is immaculate. Every sip is a little different. Hoppy yet funky. Big fan.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2013 00:23:50 | More by Justin_Neff
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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).

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2012 20:27:41 | More by dbrauneis
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OBeerMeGreatOne

California

4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass. Pours out a beautiful hazy gold with an inch of dense white head. Plenty of sticky lace gets left behind on the glass.

The smell is very inviting. Grapefruit, lemon rind, caramel and funk start off the smell. Oak, alcohol and grapes are hidden in the background.

Smooth and balanced for being 100 IBU. The lemon/grapefruit start the taste, followed by Brett funk and oak. The malts smooth it out with a French bread middle, with a hint of grapes from the Chardonnay barrel. The finish is slightly sour but still bitter. Only a hint of the 9% ABV is noticable. Goes down easy.

One of the best Belgian IPA's I've ever had. Very complex and worth the bottle price. I wonder how it would hold up after a year. Might be an interesting experiment.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2012 00:34:06 | More by OBeerMeGreatOne
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jjanega08

Minnesota

4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2011 05:04:13 | More by jjanega08
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Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Metalmonk, meet Bitter Monk. Okay, Metalmonk has already met Bitter Monk twice before, and he found much to like in this very complex and unique beer. So, third and final meeting (at $15.99 a bottle, it's gotta be the final meeting -- for awhile anyway)...

A very healthy pop of the cork and you can smell this thing from a couple feet away. But first, appearance: so pale and hazy as to resemble a witbier, or a double wit, perhaps. Washed-out golden peach/pear-juice. Head is a blinding-white fluff monster while it lasts, which is longer than expected. Patchy lace of various shapes and sizes splatters the glass.

Ooh, that smell. Can't you smell that smell? It's huge. It's American, French and Belgian all at once, and it's terrific. American thanks to the uber-citrus hop tones (relative newcomers Apollo, Citra and Simcoe, for the record); French due to the heavy oak/Chardonnay presence; and Belgian thanks to the wonderfully funked-up yeast and clean, saison-like graininess. All combines to equal an exotic, electric, vibrant aroma like no other.

There's a heavy grapefruit element at the forefront of the taste, which pulls along with it the tell-tale fruity-and-funky treasures of Brettanomyces yeast (you know you're a lost cause when you can type Brettanomyces without looking at anything for help). Big blasts of tart lemonade, Chardonnay (and white wine-soaked wood), crisp green apple, lime, and something very, very earthy, in a twisted sort of way (again, the Brett speaking). Hops are big, and bitter, but just as well-incorporated alongside everything else, keeping Bitter Monk from feeling/seeming/drinking like a novelty. Reading the label, and thinking "Belgian IPA," I assumed some pineapple flavor would come into this before I had my first bottle several days ago. I don't quite get that, because it lacks that kind of sweetness...but having said that, it lacks nothing. It's fantastic.

Dry as a bone, partly thanks to the oak barrel use, I presume, and that perfectly matches the crisp medium body, the fruity/funky finish and the main tastes on the tongue.

Maybe it's splitting hairs, or focusing on things that don't truly matter, but the label's claim that this is a "Belgian-style Double IPA" is a little misleading. "Massive malt infusion" reads the back label. Really? Of course there's a lot of malt, but it still plays a mere supporting role. There just isn't enough of that sweet malty variable that partly defines a double IPA. But that's about all that wrong with this thing. And really, confining it to any style is futile -- this is one of the most unique, original and exciting beers to emerge from the U.S. craft scene in a while. I enjoyed the heck out of each bottle, and have to admit it was totally worth the $15.99 price tag.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2011 22:43:35 | More by Metalmonk
Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 782 ratings.