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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

228 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 228
Hads: 866
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 3.68%
Wants: 376
Gots: 104 | FT: 7
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
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 228 | Hads: 866
Photo of FosterJM
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

1731st Review on BA
Bottle to Pinot Noir Glass
750 Ml C/C

Batch 2
Purchased at El Cerrito Liquor

App- A glowing orange with a bit of a yellow and creme tinge behind it. A nice and puffy head. Cracky and puffy white head that faded very slowly. Great cling and lace behind it.

Smell- The Brett takes over and creates a nice funk blended with the hops and the yeast behind this one. Dry, hoppy, citrus and yeast. A great combination especially with the barrel aged wine behind it.

Taste- I liked this beer. I didnt get blown away by it, but I really enjoyed it. I think the price affected me. The beer itself was a very nice mixture of what I would say was a attempt at a very layered beer. Spot on Anchorage. Huge notes of the barrel come in, with the duality of the citrus and the dry tannic of the barrels they used. The DIPA flavor was a bit of a background noise with the Brett stealing the show.

Mouth- A solid medium body with a certain dry grassy feel to it. A bit of a cracker flavor remains with some funk, yeast and citrus zest to balance this all out really.

Drink- I paired this with artichokes, italian chicken and ravioli. Holy cow was that a good idea. Nice job anchorage. I was hesitant when this 1st came out. Glad the ticker in me had to tick this one. (1,276 characters)

Photo of greenmonstah
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle marked Batch #1 July 2011

A - Pours a hazy yellow-caramel with a finger of frothy white head. Nice lacing and retention for this ABV.

S - Bitter and funky, with oak character. Enormously complex, with hop bitterness, green apple sourness, old yeasty brett funk with a leather twist, and a winey grape-oak chardonnay aroma.

T - Similar to the nose, but with very different emphasis. Sour and bitter both, with little hop flavor but plenty of bitterness. Herbal, funky, bitter, oaky, and vinous. Clear flavors of chardonnay and big brett funk flavor. Hugely acidic, with a strong finish of oak and leather. Complexity gets 5/5, but I don't especially love drinking it, to be completely honest. So fascinatingly woody, like biting into a tree trunk. I have to give it a 4/5 for all the flavors it brings to the table, and the fact that they honestly do work well together. I'd hate to knock it for what it is, so I've settled on 4/5, even though my taste preferences suggest a 3.5

M - Medium body with light but active carbonation. Acidity affects the feel by affecting the mouth in the way a sour apple or grape might -- gives you that weird feeling on your teeth.

O - Overall I love this beer for the experiment that it is, but don't particularly adore drinking it. It is a challenge to quaff, and would score low in drinkability. That said, I think is ends up being a brilliant beer overall because I've never had anything like it and at the same time, it didn't fall flat on its face. It really excites the taste buds. I'm very interested to see what Mr. Fletcher has up his sleeve in the future. This almost tastes like something Vinnie at RR would cook up, but perhaps without the restraint needed to make a perfectly balanced beer. (1,754 characters)

Photo of kjyost
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle acquired at Princeton Liquors, Maple Grove, MN. Poured into a large wine glass, with the first pour at 4C, the last at 18C.

A: Straw yellow and clear with a ton of little dabs of lacing.
S: Some very light citrus hops with a wine like nose of Brett and floral notes.
T: Very definitely a Brett beer with floral and light earthiness. Bitterness that builds that is earthy. Little hop nature of note, sadly... As the beer warms a strong aftertaste builds that is not exactly pleasant, though hard to describe...
M: Bitter, funky, enjoyable.
O: A great Belgian Brett pale ale, but knocked down by the advertised DIPA. Yes, I know it was old (6 mo+), but I didn't know that when I bought it due to a lack of bottling date. Not hoppy enough, but I sense the bitterness. (773 characters)

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.19/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed out of a brown 750 mL bottle marked "JULY 2011", which is the only time this one was brewed, as far as I know. That seems to be the modus operandi for Anchorage.

Appearance - Aggressive pour yields a frothy orangish cream head of lots of tiny bubbles, one finger thick. Lacing is silky and fleeting after head sticks around for a little while, but eventually fades into a healthy layering of spotty foam on top of the beer.

