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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 552 | Ratings: 2,160
Photo of beer2day
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear, rich gold. 2 finger head, decent retention, and nice thick but sparse lacing.

More pine than citrus in the nose for me. A little on the bready side, something I'm not looking for in an IPA. Nose is a lot weaker than I would want, but what is there is not bad.

Hits a little creamy and slightly mild. Builds quickly with nice estery bitters. Ever so slightly oily with pine resin. Nice bitter burn at the end with a faint alcohol presence.

Very thick for an IPA.

Decent drinker. Easily sessionable for a near 7%'er.

 539 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

With a giant 400 lb monkey on the label, how could you go wrong? <edit> oh, that's how...

A: Pours a light 1/2 finger head into my SA Perfect Pint glass with some bubbles rising from the etch in teh bottom, but not as many as I would expect. It's crystal clear straw golden yellow color.

N: What the heck!?!? Theres some weird creamy fruity thing going on in there. I don't even have a way to describe it. It does have a little chewy malt aroma, and some very U.K. style hops, some chewy hops, and U.K. real ale like hops. But there's just that weird aroma I can't get my head around.

T: Theres more of that aroma in the taste. Weird. It's almost like a root of some plant, but I can't tell. It's very strange. There are some light sweet malts, a little toastiness. A little bitter with some nice light spicy hops, more U.K. hops with that chewy hop flavor. There's also a strange creaminess in there, very light but it's there.

M: Medium to lighter body, lower carbonation than I expected, and a little watery at some points.

F: Finishes a little dry and the bitterness catches up to it. The spicy earthy hop flavors stick around, but not too long, but the bitterness lingers. That weird flavor is still there very faint on the finish. It seems to go away more as I drink more though as my taste buds seem to get used to it.

 1,339 characters

Photo of thebeerdoctor
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard Libby ale glass, this has a deep golden color, and slightly malty nose.
In the tradition of British-style India Pale Ale, 400 Pound Money reminds the lupulin warriors out there that the original reason for extra hops for those long voyages to the subcontinent was to preserve the malts in the ale... not the other way around.
400 Pound Monkey is a decent recipe that uses malted wheat alongside the barley. A pleasant drinking ale, overpriced in Ohio, but worth the expense for the initial experience. I would be hesitant to purchase another six-pack. In this price range, there are plenty of exciting alternatives.

 638 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Love the kooky label on this one! Bottled 1-08-10

Pours an effervescent bronze with 3 finger of rocky cream colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Piney hops, plus leafy hops & orchard fruit once warm

T: Breadyness, a touch of apricot, lemony & herbal hops up front. As this warms orchard fruit dominates, plus a touch of lemony & herbal hops, plus dryness. Finishes fruitty, dry & with leafy hops

MF: Medium bodied, low carbonation & fairly good balance

Drinks easy, I actually prefer the bottled version of this tracks closer to style for me...

 560 characters

Photo of BretSikkink
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, copper color with some red highlights. Head is firm and long-lasting. The nose is lightly citric with some caramel or toffee sweetness.

Flavor is middle of the road, with some fruit and some bitterness but nothing out of the way in either direction. Bright, citric hopping; low bitterness is reflected in the heftier body of 400 Pound Monkey.

Strange name. Very balanced, easy-going beer.

 398 characters

Photo of bump8628
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, golden body with a loose, white head that recedes to a thin cap and leaves streaks of lacing.

Aroma is a bit thin with a mild citric/herbal hoppiness and not much in the way of malt.

Similar to the aroma, malt is nearly absent in taste, but hops are stepped up a bit. Hops are citric like salty lime rind with some herbal and spicy qualities. Bitterness hangs at the back of the palate, the only indication that this is actually an IPA.

I always like trying new hops, and the Boadicea hops used in this beer definitely have some unique and tasty qualities. However, they leave something to be desired when used alone. I think they could really be a gem if used in a blend.

 682 characters

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.

 639 characters

Photo of mondegreen
2.93/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass. I love Left Hand, so I am always stoked to review a different beer from their lineup.

