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400 Pound Monkey - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
400 Pound Monkey400 Pound Monkey

Educational use only; do not reuse.

546 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 546
Hads: 2,100
Avg: 3.58
pDev: 30.45%
Wants: 65
Gots: 393 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of 400 Pound Monkey Alström Bros
Reviews: 546 | Hads: 2,100
Photo of SPThirtyThree
2.62/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Straw gold and crystal clear, 400 Pound Monkey looks a lot prettier than its name suggests. Monkeys are filthy, nasty animals. A finger of eggshell cream dissolves showing early signs of sticky lacing.

I can already smell the hops at the pour, even though I'm serving it a bit on the cold side (~40F). On closer inspection, the nose isn't as strong as I'd hoped, and unfortunately this bottle must have been somewhat lightstruck (even though it came in a cardboard box?), because it's slightly skunked.

The taste is not right. My bottle shows 2 months until the "best before," but it tastes like old hops and cardboard. There's not much malt behind the hops, though there is a good dose of carbonation and a slight alcoholic heat. The mouthfeel is very astringent and tangy, but I'm not really picking up many discernible flavors in the muddled taste.

The hops are very tart and slightly lemony, but the flavor is muffled by the harshness and an almost metallic flavor. A slight sweetness becomes more prominent as it warms.

There was also no lacing; I swirled the glass to try to bring out more flavors, and the beer reconsumed the lacing and it never reappeared.

When I first tried this beer, I didn't like it. I've had it since and thought that my first impression was wrong, but once again, I'm underwhelmed by 400#M. I think my bottle was a little skunky, which I'm not factoring into my score, but the beer also just doesn't have a good flavor or aroma, and I would only buy this again if I had to to choose between this and macro lagers.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.17/5  rDev -11.5%
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 überclean 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.


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Photo of BrewMaven
3.29/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Got this at a Wegmans up near Syracuse.

Slightly hazy gold on the pour with virtually no head. Maybe I was too easy on it.

Mild hops hit my crappy olfactories..maybe slightly peppery?

Taste was a bit more hop assertive with a mild malt backbone and a dry finish.

Mouthfeel is on the light side with moderate carbonation.

I guess the English style of IPA is more of a session beer than the American version.

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Photo of BradMacMullin
3.26/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Had on tap at Sunset Cantina. Pours a very hazy golden color with no head. Little lacing and mildly carbonated. Not much of a smell. Has a malty lemon smell but nothing overwhelming. Tastes a bit sour to me, with little hops in the traditional style - a bit malty taste. Second and third tatses not really doing it for me with this one.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.72/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Spot for a bottling date on the label but no date printed.

Appearance: Dark straw hue and very hazy. Don't see any floaters through which is a good thing. Small frothy off-white head. Good lacing.

Aroma: Spicy English hops and some graham cracker malt. Not much more to it than that.

Taste: Starts with crisp white pepper and earth hop character that contributes a great level of moderate bitterness. Just as in the aroma, biscuity/graham cracker malt flavor rounds out the flavor and balances the hops very well. The finish is clean with an unfortunate moment of metallic flavor in the aftertaste followed by spicy hop bitterness. Good level of flavor for 6.7% ABV.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with average carbonation and good drinkability.

Final Thoughts: I'm a hop head but English-style IPAs tend to be an achilles heel of mine due to their unappealing hop character and dry bitterness. 400 Pound Monkey, on the other hand, is a good example of the style done in a tasty and drinkable way. Would I drink it again? Yes.

