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 Portertime
4.15/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I do not think I have had a bad beer from Left Hand Brewery maybe because I am left-handed it is subliminal. Pours a nice burnt orange color with a gentle white head. Smell of grainy malts and a mild sauvignon blanc like grassiness. Taste was divine. The hops held their own but did not overpower with off putting oily-ness. It was more of a fine biscuity quality with a hushed sweetness of the background malts. I just love this brew, not the typical hop slam most IPA's delivery which coat the tonuge in harsh bitterness. Cheers!

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Photo of meeekyh
4.14/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The first time I saw this beer I thought of Victory's Golden Monkey. I know it is the label but I must also admit a weakness for the GM. The beer pours from the 12 oz bottle into the footed pilsner provided by my host(ess) to reveal a heady elixir of the brown variety. It is a nice color but not of the normal hue. The head itself is bone-white and thick with much evidence of its existence after it departs.

Smell is a departure from the usual American IPA (likely because its not an American IPA). There seems a bit more nuance in the grain and a better balance. Not that American IPAs lack for depth of character when done right, but the latter qualification is fewer and farther between than you might imagine. I note hearty grains and hops and attention to detail.

There is a full palate of bitter flavors, the beer style not the actual flavor (as a full palate of an individual flavor is ridiculous) and a hefty dose of hops to boot. I like the homage to the conceptual birth of the style and feel it is well represented, though not archetypal.

Feel is full and round much like the taste, though without the sharpness. Carbonation is fuller than I would actually expect from the style but well within parameters.

Drinkability is good, maybe better, but the haze prevents a true estimation...

Overall I like the beer. It is full in more ways than most styles could hope for and has a hoppy depth to yearn and strive for. Go for the Old Country style and depth, go for a beer that makes you appreciate the art.


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Photo of erikwibaeus
4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A great beer that I got the chance to taste this brew at Oliver Twist when it first got in to Sweden. Its a great beer with nice top, foam sits for a moment to the go down in about 10. I can warmly recommend this one to everyone that likes a good EIPA.

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Photo of matjack85
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this single 12oz brown bottle as part of a build-your-own 6 pack for $9.99 at the Binny's store in Bloomingdale, IL. No freshness date.

The beer poured a hazed golden/apricot color and made a nice 2-finger white head that lasted awhile. Lacing was also decent.

Lots of fruity hop smell in this one - mostly oranges, pineapple, and mango. There is also some bready maltiness underneath the fruit.

Good balance between the citrusy hops and the bready malts. Milder bitterness than you would expect from an IPA, but tasty nonetheless. You can also pick up some alcohol in the finish.

Light to medium bodied with only moderate carbonation.

I can see myself going back for a full 6-pack of these monkeys.

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Photo of adamette
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes taken 45 minutes ago at Ballantine's in Willoughby. Poured from tap into 14 ounce Unibroue tulip glass for $4.50. Menu lists it at 7.5% ABV and mentions that it is an "Experimental IPA."

A 1 inch off white fluffy head over a translucent light amber, orange body. Lacing is very good. 3.5

S Nice "earthy" hops smell with a legitimate malt background. Good smell. 4.0

T Light malt predominates with hops that do nicely to compliment, not take over, the malt presence. To me this is reminiscent of Stone Levitation Ale in its nice balance, some sugary sweetness and boldness. Hops are "earthy" rather than acidic and linger for long into the aftertaste. The hops are never harsh as in some "hop bombs" but carry their role out very nicely in this beer. 4.5

M Fair to good feel. Feel increased by hops, malt balance but this translucent beer is only mildly interesting from a mouthfeel perspective. 3.5

D Good. I found the bottom of the tulip without any delay. 4.0

Notes: Good IPA to me. I found it to be much more drinkable than many others out there.

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Photo of stephens101
4.11/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour results in a brew that's orange in the middle with deeply penetrating reddish-orange edges. A fizzy, one-finger, smooth and resilient tan head drops into a diminutive lace that circles the glass.

Aromatically there is not much to speak of as it consists of some standoffish malts and a distant earthiness with some possible hints of citrus. Tastes grainy with a mix of citrusy hops with a certain spiciness at the end. A fruity middle exists with a very slight chalkiness underneath. Resides on the palate more mellow than subtle.

