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Golden Monkey - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Golden MonkeyGolden Monkey

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

4,481 Ratings
THE BROS
77
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,481
Reviews: 1,633
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 15.72%
Wants: 77
Gots: 522 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Tripel |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: purplehops on 09-17-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,481 | Reviews: 1,633 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled June 2004, Sampled December 2004
This beer pours a lightly hazy gold color and is topped by a frothy white head. The aroma is fruity with yeast notes and spice notes too, I get notes of lemon, banana, fresh herbs, and candied orange peel. The aroma is actually quite intriguing, and I definitely like trying to pick out the various components of it.

The beer starts sweet, but finishes with an herbal dryness. This beer has a nice meld of flavors, with none of the spices being too dominant. This beer tastes a bit of orange, but has lots of other flavors going on that I cannot quite pick out; perhaps some vanilla, wild flower nectar, clove, and banana. It picks up some yeasty notes when I pour the rest of the contents of the bottle in.

This is quite a bit more enjoyable than I was expecting, most American interpretations of Belgian beers use too many spices, in fact much of the Belgian character is really derived from their yeast and not spices. That being said I do like the mix of spices and fermentation characteristics found in this beer.

Gueuzedude, Dec 05, 2004
Photo of kojevergas
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Acquired at Hi-time Liquor in Costa Mesa, California. Expectations are high; I really like this style. My limited experience with Victory Brewing has been positive. I'm hoping to keep the track record going.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor.

A: Pours a three finger fluffy head of white colour, slight cream, decent thickness, and very impressive retention considering the high ABV. Colour is yellow-gold. The head is quite nice, but the colour is lackluster given the style.

Sm: Very fresh aroma of pleasant spices, complex orange citrus, hints of cream, biscuity yeast, clean unobtrusive malts, and fresh fruit peel. Very luscious and inviting. Quite appealing indeed. I'm excited to try this. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Fresh orange peel, lovely clean malts, well balanced spices, lovely floral notes, no real sign of hops (if present, they're seamlessly balanced), hints of biscuity yeast, lemon, and hints of cream. All around an extremely pleasant and refreshing beer that hides any trace of alcohol from its profile. I'd prefer more yeast, but that's nitpicky. Subtle. A lovely tripel. Its lack of complexity prevents it from attaining greatness, but all around it's really nice.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with just enough cream for the style. Thick enough and adequately carbonated.

Dr: Incredibly drinkable for the ABV. Hides its ABV quite well. An impressive brew from Victory. Well priced as part of a build-your-own six pack. Matched my expectations. I'm looking forward to trying more beers from Victory as a result. Give this one a spin if you're a fan of the style.

It could use less of a malt presence.

Pairs decently with pizza. Drank fine out of me pilsner glass, but a tulip or flute might be ideal.

Low B

kojevergas, Mar 19, 2012
Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

XmnwildX12, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first Belgian I ever tried.. a pretty good one too. Now that I've had others I see it isn't the best interpretation but it's still very good. Very spicy.. I mean like, super spicy. This will turn off a lot of people but I thought it was a good flavor. The taste did seem to vary by bottle but for the most part it was a flavorful beer that really warmed you up.

oriolesfan4, Oct 05, 2008
Photo of Halcyondays
2.15/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a clear golden with a thin white head with good retention, mild lace.

S: Has some interesting yeast esters (heavy pear and yellow apple), but has a faint hint of pickles which was off-putting.

T: Acrid, bitter pepper type spice, bitter melon/hops form the initial attack which was not enjoyable. Some OK fruit notes in the end try to save it, but it's not happening. That minor pickle note is here too.

M: Perfectly fine. Quite smooth, medium/full-bodied with a hint of ethanol.

D: I tried this a few years ago and didn't like it, I thought I'd try it again to see if my tastes have changed since I'm on a Tripel kick as of late. They haven't, I still don't like it. Having Allagash Tripel recently to compare, it's like night and day. I'm still a big fan of Victory, they make great beer across the board, so it's all right to have one stinker.

