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Sour Monkey | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Sour MonkeySour Monkey
BA SCORE
4.03/5
Exceptional
789 Ratings
Sour MonkeySour Monkey
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
HOPS: Tettnang
MALTS: Pilsner
FLAVOR: Aroma is very varied with lemon, sour, and mild brettanomyces notes. Flavor follows with a tart acidity. Not dry as it finishes with a malty grain flavor.

Added by JohnGalt1 on 02-26-2015

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,273
Reviews:
131
Ratings:
789
pDev:
9.18%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
43
Gots:
271
Trade:
5
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 789 |  Reviews: 131
Reviews by Knapp85:
Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

More User Reviews:
Photo of imbibehour
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Deep brass orange and yellow body even slightly green looking, crystal clear and glows like a candle, not too light luckily. Some cola carbonation when sticking to the glass at first but dissolved to leave a nice small but solid stream of middle carbonation rising through the center of the glass. Head dissolves quickly, off white fizzy, and manages a simple bubbled thin collar, and a top little puck from the stream to repopulate it.

Bouquet is soft apples, and very fruity. Mild tart apple even a golden delicious sweet quality and a sense of sweet apricot a bit. Mild funk notes but more acid and not particularly dry or heavily bretty or peppery. Bit of fruity wine sense interestingly too, and some sweet honey.

Big large tart palate. Big fruit notes of tart apple, more lemon qualities come out as well. Good bready finish on the swallow, but not much brett heat or even sweetness coming off of this either. Belgian character seems a little downplayed, not much sweet malt, light bodied. Aftertaste has some powdery grain and white flour, and lighter ale with little malt richness for a tripel. Kind of tastes like sour candy as well.

Overall big tartness, sour candy fruit quality, but not very brett or even Belgian classic tripel character. Kind of goes somewhere in the middle though for enjoyment.

 1,369 characters

Photo of EZE123
4.52/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Well this was a pleasant surprise. It's definitely not the most sour beer that I've had but that's a good thing, since it allows the base of Golden Monkey to shine through. Overall this is a tasty sour/tripel I highly recommend picking up.

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Photo of RacerX5k
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

well. golden monkey was one of the first extreme beers I had so you know I had to try this. was it good? sure. would I get it again? at this flavor, abv level? for $9 bucks? no I wouldn't. there, how to improve a beer 101? lose the fucking annoying tough cork which caused a little spillage, go to regular bomber size 22 oz, make it $6 bucks and I'd buy it all day. I'm one of those crazies who actually prefers bombers, so many examples Lagunitas / Port and Victorys own Helios jump to mind.

The beer? Looks ok, smells real good husky malty Belgiany Golden Monkey no bubblegum that's good. Have I mentioned before? I hate Belgian beers. Taste? This is actually one of those beers that gets better as it warms. I enjoyed over the course of an hour early Saturday AM and this definitely got more complex, and depth of body and flavor as it warmed. Bitter tart fruits, mainly lemon, leaving a nice tart bitter aftertaste. I like lemon.

Overall? Weyerbacher Riserva will still be what I reach for when I want a sour. Helios when I want a bret, fruity Victory. Oh well. $9 bucks? could've got a Blasphemy and saved a dollar for? hmmm? what does a $1 buy anymore?

 1,160 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.49/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml corked bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Cork was a real bitch to get out. Toughest I’ve ever had. I really shouldn’t have to break into a big sweat to open a beer.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of white head that quickly fades away. Leaves some clingy lacing.

Smell: A sour and juicy yeast driven aroma with big hints of cherries and other fruit esters. Big upfront scent of tart cherries along with fruit hints of lemon zest, green apple, pear, banana, white grape, lime, pineapple, orange, and plum. Belgian yeast with some good hints of Brett funk, pepper, and clove. Pale malt with bready hints of biscuit, straw, and cracker. Sweet hints of candied sugar. Subtle hop presence. A very good complex aroma.