A: Clear gold with a few bubbles rising to the top. A thin head leaves little lacing on the glass.

S: I smell rubber. Almost like tires. Underneath, some earthy aromas bubble through.

T: Completely unremarkable. Almost like chewing on a rubberband. Not awful, but not something that begs for me to drink more, either.

M: Light bodied, easy drinking. Not a real pleasure, but not bothersome, either.

D: I don't want another. Hell, I don't want to finish this one. The more I sip, I get a salty aftertaste. This beer is completely mundane and not at all what I expect from Left Hand.

 703 characters

Photo of 2late2brew
3.82/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sparkling with delicate trinkle of small carbonated bubbles upward. pillowy blanket of off white head which hangs in balance awhile. Very bright, clean appetizing appeal.

Smell is underwhelming, need to check in with Firestone chemists for more floral presence. Smell of lavender/grape with some bread like toasted grape nuts. pleasent but not outstanding.

Somewhat like Glove honey on toast, bigger hop bite in front than expected that lingers thru finish. No shortcuts here with bittering or flavor additions. Balanced with big bready malt seems like a single base malt very light in color so maybe a English 2-row variety. Then some light crystal sweetness to balance.

Mouthfeel nice smooth like velvet. slightly chewy but medium mouthfeel with distinctive alcohol presence suggesting its deceptively strong as should be for style.

Exceptionally find addition to Left Hand portfolio, these guys make some great brew. Would highly recommend this beer to anyone in search of a modern day English IPA with above average qualities, eminently drinkable & grows on you sip after sip.

 1,084 characters

Photo of hoplover82
4.28/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear deep golden color with a large off white head that has very good retention and very sticky lacing. What a looker. Not to mention the bottle lable... it's very cool to look at when drinking this beer.

The smells of sweet bread doughy malts play with some spicy/earthy hops in the backdrop. (I want to mention that when the beer is almost finished, and it's warm, the hops turn to this sweet lime citrus that I've never had before. It was very very good when the beer really warmed up. Same with the flavor)

I also taste the same sweet bready doughiness mixed well with the spicy/earthy hops that turned citrusy as it warmed. But with an added noticable and clean hoppy bitterness. Very nice and balanced. The more I have of this beer, the more I love it.

Has a big medium body. Very smooth and balanced carbonation. Has a soft bittersweet finish.

This beer is very very drinkable. I highly suggest this to any beer lover.

 941 characters

Photo of Tone
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, gold/copper color. One inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, yeast, hops, and citrus (pineapple). Fits the style of an English IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, hops, citrus, yeast, slight grain, and slight herbs. Overall, a good blend, refreshing, and a slight taste reminiscent of soda syrup.

 414 characters

Photo of WickedSluggy
3.94/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on date is clear. I like that. This one is pretty fresh. bottled three weeks ago.

Pale orange color with a half-inch of foam, and steady stream of large bubbles rising in the glass for the first minute, getting smaller thereafter. The foam produces some sparse lacing.

Aroma fairly subtle, hop beauquet is and light grassy.

The flavor is fairly dry with a grainy mellow maltiness exceeded by hops flavor, bitter with a slightly astringement tail that lingers for quite a while. I get none of the citrus that others reviewers note. Hops flavor stands out primarily in bitterness but also some grassy flavors that dovetail with the graininess that I mentioned. Mouthfeel is light but powdery.

A refreshing sessionable beer that gives no clue to the drinker of its moderate alcahol content. Fool your friends!

 818 characters

Photo of Mora2000
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a very clear orangish-yellow with a large white head. The aroma ia citrus hops, mainly orange with some floral hops as well. The flavor is not too great, with biscuit malt and some muddled hop flavors. The hop flavors are a combination of citrus, resin, grass and maybe some pine, but nothing shines or stands out. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Overall, a disappointing beer.

 401 characters

Photo of BeanBone
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A crystal-clear golden-amber body capped by one and a half fingers of fluffy whitish head that features good retention and lacing.

