Golden Monkey | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

1,777 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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 1,777 | Ratings: 5,579
Photo of granger10
3.11/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Whoa this is a big, thick triple. Kind of odd. Pours a brilliant golden color with a medium bubbly head and lots of bubbles rising to the top. Smell is a bit odd, with spices and yeast along with a funk kind of smell that hits after a sec. Taste is really sweet in the malt department. Spices hit, and they seem different that other spices I have experienced in beers. There might have been some pepper and maybe some Belgian candi sugar, but there are other spices in there that I couldn't put my finger on. The spices seem too step too far and mask any delicacies this triple might have. The sweetness from the malts is also overbearing. Gets cloying after a while. The yeast notes toward the finish are the only thing saving this beer but its almost too late. Dont get me wrong, this beer wasn't horrible, im kinda not in the best mood right now and coming from Victory I was expecting more.

still much thanks to felonius phil for the sample

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Photo of RBorsato
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Solid golden with a full white head with lots of floating sediment. Fruity (almost orange) aroma with light spicy (black pepper) notes. Very fruity version of the style with a strong malt backing and lots of spice. Medium-full (leans medium) bodied, spicy and strong but hides the ABV well.

Per label: "Tripel Ale - Ale Brewed With Spices"

Per Victory website:
Malts: 2 row German malt
Hops: European whole flowers
Yeast: imported, of Belgian origin

Bottled: 10/08/02
Tasted: 12/08/04


Tasting #2: Aged Bottle (Higher Alcohol version)

A bit more Peach-ish Orange Gold in color. A lot like the above '02' version in aroma and flavor. Hides alcohol very well if it is really 11% as indicated on the bottle.

Per Label: 11% ABV

Enjoy by: 03/24/00 ('98' emb on bottom)
Tasted: 12/02/05

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Photo of AlexJ
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

OK, maybe I shouldn't have drank this 750 by myself, I did it in the name of research dammit! Pours a hazy golden orange with dense white head. Aroma is packed with fruity, yeasty spicy notes that tell me this will be good. Initially sweet/sour with a nice balance of fruit and spice. Alcohol is evident and warming. Just a tad too carbonated, I prefer a softer mouthfeel in a triple. Towards the end of the bottle I'm picking up on a slightly astringant metallic taste(is it the beer or is it me?). Overall a nice beer, I believe would definately benefit from ageing.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled June 2004, Sampled December 2004
This beer pours a lightly hazy gold color and is topped by a frothy white head. The aroma is fruity with yeast notes and spice notes too, I get notes of lemon, banana, fresh herbs, and candied orange peel. The aroma is actually quite intriguing, and I definitely like trying to pick out the various components of it.

The beer starts sweet, but finishes with an herbal dryness. This beer has a nice meld of flavors, with none of the spices being too dominant. This beer tastes a bit of orange, but has lots of other flavors going on that I cannot quite pick out; perhaps some vanilla, wild flower nectar, clove, and banana. It picks up some yeasty notes when I pour the rest of the contents of the bottle in.

This is quite a bit more enjoyable than I was expecting, most American interpretations of Belgian beers use too many spices, in fact much of the Belgian character is really derived from their yeast and not spices. That being said I do like the mix of spices and fermentation characteristics found in this beer.

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Photo of watermelonman
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This poured to a bight gold with a medium head. It's leaving a nice looking thin lace behind.

The smell is sweet and consists of alcohol and esters. The taste is fairly good, with citrus joining the esters.

The mouthfeel is pretty sharp, and the alcoholic content is definitely apparent.

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled on Aug 11, 2004. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a goblet. Cloudy orange color with a very small head that lacks retention and lacing. Bready malts with light hops and slightly fruity. Very sweet and acidic flavor. Light to medium bodied with a heavy alcoholic finish. Wow, this beer is STRONG! Not a bad offer from Victory, but there are much better examples out there for this particular style, and much better products produced by this brewery as well. Skip over this one and go straight for an authentic Belgian strong ale.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.06/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Standard brown 12 oz bottle with date bottled (Sept. 17, 04) and abv (9.5%- Holy Moley!)
Aroma: Deep, rich Belgium in a bottle yeasts, fruits (ripe peach, orange, lemon, banana), and spices (pepper, sage?). Intoxicating aroma, I just want to smell this monkey, SMELL HIM, LOVE HIM!
Appearance: A serious layer of yeast noted at the bottom of the bottle. A careful pour left most of it behind. Gorgeous peach color with a collar of off white, head is a bit overstated; bubbles. It is quite hazy, looks as thick as honey. Left a spot or two of, again, lace is too strong, bubbles on the glass.
Flavor: Fruity. Light fruits, apricots, lemon. Sweet, candy like, but with a quick rising bitter at the end that keeps it far short of cloy. Spicy, strong pepper and a hit of coriander. The alcohol comes in much later, almost a memory of an alcoholic taste more than the taste itself, a drying deep in the aftertaste if that makes sense (and in typical fashion, I don’t care if it doesn’t).
Mouthfeel: Heavy body with a little chew; mouth-coating. Carbonation is on the low side, not flat, but not lively.
Overall Impression: The beer makes an impact! Strong alcohol, but hidden alcoholic tastes. Firm spices with sweet strong fruit tastes. This is a memory maker, but it would be a devastating session beer at 9.5%. I acquired the bottle in a trade and am shamed to say I’ve forgotten with who (beermail me for appropriate citation and thanks). If you live in a monkey infested area, I recommend catching one and giving him a good home.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another result of a great trade from clvand0, the label indicated that this beer was bottled Nov 11, 2003. The appearance was picture perfect for a Tripel, with hazy pale body, and a pillowing tall head.

