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: 715
Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Haven Gastropub in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, Belgian yeast, and nail polish remover aromas. Taste is much the same with mainly nail polish remover flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop and yeast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty poor beer that is pretty undrinkable with the nail polish remover aspects going on here.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

safe for the style. this pours a bright honey color, crystal clear, with a short but dense off white head that leaves some decent lace rings. the nose is well hoppy, not sure what varietals, but its zesty and pungent, like whole cones that are pretty fresh. the yeast though doesn't add much, certainly not that Belgian spunk I was hoping for. same with the taste, they got the hops just right, but the yeast is either not enough, or a lackluster strain. it doesn't deliver that spicy boost or familiar effervescence on the carbonation front. I need a Belgian ipa to show more yeast than this, and for the feel to be way brighter. under another name, it wouldn't be a bad brew, but sam knows better I have to imagine. lighter medium body would again be aided by better carbonation. some decent banana fruit in the finish, and maybe an herbal element, but my attention has already wandered...

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.86/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had as part of the new mixed IPA 12 pack. Pours a nice golden color, nice head to it, good carbonation. Faint, very faint, clove aroma. Taste is light to medium bodied, pretty good mouthfeel. Very complex beer and tons of flavors. Banana and clove upfront, with some good spiciness, citrusy finish and nice taste on the palette. One of the more interesting Belgian IPA's I've tried and I'm glad Sam Adams really experimented with this one. Good beer and worth seeking out.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.73/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glasss in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowd to warm slightly over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger head of beige colour, nice cream, good thickness, and average retention. Colour is a clear copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Light floral hops, clean malts, lemon peel, and straw. A mild strength aroma.

T: Straw, clean bland malts, vague floral hopping, and crisp barley. Hops - some pine character. Not horribly complex or subtle. Indeed, somewhat simple. Boring and kind of bland.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some coarseness up front. Kind of thick, but not quite on the mark. Adequately carbonated.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable. I wouldn't get this again. A boring and bland IPA.


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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a golden color ale with a large white foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of fruity and sweet malt notes with light citrusy hoppy notes. Taste is also a mix that is more dominant in terms of fruity and sweet Belgian malt notes then expected with some light hoppy citrus notes that can be easily distinguish. Body is about average with good carbonation. Not bad but I think I would have preferred a bit less of a sweet malt base with a more dominant hops approach.

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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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Photo of jlindros
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light fizzy 1/2 finger head that fades fairly quickly with touch of lacing, crystal clear golden honey pilsner color.

Nose has nice floral hops, very light citrus and grassy mild hops, with a light sweetness and nice Belgian yeast and golden malts, quite floral.

Taste starts with more floral hops, light grassy noble hops, hint of spicy and citrus hops, light fruity. Then malts, light sweetness with golden Belgian malts, smooth. A definite Belgian yeast that adds hint of fruity esters and floral spices, the yeast def comes through. Finish is drier with light lingering spicy and floral hops, lingering light malts and belgian yeast.

Mouth is med slightly lighter bodied, decent carb.

Overall pretty nice, good balance of the floral grassy noble hops and malty sweetness with Belgian yeast, the flavors of each done through well without overpowering each other.

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Photo of chinchill
3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a Unibroue snifter.

Pours a clear, deep amber color with visible carbonation and a decent bone-colored head that doesn't last very long.

S&T: The aroma is not particularly promising. It's malty and fruity but does not seem to have the hop load of an IPA. ... but then, does a Belgian "Belgian IPA"? The flavor is richer and better. There is a significant hop component in the taste (and a touch of Belgian 'funk'), but still not at the level expected for an IPA. Not quite as much yeast as expected in a Belgian style ale either. Ignoring these, I must admit this is a well-crafted beer.

M: smooth; medium-full body; nice bit of dryness towards the finish; excellent level of carbonation.

O: a fine semi-Belgian style beer, albeit less hoppy than one might expect given the IPA labelling. More of a Belgian PA.