Aroma: Citrusy and floral hops over a sweet caramel malt body. Quite mild.

Flavor: Up front, the Boadicea hops are brassy, floral, mildly citrusy, mildly resiny, and mildly bitter. The malt backbone is biscuity and balances the hops nicely. Something a little metallic throughout. In the finish, there's biscuity malt and hops that have turned leafy.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a little creamy with medium carbonation and a drying finish.

Drinkability: Easily quaffable, as you'd expect from an English IPA.

Verdict: Easily drinkable and mild throughout, 400 Pound Monkey is friendly-enough, though rather forgettable. I get the whole 'sessionable English-style IPA instead of another faceless hoppy IPA' theme they were going for, but they may have gone a little too mild here.

 928 characters

Photo of moz9
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I usually prefer American style IPAs, but this is a very good English IPA.

On draft poured into a large tumbler. Medium orange, with a thin, one finger head.

Pleasant, although not very hoppy aroma. You can taste the hops for sure, but there is a certain smooth finish that neutralizes the bitterness. In other words, it has a very smooth and full mouthful and that's where it differs from an American IPA--less bite and bitter.

Still, a very drinkable beer and may even be better paired with some foods than an American IPA.

 530 characters

Photo of Beaver13
3.11/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, bottle on 2/3/10. Pours a clear light golden orange with a small creamy white head that retains well and laces the glass some.

The aroma is toasted biscuit malts with some fruity hops and a little slightly sour butterscotch.

The flavor is toasted malts with a touch of sweet fruit leading to a strong grassy bitterness that leaves a charred aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with slightly sharp carbonation.

Overall, it has a surprising amount of bitterness, but I didn't care for the toasted biscuit or the charred grassy bitterness.

 560 characters

Photo of alexgash
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. Bottled on 02 03 10.

Nice label. Clear, clean, deep golden straw body. Small, gauzy, off-white head soon settles into a thin film. Nice candy and toffeish, biscuit malt base. Floral, herbal hops float above. Not too aromatic, however. A bit muted.

Toasted grains and minty hop bitterness up front. Toasted biscuit malt comes on with rising herbal and grassy hop bitterness. A flash of candyish toffee sweetness before orange marmalade and mineral water bitterness in the finish. Lingering toasted malt with citrus accents. Not bad. Medium-bodied with a slightly oily feel. Might be a bit nicer on cask.

 620 characters

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Left Hand 400 pound monkey purchased at Boo's in Columbus, Ga. Poured into a DFH shaped pint.
appearance - light golden. cream colored, slight head.
smell - citrus, floral.
taste - more of the same. Not particularly bitter or sweet.
Tasty, but nothing that jumps out at me. To be fair, I recently had a Hopslam and a Burton Baton so guess the bar's been raised.

 363 characters

Photo of Rayek
3.62/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Perfect Pint glass.

A: Pale amber, with great clarity and mild carbonation from moderately sized bubbles. A lemon rind tinted cap recedes to a thin film fairly quickly and leaves good lacing.

S: Lots of lemon, plus black tea, a touch of toasted biscuits and a hint of mustiness.

T: Bitterness rules here, but isn't overpowering. The lemon and tea from the nose come through strong. They're aided by a hint of grapefruit. Malts are there with a nice toasted sweetbread character. The beer gets slightly metallic toward the end as the bitterness lingers through finish.

M: The beer feels slight slick on the tongue. The carbonation was a bit too prickly for my tastes.

D: This is a nice English IPA overall. The metallic flavors near the finish and the overly fizz body were the only weak points. I'm glad I picked it up.

 839 characters

Photo of northaustin
3.61/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pours a very clear yellow/amber with over two fingers of fairly quickly disappearing white head that leaves nice stringy lacing.

smell: pretty subtle european style malts with a hint of earthy hops.

taste: a british pub ale style hop bite in the beginning, mellowed out by classic pale ale malt sweetness. very good for the style.

mouthfeel: very dry and bitter, kinda inflated and foamy with the carbonation.

drinkability: refreshing and a very good example of a british style ipa. well masked alchohol, just a little too carbonated.

