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Stickee Monkee | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Stickee MonkeeStickee Monkee
BA SCORE
4.47/5
Outstanding
2,602 Ratings
Stickee MonkeeStickee Monkee
BEER INFO

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

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
It has been said that the only constant is change and the same is true for barrel-aged beers. Cut from a similar recipe, this barrel-aged Quad evolves and shows a different face each year; a result of time spent aging in the barrel. 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; toasted oak, coconut, leather and rich cigar tobacco.

Added by ThreeWiseMen on 11-07-2010

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#146
Reviews:
312
Ratings:
2,602
pDev:
8.05%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
634
Gots:
1,199
Trade:
114
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,602 |  Reviews: 312
Photo of Sammy
3.94/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of acurtis
3.9/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of jaydoc
4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a clear copper color with a 1/2 inch foamy khaki head that fades to an oily film on the top of the beer. Small dots and streaks of lace drip back into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, and banana. Taste is of malt, brown sugar, sticky toffee pudding, and bananas covered in caramel. Awesome flavors on this one. This beer has a good carbonation level with a crisp and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good barleywine with lots of complex aromas and flavors. I am very glad I was able to try this one.

 613 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

worth the hype, more of a barleywine than a quad though, although i suspect thats what they are getting at by calling it a central coast quad instead of a belgian one, but it exhibits a whole lot more barleywine to me. nevermind definitions and classifications though, this is insanely good beer. deep but royal red/brown in color, like good root beer in shade, but super thick and viscous, sticky as taffy, and not very carbonated, but it doesnt need to be. the nose on this is all grain, caramelized malt sugars abound, with notes of toffee and butterscotch, raisin, plum, fig, molasses, honey, and bourbon right from the bottle. its intensely boozy, but in a refined and intentional way. i get the malt layering expected in a quad, but the lack of any real belgian yeast character in the flavor puts this squarely in the barleywine world for me. scorching sugars and vanilla bourbon predominate, but it never really ends up all the sweet considering how much sugar is in here mid palate. oak mellows it for sure, and the booze cuts it well i think. layers and layers of grain nuance keep coming, i absolutely love it. i was so sad to have missed the bottles when they came around, so i am thankful to hops and pie for giving me the chance to finally try this one on tap. its worthy of its high praise, very firestone walker too, very barreled and big, just delicious big beer here. a musty try, more interesting than sucaba i think, but thats just me.

 1,454 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of Knapp85
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out as a deep brown color with a thin white head on top that fades rapidly. The smell of the beer is sweet with over ripe fruits, some bready notes, and some barrel in there too. The taste of the beer is sweet and fruity with some lingering depth to it. The feel is medium bodied and does come off feeling a bit sticky. Overall it's a solid Quad. I dug it.

 363 characters

Photo of nmann08
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.17/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of biboergosum
4.39/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

1L howler from Sherbrooke Liquor store, and obviously the best format in which to appreciate this particular offering firsthand, eh?

This beer pours a clear, dark orange-brick brown colour, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and well-bubbly tan head, which leaves some decent melting ice floe lace around the glass as it slowly but surely sinks away.

It smells of rather sweet brown sugar syrup, bready caramel malt, slightly biscuity toffee, dark fleshy orchard fruit, vanilla-forward Bourbon notes (with some wood and rye graininess), subtle milk chocolate, a touch of besotted yeast, and very tame earthy, leafy, and floral hop bitters. The taste is still fairly sweet, with the big caramel/toffee malt one-two punch, some now molasses-like dark sugary character, heavily creamed coffee, somewhat laid-back Bourbon (and no change on that vanilla stranglehold), muddled black Mediterranean fruit, a growing omen of alcohol ingress, and some hoppiness that left without closing the damned door.

The bubbles are adequate in their barely supportive frothiness, the body a solid medium-heavy weight, and pretty smooth, if you maintain a certain cognitive dissonance about that well north of 20-proof, behind the scenes booziness, and getting creamier as things warm. It finishes sweet, yeah, and sticky, sure, and bereft of monkeys, but somehow moderated overall.

Holy mother of all that is holy (ok, HOLY SHIT!), is this good, no, great, no, no, no - freaking fantastic! Not in a world-beating manner (because that would mean that it's on par with Westy 12 or Rochefort 10), but because it seems to be defining something different, maybe the 'American Quad', i.e. big and sweet, but level, with lots of (obviously) sugary fruitiness, and yet sans the old castle basement musty and phenolic stuff. Whatever, this is so enjoyable, I'm going to have to sign off now before I really embarrass myself!

 1,912 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.35/5  rDev -25.1%
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

 4,526 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
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

 1,113 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of oline73
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of zeff80
4.56/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out an opaque, dark brown color with a small, tan head of foam. It smelled of bourbon, dark dried fruits and toasty malt. Rich boozy flavor with hints of malt, dried fruits and toffee.

 191 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into chalice; 2016 vintage, bottled on 4/19/2016. Pours fairly hazy/cloudy deep ruby red/brown color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of raisin, plum, fig, date, cherry, apple, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, molasses, brown bread, vanilla, coconut, bourbon, and toasted oak; with lighter notes of banana, pepper, clove, chocolate, tobacco, leather, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/earthy yeast, bourbon barrel, and dark/bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, fig, date, cherry, apple, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, molasses, brown bread, vanilla, coconut, bourbon, and toasted oak; with lighter notes of banana, pepper, clove, chocolate, tobacco, leather, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Light yeast and bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark fruits, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, molasses, brown bread, vanilla, coconut, bourbon, toasted oak, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, bourbon barrel, and dark/bready malt sweetness; with a nice malt/yeast/oak spiciness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Slightly drying from bourbon/oak spiciness as well. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/silky, and lightly sticky/chalky/grainy/tannic balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden; a mild warmth lingering after the finish, with zero barrel booziness. Overall this is an outstanding barrel aged Quadrupel style. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, bourbon barrel, and dark/bready malt sweetness; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV. Awesome barrel balance/integration with the base beer; and well rounded yeast/malt complexity. A highly enjoyable offering.

 2,043 characters

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Stickee Monkee from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.47 out of 5 with 2,602 ratings
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