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Golden Monkey | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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1,771 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: 1,771 | Ratings: 5,533
Photo of DogFood11
2.2/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Lacking anything inviting in the apperance it goes down as well below average. Minimal Head and no lacing to speak of combined with a chill hazed meat. Smelled ultra sweet and fruity.

Taste was the best part of this offering although it comes up short with no balance to speak of. This is a punch/juice with carbonation and alcohol added. Reviewing within the style this is the lowest tripel I've had at this point. Carbonation was mellow and did nothing to counter the sweetness. Cotton candy and corn syrup creep into the equation at the end. This is obviously what they were shooting for as Victory is an awesome brewery overall. Just a blip on the radar screen.

Edit: One year later November of 2006 and I still feel the same way if not a bit worse. This beer is so fricking candied sweet even for a triple. Huge alcohol flash and hard to enjoy. I've heard this is better with even more time in the cellar and will hopefully re-review it over the next five years but for now even with a year on it. Avoid.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.08/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Yellow with golden hues. Awsome head that last a long time.
Nose is ok. Can smell the alcohol some spice and tartness.
Complex taste. First I taste the alcohol. After getting that out of the way I taste some spice. Parsley. Taste a little like a good rum. Nicely bitter at the end.
Feels good in the mouth. Has a bite.
Not very drinkable as it could hide the alcohol better.

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Photo of NClifestyle
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

an interesting beer, quite strong, lots of zip and punch. more than i expected, but they do say there is added spice!
pours a cloudy yellow, medium white head, leaves quickly with some lace.
smell of wheat, lemon and a belgium like scent.
tastes of very strong beer, spicy and almost harsh, but tastes pretty good. bitter in the end.
pretty full in the mouth, burns a bit, lots of bubbles, exciting all over the place.
a neat beer to try, but probably wouldn't have more than one, but i would do it again later.


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

Golden Monkey pours a hazy gold color with a nice big head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is very yeasty with hints of citrus. Taste is very sweet and malty with some nice fruit complexities- I detect some banana and apple flavors. There is definitely some alcohol evident here as well. This beer has a great medium to full mouthfell with some very nice carbonation and pleasant dry and warming finish. This one can be a little rough due to the alcohol flavors but it is quite tastey and quite good overall.

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

This brew pours a semi-cloudy golden orange color with a small white head that recedes within seconds. The aroma is of orange peel, and is huge. The taste is very juicy, with huge orange notes and slight alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lots of carbonation. Overall, this is a very nice American Beer, and a fine tripel.

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

Pours a rich golden. Decent white head with a lot of Belgian lace being produced. Aroma consists of cloves, banana, hits of grapes and apples and a lot of yeast. Taste is sweet malt upfront followed by a good amount of spices. Cloves. YEASTY. Nice balance of hops. Aftertaste is semi dry with some green apple. Taste reminds me of Duvel just a little bit.

A very good triple IMO. One that I would look out for.

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Photo of Naes
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This monkey is a hazy golden color with hints of yellow and orange. The head is a one inch layer of white foam.
The aroma is a wonderful blend of yeast, citrus and spice.
Its flavor matches the aroma quite nicely with an added flavor of alcohol. It is like a juiced up version of their whirlwind wit bier. There is also a bit of citrus and clove near the finish.
Mouth feel is a bit heavy due to the alcohol warming sensation and is mildly carbonated.
For such a high ABV, this brew is quite (dangerously) drinkable.

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

This is from Victory's sampler case. The bottled on date is clearly stamped on the label, and the expiry date is clearly marked on the case. YAY!

Pours a hazy golden yellow with a 1/2 finger head of bubbles and foam. The head quickly drops to islands and a ring, with small pieces of lacing here and there.

Aroma is phenolic-y, with hints of citrus, cloves, black pepper, honey, and faint banana. Also smells of light bready malts, sugary, with a pretty strong aroma of alcohol.

First flavor is hot alcohol, followed by sweet malt, honey, and spices. Seems a little out of balance. I think it could use more hop bitterness to balance the almost cloying sweetness, and maybe a more attenuative yeast. Faint citrusy/spicy hops are way in the back. Aftertaste is sweet and hot.

Mouthfeel is medium to full, with medium to high carbonation. This beer just doesn't seem to know what it wants to be. On one hand, it's cloyingly sweet. On the other, it's alcohol hot.

