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Golden Monkey | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Golden MonkeyGolden Monkey
5,710 Ratings
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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Ratings: 5,710 |  Reviews: 1,807
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer did not impress me at all. I poured a foggy, light golden with not head to speak of. The smell was lightly sweet with a mix of yeast and roasted corn. Pretty standard aromas for a Belgian(or Belgian knock-off). The taste was very, very sweet with very obvious notes of apricot, plumb and white grapes. There was a pretty apparent alcohol taste as well which I would have been ohk with had the flavor been more complex. The mouthfeel was thin, but overly sweet as if I was drinking sugar water, which resulted in a sticky effect on my lips. I will not buy this beer again.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer is a clear deep yellow color with a quickly dissolving white foam head. Spicy esters and yeasty aromas make for an interesting smell, which seemed almost skunky to me. The taste begins sweet and malty before the spices take over. This is when it begins to taste like a belgian style ale. I thought I noticed butterscotch in the flavor as well. It finishes rather bitter and leaves a bit of a sticky spicyness in the mouth.

This beer reminded me of a sweet tasting Duvel. It was not as spicy as its Belgian counterpart, but had a good combination of flavors that make it unique.

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

Package: 12oz. longneck bottle, 9.5% ABV listed. Typically imaginative Victory label with Shiva-like god depicted. Labeled “Bottled on Nov 06 02” and “This is a bottle-conditioned ale.”

Cost: $8.99 to $9.99

Presentation: Imperial Pint glass at 45º

Appearance: Classic Belgian appearance. Pours out with a fluffy, medium-bodied head and an unfiltered and cloudy body. Color is that distinct orange-yellow.

Smell: Volatile aromas of orange peel, yeast, malt, and coriander. Traditional estery bouquet.

Taste: This is a bit sweet at first, but the complexity does improve as the beer warms. Labeled “an ale brewed with spices,” this is a standard tripel that does not differ much from the Lunacy I had last night. Both exhibited the classic coriander smell and taste. The citrus and ester notes were well-integrated and buoyed by a bit of doughy malt. I wish it had a bit more of a sour bite in the middle. Finishes sweetly but well.

Mouthfeel: More body than the Lunacy, with a subtler carbonation. More noticeable alcohol warmth.

Drinkability: I enjoyed this beer very much, not fully appreciating its strength at first. Certainly did not seem 2% stronger than the Lunacy! In fact, the extra body and flavor more than compensated for the additional alcohol.

This is a very good tripel, that suffers in comparison to only the best Belgians. It lacks just the smallest additional edge that gives the Belgians that extra character. Like the Lunacy, this promises so much, and delivers nearly all of it. With more aging, this might well develop some additional complexity and character, while softening the somewhat heavy sweetness. Perhaps I’m just too accustomed to the more traditional tripels. Definitely something to find on draught or the rumored 750ml corked bottles in which it probably shows to its best advantage. I would love to lay down some of the latter to allow it to develop to its full potential.

Backwash: A worthy competitor to other tripels, to which it is most akin; but doesn't quite reach the high watermark of Westmalle or the domestic Allagash Tripel Reserve.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this one following a Hennepin (both for the first time). Two entirely different experiences. Golden Monkey reminds me (in taste and mouthfeel) of the darker, stronger Belgian beers like Rochefort or Westleverten (but not as complex). Despite pouring a hazy, golden color, it has little in common with the more typical golden Belgian Ales. Poured very little head, and what was there disappeared quickly. No lace whatsoever. The taste was initially a little overwhelming (particularly following the delicate tasting Hennepin). After a few sips, however, I began to warm up (literally!) to this beer. Malty, thick mouthfeel (for the style) spicy and fruity (pear?), but just not as lively as the best beers of the style. This being said, for a domestic brewer to make a Belgian styled beer this authentic and powerful is an impressive feat. If this beer were available to me, I certainly would buy it once in awhile. It is different enough, and certainly will boot you in the arse. Thanks for the sample, Joe!

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Holy Shit!!! Strap me to a tree and call me Brenda!!!!

“Is this Gueuze?” that’s all I can say and think out aloud, as I reel from my first taste of this beer. The organized, conservative Beer Review has just flown out of the window, over my Balcony and fallen down 11 floors onto the Beach.

