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:
266
Ratings:
1,005
Avg:
4.34
pDev:
18.66%
 
 
Wants:
414
Gots:
128
For Trade:
9
User Reviews
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Reviews: 266 | Ratings: 1,005
Photo of fdig23
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Beer Heaven in Philly

Appearance: Glowing cloudy golden orange with a perfect thin white head

Nose: Grapefruit jumps out of the glass followed by some caramel and farmyard undertones. Candied oranges and toasted bread are present as well.

Taste: Grapefruit juice flavor is up front followed by toasty bread, peaches, funky rotten apples, and a creamy vanilla note. Finishes with butterscotch oak and astringency like eating fresh grapefruit.

Mouthfeel: Very full and creamy, maybe a bit too much so.

Overall: Extremely delicious, drinkable, original, and unusual brew. Grapefruit forward hops, brett, and Chardonnay oak is a weird and wonderful combination. Definitely makes me want to try more from Anchorage.

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

A- pours hazy orangish yellow with a nice two finger head
S- lots of Brett, citra, belgian yeast, lemon, grassy,
T- oh yeah, great citrusy hops, pine, belgian yeast, grassy earthiness, substantial Brett, you can really taste the Chardonnay barrel, some funk
M- very nice, not too much carbonation
O- this is really really great, lots of complex flavors, much smoother finish than you'd expect from a 100 ibu belgian beer. Really glad I got to try this one. Definitely the gold standard for the style.

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Photo of DaveHS
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours hazy light amber with over 2 inches of fluffy eggshell white head. Leaves rings of complex lacing down the glass and a thin cap of foam floating on top.

S-Bright, citrusy hops, brettanomyces funk,pineapple, lavender,pear juice.

T/M-Tasty, chewy brettanomyces barnyard funk is nicely complemented by the citrusy, lemony hops. Dry, simple malt profile has notes of buttery pie crust. The finish is dry, with bitter earthy hops.

O-This is the second Anchorage beer I've had now, and it's another winner. I'm liking what these guys are doing.

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Photo of zookerman182
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a clear hello with a finger white fizzy head.
Aroma is pear and pineapple, amazing.
Flavor is strawberry banana, and its unbelievable.
It's pretty much warmed up and it's super complex.
Even some faint funk to it.
If is beer was close by I'd get it all the time.
Mouthfeel is dry but the flavor is mind blowing.
This beer impressed me, and I had moderate expectations.
Hope I get to taste it again.

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.49/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared a bottle with my wife. This beer is golden straw colored with a big big white head. Beautiful

The nose is mainly brett, sour with a citrus freshness in the back I want more but only because of all the possibilities, belgiana. Brett, hops barrals

Don't be fooled this is all sour starts light and refreshing great mouth . The flavor of hops come in, I'm not able to distinguish which overall finish bitter earthiness.

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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 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 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 zhanson88
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy straw color with a high level of carbonation. About 1.5" of eggshell white head forms after the pour, which has a nice tight structure to it, almost pillow like. Very good retention and lacing. Very good looking beer.

Smell: Funky up front. No sourness component, but just pure Brett funk. Underneath a plethora of hop scents. Very tropical in nature with pineapple, mango, and citrus.

Taste: Veritable explosion of tropical hop flavors up front. Mango, peach, and pineapple are prevalent. A perfect amount of Bretty funk along with a bit of bitterness on the back end and finish.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Medium bodied with ample carbonation. The Brett funk and bitterness on the back end lends to a dry finish that makes you want to take another sip. Overall, I enjoyed this beer a great deal. The hop character and funk blend perfectly together and create a great product. Easily the best Belgian IPA I have tried to this point.

