Shipyard Monkey Fist IPA - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Shipyard Monkey Fist IPAShipyard Monkey Fist IPA

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BA SCORE
78
okay

133 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 133
Hads: 915
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 5.26%
Wants: 9
Gots: 191 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co. visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA) |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: puboflyons on 04-25-2012

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 133 | Hads: 915
Photo of BucBasil
3.47/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bought at Terroir in Shanghai China. Poured from the 330mL bottle into a pint glass.

S: More English in IPA style, being more balanced with plenty of toasted bread and caramel but also containing a good amount of sappy hop and citrus.

T: Bitter sappy hop and some grapefruit. Some balancing bread but overpowered by the hop notes. Not too bad. Some spice in there as well.

Overall: A good, if typically unbalanced IPA. I might pick this up again here, but there are so many other things that I would rather have for the price. (529 characters)

Photo of DavidLosAngeles323
2.3/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

I bought 2 six packs of this brew. I will admit the reason was because of the picture, it's totally awesome come on a monkey... though I shortly did wish I would of have just gotten a couple beers instead. The smell is so strong of hops and berries it's not a good smell. The flavor was absolutely bitter more like a nasty wine than an ipa. Had it a bottle and glass both were bad. I would pass on this brew any day and go with a normal favorite. (446 characters)

Photo of Brenden
3.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Riverhead BWW on 5/24; notes are thorough

It's a dark orange, nearly red in its deepest parts. The head is a filmy tan one after dropping from about one finger's height. It deposits some patchy and spotty lace.
The aroma isn't heavy in strength (though it's not light), but it is heavy with yeast and dankness. Lots of citrus comes out with it, though, some woody herb, caramel, breads, and brown sugar-like notes complementing.
The flavor brings out an interesting but almost abrasive spiciness, and something almost with a chemical note to it rides the earthiness. It still has the citrus, wood, dank leaf, and yeast with relief from the brown sugar, caramel and toffee notes of the malts.
The feel is semi-dry in a medium body, crispness coming in and falling just at the end, while smoothness is moderate throughout. (835 characters)

Photo of AngryPenguinBrewCo
3.03/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap in a Leinenkugel's (of all things) pint glass.

A- Copper color with a thin foamy head that did not last very long.

S- Resiny with some hop bitterness

T- Overwhelming earthy pine and resin flavors. Lack of any real malt character to balance the sharp bite, no citrus undertones.

M- Medium carbonation, relatively bitter and mild alcohol presence.

O- I personally prefer more of a citrus hop presence, or some sort of balance. Its hard for me to fairly rate a beer with such a heavy pine flavor, and I am not sure how fresh the keg I sampled was. Seems to be well executed for what it was and I was not able to detect any real "off flavors". (651 characters)

Photo of NiceTaps
3.51/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle in a pint glass.

A- Clear blood red color, thin head. Fat and spotty lacing. Lightly carbonated look.

S- Caramel malt aroma mostly. There's very little hop presence. Toasty, sweet.

T-Bready red ale, toasty. The flavor works, but not as an IPA. It's quite malty until the end, then there's some light hop flavor.

M- Sturdy malt body with light carbonation. A touch of hop bitterness in the lingering finish.

O- I like the beer's flavor, but I've had mild English IPAs with more hop bite than this. That's why my overall number is below the others. (564 characters)

Photo of FlyingBull
3.79/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had this brew on tap; poured into a pint glass.

Crystal clear dark yellow with a 1" tight white foam head that went to a skim after a few minutes. Nice lacing down the glass side.

Nice malt sweetness detected balanced by grapefruit and pine hop aromas.

Medium bodied with good carbonation

Nice malt and hop balance with flavors of rich earthiness coupled with malt and citrus flavors.

