Bitter Monk | Anchorage Brewing Company

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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
Ratings:
1,024
Reviews:
270
Avg:
4.34
pDev:
9.68%
 
 
Wants:
420
Gots:
130
For Trade:
8
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,024 |  Reviews: 270
Photo of jzeilinger
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of Kelp
3.5/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of fthegiants
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of rudzud
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared with bpk59 at his house.

A - Poured into a duvel a golden clear pour with a two finger white head that leaves sticky lacing and a blanket.

S - Very nice hops here. Its dank, musty hops followed by bright citra and simcoe with light funk to round things out.

T - Wow more of the tropical wet citra and simcoe hops with dankness as well. There's super Brett there too but this has an amazing balance of hops, malt, and funk. Vinuos too thanks to the Chardonnay barrels.

M - Nice and tart with a solid crispness and delicious dry finish. Super drinkable here...9% no where noticeable.

O - Overall wow! This beer is amazing...wish it wasn't so expensive. Wish I had more as this is a delicious beer. Would love to have more of this as thus is a great blend of style.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

10/9/2011

A: Hazy yellow orange with an impressive white sea foam cap. Very good retention and lots of lacing.

S: Ripe golden apples with notes of pear and Chardonnay. There's a good amount of oak. Brett imparts earth and leather. 

T: Moderate bitterness meets leather and earth. Apple is pervasive and there's a pronounced Chardonnay presence accompanying oak. The bitterness seems to clash with the Brett, but my palate gets used to the punishment after a while.

M: Lower medium body with lower high carbonation. Dry and sticky.

Overall: Fantastic aroma and a good flavor. The price tag is hefty, but if you split the cost with someone it's worth a try. 

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Photo of waddellc2
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of sweemzander
4.05/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DucksFan16
4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Re-rate on 02/05/2016. Poured from a growler that was filled at the brewery about an hour prior. Served from a snifter glass. Almost perfect in every way. Absolutely outstanding DIPA, one of the best anywhere. My first time having this on tap.

Original rating years ago 4.5 (from bottle).

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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.

 490 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, after trying their Whiteout Wit and deciding I needed to pick up every beer this brewery brews. Shared with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a very hazed orange-yellow colour, light, but dark, in that it retains all the light it collects. Head is a wondrously full crown of frothy white, like fairy floss, leaving intricately intense and insane lacing. It looks full, insane, intense and exciting.

Nose is bright with big hoppy characters, perhaps just underpinned with a fragrant funk of spicy acidity. The mainline is tropical fruits and citrus, giving fresh rubbed zest, slight bubblegum characters and a fruit sweetness. All this is balanced with a gorgeous funk, giving organics, acidity and barnyard aromas. It's an amazingly complex and gorgeously realised aroma. It is hard to imagine better.

Taste is light and dry, with a touch of acidity from the brett, but mostly realised with a dry body and sharp bitterness from the hops. Despite the crsipness on the finish, lingering tones of pineapple and other tropical fruits come through on the finish, lending a fragrant and exciting finale to the beer. Feel is very light, as brett tends to do, drying out almost to extremity.

Another exceptionally unique and very nice beer from Anchorage. They have a really good handle on beers to brew with funk and finesse. This is bitter and robust and fruity, but also dry, funky and sharp, giving a wonderfully cacophonic whole.

I love this brewery. I can't wait to see what they do next.

 1,553 characters

Photo of corby112
4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy, bright golden orange color with a two finger frothy, pillowy white head that has excellent retention, slowly fading into a thick lasting cap. Streaks and chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Incredibly complex aroma with elements of DIPA, American wild ale, saison and barrel aged strong ale. The brett and earthy hops compliment each other nicely with hints of musty funk and dank, resnious, piny hop oils. The barrel presence is prominent without overpowering the other notes. Lots of toasted oak along with some light fruit. The Chardonnay is prominent in the nose, whereas in the Love Buzz I couldn't pick up much Pinot noir. Vinous with grape and apple as well as some citrus from the hops. There is a lot going on here!

