Golden Monkey | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Golden MonkeyGolden Monkey
5,799 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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,799 |  Reviews: 1,828
Photo of Scooter77
4.38/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled date was 10 Sep 02. Pours a hazy golden color with about a 1/2-inch head. Minimal lacing was left on the glass. Aromas of citrus, bananas, mild hops and a vast array of various other fruits seem to burst out of the glass. The taste is incredibly refreshing. There’s a ton of carbonation that tickles your nose as you drink it. An amass of flavors attack the taste buds all at once; bananas, hops, citrus fruit, yeast, coriander…I don’t know where to start. This is a very crisp and refreshing beer great for drinking on a warm summer day, yet the high ABV will warm you up on the most frigid of days.

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Photo of taez555
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden Monkey, an american made belgian trippel on a budget.

This beer was bottled 1/10/03. I poured it into my standard snifter and let it build a nice white/beige head that died down rather quickly. It never completly went away. The body was a very clear orange which caught me a little off guard. It almost resembled a macro brew for how clear it was. Odd to see a belgian style ale of higher quality without the yeast sediment.
The nose was very inviting. Fruity with some yeasty smells that were almost reminisent of a mix between duvel and some lighter sam adams.
The taste was very well balanced with hints of pears, apples, some spices and bitterness. I swear after a while I could taste some hints of corn or rice, with almost a chalky flavor. It reminded me yet again of some of the macro beers.
This beer finished rather nicely. The taste lingered for a little while with some spice and bitter notes.
Overall I have mixed feels about this beer. It's deffinatly a step above psuedo U.S. belgian styles like blue moon. The 9.5% alcohol and complexity really helped make this a good belgian attempt, but it was very hard to get past the very clear and clean flavor hinted by rice or chalky flavors.
A nice attempt by victory, but unless I'm just looking to get wasted on a budget, I'll probably stay away from this beer in the future.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.43/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Revisit June 28, 2003 - Pours a nice golden orangey color with a heavy white loose frothy head about two fingers high, leaves minimal lace in strings. Smell is super nice floral aroma with good amounts of crispy citrus with a bit of spice. Taste is very smooth with complex layers of hard candy, bright citrus of lemon, orange, and grapefruit, with a sweet caramel malt backbone and a note of spiceyness. Feel is full bodied and solid. One hell of great offering of the style, impressive.

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Photo of mikes2923
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Admittedly, I am relatively new to this style so Trippel lovers take my review with a grain of salt I suppose, but this is really an addictive beer (or perhaps that's the high alcohol content talking). But on to the review.. it pours a very nice deep reddish gold in color and leaves less of a head than the weiss beers I typically drink. Not much laceing either. But the proof is in the very smooth taste that goes down quite easily. A very fine beer that defiitely whet my appetite for the style.

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Photo of Brewzzle
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I really want to like Belgian beers but I am having a hard time getting used to them. This tripel however is going a long way to getting me into the style.

It is a beautiful golden colour with minimal head. The aroma is still very Belgian, kind of the skunky yeast aroma that is a bit of a turn off. However things get better when tasted, it is a warm, full bodied ale, very sweet and tempered with various spices I can't put a name to. The aftertaste has only minimal musty yeast like flavours, more emphasis on the sweetness and alcohol. It is a very soft beer, very mellow.

I really enjoyed this ale. Definitely one for those who think they don't like Belgian beer.

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

My first Belgian style trippel that I had toward the beginning of my journey into the realm of beer. Now, I approach the mystic monkey once again a more disciplined deciple. Pours a vibrant drop of sunshine golden with a white highly carbonated, quickly dissipating head. Very alcoholic nose with fruit esters, honey, and cloves contains a sharp sweetness that tickles the nose. Taste is spiced up quite a bit, very unique banana esters in the flavor. A syrupy mouthfeel with a very alcoholic finish, this in my opinion is one of the most unique offerings from Victory. Pretty drinkable for the high ABV, but I would tend to stick with something a little more quaffable.

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Photo of nomad
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1/2 gallon growler from Half Time

Decent head, decent lace, with a definite nose of sugar, honey, cloves, bits of banana and bubble gum – all typical tripel or strong golden ale characteristics, but none of were as crisp or fresh as the more classic examples. In nose and taste it seemd more rounded and flat than a typical sharp trippel, kinda like how a soda is sweet. A creamy taste, but a bit wheatier than normal, softly hopped, with a fairly thin mouthfeel. Is a good try at a class style, but does not match as well with the Westmalle standard. Too clean, soft, and rather simple. Regardless, a great beer to woo newbies, especially the ladies, with.

