400 Pound Monkey | Left Hand Brewing Company

552 Reviews
400 Pound Monkey400 Pound Monkey

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by garcia2a on 09-03-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 552 | Ratings: 2,160
Photo of ipaemily
1.12/5  rDev -68.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This beer is rank. It tastes like the result of overly roasting rotten grains that were grown on a field of foot fungus. Just terrible.

Apparently this needs to be 250 characters long, so I will try to autopsy this beer. It is supposedly an IPA but any hop flavor has been murdered and left for dead by a terrible roasted nutty flavor (imagine a strange mix of garlic, the scent of a wet ashtray and candied macadamia). I understand diversity in style, perhaps if someone really likes nuts and chocolate/burned flavors and has a genetic defect in their taste buds, this is for them. But, it is not an IPA, and it tastes terrible.

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Photo of Grathan
1.19/5  rDev -66.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1

There is stuff floating in this bottle. I am inclined to think it is cardboard based on the awful
fish taste. Could be yeast, but then who would make a beer with such an awful taste and charge $2 per bottle in a 12-pack? This is my first beer from this brewery so who knows? It actually looks fairly decent (minus the floaties ) until you try to drink it.

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Photo of Devman5000
1.22/5  rDev -66%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

If this is indicative of the English IPA style, then I do not like the style altogether. Smell is dirty socks. Huge malt backbone and an offensively metallic finish. Not enjoyable by any stretch. I expected better from Left Hand.

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Photo of blittle
1.27/5  rDev -64.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

A - dark amber to copper in color

S - I actually thought this beer was skunked. Rancid as if maybe it had gotten too warm at some point during storage/shipment

T - I sent the beer back. The skunky smell carried through to the mouth. A very metallic, sulfuric aftertaste. The kind waitress informed me that after being tasted by someone that knows better, this was actually how the beer was supposed to taste. Really?

M - Carbonation average for an ale. Strong biscuity dry afterfeel.

O - Never again. One of the worst beer tasting experiences ever.

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Photo of snilsen13
1.37/5  rDev -61.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Yuck. This smells and tastes a little like very old hops mixed, but mainly bad fish. I could not locate the brewed on date, but I bought it at a reputable store that sells only beer; hopefully, they'll honor a return.

I can't actually say that I've ever been compelled to even try to return a beverage, but this beer was so bad I couldn't drink it. I'm pretty adventurous, but this was just plain off.

3/6 bottle all equally bad, maybe it was a bad batch. The brewery clearly has a good reputation and I think I've enjoyed this beer years ago, but I'm not 100% sure.

Sorry to have to report this is a bad brew, but that's pretty much all there is to say. Based on appearance and general carbonation and mouthfeel, it had potential, and if you read I'm not alone in this negative experience.... just AVOID this and drink any of the 100s of others.

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Photo of l33tNinjaPirate
1.62/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottled: 02/01/2011

Appearance - Coppery. Little head that dissipates very quickly.

Smell: Smells like a fermenting dumpster and some malt.

Taste: Again, garbage juice. This beer has an overwhelming funk. I seriously gagged a couple times. As far as beer flavor go, crisp with an unusually chalky and dark malt character compared to the color.

Mouthfeel: Watery IPA.

Drinkability: I'd rather be drinking a macrobrew.

Personal critique: I bought and opened the beer without any preconceptions and was throughly disappointed. I came to BA expecting it to get a slamming but it seems other people like it. I love IPAs but I'd rather be drinking a PBR or High Life than this. Maybe I got a shitty bottle, even though it's a one and a quarter month old and I got it refrigerated from a specialty beer store. I'm just happy I *sip&gag* was able to distract myself with this review while drinking the beer.

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Photo of Buebie
1.65/5  rDev -54%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

poured a hazy pale golden color. less then an inch of off white head. Settling pretty dark quick to leave a thin collar.
Aroma? What aroma? Aroma is mia, aside from a very very small amount of malt and sweetness. No hops at all in the nose. WTF is this shit?
Taste is also concerning. Metallic, mild corn like husky flavors. Finishing with metallic bitters and aspirin.
Mouthfeel is thin and crisp. I cant even describe how much I dislike this. Done...

I got 'the troops' version of the original english ipa style. Heavy on the watered down.

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Photo of mchegash
1.8/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Date: 8/30/14
Other notes: Picked up as part of a build-your-own 6-pack. Best by date of 8/30/14 (the same day I bought it, as fate would have it)

Appearance - 4/5
Pours a clear golden-orange. A little bit of head rentention. Overall a nice color and a nice look. Seems appetizing.

