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Golden Monkey - Victory Brewing Company

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Golden MonkeyGolden Monkey

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4,761 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,761
Reviews: 1,670
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 15.45%
Wants: 95
Gots: 732 | 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: 4,761 | Reviews: 1,670 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hustlemuscle
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 01/07/05
Drunk't 03/18/07

Aged with tender loving care. Or forgotten about in a cool closet.

Golden and active, with a big head and a ton of sediment. Strong "Belgian" smell, alcohol and hops.

Very mellow. Time alone takes the edge off the spices, left with some mild saaz and more mellow spices. Less "big" but not missing anything in structure or flavor.

Like it fresh, like it old. My favorite is about a year old or so.

Photo of dgallina
3.74/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 ounce brown bottle marked bottled on may 14th 2007.

Pours clear gold with strong carbonation, but nearly zero head or lace. The smell is super sweet, with big honey overtones on alcohol laced peaches and grapes. Some spicy medicinal gin notes in the background as well. The flavor takes some acclimation. Bitter initial medicinal spiciness seques into strong alcohol and sour notes in the finish. Some honey in the center and dry hops in the finish. Becomes smoother, much more mellowed and honeyed as it warms. Body is rich and syrupy, with strong alcohol sting. Pretty agreeable by the end, but i expect that the strength and flavor will make it an acquired taste.

Photo of abramorton
3.42/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Victory is an awesome brewery, but GM has some improving to do. Great for the price. It really seems they tried to stretch regular ingredients into something supreme. Will try again in a year or so, since V Brewing deserves it! I shouldn't be a pig since Victory cannot be purchased in Tennessee.

Photo of Floydster
3.72/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 ml corked bottle from Cooke's

Poured into a frosted mug

Golden color with a super super thick white head

Scent of raspberries and other fruity aromas

Tasted really sweet like most tripels, but packed a serious punch as well

Taste lasted a moderate amount

Had a hard time finishing the bottle myself, so not the most drinkable beer

Also available in six packs

Great pick up for five dollars on sale

Photo of sterstar1
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Fantastic brew! Okay. Is this the BEST Tripel out there? No. Of course not. The trapists and other Belgian brewers have them beat hands-down. But let's look at all aspects of this beer. First off, it comes in a six-pack. Can the best-of-the-best tripel brewers say that? Not so much. Next, look at the ABV. 9.5%. Quite impressive for a six-pack beer. Now as under-rated as this topic is, you have to look at price. At $8.50 per six pack (at my local liquor store), that brings the price down to about $1.42 per 12 oz bottle. Now add that all up. A delicious Belgian tripel at 9.5% for $1.42 per 12 oz bottle? Are you kidding? What's not to love about this beer? This one wins my all around drinkability award. Wonderful stuff.

Photo of WonderfulSam
2.88/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer was alright. Nothing I’d get overly excited about, but still enjoyable. I believe the bottle also claimed that it was a Tripel, but I think that’s a serious stretch.

The appearance was um interesting: Pale straw with a tiny head that fell apart almost immediately. There was lots of yeast, but it wasn’t cloudy, it was chunky. Not exactly what I want to see. As I drank this beer, there was no lacing on the glass. The smell consisted of bread, yeast, and coriander. I didn’t get any fruit.

The taste was mostly a combination of yeast and unidentifiable spices. It wasn’t very interesting, and did not have much complexity. The flavors didn’t open up much during the course of drinking it.

The mouthfeel was thin and sharp. The carbonation was high, and without a richer texture, that made for a bite that I didn’t love. I thought that I might have an old bottle, since my friend from back east told me, “Dude, you have to try this!” and it was such an average attempt at an interesting beer. But no; its best by date was December of ’07 – 3 months from now. Anyways, I drank it all. It was OK. Drinkability-wise, I’d say this: each sip was definitely an experience… just not a great one.

Photo of jdubjacket
3.61/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled this brew on Friday night at a Cajun restaurant in Atlanta. This was my first Victory brew.

