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Bitter Monk - Anchorage Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bitter MonkBitter Monk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

818 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 818
Reviews: 217
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 328
Gots: 92 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Anchorage Brewing Company visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: sprucetip on 08-26-2011

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
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 818 | Reviews: 217 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KGarrett
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of barleywinefiend
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured a lightly hazed golden, orangish color with a beautiful white cap, superb head retention. Beautiful beer.

S: Where do I begin? Very aromatic with layers of brett funk, floral, white wine, citrus and passion fruits and very slight alcohol note.

T: Amazingly great. This is the best beer I have had in a long time. First sip is a nice bretty, meet passion fruit/citrus and yeast. The wine barrel is very noticeable as well. There is a subtle hop bitterness here which is just right for this beer.

M: Medium bodied, carbonation is perfect, feels lightly sweet, dry, extremely flavorful and so damn good I want to just use it as mouthwash.

O: Easily worth the price. I am impressed by the complexity of this beer. Sometimes to much of a good thing is a bad thing but this was all GREAT!

Photo of Brewblues
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of drewrowland
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of itsiilegal
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of Chingringo
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of kiki3drt292
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of KevdoggNasty
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of Airyk12
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of tykechandler
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of tickingtimebomb
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of PainkeepBrewing
4.92/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Corked bottle, served ~40-45 deg, in a brandy snifter.

A - Hazy golden, with still a significant amount of clarity. Decent sized pale white head that laces really well and sticks around.

S - Brett funk, floral, wine, very slight alcohol. A lot of brett funk that I personally really like.

T - Shazam. First sip is a combination of a blast of pleasant bitterness, followed by brett funk and slight belgian esters. Not a ton of dominant hops but they are definitely there. Lingering bitterness and funk on tongue afterwards. Really really delicious overall, a lot of different things going on that work well.

M - Not particularly thick, but lively carbonation gives a nice impression of mouthfeel.

O - One of the best beers I've had in a while. Personally got a ton of brett funk in both the nose and taste, it was carbonated accordingly, and was a really really fine drink. I didn't get a ton from the chardonnay barrels that I know of, though I'm sure it's a flavor in there that I'm tasting but not discerning. I would gladly pay the $12 for a few more bottles of this.

Photo of OutFox
4.92/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of Sunn
4.9/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of tavernjef
4.89/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Muted and heavy hazen pale pear, yellowy gold hue capped tight and tall with a white crown of crunchy foam. The cap slowly sinks to a heavy skim and patchy lacing grazing the goblet in globby shapes.

Very huge and dry aroma of white grape, lime, fresh wild flowers, lemon, white peach fuzz, white grapefruit, spritzy tangerine, and earthy basement yeast. Also packed in is a wonderful little touch of good Ol' 9% ABV.

Taste is highly complexed with lots of high ended dry citrusy flavors and yeasty actions mixing like a spiked fruit punch, minus the sweetness. There is, however, a bit of caramel sweetness poking about within a orangeified candied citrusy kerfuffle behind the drying citrusy hoppyness. It's delicately woven but nearly brutish in its punch as it stands tall and long across the palate with a tempered tone of lemon, lime, Chardonnay white wine, grapefruit, tangy tangerine, pineapple, and then lays out the yeasty funk with a wonderfully handled and smooth Brett-ish tang and wild flower zip of spice. Immensely yummy and excellently complex!

Body is smooth, bold, peppy, large, lofty, dry with a nice mild play of tang in the middle to keep it all in check as it takes over the palate with a great character of citrusy things and yeasty candy tartness.

Ummm...excellent stuff! Period.

Photo of JimmyTango
4.89/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Hazy yellow-to-orange with frothy pure white head.

S: Oh my god. Lemon zest, lemon custard, barnyard/ wet hay. Wet for sure. Hops? Deffinately, but more as a bitterness... not the floral or citrus rind that I expected. The belgian yeast is there in the background with some pineapple smells, but the nose is pretty sour.

T: Bitter! The taste is like the nose but with a tad more flowers and pineapple flavoring hops. Lemon is pretty dominant and when teamed up with the barnyard funk gives it a subtle cottage cheese flavor. Still more wet hay and some sourness from the brett. The malt base is hard to put a finger on, but I'm gonna say its there with a stale white bread character. Again, only a touch of belgian sweetness, just enough to upgrade the malt from stale french bread to stale wonder bread. Ya dig?

M: Foamy, light, delicate, and clean. Hop oil finish leaves you feeling a bit soapy.

O: This is my favorite beer. I was completely blown away, although it was very different from what I expected based on the description. For some reason I was picturing a much more malt forward and bigger/sweeter beer considering the label as a belgian IIPA with barrel aging, but no... Dry, balanced, and crazy complex with a damn-near perfect hop forward bitterness, mostly funky but nicely sour brett character, and a malt backdrop enhanced by the belgian yeast without being heavily fruity, spicy, or sweet.

