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Monkey Wrench Strong Ale - Daleside Brewery

Not Rated.
Monkey Wrench Strong AleMonkey Wrench Strong Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

59 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 59
Hads: 68
Avg: 3.83
pDev: 7.05%
Wants: 3
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Daleside Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: rastaman on 04-01-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (10) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 59 | Hads: 68
Photo of AshleyRW
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

just the right mix of hops and malt. a great beer! very well-balanced; "veritable hops" without any astringency. peculiar sourness in aroma but by no means a negative. perfect mouthfeel, full malty body, endanger of being too sweet but this is offset by a reasonable amount of hops.

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Photo of Dylan2000
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Appearance: Pours a nice dark brown, with a thick finger+ head that forms at first, and then dissipates after a minute or so.

Smell: Nice and malty aroma, little to no hop smell present. Somewhat of a sour note in the smell - but nothing similar in the taste.

Taste: This strong ale is described as "dark and beautifully smooth" and it definitely lives up to that description. This beer has a great, smooth, extremely well balanced taste, with a nice sweet maltiness, and superb mouthfeel - which results in an very easy drinking dark/strong ale.

Mouthfeel: Nice and creamy and smooth - uncommonly smooth,
and all malt, no hop bite in this batch.

Drinkability: I could drink this brew all night - smooth, balanced, creamy = deliciously satisfying.

Notes: The back label reads "In an old English seaport there persists a strange legend which claims that many centuries ago when Britain was at war, a monkey was found clinging to a raft that had been washed ashore. The poor creature chattering from cold and fright was believed to be speaking a foreign language. The monkey, thought to be a spy, was arrested and met an untimely end. In sympathy for that monkey, and in support of monkeys, this beer is called Monkey Wrench."

1998 Cask Ale Winner
W.S. Beer Challenge 2005 Silver
Champion Winter Beer of Great Britain Competition - Class Winner

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Photo of Blueribbon666
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes.
Pours a dark, dusky rich brown into dimpled mug with very little head at all. Smells of malt, biscuit and a bit of hop back in the way back.
Taste/Mouthfeel, wow very good mouthfeel, warm and rich almost like a scotch ale with the bit of sweetness that's evident before a warm, clean finish. The abv seems higher than the 5.3% listed, not that it's boozy but rather warming.
Took a flyer on this single pint while buying other things and went back within a week to get several more as they went down great at a summer pig roast right from the bottle. Love a good hearty English brew especially the darker stuff, where I feel the English stuff really shines. Recommended!

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Photo of ybnorml
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clean brown beer with ruby highlights. Has a creamy off white head. There is an overall smooth sweetness in the aroma. With hints of chocolate and dried fruit popping up here and there. The taste again has a strong sweet character, with a caramel note up front, a nice cocolaty note in the middle and some coffee bitterness on the finish. A delicious treat.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a single 16oz bottle from Woodman's in Janesville, WI for $4.29 in Fall 2010.

Pours a dark brown color with a decent head of foam as you take in the scents of malts with a hint of chocolate. It drinks much like a stout as it has that thicker and heavier taste to it. Nicely made and finishes rather smoothly. Something to try if you like heavier beers.

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Photo of MBPChead
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been very excited about trying this one and I have I hopes, so lets see what we have.

Appearance: Deep caramel color with a thick creamy head. Wonderful looking.

Aroma: Roasted bready and nutty scents with floral and caramel notes very malty overall and quite nice.

Taste: Malty body overall giving it a roasted bread and nut flavor along with flavors of caramel, this is accompanied by floral taste from the hops which also gives of the flavor of cherries. Very tasty overall

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy through and through with a slight tickle. Wonderful feeling throughout.

Drinkability: This one goes down very nicely and I could very well drink it back to back.

Quite nice overall the taste had a couple issues but overall it was quite nice, it looked felt and drank wonderfully.

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Photo of dgilks
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear dark copper colour with some yeast buildup visible. Smooth, creamy, light tan head.

Rich, malty aroma with plenty of vibrant yeast esters. Nice nutty caramel note.

Rounded, toffee malt with some biscuit and bread. Solid fruit character with additional burnished toffee and some earthy hops. Really good.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Dry finish.

