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Golden Monkey | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

1,746 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

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Reviews: 1,746 | Ratings: 5,406
Photo of necoadam
3.26/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I can't really find Tripel's around my area so when I saw a fresh 6-pack of the Golden Monkey I decided to nab it quickly. Bottled on March 20, 2004. Poured out a nice golden/orange color with a bit of carbonation in it. Smell was mostly sweet. Some malts, grapes, and some spice in there. Taste was pretty much the same. It's like a one-two punch of sweet and spicy. Candy-like sweetness hits first then fades away to a spicy/tart flavors. Some hops can be detected as well. Not a bad beer, maybe just a little bit more balancing may be in order for this to be "out of this world."

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Photo of mjohn27603
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle bottle on Sept 08 03. Pours with a cloudy yellow color. Cottony white head develops with very fine bubbles of carbonation. Aroma is of candi sugar. Maybe a slight off smell like a hint of vinegar. First sip reveals a lighter bodied drink and less alcohol presence. Drinkability is high more like a refreshing summer drink. I had to check that this actually lists 9.5% ABV on the label. Pretty well hidden. Slight peppery taste. Slight metallic aftertaste. I'm getting a flavor like a watered down version of a good tripel. This is the weakest Victory offering I've tried thus far. Not bad just not that great.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Coming off of the 8 pack of Heavyweight brewery's 'Two Druids', I was more prepared on how to drink this purely artisan beer.

It is not really an Abbey Tripel, in my opinion. Those of you who appreciate subtle Tripels will agree - this is a case of the beer taste not meeting the proposed style expectations.

Pours a cloudy, golden color - lighter than expected. Smells of cider and tangy fruits.

The taste varies from sip to sip. Most consistent are the fruits - a delightful blend of apple, pear, and bourbon mix together with a handful of spices I was unable to distinguish. I am very curious to know what spices were used in this artisan beer - the bottle failed to mentin them.

As I felt with similar beers, this is an excellent beer to try - and that is about it. I wouldn't buy more than one of these -but at the same time, I am glad that I tried it. In concept alone, this beer acheives much.

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Photo of Globetrotter
4.06/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A colleague delivered this to Moscow - I'm forever in her debt. My bottle says "enjoy by Jun 13 04." I did so, on Apr 3 04.

Poured a cloudy yellow orange (OK, apricot) hue under a one finger off white head that disappeared way, way, way too quickly for a Trippel. Hardly a few sips had passed before the head was nothing but film and collar. Tsk, tsk. The nose is lovely, however, with fruits and spices leaning towards sweet. The mouth is very carbonated and heavy with the spice and alcohol. The taste is sweet - apricots and raisins - and spicey - coriander and a touch of, well, vanilla? There's a very subtle touch of hops in the finish, but this is all about the fruit and spice, plus the alcohol. Not my favorite beer, but it's quite tasty.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.23/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out to a milky peach, forming a small white head of fine bubbles and creamy texture despite a vigorous pour. Retention is quite good and lacing is average. Carbonation is moderate despite a heady release of gas when popping the cap. Aroma is very good, immediately reminding me of Unibroue's yeast qualities...definite cloves and bananas with an emphasis on the cloves, clean ferment, green apples, lots of phenols and fruity esters. Mouthfeel is prickly and punchy initially but goes down with a sweet smoothness. Dense body. Taste...wow, this is good...malty but not overly sweet with a well-balanced hop bitterness and alcohol level. The brew is warming with tons of esters and cleanly fermented with no appreciable off-flavors other than a hint of metal towards the middle which is thankfully not very obtrusive. Alcohol is appreciable, but at 9.5%, it goes down like it was 6-7%. The finish is spicy and has some nice huskiness laced with honey and candi sugar. Not picking up on any Belgian wild yeast strain characteristics. As it warms, it gets even better.

A big, impressive brew besting many other triples, this one comes highly recommended. Good job Victory...I'm psyched to try their others!