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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 mdaschaf
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange/copper color with a one finger white head on top, nice retention with great lacing all around.

S: A blend of yeasty and some pine notes. There is some citrus and a little bit of banana and cloves.

T: A lot more going on here than the other beers in the mix pack. Some grassy hops, a little bit of pine along with spice, cloves, banana, and a little bit of banana.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Slightly yeasty.

O: Actually pretty good. Not something I would drink all the time, but the best beer from the IPA pack. A little heavy on the Belgian side and not as hoppy as I would like. Reverse this a bit and I think this one would be in business.

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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 Jason
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

LOOK: Hazed amber, lush looking head leaves a beautiful trail of lacing down the glass

SMELL: Spicy alcohol, Pear, guava, passion fruit, cake batter, hop resin, gummy, spicy

TASTE: Smooth, creamy, bitter, ripe exotic fruit, peppery, estery, phenolic, citric rind, warming, spicy semi-sweet finish

A controlled mess here but that is what the style can be, deeply complex and a bit wild. A fun brew to try.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber in color with a rocky white head. Strong Belgian influence on this one with lots of clove and spice notes. A bit yeasty with some floral and fruity hops, particularly citrus peel. Some banana, too. The flavor is more bitter than expected, but still fairly bready. Citrus peel, pine, and floral notes give a nice hoppy character. Spice and yeast are evident, as is some malt sweetness.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.7/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

No matter how much people rag on Sam Adams for their occasionally redundant variety-pack choices, I love that there's almost always at least one I've never had in every one of them. This example pours a clear sunset amber topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises clove, bright grass, coriander, lemon peel, light caramel, and a tiny pinch of black pepper. The clove is in-your-face, but it still hols back a little. The taste, on the other hand, leads with a blast of raw clove, followed by banana peel, vinyl, sweet caramel, harshly bitter greens, citrus rind (the waxy outer layer), and a drop or two of liquid smoke. It's the clove and vinyl that hit me most of all, the Bebop and Rocksteady of heinous flavors causing mischief and whatnot across my tongue. Honestly, it was so abrasive at times that it hurt a little to drink. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, this beer just somehow turned out poorly. Speaking with my friends and coworkers, I was not alone in this assessment. There was just too much spicy vinyl for things to ever be well-received on my end. Quite the disappointment.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle served from the hopology pack that has 2 of each Sam Adams IPAs in it. A pretty good deal if you ask me for around 16 to 19 bucks. Appears a glowing amber golden color with a fine white head leaving behind thin speckled lacing that coats the glass evenly. Aroma has pineapple citrus and pine notes with a kick of Belgian yeast peppered in. A big bite of grapefruit and pineapple citrus qualities with tropical fruit and peppery spice to balance it out, the yeast flavors explode on the palate leaving dry character that may outweigh the Belgian yeast. Mouthfeel is a bit viscous and not fermented out as much as I would like, alcohol is pretty low for a Belgian IPA but it works. Carbonation level is sturdy no cloying or overdone. Overall a decent hoppy beer I'm excited to try the rest of the Hopology 12 pack.

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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 tdm168
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - dark copper gold with a large, soft, foamy, dense white head; a lot of carbonation bubbles rising to the top

S - apples, sugar, spices

T - light apple sweetness, a hint of caramel and sugar, light Belgian yeast with some spicy notes, lightly bitter almost noble hop-like hop character

M - crisp, medium bodied but a bit thin at times, a bit over carbonated

This is a decent beer in the sense that it's balanced and drinkable, but there is nothing that stands out. It's overly Belgian nor is very hoppy. It won't win over any die hard fans of Belgians or IPAs, but it's a solid offering that's worth trying.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.34/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Real nice crystal bronze red body color, and some slow rising carbonation. Real nice white and fluffy head, settling into a cap that hits a good meringue. Some lacing. This body color is really gorgeous.