A classic English ale with lots of big maltiness and great esters. The light hop character adds a nice dry finish. Very good.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchase from Sackville Cellars in Rozelle, an oft forgotten little Sydney bottleshop that can have some interestingly overlooked beers.

Pours a hazed and deep red-brown mahogany hue, almost ruby in the light, with a fine and full head of off-white. Lacing is firm and strong, leaving wonderful cascades down the inside of the glass. Body is a bit thin, but the carbonation, such as it is, is rather fine and pleasant. Looks good.

Nose is wonderful—gorgeous melange of chocolate malts giving a dry cacao character, with a big dollop of gooey English blackberries. It's all dark, but fresh and surprisingly crisp. Lovely nose.

Slightly thinner on the palate, with a roasted cacao flavour dominant, along with a green berry-leaf rustic roughness. Blackberry overtones come in late again, with a lingering huskiness. It doesn't manage to fulfill every facet of the tongue, but it's tasty.

A nice beer, and a slightly more elaborate one than you often get from a British brewery. While I appreciate a really good mild English ale every now and then, I'd prefer one like this with just that little bit more oomph.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This ale pours with a thick white head and minute bubbles. A deep mahogany hue with pleasant ale yeast odor.The taste of oak and roasted malt dominate. An almost walnutty dry mouthfeel with a sweet crisp finish result in the quaffable qualities and favorable finish.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark ruby color, when seen through the light, otherwise, it's a ruddy caramel hue, sitting under a slim ring of cocoa foam.

Dark fruit abounds in the nose, rich, sweet, and ebullient, grape and black cherry, with caramel and nuts riding along. Quite nice.

"Dark and beautifully smooth," reads the label, below a depiction of the titular ape, and smooth is right. Slides right in the mouth and lolls about the palate. A lush maltiness, with a perfect integration. Just a whisper of hop, very easy on the tongue, and not too sweet, either. Texture and mouthfeel is no challenge, either. For this ale, it's all about the unique malty flavor and the flawless drinkability.

At over $5 for a 500ml bottle, I won't be visiting this too often, but I do recommend it. Not bad in the least.

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Photo of Vancer
4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So far, so good - a clear mahogany pour into the Corsendonk tulip. Nice frothy ivory head that leave a ring o' lace on each pull.

Caramel, hops, and chocolate in the aroma. Well balanced, smooth, and enjoyable quaff - the sturdy malts with a toasty, nutty characteristic finish well. A standard English bitter that drinks like a dream. This would have to be a thumbs up on any persons list - from cross-over to beer geek.

I'm impressed and glad to have picked up this bottle for a sample.

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Photo of Sigmund
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, bought in Scarborough. Possibly filtered, but probably not pasteurised. ABV is 5.3%. As a cask ale it was voted "Champion Winter Beer of Britain 1998". Chestnut coloured beer, rich off-white to beige head. Very nice malty aroma with oaky and vinous notes, also caramel and dark fruits. Malty flavour with caramel, some raisiny and vinous notes, moderate hops. Moderate carbonation, soft mouthfeel. A pleasant beer to drink.

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Photo of dqrull
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful dark red, almost wine red, with a soft moderate head that dies down rather quickly, leaving a little creamy lacing.

A fruity spicy maltiness that makes me doubt the beers ABV, interesting, but really hard to distuingish, but Im feeling that the fault lies with me, not with the beer.

Taste is a little weaker than the nose. But the taste is similair in flavours to the smells of the nose, but some coffee, and some roasted notes along with a few dark fruits. The beer is really light all throughout, and is rather refreshing actually, the low abv and a light is no disadvantage here!

A quite light body, with a low soft carboantion make sfor an easy drink!

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Photo of DogFood11
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Started to pour it slow as always but this needed some aggression to get what I was looking for out of the head. Once it settles in the head fades and leaves occassional ring lacing. Dark Amber to brown in color, carbonation sticks to the sides of the glass and slowly rolls up.

First impression was that this is a mild offering in all aspects but never the less very tasty in the end. I was surpised and happy to taste and smell a laid back but tasty hop presence that actually balances out an otherwise bready, cocoa powder type malted brew. Easy mouthfeel cleans up well enough. Hell I think I could session this bitch.

