Bitter Monk | Anchorage Brewing Company

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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
Reviews:
269
Ratings:
1,020
Avg:
4.34
pDev:
9.68%
 
 
Wants:
418
Gots:
128
For Trade:
7
User Reviews
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Reviews: 269 | Ratings: 1,020
Photo of brotherloco
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml C&C bottle. Batch #1 - July 2011. Served in a tulip.

Pours a cloudy gold with a giant pillowy 3+ finger white head. Good bit of lacing.

Aroma is a blend of citrus, white wine, and brett notes. A real floral and grassy character in the background.

Flavor tilts towards a light sourness that dominates the citrusy hops. Fruity middle that is medium dry. A very pleasant bitterness comes on in the finish and dissipates quickly, leaving a sharp tart aftertaste. Maybe a sting of booze in the finish but overall the alcohol is buried.

Medium bodied with soft natural medium carbonation. Amazing mouthfeel and incredibly drinkable.

Certainly the most unique DIPA I've tasted. Flavor is much more rounded out than a typical hop bomb. The hops are certainly present, but collaborate with all the flavor brought on by the brett and multiple fermentations.

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Photo of gatornation
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle , batch #1 july 2011

A= pours a hazy golden straw color with a 2 finger white head a super fresh collar and great sticky lacing

S- lots of great smells from lemon grass,brett,sour funk.citrus hops, earth smells wood and wine

T- just like the smell its super complex with many layers of taste, what i like most is the earth and funk with oak and wine mixed with the citra hops, it has a bitter start but is mellowed with the yeast and brett,oak and chardonnay add a great balance to this

M- its a dry start crisp and bitter but also mellow in the middle it finishes dry and strong with hops in charge the brett is predent and is a great compliment to this dipa

O- a great and different brew that i loved for the style loads of tastes melded together

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a hazy golden-orange color with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down very slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is full of citrus and tropical fruit hops with some grapefruit, orange, and pineapple, with some Belgian yeast, Brett, funk, lemon, and some oak.

T - Starts off with lots of citrus and tropical hops with some strong grapefruit, pineapple, and orange flavor and some bitterness alongside some Belgian yeast esters coming through. Though the middle, some light pine comes through with stronger bitterness, oak, and some Brett funkiness. The finish is a mix of citrus and tropical hops, bitterness, oak, Belgian yeast, Brett, and some funk.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate-plus carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry, bitter, and funky finish.

D - Very drinkable. The combination of DIPA level of hops, Belgian yeast, Brett, and some oak aged barrel aging comes together to create a complex and very well balanced beer.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.54/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Metalmonk, meet Bitter Monk. Okay, Metalmonk has already met Bitter Monk twice before, and he found much to like in this very complex and unique beer. So, third and final meeting (at $15.99 a bottle, it's gotta be the final meeting -- for awhile anyway)...

A very healthy pop of the cork and you can smell this thing from a couple feet away. But first, appearance: so pale and hazy as to resemble a witbier, or a double wit, perhaps. Washed-out golden peach/pear-juice. Head is a blinding-white fluff monster while it lasts, which is longer than expected. Patchy lace of various shapes and sizes splatters the glass.

Ooh, that smell. Can't you smell that smell? It's huge. It's American, French and Belgian all at once, and it's terrific. American thanks to the uber-citrus hop tones (relative newcomers Apollo, Citra and Simcoe, for the record); French due to the heavy oak/Chardonnay presence; and Belgian thanks to the wonderfully funked-up yeast and clean, saison-like graininess. All combines to equal an exotic, electric, vibrant aroma like no other.

There's a heavy grapefruit element at the forefront of the taste, which pulls along with it the tell-tale fruity-and-funky treasures of Brettanomyces yeast (you know you're a lost cause when you can type Brettanomyces without looking at anything for help). Big blasts of tart lemonade, Chardonnay (and white wine-soaked wood), crisp green apple, lime, and something very, very earthy, in a twisted sort of way (again, the Brett speaking). Hops are big, and bitter, but just as well-incorporated alongside everything else, keeping Bitter Monk from feeling/seeming/drinking like a novelty. Reading the label, and thinking "Belgian IPA," I assumed some pineapple flavor would come into this before I had my first bottle several days ago. I don't quite get that, because it lacks that kind of sweetness...but having said that, it lacks nothing. It's fantastic.

