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Bitter Monk | Anchorage Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
96
world-class
264 Reviews
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Bitter MonkBitter Monk
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anchorage Brewing Company
Alaska, United States | website

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

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

Added by sprucetip on 08-26-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
264
Ratings:
1,000
Avg:
4.34
pDev:
18.89%
 
 
Wants:
413
Gots:
129
For Trade:
9
User Reviews
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Reviews: 264 | Ratings: 1,000
Photo of mkotsayfan
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a pint glass. Pours a light golden yellow with a lot of white frothy head. The aroma has lots of citrus, sourness from the Brett, some grassy notes. The taste involves a battle for your taste bud's attention: bitterness from the hops or the sourness from the Brett, certainly a delightful battle to witness. There is also a nice balance of tart and sweetness. The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with nice carbonation, with a nice dry finish.

Overall a quality beer, the brett sourness and bitterness blend very nicely, and the other flavors balance out the beer very well. Looking forward to some more beers from Anchorage Brewing.

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Photo of metter98
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is cloudy yellow in color and almost resembles a variant of lemonade. It poured with a finger high white head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are moderate to strong aromas of sourness in the nose along with some hints of citrusy hops.
T: The taste is quite sour but is also very balanced with the underlying malts so it isn’t overpowering. It is also complex with flavors of citrus and grapes.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness in the finish.
O: This beer is very well balanced and the sourness and complex flavors make it a very interesting beer to sip.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy golden yellow with an ample fluffy white head
S: Smells of citrus a little acetic acid, some yeast as well
T: faint citrusy hop flavor with a little bit of sourness, some yeast flavor and a bit of flavor from the wine barrel. Aftertaste is of hop resin and yeast
M: average mouthfeel for an IPA, soft carbonation makes this one very drinkable
O: Very good, I wish it was fresher but it tastes very good at its current state. Very smooth and refreshing and highly drinkable.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Bottle purchased months ago...don't really remember when. Poured into HF tulip. Lots of head...carbonation is ideal. Orangey hue..sure.
Nice hoppy aroma even for it being fairly aged...but brett dominates. Smooth juicy hops and brett - mixed with classic anchorage signature aromas...
wood and funk.
Great flavor - funky - brett - wood - hops. Phenomenal. Do yourself a favor and thank god (or any deity) Gabe exists...this beer as most of his are..is simply sublime.

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Photo of liamt07
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle I picked up while in Vegas from the Whole Foods on S Las Vegas Blvd. 750ml bottle corked and caged, Batch 1 from July 2011 - into a tulip.

Poured a hazy golden yellow, we split the yeast amongst us and its sat 'curtain-like' in each of our glasses in suspension. Looked pretty cool! Voluminous white head, very effervescent with a great rocky head and spotty lacing. Nose has pungent lemon, funk/brett, white wine notes, pine, a touch of cat pee, citrus zest and background tropical notes (derived from the Citra I'll guess). Alot of grassy notes as well, somewhat of a Noble hop character to it. Certainly extremely unique for a DIPA. Taste again has substantial lemon, tropical fruits with light tart and vinous/barrel notes. Herbal hops again with less brett than the nose. Light spiciness in the finish, certainly a solid amount of Belgian and brett flavours all around - works phenomenally with the hop profile. Bitterness is there but not overpowering. Fantastic, and I'll most certainly seek out future batches if given the chance.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Connecticut Avenue in DC. Served in a Mikasa tulip.

Pours a moderately-hazed apricot-orange with a killer white head that lasts nearly throughout. As it slowly recedes, there's plenty of lacing left in its wake.

The nose is extraordinary from the start. Lots of fresh fruit notes. It immediately reminds me of Super Friends with the combination of tropical and citrus hops plus the nice Brett twang. Beautifully intertwined. The flavor continues on from there with the same hop notes plus a bit of pineapple and grapefruit. Light funk underneath the hits, providing a nice dryness to the finish, which goes along quite well with the hoppy bitterness.

All in all, really a fantastic beer. I quite liked Whiteout Wit, but this beer really went to the next level.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of jlindros
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Anchorage Brewing is quickly becoming the pretty girl on the block. Everything they allow me to taste seduces my palate and entrances me with its high level of complexity, full tart-bitter interplay, and powdery acidity that's impossible to refuse. What's there not to like with all that layered onto an imperial IPA base recipe?

The beer pours with a creamy lightness that captures a stern golden hue. As the refined carbonaiton separates from the citrusy liquid beneath, it builds a creamy, cottony foam that proves formidable of both Belgian ales and IPAs. Sticky lace adorns the glass evenly and artistically. This is a highly aesthetically appealing beer!

Mouthwatering aromas of citrus and tropical fruit provides a sweet and sour interplay that tingles the nose with lemons, limes, tangerine, pineapple, apricot, and mangos. Acidic white wine and white grapes continue to wash the nose with wave after wave of complex aromatics. Thin honeyish caramel notes inform the sweeter citrus notes but never seem sweet unto itself.

