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: 150 | Ratings: 1,034
Photo of EgadBananas
3.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a very pretty dark mahogany. Light tan head of 3 fingers, fluffy, leaving lacing like a champ.

A slightly caramel malt forward IPA, with some flowery and spicy hops and a bit of mintiness.

Nice bitterness here, with some floral hoppiness, caramel and also some spicy hops.

Creamy, slick feel, some crispness with a medium body.

Shipyard can sit on shelves, but when it's fresh, it's definitely tasty enough.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.41/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22-oz. bomber into a pint glass. About two fingers of head. Color was copper. Thick, white, cloudy lacing on the top that stayed healthy throughout. Nice looking wet, sporadic, spongy film on the sides of the glass that lasted throughout the beer.

Smelled of spicy hops, something I’m pretty sure I’ve never said. Got grapefruit, pepper, smoke and light caramel. Also got butter, which is never a good thing for me.

Luckily it tasted different than the smell. Nothing really stood out though. It was like they were missing an ingredient. The hops were definitely there, grapefruit still probably in the lead, but not overwhelming. It followed with light spicy butter and ended with a very bitter finish. That being said, the taste grew on me as the beer went down.

Medium body. Creamy, oily texture. Average carbonation. Bitter finish.

This beer was all over the place to me. Really enjoyed the look, wasn’t a fan of the smell, initially didn’t like the taste, then it grew on me and the feel was about the same.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Dislike the new system, btw. Not that anyone cares.

A - Murky orange, small near white head, some cling.

S - Malt, orange essence.

T - Yum. Big malt, huddled in by appropriate hops. Feels bigger than it is.

M - Medium body, great carb and balance.

D - Very drinkable.

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Photo of Roguer
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Second try on tap, different location. A little bit warmer than I prefer.

A - Dark, reddish copper. Thin head (less than a finger), reasonable carbonation.

S - Strong hints of grapefruit, a nice balance between sweet and bitter. Little else.

T - Bitter and mildly sweet grapefruit, very well-balanced against some caramel malts. Definitely not a bad flavor, but it's a stretch to call it "outstanding."

M - Not a beer I wanted to chew on (despite the citrus notes). It wasn't a bad mouthfeel, it just occupied an uncomfortable middle ground where I didn't feel like drinking it quickly, but also did not feel like allowing it to linger in my mouth.

O - Not a great beer at its typical price point; usually if this is on tap, a better IPA is also on tap. It's absolutely worth a try; it reminds me of a less hoppy, less malty Stone (similar flavor profile, just less of everything).

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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 TheSixthRing
4.08/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a semi-hazy, orange amber with an off-white, 2 finger head. Excellent retention, resulting in a lace that's incredibly thick and with supurb stick.

Smell - Notes of apricot and citrus hops, with a subtle caramel undertone.

Taste - Starts with citrus and floral hops with a strong caramel malt underbelly providing an even balance throughout. Midtaste a touch of orange pith creeps in and tilts the the balance toward hop bitterness all the way through the finish and into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body, but soft and smooth on the palate. Almost creamy, and entirely drinkable.

Overall - Drinks much closer to a hybrid American/English IPA, with a soft mouthfeel and a good balance of malt sweetness to hop bitterness. Frankly, I'm miffed by the cumulative score this beer gotten here on BA. Yeah, it's not your classic American hop bomb, but it displays excellent balance, a nice, layered flavor profile, and a smooth, soft and entirely drinkable mouthfeel.

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Photo of Omnium
3.79/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Pours a rustic yellow color, solid 1 finger head, good and thick with nice lacing.
S - A sweet hint of malt mixed with some strong hop smells, pine and floral being prominent, as well as some wheaty flour
T - Big bitter hops, some citurs, the flour taste is present here, not awful but different.
M - Bitterness hangs on to your pallate, but has a medium feel.
O - Not bad, I dont know why some people hate shipyard, they're a solid brewery to me, and this is a different, but good offering from them.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.61/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pouted into a 13 oz tulip, no bottle date. Pours a bright orange red, with a one inch sticky white head, plenty of lacing. Smell is orange, pine, grapefruit, bread, and some carmel. Taste is all of that, with lots of grapefruit in the finish and as always the ring wood yeast taste, that isn't my favorite. Body is medium large, plenty of life, a touch dry, and very easy going down. This a solid offering, please use a different yeast strain some day.