Medium bodied with a slight creamy texture that adds fullness to the palate. Really well balanced with the musty, funky brett perfectly complimenting the dry, earthy hop notes. Never too funky or bitter with a nice citrus sweetness and vinous presence from the barrel aging. Some toasted oak and vinous fruit from the Chardonnay barrels. Hints of apple, grape, pineapple and citrus ring with more earthy pine bitterness toward the end of the palate. Very faint alcohol heat toward the end of the palate but the ABV is masked very well.

Overall this beer is pretty awesome. Amazingly complex with a ton going on yet it remains well balanced without any one element dominating. With everything going on it still tastes like and IPA which is shocking really. I'm really impressed with this beer and this brewery so far.

 1,559 characters

Photo of wordemupg
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into tulip 9/10/13, an extra from Rutager? ya I said extra, cheers dude

S bright hazy yellow liquid, I can't see many bubbles through the haze but two fingers worth of foam hangs on long enough to leave plenty of random lace before falling to a thin film

S tropical fruit come out strong, pineapple, peach, passion-fruit, kiwi, and tangerine, I get a little green apple and catty citra notes but considering this brews 6 months old I'm amazed how hopped up it is, some dry white vinous notes and a little brett mingle with some faint oak and Belgian flair , some sexy shit going on here and I wouldn't change anything

T the nose was a hard act to follow, some booze comes out, some spruce and lemon rind, more wood and the brett's still mild and the hops are strong but not over the top like on the nose

M medium-full, bitter as all hell, just a little heat but its well under control, lots of woody tropical fruit lingering

O I don't dish out 5's all that often but the nose is kicking ass here and I don't have anything to complain about elsewhere, another great example of "I'd love to try a bottle off the line and another one years down the road" that being said I'm stoked wit what's in my glass today

when I think about the only other brew I've had from Anchorage was another serious winner and I think I dropped the 5 on the Galaxy IPA's nose as well. I'd love to have several of these to sit on and drink periodically but I have a feeling I caught it at a good age today

 1,526 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
5/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured a lightly hazed golden, orangish color with a beautiful white cap, superb head retention. Beautiful beer.

S: Where do I begin? Very aromatic with layers of brett funk, floral, white wine, citrus and passion fruits and very slight alcohol note.

T: Amazingly great. This is the best beer I have had in a long time. First sip is a nice bretty, meet passion fruit/citrus and yeast. The wine barrel is very noticeable as well. There is a subtle hop bitterness here which is just right for this beer.

M: Medium bodied, carbonation is perfect, feels lightly sweet, dry, extremely flavorful and so damn good I want to just use it as mouthwash.

O: Easily worth the price. I am impressed by the complexity of this beer. Sometimes to much of a good thing is a bad thing but this was all GREAT!

 797 characters

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

Very excited for this one.

A-Pours a hazy golden hue. Head is white and fluffy. Head retains perfectly. It leaves long serpents of lacing along the glass. Quite pretty. Body of the beer absolutely glows.

S-Goodness, what an aroma. Packed full of herbal, citrus and grassy hops. Quite a broad hop spectrum with plenty of exotic fruit. The hops are supplemented by a musty, dusty fog of Brett. Oh, how I love the Brett here. The Chardonnay barrel lends an obvious vinous quality and further intensifies the fruitiness. Just a beautiful aroma.

T-The flavor is amazing as well. The tropical hops begin the journey and then are immediately washed away by a bitter, coercive wave of grassy hops. The Brett follows the hops and lingers forever. They really melded the yeast and the hops with exquisite precision. The wine barrel sets in elegantly on the back end of the flavor resume. Just too many flavors to name…but I will try until it becomes annoying: pineapple, clementine, clove, stone fruit, hay, grass, apple, eucalyptus, white grape, and on it goes.

M-Where is that 9%? Goes down quite easily. High bitterness. Full bubbles. Very drinkable. I want to slowly sip and further dissect the flavors, but I can't help but gulp.

