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 IchLiebeBier
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Amber; clear; effervescent; medium head, frothy, long lasting

Aroma: Big whiff of Belgian yeast; citrus; peppery; coriander

Taste: Very reminiscent of a Trappist Ale, with Belgian yeasts dominating; starts off with Belgian yeast, then pushes into a hoppy bitter bite; finishes slighty dry and hoppy; quite good (but not quite so good as an actual Trappist)

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden yellow with a hazy appearance. Great lacing and good foam.

Smell: Very grapes and yeast with a hint of sour orange and banana.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Head is sour grapes (no pun intended). Some bitter pine in the finish. Excellent saison/IPA flavors overall. Mouthfeel sizzles with active carbonation and yeast, but thins out in the end.

Overall: Extremely enjoyable Belgian IPA.

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Photo of JG-90
2.3/5  rDev -37%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.25

Beer is a golden orange in color, and pours a moderate sized head. Moderate lacing. Smells like booze, honey/ sweet malts, bread, banana, and slight indescript hops.

Tastes of oversweet banana, booze, sweet bread, and a small amount of orange/lemon hops. So much of a banana/bread tendency that it did not meet my expectations of a Belgium IPA. Moutfeel is light-moderate with moderate carbonation.

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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 ccrida
3.46/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, color is a clear brass with a small, cream y white head that leaves foamy lace.

Smell is earthy, herbal, light honeyed sweetness.

Taste is estery, fruity, like a wit, some banana, with a nice punch of earthy, herbal hops. A little phenolic, lingering hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel is dry, oily, medium light bodied.

Drinkability is OK, the banana esters are a bit too one-dimensional for my taste in Belgians. The continental hops are reasonably robust to meet the metrics for a BIPA, but all together, it doesn't really click for me.

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Photo of BigBarley
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a deep gold, with a touch of the brown. Nice cap of rolling white head that fluffs up and looks... Belgian.

Smells like wild yeasty goodness, a slight touch of banana and wheaty musk, and plenty of hops. Hops smell like the noble variety, but that could be interference from the biscuity malt. Reminds me of something like a pilsner with farmhouse yeast... interesting stuff.

Well... shit. That's a buzzkill. Tastes like dank hops soaked in stale hop residue, wth some sort of pine-tree farts solidified and dropped in the dry-hop. There's an unpleasant touch of the wild yeast and wheat qualities but... unpleasant isn't why I drink beer. I had high hopes for this. And am sad that this is the only one of these limited Sam IPAs I couldn't really get into.

Feel is thick but not overpowering, with decent carbonation. A little watery on the end unfortunately.

I wanted to enjoy this beer, and I enjoy everything about it but the taste. Too bad that's a huge part of the drinking experience...

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

12 oz. bottle opens with a soft pop after being given a chance to warm up a bit. Carbonation does manage to cause a slow and subtle eruption of foam prior to pouring into a large wine glass. Offers a thin off white cap that drops some random lace and manages to reconstitute itself with a bit of a spin. Deep golden/light amber on the pour with just a hint of haze.

Aroma is dominated by Belgian yeast notes initially, with a firm malt backbone everpresent. Offers some earthy notes coupled with overripe fruit and a bit of pepper/coriander, along with a touch of alcohol.

Taste is lightly sweet and offers a spicy carbonated delivery. Touch of lemon and with a slight coarse and bready character. Firm carbonation yields a spritzy feel and the finish has a pleasant and unexpectedly balanced malty bitterness. Bit rich overall for an 'IPA' yet keeps it interesting as for a Belgian version thereof.

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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 RockyRaku
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a thick 3 finger deep head with tiny creamy bubbles with lots of lacing. Citric and sweet aroma flowery..sweet pipe tobacco as well. Lots of flavor with a light piney and sweetness to the flavor. I seem to pick up a smooth slight vanilla taste. The mouth fell is crisp and slightly prickly. Light/medium finish with a flavor that last a a decent while but fades smoothly. Very nice beer.

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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 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 Nugganooch
3.59/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle as part of the IPA Hopology pack – BB Jun. 2013
*Notes from 04/12/13 – Standard pint glass

A: Clear caramel amber coloured body topped with a thick and rocky khaki cloud. Supreme hang time on the head and just gobs of lace spackled upon the glass all the way down the drink.

