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Golden Monkey - Victory Brewing Company

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Golden MonkeyGolden Monkey

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4,753 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,753
Reviews: 1,667
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 15.41%
Wants: 95
Gots: 725 | 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: 4,753 | Reviews: 1,667 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BelgianAleSlut
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
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
2.25/5  rDev -39.2%
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
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
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
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
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
3.83/5  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
3/5  rDev -18.9%
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 -2.7%
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 -18.9%
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
2.68/5  rDev -27.6%
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
2.53/5  rDev -31.6%
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 -20.3%
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
3/5  rDev -18.9%
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
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
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
3.1/5  rDev -16.2%
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 +8.1%
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%
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
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Photo of bosco7
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden color with a fizzy head that quickly disappears.

Not much in the way of smell. Some bananas, spices, and soap.

Sweet upfront with lots of banana and yeasty spice notes. Some herbal hop flavors. Nice flavor nothing mind blowing herel

Fizzy with a mineraly finish. Well attenuated and overall a pretty good tripel.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a orange-tan with little to no head and only a slight film of lace on the top, no real carbonation.

S - Smell was somewhat sweet with alot of alcohol and a hint of sour grapes.

M & T - The taste was odd, hard to really pin down. Lots of subtle flavors, dark fruits, grains, and hints of hops with a very noticeable alcohol hint in the back. Smooth, somewhat slick, not enough carbonation for me on this. Would have liked it to have more body to it.

D - Overall this was not bad at all, not my favorite belgian style ale, nor my favorite from victory, put definatly not bad. Will have to give it a secind try, just seems a bit strong for my everyday tastes, definatly unique and one that you should definatly try.

Photo of jeffjfindley
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful golden color with ample carbonation, yet a bit of a lackluster head for the style. Smell is honey and fresh flowers. The peppery flavor is a fine example of the style, if not overly complex. Alive with fruity esters, coriander, and the usual suspects in a well-crafted triple. Mouthfeel is luxurious and crisp at once. Having consumed more than my share of botched attempts at Belgian beers by micros, I shied away for awhile, but now having tried it I'm very impressed by this, and will definitely buy again. Where else can you get a sixer of a triple for $10, anyway?

4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a heavy, hazy, yellow gold color with little head to speak of. This being my first taste of one of Victory's selections I was impressed and the reputation preceding is unmistakable. The smell was apparent as soon as I opened the bottle and the poor brought out all the spice and sweetness. The nose was filled with sweet; like honeysuckle, slight spice, alcohol, and hop notes. Taste was impressive, not aggressive like most tripels. This is sweeter than most and well balanced with (again) honeysuckle, spices (that I can't describe), alcohol is very present but not overwhelming. Mouthfeel is smooth and wet with just a touch of slime that sticks to the throat. Yum. This tripel is the top that I've tasted.

Photo of boelker62
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - a hazy, murky, deep straw yellow with virtually no head from the bottle. Bottle conditioned with average density.

S - deep aromatics of spice. Intersing to add this level of soiceing to a Belgian Tripel, IMO. Nevertheless, an enticing aroma you want to dive into.

T - An intensely spicy sweet initial flavor which makes way to the light bitterness and alcohol tinge to balance this thing out.

M - medium to heavy body with a dry texture, an odd combination if you ask me. Still, lets you eant more, cause the taste does as well.

D - 9.5%...Just watch it. I just fell asleep on my in-law's couch after four of these and dinner. Not a great idea to advertise my "hobby."

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.3/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Alright, folks, I finally did it. Trying a new tripel torments the hell out of me, as its a style I either love or hate entirely, and most tripels ending up lumped into the latter group. I had put off sampling Golden Monkey for as long as possible until yesterday, while at Highlands Grill in Kennesaw, I decided to finally "go for it".

Appearance: Pours a hazy, pale golden body with a foamy, white head that went completely flat within a minute or so.

Smell: Spice-driven aromatics, with hints of flowers, mold, bananas, and grains.

Taste: Spicy from the onset, with generous doses of pepper, clove, and corriander. Other weak flavors erratically flash across the tongue: lemon juice, sweetened dough, dusty-dry yeast, and bananas. Lightly bitter finish with just a murmur from the alcohol showing on the swallow.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied and watery. Lightly carbonated.

Drinkability: I did not care for this one at all, as its excessive spiciness, as well as its array of weak, uninteresting flavors was a complete turn off for me. Pass.

Photo of pootz
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: fresh ..less than 3 weeks from racking.

A re-rate after a terrible first taste of a 2 year cellared sample

Pours a clouded gold ..fair cap fair retention. decent lacing.

Aroma..wow! freash this stuff smells like a good heffeweizen...bubble gum, fruits, honey-banana, spice, thick malts...more like a spiced custard.

Taste: When fresh, this stuff is like drinking a liquid banana custard or an imperial hefeweiss...long finish...alcohol hides very well.

Decent brew...don't know how well this follows trappist style but I like it because when FRESH..it's a great 'big" beer..like liquid custard with massive kick and decent drinkability.

Photo of PEBKAC
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Honey mustard color with a heavy, frothy white top.
The end yeast barely drips through, leaving a sprinkle of what looks like cinnamon atop a freshly drawn cappuccino.

I smell spiced apricots & pineapple, wrapped inside a light pie crust.

Tastes of sweet fruit preserves & candied ginger. Slippery, with a bit of a hard alcohol burn going down; the carbonation has trouble making an impact. Sweeter & sweeter as it warms, to the point of being too much to differentiate flavors. It coats & chokes. Burps up lovely though. :)

Golden Monkey from Victory Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 4,753 ratings.