Stickee Monkee | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Stickee MonkeeStickee Monkee

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

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

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: 242 | Ratings: 2,223
Photo of BucannonXC5
4.57/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Type: 22-oz. bottle
Glass: Karl Strauss 26th anniversary tulip glass
From: Trader Joe’s in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Price: $13.99
Purchased: May 23, 2014
Consumed: March 26, 2016
Misc.: 2014 vintage

To say I’m excited to review this one might be the understatement of the millennium. Picked this up awhile back with Rachel at Trader Joe’s. It was the last one available and I had never heard of it. I tried a taster of it on June 11, 2015 at Blind Lady Ale House and gave it a 4.5 on Untappd and just wrote: Taste. Wow. I don’t have any recollections of flavor and anything else, so this will be from scratch.

Poured a mahogany color with two fingers of khaki-tan, fizzy head, which dissipated rather quickly. Average spotty lacing on the sides of the glass. Average retention. (Sight - 3.75)

Smelled big whiff of boozy bourbon right away, followed by oaky wood, Belgian candied sugar, coconut flakes, vanilla, dried tobacco and toasted brown sugar. Hidden behind the booziness is some fig, dates and raisins, more leathery tobacco and sugary caramel. (Smell - 4.25)

Tasted just amazing. Instantly remember how good this thing was. Got smoother bourbon than the nose, but still boozy, warming all the way down to my legs. Also Belgian candied sugar, sugar cane, oaky wood, leathery tobacco, toasted brown sugar, maple syrup, sweet caramel, boozy chocolate syrup, vanilla, coconut flakes, plum, fig, dates, dried raisins and cocoa. (Taste - 4.75)

Full body. Sticky texture. Lively carbonation. Long, boozy, warming finish. (Feel - 4.75)

Loved this one. Haven’t put together the overall ratings, but might be the best Firestone beer I’ve ever had. Battling neck-and-neck with Sucaba. (Overall - 4.75)

4.57 | 100 | A+

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Photo of enrique_m
5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

look dark amber, little head, short lived cinnamon color head.
smell: dark fruits, vanilla, molasses .
taste: mexican capirotada hands down.
feel: smooth, full bodied, very flavorful.
overall:a lot of flavor and definitely the best quad i have had.

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Photo of raynmoon
4.68/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage.

Super hazy, murky, dired date/ fig color with minimal head.

I can smell this beer and I'm several feet away from it. Smells like a dried fig, soaked in bourbon, and covered chocolate. Oak comes into play as well. Awesomeness.

The taste follows just as the nose states, but follows with a ton of coconut and maple syrup. The oak and maple flavors linger at the end.

Very sweet, but so, so good. Some of the banana-like esters have seemed to have faded since the initial release.

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Photo of brureview
4.49/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 Vintage. Aged two years.

I am convinced: FW barrel aged beers are wonderful beers to cellar. I don't drink them fresh anymore.

Poured a dark chocolate color with a 1F head in a Stone RIS glass.

At first, the aroma seemed fainter than other barrel aged beers from FW: Sucaba and Parabola.
deep chocolate, but not pronounced.

The taste is incredible: deep layered chocolate. More chocolate than other FW barrel aged beers.
Intense milk chocolate, with other chocolate flavors. Also tobacco. This comes in gradually.

The MF is not carbonated and smooth. This changes with time. The sharp hoppy bitterness comes into play with warming.

Sipping is a must with this beer. At different temps, different qualities. The chocolate gives away
to a deeper tobacco like flavor with warming. The oak starts to come in and eventually is present in the aroma.The bitterness becomes more and more intense.

Great beer! The best way to drink this beer is to savor it at different temps, noting the changes in flavor and bitterness.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Chestnut brown with a few tan trailers. 3.75
Barrel, hot buttered rum, brown sugar, and a bit of ash. 4.5
Maple syrup, raisin, Marmite, coconut (?!) fig, vanilla, and the slightest spice. 4.25
Slightly caramelized onion end and buttery finish.
Medium to full, chewy, round. 4.25

While there’s the port-like, dark fruit notes of a Quad, Belgian yeast character is low. The barrel is there but subtle. And suntan lotion? There’s a fascinating tropical note running through this. A monster of a beer I wish I could spend more time with. 4.25

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.4/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. 2015 vintage.

3.25 A: Dark brown, almost black color. Less than one finger of short lived, fizzy beige head formed. No lacing left.

4.5 S: To start, you have to have a creative mind to call this a quad. This is very much a big, sticky FW amalgamation reminiscent of one of their anniversary beers. That said, the barrel is the forefront of the nose, which isn't surprising given that Belgian beers and surely quads live in subtlety. Toasted coconut, oak, vanilla, and leather stick out. Moderately boozy. Sticky grenadine, spicy peppery Belgian yeast, candi sugar, brown sugar, molasses. Dates, black currants, raisins, tobacco.

