Sour Monkey | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Sour MonkeySour Monkey
892 Ratings
Sour MonkeySour Monkey

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

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 892 |  Reviews: 156
Photo of Sammy
3.86/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of acurtis
3.67/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jaydoc
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

surprised to see people rating this one so highly, its overly acidic, somewhat one dimensional from a sour standpoint, and a far cry from the overall quality of the original golden monkey. smells like sweet tart candy, pale in color, and very fizzy and lively from the bottle. sharp lemon on the aroma, some wheat malt, a bit of sweetness, a slight belgian element but nowhere near as developed as the golden monkey, and a heavy lactic acidity, really mouthwatering and puckery right away. surprised to read other reviews reporting this as not too sour, i thought it was insanely so, maybe i had an old bottle or something, overdeveloped, i dont know. some citrus in the flavor, light cereals, pilsener malt, no sign of its absurd alcohol content surprisingly, and just this really tangy sourness that is almost artificial tasting, like the stuff they put on the outside of the warhead candy, its lacto i would think, but insanely acidic, too much for me to drink much of it, and it really takes over the beer, not much left of whats underneath, and almost a different base entirely it now seems than the golden monkey. i am glad to see victory getting into this kind of beer, i think they of all people will end up doing it well, but this one for me is a bit over the top, and i cant really get into it. a weird beer alongside the rest of their portfolio at this point... i will have to revisit to see if i had a weird one, other claim moderate sourness only, which was not my experience.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the LA Beer Week Kickoff Festival held at Exposition Park in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is slightly sour with grain, spice, yeast, fruit, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with sour grain, fruit, earth, and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and refreshing.

Serving type: on tap.

 618 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
3.45/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of kjkinsey
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of djrn2
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of nmann08
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.67/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of metter98
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is slightly hazy dark yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short white head that quickly died down, leaving a thin collar around the edge of the glass and some lacing covering the surface.
S: Light to moderate aromas of sourness are present in the nose.
T: Just like the smell, the taste is rather sour and has faint bits of funkiness from the brett.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly tart on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. No dryness is perceptible.
O: This beer seems a little one dimensional compared to the regular Golden Monkey and lacks the complexities of fruitiness and spiciness offered by the yeast.

Serving type: bottle

 715 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.59/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BEERchitect
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

 1,358 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.33/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nabbed a bottle at a beer store in Austin, TX.

"Sour, [sic] Brettanomyces Tripel." 9.5% ABV.

Tangy and sour like a good gose. What strikes me here is how devilishly well disguised the alcohol is...this drinks like a 5% ABV beer. 2-row malt is evident, but I'm missing the Belgian character of a good tripel both in terms of yeast and malt. Lemon citrus twang sings in this beer, and there is some nice acidity as advertised on the label. But it's not funky and it does want for brettanomyces yeast(s) and microfloral intricacy as well as coriander and other Belgian spices.

Really more a sour ale than a tripel, but it's quite balanced and enjoyable regardless of style.

Highly drinkable - and even refreshing - fare from Victory. I'll easily finish a bottle within less than 10 minutes; this stuff is dangerously good. That said, it is lacking in terms of complexity and subtlety, and depth of flavour could be improved.

Flavour duration is moderately high. Flavour intensity is moderate.

Smooth, wet, medium to full-bodied, acidic, and of apt thickness. Well-carbonated.

I do detect some butyric acid off-flavour in the aftertaste, unfortunately.

B- (3.33) / WORTHY

 1,175 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.59/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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

750 ml bottle into chalice, bottled on 4/30/2015. Pours slightly hazy bright golden yellow color with a 1 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Minimal spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big tart lemon, lime, green apple, pear, white wine vinegar, cracker, bread, pepper, herbal, grass, wood, light musty funk, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great complexity and balance of fruity/acidic/spicy yeast and moderate pale malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big tart lemon, lime, green apple, pear, white wine vinegar, cracker, bread, pepper, herbal, grass, wood, light musty funk, and yeast earthiness. Good amount of fruity/acidic tartness and peppery yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of tart lemon, lime, green apple, white wine vinegar, cracker, bread, pepper, wood, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity, balance, and robustness of fruity/acidic/spicy yeast and moderate pale malt flavors; with a great malt/tartness/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and moderately acidic mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming lingering after the finish. Overall this is an awesome sour tripel style. All around great complexity, balance, and robustness of fruity/acidic/spicy yeast and moderate pale malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on with the balanced acidity. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,591 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.32/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours slightly hazy with a goldenstraw hue; spots of lace all over the glass, with a curtain clinging just above the foam line

Smell: Crab apple funk and white wine vinegar

Taste: Acetic as all get out, with crab apple tones building, through the middle; the honeyed aspect of a tripel shows up, after the swallow; but are clobbered by the vinegar, in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: This one is a cellar dweller for me; tossing wild yeast into a tripel creates chaos on the palate

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Photo of LXIXME
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dbrauneis
3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy medium to dark yellow in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and faint golden yellow + honey highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy off-white head that reduces to a large patch of mottled thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of sourness/tartness with notes of light fruits/white grape, pale malts, banana, and spicy Belgian yeast.

T: Upfront there is a light flavor of pale malts with a light amount of the sweetness I associate with the Golden Monkey base beer. That is followed by moderate amounts of tartness/sourness and a hint of funkiness from the brett. Finally there is a moderate flavor of light fruit/white grape with hints of banana and spicy Belgian yeast. Minimal amounts of bitterness in the finish which fade away quickly and leave a lingering tartness.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light to moderate amounts of acidic prickliness.

O: An interesting new take on Golden Monkey, not sure I'm the hugest fan even though I really enjoy sour beers. I think the Sour Monkey lacks some of the depth of flavor and complexity that is present in the base beer and comes across as slightly one dimensional. Still hides the alcohol well and is pretty easy to drink. Refreshing.

 1,454 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.82/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
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

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Sour Monkey from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 892 ratings