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Monkey King Saison, Farmhouse Ale - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Monkey King Saison, Farmhouse AleMonkey King Saison, Farmhouse Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

66 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 66
Hads: 430
Avg: 3.56
pDev: 11.8%
Wants: 4
Gots: 67 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Kerrie on 03-05-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 66 | Hads: 430
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

this is really well made. its the safe side of saison though, i mean, not real funky or weird yeasty, not cloudy and raw, not wild in any way. its more reserved than that, more refined in some ways, faster, cleaner. its a blonde beer, bright and foamy, with a nose of white peppercorns and coriander, a light belgian fruit thing, and a pretty fair malt base. the flavor is similar, with the yeast lacking some of the fuzzy funk and grassy dankness that it can sometimes bring in the style. its a cleaner culture here, a regular brewers pitch and a quick fermentation. nothing wild or slow paced about it in the traditional sense, but i think the flavors come together really well, and that there is a role for saisons like this. its like a more approachable belgian ale to a non craft drinker, i think this has that kind of appeal. the more i drink it, the more i taste hefeweizen yeast too, very banana heavy in this, which really works. its also a year round sixer, which means its one you can get anywhere and drink a lot of. nice carbonation and a clean finish, not common in the style, but it works in this case. both refreshing and satisfyingly hearty. i liked this better than most have apparently.

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Photo of brentk56
3.2/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours a clear honey color with a prodigious head that fades noisily, leaving some webby lacing

Smell: Wheat bread and vegetal tones

Taste: Wheat bread with vegetal phenols, up front, with a developing hint of banana and clove; bready finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Unfortunately, a clunker; has elements of a hefe rather than a saison but really doesn't have much flavor whatsoever

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Spicy, dry, and lightly fruity, New Holland further flirts with the Belgain styles, but with "American" character- this time, with the bone-dry Saison Farmhouse Ale.

Monkey King pours like many lighter Belgian Ales- with a bright straw color that shines through a signature unfiltered haze. Rising with a bleach-white froth, the head caps the beer confidently, constantly fueled by exuberent streams of carbonation from beneath. Light and random lacing clings to the glass ever so often.

Peppery and zesty, the beer's aroma favor the yeast spices although the beer does allow for dry malty sweetness and light fruit esters to support. White pepper, straw, and grain start the show while light apple and lemon follow close behind.

Grainy-sweet to taste, the flavor of raw barley and light malt coax the palate early, just before a turn to spicy dryness and hop bitterness. The taste of white pepper, lemongrass, and light fennel all pull ahead of the dried lime and apple esters. The earthen character of the beer grows along with assertive hop bitterness that stems from the grass and hay flavors earlier.

Medium bodied throughout, the beer slowly sheds is light sweetness and allows the dry grain character to show going into finish. Growing wood-ish bitterness, alcohol, and spice further reinforce dry textures and emphasize a clean and crisp aftertaste.

Where the beer does all that the Saison style perscribes, its much simpler, less raw and less earthy than more authentic versions. it also shows a fruitier side than those dry-spice ones of Belgium. This is what makes the beer taste "American" in the end.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.78/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a well-hazed, orange-gold body with a brief, white head tapering down to a slim layer of fizz.

Smell: Grainy-scented malted wheat with a faint honey note, big (bold) banana, drip of citrus, heavy-handed dusting of ground clove and pepper.

Taste: Full wheatiness, with a sliver of honey glazed grains. Overbearing banana firmly affixed to peppery clove buds. Squirt of harsh lemon. Perfumy element midway. Moderate hop character and bitterness. The perfumy taste rebounds the pepper, the clove and holds until the grainy, dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body, fluffy, even. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: I was not a fan of this new release. With its wheat qualities, punchy banana esters, and noted clove-like phenols, it really felt more like a hefe than a saison.

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Photo of jlindros
2.85/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a large fizzy 2 finger head that fades semi slowly, light spotty lacing, very clear tan color.

Nose brings lots of saison spices, more Americanized saison, little orange peel and lemon, touches of baking spices, potpourri like spices, with a little grainy bready malt, light sweet malt as well.

Taste brings more of the same, Americanized fake saison, with lots of spices, clove coriander cardamom like spices, lemon, citrus peel, zest, bitter orange peel, some sweet candy malt to go with it that has been dried to hell, bitter lemon zest all over, with a little yeast flavor, and the carbonation is even in the way.

Mouth is med bod, way too much carbonation.

Overall not very good, just a batch of spices and lemon with bad bitter zest and interfering carbonation, nothing even really redeeming about this beer.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.86/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in an Ohio State shaker pint glass.

