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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

823 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 823
Reviews: 219
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 340
Gots: 91 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Anchorage Brewing Company visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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

Belgian style double IPA with Brettanomyces. this ale is aged in french oak chardonnay barrels. Brewed with Apollo, Citra, and Simcoe hops. Dry hopped in the barrel with Citra hops. Triple fermented- First in the tank with a Belgian yeast, second in french oak chardonnay barrels with brett, and finally in the bottle with a third yeast for natural carbonation.

100 IBU
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 823 | Reviews: 219 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of seeswo
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Smarty_Pints
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of DerekMorgan
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Arbitrator
4.67/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Photo of waddellc2
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of BAsbill
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from ChurchKey ($33). Orange infused golden straw appearance, quite hazy, medium off-white head, fairly nice lacing. Bretty nose, some candyish citrus peel, white wine, and musty/barnish hops on the nose. Very bretty and oakish. A bit more dry and acidic than your average IIPA. Hops are there, but are secondary. Sweetness is also there, but minor compared to the dryness of it. Bit of an odd duck in that its more of a barrel aged beer than an IIPA. Slightly alcoholic on the backside, perhaps even a little medicinal.Could stand to sit for a bit, but this isnt your average early/young overly hopped IIPA. This is something else entirely. While not hot, the 9% isn’t helping build this into a better beer.Body and mouthfeel are moderate.Finish is a little acidic, make that more than a little. It was almost as if this one was trying to do too much. Enjoyable, but overly complicated and busy. This was an expensive bomber from ChurchKey when I later found out could be had for half the price I paid at Whole Foods nearby.

Photo of MDDMD
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-hazy golden color with a nice white head and good lacing

S-lemon, funky Brett, apples, vinous, wheat bread

T-lemon, apricot, grapes, wine, oak,grassy,yeasty, funky Brett,slightly tart, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp and dry

O-unique and delicious beer, great for enjoyable sipping, would definitely seek this out

Photo of CoryR
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of MikeCactusGordon
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of ElGallo
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This brew lives up to the billing: it is tremendously bitter, and heavily Belgianesque in character. Bitter Monk pours a surprisingly pale translucent golden hue, topped with a very healthy white cap of rocky froth. The nose is pungently bitter with notes of heavy grapefruit pith and elderflower being highly prominent. The bitter apple-pineapple flavor imparted by the brett pairs well with the hop addition, as they mimic one another's flavor in some ways. I keep thinking this is very much like Cantillon's Mamouche - or like an elderflower IPA. The pale malt base is evocative of the classic Orval or Duvel approach; there is no caramel to be found here. The mouthfeel is quite effervescent, and thereby bordering on prickly; though it is not offensive, I'd have preferred a softer feel. That said, in every way this is a challenging, ass-kicking type of beer, so the feel is in that vein as well. A very good example of the style; probably the best I've had.

Photo of trevorpost
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of oglmcdgl
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of jampics2
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of bigfnjoe
4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
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

Photo of mpayne5
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of jegross2
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company out of Alaska.
Score: 93

Bottle is from July 2011. Served in a snifter glass and enjoyed on 05/29/12.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden orange color with three fingers of soapy, slightly off-white head that settles to a thin foggy layer atop the glass. Absolutely amazing lacing and retention. 5/5

Smell: A nice tropical citrusy IPA with a Belgiany sour twist. Tart white grapes, lemon zest, candied mango, orange, pineapple, fruity citrus and a little funky brett. Apples towards the back of the aroma too. Hint of oak. 4.5/5

Taste: Loads of bitter lemon zest, orange, mango and bitter/tart white grape. A little caramel malt on the midpalate, with earthy/grassy hops and a growing fruitiness in the finish as the beer warms/layers. There is a clovey residual aftertaste. The flavors get more tart as the beer warms up, with a a mild pucker effect from a growing sour lemonade flavor. Not oak or funk. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, high carbonation -- or maybe the life on the tongue from the zesty tartness, which really makes the bitterness perk on the tongue, is being deceptive in terms of the the true carbonation present. Juicy mouthfeel. Bitter and tart on the tongue. 4/5

Overall: One year after it's bottling, this beer is more of a sour with an IPA twist than an IPA with a sour twist. Quite an enjoyable hybrid. The artwork on the bottle is amazing.

Recommendation: Sour haters and casual beer drinkers should avoid this one, but all others are encouraged to seek out a bottle.

Pairings: Chicken pot pie.

Cost: $17 for a 750 ml bottle.

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle a hazy nectarine-yellow with two fingers of rich and rocky off-white head. Tons of lacing left behind.

Aroma of Juicyfruit gum, Belgian yeast, white wine, lemon and fresh earth.

Much like the aroma, tastes of Juicyfruit gum, tart lemon, white wine, Belgian yeast and a hint of spiciness. Finishes with a light medicinal tang. The 9% alcohol is well hidden in this one.

Lighter bodied and dry with a sharp carbonation.

I loved this beer. A lot of character and personality in every sip. Anchorage Brewing is doing a lot of things right.

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of dwagner003
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of macrosmatic
4.57/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Photo of ystazi
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of bcm75
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of brotherloco
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml C&C bottle. Batch #1 - July 2011. Served in a tulip.

Pours a cloudy gold with a giant pillowy 3+ finger white head. Good bit of lacing.

Aroma is a blend of citrus, white wine, and brett notes. A real floral and grassy character in the background.

Flavor tilts towards a light sourness that dominates the citrusy hops. Fruity middle that is medium dry. A very pleasant bitterness comes on in the finish and dissipates quickly, leaving a sharp tart aftertaste. Maybe a sting of booze in the finish but overall the alcohol is buried.

Medium bodied with soft natural medium carbonation. Amazing mouthfeel and incredibly drinkable.

Certainly the most unique DIPA I've tasted. Flavor is much more rounded out than a typical hop bomb. The hops are certainly present, but collaborate with all the flavor brought on by the brett and multiple fermentations.

Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 823 ratings.