Nimbus Old Monkeyshine | Nimbus Brewing Company

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Nimbus Old MonkeyshineNimbus Old Monkeyshine

Brewed by:
Nimbus Brewing Company
Arizona, United States

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Old Monkeyshine Ale is an exceptional example of a true, traditional-style English Pub beer. Nimbus Old Monkeyshine Ale is medium bodied and possesses a distinct, dark roasted flavor. Its sweet malty taste is derived from liberal use of seven varieties of specialty malts and a touch of brown sugar. Our Old Monkeyshine Ale is dark in color, beginning with a slight caramel malt overtone and rounded with a relatively dry finish from its English Kent Goldings hops. The hops aroma is mildly subdued and the bitterness is just enough to balance the profile of this beer.

Nimbus Old Monkeyshine Ale is a true premium ale and is priced accordingly. We're so proud of this beer for its body, taste, alcohol content and drinking enjoyment, it may just become our signature beer. Be warned: its wonderful malty sweetness camouflages the 8.2% alcohol by volume content. It's a winner!

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-02-2002

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Reviews: 97 | Ratings: 200
Photo of facundoCNB
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a deep amber/brown with a few bubbles (no head). smells of raspberries, grapes and caramel.. kind of has a funk to it - not much in terms of "standard beer characteristics" which is in no way a bad thing. very sweet tasting like a toffee/caramel, tastes like a cross between a barley wine/esb, very fruity (peaches, raspberry, grapes), heavy malt profile. feels medium bodied which throws me off a bit, i keep expecting it to be thicker with every sip i take.

a bit funky in taste/smell, which keeps the mystery throughout the glass, and keeps me drinking it trying to figure out the ingredients. very lightly carbonated and the mouthfeel keeps throwing me off! not a bad sipping beer at all, but i don't think i can handle more than one in a session.

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Photo of jmarsh123
2.86/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to stephenhawking for the bottle.

Pours a deep brown almost black with a small tan head that dissipates almost immediately.

Aroma is very malty with a little bit of raisin. Not many hops detectable here.

Taste follows the nose. Barely any hop presence and a big malt bill. Toasted malt hits up front, but there's a oxidized metallic finish that is off putting.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin for something of this profile with medium-low carbonation.

This one doesn't do it for me. A few flaws with not a lot of complexity going on.

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Photo of ccrida
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Old Monkeyshine is a slightly turbid dark brown with a tan head leaving scattered lace.

Smell is very malty, sweet and sour, with some earthy hops. Robust

Taste is similar, this is a classic English brown, x2. Nice balance though for the amplitude, the bitter hops and drying, clean alcohol temper the sweetness of the malt. Very nice, with a long, malty finish.

Mouthfeel is on the medium-heavy side, decent carbonation.

Drinkability is high, this is my favorite Nimbus ale by a long shot, loads of character, flavor, yet still dangerously quaffable. I "monkeyed" around to much with their lesser offering before this!

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Photo of uawildcat
4.47/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an English pub glass. Poured it too cold, so I let it warm up a little bit.

A: Dark brown, a tad bit cloudy with a little head. Leaves behind a nice white head with lacing. Nothing special, but I will give it 3.5 for the lacing.

S: Smells like toasty malt and bready yeast. Only comes out once the beer is warmed up.

T: Taste is out of this world. It tastes of dark fruits upfront with a strong raisin flavor behind a toasty, toffee-like, sweet malt flavor. Yum!

M: The low level of carbonation works well for this beer, it lets the flavor really come out. It goes down very smooth. However, I do wish there was a bit more carbonation. For the amount of flavor and sweetness it is not too thick, it is medium-bodied.

O: A very tasty beer that could be drank on its own. It could go with a burger or fish and chips. Nice job Nimbus, this beer rocks.

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Photo of archaeofreak
3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a standard bottle into glass. Not much of an aroma, but good deep red color. I liked the taste, a little hoppy, with a slightly astringent taste and good full-bodied mouth-feel. Very little head but good lacing on the glass. Overall positive experience!

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Photo of nlmartin
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blind beer #3. The beer was chilled and placed in a Imperial Pint glass.

