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
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 bigfnjoe
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a corked & caged bottle into a Chimay goblet. Here goes nothin, sweetie....at $20 per bomber, this had better be amazing. Batch 1, July '11

A- pours a cloudy straw color with a one finger perfect white head that stays around for awhile. Looks great at least...

S- FUNK!!!! Tremendous aroma of horse blanket with a little sweetness from the hops. Wonderful

T- there's a freshness from the brett, with some mild funk....finish is mildly hoppy. The Belgian yeast is also present in the taste....it's very complex. Wonder how it would have tasted fresh...hops taste a little faded

M- medium bodied, maybe a little on the light side. Perfect

O- this is absolutely fantastic. Love love love this beer

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Photo of hardy008
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lemon yellow with a large, bright white, 2 finger head with very nice retention and good lacing. The aroma has lemon, citrus zest, yeast. and Brett.

The taste is sweeter than expected with citrus and tropical fruits, yeast, and Brett. Nice balance between sweetness and bitterness. There is a lot of sweet malt which did not come through in the aroma.

Medium bodied, above average carbonation, and the alcohol i very well disguised. A very nice Belgian IPA. Too bad this is meant to only be brewed one time.

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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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Photo of sholland119
4.62/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very excited to pick up a coupple of bottles of this in Las Vegas. It came and went from our area in a big hurry.

A-A hazy, almost muddy golden apricot with a huge frothy head and some good sticky lacing.

S-Huge citrus, peppery brett. What a terrific blend of aromas.

T-Really outstanding in all ways. Citrus bitterness throughout but mostly in front, brett notes in the middle and finish, and long grapefruit bitterness in the finish. Belgian yeast notes underpuin all the flavors.

M-Medium bodied, nicely dry.

O-Tremendous beer. I love this marriage of big hops, good brett and Belgian goodness.

HV

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

A: into a tulip, deep gold body with a 2-finger head of ivory fluff that settles into a filmy lid with lace all down the sides; bubbles stream in lines from the bottom of the glass

S: earthy, herbal and grassy - some distant pale fruit - farmhouse-like, suggestive of fresh grains and wet hay

T: bitter and oaky chardonnay - musky and funky, yeasty breads and bitter hops; only slight sweetness from the malt, perhaps something like pale fruit sweetness for a moment, but the predominance is tart, bitter (both?) brett funk, marking and cleansing the palate simultaneously

M: medium-light body, amply carbonated; buttery-feeling, great aftertaste, very drinkable

O: great beer, lots of complexity and depth - this is, like, my 3rd beer from Anchorage, and these guys are making some great brews. Definite buy and try.

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

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

A - Pours a nice hazy slightly muddled golden color with some mild light brownish hints. There is a nice head that is about 1 inch tall and has some nice medium size bubbles. It is also a bit soapy and nice and sticky.

S - Tangerines and citrus notes are very prevalent. Very nice grassy hop notes. There is some slight sweetness from the hop resin. Some slight mango and some papaya. Behind all this nice hoppyness there is a nice belgian yeast note with some slight cloves and spice. There is also a nice Belgian malt back bone behind that.

T & M - Starts off with some intense hop juice notes. Quite bitter. Very nice for the hop heads (like me). There is citrus notes such as some slight lemon and some nice orange and grapefruit rind. There is also some slight tropical notes in the hops and some nice fresh grassyness. There is also on the back end a more bready and traditional belgian flavor. Notes of cloves and some slight spice. Coriander is present as well. Overall a very crisp and fluffy mouthfeel that is very refreshing.

O - Very nice brew. Nice intense hop juice with some underlying and calming belgian pal ale notes. Very good brew.

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Photo of farrago
3.96/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a big, three plus finger head of loosely knit foam, bleached white, its airy nature causes it to sizzle off at a steady pace, at the same time the lacing is wispy and even fluffy but that lasts a good long time. The gauziness to the liquid teases out some deepening orange hues to the base yellow, not many bubbles, somewhat flat visual appearance. The nose has a fresh directness to it, white grapefruit energizing pear, apple, and peach fruit scents, only lightly herbal, salt and pepper, dried bread crust, has a sourness to it and cleaner than expected, zips in and zips out. Medium-bodied, the carbonation never quite catches so it stays soft and does not percolate as it might otherwise. Cinnamon, nutmeg sprinkled on top of pear, apricot, peach, pineapple fruit. The white grapefruit, lemon citrus by far the most aggressive element, and here the grassiness turned up a notch, contributes to its overall sourness. Floral, notes of quinine and saline. Becomes more dry through the finish, has earthiness but, again, of a clean nature, no real funk. Glides well and there’s no rough spots at all. About as quaffable as one might expect from such a brew.

