Bitter Monk | Anchorage Brewing Company

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Bitter MonkBitter Monk
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anchorage Brewing Company
Alaska, United States | website

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:
265
Ratings:
1,004
Avg:
4.34
pDev:
18.66%
 
 
Wants:
414
Gots:
128
For Trade:
9
User Reviews
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Reviews: 265 | Ratings: 1,004
Photo of Billolick
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Belgian style bomber, caged and corked, "Batch #1, July 2011". Very happy to find this fine brw at $16.99 @ Hudson Valley Bev, in Mahopac, NY

Open with an energenic "poof", pours cloudy, dull tangarine. Nice, sturdy, huge and near white head. Fluffy, puffy and very slow to rest, leaves a high collar and all sorts of high on the glass, sticky lace.

Bright nose of oranges, sour apple, green tea, limes, pepper, gin and some Belgian yeastyness. Gamey, musty, slightly sour note of the Brett also in play. Complex, flavorful and simply delicious brew. With the flavor of the sniff, continuing onto the palate. Hoppy bite in the rear, but shining through forcefully as things reach the finish.

Wow, dense flavors, complex, heady stuff. Love the style and this is one of the more intense and most well crafted versions. Get some stinky cheese, peppery salads, spicy thai food or whatever you like to eat and enjoy every sip of this one!

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

750 ml corked and caged bottle. I've heard wonderful things about this being a "surprise of the year" beer so I had to give it a try, even at the (Philadelphia) expensive price point. Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Golden orange hazy body with a creamy, fluffy white head atop. A full retention cap stays throughout and it has really super sticky lacing on the walls. Honestly, this is an absolutely gorgeous looking beer.

S: Citrus, zest, smarties candy, chalk, white pepper, funk and some barnyard hay-like qualities. A faint bitterness is towards the back end allowing the hops to shine through to remind you this is in the IPA family. Nice aroma, nothing mind-blowing but it certainly isn't anything bad.

T: Bitter hop zest and citrus oils are the first to hit the palate. A slightly spicy yeast note comes in, along with more smarties candy and chalkiness. Dry wood and crisp white grapes are towards the back end bringing in some of the barrel treatment. After the swallow, a bit of a burn is in the chest perhaps from the alcohol?

M: Nice carbonation, on the lower end of the scale giving this a real creamy smooth feel. Very dry and bitter in the finish. Not a complete determent but I would have preferred it more clean.

This was a very interesting beer, and the only comparison I could make was to Iron Hill's Savage IPA. Still, it's definitely a unique beer with lots of complexity and flavor.

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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 liamt07
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle I picked up while in Vegas from the Whole Foods on S Las Vegas Blvd. 750ml bottle corked and caged, Batch 1 from July 2011 - into a tulip.

Poured a hazy golden yellow, we split the yeast amongst us and its sat 'curtain-like' in each of our glasses in suspension. Looked pretty cool! Voluminous white head, very effervescent with a great rocky head and spotty lacing. Nose has pungent lemon, funk/brett, white wine notes, pine, a touch of cat pee, citrus zest and background tropical notes (derived from the Citra I'll guess). Alot of grassy notes as well, somewhat of a Noble hop character to it. Certainly extremely unique for a DIPA. Taste again has substantial lemon, tropical fruits with light tart and vinous/barrel notes. Herbal hops again with less brett than the nose. Light spiciness in the finish, certainly a solid amount of Belgian and brett flavours all around - works phenomenally with the hop profile. Bitterness is there but not overpowering. Fantastic, and I'll most certainly seek out future batches if given the chance.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.13/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a hazy, medium golden amber with a thin white head that stays as a fine thick film with lacing. Aroma of Brett, white wine, apple, light citrus and light grassy hops. Flavor is also distinctive Brett, lemon, tangerine, stone fruit, mildly vinous, light coriander; finishes very dry with Brett and lingering hop bitterness with no distinct hop flavor. Medium bodied with peppery active carbonation. The yeast strain here leans more towards a saison yeast than Belgian, but there are light Belgian yeast and spicing elements present in the complex flavor. This is almos too dry for me, but the complexity of the flavor really made this enjoyable to drink. Dryness and light vinousness gives it a champagne like character, if champagne had Brett. Nicely made and interesting.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

25oz Corked and Caged bottle split with Oglmcdgl into some glasses.