A “freebie” from fellow BA StoutLove77 (major respect!). It has me wishing I got a 6-Pack also from our recent trip to Vendomes. This monster Monkey pours out a hazy golden liquid which reminded me of home-made Marmalade. It has a well developed white head that settles down to a playful 1/8” throughout. The lace patterns left behind resemble the spattered remains of those damned difficult vacuum sealed small individual ketchup sachets that splatter your best shirt when you try to open them in Public. Damn this is good!
The nose is simply “tripel-tastic”, archetypal Belgium odors evacuate and literally destroy the lingering Californian atmosphere in my Apartment and replace it with beer traveled nasal memories. Suddenly I’m transported back to Brussels, drinking the excellent spicy Ranke Guldenberg Tripel in the Bier Circus. Fresh, fruity citric spicy aromas play with my testosterone levels and tease me as it flirts with my ‘love-lorn’ beer-genes, so close to Valentines Day as well – the Bastard. I want to marry this beer, and we haven’t even finished our first date yet, kissed or even slept together yet. This truly is, love at first taste.

The introduction is incredibly fruity, with an inviting black peppery, spicy lemony hoppiness. Then I am stumped, the middle has a tart acidic trait which is intriguing me. Is it supposed to be like this – or is this “turning”?? Maybe – but it’s dated “Bottled on Sept. 9, 02”. So I reckon it is inherent and purposely resident. A quite pungent acidity and dry sourness both hit the tongue amidst the dissolution of high inherent carbonation in the middle of this beer; like two baddies Thatcher and Reagan dancing away – you want to hate them, yet have restrained admiration for their achievements. Mouthfeel is high and this contributes to a distinct spritzy young lambic-gueuze tendency, an angle which endears me to this beer. Oh I like that !!!!
Finish is quite dry and tart. All this and its 9.5% ABV – Oh dear.

Is this the worlds first “Lambic-Tripel” ????
F**k me, what a great idea if it is.
Works for me!

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

Hazy, effervescent yellow. Thin head that stays for a while. Quite a melange of aromas: yeast, bread, lemon, butterscotch. Sweet and sour taste. The high alcohol content is apparent but not overpowering or distracting. Nice rich, creamy mouthfeel. This is quite a summer quaffer although you couldn't pound down very many of them. If you want to tie one on, this is your baby. Another accomplished brew by one of my favorite breweries.

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Photo of paceyourself
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on NOV 06 02. I love this, i wish more american micros put the exact bottling date instead of marking a best before month.
This does lack the large head like most triples iv'e had. The hard pour produced a light yellow color fogged with sediment. A fruity banana and sweet honey aroma adds alot to the enjoyment of this brew. Pears, honey and clove are all there along with a pepper and spice taste. The warming alcohol feel begins to come on at the end, but slowly. Another winner from Victory.

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

I knew there was a reason I moved back to Pennsylvania. Boy do these boys make some good beer. This one is quite a treat. The carbonation is strong but dies quickly. The head is only a thin, white layer. But this brew smells so nice and tastes so good. The spices are not overwhelming, but they add a nice touch. The alchohol does not make this brew undrinkable. In fact, this beer keeps you coming back for more. Golden Monkey is definitely worth having many times.

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Photo of rabidawg
3.37/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very, very strong beer. It's not the strength itself that distracts, but rather the lack of flavor to hide the alcohol. Floral, hoppy flavor and nose, with some strange spice action going on. This is a good beer, but as a Belgian-style tripel, it falls short of expectations.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.24/5  rDev +14%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An initial pleasantly sweet light malt aroma moves to phenol and other spiciness, finally settling with that mix. Fizzy smallish head that leaves. Slightly to moderately cloudy, with a fair amount of setiment on bottom of bottle. Gold. First taste note is the richness and fullness that takes a bit to adjust to. Malt flavor notable, but I wouldn't call it crisp. Alcohol noticable, esp. at mid to finish. Some moments of fruitiness. Somewhat dry with shorter finish. Richness to mouthfeel lends to the sense of fullness and a hefty carbonation helps too.
I like this beer. The paleness could fool a guy not ready for the alcohol strength. Contrary to crispness for style this has a very good ale smoothness. The sweetness is pushed without becoming cloy.

