Stickee Monkee | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Stickee MonkeeStickee Monkee

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A Belgian Quad by recipe, but aging it in spirits barrels garners its own category: Central Coast Quad. A beer formulated to sit on the sweeter and malty side so that we could utilize it for blending. Turbinado brown sugar from Mexico adds wonderful molasses flavors that are reminiscent of Belgian candi sugar. It has a full body and lush texture with barrel expression all over this beer: toasted oak, coconut, leather and cigar tobacco.

45 IBU

Added by ThreeWiseMen on 11-07-2010

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Reviews: 259 | Ratings: 2,369
Photo of kojevergas
3.35/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Currently #92 in the Top 250 and the 4th highest rated quadrupel in the top 250. As this may well be my favourite style, I'm excited to try it - but wary given the brewery, whose beers that are well regarded by most tend to disappoint.

PRESENTATION: 650ml brown glass bottle comes in a cardboard box, imitating fine whisk(e)ys. Crown cap is covered by black foil paper. 2015 vintage no. 002.

3500 cases produced. 28.6 plato O.G. 7.7 plato F.G. 22 IBUs. 67.5 SRM. Brewed with Lucha Libre yeast. 12.5% ABV.

Reviewed live as a barrel aged quadrupel per the label. Served chilled into an Orval goblet and allowed to come to temperature over the course of consumption.

HEAD: Cap is a nice looking khaki-tan with ample creaminess. Appears soft and luscious; very inviting. Good (thick) consistency, with a nice shining complexion. Recedes evenly, leaving no lacing. Retention is superb at this high an ABV - easily ~5 minutes. It's not the delicate, fragile, rich head of the very best Trappist examples of the style, but it's definitely quality.

BODY: Uncommonly dark for the style, coming in at a solid black. The deep auburn hues of traditional Belgian offerings are definitely more sightly, but this is excusable given the barrel aging. Though the absence of visible yeast particulate does make it seem less alive.

It appears well-carbonated and I find it attractive, but it's not in the upper echelon of the style in terms of looks.

AROMA: Turbinado sugar is put to good use here, indeed mimicking the aromas of Belgian candi sugar. But mimicry is mimicry, and this is a notch below Trappist quads to be sure. The barrel aging does add interesting notes of leather, coconut, faint oak, vanilla, and backgrounded tobacco true to Firestone Walker's claims on the box. But what gets buried by the barrel is the heart of a great quad - the dark fruits. There are appearances of sugarplum and fig, but they don't shine vividly or expressively, and any dates or raisiny notes get drowned out by the barrel - though the barrel isn't loud and doesn't clash with the beer per se. High sweetness is showcased, lacking the dialed-in characteristics you'd find in a Trappist yeast-fermented quadrupel. More raw than refined, the sweetness needs work.

This suggests a beer intended to cater more to barrel aging fanatics (aka the American audience) than appreciators of tradition, but that's fine - and boy, is that barrel aging interesting.

Aromatic intensity is moderate. No booziness is betrayed, nor are there any off-notes.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Creamy and leathery in both feel and taste, but it's lacking in terms of the delicate fragility you'd find in the very best beers in the style. The leathery feel does play somewhat to the barrel aging's strengths, coaxing out notes of vanilla, oak, and some tobacco - plain and unsubtle though they may be. The coconut from the aroma never appears, and the barrel character isn't horribly deep or intricate, nor is each constituent note particularly vivid or expressive.

Dark fruits are displaced as the heart of the beer by overt sweetness from the turbinado sugar, which does a nice job at imitating Belgian candi sugar but never quite fits the bill wholly. There is some faint buried dark fruit character - mainly plum, but it lacks depth of flavour. This definitely pales in comparison to Trappist quadrupels, and the yeast attenuation seems off. Maybe the sweetness would be quelled with time.

It's smooth and wet but not silky or velvety, and soft on the palate but not to the degree that the best beers in the style are. Full-bodied without being boozy or overbearing, albeit a bit overcarbonated.

The mouthfeel - like the brewery - prioritizes the barrel notes over the gestalt whole of the beer, to its detriment.

OVERALL: A quadrupel for fans of barrel aging, Stickee Monkee is far from amongst the best beers in the style, but it does cater neatly to its niche. Traditionalists will find it lacking in many respects (and many will note that its lack of Belgian yeast characteristics and adequate dark fruit notes make it barely a quadrupel at all), and it lacks the astonishing drinkability of Trappist paragons of the style, but many will enjoy its American leanings. At this price point, I'd much sooner reach for a Westvleteren 12 or St. Amatus, but it's nice to see American breweries making the style their own - even when it comes at a cost. Still, #92 in the Top 250? Please...

Does get better as it warms. I'd pour it at cellar temps.

