Sunday, April 12, 2009

Victory Golden Monkey review

Victory Golden MonkeyToday's brew review is the second beer from Victory Brewing's variety 12-pack I recently picked up and is called the Victory Golden Monkey. Golden Monkey is classified as a Belgian Tripel ale and evidently must have some kind of secondary fermentation in the bottle as there tends to be a lot of yeast sediment at the bottle of the bottle. My brew had a very noticeable amount of sediment in the 12oz bottle and I wondered if this was par for the course for this brew.

Golden Monkey is made from 2-row German malts, spices (unknown) and a Belgian yeast strain. While this isn't a purely Belgian recipe, it still qualifies as a Tripel recipe. It sounded intriguing so I decided to check it out.

Appearance: I decided to use a New Belgium laser etched globe glass for this pour. Golden Monkey poured a light golden color (as expected) that quickly built a huge 3-finger creamy white head that just wouldn't quit. I noticed that the nucleation from the bottom of this glass was very strong. The massive stream of bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass created a big swirling affect that caused the sediment from the bottle to churn vigorously. I'd never seen such a strong bubbling reaction from the New Belgium glass before but it was fascinating to watch just how much the brew danced in the glass.

The beer was only modestly carbonated in the bottle but it seemed like someone had dropped an Alka-Seltzer tablet in the glass. There was so much yeast sediment in the glass it looked like the beer was never filtered. I could see through the beer just fine however. The head lasted for over 10 minutes and the lacing was just amazing along the glass.

Aroma: Instantly, I could smell a strong aroma of bananas and cloves. The Belgian yeast really was dominant here. The aroma was very pleasant as the light German malts came through as well.

Mouthfeel: Golden Monkey had a medium body mouthfeel. It was bubbly, very smooth drinking and creamy. I knew I was getting a lot of yeast sediment in my drink but could not detect it in the mouthfeel. I deliberately ignored looking at the sediment while drinking this brew as I didn't want that to distract from my sampling experience.

Taste: The brew taste started out with a malty and fruity sweetness with a touch of peppery spiciness. There seemed to be a bit of mild funkiness from the yeast but barely so. The brew was only mildly bitter and seemed to be very well balanced.

I found myself immediately enjoying this beer. It had a wonderful taste that seem to fit just right. And for the price, this brew seemed like a beer that you'd pay a bit more for. This bottle cost me just $1.25 but tasted like a brew you'd pay $4.00 or more for. Ya, it was that good.

Overall: Before I knew it, this brew was gone in a flash. Victory Brewing has come up with a very enjoyable Belgian Tripel that I'd be happy to buy again. If you can get past all of the floating sediment and focus on the taste I think you'll be very pleasantly surprised by this beer. The banana, clove and other spices in this brew hit me just right. Even the strong 9.5% ABV on this beer didn't seem to distract from the experience. If I hadn't read the ABV on the bottle I wouldn't have thought it was that strong of a beer.

Well done Victory. I look forward to sampling this again. Next up will be their Prima Pils.

Related articles:
- Victory HopDevil IPA review
- Victory Storm King Imperial Stout review
- Westmalle Trappist Ale Tripel review

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