Monkey King Saison Farmhouse Ale | New Holland Brewing Company

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Monkey King Saison Farmhouse AleMonkey King Saison Farmhouse Ale

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Kerrie on 03-05-2013

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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 489
Photo of woodychandler
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of the reason for the existence of the Bottle Backlog at Chez Woody is my frequenting the FGBS here in Lancaster, PA. They not only have the county's best selection, but their singles section is enticing to the point that I am constantly buying new things to drink & review. This is a prime example.

From the bottle: "Monkey King and his band of winged monkeys carried Dorothy's group to Glinda's South Country, where they discovered their paths home."; "A soft, medium-body saison with subtle pepper character and fruity undertones,"; "Pairings: shellfish, spiced cheeses and citrus-laced vinaigrettes."

I was reading the BJCP style guidelines since I am not a huge fan of Saisons & I wanted to do this right. According to them, "[c]larity is poor to good though haze is not unexpected in this type of unfiltered farmhouse beer." Knowing that, I decided to do some in-bottle agitation before Pop!ping the cap. Once I had it open, I started a fairly aggro pour, but it was unnecessary since the head was foaming up almost uncontrollably. I backed off and watched as it formed a massive three-finger cap of foamy, fizzy, bone-white head that slowly fell, leaving nice lacing in its wake. Color was a hazy Straw-Yellow (SRM = > 2, < 4). Nose had a funky lemony tartness & now I was intrigued. Mouthfeel was medium, but incredibly soft on the tongue, which was quite surprising, given all of the carbonation. The taste had a light peppery spiciness and a light fruitiness, almost like bananas. Had I gotten a Hefeweizen/Saison hybrid? It was certainly different, but not what I normally get from a Saison. Finish was semi-dry, with the spicy esters from the yeast being the primary contributor.

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Photo of Bear1964
4.43/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer starts out by looking great when poured into a glass, 3 finger bubbly white head sit atop a bright Golden brew. The aroma holds some spice and a tart green apple smell, taste follows with a refreshing tartness and a spicy forefront with hints of clove. Light mouthfeel that's easy drinking but with a lot of flavor going on, the tartness and bubbles work very well for a beer that's good anytime.

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Photo of Oopssorryy
4.04/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear pale gold, with one of the best head formation I've seen in person. It's thick, tightly packed, and frothy all in a perfect white coloration. While the head does dissipate a tad, I've still have a good half inch of head near the bottom of my glass. The lacing is spotty, but where it does lace, it does so thickly. You can watch small streams of carbonation rise quickly to the top of the beer, to join the head through out the entire drinking experience. This beer smells very sweet, in a floral sort of way. There is a bit of a sour note I can detect, along with what I can only describe as caramel. Interesting a in such a lightly colored beer.

As the packaging eludes to, you are hit with a wave of peppery spice, that is amplified by the biting carbonation. You do gets notes of fruit in the beginning, but these are largely wiped away by that huge spice profile. Once you swallow you get a swell of the fruit flavors that die off quickly again in favor of a more earthy quality. It finishes quite dryly on this earth like note, and leaves no flavors in mouth.

The mouth feel is the real let down for me. While it compliments the spice qualities in the beer, it's extremely invasive, and biting. With just a little less this could have been an extremely easy drinking brew, but as is, it's best enjoyed with small sips to keep the tastebuds from being overly offended.

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Photo of Vixie
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear straw yellow with around a half inch of white head. The head doesn't stay around too long, leaving lacing across the top.

The smell does remind me a bit of outdoors, which I expect from the style. Can smell fresh cut grass along with some funk, giving it a farm like smell.

Fairly fruity up front, mainly citrus like. There is some pepper spice, and a touch of funk. Finishes dry with a lingering bitterness.

High carbonation makes it almost burn in the mouth, makes it feel a bit fuller than the color would suggest.

A nice version of the style. It is not quite as complex as other examples, but does hit the key notes I expect for the style. Worth a try.

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Photo of JustLikeMyDad
2.76/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Poured into a beer glass, pours a foggy light yellow color with a finger thick foam head that dissipates somewhat quickly.

Sweet fruit aromas present.

Slight bitter taste with a sweet fruit note to it,.

Mild carbonation that makes for smooth drinking.

Overall, a right balance of sweet with an almost tart taste with some bitter. Makes for a refreshing drink.