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Photo of TerryW
4.13/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow! This is hands down one of the best smelling beers I've ever come across. Well done and worth a try just for the sake of its aroma. Very bright citrus with a nice musky sweetness. Sexy.

Good looking too. Moderate head gives way to a heavy film that provides very nice curtainy lace. Slightly hazy orange amber in colour.

Solid citrus to taste, very nice fruity hops, bitterness offset by firm malty sweetness. Lingering dry bitterness. Well made.

Quite impressive overall. Everything hangs together beautifully. Definitely worth a try.

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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 far333
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear burnished bright copper colored with an orangey off-white thick and dimpled head that lingers very long. Low aroma of grapefruit, mint, orange rind and honey.

Flavors of sharp hops, full of ruby grapefruit, orange pith, piney notes, and an understated malt backbone. Pine lingers. Assertive bitterness.

Full mouthfeel, tingly, slight warming. Overall a tasty beer, very hoppy without the typical fruity or buttery flavors lent by the house Ringwood yeast. Much cleaner profile than I expected.

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Photo of larryi86
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A- A clear amber with a two finger off white head.

S- Citrus/grapefruit, herbal/tea notes, some wet grass, pale malts.

T- Close to the nose, but getting more of the wet green/onion flavor, getting some pine in the finish that helps make this better.

M- Fairly smooth, medium body.

O- Not bad, but I have had a lot of better IPAs. I wouldn't pass if it was given to me, but I don't see myself buying it again because there are plenty IPAs that I like better that I can find easily.

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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 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 mick303
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Really attractive colour, honey brown with a bit of ruby highlights, very hazy, great retention and lacing. 3.75
S- lemon, herbal hops, with a definite tropical edge, guava!! And passion fruit, papaya. Oozes tropical fruit goodness. 3.75
T- more tropical fruitiness, guava and passion fruit predominate, some dry nuttiness coming on the end, some raspberry, bitterness is balanced by the tons of fruitiness. Shows some crystal malt especially on the end. But this gets quite sweet.
M- a ton of scrubbing carbonation and creamy filling feel. Good pleasing full feel, lot of drying on the finish, rind like dryness. Feel is really frothy actually, not a big fan of this.
One of the more tropical and fruity IPAs in awhile, this really struggles to keep that in check, the syrupy sweetness and fruitiness mashes against the bitterness but they never really come together, it is a messy IPA with an overbearing tropical character and a cloyingly crystal character. I was initially impressed by this but then the beer started to give me a headache with how unbalanced it is, the piles of tropical fruit and crystal malt is a lot of sweetness to counter and the beer never really gets its act together, a bit overly carbed as well. I would say this is one that could be passed over, because there are so many amazing IPAs out there.

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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 shand
3.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint.

Shipyard has been hyping this up as something different for them, a distinctly Americanized IPA as opposed to the more English variations they previously offered. It looks the part, pours out a hazy orange-amber with a bit over a finger of head. The aroma is very balanced between hoppiness, caramel malts, and the distinctive Shipyard Ringwood yeast. The taste is bright and moderately hoppy at first, and then quickly takes a 180 where the caramel malts are introduced. Then herbal hops are present, with the slight butteriness that runs under all the Shipyard beers. The flavor is gone very quickly, with very little except just a bit of citrus lingering.

The mouthfeel is light and briskly carbonated, and the drinkability is decent. Overall, it's just an unremarkable IPA. Fans of Shipyard's house taste would probably find a lot to like here. I can take it in some beers, but in an IPA, the buttery flavor is just something I really don't want to deal with. It's better than I expected though. With all the exceptional IPAs out there, I doubt I'll give this one a second look.

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Photo of Act25
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

In the New England trending toward English style IPA.

A: 1 finger off white head on a deep reddish amber slightly hazy body. OK lacing and retention.

S: Even at cask temperature, too laid back with first caramel malts, then piney hops providing a citrus and earthy feel.

T: Follows smell, but more ample with piney, earthy, and grassy hop flavor. Malts are nicely represented. It's a bar beer.

M: Nice feel, good weight... medium body and moderate carbonation.

O: Piney IPA, full flavored. Well balanced.

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Photo of scotorum
2.48/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

My experience was similar to one of the reviewers below who I think compared the taste to what one might imagine the taste when drinking nail polish remover.

