For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying a beer from one of my favorite brewers. It’s the Bitter Monk produced by the Anchorage Brewing Company situated in Anchorage, Alaska.
I’ve only been introduced to their products in the last 9 or 10 months, but I’ve absolutely loved all that I’ve tried.
The website, anchoragebrewingcompany.com, has this bit of information regarding the Bitter Monk.
Deep within the tortured aberrations of a monk’s mind there lay a concept of a Holy Grail of beer — a beer oft imagined but never tasted, strived for but never achieved. It’s Belgian heritage manifested in its yeasty complexity, softened and rounded in its cooperage Français and made to sparkle like the stars first seen by his distant predecessor Dom Pérignon.
Bitter Monk Belgian Double IPA is such a beer. Redolent of citrusy hop bittering and massive malt infusion, this is a beer to ponder, to sip, and, even for a monk, to dream. Why then is the monk so bitter? What provokes that sly smile? What is he wearing under that flowing robe? A triple-fermented beer gives him three times the mystery. Remember, anything worth doing is worth over doing. Nothing exceeds like excess. Even for the cloistered.
And what rough monk, his hour come round at last, slinks slowly toward Brussels to be reborn.
That sounds awesome. I can’t wait any longer.
This brew came in a 25.4 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of 9.0%.
It poured a hazy orange color with a white, soapy, rocky head. The size was excellent and the retention time was more than worthwhile. As is settled it left behind some awesome lacing on the sides of the snifter. Just a beautiful looking beer in my opinion.
The nose discharged some sweet, juicy fruits of grapefruit, lemon and pineapple. They were intermingled with a funky yeast and freshly cut grass. A light breadiness was discovered as well as a prominent peppery spice note. It also released some floral compounds with a slight extract of earthy hops. The woodiness seemed very light in the bouquet and was really only noticed after it was allowed to breathe for a minute or two. Super well balanced, complex and outstanding to say the least.
The taste began with the barnyard funk and Belgian yeast. The bittering fruits and hops came in slow, however they really started to become more congruent and agreeable as it warmed. Throughout the entire flavor profile I found hints of peppery spice, lemon grass and touches of white bread. It was funky, but somehow fresh at the same time. Just a smidgen of the wood was noticed at the very back end. Man!!! A flat out gorgeous taste.
The mouthfeel was medium bodied. A touch sharp, very dry, crisp, refreshing and dang near thirst quenching. The carbonation was lively, yet not stingy. A little bit of warmth was felt from both the pepper and the alcohol. More than enough flavor was left behind for me to enjoy between sips.
I’ve got to say that this is one of the best beers that I’ve ever had. It’s probably the best I’ve had in all of 2012. The drinkability was remarkable. I made my way through the bottle with great ease. I could drink this year round. I would highly recommend this beer to anyone wanting a near religious experience with Brettanomyces. I don’t think I could say enough good things about this brew or this brewery. Up to this point they can do no wrong in my book. Anchorage Brewing Company may very well be my favorite brewery right now. I’ve yet to have a bad beer from them and I tend to pick up a bottle or two every time I go to the bottle shop. I want to thank them for churning out such breathtaking products. I’m a huge fan to say the least. With that being said, if you guys happen across the Bitter Monk, don’t hesitate to pick it up and give it a test drive. I doubt that you will be disappointed. Have you guys had anything from Anchorage? What’s your opinion of them? Feel free to share your experience with me.
Thanks for reading and commenting everyone. I really appreciate it.
Until next time. Cheers.
Score: 4.85 out of 5