Stickee Monkee | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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99
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2,439 Ratings
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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:
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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,439
Reviews:
272
Avg:
4.46
pDev:
8.3%
 
 
Wants:
638
Gots:
1,149
For Trade:
115
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Ratings: 2,439 |  Reviews: 272
Photo of Sammy
3.94/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of acurtis
3.9/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of GRG1313
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of jaydoc
4.53/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
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 spycow
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
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 djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of Knapp85
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of nmann08
4.12/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.17/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of biboergosum
4.39/5  rDev -1.6%
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 -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

 4,526 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

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

 1,113 characters

Photo of oline73
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of largadeer
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at City Beer Store. Clear hazel color with low carbonation. Big toffee and vanilla aroma, slight butterscotch, a lot of barrel. Heat is reigned-in. Palate exceeds the nose, showing a nice balance between barrel heat and rich toffee flavors. Full bodied, with light tannin and alcohol in the finish. Finishes very nicely, extremely smooth and palatable. Side by side with Abacus this was slightly better.

 410 characters

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

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

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Stickee Monkee from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.46 out of 5 based on 2,439 ratings.
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