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Grumpy Monk - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Grumpy MonkGrumpy Monk

Educational use only; do not reuse.

148 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 148
Hads: 646
Avg: 3.64
pDev: 26.1%
Wants: 21
Gots: 51 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jzeilinger on 04-15-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (118) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 148 | Hads: 646
Photo of bump8628
3.74/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Deep amber with a couple of fingers worth of white foam. Herbal hops dual it out with Belgian yeast character - some banana and pear, black pepper, coriander, clove, thyme, bay leaf, bit of citrus rind. Malt gives some biscuit flavor and a kiss of honey sweetness. Plenty going on, a little bit more in the way of hops would take it from just a hoppy Belgian ale to a true Belgian-style IPA. Still it's a nice addition to a variety pack.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.81/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoy By JUN2013 notched on side of bottle

A: Pours a golden color with a fingers worth of head that retains at a tiny cap for a while

S: A decent amount of Belgian yeast that imparts clove, banana-like penolic notes, and a strong bubble gum presence. Also get some fruity and piney hops

T: Follows the nose. Strong Belgian presence with that strong bubble gum note that comes through from the aroma. Also get some spices and earthy, fruity hops. Finishes moderately bitter

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Soft and smooth

O: A solid Belgian IPA with plenty of Belgian and American character. A little too much bubble gum for my taste, but its not bad when combined with the hops. Certainly not the highlight of the pack, but a nice part of it

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Photo of Jadjunk
2.73/5  rDev -25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

"A Spirited Reinvention of the Belgian Tradition: The long held brewing traditions of Belgian monks aren't meant to be broken. Yet, to the monk's dismay, the distinctive character of Belgian yeast with its spicy clove and fruit notes can be reimagined when combined with the brazen hop character of an IPA. These hops impart a citrusy, piney, and earthy flavor that's balanced by a roasted malt sweetness for a complex and playful brew." Grumpy Monk is brewed in the Belgian IPA style. Date ticked on the bottle is Mid-September 2012. This was available as a part of last summer's IPA hop collection.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Served above 48º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a billowing frothy head of a golden cream white tone. Retention is pretty nice and lacing is substantial. Body color is a golden amber-orange with relaxed carbonation and high clarity. Nice head quality and pleasing lacing makes for an attractive-looing beer. 4.5

(Smell) Belgian pale bread malts with notes of light fruit and a spiced background. Citrusy hop notes have faded a notch but are still pleasing. Slightly musty overall aroma and balance is slightly bitter but the alcohol is quite detectable through the aroma and the yeast profile prevails as well developing a bready malt profile. A bit phenolic in places. 3.25

(Taste) Even worse off. A very limited malt profile sweetness is mostly to blame for this. Bitterness is still on high, although without a malt base to match, it comes across as intensely bitter and the beer falls sharply out of balance. The finish is strikingly dry. Hints of lemongrass and coriander are on the wane. Notes of green apple tartness and chemicals are also prevalent, results of possible yeast contamination. A painfully abrasive and dry flavor profile. I am unsure of whether this is a good batch or not, but this beer was not at all easy to drink. It needs a significantly increased malt body to balance out the bitterness. 2.25

(Mouthfeel) A distinctly dry finish. Carbonation is mostly crisp and textures are oily and resiny with a touch of biscuit. Body is light for the style and light overall. Alcohol presence is medium. Again, the malt body is too shallow to compare, so the crispness of the carbonation doesn't help pacify the bitterness or the dryness of this brew. The true fix is in the flavors of the beer, so I can't be too harsh on the carbonation, but the alcohol presence is notably evident in spots. 2.75

(Overall) There were far too many imperfections in this beer to truly enjoy it. There were intense phenolic and tart sour flavors and little malt body to balance the hoppy bitterness. If I hadn't had such high hopes for this beer, I would have drain-poured this one, but I will attempt to enjoy the rest that i had. Recommend trying this beer only as fresh as possible, so that perhaps the malt profile will have somewhat more substance. Right now, it's a borderline undrinkable mess. 2.5

Boston Beer Company's
Samuel Adams Grumpy Monk Belgian IPA

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Photo of therica
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not sure whether to think of this as a spicy tart high-IBU IPA or an overly piney Belgian but it's about 10 degrees off of north for me.

