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 alpinebryant
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Scored in a trade with trappistlover, Thanks!

Pours a dark hazy chestnut brown with a healthy head and later just a dusting on the top with lacing at the edges.

Smell of raisins, caramel, sweet malt, and brown sugar.

Taste of not surprisingly raisins, dry roasted malts, a very dry english feel to this , well attenuated and very tasty. Wow, was not expecting this out of an add and I am definitely impressed. Id keep these on hand if they were available locally. As is said in the description of this beer, "It is a Winner" and I agree. Sweet caramel and raisin finish with a dry bitter taste. It is definitely knocking on the door of greatness and I would keep an eye on Nimbus for future great releases. This made my snow day / rough day of work at home come to a climax and I applaud you.

Heavy carbonation with a light mouthfeel. Highly drinkable

Photo of Lucklys
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Monkeyshine pours a deep rosy chocolate, or mahogany brown with a one inch beige head. Initially, I noticed it seemed hazy, but as it warmed up it seemed to become clearer. The foam left faint islands of lace on the top of the liquid that held up until the very end and there was minimal spotty, clean lacing sticking to the glass.

The nose was rather simple and light, but enjoyable all the same. There was quite a bit of sweet roasted malts and caramel, a touch of fruit (I keep wanting to say strawberries), and some left-behind toffee. Though there wasn't much to decipher, it was very pleasing and crisp.

I would say that Old Monkeyshine has a medium-light body with light carbonation that aids the Kent Golding hops in creating a mild spiciness throughout the drink. The hops really shine more in the mouth than under the nose, but they mix really well with the strong roasted malts and caramel, neither overpowering nor lingering in the depths. The best thing about this brew is that although it holds a hefty 8.2% AVB in a 12oz bottle, the only time the alcohol is noticeable is when your head becomes airy and delicately fuzzy halfway through. There is no trace of alcohol in the aroma, and the roasted malts do a fantastic job of keeping the taste out.

Photo of aeturtle
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium bodied.
No bitterness or hop aroma.
Nice richness in flavor almost like brown sugar hints of vanilla.
Decent head and head retention
Nice brown molasses coloring.
Covers up it ABV very well.
Good example of the style, almost too easy to drink for what it is.

Photo of Flashsp2
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Nimbus Old Monkeyshine into chalice

Pours a deep brown/ruby with a dense two finger tan head. Great
retention and lacing.

Aroma is richly malty, with caramels, toast, honey, dark fruits,
toffee, and earthy hops providing the finish.

Body is almost perfectly spot-on for the nose, but leans more toward
toasty malt flavor and less in the direction of caramels and dark
fruits, even though they are still present.

Body is where this beer is sort of off point. It feels a bit thin and
overly carbonated for a strong English ale. Its not terribly bad or
anything, it just doesn't fit well with the rest of the beer.

Quite drinkable. Its at that perfect spot where its strong enough to
have lots of flavor but not so over the top that it takes an hour to
drink. Well done.

Photo of pixieskid
3.31/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

Photo of Sixofsigmas
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep rich brown opaque color, nice initial head, seems to have faded to black almost(or brown as the case may be).
Nose has notes of vanilla, dark roasty malt, booze, maybe spice?
On the front end there is a sugary vanillaish brown sugar/molasses taste followed by darker malt and most definitely bourbon on the back end with a nice little boozey warmth.
Mouthfeel is unexpected. Hits you with the light body, but by the end it feels medium bodied. Not overly carbonated. Oily feel.
Drinkability is not as high as some. It's a sipper meant to be enjoyed. The high alcohol will make you pay for drinking too many of these.

Pretty impressive for the style. One of the best English strong ales I've had.

Photo of femALEist
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Old Monkeyshine- My sister had a bottle of this one in her fridge already and I was looking forward to drinking some local Tucson brewed beer from Nimbus Brewing Co. It poured a deep teak brown with a hint of red. It smelled like light vanilla, light roast and a bit caramel-y. It tasted light at first, then a nice roasted malt with bourbon notes come in and leave a little burn. Medium carbonation. Very drinkable. I was looking on their website and apparently they have a bourbon barrel aged version of this, at least at the brewery. I wish we had made it out to the Brewery as our visit to the Barrio Brewing Co seemed a bit wasted.

Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tall glass.

A: Deep ruby with hints of brown, a thin bodied off-white head that diminishes but still sticks around and laces fairly well.

S: Darkly roasted malt and just-shy-of-burnt American grains, hint of chocolate and darkly browned sugar.