B- (3.35) / WORTHY

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Photo of charlzm
3.39/5  rDev -24%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Consumed June 2nd, 2014 from a bottle purchased at FW Barrelworks in Buellton. Poured into a small snifter.

Dark brown liquid with obscure deep garnet highlights. Beer has virtually no carbonation and as a result no head to speak of. Only the tiniest little ring of foam around the crown. Disappointing.

Aroma is strong and redolent with cane sugar and booze. Faint dates and chocolate. Not bad, but also not delicious.

Flavor is moderately sweet with a cinnamon note. Some bitter wood and hot spirit notes. Toasted coconut. Mild milk chocolate. Lacking in the expected bready character.

Mouthfeel is still and thick, leaning towards cloying. The low carbonation has really done this beer in.

A rare miss from Firestone Walker; the elements are there, just not in a pleasing balance. An incidental note: I have had this one several times on its own over the years, but never reviewed it. However, it doesn't seem to be very different from how I remember it.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Strong Ale

A: The pour is a dark amber color, perhaps leaning towards brown, with a tan head.

S: The usual sweet, sugar notes of a barleywine are here. I get brown sugar, caramel, and toffee, but there's a weird nuttiness to this beer that seems out of place.

T: This tastes like almost like a really creamy nut brittle with extra nuts. There's a fair amount of alcohol presence as well, a touch of oak, and some good vanilla notes.

M: The body is medium with a nice creaminess and a low to moderate level of carbonation.

D: This was a weird beer. In fact, several of the blending components for FW14 aren't all that great, but somehow they make a delicious final product.

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Photo of spykespnoypbg
3.6/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

2015 Vintage, taste was way too sweet for my palate. Forced myself to consume 6 ounces then drain poured the rest. This is my second least favorite offering from FW.

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Photo of anteatr23
3.68/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark and creamy with no discernible head. Smells of coffee, fig, and raisins. Taste is boozy molasses, sweet, apple and some light bitterness. Definitely dark fruits. Complex beer with a lot of flavor and a lot going on. This is a sipper. All in all this might be a bit much for me personally. I appreciate the style, but it's not going to win me over except maybe in the dead of winter in front of a fireplace.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.69/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- almost black color, decent size head that dissipates quickly
Smell- dark fruit, spices
Taste- dark fruit, spices
Mouthfeel- medium bodied
Drinkability- I thought it was pretty good but I usually don't like to drink this style. Every once in a while I try them.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.72/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Brief write-up at ChurchKey. Heard a lot about this, that's for sure. It smells like a great barleywine (not a quad), with plenty of dark fruit, brown sugar, and vanilla. The taste is similar - think Sucaba with more dark fruit. Actually, a LOT more dark fruit. Stickee is right: this is a sweet, slick feeling brew, though the oak tannins give the palate some breathing room. A rock solid barleywine, but it doesn't live up to the hype. Personally, I think it's just too sweet - 4 oz is perfect for me.

3.72/5: I prefer Sucaba myself

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Photo of retry4z
3.75/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

High malty-sweet aroma of maillard product, caramel, toffee, toasted bread crust, sweet chocolate. No hop aroma. Large perfumy, rose-like, and spicy alcohol aroma bordering on solventy. Moderate presence of fruity esters, including figs, raisins, and plums. Light vanilla as well as light oaky and woody notes.

Deep coppery-brown with deep garnet hues. Slightly hazy. No head.

Medium high complex sweet malt flavor with deep caramel and toffee. Bitterness is medium low, and the finish is moderately sweet but not overly syrupy. Esters are medium low with raisins and figs.

Full, syrupy bodied with low carbonation and high alcohol warmth. No astringency, but there is an alcohol bite.

A dark ale with a complex and rich, smooth malt profile, dark fruit flavors, and spicy elements.

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Photo of jethrodium
3.8/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Toronado. Pours a dark reddish amber with a small white head that settles to a ring and leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is big caramel, some brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla, some plum, and a bit of brandy. A hint of of alcohol, but not much. The taste is sweet with caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, plum, and some bourbon. The finish is warming with a little alcohol apparent. Big, full bodied beer, but not syrupy. Low carbonation.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.9/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I first bought a bottle of Monkee in summer 2014 in Peekskill, NY, and wasn't impressed. Then had the 2015 version on tap at City Tap in Phila in June'15.

The color is a shiny mahogany with no head or bubbles. The nose is soft, with some toasted nuts, brulee honey, sugar, smoked coconut and chocolate.

The taste follows the nose, with oak, ashtray, brown butter, diacetyl, vanilla and condensed milk. Sweet, but not as much as I remember it to be. Barrel, Scotch.

Mouthfeel is adequate but not superb, finishes a tad thin. Syrupy around the edges. Low carbonation.

