Nimbus Old Monkeyshine - Nimbus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Nimbus Old MonkeyshineNimbus Old Monkeyshine

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BA SCORE
86
very good

183 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 183
Reviews: 90
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 183 | Reviews: 90
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

No head really on a deep amber brown clear body. No lace really. Aroma of breads, toasted malts, nuts, molasses and earthy hops. Flavor is also very toasty opening with nuts, toasted malts and earthy but finishing with brown sugar, caramel, rye . Medium body and moderate carbonation. The alcohol is very well hidden. This one is flavorful and definitely one of the better of the style.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.11/5  rDev -18.2%
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.

Photo of nickfl
3.66/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A small head of off white foam on top of a clear, dark brown body. An aroma of toffee and musty hops. Dry, caramel and burnt toast with some molasses in the finish. Medium body, average carbonation, and a dry finish. Not bad, fairly bland but inoffensive.

Photo of russpowell
4.31/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is one bigass english brown! Loved the label on the bottle!

Lugged 5 of these back to CO, well worth the effort

Pours chestnut with a 1" tan head. Pretty good lacing & good head retention.

S: Sweet malt

T: Biscuitty malt up front, then toasted malt & hints of brown sugar. Piney hops & caramel surface as it warms. Dryness permeates the middle. Finishes fruitty with a little alcohol warmth

MF: Rich, thick bodied with perfect carbonation & balance

This drinks very easy for the 8.2abv this posesses. Probably the best AZ beer I had (more reviews to follow). Will save the rest of these for the too soon cold nights that precede winter

Photo of chinchill
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my new silipint.

A: Poured dark reddish-brown, with a proper, creamy tan head that lasted a good while and left good lacing. Coarse looking carbonation bubbles.

S: Smells like toasted sweet malt with hints of brown sugar and caramel.

Taste: Moderately strong flavor featuring dark malts with hints of dark fruits, caramel, and roasted nuts. Good sweet/bitter balance.

M: Medium-low carbonation works well for this full-bodied beer, Very smooth.

O: A flavorful English style pub ale with remarkably well hidden alcohol. Recommended.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a deep amber color. It is fairly clear with just a hint of chill haze. It smell malty sweet with a bit of fruitiness in the nose. Nice full bodied with a malty expression. This beer tenderly coats your mouth. This is a very well balanced beer, as an English expression of a strong ale should be. There is a hint of hop flavor that helps to carry the maltiness of this brew.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.54/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I pciked this up in Sedona, saw the name "Old Monkeyshine" and thought it was a bwine. Did not read the label..dooooh! It was a good English ale. Poured a darkbrown with a ruby highlight, nice dirty white head, average carbonation, taste was of some coffee, choc and something else that I could not pick up on. Maybe the taste uds were off. It was a good drink and the ABV is perfect. Good beer.

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks bennetj17.

Pours a nice dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy tan head which does not last long, some islands and sticky lacing remained. The nose is malty, roasty, and some caramel going on in there. The taste is very nice of slight roasted malts and a nice bitter dry hop finish. Alcohol is hidden very well. Medium body. Very drinkable, the best Nimbus by far for me. A nice surprise.

Photo of Bitterbill
3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

Photo of Gusler
4.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"Arizona Beer fest"!
A nice deep mahogany color on the pour, the head is moderate in size, the texture spumescent, beige in color and as it dissipates the left over lace a nice coating on the glass. Floral nose, sweet malt, caramel and quite fresh and pleasing to the senses, with the start sweet and malt, the top is middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is a “Hop Heads” delight; boom right in the palate as the hops over run your taste buds, mildly acidic, dry as a desert bone aftertaste and a real treat for this old strong ale lover.

Photo of ccrida
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Old Monkeyshine is a slightly turbid dark brown with a tan head leaving scattered lace.

Smell is very malty, sweet and sour, with some earthy hops. Robust

Taste is similar, this is a classic English brown, x2. Nice balance though for the amplitude, the bitter hops and drying, clean alcohol temper the sweetness of the malt. Very nice, with a long, malty finish.

Mouthfeel is on the medium-heavy side, decent carbonation.

Drinkability is high, this is my favorite Nimbus ale by a long shot, loads of character, flavor, yet still dangerously quaffable. I "monkeyed" around to much with their lesser offering before this!

Photo of cbutova
3.03/5  rDev -20.3%
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.

Photo of cokes
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep garnet hued with a tight beige cap.
The nose exudes chocolate-covered raisins, brown sugar, molasses, peat smoke, sweet breads, dark rum and whole pine trees: bark, cones, needles, and sap.
Malt comes into the mouth with waves of caramel, carob, molasses, raisins, and anise. It stays powerfully sweet for several moments, the is cut by a surprising smokiness. At this point, it presents as a spot-on Wee Heavy. Hops enter next, shatter preconceptions, and boom out pine notions that are equally sappy and earthy. It concludes with a small brandy-like booze flare that is born from the raisin hues that it began with.
Medium bodied, with little carbonation to make it feel sticky at time. It seems a hair on the small side, as all this flavor would be better supported with a bit more girth.
That a small quibble, as this is utterly enjoyable, and monstrously drinkable for a beer of this strength, complexity, and uniqueness.

Photo of blackie
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mahogany colored with an off white head.

Smell is sweet and rich offset by some bitterness, pretty complex. Hints of raisins, woody/roasted, dark sugars, maybe some cherries, and some alcohol.

Carbonation is moderate and body is on the thick side.

Nice malty taste with a little more hop bite than expected, maybe too much. The alcohol is pretty well hidden, until it hits the gut. Middle of the sip is similar to the smell...with hints of raisins and sugars. Finish is of slight alcohol and hops.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got this brew from tayner. Thanks Dana!

