Bitter Monk | Anchorage Brewing Company

Bitter MonkBitter Monk
BA SCORE
94.8%
Liked This Beer
4.32 w/ 1,029 ratings
Bitter MonkBitter Monk
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anchorage Brewing Company
Alaska, United States
anchoragebrewingcompany.com

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
Ranking:
#510
Reviews:
272
Ratings:
1,029
Liked:
975
Avg:
4.32/5
pDev:
9.49%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
420
Gots:
133
Trade:
8
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,029 |  Reviews: 272
Photo of MasterSki
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at Binny's after the distributor screwed over West Lakeview by selling their allotment. Served in a Bells tulip. Batch #1, July 2011.

A - Lightly hazed pale golden body, with a finger-plus of white foam that settles to a thin cap, leaving thin fingers of lace.

S - Lemon, oak, herbal and leafy notes, grapefruit, phenolic Belgian yeast, hint of cat pee, some tart apple skins, touch of chardonnay. Alcohol pops up when the beer gets warm. Aroma is pretty crazy and complicated, but everything promised on the label is present a perceptible.

T - I actually like the taste a bit better, as it has more stone fruit malt and tropical fruit hop flavors. Some herbal hops, oak, light vinous character, and waves of bitterness that come and go somewhat unexpectedly. Alcohol is better hidden, and the cat pee note is also thankfully missing.

M - Medium-full body with a smooth texture, extremely dry and tannic finish, moderate carbonation. No alcohol heat, and some resinous hop oils that linger into the aftertaste.

D - This beer was terrific - I'm guessing it's loosely based on 3767, which Gabe made while at Midnight Sun. Very easy to dirnk, even with the higher ABV and IBUs - the bitterness is apparent but never gets fatiguing or oppressive. I hope Shelton & Windy City get their act together and we get the next batch a little quicker, as I'd like to experience the full force of the hop aroma and flavors.

 1,430 characters

Photo of Cynic-ale
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a hazy, medium golden amber with a thin white head that stays as a fine thick film with lacing. Aroma of Brett, white wine, apple, light citrus and light grassy hops. Flavor is also distinctive Brett, lemon, tangerine, stone fruit, mildly vinous, light coriander; finishes very dry with Brett and lingering hop bitterness with no distinct hop flavor. Medium bodied with peppery active carbonation. The yeast strain here leans more towards a saison yeast than Belgian, but there are light Belgian yeast and spicing elements present in the complex flavor. This is almos too dry for me, but the complexity of the flavor really made this enjoyable to drink. Dryness and light vinousness gives it a champagne like character, if champagne had Brett. Nicely made and interesting.

 817 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of drabmuh
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a New Belgium beer glass from a 750 ml bottle. At the time of this review, this is the #17 beer on the "Top Beers - New" list on beeradvocate.com and the #4 Top Belgian IPA on the best of styles lists, it deserves it, the only barrel aged IPA I've had that I find palatable.

Beer is amber / dark yellow with a mild haze, nice white head, good retention, nice lacing, moderate to high carbonation.

Aroma is funky and citrusy from the hops, some oak sneaks through, the Brett is really pronounced in this beer.

Beer is medium to light in body and has this great midpalate arrangement of hops and yeast character, mild funk, some oak on the back, moderately dry finish, a great beer overall.

 704 characters

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of beernads
3.5/5  rDev -19%

Photo of ShanePB
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml corked and caged bottle. I've heard wonderful things about this being a "surprise of the year" beer so I had to give it a try, even at the (Philadelphia) expensive price point. Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Golden orange hazy body with a creamy, fluffy white head atop. A full retention cap stays throughout and it has really super sticky lacing on the walls. Honestly, this is an absolutely gorgeous looking beer.

S: Citrus, zest, smarties candy, chalk, white pepper, funk and some barnyard hay-like qualities. A faint bitterness is towards the back end allowing the hops to shine through to remind you this is in the IPA family. Nice aroma, nothing mind-blowing but it certainly isn't anything bad.

T: Bitter hop zest and citrus oils are the first to hit the palate. A slightly spicy yeast note comes in, along with more smarties candy and chalkiness. Dry wood and crisp white grapes are towards the back end bringing in some of the barrel treatment. After the swallow, a bit of a burn is in the chest perhaps from the alcohol?