Smell - A full two years after the bottling date, the brett has made itself quite at home in this bottle. Brett funk and tartness dominate the nose, but still allow for veins of citrus zest to shine through unexpectedly but pleasantly.

Taste - Again, the barnyard funk is on full display here. In addition to that yeasty characteristic, there is a pretty detectable flavor profile from the Chardonnay barrels--some dry grape elements, as well as oaky vanilla undertones.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation has fallen off a little bit in two years, but not terribly. Light but close to moderate with a medium body that is slightly on the chewy side.

Overall, a beer that I've been seeking for the better part of six months, due to how much I love everything that comes out of Anchorage it seems. This one isn't my favorite of their offerings, but it's darn close, and it's one that I really wish I could have tried fresh. It seems like the time has allowed the balance to flip from hop dominant with brett elements to the inverse. (1,455 characters)

Photo of augustgarage
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a caged-and-corked 750mL bottle into my Dogfish Head oversized snifter.

Hazy amber liquid supports a delicate raft of ivory soft peak whipped foam. Superior retention and complicated webs of thick 3-D lacing...

Apricot, passionfruit, kiwi, and other fruit presents in the nose along with a long citrus note, yeasty phenolics, and a pungent undercurrent from the Brett. Quite a melange...

Potent funk presents on the palate with a ton of earth and pepper; strong floral notes suggest lavendar, orange blossom, jasmine, and rosewater as well. The bitterness comes on slowly at first but then grows over time. I'm guessing the Apollo hops are hard at work here, the resinous core of the beer militating back against the Brett. Crisp citrus and mint notes emerge in the finish along with a moderate alcohol kick. Pine and forest floor become more present as the ale warms.

Not-quite-full-bodied, effervescent, yet somewhat oily (as it should be).

The Brett. is once again very potent in this ale, threatening to dominate the flavor profile if not for the massive contrapunal force of the bittering hops. Not sure amidst this what the barrel aging contributes...quite a BIG beer though, which should appeal to hop-heads who are fond of funk...though it may alienate everyone else. (1,294 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (446 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.  (663 characters)

Photo of sprucetip
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew is thick with yeasty haze, golden, and supports a prodigious white head. The foam is soft and pillowy on top, & consists of large bubbles below. The retention is exceptional, and it leaves healthy strands of very dense lacing.

A bouquet of interesting aromas hit me from a distance when I first popped the cork, which I welcomed as a promising sign. When I finally stuck my nose into the tulip, the complexity I had first sensed was not readily apparent. I was getting mainly some light horsey brett and some effervescent, sweet-tart candy and lemon. This gradually refined to still modest barnyard brett melding with a lemony tartness. With time it gets more and more complex. The hops are mainly piny at first, but the citra shines increasingly brighter as I sip. I feel the boozy heat when I really dig in, and after a swirl. But I don't really smell it, and what I notice is exacerbated by my aggressive sniffing. With effort I find wee nip of malty sweetness. The Belgian yeast gently adds yet another layer of depth. And the oak barrel too. I may even detect the Chardonay...The complexity deepens immensely while the 25 ounces slowly slips away. And it all works, the various elements compliment each other well.

The Bitter Monk is a bitter beer. Hop Heads who also enjoy their hops bombs funked-out with brett and barrels and Belgian yeast, will love this one. To me the nose was defined by the brett. The taste is more American DIPA. It just keeps getting better. The dominant piny hop flavor later blends with citric hops. The vaguely sweet malty body was more pronounced than in the nose. The original Belgian yeast also comes through more clearly. The finish is dry and comes with a lingering bitterness that some will likely find harsh, though San Diego-style IPA fans will enjoy. ... By the end, it's all far more balanced and the bitterness has mellowed.

There is plentiful carbonation, medium-full body, modest warming, and a dry and bitter finish that I am not wild about.

If I could change this beer, I would tone down the bitterness overall, and the dry/bitter finish. But it is called the Bitter Monk, so it is what is says it is. The abrasive and penetrating bitterness lingers. But the complexity and balance is admirable if not amazing. Unless you absolutely loath brett, belgian yeast, or grapefruit rind bitterness, it would be crazy not to try this. Shelton Bros distributes it, so it should be widely available. (2,455 characters)

Photo of SSEngelbrecht
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A: This beer pours deep golden orange with two fingers of foamy head typical for brett beers.