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Photo of atr2605
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a hazy golden color with a white fluffy head that leaves a very nice lacing
S-some lemon and a bit earthy, bready malt
T-a well balanced combination of sweet malt with a dry biscuit finish and earthy/lemon citrus hops
M-medium bodied
O-pretty solid brew and highly sessionable. Wouldn't necessarily seek it out but wouldn't pass it up if it came my way again

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Photo of screamking
4.16/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Pours medium amber with a off white head. Tons of lacing hanging about as it is drank. The aroma is filled with bread malts and earthy hops. Lemon and grapefruit also sneak their way into the nose. Lots of grapefruit and orange zest up front in the taste. Hints of toasted caramel malts are also present. Very good mouthfeel, medium bodied. Low ABV makes this a nice drinker. One of the better EIPA I've had.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
4.08/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with best by date of 09/06/2013, so I'm a little late on the freshness date, but this worries me not. It's been a long time since I've last drank this beer, but I remember it being one of my favorite go to IPA's for quite a while. It's been quite a while since I drank anything from Left Hand Brewing Co., in general. Glad to have it again.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter glass.

A - Pours a light lemon-orange colored body with two fingers of fluffy soapy off-white colored head. Some stringy scattered lacing.

S - Smell is nice. Bready toasty malts, lots of dried earthy herbal hops, citrus fruits, grapefruit, light must, light caramel, some toffee. Kind of a piney skunky resinous dirty sock smell going on also, but it's all in good hop harmony.

T - Taste is delicious, even if it is a week or so past it's prime. Earthy, herbal, floral, vegetal hop flavors, grainy toasted malts, grapefruit, blood orange, some metallic / copper presence. Earthy, dirty, flowery. Bready buttery biscuit malts. I'm tasting that vegetal cucumber flavor that I know and love. Fantastic.

M - Feel is bitter, dry, metallic, and herbal. Classic.

Overall, I still love this beer, one of my first beloved, go to IPA's, and that hasn't changed even after two years or so. Moderate, yet borderline high abv at 6.70% abv, this is truly a world-class IPA for any occasion, and probably my favorite beer from Left Hand Brewing Co. by far.

Left Hand Brewing 400 Pound Monkey ---4/5.

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Photo of ruffdawg
3.34/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Tried this beer at the Yard House in downtown Denver. The beer poured a nice color with a moderate head. It smelled good with a slight hoppy aroma, though not overpowering. The first drink was light and underwhelming. Typical English IPA. I did not realize it was an English IPA when I tried it so I was disappointed with the lack of anything approaching hoppiness in the first taste. As my mouth adjusted, it turned out to be a decent beer, but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Came from the variety 12 pack, freshness date is scrunched and not discernible.

A: Sunny golden color. Very hazy. Minute particles in suspension suggest that this beer may be past its prime. The white head retains well at a half inch. Thin, jagged lines of lacing.

S: Malt base of dough and biscuit. Yeasty, a touch buttery. Floral hopping, lemon pith, earhty and leafy. A rather dull, muted nose.

T: Doughy and bready malt base, hint of thin caramel. Slightly buttery. Green, oily hop bitterness cuts through the substantial malt body. Earthy, leafy, and oily hops. Dry herbal edge. Fairly high level of bitterness. Bitter, oily hop finish with a hint of dough beneath.

M: Hefty medium body. Silky and smooth. Biting carbonation.

O: It's a little dull on all fronts, but all the English character I'm looking for has been dumbed down or is altogether not there. Just not a lot to grab the palate's attention, a very drab offering.

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Photo of Brenden
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a bright, clear gold with a light orange tint. On top rests a very nice head, settling to one finger's height and dropping slowly to a strong, craggy island of beige foam that drops dense lacing from the very top of the glass that webs out from there.
A little bit of floral and herb, a light earth and slightly metallic note are present in this aroma, but it's a light one, and tough to force out.
An interesting flavor brings out the herb and some grass along with a grainy undertone and the gently sulfuric note of Noble hops. Definitely herbaceous, that becomes the cornerstone. Bitterness is sturdy if not strong, and could do more to amp up this brew, though it's certainly solid.
Light, bright and crisp, the body offers up some creaminess but is a little thin into the middle.