Overall, this was a very good example of a nice drinkable IPA. It had nice hop and malt aromas and flavors that were nicely balanced. I would have this again. (550 characters)

Photo of sfprint
3.08/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Reddish orange, little rising carbonation or head. transparent
S: Amber warmth but mild to moderately hoppy, there's also a weird molassas/cough medicine sort of smell
T: Bitter tang in the aftertaste, it's mostly just bitter with a semi dirty hop flavor (german style). Not sweet, piney or citrusy. :(
M: Mouth puckering with little carbonation.
O: Okay. Lacks most of the qualities I like in an IPA, but still okay (419 characters)

Photo of RobbDogg
3.17/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark amber. Starts with a creamy feel and mild hop fruit. Ends with a long bitter aftertaste. My wife didn't hate it, which usually means it is not a spectacular IPA. A solid, drinkable offering that I would try again in the absence of better draft offerings. (267 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.57/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deep amber color with a two finger head of an off white foam. The head has a great level of retention, slowly fading to leave a good level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is big of a grapefruit citrus hop, mixed with some tropical fruit aromas of tangerine and mango, giving a nice fruity aroma to the brew. Along with these smells are some cracker smells as well as a bit of a grassy and earthy smell, which mix with the fruity aromas to produce a quite nice smelling IPA overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a rather drier bready flavor mixed with a bit of a grassy and earthy hop as well as some flavors of a tropical fruit nature. The tropical fruits are heaviest of a tangerine flavor with a bit of a papaya and mango mixed within. The sweet flavors decrease as the flavor advances with some light caramel taking their place. With the transitioning of the sweet, so too comes some changes with the hop flavors. While some grassy and earthy hop are present upfront, these are lost rather quickly at the expense of a moderately bitter grapefruit taste. The grapefruit really dominates the end of the taste profile, with it leaving a rather bitter citrus flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly chewier side with a carbonation level that is on the slightly lower side. A bit more carbonation may have been nice for the big blast of unbalanced grapefruit citrus hop that hits the tongue at the end of the taste, but while this may be so, the nice chewiness was good for upholding all the more subtle flavors at the front of the taste, producing an overall decent feel for the flavors of the brew.

Overall – A decent IPA overall with a mostly grapefruit citrus taste that seems to linger far after the beer has been swallowed. Nothing super fantastic, but still rather easy drinking and likely deserving of a better rating then most give ( at least in my interpretation of the brew). (2,050 characters)

Photo of utopiajane
3.23/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This poured hazy and darker orange with a fat head of off white foam that fell slowly enough and left some lace. Nose is pungent and bitter herbs with some dankness like marijuana. It had some sweet lemon peel very deep within it but the stiff herbal was dominant in the nose. The malt came across with a little sweetness in the nose and some nuttiness as it warmed . Bit of orange finally came out and some muted earthy pine.

Taste is bitter and grassy, pungent herbal with only a faint touch of spice. The dominant fruit is grapefruit and the pine is earthy and muted. Earthy all the way with some grapefruit pith and bitter, the rind of that fruit and some tart citrus overall. The malt never realized a significant caramel sweetness but did offer a bit of nutty flavor that seemed sour to me. There is orange but only as the beer warms quite a bit. The mouthfeel is good. A nice bit of malt to give some moderate mouthfeel, good carbonation to tickle and excite the palate and a bit of hop oil and resin to coat the palate . There is a bitter on this that is actually medium but appears pretty sharp because there is not any sweetness to contrast it.

This IPA had a balanced approach to it's body that was noticeable. The malt did it's best to stand firm against the powerful hops character but the hops won. (1,316 characters)

Photo of TerryW
4.13/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow! This is hands down one of the best smelling beers I've ever come across. Well done and worth a try just for the sake of its aroma. Very bright citrus with a nice musky sweetness. Sexy.

Good looking too. Moderate head gives way to a heavy film that provides very nice curtainy lace. Slightly hazy orange amber in colour.

Solid citrus to taste, very nice fruity hops, bitterness offset by firm malty sweetness. Lingering dry bitterness. Well made.

Quite impressive overall. Everything hangs together beautifully. Definitely worth a try. (542 characters)

Photo of DaveBar
4.02/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the LCBO $2.95 for a 473ml can.