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Photo of bmwats
3.79/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a footed tulip.

A: Hazy golden-orange hue. Pours about a finger and half, bubbly white head. Settles pretty quickly. Peak and valley lacing.

S: Hay and wheat prominent. A little citrus, and coriander.

T: Hoppy, yeasty, and bitter. Slight tinge of citrus, sweetness, and spice.

M: Light body, dry bitter finish.

D: Sip and enjoy. The character will dictate it.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Interesting hue, nice head, and some solid lacing. Nose is hay and wheat with fruit and spice components. Yeasty and hoppy with citrus and spice. Overall, this is a pretty good quaff.

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

Poured from a caged-and-corked 750mL bottle into my Dogfish Head oversized snifter.

Hazy amber liquid supports a delicate raft of ivory soft peak whipped foam. Superior retention and complicated webs of thick 3-D lacing...

Apricot, passionfruit, kiwi, and other fruit presents in the nose along with a long citrus note, yeasty phenolics, and a pungent undercurrent from the Brett. Quite a melange...

Potent funk presents on the palate with a ton of earth and pepper; strong floral notes suggest lavendar, orange blossom, jasmine, and rosewater as well. The bitterness comes on slowly at first but then grows over time. I'm guessing the Apollo hops are hard at work here, the resinous core of the beer militating back against the Brett. Crisp citrus and mint notes emerge in the finish along with a moderate alcohol kick. Pine and forest floor become more present as the ale warms.

Not-quite-full-bodied, effervescent, yet somewhat oily (as it should be).

The Brett. is once again very potent in this ale, threatening to dominate the flavor profile if not for the massive contrapunal force of the bittering hops. Not sure amidst this what the barrel aging contributes...quite a BIG beer though, which should appeal to hop-heads who are fond of funk...though it may alienate everyone else.

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Photo of draheim
4.58/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle (batch 3, May 2013) into a tulip. Pours a slightly hazy orange/straw color w/ a big fluffy white head that leaves sticky chunks of lacing. Bright lively carbonation rises from the bottle of the glass.

Aroma is a big burst of tropical citrus, Belgian yeast, sour green apples, and a nice bretty funk.

Taste is a complex combination of juicy grapefruit and orange, Belgian yeast and brett, bitter hops, and pale malt. Just the slightest hint of Chardonnay gives it a vaguely vinous twist. 8% ABV is invisible.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, balanced, smooth. Really nice clean dry finish.

Overall this is a great marriage of Belgian and American brewing traditions. So far, my favorite beer by Anchorage. I don't love a lot of beers, but I love this one. I can't imagine anything that would make it much better.

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Photo of ChrisMon02
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a Founders snifter.

Cloudy yellow color-nice fluffy head with little lacing.

Wow- a lot going on here. Brett, soft spicy yeast, Chardonnay, oak, fruity hops, grape flesh.

Taste follows the nose. So many deep, complex flavors. This shit is delicious.

Mouthfeel is soft medium-low carbonation. Moves easily over the tongue and down the throat.

I caught myself wailing away through my first glass of this. I then slowed down and thoroughly enjoyed the second glass experiencing all the different nuisances this beer offers. Very well made and blended. This just works and should be tried by anyone who enjoys this style. Highly recommended.

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

A: Pale yellow, clear with very light haze
S: Sweet pineapple, mango, papaya, orange, vinous, funky earthy Brett
T: Earthy brett, pineapple, sweet tangerine, bitter orange peel, white wine, mango, horse blanket
M: Medium high carbonation, keeps the body lighter for a higher abv beer
O: This was the first crazy brett IPA I ever had and it is still fantastic.

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Photo of shand
4.64/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Alright. After trying a year-old Galaxy White IPA and now this four month old Bitter Monk, I'm glad to say that Anchorage are single-handedly providing a reason for that terrible mishmash of styles known as a "Belgian IPA" to exist. The flavor profile is nearly perfect, the Brett and the slight butteriness from the Chardonnay barrels do very interesting things with the heavy fruity hopping and oak. Lightly sour at first, some more influence from the hops quickly rushes in, with the yeast and oak providing a strong backbone for the finish. Much like the Galaxy White IPA, the mouthfeel is extremely dry because of the whole brett + lots of hops thing. An exceptional beer. Anchorage's Belgian IPAs are so good, they make everybody else trying the style look like amateurs. As good as the style gets.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.52/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to dogbones for the bottle!

Poured a bright yellow/orange with a huge frothy white head. Good lacing down the glass and lots of bubbles.

The overpowering aroma is a pleasant dry white wine. Oakiness, some citrus zest and just a touch of the brett shine through.

