Sour Monkey
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Sour MonkeySour Monkey
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Ranked #26
Ranked #6,051
4.04 | pDev: 10.4%
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States
Sour MonkeySour Monkey
Notes: HOPS: Tettnang
MALTS: Pilsner

Fruity notes from imported Belgian yeast swirl through a precise souring. Pucker up to a bite of citrus laden tang ending with a delectable experience.
Reviews: 253 | Ratings: 1,170 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by nug:
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nug from Pennsylvania

4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Mar 31, 2019
More User Reviews:
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EZE123 from Massachusetts

4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

May 18, 2015
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Smakawhat from Maryland

3.84/5  rDev -5%
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.

May 22, 2015
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justintcoons from Pennsylvania

3.41/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

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

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

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.

Medium bodied, crisp, tart, and moderately sour.

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

Jan 26, 2017
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Spechopper1007 from Alabama

4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Picked up this brew tonight after work in a six pack ( bottles) and all I have to say right off is wow!!! This is awesome in every way. I pours a deep golden straw color. The smell is tart berry and citrus and faint wheatieness. The taste is sour berries and dry wheat with ultra tart citrus but not lip puckering. Overall I will definitely be getting this bad monkey again !!!

Mar 08, 2018
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RacerX5k from Pennsylvania

3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
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?

May 30, 2015
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utopiajane from New York

4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Jun 29, 2015
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MattyG85 from Minnesota

4.49/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Jun 19, 2015
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Act25 from New Jersey

4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Another 4.2 beer this week. Lucky me.
a) Clear golden body with suitable energetic white head that spouts scads of white lace while lasting in a rim.
s) Exciting sour yeast and clean inviting, with lime, green apply, astringent chardonnay as the key notes.
t) Follows smell but brings more: wild yeast sours the beer in a puckering astringent (happy if you like sours) arc that lands tart, clean, dry. Along the rainbow are tart green apple, strawberry, lime, sour white grape, pickle brine. I dont know a wine or beer that delivers so much interest and pucker.
f) Acidity keeps rising as it peels the green apple and then your palate. Never overwhelming.
o) Might have to up my rating, as it warms. Would love to taste in a flight of sours.

Mar 18, 2018
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Jakebomb from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +23.8%
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!

May 26, 2015
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cokes from Wisconsin

4.26/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Aug 17, 2015
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Feb 14, 2017
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.24/5  rDev +5%
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.

Jul 29, 2015
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Dcsmith126 from Pennsylvania

4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Has a nice color and didn’t seem overly carbonated when poured. Smells almost fruity. Definitely very tart but it’s pleasant. Enjoyed the beer and worth the purchase

Nov 26, 2017
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ThisWangsChung from Maryland

3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
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

Jun 05, 2015
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Ahypercube from California

4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

It's been a while since I had the original Golden Monkey, which was easily the best trippel I have had to date. I thought it said soul monkey at first lol...

L: Love the can. Evokes a juicy impression. Poured into a sniffer, it has a perfectly clear golden body with two fingers of white head. It dissipates fairly quickly, as it is a sour, but a film across the surface lingers pretty well.

S: Definitely retained some Belgian qualities. Earthy straw notes struggle for a moment against vinegar sourness, but get drowned in under a second, after which apricot, peach, pomegranate, and sour cherry take a shot at that funky Brett, but get kicked down too. In the end, it settles down with some lemon, quince, white wine and sourdough bread.

T: It follows the nose almost perfectly, except that the doughy malt base is much more present here, and really helps balance the sourness. I like it. Very much like Lagunitas' Eroica...except lightly Belgian. Really light on the Belgian character though. Heavy on the sour.

F: Excellent. I remember thinking that I had no idea how strong that Golden Monkey was, and this is the same. Drinks like an ale you'd expect to be be closer to 6%. Substantial body, but it's just so smooth and has a nice crisp finish.

O: I really like it. This could be even better than the original. Hard to tell though. I'll need to try it again to compare.

Mar 24, 2018
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kilo_005 from Pennsylvania

4.61/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

Jun 01, 2015
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StraightNoChaser from Georgia

4.08/5  rDev +1%
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.

Jun 06, 2015
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Fear4Beer from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I haven't tried many sours but this is by far my favorite.

There is a distinct flavor in this beer that is so apparent and easy to point out and that's white grapes. I used to have a several grape vines at my home when I was younger. White grapes can be VERY sour when they aren't ripe. This is this beer in a nutshell. It is sour white grapes. Tastes just like a white wine but more sour. That's the most accurate way someone will describe this beer to you.

I'm enjoying this quite a bit especially after having so many disgusting sour beers.

Aug 28, 2018
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car2052 from Ohio

4.24/5  rDev +5%
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...

Sep 29, 2017
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NextBestThing from New York

4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Wow what a great looking beer. Gold as any beer you're likely to see. 1/4 finger head of foam rising from a gentle pour into a tulip glass from a 12 ounce bottle. Head dissipates within 30 seconds and forms a ring around the perimeter of the glass. Really a spectacular looking beer.

On the nose I'm getting white wine along with a nice blast of sour. Nice.

Like most things this beer tastes like it smells. Tastes like a medium to heavy white wine if there is such a thing. Sour at back palate. I find this to be a more approachable and drinkable beer than white monkey despite the similar abv and the grossly disparate price tag. $11 for a sixer locally? Holy cow!

Light in the mouth. Carbonation takes a long time to settle down which is not a problem. Not particularly a strength of this beer but not a problem either.

Very good. Something you can probably find in a super market, and also something that most folks are going to think nothing of, including people who otherwise know their beer. I have no idea why this brewery has become so underappreciated. Strongly recommend especially at the crazy price point.

Apr 15, 2018
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Thedrizzle from Florida

3.25/5  rDev -19.6%
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.

Jun 05, 2015
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Beejay from Virginia

4/5  rDev -1%
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.

Sep 30, 2017
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username from Maryland

3.69/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Jun 09, 2015
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mike22ne from Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Feb 03, 2017
Sour Monkey from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 1170 ratings