Dry as a bone, partly thanks to the oak barrel use, I presume, and that perfectly matches the crisp medium body, the fruity/funky finish and the main tastes on the tongue.

Maybe it's splitting hairs, or focusing on things that don't truly matter, but the label's claim that this is a "Belgian-style Double IPA" is a little misleading. "Massive malt infusion" reads the back label. Really? Of course there's a lot of malt, but it still plays a mere supporting role. There just isn't enough of that sweet malty variable that partly defines a double IPA. But that's about all that wrong with this thing. And really, confining it to any style is futile -- this is one of the most unique, original and exciting beers to emerge from the U.S. craft scene in a while. I enjoyed the heck out of each bottle, and have to admit it was totally worth the $15.99 price tag.

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Photo of jsanford
4.54/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a Tulip Glass.

A - Pours a hazy light gold with a soapy white head that fades to a slight patch and ring.
S - Intense tropical hop aromas of passion fruit, pineapple, mango, and peach with a touch of white grape, oak, and Brettanomyces. Absolutely stunning!
T - Taste is similar to the nose, tons of tropical hops, white wine, oak, and funky, earthy Brettanomyces character. Surprisingly easy-drinking, I could have probably finished off this bottle by myself!
M - Crisp and dry, with a medium body and good, sharp carbonation.
O - Right out the gate, this Anchorage Brewing Co. is doing some amazing things. Complex, funky, and delicious, I can't wait to see what's next!

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

I'm a skeptic of this class, but this one has gotten such hype I just had to try a bottle before it was all gone...

Appearance:
A dull, hazy orange with a white fluffy head. Tons of sticky lacing and some loose sediment at the bottom.

Smell:
Big notes of citra, but also a huge amount of yeast...this is where I begin to not like this class - too much competition between aromas. A little grapefruit, cardboard, and esters. This is one of the first that gives a fistful of hops to the face though.

Taste:
Still pretty good, lots of citrusy hops and a load of belgain yeast character as well. The thing that I really like about this beer is how it unfolds as you continue to drink it, surprisingly with lots of rounded out, balanced flavors.

Mouthfeel:
A touch of tartness, boosted hoppiness, and a tremendous amount of carbonation. The beer starts off a little harsh and then mellows out supremely. I'm honestly not sure how the wine barrel changed this beer, but I'm sure it didn't hurt this characteristic.

Overall:
Whoa pricey beer! However, glad I tried it before it was gone and it was definitely great to share. There is a lot of tasty citra hops and a well complimenting belgian yeast character. SOoOo overall it's $15 well spent, but still not my thing so I probably would pass on a round #2.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.06/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apricot with lots of head.

Brett on the nose with dry grains and pineapple.

Some plant qualities with the most beautiful, smooth, crisp, and dry flavor. Floral. Just so easy.

Dry, crisp, carbonated.

An outstanding Brett ipa.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from ChurchKey ($33). Orange infused golden straw appearance, quite hazy, medium off-white head, fairly nice lacing. Bretty nose, some candyish citrus peel, white wine, and musty/barnish hops on the nose. Very bretty and oakish. A bit more dry and acidic than your average IIPA. Hops are there, but are secondary. Sweetness is also there, but minor compared to the dryness of it. Bit of an odd duck in that its more of a barrel aged beer than an IIPA. Slightly alcoholic on the backside, perhaps even a little medicinal.Could stand to sit for a bit, but this isnt your average early/young overly hopped IIPA. This is something else entirely. While not hot, the 9% isn’t helping build this into a better beer.Body and mouthfeel are moderate.Finish is a little acidic, make that more than a little. It was almost as if this one was trying to do too much. Enjoyable, but overly complicated and busy. This was an expensive bomber from ChurchKey when I later found out could be had for half the price I paid at Whole Foods nearby.

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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 Kendo
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a corked-and-caged 750 ml into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body surprises with its lightness of color: slightly hazed straw-apricot with a bright, eggshell-white foamy 1-finger head. A little bit of lace clings to the sides of the glass after each sip.

S: Interesting. There's a lot going on in the nose. Apricot. White wine. Lighter citrus and tropical fruit. Some funkiness.