T: The initial taste is something like a red stout (I don't think this actually exists but it seems to fit as a description) with brown sugar and roasted malts, even a bit of burnt character. Shortly the taste veers away from stout-like track it was on, and a hard-wood taste briefly shows its face before the whole thing turns into a warm black currant, raisin, rum, and nut bread taste that fades away evenly. This last set of flavors isn't as intense or luminescent as seen in an Old Ale or Barley-wine, but it is there just the same.

M: Smooth and full bodied, not quite worthy of being called "velvety" but on the way.

D: For an ABV over 8, this is a very drinkable beer. Not overpowering, but still flavorful.

Overall: I really like this style because it is nearly but not quite many other styles. Almost like a "jack of all trades but master of none" for old/strong ales. This example is a good one, and worth trying to you can get a bottle.

Photo of Arsenal04
3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
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...

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

Out of a 12 ounce bottle and into my nonic Imperial pint glass. The ale appears a hazed rich copper chestnut color with two fingers of creamy off white foam. Aromas and flavors are of rich roasted grains, deeply caramelized malt, nuts such a hazelnut, hints of brown sugar, a bit fruity. The ale falls somewhere between medium and full bodied with adequate carbonation. Pretty tasty stuff.

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.

Photo of snpub540
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

Photo of armock
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
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

Photo of HalfFull
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

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

My brother in law raves about this stuff, as he is from Tucson. Pours dark brown, almost looks like a porter. Aroma of toffee and caramel, with some dried fruits. Taste is dominated by alcohol, then the sweet malt and caramel flavors come through. Earthy finish. Decent beer, don't think I could have more than 2 at one time. Like Tucson, more is not better.

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 DLReeves
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had this stuff on way to Mexico from Tucson in 2001. I was warned not to have more than 2 if I was going to Mex. Had it with GREAT tex-mex style chili. After #2, I could see why they warned me about no more than 2..strong stuff!
I really enjoy its hearty flavor and kick. As an old fart, (i'm 67), ive had a LOT of beer over the years and its (in my eyes) worth "smuggling" back to NYS where I live. (Nimbus brewery wont ship it...too bad)

I dont get hung up on all the nuances of beer..if it tastes good, I will drink it..

Photo of bennetj17
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Realized I hadn't reviewed the bottled version of this yet, and someone left half of a six-pack in my fridge so might as well. Chocolate brown color, kind of murky, with not much for head. The smell has notes of caramel, chcoloate, warm cinnamon raisin bread, and a toasted nuttiness. Not bad, a decent bouquet.

The flavor is sweet with tangy fruit, lightly dry with a grassy bitterness to finish things out. The malt doesn't seem to have much complexity as the smell would suggest. Not bad. medium body, sharp carbonation but not foamy. Light syrup-like slickness.

Not too impressed, but it works. I could really see it being a more cold weather beer, something to warm you up a bit. It does pack a decent ABV although I couldn't really taste it. Worth a try...

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 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 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 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 number1bum
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got one of these from my buddy BeerTruth...not a bad dude, really, even if he wouldn't know a good Belgian if it slapped him in the face.

Pours a reddish medium brown color, quite hazy with a little momre than a finger of light beige head. Retains a solid lacing and leaves a good amount of stick.

Smell is quite sweet and seems a bit fruity but maybe is better described as floral. I'm not sure really what it is, it's not really a citrusy fruit aroma (although it's close) but rather is just a pleasant, somewhat sweet smell.

Hmmm...taste is strange. There's some sweet caramel malt and some fruitiness like the smell, but I just can't put my finger on this. Maybe it's just a strange fruit flavor...seems a bit like raisins? Very odd. Not much in the way of bitterness from the hops, but I'm thinking those strange fruity flavors are hop induced. Not bad, but odd. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, moderately carbonated.

As brown ales go this is one of the strangest I've tasted. Not a bad flavor, just strange. I don't quite know what to make of it.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, thanks to tayner for the sample

A: Pours a dark brown under a small white head with some yeast sediment floating around. No lace, little retention.

S: Surprisingly hoppy. A nice candy-like citrus aroma of oranges, lemon and grapefruit. Also some malty notes in the background including some creamy sweetness and hints of nuts and light chocolate.

T: Small sweetness up front quickly fades into citrusy hops, followed immediately by slightly roasted malt character and a some hints again of nuts and the faintest chocolate. Very interesting combinations here. Ultimately dry.

M/D: Carbonation is just right and helps to produce a creamy medium bodied beer. Drinkability is good on this one as well. I have to admit, after my first experience with Nimbus, I am quite surprised by this offering. It has a lot going on for it with the hop character, and although maybe not totally appropriate for the style, really go a long way.

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