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Shipyard Monkey Fist IPA | Shipyard Brewing Co.

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Shipyard Monkey Fist IPAShipyard Monkey Fist IPA

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co.
Maine, United States

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by puboflyons on 04-25-2012

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Reviews: 149 | Ratings: 1,023
Photo of womencantsail
3.08/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear orange color with a tall off-white head. The nose is grassy and a touch vegetal. Not off to a good start. Some sweet malt in the form of bread and toffee. Light citrus peel on the finish. The flavor is also somewhat vegetal and grassy. Fairly bitter, a touch of metal, and some bread. Straw, light toffee, and some toasted malt. Really just an unimpressive hop profile and beer.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
3.1/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Hazy pure amber color. Thick and foamy beige 2 finger persistent head with some nice activity.

Sharp aromas of fruity citrus and toasty bread like. Strong highly bitter flavors of smoky orange peel and clove. Slightly missing some freshness.

Medium slick body with average carbonation. Strong and long mouth puckering and astringent finish. Powerful smoky bitter mouth coating of cloves and orange.

Overall : It's like chewing an orange peel, interesting taste but way too bitter.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.11/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Flatbread Pizza in Portsmouth NH.

A: Monkey fist was a dark amber/copper color with a small off-white head that had decent retention and left some thin lacing.

S: A little bit of citrus, rather nondescript though, a little orange. There was some caramel and a little bit of bread.

T: Not as hop forward as I was hoping, they seemed a little faded really. The caramel was forward with the light citrus and grass taking a back seat.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O: Was hoping for a bit better, it was just ok. Have had pale ales that are hoppier, including one earlier the same day I had this beer.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.11/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

473 mL can picked up at the LCBO. It's not every day that you see a new American craft beer on the shelves here, even if it is just Shipyard. Served slightly chilled.

Pours a hazy copper-amber colour, topped with just over one finger of frothy, off-white head that leaves a ring of sea foam-like lace in a rim around the edge of the glass as it gradually recedes. A bumpy cap and thick collar remain - this is a good looking ale, but the aroma doesn't exactly scream quality. It is intensely lemony, to the point of where I am more reminded of dish soap or hardwood cleaners than beer. It's, uh, distinctive I guess; quite fragrant and flowery, with some bready malts and caramel buried beneath the far more dominant hops.

Fortunately this tastes ok, though I still wouldn't consider it as good as many local alternatives. The malt backbone is a little thin, offering up a touch of caramel and toasted biscuits that are quickly lost in an onslaught of lemony citrus and pink grapefruit hop bitterness. The finish is quite bitter, which is nice, but it also has a lingering, musty quality to it that hangs on into the aftertaste. The alcohol isn't immediately noticeable, but it can be detected in the astringent finish. Medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation that gives this one a bit more of a bite than I prefer from IPAs of this heft. Not very drinkable, due to the abv and high astringency, which exhausts the palate rather quickly.

Final Grade: 3.11, a C+. Monkey Fist IPA is a passable brew, but I'd be surprised if I return to it any time soon when I can think of like 10 or more Ontario-made IPAs that I'd prefer. The flowery, lemony hops do not work very well when used with such aggressiveness - they virtually strip the taste buds, and that fact combined with the overall 'cleaning product' vibe it gives off really doesn't encourage me to consume more than one of these. Not the greatest use of shelf space, but at least it's not another Euro lager.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.11/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Been busy and going through plenty of notes. Had this one 2 weeks ago I believe. This is yet another entry in the hot and upcoming series - Free Beers From Worrrk.

Pours into a pint glass a hazy darkish orange. An off-white head retains pretty well leaving some lace on the way down.

A bit of a weak scent, some earthy and light fruity hops with some bready and sweet malts, okay strength.

Taste is a slight improvement but pretty much average east coast IPA. A bit of hop bitterness, but mostly overrun by toffee and caramel malts. Hops bring some earthy, light grapefruit, grassiness. A bit of biscuit malt in the finish.

Mouthfeel is pretty smooth and full with lowish carbonation.

Not bad, but nothing about this will enthrall you methinks.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.11/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A disappointment from a brewery who's previous beers I've enjoyed, so one I will purchase again from a different year/batch.

Can pours a hazy golden amber with a minimal ecru coloured head that disappears quickly, but leaves a fair amount of lacing. Aroma has a medicinal, metallic pong with a hint of hop resin. No balance and the medicinal nature truly overpowers all other elements. The flavour is also harsh, with an abrupt transition from sweet to bitter overlaying rotten grassy tones.

