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Golden Monkey - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Golden MonkeyGolden Monkey

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4,762 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,762
Reviews: 1,670
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 15.45%
Wants: 96
Gots: 734 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Tripel |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: purplehops on 09-17-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,762 | Reviews: 1,670 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kshankar
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear gold with a thick white foam. Good retention, lacing is minimal.

Aroma is predominantly banana, cloves and a strong yeast profile. Taste is similar, the banana balances well with the spice profile. Very yeasty. Bit of boozy bitterness at the finish.

Lighter side of medium, well carbonated. Drinkable, especially for something that is approaching 10% ABV.

Photo of adkirkish
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear, golden yellow, non persistent white head.

A: Sweet bready malt, banana / tropical fruits, and belgian yeast aromatics.

F: Flavor profile matches the aroma w/ a slight tinge of bitterness in the finish. Balance is towards the malt and belgian characteristics.

M: medium across the board (Body, Mouthfeel, Carbonation). No alcohol warmth and at 9.5 is very cloying.

O: IMO this beer had some belgian IPA qualities, especially in finish. Also, the alcohol was very well hidden behind the hops ;) Does not come nearly to terms to "Tripel" as others in category (Appearance/Taste), but tasty nonetheless.

Photo of DeliciousSeeker
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of my first "build your own six pack" at one of the local stores, I figured I'd give this a try. Golden Monkey looked fairly interesting, and hey, if I ended up not liking it, I at least had an amusing name to fall back on.

Smelled really nice when I first cracked it open, and poured really nice, although there wasn't that much head. Fairly hoppy aroma.

Initial taste is really great, only once you've swallowed do you get the hint this is a 9.5% beer. No powerful alcohol taste at all, and full of flavor.

Nice feel, fairly light if anything. You wouldn't expect a beer this strong to feel this light.

Very drinkable. Good to have one or two with a few friends.

Photo of DefenCorps
2.36/5  rDev -36%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Back when I was a young 'un on this site, the word on the street was that this was a beer that needed a couple of years to come into its own. And so I obliged, stashing two bottled from 12 June 2007, with a note to self to drink one in June 2009. That never came to be, so here I am, August 2010, drinking a tripel brewed with spices.

Pouring a light orange with good clarity, this beer has a dense, white head that recedes to a thin disk, leaving patchy lace. I like the look on this beer.

The nose is actually pretty decent. While sweeter than I like my tripels, this has more than a simple sweetness going on. Honey, biscuit, a little dough, some floral character, all along with some spice (pepper? mace?) Swirling does bring out a slightly dull malt character. Some fruit is present as well. The palate opens with a combination of sweetness and alcohol, one that I did not expect. Quite fruity, there's apple and some light fruit. However, the alcohol is still very brash, bringing to mind jungle juice and other unpleasant memories. Spicy mid-palate before the alcohol digs in hard, resulting is a very hot finish, this is quite bad. The sweetness is moderate, with some sugar and honey, but the unabashedly brash alcohol makes this rather like an expectorant. The finish, in particular, is awful, with a big, alcohol bite, mild spices and some rose petals. Medium-light in body, this beer has a high level of carbonation. Not very enjoyable, I'm going to have to send my last bottle out as an extra or something.

As it warms up, I get a strong aroma of iodine/antiseptic and maybe even some urinal cake. I'm dropping my score to reflect this.

Photo of TheHoppiest
3.02/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an oversized wine glass. Pours a hazy pale yellow, with visible sediment swirling around. I imagine this is an artifact of the bottle conditioning of this beer. Very little head, although to be fair, I gave it a slow pour to avoid pouring the sediment into the glass. States on the bottle that it is best drankby April 9, 2013, so clearly, this has not been sitting around too long.

Has a fruity, yeasty smell, with hints of banana and cloves. Overall, however, the aroma is thin and light.

Has a forward sweet taste, that at te same time is slightly metallic on the tongue - a sharp, somewhat unpleasant taste and feel. Not as smooth or round as some of the other belgian tripels I've had. There's a faint spiciness as it flows across the tongue. Ends with a slight yeast echo.

Mouthfeel is thin and sharp. Not one of the etter feeling beers I've had.

Overall, not terribly drinkable. I've got three more; perhaps I'll use them or cooking.

Photo of bigeyedfish
3.27/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle with 'drink by June 30 2013' (so, if I'm not mistaken, brewed June 2010) written on the label poured into a Troegs Mad Elf tulip glass.

