Bitter Monk - Anchorage Brewing Company
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Ratings: 794 | Reviews: 216 | Display Reviews Only:
4.34/5 rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Poured into a teku glass, orange-yellow very hazy with a stark white head. I didn't let it foam up too much but it has good retention and leaves a thick chunky lacing.
Thin dry straw and crack-like grains, complex with white grapes, oak, bright citrus and mango hops. Brett brings in a mild mustiness and Belgian yeast spice notes of clove and coriander. Flashes of tartness with strong dry hopping, sounds familiar.
Base beer has a thin unobtrusive cracker-like malt adding subtle graininess, evident hop flavors of bright citrus peel, straw are complemented by the chardonnay barrels bringing out bright fruit notes. French oak and the highly bittering apollo hops add a pinching bitterness that gives the impression of drying with Belgian yeast flavors of coriander and powder. Brett adds a layer of complex mustiness and the finish is also tart from the wine barrels.
Medium bodied, the yeast is nicely balanced with active carbonation. Alcohol is very well hidden, or just ignored given the complexity of this beer.
One heck of a ride, this is a Wild Ale more so than a Belgian IPA and I'm pleasantly surprised that the complexity comes more from the wine barrel aging and hops rather than the Brett. Bitterness is pretty sharp and tartness is balanced, the French oak also rounds out the Citra flavors nicely this is really a stellar beer.
Serving type: bottle
12-18-2013 03:57:16 | More by rawfish
4.45/5 rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
A - Pours a hazy orange with a nice foamy head.
S - Tropical fruit, juicy grapefruit and lemon. Funk with a hint of bubblegum
T - First taste is like the noise. Great mix of citrus, pineapple, mango, and grapefruit. Notice the pepper and a nice hint of yeast and sour character. Bitterness is blended with a wonderful mix of flavors.
M - Medium body, the finish is on the dry side but finishes well, easy to drink.
O - I have only tried a few Belgian IPAs and this by far is a great one.
Serving type: bottle
12-13-2013 03:30:53 | More by patpbr
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
4.7/5 rDev +8.8%
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
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
Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 794 ratings.