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Golden Monkey | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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1,766 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: 1,766 | Ratings: 5,510
Photo of chinchill
3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served in a Corsendonk chalice.
Golden-peach colored with a white head that has very good retention and leaves the glass well coated.
Aroma: full, spicy and fruity, with some bready malt, but a bit dank and overly floral. [1.75]
The body is medium with good carbonation.
Taste: rich, spicy and complex, but a little too sweet. Also too yeasty for my tastes, The alcohol is noticeable in the aroma, the flavor and the feel.

O: compared unfavorably in about every respect to the Maredsous 10 Tripel that preceded it.

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

Cloudy, washed-out amber with boatloads of yeast. My first bottle had a soft white head that fell quickly to one finger and resulted in a nice amount of lace. This one has almost no head and barely any lace. Weird.

The nose is fruity and smells like candied banana. On the palate, I can appreciate sugared, ripe banana as well as apple-like notes. The flavor improves as I go deeper into the bottle. Alcohol is noticeable, but not obtrusive, and the 9.5% ABV ensures that the beer is nicely warming. The mouthfeel is medium, with a slightly slick, coating finish.

Initially, I thought I prefered Golden Monkey to New Belgium's tripel, but now I'd have to say that I prefer NB's version. This is pretty good beer, but isn't one I'll look for again.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.33/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Alright, folks, I finally did it. Trying a new tripel torments the hell out of me, as its a style I either love or hate entirely, and most tripels ending up lumped into the latter group. I had put off sampling Golden Monkey for as long as possible until yesterday, while at Highlands Grill in Kennesaw, I decided to finally "go for it".

Appearance: Pours a hazy, pale golden body with a foamy, white head that went completely flat within a minute or so.

Smell: Spice-driven aromatics, with hints of flowers, mold, bananas, and grains.

Taste: Spicy from the onset, with generous doses of pepper, clove, and corriander. Other weak flavors erratically flash across the tongue: lemon juice, sweetened dough, dusty-dry yeast, and bananas. Lightly bitter finish with just a murmur from the alcohol showing on the swallow.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied and watery. Lightly carbonated.

Drinkability: I did not care for this one at all, as its excessive spiciness, as well as its array of weak, uninteresting flavors was a complete turn off for me. Pass.

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

On-tap 2/4/07 at Pitcher’s Pub in Cumberland, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark yellow color, with a thin white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin but even lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of yeast, dark fruit, brown sugar and some spice.

T: The flavors of yeast and dark fruits jump out first, with flavors of banana and brown sugar in the background. The after-taste is yeasty and sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and a little sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easy, it has a good kick to it, however this one wouldn’t be my first choice within the style, even though it’s a pretty decent beer.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.06/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

First had: bottle from Westgate Pub, Havertown, PA

Not a fan of this. It seems more of a "strong blonde ale" if anything, but not really comparable to a good authentic Belgian tripel. I don't like to bad-mouth Victory, but there you have it.

Pours clear golden yellow with a moderate head that typically displays some decent lacing. Vaguely yeasty aroma, banana and cloves, but on the light side. Tastes a bit chemical-y, biscuity, with banana and spice notes, alcohol is not hidden. Medium-bodied, and not too drinkable in my book, though it seems the ladies tend to like it. ?

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

A - Poured a orange-tan with little to no head and only a slight film of lace on the top, no real carbonation.

S - Smell was somewhat sweet with alot of alcohol and a hint of sour grapes.

M & T - The taste was odd, hard to really pin down. Lots of subtle flavors, dark fruits, grains, and hints of hops with a very noticeable alcohol hint in the back. Smooth, somewhat slick, not enough carbonation for me on this. Would have liked it to have more body to it.

D - Overall this was not bad at all, not my favorite belgian style ale, nor my favorite from victory, put definatly not bad. Will have to give it a secind try, just seems a bit strong for my everyday tastes, definatly unique and one that you should definatly try.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.17/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured cold into a Chimay chalice from a container bottled on March 29th of 2007
A - A deep golden/light amber with full bone white head that quickly recedes and generates plenty of lace that remains on the sides of the glass.

S - Spicy + malty- a coriander hint as well as a bready, boozy alcoholic character that has an abbey yeast quality.

M - Warming, vinous feel, spiced with a full body and plenty of effervescent sweetness.

T - Strong candy-like belgian yeast flavors saddle up with an immediately apparent alcohol presence. Tantalizing spicy honey-like smooth character gives a clean fruity ale flavor tha is easy to enjoy mouthful after mouthful.

D - A real easy one to return to with all the spice and depth that a tripel has to offer. The golden sweetness w/ strong abv makes it hard to deny, but at the same time only a good rating for drinkability since it's high abv makes it difficult to have more than a few.

