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Stickee Monkee - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stickee MonkeeStickee Monkee

Educational use only; do not reuse.

209 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 209
Hads: 2,032
Avg: 4.45
pDev: 26.74%
Wants: 586
Gots: 952 | FT: 106
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) | 12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ThreeWiseMen on 11-07-2010

A Belgian Quad by recipe, but aging it in spirits barrels garners its own category: Central Coast Quad. A beer formulated to sit on the sweeter and malty side so that we could utilize it for blending. Turbinado brown sugar from Mexico adds wonderful molasses flavors that are reminiscent of Belgian candi sugar. It has a full body and lush texture with barrel expression all over this beer: toasted oak, coconut, leather and cigar tobacco.

45 IBU
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Reviews: 209 | Hads: 2,032
Photo of SeanMNCraftBeerLover
4.49/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very smooth for 12.5%, split with my father law when my daughter met her great geandparents. Poured into a Westy 12 glass, and drank roughly 16 oz over a hour period to let the temperature warm up throughout the night.

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Photo of beergoot
4.17/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Front Range BBQ (advertised as at 13.4% ABV)...

Ink black with a wispy ring of foam. Dark fruit aroma; plums and dates. Dark, smokey malt flavors; earthy spiciness; black licorice. Heavy body; semi-sweer finish.

Oh, yeah! Well-rounded and robust, especially in the taste department.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.22/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into tulip. Batch 1, bottled 4/18/14.

A: Pours a deep cola brown with a finger of bubbly dark tan head that quickly disappeared into a thin collar.
S: Sweet nose with tons of barrel quality. I get notes of leather, raisin, candied dates, black figs, red grape, and a touch of caramel and bitter hop resin. Booze is noticeable but not rough at all. Super sweet and sugary smelling.
T: Follows the nose with all of the flavors from the nose along with the addition of vanilla and tobacco leaf in the finish. Leather, sweet grape juice, molasses, and boozy barrel quality dominate. I get nuances of dark chocolate and cocoa as well. The finish is lightly bitter, and notes of candied sugar, caramel, vanilla and grape linger long after the swallow. I get a touch of roast throughout, and a very low alcohol presence. For being 13%, the alcohol is hidden very well.
M: Full body, thick and chewy mouthfeel, with low carbonation. Very sweet overall, and there’s a thick alcohol quality but the booze isn’t warming.
O: The flavor profile is more like a barreled aged barleywine mixed with a quad. Ultra sweet as per the description. Another complex sipper from FW, but this was far too sweet for me to finish a whole bottle of in one sitting.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.13/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Far brown in color with a very murky complexion. No light penetrates this beverage. There's a fingernail of beige around the rim. I smell loads of sweet dark malt, bourbon, plums, and raisins. I taste an onslaught of dark malt, alcohol, plums,figs, and bourbon. The mouth is thick, chewy, and dry.

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Photo of jakecattleco
4.52/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 batch into a tulip glass. Pours a mahogany brown with a tiny ribbon of quickly dissipating white head. Sweet aromas, caramel and toffee, with hints of prunes abs perhaps a little vanilla. Tastes a tiny bit sweet, caramel and raisins, and a hint of alcohol. A little thin with good carbonation. Very enjoyable!

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Photo of Zonk
4.59/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost black with decent khaki head that holds up well for the ABV. Rich aromas of toffee and fig and caramel. More of the same on the palate, with noticeable oak and some cigar box (cedar?). Pushes the envelope in sweetness, the alcohol is noticeable without sticking out. An excellent beer although the style is more "FW Barrel" than quad,and the rich sweetness and oak definitely over power some of the quad characteristics.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.66/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Looks dark brown with a reddish tint. Smell is raisin, burnt sugar, oak, bourbon. Taste is raisin, figs, dates, burnt sugar, oak, and bourbon. All amazingly balanced to make a damn fine beer.

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Photo of svenness
4.4/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage

L: Very dark brown, sparse tan head
S: Alcohol, toasted/charred oak, dark stone fruits, burnt sugar
T: Bourbon barrel character, vanilla, coconut, raisin
F: Full-bodied, a little carbonation prickle, sugar sweetness masks the moderate alcohol burn and light bitterness
O: Very well made and very enjoyable

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Photo of BIll_Currie
4.78/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Finally got some of this. It took awhile to track down but they had it at a bar in the Venetian. Was worth the wait. Smell was outstanding. Very smooth.

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Photo of TheElectricOne
4.51/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber ($18.99) into a nonic:

Appearance: black. Small, dark brown head, but it has some solid retention, lingering for a few minutes. This is impressive at almost 14%.