Has a medium weight with hardly a hint of alcohol. Goes down with a little edginess that accentuates the other qualities rather than detracts. As it warms it smooths out a bit and things get even better.

Subtle, but punchy in all the right places, Left Hand chose a somewhat over-looked style and ended up with a tasty but not over-the-top experience that's hard to find too much fault with.

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Photo of LuDookie
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I rated this beer as high as you will ever see me rate an IPA. I'm not a big fan of IPA's or hoppy beers but I did quite enjoy this beer. It is an IPA and is quite hoppy for my taste, but it has more to offer than just bitterness. It is fairly fruity and bready, and has a very hazy appearance. I probably won't buy another 6 pack, but will continue to throw one into the pick six from time to time. This beer reminded me a lot of NewCastle, but a touch better and went down smoother.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have to say I was a tad surprised. Don't expect your "typical" (powerfully-hopped, American/west coast) IPA. This is a well-done, straight-up, American version of an English IPA.

Extremely clear yellow-gold. Starts with a medium-tight head. Random sticky drapes of lace. Wow, really clear.

Pungent, hearty hop aroma and a strong crusty bread presence in the smell.

Didn't know this was done in the English style (helps to read the label and all its fine print), but recognized it quick enough. Great interpretation. Spot on with the bready malt character. Naturally, this is a bit bolder all around - earthy, noble hops kicked up a couple notches, more concentrated thickness in the malt and body. Definitely drinks heavier than a true English version, but it doesn't strike me as 6.7% going down. That said, the level of alcohol build of the body compliment each other perfectly.

Had a couple of "eh" beers from Left Hand, so I didn't know what I was in for. Now that I've had this and the Sawtooth in the past week, I'd say LH can do English ales well and I'd drink this particular beer anytime.

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Photo of hopphead31415
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My brother had been begging me to try this beer for a long time and it was hard to find, but I finally got some and am looking forward to reviewing it. It is an English-Style IPA with 6.8% ABV and 65 IBUs.

Look-Pours a clear honey-yellow golden color with an egg-white foamy head that is at least 2 fingers thick and lingers most of the way down. The lacing is thick and delicate.

Smell-It smells of fruits and honey malts. The English aspects are really noticeable, specifically the strong yeast aroma.

Taste-It tastes like honey, mango, and maybe some citrus, but it has a lot of fruity yeast and clover. It is well-balanced by toasted cracker or bready malts. The alcohol content is perfect for the carbonation level.

Mouthfeel-It has a smooth mouthfeel with a nice fizziness from the carbonation and it finishes in a mild bite from the alcohol. It is medium-bodied and crisp.

Overall-I haven’t tried many English-Style IPAs, but I’ve had a few and I must say that it is a really pleasant type of beer and this one by Left Hand Brewing is particularly delicate, complex, and easy to drink.

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Photo of maedhros09
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amber color with thin lingering surface bubbles. Sweet malt folowed by moderate fresh hops bitterness. Medium thick body, fairly smooth. A solid english style IPA.

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Photo of hophead723
4.09/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I lived in Denver for 2 years where I first encountered this English style IPA from Left Hand Brewing. Now I love all of Left Hand's offerings but this is a go-to for me. Poured into a pint glass from a fresh 12 oz bottle.

Look: Pours a golden, copper, and orange hued color with a slightly off-white head of two fingers. It has even carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass, which indicates a medium body. The head left stacked rings of lacing until the bottom half of the glass where sticky arms of lacing drooped and hung like Christmas decorations.

Smell: The aroma contains hints of caramel, bread dough, honey, grassy hops, and a standout flare of mango from the Magnum, Boadicea and Sovereign hops.

Taste: The taste is complex and exhibits earthy and herbal hops, well-balanced by bready malt. Upfront is toasted cracker and honey malt with a bit of mango, tropical citrus fruits, and fruity ale yeast.

Feel: This is definitely a medium bodied beer that finishes moist yet crisp. It has enough carbonation to make it sessionable yet enough weight to justify the complexity.

Overall: This is so drinkable and unique that it is one to try again and again. I've always loved English-style IPAs and this one really embodies the style. The hops themselves are a treat as they are somewhat rare in widely available ales of today. I would highly recommend this beer and many other offerings from Left Hand Brewing.

