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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

818 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 818
Reviews: 217
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 328
Gots: 92 | 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: 818 | Reviews: 217 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of kscaldef
3.18/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Foams aggressively in my tulip. The big, fluffy white head has good retention and nice lacing. Pleasing golden color.

S: Some really intriguing herbal notes.. thyme and lavender? Some earthy wet dog notes. Warms up to more traditional Belgian aromas, clove, bubblegum

T: Starts with some floral hop flavors, then finishes bitter and herbal, with a real linger in the back of the mouth. Reminiscent of wormwood in the finish. A little sweetness in the front and mid-palate.

M: Dry and astringent. Medium-high carbonation. After a glass, I'm starting to get a post-nasal drip sort of feeling in the back of my throat... not particularly pleasant.

O: I wasn't much of a fan of this while still cold. (First pour was 30 minutes after removing from the fridge.) The first 8 oz or so were pretty harsh. After forgetting about it for a while and letting it warm up, it gets better, although never to something I'd consider great. At the price, I wouldn't buy it again.

Photo of dirtylou
4.64/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle

Ale Aslyum chalice - lot of great things involved here - citra hops, brett, french oak chardonnay barrels. I love all of those things and naturally found this beer to be quite great - very lush fruit profile - papaya, melon, mango, citrus, lemon. Both the barrel and the brett are great compliments to the hops - everything marries quite well.

Photo of avalon07
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a bright orange-yellow color and a cloudy texture. There was a big, creamy, long-lasting head. Pretty good lacing.

S: A very citrusy and hoppy aroma, with some traces of malt as well.

T: Tasted of citrus, malt, Belgian yeast, and hops - more hops than I expected for a BIPA. While it doesn't exactly match up with the classic examples of the style, this is still a tasty beer.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a crisp, smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is a complex, completely drinkable, very well made beer.

Photo of aasher
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of jrallen34
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of claspada
3.38/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright hazy ripe lemon yellow with 2 inches of fluffy/bubbly white head that slowly recedes leaving sticky soapy/bubbly lacing along the goblet.

Aromas begin with a ton of sour citrus smells, could be hops and/or could be Brett yeast. Further examination leads me to believe it is the Brett as the sourness become more predominant. In the background you get some tropical and citrus hops but the Brett owns the show here. Lighter earthy/oakiness continues to emerge as well.

After the aromas the tastes are a bit surprising. The flavors are more akin to a DIPA than a Belgian Brett sour beer. Lots of bitter pithy lemony citrus and grapefruit hops initially assault the palate. As it warms you get a little more of the underlying vinous white grape, pear and lighter generic sour Brett flavors. Just like the nose the earthy and oaky flavors emerge as you continue to sip. Extreme bitterness dominates the show however and takes away from the delicate flavors imparted from the barrel and the Brett that I wish were more in the forefront.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium to higher carbonation. Finish is quite bitter, which is expected for 100 IBU, but the Brett sourness helps to balance the intensely bitter citrus hops. Finish is dry as as bone thanks to the ample hopping and Brett yeast fermentation. As it warms the bitterness becomes way too overbearing for me to enjoy and the Brett loses the balance that existed when it was at a slightly cooler temperature.

Overall this was definitely an experience for sure. The flavors and aromas were so contradictory and yet complemented each other quite well. My only issue was that I wish I consume this during the warmer months as I would have enjoyed it much more on a nice warm day. If you love sour beers and really bitter DIPAs you will love this. If you dislike either pass. I am on the fence as I like both but I think I prefer them separate. Still a high quality beer as this obviously took a lot of thought and care to craft such an intricate brew. If you can afford the elevated price tag, it's worth a go.

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

Poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Bitter Monk is hazy gold with a huge white head leaving sticky lace.

Smell is very musty, very herbal, with sweet tropical fruits, marmalade.

Taste is bitter, herbal hops and lots of pineapple notes from the Brett. More must, a sharpness. Oranges. Pretty good, big BIPA, similar ABC profile.

Mouthfeel is oily but dry, very rustic, medium body.

Drinkability is pretty good, big flavors, but not as complex as the recipe and and barrel-blending suggest - as i often find with Brett.

Photo of GraduatedCashew
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Gobzilla
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of eawolff99
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of AlexFields
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of thagr81us
4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of Dicers
4/5  rDev -7.4%

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

Thanks to RSVP in Portland, Maine I was able to give this classy brew a try. It's a very cloudy yellowish tan colored brew with a solid white head and tons of lacing. The aroma is an unparelleled yeasty medley that includes slightly skunky lemon wheat highlights and subtle clove. Very impressive, classy and kind of unique. The flavor happily falls right in place with the aroma. Clovey nuances over wheat with sweet, near bubblegum hops. Wow, just so tasty with mild banana-lemon and tons of yeasty zest. Just delicious and oozing quality and delight! Finely carbonated but with a full, luscious feel. As advertized this is a real winner if you're any kind of fan of this style. I can agree with some of the other reviewers that this may not be a classic Belgian IPA, but to me that's a good thing. I really like more of the American-Belgian hybrid and perhaps that is somewhat the case here. I'm not enough of an expert to say, but i do know I love this stuff.