This beer has been around for a long time. It's not a bad beer at all, but I'd be willing to bet that Victory is at least slightly embarrassed by this offering. It is a good selling beer, and if I were Victory I wouldn't change it, but I find it hard to believe that Victory Brewing Co. can't make a really good Belgian ale.

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Photo of Px2GrafX
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

presentation: 12oz. bottle with a blue label with a large egyptian or buddha-like image of a yellow multi-armed monkey. one arm plugs just one ear, another covers his mouth but reveals a smile, a third covers his eyes, but he peaks through his finger, and a fourth makes some gang-like symbol in front of his chest. there is an eye on his belly. "victory golden monkey" is large surrounding the graphic. an explanation of their tripel is on the left of the label along with a 9.5% abv and a bottled on date of: july 12, '05. "bottle conditioned" and "brewed with spices".

appearance: pours a hazy golden yellow with slightly brighter highlights in a chalice glass. head is a nice 1 inch tight fluffy almost bright white with good retention. nice lacing. there are some floaties from the bottle conditioning.

smell: spicy and lightly citrusy hops and maybe some corriander. yeasty and bready.

taste: starts out a lot like an american pale wheat. orange, lemons and corriander. touch of cloves, but no bananas. after the very first sip, i feel the alcohol warming effect. bitterness is light, but hops are countered with very sweet bready malts. yeasty and sweet finish. aftertaste is spicy with cloves mostly. alcohol runs the show, though.

mouthfeel: nice medium body with a champagne-like carbonation. rolls nice and your mouth warms with alcohol from every sip. swallows well, but clunks a bit for the creamy medium body.

drinkability: the alcohol and warming effect are nice, but definitely hinders the drinkability. tasty and you want to drink easily, but with this one you stop yourself.

overall: this is a tasty drink with nice characteristics, but i don't think this fits the bill for a tripel very well. tasty, so i ranked the taste higher than i would for a style match. alcohol should definitely be more well hidden, but makes a nice sipping brew. a nice try, but there are better trips out there.

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Photo of PatYoda
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

1-20-05 bottling.

Cloudy yellowish orange with no head. Very urine-like in appearance. Smell is faint, but inviting. A bit of sugary sweetness with some phenolic character lets you know this is a Belgian style beer. Also some toffee which doesn't show up in the taste. The taste is a well merged blend of peppery spiciness, sugary sweetness, and some yeasty breadiness. If one aspect dominates, it's definitely the spices though. Finishes a bit dry with barely perceptible alcohol and lingering sweetness. Hardly any bitterness here at all. The mouthfeel is light and crisp, but a tad grainy - the spiciness doesn't help. Definitely not bad, but it takes a lot for a tripel to impress me these days, and this doesn't live up to some of the better examples of the style.

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

12oz bottle from santoslhalper as part of BIF 17. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" white head above the clear golden brew. Head lasts well, with average to good lacing. Aroma is malts and spices, as expected for the style, but with a bit of a sour undercurrent. Taste starts with pale malt sweetness, sliding into some spicing (but not too much), and then a slight alcohol warming to close. Mouthfeel is pretty good, although nearing the cloyingly sweet line, and drinkability follows the same road.

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

Another pretty tripel, this one more yellowish than the orangey Westmalle I had earlier today. Less of a head as well, but still a looker.

Smells pretty bready and yeasty, maybe a little spiced. I like it. In the taste, besides those characters, the alcohol makes an appearance after being notably absent in the nose, but it behaves itself for the most part. There's a substantial bready finish to Golden Monkey that I'm enjoying particularly. Feels light and fluffy in my mouth, rounding out what is a very pleasant beer to sip while cursing the Yankees.

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Photo of fingolfin72
4.22/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color- Slightly hazy straw-gold, with a fine, white, short-lived head.

Nose- Lemony, sugary Belgian bouquet. I detect some yeasty, spicy notes.

Palate- Citrus-spiked creamy goodness. Floral notes waft up the back of my nose. The mouthfeel is a lovely, fine, creamy effervescence. A slight mineral firmness and a note of sage are in there, perhaps coriander also.

