Cranky Blogger reviews a Grumpy Monk (Belgian IPA)

Cranky Blogger reviews a Grumpy Monk (Belgian IPA) by Cody La Bière
Bah humbug, I'm a cranky individual, and lots of my Twitter followers love to poke fun of it. I'm cranky because my life really is an unfunny version of Groundhog Day! Anywho, my friend Mike from Reddit went on a trip to California a few months back and brought by some beers from that trip, Grumpy Monk by Sam Adams (Boston Beer Co) was one of such beers. Being a cranky individual thanks to lack of employment, bad beers and being in a bland town makes me cranky, but trying a beer that fits my personality.. THAT excites me!

Grumpy Monk is one of Sam Adams' more rare seasonals that they've been releasing lately (along with their Imperial White), so trying something new out of the blue is always a great time!

Appearance: Pours a delicious light amber-caramel brownish, quite light in hue but doesn't scare one off at all, it's more tempting in fact. Minimal head, but it doesn't go down the more I drink this, a beige-off white head.

Aroma: If I had to compare this to another beer, this would be a bit compareable to Muskoka Spring Oddity as it's quite a sweet, welcoming aroma.. not quite your usual IPA. It's a Belgian influenced beer first and foremost. It has a sweet citrusy aroma, with a bit of orange peel. There's a minimal amount of hops in this, but the overal theme is Belgium.

Taste: Sweet, a bit caramelly with a bit of orange to it. While the aroma didn't really come off as an IPA, the taste has a bit more of a traditional IPA bitterness lingering.. around... somewhere. The Belgian yeast and orange/coriander/etc make the beer come off as more of a saison style Belgian ale more than an IPA, the hops do pop up and make its awareness by leaving a quite noticeable floral yet sweet bitterness tingling my tongue. A bit disappointed that it's light on hops, but hey.. the other sweet characteristics of this beer are quite welcoming. The more I drink this and as it warms up, a bit of a strong alcoholic (malt) hits my tongue with even more hoppy bitterness from the hops - there we go!

Overall Thoughts: Compareable quite a bit to a Belgian ale such as a saison or a Muskoka Spring Oddity, it's not that compareable to an IPA as it's quite light on the hops. What it lacks in hops, it makes up in sweet & citrusy medley that's great for a hot summer evening (or Labour Day in my case). There is something about this beer that reminds me a bit of Sam Adams' Spring Lager, sweetness, with a hint of bitterness, overall a great patio beer.

I just came back from shovelling cow manure, so this was a nice nice treat! You won't be able to find this in Canada anytime soon, but if you do find it, it is 355mL bottle and has a 5.7% ABV.

A spirited reinvention of the Belgian Tradition:
The long held brewing traditions of Belgian monks aren't meant to be broken. Yet, the monk's dismay, the distinctive character of Belgian yeast with its spicy clove and fruit notes can be reimagined when combined with the brazen hop character of an IPA. These hops impart a citrusy, piney and earthy flavor that's balanced by a roasted malt sweetness for a complex and playful brew.

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