This smells like an English IPA. Toffee like malts, and very tea hop like aromas. Kind of unexpected and not what I look for or perceive for this style.

In the palate some good spice clove comes out, with a good drying finish. Nice hop bitter, with English tea aromatics and a hint of sugars. Hop angle lingers nicely on the finish with some nice dryness.

Overall this is a pretty decent brew, but it reminds me too much of an English IPA and hardly feels Belgian at all.

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Photo of Billolick
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, from the IPA a licious box offering, freshness dating along the side of the label.

Pours lighter amber, approaching clear, under a long lasting and frothy medium tan head, that leaves super thick and sticking sheeting and fine bubble lace. Nice looking beer.

Nose is flled with oranges and some clove infused yeast notes.

More oranges and more cloves provide a nice spice note, but the whole party is then trampled on by a heavy handed and overpowering hop bitterness thats a wee bit off putting. Could use more spice and more floral characteristics and a bit less hop...just my humble opinion...

Ehh, just a bit less then a middle of the road take on the popular style.

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Photo of jwc215
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by June 2013:

Pours orange-ish amber with a thin, off-white, lasting head. Thin sheets of lacing stick.

The smell is of caramel candy, hint of bubblegum and spicy peppermint with a hint of alcohol.

The taste is of caramel, a touch of honey, lemon/lime, and a hint of bubblegum. Bitter mixes with sweet and sour. It has a refreshing, long finish.

The carbonation "works", though it doesn't quite have the "Belgian" effervescence. It has a solid, medium body.

It seems to go in different directions at first, but comes together nicely as it progresses. It's an interesting, enjoyable brew!

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.47/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip, the beer is a bright, caramel-copper coloring with a steady flow of carbonation bubbles and a thin, filmy, sparse, white surface coating of head. Aromas of Belgian yeast hit the nose first, with a good balance of spice and funk. Further sniffing around finds a semisweet caramel backbone hiding behind the clove and all-spice. Flavors are a bit more heavily spiced, with clove, pepper, orange zest, and tamarind fleshing out as you drink. You still get a touch of that yeasty funk, but as an accent, blending with some light citrus sweetness and a touch of resiny, slightly bitter hops. Very light and effervescent body, leading to a quick, bready and spiced aftertaste. Clean, quick finish, leaving only a subtle spice behind. Interesting brew, and definitely leans more towards the Belgian, almost Saison, than IPA IMHO, but tasty nonetheless.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, notched to consume by September. Served chilled into a tulip.

A: Crystal clear aside from an initial chill haze, golden amber colored body with a big creamy white head. Nice thick bubbly consistency with a decent retention cap and modest lacing.

S: Yeast, spice, clove, banana, citrus fruits (orange, peach) and muted grassy bitter note from the hops. It's not as hoppy smelling as I expected or would have liked but certainly has Belgian influences in the aroma.

T: Starts off with a crisp one-noted hop flavor and quickly changes gears into more of a Belgian beer. Very Saison-like in its qualities, plenty of bready malts, fruity yeast esters, mango and a hint of banana. Really unique and quite tasty.

M: Bubbly, well carbonated without going overboard into the thin/watery realm. Very refreshing and crisp. Nice flavor in the linger.

I would have liked more of the IPA qualities to shine through, but this was a pretty interesting beer. More of a hopped up Belgian Saison sort of thing, but easy to drink and flavorful still.

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Photo of WesWes
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark golden/amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a nice pale and carapils malt scent; light with a touch of caramel sweetness. The hop aroma is mild as best, providing a bit of piney/citrus notes. The Belgian yeast character is present, but not too bold. It's more of a complimentary character. The taste is decent as well. Again, there is a solid pale and Carapils malt base, along with a solid hop character; piney with a hint of citrus. The yeast esters are there, yet only a complimentary component. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a tasty brew, but not a top shelf Belgian inspired IPA.

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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 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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Grumpy Monk from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.65 out of 5 based on 715 ratings.
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