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Golden Monkey | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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1,771 Reviews
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Golden MonkeyGolden Monkey

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A magical, mystical Monkey whose golden sole glows with the wisdom of the ages. This radiant ale is rich in the spirited tradition of Belgian-inspired brewing. Our Golden Monkey is both playfully delightful and profoundly satisfying. Exotic spice from the East rounds out this global journey to joy. Get on board. This Monkey's bound for glory!

Added by purplehops on 09-17-2001

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Reviews: 1,771 | Ratings: 5,533
Photo of sociallooter
1.72/5  rDev -53.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I did not think this was a good beer. I read about this beer in a myrtle beach news paper reporting about how craft beer is a "new thing". I still can not figure out how they report crafting beer is a brand new outta the box kinda thing. They recommend beers such as Newcastle and blue moon.(craft beers?) I like both of those beers there almost nostalgic to me growing up. New castle was the first beer I actually bought as a 21 year old in upstate NY.

SO, Golden Monkey. The name sounds cool and the label looked makeshift. i like that kinda thing. Do you remember the labels on old TV sitcoms when they drank beer before widespread sponsorship from major corporations? It made me think of that.(I had a few beers before so I was kinda abstract.If ya know what I mean.) It did not look like a Fancy "Fear and loathing", label on a beer bottle. I poured it into a pint glass. A pretty good head. I was quite dark in the bar so i can"t really describe the color. The smell was bananas strait up bananas!. The Taste was not! it was very bitter, too bitter, way too bitter. I told my girlfriend it was like eating a pound of bananas and swiging orange peel flavored Mr. Boston charcoal filtered vodka. Then puking that all up and the after-taste left in my mouth would have been Golden Monkey. I wanted to buy some Golden Monkey and give it to my friends and pretend it was a quintessential item to my existence. Then see the look on there faces as they coughed up some pure banana bile. I was purely disappointed because that was the only beer in that news paper article the seemed to be intriguing to me. You live and learn. I do not recommend this to beer to most people but i know there are people that think this is the greatest achievement since the cell phone. Hey was was made for Christ sake.

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Photo of 12owls
1.72/5  rDev -53.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

poured into a tulipp glass, very light foam, almost no lacing, smell is spicy, yeast with some hints of corriander and subtle hoppyness, taste is a.b.v strong, and it kinda takes away from the whole "triple" effect. it pured into a nice golden un-filtered color. im forced to enjoy triples from belgium only. this didnt really didnt make as a triple in my book. more of a spiced double lager. sorry folks...i didnt want to upset anyone.but i will not recomend this to anyone.

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Photo of monkeyrotica
1.76/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured thick and golden, little or no carbonation, opaque. No head. Smelled slighlty sweet/sour with hints of citrus. Tasted like the inside of a homeless person's shoe stuffed full of hops and Lemon Pledge. Worst beer I've ever tasted. After forcing that first one down, I just kept it in the fridge and unloaded it on unsuspecting hop fetishists.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
1.83/5  rDev -50.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured into a big tulip glass,a light golden color.Not a lot of head just a white covering of foam.Massive amounts of particles floating in the beer, could not even see the carabination.Very cloudy.
The aroma was yeasty,spicey,clovey,some different spices,don't know what they are.
The taste was clovey,yeasty,breaddy,spicey,taste of alcohol.Sour and tart flavor arise at the end.
A medium body,slighly cloying,a prickley alcohol finish.As for drinkabilty,I just couldn't finish this beer. A disappointing beer from
Victory for me,one my favorite breweries.

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Photo of SkipZ
1.85/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

This one is easy to review. It's not a Tripel. It doesn't even resemble anything close to a Tripel. This tastes exactly like they took a high gravity malt liquor, added some sugar syrup, a couple of shakes of spice and ground up children's aspirins. Then bottled it and slapped "Tripel" on the bottle. Just get something else. Cheap malt liquor would at least save you 1/2 your money. Another bastard and stylized crapfest that is Victory.