Beautiful in a Sam Adams glass, slightly cloudy orange, modest off white head with plenty of rimming and pooling.

Nose seems modest, with citrus hops, malts amd typical Belgian spices. Clove seems dominant at times.

Slightly watery, to my surprise. Plentiful hops bite with citrus and pine. Nice malts. I'm not finding much of the Belgian flavor, though.

Bitter on the tongue, not much complexity there.

Overall, interesting but I'd rather have either a nice Belgian or IPA and skip the dysogeny of this beer.

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Photo of FreshHawk
3.56/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Gorgeous, golden apricot color with a thick, creamy, sticky, smooth white head. Great retention leaving a wonderful lacing. Very attractive pour.

S - Loads of spicy clove and some coriander. Touches of sweet bready malt and some bubblegum aroma. Not much for hops, hints of citrus. Some Belgian yeasty aroma.

T - Starts slightly sweet with some bready malt flavors. This gives way to a strong clove spice flavor. Some coriander as well. Hints of pine hop flavor which gets stronger toward the finish. Touches of citrus hops and a bit of bubblegum on the finish. Finishes with a dry sweetness.

M - Medium body with average carbonation. Fairly dry with a slightly spritzy feel.

D - Medium drinkability. Nice flavors but the body/mouthfeel along with the strong spice flavors detract from some of the drinkability. Not exactly refreshing but it's not bad.

Notes: Ok beer. Not a great Belgian IPA and a little spice heavy for me. Average beer but overall pretty forgettable.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.7/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

No matter how much people rag on Sam Adams for their occasionally redundant variety-pack choices, I love that there's almost always at least one I've never had in every one of them. This example pours a clear sunset amber topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises clove, bright grass, coriander, lemon peel, light caramel, and a tiny pinch of black pepper. The clove is in-your-face, but it still hols back a little. The taste, on the other hand, leads with a blast of raw clove, followed by banana peel, vinyl, sweet caramel, harshly bitter greens, citrus rind (the waxy outer layer), and a drop or two of liquid smoke. It's the clove and vinyl that hit me most of all, the Bebop and Rocksteady of heinous flavors causing mischief and whatnot across my tongue. Honestly, it was so abrasive at times that it hurt a little to drink. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, this beer just somehow turned out poorly. Speaking with my friends and coworkers, I was not alone in this assessment. There was just too much spicy vinyl for things to ever be well-received on my end. Quite the disappointment.

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Photo of WesWes
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark golden/amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a nice pale and carapils malt scent; light with a touch of caramel sweetness. The hop aroma is mild as best, providing a bit of piney/citrus notes. The Belgian yeast character is present, but not too bold. It's more of a complimentary character. The taste is decent as well. Again, there is a solid pale and Carapils malt base, along with a solid hop character; piney with a hint of citrus. The yeast esters are there, yet only a complimentary component. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a tasty brew, but not a top shelf Belgian inspired IPA.

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Photo of Cavanaghty
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams Glass.

Appearance: Cloudy gold color with a beige head and medium lacing.

Smell: Citrus, malts and hops.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Medium bodied. Sweet tasting with grains and hops.

Overall: Not the best Pale Ale I have ever had but glad I tried it. I personally dont't see anything special about it that might stick out.

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Photo of chefhatt
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this one into a Samuel Adams pefect pint. It has a nice amber color body with a nice 3 finger white foamy head that hangs around for a while but leaving a nice sticky foam on the side of the glass. The smell is not overpowering of anything, but light on the malts and i don't get any hops.
The taste is nice piney of hops up front, but not a "hit you in your face" taste like a regular IPA has. A little maltness on the back of the tongue then is covered up by slight bitter taste.
The mouth feel is really good, kinda perfect for me. Overall this is a good IPA and in my opion if you like IPA's i would try this one it is different.

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Photo of waldoiverson
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into nonic

A: nice hazy golden color with fine lacing that was an earthy toned offwhite

S: biscuits, dried grass, and a dark grapefruit zest. It smells pretty big and almost slightly alcoholic.

