White Monkey
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

White MonkeyWhite Monkey
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Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Tripel
Ranked #99
ABV:
9.5%
Score:
87
Ranked #19,460
Avg:
3.88 | pDev: 13.4%
Reviews:
105
Ratings:
505
From:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
 
Pennsylvania, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  26
Gots
  83
SCORE
87
Very Good
White MonkeyWhite Monkey
Notes: Belgian inspired Tripel ale, Golden Monkey aged for 3 months in oak white wine bbls.
Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 505 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TMoney2591:
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TMoney2591 from Illinois

2.65/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.25

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

A wine barrel-aged tripel from a solid brewery? Sign me up. This stuff pours a clear brass topped by a finger of off-cream-white foam. The nose comprises fresh gauze, vague citrus (leaning toward lemon, but there's a Squirt-like burst of lime in there at times as well), light black pepper, a pinch of clove, light cream cheese, and a touch of wet balsa. The taste holds notes of funky lemon rind, old banana peel, clove, used gauze, corked chardonnay (and, frankly, the corking wasn't the worst thing to happen to that wine...), and a wave of indescribably off floral bitterness. The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, a pretty sad excuse for a final product, one that proves that barrel-aging does not a success make. *shudder*

Apr 09, 2013
More User Reviews:
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MikeWard from Pennsylvania

4.19/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle into a tulip. Bottled July 2017, so almost 18 months old. btw, dating was in silver on a silver/white label. Had to get the magnifying glass out. not helpful Victory.

Hazy amber orange body with a generous white head replenished by constant slow streams of small carbonation. very nice lacing.

A pleasant white wine aroma

Taste is sweet, white wine, and fruity in the beginning. toward the end of the mouthful, the bitterness and sour notes come forward. 2 beers for the price of one! Some light spice notes, peppery, and some apple as well. liking this one.

Mouth is getting close to full, finish a sweet & sour fruit mix.

Overall, a very nice and tasty beer to sip on as evening comes on.

Jan 21, 2019
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Victory White Monkey
750 ml bottle, corked and caged
I could not find any freshness dating but I'm sure I just missed it

I was surprised when I pulled the cork from the bottle that it didn't "pop". Following that, a fairly aggressive pour was requireded to bring up any head on it. It looked good once formed though, with a thin cap of creamy white foam atop a cloudy golden-orange body. (Had it rested and left the sediment behind would it look better clear?) The head held well, and it left some very nice lacing about the glass.

In the nose it was almost perfume-like with notes of cedar, torn green leaves, flowers, dull spice (with the exception of some brighter coriander), and a spritz of fruit (grape/orange/grapefruit/pineapple/mango/papaya, and at one point even a note of coconut) with a hint of vanilla underneath. It conjured for me an image of myself sitting in a bamboo hut surrounded by vegetation and mountains opening some small wooden box to find beautiful golden fruits and spices inside.

As I'd expected, it was fairly soft in the mouth with just a caress of carbonation across the tongue. I liked that, but I wasn't sure if it was intended that way or not. Should I have cellared it for a few weeks to let it build some carbonation? And would it be better with a bit more zest to it?

The flavor followed the aroma, and it was interestingly woody with lots of cedar and drying notes of oak. Malt was present but acted more as a base for the wood, spice, and fruit. The bitterness was kept in check, and the alcohol was well cloaked. As you progress through the glass, all of the components take a step forward to present themselves a little bit more on their own than as part of the whole, leaving it quite complex, and yet at the same time not complicated or confusing at all. Lemon and oak with a drip of sugar syrup followed by a swirl of spice in the dry finish. It's remarkably accessible and easy to drink, but there is depth of character if you choose to seek it out.

Victory has never let me down before, and this is an impressive beer. I'm assuming that it's just their standard Golden Monkey aged in previously used oak barrels (wine, probably Chardonnay) but it becomes something completely unto itself. Well worth trying, and probably worth seeking out.

Apr 05, 2013
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philbe311 from Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A - A slightly vigorous pour yields nothing more than a thin layer of partially splotch lacing and a thing collar... A bunch of medium and large sized carbonation bubbles cling to the sides of the glass... A small cyclone of micro-sized carbonation swirls deep in the center of the glass... The color is a pale golden straw color... A fairly pedestrian appearance overall...