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

Pours a hazy, golden straw color with a slightly off-white head. Fades to a "cling-ring" after a little while. Yeasty and spicy aromas dominate. A floral hoppiness too. Taste is sweet with an alcohol kick to remind you that it's there. It's sweet, yet dry; a feat I'm still awed by. I was expecting more fruity flavors for a tripel, but I did enjoy this beer. I don't think it really is a good example of the style, but quite good nonetheless. Nice carbonation and consistency to this beer as well. Thanks go out to aaronh for dialing me in with these fine Victory beers.

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

Pours a clear golden honey color with light bubbling making it’s way up to the small white head. The head dissipates rather quickly leaving just a thin layer. The smell is a pleasant floral/fruity ester with alcohol being noticeable. The lightly sweetened taste reveals light fruit and yeast combination blended with light hopping and finishes with a strong warming alcohol. This brew has a light bodied mouthfeel and drinks down plenty easy despite the high ABV. Nicely done! Thanks to Rostaruch for sending this to me! Cheers!

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Photo of the42ndtourist
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1) Where's the head - this is a trippel, right? I'm used to big belgian blondes with big belgian blonde heads. This barely summoned up a covering layer
2) Where's the fruit and spice flavours? All I could taste were some yeasty banana-ish flavour and lots of phenols. Some hops present, and a decent malt thickness. But it's lacking the flavour I would expect of such a strong beer.
3) Am I spoilt by Unibroue? Most certainly, yes.

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Photo of inebrius
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I like Tripels with loads of alcohol and plenty of fuzz, and while Golden Monkey is fuzzy, it's more of a big fat fuzzy belly than a sleek fuzzy arm, or a slender fuzzy ankle. It weighs just a touch heavy across the buds. A very nice nose of pear and strawberries though. And alcohol is well-masked until a pleasant finish ignition, but balance is raw and bent toward the sweet end.

Thanks Frank!

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Photo of Jarod
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours into the glass a peachy gold color. The head is white that seemed to stay for awhile. It left some residue but no real lace. The aroma was pretty complex. Fruits like oranges, cherries seemed to be present. Malt (yeasty, alittle) some spices hops (slight) and alcohol was present. The taste was good. It was rich full and again complex. It seemed to change as my hands warmed the glass. Temperature is a definite factor. First you notice the carbonation, then the flavors hit, the some cherries, oranges, dates, spices, malt (sweet) and the alcohol and a bit of hops. All these seem to jump around with the temperature. None of the flavors seemed to be too much. A very drinkable beer. I think this was as good as the monkey from the tap. Keeping some on had at all times.

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Photo of MJR
3.1/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a dull, gold color with a touch of orange. An off-white head starts thick and bubbly, but shrinks down to a small cap. I dumped the whole bottle, so it's a bit cloudy from the yeast dregs.

Smell: The first thing that hits me in the aroma is a musty smell...gotta love the Belgian yeast! There's a bit of spiciness, as well as a slight, fruity note.

Taste: Starts with that same musty character from the nose. Moves to a balance between spicy and fruity, then goes sour... I think I got a bad bottle...

Mouthfeel: Fairly light body with a nice crisp, dry finish.

Drinkability: I'm not really sure...as I believe I'm drinking a soured bottle. I'll have to see if I can get ahold of another bottle to compare. For now, my numbers stand...

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Photo of kelticblood
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a golden light with pieces floating around inside.Bubbles rising from the bottom to the top.The first sip really shows the ABV of this ale,extremely strong.The lace is very solid and thick like cream.The alcohol taste is somewhat overpowering making the mouthfeel harsh.The taste offers some spices I cannot place and seems acidic with some hop character and bitterness.Orange zest,coriander and lemon are noted.One of these and you'll be ready to switch to something lighter.The color definitely deceives you as far as strength.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a light golden yellow. alcohol smell is immediately apparent though not overbearing. hints of spice and citrus fruit throughout. i guess i have to be in the mood for the style, as i've had golden monkey numerous times and sometimes i can't stand it and sometimes i can't get enough. right now, i can't get enough...

