Bitter Monk | Anchorage Brewing Company

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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:
265
Ratings:
1,004
Avg:
4.34
pDev:
18.66%
 
 
Wants:
414
Gots:
128
For Trade:
9
User Reviews
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Reviews: 265 | Ratings: 1,004
Photo of superspak
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass; Batch #4, bottled in 12/2015. Pours fairly clear golden yellow color with a 2 finger dense and rocky white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of huge lightly tart/sour lemon, lime, pineapple, peach, apricot, passion fruit, papaya, mango, guava, grapefruit, orange peel, peppercorn, white wine, oak, hay, straw, musty funk, leather, cracker, bread, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness. Incredible aromas with fantastic complexity and balance of fruity/funky/spicy yeast, citrus/tropical hops, wine barrel, and moderate pale male notes; with great strength. Taste of huge lightly tart/sour lemon, lime, pineapple, peach, apricot, passion fruit, papaya, mango, guava, grapefruit, orange peel, peppercorn, white wine, oak, hay, straw, musty funk, leather, cracker, bread, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness, Large amount of peppery yeast spiciness and citrus rind bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, lime, pineapple, peach, apricot, passion fruit, grapefruit, citrus rind, peppercorn, white wine, oak, leather, musty funk, and floral/grassy/yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/spicy yeast, citrus/tropical hops, wine barrel, and moderate pale male flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and zero astringent flavors lingering after the finish. Very drying from bitter/spiciness as well. Medium-high carbonation and medium body; with a very smooth, crisp, sticky/resinous, lightly grainy/creamy, and acidic/tannic balanced mouthfeel that is awesome. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an insane Belgian IPA! All around incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/spicy yeast, citrus/tropical hops, wine barrel, and moderate pale male flavors; very smooth, crisp, and easy to drink for the big ABV. A really amazing offering all around.

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Photo of mjpolzin
3.94/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this right after Love Buzz Saison. To be honest I couldn't notice a huge difference between these two beers and maybe it's because I don't drink a lot of funky and/or sour beers. So maybe my palette isn't refined enough. So this one was (just as I said about Love Buzz) complex, funky and the wine barrel aftertaste was pleasant. I wonder if this beer would be noticeably different if it was fresh? Just wondering if hops had maybe faded a bit since this beer was going on a year old. Also picked up the Belgian yeast ever so slightly.

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Photo of Meyers1023
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy golden color with just over a fingers worth of foamy white head. The smell is funk mixed with citrus and a hint of barrel. The taste follows suit and the name as you get a bitter, funky flavor upfront followed by citrus fruit at the end. You get subtle grape and malt flavors as you drink more of the beer. The feel is very much like a wine, medium bodied and very well carbonated. This is a very good Belgian IPA with an American twist.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.17/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

75 cl

Pours a slightly hazy golden, sugar white head is fine and retains as a foam indefinitely.

Smells of apple, bretty yeast, honey, and fresh piney hops.

Flavor is of rich honey and bready malts, tart citrus and bretty yeast notes, and a fresh floral hop finish.

Full body with fluffy carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

A nice marriage of Belgian and American influences. A tart and malty Belgian ale with plenty of American hopping. The strength and flavor make this a slow drinker, but enjoyable. Very interesting hybrid that I have seen others occasionally try, but never with this much hopping, so it feels more like an American IPA with brett than a Belgian IPA with extra hops. Ultimately unique and definitely above average means it is worth seeking out to me.

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Photo of LAp
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy straw yellow with almost no head (the second glass poured a 1/2 finger foamy white head that receded at a glacial pace and left almost no lacing). Nose is dank hops, with elements of both savory hop cones and pine. The funk and Belgian yeast are present but extremely trace on the nose. The palate opens with the wonderfully-crafted, dank, savory IPA promised by the nose. This gives way however to an almost lemony sourness. This lemongrass Brett element is surprisingly well-tamed for such a fickle strain of lactobacillus. The Belgian yeast element is almost nonexistent to my palate. My housemates trying the beer with me noted it more prominently, but for me, it was simply a lingering suggestion on the aftertaste of a most complex yeast base. The beer concludes with a champagne-like/dry-white-wine finish. A nod perhaps to the Chardonnay barrels in which it it kept. The mouthfeel is appropriately medium.

