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CB's Caged Alpha Monkey IPA - CB Craft Brewers

Not Rated.
CB's Caged Alpha Monkey IPACB's Caged Alpha Monkey IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

54 Reviews
THE BROS
84
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 54
Hads: 177
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 12.89%
Wants: 7
Gots: 37 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
CB Craft Brewers visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-29-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 54 | Hads: 177
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Cole's, this is closer in bitterness and assertiveness to a 1.5X IPA. Hoppy aroma. Big up front hops. Graefruit. Soapy white head. The finish is both a little astringent and a little dishsoap, however one of the more noticeable ones I have had from this brewery. (272 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.57/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a good ipa, bordering on the double category, but keep it here for now. pours a clear amber color with a lacey white head, which leaves great track marks down the glass. smells pine trees, sap, and bitter hops. good for christmas! taste is similar, with big resin hops and a strong floral thing. mouthfeel is odd, big and bold, but somehow thin and watery. i dont want body, but less would be a sin... ya know? hard ot explain i guess, but there is something missing in the mouthfeel. light carbonation. bold release by these guys, definitely not the double dark cream porter, but its satisfying for certain (607 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a very nice head that leaves a few strands of lacing behind

Smell: Leafy and earthy with an underpinning of caramel

Taste: A touch of caramel in the base that builds through mid-palate, with the leafy and earthy hops building in the middle and through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: This is a decent example of the East Coast style, though it is not something that jumps out as a great example; middle of the road, at best

Thanks, RochesterAaron, for the opportunity (552 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a clear copper, with a finger of slightly dirty looking off-white head. This retains with a frothy ¾ finger, which hangs tight, and just slathers the sides of the glass with a thick cascade of sticky lacing. The aroma is leafy and earthy smelling, with a bit of dankness that mingles in as well. Some underlying ripe fruitiness and sweet malt notes are fairly supportive feeling underneath. The main focus of the nose seems to be on the hope though, with that fruity herbal character taking center stage most of the time.

The taste has a strong grapefruit bitterness to it, which is in turn wrapped up in some herbal textures. This is balanced by notes of caramel and bread, as well as a touch of some sweeter fruit. Dry pithy rind lingers with some strength in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a smooth crisp creaminess that harbors a touch of slickness, helping keep this relatively easy feeling. There is just a smidge of light warmth from the alcohol but it isn’t anything too troubling.

This was decent. It had a bit too much of a bitter rawness to it at times but this was mostly well balanced and drinkable for the style. I little more freshness probably would have bumped this up a bit more as well. (1,271 characters)

Photo of tdm168
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a nice brownish amber with a soft head that sits on top for ever. Hops dominate the nose; piney, slightly floral. The taste is a little imbalance in my opinion. The hops dominate, and on some sips the alcohol is evident despite the 6.5% ABV. The beer is light and crisp on the palate though a little over carbonated for my liking. Overall not a bad IPA, but with the market flooded with IPAs, there are others I'd return to first. (482 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle purchased at a Wegmans somewhere around Rochester,NY. No freshness dating to be found.

Pours medium amber with a copper hue. Lite tan head, tightly knit and lasting more then a while, leaving repectable rings, strands and pieces of lacing.

Nose of grainy hops soaked in grapefruit juice.

Quite bitter on the tongue, with more waves of grapefruit juice and rind. Problem I get is that this brew is all about bitter and not about hop flavor. Enjoyable brew for hop heads, but lacking the sophitication and interest of the all stars of the style (561 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Caged Alpha Monkey unleashed some fury upon opening but its bubbles quickly lost steam and would settle into a creamy, complete, inch-thick head. The beer's murkiness makes it appear darker than it in fact is; the golden-brown colour might actually offer some nice highlights if not for the dense sediment.

The aroma smells of sweet candied citrus, as if CB's Brewing boiled an entire grove worth of orange peel and seeped it in the mash. Pine needles too. The malts, for the most part, stay mum. There are also hints of pineapple and grapefruit and papaya - pretty much every garnish you'd find at an oceanside bar. It's a perfect accompaniment to a luau!

But the beer doesn't taste as tropical as it smells. The flavour is leafy, with an almost raw cabbage-like crispness and lingering bitterness. (If you've ever bitten into the center of a cabbage you know all too well about that kind of vegetal bitterness!) There's even more pine and a leafy-green mintiness, like arugula, but with a green tea-like aftertaste.