1 finger of foamy-white head quickly reduces by half in size but keeping its total encompassing of the top of the beer. The body is a deep golden color with a steady stream of carbonation coming up off all areas of the base of the glass.

The aroma is really quite nice. I thought I remembered this beer to have a little more alcohol on the nose, but the nose is a strong hint of banana bread up front and some spices--[a faint hint of] cinnamon and [a stronger hint of] cloves mainly in the middle with a little bit of a kind of yeast aroma on the nose. There is some alcohol, but it is either a)much less-pronounced than it used to be or it is b) much more distinct in my imagination. Let's go with 'b'.

Well, maybe my memory was not all-that wrong about the alcohol. The first taste, and the one that overpowers everything else, if an strong, upfront assault of metallic tinge/alcohol. In fact, it's almost best to describe it as abrasive. Now it could just be that I'm drinking the beer too cold--it's been in the fridge for >24 hours and at room temp for about 5-7 minutes-- and those harsh tastes will come to the forefront. I'm going to set one out now, for roughly 15 minutes and then drink it and update the review if changes are noticeable. After the alcohol there is a strong hint of cloves in the mid-palate, and that only intensifies on the finish; the mild-sensation of cloves explodes in the finish, then quickly begins to linger on the palate. After it quiets down, however, there is a nice hint of vanilla that surprises you.

In terms of mouthfeel, that aforementioned metallic quality is the story here. Up front there is not much mouthfeel, but around the mid-palate it begins to offer a bit of a carbonating-sensation. On the finish it's actually kind of cooling, with the spices and the alcohol providing a really-interesting, centrally-focused cool, like a clove/alcohol-flavored piece of mint-gum only focused on the back of the palate. Really interesting.

Drinkability is not the best. The alcohol is, at 9.5%, definitely there. The dominating flavor, that metallic alcohol taste makes it hard to get through, and the secondary flavor, a strong hint of sharp-cloves, makes it a beer lacking in balance. It's one that after two or three would be easier to drink, one assumes, only because the alcohol would overpower you and the cloves and alcohol would overpower your taste buds.

All in all, it's an aggressive, American interpretation of a classic style. While that sentence is usually a good thing, in IPA's, Stouts, Barleywines, in this style, traditionally known for smooth, rounded, sweet flavors, this interpretation falls short. Of course, there is the issue of age and temperature. If I am not mistaken, Victory prints their 'Drink By' date, for triples, to be 3 years after bottling. And if that is the case, then this beer has had >2 months to round out (which would explain the aggressiveness of the flavor profile). I also gave this beer about 30 minutes to warm, from opening to finish, and it improved during that time. The previously-mentioned vanilla-finish wasn't noticed until about 3/4 through the beer. So it is quite possible that I should have given this more time to warm itself.

With that said, I think that with this version of the GM I got a version that brought out the worst in itself--too fresh, too cold--but at the same time, serves as reminder of why this beer is not discussed among the upper-echelon of great triples, traditional and American-interpretative-alike. It's a little too much. A little too assertive, a little too boozy. A really nice effort, but when its compared to some of the great interpretations of foreign styles Victory does--it's fantastic take on a German Pilsner (Prima), it's great version of a Barlywine (Old Horizontal), even it's strict-interpretation of a Baltic Porter--it's hard not to wish that the guys had tried to do a little less with this one.

Photo of exonthebottle
3.32/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

average appearance but kinda fades quickly small head not much to look at despite having the glass. faint smell of bread and yeast and fruits.
taste is malty with faint hops. crisp okay mouth feel but a dry alcoholic taste finish bothers me
easy to drink because it's sugary but I would stop after two of these

Photo of PantherLightning
3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Golden yellow, and hazy with 2 fingers of white head that quickly dissipates.

S - Fruity, smells strongly of apricot. Hints of spices as well.

T/M- Light and crisp with the apricot coming through along with some of the alcohol. A bit of spice in the finish. Not a whole lot of complexity develops. I feel like this needs either some sweetness in the front of the pallet or a bitterness in the finish to give it more dimension. But overall, not bad. Light mouth-feel with a bit of a slick, oily texture.

D - Overall, this is fairly light and simple for a stronger beer. This is very drinkable, and I feel like I would be able to put away a few in a sitting.

Photo of Choo
4.5/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this delightful beer on a whim and now I am officially addicted! Mind you, I had but one bottle and felt slightly tipsy. (OK - I am a small female who doesn't get out too often.) There is a zesty, zippy taste to this beer that forces my palate to beg for more. I highly recommend trying this glowing Belgian ale!

