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Bitter Monk - Anchorage Brewing Company

Bitter MonkBitter Monk

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

731 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 731
Reviews: 216
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 10.39%


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: 731 | Reviews: 216 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BarryMFBurton
BarryMFBurton

Indiana

4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
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 macrosmatic
macrosmatic

Florida

4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
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 Greywulfken
Greywulfken

New York

4.61/5  rDev +6.5%
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 JohnG190
JohnG190

New York

4.61/5  rDev +6.5%
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 brewtus
brewtus

Ohio

4.61/5  rDev +6.5%
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 Bubba83
Bubba83

California

4.63/5  rDev +6.9%
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 +6.9%
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 UnknownKoger
UnknownKoger

California

4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2011 01:52:01 | More by UnknownKoger
Photo of billshmeinke
billshmeinke

California

4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
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 bigfnjoe
bigfnjoe

Pennsylvania

4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a corked & caged bottle into a Chimay goblet. Here goes nothin, sweetie....at $20 per bomber, this had better be amazing. Batch 1, July '11

A- pours a cloudy straw color with a one finger perfect white head that stays around for awhile. Looks great at least...

S- FUNK!!!! Tremendous aroma of horse blanket with a little sweetness from the hops. Wonderful

T- there's a freshness from the brett, with some mild funk....finish is mildly hoppy. The Belgian yeast is also present in the taste....it's very complex. Wonder how it would have tasted fresh...hops taste a little faded

M- medium bodied, maybe a little on the light side. Perfect

O- this is absolutely fantastic. Love love love this beer

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 00:48:27 | More by bigfnjoe
Photo of sholland119
sholland119

Pennsylvania

4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

M-Medium bodied, nicely dry.

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

HV

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 20:07:57 | More by sholland119
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Batch 2. From notes.

A: Pours a hazy golden-orange body. Despite a careful pour, the head rises to a vigorous 4 fingers in height in my tulip. It recedes slowly, leaving clumps of bubbles down the sides as it collapses into a thin collar.

S: Incredibly tropical, fruit-forward hop nose: pineapple, tangerine, lime, apricot, mango, white wine. This hits my sweet spot for noses; a nice twist is its small introduction of a hay-like brett presence. Thankfully, this is young and the brett hasn't really taken hold yet. I don't want it to; as an IPA alone, this is outstanding.

T: Bitter Monk has a beautiful fruit cornucopia. Pineapple dominates; I really love this flavor in beer, and to find it on the nose and taste is a real treat. I know some brett strains can enhance this flavor, so maybe it will persist with age. As noted before, I pick up tangerine, lime, apricot, mango, and white grapes. The bitterness is more pronounced than I like; the beer is pretty dry (a perception enhanced by its slightly tannic finish), so there isn't a lot to counteract the acridity.

M: Up front, there is a perceived sweetness -- I say perceived because the beer finishes dry and bitter (the latter being a bit of a drawback). It makes me wonder how the brett will evolve the beer; there can't be a lot of sugar for it to work with. Time will tell, I suppose. I'm certainly not bothering to age it. Good carbonation, no trace of the ABV.

O: I've been pretty underwhelmed by everything else that ABC has released so far, but this one blew me out of the water with the first batch. I bought 3 bottles of the second batch -- and I will continue to buy more of later ones. This is a winner (fresh, at least). I don't intend to age it.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2012 02:08:20 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle

Ale Aslyum chalice - lot of great things involved here - citra hops, brett, french oak chardonnay barrels. I love all of those things and naturally found this beer to be quite great - very lush fruit profile - papaya, melon, mango, citrus, lemon. Both the barrel and the brett are great compliments to the hops - everything marries quite well.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2013 16:46:02 | More by dirtylou
Photo of shand
shand

Florida

4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Alright. After trying a year-old Galaxy White IPA and now this four month old Bitter Monk, I'm glad to say that Anchorage are single-handedly providing a reason for that terrible mishmash of styles known as a "Belgian IPA" to exist. The flavor profile is nearly perfect, the Brett and the slight butteriness from the Chardonnay barrels do very interesting things with the heavy fruity hopping and oak. Lightly sour at first, some more influence from the hops quickly rushes in, with the yeast and oak providing a strong backbone for the finish. Much like the Galaxy White IPA, the mouthfeel is extremely dry because of the whole brett + lots of hops thing. An exceptional beer. Anchorage's Belgian IPAs are so good, they make everybody else trying the style look like amateurs. As good as the style gets.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2013 00:48:12 | More by shand
Photo of cvm4
cvm4

Mississippi

4.66/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a golden straw color with a lovely two finger eggshell head. The body is not translucent at all.

