Fish Tale Monkfish Belgian-Style Triple - Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 70 | Reviews: 55 | Display Reviews Only:
3.88/5 rDev +4.6%
Pours a peachy cloudy body with good white head. Yeasty and fruit sweet aroma. Medium plus creamy mouthfeel. Tasty, nice beer though have had superior tripels it is smooth drinking. A little spiciness, generously malted for drinkability, carbonation on the fizzy side which doesn't harm the greats-this may be better on tap. On the sweet side of aftertaste but satisfying.
12-23-2007 23:12:02 | More by Sammy
3.13/5 rDev -15.6%
Chocolate chip-flecked, dark orange. Unfortunately, I let too much beer escape into the glass. Now there's a large number of small, dark floaters and large, dark chunks swimming around, refusing to settle. The head is orangish cream in color and is densely compact. If it wasn't for the still suspended nasty junk, this would be a fine looking tripel. At least it isn't as hideously ugly as a real monkfish. Have you ever seen one of those things? Yeesh!
I wish I knew what causes this smell that I always attribute to organic beer. I was surprised to find it here until I glanced at the label and was reminded that Monkfish is a product of the Fish Brewing Company. Maybe it's just a house aroma (or, rather a house odor) and is due to the yeast that these guys use. Otherwise: pale malty, orange fruity, mildly ethanolic.
Monkfish is still brashly boozy despite its 1+ years of rest. I get the feeling that it would have deteriorated rather than improved with a few more years under its belt, even if that would have broken the 'bucking bronco' nature of the alcohol. There's plenty of sweet malt on hand, as well as an orange-sections-soaked-in-vodka fruitiness and a surprising hoppy bitterness.
The problem is, the various flavors come together like cars at a busy intersection with no stop signs: near misses, side-swipes and full-on, bone-jarring crashes abound. The whole, loud, chaotic, hurly-burly is, unfortunately, steeped in a tongue numbing, grain alcohol stew that doesn't allow it to be appreciated, even if it deserves to be.
As I get into the bottom half of the glass (the bottom inch of the bottle will stay right where it is), I'm feeling a bit better about things, but only slightly. There's a medicinal, almost phenolic aspect to the flavor that is a poor substitute for the wonderful, spicy yeastiness of a true Belgian tripel. I like the mouthfeel. It's closer to medium than to full and is, by far, the most accomplished part of this ale.
Anyone on the lookout for a good American version of the tripel style should look elsewhere because I found nothing of the sort in this bottle. Fish BC got the ABV and the mouthfeel right, but failed in all other areas. Although it isn't as butt ugly as a real monkfish, Monkfish Belgian Style Triple Ale 2004 is no beauty queen, that's for damn sure. Miss Congeniality? Not a chance.
11-12-2005 15:32:57 | More by BuckeyeNation
4/5 rDev +7.8%
Been a challenge lately to get through anything new, but I decided to let my family have a crack at a few things this weekend and pulled a sample off of each. Part of the " Random BBQ Event" at my in laws on 07/19/2009.
Appearance - Poured a big golden color, about what you would expect given the style with a light haziness to it that sat very well I have to say. Nice puffy white broken up head again just about right with a nice retention to it and a smooth look.
Smell - Aroma of breadiness at first gives way to light apricots, hints of grain. A touch of light grapes and a candy like brown sugar note that seems to come up stronger as it gets warmer, again, very nicely done.
Taste - Very smooth, lighter on the palate then I thought it would have been, but very nice. Light banana notes, hints of light grains. A touch of grapes and light fruit as well. Very satisfying. Smooth light bitter finish capped it off rather well.
Feel - Very nice again, just about right, smooth even carbonation light to medium feel and not too cloying.
Drinkability - ABV hidden very well and the light hoppiness in the finish kicked in enough dryness to really make this one quite interesting.
Overall - Very solid offering here that I would have no issues with enjoying again. I would love to get another bottle as it really seems to have some legs.
07-23-2009 20:42:01 | More by mikesgroove
4/5 rDev +7.8%
22oz bottle, with the relatively new Reel Ales branding, but they still kept that fugly-ass fish, the one with a face only its mother could (debatably) love - go figure - all things great and small, I suppose. Oh, and at least the new incarnation gets the spelling of the beer style right.
This beer pours a glassy medium golden yellow hue, with one thin finger of soapy and weakly bubbly off-white head, which leaves some splotchy rain cloud lace around one side of the glass as things duly sink away.