T: I am pretty sure I have never tasted a beer quite like this. The first impression is actually the back end of things: the bitter finish (think grapefruit pith) that smooths out to a combination tart/sour/bitter aftertaste. Up front I get some fruitiness; not-quite-ripe-nectarine, a bit of apricot. White grape skins. Earthy hops with a hint of pine. After a few sips I've concluded that there's some tannins lingering with that tart/sour/bitter finish - likely the Chardonnay barrels. Also a bit of alcohol heat becomes noted as it warms up a bit. Vacillating b/w a 4 and a 4.5 on the taste score.

M: Active fizziness. Body is lighter than expected - call it light-to-medium in heft.

O: Interesting. Not necessarily my cup of tea, so to speak, but I can appreciate a well-made, unique beer. Bonus point given here, bumping from 4 - 4.5.

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

Almost looks like a wit beer. Unfiltered, opaqe and a dark pissy yellow with heavy carbonation leaving a 3 finger loosely wound head. Splotchy lace behind.

Ahh lovely aromas, brett is very apparent, that lovely wet horseblanket barnyardy mustiness melds nicely with rich oak and pear aromas with hints of apple from the chardonnay? Tropical fruit aromas start to come through pineapple with hints of papaya, with more of that sweet woody oak and brett. Very nice.

Wow oak tannin and hop bitterness galore, completely suck all the moisture out of my tongue, I likey. Big hops very tropical with some citrus side notes. Again pineapple, papaya, light mango with a bit of a pink grapefruit twist on the finish. Brett laden through the middle and into the finish yet very well integrated with the hops and barrel aging. The oak flavors are young and vibrant but don't overpower the hops. Light apple and pear with some chardonnay flavors within but somewhat drowned out by the ridiculous amount of hops. Long finish with great carbonation. A fantastic beer.

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

From a 750 ml bottle (Batch #3, May 2015) into a tulip.

A-The beer pours with a nice, tall, dense head of white foam. The retention is OK, not great, and it leaves some splotchy lacing on the glass as a I drink. The beer has a light haze and it is straw colored; very pale.

S-The aroma is awesome. Massively juicy hops, fruity brett funk, and oak combine for wonderful things here. I sniff pineapple, peach, light lemon (which provides just a bit of tartness), and a mild funky brett. Oak is subtle here but it gives just a little bit of dryness and added acidic bite to the hops. Alcohol is well concealed for 9%.

T-The taste doesn't quite live up to the smell, but it is pretty dang good. Less juicy hops and more dry, funky brett are noticeable here. The hops are still tropical, but there is more bitterness and medicinal alcohol heat that doesn't pair completely with the rest of the beer. The finish is long, lightly bitter, and slightly spicy.

M-The feel is light to moderate on the palate with an active carbonation.

O-What a great smelling beer. One of my favorites ever. The barrel, hop, and brett combo makes for nice complexity and lovely flavors that I could sniff over and over again. The brett is much dryer on the tongue and it almost overpowered the rest of the beer on my palate so the taste doesn't quite reach the smell, but this is a complex, tasty brew that drinks well on a late-July day like today.

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

750 mL bottle from June 2012 poured into a tulip

The carbonation is easy to see no matter how you pour this beer. Hazy lemony/orangy beer with a huge foamy white head almost like bath soap. The head dissipates quickly but can be easily regained with a swirl.

The nose is intoxicating. First you get the Citra hops, then some funky Belgian yeast, and you can get some orange and spiciness like a Saison as well. It really makes you want to continue smelling, but it's time to drink.

Almost every taste is different. It is such a fun beer to drink, but better to share. It became tough to tackle the entire 750 mL because it is such a big beer. The 9% is well hidden but the strong flavors attack the palate. I think this drinks like a Citra DIPA vs a Saison. You absolutely get the Chardonnay as it warms. I get the hop punch on the front end but it fades into the orange/spice notes. I'm sure some of this has to do with the nearly year old bottle but it held up magnificently. This beer would be a great 3 yr vertical as it is bottle conditioned. Worth seeking out especially for a bottle share.

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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 Damian
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from a 1 pt. 9.4 fl. oz./750ml bottle
Batch #1 July/2011
Served in a tulip
Thanks to my friend Matt for hooking me up with this.

Orangey-amber and slightly hazed appearance. The liquid was topped by a two-finger, bubbly, bright white, sea foam head. Excellent retention. The head faded to a substantial dollup of froth and eventually fell to a clingy film. Chunks of lacing stuck along the glass.