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Photo of Stimack
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow, this seem to be quite the brew, did not realize that it was 9.5 ABV. The brew poured to a cloudy golden color with a smallish white head that broke down very quickly with hardily any lacing. The essence of this brew is mostly of bananas, cloves, citrus and sweet caramel. Most of these aromas are also entwined in the taste of the brew. As the brew warmed you could also notice a stronger and stronger rummy alcohol taste. Overall this brew has a number of different flavors and smells going on that seemed to spark the senses, I would classify it as more interesting experience than a great brew, but it is worth a try!

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Photo of merlin48
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a hazy, apricot color with a minimal, white head that quickly fades into a slick and some minor, collar lace.
Aroma evokes a Belgian Abbey Tripel, with ripe bananas, bubble gum, and some clove-like spiciness.
Tingly carbonation teases the tongue, and a yeasty mushroon presence jumps in.
Taste is fruity sweet all the way through. Overripe bananas, apricots, coriander, and clove are all over the palate, while a yeasty, woodsiness tries to poke through. The yeast strain doesn't live up to its promise, despite a mild, horse blanket note. Finish is slightly syrupy, with a rum soaked fruit aftertaste.
This turned out to be an excellent tripel, although a little too sweet. Excellent effort here, by one of the best East Coast breweries.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy golden colored beer. Froathy, white head slowly faded to a thin ring. The aroma was mildly sweet, some light fruits and earth smells. The flavor was similar with apricot, light malt, and some yeasty flavors. A smooth, fairly light bodied beer, that coats the tongue with just the right amount of flavor.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a lot going on for it. Very zesty. It has a a lot of Belgian esters going on, very much like their Grand Cru. It has a nice peach color with "fruity" smells. While the taste is wonderful and complex due to the yeast used (I'm assuming here), it has a lot of sweet and fruit-like flavors which lower its drinkability. Very good, but in small doses.

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Photo of Tballz420
4.01/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew comes out a cloudy orange color, with a white head comprised of small bubbles. The scent is grainy, with some citrus notes as well. This beer is quite sweet. Lots of candy/sugar flavors. You can definately feel the alcohol, and its spicy flavor is noticed as the beer goes down. Not a bad beer, worth a taste.

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Photo of Ahhdball
4.67/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sit back kiddies and let Ahhdball to you on a journey with the infamous Golden Monkey of lore. Few have heard the name and even less have gazed upon it's hazy gold existence. The cloudy effervescent liquid holds a slight ring above the head of this animal. It's smell is a sweet banana, mango, and apricot which is very hard to miss. The flavors of the sweet malts, more fruits and hints of spices that leave no taste bud untouched. As the flavor leaves and we descend away from the monkey, an oily sticky sweet hint of malts and alcohol is left in the mouth to slowly disappear only to return by drinking another. Come hither children, taste the monkey!

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Photo of rkhaze
3.46/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sept. 9 2002 bottle. Poured a hazy golden peach color with a foamy white head and lots of carbonation. Left beautiful lacing. Aromas of sweet malt, tropical fruit and earthy tart yeast.
Sweet bready malt taste with citrus fruit pith and some baking spices. Mild bitterness and an overly tart/acidic yeast aftertaste led to a really dry finish and threw it out of balance.
Medium bodied, slightly sticky mouthfeel with loads of carbonation. The alcohol was hidden real well but the tartness was a bit much to make this very drinkable, although it was refreshing.
This was tart enough to make me think I got a bad bottle, but the fact that I purchased it from a reputable store and it was 9.5%ABV and bottle conditioned sorta ruled that out. I guess it's just a different interpretation of the style, unfortunately one I don't care for.

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Photo of Hefe
4.23/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted on 3/2/2004

Appearance: Hazy golden colour with a sticky lacing and a noticeable yeast sediment.

Smell: Malt and sweet bananas, apricot and grapefruit.

Taste: An echo of the aroma, with a little less sweetness and a clovy spice.

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation and a rich smooth body.

Drinkability: Maybe a little too heavy for session drinking, but I could still drink a few. ;-)

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Photo of travolta
2.45/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle with bottled on date (bottle conditioned)

Apperance: Cute, but thats about it. it's golden yellow and a bit irridecent which is always cool. a frothy head, but doesent last long. The head coats the glass very well, but doesent stay around long enough for a conversation. It ironic that the best head from beer stays even after your done with it, while with women we...aww....nevermind.

