Bitter Monk - Anchorage Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bitter MonkBitter Monk

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

222 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 222
Hads: 838
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 7.37%
Wants: 372
Gots: 96 | 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
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 222 | Hads: 838
Photo of magictacosinus
4.67/5  rDev +7.6%
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. (2,624 characters)

Photo of SierraFlight
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
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 Franziskaner
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy light golden colored with vibrant carbonation bubbles. Thin layer of minuscule white foam covers the top. I definitely get plenty of tart smelling Brett in the aroma. The flavor is a complex melange of hops,oak,and Brett. They are all dialed in just right and it works amazingly well. This is very refreshing! The body is very light and smooth,but it is packed with flavor. Excellent balance of sour Brett,bitter hops,and yet a smooth,refreshing beer. (456 characters)

Photo of silentjay
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a pretty hazy orange/straw that gives life to a huge fluffy white head that looks great in my Duvel tulip that recedes rather quickly leaving behind tons of lacing.

aroma first hits of tart and funk with some light citrus and tropical fruits mixed in. lots of brett, a little bit of light oak.

wow. the funky/sour flavors are there, but the hops are holding their own. tastes come in waves. when you first sip its all sour due to the aroma coming in, as you swish it around your mouth the hops add significant bitterness but a huge amount of tropical fruit and juicy citrus. some dry wine on the swallow and then a long lingering hop flavor while the tongue is still tingling and lips puckering from the sourness.

medium bodied with a great level of carbonation and it continues to coat your mouth long after the swallow.

From the aroma, I thought it was going to be all funk and sour, but the hops really do come through and make this a complex and unique beer. love it. I bet as the freshness fades, though, the complexity brought on by the hop bill will diminish. It will probably still be a decent sour beer, but just not as unique and complex. (1,152 characters)

Photo of kevanb
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A Belgian IPA aged with Brettanomyces in French Oak Chardonnay barrels. This has been a big want of mine and I finally managed to get a bottle and couldn’t wait to open it up. It has a really great painted label in a caged and cork bottle. It pours a really nice golden straw color with a monster 4 finger foamy head on top. Lots of lacing in the glass and the head reduces to a nice sliver of film across the top of the beer. The nose is really intriguing, lots of funk from the Brett and Belgian yeasts but followed with citrus hops and faint biscuit malts. The flavors are wild, lots of sour citrus notes from both the hops and Brett, nice coniferous flavors as well from the hops, clean yet exceptionally bitter finish. It has a nice big body and lovely mouth puckering tartness that goes down so easily.

Verdict: Amazing flavors, big yeast notes and hops of a traditional Belgian IPA taken for an amazing ride with the addition of Brett. A sour IPA that really hits the mark. Highly recommended for any hop head or Belgian lover. (1,037 characters)

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a d'Achouffe tulip. The beer is an extremely hazy light orange. My mouth is watering just looking at the color of this beer. It sports a big majestic white head that lasts a little while before dissipating down to a chunky lacing. The nose is very fruity. Lots of pineapples and apricots hit you along with some marmalade and a hint of honey.

Medium body, firm feel, and bitter, fruity flavor. Harsh, bitter notes of orange and grapefruit greet you first. There is just enough of a malt backbone to balance it and keep it from getting astringent. On the back of the palate, the bitterness recedes a bit and is replaced by a refreshingly sour lemony character. The finish is dry and a little acidic. Very drinkable and very refreshing. The body seems light for such a strong beer, but it complements the fruity, bitter, slightly sour flavors perfectly.

I haven't explored very many Belgian-style IPAs, but this is an absolutely stellar beer. I'm definitely going to look for other examples of this style in the future and I'm really looking forward to trying some other beers from Anchorage, whose distribution to my area started not too long ago. I just love the combination of bitter and sour in this beer. You know there is sweetness there too, otherwise the beverage would be undrinkable, but it's buried under the other flavors. It's not that often I drink a beer and think ``wow, that's something I haven't tasted before''. Nicely done Anchorage! (1,479 characters)

Photo of nataku00
3.8/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a golden color with a slight haze to it, with three fingers of pillowy frothy snow white head. Head dissipates after a few minutes, leaving a lot of sticky lacing to an even thin layer of foam along the surface. Plenty of small bubble carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

Nose is interesting, definitely getting a bit of brettanomyces funk, wet earthiness, combined with some lemon peel, fresh pine and herbal notes. Some sweetness as well, probably from the yeast, fruity esters like green apple, pear, along with some biscuit malts.