4.5 T: No surprises here. It's just as sticky and rich as it smells. Tobacco, leather, dates, and black currants are the strongest flavors. Toastiness, cherry juice, brown sugar, molasses. Again moderately boozy. Spicy peppery yeast.

4.25 M: Heavy, heavy body. Good moderate carbonation. Very sticky with sugary amylase bunching in the back of the throat.

4.5 M: It's not a great quad, but it is a great beer. It seems more like a huge mesh of a bunch of different beers. Quite nice.

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Photo of aleigator
4.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Stickee Monkee '15 vintage

The beer pours a hazelnut brown color, with brighter ember hints in it. Yields a small, fizzy head, which won't rebuild after excessive swirling.

The nose offers a tremendous amount of Bourbon soaked oak, spicy, warm, full of coconut and earth mingled vanilla. This gets coated up by rock sugar, toffee and caramel, exhibiting a profound sweetness, gently balanced by the multi layered barrel. The nose finds an additional layer in roasted, warm nutshells, licorice and wild honey.

Drinks with just the required amount of carbonation, subtle, yet well accentuated, preventing the beer from sticking to the tongue, keeps it going with a lot of nuances becoming detectable on the palate. Provides a silk, not overly thick body, ensuring the sugar rush to maintain enjoyable.

Tastes of earth coated, melting toffee, a subtle spiciness, more earth and a nice roast quality, enriching the malts. As the Bourbon gets introduced to the palate, more spices unfold, entangled into rock sugar and a pleasant, slick coffee dryness. While this produces a rich sweetness, it does by no means overpower the beer's overall taste profile, tamed and enriched by the well pronounced Bourbon. Finishes with a noteable bite within the otherwise complete silk mouthfeel, representing a warming, still enjoyably balanced Bourbon peak. A dry spice bitterness represents the introduction to the beers finish, with rock sugar and melted toffee remaining detectable, showcasing a clean, yet appealing ending.

This may be the most complex, well nuanced sweet beer I've ever had. At first, I've been disappointed by its thinner mouthfeel, then I started to undertand its benefits. The palate reacts more sensitive to peppery Bourbon, the utmost silk mouthfeel and changes within the malt sweetness, without becoming sticky or cloying. Nontheless, this is still a sipper, a pleasant one though.

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Photo of TheCuriograph
4.08/5  rDev -8.3%
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 SeanMNCraftBeerLover
4.49/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very smooth for 12.5%, split with my father law when my daughter met her great geandparents. Poured into a Westy 12 glass, and drank roughly 16 oz over a hour period to let the temperature warm up throughout the night.

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Photo of beergoot
4.17/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Front Range BBQ (advertised as at 13.4% ABV)...

Ink black with a wispy ring of foam. Dark fruit aroma; plums and dates. Dark, smokey malt flavors; earthy spiciness; black licorice. Heavy body; semi-sweer finish.

Oh, yeah! Well-rounded and robust, especially in the taste department.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.22/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into tulip. Batch 1, bottled 4/18/14.

A: Pours a deep cola brown with a finger of bubbly dark tan head that quickly disappeared into a thin collar.
S: Sweet nose with tons of barrel quality. I get notes of leather, raisin, candied dates, black figs, red grape, and a touch of caramel and bitter hop resin. Booze is noticeable but not rough at all. Super sweet and sugary smelling.
T: Follows the nose with all of the flavors from the nose along with the addition of vanilla and tobacco leaf in the finish. Leather, sweet grape juice, molasses, and boozy barrel quality dominate. I get nuances of dark chocolate and cocoa as well. The finish is lightly bitter, and notes of candied sugar, caramel, vanilla and grape linger long after the swallow. I get a touch of roast throughout, and a very low alcohol presence. For being 13%, the alcohol is hidden very well.
M: Full body, thick and chewy mouthfeel, with low carbonation. Very sweet overall, and there’s a thick alcohol quality but the booze isn’t warming.
O: The flavor profile is more like a barreled aged barleywine mixed with a quad. Ultra sweet as per the description. Another complex sipper from FW, but this was far too sweet for me to finish a whole bottle of in one sitting.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.13/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Far brown in color with a very murky complexion. No light penetrates this beverage. There's a fingernail of beige around the rim. I smell loads of sweet dark malt, bourbon, plums, and raisins. I taste an onslaught of dark malt, alcohol, plums,figs, and bourbon. The mouth is thick, chewy, and dry.

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Photo of jakecattleco
4.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2015 batch into a tulip glass. Pours a mahogany brown with a tiny ribbon of quickly dissipating white head. Sweet aromas, caramel and toffee, with hints of prunes abs perhaps a little vanilla. Tastes a tiny bit sweet, caramel and raisins, and a hint of alcohol. A little thin with good carbonation. Very enjoyable!