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Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
4.09/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A crisp and mild hop aroma. Very laid-back in the hop department, with a little bit of a sweet aftertaste. This would make a phenomenal beer to ease someone into IPAs, since it doesn't have that kick that you find in your average hopapalooza.

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Photo of Rhynes2
4.09/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice honey/gold color with a thick head. Head retention was lacking but left some decent lacing down the sides. Taste was very hop centered but well balanced with the malts. Malt taste was great and gave hints of honey and caramel flavors. The more that I drink this one the more it grows on me. I like the overall balance of this brew.

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Photo of Hoops4life511
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle dated 02-24-10 poured into pint glass

Appearance: Poured a crystal clear straw color, very small white head quickly fell to a thin cap, but retained at that level fairly well. Decent amount of lacing left. Very little carbonation to be seen coming up through the beer.

Smell: Pineapple jumps out at me as a major smell, other less noticeable smells are grainy bread-like smells. Not a ton going on here.

Taste: Very earthy, slightly bitter hoppiness with a kind of caramel finish. Hard to grasp all of the flavors but overall pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Dry with a deceptive amount of carbonation when compared to its appearance. Fairly light and thin.

Drinkability: Exceptional drinkability. Could easily put a few of these back without blinking an eye. Refreshing and light.

Overall, would go for it again at a bar or a picnic, but wouldn't go out of my way to find it in a store.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with best by date of 09/06/2013, so I'm a little late on the freshness date, but this worries me not. It's been a long time since I've last drank this beer, but I remember it being one of my favorite go to IPA's for quite a while. It's been quite a while since I drank anything from Left Hand Brewing Co., in general. Glad to have it again.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter glass.

A - Pours a light lemon-orange colored body with two fingers of fluffy soapy off-white colored head. Some stringy scattered lacing.

S - Smell is nice. Bready toasty malts, lots of dried earthy herbal hops, citrus fruits, grapefruit, light must, light caramel, some toffee. Kind of a piney skunky resinous dirty sock smell going on also, but it's all in good hop harmony.

T - Taste is delicious, even if it is a week or so past it's prime. Earthy, herbal, floral, vegetal hop flavors, grainy toasted malts, grapefruit, blood orange, some metallic / copper presence. Earthy, dirty, flowery. Bready buttery biscuit malts. I'm tasting that vegetal cucumber flavor that I know and love. Fantastic.

M - Feel is bitter, dry, metallic, and herbal. Classic.

Overall, I still love this beer, one of my first beloved, go to IPA's, and that hasn't changed even after two years or so. Moderate, yet borderline high abv at 6.70% abv, this is truly a world-class IPA for any occasion, and probably my favorite beer from Left Hand Brewing Co. by far.

Left Hand Brewing 400 Pound Monkey ---4/5.

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Photo of daliandragon
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one that I definitely bought for the name and label but I do like an English IPA too so this should be a nice fit. Looks attractive, with a translucent golden body and firm cap showing moderate lacing from its original head. The nose is where the warning lights go off as it is dominated by apples and herbal grassiness. Have I missed something? Where are the hops, malts, and you know...beer?

There it goes. Beautiful recovery, monkey. Edgy bitterness in the English vein, with a lasting, satisfying oily bitterness. None of the pine or citrus of its juiced up American cousins; just dry, herbal, alchohol tinged tastiness. A bit more powerful than the native versions of the style but after a decade sampling its muscular Yank relatives, I have to say I prefer this approach to the EIPA too. mouthfeel is thick and luxuriant. i really like this beer.

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Photo of wolfinthemirror
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour revealed a transparent, medium colored jewel, a pale golden straw color with a bright white head, greatly effervescent.

Some hops up front in the nose, wet grass, typical IPA smell.

Very bright and crisp taste, feels nearly juicy in the mouth. Somewhat light in terms of hops, a fair amount of citrus notes, mostly oranges with a hint of creamy nuttiness. I really can sense a hard to describe flavor in this beer as some other reviewers mentioned, it's kinda nice, and keeps you guessing at what it is.

Very drinkable with a fairly light feel.
good beer.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a NB chalice,. this beer is a crystal clear medium-amber color with a thin head, though with nice lacing. The nose is pleasantly sweet and malty, though hop presence is very light. Spot-on flavorwise for a good English PA, with lots of goldings hop flavor. Bitterness is moderately high and blends well with malt. Very light fruity yeast character. Soft texture & mouthfeel.

