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Bitter Monk - Anchorage Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Bitter MonkBitter Monk

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

806 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 806
Reviews: 217
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 323
Gots: 96 | 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:
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 806 | Reviews: 217 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jlindros
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big frothy head 2 fingers, fades semi slowly with some sticky lacing, mostly clear tan golden chardonnay color.

Nose has awesome fruity and funky brett, touch of barnyard, hint of tart fruit, then hops, light citrus and tropical fruit, hint of malt, nice balance of funky fruity brett and tropical fruit hops, pear, apricot, pineapple, passion fruit, papaya.

Taste has more of the nose, semi bitter hops, fruit galore, tropical fruit, papaya, pineapple, light pear, apricot, etc. juicy. Then Brett, spicy brett with light barnyard funk, light tart fruit as well, dry bready malt taste. Then a light chardonnay wine taste, mango papaya from the wine, and a hint of buttery oak. Finishes quite dry and more bitter and funky brett, lingering malts and light fruits and light bitter fruity hops.

Mouth is med bodied, good carb, hint of booze.

Overall really nice, the blending of fresh tropical fruit hops, bitterness, fruity brett, biter dry funk and barnyard, etc, done very well, delicious and smooth, dry bitter finish, and all that with a nice chardonnay wine flavor. I could drink lots of this if it was much cheaper.

jlindros, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of drabmuh
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a New Belgium beer glass from a 750 ml bottle. At the time of this review, this is the #17 beer on the "Top Beers - New" list on beeradvocate.com and the #4 Top Belgian IPA on the best of styles lists, it deserves it, the only barrel aged IPA I've had that I find palatable.

Beer is amber / dark yellow with a mild haze, nice white head, good retention, nice lacing, moderate to high carbonation.

Aroma is funky and citrusy from the hops, some oak sneaks through, the Brett is really pronounced in this beer.

Beer is medium to light in body and has this great midpalate arrangement of hops and yeast character, mild funk, some oak on the back, moderately dry finish, a great beer overall.

drabmuh, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of oline73
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy yellow with an orange hue. There is a finger of fluffy white head that fades to a layer around the glass.

Smell: Herbal and very saison like. There is some malt sweetness along with a hint of oak.

Taste: Some hops up front but they may have faded a bit since this beer was fresh. Herbal with some mild citrus notes. The finish is bitter from the hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with fluffy carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a really nice Belgian style ale. I was a bit fan of the herbal notes. I think the hops have faded, but I am still a fan. I would love to try this fresher if they bring out another batch.

oline73, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -7.4%

mendvicdog, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of mdfb79
4.26/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From 01/05/14 notes. Big thanks to BeerLawyer85 for sharing this one, big want of mine. Thanks Ross. 750ml bottle poured into a tulip.

a - Pours a bright orange color with two fingers plus of bright white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of brett, citrus hops, oranges, tropical fruits, spice, yeast, bready malts, floral hops, pepper, and fruity malts. Light oak as well. Awesome nose, tons of brett and citrus to it, I like it a lot.

t - Tastes of brett, citrus hops, fruity malts, light white wine, oak, earthy notes, funk, spices, bread, trpoical fruits, and floral hops. More citrus here and very earthy notes; the wine comes through a bit finally. Very good, think I like the nose a tiny bit more though.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Super smooth and creamy and very easy to drink. No heat whatsoever.

o - Overall I thought this beer was awesome; I loved the mix of brett, citrus, and tropical fruits. Easy to drink and crisp, I wish I could find this more often and for a reasonable price because I'd buy it all the time.

mdfb79, Jan 06, 2014
Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

MarkyMOD, Oct 13, 2013
Photo of beernads
3.5/5  rDev -19%

beernads, May 08, 2013
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.9/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle with a hazy golden amber with a two finger white head that sticks around for a while and leaves a large amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is strong brett funk, some lemon zest, mango, grapefruit, and pineapple. The initial taste has a hint of sweetness with some funky oak flavors and lemon zest. Then the pineapple and mango come through. The finish has a good bitterness with some brett funk. The finish is quite dry. Overall a really smooth beer. Bitterness is a bit much, but afterall.. it is in the name. Interesting beer for sure.

oriolesfan4, May 18, 2012
Photo of Halcyondays
4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle, in a New Belgium globe,

A: Pours a translucent light orange with a gorgeous soft cloud of white foam which lasts forever akin to a Duvel. Great, thick full lace.