T: dried apricot, honey, and a slight graham cracker tone that gets put aside by a nice bitter grapefruit, directly tied to the smell

M: Clean and on the thinner side of smooth, not tannic and somewhat juicy on the finish

O: This is a reasonable effort. It doesn't blow me away but for the Sam Adam's IPA line-up, I think it stands out in a pretty mediocre crowd.

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Photo of ChrisPratz
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice deep amber coloring that pours to three fingers worth of head and dissipates to a very nice pillow of foam.

S: Nice malty complexness on the nose. Nice fruity citrus scents, coupled with the typical Belgian yeast aromas and a very very mild piney hop note, reminds me of the time i brewed by first home batch and opened the hop pellet bag. Has a nice spice note mixed in as well but thats very subtle.

T: Lots of piney hops right off the bat, but nothing that overpowers like an IPA. Flavor is bold and noticeable but it isn't a tongue splitter. Nice peppery and spice notes hold the palette throughout as well.

M: Light carbonation works well with the flavor tones and leaves a creamyness on the palette afterwards. Aftertaste has a slight dryness as well.

O: Not a bad brew but reminds me more of IPA then Belgian Ale. Piney resin hops flavors stick around thru out but don't destroy your taste buds like a stronger IPA or Imperial IPA. Would love to try this one tap.

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Photo of chinchill
3.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a Unibroue snifter.

Pours a clear, deep amber color with visible carbonation and a decent bone-colored head that doesn't last very long.

S&T: The aroma is not particularly promising. It's malty and fruity but does not seem to have the hop load of an IPA. ... but then, does a Belgian "Belgian IPA"? The flavor is richer and better. There is a significant hop component in the taste (and a touch of Belgian 'funk'), but still not at the level expected for an IPA. Not quite as much yeast as expected in a Belgian style ale either. Ignoring these, I must admit this is a well-crafted beer.

M: smooth; medium-full body; nice bit of dryness towards the finish; excellent level of carbonation.

O: a fine semi-Belgian style beer, albeit less hoppy than one might expect given the IPA labelling. More of a Belgian PA.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light copper color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick but spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains floral hops, Belgian yeast, caramelized malts, some fruit and some spice.

T: The taste starts out bready with a hearty malt character and Belgian yeast. Then some sweet flavors of caramel, fruit and a little spice come in. The hops presence is strong but not over-powering and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I can see why the monk is grumpy - there are only two of these in the sampler.

I picked up the sampler thinking most of these were new to me but as it turns out, three were and three were not. This is the newest of the bunch and it's a nice Belgian IPA. It's not overly hoppy like a lot of Americanized ones, but it also isn't especially yeasty, and I think this is a drawback.

The appearance and aroma are very good - lacey, interesting smell. The taste and aftertaste are a little tame, but well balanced. I don't need to drink this again, but there is no reason to avoid it either.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle from CJ's Potsdam NY for 3$

Appearance - Clear copper colour with an average size fizzy off-white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 4 minutes.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, grapefruit, bananas

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste lots of hops, malts, and caramel. There is also some light banana mixed with apricot and yeasty notes. It finishes with a slightly dry and very bitter hoppy aftertaste.

Overall - Maybe just a touch out of balance, but still an above average beer. Well worth trying once, but maybe not worth a repeat purchase. Good dose of hops.

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Photo of tdm168
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - dark copper gold with a large, soft, foamy, dense white head; a lot of carbonation bubbles rising to the top

S - apples, sugar, spices

T - light apple sweetness, a hint of caramel and sugar, light Belgian yeast with some spicy notes, lightly bitter almost noble hop-like hop character

M - crisp, medium bodied but a bit thin at times, a bit over carbonated

This is a decent beer in the sense that it's balanced and drinkable, but there is nothing that stands out. It's overly Belgian nor is very hoppy. It won't win over any die hard fans of Belgians or IPAs, but it's a solid offering that's worth trying.

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Photo of maleman
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an SA glass. Nice amber color with a creamy, one-finger head that was slow to recede. Thin, oily lacing clings to the side. The nose is grain and dominant clove. Initially, there is some phenol, but clove and biscuit soon rush in and take away any trace of alcohol. The finish is nice and tasted in the back of the mouth, carbonation is above average. Somewhat on the lighter side of medium-bodied. Overall, a tasty brew that is a cross between a Belgian and an IPA...leaning a bit more toward Belgian as there is little flora detectable. Will partake again! RB!

