400 Pound Monkey - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
400 Pound Monkey400 Pound Monkey

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BA SCORE
81
good

537 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 537
Hads: 2,035
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 14.65%
Wants: 65
Gots: 345 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA) |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: garcia2a on 09-03-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 537 | Hads: 2,035
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mondiale 2010. Bright yellow with a quarter inch of bubbly white head. Some lace. A little yeast in the aroma. Tad of above average mouthfeel. Decent drinking,some mild grapefruit, and a fair amount of malting. I like the style that the hopping is not intended to overwhelm the palate.
Had again on cask at Fallen Rock, and the same rating though a bit odd bitterness. (368 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: surprised by the murky golden color

S: lemon custard and wheat.

T: so I am basically getting a hefe or wheat that is sweet, but not overly so, and no real hop flavor. Earthy and herbal notes.

M: moderate carbonation and medium body

Overall: I am not very familiar with English IPAs though I have read they are supposed to be more watery than theAmerican version but this isn't watery, but basically lacking any hop bitterness or body that I expected. (457 characters)

Photo of nmann08
3.38/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On draft, pours a very clear copper orange color. A very tho layer of head sits on the glass, lacing as the beer disappears.

The nose is spice, earthy hops, chives, not much malt. The flavor is earthy hops, with a malt backbone. A little cotton candy, spice, potato. This is old school ipa, but not a great interpretation. Unfortunately, my preferences have changed and this doesn't stand out like I am sure it did 10 years ago. (434 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy yellow to golden yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that died down, leaving a thin layer and patches of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge of the glass, and some lacing down the sides.
S: Light aromas of tropical fruits are present in the nose along with some hints of floral hops.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste starts out with some hints of sweetness and hints of tropical fruits and is followed by a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with slight bits of crispness and a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is definitely a unique beer that seems like a hybrid between a tripel (with the maltiness and sweetness) and an English IPA (with the light amount of bitterness). The beer hides its alcohol well but I wouldn't call it sessionable because the mouthfeel seems to have a heavy dose of malts. (953 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate copper color with a white head and a bit of lacing. The nose brings some light bready notes as well as some floral, earthy, and light citrus hops. The taste is mildly hoppy with a light caramel background. Feel is a bit bitter with a nice body. Not the best of the style that I've had, but pretty good. (341 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a pale amber color with a modest head that leaves a nice curtain of lace behind

Smell: Caramel malt with fruity and earthy tones

Taste: Opens with the caramel, but it doesn't take long for stone fruit flavors to take over; by mid-palate, the bitterness builds; the finish has a lingering herbal, hard water tone

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Glad I re-visited this with a fresher example; this is a pretty decent example of a British style IPA (493 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.4/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

eh. pours a very clear light golden color with nice white lacing and a small white head. smells like an english malt attack and thats about it, deep though, layered. flavor is very malty, taste like the spent grains at a brewery smell, has a bitter finish. i wouldnt call this an ipa by even english standards, but whatever. feel is decent, heavier than it looks, sturdy abv, fine carbonation. overall im just not impressed here, pretty pedestrian brew for lefthand. (466 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

So refreshing to see English hops done right. Earthy, perfumy, spicy, and nobly fragrant- this beer showcases them well.

A strong golden or light copper hue shows brilliant clarity, froathy creme of white foam, and good lacing. All that is ever needed from the appearance of an IPA.

Spicy and resiny, the hops give mild impressions of spruce, fresh-cut grasses, and an herbal aroma that rests just above a soft pillow of malty/grainy barley. The nose does the hops much better justice than it does the malts.

Hop flavor also dominates with a soft and floral taste, eventually leading to smooth and pleasant bitterness. Light caramel-flavored malts give just enough balance to keep the beer from tasting like hop tea. Mildly bready and malty the base is quite pleasant with a two-row variety most notable for American style IPA's rather than English. Esters (or aldehydes) of bruised apples and other fruits hark the notion of English style ales as well and help to add complexity to the fruit-forward IPA.

Medium creaminess early on, the beer takes a quick and fleeting transition to crispness and cleanliness in the finish. Great attenuation leaves the beer with little structure from mid palate on into the finish. Minty alcohols and hop bitterness makes for a refreshing and thirst quenching finish.

Likely the most delicious and most drinkable of Left Hand's hoppy beers. They have the tendency to go the English route on many of these, and this variety borrows just enough American IPA attributes to increase the drinkability without sacrificing the 'English' IPA soul. (1,579 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
2.29/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this beer a few times now and each time I just don't care for it. The look of the beer is nice. The color is a nice clear copper color with a thick foamy white head on top. The smell isn't really that pleasing to me, It's hoppy but it kinda smells weird to me. The taste is even worse, I don't know what they use in this brew but I really don't care for it. The mouthfeel was pretty good, and it's drinkable for sure. Overall if the taste was better this brew would be awesome but I'm just not sure of it. (509 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.41/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room."