Smell - 1.5/5
Smells gross to be honest. Maybe salted fish or vinegar? It's hard to define.

Taste - 1.5/5
Taste is not good either. The taste has the same salty-vinegary-ness as the smell. NOT something I want in a beer at all. If I try to not breath through my nose at all while I drink, I taste some sweet maltiness, and some hops. I thought I had tasted bad beer, but this beer tastes nasty.

Mouthfeel - 3/5
Light to medium in body. Fairly crisp. Light to medium carbonation. Honestly it was hard to focus on the mouthfeel because all I could think about was how bad the smell/taste was.

Overall - 1.5/5
Part of me wants to give this beer a higher rating, because it seems like something MUST be wrong with the batch I'm tasting. Or the particular bottle. But as it is, this beer is straight up nasty. In all seriousness, I don't know if I have had a grosser tasting beer before. I am surprised given Left Hand Brewing's reputation.

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Photo of babbules
2.06/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance was great--copper with great clarity. It had a beautiful white fluffy head (about 1-1.5 fingers) and good lacing.

Smell was middle-of-the-road. Bread and fruit with a hint of metal.

Taste is where this beer failed for me. The front was malty with a touch of fruit and pine. This was quickly overwhelmed with metal and meatiness (?). It's just weird, plain and simple. I've had grassy, vegetal IPAs that were still good beers, but this one pushed the envelope into overly-savory and soupy.

Overall, I wasn't a fan. I'd give this beer one more shot, but not happily.

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Photo of sergeantstogie
2.13/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

I stopped into 99 Bottles in Federal Way in the mood for stouts on a rainy day and after having found the Left Hand Milk Stout I was looking for, when I saw the 400 Pound Monkey, I had to try one. I noticed right away that it was listed as an English IPA so I was anxious to try a more traditional take on all the Amazing and over the top American IPAs I have been marinating in since I arrived in the Pacific Northwest on vacation. To clarify, I did not drink this on my "stout night." I saved it for tonight; An IPA night. This was my first beer of the evening.

The Monkey poured a brilliantly clear and beautiful gold color and with the help of a vigorous end to my pour I got about 2/3 of an inch of clean white head. The head quickly dissipated.

The smell of the Monkey smelled like...a monkey. It smelled like a dirty old wash rag. I would have chocked it up to a dirty pint glass, but I used a clean pint glass, rinsed it and dried it myself right before the pour. It smelled like old keg beer. No strong hops aroma. No citrus, no pine, no dank, just old stale "beer smell."

Since I mentioned "old stale beer smell" the bottle date is hard to read. The is clearly _ _ 11 91 _ _. So I don't know how to guess at it's age which may be a huge factor.

The taste was just as bad as the smell. There was nothing that made me think it was infected or even truly old for that matter. It just tasted like week old beer from a frat party keg. The malt backbone was only slightly sweet and what hops I did find were earthy and so under done I was shocked the label said IPA at all.

I really wanted to like this beer. But I hated it. No fear, Left Hand did a solid enough job on the Milk Stout to have me coming back to them, just not for the Monkey.

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Photo of LarryV
2.16/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I like IPA's and I like Left Hand brews for the most part. This beer was a big disappointment however, I'm glad I only had a few bottles from a variety pack. Pours a clear light amber color with virtually no aroma. Hops are quite subdued and malt takes front and center in a weak way. There's something in the flavor that I just can't put my finger on, but I really don't like it. There's really nothing about this brew to latch on to as a saving grace, I can't recommend it.

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Photo of beertunes
2.16/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into straight pint glass. Poured a clean, clear light gold color with about a half-inch of white head that had low retention and OK lacing.

The aroma was fairly neutral, perhaps a bit too malt forward, and just a bit of light citrus hops showed through. The taste was equally as meh, and the expected balance of the style wasn't at all present the beer had an unpleasantly bitter finish, and perhaps through the power of suggestion, maybe a bit of a milk taste.

The body was way too thin for the style, I expect an English IPA to have a pleasantly full and smooth body. Drinkability was good enough, I suppose, but why have more than 1? Overall, not a good representation of the style. Try it to tick it, otherwise skip it.

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Photo of viverlee
2.2/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2

I’m going to have to grow into this style.