Taking a sip, pine and earthy hop bitterness, with a tongue numbing amount of citrus, lemon and grapefruit peel. Mild funk comes through mid tongue, wet soil like. Not much malt on the tongue as it gets assaulted with more bitter astringent hops through to the very dry finish. Lingering bitter citrus and herbal hop bitterness on the tongue, staying for several minutes. This is a bigger hop bomb than many DIPA's I've tried.

Light body with some zesty but refreshing carbonation, but not enough to keep the tongue clean of the massive hops. Alcohol is well hidden, but this is a bit of a sipper due to the amount of hop bitterness. An interesting beer, but this may be overly bitter for my palate as it overwhelms much of the yeast and malt character that a Belgian IPA should have on the tongue. (1,402 characters)

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
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. (781 characters)

Photo of litheum94
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml C&C bottle. Very nice looking artwork.

Frothy, sea foam head pours out, bone white in color. Yellow-nearing-orange body. Head takes it's time settling down, leaving some nice lacing.

Very complex nose: brett, citrus, pineapple, spice and oak. Funky and fresh.

The first sip boggles the mind; this is a whole new ballgame here. Very oaky at first, with some dry cracker malts. Leads into tart citrus hops with a big, Brett funk. Very dry and funky. Faint essence of tropical fruit and spice, with a lingering hop bitterness.

An experiment that definitely works. I wasn't sure what to think of this beer at first, but the deeper I got in, the more I enjoyed it. Crafted perfectly. Very enjoyable. A little pricey, but worth it at least once. (750 characters)

Photo of kkipple
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
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. (2,812 characters)

Photo of Reaper16
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle -- batch 1 -- served into a tulip glass

Pours a very hazy candy yellow color, like the color of yellow Skittles or banana Runts. Only, you know, all cloudy and such. A little less than one finger of white head like dishsoap. It's loose and thin but laces in spindly filigree.

The Brettanomyces isn't a background player in this beer. You can tell right off the bat, from the first smell, that this is gonna' be a pretty wild beer. Dried white flowers, basement must, lemon, and a touch of horseblanket. It's not too funky, but more in the wheelhouse of Orval. There's definite evidence here of dry-hopping too: pineapple and spearmint being the prominent lupulin aromas I'm picking up.

Soft, candied fruits shine brightest on the palate. I don't think that this is just a mental association, but it does have a white wine like aspect to these light tropical fruits. The Chardonnay barrel might be imparting actual flavor here beyond oak astringency; flavor that compliments the heavy dose of hops that this 100 IBU beer has. It feels like there should be some malts in this beer, but there's just a distant caramel malt character that gets overtaken on the finish by a sprucy, minty hop character. The Brettanomyces has gobbled up a lot of the malt sweetness, leaving this a pretty dry example of a double IPA. What prevents this beer from getting an even higher score for me is its level of booziness. The alchol is pretty strong in this beer, and it doesn't compliment things. It takes away from the Brett flavors, and overall feels kinda' strange without a more significant malt presence.

The body is in the medium range. It feels like it wants to be thicker, but the yeast has thinned the beer out a bit. Which is fine with me, as I prefer thinner IPAs. This is a dry beer for sure, which makes the hop flavors harsher. That may be perfect for your palate, but you might also be craving more sweetness as a backdrop.