Taste: Like the smell hints at, a juicy and sour yeast driven taste with lots of cherry and zesty fruit esters. Upfront tart and sour taste of cherries. Other fruit notes include green apple, lemon zest, banana, pear, white grapes, orange, pineapple, lime, and plum. Belgian yeast with funky notes of Brett along with some clove and pepper spice. Sweet taste of candied sugar. Pale malt with notes of straw, biscuit, and cracker. Subtle backing notes of hops. Fairly dry. A really nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation. Juicy, puckering, and fairly drying. Alcohol is hidden pretty well.

Overall: A very good sour twist on a Tripel. Good tart and juicy fruit tones with a nice Belgian yeast and spice presence.

 1,554 characters

Photo of cokes
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Misty golden with a tight white froth.
Nose of apple cider vinegar, peach skins, balsa wood, and dry Riesling.
Slightly doughy as it hits the tongue, then it's sheared apart with a blast of white wine vinegar. Peaches, pears, and semi-sweet white wine regroup afterward, with some saddle-stale, clovey, peppery notes. Traces of honey appear on the swallow, counteracting a brief twinge of alcohol. It rides out with a fading apple cider vinegar, wheat, peaches, and sweet white wine. It leans sour throughout, without tasting like bile, or stripping the enamel off one's teeth.
Nicely textured despite its generally low CO2. The carbonation stays the course.
I'm not the biggest Golden Monkey fan, and blind, I wouldn't have pegged it as the base beer. It drinks like a rotund Berliner Weisse (It's actual strength is so hidden it spooky). I quite enjoy it. I definely erred by not stocking up while it was available, especially at the generally reasonable price point.
I hope to see this again.
Monkey at its finest.

 1,039 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Victory Brewing Company "Sour Monkey"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "BOTTLED ON: 06 FEB 2017" and sampled on 14 FEB 2017
$2.49 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

A rough pour of Victory's "Sour Monkey" brings up a full head of frothy bright white foam over a fingerprint clear golden body. The head holds fairly well, and it leaves walls of broken lace as it goes.

The aroma suggests sweet & tart fruity candy with a bit of mineral, golden malt, white grape, some lemon, some grass, and a little bit of leather. It's not bold, but clear; and not really that funky. It's interesting, and pleasant.

The flavor is of course bolder, offering a fair amount of tartness. It's not sour though, and the sweetness of the malt is able to come through. The fruity-tart-candy character remains as its dominant note, with more fruitiness included: green apple, berries, pear, gooseberry, and apricot. The Brettanomyces character becomes a bit clearer as well, offering some additional wet straw and a subtly metallic note - still, it remains very "clean" for a Brett beer. It's remarkably well-balanced for a sour beer with the tartness up front followed by a rising sweetish maltiness that leaves a dollop of sweetness lingering in the finish. The alcohol has a welcome presence, and it helps to dry it in the finish along with some residual mineral, but it never really shows itself directly (and at just 9.5% ABV it shouldn't).

In the mouth it's medium-bodied and gently crisp with a fine-bubbled median carbonation that's initially gently zesty and then soft and smooth once warmed.

"Sour Monkey" is really very unique, even within the sour ale category, and almost comes off as a candyish, gently sparkling white wine. I've never had a beer quite like it, and I'd recommend it simply based on that. It's very nicely done and polished, and I'm surprised it hasn't garnered more attention and praise.

 1,901 characters

Photo of Beejay
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A yellow color with haze, and small white head.

S: Light stone fruit with a little bit of an earthy funk, and some tartness.

T: Sweet maltiness with stone fruit, and a bit of a prosecco flavor. Funky, earthy tartness in the finish. Really odd flavor combo, but I think it works.

M: Light in body with, fairly high carbonation, and a dry tart finish.

O: A weird brew, but pretty damn tasty.

 399 characters

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

look: slightly hazy golden. No head to speak of. Never thought Golden Monkey was much to look at.
smell: Tart citrus. Granny Smith Apples with a touch of sweet.
taste: Much like the nose. Tasty and refreshing.