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Photo of thefireman
3.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Once you pour this stuff you notice a lot of alcohol. I just got done with a winter activity in the snow and this beer fit the bill. very spicy, citrus like. Coriander or clove. I like to have this on hand for the opportunity to sip something nice next to the fireplace. A great Winter drink, but not more than one at a time. Tastes similar to a Belgian White I tried in Harrisburg, only with much more alcohol.If you're going to drink this beer out, make sure you can get someone else to drive.

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Photo of marc77
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark golden hue, w/ a slight haze. Moderately thick, white, well retained head leaves web like lace. Tart lemon and lime citrus and orange zest dominate the aroma, without much to back them up. Hint of spicy alcohol and trace clove. Cleanly spicy overall in aroma. Strong, almost acetic tartness hits the tongue at first, then mellows and tartness becomes akin to unripe orange and lime juice. Light curacao bitterness. Tartness partially wanes to allow residual sweetness to meld with the citric fruitness, lending an orange marmalade impression. The moderate hop bitterness accentuates the persistent tartness, lending an overall dry flavor profile. Lightly bodied. Crisp and light on the palate, and thus deceivingly quaffable. Finishes both sweet and tart, with ethanol warmth creeping up the throat. An enjoyable, albeit oddly tart pale strong. More residual sweetness and / or esters would have provided balance. Nevertheless quite tasty and dangerous.

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

I've heard a lot about Victory Brewing and am excited about trying my first Victory beer. What better to start with than the critically aclaimed Golden Monkey.

Perfect golden straw appearance with stylistically appropriate large head. Sweet, spicy, fruity (apples, pears, something citrusy) flavor. Slighty tart; more than expected. 9.5% abv well hidden.

Not as "Belgian" as I hoped. Give me a Westmalle Tripel any day.

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

Opaque straw/yellow color pours a good head that diminishes as the beer is drained from the glass. Flowery aroma with a subtle hint of alcohol. Smooth and creamy body with a faint alcohol yeast taste. Finishes ok as it only starts ok. Next to Lunacy this one blows.

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

12oz bottle:
A very good stab at this style but IMHO it falls short compared to the Belgian classics! This beer poured a golden colour with a good head that was not as crazy as some of its belgian counterparts. This smelled of sugar, candy, alcohol, and many other things...like any good Belgian style pale should! This tasted nice, but it was a little phenolic and alcoholic. The alcohol was not as well hidden as it is in other beers of this type. This had a very alcoholic mouthfeel as well and a nice warming effect to boot. A very good attempt to nail this style and very good for the price. A very drinkable Belgian style brew!
cheers victory!

750ml Bottle:
Well it happend, I got an infected bottle of this wonderful Victory ale. It looked and smelled like it should but it tasted skunky, overly sour, tart and nasty. Down the drain it went. I'd like to try a good 750 of this!

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Photo of purplehops
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Golden Monkey pours a golden amber with a white frothy head that fades fast. Plenty of yeast if you don't decant. The aroma is very fruity with notes of spice in the background. The taste is that of a Saison more than a triple (as it calls itself on the lable). It is highly carbonated with the yeast being the taste maker and the malt and spices bringing up the finish with lingering alcohol notes. The mouthfeel is warming and bubbly like that of champaign.
Golden Monkey is very drinkable but something seems to be missing. And to be honest I'm not sure what that something is. Perhaps it's a lack of complexity that keeps it from standing out from other ales. Perhaps it's to young. It is bottle conditioned and maybe another year or two of cellaring would build the complexity that it is lacking.

22oz. bottle update: 3/17/03

Just tried a 22oz. bomber (thank you Rotsaruch) that was one of the first off the bottling line (didn't even have a label). This was much fruitier than the 12oz version. Banana and caramel aromas were much more pronounced. Taste was sweeter also with flavors of honey and tangerine present along with some stronger notes of alcohol. This one is much more complex than the 12 oz. bottle. Will most likely cellar better than the 12oz bottle also.

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Photo of maxpower
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy yellow, with a thin white head that doesn't last very long, not much lacing either. Flowery yeasty aroma, sweet and malty, thick and creamy full mouthfeel, warming alcohol taste and an awesome, spicy clove flavor,a big and beautiful trippel, I need more.

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Golden Monkey from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 5,710 ratings
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