Golden Monkey | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Golden MonkeyGolden Monkey
5,831 Ratings
Golden MonkeyGolden Monkey

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Belgian 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,831 |  Reviews: 1,836
Photo of Morris729
4.47/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright golden color with a foamy white head that soon settles into a good amount of lace. Nose is sweet cake-like malt, floral hops, and lots of spice. Medium to full in body with a very soft carbonation. Taste is sweet candied fruit and lots of spice at first followed by notes of bready malts and coriander. Some lemony citrus and peppery alcohol are present towards the end leaving a dry finish. A complex and thoroughly enjoyable brew. Thanks to francisweizen for the sample!

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Photo of Darkale
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark yellow shade between bronze and gold. Others have mentioned a thick head; I could hardly get the beer to form any head at all, but it did retain a kind of thick haze around the rim of the glass almost until the end.

Aroma is faint spice and yeasty bread. I have heard others talk about bread-like aromas, but this is the first time that I have raised a glass to my nose and thought that I had walked into the local bakery.

Taste is creamy and spicy. I like the creaminess; that was unexpected. Especially when first opened, this beer feels nice in the mouth; I found myself just sitting there and chewing it. Nice alcohol burn, too.

Funny, by the time I finished the beer, I was tired of it. While other beers change in interesting ways as you drink them, this one just faded. A one-night stand beer, not a relationship.

Not a bad night, though!

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

Pours to a brilliant, golden color with a copperish hue. It forms a thick off-white head with good lacing. The aroma is sweet, herbal/medicinal, fruity….bananas? It also has the fresh hay-like aromas. The flavors I detect are candi sugar, medicinal and fruity flavors. It is a sweet beer with a sweet finish. It is smooth, and easy drinking for its strength. I would definitely drink this one again.

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

Brass monkey, that funky monkey. Poured a nice semi-cloudy yellow. Good hops, a slight citric bitterness. ABV does not interfere with it's consumption. I purchased it in a 12oz bottle, I would probably have liked it better in a 22oz, if it was available.

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Photo of Denali
4.45/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Spanked the monkey with Davo and slander at Mugs Ale House in Brooklyn, New York. malto couldn't make it.

Appearance: Opaque pale yellow color with thick off-white creamy head. Impressive lacing.

Smell: Bready, yeasty, and sharp tangy aroma.

Taste: Nice bitter flavor first hits the palate. Then follows a very sweet candy-like flavor that mixes really well with another tangy flavor. Quite delicious, with nice balanced flavors and not as over-poweringly sweet as some other trippels I've had.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Well, mine lasted like 10 minutes tops. Wow is this drinkable. But be careful - the alcohol went straight to my brain.

Comments: Served at room temperature which was just perfect. Quite a nice and dangerous brew. It is incredibly drinkable but also very strong. Watch out.

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Photo of jtw5877
4.45/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a golden hue with a white head, smells like belgium, yet made in PA, this kicks ass, A multitude of flavors, yeasty spicy malty. I am a novice as far as Belgian styles go, but this beer seems to quench my thirst for that hard to descirbe flavor.

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Photo of budgood1
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this monkey pours out a foggy golden colour. ample foamy head with active carbonation to make it stick. aromas of strong yeast and pale malt, fruity sweetness is evident too. very inviting. upon tasting...flavors of sweet pale malts, peppery spice and noticeable hopping. these flavors ride a full bodied mouthfeel, slippery in texture, even with the high carbonation. alcohol only shows itself at the finish, if only fleetingly, masking the high ABV. no noticeable improvement in taste as it warmed. a nice belgian-style tripel...quite tasty and extremely easy drinking. provides a pleasant warming in the belly too!

cheers to frank4sail for providing this sample!

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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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Golden Monkey from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 5,831 ratings