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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

811 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 811
Reviews: 217
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 323
Gots: 95 | 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:
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: 811 | Reviews: 217 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jrallen34
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

jrallen34, Jan 28, 2013
Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

Evil_Pidde, Oct 08, 2013
Photo of claspada
3.33/5  rDev -22.9%
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.

claspada, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of Axnjxn
4.26/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into a snifter. Batch 3, may 2013.

pours a murky darker yellow with a nice head. smell of brett...for sure. lemon as well. taste is real intriguing. chardonnay barrel is apparent as is the brett. 10 months is a good time for this beer as the brett hasn't over powered the flavors. still get a lot of lemony sweetness. a lot going on and it works well. medium body with medium carb.

overall I enjoy it...quite tasty!

Axnjxn, Mar 21, 2014
Photo of Lare453
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Lare453, Oct 19, 2013
Photo of thagr81us
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

thagr81us, Nov 07, 2011
Photo of kscaldef
3.13/5  rDev -27.5%
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.

kscaldef, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev -7.4%

tectactoe, Jan 13, 2014
Photo of AgentZero
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

AgentZero, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of tavernjef
4.9/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

tavernjef, Oct 26, 2011
Photo of Gobzilla
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Gobzilla, Mar 08, 2013
Photo of wethorseblanket
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

wethorseblanket, Sep 12, 2012
Photo of eawolff99
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

eawolff99, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of champ103
3.05/5  rDev -29.4%
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.

champ103, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of aasher
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

aasher, Feb 17, 2012
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.

Durge, May 19, 2012
Photo of pathman
4.75/5  rDev +10%

pathman, Jul 16, 2013
Photo of laituegonflable
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale amber colour, nice golden tinge up to the light. Very opaque though. Head is hugely generous off-white with sparse bubbling and clumps of lace left behind. Marshmallowy top. Looks very decent.

Smell is just lovely. Loads of brett going wild, sourness with cassia, orange peel and underripe berry notes. Sour, but nice sweetness adding balance - citrus, berries and a touch of oatmeal on the back. It's really, really nice.

Taste starts out kind of sour, citric really, but develops into strong fruity mid-palate that's actually quite sweet, with peach, apricot and raspberries. Brett comes through late, giving kind of off mouldy cheese kind of flavour that doesn't quite mesh as far as the aftertaste goes. It's nice overall, but the finish could be toned down a bit, as it's a little on the astringent side. Otherwise the flavours are nice, just seems a bit off-kilter late.

Not bad on the feel for the most part, but you can sense that pull from the wilder yeast at the back and it gets to the point of puckering.

Not an everyday drinking beer, really, but well worth a taste.

laituegonflable, Nov 06, 2011
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.

rudzud, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of Jwale73
3.5/5  rDev -19%

Jwale73, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of Dicers
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Dicers, Jun 18, 2014
Photo of popery
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a great a Belgian-style DIPA. It pours yellow gold and quite hazy. Thick white head, a heavy blanket of foam. Lots of tropical fruit flavored hops in the aroma. It's big on pineapple, mango, guava, raspberry and tangerine. Just a mouth-watering fruitiness. The brett funk blends in nicely, contributing some funk and probably helping some of the fruit aroma. Some earthier tones are also in there. The taste is relatively dry with a mild to medium bitter finish. That said, there's still some nice light malt sweetness, which allows the hop flavors to shine. Feel is soft and light. There's some prickle from the hops, but it's still a smooth rich beer. Bitter Monk is another excellent beer from Anchorage, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite breweries.

popery, Oct 22, 2012
Photo of ArrogantB
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle $12.99. I have been passing this by despite the rave reviews because it was $15.99. I saw it on sale and thought I was getting a deal so I bought it. Yes I am a sucker but this really is quite a good beer. Bright yellow orange color and a huge rocky head, looks good. The smell instantly reminded me of Russian River Temptation, heavy Chardonnay and brett. I think there was a hint of citrus in there as well. The flavor again made me think of Temptation and it must be that Chardonnay and brett combo working so well. There is a bit of bitterness in here from the hops and just the faintest hint of citrus. I have to wonder what the hops were like when this was fresh since this was apparently brewed back in July of 2011 but the hops are not completely gone. Overall, a very solid beer and I can see why everyone likes it so much.

ArrogantB, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of ColForbinBC
4/5  rDev -7.4%

ColForbinBC, Nov 04, 2013
Photo of whartontallboy
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

whartontallboy, Jan 01, 2012
Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 811 ratings.