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Nimbus Old Monkeyshine - Nimbus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Nimbus Old MonkeyshineNimbus Old Monkeyshine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

176 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 176
Reviews: 90
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 16
Gots: 15 | 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: 176 | Reviews: 90 | Display Reviews Only:
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 UberWasser
4.65/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of blitz134
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Photo of gpcollen1
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!!

Photo of thaichile
2.33/5  rDev -38.7%
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.

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 warriorsoul
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of demcorhip
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of bjohnson
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Fish113d
4.01/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

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

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.

Photo of uabigdaz
4.8/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of beerinator
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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!

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz stubby bottle with a psychedelic image of a human with a monky head carrying a banjo. Pours from the bottle a nice dark brown with deep garnet hues as well. A half inch of bubbly bone white head tops it off. Aromas of sweet dark fruits alongside toasty, nutty malts. Bitter hops, caramel and dark bread dough. A touch smoky as well, an interesting aroma.

First sip brings a smooth roasty caramel maltiness, which is a bit nutty as well. Hints of dark fruits and brown sugar as it makes its way down the hatch. Dark baked bread comes to mind with a bit of lingering smokiness. Finishes with a mellow herbal hop bitterness on the way down. A tasty brew and a nice change of pace.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with a good creamy maltiness. Even at slightly over 8% alcohol, I'm finding this quite drinkable. I wouldn't mind having another. Thanks to autumnaldave for the sample, being it my first, but hopefully not last from Nimbus.

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Photo of OldSock
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – 12 oz bottle obtained in a trade from Gueuzedude Dark slightly hazy brown. Creamy off white head that has great retention and leaves a thick sheet of lacing.

Smell – Light toasted malt with a bit of citrus hops and estery yeast. Similar to the normal brown from Nimbus, but more intense and with a hint of alcohol.

Taste – Slightly sweet with notes of chocolate, biscuit and hops. A bit sweet, but packs a punch for a brown ale. The alcohol is very mild, but still present particularly as I near the end of my glass.

Mouthfeel – Medium, with stiff carbonation that is a bit to harsh for the beer.

Drinkability & Notes – Overall an interesting beer that is pretty easy to drink despite the elevated alcohol. Glad I had the chance to try it.

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 Bcant
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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

This beer really surprised me. While it's listed as a brown ale on here, on Nimbus' website, it's called a strong ale. At 8.2% ABV, you can't really disagree with Nimbus. When I poured it and saw that it was a deep, dark brown with a small head, my mind flashed back to Tommyknocker's Imperial Nut Brown, a highly-touted, highly-alcoholic brown ale that I really didn't like. Monkeyshine is completely different, though; in the Tommyknocker, the alcohol was the dominant flavor, while here it's just a hint. I'm amazed how well it's hidden. I'm more amazed that it tastes so good, malty, sweet and brown sugary in the beginning, with a lingering bitter finish. I gave it a 4.5 in drinkability simply because it's as easy to drink as the Yuengling Traditional Lager I had last night, but with more flavor and double the alcohol. I really wish I could get this here, it's right up there with the best. Hearty thanks go out to Gueuzedude for allowing me to try this wonderful beer.

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 Solomon420
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well to be honest, at first I didnt like the taste too much. Didnt know what to make of it at first. I think I drank the first bottle too cold. The next day I drank another bottle more towards room temperature and wow, what flavour it had. Its noted as a brown ale, but if you hold it up the sunset, the colours come alive. More of a dark red/honey hue. I have to think that it was partly the mood I was in, and the setting, that allowed me to enjoy it this time. I would definately buy some more.

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 beerguy101
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted at the 2002 Oregon Brewers Festival. Light brown color. Aroma is small white and foamy. Aroma is malty, nutty and very sweet. Deep malt flavor, not very hoppy. Lighter bodied . Nice flavor. Rich and round. Mouthfeel is full and round. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

Photo of GreenCard
3.06/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

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.

Nimbus Old Monkeyshine from Nimbus Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 176 ratings.