Nose: i get a nice sweet sugary nose fomr this one right away. Its "Belgain-Inspired", whatever that means. it smells like a Belgian, a little stinky. I get that carmel sugar and maybe...MAYBE lemon and lime. But dont hold me to it.

Taste: Its ABV is 9.5% So thats the aftertaste. Alcohol is a
major flavor characteristic of this beer. It bitter at first, but that chills down quite a bit right away, which is good. It has some maple syrup tones in it. It's crisp, but not too foamy.

Notes: the alcohol taste can ruin this one for you. It's not overly complex, heck, Its not even complex. if you have some friends over, start with something you love, then finish with this. WICKED EXPENSIVE for what you get.

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Photo of Gritsak
3.08/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle dated almost a year ago..but i figure with the high abv it should be good

appearence is pale yellow with a small white head

smell is...fruity..with banana being the most profound

taste...well not to impressed. the mouthfeel is really smooth but it reminds me too much of a banana beer i had a couple weeks ago. the alcohol isnt very present at all but just the smell alone makes me want to turn back once i start a sip

i guess it doesnt hurt to try but damn, i know ill never buy this again.

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Photo of JimsArcade
3.13/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

(12 oz, Bottled on 10/23/03) Decanted properly into a standard pint glass, Golden Monkey pours creamy, clear light-orange in color with a one-finger thick white head. I say "decanted properly" because this beer has more yeast sediment than any other beer I've seen, although some bottles have a lot more sediment than others. This bottle has a lot, and I lost nearly 1/5 of the beer to keep the yeast out. Having the yeast there is not bad, but I generally prefer to keep as much of it out of my glass as possible. If you pour the rest in (I won't for this review, though), the liquid becomes cloudier. After a few moments, the yeast spreads evenly throughout the glass and stays practically motionless. If it wasn't so viscous, I'd swear that it looks like beer Jell-O.

In the nose, the aroma is lightly-sweet, with hints of kiwi and Granny Smith apples, and very crisp. Bringing the aroma into the mouth, it becomes fuller with hints of apple pie. It just smells very light and refreshing.

The mouthfeel is richer than the smell implies. It's creamy with very mild carbonation.

What I have noticed in the past is that one bottle of Golden Monkey rarely tastes the same as another. This time is no exception. The first taste is only mildly sweet. Hints of caramel can be detected, as well as some alcohol, though not to the degree that is really in there. The aftertaste is much sweeter, though, with hints of malt and cinnamon bun: a syrupy sweetness. For a beer with so little detectable hops, it goes down WAY too easy, which can be "dangerous" in an extended session. Oddly enough, the carbonation becomes more noticeable towards the finish. A good beer this time.

Previous GM's I've had are super-sweet or citrusy or even pretty mellow. I have had more than my share of GM bottles that I have not enjoyed, though. The only time I've had it taste good consistently was at the brewery itself.

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Photo of pheurton
3.61/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottled february 04 (12oz size) pours a cloudy golden peach with an enormous fat frothy white head. good retention and lacing. very yeasty on the nose with subtle notes of pale fruits and spice. low to medium level of carbonation. thick and full bodied mouthfeel even when cold...perhaps a little too much for a tripel. big dose of biscuty maltiness, substantial horse blanket yeasty flavor, followed by a tart fruiteness and phenolic aftertaste. becomes slightly more spicy (clove) as it warms. alcohol is hidden pretty well, but you can feel the heat in the back of your throat somewhat on the way down. wouldn't want to have more than two in a row.

there are many better and more authentic versions of the tripel out there, but for a strong belgian golden ale, the monkey suits me just fine. i've had some off batches from time to time (when the flavors seem even more over the top than usual), but overall it's an enjoyable sipping brew.

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Photo of ChimayMayDay
4.8/5  rDev +29%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'd like to buy a couple of sixes of this beer and perform my remake of 12 Monkeys. I might wake up after the world's ending to find that animals rule the planet.