Enjoyed in a standard draught glass at 5deg C

A- Excellent unfiltered IPA. Pours well with not much head but a nice film within a minute

S- WOW the citrus shines through. Sensational

T- Bitter bite off the hop then the citrus peel and hops come to life. Definitely quite a few different hops in this one. Not much cascade but a lot of other bitter hops.

M- Pretty good! Nice dry bite with excellent carbonation contrary to the lack of head

O- Very good. Looking forward to another of these. Good thing I bought 2!

Food Pairing

This wonderful IPA paired very well with... BBQ'd sausage. My nice home made hot Italian sausage paired very well with this hoppy light IPA.

Enjoy (727 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.09/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy opaque golden with an off white head.

S: Nose is all papaya and tropical fruit, though a bit faint.

T: Grapefruit peel, papaya, tropical fruit and orange rind. Maybe a bit of pine.

M: Medium bodied and smooth for an IPA.

O: I love the tropical fruit, and wish it were a bit stronger. I also wish the nose weren't so faint, but I'd definitely recommend it. (367 characters)

Photo of randallpink
3.57/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a medium copper colour with a 2 inch, off white head which lasts forever. leaves patchy lacing along the side of the glass (mostly at the top). shows low carbonation.

S - moderately yeasty, sweet smelling, passionfruit, red berries, red licorice, tropical citrusy fruits, malty caramel, baked bread, pear, a little resiny as it warms

T - lemony citrus & grapefruit, caramel and fresh bready malt, some earthy hops, licorice tasting (reminds me of twizzlers), slightly medicinal taste hits me every once and a while, there's something just a little strange about this beer that I can't seem to put my finger on it...it definitely has some good flavours but something is throwing it off.

M - light to medium body, soft carbonation, some alcohol present. sweet when it hits the tongue and has an extremely quick and harsh shift to the bitterness of the hops. initially creamy & medium sweet, which quickly changes to bitter, and finishes with a harsh bitterness and dry. slightly astringent on the finish as well.

O - a drinkable beer, but there was something a little off about it. maybe it's just my taste, as it was quite difficult for me to pick out what it was that was bothering me. it looks great off the pour but didn't quite live up to the aesthetics this time. it did have an overly red licorice smell and taste which i couldn't seem to get out of my head. it's an interesting attempt at the IPA, and while I wouldn't go out of my way to seek this one out again, I may give it another try down the road if the time is right (1,545 characters)

Photo of mick303
3.43/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Really attractive colour, honey brown with a bit of ruby highlights, very hazy, great retention and lacing. 3.75
S- lemon, herbal hops, with a definite tropical edge, guava!! And passion fruit, papaya. Oozes tropical fruit goodness. 3.75
T- more tropical fruitiness, guava and passion fruit predominate, some dry nuttiness coming on the end, some raspberry, bitterness is balanced by the tons of fruitiness. Shows some crystal malt especially on the end. But this gets quite sweet.
M- a ton of scrubbing carbonation and creamy filling feel. Good pleasing full feel, lot of drying on the finish, rind like dryness. Feel is really frothy actually, not a big fan of this.
One of the more tropical and fruity IPAs in awhile, this really struggles to keep that in check, the syrupy sweetness and fruitiness mashes against the bitterness but they never really come together, it is a messy IPA with an overbearing tropical character and a cloyingly crystal character. I was initially impressed by this but then the beer started to give me a headache with how unbalanced it is, the piles of tropical fruit and crystal malt is a lot of sweetness to counter and the beer never really gets its act together, a bit overly carbed as well. I would say this is one that could be passed over, because there are so many amazing IPAs out there. (1,327 characters)

Photo of beergoot
3.06/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Honey-colored body with a thick, sticky white head. Heavy caramel aroma, almost butterscotch-like; faint spiciness beneath it all. More deep caramel in the flavor with a strong hop bitterness from the middle and building up in the aftertaste. Medium bodied; semi-dry finish.