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Photo of russpowell
3.56/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy straw color with a 1" white head. No head retention or lacing

S: Some yeast, bananas & fruittyness

T: Malt sweetness, banana peel. yeast & slight lemon. Finishes frutty & yeasty

MF: Thick, chunky & effervescent

Too many flavors dominate that I don't care for. Tripell isn't my favorite style, but this is lower echelon compared many others I've had

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Photo of Jason
3.17/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Man oh man, this is strong @!#$. What a kick, they should have named it after the devil though. Not all Belgian beers are as wild as this, some are just clean, bitter and alcoholic.

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

Served on tap at Willie McBride's in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a lightly hazy medium straw yellow in color with some light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some golden yellow highlights. There were light amounts of small visible yeast particles in suspension. The beer has a finger tall dense white head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass.

S: Moderate aromas of pale malts, bananas, and spicy yeast.

T: Moderate flavors of pale malts with some light fruits (white grape, apple, pear) upfront with some slightly stronger notes of banana and spicy/peppery yeast towards the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light to moderate amounts of alcohol heat and dryness in the finish.

O: Not the easiest beer to drink as the alcohol is noticeable but it is a very enjoyable beer and a great example of the style.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle

A: Pours very light and cloudy with a one finger head that dissipates to a small layer of little bubbles on the top.

S: Didn't get a ton on the nose, some floral components and some yeast.

T: Definitely sweet upfront with some malts rounding it out. There is also a little bit of spice in this.

M/D: Medium bodied and pretty drinkable. The alcohol was masked pretty well though. Overall I was left underwhelmed. It seemed to be lacking in most areas. Its not a bad beer, but it isn't great.

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Photo of smcolw
3.51/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Slight cloudiness; golden color. Nearly no head or lace.

Strong barnyard aromas...very earthy.

The flavor features a creaminess that doesn't show up in the mouth. I notice some bitterness from hop and certainly the alcohol level. High carbonation. Slight sourness in the aftertaste.

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Photo of billab914
3.34/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Founders pint glass. It poured a clear, golden color with a moderate, frothy white head to it.

The aroma has a decent amount of tart and crisp fruity flavor to it that mixes with a modest amount of Belgian yeast spice. I get some sweeter, pale malts to it as well giving it a pretty nice base.

The taste shows a lot of the Belgian yeast spice right off the bat. It's a little overpowering and a little harsh in the finish for the style. Midway I start to get the sweeter, pale malts and the cruis fruitiness, but the yeast spice is a little overpowering. It was also a little too bitter in the finish for me as well.

The mouthfeel is about average for the style and carbonation is moderate. Overall it wasn't a bad beer but it wasn't a great version of the style in my opinion either. The yeast spice was a little harsh and overpowering for me and i got a little too much herbal bitterness in the finish as well. Decent beer but not nearly as good as some of the best in the style.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank on tap 1/16/10 at the Iron Horse in DC.

a - A nice golden color with a decent amount of while head. Little carbonation.

s - Smells fruity and a little boozy. Also smells of yeast.

t - Kind of taste like it smells. Smooth but kind of hoppy eventually.

m - light to medium body, little carbonation, pretty smooth .

d - It was a decent beer, not the best tripel I've had but I would try it again.

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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 RblWthACoz
2.95/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours hazed gold. Lots of sediment floating all over. Nose is subdued with a mild chalky yeast. Flavor is...ack! Sweet! Bitter on the tail end, but nowhere near good enough to save this. Feel is low on bubble, thicker on sticky syrup for the liquid feel. Drinkable? No. Actually...this is pretty damn bad.

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Photo of stakem
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle poured into a goblet. The initial pour reveals a clear golden yellow colored brew that is quite clear. I must not have stopped the pour soon enough because the initial clarity of the brew has given way to quite a mess of particulate floating in suspension. Nearly 2 fingers of fluffy white head appears composed mostly of large sized bubbles that fizz away to a thin film across the top of the brew. A constant stream of carbonation rises to the surface. A webbing of lace is seen as the cap fades and before a sip is even taken.

The aroma is a peculiar mixture of familiar scents all thrown together. Belgian yeast characteristics are abundant smelling of clove and banana with some fruity and spicy aspect that is somewhat peppery before turning mildly sweet and pear-like with notes of grass and sulfur filling out the back. Alcohol makes itself known in the nose with an increased peppery and pear aspect. Once warm there is a mild lemony scent that appears, interesting and unexpected.

The taste is a typical representation of the style and right in line with what the aroma leads you to think you are getting yourself into. Initial flavors of belgian yeast taste of clove and banana with a peppery spiced aspect that warms the throat with an increased awareness of the 9+% abv. It finishes dry with a mild fruit skin flavor somewhat like pear but not as pronounced as the aroma led on. The sulfur aspect that was evident in the nose is quite hidden inside the flavor of this brew and the lemony aspect that only revealed itself when warm in the nose is evident through each sip. This brew lingers inside the mouth with a yeastiness that urges you to continue taking sips encouraged by the flavor of pepper.

