Golden Monkey | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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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: 1,778 | Ratings: 5,583
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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Photo of adammills
2.3/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This beer pours a solid golden color with an average head that fades. There is heavy esters wafting from the glass. Very phenolic, with bits of clove and spice, even smells hot. So so. I did not enjoy drinking this beer at all. I finished it because I bought it, which I wont do agian. Rocket fuel abounds in this beer, malt and spice attempt to balance but it comes up short.

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Photo of GreenCard
2.31/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

According to the label, it was bottled in May 2003.

Judging by everyone else's reviews, I must be out of my mind. But hear me out...

Appearance: great sparkly golden color, fluffy billowous pure white head, lots of rising bubbles, nice lacing, LOOSE sediment!

Aroma: blooming nose of delicate hops, a touch of orange-blossom honey and malt

Flavor: cushiony malt sweetness takes the lead with a very subtle balance of hops, twinge of orange, sweetness akin to an over-ripe braeburn or fuji apple, finish is sweet with a lingering syrupy quality, beer gets sweeter with every sip until it becomes cloying

Mouthfeel: medium body, tingly but fine carbonation, lots of alcohol warmth with quite a bit of "after-burn" (not a good thing!)

Overall Impression: Damn disappointing. Actually had to dump it. It's too cloyingly sweet and the alcohol afterburn is not pleasant. I dinged it big-time in the Drinkability category for that. Also, the sediment in the bottle was very loose. A big cloud of it stirred up just by taking the bottle out of the fridge. No big deal, just bad form. Victory can do much better than this. Did they forget an addition of bittering hops?

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Photo of olympuszymurgus
2.33/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Golden clarity, white foam of ephemerality. Pops loud, pours vigorous. Smells of bananas and clove, esters and spice, sugar and summer. Good. Enjoyable.

Tastes astringent, coriander, orange, esters, table sugar, displeasing. The bitterness is far too high, the astringency offputting. Ugh.

I would not purchase this.

Victory- Really?

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.33/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Alright, folks, I finally did it. Trying a new tripel torments the hell out of me, as its a style I either love or hate entirely, and most tripels ending up lumped into the latter group. I had put off sampling Golden Monkey for as long as possible until yesterday, while at Highlands Grill in Kennesaw, I decided to finally "go for it".

Appearance: Pours a hazy, pale golden body with a foamy, white head that went completely flat within a minute or so.

Smell: Spice-driven aromatics, with hints of flowers, mold, bananas, and grains.

Taste: Spicy from the onset, with generous doses of pepper, clove, and corriander. Other weak flavors erratically flash across the tongue: lemon juice, sweetened dough, dusty-dry yeast, and bananas. Lightly bitter finish with just a murmur from the alcohol showing on the swallow.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied and watery. Lightly carbonated.

Drinkability: I did not care for this one at all, as its excessive spiciness, as well as its array of weak, uninteresting flavors was a complete turn off for me. Pass.

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Photo of DefenCorps
2.36/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Back when I was a young 'un on this site, the word on the street was that this was a beer that needed a couple of years to come into its own. And so I obliged, stashing two bottled from 12 June 2007, with a note to self to drink one in June 2009. That never came to be, so here I am, August 2010, drinking a tripel brewed with spices.

Pouring a light orange with good clarity, this beer has a dense, white head that recedes to a thin disk, leaving patchy lace. I like the look on this beer.

The nose is actually pretty decent. While sweeter than I like my tripels, this has more than a simple sweetness going on. Honey, biscuit, a little dough, some floral character, all along with some spice (pepper? mace?) Swirling does bring out a slightly dull malt character. Some fruit is present as well. The palate opens with a combination of sweetness and alcohol, one that I did not expect. Quite fruity, there's apple and some light fruit. However, the alcohol is still very brash, bringing to mind jungle juice and other unpleasant memories. Spicy mid-palate before the alcohol digs in hard, resulting is a very hot finish, this is quite bad. The sweetness is moderate, with some sugar and honey, but the unabashedly brash alcohol makes this rather like an expectorant. The finish, in particular, is awful, with a big, alcohol bite, mild spices and some rose petals. Medium-light in body, this beer has a high level of carbonation. Not very enjoyable, I'm going to have to send my last bottle out as an extra or something.

As it warms up, I get a strong aroma of iodine/antiseptic and maybe even some urinal cake. I'm dropping my score to reflect this.

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Photo of VirginiaBeerMan
2.39/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.25

March 2015 - Horrible taste, horrible aftertaste. Nasty.

November 2015 - I gave this a second try. Pours with the appearance of a pilsner; the first scent I got was tomato juice/V8...strange. Maybe some similar spices. There's another distinctive scent in ther that I just can't put my finger on, but it's not appealing. I sort of taste V8 as well. There's something about the spices in this that just isn't appealing. Honestly, I'm surprised this beer continues to sell, which I assume it does since they've been making it year round since 2001. I'm pretty certain that I've given this beer fair opportunity. Done with it.

I made a few adjustments on the second evaluation and score only adjusted from a 2.46 to a 2.39.