This IPA is all over the place and not necessarily for the better. Looks great but smells funky and tastes even stranger. Too much caramel/butterscotch malt flavor overall. I won't say there is any bacterial infection with this, but the butterscotch tones are definitely upfront. It does hit you with a strong hop bitterness but there is very little hop aroma per se. Strange, since the listed hops on the bottle label (Cascade, Warrior, and Glacier) don't leave any real fruity or citrusy notes in either taste or smell. Drinkable but probably not a 'go-to' IPA for most. (848 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can: Poured a deep amber color ale with a relatively large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of bitter citrus hops with dry caramel malt notes. Taste is also dominated by dry and bitter hops with light citrus and earthy notes with some dry caramel malt notes also noticeable. Body is average with good carbonation. Not bad bit a bit too strong on the bitterness front. I think this would have been a great IPA back in 2006. (448 characters)

Photo of stella77artois
3.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 bottle poured into Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - Pours a dark amber, with a shade of red. Light red-amber when shown to light. A little on the flat side, took an aggressive pour to get a decent head. A good looking beer, though.

S - Genral hoppiness and bittnerness. Hint of sweet malts. Notice a bit of grapefruit and a unique chili powder/red pepper aroma. Not a bad smelling beer.

T - Not as good as the taste. Not neccessarily bland, just very average. The general bitterness is more straightforward. Don't notice much from the hops. Slightly sweet malts. Not much going on.

F - Drinkable and easy on the throat and tongue. But the blandish taste doesn't help with the mouthfeel.

O - A very run-of-the-mill IPA. Not offensive, nor neccessarily bad, just not that good. Pretty bland for an IPA. Nothing really begs for it to be drank again. I'd drink this again if it were offered, but I won't buy it. (917 characters)

Photo of larryi86
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A- A clear amber with a two finger off white head.

S- Citrus/grapefruit, herbal/tea notes, some wet grass, pale malts.

T- Close to the nose, but getting more of the wet green/onion flavor, getting some pine in the finish that helps make this better.

M- Fairly smooth, medium body.

O- Not bad, but I have had a lot of better IPAs. I wouldn't pass if it was given to me, but I don't see myself buying it again because there are plenty IPAs that I like better that I can find easily. (523 characters)

Photo of FLima
3.63/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber reddish color with a thick off white head with good retention and leaving a wall of laces.
Very light fruity aroma, a bit disappointing. Hints of papaya and some citrusy and malt sweetness.
Flavor is much more interesting, though with a controlled hoppiness. Notes of earthy and citrus hops, slightly toasted malts, peppery yeast, lemon and perfume. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Light body with appropriate carbonation.
It felt to me like a mix of traditional British IPA with American Amber Ale and IPA. (508 characters)

Photo of thehyperduck
3.11/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

473 mL can picked up at the LCBO. It's not every day that you see a new American craft beer on the shelves here, even if it is just Shipyard. Served slightly chilled.

Pours a hazy copper-amber colour, topped with just over one finger of frothy, off-white head that leaves a ring of sea foam-like lace in a rim around the edge of the glass as it gradually recedes. A bumpy cap and thick collar remain - this is a good looking ale, but the aroma doesn't exactly scream quality. It is intensely lemony, to the point of where I am more reminded of dish soap or hardwood cleaners than beer. It's, uh, distinctive I guess; quite fragrant and flowery, with some bready malts and caramel buried beneath the far more dominant hops.

Fortunately this tastes ok, though I still wouldn't consider it as good as many local alternatives. The malt backbone is a little thin, offering up a touch of caramel and toasted biscuits that are quickly lost in an onslaught of lemony citrus and pink grapefruit hop bitterness. The finish is quite bitter, which is nice, but it also has a lingering, musty quality to it that hangs on into the aftertaste. The alcohol isn't immediately noticeable, but it can be detected in the astringent finish. Medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation that gives this one a bit more of a bite than I prefer from IPAs of this heft. Not very drinkable, due to the abv and high astringency, which exhausts the palate rather quickly.

