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 homebrew311
3.36/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a SA sensory glass. I must comment that Left Hand's new artwork scheme is awesome and it certainly sold me on this beer (Fade to Black comes to mind as well).

A: Pours a crystal clear golden with a nice frothy 2 finger head, nice retention and some lacing

S: notes of bread, yeast, caramel, maybe a touch of diacetyl on the end, all of this dominates the hop profile which adds some notes of pine and citrus, bready malts take center stage

T: hops and caramel malts up front, the hops are subtle and integrate well with the malt profile, there is a touch of bitterness at the end, but over all, the malt profile keeps the hops in check. The diacetyl doesn't come through as much on the palate. This beer is well balanced and is a decent example of an English IPA

mf: medium carbonation, light body

D: this is easy drinking and the abv is undetectable. Lots of nice things going on but it leans heavily to the malts

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

Served on-tap in a clear pint glass at Mellow Mushroom (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Bright golden with thin tightly bubbled nearly white head and decent lacing.

S: Very fruity with some pineapple and mango followd with tealike biscuity notes

T: Very fruity and not hoppy in a typical sense. I don't find the herbal blast that usually accompanies this style, but the hoppiness and overall impression is of a fruity-hoppy brew with clean, slightly dry finish.

M: Medium bodied with clean finish and soft fruity aftertaste.

D: A pretty good brew and not what I was expecting with the fruity notes leading the way.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a brilliant golden-orange with a thin, frothy, eggshell white head that was moderately retaining but left some good stickage behind for a lacing. Visible carbonation was extremely light with a sporadic show of lazy straggling micro-bubbles that were few and far apart.

S: Light orange grind with a soft flowery scent appears on the nose. The strength was extremely light, perhaps so much so it was hardly a factor. Unless you spent the better part of 5 minutes with your nose buried in this, you are most likely gonna leave without any real appreciation. A soft flowery lemon scent concludes things here.

T: The flavor starts out with a sweet graininess and highlights of lemony flowery hops which pretty much made up for the lackluster aroma. A nice level of bitterness moves in mid-way through the experience with fresh barley, dry husky grains and a appreciable lemony dry and grassy hopping that sticks around after the swallow. A nice lightly toasty malting rounds things out along with an otherwise pretty impressive show of hops per style.

M: The mouthful was dry, fairly bitter that turns creamy upon the hold with a good release of carbonation. Light bodied and smooth on the swallow leaving a good deal of bittering citrus and grass hops behind.

D: Drinkability was good, light bodied with a decent level of hoppiness, and worthy of a six-pack purchase.

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Photo of portia99
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle (bottled 2/24/10) poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - Pours a crystal clear bright golden color with a thin cap of white foam. The head lasts for only a short time and then falls to a thick coolar with not a trace of lacing left behind.

S - Bready malt dominates the aroma with light earthy hops contributing but definitely not in a strong way. A bit apple cider vinegar creeps in to the aroma too - a bit odd. Overall balanced towards the malt.

T - Sweet malt hits strongest and makes the first impression. Earthy and grassy hops with a tinge of citrusy flavors too. Very bready in character overall. Bitterness is crisp and plenty there...malt and hops complement each other fairly well in this one.

M - Medium bodied with carbonation a bit on the high side. Body is a little bit heavy for the style. Bitterness lingers in the mouth after the swallow with touches of malt and hops at times. A bit slick on the tongue.

D - A good session IPA...for those that prefer their IPA's balanced/maltier, this is a good example. If you lean towards the big citrusy, hoppy west coast IPA's, you'll probably be left wanting more. I could easily drink a couple more of these, but probably would choose something else if other options are available.

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Photo of brownbeer
2.74/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice orange-gold color, very clear, with a white crown.

The aroma isn't very good. The somewhat doughy malts and grassy hops are the ok part. Then, I get something that smells almost vegetal, moldy, and of buttered popcorn. Really not very appetizing.

A grainy taste comes through and finishes with an astringent bitterness that I can live with. I can't get past the burnt popcorn aspect of the taste. It just seems like something's wrong to me. Or maybe it's just bad beer. I had little inspiration to finish the glass. Disappointing.

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

Golden honey color with a rocky eggshell colored head that shows decent retention. Lacing is minimal.

Light grassy herbal aroma with a slight breadiness.

Piney citrus flavor with less malt backbone than I expected and a herbal/medicinal aftertaste.

Body seems slick, and was lighter than I was expecting. Not bad, but all told seemed a bit unbalanced.

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3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

short head retention, and good lacing.

A= Looks a bit like a pale ale, clear with an amber hue.

S= Smells good. . .mmm. . . yeast.

T= Good taste, not overly strong, but doesn't last long on the plate.

M= A foamy mouthfeel, washes out quickly

D= A solid drinkable beer, drank it rather quickly.

Overall: Good beer, not quite like Stone's Cali-Belgique, but a rather enjoyable brew.

