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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 rjr8
4.29/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have never been a fan of the light yellow beers, I'm a fan of darker beers, pale yellow always reminds me of Coors Light and the like.

The smell is pretty fragrant with subtle hints of citrus.

The taste is quite good, it cops the tripel style well and feels pretty smooth in my mouth.

Overall I really enjoy this beer and as always Victory has not let me down.

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Photo of MellowG
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm with Axl, who said:

"I really think price/value should be a rating on here. It matters to most people if a beer is affordable. Golden Monkey is a beer that a Belgian lover on a budget will fall in love with. It's 12.99 a six pack which beats the hell out Chimay. Plus they have a high alcohol content which means you only need a couple to get a little buzz. I highly recommend this beer."

When I've shopped for a good Belgian style Tripel, Golden Monkey (where available) has had an excellent price-to-quality ratio. Certainly with wine, the price to quality ratio is a HUGE factor in one's choice. With good craft beers coming in at higher and higher pricepoints (even if deservedly so) the price to quality ratio, or overall value, is undoubtedly a major consideration.

Unfortunately, I don't have a Golden Monkey in front of me right now, or I would add more specifics. I'm writing this from memory. Good memories...

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Photo of Stubbie1
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This Monkey pours a light gold color. I gave it a hard, rapid pour and this brew did produce a semi decent head, but it faded quickly. The color is a sight bit hazy. The aroma reminds me of green apples with tones of yeast and citrus hidden. Taste is smooth; there is a bit of a malt flavor with the green apples mixed in with a very slight yeast zing near the end. The flavor does masks the alcohol in this brew. There is always bubbles moving to the top of the glass and it has a very nice creamy smooth mouthfeel. A very enjoyable brew and easy to drink. I could easily enjoy more than one of these, no problems.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a semi hazy golden yellow light orange color. Two finger white head rises and stays for a short period. Ringing lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Nice big aromas of clove and banana right off the bat. Light spicey hops in the backend of this. Some sweeter alcohol in very end. Light belgian yeast aroma coming in hints in the aroma.

T- This is well...not hiding anything that wasn't in the nose. Good clove in the front with a light spicey peppery note. Big banana flavor with a hunt of lemon. Alcohol is sweet in the backend but hardly there. Pretty much what you smell is what you get.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little higher than most Tripels I think. Clove stays on the palate with some sweeter alcohol in the aftertaste. Good drying on the palate after each sip. Flavors blend well together and crispness comes from the carbonation I think.

D- This beer is very drinkable. Victory has this problem (in a good way) with making their higher ABV beers so damn drinkable. This makes the beer dangerous but still enjoyable as well!

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Photo of pbrian
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Instead of a warming alcohol finish, this one has a warming alcohol greeting, but finishes nicely. There's no deception of strength with I believe marks the great Belgian strong ales, like La Chouffe. A very good beer none-the-less.

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Photo of Murchmac
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big White Head, beautiful yellow color. Like the golden monkey sitting under the bodhi tree. A goooney goonga.

Crisp citrus, passionfruit, spicy and candied smell. Points to nose "nose"

Very tasty, like a cable car that's not sour.

Excellent beer, will drink any day of the week.

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Photo of PBoegel
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, best by 2011 into a duvel tulip.

Golden with light orange lights, faint and quickly falling white head, fairly good clarity save for the dregs getting roused in the bottle.

Aromas present some bready malt, lemon, orange, some graininess. Very clean, well hidden alcohol, creeps out as spicy and rose like as it warms

Flavor is slightly chalky, sweet bready malt, citrus and sugar sweetness. Again very clean and well hidden alcohol. Somewhat reminiscent of Duvel Golden Ale with more body.

Mouthfeel is medium, carbonation could be higher, finish is dry and tangy/peppery.

Excellent drinkability,

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Photo of jeffmonarch
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle in a snifter.

A - Just as the name implies, it's a golden yellow color. Very cloudy with a thin white head that disappears quickly.

S - Very fruity, orange peal and lemons. Some spices also. I can't put my finger on which ones.

T - Awesome, this is one of my favorite beers from Victory since the first time I had it on draft at the brewery. Very smooth sweet flavor. Some wheat taste also.

M - Medium to light bodied with good carbonation.

D - I love this beer. It has a high alcohol content and the monkey will bite if you drink to many too quickly.

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Photo of ausonius
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle

Big creamy head. Settles in a bit over 10 minutes. Leaves some light lacing.

Nose: Big bready, grainy, malty, Belgian yeast, slight banana w/decent amount of spicy, earthy/herbal hops. A hint of pine & a bit of green hash.

Palate: Very pale malt. Spicy, grainy, dry-ish. Slightly fruity/spicy, but dry with light, but persistently earthy hoppy finish & aftertaste.

Carries it's 9.5% ABV very well indeed.

GREAT drinkability.

92 1/2 Points

Love the style. Firmer & dryer than a classic Tripel, but that's why I like it so much.

