Golden Monkey | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

1,784 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: 1,784 | Ratings: 5,611
Photo of ShanePB
4.33/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden Monkey is no stranger to me. While I've enjoyed both draft and bottled versions in the past, this review is from a fresh 12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Golden orange, fairly clear body with a fluffy and rocky white head. The dissipation was slower and a wonderful retention cap was left behind, along with some sticky lacing. An outstanding looking Tripel, in my opinion.

S: Alcohol esters are constantly lifting from the glass from the beginning of the pour until the last drop. They're not overpowering and allow other flavors to play off nicely. Hints of spicy yeast, clove, wintergreen and a touch of banana in the back end give this a very traditional flavor profile with an American twist.

T: Prickly heat undertones from the alcohol start things off, followed by lots of Belgian yeast and plenty of spice to balance out the initial flavors. A light and sweet malt base is showcased mid palate and finishes with more clove and bubblegum.

M: Higher carbonation but it remains substantially medium bodied in character. It's prickly but smooth at the same time. Some residual heat is left lingering in the throat after the swallow sets in.

Golden Monkey is a true favorite of mine. It has a lot of the characteristics of a traditional Tripel but then completely changes course and takes on an entirely different profile than you're expecting. I applaud Victory for sticking with their guns, as this is truly a standout beer in the category.

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Photo of stevoj
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The best American tripel I’ve had so far. Dark golden and velvety, small silky head, buttery taste and mouthfeel. Essences of spice, floral and some fruit. A little bit of tang and alcohol warmth on the tail end. Nice job!

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Photo of Gavage
4.38/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice golden color with a thin head. Nice carbonation in the glass. The aroma was slightly yeasty, but some citrus overtones were apparant. The taste was similiar, very smooth but sporting a nice balance of malt, bitterness, yeast, and citrus. Very dry and somewhat crisp on the tongue. One of Victory's best efforts.

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

Bottled on May 22, 2003. Pours a cloudy yellow, nice carbornation with a nice little white head. Leaves a nice bit of lacing after pour. There are some sweet and fruity scents. The taste is very sweet with a little bite, but for being a 9.5% ABV not much of an alcohol taste. Light in body, and very drinkable. Compared to the one or two tripels I've had, this is very unique. Give it a shot if you can get your hands on some.

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Photo of tempest
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Its nice and fairly smooth, but tastes like its missing the candi sugar. There;s a sweet complexity missing here, the flavor is all on the golden grains. Still, this beer really hides the alcohol to the point of being a little dangerous. Just remember it's not a session ale. It's tasty and smooth enough to put you on the floor.

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Photo of tone77
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a rich golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of dark fruits and spices. Taste is a good mixture of spices, fruits, and alcohol. Feels full bodied in the mouth and is very drinkable. Overall a very solid brew.

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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 WesWes
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy golden color with a lacey white head. The aroma is of Belgian yeast and spices. It has a very fruity smell and a Belgian pale malt scent. The taste is good. Again, it has the traditional Belgian Abbey flavor, but with a banana flavor from the different spices and the amount of malts. It has an elevated aba (9.5%), but the beer is definately drinkable and enjoyable. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation; a very nice sessions beer.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.26/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Ahhh, it's time to relax with a Belgian-styled beer in my chalice. On to the beer:

The sound of carbonation fizzes loudly inside my chalice where the beer itself is hazy blonde. The head on this one rises nicely as one might expect, but is fizzy and retains poorly. The aroma is pleasantly spiced with a sprinkle of yeast. This is a good sign for the taste.

But something's off in the taste. By now the head has completely dissolved and the appearance looks dull. Carbonation is thin on the palate, as is the peppery kick for balance, and the taste is mostly sweet sticky candied sugar. A touch of honey and spice (cloves) floats around in there too. How about pumping some carbonation in this puppy? It seems thin for the style. The good news? The alcohol is hidden nicely.