 210 characters

Photo of srletend
2.94/5  rDev -27%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: lack of carbonation, head, lacing
S: interesting, but not special
T: nice attempt at something different, but just an average sour and average tripel
M: decent body
O: maybe a good one for those new to sours, but disappointing otherwise

 239 characters

Photo of justintcoons
3.41/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance
Straw yellow with a short white head that dissipates quickly. Excellent clarity with light carbonation.

Nose
Lemon, lactic acid, SweeTARTS, doughy bread, golden apple, and pear.

Taste
Lemon juice, SweetTARTS, and lactic acid. Golden apple, sour green apple, and bosc pear. Hints of doughy bread and caramel with a touch of cinnamon.

Mouthfeel
Medium bodied, crisp, tart, and moderately sour.

Overall
Well it hides the abv well and is great for a sour fix.

 528 characters

Photo of kilo_005
4.61/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft in Philly - 10 oz pour into a small goblet.
A: N/A - I was in a very dark bar. I just gave it a 4, under the assumption that it looks like regular Golden Monkey!
S: Good aroma of various Belgian wild yeast. The smell is not particularly sour.
T: I think this beer is incredible as far as the taste. I have no problem giving it a 5/5 - there's several things amazing about it. First, there is an entirely as far as I know unique aspect to it: it starts with an extremely sour taste (as sour as any standard sour beer a la Petrus or something like that) but that taste immediately dissipates, and you get a wonderful Belgian triple-like flavor. I have never had a beer with that strong of a sour kick but little to no sour after taste - completely replaced instead by a Belgian beer taste. This is unique, and pleasurable. Secondly, the overall taste is amazing considering the high alcohol content - this is refreshing and delicious. You'd think it was a 4% beer. Thats also unique. These guys have really come up with something intriguing here.
M: Good - there's like a nice champagne-like carbonation, at least for me on draft - kind of like a Duvel or something like that. Very pleasant.
O: I'm not some huge Golden Monkey fan or booster or anything like that but I think this beer is unique (because of sour-to-triple shifting taste and the refreshing nature given the alcohol), and tasty. You won't be disappointed.

 1,432 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

In the era of extreme makeovers, facelifts, and reinvention; even the ever steady Golden Monkey tripel ale has room for growth, exploration and perhaps improvement. Its introduction to wild yeast and bacteria gives its fans a version that's crisper, drier and refreshingly acidic.

Sparkling bring through the pour, its brilliant gold is surprisingly clear. Militant streaming carbonation fuels a zesty swirl of short-statured foam ahead of the bracing tartness of fruity chardonnay, lemon, lime, apple and faint burlap. But to taste, the beer hosts a fleeting sweetness that remise of water cracker and fresh-kilned grain.

The beer's sourness unfolds on the middle palate and sheds any lingering sweetness; favoring fruit and acidity instead. The cast of dried lime, lemon peel, crabapple, under-ripened berry and sour white grape bring a very tart but clean sourness to the fold. Mild earthiness lingers with aged soft balsa wood, cork and a crisp minerally brine.

A growing peppery quality rises along with a spicy hop bitterness that lurking in the recesses of balance while the acute sourness intently steals the show. Any alcohol warmth is also a far cry in taste as its nine-percent hides seamlessly behind the sour fruit and light funk. The bold acidity erases the thirst effortlessly as an quick afterglow of fruit peel remain breifly post-finish.

 1,358 characters

Photo of Thedrizzle
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A solid go to shelf sour. Nothing setting this one apart.