Overall, this is an astoundingly complex beer. At first blush, the mix of sour and hops tastes like a compromise, but as the glass continues, the full complexity of the palate comes through. Though I would perhaps brand this myself as a white-wine barrel aged sour DIPA (given the minimal Belgian influence noted by my palate), it is, nonetheless, an exceptionally well-crafted beer.

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Photo of tbryan5
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow... Another superb beer from Anchorage. A hoppy and Bretty beer that you can keep on drinking and drinking. It's not overly tart where the funk overpowers the hops, but a good combination that allows the best of both worlds be showcased.

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Photo of ChrisMon02
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a Founders snifter.

Cloudy yellow color-nice fluffy head with little lacing.

Wow- a lot going on here. Brett, soft spicy yeast, Chardonnay, oak, fruity hops, grape flesh.

Taste follows the nose. So many deep, complex flavors. This shit is delicious.

Mouthfeel is soft medium-low carbonation. Moves easily over the tongue and down the throat.

I caught myself wailing away through my first glass of this. I then slowed down and thoroughly enjoyed the second glass experiencing all the different nuisances this beer offers. Very well made and blended. This just works and should be tried by anyone who enjoys this style. Highly recommended.

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Photo of kaiyote
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Look: Nearly opaque (not hazy) golden color, decent life, nearly pure white head.
Smell: There's a hint of DIPA citrus in there, but the biggest thing is the brett I've come to expect from Anchorage Brewing.
Taste: Far more DIPA than I would have expected from the nose, and far less brett. Wonderfully balanced.
Feel: Very carbonated. Really wakes up the hops in the mouth.

Overall: Another winner from Anchorage. Could almost use this to introduce a newcomer to the world of sours. The brett really doesn't assert itself very much, but its definitely there and helps to amp the malt qualities of the brew.

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Photo of yung_peli
4.51/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pale cloudy gold, 1 finger white head, poor retention, medium lacing.
AR: Brett/barnyard funk, citrus, hints of mango and apricot, kumquat, orange sherbet/creamsicle, other fruity esters.
T: Follows nose, hop bitterness on finish, very well balanced, lots of fruit on the palate.
M: Medium thin body, medium carbonation, dry.

So many fruity aromas/flavors. Fantastic balance between the Brett/Hops. My favorite Belgian IPA to date.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Welp, I'm certainly intrigued by the aroma of this one. There's a nice DIPA laying around - I pick up plenty of grapefruit, tangerine, and mango. But there's also a BA brett beer in here, too. I get a touch of wine barrel, along with some funky brett. This shows more deftness with the bugs than Love Buzz did. The brett is more subtle as I taste it, choosing to play second fiddle to the Belgian IPA. The citrusy hops open it up, trailing into a gently malty middle loaded with cracker, white bread, and a drizzle of caramel. Bitterness is nearly nonexistent. It's not very rustic, but its clear the brett and barrel are designed to be gentle flourishes rather than the main event. I find it very dry and easy to drink, yet full and mouth coating. I'm really digging this - the hop/malt balance is bang on, and brett adds a small yet palpable dimension. I'll have to get this again if I find it.

4.08/5: Not a bitter monk, just a really tasty one

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Photo of Pencible
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: This poured an opaque gold with white head.
S: It smelled like unripe apricot and minerals and citrus zest.
T: It tasted like citrus zest and minerals, with some unripe apricot and horse blanket. It had a clean and dry sweet tart aftertaste.
M: It was oily with fine natural carbonation. Nice slick body.
D: This was a complex and delicious Belgian IPA, with solid scent and taste. The body was great too, and the finish was smooth with well hidden alcohol, so it was easy to drink. Probably not for aging. Recommended.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of the first ipas to do the whole turbidity appearance thing, white head, 1/4". The aroma smacks hard on the Citra, Brett & Simcoe notes. So good and complex.

Taste was more of the same all those bitter, citrus, pine notes, white wine barrel, toasted oak, alcohol whisped away to where you can't discern it.

Easily the best belgian ipa ever made, but I look at it more of an American Wild Ale meets DIPA. I just don't gather much belgian about it other than maybe the appearance.

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Photo of ragnar3
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Batch 3 (May '15) poured into a tulip. Funky brett overwhelms the citra hops in this one but the barrel and Belgian yeast adds complexity. Bitter, refreshing and unique. Can't say I've had anything quite like it...worth searching out.