A 4.0 The body of the beer is a clear bright scarlet. The head is a thick and the color of nugget. Nice head retention as the mustache doesnt kill it. Nice rings of foam mark this beers passage.

S 3.5 The aroma is of toasted malt, very bready, a bit nutty as it warms up and further reveals raisins. All along the beer has a vaguely lactic nature that is really starting to grow on me.

T 4.0 The flavor of the beer is a nice slightly toasted, lightly caramelized, nutty, grape and sour dough bread pudding. The lactic tones are present in the taste as a bit of a reminder but doesnt seem out of place.

M 4.0 Nice full bodied beer with gentle carbonation that really helps the beer along. I know this beer is alcoholic but not in mouthfeel. This is a very nice beer to kick back after a long night at work.

O 4.0 I am a sucker for full bodied beers. A very nice malty treat. I could see kicking a few of these back in an evening.

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Photo of Phelps
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Newcastle schooner pint -- my new favorite for English ales.

Pours a deep, shadowy burgundy that fades to highlights of cherry-amber at the edges. Although it's pretty dark, the liquid's also fairly clear and topped with a half-finger head of fuzzy cream-colored foam. It fades quickly to a splotchy top layer and a thin, sticky ring.

Hmm. Lightly toasty malt offset by sweet raisins and prunes. As it warms, a peanut character emerges, along with earthy hops and faint hints of tangy sourdough yeast in the back.

The smooth roasty character combines notes of charred toast, peanuts and the occasional pop of caramel, while a faint hint of raisiny sweetness interacts with earthy, soil-like English Kent Goldings hops. The finish is rather dry.

The body is a nice and smooth medium with a soft, lightly fizzy carbonation. Some alcohol heat warms up the throat on its way down.

Old Monkeyshine is intriguing -- it provides subtle yet enjoyable flavors amidst a big body an an equally hefty ABV. I like the nimble hand Nimbus played with this one.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Scored in a trade with trappistlover, Thanks!

Pours a dark hazy chestnut brown with a healthy head and later just a dusting on the top with lacing at the edges.

Smell of raisins, caramel, sweet malt, and brown sugar.

Taste of not surprisingly raisins, dry roasted malts, a very dry english feel to this , well attenuated and very tasty. Wow, was not expecting this out of an add and I am definitely impressed. Id keep these on hand if they were available locally. As is said in the description of this beer, "It is a Winner" and I agree. Sweet caramel and raisin finish with a dry bitter taste. It is definitely knocking on the door of greatness and I would keep an eye on Nimbus for future great releases. This made my snow day / rough day of work at home come to a climax and I applaud you.

Heavy carbonation with a light mouthfeel. Highly drinkable

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Photo of Lucklys
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Monkeyshine pours a deep rosy chocolate, or mahogany brown with a one inch beige head. Initially, I noticed it seemed hazy, but as it warmed up it seemed to become clearer. The foam left faint islands of lace on the top of the liquid that held up until the very end and there was minimal spotty, clean lacing sticking to the glass.

The nose was rather simple and light, but enjoyable all the same. There was quite a bit of sweet roasted malts and caramel, a touch of fruit (I keep wanting to say strawberries), and some left-behind toffee. Though there wasn't much to decipher, it was very pleasing and crisp.

I would say that Old Monkeyshine has a medium-light body with light carbonation that aids the Kent Golding hops in creating a mild spiciness throughout the drink. The hops really shine more in the mouth than under the nose, but they mix really well with the strong roasted malts and caramel, neither overpowering nor lingering in the depths. The best thing about this brew is that although it holds a hefty 8.2% AVB in a 12oz bottle, the only time the alcohol is noticeable is when your head becomes airy and delicately fuzzy halfway through. There is no trace of alcohol in the aroma, and the roasted malts do a fantastic job of keeping the taste out.

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Photo of aeturtle
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium bodied.
No bitterness or hop aroma.
Nice richness in flavor almost like brown sugar hints of vanilla.
Decent head and head retention
Nice brown molasses coloring.
Covers up it ABV very well.
Good example of the style, almost too easy to drink for what it is.

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Photo of Flashsp2
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Nimbus Old Monkeyshine into chalice

Pours a deep brown/ruby with a dense two finger tan head. Great
retention and lacing.