57 characters

Photo of utopiajane
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a tripel. Sweet golden color. Creamy white head Slight chill haze. smells like a tripel. Soft sweetness of the pils malt. Fruity middle wafting out to the top of the nose without any fanfare from the tettnang . They simply look on and give out pepper and floral as a greeting. Spice as your bring your head down to drink. Taste is a gentle sour on all that nose. Citrusy fruit mingling with soft breaddy malt. A sparkling touch of acidity to enliven the palate before a crisp finish . Tettnang is known for it's clean bitterness and in this beer it only shows you as much as it needs to to finish the beer and let that malt come to the finish breaddy and dry while they wait for all that long finish earthy and herbal . A warming from alcohol so slight, so pleasant a touch of sweetness from the alcohol . The finish is where you finally get a sense of the body of the beer. Medium, creamy, and carbonated to a bubbly perfection. it's amazing at 9.5%. This IS a sour TRIPEL.

 985 characters

Photo of Jakebomb
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a great sour beer. Hats off to victory. If you are not use to a sour beer you need to remember when drinking it to try not to compare it to a traditional style beer. However, this beer is refreshing and lite with a big sour finish on the end. Cheers!

 260 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From 05/29/15. On tap at Ginger Man in NYC.

Pours a cloudy golden-yellow color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Nice and fruity, light sour notes, but not a vinegar bomb or overbearing. Oranges, citrus, fruity malts, pineapples, brett. Medium body and moderate carbonation, not acedic or hard to drink.

Overall very good; worth checking out for a light and refreshing sour.

 404 characters

Photo of mike22ne
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sample poured from bottle. It's their Golden Monkey Belgian tripel soured with Brettanomyces.
Smell and taste have some of the familiar Belgian sweet malty notes, but the added fermentation gives a lot of tart, citrus and tropical fruits. It's sour like lemonade with the sweetness, with only a very tiny hint of Brett dry funk. The taste seems like it should have a sharp tart feel but it's rather slick instead, though not too cloying. Reminds me of a tart strong cider or white wine like a chardonnay. Alcohol is really well hidden.
Smooth and drinkable, tasty in small doses but I'm not sure I would drink a whole bottle.

 626 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Brief write-up. The aroma reveals more in the way of lacto tartness, but subtle hints of brett do appear. It tastes just like the nose indicated - a good deal of lacto, embellished with touches of Brett funk. Touches of the base beer appear as a slight back end sweetness. This is so delightfully delicate and light, it almost seems 5%. Two complaints: it's a bit TOO dinky, and the brett is slightly too concealed. Otherwise, this is by far the best interpretation of Golden Monkey.

3.81/5: I'm finally charmed by the monkey

 527 characters

Photo of car2052
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to tulip.

A: Clear straw golden, like the original, with decent carbonation and a thin white head that fades to a small layer of foam.
S: White vinegar, spiced apples, sour candy, white wine grapes. Mouthwatering acidity.
T: Tart and slightly sweet apple, decent body, then the Belgian trippel notes shine through in the finish: vanilla, banana, and bubblegum.
M: Medium. Alcohol evident, but not overwhelming.
O: Not a bad sour, and pretty nice for the high ABV. The Belgian yeast taste on the end was interesting. I have to admit, it is kinda a weird pairing, and kinda makes you wonder if the beer started as an infected batch...

 660 characters

Photo of username
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled April 30, 2015. Poured into over-sized wine glass.

Disappointed in the appearance. What little head was produced had no retention. A clear, lighter tone of gold in color. Doesn't look especially sexy in a glass.

Smells primarily sour. This sour/bacterial odor layers over the traditional Golden Monkey smell almost completely. Lesser degrees of candy (sweet/tangy types of candy) and cheese noticed.

Taste follows smell faithfully — delivering a cargo of sour while losing some of the finer nuances of the smell completely. Scant aftertaste of tripel.

Feel is rather light. Easy to drink despite the ABV and degree of sour. Leaves a sour coating.

Overall, it's damn sour. I don't think anyone tasting it blind would exclaim, "hey, is this a sour version of Golden Monkey?!" There isn't the proper balance here. At best this behaves 90% sour, 10% tripel. If the sour was to be toned down and the tripel played-up, it'd be a much more interesting brew. Generally speaking, a standard monkey is superior.

 1,017 characters

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of npala86
4.56/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Andnkuhn
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of sabitu
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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Sour Monkey from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 789 ratings
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