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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

153 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 153
Reviews: 55
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 12.36%
Wants: 4
Gots: 16 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-29-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 153 | Reviews: 55 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheBrewo
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of Billolick
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
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

Photo of tdm168
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of Kegatron
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Photo of sulldaddy
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

Photo of number1bum
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Photo of LittleDon
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A pint at the Distillery in Victor, NY on 5/24/11

Clear amber with average to good head retention and plenty of lace. Muted aroma, caramel and pine. A bit on the earthy side. Soft mouthfeel. Balanced front and middle with very strong bitterness and a hint of acidity on the finish.

Photo of gabedivision
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle to a SA perfect pint glass.

Pours a clear dark golden/light copper color with a fluffy 1 finger head beer. Citrus hops and bold malts slam into the nose at the same time. Mango, orange peel, bready malt, lemon bitterness, caramel, seems a tad unbalanced. Very fruity though, smells like a bowl of fruit loops. Nice bitter hops on the tongue, citrus, lemon, very East Coast. Grassy, earthy, good. Light to medium feel, very crisp smooth, and nice asprin bitterness. Not too bad at a stab at an IPA from Honeoye Falls.

Photo of korguy123
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Notes from 5/1/2011

No freshness date

A- Slightly hazzy orange/peach pour. Half finger off white head. Lacing is decent.

S- Grapefruit, pineapple, mandarin, pine needles. Oily hoppy goodness. Malt is very subdued and its wonderful.

T- Piney hops, very resinous. Fairly one dimensional. Bittering hops are very drying.

M- Medium bodied, extra dry, carbonation is good.

O- Excellent smelling, decent tasting, okay mouth feel. Enjoyed but won't go after again.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

Photo of pitweasel
4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not too much of a head on this golden pour, but I'm fine with that. A little bit of it stuck around throughout the course of sipping this one, so no complaints.

The smell was stronger on the citrus end than I'd expected, so my hopes were high that this might leap to the top of my IPA list. However, the taste didn't match up. It wasn't bad, but there was more straight up hop bitterness and less citrus flavor than the nose led me to expect.

Mouthfeel just seems right - it didn't blow me out of the water, but it did seem a bit above average for some inexplicable reason.

Overall, I'm glad that I picked this up while out of town for Easter. Wish I'd grabbed a little more!

Photo of Mancer
3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The bottle poured out a clear orange/copper body with a minimal off-white head. The initial aromas were of heavy amounts of resin, pine and citrus. The initial flavors were of resin, pine, and a light barley finish. The brew had some sweetness to it, as well as a slightly bitter and dry body. It was medium bodied with light carbonation.

Overall, not the best I've had. I was a little disappointed with this one and wouldn't recommend it.

Photo of Florida9
3.13/5  rDev -14%
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.

Photo of TheSignPost
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I actually didn't see the beer. It came in a bottle, and I drank it until it was gone. It was very good. Nice, hoppy, fragrant, and good. I will get more, just so I can pour it in a glass and drink it again. This is a beer worth looking for. I know I will.

Photo of neorunner
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Blind Beer #9 - http://flic.kr/p/9ue4xE

Thanks to Kevin (shrek806) for sending me this in Round #4 of the Blind Beer BIF.

12 oz bottle poured into my Nugget Nectar pint. Dense clotted cream head that persists with a crystal gold color. Aroma is a full nose of fruity citrusy hops. Taste is predominantly bittering hops with a dry lingering mouthfeel. A nice caramel malt is hiding under the massive hop presence in this beer. This is tasty even if its a bit on the bitter side, I'm digging the hops and its going down quite easily.

Gotta guess IPA on this one.

The reveal: Caged Alpha Monkey IPA from Custom Brewcrafters. Never heard of these guys, but I'd love to try some more of their stuff.

Photo of ATTWNone
2.55/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'm new at this, so I will start by saying the American IPA is my favorite style of beer. I travel the country on business and I've had a number of IPA's in my time (including the incredible Pliny the Younger), but I will say that IPA's from the Rochester NY area have always underwhelmed me. Same goes here. The decent smell did not forbode well for the rest of the tasting. Hardly any flavor upfront with an average hop finish. Priced at $10 a six pack, I would rather purchase Dogfish or even the Saranac IPA at a lower price point. Cheers!

Photo of jzeilinger
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

Photo of CaptDavyJones
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Photo of mendonjoebeer
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into chalice- no date on bottle, but cases were marked 1/21/11. Clear amber color with slight head and small carbonation bubbles.Less aroma than I hoped for- maybe a bit too chilled? Nice citrus hops with a slight malty finish.I have had other CB IPA's, and I like this one more than any others. Could have a little more depth and body, but still good. I will have to try a growler of this from them to compare.

Photo of Homebrew35
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a huge two and a half fluffy egg shell colored head. Big earthy grassy piney hop smell. Some Carmel smell, sweet malts, apricot maybe. Tastes slightly sweet, piney resinous hops, some funky/muddle middle palate taste. Full bodied creamy feel. Light carbonation. The lingering metallic bitter taste detracts a bit but I enjoyed this one. $2.19 a single.

Photo of lovindahops
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

CB's IPA brew... pretty excited!

A- pours a darker orange body with a massive head of slightly browned foam. Massive lacing all over the sides. Nice looking IPA

S- very strong citric hops that focus on pineapple, tangerine, and sweet fruit. CAM has a unique scent that is really geared towards a fruity citric hop profile. A little bitter scent at the end, and I like the change up

T- the malt definitely shows up in the taste. Very bitter with not as much citrus as I expected in the scent. The finish is dry and piney as well. Again, another unique attribute of the beer is the malt and pine were nowhere in the scent, but it does in the taste. I kind of miss the fruitiness I picked up in the scent. Good caramel though

M- medium bodied and crisp. Good bitter flavor remains in the brew

D- caged alpha monkey is a pretty tasty IPA. I was hoping that the scent would follow through and deliver a little more citric hop experience, but I still enjoyed the brew. One additional note... I still want CB to bang out a hop fest sometime in the near future

Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of yesyouam
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of mbusster88
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle no bottle date.

A: Pours orange color with white head. Head does not stick around long at all and is thin. Some carbonation on the glass but not a large amount.

S: Some citrus notes up front, grapefruit and tangerine primarily. Also get some malty notes in the back end.

T/M: Taste is really dry and pine filled. Also get the tangerine and grapefruit notes in the taste. Love the way this beer goes down, very drinkable. I would say that the hop profile holds up well but not the same from start to finish.

D: Good drinking beer that works out well. However, could use just a bit more character as it is rather one dimensional and ends not so great.

CB's Caged Alpha Monkey IPA from CB Craft Brewers
83 out of 100 based on 153 ratings.