It may be a bad can, or it may just be me and an inability to enjoy whatever is in this central hop portfolio, but I rarely dislike beers this much. And I had high hopes for this one...

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Photo of GoldHorde
3.15/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

What expectations am I to steel myself for when opening a bottle of an IPA labeled "Shipyard Monkey Fist IPA"?

Googling "monkey fist" gives you four views:
a) rope knot used for lifting heavy weights
b) nautical 18th century rope knot used as a sailor's weapon
c) rope knot used in tavern/pub brawls
d) a marine lifeline between lifeboats; used as a unity symbol in the hobo community

Well ok, so it is not open to a diverse wide view definition. One can ONLY assume the soul of this beer lies withing the culture of navy sailors, merchant mariners, longshoremen and the corresponding hardy brawls fueled by rum are staked out somewhere in this beer. I picture Martin Scorsese's "Gangs of New York" staking racist hearts at Five Points here rather than Marlon Brando's union thugs fingering greedy labor monies in "The Waterfront".

And, oh yes, the beer...

POUR: Amber haze
AROMA: Musty malt
HEAD: Two fingers fading with respectable lace
FLAVOR: Musty, long held in a hold somewhere
AFTERTASTE: Hop kick hangs and rings thru the musty malt like a ship's bell calling for boarding.

Can't say I'll have it again - but I'll remember it!

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Photo of curasowa
3.16/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear, copper color with one finger of head that fades with chunky lacing.

Aroma: Sweet malt, a little butter and a subdued hop aroma, mostly an earthy, woody smell with some lemon rind notes.

Taste: Here and gone before you know it. A bit of malt, some bitterness and then a fast and fairly clean, for an IPA, finish. A nice, full body upfront with a with an almost creamy mouth feel, then a strong kick of spicy hops before the quick finish.

The Rest: I'm not really sure how i feel about this one. It has a great, full-bodied malt base, which I like in an IPA, but the hop profile isn't very interesting. Decent, but not great.

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Photo of RobbDogg
3.17/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark amber. Starts with a creamy feel and mild hop fruit. Ends with a long bitter aftertaste. My wife didn't hate it, which usually means it is not a spectacular IPA. A solid, drinkable offering that I would try again in the absence of better draft offerings.

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Photo of tubeboy
3.17/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber with a small head that settles quickly. A hint of citrus and grassy hops with an overall American style IPA smell. The smell drops off quickly like the head though. I appreciate the beer in the mouth with a bitterness you would expect but the aftertaste is almost like grapefruit rind. I love a highly hopped beer but this finish is too much for my tastes. This beer has a nice body to it and I enjoyed the contrast with the head while it lasted. I may give this beer another chance if I find it on tap.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.19/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this chilled into a mug from a 12oz brown botttle

The color is deep amber with significant haze and thick cream with very good retention and fine bead. The smell is very piney/fruity with slight hint yeast with citrus accent, there is a light band-aid tinge. The feel is tangy, astringent with medicinal and high amount of carbonations with malt support and light spicy dry finish.

This has more of an English IPA flavor with yeast tangy aspect both fruity and piney up front in the hop flavors yet slight caramel from the malt with astringency and medicinal qualities coming through near the end and grassy pine tinged hop flavor leading to a more astringent and band-aid-like flavor near the end. The beer is not horrible but not great, just consider the source and I give it a fair rating since I am familiar with the brand so I did not expect a west-coast hop bomb, but it has a lot of off flavors so only try this if you are curious

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Photo of tekstr1der
3.21/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Draught. Pours deep amber with big clingy white head. Mild hoppy nose is matched by rather boring, slightly skunky taste. Underwhelming hoppinessess. This is on my don't-get-again list.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.21/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a murky medium golden orange in color with some creamsicle colored highlights and light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation. The beer has a three quarter finger tall slightly creamy beige head that slowly fades to a very thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate amounts of yeasty (Belgian) aromas with much lighter amounts of citrus hops and pine hops.

T: Starts out with a moderate amount of pale malts and just a bit of sweetness. Next there are light to moderate amounts of citrus/lemon and pine hops. Moderate amounts of lingering bitterness. Moderate amounts of yeast as well.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly sticky in the finish.

O: This is an OK beer but tastes a little more like a Belgian IPA than an American IPA - though that might be because of the yeastiness.