It smells of bready, almost sourdough-like malt, candy sugar, a soft clove/coriander spiciness, a touch of muted citrus pith, mild Belgian yeast, and rather tame leafy hops. The taste is crisp, biscuity and grainy pale malt, a soft indistinct orchard fruitiness, ethereal earthy yeast, leafy, grassy hops, and a certain understated in appearance, but hardly so in essence, booze warming.
The carbonation is moderate, not too big, not too small, the body an adequate medium weight, and fairly smooth, nothing really ready to get off its keister to muck about here. It finishes off-dry, with warm bready malt notes, a fading generic fruitiness, and leafy, somewhat musty hops.
Belgian-style, sure, but in a very unassuming manner - the usual Low Country suspects are beholden here to the big, bad malts, which remind me more of a decent German helles or even altbier, at least in their ambiguity. Anyways, this is a New World offering, from one of the farthest geographical reaches - quaint, sleepy, and fresh southern Puget Sound (I visited last summer), and this beer most definitely reflects that conceptual distance. What isn't immediately apparent, however, is the 18-proof ABV, which is as deftly integrated and obfuscated as the standards to which this one aspires.
12-16-2011 03:21:19 | More by biboergosum
4.25/5 rDev +14.6%
The 2003 vintage Monkfish pours a hazy, amber body beneath a creamy head of ivory foam that holds very well. It eventually drops to a thin surface covering and wide, fluffy collar (which ain't so bad!), and initially leaves creamy rings of lace about the glass. A bready malt that's seemingly drizzled with melted sugar and honey dominates the aroma, while some fruity notes (grape, apple, pear) help to lift it away from becoming too heavy. In the mouth it's creamy and smooth. It's full maltiness is quite dextrinous, and its very fine-bubbled natural carbonation only lightly caresses the tongue. It's certainly not to be argued against, but I wonder if a bit more zest might change the overall character of the beer for the better. The flavor is very much as the aroma indicates, but there are also some darker fruits at work here (raisins, prunes, figs); some peppery spiciness; and a touch of some woody & vanilla-ish notes due to the aging in oak. It's interestingly malty, but as an example I think I'd find it more akin to the Chimay Grand Reserve that I would the Chimay Cinq Cents. It finishes with a flourish of spice (alcohol?, anise?) that helps to dry out the lingering, sticky maltiness. Eventually it does dry and some harsh, wood-like notes evolve; but by that time you're ready for another sip. Hmmm.... an interesting beer that's darker and more malty than most tripels, but also offers a touch more complexity. It's alcohol is noticeably present, but well heeled for a beer of 8%; and it's creamy mouthfeel is welcoming but a tad unexpected. Unburdened by any stylistic constraints, this is a lovely, strong ale that makes for a great apertif or after-dinner drink.
07-19-2004 03:49:55 | More by NeroFiddled
4.1/5 rDev +10.5%
12 ounce bottle.
Deep orange coloration, high carbonation, thick, fluffy white, longlasting head.
Aroma: dry, yet fruity, lightly spicy, pungent citrus, orange and lemon and tangerine....peach, too, warm and lovely...a touch of Belgian-style sour, as well...
Taste: nice, smooth, with a kick, though...thick citric flavor, huge hops, abundant fruit on the palate. Delicious, tangy, tasty... matches many a tripel as I've ever encountered.Excellent grit on the tongue, great play in the mouth, ...A bit middling, and nothing amazing, but, does it have to be? This is all the things you want in a tripel, more or less...I propose it may fill in for the confessional as a way to purge one of sins...check your egregriousness at the door....reign it in, fellows...
Delicious flavor, long, citic-fruity finish, very admirable...quite good.
Hooray for my ichthiological namesake!!!
03-20-2005 12:32:03 | More by feloniousmonk
3.9/5 rDev +5.1%
Pours a hazy a orange-amber with a wispy tan colored head. The aroma is spicy and lightly sharp, notes of alcohol, hints of vanilla, orange, cream soda, and a bit of dusty toasted malt in the finish. The palate is fairly full, yet dry up front, but the finish is quite sweet. The beer has a fairly good spiciness to it with notes of orange peel, earthy coriander, clove, and a bit of a cola-like cardamom, perhaps some ginger and a definite spicy pepper note in the finish. I would like this beer to be a tad drier, but it is still pretty good.
