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Monkey Wrench Strong Ale - Daleside Brewery

Not Rated.
Monkey Wrench Strong AleMonkey Wrench Strong Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

65 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 65
Reviews: 57
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 6.74%
Wants: 2
Gots: 0 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: rastaman on 04-01-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 65 | Reviews: 57 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours out a darkened, brownish-red body with a modestly-sized, sudsy, off-white head.

Smell: Toasted dark bread and some dark caramel alongside fruity hints of raisins and dried apricots. Alright, movin' on!

Taste: A sweet taste of the syrup glazed crusts of dark bread. Hint of nuts. Sadly, there's a slight lacquery tone, giving the impression it has more than the listed 5.3% ABV. Small dusting of cocoa powder. A carryover of fruitiness from the aroma. Mild hop character and bitterness. Drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: Average but accessible, though one I'll have to pass. I enjoyed the monkey shenanigans story on the label more than anything else.

ChainGangGuy, Jan 29, 2010
Photo of rastaman
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not too bad. at 5.3%ABV its not particularly strong, but neither is the flavour, some choc-caramel flavours are their, with some fruity/malty sweet flavours, bittersweet flavour thanks to a touch of hops at the end. Pretty average, but its drinkable, a bit gimmicky for some reason, maybe its just the label or something.

rastaman, Apr 01, 2003
Photo of Beejay
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep brown, and clear. Looks like Iced tea, not a lot of head on top.

S: A little sweet and malty, almost like brown sugar and oatmeal..

M: Malty, with a bit of a bite.. Tastes like is has more alc. then it actually does. Has a little bit of spice in there..

M: Nothing great or horrible..

D: I could do a few of these, but I don't think it will become a new favorite...

Beejay, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of bark
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The colour is deep brown, the liquid clear. The finger thick off white head sinks quickly down to a thin lid.

The smell is loaded with malts; I found notes of dark bread, sweet cookies, dry yeast and mild hoppy notes of dried fruits.

The taste is fresh and milder than expected. The malt dominates the palette, as it should be. Pumpernickel, rye bread, dried apples, minerals. The aftertaste got notes of dark bread, cookies, roasted meat, very mild bitter notes some warming alcohol.

The carbonation is medium strong; the bubbles small. The liquid is a little thick.

A nice and surprisingly drinkable strong ale.

bark, Apr 05, 2008
Photo of beerking1
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light amber color, medium head with some lace. Aroma is slightly butterscotch, with some mild dark fruit (raisins) and other esters. Body is thin, flavor has some more light golden raisin upfront, but backed by sweet malts and some faint hops. Tail is fast, leading to some lingering sweetness and fruit.

beerking1, Jan 20, 2008
Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

KAF, Jul 23, 2014
Photo of BeerSox
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into large pint glass.

Hazy dark brown hue, which is molded into an amber toward the bottom by the shape of the glass. A one finger than head slowly settles to a thick even cap.

A little bit of brown sugar with mostly a dark bread aroma - not quite toasted but also not quite like rye bread.

A slightly toasty, but also sweet flavor, that vaguely reminds me of a brownie sits in the foreground. The hops don't make too much of an appearance, adding a little bitterness to the backend of the flavor. Full bodied.

Maybe better fresh, this one seemed slightly bland, stuck between an English Dark Mild and an English Strong Ale (or maybe an English Brown Ale). Still, somewhat sessionable and enjoyable, and I'm sure to win someone over.

BeerSox, May 19, 2009
Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle

Pours a medium chestnut brown with a small white head that thins. Decent lacing on the glass.

Very light aroma. Mild malt and slightly toasted nutty aroma. Not bad, but really not much of anything.

Malty with a pleasant toasted nutty flavor. Mild bitterness and just a hint of herbal hops. Finishes clean and dry.

Medium body, medium carbonation.

A pleasant English Strong ale and easy to drink. Not a whole lot of distinctive or memorable characteristics. I suspect it's a different experience from the cask as I'm sure it was originally intended.

MaltyGoodness, Sep 13, 2008
Photo of jdhilt
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three finger cream head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving a little lace. Deep clear amber color. Very light carbonation and medium bodied. Hints of chocolate/caramel nose. Starts slightly malty, some bittersweet chocolate, finish is reasonably clean. 5.3% ABV is not a strong ale. $4.35 for a 500ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

jdhilt, Apr 07, 2006
Photo of shanblur
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

No freshness date. Poured from 500cc bottle into a pint glass.

A - Mahogany colored with a minimal off white head which leaves minimal lacing. Multiple floaties in the glass.

S - Raisin, caramel, toffee and dark fruits.

T - Similar to the smell, with the addition of bready malts. Faint hops.

M - A bit thin and watery.

