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Nimbus Old Monkeyshine - Nimbus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Nimbus Old MonkeyshineNimbus Old Monkeyshine

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BA SCORE
86
very good

93 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 93
Hads: 188
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.18%
Wants: 16
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Nimbus Brewing Company visit their website
Arizona, United States

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  8.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-02-2002

Our Old Monkeyshine Ale is an exceptional example of a true, traditional-style English Pub beer. Nimbus Old Monkeyshine Ale is medium bodied and possesses a distinct, dark roasted flavor. Its sweet malty taste is derived from liberal use of seven varieties of specialty malts and a touch of brown sugar. Our Old Monkeyshine Ale is dark in color, beginning with a slight caramel malt overtone and rounded with a relatively dry finish from its English Kent Goldings hops. The hops aroma is mildly subdued and the bitterness is just enough to balance the profile of this beer.

Nimbus Old Monkeyshine Ale is a true premium ale and is priced accordingly. We're so proud of this beer for its body, taste, alcohol content and drinking enjoyment, it may just become our signature beer. Be warned: its wonderful malty sweetness camouflages the 8.2% alcohol by volume content. It's a winner!
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 93 | Hads: 188
Photo of thaichile
2.33/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a fairly dark brown with a short lived tan head. Scents of dried fruit, malt, and weak coffee. Roasted flavors prevalent throughout, coffee, prunes, and sweetness with a slight bitterness in the finish. Not a big fan of coffee scented or darker roasted brews. Thanks to Solomon420 for the bottle. (302 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
2.86/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to stephenhawking for the bottle.

Pours a deep brown almost black with a small tan head that dissipates almost immediately.

Aroma is very malty with a little bit of raisin. Not many hops detectable here.

Taste follows the nose. Barely any hop presence and a big malt bill. Toasted malt hits up front, but there's a oxidized metallic finish that is off putting.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin for something of this profile with medium-low carbonation.

This one doesn't do it for me. A few flaws with not a lot of complexity going on. (537 characters)

Photo of DogFood11
2.92/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice looking brew. Easily managed creamy and sturdy tan head that coats the glass with each pull. Brown body with some red hue around the edges.

Toasted malts are strong in the nose. Touch of tobacco is evident in the background. Flavor is a bit sweeter than the smell would indicate. I get a bit of apricot mixed in the body. Tiny portions of kendlin and pulp mill are in the backdrop as well. The meat of this is the toasted malts and it has a definite brown ale feel to it from start to finish. Jumpy is the verb I'd use to describe this..a bit all over the map. Not as smooth as some that I like but still in the decent to good category.

Notes: Astringent at times. Tobacco and slightly oxidized. I didn't particularly like its lack of focus as it jumps from taste to taste and when it tries to meld together it doesn't work well. OK. (845 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Random 12oz grab back in July in Flagstaff, AZ. Full review to notes last night.

A- Very dark Barleywine poured to a chalice from the stubby 12oz. A tan cap forms at one finger with frothy texture. Foamy belt around the top drops a large sheets as well as sparse spots of lace.

S- Fairly faint for the style. A bit of toasty with semi roast, deep caramel, raisin and dark candi sugar notes.

T- Opens up from the aroma just a bit here with a strange spicy bitterness and a hint of metallic feel. Fruitiness is apparent and it comes down as apple, white grape and raisin esters. Toasted, caramelized, dark crystal, nutty, semi burnt and a bit of sweetness from the mashed grains.

MF- Lies in the light side for Barleywines with a definite thin overall consistency. Carbonation at a medium level promoting a tiny bit of slick and foamy texture. Finishes with a light tart bitterness that doesn't suit the flavor.