Appearance was average. Left some lacing on the side of the glass. Appearance was a mix between a pale ale and a witbier.

Smell was very sweet. Citrus and alcohol stood out in the smell.

Taste was only OK. It wasn't great but it wasn't bad. The sweetness from the alcohol was a little much at times. The more I drank it, the more I felt like I was drinking a Hoegaarden.

This beer was okay. I don't think I would seek it out, but I wouldn't turn it down if someone offered it to me.

Photo of StarSAELS
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The first sampling of a Victory Sample Case brought back from PA via an Amish buggy pulled by a black horse with a white blaze (which is now dead after being fed what someone said was "grass")... AND after being blessed by a Franciscan monk (who has since been defrocked). What the Fxxx? Inside joke. But the person who got this is now banned from Lancaster county...

Poured from a (bottled on July 10 '07) 12 oz bottle (you gotta love those bits of goodness at the bottom of bottle-conditioned ales) into an Ommegang Hennepin chalice (after tipping the bottle upside down and swirling to incorporate the yeast (yes, before opening)). Wonderful cloudy golden hue with bits of yeast suspended in the elixir. White fizzy head with big bubbles is quick to recede, and even aggressive swirling brings it back only briefly.

The scent is delightful. Citrus, spices, a little hint of banana... and no alcohol notes. The taste gets you though. Oh, sure, that first BAM! on your tastebuds is heaven, but after the first four or five swigs, I'm ready to wash it down with something lighter. BUT—that's cold. Let it warm up, and it's delightful. No alcohol... where is this 9.5%?

Mouthfeel is rather dry with a hot peppery finish (ah, there's the ABV). It clears your palate fairly quickly, with only that slight burning sensation reminding you of what you just drank.

The high ABV means this is a good session starter. One is enough if you're planning on drinking other brews. Overall, I'd say this is something of an acquired taste. The second will be better, and third... better than that. Definitely much better than Delirium Tremens.


Photo of BelgianAleSlut
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into chalice. Not much carb head. Like the cloudy-golden appearance.

Tastes of muted malt, clove/banana notes with some degree of sourness. Nothing stands out, but the beer has many flavors. Would like for this beer to have more of a champagne-type carb similar to La Fin Du Monde.

My memories of my first taste of this beer years ago were that it was my introduction to Victory's fine beers and it was a uniquely delicious American belgian-style ale. Since then the beer has never matched the excitement of the new find, but remains a good alternative beer when the mainstays have become tiresome.

ABV is heavy, never have more than two of these. The wispy flavors allow for stronger flavored beers with less ABV to follow.

Photo of adammills
2.3/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This beer pours a solid golden color with an average head that fades. There is heavy esters wafting from the glass. Very phenolic, with bits of clove and spice, even smells hot. So so. I did not enjoy drinking this beer at all. I finished it because I bought it, which I wont do agian. Rocket fuel abounds in this beer, malt and spice attempt to balance but it comes up short.

Photo of bonezx86
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Very hazy yellow, small head that disappeared quickly.

S- Citrus and coriander with some banana. Spicy as well.

T- Very similar too smell, predominately spice. Alcohol could've been hidden better. Probably better to cellar for a while.

M- Medium bodied, light carbonation.

D- Best after a shitty day at work, very smooth.

Photo of dacrza1
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle in a trappist glass...intriguing aroma of grapefruit with yeast to spare....balanced hops/malts too...the body is an attractive orange, though only a rim of head exists...carbonated malt explodes at the back of the mouth, while a fleeting sizzle creases the tongue...for a triplel, this shows softly by mid-finish...another victory for Victory.

Photo of BBM
3.82/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cloudy yellow/gold into a goblet, with a very little white head that disappeared quickly. Aroma was spicy, a bit fruity, and somewhat herbal. There was also a hint of alcohol.