Aroma: tons and tons and tons of barrel. Reeks of wood. That being said, its not a rough smell, like tobacco and leather....it's soft and sweet, with lots of candy and molasses in the background. Incredibly soft and welcoming. Smells like it's got some boozy punch behind it for sure.

Taste: not much heat at all, surprisingly. Flavors are, like the aroma, soft and subtle and emerge further as the beer warms. Started drinking this one at around 40 degrees, and it got better and better as it reached cellar temps. Lots of molasses, burnt sugar, and caramel to begin with. Finishes sweeter and with some dark fruits as well, like fig and date. The barrel definitely creates a unique quad-much different than the Trappist quads in flavor.

Feel: thick and syrupy, this is definitely more of a sipping beer in terms of drinkability. Heavy body, with not much carbonation. The softness, however, is a plus in my book, as it lets the subtle flavors packed into this beer come out more easily.

Overall: if you are looking for a traditional quad, this is not the beer to drink. It doesn't have yeasties, that lovely purple-auburn color, or the fluffy head that comes with Trappist quads. It does, however, have tons of flavor, and is an incredibly delicate and complex beer. Seek it out and crush it!

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Photo of kojevergas
3.35/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Currently #92 in the Top 250 and the 4th highest rated quadrupel in the top 250. As this may well be my favourite style, I'm excited to try it - but wary given the brewery, whose beers that are well regarded by most tend to disappoint.

PRESENTATION: 650ml brown glass bottle comes in a cardboard box, imitating fine whisk(e)ys. Crown cap is covered by black foil paper. 2015 vintage no. 002.

3500 cases produced. 28.6 plato O.G. 7.7 plato F.G. 22 IBUs. 67.5 SRM. Brewed with Lucha Libre yeast. 12.5% ABV.

Reviewed live as a barrel aged quadrupel per the label. Served chilled into an Orval goblet and allowed to come to temperature over the course of consumption.

HEAD: Cap is a nice looking khaki-tan with ample creaminess. Appears soft and luscious; very inviting. Good (thick) consistency, with a nice shining complexion. Recedes evenly, leaving no lacing. Retention is superb at this high an ABV - easily ~5 minutes. It's not the delicate, fragile, rich head of the very best Trappist examples of the style, but it's definitely quality.

BODY: Uncommonly dark for the style, coming in at a solid black. The deep auburn hues of traditional Belgian offerings are definitely more sightly, but this is excusable given the barrel aging. Though the absence of visible yeast particulate does make it seem less alive.

It appears well-carbonated and I find it attractive, but it's not in the upper echelon of the style in terms of looks.

AROMA: Turbinado sugar is put to good use here, indeed mimicking the aromas of Belgian candi sugar. But mimicry is mimicry, and this is a notch below Trappist quads to be sure. The barrel aging does add interesting notes of leather, coconut, faint oak, vanilla, and backgrounded tobacco true to Firestone Walker's claims on the box. But what gets buried by the barrel is the heart of a great quad - the dark fruits. There are appearances of sugarplum and fig, but they don't shine vividly or expressively, and any dates or raisiny notes get drowned out by the barrel - though the barrel isn't loud and doesn't clash with the beer per se. High sweetness is showcased, lacking the dialed-in characteristics you'd find in a Trappist yeast-fermented quadrupel. More raw than refined, the sweetness needs work.

This suggests a beer intended to cater more to barrel aging fanatics (aka the American audience) than appreciators of tradition, but that's fine - and boy, is that barrel aging interesting.

Aromatic intensity is moderate. No booziness is betrayed, nor are there any off-notes.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Creamy and leathery in both feel and taste, but it's lacking in terms of the delicate fragility you'd find in the very best beers in the style. The leathery feel does play somewhat to the barrel aging's strengths, coaxing out notes of vanilla, oak, and some tobacco - plain and unsubtle though they may be. The coconut from the aroma never appears, and the barrel character isn't horribly deep or intricate, nor is each constituent note particularly vivid or expressive.

Dark fruits are displaced as the heart of the beer by overt sweetness from the turbinado sugar, which does a nice job at imitating Belgian candi sugar but never quite fits the bill wholly. There is some faint buried dark fruit character - mainly plum, but it lacks depth of flavour. This definitely pales in comparison to Trappist quadrupels, and the yeast attenuation seems off. Maybe the sweetness would be quelled with time.

It's smooth and wet but not silky or velvety, and soft on the palate but not to the degree that the best beers in the style are. Full-bodied without being boozy or overbearing, albeit a bit overcarbonated.

The mouthfeel - like the brewery - prioritizes the barrel notes over the gestalt whole of the beer, to its detriment.