There is quite a bit going on in the flavor and it's different than the nose. The wine comes through much less here although there are still some wine notes with a moderate amount of oak. A bit of a citrus burst, but this really doesn't taste like 100 IBU's. The character I get most of the spicy Belgian yeast which slightly overpowers all the other flavors which I'd probably like better. I do like the slight brett undertone though.

Good mouthfeel and pretty solid carbonation.

A little disappointed by this one especially after the appearance and aroma. The Belgian yeast cuts through all the other flavors and I'm not a huge fan of Belgian yeast in a lighter ale. Very complex and definitely interesting, but just an ok taste.

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Photo of pixieskid
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

IMO Anchorage Brewing Company is off to a killer start, this thing is incredible. I wish I could say it was totally original but it is rather reminiscent of Mikkeller's Nelson Sauvignon...either way, well executed and very enjoyable!

Pours an orange hue with a solid 3 finger head. Dissipates slowly leaving a a small white head throughout the whole tasting.
Nose; woah! Tropical fruits; starfruit and mango, desert white wine, and a lingering citrus hop note.
Taste; pineapple, grapefruit, chardonay, oak, brett. This beer smells and tastes exactly as it is depicted on the bottle. Finishes with a dry mouthfeel and earthy/brettiness, balanced bitterness for the stated 100ibus.

Overall; I love this beer and at about half the price of Nelson Sauvignon (stateside, at least) this is a perfect concept beer that blends intense hoppiness and white wine tartness.

Congrats to Gabe Fletcher on his newest endeavor; so far so good...gonna go out and buy a bottle of Love Buzz this week!

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

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

Pours a hazy yellowed orange. Golden. Gorgeous. I like the look quite a bit. Smells funky, sweet. Floral, lots going on on the nose. A bit bitter. Maybe hops? Very cool aroma. Tastes belgiany, hoppy, bitter oak, tannins, lots of goodness, very enjoyable beer :)
Well carbonated. A bit rough around the edges but really nice. I quite enjoy this brew

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

A Belgian IPA aged with Brettanomyces in French Oak Chardonnay barrels. This has been a big want of mine and I finally managed to get a bottle and couldn’t wait to open it up. It has a really great painted label in a caged and cork bottle. It pours a really nice golden straw color with a monster 4 finger foamy head on top. Lots of lacing in the glass and the head reduces to a nice sliver of film across the top of the beer. The nose is really intriguing, lots of funk from the Brett and Belgian yeasts but followed with citrus hops and faint biscuit malts. The flavors are wild, lots of sour citrus notes from both the hops and Brett, nice coniferous flavors as well from the hops, clean yet exceptionally bitter finish. It has a nice big body and lovely mouth puckering tartness that goes down so easily.

Verdict: Amazing flavors, big yeast notes and hops of a traditional Belgian IPA taken for an amazing ride with the addition of Brett. A sour IPA that really hits the mark. Highly recommended for any hop head or Belgian lover.

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

750 ml cork and caged bottle shared with crew at Barley Browns, back in Baker City, 10.27.11.

One finger pure white head, medium-quick dissipation, not a lot of lacing. Medium gold body, got murky at bottom of bottle re yeast from bottle conditioning, several streams of visible carbonation. Hugely complex nose, we let the bottle warm fully before pouring, I got at alternating times, Granny Smith apples, oak from chardonnay barrels, some wine notes, healthy dose of barnyard funk, musty hay from the Brett, not much in the way of malt, it's really subsumed by the wood and Brett notes. Taste mirrors nose, very interesting, apple sweetness from the Apollos, bretty complexity. Nice mouthfeel, on the light side of medium, pretty light for the style, good effervescence, extremely dry finish. My word, this is certainly one of the most interesting beers I've had this year, I'd call this Orval on steroids. Prohibitively expensive to have on more than an infrequent basis, but glad I was able to share this with the homeboys. Highly recommended, I'll be waiting to try other beers from this superlative brewer. Now if he can just replicate Venus...

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

Batch 2. Pours a very hazy, golden color with a hint of orange. Medium white head that disappears quickly. Scent is WOW! Amazing aroma to this beer. Funky wild yeast with some tropical and citrus fruits. Nice pineapple with some orange and lovely hoppiness. The more I let my nose get familiar with this beer, the more french oak and chardonnay I get. Very complex. I could sniff this beer all day. Taste is initially tart with some white grapes and tart green apples. Some citrus and tropical fruit flavors...wow, just wow. A hint of butter. The hops, fruit, oak, and chardonnay flavors blend so well with a subtle funkiness that just makes me wonder how this beer will taste after the Brett works its magic over time. Gotta grab another bottle to sit on. So much complexities going on here. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, nice bite, yet slightly chewy. Drinkability is very high for almost 10%. Alcohol is present, but not very much so. Overall, this is just another great beer from a brewery I have grown very fond of over the last year. I have yet to find an Anchorage beer I didn't think was good.

