Grumpy Monk | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

159 Reviews
Grumpy MonkGrumpy Monk

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jzeilinger on 04-15-2012

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Reviews: 159 | Ratings: 714
Photo of trianglebeerguy
4.7/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought in the IPA Hopology 12-pack at Triangle Wine Store in Morrisville, NC near the RTP. I was the most excited about this beer of the 6 offerings and it did not disappoint. I've had some Belgian IPA's that lose one character or the other, but this was distinctly Belgian as well as distinctly an IPA. The Belgian sugars and yeast cut into the hops which were intense but sutble enough.

It poured nice and golden, nice head. Smelled like an IPA mixed with Belgian yeast. The taste was what won me over, as I think it it always the most important aspect of a beer.

Overall, another fine offering from Sam. So nice to see a company that has become a macrobrewery stay so true to their roots and focus on variety rather than just buying more factories to pump out Boston Lager (which is of course a great beer itself).

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.6/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.
Enjoy before Sept notched on label. 5.7% ABV,

A - Vibrant pumpkin orange in color, Grumpy Monk is crystal clear, topped with an egg-shell head that's got some stellar retention to it. Delicate Belgian-like lace gently adheres to the glass.

S - Belgian yeast overthrows the whole beer, populating it with pungent spice in the aroma; strong white pepper, earthy clay, coriander spice, and lemongrass. Perfumy floral hops add grapefruit, lemon, and peach to the menagerie of aromatic flowers here. Malts are mum until a hefty swirls brings out balancing caramel sweetness and light clover honey. Incredibly distinctive and complex, Grumpy Monk's aroma is great, but almost overpowering.

T - As enigma much like the aroma, the flavor keeps evolving, hard to pinpoint. Still very yeast-driven, Grumpy Monk incorporates it's spicy aroma characteristics into the flavor, harmoniously blending with the hop presence, sought after in this beer. Pine needles fall into the sea of citrus and floral notes brought on by the hops. Lemon rind and fresh-squeezed grapefruit drape the beer's simple and incurious pilsner malt base.

M - Bright carbonation tickles the tongue and aids in livening up the estery spice profile. Medium-light feeling in body, Grumpy Monk is bone dry in the finish with a lingering bitterness that keeps balance without going overboard. Still somehow very smooth on the palate, Grumpy Monk is a splendid drinking beer.

O - A potpourri of unique yeast esters and floral hop characteristics, Grumpy Monk reminds of the smack-in-the-face aroma you receive when entering a Michael's store. One of the boldest Belgian yeast-implemented beers I've had from America, I find this powerhouse of esters more forthcoming and interesting than the hops that it "should" be showcasing (included in the Hop-Ology mix pack). That doesn't, however, downplay the unique and bright hop presence this beer offers. Complex and definitely overpowering to a point, I still think this is a damn fine beer from Boston Beer Co.!

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Photo of ktblue22
4.54/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I'm surprised this beer has gotten such a low rating - I wonder if it because it is Sam Adams its held to different standards? I think that this beer is top notch - its an IPA that is extremely palatable as well as complex

The mouthfeel is beautifully smooth with citrus and earthy hops combined with the Belgian yeast that gives it a good spicyness. It's rounded out with a heavy hand of hops for an IPA (perhaps more traditional European IPA than what we in the states view as IPA). I really enjoyed this beer and highly recommend it, especially if you are looking for a beer with a lot of flavor and complexity.

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Photo of joebo3001
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

It was quite a sweet Belgian IPA. It didn't have much of a hoppy flavor throughout, but you could taste a little bit of bitters. Overall I liked it and will drink it whenever I'm looking to drink a sweeter beer

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Photo of Osirus
4.45/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Served out of the 12oz bottle at room temperature.

Appearance. Great head retention. Off white head, tight bubbles with lots of retention and belgian lace. Light amber, dark yellow color. It look great in a glass. Belgian lace sticks throughout the entire drink!

Smell. Banana smell, spice, citrus aroma, like a hoppy heffe. Smells great.

Taste. Spicy, light caramel, citrusy aftertaste that sticks for a long time.