--Winston Churchill

Lightly cloudy apricot with lemon peel borders and several fingers of putty colored foam. A lack of perfect clarity, a gentle rockiness during descent, and a fair amount of lace in sudsy squiggles are all positives.

The aroma lacks power and presence. An obscure hop bill is all well and good, but the brewers could have used more of them. Magnum, Boadicea and Sovereign (an English noble) contribute light floral-herbal notes... and that's about it. So far, this chimp is a relative lightweight.

400 Pound Monkey has more bitterness than good hop flavor. That might be due to the specific hops that were chosen or it might have to do with when the hops were chucked into the kettle. So far I'll have to give the nod to Left Hand's American version of the style, Warrior IPA.

There can't be much crystal and Munich malt in there because the flavor that those guys usually add isn't prominent. Pale and malted wheat are present as well. As in the nose, hop flavor is less than abundant, especially in a style that should be hop flavor focused. Above average here is a gift.

The mouthfeel is more APA than IPA. It's on the thin side and the bubbles are slightly too sharp and stinging. Warming helps on both counts, just not enough for the next highest score to be considered.

My excitement, which was more like cautious optimism, that another IPA is now available to Iowans was short-lived. 400 Pound Monkey isn't bad beer, but bitterness isn't enough to bring this hophead back for another visit to the monkey house (Vonnegut reference). (1,644 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single from Before You Go Liquors.

It pours a slightly hazed golden orange, slim and tight cap of foam on top. A ring of lacing sticks around the edges. Light visible carbonation. Looks good.

Smells pretty malty, with a floral and earthy scent from the hops. Not especially pungent, but in line with the milder English style of IPA.

Creamy feel, mild hop bitterness, earthy and floral character again. Somewhat buttery, not sure if that's really a hinderance or not. Seems to fade behind a dominant floral hop flavor, and biscuity malt. A little fruitiness would be a good compliment here, but there is none. Earthy aspirin briefly in the aftertaste, with more perfumy florals and mild bitterness. Overall it's good for what it is, but not one i'd seek out. (763 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.98/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bright, orange tinted honey colored amber being presented in front of me. Very hazy, with the cloudiness no doubt due to the unfiltered nature of it. A nice white head of foam, perhaps two fingers high then came over the top and settled down gradually to just a thin film of lace.

There was a nice floral hoppiness, somewhat muted hints of orange and lemongrass with a touch of pine. Decent malt base was apparent as the aroma of bread came through nicely. The flavor followed much of the same, owing that nice light floral hoppiness, but never having enough of it to really push it all the way forward. Nice little bite of bitter on the back of the tongue, and a slightly fruit finish, with apples coming through very clearly, especially in the aftertaste. The Mouthfeel was a little thin, maybe a touch watery, but had more then decent carbonation. A bit of a slickness to it as well. Superbly session able though as this was a very easy drinker and I could have thrown this one down all night long to be honest. (1,016 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a somewhat cloudy, orange/amber color with a fizzy, thin, off-white head. It left minimal lacing.

S - It smelled of caramel, citrus and some grasses.

T - It was malty and sweet with very little hop character. A slight bitter hop bite emerged as the beer continued to warm up. Otherwise, it seemed like a mild APA.

M - It was soft and a little thin for an IPA. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - Not the best IPA. The bartender admitted that it tasted much better earlier when he tried it in Colorado. (515 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.49/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I think alot were expecting more of a hop forward IPA here,and came away dissapointed,I thought it was decent and fit the EIPA category pretty well.Poured a clear rich golden with a nice tight one finger white head that left broken lace as it settled slowly,good clarity and definition.Aromas were the biggest dissapointment for me for this beer,light caramel/biscuit,and geranium-like hop came thru but it was light.Toasty and lightly sweet caramel malt flavors up front with leafy,tea-like hop flavors coming into a good finish.The British malt profile is the main component of the beer for me,the hops just lend a hand.It was very fresh,(bottled on 2/3/10/)wich was nice,a good beer for the "style".

The more I drank I noticed a real buttery flavor from the yeast strain used,not to bad though. (798 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a clear, light copper-hued body with a medium-small, but lasting, white head. Slight, slender lacing on the way down.

Smell: Initially, a whiff of vaguely sweet-scented malts greet the nose, followed by hop notes of pine needles and oil-soaked, fresh tangerine rinds and a pervasive earthy overtone.