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Photo of jjanega08
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

July 2011 Batch #1

A= The pour is a bright yellow color. The brightest yellow color I've ever seen in a beer. The head is thick and frothy looking and rises to a couple fingers high before falling to a frothy layer on top of the glass. The lacing is pretty good but it's not your typical sheets it's more of a spotty film.

S= Immediatly after opening the bottle I got quite a bit of Brett. Tons of brett in the nose and a nice hop blend to that compliments the brett in a unique way that I can't really explain. Interesting mix of brett and fruity hops. Unlike anything I've ever smelled.

T= The taste is again one of the most unique things I've ever tasted. Really nice mix of bright hops and a woody tannin barrel flavor. A tasty bretty flavor that actually seems to be maybe a little sour for typical brett only innoculation but that may be chardonnay. Really unique and interesting mix of flavors that all seem to work somehow in unison.

M= Bright carbonation as well as a thick lasting flavor that sheets on the tongue.

O= This is unlike anything I've ever tasted. Totally unique and very delicious. I always love it when a brewer comes out with a beer that is unique. This is one of those. Really unable to fully explain it. A tasty beer that is worth buying and buying. Try this beer. Hopefully the other beers from this brewery will be just as good.

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Photo of kjyost
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle acquired at Princeton Liquors, Maple Grove, MN. Poured into a large wine glass, with the first pour at 4C, the last at 18C.

A: Straw yellow and clear with a ton of little dabs of lacing.
S: Some very light citrus hops with a wine like nose of Brett and floral notes.
T: Very definitely a Brett beer with floral and light earthiness. Bitterness that builds that is earthy. Little hop nature of note, sadly... As the beer warms a strong aftertaste builds that is not exactly pleasant, though hard to describe...
M: Bitter, funky, enjoyable.
O: A great Belgian Brett pale ale, but knocked down by the advertised DIPA. Yes, I know it was old (6 mo+), but I didn't know that when I bought it due to a lack of bottling date. Not hoppy enough, but I sense the bitterness.

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Photo of beer2day
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright yellow pour with lots of haze. Very thick 2+ finger head, standing tall above the top of the glass. Retains very well and laces all around.

Bright nose with a complex feel. Chardonnay compliments the brett with a distinct oak component. Lemon and strawgrass underneath. Quite grassy, actually.

Complex flavor here, too. Definite Belgian feel, with sour flavors but the chard and oak really sweeten things up. Wood chips, light citrus, and earthy hops all come together. Finish is more sweet than dry, with light citrus again and a crisp accent from the chard. Complex and very unique.

Feel is about right for the flavors. Slightly thick and syrupy, but not overpowering.

One of the more unique beers I've tasted this year - and I mean that as a compliment.

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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 LambicPentameter
4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed out of a brown 750 mL bottle marked "JULY 2011", which is the only time this one was brewed, as far as I know. That seems to be the modus operandi for Anchorage.

Appearance - Aggressive pour yields a frothy orangish cream head of lots of tiny bubbles, one finger thick. Lacing is silky and fleeting after head sticks around for a little while, but eventually fades into a healthy layering of spotty foam on top of the beer.

Smell - A full two years after the bottling date, the brett has made itself quite at home in this bottle. Brett funk and tartness dominate the nose, but still allow for veins of citrus zest to shine through unexpectedly but pleasantly.

Taste - Again, the barnyard funk is on full display here. In addition to that yeasty characteristic, there is a pretty detectable flavor profile from the Chardonnay barrels--some dry grape elements, as well as oaky vanilla undertones.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation has fallen off a little bit in two years, but not terribly. Light but close to moderate with a medium body that is slightly on the chewy side.

Overall, a beer that I've been seeking for the better part of six months, due to how much I love everything that comes out of Anchorage it seems. This one isn't my favorite of their offerings, but it's darn close, and it's one that I really wish I could have tried fresh. It seems like the time has allowed the balance to flip from hop dominant with brett elements to the inverse.

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

A: Pours a cloudy golden yellow with an ample fluffy white head
S: Smells of citrus a little acetic acid, some yeast as well
T: faint citrusy hop flavor with a little bit of sourness, some yeast flavor and a bit of flavor from the wine barrel. Aftertaste is of hop resin and yeast
M: average mouthfeel for an IPA, soft carbonation makes this one very drinkable
O: Very good, I wish it was fresher but it tastes very good at its current state. Very smooth and refreshing and highly drinkable.

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