S - Very funky... Good amount of belgian yeast with a nice citrus aroma and the chardonnay barrels come out in full force.

T - Bitter, grapefruit, funk, belgian yeast with ever so tart dry white grapes in the end.

M - Medium bodied and high carbonation. Nice, crisp & dry finish.

O - A truly fantastic beer! Just wished the bottle was never ending.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2013 00:44:02 | More by cvm4
Photo of hopsbreath
hopsbreath

Oregon

4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2011 03:33:27 | More by hopsbreath
Photo of flannelman808
flannelman808

California

4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2011 22:15:35 | More by flannelman808
Photo of kkipple
kkipple

South Carolina

4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 00:46:20 | More by kkipple
Photo of mrand01
mrand01

New Jersey

4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Opaque amber/orange with about 1/2" of thick white head. Decent retention with hardly any lacing.

S: Lemons, citrus fruits, a little funk. Hops are hardly in the nose here, but it smells amazing.

T: Whoa. This one starts out sour and zesty and takes a quick turn to the citrus hops. The oak from the chardonnay barrels really comes through, with the wine notes melding with the hops perfectly. Amazingly complex.

M: A little sticky, medium bodied with sharp carbonation.

O: This beer is ridiculously good. Who would have thought a sour IPA would be a good idea?

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2011 00:09:56 | More by mrand01
Photo of helmstreet
helmstreet

Kentucky

4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2011 20:25:38 | More by helmstreet
Photo of pixieskid
pixieskid

Germany

4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

IMO Anchorage Brewing Company is off to a killer start, this thing is incredible. I wish I could say it was totally original but it is rather reminiscent of Mikkeller's Nelson Sauvignon...either way, well executed and very enjoyable!

Pours an orange hue with a solid 3 finger head. Dissipates slowly leaving a a small white head throughout the whole tasting.
Nose; woah! Tropical fruits; starfruit and mango, desert white wine, and a lingering citrus hop note.
Taste; pineapple, grapefruit, chardonay, oak, brett. This beer smells and tastes exactly as it is depicted on the bottle. Finishes with a dry mouthfeel and earthy/brettiness, balanced bitterness for the stated 100ibus.

Overall; I love this beer and at about half the price of Nelson Sauvignon (stateside, at least) this is a perfect concept beer that blends intense hoppiness and white wine tartness.

Congrats to Gabe Fletcher on his newest endeavor; so far so good...gonna go out and buy a bottle of Love Buzz this week!

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2011 01:18:05 | More by pixieskid
Photo of ngeunit1
ngeunit1

California

4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a hazy golden-orange color with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down very slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is full of citrus and tropical fruit hops with some grapefruit, orange, and pineapple, with some Belgian yeast, Brett, funk, lemon, and some oak.

T - Starts off with lots of citrus and tropical hops with some strong grapefruit, pineapple, and orange flavor and some bitterness alongside some Belgian yeast esters coming through. Though the middle, some light pine comes through with stronger bitterness, oak, and some Brett funkiness. The finish is a mix of citrus and tropical hops, bitterness, oak, Belgian yeast, Brett, and some funk.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate-plus carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry, bitter, and funky finish.

D - Very drinkable. The combination of DIPA level of hops, Belgian yeast, Brett, and some oak aged barrel aging comes together to create a complex and very well balanced beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2012 05:25:59 | More by ngeunit1
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magictacosinus

California

4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I was so happy to find a bottle of this recently - it's by far the trickiest seasonal release from Anchorage get around here, for whatever reason. Bottled in May 2013. Poured out of a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass - split three ways.