09-23-2005 02:27:26 | More by Gueuzedude
4.45/5 rDev +19.9%
11/22/05- Purcahsed at John's Marketplace in Portland, OR.
Presentation- 750ml bottle which is capped rather than caged and corked. 2003 Edition poured into my Duvel tulip.
Appearance- Off golden color, maybe headed towards a light brown. Huge and I mean huge chunks of yeast plop into my glass. Look like gray slate roof tiles dropped into my glass. Stirred it up, but that just made it worse. About a 1/2 inch head and light patchy lacing.
Smell- Apparently this one morphed into some other scents and tastes due to aging. Rather than the tropical fruits I read from other reviews, I got a very vinous smell with some super dark fruits. Dates and prunes to be precise. There was some bubble gum as well as a bit of oak as well.
Taste- Very dark and very malty with a very nice sweetness. Dark plums, prunes and dates explode with a sugary backlash. One of the sweetest tripels I've had. Hints of oak in the flavor round this one out.
Mouthfeel- Smooth, ultra sweet and creamy. Mouth coating with a mid to low carbonation level.
Drinkability- Super smooth drinker that apparently had aged fantastic besides the huge yeasties. Damn tasty and wish I snagged another.
11-23-2005 19:30:15 | More by GClarkage
4.15/5 rDev +11.9%
Thanks to hopdog for this...
This is the '03 oak aged.
Appears a hazy amber with a 1 finger white head and spotty lacing.
Smell is of a heavy dosage of tripel yeast, bready, oak barrels, vanilla, and caramel.
Taste is of caramel, vanilla, with a subtle tropical fruit salad taste.
Mouthfeel is smooth with the vanilla and fruitiness coming through and resounding along the palate.
Drinkability...Had this next to the '04 standard and this was darker, richer, and more complex with the Belgian yeast coming through much better with the oak aging.
10-17-2005 03:01:58 | More by weeare138
3.95/5 rDev +6.5%
A: Poured a glowing, deep yellow color with good carbonation and a nice hite head
S: Some candy sugar and fruits
T: Candy sugar, some belgian yeast, bananas, light booze sting
M: carbonation ok, sweet
D: Ok overall but was prbably better in 2009
07-18-2010 17:04:52 | More by barleywinefiend
4.2/5 rDev +13.2%
22 ounce bottle into chalice, bottled Sept 2011. Pours hazy golden straw color with a nice 1-2 finger dense light cream colored head with great retention that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some nice lacing clings around the glass as well. Aromas of huge black pepper, clove, lemon, orange peel, biscuit, candi sugar, and spicy yeast. Great aromas here with good balance and strength. Taste of lemon, clove, biscuit, pepper, citrus peel, light candi sugar, and spicy yeast. No bitterness noticed; with lingering notes of pepper, lemon, clove, citrus peel, bread, and spices on the finish for a bit. Great balance of flavor in this, with pretty much no alcohol presence at 9%; but is still quite a sipper. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and smooth mouthfeel. Overall this is definitely one of the better Tripels I have ever had. Great balance and drinkability for the level of alcohol.
12-21-2011 04:41:31 | More by superspak
4.35/5 rDev +17.3%
Murky looking brownish orange. Thin and somewhat fizzy eggshell colored head. Retention is good and lacing is better than average. The aroma is quite fruity and alcoholic. Pears, grapes and mango all doused with a good dose of ethanol. A little winey as well. The taste is quite smooth and enjoyable. Fruitiness really comes out nicely on the palate. Grape skin and green apples...pears...a little pineapple. The alcohol is present, but held in check by the other pleasurable tastes. Bubblegum esters enter the picture. Mouthfeel is nicely fizzy and body is close to medium. This is quite enjoyable and drinkable.
05-10-2004 03:58:34 | More by Bighuge
3.5/5 rDev -5.7%
Had this one a fair amount over the years, but never reviewed it before... 22 picked up today at the Boise COOP. Poured into my little Cigar City snifter... short lasting white head... okay lacing... the brew is clear golden.
Nose is fruity and boozy... apricot and mild orange... hints of spicy phenols...
Flavor has an odd astringent bite up front that lingers almost all the way through the sip.... just enough sweetness begins mid palate to pull out some fruity esters... again mild phenols on the finish... good body and carbonation... but overall it seems pretty pedestrian.... I remember liking this one a lot more.