Overall this is not as mindblowing as I had hoped it would be, but it is one of the more interesting and unique Belgian IPAs I've ever had. I'm excited to try Anchorage's other beers, as the alcohol level on this one isn't playing as well with the barrel/yeast flavors as you'd want. (2,223 characters)

Photo of cvm4
4.66/5  rDev +7.4%
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. (463 characters)

Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy golden yellow with an ample fluffy white head
S: Smells of citrus a little acetic acid, some yeast as well
T: faint citrusy hop flavor with a little bit of sourness, some yeast flavor and a bit of flavor from the wine barrel. Aftertaste is of hop resin and yeast
M: average mouthfeel for an IPA, soft carbonation makes this one very drinkable
O: Very good, I wish it was fresher but it tastes very good at its current state. Very smooth and refreshing and highly drinkable. (491 characters)

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle bought from Healthy Spirits (thanks for the suggestion Scott), poured into a Bruery tulip glass.

Pours with a big foamy white head over a hazy tan/gold body. Small amounts of lacing, not very sticky. Moderate head retention.

Smells quite floral, with a little vanilla and a touch of brett band-aid. Really, one could use this as a cologne.

This is a mildly tart and fruity upfront, followed by a golden malt sweetness, and then the orangey citra hops make their presence known, ending in a wet, bitter, spicy finish. I don't doubt this has upwards of 100 IBUs, as the hops are numbing my tongue. The hops taste more in the noble direction than in the usual west coast style thanks to the Citra. The brett is resonating with the Citra hops nicely. Spice is a little gingery.

Body is a bit lean for a golden ale. Carbonation is medium and just a bit creamy.

This is an interesting Belgian style IPA. The Citra and brett kicks it to another level. (961 characters)

Photo of billshmeinke
4.61/5  rDev +6.2%
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. (779 characters)

Photo of fdig23
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Beer Heaven in Philly

Appearance: Glowing cloudy golden orange with a perfect thin white head

Nose: Grapefruit jumps out of the glass followed by some caramel and farmyard undertones. Candied oranges and toasted bread are present as well.

Taste: Grapefruit juice flavor is up front followed by toasty bread, peaches, funky rotten apples, and a creamy vanilla note. Finishes with butterscotch oak and astringency like eating fresh grapefruit.

Mouthfeel: Very full and creamy, maybe a bit too much so.

Overall: Extremely delicious, drinkable, original, and unusual brew. Grapefruit forward hops, brett, and Chardonnay oak is a weird and wonderful combination. Definitely makes me want to try more from Anchorage. (727 characters)

Photo of fmccormi
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
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. (2,713 characters)

Photo of cavedave
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Live review

A four finger foam factory finally deflates and remains a thick cap atop a very cloudy, dark straw colored beer.

Smell is a strong aroma of lemon and funk, neutral sweet, hints of citrus pith, floral, and even a bit of pine. Exceptionally alluring.

OMG this is one strong flavored, in your face blast of funkitude and hopaliciousness. It starts with a bitch slap of lemon and hormonal essence, barnyard, gains momentum with some righteous bitter, hits stride with piny resinous goodness, lets some sweet join the fun, and bitter citrus to emerge, and ends with brett, pine, and herbal bitter scraping furrows in my palate. Complex, exotic, and staggeringly delicious.

Bright carb. powers the flavors here, and it's highly viscous, though well attenuated (thank you Mr. Brett), with a finish that is magnificent and clean.

Super Friends set a high mark to equal for Brett IPA's, but Bitter Monk is another candidate for the IPA Hall Of Fame. If you see this, get it, you will enjoy it for sure. (1,011 characters)

Photo of DaveHS
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours hazy light amber with over 2 inches of fluffy eggshell white head. Leaves rings of complex lacing down the glass and a thin cap of foam floating on top.

S-Bright, citrusy hops, brettanomyces funk,pineapple, lavender,pear juice.

T/M-Tasty, chewy brettanomyces barnyard funk is nicely complemented by the citrusy, lemony hops. Dry, simple malt profile has notes of buttery pie crust. The finish is dry, with bitter earthy hops.