Pours a nice, vivid orange-amber combo of a color, with obvious cloudiness given the diverse yeast strains. It's bubbly at first, with thick carbonation that rises to the thickened, foamy bone-white head at the top, but it soon dissipates into nothing over the course of consumption. A pity - with the Belgian and Champagne yeast strains, I thought this would hold itself together a little bit more rigidly. Still, it's pretty appealing to look at, given the color.

My God, given the yeast and hop diversity, you could smell this thing as soon as we popped the cork open. Dipping my nose into the glass, I get a plethora of some of the finest flavors from American DIPAs, Belgian strong ales, and saisons that I've consumed over the past year. It's a culmination of world-class factors if I've ever witnessed one: passion fruit, guava, grapefruit, pears, and apples when it comes to fruit, followed by pine, marijuana, and violets on the herbal scope. The Brett and oak rounds out the flavors nicely, with notes of grape must, baking soda, tobacco, leather, wet hay, and some light, barnyard-esque dampness. Extremely complex.

The complexity continues in the aroma, but nothing really prepared me on how elegant and gently layered this beer - especially one this seemingly rustic and diverse - could be. Wonderful tropical fruits ranging from passion fruit to mangoes hit the palate, followed by grapefruit, pine, hemp seeds, sage, and floral textures. The bitterness from these esters is immediately cut by the Brett, which provides a leather, tobacco, and wet straw texture that is funky and flavorful. Afterwards, the oak spices and sweetness from the grape must, as well as the different yeast strains, round things up with notes pears, pineapple, tobacco, and baking soda. Finishes bready and yeasty, with a bit of spiciness and crispness. Keeps your mouth cleansed for the next sip. As far as this hybrid goes, this is a masterpiece.

It's definitely not cheap ($18-20), but it's absolutely worth every penny here. With everything I've written above, no final culmination should be necessary. This could easily become overrun by the Brett over time, so I'd recommend having this as fresh as possible. The diversity of flavor, as well as the multi-layered texture, is what makes this beer so damn refreshing and versatile. Beer and wine drinkers alike must try this when they can.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2013 20:39:28 | More by magictacosinus
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daledeee

Iowa

4.71/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A 750 ml bottle.

Poured into a chalice. Great bright yellow or gold with lots of bubbles. Nice white head and lacing.

Nose is yeast and citrus. Nice and fresh smelling but yet funky.

Taste...well taste treat. Plenty of grapefruit. I specially like the mix of grapefruit, brett and Belgian yeast. This beer is truly unique. The tastes are not overpowering and in your face like some IPA but the flavor lingers for some time on your palate. Mouth feel is beautifully crisp and clean. I would never guess this has 9%.

Truly a fine beer. I am sad they are only brewing this once. Everything I have had from these folks has been a taste treat. I can honestly say this brew is unique to anything else I have tried.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2013 01:45:53 | More by daledeee
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oceanman907

Alaska

4.71/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured into by Deschutes Tulip, Brewed May 2013

Well I have had the Bitter Monk Before many a time but I am finally reviewing it since I just polished off a bottle and man is it as good as I remember. I like my DIPAs to be a bighter color than the typical burnt orange/ haziness of many and this beer has a beautiful sunshine yellow/ brassy hue w/ ridiculous head retention (I'm talking over an hour and there was still a rim on my friends glass). But the smell of this beer is truly heavenly for a hop head, it starts out with that brett sour apple turning into barnyard scent which is then replaced by grapefruit, passion fruit, mango, hop phenols and finishes with a hit of oaky leather. The taste is just as good brett flavors are forward with a center of this beer is pure hoppy goodness, with a lingering barrel finish that is very very dry. This dryness was amazing for the taste but did hurt the feel of the beer slightly and it could have been more carbonated (the top did fly off though...) all in all hard to find fault with this one a great beer that really is proud to represent the style of Belgian IPA, god Gabe is good....

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2013 11:36:50 | More by oceanman907
Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 731 ratings.