Taste: Standard pale maltiness, lightly grainy and sweet, with just a teeny iota of sweet almond. The hop character is predominately earthy, but there's also tastes of white pine and tangerine oil. Moderate bitterness. The finish is reasonably dry with a lingering hint of raw barley in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Overall, a decent brew to drink; it's hop-forward, certainly, but not overbearing and could pair with a wide variety of foods. I opted for Taco Mac's Smothered Kettle Chips. I and other previous reviewers agree that the name is a bit misleading -- it's less a palate-ravaging 400lb Monkey as it is a Curious George. Ah, that lovable lil' scamp. (1,033 characters)

Photo of nickfl
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of white foam on top of a hazy, light copper colored body. The head dissipates quickly and leaves moderate lace.

S - Herbal, musty hops with a hint of grapefruit. Some bready malt in the background with a little bit of toffee.

T - Herbal hop flavor up front with some sweet, bready malt. More malt thickness comes out in the middle with notes of dry caramel and musty bitterness. The beer finishes with lightly toasted notes and a light grapefruit note of pithy bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Reasonably drinkable with a strong citrus hop character. The grapefruit bitterness is quite strong and is barely balanced by the sweet malt. Towards the finish, the malt intensifies with more toasted character and toffee. Not bad, but this really isn't dry enough for the style and while English hops are great in bitters, I prefer American hop character in my IPAs. (942 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dirty John's tulip pint glass.

Thanks to Matt for this bottle!

That's one big, six-armed monkey! It pours a hazy gold topped by a finger of white froth. The nose comprises sweet caramel, light grapefruit, and honeydew. The taste holds notes of grapefruit, light caramel, and a light-ish pine near the finish. The body is a light medium, with a light carbonation and a dry-ish finish. Overall, a very nice EIPA, but not necessarily something I would actively seek out again. (487 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.56/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Left Hand 400 Pound Monkey

Appearance: A clear deep-gold body with an orange cast beneath a short head of bright white foam. Head retention is excellent, and the lacing is above average, leaving some nice rings of thin lace about the glass.

Smell: Not as distinctively hoppy as one might expect, however it is surprisingly fruity: tangerine, apricot, perhaps papaya or mango. It's a little grassy as well. The tropical character is odd... maybe the name has something to do with it?

Taste: Fruitiness and grassy/raspy hops upfront. Somewhat sugary/biscuity malt rises as it warms. Solid bitterness. Finishes dry with some almost spruce-like hops left lingering.

Mouthfeel: Medium-Full. Moderate carbonation level.

Drinkability: There's an interesting yeasty fruitiness to it, and as an English style IPA it can get away with less hops in the nose and flavor, but it somehow seems off. I suspect it's fermented a bit high in temperature. (941 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.22/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 6/19/10 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a large foamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of citrus, grassy hops and light caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts with sweet flavors of citrus, honey and spices. The hops presence isn't as strong as it is in the smell but it's still fairly strong. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer that has enough flavor and substance to make it worth drinking for a long time. (807 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

With a giant 400 lb monkey on the label, how could you go wrong? <edit> oh, that's how...

A: Pours a light 1/2 finger head into my SA Perfect Pint glass with some bubbles rising from the etch in teh bottom, but not as many as I would expect. It's crystal clear straw golden yellow color.

N: What the heck!?!? Theres some weird creamy fruity thing going on in there. I don't even have a way to describe it. It does have a little chewy malt aroma, and some very U.K. style hops, some chewy hops, and U.K. real ale like hops. But there's just that weird aroma I can't get my head around.

T: Theres more of that aroma in the taste. Weird. It's almost like a root of some plant, but I can't tell. It's very strange. There are some light sweet malts, a little toastiness. A little bitter with some nice light spicy hops, more U.K. hops with that chewy hop flavor. There's also a strange creaminess in there, very light but it's there.

M: Medium to lighter body, lower carbonation than I expected, and a little watery at some points.

F: Finishes a little dry and the bitterness catches up to it. The spicy earthy hop flavors stick around, but not too long, but the bitterness lingers. That weird flavor is still there very faint on the finish. It seems to go away more as I drink more though as my taste buds seem to get used to it. (1,339 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.28/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bitter ale with some unusual flavors.

Nice amber color and decent head. Mouthfeel is good with pleasant carbonation and slides down admirably. Fruity bitterness is the main note. Light body with a hint of malt. Piney and a hint of lemon. Apples and cooked cereal but dominated by hops.

Definitely a different style than the hop hammer IPA. Just as bitter in the aftertaste without the head-clearing aromatic hop blast of usual IPAs. (434 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.17/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up at Thirsty's, enjoyed chilled from a tulip.

A light golden with light copper haziness and 2 1/2 inches of creamy beige cap with ultra fine bead and lace sticks well. The smell has a light apple tinge with mostly herbal hops and subtle golden pear yeast fruitiness with a floral hop attribute. The feel is semi-dry with a moderately bitter and slightly creamy malt body with relatively low carbonation and subtle acidity with low astringency and medium body with a crisp dry finish.