S: Tons of wildflower and spice, spring meadow. Light oak notes, sweet vanilla perfume obviously from the Chard barrels.

T: Sweet malt initially with a lot of esters - apple, Asian pear, kumquat. Dry spice in the mid-palate with a strong leathery classic Brett presence throughout. Great vanilla finish.

M: Medium to full-bodied, very smooth. Easy to drink for how big it is. Well balanced with a great long aftertaste.

O: This is the real deal folks. One of the best BIPAs I've ever had. $15 a bottle is tough, but here it's worth it. This beer is an experience and a great first impression from Anchorage.

Halcyondays, Oct 24, 2011
Photo of GClarkage
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

GClarkage, Jul 07, 2014
Photo of imperialking
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

imperialking, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of drewone
3.25/5  rDev -24.8%

drewone, Aug 26, 2012
Photo of yourefragile
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

yourefragile, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of corby112
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy, bright golden orange color with a two finger frothy, pillowy white head that has excellent retention, slowly fading into a thick lasting cap. Streaks and chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Incredibly complex aroma with elements of DIPA, American wild ale, saison and barrel aged strong ale. The brett and earthy hops compliment each other nicely with hints of musty funk and dank, resnious, piny hop oils. The barrel presence is prominent without overpowering the other notes. Lots of toasted oak along with some light fruit. The Chardonnay is prominent in the nose, whereas in the Love Buzz I couldn't pick up much Pinot noir. Vinous with grape and apple as well as some citrus from the hops. There is a lot going on here!

Medium bodied with a slight creamy texture that adds fullness to the palate. Really well balanced with the musty, funky brett perfectly complimenting the dry, earthy hop notes. Never too funky or bitter with a nice citrus sweetness and vinous presence from the barrel aging. Some toasted oak and vinous fruit from the Chardonnay barrels. Hints of apple, grape, pineapple and citrus ring with more earthy pine bitterness toward the end of the palate. Very faint alcohol heat toward the end of the palate but the ABV is masked very well.

Overall this beer is pretty awesome. Amazingly complex with a ton going on yet it remains well balanced without any one element dominating. With everything going on it still tastes like and IPA which is shocking really. I'm really impressed with this beer and this brewery so far.

corby112, Nov 03, 2011
Photo of orangesol
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

orangesol, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of stakem
4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kegatron for sharing this brew with me. Poured into a snifter, the brew appears a clear golden color with a finger of white froth. As the cap fades, a wall of lace sticks to the glass.

The smell is bright with hops that are herbal. Some hints of catty quality mix with a floral aspect that blends into cheese. A hint of stinky feet is present along with minor woody notes and some juicy fruits. Some brett'd quality is evident throughout the nose that accents the herbal aspects of the hops.

The taste is very herbal and cheesy to catty from the hops. There is a dry woody flavor present that blends with an oily bitterness that clings to the inside of the mouth. This is a bold brew as far as Belgian ipas go but it blends together well. The aftertaste showcases grapefruit pulp/zest.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Bitter and enjoyable with a pleasant depth of flavors. The alcohol is integrated pretty well. The contrast of dry brett'd wood flavors and hoppy bitterness worked in this offering. At 5+ months old, id say this is holding up pretty well an would be interesting to see how it further developes.

stakem, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, after trying their Whiteout Wit and deciding I needed to pick up every beer this brewery brews. Shared with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a very hazed orange-yellow colour, light, but dark, in that it retains all the light it collects. Head is a wondrously full crown of frothy white, like fairy floss, leaving intricately intense and insane lacing. It looks full, insane, intense and exciting.