Halcyondays, May 15, 2010
Photo of Gavage
4.4/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice golden color with a thin head. Nice carbonation in the glass. The aroma was slightly yeasty, but some citrus overtones were apparant. The taste was similiar, very smooth but sporting a nice balance of malt, bitterness, yeast, and citrus. Very dry and somewhat crisp on the tongue. One of Victory's best efforts.

Gavage, Oct 12, 2003
Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12-23-05- Purchased at Plumpjacks in San Francisco, CA.

Presentation- Bottled in March 2003. Has been again in my cellar for a good year. More than 2 1/2 years laid down. 750ml caged and corked bottle poured into my La Chouffe tuilp.

Appearance- Light golden cloudy color. Lots of fine yeast particles floating around. Furious amounts of foam jump out of the bottle after being de-capped. Lost a good 2oz probably. Left decent lacing in my tulip.

Smell- Tart and sweet at the same time. Lots of hop scent as well as lots of spices. Noticable alcohol nose as well.

Taste- Did not expect the hops to play as big a role as they did in this beer. Almost tasted like saaz hops. Tart, almost a sour aspect at first, which went to sweet and then back to sour. Kinda like having some grapefruit juice and then taking a hit of powdered sugar. Lots of corriander in the finish. Alcohol kicks in relatively fast.

Mouthfeel- Tart on the tongue, heavier mouthfeel with a higher carbonation level.

Drinkability- Odd and potent tripel, but still very good and would and will try again since I have another in the cellar. Maybe another year of rest will calm this one down.

GClarkage, Dec 25, 2005
Photo of InspectorBob
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

InspectorBob, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of corby112
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden with a quicky dissipating white head. Aroma is very spicy with hints of yeast and citrus. The golden flavor of this beer is beautifully balanced with a generous amount of spices and hint of hops. Very underated tripel from Victory. I loved this beer a lot more when I first sampled it.

corby112, Dec 01, 2008
Photo of orangesol
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

orangesol, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of weeare138
4.38/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage '00 bottle, courtesy of egajdzis...
Appears a golden hazy yellow with an expected amount of yeast and sediment.
The smell is very yeasty, sugary, and citrusy.
The taste is better than the usual Monkey, which I like as is. Nice yeasty, candy taste that's been smoothed out from the aging.
Mouthfeel is smooth and well done with barely a trace of alcohol.
Drinkability is good but it's a bit too good for it's own good.

weeare138, Jul 24, 2005
Photo of stakem
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle poured into a goblet. The initial pour reveals a clear golden yellow colored brew that is quite clear. I must not have stopped the pour soon enough because the initial clarity of the brew has given way to quite a mess of particulate floating in suspension. Nearly 2 fingers of fluffy white head appears composed mostly of large sized bubbles that fizz away to a thin film across the top of the brew. A constant stream of carbonation rises to the surface. A webbing of lace is seen as the cap fades and before a sip is even taken.

The aroma is a peculiar mixture of familiar scents all thrown together. Belgian yeast characteristics are abundant smelling of clove and banana with some fruity and spicy aspect that is somewhat peppery before turning mildly sweet and pear-like with notes of grass and sulfur filling out the back. Alcohol makes itself known in the nose with an increased peppery and pear aspect. Once warm there is a mild lemony scent that appears, interesting and unexpected.

The taste is a typical representation of the style and right in line with what the aroma leads you to think you are getting yourself into. Initial flavors of belgian yeast taste of clove and banana with a peppery spiced aspect that warms the throat with an increased awareness of the 9+% abv. It finishes dry with a mild fruit skin flavor somewhat like pear but not as pronounced as the aroma led on. The sulfur aspect that was evident in the nose is quite hidden inside the flavor of this brew and the lemony aspect that only revealed itself when warm in the nose is evident through each sip. This brew lingers inside the mouth with a yeastiness that urges you to continue taking sips encouraged by the flavor of pepper.