Delicious. The mineral and alcohol give it some backbone.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

--Edit: This is one of those beers that you hate but still come back to and find it addictive. I love this tripel and can understand why I hated it to begin with, but fell in love with it in the end. So good....

My first taste of Victory in Wisconsin...so far, I am going to let this one slide as an indication of the rest of their brews.

The appearance is a crisp honey color with a tightly packed pure virgin white head that clings decently to the glass and maintains its shape the entire glass. Smell was heavy on the cloves, orange peel and coriander. Smells like a belgian wit to me. Not as fruity as I hoped for in a triple. The taste and mouthfeel is what turned me off on this beer. The huge alcohol rush overpowers everything and stings the mouth like a bad malt liquor. The spiciness of the alcohol and cloves, make this seem unbalanced. To be honest, I don't think this is necessarily a bad beer, but for a tripel, I think it is a joke. This should be taken off the shelves and re-introduced as the first "double belgian malt liquor wit"!

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

Serving temperature: 48F Glassware: One out of a chalice, one out of a tulip over the same session.

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with Victory "V" and a six legged gold monkey on the front. Info. about the beer and bottled on date clear on the bottle.

Appearance: Very light copper with thin white head, poor lacing except in a tulip where the head initally billowed to ~3". Tiny bubbles observed making their way to the surface through somewhat murky liquid.

Smell: Light alcohol smell with a distinct breadiness & pungent spice aroma backing it. Orange peel? Maybe..

Taste: Yeasty backbone contributing complex spiciness of coriander, anise.. Unfortunately, that's where the complexity ends. Closes out with an easily identifiable bready taste turning into a sweet and slightly tart aftertaste. Alcoholic notes perk up throughout, although hidden pretty well.

Mouthfeel: Lighter carbonation & a slick, yet full-bodied mouthfeel make this brew go down pretty well. No stickiness after swallowing here, although the taste lingers a bit long.

Drinkability: See above- Not a real complex brew, especially within the style, but one I look forward to drinking regardless. Well hidden ABV of 9.5%.

End notes: Dissapointed with this brew. Victory is capable of so much better, I expected this to knock my socks off like all of their other offerings I've had so far- That's not to detract froim a solid brew, however. Just lacking that extra something.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice American stab at the classic Belgian style. Pours a bright straw gold in color with a respectable head for its abv. Nose is candy sweet, but with a fruit complexity underlying. Taste is quite nice, very classic tripel notes going on here but with some other layers I can't quite place. Quite strong, it tastes about what it's abv would suggest. Nice mouthfeel, lightly carbonated, medium body.

I quite enjoyed this one, probably one of the better American tripels I've had.


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

A very flavorful tripel - really struck me as somewhere in limbo between a weisbier and strong pale flavor-wise, as this beer has a lot of depth of yeast flavors that go beyond what I normally find in a tripel. Poured a hazy apricot. Funky yeast aromas abound. Candy sweetness offset by sharp bittering and a piercing but pleasant alcohol bite. Yeasty flavors play throughout. Very approachable, in spite of the higher abv. Well executed. Thanks to Far333 for the treat.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.18/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A different ale from one of the best brewers in America.Great two finger head and a clear golden color thats a little light,but not bad,the carbonation makes up for it.This taste a little too much "wheat" for my taste,but still not bad.The label says its a spice ale,but not overly spicey.This packs a punch at 9.5% alc.

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Photo of silver0rlead
3.76/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have to give tryon distributing and Victory credit, my bottle has a bottled on date of 9/19/05 and i bought it on the 22nd...damn fine turnaround . Pours into a chimay chalice a beautiful, sparkling hazy gold color with a thick, frothy white head that retains well for a 9.5% brew. Aroma is very belgian; spices (corriander and anise), candied sugar, bready and slightly musty malt aroma and some light penolic aromas, nice and authentic but not particularly inviting. Flavor is complex, with notes of phenols, toasted bread, horseblanket, candied sugar, earthy and mineraly hops, spices (corriander, clove anise), and fruity yeast. Mouthfeel is smooth with a medium to light body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly bitter herbal finish with a noticeable alcohol bite. Interesting beer, definately think cellaring could improve this tripel (its very, very fresh right now) but enjoyable nonetheless.

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

Here again, I have to say "thanks" to the folks at Victory for bringing some of their beers into the Texas market. Golden Monkey is a fine addition to the shelves here, and it's sure to please many a palate.