I don't know what happened to this brew but it was so weirdly chemical-tasting that I drainpiped its butt after a few toxic sips. I speculated to myself that the monkey mentioned in the name might have just removed polish from her nails before thrusting her fist into the vat.

Perhaps that's how this one ages. More likely, there was a bad batch. All I know is it was unpalatable.

I didn't do my review in the usual BA format because I didn't want to belabor this tragedy, just explain why I gave it the lowest rating of anything I've reviewed so far on BA. I may eventually at least sip another to confirm whether I just got real unlucky with this particular example, which seems likely since most others here who have tried it have not been nearly as distressed by the taste.

Shipyard, I LOVE your Prelude and Chamberlain ales. But WT Monkey Fist F?

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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 Mikecap
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap again last night at Doherty's East Ave and figured it was time to give it a proper review.

Appearance: Poured a copper color with a two-finger whitish head that disappeared quickly. Decent lacing, carbonation clearly present.

Smell: Very piney for an East Coast IPA, also hints of citrus and maybe grapefruit. Decent aroma for an IPA but nothing memorable.

Taste: Goes down pretty easy with citrus notes but it is definitely somewhat dry in character and not overly refreshing. There is some sweetness present from the malt and fruity notes that improved as I worked my way through the glass.

Mouthfeel: Not too heavy and more medium-bodied with a bitter mouthfeel throughout. Very solid feel and a good balance between bitter, sweet, and smooth.

Overall: Definitely not my favorite but certainly a solid offering from Shipyard and a good interpretation of the American IPA style. For the price, I would definitely drink again.

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Photo of DovaliHops
2.96/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden amber color with a small white head that disappears quickly. Scent what I was expecting from a Shipyard beer...a whole lotta nothin. It blew me away when I tried XXXX IPA on draft and could hardly detect any hop profile. This one struggles with the same issues. Somewhat spicy notes that unfortunately remind me of Pumpkin Head. Light caramel malt. Taste is a notch up above the nose, but not much. This really isn't that good. Just bland with a drop of hop resin and a dash of lemon juice for the citrus. The lingering bitter flavor is the best part of this IPA. Mouthfeel is light bodied and nicely carbonated. Drinkability is mediocre, as it is tolerable...but would much rather drink at least 20 other IPAs that I can grab at my local BevMo (and I live in Fresno, where we get the shittiest distribution out of anyone). Overall, the spice notes remind me of Pumpkin Head, and the hops are extremely lacking. Shipyard disappoints, once again. Disclaimer: I really root for this brewery, as I try everything they put out with hopes that they step up their game. I really like Smashed Pumpkin, and that's about it. C'mon Shipyard!

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Photo of taez555
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Sea Dog brewpub in Northborough MA.

Pours a hazy opaque tan body with small white head.

Nose is nice a resiny and malt.

Taste is medfull bodied and very rich. Immediate big hop and resin grapefruit taste with firm caramel malt backbone. Lots of citrus rind, lemon, grapefruit peel, etc. Very bitter with a strong but balanced backbone. Ends with a lingering bitterness.

Nothing crazy, but a very solid DIPA. Id gladly have this again

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Photo of StoutElk_92
3.69/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours orange-red. Smells malty and hoppy. Tastes like caramel malts and tangerine grapefruit citrus hops. Slightly herbal and pretty malty. This is an unbalanced IPA that I appreciate, because it has just the right amount of hops to balance out the malty sweetness. One of my favorite Shipyard beers.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.02/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the LCBO $2.95 for a 473ml can.

Enjoyed in a standard draught glass at 5deg C

A- Excellent unfiltered IPA. Pours well with not much head but a nice film within a minute

S- WOW the citrus shines through. Sensational

T- Bitter bite off the hop then the citrus peel and hops come to life. Definitely quite a few different hops in this one. Not much cascade but a lot of other bitter hops.

M- Pretty good! Nice dry bite with excellent carbonation contrary to the lack of head

O- Very good. Looking forward to another of these. Good thing I bought 2!

Food Pairing

This wonderful IPA paired very well with... BBQ'd sausage. My nice home made hot Italian sausage paired very well with this hoppy light IPA.


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Shipyard Monkey Fist IPA from Shipyard Brewing Co.
3.45 out of 5 based on 1,034 ratings.
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