S: Orange peel, coriander spice, and banana. I get light clove spice and a touch of bubblegum. Definitely Belgian yeast characteristics. Slightly sweet aroma overall with some caramel malt present.

T: Belgian character is firm with signature coriander, banana, bubblegum, and citrus peel. Although just mellow enough not overrun the entire brew. Sweet with a caramel malt base and a bit of graham cracker likeness. Nice upper moderate bitterness providing a light hoppy punch. Lesser notes of pine and herbals with a lemony twist. Has more of a spice kick at the finish with a dash of alcohol detected. Okay beer and somewhat juicy but there are many better Belgian IPA options available these days.

M: Moderate feel with some light filling malts and smooth feel. Carbonation aids to a nice crisp crunchy bite on the finish. Ends up a touch on the wetter side with not much residual effects going on.

D: Drinkable with some decent balance but nothing too impressive on today’s market. Has an asserting Belgian character at first which is a bit sharp for my tastes. However I did find the caramel malts and decent juicy hop action tend to offset that.
Would not mind having this again but not something I will be shopping around for.

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Photo of FlatRabbitRed
3.54/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First off, reviewing IPA'S can be difficult, because you may not know how fresh they are without a date on the bottle be leery of bad reviews.

I am a Belgian fan and an IPA fan...I think this one should be called a IPA first Belgian style!

I must have got a fresh batch, mine was very hoppy with a fruity banana clove flavor, awesome copper color .... overall nice beer that you would expect from Sam Adams.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.87/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: orangish red, almost perfect clarity. a two finger foamy head that hangs around forever. a pretty good looking beer

Smell: very belgian. yeast, graininess, fruits and maybe some wheat. I was looking for some hoppiness to go balance out this belgian-style

Taste: starts off quite like a tripel, wheat, yeast, hint of cloves, with some fruits. very subtle hops, mostly citrus but a little bit of pine. very complex but could use more to let me know its an ipa

Mouthfeel: good medium thickness, finishes try, bitterness comes in a little late.

Overall: a good and tasty beer, but i wanted more of a balance between the belgian and ipa qualities. the hops are no where near assertive and come off as a part of the fruitiness. other than that its a tasty belgian

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Photo of BeerEngineer
3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

General - This beer was from a bottle with a best buy date of June 2013. I poured this into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. This was from the IPA Hopology pack.

Appearance - This beer had a slightly off-white head, not very thick and doesn't hold that long. Color is around a 12-14 on the BJCP scale, deep amber to copper. Beer is clear with no sediment or haze. Surprisingly the head quickly diminished, after the first few sips it was all but gone.

Smell - Great floral and citrus aroma. There is a sweetness with this also that has a touch of caramel scent, it's great.

Taste - Great citrus hit up front from the hops with a solid backbone of malty goodness. The citrus is like grapefruit with more malt. Really good, solid taste to this although just like the with the last beer that I reviewed from this IPA Hopology pack, it's not as hopped as I would expect or prefer. The taste is very smooth with a touch bitterness near the back of the tongue. Slight alcohol taste but it's what I would expect from a Belgium yeast.

Mouthfeel - Smooth medium feel to this beer, not thick but certainly more than a typical IPA. It's a good mixture between a traditional american IPA brewed with a Belgium yeast. Really refreshing!

Overall - This was a pretty good beer, I really enjoyed the combination of the hops with the solid malt flavors that came from the Belgium Yeast and IPA Hops. As far as fitting in with BJCP criteria for 16B - Belgium IPA it is a good example. The one thing that I didn't notice in this that is typical of this style is a light to moderate spiciness, I didn't notice any spice. this beer did meet the intent of the style however with being very balanced between all flavors.

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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 Hopswagger
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

P: Clear golden body with minimal head that settles to a bubbly wake.

S: Faint yeast, grains, pecan bread, toasted toffee malt and peaches.

T/M: Apples, peaches, powdery yeast, honey cereal grain, lemon zest, buttered beer bread and oaky alcohol. Medium crisp body with a creamy carbonation with a dry chalky finish. Finished with dry cracked nuts.

O: A decent beer but not a champion. I liked the sweet and chalky but didn't deliver the satisfaction I expected. The alcohol was almost astringent and messed with the flavor profile.