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Photo of Zonk
4.59/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost black with decent khaki head that holds up well for the ABV. Rich aromas of toffee and fig and caramel. More of the same on the palate, with noticeable oak and some cigar box (cedar?). Pushes the envelope in sweetness, the alcohol is noticeable without sticking out. An excellent beer although the style is more "FW Barrel" than quad,and the rich sweetness and oak definitely over power some of the quad characteristics.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.66/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Looks dark brown with a reddish tint. Smell is raisin, burnt sugar, oak, bourbon. Taste is raisin, figs, dates, burnt sugar, oak, and bourbon. All amazingly balanced to make a damn fine beer.

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Photo of svenness
4.4/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage

L: Very dark brown, sparse tan head
S: Alcohol, toasted/charred oak, dark stone fruits, burnt sugar
T: Bourbon barrel character, vanilla, coconut, raisin
F: Full-bodied, a little carbonation prickle, sugar sweetness masks the moderate alcohol burn and light bitterness
O: Very well made and very enjoyable

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Photo of BIll_Currie
4.78/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Finally got some of this. It took awhile to track down but they had it at a bar in the Venetian. Was worth the wait. Smell was outstanding. Very smooth.

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Photo of TheElectricOne
4.51/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber ($18.99) into a nonic:

Appearance: black. Small, dark brown head, but it has some solid retention, lingering for a few minutes. This is impressive at almost 14%.

Aroma: tons and tons and tons of barrel. Reeks of wood. That being said, its not a rough smell, like tobacco and's soft and sweet, with lots of candy and molasses in the background. Incredibly soft and welcoming. Smells like it's got some boozy punch behind it for sure.

Taste: not much heat at all, surprisingly. Flavors are, like the aroma, soft and subtle and emerge further as the beer warms. Started drinking this one at around 40 degrees, and it got better and better as it reached cellar temps. Lots of molasses, burnt sugar, and caramel to begin with. Finishes sweeter and with some dark fruits as well, like fig and date. The barrel definitely creates a unique quad-much different than the Trappist quads in flavor.

Feel: thick and syrupy, this is definitely more of a sipping beer in terms of drinkability. Heavy body, with not much carbonation. The softness, however, is a plus in my book, as it lets the subtle flavors packed into this beer come out more easily.

Overall: if you are looking for a traditional quad, this is not the beer to drink. It doesn't have yeasties, that lovely purple-auburn color, or the fluffy head that comes with Trappist quads. It does, however, have tons of flavor, and is an incredibly delicate and complex beer. Seek it out and crush it!

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Photo of kojevergas
3.35/5  rDev -24.7%
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 ruzzal
4.55/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Just took out a 15 and then a 14. 15 blew me away. 14 was about after 7 more reguar beers. 15 was way better. Usually being a few in makes all great to me. Sont know if it is year version or agong, but 15 ruled. Im just recent in the aging thing.

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Photo of corby112
4.01/5  rDev -9.9%
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 Bfarr
4.13/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Burnt brown and foamy brown head with good retention for 13.4%. Oak, licorice, and bourbon vanilla aromas. Flavor follows the aroma with additions of molasses and cocoa with a warming alcohol flavor. Fairly thin, slick mouthfeel.

Huge alcohol but not hot and a mellow sweetness that unfortunately increases and becomes a little overwhelming. The alcohol balances it out somewhat but it's not quite enough. As long as you're not taking in the whole bottle yourself, you should be fine.

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Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.43/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark burgundy with ruby red, no head
S: Caramel, brown sugar, red apple, bourbon, charred oak, dates
T: Sweet caramel, bourbon, vanilla, dates, red apple, brown sugar, oak, coconut
M: Medium heavy, carbonation keeps this really easy to drink
O: This is a fantastic English barleywine and I would love to compare this to other FW.

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Photo of OrangeMen
4.61/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2015 vintage
7 months since bottling

Appearance- Pours a deep plumb color, brownish black w/ ruby red hues. Fine layer of lighter tan colored head, soapy. Lots of alcohol legs cling to glass, some head lacing too.

Aroma- Rich, sugar. Caramel, molasses, maltiness. Vanilla, toasted coconut, oaky barrel spice. Dark fruits of plum, raisins, figs. Sweet, mellow bourbon.

Taste- Dark fruit sweetness, plum, raisin, cherries. Toasted caramel, brown sugar, toffee, molasses. Tons of vanilla and toasted coconut. Spicy tobacco, leather, slight barrel char and sweet bourbon notes.

Feel- Full bodied, syrupy and coats the mouth, tons of sweetness. Lower carbonation.

Overall- Barrel adds such a depth of character to the beer, so many different flavors to pull out with each sip. Base beer is very sweet, tons of sugar and rich sweetness. Vanilla and coconut from the barrel marry so well with the base flavors. Charred oak, tobacco, leather, spice, just all add complexity in a great way. A+ in every way.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.06/5  rDev -8.8%
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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Stickee Monkee from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 242 ratings.
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