Creamy, sweet and dry all at the same time- the beer seems to put on a magic show in the mouth. Like "Pop Rocks" candy, the sweet, sour, musty, acidity pulls the taste buds in a lot of directions. Dried lemons and oranges provide a woodish dust taste to complement the zesty citrus notes. Savory sweetness of "Hawaiian Punch" seem to strike the sensetivities of the teeth and gums, and then make me beg for more. Finish with a bone-dry malt taste, the hops carry the beer with smooth bitterness and wineish vinous wood notes.

Creamy from start to finish, but the fine carbonation and dry malt textures evade sweetness in the mouthfeel. The beer is arid, and seems to float just above the tongue, but caresses the palate all at the same time- in true Belgianesque fashion. As the beer dissolves at mid palate, the cotton candy textures carry a whimsical perfume into the gullet and beyond. Powdery wood astringency, evaporation alcohol, and the dry malt-hop interplay keeps me revisiting the glass much quicker than a nine-percent beer should.

With the care and attention to brewing details, Anchorage is proving time and time again that they are not simply content to meet the standards of Belgo-American ales, but far exceed them. Wine barrels, brettanomyces, triple fermentation, exclusive hops and technique cause a ton of work for small rewards- but its far worth it!

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Photo of Durge
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3. May 2015 bottle, opened Oct 2015

A - Really nice opaque golden pear juice body with 2 fingers of creamy white head. Nice retention and lace.

S - Great combination and integration on the nose. Pear, strong floral notes of honeysuckle and lavender, hay, and a slightly acetic funk.

T - Pear, white grape skins, and cantaloupe, and bitter kumquat rinds. Champaign, oak, vanilla, and hay through the center. Waxy finish with touches of funky white stone fruits through the finish.

M - Super smooth, waxy, and great carbonation on a medium frame.

O - A stelar and elevated take on a Belgian IPA.

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Photo of rudzud
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of ArkyVaughan
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from May 2015 batch. This was my first time having Bitter Monk and I loved it. What a great Brett beer. Even with a May 2015 batch date, the citrus elements from the hops are still there. I will definitely get this again.

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Photo of timtim
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a hazy, glowing, peachy, light honey color with a white head that holds and leaves tons of lace. very pretty. nose is bright, fresh fruit up front. mainly pineapple and grapefruit with hints of pear in the background as well as orange. wine barrel and hops are intertwined extremely well in the nose, and... taste as well. fruit all over the place harmonizing with phenolic yeast spice. malt sweetness peeks it's head through and plays with the other flavors that are coming off as slightly sweet and very bright. bretty peppery twang in all the right places. this is very well done. finishes dry and light. warming sensation, but to me, miles from hot. well balanced neo-belgo-india-american goodness. very fun hybrid of styles. i like where this brewery is going.

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Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pale yellow, clear with very light haze
S: Sweet pineapple, mango, papaya, orange, vinous, funky earthy Brett
T: Earthy brett, pineapple, sweet tangerine, bitter orange peel, white wine, mango, horse blanket
M: Medium high carbonation, keeps the body lighter for a higher abv beer
O: This was the first crazy brett IPA I ever had and it is still fantastic.

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Photo of Jjski
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

World class.
Straw colored, aromas of minty citrus hops. Belgian yeast. Saison qualities with strong hit of BITTER hops, funk, Brett, oak barrel. I'm not huge on bitter, but it works perfectly here. Uber complex and nuanced. Not sour, but tart and unified. Dry hopped sours are " the newest thing"? I like them a lot. Also try New Belgium La Terrior if u like this beer, which leads the class

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Photo of T_Hass
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L-a Golden orange haze
S-a funky yeasty barnyard smell
T- funky barnyard goodness. The best tasting Brett I've had to date.
F- fluffy, full nicely carbonated mouth feel.

Overall Brett is not my favorite yeasty but this is a lovely Belgium IPA

Poured into a lost Abbey taku glass

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Photo of Kuaff
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I found a bottle of this stuff the very same day it arrived. My bottle appears to be from batch number three, from May of this year. Glass: snifter. Temperature: cellar.

I am presented with two fingers of white fluff above an almost totally opaque golden straw color. Very, exceedingly cloudy. Looks kind of like liquid gold.

Oooooh, GOOD smell. INTENSE lemon and grapefruit, honey, fruity champaign, a bit of the hop scent of your typiccal DIPA, and a hint of pine. Woah!

It tastes sort of like lemon juice at first... acidic, sour, and sweet. Then the DIPA elements come in Substantial hop flavor and some bitter pine. It finishes with the same satisfying, biscuity aftertaste of some of my favorite DIPAs. I also feel like I just sucked on a lemon wedge, haha. I am thoroughly entertained by this ale. I might mention that it doesn't taste NEARLY as bitter as the 100 IBUs attributed to it would indicate. The sweet Belgian characteristics disguise the bitterness, much like the monk's robe.

