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Bitter Monk | Anchorage Brewing Company

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Bitter MonkBitter Monk
BA SCORE
4.32/5
Outstanding
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:
#511
Reviews:
272
Ratings:
1,029
pDev:
9.49%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
421
Gots:
133
Trade:
8
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,029 |  Reviews: 272
Photo of twelveinches
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of ArrogantB
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle $12.99. I have been passing this by despite the rave reviews because it was $15.99. I saw it on sale and thought I was getting a deal so I bought it. Yes I am a sucker but this really is quite a good beer. Bright yellow orange color and a huge rocky head, looks good. The smell instantly reminded me of Russian River Temptation, heavy Chardonnay and brett. I think there was a hint of citrus in there as well. The flavor again made me think of Temptation and it must be that Chardonnay and brett combo working so well. There is a bit of bitterness in here from the hops and just the faintest hint of citrus. I have to wonder what the hops were like when this was fresh since this was apparently brewed back in July of 2011 but the hops are not completely gone. Overall, a very solid beer and I can see why everyone likes it so much.

 845 characters

Photo of jrallen34
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of bobv
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Rutager
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.85/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a beautiful cloudy golden yellow. There is a big puffy two fingers of white head that dissipates slowly.

S: This beer is full of fun scents. I'm picking up brett, lemon zest, floral esters, wine characteristics, and a really mellow Belgian yeast sweetness. It's an incredible complex and intriguing aroma.

T: The fist blast is candy sweetness and lemony hops. Following quickly is the unmistakable brett. Next, I get blasted with huge bitters (probably from the chardonnay wine barrel treatment). I actually think this beer falls short in the finish. It's way too bitter.

M: Medium bodied beer. It starts of wet (for about a second) and finishes super dry, desert dry.

O: I think the look and smell of this beer are amazing, but the taste falls a bit short for my liking. I'm not a big fan of the ultra dryness of this beer either. But overall, it's still a decent brew.

 883 characters

Photo of MSandahl23
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of claspada
3.38/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright hazy ripe lemon yellow with 2 inches of fluffy/bubbly white head that slowly recedes leaving sticky soapy/bubbly lacing along the goblet.

Aromas begin with a ton of sour citrus smells, could be hops and/or could be Brett yeast. Further examination leads me to believe it is the Brett as the sourness become more predominant. In the background you get some tropical and citrus hops but the Brett owns the show here. Lighter earthy/oakiness continues to emerge as well.

After the aromas the tastes are a bit surprising. The flavors are more akin to a DIPA than a Belgian Brett sour beer. Lots of bitter pithy lemony citrus and grapefruit hops initially assault the palate. As it warms you get a little more of the underlying vinous white grape, pear and lighter generic sour Brett flavors. Just like the nose the earthy and oaky flavors emerge as you continue to sip. Extreme bitterness dominates the show however and takes away from the delicate flavors imparted from the barrel and the Brett that I wish were more in the forefront.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium to higher carbonation. Finish is quite bitter, which is expected for 100 IBU, but the Brett sourness helps to balance the intensely bitter citrus hops. Finish is dry as as bone thanks to the ample hopping and Brett yeast fermentation. As it warms the bitterness becomes way too overbearing for me to enjoy and the Brett loses the balance that existed when it was at a slightly cooler temperature.

Overall this was definitely an experience for sure. The flavors and aromas were so contradictory and yet complemented each other quite well. My only issue was that I wish I consume this during the warmer months as I would have enjoyed it much more on a nice warm day. If you love sour beers and really bitter DIPAs you will love this. If you dislike either pass. I am on the fence as I like both but I think I prefer them separate. Still a high quality beer as this obviously took a lot of thought and care to craft such an intricate brew. If you can afford the elevated price tag, it's worth a go.

 2,098 characters

Photo of jera1350
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A lot of hype going into this one. Hope it doesn't disappoint.

Batch #1: July 2011

In a tulip, this bad boy has a hazy gold body that seems to just glow. The rocky cap of clean white foam on top is massive, retains well and leaves all kinds of sticky lacing.

I will preface by saying that I am not a big brett fan. The nose is very tropical smelling. Tropical as in fruit. The brett adds this nice tartness to the nose that compliments the fruit beautifully. If I close my eyes and smell, I can easily picture the beach.

The taste is quite nice, but doesn't blow me away. Like a good belgian ipa with some more complexities to it. Quite lemony, which I'm sure the brett contributes to. Bright citrusy notes with just a little sweetness. Lots of grapefruit, lots of spice notes and some light brett funk also. Some warm alcohol makes itself know as well.

Very, very dry. Mediumish bodied with lots of soft carbonation.

As usual, I got my hopes up and I was a bit disappointed. Didn't turn out to be the knockout I was hoping, but still a very good beer that is relatively unique from others in the style. I actually don't mind the brett too much in this. Pretty refreshing in a wine like way. The price is a bit steep though. Glad to have tried it, but probably won't grab it again.

 1,289 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
3.92/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into an Allagash cervoise glass. Batch #2 (June 2012).

A: Pours begrudgingly, glugging out of the small opening. A finger of churning, solid white head. The beer is milky, cloudy, pale, and lightly opaque. Some visible carbonation.

S: Plentiful, bitter, American hops. Solid IPA, but so far, nothing special.