This is a medium bodied brew with an effervescent level of carbonation that eventually calms down to an acceptable moderate level. A fair representation of the style with a bold alcohol presence. Overall there was an enjoyable depth to this brew to enjoy but the sulfur aspect I could do without. Overall not bad, I would drink this again. The cryptic dating that victory offers perplexes me, sure the label says best by Dec. 1 2013 but that doesnt tell me anything regarding how old/young this offering is. I would love to have it again with a side by side comparison of a young brew verse one with 3 years or so on it. Give it a try, overall it's not bad. My only gripe is that this brew seems to heavily rely on the spiced aspect/additions of the brew instead of the natural flavors and aromas that the yeast alone can provide.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottled poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Clear and golden with a not-so-fluffy looking head. It's gone quickly. Some lacing remains. Is it just me or do Belgian-style ales have difficulty retaining a head?

Smell - Spicy with a distinct yeasty aroma. Smells like a tripel. Nothing really complex. I can't pick out exactly what spices this beer claims to have in it.

Taste - Fresh, clean flavor. Slight funk and other spice notes. Again, nothing complex, but quite enjoyable. A bit bland, I guess, compared to other tripels.

Mouthfeel - Very light body with moderate carbonation. It's dangerously drinkable. I could have put away a lot of these very quickly. The downside is that it's extremely dry in the finish. It's a real turn-off.

Overall - It's good and it's easy to drink. It's nothing amazing, but there isn't anything glaringly wrong with it. I would be happy drinking this regularly.

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Photo of jwc215
3.61/5  rDev -3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottled on Oct. 31, '06 (tasted about 2 months later)
Pours clouded orange with no head.

The smell is of banana, ginger, and vague hints of other spices. Bready, with peppery alcohol.

The taste was of banana bread. Some typical Belgian spices were there - but a bit subdued - ginger, coriander - other vague spices blended in. (not so "exotic" as described on label). Bubblegum notes emerge as it warms. Sweet. Peppery alcohol gives it a kick (more than the spices).
A decent apperatif or to accompany creamy cheese or a fruit plate.
Overall, a decent interpretation that doesn't stand up to most Belgian tripels I've had.

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Photo of tdm168
3.91/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orangish-yellow with a mountain of dense, thick, foamy white head that has great retention. The nose has notes of spice, yeast, straw, and mild fruit. The taste is spicy with clove and coriander, there are notes of white grapes and banana, there's a little bubblegum, and some straw-like maltyness. There is a little booze that comes through as the beer warms. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, warm, and well carbonated.

This is a big tripel. It's occasionally boozy, but the flavor profile and mouthfeel make up for it.

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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 smakawhat
3.05/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Enjoy by Jan 19 2014, we are good to go.

A very soap white head pours out that falls fairly quickly on this beer. This doesn't look that great but at least it looks drinkable, Body is incredibly clear and carbonated, very dark gold color. There is no lacing on the glass and very little retention at all. This sure doesn't look like a Belgian style beer.

There's a small lemon, some faint yeast, but also kind of a weak sense of wetness. This smells more like a weak Belgian pale ale than a tripel. Small hints of heat alcohol as well.

Taste is sharp and carbonated. Ridiculously gassy, so much so that all I can really taste is carbon dioxide. Bitter lemon mixed with gas and boozy alcohol. Some small hints of sweetness on the finish but masked often by carbonation.

For a tripel, I would totally pass on this and have something else instead. Way too wet and carbonated for my tastes and for this style for me.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.05/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours straw clear with some sediment flecks quickly dissapaiting head, little bit of lacing as it goes down. Taste is banana and kind of a yeast funk and alcohol. Has kind of a homebrew yeast taste. I was hoping for something better from this brewery and style.

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

Monkey's color is a hazy golden orange. Head is creamy and of medium height. The aroma is a combination of sweet and spicy smells. Candi sugar and malt combine with a peppery spice. The smell of orange peel overides the other aromas. All in all, a very fresh and inviting mixture of smells. A sip starts with a strong, tart combination of citrussy orange peel and spices. Candi sugar and bready malt flavors provide an excellent base here and work hard to subdue the powerful peppery spice. Midsip everything comes together to provide a complex, layered taste. Finish provides a strong coriander flavor than is accompanied by a tiny hint of alcohol. One downside, perhaps, the amount of coriander in the finish is just a bit to high for my tastes. I really enjoyed this one, lots of full, strong flavors come together to make a great brew.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.64/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip, this beer is a bright, clear straw-gold color with a frothy, foamy white head about a quarter of an inch thick. Much lighter and brighter than most Tripels. The smells are a bit muddled, but definitely some coriander and light sweetness. The beer is very sweet in mouth, and the spices help to balance that flavor. The coriander is still present, but subdued under the sweet flavors of banana bread. Very smooth and creamy in mouth, yet the aftertaste is extremely abrupt. Only the slightest hint of coriander lingers in the aftertaste, and not for long at all. Very palatable, but a little on the short side. The flavors were decent enough that a little longer linger wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.

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Golden Monkey from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.72 out of 5 based on 5,510 ratings.
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