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Photo of datsolution
3.27/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Look: Yellow with a slight haze. A nice white head that dissipates fairly quickly.
Smell: Distinct yeast/bread aroma.
Taste: Tastes a lot like the smell with a slight almost IPA bitterness at the end.
Overall: For a guy who prefers dark beers, not bad. A good change of pace beer but wouldn't go out of my way to purchase it. It was a gift from my son who lives in Michigan and I appreciated the opportunity to try it.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.49/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Yellow golden body with slight haze, awesome white fluffy rocky head, streams of fine bubbles. Nose is mostly spice, with mild wheat-like malt acting as a backbone. Black pepper is the vastly dominant flavor, with ambiguous spice and yeast following up, faint tang and chalk on the finish. Light-medium bodied, prickly carbonation.
Obligatory yeast, out of control spice, odd tang towards the end... did not care for this one.

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Photo of Reggie1014
3.07/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pale yellow color. Smells of yeast and spice. Taste up front is fruity, mild citrus with a backend of pumpkin type spices. Feel is seltzer, carbonation. Too much of a medicinal feel for me.

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Photo of metter98
3.62/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high bright white head that died down, leaving some patches of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge, and some lacing down the sides.
S: Light to moderate aromas of fruity yeast are present in the nose—bananas seem to stand out in particular—along with notes of spices.
T: The taste follows the smell and has flavors of fruity and spicy yeasts.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. No dryness is perceptible.
O: This saison is a lot fruitier compared to many of the other beers that I've had in the style—the fruitiness is akin to what you would expect in a tripel.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of mntlover
3.57/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly hazy pale orange color with a thumb sized white head. Leaves some light lace behind.

Aroma is light wheat notes some peppery spice very light fruitiness. Some hay notes but no real barnyard funk.

Taste is wheat malts some fruit notes, light fruit lemon, orange some light spice clove and pepper. No real funk either more like just a spicy wheat.

Mouthfeel is Sasion like light body fairly peppy carbonation.

Overall an average Saison not a bad spicy wheat beer, just wouldn't pick it up expecting a good saison. But an easy drinker.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.74/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle to pils glass. Pours straw colored and a bit hazy, almost clear but not quite. A few inches of rocky head is produced. Aroma and taste are somewhere in the neighborhood of a hefeweisen or triple: yeast, bread, bananas and spice, clove. Not as tart or fruity (was looking for citrus, pear, or apple) as I was expecting, but still really enjoyable.

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Photo of TX-Badger
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy light yellow golden color with white head. Bread, yeast, and some light cloves on the nose; follows onto the palate. Light bodied. Finishes with banana and some bread.

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Photo of brentk56
3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours a clear honey color with a prodigious head that fades noisily, leaving some webby lacing

Smell: Wheat bread and vegetal tones

Taste: Wheat bread with vegetal phenols, up front, with a developing hint of banana and clove; bready finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Unfortunately, a clunker; has elements of a hefe rather than a saison but really doesn't have much flavor whatsoever

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.31/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a flute glass from the bottle.

Appearance : Hazy pear juice glow, with a very fluffy, dense head like shaving foam. 2 fingers at my measurement once it settles, and leaves lace on the sides. 80% opaque.

Smell : Orange pith, lemon drop, bready sweetness, pineapple juice, slight fennel. Medium strength bouquet.

Taste : Clove, spices, rank banana, pea hull...with a very present, very ominous solid white and green onion mix. This is the glaring flaw in the beer in my opinion. A bit sour, a bit vegetal. It finishes out on onion, fennel, chewed bubble gum, and banana string.

Feel : Intensely charged with carbonation, and when sipped from the bottle is like the fizziest soda I've ever drank. The carbonation helps keep the ale drinkable and exciting, but wow, this is really carbonated. Light bodied as a farmhouse ale should be, and ends slightly dry with a tight crispness.

Overall : I'll pass on this next time, too many off flavors, and way too veggie for me.

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Photo of Gear54
3.59/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle into a pint glass. Got this from a variety pack sold directly from the 8th at location.

Light Amber in color with 1/2 finger of foam and little lace

Smell is yeast pale malts and citrus. Nice combo

Taste follows well. A bit spicy with good malt and citrus. Nice sour notes give this exactly the profile one would expect from the style.

Overall a nice drinker for warm weather.

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Photo of F1Rumors
4.21/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Matches its description reasonably fairly. Coming from New Holland as a Farmhouse Ale, you always know that this is going to be pale and a bit sweet. Calling it fruity undertones might be a bit of a stretch, but is far from unfair.