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Photo of iSip
2.84/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Samuel Adams Grumpy Monk: Wonderful aroma of banana and clove that let's you know a Belgian style ale is coming. Reasonable head with great lacing. But the good news ends there. Deep copper color, too red for a Belgian style. The flavor has a hint of a Belgian ale, but is mostly a malt forward American microbrew. As for the IPA part, it's not there. Just a bitter finish is all you get. The Belgian IPA is an odd beast, but there are many great ones out there (New Begium's Belgo for one). You would think Sam Adams could pull out a good one, but the Grumpy Monk is a flop. Now I know why the monk is Grumpy.

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Photo of 2Cents
3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured in an average beer glass at about 38F.

A: Straw color with a small, lasting head and lacing. Clear with lots of carbonation bubbles.

S: Aroma of astringent hops and spicy yeast esters.

T: Malty sweetness quickly turns into a bitter astringent hop taste that is followed by a spicy Belgian yeast flavor.

M: Medium thin mouth feel with a decent carbonation bite

O: I'm not a huge Belgian I.P.A fan, but this is well balanced and quite drinkable.

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Photo of CHickman
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip, it’s a clear copper color with a lot of bubbles racing up to a massive 2 finger foamy beige head that was full of microscopic bubbles and faded very slowly, leaving great foamy rings clinging to the side. The head was thick like the top of a ice cream float and I was able to run my finger through it.

Smells of yeast, piney hops, lemon zest, herbs, spices like coriander and pepper, sour apple, biscuit, grass, light clove and mild alcohol; a mostly sweet and fruity nose with different notes after each sniff. The aroma is much more Belgian beer than IPA, and decent but not overly exciting.

Tastes of wet wheat bread, biscuit, yeast, caramel, lemon, orange peel, coriander, piney hops, herbs, spices like pepper, cinnamon and allspice, sour apple, grass or hay, clove and mild alcohol; the aftertaste is like funky cardboard with a slight hop bitterness that turns bready – a liquid yeast infection, LOL! This was more malt and yeast than hops, and the hop presence is so weak this almost could be not classified an IPA. The flavor was average to good, but it lacks any major hop push into IPA territory.

Mouthfeel is smooth and almost creamy, with average to almost fizzy carbonation, a medium body and a bready finish that has a slight bitter nip. Seriously, the bready finish almost feels like I just ate a Ritz cracker.

Overall it was good, pretty complex and easy enough to drink. I was hoping for some more hops to kick it up a notch since it is listed as an IPA, but it covers the 6.5% ABV well enough to be a good addition to the Sam Adams variety pack. I wouldn’t buy a 6 pack of this, but it was enjoyable.

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Photo of bmwats
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a hand glass.

A: Golden amber hue. Pretty heavy amount of fine effervescence continually racing to surface. Pours about a 1 and a half finger, frothy, white head. Settles pretty slowly and craters unevenly, leaving behind a thick coat of residue. Eventually, evolves into a thick foamy blanket. Plenty of dry, sticky lacing remains as you plow through.

S: Sourdough bread, clove, some lemon citrus, and a touch of honey.

T: Sourdough bread-y, with some Italian spice, and a little acetone.

M: Heady, thick, and pungent. Acidic, with a coppery aftertaste that lingers o the palette.

D: Not much resistance, but more of a slow play.

Atmosphere is good. Great body, thick head, lots of lacing. Nose is bready with some sweet and spice notes. Flavor is hearty blend of similar components apparent in the nose, but offset with an acetone-like bite. Overall, this is a good quaff.

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Photo of chilidog
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The first review didn't post after a already bad day, grumpy I am! I saved this beer for a crapy day, oh ya

It poured amber, nice white head that maintained and lace really nice. Ring like all glass long.

Aroma of yeasty malts, tropical fruits, spice and pine.

Taste is complex, yeasty malts, tropical fruits like banana. Hints of earthy pine notes.

Mouth is soft, not much real hop overload here of a iPa.

Overall a good brew after a long bad day.

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Photo of Spiegle
3.16/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Pour it into my Sam Adams pint glass. Has a copper like color with a white 2 finger head.

S: Getting some citrus, hops and Belgian yeast.

T: caramel flavors, not very hoppy for an IPA, has an orange like after taste.

M: Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied.

O: Could use some more hops for an IPA beer. Just an average beer to me. Kind of expected more from Sam Adams.

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