Way too light bodied and lacking the rich flavors I look for in the style. Some definite off flavors with metallic and bitter fruity hints throwing off the malts and becoming a distraction. (1,104 characters)

Photo of GreenCard
3.06/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark hazelnut brown, creamy thin cap of head that sticks to the glass, good clarity

Aroma: twinge of caramel rolled in hops, grassy note, hard to evaluate aroma in the brew"pub" as the A/C blows VERY hard

Flavor: a bit too bitter for an English strong ale, reasonably well-balanced though leaning towards bitter (I prefer a bit more sweetness in this style), initial subtle caramel sweetness gives way quickly to rather bitter semi-dry finish, metallic after-taste (like licking a piece of aluminum)

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, low carb, high abv is hard to detect (so be careful with this one)

Drinkability: would be better if the metallic taste was absent, this is NOT a session beer though.

Would be interesting to know if they use high alpha/high cohumulone hops in all their beers. There was a harsh taste in both beers I tried. (861 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.11/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle - $2.29 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, very darkened amber body with a half-inch-head head of beige foam.

Smell: Moderate toastiness, crunchy char, and a faint note of brown sugar. Some dark fruit, some aniseed, but more than one's fair share of alcohol.

Taste: Well-toasted malts dosed with dark brown sugar. Slight burnt malt edge in back. Slight earthy hop hint. A touch of date, then licorice growing into a larger, albeit ill-defined spiciness adjoining the heated alcohol quality until the finish. Not too much going on here, sadly.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Lacks complexity, depth, and, more importantly, some much needed smoothness. For a second, I thought maybe some age would smooth it out, but I changed my mind. (816 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki 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 toasted malt, caramel, and some alcohol aromas. Taste is somewhat the same but there is a metallic flavor that overwhelms everything else. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer and not something I would seek out again. (526 characters)

Photo of snpub540
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a brown hue that had amber highlights when held up to the light. Very clear and very little carbonation. Head was about 1/8" and eggshell colored and left moderate lacing on the glass.

Smell was all malts. Bready and toasty. Not alot else goin on in there.

Taste was very much all about the malts. Roast flavor of coffee was there as well as bread, with a slight nuttiness. The finish had some piney hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and the drinkability was good. Even with the 8ish % ABV its a semi session beer if that even makes sense. (559 characters)

Photo of pixieskid
3.31/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a thin off white head.

Strong sweet notes up front with a fairly milky consistency.

Mild notes of chocolate and coffee, with a dominant nutty characteristic throughout, strong sweet malt and again a distinct milkiness.

Another Tucson favorite that is good every once in a while, but is somewhat lackluster; probably due to the over consumption of it.

A simple beer that when fresh is quite enjoyable and easy drinking for the higher abv. (465 characters)

Photo of HalfFull
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass with a deep reddish brown color and a half inch of off white head. Offers only moderate retention.

Lot of nutty roasted malts on the nose similar to many English Ales. Not as clean and crisp however, and I assume there are more unfermented sugars here which effect the volatility of the nose, and I later find, seem to mask the ABV to a large degree.

Moderate malts continue to the taste, somewhat complex with caramel, nut, brown sugar and a touch of dried fruit. A sweetness envelops it all making the flavors a bit difficult to ascertain. The same sweetness, certainly not overdone, helps give the beer a smooth feel. Finishes dry with a quick close. Good carbonation and richer in body than most ales of the style. (745 characters)

Photo of Arsenal04
3.46/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured mahogany with a two finger, very frothy head. Lively carbonation emanates from the body of the beer. Nose faintly picks up melted caramel and cinnamon oatmeal which disappoints only in that I would love to have had these two aromas violently collide against my senses. Hops are in the background, again faint to the nose. Raisins, cherries are dominate the taste which is accompanies the malt and finishes with a delicate touch of hops that disguises the alcohol well. What I notice is that the aftertaste is mainly caramel, which doesn't please me that much since I don't find that flavor to work well with the initial raisin/cherry taste. That said, it is a pleasure to have this after a very long day because the malt/hop balance along with the interesting flavors makes this ale symbiotically dance across my palate. Having one or two max would be a pleasure on any random weeknight; any more would be a bit risky due to the ABV. Thanks goes out again to bennetj17 for the hookup... (993 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
3.46/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got this bottle in a trade with Tayner. Thanks Dana!