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Photo of SPThirtyThree
3.21/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

A: Pours 3 fingers of khaki head atop a copper orange, hazy beer. The cap settles in large, lacy globs.

S: Pine and citrus. Sweet and spicy, with notes of juniper, pineapple, caramel, raisins, and fig. Biscuity melanoidins are present, but also more harsh fusels, and I think also a hint of diacetyl. Warrior hops. The smell is good cold, but develops unpleasant notes at warmer temperatures.

T: Not as sweet or fruity as the nose suggested. It's fairly dry, with a sharp astringency from the hops. The first few sips taste just like eating a hop pellet, but thankfully, halfway into the beer, the flavor improves, as sweet, malty backbone finally peeks through.

M: Bitter, from the start through the aftertaste. Medium body, somewhat creamy.

Overall, the beer looks and smells delicious, but the taste is a letdown. It's harsh and unbalanced. It's definitely drinkable, but not memorable.

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Photo of stella77artois
3.22/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 bottle poured into Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - Pours a dark amber, with a shade of red. Light red-amber when shown to light. A little on the flat side, took an aggressive pour to get a decent head. A good looking beer, though.

S - Genral hoppiness and bittnerness. Hint of sweet malts. Notice a bit of grapefruit and a unique chili powder/red pepper aroma. Not a bad smelling beer.

T - Not as good as the taste. Not neccessarily bland, just very average. The general bitterness is more straightforward. Don't notice much from the hops. Slightly sweet malts. Not much going on.

F - Drinkable and easy on the throat and tongue. But the blandish taste doesn't help with the mouthfeel.

O - A very run-of-the-mill IPA. Not offensive, nor neccessarily bad, just not that good. Pretty bland for an IPA. Nothing really begs for it to be drank again. I'd drink this again if it were offered, but I won't buy it.

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pick up one of these as a local new beer to try.

Poured into my pilsner glass, not sure why i chose it but there you go. The beer is pale amber in color with a dense white head. As I move it around the head floats and remains.

The aroma is sweet spicy hops with hints of caramel malts. The aroma isn't over the top but very pleasant.

The taste is a a classic english style ipa. The flavor is an initial burst of earthy hops. The hops remain and there is a spicy flavor that pokes in as the beer finishes. The end is bitter but is smooth. Not my favorite ipa but a good example of the style.

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Photo of mactrail
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear amber in the tall glass with a big head. A light floral scent with some lime peel. Hops in the nose with more of a resin smell. Quite light bodied with lots of carbonation. Very tart on the tongue and a little woody or astringent.

Very distinct grapefruit in this one, though less of the terminally bitter peel. Citric and slightly sweet to complete the grapefruit flavor. The aftertaste is just like chewing on grapefruit section membranes, and lasts long after you've finished sipping.

To me, it's more drinkable than a lot of IPAs, but it's a lighter style for sure. An unusual variation that wears thin for me. 22 oz bottle from Litticker's in Ocean Beach.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This poured hazy and darker orange with a fat head of off white foam that fell slowly enough and left some lace. Nose is pungent and bitter herbs with some dankness like marijuana. It had some sweet lemon peel very deep within it but the stiff herbal was dominant in the nose. The malt came across with a little sweetness in the nose and some nuttiness as it warmed . Bit of orange finally came out and some muted earthy pine.

Taste is bitter and grassy, pungent herbal with only a faint touch of spice. The dominant fruit is grapefruit and the pine is earthy and muted. Earthy all the way with some grapefruit pith and bitter, the rind of that fruit and some tart citrus overall. The malt never realized a significant caramel sweetness but did offer a bit of nutty flavor that seemed sour to me. There is orange but only as the beer warms quite a bit. The mouthfeel is good. A nice bit of malt to give some moderate mouthfeel, good carbonation to tickle and excite the palate and a bit of hop oil and resin to coat the palate . There is a bitter on this that is actually medium but appears pretty sharp because there is not any sweetness to contrast it.

This IPA had a balanced approach to it's body that was noticeable. The malt did it's best to stand firm against the powerful hops character but the hops won.

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Photo of LiquidPoem
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice golden amber color with a decent sized bubbly head. Lots of lingering lace as sipped. It's brewed with Warrior, Glacier and Cascade hops apparently, all of which blend together well in the aroma field; Sweet and flowery but with a bit of skunk too. The first sip was kind of watery but as the beer warmed slightly more flavor appeared. It has a lot of hop character and resin but still seems kind of watery to me. Not overly bitter, kind of peppery on the tongue. Overall this is not a bad beer by any means but nothing I found to be exceptional. However it was thoroughly enjoyed for what it was.