STYLE: English IPA

ABV: 6.7%

LOOK: Cooked orange and nearly translucent. Nice dirty head – not that it lasts – that’s most memorable for cutting the foulness.

NOSE: Garbage night, moldy peaches, nutmeg.

MOUTH: Has it gone bad or is this what it is supposed to taste like? Chalky tapwater, butcher shop, cowboy boots. It’s times like these when I have to walk the fine line between giving an honest assessment and respecting the time and effort some people, and probably more than I can imagine, put into this. Let’s call it a learning experience for all of us. (I’m sure a year from now after I have more and more of these that I’m going to regret this review what I wrote about Brooklyn East India IPA because I’ll have developed a taste for raw meats and dusty shoes.)

Beeradvocate Rating: 81

ratebeer Rating: 71

Hayward Abbey Rating: 68

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Photo of bobhits
2.24/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

clear off yellow orange. no carbonation, no movement, and not much head

sweet malty fruity aroma, finsihing hoppy. second smell, hopes finishing sweet.

Reminds me of stone APA. Bready, sweet, some english hops. An interesting hybrid that comes off as an american IPA but has english characteristics.

Very easy to drink a few beers in a night.

Very drinkable, but could use some work.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.29/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this beer a few times now and each time I just don't care for it. The look of the beer is nice. The color is a nice clear copper color with a thick foamy white head on top. The smell isn't really that pleasing to me, It's hoppy but it kinda smells weird to me. The taste is even worse, I don't know what they use in this brew but I really don't care for it. The mouthfeel was pretty good, and it's drinkable for sure. Overall if the taste was better this brew would be awesome but I'm just not sure of it.

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Photo of Ahoney67
2.36/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Lite Amber color with a small white head. Not much of a taste to talk about. Was disappointed after reading a lot of good things about Lefthand brewing. It was also my first go at an English style IPA and honestly it was like drinking a Bud Lite! I'll give the English style another shot, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

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Photo of Bartrob6
2.42/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

bottled on 2-3-10, very clearly printed on the bottle, why can't other breweries do this?

looks like a normal ipa. good clarity, and nice head sitting on top. definitely leaves some lacing.

smell, not much hops at all. some malt sweetness. there is something in the aroma that i don't like at all, can't put my finger on what it is.

has a weird after taste. the only thing i like in this beer is the amount of bitterness. the hop flavor and aroma is hardly there at all.

mouthfeel is alright. a little overcarbed for my tastes. to me this isn't a very drinkable beer. just makes me start thinking about what else i have in the fridge.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.5/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Hazy gold brew with a white and no lacing.

S - Red licorice, hints of spruce tips, biscuits and subtle grapefruit rind. The red licorice is intense enough to make the whole aroma a little off putting, but it isn't too bad.

T - Cardboard, red licorice, biscuits - very little hop presence really, but there is a bit of white pepper and grapefruit. The aftertaste is a slightly unpleasant medicinal bitterness, a little grain and nothing more.

M - Smooth, thin, pretty refreshing.

D - It isn't really awful. It just isn't very good. The hop flavors aren't very pronounced, and the after taste is unpleasant. I am sad I grabbed a six pack of these.

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Photo of MichialTanner1
2.52/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A fan of Left Hand's Sawtooth ESB, I decided to pick up a 6 of this at Spec's in Austin.

It pours a clear, light, brownish-orange, a little darker than most American IPAs--a decent looking beer. A heavy pour only got me about 1/4 to 1/2" on the head.

Now, there is something to the smell and taste of this one that doesn't sit well for me. Whereas a good IPA tends to have that refreshing aroma of fresh-cut grass or juniper, this one reminds me of moist grass that has been left in the catcher for a couple of days. It has a funk to it like it is starting to turn sour and unfortunately, this carries over to the taste.

There are some interesting IPAesque qualities to the taste, but they are snuffed out by that "funky monkey" essence. Maybe this is typical for the English style or maybe I have an untrained taste for it--either way, I'm not crazy about this one.

I'll drink another one and try to taste and smell harder. But I'm guessing there will be 4 of these left for my nephews when they come to visit this summer, indiscriminately drinking any and all beer in the fridge.

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Photo of elNopalero
2.58/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to XicanoBeerRun for sharing.