The aroma was very inviting, with banana esters, pale malts, and spices creating a sweet smell. The alcohol was evident on the nose in a perfumey kind of way.

The taste was a bit too spice driven for full enjoyment of this beer. Instead of serving as an enhancement, the spices masked the underlying light fruity flavors. The banana and lemon flavors were in the background, and the pepper and coriander flavors in the foreground. The candi sugar presence was also noticeable, especially as the beer warmed up.

The mouthfeel was airy and creamy, and the alcohol was most evident here in the form of a burn. Aftertaste was the lingering spices and astringent lemon peel, with deep lasting warmth in the belly. The after aftertaste (i.e., burps) was a revisit to the spice rack.

A raw and rollicking Tripel, but not for those who dislike things spiced up.

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Photo of BrewMaster
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz bottle. Labeled "bottled on February 19th 2004." The beer is a cloudy orange color with almost no head. In the beer there are chunks of sediment settling to the bottom. The head can be brought up with some swirling, but it settles down again quickly.

Smell: Very citrusy with the sweet scent of tangelo and lemon blossoms. Sweet light malt aroma too.

Taste: Light maltiness, citrus, sweet apple, caramel with a hop bitternes in the middle of it all. The flavor is lacking a bit of the spiciness one expects from a good tripel. Strawberry seed aftertaste.

Mouthfeel. It is aggressive on the palate with a sandy feel.

Drinkability: This beer gets better as it warms up. It is not a tremendous tripel, but it is certainly worht a try.

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Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy yellow. Invigorating spicy taste. Yeasty, lemony. below average tripel.Crisp and fresh on-tap at the Blue Tusk in Syracuse. Thought it might be better in the bottle but was partially wrong:Had a bottle a year and a half later, too yeasty and thinnish. Good level of carbonation.

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Photo of ncbrewerbun
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz. bottle...I didn't notice any dates.

The beer poured a pale yellow with a slight chill haze. There was a small white head that lasted a short time.

Interesting spices in the aroma....pepper, some phenols, a sweetness from the malt. The flavor matched the aroma with the spiciness (mainly pepper) along with some citrus (orange) tempered with a soft malty sweetness.

An enjoyable Belgian Tripel.

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Photo of donnebaby
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Somewhat opaque, dark, dark orange body, with a haze top that bubbled down from a dry, sticky foam. Nose is wheaty malt with touches of witbier and apples and grapes.

That witbier citrus coriander dominates the palate. Overall sweet, reminding of honey. The 9.5% is imperceptible! And it's not even THAT sweet or spiced or having anything that's blatantly covering up the booze. Cool. An interesting hop texture mixes over the sweetness in the aftertaste, which is also sweet, like candy apple. Lightly spicey. Developed and balanced--and even seemingly light.

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Photo of clvand0
2.63/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a cloudy golden color with a small white head that leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is spicy and full of citrus notes with a little sweetness. The flavor is spicy and a sweet citrus. I did not like the taste, as the one I had was very sour and unenjoyable. Usually I like Victory products, but this one didn't do it for me.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The Monkey pours out a cloudy sunshine yellow color with a 1/2" white head. The nose is of honey, some clove and light citrus. The smell is a bit weak IMHO.

The first sip is quite heavy with a blend of citrus fruits, cloves and spices. A unique, refreshing and not overpowering taste here. Fresh honey comes through as well adding to the overall sweetness.

Mouthfeel is think and chewy, even a bit syrupy. The drinkability is pretty good as well. However I don't think I could have more than two of these at a time...flavor wise, for me, this is a brew to enjoy every now and again.

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Came in a 12 oz. bottle. Great picture of the "golden monkey" on the front with a nice little story explaining him. Bottled 9/17/04. Pours a nice tangerine haze with a one finger head. Head goes quick with not much lacing. Vrey fizzing looking.

Smells sweet and lemony with almost no alcohol smell (suprising considering the 9.5 ABV). A very belgian-esqe nose.

Taste follows the smell with one big difference. ALCOHOL!! The 9.5 comes shining through now. Nice amount of hops balance it out. The sweet, almost sugary taste helps bring it down smooth. Feels a little fizzy in the mouth for a triple. Highly drinkable based on how complex it is. Lots of flavors bombard the mouth as you get further into the beer. Be careful with this though, it could end badly.

Another good offering from Victory, though certainly not their best. I personally enjoyed Weyerbacher's Merry Monks Ale more than this tripel. But this one has more of a Belgian quality to it, which is very nice. A very good beer definitly worth a shot.