The nose was very unique. There was an interesting interplay between strong Chardonnay wine notes, Brettanomyces and crisp, bright, lemony hops. A powdery, dry, Belgian-like yeastiness was apparent. Smooth, grassy, Saaz hops came through as well.

The taste was crisp and bright. Somewhat sharp and hoppy with a lemony bite on the front end. The malt profile was light and pilsner-like. Lots of white wine and Brett in the center. Orange rind was also noticeable. The finish was crisp, piney and quite bitter, with strong oak and grapefruit notes. Super dry and tannic.

The mouthfeel was creamy, frothy and lighter bodied. Smooth and supple on the palate. The liquid contained a crisp, bubbly effervescence.

Bitter Monk is a very unique beer, and I applaud the folks at Anchorage Brewing Company in their efforts to push boundaries. However, the combination of intense Brett, oak and bitter hops was a lot to deal with (as was the $18 price tag). I would recommend splitting up a bottle amongst multiple drinkers, as consuming this beer in quantity can become a bit overwhelming.

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Photo of babaracas
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a couple of shades lighter than amber, two fingers of dense frothy white foam, a few sprays of lace on the glass. Smell: nectarine, white grape, musty, herbal, citrus rind, tropical note. Taste: sugary pale back, mango, pineapple notes, white nectarine, orange citrus. Vinous, woody and herbal flavors plus light acetic component emerges midsip and dominates the finish. Medium bodied, light start then a prickly carbonation, finishing bitter, bretty, and dry. This is pretty stellar. The brett isn't super strong and the barrel + brett + tropical flavors is a great combo.

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

One of my favorites and I'm lucky to have this as an everyday drinker.

Bitter Monk evolves favorably with aging. For me, it peaks at about 18 months. The hop character hangs on for an impossibly long time; but it does eventually fade and the beer turns into a brett bomb around year 3.

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Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.62/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first brew from this brewery and a unique style to boot. I am not really sure what to expect but I an excited to try it.

A three finger off white head erupts atop the perfect golden orange straw colored body. Head fades to a swiss cheese like rocky foam. Fat waves of lace are left afterwards.

Nose is very cool tingle that is full of complexity in itself. Every thing plays here with all the flavors. Hints of crisp fruit, zesty hops, powdery sweetness and sour tannins all come through. This nose is very attractive.

With first sip this drinks much like a champagne, just not quite as carbonated. Crisp and fruity up front with a backbone of malt. It really dries out on the mouthfeel and turns to a wonderfully bitter consistency. A delicious brew that is a wonderful change of pace to almost anything else out there.

Super drinkable.

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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 Arbitrator
4.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Batch 2. From notes.

A: Pours a hazy golden-orange body. Despite a careful pour, the head rises to a vigorous 4 fingers in height in my tulip. It recedes slowly, leaving clumps of bubbles down the sides as it collapses into a thin collar.

S: Incredibly tropical, fruit-forward hop nose: pineapple, tangerine, lime, apricot, mango, white wine. This hits my sweet spot for noses; a nice twist is its small introduction of a hay-like brett presence. Thankfully, this is young and the brett hasn't really taken hold yet. I don't want it to; as an IPA alone, this is outstanding.

T: Bitter Monk has a beautiful fruit cornucopia. Pineapple dominates; I really love this flavor in beer, and to find it on the nose and taste is a real treat. I know some brett strains can enhance this flavor, so maybe it will persist with age. As noted before, I pick up tangerine, lime, apricot, mango, and white grapes. The bitterness is more pronounced than I like; the beer is pretty dry (a perception enhanced by its slightly tannic finish), so there isn't a lot to counteract the acridity.

M: Up front, there is a perceived sweetness -- I say perceived because the beer finishes dry and bitter (the latter being a bit of a drawback). It makes me wonder how the brett will evolve the beer; there can't be a lot of sugar for it to work with. Time will tell, I suppose. I'm certainly not bothering to age it. Good carbonation, no trace of the ABV.