Overall: drinkable in the six-oz pour I got but no more. Better than I remember, but I'd still take Sucaba any day.

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Photo of timc100
3.95/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2014 vintage visited after a year.

Has a nice firestone walker aroma of toasted oak, coconut, some vanilla cream, dark caramel, burnt sugar, some graham cracker. Overall a very barrel heavy aroma.

On the palate it is a bit thin and fizzy, flavors are not carried out to their richest potential. A lot of burnt sugars and toasted barrel.

To my memory, this fresh was incredible, not sure if this is an off bottle.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.95/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep brown body. Small khaki head with a thin collar.

Smell - Nutty. Bourbon. Molasses and brown sugar.

Taste - Surprisingly more interesting. Nutty right up front. Very sweet. It has a nice fruitiness to it. Gets a little bit bitter in the back end. Boozy sweet finish.

Mouthfeel - Boozy. Sweet as hell. Heavy body. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Quite enjoyable. A slow, sipper of a beer, of course, but worth the alcohol and sugar investment.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.95/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rich sugar, wet oak, alcohol, dark fruit, light caramel, and mild Bourbon in the scent. Strong oak, Bourbon, caramel, maple, tobacco, sugar, dark fruit, mild alcohol and a touch of grain on the finish. The body feels a little light and oily, but the low carbonation leads to a slightly higher drinkability.

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Photo of garyloveman
3.99/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I guess quads aren't my thing. this seemed like I was drinking syrup. Pour was nice, cranberry color. Smells of bourbon and molasses. Super sweet, too sweet, smoky flavor. Heavy, syrupy mouth feel.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.99/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a very dark crimson color. Head is essentially nonexistent. Despite an aggressive vertical pour, I only get a short-winded, quickly deflating head. Almost zero lacing.

S-Decadent, rich and sweet. Concentrated bourbon, booze-soaked raisins, dried wood. Very sugary with lots of caramel.

T-The flavor is resoundingly sweet but the barrel's influence balances to the sugars. It's not overly Belgiany, which I truly don't mind. Specifically, I get flavors of molasses, caramel, roasted nuts, boozy dark fruits. Lingering oakiness that also dictates much of the flavor.

M-It's so well made, it somehow tiptoes around the 'cloying' description. Rich and sugary and hot. Has a warm, dry finish. Soft carbonation. Could use a bit more body.

O-Not as complex as some of Firestone Walker's other specialty beers. It's still, a really neat take on a style that I am far from enamored with. Even if it isn't my favorite from this brewery, it's one of the best Quads I have had.

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Photo of DrinkThemAll
4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2016 Release. 22oz bomber. First experience with Stickee Monkee.

A-Poured a Dark brown, with little rays of light coming through. Mild carbonation with a slight tan head.

S-brown sugar, molasses, slight notes of bourbon and bread. Very light and sweet.

T-molasses and brown sugar. Slight hint of bourbon and oak. A tad sweet, maybe coconut. Very mellow and sweet. Dessert beer.

M-light bodied, with minimal carbonation. Bourbon and brown sugar up front, slightly dry finish. Extremely drinkable beer.

O-This was a very balanced and drinkable beer. A little light compared to others of the style, but a solid beer. Would definitely drink again, but would prefer Trappistes 10 for the price and availability.

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Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a snifter. The brew appears a clear mahogany color with an off-white cap that holds fairly well fading leaving patchy lace. The aroma contains notes of sweet caramel and toffee malt. A slight kiss of bourbon is present across the back. The taste is reminescent of raison and plum. Caramel and toffee round things out with a yeasty spiciness. This is medium bodied and modestly carbonated. A fine sipper and good representation of a barrel aged quad. Id drink it again if the opportunity presented itself.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 2014 Vintage bottle. 13.4% ABV, "the only true constant is change," is very true with this brew. Though it isn't that different from the sample I had on tap a few years back. Pours a very nice, deep brown, 1/4 inch head, no lace.

The nose is filled with barrel, booze and sugar. Plum and Port in the background.

Dark fruit is quickly followed by the sugar when I first sip, wood appears around the middle, along with sweet raisin and mild cigar. The finish is boozy hot with some dessert wine. The body has a moderate thickness, perfect carbonation, and a bit of heat.

I bet this would age very well! I'm a fan of the 2014!

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Photo of newbeeraday
4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very sweet for a quad. Legs for days it's insane! Like a bland barrel taste with sugar with raisons, kinda mehh on that aspect. Very dark brown in color.

