Last week I told you about the Boston Beer Co.'s new IPA Hop-ology variety pack, which includes two bottles of five previously released beers and two bottles of a brand-new beer called Grumpy Monk. My quick impression of Grumpy Monk: It's the second best beer in the 12-pack. (Tasman Red is the best one, says me.)
Grumpy Monk is labeled a Belgian IPA, but to me it seems more like a Belgian amber ale with perhaps some extra bite. It doesn't taste quite hoppy or bitter enough to bring it into IPA territory, but that could be because of the strong malt character, which balances out the brew.
Brilliant gold/amber with a lumpy head, the beer has a complex aroma of Belgian yeast and citric hops, a full body, and a robust taste that suggests biscuits and tropical fruit. It's not the best Belgian IPA out there, but it's solid and a bold choice for a Sam variety pack. Kudos to the Boston Beer Co. for breaking out some adventurous brews for mix packs.
Incidentally, I realize a few people out there think I write about Sam Adams too often. Well, there's a reason I write about its beers more than others. Actually there are two reasons: (1) The Boston Beer Co. is -- by far -- the biggest and most popular craft brewer in the country. (2) The Boston Beer Co. is based in Boston, which makes it of great interest locally. Whether you like Sam Adams or not, craft beer drinkers buy its beers more than any other brewer's. It would follow that people want to know about new Sam Adams beers, good or otherwise. (For a fuller explanation of how I view 99 Bottles, go here.)
Samuel Adams Grumpy Monk is 5.7 percent alcohol. The IPA Hop-ology variety pack costs about $16.