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Photo of bierman2000
4.6/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the better Triples on the East Coast. I would not classify this as a Strong Pale Ale. 9.5% alcohol will creep up on you as you enjoy this highly dangerous, drinkable beer. Enjoy slowly if you can as it is very refreshing and seems light, but is not.

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.37/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottled on Oct 23 02: Man, more like chunky monkey! This beer has a *lot* of sediment in it. Hazy golden in color, with a head that is wispy thin, but surprisingly persistant. Aroma is bready, with hints of orange and floral hops. Flavor begins with a wonderful coriander spiciness, and a really terrific floral hop flavor. It then gives way to a sweet, bready, somewhat sugary body with a big herbal spiciness. Finishes dry, but gives way to a lingering sweet aftertaste. This is a great tasting, very assertive beer -- not the most complex belgian golden, but leaves a strong impression and is enjoyable nevertheless.

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

Nov o6 02 bottle. Important. The Sept 06 bottles I'd purchased were undrinkable.

Color is clear and a honeyish golden, the white head is sadly short.
Aroma, is out of this world! Gorgeous! Citrus is on top, mingled with more fruit (peach, apricot), honey, spice, straw, a touch of sugar. Ticklish nose, deliriously arousing.
Texture is excellent, balance is perfect. Hops pounce upon the palate, then swiftly fade back. Delicious maltiness! Mouthfeel is utterly unreproachable, warm, yeasty, and giving. Finish is sweet, heavenly, nearly interminable.

Alcohol content is quite sneaky, the fantastic flavor beguiles you so long that you don't notice until the kick comes in. Still, this is one monkey I would love to have on my back! (Label design is also among my all-time favorites!)

Footnote: I was so taken by this brew on our first introduction that I put it on the list at my restaurant/bar. One of the musicians in our Tuesday night band last summer had a serious monkey fetish (tied into the "Hundredth Monkey" concept...on one tune he made monkey sounds...). This was the beer for him! And, when one woman asked a bartender for our "sweetest beer", he chose GM, and she was an instant fan. The furor spread, and for a short time in the summer of '02, Tuesday night was Golden Monkey night at the Blue Nile in Minneapolis. Ah, memories.

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

Bottled on 9-9-2002. Label illustration features a Shiva-like monkey doing the "Hear no Evil, See no Evil, Taste no Evil" gesture. His fourth hand depicts 3 fingers (symbolizing Trippel?) and a big eye on his belly. Another creative example IMO of intriguing brand representation and marketing from Victory.

Golden Monkey poured a deep golden color with an airy white head. Carbonation seen throughout. Aroma consists of spices, pineapple, yeast and seems a bit peppery. The 9.5% abv is masked very well. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, tangy and crisp. This trippel has a mild sweetness to it that is toppled by a tart spiciness. The Monkey is somewhat seductive in a sassy sort of way and the flavor grows on you. The taste consists of pineapple, sweet malt, and sour lemon with a peppery spiciness. Smooth and easy drinking.

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

12 oz amber bottle with a clear "best by" date (month, day, year).

This dubbel poured a hazy, golden color with creamy, rich, white foam that left good lace. There was lively, fizzy carbonation. The smell was lightly fruity (pears, bananas), with some citrus and biscuit aromas. The taste was malty (slightly sweet), with the flavors of fruit (bananas, grapes), toasted caramel, candy sugar, and alcohol thrown in. The mouthfeel was smooth, creamy, and warming. The sweetness and light fruitiness lingered. This was a very tasty and drinkable dubbel style ale. Not as full bodied as some from Belgium, but easy drinking nonetheless.

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Photo of nixhecks
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Golden Monkey poured a bright gold with a small foamy head that didn't stick around long. Aroma was a citrus fruit smell, very reminiscent of a hefeweizen or other wheat ale. The small pieces of sediment floating around took off from the appearance, as it just looks a little gross. On the first sip the alcoholic sweetness makes itself known. Belgian roots are obvious in the taste. Very refreshing and very warming, although I could see myself in bed after just a couple.

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Photo of Wildman
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a cloudy gold color and formed a minimal white head that vanished quickly. Some carbonation and particles were present. The aroma was of citrus, bread and spice. The flavor was of citrus and spice. The finish was a touch light, but bready. Not really the most impressive thing that I have had from this brewer.

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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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Golden Monkey from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 5,799 ratings