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Photo of mothman
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3 May 2015

Lots of Brett and funk. Earthy. Big fruity flavors. Grapefruit and orange. Has a wine barrel like flavor to it.

Bitter and sticky.

Easy drinking but complex. Very enjoyable for a Belgian IPA. Well done.

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Photo of stevoj
4.09/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Boise Co-op. Pretty solid throughout, excellent nose, silky body, lighter essences, floral, grassy, bubbly. Liking it, top notch Belgian IPA.

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Photo of smanson56
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle marked Batch #3 May 2015. Poured a hazy golden color into my tulip glass. Lots of hops in the nose with a little earthiness from the Brett. The taste is that of a good IPA from the hops with the tartness from the brett and barrel aging. I was pleasantly surprised by this beer to say the least and my have to find another bottle.

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Photo of Wobbly
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Lovely, complex beer which comes close to the ideal balance of flavors. A bit more tartness would compliment the bitter, hoppy flavors. Still, an excellent beer.

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Photo of Johnct
4.99/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. A truly amazing and unique beer. 100% it's own style of IPA. Belgian yeast gives it an interesting Belgian taste, Brett offers a very mild souring, and the barrel aging just blends all the flavors together. Truly a world class beer

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.27/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750mL into an oversized tulip.

Peach skin-colored body. Foamy, frothy, full and persistent pale white head. Lace is everywhere like in a brothel. Very nice to look at. 5

Smells of spicy, peppery yeast and white wine along with some peach and other juicy fruit all cloaked in a light funk. 4.25

A continued white wine experience with piney and floral hop flavor tinged by fruitiness. Grapefruit and mandarin follow and shine more as the beer warms. The finish lingers with a strong floral profile and a touch of oatmeal-like malt appears just before to inject some sweetness. A nice stew of flavors. 4.25

This beer was living up to the bitter in its name when it was nice and cold out the fridgerator. Yup, the fridgerator. Coupled with the zesty, yeasty spice, the beer was drinking pretty aggressively and forcing me to take the smallest of sips. But as it warms, it becomes creamier, juicier and smoother. A little sweetness/maltiness begins to show too. 4

Closer to room temp, this is pretty damn phenomenal. Drink it cold to see the transition, but I promise you'll love this after about 30-45 minutes.

 1,112 characters

Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A very nice Belgian IPA all the way from Alaska! However reading the bottle got me overly excited and than the beer let me down....Citra Hopped not once but twice and I love Citra....but the Belgian yeast covered any Citra hops notes I was looking for unfortunately....but still a good beer.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - The beer was a dark straw yellow with a two finger white head.

Smell - The nose was mildly citrus and slightly yeasty.

Taste - The hops give a big peach impression with some green apples notes. Candy-like sugar makes the fruit shine. The backbone is comprised of yeasty bread. Mild resin and a slight bitterness are present and linger slightly.

Mouthfeel - The Belgian yeast thickens this one nicely. The coating on the tongue really lingers.

Overall - I sought this one for a while and it was worth the wait.

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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 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 darktronica
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I'm not generally a fan of IPAs, but this is still kind of marvelous. Pours a dingy, hazy gold with a finger of fast-dissipating white foam. Smells vinous, with fruit cocktail, juicy hops, pomelo or grapefruit, and lychee. Tastes of tart citrus pith, crisp acidity, oak, green mango, and winter melons. Lots of interesting and complex flavors hiding amongst each other, but all pointing in the same general direction. A very well-executed, focused beer that nonetheless displays a lot of depth.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.63/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Batch #3 May 2015 at 42 degrees into snifter
$ 17/750 mL bottle from Blackwell’s
Aroma – fruit flies love it but I can’t smell it
Head average (three cm, aggressive pour), white, creamy, diminishing to irregular three to five mm ring and layer
Lacing partial wide curtains with tiny to large bubbles
Body medium yellow, cloudy
Flavor – really not picking up much – some slight Brett, some bitterness, some alcohol, not much in the line of fruity esters; no hops flavor (amazing since this is a DIPA at 100 IBUs), no diacetyl
Palate medium, somewhere between watery and creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4.25, Aroma 3, Flavor 3.75, Palate 4, Overall 3.75

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Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 265 ratings.
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