OVERALL: A quadrupel for fans of barrel aging, Stickee Monkee is far from amongst the best beers in the style, but it does cater neatly to its niche. Traditionalists will find it lacking in many respects (and many will note that its lack of Belgian yeast characteristics and adequate dark fruit notes make it barely a quadrupel at all), and it lacks the astonishing drinkability of Trappist paragons of the style, but many will enjoy its American leanings. At this price point, I'd much sooner reach for a Westvleteren 12 or St. Amatus, but it's nice to see American breweries making the style their own - even when it comes at a cost. Still, #92 in the Top 250? Please...

Does get better as it warms. I'd pour it at cellar temps.

B- (3.35) / WORTHY

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Photo of ruzzal
4.55/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Just took out a 15 and then a 14. 15 blew me away. 14 was about after 7 more reguar beers. 15 was way better. Usually being a few in makes all great to me. Sont know if it is year version or agong, but 15 ruled. Im just recent in the aging thing.

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Photo of corby112
4.01/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque dark chocolate brown color with mahogany edges and a two finger beige head that quickly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Surprisingly good retention given it's style and ABV with sporadic streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Sweet, slightly boozy aroma with a nice barrel character that's decently integrated into the leathery malts, dark fruit and sweet molasses/brown sugar notes of the base. Charred oak, toasted coconut and vanila bean along with boozy bourbon and brandy sweetness. Underneath the barrel, there's some leathery tobacco, dark fruit, toffee and caramel. As it warms the sugar really starts to stand out.

Lighter body than expected and not quite as complex as the nose suggests. Again, there's a strong barrel presence but it's nicely integrated into the malt, vinous fruit and Mexican sugar flavors. Strong oak presence with a decent amount of dry char and sweet boozy heat. Slightly smokey with leathery malts, tobacco and vinous fruit, notably fig, date, raisin and other dark berries. Toffee, caramel and burnt sugar adding more sweetness. Some boozy heat in the finish but this beer drinks very easy considering the high ABV.

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Photo of Bfarr
4.13/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Burnt brown and foamy brown head with good retention for 13.4%. Oak, licorice, and bourbon vanilla aromas. Flavor follows the aroma with additions of molasses and cocoa with a warming alcohol flavor. Fairly thin, slick mouthfeel.

Huge alcohol but not hot and a mellow sweetness that unfortunately increases and becomes a little overwhelming. The alcohol balances it out somewhat but it's not quite enough. As long as you're not taking in the whole bottle yourself, you should be fine.

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Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.43/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark burgundy with ruby red, no head
S: Caramel, brown sugar, red apple, bourbon, charred oak, dates
T: Sweet caramel, bourbon, vanilla, dates, red apple, brown sugar, oak, coconut
M: Medium heavy, carbonation keeps this really easy to drink
O: This is a fantastic English barleywine and I would love to compare this to other FW.

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Photo of OrangeMen
4.81/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2015 vintage, 7 months old

Appearance- Pours a deep plumb color, brownish black w/ ruby red hues. Fine layer of lighter tan colored head, soapy. Lots of alcohol legs cling to glass, some head lacing too.

Aroma- Rich, sugar. Caramel, molasses, maltiness. Vanilla, toasted coconut, oaky barrel spice. Dark fruits of plum, raisins, figs. Sweet, mellow bourbon.

Taste- Dark fruit sweetness, plum, raisin, cherries. Toasted caramel, brown sugar, toffee, molasses. Tons of vanilla and toasted coconut. Spicy tobacco, leather, slight barrel char and sweet bourbon notes.

Feel- Full bodied, syrupy and coats the mouth, tons of sweetness. Lower carbonation.

Overall- Barrel adds such a depth of character to the beer, so many different flavors to pull out with each sip. Base beer is very sweet, tons of sugar and rich sweetness. Vanilla and coconut from the barrel marry so well with the base flavors. Charred oak, tobacco, leather, spice, just all add complexity in a great way. A+ in every way.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.06/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not the sexiest pour, brown, muddy, ruddy, thin head. Smell was of sugar, molasses, I can already see why this is called 'stickee'.

Taste, nice sweet, insert diabetus jokes if this was a Bruery beer. Kinda boozy but with all that sweetness, is all good. I don't know how much of a quad it is, but i like it. Similar to a Bruery anniversary beer but without the age and leather to it.