It pours a dark brown with reddish hues and a good 2 finger head of offwhite foam. Good head retention and there's some lacing.

The smell has notes of roasted malt, some caramel, and a bit of bread.

The taste is of toffee, dark fruit. some caramel, slight chocolate, and a slight bitterness and tartness. I alos get some hint of the alcohol but it's fairly mild.

It's around medium bodied and the carbonation is also medium. It finishes with the dark fruit, mostly cherry and some plum and raisin.

This is an interesting brew and though the flavours I mentioned say it is very complex, I feel the flavours are actually on the subdued side. That's ok for an English Brown but with the bigger abv content than is the norm, I guess I expected more. Still pretty tasty brew though. (837 characters)

Photo of Bcant
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First, what is an "English Style Ale"? I would not have had to have lived in Yorkshire to know that there is no single Englihs style ale, and even if there is a typical English pub ale, say a bitter, this beer would not be it. In fact, I would argue that Old Monkeyshine more closely resembles a strong scotch ale. Getting Nimbus' taxonomy, the beer is not bad. It has a plesant deep mahagony color. The aroma is a bit sweet and alcoholic but not unapatising. Hints of rasions and caramel, finishes slightly tart. Supprisingly drinkable for its strength. It might do quite nicely on a cool desert winters night. (611 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.52/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark brown color ale with a medium dark brown foamy head with pretty god retention. Aroma contains lots of sweet roasted malt and toffee. The sweet roasted malt also dominates taste with a light hop presence at the end. Body is a bit too thin for my liking but alcohol is well hidden. (301 characters)

Photo of armock
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to NitroGen for sending this my way.

A - Poured a brown color with copper highlights with a tan head that leaves some lacing

S - Is of caramel malt and some dark fruit

T - Has a more roasted caramel taste with a touch of dark fruit

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - A pretty good beer that has an interesting taste that pretty enjoyable worth trying sometime (402 characters)

Photo of warmstorage
3.54/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16 ounce pint on tap at No Anchovies in Tucson, Arizona. $2.75 at happy hour (M-F 3-6pm.)

Appearance: deep red to light brown, minimal to zero head, light lacing. Sure, it's difficult to maintain head on a 8.2% beer, but this one had almost none from the get-go.

Aroma: sweet malt, sugar, brown sugar

Taste: sweet malt, fruity esters, brown sugar, notable alcohol.

Mouth: medium thick, medium to high carbonation, distinct alcohol warmth

Overall: a nice winter warmer type beer, it'd be good on a cold day (but how many of those are there in Tucson?) Good, drinkable, and one of my favorites from Nimbus, but not all that remarkable. (641 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.54/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, bought at the Hi-Times Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA,

A: Pours a dark brownish red, with a medium white head.

S: Smell is interesting, but outstanding. Smells of burnt sugar molasses, and a smell sort of off-molasses that I really can't explain, but smells great.

T: Much of the same as in the smell, molasses, raisins, brown sugar, seems more of like an old ale or barleywine to me than a brown ale, interesting.

M: Seems kind of thin for me, you would never know this was an 8.2% beer, needs more heft and robustness, in my opinion.

D: I enjoyed this ale from Nimbus, my first from this company, makes me interested to try their other beers. (674 characters)

Photo of merryjoulton
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pretty deep brown mahogany hue. Head basically doesn't exist. Maybe a little bit of brown foam but thats about it. Smells like deep roasted malts. Don't detect any fruit, citrus, pine or any hint of hops. Tastes exactly like it smells. Has a full and thick mouthfeel. Overall a good beer. No complexity, but no flaws either. Just a good beer. (350 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow! Nimbus is back in Orange County. And I happened to find a bottle of Nimbus that I hadn't tried before. From a stubby 12 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

It's a gusher out of the bottle! Once that episode is over, we see a leather brown colored beer with an inch thick head and a few chunks of lace around the glass. The nose features toasted sugar, touches of pineapple, and brown sugar. Taste is somewhat fruity, features some pineapple and toasted sugar The firepower is acceptable, and the beer's alcohol is hard to find. The body is medium full with smooth carbonation that compliments the beer.