The Monkey looked great on the pour, with a cloudy, light straw look and a firmly compacted head of foam. The nose was sweet and effervescent.

The taste was complex and interesting. Grapeseed flavors mingled with rosehips and cloves. Hop presence was definitely there, but kept in balance with the malts. Very interesting beer. Not a hint of the 9.5% ABV to be found in the taste. Excellent effort.

Mouthfeel was very good, the carbonation leaping out and grabbing the drinker's attention. Very drinkable, but watch yourself with the high alcohol content. A most wonderful tripel from Victory.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. My first beer from Victory and it's really good. Poured out to a golden color with some haziness and a nice head that came down to about 1/8 of an inch. Higher carbonation. Aromas of buttery malt, spices and some breadiness. The taste is full and rich, following the smell; flavors of malt, sweetness that is similar to cider, and some bitterness from the hops. Some buttery like yeast toward the finish. The carbonation makes the flavors very vivid and present. Very nice. Mouthfeel is not too filling, yet not weak or light. This has high drinkability despite the 9.5% ABV. This is a great American Made Tripel. Highly recommended.

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

Rather a pale color for the style; yellow with some orange and hazy. Head is frothy and sticky and white and I like it.

Nose is so amazing and appetizing! I meant to sniff and consider before drinking but just couldn't wait to get it in my mouth. Wow.

Smells light and clean and yeasty, with some citrus, almost reminiscent of a witbier, in fact, although that has no basis in this brewer's claims. Hmm. Very appetizing regardless.

When I drink I am refreshed. I feel the alcohol pretty quickly but not in a bad way; it is soothing and warming. I almost get a bourbon-type hit from it; it reminds me of Allagash Curieaux in that way. I would say that malt wins out over hops in this beer, but I feel that neither plays a huge role; yeast is dominant. There is some noticeable citrus from the hops though.

Mouthfeel lively and fun.

Finish is dry and makes me want more.

Drinkability is hurt somewhat by the noticeable alcohol. Not that it's overwhelming, but I find myself aware that I am drinking a stronger beer. Otherwise, I enjoy this beer immensely.

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Photo of 12vUnion
4.02/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Perhaps I've been too spoiled by the good selection of Belgiums around me, but it's taken me a really long time to get around to this one. And I'm a little jaded.

It's a pretty standard thin, golden/copper color. Low head.

Smells of yeast, fruity hops and alcohol. It smells a bit sweet.

Up front are those sweet, fruity hops. Tasty. Then comes the bready yeast. Also yummy. Then it smooths out in the end with an mild alcohol warmth. And...that's it. Yes, it hits some major points where the Belgiums exceed in. And it does it fairly well. They taste nearly true to the Belgiums. But it's got an extreme lack of depth. Very one dimensional. Also, it's overly sweet. I want the yeast to go wild and take over. I want to jam something else in there and rebottle it for a few years. It's good, but not great. But I guess that's why it comes in a sixer rather than a bomber.

Another point, it's easy to drink. Very easy to drink. That's a little worrisome when it's 9.5% and comes in a six pack. It's just asking to ruin your night.

Bottom line is that it's good, but not quite like the Belgiums I've come to love. Not that Belgiums are the only ones allowed to brew a triple. But they have an understanding for the complexity needed to make it world changing. It's not all that cheap either. I'm not turning it down. Not at all. I'll happily finish the rest of these. But it's not changing my perception in the least.

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Photo of tomParis
2.46/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottled March 2005. Hopefully I opened this too early, because I was not impressed by this beer at all. I'm cellaring the rest of the six pack for a year or two, maybe that will help.

The appearance was ok, hazy golden color with a decent head and good carbonation.

The smell and taste was dominated by an unpleasant belgian yeast taste and not much else. There were subtle hints of fruit, but they were overshadowed by the yeast. Not a balanced beer at all.

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Photo of TexIndy
2.47/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle. Poured a golden/honey color with barely any head. The appearance was good but it had a strange smell which might mean I had an off bottle. You can really taste the alcohol but not enough to stop from drinking. After awhile, it does get to be a bit too much for me though. Finished it but last few drinks didn't go down easy.

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Golden Monkey from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.72 out of 5 based on 5,533 ratings.
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