Not a bad beer. Could have been a little denser. I also prefer my strong ales to be stronger in the ABV.

shanblur, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of WesWes
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry, yet malty scent that boasts of pale, crystal, and roasted malts along with English hops and yeast. The taste is decent also. It has a very dry flavor that goes down easy and finishes with a semi-sweet, roasted taste. It's malty, but nothing too bold. It boasts of crystal and roasted malts. There is a slight hop bitterness;mostly English hops. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a pretty good brew, but nothing to get excited about. I probably wouldn't buy it again.

WesWes, Apr 08, 2006
Photo of lackenhauser
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Label says "Monkey Wrench Dark Ale"-nothing about being a strong ale. Anyway-great mahogany color. Low carbonation-no head to speak of. Aroma of malt-caramel maltiness, very slight port-like aroma. Good malty flavor. Finishes a bit sweet. Body is ok. Overall a very drinkable beer from the UK. Worth a try but I dont see it being a regular purchase theres some much better UK beers out there.

lackenhauser, Dec 17, 2005
Photo of jarmby1711
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear Ruby/brown with no bead and a grey tinged head.
The smell was a bit off putting , being like wet leather being dried by an open fire but with a sweet/caramel background.
The taste was predominated by alcohol but also malty and raspberry flavours were there Hops were noticably absent
Mouthfeel was soft and watery but overall enjoyable.
Overall the alcohol was too over riding but as an occassional beer quite ok
Maybe eat a strong fish dish with it

jarmby1711, Oct 24, 2005
Photo of oberon
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice find this weekend while out on the beer hunt,poured a deep amber with a thinner but well sustained off white head,aromas are quite fruity with a hint of dark chocolate but nothing that would blow your mind.Alot of malt flavor in this brew brown suger and toffee hits up front with a fruity finish wich lingered nicely.A strong ale, well not so sure about that but not a bad quaffer with a thinner but smooth mouthfeel.

oberon, Oct 30, 2005
Photo of BEERchitect
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another English brew that is predictable to the point of frustration. For an English Strong, I was expecting something more challenging, complex, and characterful. It turns out to taste just like a thousand other English brews that I over paid for. An undescript malitiness comes through in the nose and flavor with a standard caramel, toffee, toasty, nutty flavor. Characters are more of unfermented wort than of a complex brew. Grass English hops used majorily for bittering, minorily for flavors. Finishes thick and worty. Sweet throughout. Seems like I write this same review for all of these expensive English brews.

BEERchitect, Nov 12, 2006
Photo of TheLiterati
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this beer with a fellow epicure who is also a conisseur of wine, and quickly becoming an aficionado of good beer as well.

Poured a deep ruby-brown color – not quite mahogany. Tan head replenishes as quickly as it dissipates due to presence of bubbly, enduring carbonation – not to the point of being pop-like, but just enough to keep the mouthfeel interesting.

Scent is overwhelmingly of roasted malt with subtle hop notes and undertones, along with a date-raisin-plum thing going on.

Malt aroma translates to a slightly sweet-tasting, malty concoction that my epicurean friend compared to "dulce de leche," a milk caramel cream native to South American countries. Has a mildly hoppy bite at the finish. All in all more complex than I expected.

As one who favors big, hoppy beers, I actually found this beer to be quite enjoyable.

TheLiterati, Aug 14, 2006
Photo of champ103
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark ruby red color. At first a two finger white head forms and recedes in a second. Some light lace is left behind.
S: Of dark fruits. Raisins, plums, figs, ext. Toasted caramel malt, bread and biscuit.
T: Caramel malt, bread, and biscuit flavors. Very light fruity flavors that follow the nose. Though a very off putting musky taste lingers.
M/D: A lighter body than I would like with some prickly carbonation. Pretty easy to drink. There is not very much alcohol for the style, and it makes an easy drinker.

Not bad at all. I would love to try this on the other side of the pond and on cask. Still worth a try as is, but I can see this being great under different conditions.

champ103, Oct 29, 2009
Photo of ohitsbrad
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

7 December 2005, Best Before Nov 05

Dark brown clear colour with a small frothy head and minimal lacing. Aroma is of chocolatey malt and raisins. Roasted chocolate taste and a little bitter. Exceptionally smooth mouthfeel, very pleasant, almost velvety and low carbonation. Overall rather easy to drink.

ohitsbrad, Dec 19, 2005
Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear deep amber with an off-white head which rose well, but fell quickly and could not even begin to lace the glass.

The aroma was fruity dark caramel and toffee. The malty aromas dominated and the fruity aromas contained some sherry notes and almost a cherry aroma.

The flavor was slightly metallic and unexpectly on the drier side. The beer drank very smooth due to the underlying maltiness and toffee and fruity flavors, but while the flavors lingered, the sweetness was never really a factor.

The finish was dry with a lasting fruity impression and caramel/toffee into the aftertaste. The body was medium. The beer drinks like a champ, very smooth and satisfying. It certainly could use more in the complexity department however. I might go Old Ale, but certainly not a strong ale.

