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Nimbus Old Monkeyshine - Nimbus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Nimbus Old MonkeyshineNimbus Old Monkeyshine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

163 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 163
Reviews: 88
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 16
Gots: 13 | 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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-02-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 163 | Reviews: 88 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of warmstorage
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%

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.

warmstorage, Dec 05, 2007
Photo of bashiba
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%

Poured a nice thick dirty brown with a big light tan head, light lacing with mild retention.

Smell had a big malt and chocolate aroma with hints of toffee and molasses.

Flavor is mildy sweet with a big chocolate malt flavor along with a touch of alcohol, some mild crisp hops keep it fairly balanced and smooth.

Mouthfeel is fairly full and nice and creamy with a bit of carbonation.

Easy to drink for a big brown, pretty nice.

bashiba, Nov 22, 2007
Photo of Pooba001
4.38/5  rDev +15%

I've always meant to review Monkeyshine on tap, as I believe its much better in that form. I picked up a growler at the brewery yesterday afternoon and I drank it last night. And it was lovely.

Pours out with adequate head that dissipates a little more quickly that I'd like. The color is a medium brown, lighter than mahogany, darker than amber, with almost a dark golden brown around the edges when held up to light. Smell is caramel, sweet and malty, just a dash of hop. Very nice.

Oh that taste. Here's one reason I don't think this is in the English Brown Ale category: I generally don't like brown ales, and I love tap Monkeyshine. Great blend of malts here lend a complex sweetness, light fruitiness, brown sugar, hint of chocolate, malty without being exceedingly roasty. Smoooth. IMHO this is some odd type of English Strong Ale, and more importantly, its delicious.

Mouthfeel is good, carbonation is ok. Very drinkable for an 8% ABV beer, I finished the whole growler in a sitting. When I visit Nimbus on my birthday I pretty much drink as many as are bought for me, and the last one is as good as the first. Bottom line: this is the beer that should make Nimbus famous, and if you've only had Old Monkeyshine in bottles you owe it to yourself to try it on tap.

Pooba001, Oct 04, 2007
Photo of Halcyondays
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

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.

Halcyondays, Aug 13, 2007
Photo of kmpitz2
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%

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.

kmpitz2, Jun 30, 2007
Photo of BeerManDan
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%

The color was a medium dark brown when poured, with tan foam and lots of lace. The smell of Tobacco was evident in the aroma, with a hint of bittersweet chocolate. But after the first sip, I got a tart Tobacco/Chocolate flavor with just a hint of roasted malts. I think the Tobacco was the main stand out on this brown ale. I never tasted a brown ale with this kind of flavor at all!

BeerManDan, May 19, 2007
Photo of Vancer
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%

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.

Vancer, Apr 11, 2007
Photo of UnionMade
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%

Thanks for the bottle, Jim!
Crazy label. Monkeys creep me out.
Dark, dark brown. Just a bit lighter than your average porter, but darker than a normal brown ale. Thin, off white head. Cobwebby lacing, keeping a medium sized collar. Real nice. Chocolate malts come through most in the aroma, with a bit of alcohol and fruity esters. Lots of caramel, too. Definitely malt driven. Big chocolate flavor. The bottle says that this is an "english style ale", (talk about a broad stroke of the brush) but it comes off more of a double brown. Very soft feeling. Full body, with mellow carbonation. Kinda silky, though it gets quite dry. A little bit of booze shows up, with pretty much no hop presence. Malt driven, with mild caramel and chocolate sweetness rounding things out. Some apple, plum and pear fruitiness, with a light drizzle of molasses. The dryness of the finish lends some green apple character. Very sweet, despite the dryness.
A little overly sweet, but enjoyable. Kinda what you'd expect from a southern style brown ale hovering around 8%. I don't think I could drink more than one in a sitting, just because it gets a little tiresome towards the end.

UnionMade, Mar 10, 2007
Photo of RedHaze
4/5  rDev +5%

From notes.

Pours a very murky/muddy brown, with a quarter inch off-white head that settles slowly to a soapy cap and ring. The lacing is pretty thick, but not very sticky.

Smell; caramel malts and a touch of coffee up front, with a rich nutty aroma mixed in, and hints of tobacco. There's almost no hop aroma to speak of, but I'm not surprised.

Taste; very rich and nutty up front, and then fades in to a mildly tobacco flavor. The caramel is present as well as some chocolate and coffee, and finished with just a touch of bitter hops. This is a bit more robust than your average brown ale.