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Photo of Gtwreck45
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is possibly the most complex and interesting beer I have ever had. Here it goes
A: Golden in color, fluffy white head that is slow to dissipate
S: Surprisingly tropical, tons of pineapple and citrus, can slightly notice some brett funk in the nose
T: More citrus, more tart in the taste with lemony citrus, brett funk, and hoppy bitterness. I wouldn't have noticed the chardonnay aging had I not read it on the bottle, but if I seek it out I notice some buttery chardonnay flavors
F: Belgian yeast does it some huge favors in mouthfeel, as this is very full and creamy, unlike typical IPAs
O: Quite a pleasant brew with a whole lot going on. Definitely will grab another bottle next time if comes around

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Photo of Pintofbrown
4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got bitter with my inner monk with a goblet.

Appearance- My pour results in a dense and pillowy white foam. It recedes slowly, and leaves behind a big ring of just as dense lace. The opaque, yeasty body goes from a bright lemon meringue to a darker copper. This offering looks like it came to dominate.

Smell- The brett comes through big time! This beer has a huge sour nose with a bit yeasty, barnyard scent. I cannot say I get any hop notes, maybe a little citrus underneath. It is hard to say.

Taste- Again, the brett really takes center stage in this beer. Unlike the nose, however, there a citrus-y note in mid-drink that manages to peak through the sourness. I also feel a little resin in the finish. This guy is sour all the way down!

Mouth feel- This beer has a big body and really sticks to the cheeks. I feel like for how well the bubbles have been harnessed, it could be a little less slick. Other than that, this big beer certainly feels big.

Overall- Even though I enjoyed this beer immensely, I am unsure that Bitter Monk lives up to the IPA moniker. The brett especially comes through strong in this beer with the hops being more of an after thought than a main player. I would have this again, maybe my bottle has just gotten too old to really showcase its hop forward potential.

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

Poured into a Portsmouth Tulip

A: A light murky yellow body accompanied by an orange hue greats my glass with no discernible clarity. The mountain of dry hops is at fault I am assuming. There is a two finger white head that hangs on for a long time and slowly forms chunky mountains. It left behind a bunch of lacing along the sides of the glass as well.

S: I can seriously smell the beer from a couple of feet away. There is tons of citrus in the nose in the form of oranges, grapefruit, and mangoes. The brett kicks in pretty strongly as well with some must and funk. As I keep smelling it the oak barrels push through with an element of white wine.

T: The flavors are really intense as the hops kick in first with a zesty onslaught of citrus. Mid palate the oak really grabs hold and brings the vinous qualities with it. It finishes quite bitter and dry with a wave of brett-filled funkiness.

M: Spritzy and light it reminds me of a saison in feel.

O: Quite the unique beer and probably the only 'IPA' I have had that actually improved with barrel aging. I'd buy it again.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I poured this into a snifter.
The appearance was a nice looking hazy orange color with a light carbonation to be seen rising to fill a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within less than a minute. The lacing stuck nicely around the glass in a speckled even sort of way.
The smell had a sharp peppercorn to brisk lemongrass and a refreshing sort of citrus blend.
The taste had a sharp dry spicy refreshing citrus over top of the peppercorn and lemongrass.
The mouthfeel had a dry yet refreshing sort of brisk carbonation rolling across my tongue. It saturates but is quite dry as well.
Overall, as a Belgian IPA, I say it works. I say its very well done.

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Photo of homebrewhawk
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle served in a Blvd. Tank 7 tulip. Poured a hazy gold with a couple of fingers of tight, white head. Dank and piney hop aroma, some Belgian yeast. Starts out with a bitter bite. Brett and barrel hit in the middle. Medium bodied. Brett really comes out in the finish. Some citrus. Oak comes through as it warms. Alcohol is well hidden. I'm liking what these guys are doing.

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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 Neorebel
4.59/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bitter Monk's appearance is a hazy, pale amber hue. It's head begins as a fizzy soapy head but dissipates to a small ring sticking to the side of the glass. The aroma is nothing short of incredible and fascinating! The multi-layered hop scents, lemon, kiwi, and clove, all married to the brett/yeast earthy notes, wine-like characteristics, and a creamy hint to it make this one of the best smelling beers I have ever taken a whiff of. Taste - WOW! Not to be taken lightly this beer begins with the earthy brett, and quickly the piny hops jump in as well. The finish is pleasantly bitter with the flavor of the wine barrel revealing itself. The body and mouthfeel are not too overpowering, and it's got, I'd say a 7 on a scale of 1-10 in terms of alcohol heat. I am enjoying the warming sensations and pleasant buzz right away. Overall, the beer's a rare treat not to be missed. Top shelf- buy with confidence. I would also like to note that the beer was bottled in July 2011 and drank July 2012, with plenty of hop flavors very much present.