This is a medium bodied brew with an effervescent level of carbonation that eventually calms down to an acceptable moderate level. A fair representation of the style with a bold alcohol presence. Overall there was an enjoyable depth to this brew to enjoy but the sulfur aspect I could do without. Overall not bad, I would drink this again. The cryptic dating that victory offers perplexes me, sure the label says best by Dec. 1 2013 but that doesnt tell me anything regarding how old/young this offering is. I would love to have it again with a side by side comparison of a young brew verse one with 3 years or so on it. Give it a try, overall it's not bad. My only gripe is that this brew seems to heavily rely on the spiced aspect/additions of the brew instead of the natural flavors and aromas that the yeast alone can provide.

stakem, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Spices. They don't mention which, but we'll see how we go with it anyway. Head is crackling and large and almost more white than I've seen from any other beer. It's really quite bright, light and blank, made up of large bubbles that sizzle themselves into oblivion. Body is a very pale and clear yellow colour, and the carbonation speeds through the thin body, trying in vain to keep the loose-bubbled head alive.

Funky nose, big on Belgian notes, but extremely phenolic. Meatiness, a little clove, sandalwood incense, crushed grass and something even more organic comes through. It's quite a classic Belgian nose, obviously brewed with a genuine yeast strain. They've done a reasonably good job of it as well - I feel as though something's missing, but I have a hard time working out what it might be, and as a result I think it ends up pretty good on the nose.

Taste is also pretty true for a Belgian styled ale. Quite light on the body, but that's to be expected, slightly phenolic flavours throughout, with spice reaching up to abrade the palate, and a pleasant bitter almond character on the finish. Feel is surprisingly flat for a beer with such lively carbonation, but the lightness in the body compensates for the somewhat sharp flavour profile.

It's an interesting brew, but not something I'd necessarily seek out again. There are better Tripels out there, especially from the Belgians themselves, and while this is a fair representation, it's also something that doesn't need to exist.

lacqueredmouse, Oct 28, 2010
Photo of dbrauneis
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Willie McBride's in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a lightly hazy medium straw yellow in color with some light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some golden yellow highlights. There were light amounts of small visible yeast particles in suspension. The beer has a finger tall dense white head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass.

S: Moderate aromas of pale malts, bananas, and spicy yeast.

T: Moderate flavors of pale malts with some light fruits (white grape, apple, pear) upfront with some slightly stronger notes of banana and spicy/peppery yeast towards the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light to moderate amounts of alcohol heat and dryness in the finish.

O: Not the easiest beer to drink as the alcohol is noticeable but it is a very enjoyable beer and a great example of the style.

dbrauneis, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, bottled on date of dec. 03. Pours light golden and clear, white, tiny bubble head and leaves some lacing. Nose in lemony, powdered sugar, flowers and a hint of spice. Crisp and a bit prickly on the tongue, flavors are subtle, sweetness evident but not cloying. Fruity, yeasty, spicey. I love this stuff. Nice American Triple style from Victory. If you like the style , this one will be a pleaser.

Billolick, May 06, 2004
Photo of tempest
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Its nice and fairly smooth, but tastes like its missing the candi sugar. There;s a sweet complexity missing here, the flavor is all on the golden grains. Still, this beer really hides the alcohol to the point of being a little dangerous. Just remember it's not a session ale. It's tasty and smooth enough to put you on the floor.

tempest, Jun 15, 2007
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden with a short head for the style and no lacing. The smell is a little sharp from alcohol, and with a trace of the typical Belgian yeast aromas. The taste is a little better, especially as it warms. Definite alcohol, but also some banana and clove- very restrained, though. Mouthfeel is a little sticky, but the body is appropriate. Not bad in its own right, except that its a little hot. The problem is that there are plenty of better tripels out there.