16.9 ounce bottle.

GCBrewingCo, Jan 27, 2006
Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

BillRoth, Dec 07, 2013
Photo of drpimento
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Decent beer. Poured with a tan head that quickly settled down and no lace. Color is a lovely clear medium red amber. Aroma is very malty roast toffee and a hint fruity. Flavor is like aroma. Body is ok and so is carbonation. Finish is like flavor and medium in length. Serviceable beer. If you were in the mood for a straightforward malty ale this could be a session.

drpimento, May 18, 2010
Photo of instrumentality
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first experience with this brew was a few weeks back when Vin de Pays Wines in Long Beach did their monthly beer tasting - this particular tasting's theme being English beers. Not being very experienced with English beers, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I am always up for broadening my exposure to craft beer. TheLongBeachBum was also in attendance and warned me, as I recall, that English beer such as the ones offered at the tasting is generally meant to be consumed from the cask; that bottles don't do it justice.

I found pretty much all of the beers I tried to be drinkable but not very complex or flavorful. Of the bunch, Monkey Wrench was my favorite, so I bought a bottle for myself so I could sample it in its entirety and with a clean palate.

Tipped over my Stone Imperial Russian Stout tulip glass, the 17 ounce bomber was just a splash too much liquid to be released all at once. The brew had an opaque, rich mahogany body. The head started out about half a finger thick, off-white, and very bubbly, then dissolved into a halo of about the same width surrounding a thin lace. Nice quality.

The odor was primarily malty infused with both the sweet and tart qualities of cherries. The smell foreshadowed a beer I figured would go down pretty smoothly.

The first sip, upon entry, had a quality unlike any beer I had tried prior. It was cool and crisp, reminding me of the initial sensation from biting into a pear. However, significant carbonation gave it a fizzy quality that tingled in my mouth. A mild alcohol presence followed, and the finish had a strong malty characteristic with the mildest hint of sweetness.

The second sip was a bit different. This time, it was less crisp going in, instead bringing forth a stronger alcohol presence that burned momentarily. The finish, once again, was a heavy dose of malt. My bitterness and sweetness sensors were stimulated at an almost imperceptible level.

At this point, I felt that this beer pretty well set the bar for "average" tasting beer - not bad, but boring.

A third sip and my taste rating bumped up from 3 to 3.5 as the cherry sweetness became slightly more pronounced. This beer was still anything but complex, but at least it had a little more going for it than malt.

The remainder of the brew was consistent with my third sip experience.

One of these days, I hope to have an opportunity to test the Bum's insight and try this and some other brews on cask, but unless and until I find the means to visit the UK, I'm stuck with judging this brew as it's presented in the bottle.

There's nothing particularly wrong with this beer. It's relatively smooth, not too heavy on the alcohol, clean aftertaste...but aside from a hint of sweetness, I found it to be pretty dull and repetitive. All in all, a sessionable but more or less forgettable beverage.

instrumentality, Jan 21, 2007
Photo of Suds
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great lacing on this mahogany colored beer. The aroma is a soft mix of malt, baking bread, yeast, and earth. Nice flavor...fairly dry, with a mineral-water and carbonic feel. Plenty of malt in the taste as well. Touch of butterscotch. The long-lasting malt-centric finish.

Suds, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of DoubleJ
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"1998 Cask Ale Winner". Good to know, but it's a moot point when I'm drinking it from a 500 ml bottle. The label also recommends serving at 54°F; that I can control. On to the beer:

Light brown color, almost amber. The head develops an inch thick, then drops to a ring of whte lace. The aroma brings an interesting collection of baker's chocolate, soft yeast, and notes of banana.

It's tasty. It brings a nutty flavor and the sweetness you'd find in a raisin. As I go along further, I'm getting a cola flavor. Tea-like hops in the back. It has a lighter mouthfeel than expected, probably because the "strong" labeling of this beer has me expecting a richer sense. Carbonation is low, and the beer itself is easy to approach.

It feels good to get away from the hops after a pint of Monkey Wrench. Imagine what the high definition version (cask) would yield.

DoubleJ, Jan 19, 2011
Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a beer that contains both barley and wheat.

A: It pours beautiful mahogany, with an off-white head that takes some time to dissipate, and the it leaves nice lacings. It looks great!!!

S: Not as strong as I thought but very nice; Light roasted malt (caramell notes), some dried fruit, chocolate and coffee.

T: Light roasted malt with a nutty twist, some bitter notes from the hops along with coffee and chocolate.

M: The aftertaste is a nice mix of sweetness mixed with some bitterness, it stays for some time. Mediumbodied and mediumcarbonated.

D: A nice beer that goes down smoothly. Not the best beer from U.K. but surely a very nice one.

Evil_Pidde, Aug 04, 2009
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Monkey Wrench Strong Ale from Daleside Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.