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Photo of corby112
4.01/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque dark chocolate brown color with mahogany edges and a two finger beige head that quickly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Surprisingly good retention given it's style and ABV with sporadic streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Sweet, slightly boozy aroma with a nice barrel character that's decently integrated into the leathery malts, dark fruit and sweet molasses/brown sugar notes of the base. Charred oak, toasted coconut and vanila bean along with boozy bourbon and brandy sweetness. Underneath the barrel, there's some leathery tobacco, dark fruit, toffee and caramel. As it warms the sugar really starts to stand out.

Lighter body than expected and not quite as complex as the nose suggests. Again, there's a strong barrel presence but it's nicely integrated into the malt, vinous fruit and Mexican sugar flavors. Strong oak presence with a decent amount of dry char and sweet boozy heat. Slightly smokey with leathery malts, tobacco and vinous fruit, notably fig, date, raisin and other dark berries. Toffee, caramel and burnt sugar adding more sweetness. Some boozy heat in the finish but this beer drinks very easy considering the high ABV.

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Photo of Zorro
4.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown colored ale with a small brown colored head.

Smells strongly of brown sugar and plums. Strong caramel and vanilla scents. Scent of black licorice. Faint sour strawberry scent. Fainter scents of coconut and chocolate.

Starts out sweet with a taste of strawberries and caramel. Coconut and vanilla flavors. Faint banana flavor. Taste of Brown Sugar and Rum.

Mouthfeel is thick.

Overall good but on the sweet side.

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Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2014 vintage

Appearance: A hard pour into the sniffer produces a short-lived inch of foam that leaves some dots on the side of the glass; the liquid is root beer-colored and translucent

Smell: Bourbon barrel tones intermingle with brown sugar cookie dough, nuts and caramel

Taste: The brown sugar cookie dough flavor brings sugary sweetness to the taste receptors at the front of the tongue, with the Bourbon tones building, along with the caramel and the nut aspects, in the middle; hot and sticky, after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation; considerable warmth in the gullet (not surprising given the high ABV)

Overall: I am not going to touch the quad/English barleywine debate on this beer but will just look at it on its merits; for all the malt and barrel treatment here, the beer lacks the complexity, in my view, to merit the high scores that it has achieved; some of the scoring has to do with the brewer's reputation and, while this is a good sipper, it is not among Firestone Walker's best; it might be interesting to see how this ages once the heat diminishes

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.06/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not the sexiest pour, brown, muddy, ruddy, thin head. Smell was of sugar, molasses, I can already see why this is called 'stickee'.

Taste, nice sweet, insert diabetus jokes if this was a Bruery beer. Kinda boozy but with all that sweetness, is all good. I don't know how much of a quad it is, but i like it. Similar to a Bruery anniversary beer but without the age and leather to it.

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Photo of TheCuriograph
4.08/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stickee Monkee pours the same burgundy as a traditional quad. The nose is dominated by vanilla extract and brown sugar. There’s a little fig and plum, but mostly the Monkee smells like a particularly smoky bourbon. I note on first sip that this isn’t far removed from the bourbon-y barleywines in Firestone Walker’s catalogue. Yes, there’s a stronger raisin presence, but overall we’re talking Russell Stover butterscotch. To my taste, Stickee Monkee is too sugary to be enjoyable. A quad is already larded with malt, heavy on candi sugar, and spiked by tangy yeast, so to then age it in bourbon and brandy barrels seems, well, excessive. The heavy feel and heavy burn match the taste and aroma.

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Photo of Retsinis
4.09/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Short story. It was my wife’s birthday, and we were on our way back home in the San Fernando Valley from San Manuel casino. Neither of us still haven’t had a chance to go to Verdugo Bar, and we made a detour on the way home to check it out. Unfortunately, I didn’t know they don’t open until 6 p.m. so that was a bust. Since it was 4 p.m. we opted to go to Tony’s Darts Away, and were glad we did, as they had this on tap.

Knowing that this is a component to the Anniversary beers, and rarely goes on tap by itself, I was excited to try it.

A: Served in a snifter, roughly a 6 to 8 oz pour. The beer is a hazy brown, with a orange/copper hue. Lightly carbonated, just a ring of thin tan bubbles along the edges of the glass, with no discernable lacing.

S: Great layered scents of vanilla, sweet roasted barley, toffee, light oak, and buttery bourbon. Heat is present, but this smells great.

T: Mirrors the nose, and no surprises. Blended nuanced flavors of vanilla, lightly roasted caramel barley malts, some toast, oak, and toffee. Smooth sipping, quite nice.

M: Sweet, lightly carbonated, full oily to buttery mouth feel.

O: I took a good 30 minutes or so smelling and sipping on this one. I thoroughly enjoyed this, more so than Abacus personally. I hope they bottle this one too at some point, as it has more of that bourbon vanilla I like, and less of the dark fruit notes.

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Stickee Monkee from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.46 out of 5 based on 2,369 ratings.
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