The taste matched the aroma fairly well; Belgian spices (cloves, coriander), herbal and earthy hops, and a slight banana flavor all blended nicely. A slightly warm alcoholic finish rounded out the brew. Mouthfeel is a tad thin, but overall not a distraction. This is a solid attempt at a Belgian tripel, since it's very flavorful and packs a punch. I would have it again.

Photo of tapman
3.02/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appears golden and hazy, but clear enough to see through. Has a decent amount of head, but could use a thicker, creamier lacing.

Belgium esters of banana with wheat phenols and mildly bright hoppiness mix together with a butt-load of alcohol.

The alcohol is not masked well at all. Its sweet and wheaty, but still reminds me of a 'Belgium-light'.

Crispy and thin...not too pleasing. Too bubbly.

Its not too bad. Still there are much better examples of this style of brew, even the American ones kick this beers tail.

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

Appearance: It's a very hazy, golden-straw color. Head is about a finger and a half. Retention was pretty short overall and lacing was light.

Smell: Definitely has a bit of Belgian qualities on the nose. It smells spicy initially. It does have some citrus scents on the outskirts. Spices come through strongest.

Taste: It is quite reminiscent of a Belgian in taste as well. Herbal spiciness is the primary feature. Slightly citrusy. Nice malty body.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light to medium bodied. Carbonation is okay. It's a hefty beer at 9.5%. Pretty drinkable at that level. Overall, it's a pretty good. I'd drink it again.

Photo of Rainintheface
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The final tasting from the "Taste Victory" mixed 12 pack bottled May 22 '07.

A: golden, cloudy with not much head at all for a tripel

S: spicy, clove and can't quite I.D. maybe butterscotch?

T: spices, little to no hops to speak of

M: full-bodied, malty and dry. alcohol present but wouldn't guess 9.5 ABV. nice carbonation- must be the etched glass

D: yeah I'll drink the others. will I buy again?...????

Poured with vigor. 12 pack box had date of Oct. ?? "07. Bottled on stated at beginning of review.
Decent enough to kick back and sip one. It's how I ended Sundays session. Popped one anew this afternoon for a fresh impression.

Photo of enfield249
2.7/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Medium golden color, no head, slight particulate matter floating about, not cloudy.

S - Spicy, not much else.

T - Very much a medicine flavor. Plenty of alcohol warming on the back end.

M - Fine I guess, not too cloying.

D - Overall, not very good in my estimation. Not worth your time.

Photo of dustylong
2.57/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light amber color with little carbonation (poured from a bottle into a snifter). Almost no head, little retention and virtually no lacing. Has a fairly "spicy" smell to it, with some hints of banana. Smells very alcoholic (with good reason, I guess). Fairly mellow taste, considering the style. Bread-like. Spicy, and banana tastes to match the aroma. Very malty. A pretty heavy mouthfeel. Again, very alcoholic. Definitely a sipping beer. Overall, a decent beer, but not very impressive, especially for the style.

Photo of jackorain
2.95/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A-pale yellow and a little cloudy. Loose 1/4 inch head from a vigorous pour. Fell quickly to mothing but a tiny collar in no time.

S-Fruity, floral and spicy, also yeasty and bready. Fumy alcohol. No hops can be found in the aroma.

T-Sweet fruity and floral. Some corriander and clove come through, Alcohol is all over this one.

M-medium body, highly carbonated.

D-not for me.

Overall-I always want to review my locals well but alas I could not this time. It made a nice plate of mussles from the recipe on the victory website though

Photo of MiguelMandingo
2.98/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have mixed feelings on this brew. I love Victory Brewing Company. HopDevil and Stormking are amazing beers, and Golden Monkey was one of the beers that got me into Tripels in the first place. I used to really like this beer - I drank it all the time. However, after having Tripel standards like Westmalle and St. Bernardus, and unique intrepretations like Tripel Karmeliet, I don't see how Golden Monkey can be classified as a Tripel that is representative of the style. The last time I had a Golden Monkey was several months ago, but I picked up a single bottle from Grapevine Market last night so that I can review it.