12-25-2011 04:04:23 | More by JohnGalt1
4/5 rDev +7.8%
650ml bomber poured into tulip 21/1/12
A golden liquid with lots of tiny particles being moved around by lots of tiny slow bubbles, two fingers of foam falls rather quickly but even the thin film left behind leaves several thin rings of lace
S yeasty clove, with some gum, tropical fruit, and dry cereal
T much like the nose but no gum and I'm not sure where the booze is hiding, pretty straight forward but pretty good
M those tiny bubbles give it some life, its fairly thick for the color and a yeasty fruity aftertaste, still no booze
O I liked this one, its well rounded not lacking in any areas but no one part blows me away either
well concealed booze and its easy too drink, Its a little expensive though hard too buy a second bottle with La Fin Du Monde on the shelf for almost half the price
01-22-2012 02:16:39 | More by wordemupg
3.5/5 rDev -5.7%
This was an older 22 oz bottle, I picked it up at least 8+ months ago, and found it all alone in the back of the store cooler, where it looked like it had been for a while, labeled 8.5% ABV. Poured into my large St. Feuillien goblet, Monkfish is a clear dark bronze with a small off white head that quickly settles to a tight collar and lotus root slice shaped skim, leaving light, scattered lace. Nice steady crackle on the ear, which I can thank Fred for recently pointing out the virtues of observing. I don't really care for amber trippels, the paler the better in my book. Furthermore, I look for a large, rocky, long lasting head and Brussels lace. 0 for 3.
Smell is very sweet, lots of sugar and esters, strikingly similar to banana taffy. I really like it, but I have a sweet tooth with beer, and recognize some would find this to be too much.
Taste is spicy, fruity, sweet and smooth, with a nice light wisp of alcohol. It seems a bit to malty though, maybe it's just the color that has me thinking they used too much specialty malt. The color and smell had me fear this would miss the mark, but I think it has the appropriate amount of spiciness, even if it is a bit on the sugary side. Pretty clean, with light phenols and slight tininess.
Mouthfeel is a bit too thick, again a victim of what I reckon to be a heavy handed malt bill, leaving a sugary coating on the teeth and gums.
Drinkability is pretty good, and while the taste is within the parameters for the style, it lacks the Belgian digestibility, and would undoubtedly be identified as an American version in blind tasting. I'm glad I aged this a bit, and assume more time would help it lighten up some, but overall, it was a bit of a disappointment.
05-02-2008 02:56:29 | More by ccrida
3.63/5 rDev -2.2%
Pale muted orange with a smallish light capping of slightly stained white foam. The foam slips awya quickly to leave some bubbles and thin collaring. Some looped strings of lace stick about the glass.
Aroma is dullish caramel and orange candy mixed into a blend of malty richness. some peach, pear, and fig notes appear as it warms as does a bit of heat.
Taste is about the same, persay; mostly malty, darkly sweet and deep orange tinted flavors of candy, pith, and peels mix with a bit of caramel. A smidgeon dry off the back end and has a fairly open finish without much happening.
Feel is soft, smooth, and creamy with about a mediumish body, has a bit of an emptyness about its character overall both in taste and body thats not quite fulfilling my expections for a "Triple".
Nothing really bad or wrong with this, it just comes up short I'm afraid. Good drinker though. No problems there. A good example of the style that could be used as an intro to said style.
09-28-2007 02:00:41 | More by tavernjef
4.35/5 rDev +17.3%
Appearance Beautiful orangish-brown body with a good head. This one looked awesome in my Chimay glass.
Smell The orange and cherry juice aroma lead this one off followed by some very light spicing. I can pick up a faint scent of cinnamon. Theres also some bready yeast undertones, but this one is all about oranges and cherries.
Taste The cherry and orange flavors come out big at the taste as well. The wheat body shows up subdued, and the finish again displays the spicing. Theres actually more spicing at the tongue. Im starting to pick up something dark and powdery, like maybe allspice. The fruity flavors also include some peach. The orange is coming out more like a tangerine and now some apple is showing up.
The alcohol kicks it up a notch as well. It almost tastes like applejack. I took this out of the fridge and let it warm up before pouring, but even so, each sip introduces different flavoring. Theres some light sugars coming out as well as some sort of berry flavor, although not like any that I have tried.
Mouthfeel This is lightly carbonated and borders on full in the body.
Drinkability This made for a terrific experience. Its tasty, it feels good, and it is very interesting to drink.