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Photo of khmel
4.24/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Perhaps just because of this beer's placing on the top ranked list, I expected a little more. The appearance was very promising, very dark brown and mostly opaque with a hint of ruby and a very small, ivory-colored head. Granted, it was much darker than most quads. The nose is delicious with predominate bourbon characteristics: vanilla bean, toasted oak, roasted marshmallow, and slight leathery hints. Now, I've had bourbon barrel aged quads before, but was not expecting what I got in the taste of this one. I'm not even referring to the generally lacking sweet and fruity characteristics of American quads compared to actual Belgian quads. If one could take bourbon—just straight bourbon—and turn it into a beer, this would be it. Unlike many other bbq's, this was not so much a quad with bourbon notes but carbonated bourbon with a very slight quad flavor. Don't get me wrong, I love a good bourbon. But a) I'm not interested in drinking a whole bomber of it, b) if I wanted bourbon, I'd buy bourbon, not a bbq. The mouthfeel was velvety and spectacular. Overall, this was a good beer, though maybe not quite worth all its hype. If you are really in to bourbon, this might become your favorite brew. But if you are looking for something that actually more resembles a quad with slight bourbon notes, I'd suggest Boulevard's BBQ instead. That one is a much more well-rounded version in my opinion.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
4.15/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was poured into a chalice.
The appearance was a burnt brown color with purple hues streaming along the side upwards to fill a slim cap of a white little head. As the head died off, lacing stuck around the glass adequately.
The smell had some sweet bourbon, some banana, some nuttiness, a little bit of coffee and cocoa, and then some vanilla all blending together in a warm inviting way.
The taste was mainly sweet with a delicate roastiness from the coffee underneath. A gentle sweet cocoa and bourbon aftertaste slid into the finish.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied. Sticky bourbon clings in the feel, not syrupy but not cloying.
Overall, in my opinion, I liked this quad for me, the coffee notes may be a bit different but hey, let's just say, that's a little bit extra.

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4.57/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Plumb juice blackness enters the glass and sets a beautiful stage. Head is very short, and equals just a skim really. Nose is luscious in itself. Tones of creamy bourbon and banana nut bread all the way. Sweet dark fruit and creamy toffee attack the tongue like a cumfee pillow. There is a little heat from the bourbon but it's not harsh at all. This beer could age for years to come. Absolutely stunning Quad.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
3.56/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2015 bottle served in a pint glass cold.

Poured Dark brown and clear with a large head. Tons of Barrel character, spicy and complex sweetness in the nose. The taste is crazy sweet with a very complex Barrel character. The booze is over the top and delicious. I feel that it is way too sweet to drink right now. It needs some serious time to age out. I'll leave my remaining bottle for a few years.

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Photo of Slack
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dark brown with lighter edges and an inch of head. No lacing present.

Smells like a mix of sweet candy with notes of caramel/toffee, vanilla, figs, raisins paired with malt and bourbon.

Taste is very sweet with caramel/toffee fruit notes up front followed by the malt and bourbon with a lingering sweet boozy / warming finish.

Mouthful is medium to heavy and very smooth and rich. Carbonation is somewhat higher than one would expect from a quad.

An excellent beer that has truly great notes with loads of flavor. Would love to have this one aged.

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Photo of DrSpaceman
4.91/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into snifter. Jet black, no head. Smell is dried fruit, figs, oak, and vanilla. Taste is a warm embrace of buttery sweet malt and warm oaky bourbon. Very mild burn on the finish. Body is velvety thick.
Firestone has definitely perfected barrel aging, I wish other breweries could pull this off.

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Photo of jjboesen
4.46/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Finally found this on draft at Baltimore Alewife and was very glad to do so. First, we have here a Belgian quad blended with several top-notch bourbons: Woodford reserve, Elijah Craig and Four Roses. It is a deep dark quaff with a subtly sweet nose of bourbon (Natch); the palate receives an intense bombardment of caramel, coffee, malt, pepper and a few spices thrown in. The tongue is simply absorbed in a slathery malt blanket - yet, the body itself is surprisingly light!
Stickee Monkey, you naughty, naughty monkey!

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was decadent to drink. Incredibly rich.

Looks like thick maple syrup in the glass with a light khaki foam that doesn't linger much. With each whiff of it I took, I kept thinking of oatmeal cookies. But there was more depth, with some oak and light bourbon spice, as well as figs and dates in abundance.

Impressively, the taste maintains the aromas and even expands on them. Certainly more fig, raisin and date and the bourbon by no means overruns this beer.

Just as its flavor isn't dominated by bourbon, this isn't a boozy monstrosity. The body is thick and sticky and full and creamy and sets up nicely for the light carbonation end palate that showcases the floral, Belgian aspect of the beer.

This was outstanding in every way. I'm only mad I won't easily find more because I already need more.

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Stickee Monkee from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 209 ratings.