As advertised, the beer does 'throw hops at you' but as far as the palate is concerned it might as well be feathers or leaves being thrown; there's plenty of hop resins and oils but the palate is not roughed-up in the least. Crunchy, toasty malts cushion the resin-y blow enough to make the stated 65 IBUs seem like a big exaggeration.

Caged Alpha Monkey, like its name suggests, is a little more restrained than many of the big, brute American IPAs, which is not such a bad thing. I'm fine with brash bitterness and gum-splitting acidity being kept shackled so long as the citrusy and piny resins are left to run free. I really enjoyed this Monkey, especially considering it costs peanuts. (1,716 characters)

Photo of plaid75
4.24/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On draft at Red's Place, Seneca Falls, NY.

Poured a light copper hue with a two finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured sharp piney hops and a crisp caramel malt.

The taste offered a clean grainy malt and lively piney hop.

The mouthfeel was toward the drier side of the style.

Overall a tasty, neat and compact ale. Well done. (377 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.24/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Notes from 4/28/11. Thanks to korguy123 for this one.
Poured in to Founder's tulip glass.

A - Medium amber colour, almost transparent (definitely filtered) with one finger of off-white head.

S - Citrus, pine and plenty of sweet caramel. Some light tropical fruit notes come through as well. A very robust and very inviting note.

T - Sharp bitterness up front with some pine flavours coming through from the hops but the citrus that was in the nose doesn't translate the palate at all. Some caramel sweetness enters the palate mid-way through followed by a dry and bitter finish.

M -Light to medium body. Light carbonation.

O - This was a decent IPA but not one I would seek out again. the nose was excellent but it didn't translate in to a great tasting example of the style. (785 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
3.72/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On Tap

Appearance - Clear yellow/amber colour with a large size frothy off-white coloured head. There is a below average amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, grapefruits, oranges, apricots

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste hops mixed with a caramel sweetness and grapefruit and oranges. It ends with a sweet fruity aftertaste with some lingering hop bitterness.

Overall - I was surprised by this beer.. it has a pretty decent hoppy/fruity taste. I saw bottles of it earlier in the day at the store, but I didn't buy it because I'd never heard of the brewer. When I saw it on tap at dinner time, I figured I'd give it a shot. It's definitely on the the right track taste wise, and while there are many other IPA's that are better, this one is still worth a try. (913 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Custom Brewcrafters in Honeoye Falls, NY.

Pours a clear golden amber color, with a one inch head and pretty good lacing down the glass.

Smells like pine and cut grass. Very pungent hop aroma.

Similar flavors. Very bitter, with lots of earthy, resinous pine flavor. Not much malt is noticed, maybe a bit of caramel sweetness in the finish.

Medium bodied, crisp, well carbonated. Finishes dry.

A good local IPA, but a bit removed from the best examples. (466 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.74/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a clear golden amber color with a big billowy white head. The big billowy head has a OK level of retention, fading to leave a light level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma is biggest of pine and earthy hops along with some more tropical fruit aromas. Along with these smells are some lighter caramel and some mild bready smells.

Taste – The taste begins with a bit of a bready and tropical fruit flavor as well as a moderate level of pine hop. As the flavor advances the bready flavors dwindle a little bit, all while the hop flavors get slightly more intense and more complex. Other hops of an earthy nature as well as a little bit of a grass, join the pine midway through the taste, with a citrus hop flavor coming at the very end. While the hops increase in strength and the bready flavors decrease some lighter caramel flavors come to the tongue at the very end, with the combo of flavors leaving a decently multifaceted hopped flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side with a carbonation level that is average as well. The combo of body and carbonation are good for the hop flavors of the brew all while still maintaining the malt and fruity flavors of the brew.

Overall – An alright IPA overall with a rather moderately diverse hop profile in the taste. Not the most super smooth or hoppy, but quite enjoyable none the less. (1,478 characters)

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.7/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #52 (May 2011):

Mutant-like hop monkey on the label for some visual shock—we guess the animal marketing in beer never gets old, right? Head stands tall; deep amber color. Thick, leafy hop nose of mandarin orange and faint pine sap, with some breadiness from the malt in there as well. Level hop flavor throughout, bitterness is relaxed in a way ... instead of a sharp bitterness, there’s more of a resin, leafy character; though sip after sip, the hops turn into a boa constrictor and squeeze the palate more and more. Sure, the beer lives up to its label and name, and any hophead would have no problem getting their fix off of this one. (683 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
3.04/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks goes out to rageagainst123 for this!

Dark copper in color, transparent, with a bright white head of about a finger. Lacing is alright.

