Welcome to Beer Fusion! As you can see, below is our first review and post. Beer Fusion was created with the average craft beer drinker in mind. I’ve read several websites, blogs, and magazine reviews of beer over the last couple of years, and they all seem to be for the “elite beer snob”. I’m an average guy that loves good craft beer, and most beer drinkers I run into and know, just want to read a review that outlines the beers basics and whether or not its a good brew. Beer Fusion is here to do just that, as well as provide gut reactions from good friends and stories surrounding the tasting experience. With that, sit back, relax, crack open your favorite brew, and enjoy - Cheers!
A good friend of mine threw a party recently to celebrate good friends and bringing in the holiday season. The weather in the Tri-Cities has been very cold, and we have been hit with record snowfall for this time of year. So, I thought it would be a great chance to try a new brew that I had recently picked up by Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown, PA. The beer is called Golden Monkey, and it is a triple hopped ale that is bottle conditioned.* Golden Monkey is the first beer I have had by Victory, and the only beer I have seen in my area by them. On Victory’s website they write this about the Monkey:
Strong and sensual, this golden, Belgian-style ale glows. The richness of German malts and Belgian yeast are tempered by a sparkling approach and overall light body. Abundant herbal, fruity notes make this one to savor.
Romantic marketing aside, this beer is smooth, which came as a surprise considering the 9.5 alc/vol. Golden Monkey didn’t quite taste like a Belgian-style ale, but more of a mix between a Belgian-style and a lager. The beer has a sweet taste with a small alcohol bite for a finish, but it is by no means hoppy, which came as a disappointment to me. The sweetness has somewhat of an apple/pear taste, but it’s not overwhelming. The color was light and clean, which most resembled a pale lager. The head wasn’t overwhelming, but it had a milky short strong foam body.
After I had a few drinks of the Golden Monkey, I was curious what some of my friends thought of the taste. A long-term friend of mine was home from law school in San Francisco, and he isn’t one to like hoppy beers so I was curious what his thoughts were. He took a couple sips, smacked his lips a couple times, and told me he liked the light, sweet taste. He went on to say that the alcohol bite at the finish wasn’t overwhelming, but a nice cider like burn. Another friend of mine arrived after I had opened another bottle of Golden Monkey, and I offered him a few sips to get his opinion. Him and I have similar tastes in beer - generally enjoying IPAs and stronger ales. His opinion was much of the same as mine and my other friend, which was that it had a smooth taste with fruity notes. He, however, tasted the alcohol the most, and would have liked it if the IBUs were a little higher (IBU are unavailable for this brew).
Overall, Victory’s Golden Monkey had a good reception from beer snobs in training as well as average beer drinkers. The high alc/vol makes it a great winter ale, but without the heavy malt and hops flavors generally associated with winter ales. Golden Monkey is a must try triple hopped beer for those who want something smooth, light, and with a kick.
*Bottle conditioned beers are either unfiltered so the final conditioning of the beer takes place in the bottle, or filtered and then reseeded with yeast so that an additional fermentation may take place. (en.wikipedia.com)