The first IPA of the night. Expecting hoppy aroma but I’m not getting any. Not a good sign. Is the beer old? Skunked? I’ve had this before and draft and I don’t remember it being so lifeless, but that was a long time ago. From the bottle it fails to excite. The taste is off, and there’s an awful finish. Sticky, unbalanced, harsh. The bottle’s the last of a six pack purchased a little over a month ago, which could mean it’s a couple months old at this point (depending on how long it took to reach the shelves) but I’m told the first five tasted the same. A disappointment from a brewery that I have had nothing but praise for.

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Photo of BARFLYB
2.61/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On-Tap at Union Jacks.

A- Bright gold, new penny look with a weak bright white cap that reached a quarter inch. Not much in the lacing department either.

S- The smell is interesting with a sweet almost candy like nose. 400 is malt driven with a plethora of sweet scents, a bit to much. Some trace amounts of hops with some light pine and citrus appeal, but nothing to make me open my eyes.

T- Maybe something was off here but this just did not cut it. American IPA's are supposed to be hop forward, but they just seem to pale behind the skyscraper of pale malts in 400. The malts give off some old stale bread while the hops give off something from your backyard, earthy, not so much citrusy and delicious. Some small pine and grapefruit but it's just so damn minimal. What went wrong here?

M&D- The feel is somewhere in the medium range with a stale sweetness going for it that's not enjoyable. Carb felt and taken away by a big malt blast. 400 is not bitter, but i made a face like it was so, but that's because of the nasty taste.

D- I finished up the last half of my glass quickly just to get it out of the way, I just did not care for this. I'm left handed and i've yet to be impressed by anything from left hand brewing.

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Photo of SPThirtyThree
2.62/5  rDev -27%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Straw gold and crystal clear, 400 Pound Monkey looks a lot prettier than its name suggests. Monkeys are filthy, nasty animals. A finger of eggshell cream dissolves showing early signs of sticky lacing.

I can already smell the hops at the pour, even though I'm serving it a bit on the cold side (~40F). On closer inspection, the nose isn't as strong as I'd hoped, and unfortunately this bottle must have been somewhat lightstruck (even though it came in a cardboard box?), because it's slightly skunked.

The taste is not right. My bottle shows 2 months until the "best before," but it tastes like old hops and cardboard. There's not much malt behind the hops, though there is a good dose of carbonation and a slight alcoholic heat. The mouthfeel is very astringent and tangy, but I'm not really picking up many discernible flavors in the muddled taste.

The hops are very tart and slightly lemony, but the flavor is muffled by the harshness and an almost metallic flavor. A slight sweetness becomes more prominent as it warms.

There was also no lacing; I swirled the glass to try to bring out more flavors, and the beer reconsumed the lacing and it never reappeared.

When I first tried this beer, I didn't like it. I've had it since and thought that my first impression was wrong, but once again, I'm underwhelmed by 400#M. I think my bottle was a little skunky, which I'm not factoring into my score, but the beer also just doesn't have a good flavor or aroma, and I would only buy this again if I had to to choose between this and macro lagers.

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Photo of tr4nc3d
2.65/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz bottled on 3/9/10 poured into my pint glass

Pours a very light orange/golden color with a one and a half inch slightly off-white head. Good head retention with a very thin layer staying atop afloat of the beer. Lacing is very noticeable on this.

The aroma was really not what I except from an IPA(English one either). I mainly smelled that of cracker like malts, hay, and a funky barnyard smell. I'm pretty sure the bottle did not go bad either. In fact this smells like a Kolsch sytle beer instead of an IPA.

The taste is that of slightly sweet upfront with grains and cracker like malts, slight sweetness in the end with toffee. I swear this could pass for a kolsch style beer.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation.

Overall I was disappointed with this English IPA as it did not resemble one at all. There are WAY better beers out there which do this style justice than this one. One example is "Meantime IPA", try that instead of wasting your money on this Monkey.

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Photo of berpwillie
2.66/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a crystal clear golden yellow color with almost no head and very lite carbonation. there was a very vague hop flavor and smell nothing great. i must say i wasn't impressed with this beer at all. let down would probably be a better term. to me this beer tasted very "miller liteish". it was just a very dull beer.

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Photo of Ford
2.68/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I've had this beer on tap twice. Both times I've felt this beer was really bad. I've had this style before and enjoyed it, I just don't feel like this beer is very good. Beyond bitter and it seemed like a burned rubber taste was present. Just nothing enjoyable about it to me. My friend also felt it was very bad.

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400 Pound Monkey from Left Hand Brewing Company
3.59 out of 5 based on 2,160 ratings.
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