This is a mellow strong ale from Nimbus, and an acceptable one at that. (676 characters)

Photo of Uncle_Jimmy
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Sparkling deep maroon the color is pretty! no head no lacing

Aroma- clean melon fruityness, carmel apple leather.

Taste- boozy, maple, tobacco vanilla, carmel, slightly sweet and a little peppery. resiny vegetable hops. maybe its the fact that it is an english ale but i get just a hint of meaty "brown sauce" to it. Its not bad or off putting though, just English!

Mouthfeel- I think this is spot on for an english style ale. Slick warm and boozy. Not too fizzy or syrupy.

Overall- My favorite offering from nimbus, i would like to try this from a cask/beer engine or on nitro. I think it would compliment bread pudding, brie, mashed potatoes and game hen. Defiantly a good beer to nurse in a pub on a rainy day while watching cricket or rowing. (765 characters)

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 14 Mar 2011. Served in the (512) One snifter.

Smallish tan head. Well carbonated. Clear ruby brown in color. Aroma is roasty nuts with some toffee and cola. Fairly sweet and malty to start. Touch of cinnamon. Hazelnuts. Medium body, slightly warming ethanol. Flavor doesn't really linger, kind of washes out with a faint roasty bitterness at the end.

Finish is a bit disappointing but overall not bad. (423 characters)

Photo of blitz134
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Luckily I put two beers in the fridge tonight...since my previous one sucked...hopefully this one from the same brewery will be good...lets see...

Cloudy dark brown, off white head. One inch thick initially but reduced to a quarter inch of dense, lumpy foam. Grips the glass well leaving a nice sheet of lace.

A nice blend of toasted nuts and malts with some chocolate mixed in. Quite inviting although a bit simple.

Taste follows suit but with less chocolate and more sweetness. Less toasted notes too now that I examine it. Would like to see this one follow the aroma a bit more. It just comes across a bit more watered down.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin but carbonation levels seem to be good. Pretty easy to drink, much more so than my previous try at this brewery. Alcohol is well hidden, basically nonexistant. I could have a couple of these in a night easily. (873 characters)

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a proper mini-nonic glass. Old Monkeyshine pours with a clear deep garnet maroon topped with a thin khaki frothy coating, leaving respectable lace sheeting.

Leafy solid aroma that sure has that essence of English ale like a lightly malted ginger backing to a sweet tea hop front.

First swigs: Bready all grain waffle with a touch of caramel. Toasted wheat bread and caramelized sugar. A bit mineraly, with some flat cola notes and a dry flour finish.

Soft gentle carbonation with a medium body and a lingering slight syrupy feel.

Last swigs: Cola brown ale. 8.2% ABV? Are you serious? Tastes almost like a mild, I swear! Thanks to G.D. for the bottle. Interesting and different. Not regretable, edible and forgetable. Fun. Almost like an Imperial Mild. Huh?

Beer is good. Happy big ESB beering. (822 characters)

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: Hazy dark bronze. Pretty fat messy off white head.
smell: butterscotch. very inviting, some dark fruit but butterscotch up front.
taste: quite different than the nose. Hint of butterscotch, not near as rich. Dry and slightly bitter finish.
overall: outstanding nose. A bit of a letdown after that. (309 characters)

Photo of arizcards
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle at Total Wine and More in early April for $1.29. Beer was bottled in February 2009.

Beer poured mahogany with a good off white head that is leaving lacing behind. Nose is sweet, dark fruits and heavy malts. Taste is sweet, very malty, dark fruits, dry hop finish. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin but decently carbonated. Overall drinkability is pretty good. The abv is well hidden. This is a decent beer at a good price. Would try again. (452 characters)

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Nimbus Old Monkeyshine from Nimbus Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.