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Photo of burnerfinger
4.57/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75


bought this off-the cuff at tom thumb:

poured from the 12 oz bottle into my goblet:

A BLonde is what comes to mind, a nice yellowish IPA
a FULL TWO fingers of head, settles to a nice sticky lacing
a bit more clarity than I'd expect from a IPA

S - a bit understated on the hopiness - but nice nonetheless

T - just a bit watery but a nice IPA (been a while since I've had beer at all and so I'm very happy to have this)

M - again just a BIT light when compared to the very best, but a nice contender


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Photo of metter98
3.58/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of scotorum
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass from the 12 oz. bottle

a: Translucent gold with a half inch white head which dissipated quickly, leaving behind an uneven white surface foam film and plenty of lacing. Became more clear.

s: Mild pine.

t: At first a pear/grapefruit note, then a more piney taste. Moderate hop bitterness.

m: Quite substantial for an IPA. I liked that, but it might make for a slightly less appealing summertime imbibe. Easy drinking enough however, especially considering the higher ABV.

o: A stronger than average IPA but not outstanding except for its name. Worth trying, and ok. I'd probably rather have more fruit notes and less pine. OTOH it grew on me somewhat after the halfway mark.

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Photo of Oakenator
4.4/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a golden color with a full head. A head film remains on top long after pour. Some lacing.

S: Nice hoppy aroma with some sweetness - maybe caramel.

T: Bready, hoppy, bitter, malty. Nicely balanced and really good flavor.

M: Could have a couple - not too heavy.

O: Well done English IPA. Must try again.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by 9/06/13. Bought for $2.19 a single and poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint on 6/20/13.

I bought this beer just because it was the first time my bottle shop got it (to my understanding), and I hadn't been let down by anything Left Hand had put in my belly. I thought the label on this was kind of cool, and I figured I'd give it a shot.

It pours a slightly hazy yellow color with a two-finger head. It doesn't last long, but I get some really nice lacing. The nose doesn't have much going on, for me -- slightly malty with a BIT of a "funk" that I can't quite pinpoint. There also seems to be a trace of citrus... oranges or something.

The front of each sip on this beer is not good at all, to me. Picture one of those scented garbage bags with trash that's been sitting in it for a few days... this beer tastes like that smells, at least on the front. If you don't know what that smells like, it tastes like sweet rubber bands and Band-Aids. After that unpleasant taste goes away, there's a spicy maltiness on the finish with a decent amount of hops. Being an English IPA, it's not incredibly hoppy. 400lb Monkey does have a bit more bitterness than other English IPAs that I've had, for sure.

A decent beer... an odd beer. If you like "dirty" beers/beers that have bizarre flavors that most people would find off-putting, this is the beer for you. The initial flavor on this beer is strange, strange, strange. After having a number of sips and working my way down the glass, that flavor went away a little bit, but I'm not forgetting that it was there. Given the price point and other tasty beers Left Hand makes for the same price point, I'm not sure I'd have this one again.

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Photo of alexipa
4.53/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: I just don't think it gets better than this. Perfectly clear straw with a thick clean white head that lasts forever. Tons of lacing.

S: Pretty subtle, mainly bready English malt and floral hops.

T: Lots of bready malts up front (as promised), followed by some floral and piney hop flavors. The backend is where the bitterness really comes through, that nondescript English bitter flavor.

M: I let this sit out for a few hours before drinking, to warm up a bit as directed on the bottle. It was creamy smooth and the perfect carbonation for an English IPA. Incredibly sessionable.

O: One of my favorite IPAs for sure. So creamy smooth and malt forward, but enough bitterness and hops to keep it true to it's style. Just really excellent, I want this on cask now.

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Photo of Algebrew
3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Poured a semi-hazy, golden color with a white, yellowish head that was surprisingly foamy and had a slow dissipation rate. It left a solid lace and cap as well.

Smell: This had a soft smell, but the hops bled through the most. Perhaps a bit of malt came through as well. The smell was a little too soft to pick up anything really specific.

Taste: The beginning gave a bready malt flavor with a foreshadowing of some hops; the middle cranked down more on the hops, but it was rather light and only semi-bitter; the end is where the bitterness peaked and finished with herbal tones.