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Photo of ArchimedesSox
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Ever so slightly hazy, golden straw color, 1 inch white head, good lacing down the glass

S: Spice, clove, banana, bubblegum

T: Really sweet, all the flavers mentioned in the smell, that spicy, maltiness at the end

M: Medium to full feel to it, well carbonated

O: Not sure why this beer has taken a beating on here but I think it is fantastic. It has the full flavor that I would expect from a triple and is complex and sweet. Right up my ally.

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Photo of Slamms
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The label description on this American mass-produced product made me skeptical:
"rich in the spirited tradition of Belgian-inspired brewing" -- an elaborate euphemism that it wasn't really a genuine Belgian style tripel? But the initial aroma that hit my nostrils and the first sip allayed my fears -- this could have been brewed in Belgium. Something distinctly redolent of Duvel (or perhaps Brookyln Local #1, perhaps the superior example of this genre brewed in America) immediately hit me. Admittedly the head was scant, and not particularly dense,but the lacing lingered plenty long enough.

This brew is immediately reminiscent of Brooklyn Local #1, Duvel, and Fin Du Monde, and maybe objectively lacking in certain respects to all of those (with maybe the exception of Fin Du Monde which tends to be so variable in quality), and yet, absolutely a thumbs up, with an anticipation to buy this beer again. And again. The things I don't like about it -- the taste that lingers on the palate (while writing this review say) is slightly bitter, oily, and vaguely reminiscent of bud lite. Also, this beer when ice cold is better than the dregs.

Someone below commented negatively on the so-so review of the Brothers. Some things I have to agree with the Brothers on:

"a cloudy golden colour topped with a thin white lace, but with pour [sic?] head retention"
"Floral, bready, a bit yeasty in the nose"

"A pleasing herbal flavour stretches the entire tasting experience. Malty sweet and very sugary (like golden syrup from England), with bread and yeast flavours"

"Quite the one dimensional beer actually"

" Is it a good beer? Yes it is, good ... but that's about it"

Well, what else do you want brothers? No question I will buy this again.

I do take exception though to the name "Golden Monkey", as there are no monkeys in North America. How about "Golden Retriever", the perfect dog, though perhaps maybe lacking, but on the label, surrounded by rays of light. I've drinken about 1 and 3/4 of Golden Monkeys now, so, maybe that clouds my judgment.

Edit: They must continue to make slight improvements to brews over time, as this is even a more refined beer than I remember it. I prefer this even over say, Duvel now. A truly American classic. Really more memorable than even Long Strange Tripel. BA needs to go back and revise their official reviews from time to time, as this beer is a heck of a lot better than just, "Okay".

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Photo of luvGoldenMonkey
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As my name entails, I love this beer, and always get it when visiting VBC. I seem to pick out new subtle nuances with ever glass of this 'complex' brew. Drinkability is the biggest surprise with a beer with such a high abv %. Can easily finish 2 or 3 without problem. (Which unfortunately means the end of the drinking for the evening.)

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Photo of flyingpig
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

355ml Bottle from Brewdog Online Store (£3.80):
Another really good beer from Victory Brewing here, probably the best one of the five I have now tried of theirs and it's not as if they've been feeding me poor beers up to this point. This one is incredibly well balanced and manages to hide the high alcohol very well with only a touch coming through towards the end of the taste. This one is excellent from start to finish and up there with the best that Belgium has to offer.

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Photo of Jarod
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours into the glass a peachy gold color. The head is white that seemed to stay for awhile. It left some residue but no real lace. The aroma was pretty complex. Fruits like oranges, cherries seemed to be present. Malt (yeasty, alittle) some spices hops (slight) and alcohol was present. The taste was good. It was rich full and again complex. It seemed to change as my hands warmed the glass. Temperature is a definite factor. First you notice the carbonation, then the flavors hit, the some cherries, oranges, dates, spices, malt (sweet) and the alcohol and a bit of hops. All these seem to jump around with the temperature. None of the flavors seemed to be too much. A very drinkable beer. I think this was as good as the monkey from the tap. Keeping some on had at all times.

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Photo of murrayswine
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the best American triple I've had so far!

It pours a pumpkin orange hue with a good lasting head and solid lacing.
The smell is citrus fruits, delicate yeast and malt sweetness.
The taste is a delicious malt body paired with warm yeast and soft light fruit currents. Nice level of spice balanced with a light young banana.
A fantastic push from Victory.

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Photo of bceagles39
4.31/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle at home on May 25, 2010.

Brilliant gold color with a great head, white and fluffy. Excellent head retention and above average lacing. A lot of fizz streaming up through the glass.

First whiff was very sweet, almost melon-y sweet. Fairly light and gently floral.

Very nice bite right up front. A lot of banana, especially on the finish for me. You can definitely feel the heat throughout but it's not too over the top.

Creamy smooth mouthfeel cut by the fizz.

I think this would make a good cross-over beer for people. A highly enjoyable tripel, perhaps lacking some of the complexity of a true Belgian.