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Photo of JLeege
2.4/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Best by 1/12/14 ~ poured into a goblet

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear light golden color, with a very thin white head. Quickly fades to about nothing. A little splotchy lace.

Smell- Strong phenols, banana, light spiceing.

Taste- Very mild flavor and very boozy. Light banana, some belgian yeast, very phenolic again. Sugary & Sweet. There is not much complexity to this. The alcohol pretty much over rides everything else.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, low carbonation, slick.

Overall- This is supposed to be a triple??? I have had this beer multiple times and have never been impressed. Not sure why I keep revisiting it... Its a "hot" mess.

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Photo of beer-princess
2.42/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.25

Poured from a bomber into swirly green tulip-like Pier 1 stemware.

A - Poured a rich nicotine gold with a flimsly little Sunday newspaper-thick head. Lacing like ocean spray from te Little merMaid.

S - Very light nose. Bland and malty all in the front, nothing in the back.

T - Apricot, mango, sugar cookie, banana, semen, walnuts.

M - Champagne-like mouthfeel; light, bubbly, airy.

O - Would not buy again. Rides the bench between spicy and fruity. Needs to commit--should hang out with my boyfriend of 3.5 years! Good beer pong beer.

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Photo of Ragingbull
2.44/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I know that I am going to be way out there compared to others reviewing this beer, but in my opinion it was just way too "busy." So that disclaimer being thrown out there for the low score here is what else I have to say.

Cloudy gold in color with no real head to speak of when I poured it into a pint glass. It is brewed with spices as proclaimed by the brewers. This is obvious through the nose and the flavor. The nose has a character like a milder version of a winter warmer. The attack is thick and malty. The flavor is ripe with cloves and spices. The finish is very confusing as there are myriad flavors swirling around and seemingly intertwining with components of the mouthfeel. Some probably hail the beer as "complex" and I just can't help but feel it is too busy. Most brewers I prefer the bigger and bolder offerings, but as for Victory I do recall being a fan of the Hop devil and Victory pils which means they go completely against the grain for me. While I am not disappointed to have tried this beer, I will not buy it again. As a matter of fact I have been pawning them off on guests because I don't care to drink the other 5. I feel like Simon Cowell. . . sorry.

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Photo of mstenulis
2.44/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This beer was different, not bad. The color was the perfect ale color, golden and clear. The head was white, but disipated quickly once poured into a glass. The aroma had a spicy hint to it, but it was almost like you could smell the 9.5% alcohol. The taste seemed to hint it as well, and had a slight peppery burn.

Although I did not care for this beer, it was still a great experience. I have some on my got list if interested.

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Photo of FBarber
2.44/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Pours a dehydrated golden color with a thick frothy white head that quickly dissipates leaving nothing - no lacing, no film, nothing.

Smell is of sweet apple juice spiced with coriander and pepper with undertones of yeast coming through. You can smell the sweetness in this beer.

Taste follows the nose initially with a blend of yeast pepper and clove. Bit of an apple juice type flavor underneath with expected sweetness ... and then ... YIKES. All the sudden the flavors all give way to a strong alcoholic flavor - think hard liquor type flavor. This is supposed to be a tripel?

Feel is very thin for a tripel. Medium carbonation giving way to a very unpleasant alcoholic burn.

Overall this beer isn't good on its own. I'd say its below average. Put it against other Tripels and its downright awful.

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Photo of travolta
2.45/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle with bottled on date (bottle conditioned)

Apperance: Cute, but thats about it. it's golden yellow and a bit irridecent which is always cool. a frothy head, but doesent last long. The head coats the glass very well, but doesent stay around long enough for a conversation. It ironic that the best head from beer stays even after your done with it, while with women we...aww....nevermind.

Nose: i get a nice sweet sugary nose fomr this one right away. Its "Belgain-Inspired", whatever that means. it smells like a Belgian, a little stinky. I get that carmel sugar and maybe...MAYBE lemon and lime. But dont hold me to it.

Taste: Its ABV is 9.5% So thats the aftertaste. Alcohol is a
major flavor characteristic of this beer. It bitter at first, but that chills down quite a bit right away, which is good. It has some maple syrup tones in it. It's crisp, but not too foamy.

Notes: the alcohol taste can ruin this one for you. It's not overly complex, heck, Its not even complex. if you have some friends over, start with something you love, then finish with this. WICKED EXPENSIVE for what you get.

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Photo of Trombone69
2.45/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

I had to give this a second chance. I still found it challenging to consume. Maybe good for you, but not for me. My brother, who lives near the Victory brewery thinks this stuff is awesome. I beg to differ. I'd rather have a Labatt Blue, and I Like craft beers, and I love all of the Tripels that I've had EXCEPT this.

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Photo of tomParis
2.46/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottled March 2005. Hopefully I opened this too early, because I was not impressed by this beer at all. I'm cellaring the rest of the six pack for a year or two, maybe that will help.

The appearance was ok, hazy golden color with a decent head and good carbonation.

The smell and taste was dominated by an unpleasant belgian yeast taste and not much else. There were subtle hints of fruit, but they were overshadowed by the yeast. Not a balanced beer at all.

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Golden Monkey from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.72 out of 5 based on 5,583 ratings.
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