S - A very pleasant aroma... Their are light oak notes from the wine barrel... Some light white grape must scents... These notes are at the forefront... A bit further beneath the surface is a light Belgian yeast presence... Golden raisins... Faint candied sugars... Some unexpected sweet fruity esters as well, namely peaches and tangerines... Lots of depth and each whiff reveals a new facets...

T - Not quite sure if its the tannins, the oak, or some other off flavor, but the overpowering flavor profile is actually quite unpleasant... Lots of slightly off white wine character... None of the traditional Golden Monkey goodness can be detected... There is also an odd wild yeast component which seems sorely out of place...

M - Light-to-medium bodied... Starts slightly dry before intensifying to a blistering dryness on the finish... A bit chalky on the finish as well... Limited carbonation throughout...

D - Wow, I'm sorry to say, but this one is a rather huge disappointment all the way around... Other than a very pleasing aroma, this on falls on its face in all other facets... The idea of Golden Monkey in wine barrels sounded rather promising, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired... I can not recommend as this one was a struggle to finish and a near drain pour... Sorry Victory - I love most of what you do, but this was a definite exception...

Mar 01, 2014
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ajm5108 from Pennsylvania

3.02/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden hue, voluminous foamy cap. Aroma isn’t quite what you would expect - lots of vanilla bean, light orange creamsicle, some dry yeast and oak. The sweetness doesn’t quite work. Taste is also pretty sweet - you do get some white grape juice flavors but nothing thats says “wine”. Not a lot of barrel quality. More vanilla, honeycomb. Treacly phenols. Sorely needs some yeast or something to cut the sweetness, it is just tok much.

Mar 28, 2018
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Immortale25 from North Carolina

3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a Saint Somewhere wine-style glass.

A- Pours a clean light amber color with a 1/4 inch white head that doesn't retain long before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a sheer sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a jagged ring behind on the glass.

S- Jeez, this beer reeks of Chardonnay and booze. Very effervescent but not in a good way. Some Belgian sweetness is finally derived after a few short sharp sniffs.

T- Tastes better than it smells. You can easily identify the base beer at first but then there's a white wine sweetness and dryness that lays over the palate and continues on into the aftertaste. Notes of the obvious white grape, oak and apple. You can taste every bit of the ABV.

M- Dry and sharp with an apparent booze bite. Medium carbonation and a light body.

O- This is not a good treatment for Golden Monkey IMO.

May 22, 2013
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ThisWangsChung from Maryland

3.36/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a cloudy amber color. The head is a small white shade, not even a finger high. It's also of a relatively creamy consistency, fading away swiftly. Some vestiges of lacing are left on the glass.

S: Some of the phenols and pepper notes I expect from Golden Monkey exists in full force aromatically, with the barrel-aging adding some (pleasant) butterscotch, oak, and vanilla. There are also some distant fruit esters. I get a good oak character, but not much in the way of actual wine: so maybe I should call it a partial success in terms of its barrel aging goals? Anyhoo, this has a much nicer aroma than the base brew.

T: At first, the barrel notes have a lesser effect on the flavor profile, only appearing as a tannic dryness on the back end. Give it a few sips, and a hint of vanilla will build up. Before this hits, it's flavor is similar to the base: faint apple to start, before turning strongly earthy/peppery. White grape notes also help finish this off. Victory got the barrel profile down pat - it's a subtle addition rather than an overpowering sledgehammer - a shame I'm just not a huge fan of Golden Monkey. Having said that, it's reasonably complex.

M: It has a thin feel, and lacks in creaminess as well. There's a bit of a sting on my tongue that feels more tannic than anything. Alcohol presence is about what you'd expect for 9.5%, but the dryness on the back end combined with the thin, tannic, well-carbonated nature means this one is fairly easy to drink.

O: Golden Monkey is average at best in my mind, and this isn't too far off from that mark, either. This is probably the one instance where I would have preferred a shameless, unsubtle barrel profile; the base beer has never done anything for me, and probably never will. Golden Monkey fans will eat this one up, though.