 538 characters

Photo of chicano4craft
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. Golden with a snow white two finger head. Decent lacing.

Grass, slight citrus from the hops. Not much from the malt. Pretty subdued.

Somewhat disappointing taste. Some gragefruit and lemon. Dry and bitter finish. I was hoping for a more smooth finish from the malt. Good carbonation. Was hoping for better drinkability from a EIPA. ABV seems a little high.

Overall, just okay. I was hoping to find a sessionable IPA. If this is on cask at the brewery I will certainly give it a try.

 506 characters

Photo of oberon
3.49/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I think alot were expecting more of a hop forward IPA here,and came away dissapointed,I thought it was decent and fit the EIPA category pretty well.Poured a clear rich golden with a nice tight one finger white head that left broken lace as it settled slowly,good clarity and definition.Aromas were the biggest dissapointment for me for this beer,light caramel/biscuit,and geranium-like hop came thru but it was light.Toasty and lightly sweet caramel malt flavors up front with leafy,tea-like hop flavors coming into a good finish.The British malt profile is the main component of the beer for me,the hops just lend a hand.It was very fresh,(bottled on 2/3/10/)wich was nice,a good beer for the "style".

The more I drank I noticed a real buttery flavor from the yeast strain used,not to bad though.

 798 characters

Photo of ATGHomebrewer
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - crystal-clear with a dark-golden hue. about one and a half inches of off-white head.

S - initial smell is a little light. hard to pick up on the characteristics. not dominated by hops as other ipas. after further review, while not dominated by hop flavors, it has hints of piney hops and also hints of flowers and citrus. Also, a bit of yeasty aroma as well.

T - soft hop flavor complimented by light flavor malt. a bit of a yeasty, muddy taste as well.

M - thin mouthfeel indicitative of the style. not quite as crisp as your typical ipa.

D - a little muddled and a little light on the hops for me, but drinkable.

 622 characters

Photo of Thur123
3.67/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This brew pours a lighter yellow orange with a slight amount of head that fades quickly leaving very little lacing. The carbonation seems moderate and the brew is very clear and filtered looking. The smell is... subtle hop bitterness with a sweetness I assume comes from the malt. This has a much lighter and herbal smelling hop, with a slight vegetable tinge to it. The malt smells a little bit one note, and that note is caramel to me.

Glug glug glug

An earthy and bitter hoppyness hit first followed by a mixture of a light and toffee like malt. The hops also carry a kind of veggie taste. This completely separate hop profile feels layered on top of the malt in the way I taste it. That being said the flavor isn't horrible but the whole beer feels like a one off, maybe not carried all the way through. The mouth feel is too watery and the flavors are good, just in the wrong places, IMHO.

 896 characters

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A steady pour down the center of my SA Perfect Pint glass reveals a stunning beer. Thirty minutes later, the white head and creamy lacing are still hanging around. Tiny bubbles are still streaming to the top of a translucent golden-amber body. As far as first impressions go, its hard to do better.

Toasty, crystally, bready malt aromas. More malty goodness on the palate. Some biscuit, some bread, a touch of caramel sweetness. Floral, herbaceous hops sneak in. Bitterness comes with a pop, then recedes to a mellow lingering afterthought.

Imminently sessionable, one of the most balanced IPAs you will experience. If you want a hop bomb, if you are an IBU masochist, then this beer is not for you.

I've got to say, I really like this beer. I appreciate that LH swallowed their pride and finally made an IPA, BUT found a way to offer an alternative to the cookie-cutter style IPA has become.

For many people, this will be a huge turnoff, in fact, I remain skeptical of this beer's prospects for commercial success. But if beer drinkers can open their minds a bit and appreciate that there is more than one way to do things, they just might find that 400LB Monkey is a hell of a beer and more than deserving of their attention.

 1,233 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.