Despite the regal, Caesar-like bearing of the eponymous primate on the label, I feel the name (at least here on the site) could have been truncated to a more simplified version... Regardless, this stuff pours a clear brass topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises orange peel, ginger, fruity Belgian yeast, coriander, very light clove, and a light dusting of confectioners' sugar. The taste brings in more of the same, with a stronger orange component (complete with added flesh), a twist or two of lemon, and a few pinches of black pepper. There's a lovely balance between fruit, yeast, and spice here, all in high concentrations. The body is a light medium, with a moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a very nice saison, one that, as [previously stated, deftly balances the fruit, the yeast, and the spice in large amounts, much like a thoroughly capable international statesman. Good times.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

On-tap 6/29/2014 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright yellow color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains wild Belgian yeast, bananas, citrus, light caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of wild Belgian yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character followed by some sweet flavors of banana and citrus. There is a very mild tartness in the background. The hops presence is also mild but brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, it’s a solid beer but there are better choices within the style.

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Photo of russpowell
3.57/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent amber with a sliver of cream colored head. Great lacing above average head retention

S: Over-ripe pears & more green banana

T: Follows the nose, a little green banana as well & dryness up front. More pears as this warms & a well as green banana & tart wheat. Finishes with a touch of banana taffy, a touch of Golden delicious apples & faint grassyness

MF: Light/medium bodied with too much carbonation

Worth a try, but more of a training wheels Saison

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.03/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Eh. This is a saison of that soapy variety that seems common amongst American brewers (but definitely not the Belgian ones). Seems to be a wad of spices thrown in there that don't really give a sharp display of flavor. Feel is good. Like I said: eh.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 2/14/2013. Pours hazy golden straw color with a 1-2 finger dense and fluffy white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of lemon, pear, apple, grape, pepper, clove, wheat, straw, grass, herbal, light funk, and earthy yeast esters. Nice aromas with good balance, strength, and complexity; very pleasant. Taste of lemon, pear, apple, grape, pepper, clove, wheat, straw, grass, herbal, light funk, and earthy yeast esters. Slight earthy tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of light fruits, pepper, clove, wheat, straw, grass, herbal, light funk, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a bit. Nice balance and complexity of fruity/spicy esters; with a solid malt backbone; and zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly slick and fairly crisp mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a good saison. Good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy esters with a solid malt backbone; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Slightly hazed golden hue with a bright white head, forms thick like clouds floating above the edge of my wannabe mason jar. Fine lacing the carbonation is on par so far to be a nice saison, based on the look. Faint citrus and spicy yeast just a hint of pepper in the background, light summery almost like some wheat beers. Flavor has spicy kick of Belgian yeast citrus notes, and black pepper bitterness not much in the way of heat or spice from the peppercorns...yeast driven dry powder character light herbal hop tea finish. Mouthfeel is easy on the palate no super rough edges it's like Saison light in a good way, very much not an astringent experience carbonation is smooth not as champagne like as a Belgian version but I get this one. Overall perfect for warm weather refreshing with a bit of flavor, that's what I'm looking for these days, plus there's not many beers from New Holland that I dig...this is decent.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Pours a hazy dark straw color with a white head. Aroma is fruity, with citrus, unripe banana and clove factoring in. In the taste, unripe banana and lemon upfront; herb, pepper and a bit of malt sweetness round it out. Not really bitter and virtually nothing there to balance the malts. Too sweet, not at all as spicy, earthy or tart like great saison style beers. Light body with a medium carbonation. Overall this was an ok wheat but falls short as a Saison.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.81/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The monkey king was quite nice. The beer poured a clear golden yellow with thin white head that left some head. The scent was mostly floral with subtle fresh hop backdrop. The taste was an infusion or potpourri, hop and Belgium semi sweet malt. The mouthfeel was lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall this was a tasty beer, especially in the Illinois August sun.

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Photo of Tone
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy, copper/orange color. 1/3 inch head of a white color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of yeast, slight herbal, sweet malt, hint of pale malt, slight citrus, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of a Saison / Farmhouse Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, slight earthy malt, hint of yeast, hint of hop, slight pale malt, and a hint of grass. Overall, good blend, complexity, and decent appearance, but weaker aroma and body.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: A pristine barley-gold coloring has a medium sense of effervesce. A glass consuming pearl white head is dominate in the vessel with a monstrous size, rocky texture, all the while leaving a generous shellacking of lace behind.

S: Fresh oranges, sugar cookies with a hint of musky lemon at first. Some musky flowerys follow.

T: Flavor was lightly musky, sweetly toasted bread crust, dry oranges, with some sweet caramel fruitiness. Citrus, grapes, sage with some earthy musky tones followed by a freshly squeezed lemon finish that linger a bit after. Some citrus herb fade with a dry toasty sweetness.

M: Medium bodied, lacks a sharp crispness i usually assoicate by style. Slightly chewy.