O-This is the second Anchorage beer I've had now, and it's another winner. I'm liking what these guys are doing. (550 characters)

Photo of timtim
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a hazy, glowing, peachy, light honey color with a white head that holds and leaves tons of lace. very pretty. nose is bright, fresh fruit up front. mainly pineapple and grapefruit with hints of pear in the background as well as orange. wine barrel and hops are intertwined extremely well in the nose, and... taste as well. fruit all over the place harmonizing with phenolic yeast spice. malt sweetness peeks it's head through and plays with the other flavors that are coming off as slightly sweet and very bright. bretty peppery twang in all the right places. this is very well done. finishes dry and light. warming sensation, but to me, miles from hot. well balanced neo-belgo-india-american goodness. very fun hybrid of styles. i like where this brewery is going. (771 characters)

Photo of GeezLynn
4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Golden blonde with a pristine white head. Impressive retention.

Pungent funkiness, hay, lemon and grapefruit, spicy Belgian yeast, wine barrel. Worth spending some time admiring.

Earthy dull bitterness, a little funk, but not as much expected by smell. Slightly medicinal. Citrus, especially grapefruit shows up underneath and extends into a lengthy bitter and tannic finish. Grapefruit really picks up steam at room temperature.

Feel is light, spritzy and dry. Carbonation is full, but on the softer side.

This started out a bit dull, but at a warm temperature, the citrus hops really shined. It easily topped the Midnight Sun 3767 for me. Great beer. (656 characters)

Photo of zhanson88
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy straw color with a high level of carbonation. About 1.5" of eggshell white head forms after the pour, which has a nice tight structure to it, almost pillow like. Very good retention and lacing. Very good looking beer.

Smell: Funky up front. No sourness component, but just pure Brett funk. Underneath a plethora of hop scents. Very tropical in nature with pineapple, mango, and citrus.

Taste: Veritable explosion of tropical hop flavors up front. Mango, peach, and pineapple are prevalent. A perfect amount of Bretty funk along with a bit of bitterness on the back end and finish.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Medium bodied with ample carbonation. The Brett funk and bitterness on the back end lends to a dry finish that makes you want to take another sip. Overall, I enjoyed this beer a great deal. The hop character and funk blend perfectly together and create a great product. Easily the best Belgian IPA I have tried to this point. (953 characters)

Photo of bishopdc0
3.49/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared a bottle with my wife. This beer is golden straw colored with a big big white head. Beautiful

The nose is mainly brett, sour with a citrus freshness in the back I want more but only because of all the possibilities, belgiana. Brett, hops barrals

Don't be fooled this is all sour starts light and refreshing great mouth . The flavor of hops come in, I'm not able to distinguish which overall finish bitter earthiness. (427 characters)

Photo of zookerman182
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a clear hello with a finger white fizzy head.
Aroma is pear and pineapple, amazing.
Flavor is strawberry banana, and its unbelievable.
It's pretty much warmed up and it's super complex.
Even some faint funk to it.
If is beer was close by I'd get it all the time.
Mouthfeel is dry but the flavor is mind blowing.
This beer impressed me, and I had moderate expectations.
Hope I get to taste it again. (413 characters)

Photo of Pintofbrown
4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got bitter with my inner monk with a goblet.

Appearance- My pour results in a dense and pillowy white foam. It recedes slowly, and leaves behind a big ring of just as dense lace. The opaque, yeasty body goes from a bright lemon meringue to a darker copper. This offering looks like it came to dominate.

Smell- The brett comes through big time! This beer has a huge sour nose with a bit yeasty, barnyard scent. I cannot say I get any hop notes, maybe a little citrus underneath. It is hard to say.

Taste- Again, the brett really takes center stage in this beer. Unlike the nose, however, there a citrus-y note in mid-drink that manages to peak through the sourness. I also feel a little resin in the finish. This guy is sour all the way down!

Mouth feel- This beer has a big body and really sticks to the cheeks. I feel like for how well the bubbles have been harnessed, it could be a little less slick. Other than that, this big beer certainly feels big.

Overall- Even though I enjoyed this beer immensely, I am unsure that Bitter Monk lives up to the IPA moniker. The brett especially comes through strong in this beer with the hops being more of an after thought than a main player. I would have this again, maybe my bottle has just gotten too old to really showcase its hop forward potential. (1,302 characters)

Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 222 ratings.