Poured a 12oz. bottle into a Chimay chalice.

Appearance - Hazy golden orange-yellow in color. The appearance is perhaps where the beer falls short the most. A good tripel should have at the very least a one finger head, a ton of lacing, and a constant stream of bubbles rising to the top of your chalice. Golden Monkey has...none of those things. This beer has perhaps the worst head retention of any Tripel that I have ever seen. There is no lacing at all, and no stream of bubbles. This is not limited to this one bottle, but every bottle of Golden Monkey that I have ever tried.

Smell - The initial smell is of bready yeast and floral grassy hay with the slightest touch of honey. Cloves and hops make an appearance toward the end of the scent. Smells enticing.

Taste - The taste is very yeasty, very bready in front and has a lemony citrus hop backend. It tastes good, but when measured against others in the style, it tastes too spicy and not sweet enough for a tripel - too much clove, and not enough candi sugar.

Mouthfeel - It needs more carbonation. The carbonation is present in the mouthfeel, but there is virtually none in its physical appearance. But it does go down smooth.

Drinkability - I used to be able to drink two or three of these in a night over several hours. There is no way I could finish a sixer in one day. Not really a session brew at 9.5 ABV.

Golden Monkey tastes okay, but it is one of the worst American interpretations of a Tripel that I have sampled thus far. If you want to sample a good American Tripel, pick up some Allagash - that stuff is delicious and highly representative of the style. That said, Golden Monkey is still a good brew - it tastes pretty good and goes down smooth, but when compared to others in the same style, it falls short. Really short. It is worth sampling for the experience, and I wouldn't turn it down if it was offered to me, but I doubt that I will ever buy it again.

Photo of saintwarrick
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another solid brew from the boys in Downingtown. On first pour this brew was gold with almost no head, a subsequent pour, after the brew had warmed, produced a good head. Aroma is fruity, but mostly citrus and a little dry, some biscuity malts in the background. Taste has a little bite, but not too distracting. Goes down smooth. A fine brew for the style, but there are better out there.

Photo of cracgor
3.12/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 1 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance is pretty terrible. The first two I poured out had no head retention at all. I gave the third a fair chance and a different glass. No help at all. It's a golden beer with absolutely no head. Smells like sweet alcohol at first. A second smell gives it a fruitier almost grassy smell which is pretty good. The taste is quite similar to the smell, if perhaps more grassy. Not bad, just not all the hype I've heard about it. It has a nice full body and a hint of alcohol warmth, which is probably the nicest feature of this beer. Nothing would really stop me from drinking this beer, except that it's 10% alcohol and the crappy appearance.

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

I split this bottle with a friend and I was glad. The monkey is deceptively strong as you cannot taste the alcohol. The color is a cloudy golden yellow with a white head. The smell is yeasty and spicy. The taste was fruity, yeasty, spicy and delicious. I would have drank the whole bottle but I am glad I didn't given the high ABV. This is a solid beer from Victory and if you like the style, give it a shot.

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.

Photo of khiasmus
3.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

well, my 100th beer review is already here... looks like the golden monkey is next out of the fridge...

A- Light golden color with two fingers of head that settle to a ring quickly. Clear and pretty, but for a tripel, a bit BMC looking... the biggest problem here is no lacing whatsoever, a necessary component of tripels.

S- Strong caramel malt, honey, and alcohol. A hint of pepper, and not much else. Not complex enough.

T- Initial very sweet malt, followed by honey, some pepper, a bit of banana and clove. Better than the nose... more complex. good, but not world-class.

M- Medium-high carbonation and a medium body that make for a smooth tripel.

D- Trying to compare against tripels and their guidelines, this isn't special. Of course it's better than the average beer... but I
d reach for an Allagash any day against this. Disappointing.

Golden Monkey from Victory Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 4,761 ratings.