Comments I sampled the Vintage 2003 and I think it may be a good candidate for cellaring. Ill pick up another bottle and re-review in six months.
This ale is extremely complex. This is the 61st Belgian offering that I have sampled and rated on this site, and it is by far the most complex. I learned a lot from this Fish Tale offering, and appreciate the experience.
09-22-2003 02:34:19 | More by RoyalT
4.3/5 rDev +15.9%
2003 Vintage: 750ml bottle which is crowned. This triple was aged for two months in oak wine casks....cool. OK, so this one pours out a clear golden colour with a nice big white head that lasts forever, and leaves very intricate lacing patterns on my glass. The smell is sharp and vinous, with some oak notes in there as well. The aromas are very yeasty, with hints of sweet, honey-like malts, weak hops, candy sugar, and more. The taste is sharp up front with a nice acidic smack of hops. The middle is matly, sweet and bready with some oak flavor notes, and some honey notes as well. This is quite a vinous beer, but not nearly as vinous as the De Dolle Oerbier Reserva. The mouthfeel was very full, rich, and creamy, but the drinkability suffered, as this beer is just too damn complex for its own good!
Awesome stuff though...and i'll try it again if the oppurtunity arises!
04-28-2004 20:34:35 | More by francisweizen
3.43/5 rDev -7.5%
Sandblasted ocher with a tight beige crowning of foam.
Aromatic of chalkdust, wet basement, and pineapple/vodka mixed drinks.
Begins with a glimpse of crackery pale malt dryness...one that's immediately unseated by phantoms of fruit. Pineapple, pear, and apple. Turns a bit rugged midway, presenting vodka-like booze traits with their sweet, hot, grain emissions. A mildewed sense develops, along with those same chalky traits from the nose. Ends with a citrus-leaning hop burst of lemon rind and orange pulp and a lessening of the ABV sting.
The mouthfeel is firm and full, but (almost) fully carbonated per the style....a feat few American-made tripels pull off. But this carries a but too much weight and appears as Belgian-influence barleywine...a flaw typical of most US versions.
I really did not like this at first, but it has grown on me a little. It's still too uneven and harsh to consider noteworthy...but time may change that.
10-08-2004 06:40:09 | More by cokes
3.63/5 rDev -2.2%
Im not sure if Fish still bottles Monkfish. I havent seen those big green magnums in awhile, not even at the pub. But it was good to get a schooner on draught and remind myself that northwest brewers can at times brew a credible Belgian replica.
Monkfish (which, by the way, is one of my favorite seafoods) is warm bronze or apricot color. Fish serves it only in tall 10-oz pilsner glasses that accent its unclouded body. Its clarity is somewhat surprising given that the bottled version is rife with gobs of floating yeasties. My glass arrived with a soft soapy head, tossing a gentle air of Belgian spice. The taste was a focused array of cinnamon, peppercorn, and candi sugar with showings of heather and green apple. Of these, the candi-sugar element was most prominent though not too harsh for casual appreciation.
Its rare to find a northwest Belgian-style ale that really works magic and Monkfish isnt magical. But it is very nice and finishes with a slight puckering close. Recommended.
01-17-2008 03:38:21 | More by RedDiamond
British Columbia (Canada)
4.25/5 rDev +14.6%
I have had this bottle for about 4 years and the cellaring has done wonders. The beer is now smooth and luscious with not only flavours of old fruit but also the vanilla of the barrel aging. I loved the long finish and the way it all tied together which in the younger version was not always there. Worth waiting for awhile for this beer to hit its peak
03-07-2011 06:43:49 | More by canucklehead
3.1/5 rDev -16.4%
2009 vintage 22 ounce bottle. Saw a floor stackout of these at Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, and immediately wanted to stock up, having remember the enjoyable oak aged Fish beers I had back in the early 90s. After trying this one, I'm glad I only bought the one.
Pours a nice copper color, with a fairly decent head. I took a sniff, expecting some bourbon, but all I get is white zinfandel, and maybe green apples. On the palate, I get a little oak, a hint of vanilla and a lot more cheap wine. Alcohol is quite present, as this one is pretty hot. Crisp and nicely carbonated, but not all that drinkable after a while. A decent effort, but certainly nothing special.
04-05-2010 05:27:18 | More by emmasdad
Fish Tale Monkfish Belgian-Style Triple from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
84 out of 100 based on 70 ratings.