S: The smell is hard for my to pin down. I get citrus fruit, funky brett, and chardonnay.

T: The complex flavors belie the hard (for me) to decipher aroma. I tasted tangerine on the first sip, and then more lemon and white grape. the farmhouse funk is there in force, balanced nicely by the bitter hops. There's more going on here than I can accurately describe.

M: this is a light/medium bodied beer with effervescent bubbles. It is crisp and refreshing.

O: I'm not generally a fan of this style, although I've had a bit of Rayon Vert that I loved. The category for Belgian style DIPA aged in chardonnay barrels is pretty slim (I think), but this beer is exceptional by any standard. It didn't convert me to brett beers, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and I learned some things by drinking it. (902 characters)

Photo of FattyJLE
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip.

S - A nice combination of sourness, fresh ripened fruits, funkiness and a Sweet-tart like tartness.

A - Slightly hazy, light golden hue with a substantial bright white head and delicate lacing and some retention.

T - Very much like the smell with more of a citrus punch. The sour, tart fruitiness comes through very nicely in the taste with a perfect amount of hop bitterness. 100 IBUs well subdued by the other flavors involved. Additionally, for a 9% ABV, the alcohol was almost undetectable. Nice acidic dryness on the end.

M - Moderate carbonation. Medium body.

O - One of the more interesting beers I've had to this point, and rightfully so given all the different techniques, ingredients and blending of styles going into this beer. For such a big beer I was very impressed by how balanced and drinkable it was, while packing a creative and complex flavor profile. A real treat. Would definitely have again. (961 characters)

Photo of homebrewhawk
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle served in a Blvd. Tank 7 tulip. Poured a hazy gold with a couple of fingers of tight, white head. Dank and piney hop aroma, some Belgian yeast. Starts out with a bitter bite. Brett and barrel hit in the middle. Medium bodied. Brett really comes out in the finish. Some citrus. Oak comes through as it warms. Alcohol is well hidden. I'm liking what these guys are doing. (399 characters)

Photo of Daniellobo
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very recommendable take on a Belgian DIPA.

Presentation: 750 ml brown, caged and corked bottle. Screen printed label with a green and white design of a monk holding a chalice of the brew with a few snowflakes in the background. Side paragraph offers a description of the brew, and serving indications, back narrative exposes intent, and general background. Notes 100 IBUS, bottling Batch 1 July 2011, and 9% Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass.

A -Hazy pale gold pour, rich frothy head, medium retention, fair surface memory and nice touches of lacing.

S - Nice nose hitting like a hammer with citric hops, touch of resin, funky brett, and a hint of wood.

T - Hoppy and yeasty range… Very nice, flowing over bready funky touches.. sweet caramel in the back woven with soft barrel touches, faint fruity/vinous touch. Earthy touch pushing up the hops again, Belgian spicy insinuation adds to the flow...

M -Medium body and carbonation, with a nice flow that leads to a semi/dry finish.

O - Nice an pleasing take at a DIPA laden with brett and Belgian touches...

Notes: Hmmm, that Anchorage Brewing is making a nice dent with breatty and barrel aged brews is clear. Quality and very likable. Now, if I get fuzzy on this one I might be getting so spoiled that it feels a touch perfunctory. I mean… dunno. I would not mind having a go at a regular dipa from theirs. Here so much plays with the Belgian yeast, the barrel, the brett, that it all has a bizarre predictable sense under all the great serving… Having said all that this is probably one of the best takes, if not the best, I have had at a double Belgian IPA. Nevermind me… (1,645 characters)

Photo of dudeman
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

batch #3 from May 2013 reviewed in Oct so likely missed the dry hop punch - aged it a bit to see how the sour developed

Poured with vigor into Ommegang tulip

Pours a hazy brilliant yellow orange

1 finger of poofy white head that dissipates within a few min

nose is immediate sour funk with some candy apples and fruit loops, not a malty-sweet old ipa sweet smell but a fruity sugar thing

Tart then sweet with a serious sour, bitter yet overall sweet and fruity experience for 7-10 sec. How does the man do it?!? (516 characters)

Photo of Kendo
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a corked-and-caged 750 ml into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body surprises with its lightness of color: slightly hazed straw-apricot with a bright, eggshell-white foamy 1-finger head. A little bit of lace clings to the sides of the glass after each sip.