Reminds me of the English beers that first drew me into beer drinking, though more hoppy. Good beer.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled July 2010; Sampled October 2010
A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three finger thick, pale tan, off-white colored head that sits atop a bright gold colored beer. When held up to the light the body has a brilliantly clear, gold color with copper highlights. The aroma smells of lemon herbal soap for some reason (at least that was the first thing I thought of. The nose is quite clean and a bit more muted than I was expecting; the hop character is the most dominant note, but there is a touch of cracker like grain towards the finish. Aromas of lemon zest are tempered by fruitier notes of tangelo and lychee that lightly scent the dominant aromas.

Slightly sweet, at least enough to support the hop character, this beer tastes of Meyer lemons, tangerine zest and a touch of juicy fruit bubble gum. The finish has a nice solid bitterness and a touch of pine-needles and menthol that balances the up front fruit and light sweetness. This is quite light bodied and drinkable; definitely dangerously so given the alcohol. The malt character plays a clear supporting role in this IPA in that it is barely noticed; there is just enough malt character to support the hop notes and to support a touch of sweetness and a hint of pale-malt cracker like grain character in the finish.

A touch restrained in the hop department, but the amount of hops matches the light malt and body that this beer has quite well; more hops would likely overwhelm the balance that this beer has. This is definitely an enjoyable and definitely hides its alcohol pretty well. Not my preferred type of IPA at all, but the balanced hop character that this beer achieves has me really enjoying it.

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Photo of albertjr21
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 10.07.10 and consumed on 01.09.11.

A: Poured into an oversize wine glass--a brilliant yellow golden color under a pillowy cream head that's sustained beautifully by a nice and constant carbon bubble display.

S: A moderate nose of lightly roasted malt and moderate fruit faded hop notes of maybe peach and pineapple.

M/T: A zesty and juicy bitter feel fills the palate with lemon and pine citrus noted acidity that is regulated very nicely by a malt feel that glides into a resinous but pleasant bitter finish.

D: An English IPA that ventures away from its roots toward the realm of its American cousin.

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Photo of mynie
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours that pretty EIPA shade of orange, where it's almost like there's a little bit of mustard mixed into it. Perfect, inch-high head sticks around forever.

Smells of thick nobel hops and pale malt that is very nicely fruity. Hay, apricots, and pinesol.

Tastes like a combination of the aforementioned aromas only more beery. Starts off with a rustic, thick barley that's similar Sam Adam's. The middle is very thick but still somehow light and fruity, and it finishes off on a blend of very dry european hops and a chewy, bready yeast note. Solid combination, all very nicely balanced.

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Photo of NODAK
4.07/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma here is of a bit of lemon, biscuity malts, and hops. Pretty nice and right for style.

Taste has some creamy, biscuity malts to begin with along with a taste that seems to be of a bit of tropical fruitiness. This leads to the finish, where the English hops assert themselves rather strongly through the finish into the aftertaste with rind bitterness.

Good for style and goes down easily. Balance is solid.

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Photo of dleemiller
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I found this beer somewhat unremarkable when I tried it from a bottle. Later, I visited the Left Hand taproom in Longmont, CO and found the cask version on tap. Wow! what a difference. It had acquired a delightfully silky mouthfeel and a soft head. At 6.7% and a fourty-five minute drive home, I had to drink far less than I would have liked.

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Photo of Espenoza
4.04/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It poured a nice dark orange a good sized (two finger head). The auroma has a strong hops presence with very strong malts as well. The malts were the thing that stood out the most in this beer, but the hops were soon to follow. I was pretty surprised by how forward the malts were in this ipa but it balanced very well. It has a pretty full body with a nice alcohol burn. This beer is very drinkable, infact I wish I had another to drink right now.

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Photo of beveragesampler
4.04/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

i was told a story of the Left Hand Brewers talking to other brewers saying "any monkey with 400Lbs of Hops can make an IPA" and this was how the name came about...

pours light amber alomst copper in color. one finger head, quickly dissipates. smell is earthy light bitterness. moouthfeel is clean not leaving much behind. low IBU. well ballanced with hints of grapfruit and citrus. as to be expected with american hops. this is a great everyday IPA. 6.7%ABV drinks like a session beer though.

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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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