Mouthfeel: The feel was very light and consistent through out.

Overall: I'm not too familiar with English-style ales of any form. In general, it was slightly above average, fairly decent. It had a nice look and the taste wasn't overbearing in anyway.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.81/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer and left some nice lacing on the glass. It is a pale orange color with some clarity and bubbles coming up through the glass. Super nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Caramel and bready malts followed by earthy and grassy hops. Sweetness in there too outside of the caramel malts.

Taste: Same as above with a tea like taste to it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium bodied, medium carbonation, a little chewy and drinkable.

Overall: Pretty tasty EIPA. I could have a few more.

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Photo of Cozzatoad
3.89/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A- Rich amber color. Head is white, a couple of fingers, shows great persistence and nice lacing

S- Quite sweet foundation with bready malts and maybe a little hint of honey. Hop notes are herbal, floral and slightly pungent, bringing a delicate refreshing notes. Slight earthy feel but still overall a very much clean aroma

T- Again sweet malts upfront, bready/biscuity, light caramel. Still the beer has a quite refreshing feel: hops are bringing a lively herbal/grassy feel, some light citric notes. Finish is decently dry and refreshing. This is very much a classic english ipa (expect for the slightly higher ABV) so you can't expect loads of hops like some reviews mourned for, hops though are definitely making themselves heard in the bitter, dry aftertaste

M- Average body and carbonation, with that touch of buttery feel that is typical with many english ales. Overall nicely smooth

O- An english ipa with a twist and a bit more character than usual, but still perfectly balanced and drinkable. Very nice

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Photo of Paulpopilek
3.54/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Only have had in bottle. I enjoy the smooth feel of the beer the most.

A - nothing's special with the appearance. Just like any other IPA. Label is artistic which is a plus
S - smells like a brown ale surprisingly
T - love how smooth it is, not a lot of bite for a IPA
M - smooth is what separates it form other IPAs

O- would drink this beer again if someone offered it to me. Probably would not buy it again unless on sale

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Photo of LarryV
2.16/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I like IPA's and I like Left Hand brews for the most part. This beer was a big disappointment however, I'm glad I only had a few bottles from a variety pack. Pours a clear light amber color with virtually no aroma. Hops are quite subdued and malt takes front and center in a weak way. There's something in the flavor that I just can't put my finger on, but I really don't like it. There's really nothing about this brew to latch on to as a saving grace, I can't recommend it.

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Photo of DenverLogan
3.54/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Maudite tulip glass.
Pours a gold with crisp bubbles and head.
Aroma of grassy and floral hops, slight melon and #2 pencil.
Significant carbonation and moderate moutfeel.
Flavors of grassy hops, malts, white grapefruit rind, minerals, slight burnt toast. Overall quite flavorful with good body and a bitter semi-dry finish.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.21/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on April 18, 2013.

The pour is a cloudy, milky pale yellow-copper with a lingering, foamy head. Floating sediment too!

The nose is mildly hopped and overall subtle with a light pale malt touch. But the hops are eloquently played down considering it is an IPA.

The body is medium.

The taste begins sweet and bready and the hops are more in in the background - subtle and balancing. I always liked the English IPA over the American IPA because it's not in my face bitter and Left hand captures those subtleties well. Easy for me to drink and enjoy.

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Photo of Smoke
3.59/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on tap at Yards in Denver. To be honest, it's tough for me to believe that they get through all those kegs (~100 on tap) in a timely fashion.

The beer had a nice head on it and had more malt aroma than I was expecting. A bit of earthy hop character was in there as well. It's an English style IPA (something not pointed out on the menu) so I adjusted my expectation of hop character. Even still, the balance seemed to be more towards the malt rather than the hop. In addition, the elements of the beer seemed "flatter" on flavor than I would have hoped (kind of like the beer had traveled all the way from England). In reality, it is a pretty good example of the style, just not what I was expecting.

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400 Pound Monkey from Left Hand Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 546 ratings.