S: Interesting. There's a lot going on in the nose. Apricot. White wine. Lighter citrus and tropical fruit. Some funkiness.

T: I am pretty sure I have never tasted a beer quite like this. The first impression is actually the back end of things: the bitter finish (think grapefruit pith) that smooths out to a combination tart/sour/bitter aftertaste. Up front I get some fruitiness; not-quite-ripe-nectarine, a bit of apricot. White grape skins. Earthy hops with a hint of pine. After a few sips I've concluded that there's some tannins lingering with that tart/sour/bitter finish - likely the Chardonnay barrels. Also a bit of alcohol heat becomes noted as it warms up a bit. Vacillating b/w a 4 and a 4.5 on the taste score.

M: Active fizziness. Body is lighter than expected - call it light-to-medium in heft.

O: Interesting. Not necessarily my cup of tea, so to speak, but I can appreciate a well-made, unique beer. Bonus point given here, bumping from 4 - 4.5. (1,244 characters)

Photo of nppeders
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance - hazy yellowish orange with a rocky white head.

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

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

mouthfeel - medium mouthfeel, medium to high carbonation.

overall - This was my favorite beer drinking experience at the Bodega in Lacrosse over Thanksgiving weekend! So glad that they continue to bring in amazing beers! I really had no idea this type of beer could be done. A brett barrel aged DIPA. That being said, they certainly got it done extremely well up in Anchorage. This is a fantastic beer and I'm glad I tried it even though I paid $25 for the bomber at a bar. Heck it was thanksgiving and I couldn't resist! Beside the chardonnay barrels adding maybe a touch too much and creating "a little too much going on" this is a great beer, and a style that I look forward to trying again in the future and maybe brewing myself! (1,408 characters)

Photo of SitkaSteve
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I poured this into a snifter.
The appearance was a nice looking hazy orange color with a light carbonation to be seen rising to fill a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within less than a minute. The lacing stuck nicely around the glass in a speckled even sort of way.
The smell had a sharp peppercorn to brisk lemongrass and a refreshing sort of citrus blend.
The taste had a sharp dry spicy refreshing citrus over top of the peppercorn and lemongrass.
The mouthfeel had a dry yet refreshing sort of brisk carbonation rolling across my tongue. It saturates but is quite dry as well.
Overall, as a Belgian IPA, I say it works. I say its very well done. (662 characters)

Photo of SierraFlight
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz corked and caged bottle shared at Beachwood BBQ #bottlecherwednesday. Poured into a tulip, this beer is cloudy orange-yellow with a finger or so of white foam that settles to a thin layer that’s retained for the duration. Lots of sticky lace rings and streaks are left behind. A very complex aroma includes citrus and tropical fruit, brett funk, acidic white wine, oak, some caramel malt, and a little vanilla. The flavors are just as layered, with a great interplay between sweet and sour bolstered by bitter underpinnings. Yeasty, funky, citrusy, oaky, and vinous. Very enjoyable to sip and savor. Medium body, a bit creamy in texture, lively carbonation, drying, puckering, long finish. (696 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big shoutout goes out to my doppelganger for sharing this one with me! Served from bottle into a Bell's stemmed tulip. Poured a hazy golden yellow with a three finger fluffy white head that subsided to one finger slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, funk, citrus, citrus hop, earth, and lemon rine. The flavor was of sweet malt, lemon rine, citrus, citrus hop, grapefruit, funk, and earth. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. This beer really worked well for me. The citrus aspects going on here were quite well incorporated with the rest of the brew and the funkiness took it to the next level for me. I wish more Belgian IPAs were like this one... Really glad I got the chance to try this one and I would do so again anytime. (847 characters)

Photo of wrycon
4.24/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful goldenrod. Smells simply amazing - strong tropical fruit, apricot, wheat and pine notes, all swimming in a yeasty funk. Tastes as good as it smells. Strong sharpness up front from the hops and Chardonnay. Midway, it twists in a tangy direction and the brett really makes its presence felt. A citrusy sweetness, come out in the back and helps blunt the bite. Good, complex brew.