Mouthfeel. Nice, full mouth fee;. Fizzy, full carbonation.

Overall. Underrated beer. Complexity in smell, taste, and a phenomenal aftertaste. Wonderful!

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Photo of thebrood1987
4.4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You smell the typical Belgian yeast with some floral and citrus in there as well. The hops come in with a crisp bite of citrus which evolves into the belgian yeast honey malt and then as the bitterness from the hops evolves there is a burst of citrus flavors as well.

It's a great Belgian IPA and ranks with the best I've had for sure. Its like if the Latitude 48 had Belgian yeast in it and a less maltier backbone. The taste really resonates and leaves a great refreshing aftertaste. The spices of the Belgian yeast definitely aren't overdone and my favorite is that the hops really shine through at the end. Belgian IPA's aren't my favorite style but this definitely one of the best ones I've tried.

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Photo of JosiahS
4.33/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

glass: Tulip

Orange-copper color, clear with lots of bubbles rushing to the top. 2-finger white and frothy head. Looks very inviting. Clove upfront on the aroma, followed by coriander, faint banana and just a bit of floral hops and underlying malt.

A pretty impressive marriage of mild hops with Belgian yeast. Not exactly hoppy or bitter but somehow it works really well. The finish is lightly bitter and just a bit floral with some doughy malt. Start to finish is a smooth and perfect blend of clove, coriander and mild floral hops.

The body is medium with a medium carbonation. Very approachable. This is a nice offering from Samuel Adams.

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Photo of 1ale_man
4.29/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle to a tulip. Best before April. Hopology pack.
Dark orange to copper color, no floaties.
Smells like bananas and malt and spice.
Taste the bananas right off. Hop bitterness.
Feels soft on the tongue but with carbonation. Dry.
First time for this beer. Hopefully not the last. Would be nice to be able to buy sixers.
Very good beer. At 6.5% I can drink a few.

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Photo of smcolw
4.23/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a light brown/dark amber color. Crystal clear. Good starting that settles to rim bubbles. Excellent lace which is a combination of blankets and ring with spider webs connecting the two.

Beyond the expected sweeter, toasty malts and the modest hop, I detect ammonia

Short-lived, richly roasted sweet malt start. The bite of straight hop bitterness kicks in quickly. The finish, though, is very complex with fresh cut flowers and dried bitter herbs. The aftertaste lingers for a very long time. Richer than average body with a matching carbonation.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is not my favorite style, but I think Sammy A did one heck of a job on this Monk. The beer poured a clear deep orange with think head that is leaving a very nice lace. The scent carries Belgium spice and malt with faint citrus like hops. The taste is very well balanced with just enough Belgium influence to make you aware that it is Belgian and enough hops to make it an ipa. The mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall this is a great BIPA in my opinion.

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Photo of Zachtheporter
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pourd from a 120z bottle into a Michelob lager glass.

A- Pours a deep yellow with a 1 finger white bubbly head. Nice and clear for the color. Has some very noticeale carbonation in the form of observable jets of bubbles rising from th etop to the bottom of the glass.

S- Has an incredibly floral aroma coupled with a very strong scent of cloves and spices. Some slight citrus and fruit notes are present as well overlying a barely detectable maltiness.

T- A very hoppy beer.The hops impart a very floral flavor to the beer with a very slight citrusyness. Has a slightly malty and rich bready body with a bitter earthy and floral hop finish. A slight spiciness overlays the whole beer as well, with the taste of clove and slight coriander.

M- Has a medium bodyfeel with a medium to high carbonation. Crisp and refreshing.

O- A very well crafted Belgian IPA. I find the floral flavor from the hops and the cloves to be incredibly overpowering though personally. That aside though I can't deny that there was clearly a good amount of craftsmanship put into this beer. A nice example of a Belgian IPA.

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Photo of wedge
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a mostly clear copper-orange color under an attractive, lumpy head. Tons of intricate lace on the glass. The smell is citrusy and floral. Belgian yeast, bubblegum, and melon too, all strung together with a candy sweetness. A bit more melon and pine from the hops in the flavor join the more flowery, orange-y characteristics. The finish is interesting and unexpected...the honey malt really comes through. Spicy phenolics blend with the bitterness; otherwise, the hops pretty much cover the Belgian characteristics. Medium bodied and crisp. I found this to be quite enjoyable...