O: Overall soft farmhouse attributes, sweet and musky tones meshing together with a toasted bread backing. Decent, but slightly misses the mark in terms of solid good recommendation.

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Photo of tone77
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of spices, some yeast. Taste has considerable spice, fruits, yeast, a bit of apple flavor to it. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a refreshing and solid beer.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.69/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Paid $2.19 for the single. Into a pint glass

A - Bright golden in color with a nice bubble stream. Head is a nice 1/4 inch that settles to a good lace ring.
S - Smell is good sugary yeasts and some spiciness kind of funky too.
T - Not bad its like the Black Tulip ale but lighter. Spiciness is real mild and yeast isn't very chalky it's sweet and smooth.
M - Light to medium easy to drink.

Overall it's a decent take on a Saison I dig the fruity yeasts and the lower carbonation. Tasty.

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Photo of barczar
3.69/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy medium golden with apricot highlights and a foamy half inch white head that dissipates somewhat quickly, leaving watery sheets of lacing.

Pear, nectarine, lemon, belgian yeast, and confectioners sugar sweetness form the initial aroma. Peach, a hint of must and earthiness accent bready malt.

Fruity flavors abound, with pear and earthy hops at the base throughout. Tart tangerine, lemon, peach, and and coriander add complexity. There's some belgian yeast esters and clove that kick in late, just before the fairly dry white pepper finish. Fairly spicy. Musty barnyard character is somewhat of an afterthought.

Body is moderate, with fairly high carbonation. There's a slight alcohol warmth.

Lots of interesting flavors going on, mostly fruity and estery. There's a bit of barnyard. The finish is a little too bitter, and a metallic note creeps in as it warms. Would be much better without that.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.72/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a New Holland imperial pint
6.6% ABV, Pairings: shellfish, spiced cheeses, and citrus-laced vinaigrettes.

A - Poured from a bottle that looks like it was labeled by a hoard of drunken monkeys, Monkey King's crown of lace coats the glass above it's hazed-through golden beer.

S - Spicy white pepper and lemongrass character are the forerunners the aroma, showing the beer's yeast ester components but even through it's nicely balanced citrus (and faint pine) hop and smooth malt base, it smells wholly American - not a terrible characteristic but an observation.

T - Nimble white grape notes tip-toe through the fallout of a battle between spicy white pepper and citrusy lemongrass. The yeast esters are a bit extreme, overpowering most everything else including the timidly sweet malt base.

M - Carbonation leaps across the tongue playfully, washing some of the beer's spiciness down to a lingering dry finish that trails off gently.

O - Monkey King enters with a nicely balanced aroma of yeasty spice and a balanced hop and malt body that ends up being overrun by yeast spice character in the flavor. I like my saisons to display some authority but Monkey King is almost a flagrant dictator.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.62/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

New saison / farmhouse ale from New Holland... To be honest, I don't really know how to set my expectations for this one, so I'll go in with none at all. Pours a cloudy yellow color with some less-than-vibrant gold hints streaming up and down the edges. The white crown is pretty wispy and doesn't waste much time fizzling into nothing.

The nose has an aberrant, chalky kind of yeast smell to it. Familiar enough, yet different in some nebulous manner - pretty hard to hone in on exactly what is "off" about it. It has a fair helping of Belgian inspired spicing; clove and coriander, mainly. It also has a light fruit backbone that's hard to pick out and can be easily overlooked if you're sniffer's not on top of its game. Maybe some mild banana and faint apple skins in there. Mild funk and yeast aromas pander in and out, sometimes appearing stronger or weaker than before, almost in seemingly random spurts. Overall, not a huge, explosive, or complex aroma like many saisons carry, but nothing too offensive, either.

I take a taste and two things immediately come to my mind: (1) yeast and (2) bread. I don't know why. I take another sip just to be sure, and certainly enough, I taste yeast and bread. Very heavy on the yeast and emitting a strong bread-like flavor when coupled with the malt. Some light fruits meander in; apples and rotten banana. The fruits add flavor but surprisingly don't add much sweetness, if any at all.

Lots of woody funk, keeping pace with the yeast overload that was experienced first. Barnyard, wet wood, hay, with a musky and cheesy, damp cellar aftertaste. I certainly wasn't expecting this amount of funkiness, although again - it's different than your typical "Brett" funk flavors - not exactly up to par, to be honest. The finishing earthy hops ensure the beer finishes dry, funky, and with a lightly bitter aftertaste. Crispy mouth feel, medium body, ample carbonation.

Not bad, but not incredibly enjoyable, either. Lots of funk - lots more than I was expecting, anyway. But it's not the wonderful Brett-like funk that I'm used to. It's less refined and a not quite as user-friendly. Very hard to describe the exact differences, but there's still something a bit weird with it. If only my palate could talk.