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Photo of KarlosT
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer at the Amesbury Beer Festival on Sep 22 2012.

Most of the beers were served from bottles into small 3oz plastic pixie cups.

Although I took notes on the 20+ different beers that I tried, it is difficult to remember all of the details associated with each beer. My apologies to readers of these notes. However, I did pay attention to my overall scores, and noted what I thought were unique positives and negatives w/ each beer.

Note that for me:
< 2.5 = probably would not finish the beer
3.0 = drinkable beer, but likely would not buy again or look for
>3.5 = will try to buy again in the future

Liked the hops, but found it just a bit too bitter for my tastes.

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Photo of argock
3.26/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. No decipherable freshness date. Gifted from my neighbor Walker.

A: Very deep amber/copper with ample 1-finger of frothy beige head with good retention and a nice cuff of lace around the tops of the glass.

S: Aroma is light and balanced malt versus hops. The hops have a very piney, herbal aroma, sharp. The malt is light caramel and a little buttery, toffeelike.

T: The flavor is not bad, a lot of dank hops flavor especially in the finish. The was a pretty solid dose of caramel maltiness, bordering on too sweet. The hops don't have a lot of other character, they are pretty one dimensional. The finish is a little cardboardy and overly bitter.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. It has a slightly thick but slick feel.

O: Not an absolutely terrible beer with only the over dank and cardboard in the finish. The hops are not very well highlighted and are not too interesting. I would skip this in the future.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

473 ml can served cold into a pint glass. Purchased from LCBO for $2.75 CDN.

Appearance - slightly hazy orange and copper coloured beer. A finger and a bot of rocky head and a plethora of effervescent bubbles. Good retention and nice spidery lacing around the glass.

Smell - plenty of citrus and some sweet caramel underneath. Almost a bit of a banana aroma in there too. The nose isn't quite as pungent as I would like.

Taste - creamy flavor kind of a vanilla or caramel that dominates up front before going to banana and milk strangely, before a rush of very bitter citrus and pine flavours take over.

Mouthfeel -really creamy at first, then the carbonation goes away and the beer finishes incredibly dry. The creaminess is interesting, but offset by the extreme dryness.

Overall - some different things going on, the creaminess and nearly milk flavor is arresting, otherwise pretty conventional. I feel like this could be really good, but the two contrasts, the creaminess with hint so milk and bananas just can't be in harmony with the dry finish and citrus taste. Work a try if just for a different feel on this style.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep bronze orange color with a gigantic eggshell head that lasts forever. Masses of lace and foam patches coat the glass on the way down. The smell is dominated by banana, fruit yeast esters with some bakers yeast and some citrusy hops. A bready, butterscotch, fruit ester flavor dominates the hops in the taste. Green apple with some grapefruit, The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and moderately carbonated. Light bitterness and fruit esters in the shortish finish.

This is a very low hopped American IPA using something other than a California ale yeast (absolutely no info on the can, not even hop verities used). Lots of esters, not much hop presence. A pass unless you like an English type IPA.

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Photo of Beertsipper
3.31/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Copper color with very small head. Smell of citrus, hops, herbs. Taste is grapefruit, lemon, caramel, toffee, bread. Finishes a little dry. Heavy mouth feel. I've had better in this style. Not my favorite.

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Photo of DJED69
3.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Let me start by saying I have always found Shipyard brews a bit underwhelming. Usually fair, unexciting versions of a particular style. So, when a friend dropped off a few Monkey Fist IPAs and raved about it, I was hoping for something out of the norm. This beer is solid. Best Ive tried from Shipyard. Has a great hop nose. Really looks good in the glass. Copper color and decent head. First taste. Hmmmm. Where is all that hoppiness that smells fantastic? Ok, again. Bitter and there are hops. Malt too. As the beer warms I find I'm enjoying it more. Bitterness still present, but now hops and malt are evening out. Definitely a bit more English vs American in style. Reminds me a little of a Yards IPA. In the end, I enjoyed this one. Drink it cool, not cold. Would revisit a fresh batch as mine was near end of enjoy by date. Recommended.

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Shipyard Monkey Fist IPA from Shipyard Brewing Co.
3.45 out of 5 based on 1,023 ratings.
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