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into tulip glass

Appearance – Pours a golden color with a yellow tinted billowy head. The head has good retension and fades over time to leave a good deal of lacing. Very nice.

Smell – The smell is big of yeast and biscuit with nice hints of banana, clove and some other spice aromas. There are ever so light hoppy aromas of an earthy and pine nature as well, but these are light and overall the aroma is mostly of a Belgain wit.

Taste – A biscuit flavor with a good taste of yeast and clove are up front. These flavors act as a base for which others enter and leave from. Toward the middle, a light pine and a citrus flavor come to the taste. The citrus is largely grapefruit hop in nature. At the end the pine builds in strength as does the clove flavor and they mix with the nice bready and yeasty base to leave a pleasing, slightly bitter and yeasty flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is medium in thickness, but quite smooth due to the slightly lower then average level of carbonation.

Overall – To me it is an easy drinking Belgian wit with a bit more hoppiness than the normal. It’s pretty nice.

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Photo of CNoj012
4.06/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear honey amber color with a 1 finger off white head. The retention is excellent the whole way through and there are plenty of thick webbed sheets of lacing. The smell is mostly the belgian yeast, dark fruit, then some pine and citrus hops and a touch of sweetness. The taste is exactly the opposite. The pine and citrus hops are up front and most apparent with a good deal of bitterness. Then the belgian yeast shows up on the back end with the touch of malt sweetness. Feel is light side of medium. Overall a very nice beer. I am not normally a fan of Belgian IPAs, but this one is an exception. I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of maleman
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an SA glass. Nice amber color with a creamy, one-finger head that was slow to recede. Thin, oily lacing clings to the side. The nose is grain and dominant clove. Initially, there is some phenol, but clove and biscuit soon rush in and take away any trace of alcohol. The finish is nice and tasted in the back of the mouth, carbonation is above average. Somewhat on the lighter side of medium-bodied. Overall, a tasty brew that is a cross between a Belgian and an IPA...leaning a bit more toward Belgian as there is little flora detectable. Will partake again! RB!

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Photo of PintOHops
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glass - Tulip

A - Semi hazy coppery colored brew. Moderate-high visible carbonation with a 1-finger head. Head retention seems pretty good. It left some very nice lacing on my glass.

S - Dominant bubblegum and banana upfront. Underneath is mild clove and soft mint like characteristics. I also pick up mild earth hop notes.

T - I definitely pick up that classic Sam Adams malt character throughout. Banana, bubblegum and lemon citrus notes unfold into bready and mildly sweet malt. Clove and subtle spice come in and out throughout tasting the beer. It finishes with lingering bubblegum and mild bitterness.

M - Smooth, almost chewy with a medium crispness and medium body.

O - This is a decent Belgian IPA from SA. It's got that classic malt from SA but it works well with the Belgian yeast notes throughout the beer. I think it's a nice beer to have once in awhile. Not very bitter or hop forward at all, but still good. I'd say give it a try. Cheers!

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Photo of secondtooth
4.02/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean amber, with a thick head of off-white bubbles. Thick and beautiful lace. A on presentation!

Nose is spices, and Belgian yeast, and fruit. Good and faithful representation.

Taste is heavy on the spice, perfectly in line with the Belgian abbey tradition, but with a heavily hopped finish.

Overall, a well-done and enjoyable collision of styles. I'll enjoy this one again.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.01/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Boston Beer Company : Grumpy Monk
2013 bottle lists 6.5% abv

LOOK: Clean copper orange colored brew. Topped with a head of tightly beaded little bubbles. The glass is left covered in lace stickage.

SMELL: Phenolic notes of Belgian yeast, giving off a strong banana, clove, bubblegum aroma. A touch of floral hop as well.

TASTE: A potent mix of the banana clove note and earthy hops. Herb citrus and pine mend with bubblegum and candy sweetness. Like chewing bubblegum mixed with weed. The malt body is slightly toasted, caramel and even somewhat wheaty. Cotton candy flavor grows on you. Cotton candy flavored bubblegum, banana and grassy flavors. Straightforward and nice about it.