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Photo of patpbr
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a hazy orange with a nice foamy head.
S - Tropical fruit, juicy grapefruit and lemon. Funk with a hint of bubblegum
T - First taste is like the noise. Great mix of citrus, pineapple, mango, and grapefruit. Notice the pepper and a nice hint of yeast and sour character. Bitterness is blended with a wonderful mix of flavors.
M - Medium body, the finish is on the dry side but finishes well, easy to drink.
O - I have only tried a few Belgian IPAs and this by far is a great one.

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Photo of beerhan
3.4/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle thanks to match1112 .

I had slightly higher expectations for this one but needless to say it was good and I respect it but I was not that into this beer.

A-Golden orange with a sticky white lacing and a big head.

S-Smells very oaky and a bit of oranges. Some pine and grape.

T-Very barrel forward to say. The chardonnay barrel treatment really shines through and is just a little too overpowering. This really is not an IPA but some sort of hybrid between like a saison and something else.

M-Nice carbonation that really allows the flavors to shine through.

O-This beer was good but I was not that into it. It is pretty drinkable for what it is but i think it is a one try beer for me.

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Photo of chodinheaven
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big foamy white head on top of a hazy yellow beer with orange highlights. Looks like a wheat beer really. The head dissapates slowly, leaving patchy rings of lacing with it as it goes. Chardonnay is definitely present in the smell, with a sharp note that reminds me of fresh tangerines at first. The wine smell masks others, but alcohol comes through softly. Floral hops faintly work their way to the top as well. Interesting smell for a Belgian IPA. The chardonnay really takes the stage here.

Lots of flavors hit all at once and then the complexity lingers on. The chardonnay barrel aging definitely had an effect on this beer, giving it some wine like characteristics that play pretty well with the three yeasts and intensly bitter citrus and piney hops. The citra hops are the most evident of the three used, giving an orange citrus flavor that is distinct from the chardonnay and slight resiny hop taste. This is one of those beers that you can just tell a ton of ingredients were put together to make a pretty cohesive and complex brew. It is rich with flavor and there is never a dull sip. The backbone that levels all the flavors out evenly is the biscuity maltiness found smack dab in the middle of it all. Its not as noticeable due to the plethora of other and more intense flavors, but its there, and it holds this beer together. Surprisingly not as boozy in the taste as I had expected so this one will sneak up on you at 9% and very drinkable. The bitterness threatens to take over on each sip, but the malts, chardonnay flavors, citrus, and three unique yeasts hold out and make a name for themselves. That characteristic double IPA flavor of hops is definitely there though, and a major player in the complexity of this beer. There is a smokiness to them as well that could be part of the oak barrel aging. Between the bitterness and the sweetness from the orange citrus, this beer has a unique balance to it. Its extremely bitter on the back and sides of the tongue and then lingers forever, but there is a certain sweetness that the chardonnay and the citrus bring to the beer that compliments that sharp bitterness. The mouthfeel is crisp and clean with a little wine-like bite that finishes the character off. It finishes dry but lingering, a good combination that led to reapeated sips.

Unique beer. Worth a shot if you have a spare 15 bucks or so. Great to share, celebrate with, or just enjoy being challenged with in your spare time. I will most likely be checking out Anchorage's other offerings if I can find them. This was a pretty impressive first.