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Photo of beerceller99
4.17/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle pours a clear straw colored liquid with a minimal head. Has a grainy, spicy sweet bread smell. It is medium bodied with sweet and spicy flavors of butterscotch, vanilla, lemongrass, and black pepper. Finishes with a tangy alcohol taste. A pretty good triple for sure.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draught at Winking Lizard in Columbus and served in a snifter. This beer pours a lightly hazy orange/gold color with a very thin white head. Thin and quick lacing. Aroma of spices, fruit, wheat and a little alcohol. Crisp body with a nice blend of fruit (apple and banana), spices, warming alcohol and sweet candy. The finish is long and sweet with a pinch of peppery hops. This is a very good Tripel that is immensely enjoyable on tap.

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled Aug 11, 2004. Pours a lightly hazed golden yellow with a white head. Aromas of sticky pale malts, candi sugar, white bread, spices, alcohol and a slight bit of orangy fruitiness. Sweet and warming on the palate, residual spicing shows up moreso in the finish. Alcohol's noticable, but a melange of flavor helps keep it under wraps. Fruitiness, bordering on tropical, melds pretty well the alcohol warmth and the spicing and dryness in the finish helps to bring everything full circle. Not a bad tripel at all, quite enjoyable.

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Photo of fdrich29
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden mixture. Not a bad looking beer.

Smells sweet and spicy, maybe pepper.

Tastes fruity, sweet and spicy. Decent tripel taste, a good representative of it's class.

Mouthfeel is smooth with some tingling sensation. Goes down very easily. A decent brew all around. Victory is simply amazing.

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Photo of Dithyramb
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy dark golden. There are white flakes floating around. I bought three, and can't seem to get them to not swirl around as I pour. An off white head quickly dissipates with a nice faint lacing.

Malty citrus nose. The flavor was mostly coriander, peppar, and a nice yeasty spiciness in the back. All three flavors stayed with it throughout the beer, even as it warmed. Didn't read any reviews prior, and was surpised to see that it was both a Tripel and had a very high ABV. The alcohol is completely hiding deep within the flavors. I had no idea. I was initially going to rate it lower, thinking it was a Hefe with no real complexity. The Golden Monkey is a tricky beast...

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Photo of brewer27513
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a white head that dissapates quickly. No hop aroma; some spiciness and maltiness with phenols. This is a very good Belgian Triple.

Appearance in golden with good clarity. Watch the pour from the bottle, or you will get yeast clouding up your beer.

Moderate spiciness. The alcohol is supported by malt character -- it's a beer that will sneak up on you.

Overall this is a great triple with complexity -- a nice blend of spice and fruitinesss.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.47/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this out of a 12 oz brown bottle served in a tulip glass. Label clearly reads that this beer was bottled on 4/15/04.

The apperance is a cloudy and hazy yellow with a nice head on top. Sticky lacings are present.

This beer smells fruity and peppery.

Taste is very sweet and sugary with that classic Belgian yeast flavor. Some of the flavors remind me a piece of Juicy Fruit gum. Spicy with a citrusy bitter finish. There is an alcohol presence on the finish, but nothing too much.

This is very drinkable at 9.5% ABV. Very good American interpretation of this style. Another great offering from Victory Brewing in PA.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a crystal clear golden and then I inadvertently let the yeast chunkies spill into the glass. The head was white and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was fruity and alcoholic with a slightly vinous aroma.

The flavor was slightly sweet with a slight spice and nicely accomplished flavor that dries quickly. Some yeasty flavors were present. No real complexity

The finish was just dry with a slight spice that remains into the aftertaste. The body was medium with a definite alcohol presence.

12 ounce bottle. Bottled on Nov 11, 03.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.33/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle.

Bright white, creamy head that fades after a moment to a thin sheet. Nice layered lacing that holds throughout. Golden/light orange in color with a nice haze.

A very evident banana aroma; some pineapple (maybe coconut) as well. Also a mild, warming clove spice is also present.

Complex in flavor yet all are well balanced and don't overpower each other: banana, corriander/clove, vanilla, and coconut. A nice sweetness that isn't too powerful and very mellow on the tastebuds. Subtle (for a 9.5% abv) alcohol presence in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied; coats the palate nicely with no obtrusive bitterness or unwanted overpowering spiciness/sweetness. Very mild given its complexity.

At 9.5% abv this one goes down a little too smoothly. I've had this as a session beer in the past and it definitely did me in. 3 or 4 in a sitting is definitely my limit with this monkey, even though I crave more.

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Photo of baiser
4.27/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured golden, orange-tinted and cloudy, with a big head that disappeared quite fast, very thin white lace.

Aroma of peaches, caramel, some floral scents.

This is a smooth, syrupy, full bodied beer. A strong fruity, peachy flavour, very sweet. Hops are very floral and complement the flavour quite well. Alcohol is extremely hidden, but is very warming.

It is quite a tasty beer, and very drinkable, but not your typical tripel. However, still very enjoyable.

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Golden Monkey from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.72 out of 5 based on 5,579 ratings.
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