Mouthfee/Drinkability; mouthfeel is a bit fuller thatn I'm used to for a brown, but it seems to fit this flaover profile just right, and the drinkability is pretty darn good. The only thing than would keep this from be a good session beer, for me, is the alcohol.

RedHaze, Feb 25, 2007
Photo of DogFood11
2.88/5  rDev -24.4%

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.

DogFood11, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of rallison
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%

A: Dark brown with some nice red color thrown in. Tan head starts over an inch thick with a not too aggressive pour that settles down to a nice, semi-persistent lacing.

S: Don't get much smell at all. Nutty maybe? - best I can do.

T: Nice, rich nut flavor. Just a touch of caramel sweetness. Extremely well-balanced. For a brown, this is quite enjoyable - I don't usually go for browns. Also, sure doesn't taste like 8.2%. That could be a problem...

M: Slightly over a medium body, smooth.

D: Very drinkable. Too drinkable for the alcohol.

rallison, Jan 27, 2007
Photo of gonzo138
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%

A- pours a deep brown with hints of red, has a cream colored head that did not retain too well, but did lace nicely

S- roasted malty sweetness, notes of coffee and chocolate are present, also smell of alcohol is slighty noticable, becomes even more noticable towards the bottom of the glass

T- complements smell, malty sweetness at first, the coffee taste is there, the chocolate however is not, semi citrusy hop profile is present at the finish

M- medium body with moderate carbonation

D- could have a few of these, not too many because they are a tad pricey, and suprisingly high in the ABV percentage, a good beer, would drink again

gonzo138, Jan 24, 2007
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +5%

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.

Wasatch, Jan 21, 2007
Photo of UberWasser
4.7/5  rDev +23.4%

12 oz bottle, bottled Nov of 2005 so just a little over 1 year old. Vertical tasting with one bottled Nov of 2006.

Pours a rich dark reddish brown, no change from fresh. Just as much head as the fresh bottle, still looks great.

Smell is of a ripe fruity alcohol. Sweeter and more alcoholic than when fresh. Smells quite good.

Taste is truly great...a sweetness hits the tongue early. Following that is a creamy chocolate flavor backed by a rich, ripe, musty dark fruit taste that dominates the middle of the palate. That is, at least, until the swallow, when a slightly tart fruit rises up to mix with a slightly musty alcohol flavor to balance out the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is thick and rich, the head burning off the carbonation, but this seems to fit the flavor profile nicely. And I find that after sitting for a while this beer is even more drinkable than it was before...no one would guess that 8% was hiding behind such subtle and smooth flavors.

This beer has morphed quite a bit over the last year and I find that most of the changes are positive ones. I will probably call this experiment a success and will buy more of this to age across a span of a few years, just out of curiosity. Glad I tried it.

UberWasser, Dec 02, 2006
Photo of blitz134
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%

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.

blitz134, Nov 22, 2006
Photo of gpcollen1
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%

Appearance – Soft, creamy wafer of a head with the strong aroma of yeast – more like that of a cask ale.

Smell – Roast and rich, hints of cocoa and coffee.

Taste – Roasty biscuit malts with a nice light feel. A hint of sweetness toward the end.

Mouthfeel – A nice medium bodied brew, little carbonation but right for the style. A bit of a dry touch after half a glass.

Drinkability – Deceptive in it’s alcohol content and I could quaff a few of these before it hits me.

Thanks to Solomon420 for enabling me to try this as a throw in!!

gpcollen1, Oct 08, 2006
Photo of thaichile
2.3/5  rDev -39.6%

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.

thaichile, Sep 28, 2006
Photo of russpowell
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%

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

russpowell, Sep 28, 2006
Photo of warriorsoul
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%

Big thanks to Solomon420 for this one...a new Nimbus beer to me.
Rust in color with very little head or lacing...quite hazy.
Sweet fig in the nose, plus tart cherries and carroway seed.
Bittersweet with a real fruity quality to it...raisins and again, cherries. The brown sugar added is barely detected, but does have a roasted flavor that finds it place in the balance.
The hops dry up the finish, but the malt really adds to its heavy mouthfeel for the style. Alcohol is very well hidden...goes down pretty easy.
Carbonation is where I like it...only adding to its drinkability.
My favorite brew from these folks to date, but still have one or two more in the cellar thanks to generous traders.
I'd give this one a try...not for everyone, but I enjoyed it.

warriorsoul, Aug 27, 2006
Photo of demcorhip
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%

Thanks to bennetj17 for this wonderful trade throw in.

Deep translucent brown in colour, with reddish hues where the light shines through. Small tan coloured head formed on the pour, and scant lacings noticed.

