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Golden Monkey | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

1,745 Reviews
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Golden MonkeyGolden Monkey

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States | website

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by purplehops on 09-17-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,745 | Ratings: 5,404
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.64/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip, this beer is a bright, clear straw-gold color with a frothy, foamy white head about a quarter of an inch thick. Much lighter and brighter than most Tripels. The smells are a bit muddled, but definitely some coriander and light sweetness. The beer is very sweet in mouth, and the spices help to balance that flavor. The coriander is still present, but subdued under the sweet flavors of banana bread. Very smooth and creamy in mouth, yet the aftertaste is extremely abrupt. Only the slightest hint of coriander lingers in the aftertaste, and not for long at all. Very palatable, but a little on the short side. The flavors were decent enough that a little longer linger wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.

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Photo of Gavage
4.38/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.05/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours straw clear with some sediment flecks quickly dissapaiting head, little bit of lacing as it goes down. Taste is banana and kind of a yeast funk and alcohol. Has kind of a homebrew yeast taste. I was hoping for something better from this brewery and style.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.26/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

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Photo of BARFLYB
2.52/5  rDev -32.3%
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.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
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.

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Photo of Tone
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear golden color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Slight retention and slight lacing. Smells Belgian yeast, sweet malt, hops, hint of earthy malt, hint of grass, slight spice, and slight alcohol. Fits the style a Tripel. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, strong sweet malt, strong Belgian yeast, earthy malt, slight hops, hint of pale malt, and spice. Overall, weak appearance, but strong body and aroma, with a good blend.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Cloudy with some residue. Poured from a large 750ml bottle.

S. Apple and dark fruits with some spiciness. I pick up a bit of orangey citrus. Belgian yeast is also prominant.

T. Sharp granny smith apple zing, faint clove and some clean alcohol taste found throughout. Sweet yet balanced enough, herbal hop on the back end rounds everything out.

M. Light and very much a belgian. Dry finish.

D. Dangerously drinkable. I once drank a six pack of this in my early beer drinking days, I was rendered useless on my couch.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on May 22, 2003. Pours a cloudy yellow, nice carbornation with a nice little white head. Leaves a nice bit of lacing after pour. There are some sweet and fruity scents. The taste is very sweet with a little bite, but for being a 9.5% ABV not much of an alcohol taste. Light in body, and very drinkable. Compared to the one or two tripels I've had, this is very unique. Give it a shot if you can get your hands on some.

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Photo of Halcyondays
2.23/5  rDev -40.1%
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.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Monkey's color is a hazy golden orange. Head is creamy and of medium height. The aroma is a combination of sweet and spicy smells. Candi sugar and malt combine with a peppery spice. The smell of orange peel overides the other aromas. All in all, a very fresh and inviting mixture of smells. A sip starts with a strong, tart combination of citrussy orange peel and spices. Candi sugar and bready malt flavors provide an excellent base here and work hard to subdue the powerful peppery spice. Midsip everything comes together to provide a complex, layered taste. Finish provides a strong coriander flavor than is accompanied by a tiny hint of alcohol. One downside, perhaps, the amount of coriander in the finish is just a bit to high for my tastes. I really enjoyed this one, lots of full, strong flavors come together to make a great brew.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 3/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a golden amber, one finger white head and lacing. Light fruit, sweet malt, banana, clove aroma. Light fruit, Belgian spicing and a bit of a hop bite. Nicely balanced. A pleasant low-key tripel. Nothing exciting, but calmly well done. Worth a repeat visit.

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Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked 750-ml bottle bottled March 6, 2003.

Pours a cloudy golden brew.

Smell is sweet and fruity and a bit spicy. Has a strong herb smell to it.

Taste is sweet with a spiced apple flavor to it. A pleasant brew but it seems a bit rough on the edges might benefit from cellaring for a year or two. Still tasty, has a rough herbal flavor to it.

Mouthfeel is good.

A tasty and drinkable brew, mine was only a year and a month old when sampled. Would like to try a 2 and 3 year old specimen.

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Photo of biegaman
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bill and Ron encourage me to enjoy this sometime before January 2009 and I figured I'd be happy to one tired evening, November 2006.
Opening of the cap would make a great sizzle, poured into a tulip glass and a storm of bubbles would stir up. Head forms and thins out into a white crown. Plenty of yeast particles suspended, crowding the body, leaving it clouded. A golden apple colour. A light, bready malt aroma. I get some over ripened fruit - pear, apple - some lightly floral hops. Lightly spicy! A nice, soft touch of malt on the aftertaste. I taste both standard German malts and the Belgian yeast. Some sweetness. Body is well rounded, seems a little compromised though. I could use more spice in the taste. Some faint alcohol as it goes down. A little too neutral/dull for my taste. This was good, but it wasn't exactly like other tripels.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.32/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: light, slightly hazy golden color with lots of apparent effervescence and a three-finger large-bubbled head. Head has very little persistence and relatively little lace.

Smell: sweet malt, pear, chalk and sour cherries. An interesting blend; quite intriguing. Can't wait to drink it.

Taste: taste is mostly of malt. There's a sourness to it which doesn't quite work in a tripel. Fruity notes are very subdued. It's not bad, but it's not what I'm looking for in a tripel.

Mouthfeel: medium body with some creaminess, but merely OK.

Drinkability: not a bad beer overall, but there are so many better tripels out there.

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Photo of tone77
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a rich golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of dark fruits and spices. Taste is a good mixture of spices, fruits, and alcohol. Feels full bodied in the mouth and is very drinkable. Overall a very solid brew.

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Photo of weeare138
4.37/5  rDev +17.5%
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.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.49/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a four finger white head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Crystal clear amber color. Good carbonation and light-medium bodied. Light honeysuckle nose and flavor is sweet clove with some bitterness. Higher ABV is hidden. 12oz bottle, from Gift Specialists Oceanside, California.

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Photo of corby112
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of wl0307
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
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...

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
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"?

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Photo of akorsak
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 6/27/11
*From notes

A: Pretty clean rich golden with tiny white floaties. A massive 2.75 finger head on a decent pour. Great lacing follows.

S: Insane yeastiness, with an epic amount of fresh bananas and booze.

T: Rich yet very approachable. Unlike many in the style, there are clean flavor delineations here that really make this beer one of the better American interpretations. A good amount of yeast and creamy malt rock the fore to mid, with rich banana and lemongrass on the finish.

M: Creamy. The carbonation is a bit soft, but it works in pushing the flavors of this beer over the palate in a big way.

O: Victory's Golden Monkey is a damn fine example of an American Tripel. It's easy enough to drink, yet can be sipped and enjoyed over a couple of hours. Not the best in style, but certainly in the upper middle class.

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Golden Monkey from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
84 out of 100 based on 1,745 ratings.