Georgiabeer, May 12, 2007
Photo of wl0307
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at the UTOBEER stall in the Borough Market. BB 19/02/2006 (oops!!), consumed late by 6 months... Served lightly-chilled in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass.

A: hazy, dark orangey+honeyish golden in colour, using a force pour the beer head builds up to 1cm thick cap but rather frothy, slowly retreating and leaving very fine lacing; gently bubbly body.
S: fruit-estery fragrance upfront, showing mixed exotic fruits like pineapple+banana+tangerine+apricot, while an overwhelming flow of candy-sugar, cane-sugar juice, and sweet and dense, almost honeyish pale malts follow up and overwhelm the aroma; a strong hoppy scent of flowery hops, a deeper banana-oily yeastiness and coriander's refreshing spicy edge float in the air after a good swirl, adding more complexity to the slightly overly sweet forenote. The longer I smell it, the less sweet it becomes and a pleasant sour edge comes forward to take over. Nice!
T: lots of rounded-textured melted sugar, orange-candy, sweet lemon and dried apricot are coupled with a flow of ve...ry smooth, candyish pale malts, ensued by a faintly dryish-bitter edge of aromatic hops... quietly, a warming aftertaste takes over, slightly ginger-tea-ish and spicy at the same time while rediating heat-waves deep down the throat, just like what a liquor could do... although my palate craves for a longer after-taste instead of after-heat...
M&D: so...ft in texture and rounded in mouthfeel, the full-flavoured beer benefits from a relatively light body and an overall balance... well-crafted! This is the first Tripel I've tried that's made-in-USA, and not bad at all it is. Yet somehow the yeastiness hasn't been able to create a deeper complexity that is THE key to the success of this beer style. Even so I'm quite satisfied that I've tried it and feel really impressed with what this great brewery could achieve...

wl0307, Jul 25, 2006
Photo of duceswild
3/5  rDev -18.7%

duceswild, Jul 01, 2014
Photo of akorsak
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am drinking this ale from my old standby Chimay chalice in the range of 45-55 degrees.

Appearance: This is a golden ale, very clear with a great deal of yeast suspended in the glass. The ale poured with little head that did not stick around long.

Smell: Malty notes and spices dominate the smell. The significant alcohol content also peaks its head in the smell, providing a hint of what is to come.

Taste: Curacao jumps out at me as a spice in this ale. The pleasant orange tones taste very well in the ale. There is also a pronounced pepper taste (as I've come accustomed to with tripels). The tastes, which one would expect to be in conflict meld nicely together.

Mouthfeel: The spices create a very nice mouthfeel. The curacao, which gradually makes itself known throughout the glass, provides a clear sweetness that make the ale and its ABV much more palatable. This is an excellent primer for those just beginning to learn of the tripel.

Drinkability: This ale is surprising drinkable. At 9.5%, one would expect the alcohol to dominate and prevent a drinker from having more than one. This ale defies that stereotype and gives a drinker a very pleasant experience.

akorsak, Dec 28, 2005
Photo of superspak
4.23/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into chalice, bottled on 5/16/2013. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy pale golden color with a 1 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon zest, orange peel, apricot, pear, apple, coriander, clove, pepper, bread, cracker, candi sugar, herbal, floral, grass, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/earthy yeast, spice, and pale malt notes; with good strength. Taste of lemon zest, orange peel, apricot, pear, apple, coriander, clove, pepper, bread, cracker, candi sugar, herbal, floral, grass, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of lemon/orange zest, apricot, pear, apple, coriander, clove, bread, cracker, candi sugar, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity of fruity/earthy yeast, spice, and pale malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly slick/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome tripel style! All around great complexity and balance of fruity/eartly yeast, spice, and pale malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

superspak, Mar 31, 2014
Photo of mothman
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs goblet.

Best by Jan 9, 2012

Pours of half finger of dirty white head. Fades down very quick. No lace. Color is a clear golden straw color. No carbonation bubbles in the glass.