T: Hmm. Interesting. The Brett is noticeable, but dampened (perhaps by oak aging?). There is substantial carbonation that helps to (only somewhat) cut the bitterness. Definitely 100+ IBUs. As it warms, it expands, and more of the Citra-Chardonnay fruitiness comes to the fore. I enjoy this.

M: Wood-dry, spicy, carbonated, and engaging.

O: I don't know...the holistic production didn't do it for me. Interesting -- good even -- but not particularly 'drinkable' and certainly not worth the price.

 836 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
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

 948 characters

Photo of BAsbill
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.48/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up this bomber in Joliet, about $14. We haven't seen distribution of Anchorage in OH yet so I was glad to grab one.

It pours pale orange with a touch of haze and a beautiful head, rocky and pillowy with a touch of lace here and there. The nose is very nice too, pungent hops and bret. I'm not sure how old this bottle is but the hops still seem fresh.

Lots of citrus flavor in the start of each sip, with a bitter funkiness behind. Dry aftertaste with lingering acrid bitterness, delicious. Strong carbonation, with a peppery bite on my tongue. This tastes a lot better than I expected, possibly my favorite "Belgian" IPA.

 635 characters

Photo of threedaggers
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of GraduatedCashew
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of akang
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of ccrida
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Bitter Monk is hazy gold with a huge white head leaving sticky lace.

Smell is very musty, very herbal, with sweet tropical fruits, marmalade.

Taste is bitter, herbal hops and lots of pineapple notes from the Brett. More must, a sharpness. Oranges. Pretty good, big BIPA, similar ABC profile.

Mouthfeel is oily but dry, very rustic, medium body.

Drinkability is pretty good, big flavors, but not as complex as the recipe and and barrel-blending suggest - as i often find with Brett.

 526 characters

Photo of Keananmichael5
4.76/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Ill put in this way, I have not had this beer in almost 2 years, and I am not happy about it! I can't wait for it to get down to socal again soon! So unique and tasty for a "belgian DIPA".

 188 characters

Photo of Daniellobo
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very recommendable take on a Belgian DIPA.

Presentation: 750 ml brown, caged and corked bottle. Screen printed label with a green and white design of a monk holding a chalice of the brew with a few snowflakes in the background. Side paragraph offers a description of the brew, and serving indications, back narrative exposes intent, and general background. Notes 100 IBUS, bottling Batch 1 July 2011, and 9% Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass.

A -Hazy pale gold pour, rich frothy head, medium retention, fair surface memory and nice touches of lacing.

S - Nice nose hitting like a hammer with citric hops, touch of resin, funky brett, and a hint of wood.

T - Hoppy and yeasty range… Very nice, flowing over bready funky touches.. sweet caramel in the back woven with soft barrel touches, faint fruity/vinous touch. Earthy touch pushing up the hops again, Belgian spicy insinuation adds to the flow...

M -Medium body and carbonation, with a nice flow that leads to a semi/dry finish.

O - Nice an pleasing take at a DIPA laden with brett and Belgian touches...

Notes: Hmmm, that Anchorage Brewing is making a nice dent with breatty and barrel aged brews is clear. Quality and very likable. Now, if I get fuzzy on this one I might be getting so spoiled that it feels a touch perfunctory. I mean… dunno. I would not mind having a go at a regular dipa from theirs. Here so much plays with the Belgian yeast, the barrel, the brett, that it all has a bizarre predictable sense under all the great serving… Having said all that this is probably one of the best takes, if not the best, I have had at a double Belgian IPA. Nevermind me…

 1,645 characters

Photo of Mattias
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of scottfrie
4.83/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle into Portsmouth tulip. Batch 1.

A: Pours a hazy dark citrus lemon/orange color with a billowing, soft and dense off-white head that slowy faded into a fluffy film which left chunks and streaks of sticky lacing down the glass.
S: Complex hoppy notes of citrus, tropical fruits, sweet fruit nectars, tangerines, and grapefruit pith all mixed with earthy, spicy and funky notes of Belgian yeasts and brett. This is one unique smelling brew.
T: Yep, a DIPA with Belgian yeast and brett. This beer tastes like the nose with the grapefruit pith bitterness, sweet tropical fruit hoppiness, and earthy funky brett standing out the most. I do get a bit of the vinous quality of the white barrel as well. The finish is lightly beer and the aftertaste is sweet and funky.
M: Medium-full body with a drying mouthfeel that has a pleasant bitterness in the finish. The carbonation is soft and full.
O: One of the best in the style and just a phenomenal beer. The hops and the brett work wonders together. I love the bottle as well. Highly recommend and a great beer all around.

EDIT: Rarely do I buy a new beer more than once, especially one that costs between $13 to $16 a bottle. Sure I'll buy six packs of old staples (Anchor, SN) or singles of my favorites (Pliny), but I've returned to this beer four times now. I love this beer. It's awesome! I'm bumping the scores up to include more 5's.

 1,399 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.64/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle

Ale Aslyum chalice - lot of great things involved here - citra hops, brett, french oak chardonnay barrels. I love all of those things and naturally found this beer to be quite great - very lush fruit profile - papaya, melon, mango, citrus, lemon. Both the barrel and the brett are great compliments to the hops - everything marries quite well.

 357 characters

Photo of fosters9
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of 2dogbrew
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.32 out of 5 with 1,029 ratings
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