Aroma is slightly spicy, almost peppery, with a bit of lemon zest, and tangy malt sweetness. Smells a bit too sweet

Very bitter. But it seems the bitterness was the result of tunnel vision: bitter, but not hoppy. That sweetness I got in the aroma plays third fiddle here. The hop presence is more spicy and zesty.
It's not awful...it just needs to be more coherent and balanced.

Feel is good, it's crisp and a little creamy, and lightish in body.

Middle of the road on the drink. (627 characters)

Photo of Florida9
3.15/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Clear deep amber. Forms a small white head. Little retention, but lots of clumpy lacing.

S: Mostly pine, but not lots of it. Some light malt as well.

T: A huge hit of metallic bitterness on the first sip that sort of subsides on subsequent tastes, but never really goes away. Moderate caramel maltiness. Unpleasant astringency.

M: Medium in body with appropriate carbonation. Drying bitterness that is almost chalky.

D: With the name and the labeling, I was figuring this one was going to be a bit more hop forward. Hop bitterness, but no hop flavor and only a faint hoppy aroma. A rather generic IPA. (612 characters)

Photo of jzeilinger
3.41/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep color color and really not much head, what little was there died down rather quickly, formed a thin ring around the top, and a partial foam covering. Has a moderate amount of very small bubbled carbonation.

S - Caramel malt, and some buried acidic pine. The nose is very weak.

T - Caramel malt base underneath creates some support for moderately mild pine hopping and grapefruit bitterness. The hops don't slap you in the face up front like I expected and as I work through the glass, the grapefruit becomes more present. The bitterness is more pronounced than the malt backing, but that's something I really like about my IPA's so I appreciate this characteristic since I'm unfortunately one of those individuals who errs on the side of bitterness in my IPA's.

M - Finishes dry, heavier side of thin body (would like to have more body in this beer), taste. Prickly on the tongue from the carbonation, and doesn't leave a sticky residue on the lips like some beers.

D - Average.

I picked up a sixer from Premier Gourmet while traveling through Buffalo on business and I think this one may have been sitting on the shelf for awhile, no criticism to them, maybe just one that didn't move as quickly as some others (great place to beer shop while in Buffalo, BTW). I would love to have a really fresh one of these so I can experience the same hoppy goodness as previous reviews. I'm keeping an open mind with this one and will definitely try it again because I think Custom BrewCrafters do a good job with their beers and this one will be worth revisiting. (1,576 characters)

Photo of harrymel
3.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled: unk

Pours amber with a bit of a light tan ring and excellent clarity. No lace. Smells of he dankness, weed, resin, pine and some hints of bitter citrus. Flavor follows with a strong bittered malt profile and nice piny hops in the midpoint with a moderate length bitterness and malt. Medium bodied with moderate carb and hints of a slick finish. Decent beer, it reminds me a of a local IPA that tastes like strait weed with a strong malt backbone. (456 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
3.22/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampling a bottle poured into a snifter at room temperature. The beer pours a clear copper hue with no head except for a bleached white edge layer.
Aroma is grapefruit and a bit of pine with hints of caramel. First sip reveals an average body with fine tingly carbonatio.
flavor is a little husky grain up front and then rolls to a bitey and rindy hop finish that is fairly bitter overall. Finish is a little dry and definitely has a crisp hop bite. Beer is drinkable but a little one dimensional, if you like bitey hops this is probably pretty good for you. Ill probably pass next time around. (594 characters)

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of a bottle this beer was a clear copper color with some garnet highlights. The head was comprised of two fingers of yellow/beige colored foam that retained itself as a tiny collar and left good amounts of sticky lacing down my glass. The aroma was of a lotta hops, most notably pine, green herbal notes and slight hints of grapefruit atop a caramel malt background. The flavors, however, were very one-sided. I tasted pine and resin and… not much else. The malt profile was pale at best, not enough to balance the strong alpha elements and bitterness. The mouthfeel was a bit oily, the body medium and the carbonation average. (633 characters)

Photo of CaptDavyJones
3.87/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear, copper color from a 12 oz bottle, with ABV on the label. Couldn't locate freshness date anywhere on the bottle.
Aroma is predominantly hoppy, evident as soon as I cracked the bottle open. Hints of malt and some sweetness coming through.
Taste is all hops, all the way through. Bitterness is dominant, but it somehow doesn't feel balanced. Not the kind of taste I like in my IPA, but I'm sure there might be hop-heads out there that would enjoy the hop-dominant profile.
Lacing holds very nice throughout the glass.
Mouthfeel and drinkability are okay. All in all, a decent IPA. I am glad I tried it, but I'm not sure I would be going out of my way to get a hold of this IPA. (694 characters)