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Photo of jackndan
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Victory Rally* Monkey: Big orange color, not much head, but very nice Belgian lace sticks to the side of the glass. The aroma is very aggressive, with lots of citrus aromas. The taste is rough and nice: lots of citrus tastes, followed up by a nice bite of hops, and HUGE alcohol warmth. One of those beers that causes you to automatically relax: great taste and smooth creamy mouthfeel. I’m cellaring this thing for the 12 inches of snow I expect next February.

* review made during 2002 World Series.

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Photo of Backer2004
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For some reason, I have not reviewed Golden Monkey even though I've enjoyed this numerous occassions. Since NC's Cap's been Popped, this has been a great go to beer. Let me tell you, this one packs a mighty punch . . . my buddy had this over Christmas as his final beer of the night and he was gone. The fruit and spices hide the alcohol and the balance is tremendous. Nice light color to fool any BMG drinker at first. Just a great all around Tripel.

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Photo of oxmasterscream
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass, this beer appeared a golden orange, much like the color of a a cloudy apple juice, with a 1 1/2 finger head. The Immediate aroma was of overripe bananas (another BA mentioned nail-polish... that's right-on!) with sub-aromas of sweet spices and the expected earthy smells of Belgian yeast. Taste was immediately candy-sweet and cloves and pepper spicy but was followed by a wollop of tangy fruits like green apples and bananas that almost left me forgetting the initial tastes. By the time I swallowed this beer, I was left with a Riesling-like after taste... very cool. It's medium-bodied with a fair amount of carbonation, with bubbles that blanket your tongue, really accentuating the spicy flavors I mentioned earlier. As the beer warmed, more and more esthery scents were released and if I took a deep enough inhale, I could really detect the alcohol. It seems very drinkable at first but towards the end of the glass, you really start feeling warm and fuzzy (I make it sound like a bad thing) so I'm not sure if I'd go for number two but for enjoying one, it's wonderful. Victory never fails to impress me and this is no exception.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. My first beer from Victory and it's really good. Poured out to a golden color with some haziness and a nice head that came down to about 1/8 of an inch. Higher carbonation. Aromas of buttery malt, spices and some breadiness. The taste is full and rich, following the smell; flavors of malt, sweetness that is similar to cider, and some bitterness from the hops. Some buttery like yeast toward the finish. The carbonation makes the flavors very vivid and present. Very nice. Mouthfeel is not too filling, yet not weak or light. This has high drinkability despite the 9.5% ABV. This is a great American Made Tripel. Highly recommended.

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Photo of zeff80
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an orange color with a good deal of carbonatation and a small, white head. It also had some sediment.

S - It smelled of citrus, yeast and some spices. It also had some caramel maltiness in the nose.

T - It tasted very spicy and bittersweet. It had some nice hops and of caramel malt.

M - It was very, very shapr and crisp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good tripel. Maybe one of the best American versions of the style.

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Photo of MisterClean
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased in PDX. Sadly, it is now available in sacramento. Maybe that's a good thing.

A - Pours golden with 2 fingers of white head and dissipates slow. Leaves nice lacing.

S - Toffee, caramel, light belgian sugar, and breadiness.

T - Toffee, caramel, breadiness, bittering hops and slight to moderate alcohol. As it warms up, the alcohol lessens.

M - Full-bodied, well-balanced, sweet, light alcohol and slightly bitter. Rich mouth feel, and yet bitterness from the hops.

D - Good overall, this is one of the most complex beers I've had. Alcohol and bitterness stop this well short of a perfect beer. Very impressed though.

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Photo of Fugazme
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice golden... near orange color... slightly hazy. Not much head to speak of... small lacing... some nice, slow legs, however!

Aroma is spicy and sweet... Caramel... alcohol... citrus... coriander... cinnamon... very nice.

Pretty smooth, creamy palate. A touch harsh on the swallow. Very sweet, not overdone in my book. A nice bitterness evens it out on the finish. Fair amount of fruity/peach/orange overtones through the middle.

This one is highly drinkable.

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Photo of getgetgettleman
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes of 3/11/11

Received from my friend Orlando in a 6 pack grab.

A = Light amber color. Lager looking in appearance. Good carbonation. 2 finger light froth. Watery lacing.

S = Belgian tripple like aroma. Alcohol aroma present. Notes of corriander and citrus.

T = Noticeable corriander, orange and apple.

M = Very smooth on the front and back end. Apple cider like body.

O = I liked this. Very drinkable. Good approach to an American brewed Belgian. Would go nicely with sushi and sashimi.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a La Chouffe tulip snifter. Beer emerges golden (how weird) with a very tight looking, two finger head. Great retention and generous lacing as well. Beer is slightly cloudy with some yeasty particles floating about.

Aroma is wonderfully fruity. Banana and cloves are huge as well. Corriander spicy and just an overall spiciness to the beer. Black pepper emerges as well.

Spicy tasting as well. As a southerner, I love my spices. Very fruity tasting; light fruits such as banana and maybe coconut. Sweet belgian candi sugar is quite prevalent. Almost becomes cloying but toes the line very nicely.

Sampled this in bottle form and on draft and both are equally impressive, although I think I prefer the draft version overall.

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