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Photo of slick0ne
1.88/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

One of the worst beers ever made....Way to sweet. More like a first timers beer. Very disappointing. For the price your better off getting a chimay tripple. For the taste... your better off with a bud lite. I like the lable though. Wish it tasted at least as good as it looked.

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Photo of woodske1
1.94/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

This is a B+ on BeerAdvocate? I really don't know how. With beer that has such a high ABV you need to do things to mask the alcohol taste.

This has a strong cutting taste that reminded me of something...something not good. The appearance is actually pretty nice but the party ends there. If you can finish one, there is no way you can finish another...

Cool bottle though.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
1.97/5  rDev -47%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

The multiple taps of Golden Monkey I’ve consumed over the past several weeks in an attempt to understand why so many people enjoy this beer were a complete waste of space in my belly where better beer could have been. Golden Monkey could be appropriately renamed Sugar Monkey. It’s main aroma and flavor is sugar. The yeast works and so does the appearance but other wise I am done trying this beer. The syrupiness churns my stomach. Way, way too much sugar. Blech!

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Photo of Boilermaker88
2/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Presented in a 12oz. brown bottle (same as in pic) with a "bottled on" date of 09-09-02 on it. Poured a nice hazy golden color with a foamy, bubbly whitish head and a large column of bubbles rising up from the middle of the glass.
Smell: WTF?! Okay, maybe this is a bad bottle. This had a sour, vinegary aroma overriding the spicy pepper and alcohol notes. Smelled vaguely rotten.
Taste: seriously, what is this? Tastes of red vinegar, pepper and alcohol - a sour, acidic, citrusy melange that was distasteful.
Feel was full, bubbly and dry.
I have to guess this was a bad bottle. If it's not, this would rank as one of the worst I've let past my lips. Lord knows I tried my best but ended up dumping the last 6oz. Golden Monkey's appearance and mouthfeel are quite appealing. However, the slightly rotten sourness leads me to one word: undrinkable. I'm happy I only bought one.

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Photo of drperm
2/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

First, a disclaimer: I LOVE Tripel, as a style. One of my favorites, actually.
Second disclaimer: I was feeling rather generous with these numbers.

A: Looks promising -- hazy apricot with ample foam.
But no, it's all downhill from the looking stage...

S: Nasty. Sulfur to the extreme. What happened here? Underneath the sulfur (no small feat there) I get highly metallic mineral water. The more I smell it, the more I am reminded of gastric acid.

T: Getting past the sulfuric aroma (again, no small feat), I encounter a bouquet of....shellac, second-rate crafts store potpourri, peppercorns, bananas, cotton candy, and bell peppers. Lots of flavours, but unfortunately they're not good ones.

M: All fizz with no roundness or bite, and a sticky sweetness left behind.

D: I wonder if I got a faulty bottle here, but after perusing some of the other reviews, perhaps this is how it is supposed to taste. As it is, I find it hardly fit for human consumption. I usually trust the Victory name to the extreme (Prima Pils, anyone?), but I'm seriously considering a sink-pour, although at this point it would be akin to flushing $2 down the drain.
Not good at all. In the words of the Boys of Python, "This is not a [beer] for drinking. This is a [beer] for putting down and avoiding."

Postscript: the thought occurred to me that allowing the beverage to warm in the glass to cellar/room temp. would help its profile some. It did, to be sure, but unfortunately not enough to inspire me to change my numbers. Or buy this beer ever again: it simply saved it from going down the drain.
If you want a Tripel, get one brewed by monks (Or, at the very least, one that comes from Quebec or Maine). Seriously, the good people at Victory need to add a caveat to the label: "Warning! Do NOT drink this beer directly out of the refrigerator!"

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Photo of rickyleepotts
2/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Man, it feels like it’s been forever since we sat down with a beer. I was out of town for a few days last week and this weekend, so that’s partly why. I was out of town on business, but I am back! Back until we leave again next weekend for New York City. Maybe we can find a craft brew from the Big Apple.