Scents of dark fruit and nuts, malty notes of caramel, brown sugar and molasses, and an earthy and grassy hoppiness.

Tastes of nutty malts, as well as carmel and molasses. Date like dark fruit presence also there, and finishes much like the aroma in an earthy and grassy hoppy blend.

This is a well balanced, complex, and satisfying ale. The malt sweetness is nicely balanced by hops and the alcohol. The warmth from the alcohol makes itself only barely noticable.

This is an amazingly drinkable tasty potent brew. I could easily make a session out of this one. If It was available in my cool climate i would always have some of these on hand. Very yummy brew, anyone who likes this style should find a way to check it out.

demcorhip, Aug 25, 2006
Photo of bjohnson
4.38/5  rDev +15%

Thanks to Solomon420 for the chance to try this offering.

A: Pours brown with a slight reddish tint to it. Nice frothy one finger off caramel colored head. Excellent retention. Sweet glass lined lace.
S: Aromas of dark frut hit the nose first followed by hints of sweet caramel and roasted coffee.
T/M: Roasted coffee notes cross the tastebuds first with a nice dose of hops. A bit of sweet chocolate and caramel mingle in there also. Extra creamy and smooth through the mouth like a soft brush. Very low carbonation allows the flavors to really come out. Sweet caramelized sugar ending with a dryness to it. Excellent tasting brown. Abv is highly masked but a slight spicyness can be felt at the end of the beer.
D: Bigtime thanks to Damian for sending me a bunch of these. Very happy I've got a few left. A good change of pace in these hot summer months. Highly recommended.

bjohnson, Aug 22, 2006
Photo of Fish113d
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%

Pours chilled into a pint glass with a chestnut colored body with ruby tint. 1 cm of thin tan-colored head sits atop and quickly vanishes leaving a slight edge layer.

Aroma is mainly of brown malts with a slight roastiness and nuts. A bit of alcohol hits my sinuses as well. Nothing else to note here. Kinda boring really, but right there with the style.

Sipping is very nice. A smooth roasty flavor hits my palate (slight chocoloate or latte flavor); bittering floral hops finishes this one off really. The aftertaste is a bit of roasty malts; alcohol also hits on the finish drying it out just a tad bit.

Body is nicely balanced; slightly bubbly carbonation that fizzles to a nice creamy body and a slightly drying alcohol finish. Very nice!

Overall, and outstanding session brew! This is a good one to try and very nice for the style.

Fish113d, Jul 03, 2006
Photo of Jredner
4/5  rDev +5%

This is the last of the Nimbus beers I was sent and I have to say this is a damn nice brewery and I have enjoyed the hell out of these Nimbus beers. Malty, spicy aroma with hints of tobacco, caramel and bread pudding. Deep brown with a small head, but ample lacing. Sweet caramel malt and brown sugar flavors with a hint of spice and a plesant thick breadiness. Very nicely done beer from a brewery worthy of more notice.

Jredner, Jun 30, 2006
Photo of uabigdaz
4.8/5  rDev +26%

Pours a beautiful dark brown with a tan/khaki color head that foams very nicely and leaves nice lace. Good head retention, just to my liking. Smell is slightly sweet and bitter at the same time, gives a good indication of the taste. The taste is excellently balanced. A perfect mix of malt sweetness and bitter aftertaste. Feels exceptionally smooth in your mouth with nice bitterness to balance it out. I love this beer, it is definately my favorite beer. The only problem I have with this beer is the fact that it is 8.2% ABV so you have to be careful with how much you drink, it catches up with you. This beer is definately worth a try, my favorite beer I have tried so far.

uabigdaz, May 22, 2006
Photo of beerinator
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%

Thanks to autumnaldave for this 12 ounce bottle!

Appearance: Dark brown pour. Seems a bit cloudy if you can tell what a cloudy beer would look like if you were in a really dark room. The white head left nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Fruity scents melded with caramel and toasted bread here. The fruits seem dark, like plums or raisins. There seem to be notes of alcohol warmth detected in the nose.

Taste: The main thing I noticed in the taste that wasn't in the aroma is definitely a bit of smoke. The smoke blends well with the caramel and fruitiness that show through in the taste. The mouthfeel is a bit thinner than expected, but it's still full enough to get the job done. The finish is a slight bit sweet. The alcohol here is not noticed in the taste.

Notes: Drinkability is much higher than I expected from the aroma. This seems highly sessionable for an 8% beer. Not unbelievably outstanding or anything, but definitely worth your time!

beerinator, Apr 24, 2006
Nimbus Old Monkeyshine from Nimbus Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.