The bottle has a best-by-date of "Nov 05 12" printed on the label for you skeptics who think I simply got a bad bottle. Sorry Victory, but I sense defeat in this beer. Back to the drawing board on this stuff.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a golden color with a huge white head. The aroma is heavy on the oranges and lemons with some bready malt. Overall, the aroma is very fruity with a little bit of alcohol.

The flavor is alcohol, oranges, lemons and a little bit of bubblegum. There is also a little bit of yeast and bready malt mixed in. Very drinkable.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Cloudy with some residue. Poured from a large 750ml bottle.

S. Apple and dark fruits with some spiciness. I pick up a bit of orangey citrus. Belgian yeast is also prominant.

T. Sharp granny smith apple zing, faint clove and some clean alcohol taste found throughout. Sweet yet balanced enough, herbal hop on the back end rounds everything out.

M. Light and very much a belgian. Dry finish.

D. Dangerously drinkable. I once drank a six pack of this in my early beer drinking days, I was rendered useless on my couch.

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Photo of dar482
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer comes in a clear gold color with a bit of orange.

The aroma has Belgian yeast, clove, banana, lots of spice.

The flavor follows, but not exactly. You definitely get some wheat, spice, and watery banana juice. Then the flavor behinds almost medicinal or metallic on the aftertaste.

The body is a bit light on this one, but the aftertaste I had issues with.

This isn’t an undrinkable or offensive beer, just a bit off when comparing it to the highly rated tripels I’ve had. It’s a good entry because it’s so drinkable despite being 9.5% ABV, but still not exactly what I’m looking for in a tripel.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden with a short head for the style and no lacing. The smell is a little sharp from alcohol, and with a trace of the typical Belgian yeast aromas. The taste is a little better, especially as it warms. Definite alcohol, but also some banana and clove- very restrained, though. Mouthfeel is a little sticky, but the body is appropriate. Not bad in its own right, except that its a little hot. The problem is that there are plenty of better tripels out there.

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Photo of BARFLYB
2.52/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a regular kitchen glass. I have not had this in years and decided to pick up a bottle to see what is what.

A- Golden monkey pours out a cloudy yellow color with golen highlights. Not exactly "golden" but i see where they are coming from. A sturdy pour lead to 3 fingers of frothy white head that looked bubbly. It died down eventually leaving spots of lace.

S- Getting some breadyness from this monkey along with some fruit essence with orange peel apple and banana. A hint of spice is also detected. The biggest killer for me though is the alcohol which you can't get around.

T- Starts off with a lot of fruits( apple, banana, orange) mixed with alcohol & alot of it. This was my biggest problem with GM years ago and nothing has changed. Some yeast initially as well. I'm sure hops are used but no direct taste for them in this. Spices such as clove and the like come forth with warming.

M- With the alcohol taking center stage this is not very drinkable. To bad because I believe that this has the ability to be a great triple if the alcohol was masked better. Medium bodied with some sweetness from the malts. Carbonation is ok. The fruit mixed with alcohol leaves for a weird aftertaste.

D- Not so much, the high ABV does not scare me, it's just that GM is difficult to drink. A nice warming from the heat on this cold snowy day so GM has that going for it. This seems to be pretty popular on the whole but it is not for me. So maybe I'm missing something?!?? I will try this again in another 4 years to again, see what's what.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.32/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: light, slightly hazy golden color with lots of apparent effervescence and a three-finger large-bubbled head. Head has very little persistence and relatively little lace.

Smell: sweet malt, pear, chalk and sour cherries. An interesting blend; quite intriguing. Can't wait to drink it.

Taste: taste is mostly of malt. There's a sourness to it which doesn't quite work in a tripel. Fruity notes are very subdued. It's not bad, but it's not what I'm looking for in a tripel.

Mouthfeel: medium body with some creaminess, but merely OK.

Drinkability: not a bad beer overall, but there are so many better tripels out there.