Aug 04, 2013
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BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts

3.71/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #75 (April 2013):

Golden Monkey goes to the barrel! Chardonnay barrels were used to bring this Tripel into that realm. Tasty though pretty mellow, loads of wood flavor opens up toward the end of the glass. An interesting sip; perhaps we expected a bit more wine character, though it’s balanced all around.

STYLE: Tripel
ABV: 9.5%
AVAILABILITY: Rotating

LOOK: Deep golden hue, tiny-bubbled lace

SMELL: Vinous, alcoholic, crackers, woody, ripe apples, green peppercorn, fresh-cut grass

TASTE: Creamy, slick, wood, grassy, mild tang, lightly vinous, warming, peppery, tannins, quince paste, mildly biscuity, clean graininess, taffy, bubblegum, dry finish

Mar 07, 2015
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DOCRW from Washington

3.66/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sep 22, 2020
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Chaney from District of Columbia

4.14/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a DC Brau tulip.

Drank this while watching "Rise of the Planet of the Apes." Kinda perfect, huh?

A: Poured a glistening, clear, red/amber/gold color, with a slight head that died down pretty quickly. Must be the wine barrels.

S: Whoa. Not what I was expecting. Pretty much all of the intense banana flair from the Golden Monkey is now gone, and in its place, there is a nice spice-like component: white pepper (lots!) Wasa cracker, and mothballs. All of this was on top of the Belgian, citrusy taste/smell profile.

T: Well, the finish was distinctively "Golden Monkey," but everything else was unrecognizable. The extremely banana-esque flair is now gone, and now a sweetened, spicy, Belgian yeast strain exists. Nice!

M: Like I said, sugar-infused, but there was JUST enough of that Belgian funk to cut it. Not much lacing, but that's not what these barrel-aged brews are about anyway.

O: This is at least twice as good as the base beer. I hope Victory brews it again.

Mar 21, 2013
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CaptainFleeker from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Sep 29, 2014
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artpepper from District of Columbia

4.16/5  rDev +7.2%

Sep 11, 2014
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jbdpsu82 from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +3.1%

Apr 09, 2013
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Pencible from Virginia

3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: This poured a cloudy gold with some sediment and moderate white head.
S: It smelled like banana and fresh wheat, with some oak and creamy bready yeast and nutty malt, and a hint of white grapes.
T: It tasted like lemongrass and fresh oak, with some waxy hops and banana nut bread. It had a clean bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with moderate carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was an interesting beer. The oak barrel added to the light Belgian character, ending up a lot like a hefeweizen. Unexpected but not bad. The alcohol was well hidden and the finish was smooth, so it was easy to drink. Nice to try once, but not great.

May 31, 2013
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ThrewRedButter from Massachusetts

4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Feb 19, 2015
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cozmo from New York

3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Apr 06, 2014
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Dicers from Colorado

3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Mar 01, 2015
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prototypic from Ohio

3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Aug 31, 2013
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Houser from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +3.1%

Oct 19, 2014
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ROGUE16 from Delaware

3/5  rDev -22.7%

Nov 02, 2014
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Deltoro from Florida

4/5  rDev +3.1%

Nov 27, 2014
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flagmantho from Washington

4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 750mL corked & caged bottle into my BeerAdvocate Teku.

Appearance: dark golden hue with a little bit of haze and a finger of dark ivory foam atop. I like it, although it feels a bit dark for the style.

Smell: a bit sweet with a good, rich malt character and some good pear aromas. Just a hint of white wine character seems to come through; this is great. Really well-balanced.

Taste: good malt flavor; it's relatively sweet, but there's some balance added by the wood aging. It's a little boozy as well, which isn't inappropriate to the style. I think the wine barrel character adds an interesting dimension here, although I don't know that it makes the beer, which was already good to begin with, objectively *better*.

Mouthfeel: medium-rich body with a good level of carbonation and a really nice creaminess. I dig it!

Overall: this is a good and interesting tripel. I am glad I finally got a chance to try it.

May 22, 2020
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kevgod from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +16%

Jun 29, 2013
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TriageStat from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +3.1%

Feb 11, 2014
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JohneHoodlum from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +3.1%

Apr 27, 2013
White Monkey from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 505 ratings