Aroma is richly malty, with caramels, toast, honey, dark fruits,
toffee, and earthy hops providing the finish.

Body is almost perfectly spot-on for the nose, but leans more toward
toasty malt flavor and less in the direction of caramels and dark
fruits, even though they are still present.

Body is where this beer is sort of off point. It feels a bit thin and
overly carbonated for a strong English ale. Its not terribly bad or
anything, it just doesn't fit well with the rest of the beer.

Quite drinkable. Its at that perfect spot where its strong enough to
have lots of flavor but not so over the top that it takes an hour to
drink. Well done.

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Photo of pixieskid
3.31/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a thin off white head.

Strong sweet notes up front with a fairly milky consistency.

Mild notes of chocolate and coffee, with a dominant nutty characteristic throughout, strong sweet malt and again a distinct milkiness.

Another Tucson favorite that is good every once in a while, but is somewhat lackluster; probably due to the over consumption of it.

A simple beer that when fresh is quite enjoyable and easy drinking for the higher abv.

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Photo of Sixofsigmas
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep rich brown opaque color, nice initial head, seems to have faded to black almost(or brown as the case may be).
Nose has notes of vanilla, dark roasty malt, booze, maybe spice?
On the front end there is a sugary vanillaish brown sugar/molasses taste followed by darker malt and most definitely bourbon on the back end with a nice little boozey warmth.
Mouthfeel is unexpected. Hits you with the light body, but by the end it feels medium bodied. Not overly carbonated. Oily feel.
Drinkability is not as high as some. It's a sipper meant to be enjoyed. The high alcohol will make you pay for drinking too many of these.

Pretty impressive for the style. One of the best English strong ales I've had.

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Photo of femALEist
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Old Monkeyshine- My sister had a bottle of this one in her fridge already and I was looking forward to drinking some local Tucson brewed beer from Nimbus Brewing Co. It poured a deep teak brown with a hint of red. It smelled like light vanilla, light roast and a bit caramel-y. It tasted light at first, then a nice roasted malt with bourbon notes come in and leave a little burn. Medium carbonation. Very drinkable. I was looking on their website and apparently they have a bourbon barrel aged version of this, at least at the brewery. I wish we had made it out to the Brewery as our visit to the Barrio Brewing Co seemed a bit wasted.

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tall glass.

A: Deep ruby with hints of brown, a thin bodied off-white head that diminishes but still sticks around and laces fairly well.

S: Darkly roasted malt and just-shy-of-burnt American grains, hint of chocolate and darkly browned sugar.

T: The initial taste is something like a red stout (I don't think this actually exists but it seems to fit as a description) with brown sugar and roasted malts, even a bit of burnt character. Shortly the taste veers away from stout-like track it was on, and a hard-wood taste briefly shows its face before the whole thing turns into a warm black currant, raisin, rum, and nut bread taste that fades away evenly. This last set of flavors isn't as intense or luminescent as seen in an Old Ale or Barley-wine, but it is there just the same.

M: Smooth and full bodied, not quite worthy of being called "velvety" but on the way.

D: For an ABV over 8, this is a very drinkable beer. Not overpowering, but still flavorful.

Overall: I really like this style because it is nearly but not quite many other styles. Almost like a "jack of all trades but master of none" for old/strong ales. This example is a good one, and worth trying to you can get a bottle.

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Photo of Arsenal04
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured mahogany with a two finger, very frothy head. Lively carbonation emanates from the body of the beer. Nose faintly picks up melted caramel and cinnamon oatmeal which disappoints only in that I would love to have had these two aromas violently collide against my senses. Hops are in the background, again faint to the nose. Raisins, cherries are dominate the taste which is accompanies the malt and finishes with a delicate touch of hops that disguises the alcohol well. What I notice is that the aftertaste is mainly caramel, which doesn't please me that much since I don't find that flavor to work well with the initial raisin/cherry taste. That said, it is a pleasure to have this after a very long day because the malt/hop balance along with the interesting flavors makes this ale symbiotically dance across my palate. Having one or two max would be a pleasure on any random weeknight; any more would be a bit risky due to the ABV. Thanks goes out again to bennetj17 for the hookup...