Tonight we are drinking a brew from Victory. I didn’t realize they were such a new brewery. I like pretty much everything they produce, and I am sure this won’t be any different. It’s pretty high in alcohol too, and I love the logo! That is one cute monkey. Let’s see what she smells like:

In the Glass: It looks flat, with almost zero head. The tasting notes said it had a fluffy head that stuck to the glass… unless this is really old or something, it’s not got a head at all. I hope it doesn’t taste flat as it looks in the glass. Let’s see what she smells like. (That sounds horrible.)

Nose: It smells like a typical Tripel. I am not a huge fan on Tripels, but I like the high ABV. It has a subtle nose, almost burnt caramel… it hits the nostrils and then is gone just as fast. It’s not a deep seeded, memorable smell by any means. I like everything that Victory produces, so I hope they don’t let me down with the monkey!

Flavor: It starts out weak, but as it moves across the palate it perks up a bit. It slides down the throat with ease, and doesn’t have any carbonation. For a beer that is this big, I am sort of glad that it doesn’t have a lot of carbonation. Toward the back of the palate it almost gets bitter, or dry… something weird, not expected from this brew. But I will agree, it is very drinkable. You would have no idea it was nearly 10% in alcohol.

Mouthfeel: What mouthfeel? It hits the front of the tongue, and rushes toward the back of the palate so fast there isn’t time for a mouthfeel. I would say this is the least mouthfeel I have ever had in a beer. If you switch is around in your mouth, to add some forced carbonation, a lot of the flavors really open up. It’s almost a different experience when you do that. But the only reason I figured that out was being bored with it at first.

Aftertaste: The aftertaste is weak, and just sits there on the back part of the tongue. I’m telling you though, this beer has nothing to get excited about. Seeing as how I love Victory, I hate to say that… but this beer bores me. The aftertaste, if there is one at all, is not a typical Tripel aftertaste. It’s weak, has some of those burnt caramel notes, and is so weak you almost forget it’s there.

I told you I was going to write in this new style… but I must admit, I had to go back and see the order. I wasn’t sure where we started. Hopefully before long it’s second nature. I wouldn’t order this beer again, but hey… there are 1001 bottles in this project. I can’t like them all!

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Photo of MeLikeBeer
2.03/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a pale gold color, very large head, at least an inch thick. Sediment all over the bottle and the glass...hmmm, not so sure about this one.
Sweet sugar and banana aromas assault my nostrils. Too sweet! Brain going into sugar shock!
Tastes just as sweet- syrupy with a very intense, warming alcohol feel. Bananas, sugar, honey, sugar, malt flavor, did I mention SUGAR? Too sweet for my liking.
I'm only finishing this for the sake of a proper review. I won't drink it again.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.06/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

First had: bottle from Westgate Pub, Havertown, PA

Not a fan of this. It seems more of a "strong blonde ale" if anything, but not really comparable to a good authentic Belgian tripel. I don't like to bad-mouth Victory, but there you have it.

Pours clear golden yellow with a moderate head that typically displays some decent lacing. Vaguely yeasty aroma, banana and cloves, but on the light side. Tastes a bit chemical-y, biscuity, with banana and spice notes, alcohol is not hidden. Medium-bodied, and not too drinkable in my book, though it seems the ladies tend to like it. ?

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Photo of rastaman
2.12/5  rDev -43%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is an embarrassing attempt at a Belgian Tripel, laughable. Sweet, sweet bready malts, really sticky, toilet cleaner flavours, one dimentional and boring, i liked the yeast character though, but thats the only positive. The yeast tastes Belgian, but the rest of the beer doesn't, seems a bit out of place to me.

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Photo of antoines15
2.15/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I'm not even going to break this down. I will admit that I am not super familiar with the belgian tripel style, but I do know when something does not taste good and I don't even want to finish the glass.

It had the typical look of an average tripel, as well as smell, and a good collar and lacing, but that's about it. It tasted awful and got worse with each sip. I thought maybe it needed to warm up a bit, but that didn't help.