On pouring, you get a clean, pale amber ale with a light, lacy head that dissipates quickly. Smooth, somewhat sweet ale. Clean taste, clean finish, very drinkable - give or take the sweetness, exactly the kind of ale I used to seek out at lunch time in my youth, would now drink with a salad, or to finish a pleasant lunch in the spring or fall. I'd prefer something with a little more crispness in the heat of summer.

I am probably going to look this up again at the end of next summer, though it will do nicely into the fall.

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Photo of Tone
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy, copper/orange color. 1/3 inch head of a white color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of yeast, slight herbal, sweet malt, hint of pale malt, slight citrus, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of a Saison / Farmhouse Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, slight earthy malt, hint of yeast, hint of hop, slight pale malt, and a hint of grass. Overall, good blend, complexity, and decent appearance, but weaker aroma and body.

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a soft gold to straw with a big fluffy white head. Aroma is yeast, slight pepper spice, and bread. Taste is yeasty, very light spice, some soft fruit underlying a soft, smooth malt base with bread tones. Mouthfeel is thin to medium and fairly carbonated. Overall, not a bad version, but pretty light in all aspects.

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Photo of Mikus
3.39/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This ended up a good, clean farmhouse style. Some notes that came to the forefront were bubble gum, some clean and crisp wheat malt, and subtle peppery yeast notes. This was quite refreshing on a hot brew day, and I feel as though the mouthfeel on this really hit the spot. Excellent, amusing bottle art as well for what it's worth!

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark straw-golden color with a big, fizzy head of white foam that dissipates to a thin layer. No lace but some dead yeast is hanging off the the glass half way down.
Smell is funky, a bit sour and some malt.
Taste is malt, grass, funk, yeast, saltines. Well balanced.
Medium bodied, not harsh, refreshing on a hot summer day. Clean finish.

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Photo of jp32
2.51/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Pours a light, hazy, straw yellow. Maybe not quite as hazy as expected. Smell is faint and subtly earthy. Taste is relatively plain. Nothing really stands out about it, maybe a touch grassy, maybe a touch biscuity or yeasty, but really quite simple and plain overall.

I've had many better farmhouse ales.

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Photo of zdk9
3.47/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a little bit cloudy orange to golden. Very efferfescent. Large soda like bubbles formed a bit of head that dies off quickly. I'm out of glasses so this is in a wine glass which might negatively affect the head.

S- Yeasty. Lemon and honeysuckle.

T- Lots of yeast flavors- banana, fruit leather. A bit of zesty hops in the back of the mouth. Maybe a bit of tea. Sweet.

M- Bubbly and carbonated almost like champagne. A little syrupy.

O- It's decent. Maybe a little overly yeast flavored.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a chalice.

A: Brassy golden.mgreat clariy. Fine-nibbled white head. Good retention. Thin rings of lacing.

S: Yeasty and spicy. Church incense, white pepper. Pineapple, pulpy mandarin orange. Pithy hops. Crackery malts.

T: Tropical fruits abound. Pineapple, Clementine, juicy, banana. Modest tartness. Yeasty. Fleeting pithy hop character. Crackery malt. Dry. Pithy and yeasty finish.

M: Light bodied, acute scrubbing carbonation. Slight creaminess, very dry.

O: Decent. Not a lot of complexity offered, but it's perfectly crushable and inoffensive. However, the high price tag makes this a tough sell when there's much better out there for the money.

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Photo of CM31
2.05/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

An absolutely horrible and forgettable Saison. It has close to none of the qualities of a Saison and just falls flat in all attributes. It is hardly anymore interesting and eerily similar to a Miller or Coors...and that is not all.
Worst Saison to date for me and the $11.99 price tag makes the beer taste even worse.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
3.07/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Fresh 12oz bottle served in a Leffe chalice. No bottle date.

Appearance: Orangish yellow with plenty of large bubble head and beautiful Belgian lace. Fair amount of sediment in the bottle that made its way into my glass.

Nose: Fruity, spicy, Belgian farmhouse funk, Belgian yeast, some off vegetal smell in the end

Taste: Slightly creamy, muted spiciness, sorta malty, no yeast flavor, slightly bitter in the beginning but that fades instantly, lemony

Overall: Well, it's not a Dupont Saison thats for sure. This one came as a recommendation from the seller at a local shop. It's ok but certainly not what a saison should or can be. Look to Ommegang, Goose Island and Allagash for those.

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Monkey King Saison Farmhouse Ale from New Holland Brewing Company
3.58 out of 5 based on 489 ratings.
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