Photo of MrTopher
4.84/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bought this for the wife, with intentions on us splitting it, and we did, served into Duvel Tulips.

A – Pours a cloudy golden/straw yellow color, a nice thick Belgian style egg white in color, and exceptional lacking on the sides of the glass.

S – I could smell this from a good 3-4 feet away, rich hops (floral/fruit) and some farmhouse funks (guessing from the Brett), this just screams hybrid; “American Belgian Wild IPA”.

T – Great aggressive hoppy characters that just build and build. Here is how I experienced this beer; hop punch up front, then some chardonnay and oak characters, and then just the sour funk of the Brett with spices and earth characters.

M – A little on the thick side, but very inviting and well accepted, carbonation was spot on.

O – This has to be one of the better BA Belgian IPAs I have had, is this better than Hop God, NO. But it’s in a slightly different class as Hop God. I consider this more of a hybrid of an American Wild (aging with the Brett) and a Belgian IPA (the Belgian yeast and overall presentation); I think “American Belgian Wild IPA” is a great name. Parts of this beer remind me of Le Terroir, maybe a blend of the Hop God and Le Terroir, but on another level.
This is my first Anchorage Brewing, and hopefully not my last. I hope they keep bringing more great beers to CA.
This would be a great beer to cellar for a few months and see how much more the Brett develops.

Photo of scottfrie
4.83/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle into Portsmouth tulip. Batch 1.

A: Pours a hazy dark citrus lemon/orange color with a billowing, soft and dense off-white head that slowy faded into a fluffy film which left chunks and streaks of sticky lacing down the glass.
S: Complex hoppy notes of citrus, tropical fruits, sweet fruit nectars, tangerines, and grapefruit pith all mixed with earthy, spicy and funky notes of Belgian yeasts and brett. This is one unique smelling brew.
T: Yep, a DIPA with Belgian yeast and brett. This beer tastes like the nose with the grapefruit pith bitterness, sweet tropical fruit hoppiness, and earthy funky brett standing out the most. I do get a bit of the vinous quality of the white barrel as well. The finish is lightly beer and the aftertaste is sweet and funky.
M: Medium-full body with a drying mouthfeel that has a pleasant bitterness in the finish. The carbonation is soft and full.
O: One of the best in the style and just a phenomenal beer. The hops and the brett work wonders together. I love the bottle as well. Highly recommend and a great beer all around.

EDIT: Rarely do I buy a new beer more than once, especially one that costs between $13 to $16 a bottle. Sure I'll buy six packs of old staples (Anchor, SN) or singles of my favorites (Pliny), but I've returned to this beer four times now. I love this beer. It's awesome! I'm bumping the scores up to include more 5's.

Photo of bouncepass
4.8/5  rDev +11.1%

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

Photo of mgironta
4.8/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer came out of a corked and caged bomber. The cork was pretty easy to get out and only had a slight pop. The brew poured with a gigantic head, about three fingers of pure white head that was thick and fluffy and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, almost straw yellow with lots of active carbonation visible. I thought the color was pretty light for a Belgian IPA. The nose was all brett…not that I’m unhappy with that. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a brett beer. Wow, this was really different. The brew started with a bit of grapefruit and tart citrus with a bit of barnyard funk from the brett. It was really light (body-wise) for a Belgian IPA and the booze and IBUs are really well-balanced out by the flavors. The finish was relatively quick with a hint of citrus. The body was probably the lightest that I’ve ever had with a good dollop of carbonation. This beer was just fantastic to me. It was an easy drinker despite the ABV and was complex and quaffable. I would definitely have this bad boy again.

Photo of sjccmd
4.79/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light orange slightly hazy body with a creamy white head. Carbonation streams up from the bottom of the glass. Incredibly stick lacing.

Wow. The aroma is incredibly fascinating. Lots of brett and hops, but they seem to compliment each other so well that it is almost hard to distinguish which is which. Bright citrus and tropical fruits. Pineapple and slightly cheesy barnyard funk. Earthy basement aroma. Incredibly floral.

WOW! I was thinking that there was no way the flavor could be as interesting as the aroma, but I was so wrong. Juicy hops, funky and earthy brett all balanced together. Crazy tropical fruit flavors that I don't even want to reduce to pineapple or mango...incredibly unique. It's pretty hard to describe this flavor. I would have never imagined brett and american hops could work together so well. Finishes with earthy and spicy with a solid hop bitterness.

Exceptionally creamy, but not heavy mouthfeel. High carbonation but not fizzy. Sticky hop resin fills out the mouth.

This is one of most unique beers I've had...even after having Love Buzz. I can't wait to see what this brewery does next.

Photo of dimitrov
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 818 ratings.