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber in color with a rocky white head. Strong Belgian influence on this one with lots of clove and spice notes. A bit yeasty with some floral and fruity hops, particularly citrus peel. Some banana, too. The flavor is more bitter than expected, but still fairly bready. Citrus peel, pine, and floral notes give a nice hoppy character. Spice and yeast are evident, as is some malt sweetness.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.51/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. Pours clear light golden orange with a big rocky white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is some soap (rosemary) with some sweet bready malt and a little piney hop.

The flavor is sweet sugary soapy malts with a big harsh bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, an odd sweet soapy spicy IPA.

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Photo of nukem5
3.96/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a case of hop ology mixed sample case with 4 different beers in it all hoppy...yummy

A: Pours a great orange color with a nice solid cap of tan foam, tons of lacing down glass. Just what I expected or hoped I should say.

S: Not much there a light malt and some light citrus.

T: Sweet honey and candy sugars malts clove banana and some earthy piney hops kicking it up...Taste is very nice and clean.

M: Mouthfeel is a medium bodied brew with a nice carbonation.

O: Overall a great beer maybe the best of the mixed case, would definitely have this one again.

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Photo of mooseo
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into tulip.

A - Pours a clear amber copper with a small white head.

S - Banana, orange, caramel malt, Belgian yeast, earthy hop aroma.

T - Sweet up front with notes of orange, caramel, and herbal spices. Earthy, mildly bitter hops slowly take over into the finish. Slight pine and citrus flavors blend in well.

M - Smooth and slick, medium body, average carbonation. Semi-dry.

O - Decent example of a Belgian IPA. Good flavor, balance and drinkabilty.

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Photo of artdob
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a rich darkish orange color, with a modest white head.

Nose offers fruity orange flavored aromas with a light hoppiness.

Picking up orange flavors in the taste, giving way to an almost neutral seltzer like quality. Mild carbonation. Orange overtones linger into the finish with a very subtle hop bitterness balancing out the experience.

Me thinks that the monk's mood may begin to change somewhat out of grumpy territory following this one, but not quite the stuff for catwheels and fireworks.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.26/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

Pours an orange/golden color with a think wispy head, what head there is fades fast, no cap and minimal lacing.

Smell is surprisingly subdued, not picking up much hops at all, very light citrus element, decent malt backing but not too interesting for a Belgian style IPA.

Taste has a bit more flavor that the aroma was lacking in, hop presence is still lacking but the malt has a nice caramel flavor, assertive carbonation fills the mouth, nice body with a slight stickiness to it.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into Samuel Adams pint glass.

Wow -- I'm pretty happy that I chose to save this beer as my last in the Hop-ology pack. Poured from the bottle, it looked exactly how I had pictured it... it's a clear, light amber, sunset yellow color.

The mouth feel and taste are fantastic. This beer is about 170 calories (Relatively low 5.7% ABV) yet is really smooth on the tongue, especially if you let it sit a moment.

And, the taste... one of the better beers I've had. My first sip was really bready. A few later, I got some citrus. Near the bottom of my glass, I picked up a bit of bitter, earthy hops. There's a little bit of everything in this beer, and it's DAMN good. I don't remember liking Belgian-type beers in the few that I've sampled, but this is VERY tasty. I would certainly buy it again ... this was a great way to finish off my Hop-ology pack.

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Photo of trianglebeerguy
4.7/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought in the IPA Hopology 12-pack at Triangle Wine Store in Morrisville, NC near the RTP. I was the most excited about this beer of the 6 offerings and it did not disappoint. I've had some Belgian IPA's that lose one character or the other, but this was distinctly Belgian as well as distinctly an IPA. The Belgian sugars and yeast cut into the hops which were intense but sutble enough.

It poured nice and golden, nice head. Smelled like an IPA mixed with Belgian yeast. The taste was what won me over, as I think it it always the most important aspect of a beer.

Overall, another fine offering from Sam. So nice to see a company that has become a macrobrewery stay so true to their roots and focus on variety rather than just buying more factories to pump out Boston Lager (which is of course a great beer itself).

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Grumpy Monk from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
82 out of 100 based on 148 ratings.