Nose is bright with big hoppy characters, perhaps just underpinned with a fragrant funk of spicy acidity. The mainline is tropical fruits and citrus, giving fresh rubbed zest, slight bubblegum characters and a fruit sweetness. All this is balanced with a gorgeous funk, giving organics, acidity and barnyard aromas. It's an amazingly complex and gorgeously realised aroma. It is hard to imagine better.

Taste is light and dry, with a touch of acidity from the brett, but mostly realised with a dry body and sharp bitterness from the hops. Despite the crsipness on the finish, lingering tones of pineapple and other tropical fruits come through on the finish, lending a fragrant and exciting finale to the beer. Feel is very light, as brett tends to do, drying out almost to extremity.

Another exceptionally unique and very nice beer from Anchorage. They have a really good handle on beers to brew with funk and finesse. This is bitter and robust and fruity, but also dry, funky and sharp, giving a wonderfully cacophonic whole.

I love this brewery. I can't wait to see what they do next.

lacqueredmouse, Oct 22, 2011
Photo of dbrauneis
4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy medium straw yellow in color with light amounts of visible carbonation near the surface. The beer has a two finger tall white head that reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of sourness/tartness from the brett with some barnyard funk over the top of clementine/tangerine citrus hops.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of pale malts with quite a bit of sourness/tartness from the brett. There are some lighter notes of barnyard funk and clementine/tangerine citrus hops which lend a light amount of bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Easy to drink as the high ABV is very well hidden and there is a very good balance to the flavors (not overly bitter or sweet) with the brett really enhancing the overall flavors of the beer. Great amounts of complexity to the smell and taste making it very enjoyable - definitely a great beer to sip on during football... Glad I got a second chance to have this one now that I have started reviewing (previously it was the best beer I had on New Year's Eve 2011 which included many nice beers).

dbrauneis, Nov 11, 2012
Photo of Billolick
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Belgian style bomber, caged and corked, "Batch #1, July 2011". Very happy to find this fine brw at $16.99 @ Hudson Valley Bev, in Mahopac, NY

Open with an energenic "poof", pours cloudy, dull tangarine. Nice, sturdy, huge and near white head. Fluffy, puffy and very slow to rest, leaves a high collar and all sorts of high on the glass, sticky lace.

Bright nose of oranges, sour apple, green tea, limes, pepper, gin and some Belgian yeastyness. Gamey, musty, slightly sour note of the Brett also in play. Complex, flavorful and simply delicious brew. With the flavor of the sniff, continuing onto the palate. Hoppy bite in the rear, but shining through forcefully as things reach the finish.

Wow, dense flavors, complex, heady stuff. Love the style and this is one of the more intense and most well crafted versions. Get some stinky cheese, peppery salads, spicy thai food or whatever you like to eat and enjoy every sip of this one!

Billolick, Apr 11, 2012
Photo of barleywinefiend
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured a lightly hazed golden, orangish color with a beautiful white cap, superb head retention. Beautiful beer.

S: Where do I begin? Very aromatic with layers of brett funk, floral, white wine, citrus and passion fruits and very slight alcohol note.

T: Amazingly great. This is the best beer I have had in a long time. First sip is a nice bretty, meet passion fruit/citrus and yeast. The wine barrel is very noticeable as well. There is a subtle hop bitterness here which is just right for this beer.

M: Medium bodied, carbonation is perfect, feels lightly sweet, dry, extremely flavorful and so damn good I want to just use it as mouthwash.

O: Easily worth the price. I am impressed by the complexity of this beer. Sometimes to much of a good thing is a bad thing but this was all GREAT!

barleywinefiend, Oct 13, 2013
Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -7.4%

duceswild, Apr 11, 2012
Photo of BARFLYB
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

BARFLYB, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

afsdan, May 28, 2014
Photo of Mebuzzard
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Mebuzzard, Jun 11, 2014
Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 806 ratings.