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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 aubuc1
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured in to a tulip pint glass.

Pours a very clear deep yellow with a steady stream of carbonation and steady white head.

Smell is a slightly sweet, grassy, pineapple and citrus with a little biscuit.

Taste is very biscuity with a snappy, dry, bitter finish. Not bad.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability is pretty good. I am not sure of the date of this, it could be better if fresh.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

An interesting beer to come across these days. An English IPA done by a relatively west coast American brewery? Let's see what happens.

A: Pours out a crystal clear tawny golden honey/ambery orange. Head is loose and sticks around the circle of the class in thin wisps of lace.

S: Give it that old-traditional English IPA aroma, heavy on the malt bill with heavier touches of orange blossoms and light, minimally floral hops. More malt than anything, more of a watery aroma than I was anticipating really.

T/MF: Rich and chewy maltiness to open. Smooth on the tongue leaves absolutely no drying or sticky sensation on the tongue, really only a slight tingle on either side of the tongue. Slightly peaty but I feel like that might be a little bit left over from the previous beer in my glass, if not it still seems to complement the beer. This beer is a testament to understatements; there are touches of honey and orange blossom mixed within the strong malt bill, a slight smokiness to close things out that I enjoy even if it is unintentional.

D: Good on a hot day and feels much smaller than nearly seven percent. It nearly daces on the tongue and feels light enough to be sessionable even though it doesn't even come close. An interesting beer, but really not my style. Good on a hot day and after cooking a large meal, but other than that a little ho-hum.

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Photo of jkrich
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle with freshness date: one of the most unique bottle labels I have seen. This IPA is equally unique. The pour is a clear, golden color with a fluffy, sustained white head that recedes slowly revealing plenty of intricate lacing. The aroma is sweet, herbal and earthy. The taste begins with a faintly sweet tea flavor with a hint of bitterness on the tongue. The ale is somewhat dry and refreshing. The hop flavors are different from what I am accustomed to experiencing either american or english. It all seems to come together for a rather light, refreshing ale. The carbonation is very subdued and the body is light, but not watery.
This is certainly a boldly different take on the IPA. The high ABV and sweet mouthfeel make this one good for only a couple.

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

Pours to a rocky white head of two fingers thick. Leaves some ring lace on the glass. The slightest of chill hazes to the otherwise light amber color.

The smell is a blend of pale ale malts and some grapefruit-aroma hop. This is a mild aroma compared to most IPA's--closer to a regular pale ale.

This is a well balanced IPA. It starts with a soft, dry, mildly grainy malt flavor. In the swallow and aftertaste, the hop takes over and dominates with a peppery spice. The body is similar to skim milk; the carbonation is below average giving it a thicker mouthfeel.

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

Pours a very light golden copper color, with a 2 finger white head that dissipates fairly quickly. Leaves average amounts of lacing behind.

Smell is noticeably different from american ipas, with more malt and less hops. Caramel malts flow into a citrus hop character, with no noticeable floral cascade aroma that is so common in american ipas.

Taste follows suit pretty much exactly. The malted barley really shows in this brew, and accents the hops fairly well. Not as hoppy as I prefer, but a decent english ipa.

Nice level of carbonation at first, btu teh carbonation really dies out towards the end of the brew.

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Photo of CaptainIPA
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

P: Presented in a 12 oz., brown bottle with illegible freshness dating. Very cool label illustration. Poured into a Hennepin flute.

A: Brassy in color, with an off-white head that quickly fades to a rimming of foam.

S: Sweet aromas of caramel malts and grassy grains with a touch of subdued hops in background.

T: The Monkey exhibits an herbal earthiness that's markedly different from American-style IPAs. The initial maltiness yields to a variety of flavors including green tea, honey and hops. As the beer warms the balance swings back to malt. Nicely balanced and a good change of pace from the standard full-frontal hop assault.

M: Creamy mouthfeel with a grainy dryness in the finish.

D: Good drinkability coupled with an interesting complexity as the Monkey warms.

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Photo of farrago
3.02/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Little below a finger's worth of bleached white foam, enough larger bubbles interspersed to create some dimpling and hamper retention, decently thick lacing though. Light orangish-yellow hue with some gauziness, only a few bubbles seem to move within the liquid. Lemon and orange citrus upfront in the nose, sourdough and black bread notes, peppery, green and herbaceous hops, in spite of this above average concentration in the apricot, nectarine fruit scents. Medium-bodied, dry and almost grainy in texture, pumpernickel and rye, hops have plenty of edge and nervosity, only offer traces of citrus, pine or florality. The malts hard to discern, perhaps cocoa powder evident. Carbonation tries to add some fluffiness and diminish the bite of the hops, this to middling success. Not sure what was supposed to go on here or if it was achieved.

