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Bitter Monk | Anchorage Brewing Company

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Bitter MonkBitter Monk

Brewed by:
Anchorage Brewing Company
Alaska, United States

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

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Reviews: 267 | Ratings: 1,012
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.

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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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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 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 Kennethzelljr
4.74/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Incredibly attractive,Pours a beautiful bright but hazy gold,nice frothy bright white head lacing around the rim.picking up hints of pink lemonade,lemongrass,and mixed berries.all of this hides a massive hop character in the taste.a very big dankish,citrus like hop flavor with glorious natural undertones from the barrel aging process.this beer is pretty damn sweet.i could go on and brag,def buy a bottle it's worth it.another successful batch from anchorage thank you for your dedication

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

Look: cloudy, golden-hued beer with 2+ fingers of white head. Gorgeous.

Smell: Brett right up front and in your face, oak, esters, and citrusy hops.

Taste: Brett again, but the Citra hops really come through as this warms. The oak/Chardonnay dries it out and reduces any alcohol heat in this 9% ABV beverage to nearly unnoticeable levels.

Feel: bubbly Brett effervescence with the dryness of the Chardonnay. Outstanding.

Overall: I've had this for a month+, but couldn't hold out any longer. There's a reason this a Top 250 beer - it's truly world class.

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Photo of mdlb44
4.57/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

All I can say is wow. This Beer is so unique. Perfect blend of Belgian Yeast, IPA Hop and Brett, Chardonnay aged goodness. Super smooth, full amazing flavor. Was waiting to try this for a while and was not let down!

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Photo of VikingBeer
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bomber. Thanks Nordbier!

Beautiful pour; very little more to say. Smell is heavy on Brett and Chardonnay, with a big hit of tropical hop, grass, saffron, limes. The taste...holy hell. Laden with Brett, Chardonnay, and oak, naturally, but then the hops kick on. Mangoes, grapefruit, candied lime rind, bananas, hibiscus flowers, more limes, more tropical fruit, more Brett, more Chard. Finish is dry and funky, with a crap-ton of Brett, oak, Chardonnay, lime rind, mangoes, and star fruit. By far the best Belgian-style DIPA I've had. Delicious as hell.

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

Bottle purchased at The Beer Belly in Albany, NY.

This one pours a hazy, murky pastel yellow/orange, with a half inch foamy head, and a good amount of sticky lacing.

This one smells like dry musty Brett, smarties, lemon, tangerine, orange marmalade, white wine, and pine.

This is everything I wanted it to be, a near perfect rendition of a hoppy Brett beer. The Citra hops shine through. They do more than shine through, it's a dirty Citra bomb, there's some orange, pineapple, and pine, and some really mild cattiness, with mingles well with the dusty citrus and chalky flavors of the Brett. There's some white wine flavor to it as well, some woodsy earthiness, and a chalky bitterness at the end. This is so utterly drinkable it's stupid.

This is medium bodied, with a very juicy mouthfeel, and a higher level of carbonation.

This met all of my expectations. I had been dying to try it, so I was worried it wouldn't meet expectation. It did, in a huge delicious way.

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Photo of SebD
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It has a nice hazy golden/orange color to it. It has a nice thick fluffy off-white head that dies down slowly and leaves some lovely lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of citrus, lemon, mango, some barnyard funk, Brett characteristics, faint oak and a light breadiness.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has loads of citrus/lemon, some mango and even pineapple, barnyard funk, Brett, some woody oak and a faint breadiness on the back.

Mouthfeel: It has a low-med carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by great flavors and aromas. Very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

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Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
4.34 out of 5 based on 1,012 ratings.
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