M: Nice carbonation, on the lower end of the scale giving this a real creamy smooth feel. Very dry and bitter in the finish. Not a complete determent but I would have preferred it more clean.

This was a very interesting beer, and the only comparison I could make was to Iron Hill's Savage IPA. Still, it's definitely a unique beer with lots of complexity and flavor.

 1,408 characters

Photo of stevoj
4.09/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

 153 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

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

Photo of AngusOg
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of NickThePyro
4.66/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Whiskeydeez
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of dwagner003
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of lupercmda
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of eawolff99
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Erik-P
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BARFLYB
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

25oz Corked and Caged bottle split with Oglmcdgl into some glasses.

Bitter Monk fills the glass with a bright yellow look with some deep gold tints in certain spots. A nice bright white billowy foamy head of foam graces the top leaving droppings on the glass, sheets even. Smell is heavenly, the brett is right up there and fills the nostrils. Citrus hop aroma is amped up as well as lemon. The char does not really come through. Some bubblegum scent wit some integration. On first sips I can tell this is big beer, it's bold, bitter and somewhat abrasive without going overt the hill. Lemon, citra hop flavor, grapefruit, brett make up the flavor profile. I don't get any char and the oak is faint, if there at all. The lemon and bitterness last for a while afterwards. BOLD. Feel is a healthy medium with a whole lot of carb that sparks. This beer causes tingles on my tounge. A great beer that delivers on everything on the bottle, sand huge barrel flavor, yet drinking this now, too much of that may have killed what make this stand out.

 1,042 characters

Photo of John_M
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At Max's today.

The beer pours a solid gold color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is, well, bitter... I really get a lot of dry citrus in this beer and not much else. As the beer warms a bit, I also pick up some white pepper and light pine, but the citrus really dominates. On the palate, this is a very serious Belgian style IPA, with a lot going on. There is honey, butter, vanilla, considerable dry citrus and orange zest... maybe some light cherry as well. Also, while there's some initial sweetness, that's quickly pushed aside, and I then get considerable bitterness in the long, dry finish. Mouthfeel is fairly full, with a long, light sweet, but ultimatley very bitter finish. I almost feel as if I pick up a little heat from alcohol in the finish, but there is so much bitterness from the hops, ultimately I can't really tell.

Very impressiive Belgian style IPA. I still prefer the mischief from bruery, but this is right up there.

 957 characters

Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.5/5  rDev -19%

Photo of jzeilinger
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a pale golden orange color with a massive three fingered fluffy white head and moderate carbonation.

S - Aroma is dry with earthy funk, oranges and grapefruit are present but in a "Brett" sort of way. The aroma reminds me of some very dry Saisons, the dryness in the aroma is white grapes and Chardonnay-like.

T - This is where this beer really shines. It's wonderfully complex and is a strange marriage between Saison meets American IPA meets Chardonnay wine...it's a weird combo but works incredibly well. There's a quick nip of malt sweetness on the tip of the tongue immediately up front followed by some grassy, earthy, funk. As quickly as the funky sourness begins, a massive wall of bitterness follows almost immediately and lingers intensely for a long, dry, bitter finish. The fruit flavors come predominantly in the form of pears and pink grapefruit with a slight bit of bitter lemon rind. Bitterness is very, very intense and therefore very lingering. As the beer warms to room temp, the oak flavor emerges and the Chardonnay grapes transition forward.

M - Medium body, sprightly carbonation on the tongue, and very dry in the finish. There is alcohol warming in the back of the throat that does create an intensive warming effect that slowly lingers for some time.

O - This is a very interesting and complex beer. I've been wanting to try this for some time now and happened to stumble upon it at my local bottle shop this evening. I grumbled at the price tag but now, I'm glad I ponied up the $17 bottle price, it's worth every sip. I can confidently say this is one of the most unique beers that I've had in a VERY long time, superbly brewed and considering the unique complexity dare I say "superbly engineered"? This beer isn't for everyone, it's adventurous, but if you really dig super dry Belgian beers with brett funk and you enjoy intense citrus bitterness from Citra hops, this is a must try. I'm going back for another bottle of this stuff.

 1,980 characters

Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94.8% out of 100 with 1,029 ratings
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