It certainly has a high alcohol volume, but that's not a complaint. What I enjoyed is that the alcohol is so well masked by the wonderful flavors. I have yet to have a bad bottle from Victory, and the Monkey is one of my favorites.

Citrusy sweet and malty but also floral. Nice, bright golden color does its name justice. It's so drinkable, with its mildly carbonated mouthfeel, that you can't help but drink a few too many.

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Photo of genaro
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden Monkey was a light clear straw color. The head was creamy white and didn't linger too long. The aroma was busy - metallic, clovey, and earthy. The taste was metallic, citrusy, and a little yeasty. There was also some sweetness that helped take the edge off the bitterness.The high alcohol content also took the edge off of few things. The finish was a bit dry and citrusy.

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Photo of stewart124
4.02/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A cloudy golden-orange color with a fizzy head that leaves quickly. There is a spicy aroma and a hint of floral hops. The taste has a very spicy bite that almost numbs your tongue. The alcohol is well masked and the floral hops are a nice was to finish off the taste. Very strong character in this brew. Good drinkability and aftertaste. The percentage definitely sneaks up on you. I only wish it was a better looking beer.

"Get on board, this monkey's bound for glory!"

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Photo of 57andcounting
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a six-pack of this high alcohol beer at the brewery. This will set you back, reminds me of some of the German Weisse beers in the after taste. You will smell and taste the malts. It's complex enough to keep the drinking interesting. I like the mouth feel, makes you want to take another sip. Someone that only drinks Bud, will be set back with this one.

I like this one. (Of course, I'm into the second bottle, at 9+ABV, that may have something to do with it.)

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Photo of RootedFool
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a 12 ounce bottle at the North Coast Co-op, in Arcata, California.

Pours light golden yellow. Minimal bubbly head. Cloudy ring of lace on the glass. Obviously nicely carbonated -- a bevy of bubbles dancing in the glass.

Smell is of alcohol, grapefruit rinds, rum-soaked raisins, bananas, and a strong malt backbone.

Malts expand over the tongue, broad and sweet, leading into candied dried fruits, glazed donuts, and a brazen alcohol warmth that nearly numbs my tongue.

Mouthfeel isn't as creamy as I expected. Maybe a little too light to handle the heavy-handed flavors.

Well done, even if the high ABV is too obvious -- but that might be likable to some drinkers, including me.

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Photo of PSUDREW
3.1/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

It pours a light straw color. Although it has some different charecteristics, this has a very sweet malty flavor to it, and the typical barelywine flavor that masks or mixes the sweetness of malt and alchohol. While the belgian style is not my fav, per say, it has a nice all around charecter, esp if you age it, grad a couple and enjoy your night.

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Photo of oelergud
4.47/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden moderately carbonated brew with a solid white head that stays well and leaves a nice lace.
Very hoppy scent, some good spice and caramel, earthly as well.
Taste is unbelievable! hoppy and sweet at the same time in perfect harmony, aftertaste is next to nonexistant which makes you reach for the beer constantly, this is a highly alcoholic beer but you wouldn't know from the taste. Some light grain quality to the flavor is present but subtle.
Full and solid body, doesn't leave much of an impression in the way of being slick yet feels smooth and mellow.
Very drinkable, this beer drinks itself.
Absolutely amazing!@#


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Photo of NJpadreFan
2.65/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Victory- Golden Monkey

Since it's officially the "year of the monkey" I'll ring it in with a bottle of Golden Monkey.

Appearance- cloudy yellow/ straw with a super thick white head. The head disappated very quickly.
Smell- very fruity and spicy. Typical Belgium spice smell.
Taste- Way to fruity. Grapefruit citrus is overpowering and alcohol is too present, well at 9.5% I guess its hard to hide.

Overall- My first Victory beer is a bust. It's just to citrusy. I think I'm getting GERD because of it. A similair beer that is paletteable is Heavyweight's Lunacy.

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Golden Monkey from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
84 out of 100 based on 1,746 ratings.