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Photo of tigg924
3.69/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 1 inch head, medium-high carbonation, light yellow in color, clear

Smell: flower, wheat, and banana

Taste: flower, wheat, and banana

Mouthfeel: sweet, light bodied and medium carbonation

Overall: More floral than a lot of the saisons I have had lately. Banana also sines through. I enjoyed this one and could see myself having a few on a hot day.

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Photo of Brenden
3.61/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pouring a bright dark gold with a touch of chill haze at first, Monkey King appears filtered as the haze wears off quickly to reveal complete clarity. The clean white head that develops looks a little sparsely bubbled, though retention isn't bad. It seems that the constant bubbling activity rising from the bottom of the glass may be all keeping afloat the foam that leaves thin lacing in thin spotting.
There's a lot of malty sweetness, though lemon is the main component on the nose. Yeast makes for an interesting somewhat earthy and lightly funky note. A peppery bite is present and a note of grains can be found as well.
Grains come out up front along with that unusual sort of yeast note on the palate. Lemon isn't the main element, as it is in the aroma, but it's strong. There's an odd note that at first seems almost alcoholic but backs off. A bit of herbal hops bitterness rises up with the gentle peppery bite.
The feel is light in body and there's a good crispness. Carbonation is at the right level. Dryness pulls out into the finish a bit.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a cloudy gold with a fizzy white head that recedes to a thin, stable mousse fairly quickly.

S: Aromas of minerals, crackers, biscuits, spicy yeast, and lemony, grassy hops are present on the nose.

T: Notes of spicy yeast, banana, candied lemon peel, caramel, grass, herbs, crackers, biscuits, and minerals fill the mouth. The finish is spicy and sweet with mild notes of caramel, spicy yeast, banana, and candied lemon peel.

M: Medium in body and smooth. Carbonation is airy and active. This ale feels lighter and thinner than it really is.

O: Not a bad saison/farmhouse ale by any means. It definitely lacks the complexity of some of the higher end examples of the style, but for what it is, this is a really respectable offering from a very consistent, and in my opinion, underrated brewery.

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Photo of TX-Badger
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy light yellow golden color with white head. Bread, yeast, and some light cloves on the nose; follows onto the palate. Light bodied. Finishes with banana and some bread.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.32/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

I picked up a six pack of New Holland's Monkey King Saison last week for $10.29 at Meijers. I heard this is suppose to be like an imperial version of Golden Cap, I think Golden Cap is a pretty good Saison, so I thought I should give this one a try, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but it just showed up so it should be fairly fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle in a tulip.

A- The label looks ok, but I'm not a big fan of the faded pastel colors on the label, it looks a little odd. It poured a pretty hazy golden color that took on a little bit of an orange hue when held to the light with two fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left some nice lacing behind. This is a good looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness followed by some grainy and wheat like malts with some Saison and slight Farmhouse ale like yeast aromas that seem to stick out a good deal. Up next comes a slight herbal and a medium spicy aroma followed by some citrus rind and some banana like aromas. This beer has a nice aroma that is fairly true to style and much more intense then Golden Cap, I liked it.

T- The taste seems to be not that similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness that had a honey like flavor and was followed by a large amount of yeast that imparts a medium spicy flavor along with a pretty noticeable banana flavors. Up next comes a grainy and wheaty malt like flavor On the the finish I get a slight earthy and herbal flavor followed by some lemon rinds and a lower amount of bitterness with just a little more sweetness and a banana and clove like aftertaste. This was a pretty average tasting beer, it tasted more like a below average Tripel then a Saison/Farmhouse ale.

M- Fairly smooth, a little dry, on the lighter side of being medium bodied with a slightly higher amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was nice and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a pretty mediocre beer and an average at best example of the style, the taste reminds me more of a poorly made Tripel then a Saison/ Farmhouse Ale, but the other aspects seems to be pretty inline with the style. This beer had ok drinkability, it was a fairly smooth and not filling, but the flavors just couldn't hold my attention and one is enough for me, I have no urge to drink another one. What I liked the most about this beer was the aroma and the appearance, they were both nice and fairly true to style. What I liked the least about this beer was the taste, I wasn't a fan of it and it wasn't as true to style as it should be. I wouldn't buy this beer again since I didn't really enjoy and I wouldn't recommend this to anyone since I don't think it does a good job at representing the style. All in all I was let down with this beer, it looked like it was going in the right direction till I got to the taste and was let down. I like Golden Cap much more then this beer, the saison and farmhouse like flavors got lost in this beer and I think Golden Cap is much more refreshing and true to style. New Holland is a solid Brewing Company, but these last couple releases from them have been disappointing, hope this isn't a sign of things to come, better luck next time guys.

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Monkey King Saison, Farmhouse Ale from New Holland Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.