Final Grade: 3.11, a C+. Monkey Fist IPA is a passable brew, but I'd be surprised if I return to it any time soon when I can think of like 10 or more Ontario-made IPAs that I'd prefer. The flowery, lemony hops do not work very well when used with such aggressiveness - they virtually strip the taste buds, and that fact combined with the overall 'cleaning product' vibe it gives off really doesn't encourage me to consume more than one of these. Not the greatest use of shelf space, but at least it's not another Euro lager. (1,966 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.38/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Monkey Fist has a great label but it's nothing compared to the beer itself; this IPA is an incandescent golden tone, with a caramelly, maple syrup complexion but shimmering flaxen-yellow highlights. Its head is thin but scattershots all over the glass. With an appearance like this you can't go wrong, right? Well...

The aroma is what I'd charitably call "peculiar". It smells something like a lemon- or pine-scented cleaning product. The citric oils and tree resins are expected - desired, actually - in an IPA but their presence in this bouquet is a little reminiscent of something from the Pine-Sol product line.

The flavour makes that turn to the unfavourable all but definite; the notion of lemon- and pine-scented cleaning product gets a little too real on the palate. It goes from mildly appealing to somewhat concerning - did this come from under the brewery's kitchen sink? Even the malts taste coated in a combination of honey and industrial-strength alcohol-based solvent.

Surprisingly, my palate adjusted to what turns out to be an alright, if unusual IPA. That said, others will be unable to look beyond the Pine-Sol semblance. But if viewed simply as an ultra-earthy - the ultra-ist possible short of chewing a mouthful of dead leaves and twigs - it's not at all out of line with the style's profile (though that detergent-like taste is downright nauseating).

Shipyard has yet to truly 'wow' me but they make some very good beers; I expected a lot more from Monkey Fist. It's a somewhat bizarre IPA that ironically makes the drinker feel like they're part of a science experiment - will I wake up tomorrow with a tail or an eleventh toe? Maybe Monkey's Fist is the lab monkeys' revenge? Either way, Maine offers far better IPAs than this. (1,758 characters)

Photo of hopsolutely
3.11/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A disappointment from a brewery who's previous beers I've enjoyed, so one I will purchase again from a different year/batch.

Can pours a hazy golden amber with a minimal ecru coloured head that disappears quickly, but leaves a fair amount of lacing. Aroma has a medicinal, metallic pong with a hint of hop resin. No balance and the medicinal nature truly overpowers all other elements. The flavour is also harsh, with an abrupt transition from sweet to bitter overlaying rotten grassy tones.

It may be a bad can, or it may just be me and an inability to enjoy whatever is in this central hop portfolio, but I rarely dislike beers this much. And I had high hopes for this one... (681 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
3.36/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tall can from the LCBO for $2.75

Appearance - Copper colour with an average size frothy off-white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for 5 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and most of the taste is made up of caramel and malts mixed with light hops. There is also some guava/strawberry/kiwi type sweetness.

Overall - A but of an odd tasting beer. Reminds me a bit of some of the euro takes on American IPA's I've had in the past. It's worth a try in my opinion, but not a repeat purchase with so many other great options out there. (726 characters)

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.3/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep bronze orange color with a gigantic eggshell head that lasts forever. Masses of lace and foam patches coat the glass on the way down. The smell is dominated by banana, fruit yeast esters with some bakers yeast and some citrusy hops. A bready, butterscotch, fruit ester flavor dominates the hops in the taste. Green apple with some grapefruit, The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and moderately carbonated. Light bitterness and fruit esters in the shortish finish.

This is a very low hopped American IPA using something other than a California ale yeast (absolutely no info on the can, not even hop verities used). Lots of esters, not much hop presence. A pass unless you like an English type IPA. (713 characters)

Shipyard Monkey Fist IPA from Shipyard Brewing Co.
78 out of 100 based on 133 ratings.