Notes: tasty enough to keep it interesting. The more I gobbled this fine product the more I was planning my next trip to Wally's in Westwood for more from Daleside.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.01/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml brown bottle from The Lighthouse in Manchester. Pours a translucent dark brown-red with nearly an inch of off-white head. Smells roasty with hints of English hops, but the aroma is not that apparent. Tastes roasty, malty, nutty with just a hint of herbal hops present toward the finish. Tastes are fairly subtle, but are all very pleasant. Smooth, medium mouth-feel with some carbonation but not too much. Very drinkable, this beer is. At 5$ per bottle, it's a little pricier than something I'd drink on a daily basis. But it's a smooth, easy-drinking, solid English beer that I may pick up from time to time.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Wide bodied brown glass bottle with a black and red label that surrounds 360˚ of the bottles torso. Sealed with a brass colored crown cap which has the Brewery logo in green. No freshness date but listed at 5.3% ABV and the advise is to serve this at 54˚F (12˚C).

Appearance: Mid brown body with the classic ruby hue that adds a deep rich clarity. Off white head remains at ¼” thick and lasts throughout. Above average conditioning levels with smattered lacing on the glass walls all the way down. Solid appearance, with a sturdy and steady long lasting presentation.

Nose: Dark fruits and hints of roasted malts are punctuated with a ripe banana and clove finish.

Taste: A nutty caramel and bonfire toffee start the excitement. Roasted malts and a light dry hoppiness are also prevalent. Dark fruits, banana, clove, dark chocolate and some residual sweetness throughout. Quite the tasty package and nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel: Way above average, chewy with a nutty character. Smooth and easy going. Big feel with a thick chewy texture.

Drinkability: Has a heavy feel, classed as a Strong Ale in the UK, this certainly drinks like one. But the carbonation lends a light airy feel to the heavier roasted malts and toffee. A great drink, I could easily manage one more bottle than I should probably have.

Overall: I recall drinking quite a lot of Daleside brews when I lived in England, though often it was their aptly named Piston Bitter, I occasionally got to try the Monkey Wrench on Cask which I enjoyed. It seems to have improved from memory, that tastes are fuller, deeper and bolder - now it is a darker and fruitier variant that has a very satisfying.

Named after an incident in Hartlepool, England that involved the hanging of a Monkey thought to have been a French Spy. Aaah the good old days!!

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Photo of barefootbrewer
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a clear brown color with a cream colored one finger, rocky head – which quickly resided. The aroma is mostly of malt with some sourness noted after a moment. The taste is malty with a bit of chocolate like flavors noted. The mouthfeel is full and somewhat creamy. Overall this is an easy beer to drink – a delight that would make a great session beer.

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Photo of InDreams
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a 500mL of this as an early X-Mas present from a friend...

A: Poured into a big mug, very, very dark brown, with mahogany around the edges. Off-white head, finger thick, nice lacing on the sides. Head sticks around for a bit then mellows down to a thin crown.

S: Woah. First impression; sweet as sugar! Very malty, like roasted malts, toffee-like, might also compare to dates. Dark fruit. Hints of yeast, and while I might say it's a bit earthy, I wouldn't say it's from the hops. Probably more of an oak-barrel thing. The sweetness is dominant though, brown sugar perhaps the cause there.

T: Nice and smooth, overwhelming roasted malty sweetness. Brown sugar, dark fruits again...with a definite toffee-like character. I just don't get anything hoppy from it, as opposed to what others have said. Very clean and straightforward, I find. Really pleasant too.

M: Medium bodied and oh-so-smooth. Not much of a bite from carbonation or hops.

D: It's so pleasant and smooth, you can't really turn it down.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crimson, almost garnet in color with a very thin white head. Lacing is decent, and carbonation is very fine.

S: Sweet, slightly fruity with hints of fig and caramel. There are some floral accents as well.

T: Dried fruit, brown sugar, molasses, and bread are predominant at first, but it finishes clean, with floral, fruity hop notes.

M: I assumed this beer would have a bit more body than it actually does. Somewhat thin for this style, yet it has enough to give it some finesse.

D: Overall a pretty good beer. The taste makes up for what it lacks in body and smell. A great beer to drink on a cool, rainy night.

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Photo of EagleTalon
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a thin off-white head and a solid clear brown color. Aroma is a nice mixture of fruity esters and buttery malt. Flavor is heavy on the malt flavors with just enough hops to even it out. There are dark specialty malts all over the flavor, giving it a complex malt profile that develops as it warms. Good smooth mouthfeel due to low carbonation. Easy to quaff. Good stuff.