O/D-First I must say that I paired this with a cake of St. Marcellin cheese and it was absolutely awe inspiring. This is blatantly the best Belgian IPA I have had the pleasure of laying lip upon. The Chard barrels and the Brett infusion elevate this to a whole new level. Incredibly lucky to stumble upon this.

 1,543 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a bright orange-yellow color and a cloudy texture. There was a big, creamy, long-lasting head. Pretty good lacing.

S: A very citrusy and hoppy aroma, with some traces of malt as well.

T: Tasted of citrus, malt, Belgian yeast, and hops - more hops than I expected for a BIPA. While it doesn't exactly match up with the classic examples of the style, this is still a tasty beer.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a crisp, smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is a complex, completely drinkable, very well made beer.

 558 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Dogfish traditional oversized snifter. Back label says Batch #2/May 2015.

A- Pours a hazy dark golden color with a 1/2 inch white head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a small strip of bubbly surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Excellent Brett funk combines with the hops creating an extremely fruity sensory experience including notes of passionfruit, mango and pineapple.

T- The Brett is even more prevalent in the flavor with the hops taking a slight backseat though the bitterness is a bit on the higher side. The Brett has the usual green olive presence that works pretty well with the hops. So incredibly easy to drink for the ABV as I would have never guessed this is 9%.

M- Sharp from both the Brett and hops with medium carbonation and a lightish body.

O- Definitely one of the best beers I've had from Anchorage which is really saying something since everything I've had from them has ranged from very good to top-notch. These guys don't fuck around.

 1,065 characters

Photo of kscaldef
3.18/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Foams aggressively in my tulip. The big, fluffy white head has good retention and nice lacing. Pleasing golden color.

S: Some really intriguing herbal notes.. thyme and lavender? Some earthy wet dog notes. Warms up to more traditional Belgian aromas, clove, bubblegum

T: Starts with some floral hop flavors, then finishes bitter and herbal, with a real linger in the back of the mouth. Reminiscent of wormwood in the finish. A little sweetness in the front and mid-palate.

M: Dry and astringent. Medium-high carbonation. After a glass, I'm starting to get a post-nasal drip sort of feeling in the back of my throat... not particularly pleasant.

O: I wasn't much of a fan of this while still cold. (First pour was 30 minutes after removing from the fridge.) The first 8 oz or so were pretty harsh. After forgetting about it for a while and letting it warm up, it gets better, although never to something I'd consider great. At the price, I wouldn't buy it again.

 968 characters

Photo of Erik-P
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mltobin
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

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

The appearance has a hazy yellow somewhat dark orange colored body with a half finger white foamy head that dies at a moderate pace, light somewhat foamy lacing graces the sides of the glass. The smell has some orange up front, somewhat grassy peppery lemon/citrus thing goin’ on in the background, light yeastiness comes forth after some warming. The taste is bittersweet through the previously noted flavors and an added hop note with some grapefruit coming in and punching my tastebuds, citrusy aftertaste, super dry finish. On the palate, she sits about a medium for the most part - hinging on a slight possibility to light, sessionable - maybe. Carbonation seems pretty good for the Belgian IPA style and for me as there’s an adequate harshness and yet its not overbearing whatsoever. Overall, this one is very well done and I would love to have it again with food or just sittin’ on my back porch as a summer sipper.

 928 characters

Photo of Axnjxn
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into a snifter. Batch 3, may 2013.

pours a murky darker yellow with a nice head. smell of brett...for sure. lemon as well. taste is real intriguing. chardonnay barrel is apparent as is the brett. 10 months is a good time for this beer as the brett hasn't over powered the flavors. still get a lot of lemony sweetness. a lot going on and it works well. medium body with medium carb.

overall I enjoy it...quite tasty!

 431 characters

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

Photo of greenspointexas
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of pathman
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
4.34 out of 5 based on 1,024 ratings.
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