It's got the typically spritzy carbonation of a Belgian ale. Feels right on.

Another imaginative triumph from Anchorage Brewing Company. It really IS equal parts Belgian ale and DIPA. I experienced the duality myself. Jeez, ABC should really expand their distribution and make their offerings easier to find, 'cause pretty much everything I've tried from them this year has been totally unique and at LEAST somewhat mind-blowing, if not mind-exploding.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

these guys can do no wrong in my mind, especially with the wild ales they put out. for me, that triple fermentation really transforms the mouthfeel of most of their beers to be unique to them, and unlike anything else in the trade. so dry and fluffy, moderately acidic, woody but clean for a funky brew, just uncommon and awesome all the way around. i was a little skeptical on the ipa in that format, but its amazing. the hops are punchy and tangy and fresh and full of oils. lemon and lime notes in the nose and taste from the hops, with a more earthy forested thing in the finish. lots and lots of carbonation makes it move though the flavor layers a little quicker than would be idea, because they are all so good. you get white wine up front and way back, and between it notes of sweet oak and pale malt. hints of orange rind and belgian yeast are there for a moment, before the hops take center stage. its complex and intense, and the wild yeast is very similar to other anchorage cultures. i think i may prefer the tide and its takers and that ak alive they did with mikkeller, but this is an elite level brew, as interesting in flavor as it is in its process, and one i will definitely revisit. not even that bad on the pricing, well worth seeking out, there isnt much like it. if you do know of something similar, please let me know, i want more like this!

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Photo of GeezLynn
4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Golden blonde with a pristine white head. Impressive retention.

Pungent funkiness, hay, lemon and grapefruit, spicy Belgian yeast, wine barrel. Worth spending some time admiring.

Earthy dull bitterness, a little funk, but not as much expected by smell. Slightly medicinal. Citrus, especially grapefruit shows up underneath and extends into a lengthy bitter and tannic finish. Grapefruit really picks up steam at room temperature.

Feel is light, spritzy and dry. Carbonation is full, but on the softer side.

This started out a bit dull, but at a warm temperature, the citrus hops really shined. It easily topped the Midnight Sun 3767 for me. Great beer.

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Photo of corby112
4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up this bomber in Joliet, about $14. We haven't seen distribution of Anchorage in OH yet so I was glad to grab one.

It pours pale orange with a touch of haze and a beautiful head, rocky and pillowy with a touch of lace here and there. The nose is very nice too, pungent hops and bret. I'm not sure how old this bottle is but the hops still seem fresh.

Lots of citrus flavor in the start of each sip, with a bitter funkiness behind. Dry aftertaste with lingering acrid bitterness, delicious. Strong carbonation, with a peppery bite on my tongue. This tastes a lot better than I expected, possibly my favorite "Belgian" IPA.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy light golden colored with vibrant carbonation bubbles. Thin layer of minuscule white foam covers the top. I definitely get plenty of tart smelling Brett in the aroma. The flavor is a complex melange of hops,oak,and Brett. They are all dialed in just right and it works amazingly well. This is very refreshing! The body is very light and smooth,but it is packed with flavor. Excellent balance of sour Brett,bitter hops,and yet a smooth,refreshing beer.

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Photo of iwantsomerocks
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mobile review from long beach island, NJ!

Bottled in July 2011..what? I guess some DIPAs don't give a shit how old they are. Holy hell, this is a truly astounding beer. The appearance is that of a Belgian strong pale. Smells like amazing citrusy goodness. Taste follows the nose..great citrusy taste with plenty of subdued hoppy goodness. A little buttery from the chardonnay aging. Truly great. I would seek this beer out ASAP.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into tulip 9/10/13, an extra from Rutager? ya I said extra, cheers dude

S bright hazy yellow liquid, I can't see many bubbles through the haze but two fingers worth of foam hangs on long enough to leave plenty of random lace before falling to a thin film

S tropical fruit come out strong, pineapple, peach, passion-fruit, kiwi, and tangerine, I get a little green apple and catty citra notes but considering this brews 6 months old I'm amazed how hopped up it is, some dry white vinous notes and a little brett mingle with some faint oak and Belgian flair , some sexy shit going on here and I wouldn't change anything

T the nose was a hard act to follow, some booze comes out, some spruce and lemon rind, more wood and the brett's still mild and the hops are strong but not over the top like on the nose

M medium-full, bitter as all hell, just a little heat but its well under control, lots of woody tropical fruit lingering

O I don't dish out 5's all that often but the nose is kicking ass here and I don't have anything to complain about elsewhere, another great example of "I'd love to try a bottle off the line and another one years down the road" that being said I'm stoked wit what's in my glass today

when I think about the only other brew I've had from Anchorage was another serious winner and I think I dropped the 5 on the Galaxy IPA's nose as well. I'd love to have several of these to sit on and drink periodically but I have a feeling I caught it at a good age today

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Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 264 ratings.
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