Photo of AgentZero
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let me start out by saying I am not a fan of Belgian IPAs, and then let's go from there. Thanks to MasterSki for bringing this over.

A - Golden colored beer with a foamy white head that left behind a nice web of lace.

S - Really a lot going on with this nose. Some phenolic yeast, pungent simcoe, tropical fruit of the citra, and some brett. A funky IPA with strains of belgian yeast, didn't really see that coming, despite what the bottle was advertising.

T - This beer was immediately bitter for me, with the pungent simcoe mixing with the phenols in a bit of puckering bitter bite. You get used to it after a little bit and start to pick up aon a lot more of the citra. The brett funk occassionally bursts through. It's really hard to describe this beer as it tastes like so many different things, and I'm shocked at how good it is. There's even some of the chardonnay and wood that will come as well.

M - Medium bodied with nice carbonation.

O - This beer is shockingly unique and good at the same time. Need to revisit it, as there is so much going on. One of the more interestingly complexed beers I've had in a long time. While I'm not necessarily a fan of this style, I liked this beer a lot and Alex and I drank the bottle pretty easily between us.

Photo of tavernjef
4.89/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Muted and heavy hazen pale pear, yellowy gold hue capped tight and tall with a white crown of crunchy foam. The cap slowly sinks to a heavy skim and patchy lacing grazing the goblet in globby shapes.

Very huge and dry aroma of white grape, lime, fresh wild flowers, lemon, white peach fuzz, white grapefruit, spritzy tangerine, and earthy basement yeast. Also packed in is a wonderful little touch of good Ol' 9% ABV.

Taste is highly complexed with lots of high ended dry citrusy flavors and yeasty actions mixing like a spiked fruit punch, minus the sweetness. There is, however, a bit of caramel sweetness poking about within a orangeified candied citrusy kerfuffle behind the drying citrusy hoppyness. It's delicately woven but nearly brutish in its punch as it stands tall and long across the palate with a tempered tone of lemon, lime, Chardonnay white wine, grapefruit, tangy tangerine, pineapple, and then lays out the yeasty funk with a wonderfully handled and smooth Brett-ish tang and wild flower zip of spice. Immensely yummy and excellently complex!

Body is smooth, bold, peppy, large, lofty, dry with a nice mild play of tang in the middle to keep it all in check as it takes over the palate with a great character of citrusy things and yeasty candy tartness.

Ummm...excellent stuff! Period.

Photo of champ103
3.06/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours nearly perfectly clear. A bit of haze forms. A two finger white head forms with excellent retention. Lots of spiderweb looking lace is left all the way down the glass.
S: Very soapy hops up front. Almost dish detergent like. Very phenolic, grassy, spicy, citrusy. Lots of hops.
T: Again lots of hops. Soapy, slick, resiny. Plenty of grassy hops. Alcohol and bitterness in the finish.
M/D: A medium body. Sticky, soapy, resiny, oily. There is heat from the alcohol, but not over barring. Still a slow sipper.

Certainly enjoyably. Just to much soapy hops for my liking. I wish more barrel and Bretty yeast would come out. A one time purchase.

Photo of pathman
4.75/5  rDev +10%

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

Shared with bpk59 at his house.

A - Poured into a duvel a golden clear pour with a two finger white head that leaves sticky lacing and a blanket.

S - Very nice hops here. Its dank, musty hops followed by bright citra and simcoe with light funk to round things out.

T - Wow more of the tropical wet citra and simcoe hops with dankness as well. There's super Brett there too but this has an amazing balance of hops, malt, and funk. Vinuos too thanks to the Chardonnay barrels.

M - Nice and tart with a solid crispness and delicious dry finish. Super drinkable here...9% no where noticeable.

O - Overall wow! This beer is amazing...wish it wasn't so expensive. Wish I had more as this is a delicious beer. Would love to have more of this as thus is a great blend of style.

Photo of Jwale73
3.5/5  rDev -19%

Photo of BMart
3.5/5  rDev -19%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of cpetrone84
3.9/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pour is lightly hazed golden yellow with a white head and some bubbles. Nose has a strong clementine citrus and pineapple, strong perfume aroma, and a fair bit of lightly tanged yeast. Taste is also huge tropical fruits, light bitterness in the finish. Lots of pineapple, clementine orange, tangy yeast. Lighter perfume with a moderately bitter finish, quite dry in the finish.

Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 818 ratings.