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - murky brown color with a thin beige head that left some spotty lacing.

S - sweet caramel malt and date/fig in the aroma.

T - sweet flavors of dark fruits and caramel malt with a gentle warming from the alcohol.

F - medium bodied with a very mild carbonation feel.

D - it goes down good.

Photo of Vancer
3.96/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hey! This was a darn fine frosty, enjoyable, refreshing and easily drinkable. Someone on mushrooms made the label.

Clear cola brown, with a creamy tan head that left solid lacing. Aroma of caramel and chocolate malt. Then, surprise! Lots of hop character in it that well balanced with the malty up-front quaff. Twangy – it was both vineous and slightly woody. Sharp and crisp, a dry finisher. Very unique and a fine winter/spring type brew.

A nice brew sent by bennetj17 and Solomon420 for my BA annv.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up this 12 oz. twist-off capped bottled on a late November visit to Tucson. Label is notched 'O', which I assume means an October bottling date? Poured to a pint glass.

I won't venture a guess at the meaning of the label illustration: a banjo-toting, straw hat & overalls-wearing monkey/man stomping a watermelon, before an audience that includes a top-hatted magician hoisting a white rabbit by its ears and a crash-test dummy lounging (naked?) while another figure with a funnel for a head unscrews the head of the first. To say this is 'trippy' imagery would be an understatement...

The beer:

A: Deep chestnut/mahogany brown, crowned with less than a half-finger of dusty cream. Drops to a thicker, firmer cover which coats the sides in slick bands. Held to light, this shows a modest carbonation throughout; it all shows some suspended tiny proteins, indicative of either a lack of filtration or of some age. Maybe that 'O' notch meant 'best by' October?

S: Not much aroma, even after a lengthy warming. Some caramel and a hint of toasted nuts. A trace of metal.

T: A dusting of bitter-sweet cocoa covers toffee, mildly toasted walnuts and a faint dry/zesty citrus rind. Balanced well; it's not overly sweet and holds a light spice and fair amount of hop bitterness all in check.

M: Slick, lightly carbonated. A little buttery. Medium mouthfeel with a hesitant alcohol warmth that gives a fair warning that this is an 8+% beer. Pretty starchy/sticky in the end and overall a little too thin.

D: I found this to be a good, easy-to-consume beer overall. Nice balance, bet it would drink well with food, such as a good nutty aged cheese or something off the grill. I'd give this another go when we next pay AZ a visit.

Photo of flexabull
3.89/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled this one a couple of night ago at a friends house.

This is from notes...

Pours a cloudy and muddy brown color, with a faint white head.

Aromas are kind of cola like, with some brown sugars, molasses, and dark fruits.

Upon first sip, I think Brown Ale with a bit of a kick. But not at all overpowering. There are some non sweet cola flavors, brown sugars, and creamy malts. The finish is crisp, with a pine like bite from the hops.

Mouthfeel is decent. Feels a little thin, but not bad.

Drinkability is quite good. This is a nice brown ale, and it hides it's strong 8.2% ABV quite well. Enjoy a bottle, but I would probably only go for one, maybe two at most.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thin head that doesn't last long, vaporizing in a flash and leaving a ghostly skim across the top. Tiny islands of lace are all that's left of the head. Color is a deep milk-chocolate brown. A very brown brown ale...who woulda thunk? This label deserves special mention: banjo-wielding hillbilly chimpanzee squashing a watermelon with his feet, keeping company with a magician doing his rabbit/hat trick and a couple mannequins looking all da-da with one having a funnel for a head. Yeah, I remember my first tab of acid...

Definitely some nuttiness to the aroma, plus a hint of chocolate. There's an interesting element aside the from nuttiness, and that's a kind of earthy sweetness...fresh-picked tobacco leaf and prunes, maybe...

Flavor is bigger and bolder than most brown ales, but then so is the ABV. Dark, almost-spoiled fruits and cocoa beans wrap around unexpected tartness and chalky sweetness; vanilla just barely there; alcohol definitely not timid, but not overwhelming. Sweet, sticky finish contrasts well with the buttery-smooth mouthfeel. A weird, grassy astringency continues throughout the sipping, making the mouth pucker a bit. It's not old, because "Oct." is notched, and I'm assuming that's when it was bottled, and I'm also assuming that's not Oct. '06.

An interesting flavor, especially considering the style. The only real deterrent is the tartness, which is fine, but it creates an unwelcome pucker in the mouth...otherwise this is a real enjoyable, rather unique take on a style that could use a few cracks upside the head. Thanks to msubulldog25 (he with The Righteous Beercloset) for sending and allowing me to sample my first-ever Arizona beer.

Photo of kmpitz2
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz stubbie. The beer is a deep and sinister amber color with a 2-finger ivory head that sits nicely as a finger of foam over after settling. Clarity is good and there are nice fine bubbles cascading up the sides of my glass. The aroma is rife with raisin malt, moderate caramel sweetness, and a healthy smokey phenolic character that I wasn't expecting. Its not bad at all, just was a shock. The flavor is spot on to the aroma, hitting with raisin and smoke initially, moving to a more rounded caramel sweetness, ladened with peppery hop that may have been more brilliant when this was closer to the bottling date. The finish moves back to a caramel-soaked rainsin and a mild bitter bite. There is a touch of orangey sweetness throughout as well. Mouthfeel is thick with a very mild carbonation, with a fairly strong drying quality on the finish. Overall, I am enjoying this one. I'm just starting to feel a little warmth in my stomach after making my way through most of the bottle. I think the phenols add a nice touch to it.

Photo of arizcards
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Nimbus Old Monkeyshine from Nimbus Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 183 ratings.