Photo of pitasoup
3.32/5  rDev -10%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz, golden yellow with white head. some lacing. banana and belgian yeast smells. very malty but somewhat unclean of a body. the finish is dry. i let the last couple of the 6er get slightly scuzzy - wow does this beer go from good to bad in a heartbeat.

-notes from 02/07

Photo of jmhart
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared this with Frasier433 during a Beer Thursday(TM).

750 poured into a snifter

A- Poured a hazy pale gold with a firm white head.

S- Banana and nutmeg with a yeasty sweet malt flavor underneath. Smell was good, but not as effervescent as some other terrific Tripels I've had.

T- A decent sweet/spice up front: nutmeg, clove, cinnamon and pepper. Banana and hints of lemon zest are present, all on top of a rich bready flavor, all with just the slightest hint of funk.

M- Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. I would have liked a little more to the feel of it, maybe a little creamier.

D- An average tripel, but compared to some others I've had, this leaves a little to be desired. I'd happily drink this if served it, but I probably won't pick it up again on my own.

Photo of Shaw
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale golden in color with a big, white head.

Nice Belgian yeast aroma with hints of clove, banana, and lemon.

The taste is also quite good. It's spicy, but not in a hot pepper way. Lightly sweet, with a dry finish. Noticeable alcohol. Just like a tripel should taste.

Smooth body no doubt thanks to the high alcohol level.

Overall this is a fine tripel, one that sticks close to its Belgian roots.

Photo of StlHopHead77
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was my first tripel.I had it for the first time at Creation in Charlotte,NC.

A-Pours a hazy,yellow with a fleeting,modest white head and some lacing.Some active carbonation is visible.

S-Ripe bananas,custard apple,cloves and Belgian yeast.White pepper spice and pale,toasty malt.ABV is hinted at in the nose.

T-Sweet,spicy and fruity.Spice and fruit keep ABV in the background until the finish.

M-This beer is crisp and medium bodied with a dry and warm(ABV) finish.

D-I've found that the this beer's drinkability can be a problem,in the sense that I can drink 3 or 4 without considering the ABV.

Photo of OttoPeeWee
4.36/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I am a big fan of Belgium Tripels. (Dulle Teve from de dolle brouwers is my favorite) This does not taste like any Belgium Tripel I've had. GM is a very unique brew. Not a ton of hops, which is correct for the style and it is highly well-spiced and very sweet with a ABV that will knock you on your ass! You need to share a 6 pack. I recommend sharing with your beer drinking female friend because these are the equivalent of wine coolers to a teenager! They are very drinkable.

It is almost like a bottle drinking tripel because their is really not much head when you pour it in a glass, but there is lacing.

Make no mistake this is a quality brew and one of my favorite US beers. And this is definately a distictive US beer in a Belgium style. Bravo!

Photo of Stigs
3.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, served in a Duvel tulip

A - pours with about a third of an inch of bubbly white foam...settles quickly. the beer is pale yellow in color and a bit hazy.

S - grains amped by lightly sweet fresh fruits, green apples and pears. light clove-like spiciness. some alcohol in the end. pleasant if not a little soft.

T - again, very heavy on the grains...takes a few sips to get acclimated and pull out some other stuff. apples, some banana, quick but sharp peppery bite, and then a big amount of alcohol.

M - light body and tight but slightly overdone carbonation. finishes prickly and dry.

D - not bad, curious to see what some time does to this - a bit of calming and melding might do wonders compared to fresh.

Photo of BeanBone
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: A golden-straw body packed with chunky sediment. Up top, two fingers of whitish head that fade slowly and leave patchy lacing.

Aroma: A mix of golden fruit, pepper, cloves, Belgian yeast, and crisp pale malt. It hits all the right Tripel notes so far.

Flavor: The flavor profile is made up of the same mix of spices, golden fruit, Belgian yeast, and pale malt that's found in the nose. The alcohol content is hidden nicely, with just a hint of spice coming through. Everything is balanced nicely and no single element sticks out. Crackery malt and golden fruit in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with prickly, medium-high carbonation and a drying finish. Just a bare hint of warmth from the alcohol.

Drinkability: With a full flavor profile and a high ABV, this drinks faster than you'd imagine.

Verdict: A solid Tripel, Golden Monkey is an enjoyable little rascal. Sure, it's nowhere near as refined as the real-deal Belgian beers, but this is a thoroughly impressive American version of the style.