Spend the extra few bucks and get yourself a St. Bernardus and enjoy a quality beer, because this one is far from it. Cheers!

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Photo of CopeTech
2.16/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Calling this a triple is unfair, it is shallow with none of the subtly of a fully fermented beer.
The appearance is clear and golden, so clear it can't even hold head let alone flavor.
It is almost lager like in its lack of gravitas. I have heard of other beers called girlie beers, this is a virtual beer pretty only for a picture. I wish they delivered more.

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Photo of schellsbeer
2.18/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Love Victory but not the Golden Monkey.

Picked up in a mixed 6 pack with 5 other Storm King Stouts which I love. Just thought I would try one to refresh my memory....I was correct....I don't like the Golden Monkey.

A - Average at best. Looks like a cloudy Macro beer with not much going for it. Specks of "stuff" floating in the beer...all over it. I know that it is probably yeast but usually settles to the bottom over time after poured. Not this one. Small white head with little lacing.

S - Wild flowers. Earthy. Straw. Tall DRY summer grass. Wheat is very present. Some spices but overall Wheat.

T - Not impressed. Tastes like a strong summer wheat beer that is very high in alcohol. When I think of a wheat beer, I think crisp...thin...refreshing. Not thick and made for winter. Some alcohol burn in the back of the nose. Alcohol is not covered up well in this Tripel.

M - Thicker than I like my golden ales. If this is a golden monkey, he has sure added some extra weight. It should be called the golden "fat" monkey.

D - Very low considering I have all of the other Victory Hop and Stout beers to choose from. Also, with 9.5%, give me an imperial stout any day. No question asked. This review will remind me to always stay away from the fat monkey.

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Photo of WalrusJockey
2.19/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle, dated "Jan 07" poured into a Delerium Trimens glass.

Appearance- golden: hazy, cloudy, full of particulate. Head pours weakly, and falls quickly.

Smell- alcohol, yeast, spice and fruit, in that order, to my nose. Very much alcohol and yeast, really.

Taste- sweet, very surprizingly sweet. Malt and fruit flavors join under a broad banner of "sweetness," and after a while are joined by the spices, which eventually become quite strong indeed. Swallow is yeasty, with a slight watery flavor, and the aftertaste is a medicinal alcohol flavor. The flavor profile is much more varied than I expected, based on the nose.

Unquestionably, the taste is better than the smell, but for my money, the flavors are far too segregated, fruit is there and so is spice, but never the twain to meet. This also results in the beer being fairly unbalanced at each flavor-stage. The alcohol flavor is also distractingly strong. I know this is a 9%, but it doesn't hide it well at all, especially not for a beer that has been aged for 25 months. Over-all, the taste isn't *bad,* if I had made this at home I would certainly drink it, but compared to others of the style, it fails to impress.

Mouthfeel- unexpectedly heavy for the style, which combines with incredibly low carbonation, to make a beer which is far heavier on the palate than it really should be.

Drinkability- very low. I bought this as a loose bottle, and I don't plan on following it up with a 6-pack purchase. The NyQuil flavor that builds up over time goes along with the syrupy texture, and the unbalanced-up-front sweetness to make me wonder if a bottle of Tussin wouldn't get the same job done in the same way.

Note- I planned on giving Victory a pass on the carbonation issue, but almost every review on the front page mentioned the light amount of carbonation in their own, fresh bottles. If this had been a side effect of the aging of the beer, I wouldn't have marked down for it, but it seems to be more a side effect of the beer itself. Also, for the record, between my wife and myself, we didn't make it through a full half of the bottle before we DP'd it.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.2/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. Pours a slightly hazy light gold. It has a very fizzy white head that quickly disappears.

The aroma is vegetal funky yeast. As it warms, some sweet corny malts comes out.

The flavor is heavily sweet, corny malts followed by a little funky, spicy yeast. As it warms, clove, banana and alcohol come out. The mouthfeel is medium to full with some sharp carbonation.