Bitter Monk fills the glass with a bright yellow look with some deep gold tints in certain spots. A nice bright white billowy foamy head of foam graces the top leaving droppings on the glass, sheets even. Smell is heavenly, the brett is right up there and fills the nostrils. Citrus hop aroma is amped up as well as lemon. The char does not really come through. Some bubblegum scent wit some integration. On first sips I can tell this is big beer, it's bold, bitter and somewhat abrasive without going overt the hill. Lemon, citra hop flavor, grapefruit, brett make up the flavor profile. I don't get any char and the oak is faint, if there at all. The lemon and bitterness last for a while afterwards. BOLD. Feel is a healthy medium with a whole lot of carb that sparks. This beer causes tingles on my tounge. A great beer that delivers on everything on the bottle, sand huge barrel flavor, yet drinking this now, too much of that may have killed what make this stand out.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle, in a New Belgium globe,

A: Pours a translucent light orange with a gorgeous soft cloud of white foam which lasts forever akin to a Duvel. Great, thick full lace.

S: Tons of wildflower and spice, spring meadow. Light oak notes, sweet vanilla perfume obviously from the Chard barrels.

T: Sweet malt initially with a lot of esters - apple, Asian pear, kumquat. Dry spice in the mid-palate with a strong leathery classic Brett presence throughout. Great vanilla finish.

M: Medium to full-bodied, very smooth. Easy to drink for how big it is. Well balanced with a great long aftertaste.

O: This is the real deal folks. One of the best BIPAs I've ever had. $15 a bottle is tough, but here it's worth it. This beer is an experience and a great first impression from Anchorage.

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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 John_M
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At Max's today.

The beer pours a solid gold color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is, well, bitter... I really get a lot of dry citrus in this beer and not much else. As the beer warms a bit, I also pick up some white pepper and light pine, but the citrus really dominates. On the palate, this is a very serious Belgian style IPA, with a lot going on. There is honey, butter, vanilla, considerable dry citrus and orange zest... maybe some light cherry as well. Also, while there's some initial sweetness, that's quickly pushed aside, and I then get considerable bitterness in the long, dry finish. Mouthfeel is fairly full, with a long, light sweet, but ultimatley very bitter finish. I almost feel as if I pick up a little heat from alcohol in the finish, but there is so much bitterness from the hops, ultimately I can't really tell.

Very impressiive Belgian style IPA. I still prefer the mischief from bruery, but this is right up there.

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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 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.

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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.

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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!

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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 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 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.

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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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25.4oz bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip Glass.
Batch 1

A - Pours a cloudy medium orange with a two finger yellowish head. Spots of lacing are left on the glass.

S - Yeast, citrus - mostly lemons.

T - Hoppy citrus, slight pine, and still some yeast in the background.

D - Tons of carbonation, lighter body.

O - Nice since the yeast wasn't overpowering. Another winner for Anchorage brewing.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a glowing citrus yellow and orange color, with tons of haziness. Pretty.

Amazing chunky brett and citrus hop aroma. Simcoe and Citra all over this one. And the Simcoe doesn't dominate with its uber bitterness either. Soft touches. Really get the plethora of hop smells all over the place from simple grapefruit, to tropical, to piney.

Same with the taste. Lots of bretty goodness, lots of citric hop tastes, perfect amount of bitterness, lightly sour, not overpowering the hop quotient here. Has almost a chardonnay or white wine like aspect to it from the spritziness. Hid the alcohol quite well. Everything just melds so nicely, great interplay.

The most unique dipa I've ever tasted. And not just unique, its f'n awesome. Don't know how belgian it is, the yeast certainly doesn't seem belgianesque, and the hops are definitely west coast stylee.

Pricey, I mean, the beer just nailed it, but still half point deduction for the price.

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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 claspada
3.38/5  rDev -22.1%
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.

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Bitter Monk from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 265 ratings.
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