Photo of TheBrewo
3.35/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew was served in a pint glass from the tap at The Distillery in Victor, NY. It arrived a rich and dark tawny color, darker than a traditional IPA. It held a minimal film of a head, likely due to the full volume of the glass when it was served. Thus, this gave minimal lacing and spotting around our glasses. Carbonation appeared low, and there was a faint haze, but no sediment. The aroma was huge on soapy hops. Among this was pine and a sweeter orange citrus. The malts palpated were a bit darker, with a faint roast. Grain was otherwise steely. As we sipped, the flavor opened up with big hop extracts. As in the nose there was a huge soapy character, with a synthetic twinge of citrus. Darker grain worked its way in here, too, helping to bring us to the middle. This transitioned us to a metallic brassiness of malt, which seemingly amplified their darker quality. The end evened out a bit, with a sweet fruitiness. This was of bananas, but not in that spicy estery vibe, but rather more purely fruity. The final flavors were an herbal freshness of bitter tea. The aftertaste breathed bitterly off lemony, soapy hops, faint booze, and further general bittering of grain. The body was lighter, and the carbonation was low. The flavoring was actually on the watery side, with little slurp or froth. There was a slight astringent drying character affecting the mouth. The beer drank easily, and the abv was appropriate.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the hoppy nose. While the notes of extracts seemed excessive at times, with big soap, the aromas blended and came together nicely. Despite this, the watery feel and lighter favoring didn’t quite live up to the aromas. It may have been better to put more body behind the feel, and bolster the flavors, to make this beer feel more complete. (1,820 characters)

Photo of dogfishandi
3.86/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured half a pint from a friends growler that was purchased at abbott road consumers.

pours out a lightly hazed golden orange with a big white retentive head. lots of good looking sticky lace.

not much of an aroma. mettallic like malts jump out at me first. light dank piney hops, very light citrus hops noticable.

the taste is a little better than the aroma. nice balance. dank piney hops with some light citrus. mettallic bready malts. decent bitterness in the finish that lingers for a bit.

medium body, carbonation is a bit on the lighter side.

overall a decent drinker from a decent local brewery. not as hoppy as i might have liked and just a little too mettallic. (677 characters)

Photo of yesyouam
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

CB's Caged Alpha Monkey IPA is a crystal clear, coppery amber beer with a white head fades to a thin bubbly film. It leaves outstanding lacing on the glass. It has a big, fresh, citrusy hop aroma. It smells juicy and fruity, with a slight hint of sweet caramel. It smells great. It has a soft, smooth medium body with a gritty finish. This is a nice and bitter pine flavored beer. That's pretty much what's going on here. The pine resin bitterness hangs on for a long finish. It's a nice, aggressive IPA. (504 characters)

Photo of number1bum
3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear semi-dark amber color with one finger of beige head. Keeps a thin lace, somewhat full. Decent stick on the sides.

Smell consists of some citrus and pine, but the nose leans more to the malty end of the spectrum. It's a bready malt base with some sweet caramel as well. An initial blast of citrus hops seems to vaporize and is scarcely noticeable afterward. Not a very impressive nose.

Taste is better, with more persistent hop flavor, although it is still an overly malty IPA in my opinion. It's a bready, caramel malt base, not overly sweet but it's hefty enough to have a chewy feel to it. Hops are earthy with some pine resin and grapefruit. Hop bitterness is modest. There's some decent hop flavor, but I wish it were more prominent as compared to the malt.

Mouthfeel is a chewy medium body, a pretty rich feel for an IPA. It's creamy and smooth. I don't mind the extra heft.

This is an ok IPA, but ok is about the best that I can say about it. Too malty for my taste. I'd try it again on tap but I don't think I'll be grabbing another 6er anytime soon; not my cup of tea. (1,094 characters)

Photo of match1112
2.95/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours a clear copper with no head or lacing. smells of resiny pine and some citrus. taste is pretty bland, more like an apa. still pick up on dank resin and citrus on the tongue. mouthfeel is flat and unexciting. there is a little bitterness on the finish that tastes like burnt pine needles, not a good thing. overall i dont care for this beer, but glad i got the chance to try it! (382 characters)

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CB's Caged Alpha Monkey IPA from CB Craft Brewers
82 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.