Overall, this is not a very good tripel. It tastes like an amped up macro (malt-liquor-y) with a little spicy yeast funk.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.2/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Lacking anything inviting in the apperance it goes down as well below average. Minimal Head and no lacing to speak of combined with a chill hazed meat. Smelled ultra sweet and fruity.

Taste was the best part of this offering although it comes up short with no balance to speak of. This is a punch/juice with carbonation and alcohol added. Reviewing within the style this is the lowest tripel I've had at this point. Carbonation was mellow and did nothing to counter the sweetness. Cotton candy and corn syrup creep into the equation at the end. This is obviously what they were shooting for as Victory is an awesome brewery overall. Just a blip on the radar screen.

Edit: One year later November of 2006 and I still feel the same way if not a bit worse. This beer is so fricking candied sweet even for a triple. Huge alcohol flash and hard to enjoy. I've heard this is better with even more time in the cellar and will hopefully re-review it over the next five years but for now even with a year on it. Avoid.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
2.22/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I'm gonna say that this one was spoiled from the tap. However, I'll still review it, b/c maybe it's not.

Had this at Falling Rock in Denver. Pours a light golden, clear color. Very small head that didn't stay around long. Not a good start.
The smell of sweet corn calls out DMS spoilage. Some coriander and orange peel, but not much. A flat feel to it, too bad. Nothing else going on with this beer. The DMS is in the nose mostly, some in the taste. I didn't finish this one and left it downstairs.

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Photo of Halcyondays
2.23/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a clear golden with a thin white head with good retention, mild lace.

S: Has some interesting yeast esters (heavy pear and yellow apple), but has a faint hint of pickles which was off-putting.

T: Acrid, bitter pepper type spice, bitter melon/hops form the initial attack which was not enjoyable. Some OK fruit notes in the end try to save it, but it's not happening. That minor pickle note is here too.

M: Perfectly fine. Quite smooth, medium/full-bodied with a hint of ethanol.

D: I tried this a few years ago and didn't like it, I thought I'd try it again to see if my tastes have changed since I'm on a Tripel kick as of late. They haven't, I still don't like it. Having Allagash Tripel recently to compare, it's like night and day. I'm still a big fan of Victory, they make great beer across the board, so it's all right to have one stinker.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
2.28/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours translucent gold. Lots of sediment lazily floating around and mutliple pillars of bubbles quickly ascending from bottom to top. Large bubbly white head with great retention and lace aplenty.

Strong apple juice and sparkling cider aroma at first pour. Settles into banana and clove scent.

Jumbled taste of sourdough bread tart versus lemon, banana sweetness all held together under the loving arms of yeasty clove spice. Pleasant alcoholic warming with finish. Mouthfeel is thick but ruined by snappy, abrasive carbonation.

I don't have a problem with the lack of complexity in this beer (relative to other Belgian tripels): I'm ok with a simple tripel. What bugs me is the lack of any real lingering flavors. All the flavors seem to come and go without leaving a lasting imperssion.

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Photo of jdbonnette
2.28/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.25

I gave this beer a number of shots at different points over the last few months. While I love other beers brewed by Victory, this one just does not do it for me. While yes it is high in ABV, the taste just does not really do it for my pallet. I suggest anyone venturing into this beer, but a single or six pack first. I think you will either love it or hate it, and there is really no middle ground.

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Photo of Bshipman8993
2.29/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

not sure how they call this a triple. Tastes more like a super spiced farmhouse.
L-pale yellow good head that dies quickly
S-smells of spice. Almost more like an ipa smell.
T-taste rich and strong Belgian hops. More like a farmhouse ale with a slight spice to it in till after then it burns like a shot of cheap whiskey.
F-smooth at first with a finish like burning shot of 151.
O-if it was hot and I chugged the whole beer probably ok. It is not in the category of any triple I have ever had.

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Golden Monkey from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.72 out of 5 based on 5,533 ratings.
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