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Photo of Jules11788
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a cloudy golden yellow color; fat 3 finger-width head, very sticky lacing. This beer looks super enticing

S: As soon as I poured this I could smell the delicious tart hoppiness exploding from the glass. Musty fruit tartness followed by a sweet floral/fruity hops in the back of the nose. Amazing

T: Super hoppy bitterness mixed with a creamy tartness, like a smooth buttery chardonnay with a hoppy backbone; the flavors expand nicely as they move down the tongue, finishes slightly dry with some more tartness and bitter hops. Absolutely delicious

M: Thick, yet somehow finishes light and dry; tingly and full-bodied with medium carbonation

O: This is a fantastic Belgian IPA, and one of the absolute best beers I've had in a while

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Photo of suspect
3.88/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Duvel Tulip. Split with my brother-in-law.

A: Bright golden color - relatively aggressive pour leads to a 2 finger head. Hazy, not clear.

S: Funk. Barnyard, funky, feet and some light malt flavor as well. We couldn't come up with why it smelled like feet and then we realized it was the Brett.

T: Brett rules. It's such a nice combination of funky barnyard, citrus zest and hoppy bitter mixed all in together.

M: Light body, nice carbonation.

O: Easy drinker, funky ass brett. I love this yeast when done well...this is middle of the pack Brett beer, which makes it excellent.

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Photo of JohnG190
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy golden orange with an off-white head. Good retention and lacing. Lots of spicy yeast, citrus, pepper, grass, grape, oak, and lemon. Pepper and yeast hit the palate first, followed by faint hints of pine, lemon and apricot. The aftertaste is most interesting, grape, oak, lemon, green apple and notes of peach. Finishes dry and slightly bitter. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall, this is a fascinating beer. I have never had anything like Bitter Monk, but I will be seeking this out again soon!

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Photo of pmlondrigan
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yum...completely opaque golden orange with bubbly carb that left sheets of lacing down the glass. The aroma pops with winey white grapes, citrusy hops, spices, bretty phenol and a hit of earthy, woody brett. A truly great combo of aromas. Complex flavors but really just a great marriage of citrusy hops and fruity, funky brett. Some spicy phenol flavor enters towards the end with a dry biscuit quality following. Kudos to Anchorage brewing for achieving a medium bodied brett beer with a nice dry finish. For me this beer was love at first sip. Super duper.

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Photo of Arenbeer
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a Tulip Glass

Batch #1 July/2011

A- Pours a hazy light yellow with hints of orange and 2 fingers of fluffy bright white head on top. Tons of carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass and some nice retention on the sides.

S- Lots of Belgian yeast notes up front like clove and banana with small hints of brett and funk but nothing crazy. But what I really like the most about this beer is the hop presence and the profile they give off. Slight citrus orange, tropical fruit, and pine aromas. They really blend nicely with the Belgian yeast and add a crazy element to the beer. There is a small amount of barrel present but it's nothing over powering and you need to dig deep to find it. Mostly musty oak and vinous grapes with a touch of alcohol.

T- Strange to say the least but in a really good way. Up front the first flavors I got were from the Belgian yeast that gave off flavors of banana, clove, but most of all a sweet breadiness. As the beer goes down and thins out in the mouth the bitter hops come out with pine, orange, citrus, and maybe some tropical fruits and slam the tongue with bitterness. The finish is what kind of makes it but is my least favorite part about this beer, the barrel flavors of oak and wine create a burning alcohol finish with touches of vinous grapes and a dry mouthfeel. The brett comes through in the flavor with a slight tart flavor and maybe some funk but no where near your average brett beer. Very subtle but flavorful.

M- Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation and dry bitter finish that is slightly tart as well.

Overall this is by far one of the most unique beers I've come across and would recommend it to anyone who's willing to try it. So complex and full of flavor, every sip is different.

SkÅL!

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Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very cloudy straw yellow. Smells a very citrusy lemon lime mixed with chardonnay. The taste is so complex but every aspect is discernable. The taste is slight pineapple, hoppy citrus, chardonnay, barrel and coconut, with a slightly funky and slightly bitter finish that has a resinous aftertaste. The mouth feel is creamy and fluffy, quite dry finish. Awesome beer, glad I finally got my hands on some.

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Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 266 ratings.
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