The taste has a very fresh english hop flavor which is fruity and provides a slight hint of yeast fruitines to blend with light pine attributes and moderate bitterness on the palate with subtle sweet malt backing and the pear mentioned is gentle with it coming forward slightly as it warms. The alcohol is mild and has bite w/ mild citrus edge in the last sips w/ orange sweetness and tangy tinge with dry acidic finish.

Overall I enjoyed this IPA, very nice flavor with a solid American take on the english style, recommended. (1,033 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Love the kooky label on this one! Bottled 1-08-10

Pours an effervescent bronze with 3 finger of rocky cream colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Piney hops, plus leafy hops & orchard fruit once warm

T: Breadyness, a touch of apricot, lemony & herbal hops up front. As this warms orchard fruit dominates, plus a touch of lemony & herbal hops, plus dryness. Finishes fruitty, dry & with leafy hops

MF: Medium bodied, low carbonation & fairly good balance

Drinks easy, I actually prefer the bottled version of this tracks closer to style for me... (560 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper clear appearance bright white head, forms fine coated lacing between sips. Aroma has nice citric, earthy, and herbal hop going on. Light caramel malt sweetness with fresh baked bread accents. Flavors provide enough bitterness and hop flavor to make for a tasty experience. Really earthy and herbal hop flavors leaves a dry leafy tea like note on the palate. A definite English IPA with a bit more hops I like the different approach this brew takes. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with ample soft carbonation and dry bitterness left behind leaves the palate feeling like a desert. Drinkability overall is solid a brew I'm down with trying again and again. I will continue to try Left Hand offerings a great brewery that I tend to dig more and more with each new beer they produce. (782 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.17/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with fun appealing label art and white/red branded pry-off pressure cap acquired as a single at Whole Foods' HQ and served into an Avery stem-snifter in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given the brewery. Reviewed as an English Style IPA because the label identifies it as such. 6.8% ABV according to the label. Best by: 01/14/14.

Served cold - straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a half finger wide head of white colour. Disappointingly thin. Poor (~30 second) retention. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a clear translucent textbook copper of above average vibrance. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it's predictably within style conventions and I'm looking forward to trying it, though it's not unique or special. There are no obvious flaws.

Sm: More grainy than anticipated. Touches of floral and herbal hop character. Bready malts. Pale malts. A touch of grapefruit. Little in the way of citrusy, nectary, or oily hops; the focus here is definitely floral/herbal, and there's not much hop bitterness as a result. I'm a big fan of the graininess, which is full and interesting without delving into blandness or adjunct territory. It's a bit sprucey. The rocky mountain water is showcased well here; it does have that ├╝berclean crisp spring water vibe. The leavening malted wheat is a nice touch; I'd guess flaked wheat was used. If we're guessing hop varietals (which I'm terrible at), I'd go with noble/saaz - strange choices for an IPA if I'm right.

No alcohol or yeast character is detectable.

A clean, crisp, appealing aroma of mild strength. It's not your run-of-the-mill standard fare IPA aroma, and I think the bready malt is what really sets it apart. I'm not quite convinced the hop choices are ideal.

T: The graininess is lovely, and features an unexpected hint of brief spice. Pale malts, caramalt, and flaked wheat fill out the body nicely. Hopwise, the beer features floral and herbal character, but unfortunately little else. No grapefruit or citrus here, but I do get mellow orchard apple and maybe some pear there on the back end. Bready malts lend a touch of sweetness. The beer is well balanced in terms of bitterness and sweetness, and the general balance is pretty good, though there isn't much complexity or subtlety. It's well put together and has a good cohesion, but I wouldn't say it's a gestalt build. It does leave a lot to be desired in terms of hop character, but I like what they did with the malty end. Average depth and duration of flavour. Decent amplitude. Below average intensity of flavour for the style. Quite clean and approachable.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through. There are no off-notes.

The orchard apple coupled with the graininess is a stand-out aspect of the beer for me.

Mf: Delightfully clean and crisp. Smooth and wet, with a very light bite. A bit overcarbonated. Has a good lightly aggressive presence on the palate, asserting its flavours without too much abrasiveness. Good body and thickness. Complements the flavour profile well. A bit acidic.

Not oily, harsh, gushed, astringent, boozy, or hot.

Dr: Very drinkable. I got this as a single, but I wouldn't have been disappointed had I purchased a six pack instead. I might pick this up again at the right price. It's got an interesting approach to the style, and it has some elements I really like, but it never quite comes together like it needs to in order to run with the big dogs. A worthwhile brew from Left Hand, but far from mind-blowing. Certainly worth trying. I'd encourage friends to try it.

C+ (3,792 characters)

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400 Pound Monkey from Left Hand Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 537 ratings.