O: I've been pretty underwhelmed by everything else that ABC has released so far, but this one blew me out of the water with the first batch. I bought 3 bottles of the second batch -- and I will continue to buy more of later ones. This is a winner (fresh, at least). I don't intend to age it.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.58/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This brew lives up to the billing: it is tremendously bitter, and heavily Belgianesque in character. Bitter Monk pours a surprisingly pale translucent golden hue, topped with a very healthy white cap of rocky froth. The nose is pungently bitter with notes of heavy grapefruit pith and elderflower being highly prominent. The bitter apple-pineapple flavor imparted by the brett pairs well with the hop addition, as they mimic one another's flavor in some ways. I keep thinking this is very much like Cantillon's Mamouche - or like an elderflower IPA. The pale malt base is evocative of the classic Orval or Duvel approach; there is no caramel to be found here. The mouthfeel is quite effervescent, and thereby bordering on prickly; though it is not offensive, I'd have preferred a softer feel. That said, in every way this is a challenging, ass-kicking type of beer, so the feel is in that vein as well. A very good example of the style; probably the best I've had.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.61/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I don’t know the release schedule for Anchorage, so it was a nice surprise when the local liquor store got a case of Bitter Monk. Cheers!

Bottled six months before the date of this tasting: Batch #3, May 2013.

A: Bright gold with a substantial amount of haze; the head – a gorgeous, silky white – sits at half-an-inch for minutes, leaving webs of lacing here and there.

S: Phenomenal; this nose is absolutely slathered in aromas of pure, juicy fruit, like you’re cutting into a fresh grapefruit. White grape and lemon support. The brett and barrel are wonderful in their own right, giving off an herbal, woody funk of lemongrass, wildflowers, and cedar sawdust.

T: Every sip of this beer shines with bright, brilliant flavor. Prominent in the front of the palate are tastes of tangerine, grapefruit, overripe berry, and a subdued sharpness of olive juice from the brett. Notes of barnyard straw, white pepper, white grape must, and grass finish it. Mildly dry aftertaste.

M: Velvety-smooth; perfectly carbonated with a light-to-medium body.

O: Incredible: one of the best brett beers I’ve ever had. When a beer’s this great, there’s nothing more to say but wow.

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Photo of jegross2
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company out of Alaska.
Score: 93

Bottle is from July 2011. Served in a snifter glass and enjoyed on 05/29/12.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden orange color with three fingers of soapy, slightly off-white head that settles to a thin foggy layer atop the glass. Absolutely amazing lacing and retention. 5/5

Smell: A nice tropical citrusy IPA with a Belgiany sour twist. Tart white grapes, lemon zest, candied mango, orange, pineapple, fruity citrus and a little funky brett. Apples towards the back of the aroma too. Hint of oak. 4.5/5

Taste: Loads of bitter lemon zest, orange, mango and bitter/tart white grape. A little caramel malt on the midpalate, with earthy/grassy hops and a growing fruitiness in the finish as the beer warms/layers. There is a clovey residual aftertaste. The flavors get more tart as the beer warms up, with a a mild pucker effect from a growing sour lemonade flavor. Not oak or funk. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, high carbonation -- or maybe the life on the tongue from the zesty tartness, which really makes the bitterness perk on the tongue, is being deceptive in terms of the the true carbonation present. Juicy mouthfeel. Bitter and tart on the tongue. 4/5

Overall: One year after it's bottling, this beer is more of a sour with an IPA twist than an IPA with a sour twist. Quite an enjoyable hybrid. The artwork on the bottle is amazing.

Recommendation: Sour haters and casual beer drinkers should avoid this one, but all others are encouraged to seek out a bottle.

Pairings: Chicken pot pie.

Cost: $17 for a 750 ml bottle.

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Photo of SierraFlight
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz corked and caged bottle shared at Beachwood BBQ #bottlecherwednesday. Poured into a tulip, this beer is cloudy orange-yellow with a finger or so of white foam that settles to a thin layer that’s retained for the duration. Lots of sticky lace rings and streaks are left behind. A very complex aroma includes citrus and tropical fruit, brett funk, acidic white wine, oak, some caramel malt, and a little vanilla. The flavors are just as layered, with a great interplay between sweet and sour bolstered by bitter underpinnings. Yeasty, funky, citrusy, oaky, and vinous. Very enjoyable to sip and savor. Medium body, a bit creamy in texture, lively carbonation, drying, puckering, long finish.

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Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
4.34 out of 5 based on 1,020 ratings.
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