Like it? Certainly (407 characters)

Photo of Kranders
4.24/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. I popped the cork on this beer and a funky-sweet aroma just filled the room instantly. Kind of hazy beer, nothing to exceptional. However, this beer tastes like nothing else I've ever had. It's rich and buttery from the chardonnay barrels, it's super sour, and it has just a hint of bite from all the hops. Absolutely crazy beer that seems just thrown together but is utterly fantastic in the end. (402 characters)

Photo of 05Harley
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in July, 2011

Purchased @ Hill Farmstead (Harvest Festival), Greensboro, VT

Price - $12/bomber

The appearance is a hazey golden color with a fluffy two inch white creamy head that lasts. A steady stream of bubbles and thick legs round out the look.

The aroma begins unmistakeably with a layer of belgian yeast funk which sets the tone followed by white grapefruit, lemons, spices and wood. Not too strong and quite pleasent.

The flavor is a slap in the face with brett yeast, pine hops, lemon and a pepper finish. A slight sourness is noticeable, however lacking is the citrus fruit and sweetness.

The mouthfeel is very bitter and dry, but I mean it is a Double IPA. The carbonation is close to perfect here thanks to the yeast working in the bottle. The body is light to medium with a crisp clean finish.

I'm glad I got the chance to have this. As the name implies it's bitter (100 IBU's) with an authentic belgian feel and not over carbonated. I experienced exactly what I was expecting. (1,005 characters)

Photo of inflatablechair
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First of all, this beer is beautiful to look at. The only thing that could make it more beautiful would be clarity; it's pretty hazy. Perhaps it could have used more time to settle. Anyways, it's between straw and orange in color and just barely translucent with a large Duvel-esque head.

It smells of Brett and citrus rind. The Brett is very faintly barnyard funk with more of a lean towards phenols. The citrus is on the lemon/tangerine side of things. Afterthought: there's a little bit of yeasty spiciness too.

The taste is a little jumbled. Quite bitter, which you'd expect from the 100 IBUs stated on the label. It's not sour at all -- only bitterness detected on the tongue. Combined with the smell, it's like chewing on a lemon rind while riding a horse. IN A GOOD WAY.

The beer is quite dry for a DIPA. Not thin by any definition, but not sweet either. A little under-carbonated, which is surprising, given the large, pillow-like head.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed drinking this beer. Going forward, this is the beer I will think of when I think of Belgian IPA, even though it's a double IPA brewed in Alaska. (1,124 characters)

Photo of chodinheaven
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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. (2,579 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

Bitter Monk fills the glass with a bright yellow look with some deep gold tints in certain spots. A nice bright white billowy foamy head of foam graces the top leaving droppings on the glass, sheets even. Smell is heavenly, the brett is right up there and fills the nostrils. Citrus hop aroma is amped up as well as lemon. The char does not really come through. Some bubblegum scent wit some integration. On first sips I can tell this is big beer, it's bold, bitter and somewhat abrasive without going overt the hill. Lemon, citra hop flavor, grapefruit, brett make up the flavor profile. I don't get any char and the oak is faint, if there at all. The lemon and bitterness last for a while afterwards. BOLD. Feel is a healthy medium with a whole lot of carb that sparks. This beer causes tingles on my tounge. A great beer that delivers on everything on the bottle, sand huge barrel flavor, yet drinking this now, too much of that may have killed what make this stand out. (1,042 characters)

Photo of Urbancaver
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy yellowed orange. Golden. Gorgeous. I like the look quite a bit. Smells funky, sweet. Floral, lots going on on the nose. A bit bitter. Maybe hops? Very cool aroma. Tastes belgiany, hoppy, bitter oak, tannins, lots of goodness, very enjoyable beer :)
Well carbonated. A bit rough around the edges but really nice. I quite enjoy this brew (348 characters)

Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 228 ratings.