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Photo of Natural510
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a golden-copper color with flaccid look (minimal head and scant lacing).
Scent is surprisingly muted for an IPA. I'm getting a bit of sweet malt but not much else.
Breaded malt, sweet cherry-caramel flavors, acidic bite, pine hops make up the flavor. A bit of a mish-mash, but it comes together fairly well. ABV strength is apparent and adds a booziness to the drink.
Full in body...a bit too full for the British style.
A bit sweet, not quite as bitter as one would expect, and somewhat hot from the alcohol. Not a complete failure, but not something I'd drink again, either.

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Photo of JamesS
2.95/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a very pale golden color (more "lager" than "pale ale") with a bit of decent initial head, and no lacing. Some slight bitterness in the noes with a little malt sweetness. Huge grapefruit flavor from the hops, with a decent bitter aftertaste; some nice malt body, but not well balanced between the hops and with the hops and malts. Goes down fairly smooth, but only an average IPA.

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Photo of UA8
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a transparent golden color with a one finger tall off white head which settles in little puddles of foam.

S- hints of creamy banana, peaches, light lemon, and yeasty biscuits.

T- now I'm not claiming to be and english ipa expert but this seems a bit heavy on the grassy hops to be to style. Overall you have some somewhat heavy pine and herbal hop notes. There are some basic medium malt notes but they don't do a great job of balancing this beer.

M- medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

D- not a fan of this one just seems kinda boring overall more like a plain jane run of the mill american ipa to me than a real try at a english variant. I know it's belgian but I think flying dog's raging bitch was a much better example a of euro ipa that actually was significantly different from most of its American counterparts.

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

Had a bottle at Liberty St. Tavern. I guess this makes more sense at an English IPA, though it's strong in alcohol for the style. I get that they're going for an IPA with a relative balance of malt flavor, but their isn't enough of either - hops or barley - to make an amazing beer. I mean the hops have an oaky citrus character and the grains just gave off a dry biscuit taste. Not a bad beer. It was clean, but it didn't have much in common with great English IPA's.

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

Pours clear golden-amber with a thick creamy head.

Aroma is clean caramel malt, earthy and nutty, with a crisp citrus edge.

Taste is sweet bready malt and light herbal and earthy hop. An unusual minty-tobacco quality. Minerally with vague spice. Muted hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. A touch of diacetyl slickness.

A decent American version of an English pale ale. Hops have too broad of a presence; and the malt lacks some of the biscuit fruitiness that I would normally expect from a traditional English brew. That said, this is a relatively balanced session brew and certainly worth a try.

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Photo of jsh420
3.36/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

bottled 03/10/10

pours bright clear gold with a 2 finger white head that left no lacing

smells of light floral hops and some biscuit malts but also has a metal notes:(

taste is just like the nose - this is not an overpowering beer in any way - fruity floral hops upfront then light biscuit malts with a good amount of bitterness on the end

mouthfeel is a light body with good carbonation

drinkability is so so - higher priced then their other brews and the flavor just isnt big enough

overall i doubt i ever buy this again - love the name and bottle label but i think next time i will save myself 2bucks and buy some NB Ranger if i am in the mood for a lighter IPA

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Photo of Gmann
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear toasted grain color with a thin wispy white head that left some clingy lacing on the glass. Not much hop aroma but I do pick up some bready caramel malt, light butter. A light floral grassy hop mixes with a fairly substantial malt presence. It has tea like flavors with a slighty fruity notes. Some toasted malt characteristics as well; finishes with a hoppy bitterness. Moderate to well bodied but has fizzy carbonation which helps the drinkability in my book. Definitely an EIPA, Left Hand seems to nail the malt flavors. I would like to see a touch more hop flavor just to remind me that this is an IPA. It is an enjoyable brew, can't complain.

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Photo of parris
4.33/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I need to start this with saying I've got a cold, so I bumped up the smell .5 to account for my lack of sense.

It was poured into a pint glass near a brightly lit background. The vibrant golden color is near perfect, but the over carbonation produced a little too much head, about 2 inches.

I wish I had a better sense of smell, I'm sure this IPA has a great hopped up aroma. I got a bit of that, but a metallic smell is what was most noticeable. After a few sips I'm starting to notice a bit of earthy hop aroma.

The taste is a bit mild, but it has a delicious big body taste without the mouthfeel and finishes with just a little hop bitterness creeping back up your tongue.

It has a light mouthfeel, and doesn't weigh down your stomach, so it's has high drinkability.

If I could change this beer, I'd make it bigger, but maybe it's just the day.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.39/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle with an indescribably cool label. The beer is medium-dark copper color, clear with a thick spitty head that laces in clumps. Seeing as it's called an Enligh IPA I knew to expect muted hops and ramped up biscuit. Neither of these exactly present themselves in the beer. The hops are more present than usual for the style, citrus and uncharacteristically bitter. I didn't get any biscuit or toast either. The body is sorta viscous too, I don't know how to rate this at all. I like the beer, but it doesn't seem right for the style.

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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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