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Photo of ADR
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clearish red chestnut color, pale head of large detergent-like bubbles. Wispy looping laces on most of the glass. Malted milk aroma with some fruity ripe peach elements. Active carbonation in the mouth, spritzy feel to it. Flavor has a lot of fruit for me, orange marmalade, peach cobbler, and a certain brightness. A bit of ashy bittering takes hold mid mouth and makes the ending pretty nice and pleasant. Overall, a very nice profile from start to finish. However, I don't know what Daleside brews sell for in many markets, but this one came in for me at over $5 for a trace over 16 oz, and as far as drinking it again -- its not all that for all that.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark brown ale, with a gorgeous frothy light tan head. Strong malty/mollasses aroma, creamy than thick, dark fruits, slight roast. Nutty malty, toffeeish tastes dominate, the nuttiness being more towards the nd. Nice on the palate. Overall a very nice beer,,gets way better as it warms.

Bottle from Capital Market,Salem

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Photo of wl0307
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought at the UTOBEER stall, Borough Market, S. London. The bottle says the cask-version of this beer is the "Strong Ale Class Winner" in the Winter Beer of Britain Competition 1998. BB DEC 06, served cool in a straight imperial-pint glass.

A: dark ruby to russet in colour; fluffy and foamy beige head slowly retreats to a thin cap, on top of moderate carbonation with sporadic streams of med.-sized bubbles.
S: caramely, toffee-ish, sweet-nutty and mildly cocoa-ish malts mingle very well with a firm flow of sweet citric aromatic hops and a touch of date-like dried stone-fruits, while a touch of hop resins lingers in the background. Not too complex, but different elements of aroma are bound very well together. Pleasant!
T: a flow of semi-sweet caramely malts prevails, followed by plenty of raisins, aromatic dried fruits, and semi-sweet nutty aftertaste, almost like fruit-cake with drops of nutty syrup; a touch of treacles and sweet roasty tinge of dark malts (as in Dark Mild) quietly hovers in the finish, where the hops make a come-back and impart a slightly chewy, tea-leafy, mildly bitter edge.
M&D: the mouthfeel is quite spritzy, not smooth enough to seamlessly match the rather soothing, rich yet balanced flavour profile, though it softens a little as the carbonation evaporates. Overall this is a malty as well as fruity Strong Bitter; with its nice flavour that's shown by this presumably inferior interpretation of the ale, I'm sure the cask version would be absolutely a hit for Autumn!

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Photo of Zorro
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear reddish brown beer that is reddish orange when held up to the light. Nice tan head that disappears after a few minutes.

Smell is quite fruity with the signature aroma of British ale yeast. Sweet aroma of raisins and some fruit I can't quite identify possibly guava.

Taste is mildly sweet brown sugar and earthy hops in the first sip. Medicinal hop flavor mix well with the fruity flavor of a British ale to yield something like a bitter Apéritif like Italian Beverly but in a good way. After a while the flavor gets decidedly nutty and a bit buttery.

Mouthfeel is OK, maybe a bit light.

A tasty and super easy to imbibe beer here. A tad expensive so it isn't going to take the place that Firestone Pale Ale occupies in my refrigerator, but I do recommend that you try this if you see it.

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Photo of BoitSansSoif
3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Poured from pint bottle into Bordeaux glass. Thin beige head stuck around about 15 seconds before fizzling out. No cap. Color is a ruby-brown amber.

S-Pleasant aroma of toasted malt, nuts, some darker fruits, vegetation, faint choco-caramel, and faint hops.

T-Sweet caramel-nut-raisins in the attack with pleasant toasted malt. Nice faintly bitter hops in the finish clean the palate momentarily, but the delicious malt lingers on in the aftertaste. It's a nice balance. I'm also getting tart berry or sour cherry on later sips.

M-Decent, but I would barely qualify it as medium-bodied.

D-I like the flavors, and I thoroughly enjoy drinking this, but the body and the weak pour kind of numb the whole experience. I'll still put a 4 since I buy beer to drink, not to look at.

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Monkey Wrench Strong Ale from Daleside Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.