Aroma: Mainly a lot of spices here. There are also so fruits, such as orange peel and bananas mixed in as well. I also get some cloves near the end.

Taste: Very spices. Reminds me a lot of the spices in a saison. Orange peep, some pepper, some yeast. Cloves bananas. At the very end I get a touch of alcohol, but other than that, the abv is hidden pretty well.

Mouthfeel: Fairly crisp with a good amount of carbonation, which I hadn't expected because of the appearance. Light to medium bodied. Ends with a spiced, dry aftertaste.

Overall, I really think this beer is drinkable, despite the high abv, which is hidden fairly well. Not something I would drink too many bottles of, however.

mothman, Aug 02, 2009
Photo of DoubleJ
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Ahhh, it's time to relax with a Belgian-styled beer in my chalice. On to the beer:

The sound of carbonation fizzes loudly inside my chalice where the beer itself is hazy blonde. The head on this one rises nicely as one might expect, but is fizzy and retains poorly. The aroma is pleasantly spiced with a sprinkle of yeast. This is a good sign for the taste.

But something's off in the taste. By now the head has completely dissolved and the appearance looks dull. Carbonation is thin on the palate, as is the peppery kick for balance, and the taste is mostly sweet sticky candied sugar. A touch of honey and spice (cloves) floats around in there too. How about pumping some carbonation in this puppy? It seems thin for the style. The good news? The alcohol is hidden nicely.

The bottle has a best-by-date of "Nov 05 12" printed on the label for you skeptics who think I simply got a bad bottle. Sorry Victory, but I sense defeat in this beer. Back to the drawing board on this stuff.

DoubleJ, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer has a nice bright orangish-yellow with a slight haze. The head is a white creamy film that fades to a white rim around the edge. There are lots of tiny bubbles trailing to the surface. No lace at all in this one.

S- There are faint hints of pale malt and orange notes with a floral perfume note. The finish has a nice green hop bitterness.

T- This beer has a smooth mellow spicy flavor with notes of pears and oranges with some peppery spice and green hops in the finish. There is a very faint alcohol note that enhances the pepper and hops in the finish.

M- The beer has a medium-light mouthfeel but the fizz in the texture really makes it appear much more full. There is a faint alcohol warmth in the finish that hangs on your breath after each sip.

D- This has some nice qualities of a Triple but they are very faint and aren't strong enough. The alcohol boost the taste of hops and spice which are two flavors that stand out over the other flavors. Perhaps it is an "American Tripel"?

rhoadsrage, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of BARFLYB
2.53/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a regular kitchen glass. I have not had this in years and decided to pick up a bottle to see what is what.

A- Golden monkey pours out a cloudy yellow color with golen highlights. Not exactly "golden" but i see where they are coming from. A sturdy pour lead to 3 fingers of frothy white head that looked bubbly. It died down eventually leaving spots of lace.

S- Getting some breadyness from this monkey along with some fruit essence with orange peel apple and banana. A hint of spice is also detected. The biggest killer for me though is the alcohol which you can't get around.

T- Starts off with a lot of fruits( apple, banana, orange) mixed with alcohol & alot of it. This was my biggest problem with GM years ago and nothing has changed. Some yeast initially as well. I'm sure hops are used but no direct taste for them in this. Spices such as clove and the like come forth with warming.

M- With the alcohol taking center stage this is not very drinkable. To bad because I believe that this has the ability to be a great triple if the alcohol was masked better. Medium bodied with some sweetness from the malts. Carbonation is ok. The fruit mixed with alcohol leaves for a weird aftertaste.

D- Not so much, the high ABV does not scare me, it's just that GM is difficult to drink. A nice warming from the heat on this cold snowy day so GM has that going for it. This seems to be pretty popular on the whole but it is not for me. So maybe I'm missing something?!?? I will try this again in another 4 years to again, see what's what.

BARFLYB, Mar 02, 2009
Golden Monkey from Victory Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 4,481 ratings.