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Photo of biegaman
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bill and Ron encourage me to enjoy this sometime before January 2009 and I figured I'd be happy to one tired evening, November 2006.
Opening of the cap would make a great sizzle, poured into a tulip glass and a storm of bubbles would stir up. Head forms and thins out into a white crown. Plenty of yeast particles suspended, crowding the body, leaving it clouded. A golden apple colour. A light, bready malt aroma. I get some over ripened fruit - pear, apple - some lightly floral hops. Lightly spicy! A nice, soft touch of malt on the aftertaste. I taste both standard German malts and the Belgian yeast. Some sweetness. Body is well rounded, seems a little compromised though. I could use more spice in the taste. Some faint alcohol as it goes down. A little too neutral/dull for my taste. This was good, but it wasn't exactly like other tripels.

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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 puboflyons
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on June 2, 2011. The pour is straw yellow with a frothy, puffy head and little chunks of sediment floating around. The head settles. There are gentle carbonation bubbles lifting elegantly up the center of the glass. The aroma has plenty of pears and bananas and a light spice note with some malts. But I also get something like wheat. The body is medium to full. The taste is more on the peppery side with a dry hopped ending. I enjoyed it.

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

Corked 750-ml bottle bottled March 6, 2003.

Pours a cloudy golden brew.

Smell is sweet and fruity and a bit spicy. Has a strong herb smell to it.

Taste is sweet with a spiced apple flavor to it. A pleasant brew but it seems a bit rough on the edges might benefit from cellaring for a year or two. Still tasty, has a rough herbal flavor to it.

Mouthfeel is good.

A tasty and drinkable brew, mine was only a year and a month old when sampled. Would like to try a 2 and 3 year old specimen.

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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 clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A light-tan gold body that had a two finger head that died quickly and didn't leave much lacings.
I got a big whiff of citrus and spices, especially some orange, but not much else. Unbelievable smoothness and spicing in this beer, as it is medium-bodyish. The spiciness hits first, then it smooths over the tongue with some caramel and the citric flavors kick in, like orange, and then there is a peppery backbite. To be honest, after the first sip I thought that maybe the bartender gave me the hefe beer next to this, but I checked the bottle to make sure. Not too much malt, but it did have a little breadiness to it (I think). I don't know, I thought this beer tasted real good and I'd have another (I wouldn't session it). People who have had it told me it isn't that good, but I disagree. I don't know, I'd say give it a shot and let your taste buds form their own opinion. (Note: Like stated before, it tasted like a hefeweizen and I love hefe's, so maybe that's why I like it)

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Photo of jdhilt
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a four finger white head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Crystal clear amber color. Good carbonation and light-medium bodied. Light honeysuckle nose and flavor is sweet clove with some bitterness. Higher ABV is hidden. 12oz bottle, from Gift Specialists Oceanside, California.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.49/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a slightly hazy yellow colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some very faint lacing running in stages down the sides of the glass. The head lasted for only a few minutes before it was gone.

Smell - breads/grains, oranges, bananas

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an above average amount of carbonation and feels slightly creamy yet dry on the tongue. I can taste lots of breads/grains, light bananas and a touch or orange. I also picked up on some citrus zest and some cloves. The alcohol is not hidden and it finishes with a sour/bitter aftertaste.

Drink - The beer has a harsh taste to it and seems like it lacks balance. It did get better as the beer approached room temperature, but it was still just an average tasting beer. I wouldn't seek this one out again.

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Photo of weeare138
4.37/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage '00 bottle, courtesy of egajdzis...
Appears a golden hazy yellow with an expected amount of yeast and sediment.
The smell is very yeasty, sugary, and citrusy.
The taste is better than the usual Monkey, which I like as is. Nice yeasty, candy taste that's been smoothed out from the aging.
Mouthfeel is smooth and well done with barely a trace of alcohol.
Drinkability is good but it's a bit too good for it's own good.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.27/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A- Poured into a chalice. Pours a slightly hazed golden yellow color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is fruity malts (pear, apple), spices and Belgian yeast.

T- The taste like the aroma is fruity malts and spices with some yeast and warmth from the alcohol in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, Golden Monkey is a good beer that is worth a try if you like the style.

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Golden Monkey from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.72 out of 5 based on 5,611 ratings.
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