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a 12 ounce bottle and into my nonic Imperial pint glass. The ale appears a hazed rich copper chestnut color with two fingers of creamy off white foam. Aromas and flavors are of rich roasted grains, deeply caramelized malt, nuts such a hazelnut, hints of brown sugar, a bit fruity. The ale falls somewhere between medium and full bodied with adequate carbonation. Pretty tasty stuff.

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Photo of arizcards
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle at Total Wine and More in early April for $1.29. Beer was bottled in February 2009.

Beer poured mahogany with a good off white head that is leaving lacing behind. Nose is sweet, dark fruits and heavy malts. Taste is sweet, very malty, dark fruits, dry hop finish. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin but decently carbonated. Overall drinkability is pretty good. The abv is well hidden. This is a decent beer at a good price. Would try again.

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Photo of snpub540
3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a brown hue that had amber highlights when held up to the light. Very clear and very little carbonation. Head was about 1/8" and eggshell colored and left moderate lacing on the glass.

Smell was all malts. Bready and toasty. Not alot else goin on in there.

Taste was very much all about the malts. Roast flavor of coffee was there as well as bread, with a slight nuttiness. The finish had some piney hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and the drinkability was good. Even with the 8ish % ABV its a semi session beer if that even makes sense.

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Photo of armock
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to NitroGen for sending this my way.

A - Poured a brown color with copper highlights with a tan head that leaves some lacing

S - Is of caramel malt and some dark fruit

T - Has a more roasted caramel taste with a touch of dark fruit

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - A pretty good beer that has an interesting taste that pretty enjoyable worth trying sometime

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Photo of HalfFull
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass with a deep reddish brown color and a half inch of off white head. Offers only moderate retention.

Lot of nutty roasted malts on the nose similar to many English Ales. Not as clean and crisp however, and I assume there are more unfermented sugars here which effect the volatility of the nose, and I later find, seem to mask the ABV to a large degree.

Moderate malts continue to the taste, somewhat complex with caramel, nut, brown sugar and a touch of dried fruit. A sweetness envelops it all making the flavors a bit difficult to ascertain. The same sweetness, certainly not overdone, helps give the beer a smooth feel. Finishes dry with a quick close. Good carbonation and richer in body than most ales of the style.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My brother in law raves about this stuff, as he is from Tucson. Pours dark brown, almost looks like a porter. Aroma of toffee and caramel, with some dried fruits. Taste is dominated by alcohol, then the sweet malt and caramel flavors come through. Earthy finish. Decent beer, don't think I could have more than 2 at one time. Like Tucson, more is not better.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got this brew from tayner. Thanks Dana!

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - murky brown color with a thin beige head that left some spotty lacing.

S - sweet caramel malt and date/fig in the aroma.

T - sweet flavors of dark fruits and caramel malt with a gentle warming from the alcohol.

F - medium bodied with a very mild carbonation feel.

D - it goes down good.

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

First had this stuff on way to Mexico from Tucson in 2001. I was warned not to have more than 2 if I was going to Mex. Had it with GREAT tex-mex style chili. After #2, I could see why they warned me about no more than 2..strong stuff!
I really enjoy its hearty flavor and kick. As an old fart, (i'm 67), ive had a LOT of beer over the years and its (in my eyes) worth "smuggling" back to NYS where I live. (Nimbus brewery wont ship it...too bad)

I dont get hung up on all the nuances of beer..if it tastes good, I will drink it..

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Photo of bennetj17
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Realized I hadn't reviewed the bottled version of this yet, and someone left half of a six-pack in my fridge so might as well. Chocolate brown color, kind of murky, with not much for head. The smell has notes of caramel, chcoloate, warm cinnamon raisin bread, and a toasted nuttiness. Not bad, a decent bouquet.

The flavor is sweet with tangy fruit, lightly dry with a grassy bitterness to finish things out. The malt doesn't seem to have much complexity as the smell would suggest. Not bad. medium body, sharp carbonation but not foamy. Light syrup-like slickness.

Not too impressed, but it works. I could really see it being a more cold weather beer, something to warm you up a bit. It does pack a decent ABV although I couldn't really taste it. Worth a try...

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Nimbus Old Monkeyshine from Nimbus Brewing Company
3.81 out of 5 based on 200 ratings.
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