FEEL: Medium bodied, medium-high level of carbonation. Small hop bite. Semi dry in the finish with sticky bubblegum and mild bitterness.

OVERALL: This one has been on my radar for a while, and it surely didn't disappoint. My tenacity in finding one was rewarded by a cotton candy/hop bomb. I'd recommend this to any fan of Belgian or wheat ales, as well as hop lovers.

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Photo of godlessape
4.01/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Drank this one out of a snifter. The bourbon colored body starts off a little hazy but then clears up into a polished brass finish. The head starts off dense and high but sinks.

The aroma is intense in it's complexity with Juicy Fruit, pear, potting soil, and tobacco notes up front, then followed up with rich caramel malt.

The taste doesn't drift too far from the nose with all the sweetness involved. I do pick up some cloves, Belgian yeast, rock candy and of course a decent amout of hop bitterness that works out perfectly at the end.

The mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied.

Overall I think this is a great example of this style.

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Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1 inch head, high carbonation, gold in color, clear

Smell: Belgian spices and light hops--dead on for the style

Taste: grassiness followed by a bit of caramel and Belgian spices...Citrus hops bitter at the end.

Mouthfeel: sweet start with a bitter/dry end, very high carbonation, light bodied

Overall: A very solid Belgian IPA. I like the smoothness of this one. Not overly bitter and has a bit of trademark Sam. I would certainly look for this one if I wanted an easy drinking beer in this style.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a golden-orange color with a white head. The aroma has some nice orange citrus notes, as well as a lot of flowers and a strong dose of Belgian yeast. The flavor is very similar. There is a ton of biscuit malt and Belgian yeast, as well as some floral and orange citrus notes. There is also a hint of pine and a little bit of bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of puboflyons
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle with an expiration date of May 2016. Sampled on February 5, 2016.

Orange-amber pour under a modest off-white head.

Excellent aroma of Belgian yeast, Belgian toasted bread, clove, and pepper

Light to medium body.

The taste has many of the traditional Belgian characters I like with the sweet and toasted biscuit and big clove, coriander, and pepper spice finish.

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Photo of Beejay
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Amber orange in color, crystal clear. A giant head on this, very slightly orange tan colored fluffy goodness.

S: Some clove and banana come out right off the bat, followed by some American style hops. Pine is what I pick up first, but at the tail end there is a bit of earthiness. There is a little sweetness, like raisins, or breakfast bread.

T: Interesting. A bit of the banana is there, but the focus is definitely on the clove. Caramel, and bread notes give a nice sweet balance. The hop character is somewhat subdued in the flavor, but the bitterness certainly balances the sweetness a bit.

M: Medium in mouthfeel, the carbonation is fine, and fairly heavy, although that makes sense being a Belgian style.

O: Overall I like it, the bitterness tries to balance out the sweetness, but doesn't quite make it, and I'm ok with that. It feels like something that would really be good on a warm afternoon, but it also seems like something I would order a lot at a bar and probably not get a lot of at home.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light copper color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick but spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains floral hops, Belgian yeast, caramelized malts, some fruit and some spice.

T: The taste starts out bready with a hearty malt character and Belgian yeast. Then some sweet flavors of caramel, fruit and a little spice come in. The hops presence is strong but not over-powering and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best by Sept 2012. Pours lightly hazy golden orange color with a nice 2 finger dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some good spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of huge pepper, clove, banana, bubblegum, pine, grapefruit, herbal, floral, earth, and yeast spiciness. Very nice and very yeast forward aromas with good balance. Taste of grapefruit, pine, clove, banana, herbal, floral, pepper, bubblegum, bread, and yeast spiciness. Good amount of peppery bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, pepper, clove, bubblegum, bread, and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of hoppy flavors with the peppery yeast esters. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy and slightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden at 5.7% with pretty much zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Belgian IPA. Great balance of yeast esters and hop flavors; and extremely smooth to drink. I have no complaints here, well done.

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Grumpy Monk from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.65 out of 5 based on 714 ratings.
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