Photo of garbercury
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Decided to get this in a post 4th sixer with the day off. It is hot as hell but still wanted something with a little more punch. Golden Monkey seemed to fit the bill...

A--Decent lacing, with some retention. Golden hue almost straw colored.

S--Black Pepper, spice, pear, apple...

T--At first sip, lots of black pepper and pears, does have some of the classic flavor of a tripel

M--Gotta say this has a decent mouthfeel, a little more to this one in this one than expected, pretty silky actually, especially for the style.

D--Eh, not a bad version and lets face it, Belgian Tripels and Belgians in general, tend to be pricey. This is a bang for the buck kind of beer, and certainly a nice choice on a 95 degree day...

Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is yellow in color and poured with a two finger white head that slowly died down yet consistently covered the surface. The beer is slightly hazy and has small particles floating in suspension. A moderate amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: Aromas of bananas and yeast eliminate from the nose, along with some hints of spices, the latter of which seems to be more prevalent as the beer warms up.
T: The taste is dominated by fruity and spicy flavors, with notes of bananas and yeast standing out in particular.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate. There is some dryness in the finish and a bit of warming from the alcohol.
D: The alcohol becomes somewhat apparent in the taste as the beer warms up, although this doesn't detract that much from the beer's drinkability. It's a good beer to sip.

Photo of webmanspidey
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass, clear golden yellow with almost no head. Smell is slightly skunky but with a nice mix of cloves and other spices present. Cloves are initially prevalent in the flavor, fading very quickly. There isn't as much going on here as some other tripels but it is pretty decent and very drinkable. Goes down very easily for nearing 10% ABV.

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.91/5  rDev +6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden monkey poured a bright yellow color, with a head that disapated quickly. It smellt of various spices, typical of Belgian Tripels. It had a nice smooth, spicey taste; again typical of a belian tripel. Very easy to drink. Overall I felt this beer was really good. It is a bit lighter and easier to drink then a real belgian tripel.

Photo of batsdc
2.63/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A friend highly recommended this beer to be but in the end I was disappointed. The color was a nice light yellow color, with a nice white head on top which soon disappeared. The taste was what turned me off the most, almost too strong of a wheat taste for me.

To me the more subtle fruity flavors were overpowered by the wheat taste, which while not a huge problem also left me wishing it had a more even taste overall. At the same time it isn't a bad beer, the ABV is nice and it is decent overall it just could be better.

Photo of ThreeDimesDown
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear lemon yellow with a thick fluffy white head that disspates leaving little lacing.

Aromas of lemongrass, light fruits, bready malts and spices.

Taste follows suit with bready malts and light fruits (green apple, apricots, pineapple), faint pepper, stronger clover and coriander. A sweet finish that is slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel is light to medium and crisp with moderate carbonation,

Overall, a nicely balanced brew that hides the high ABV well.

Photo of bonkers
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a SA perfect pint glass. It is a pale clear yellow with a mamoth white head. The head quickly recedes. It has a floral aroma, spicy, tropical fruit. The flavor is very floral and spicy, and sweet. Pineapple and pears are presen. It has a dry lingering finish. It is light in body and highly carbonated. A solid triple.

Photo of Evocatus
3.37/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a off color yellow, like a pear in color. Head was white and foamy, but also really thin. Aroma had a mix of fruits and spices. The taste was a little too much on the spice side for a tripel. I was looking for more fruit. Good body, well carbonated. Not a bad beer, but i've had better tripels.

Photo of philbe311
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Three fingers worth ultra fluffy and creamy slightly off white colored head with a slightly rocky top... Stellar retention... A golden orange color... Bursting at the seams with small bubbled moderate paced carbonation... Loads of foam cling to the sides of the glass... A little bit of sediment found its way into the glass...

S - Pineapple... Belgian yeast... Bubble gum... Wheat... Apple juice... Pears... Lightly candied sugars... A touch of spice... Slight floral presence... Delicate and wonderfully complex...

T - Touches of sweet light colored fruits up front... Yeasty... Cloves and assorted spices... A touch of bubble gum... Slightly medicinal finish with a strong alcohol presence...

M - Medium bodied... Lush... Creamy... Perfect levels of carbonation... Highly enjoyable...

D - Not a traditional Tripel by any means... However, this is a very interesting and complex offering from the folks at Victory... I would gladly drink again in the future and even invest in six pack form... Interesting and enjoyable...

Golden Monkey from Victory Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 4,762 ratings.