Beer of the Week: Victory’s Golden Monkey

Posted on January 18th, 2011

Victory Brewing Golden Monkey

About the beer:

Victory Brewing Company’s Golden Monkey is an American adaptation of the traditional Belgian-style strong ale now commonly found around the world. We’ve talked a lot about Belgian-style ales here at Beeriety and there are several themes that make this beer uniquely different than that of its predecessors from across the seas.

Victory Brewing Golden Monkey

The Victory Brewing Company was founded in 1996 by Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski in Downingtown, PA. Victory Brewing is know for their innovative approach to new-age brewing methods including their commitment to clean, renewable energy  such as the use of solar panels that were recently installed at their brewing headquarters. With over 12 varieties of beer available year-round and a host of seasonal offerings Victory has become an award winning brewery and has established themselves as a staple of east coast brewing.

But back to the beer! This Belgian-style tripel ale boasts a high-octane punch, clocking in at 9.5% ABV.  As the name suggests this style packs triple the amount of malts than a regular ale, which gives this beer its big and complex flavor.  As we’ve previously mentioned Belgian-style ales are also a fantastic alternative to the traditional champagne toast because of their sometimes sweet flavor and high carbonation levels.

In A Nutshell:

The Golden Monkey is a great American take on the Belgian-style but doesn’t come close to the classics. Beeriety 3 out of 5: Worth A Try!

Beeriety Review:

Golden Monkey was one of the first Belgian-style ales I discovered when I first got into craft beer. This Belgian set the stage for future strong ale tastings and at the time it was an eye-opening experience to try such a complex beer that offered so much flavor and spice. At a time in my life it certainly ranked among my favorite Belgians, so you can understand the conflicted nature of my review and my frustration with my own palate.

I really want to love this beer, but looking at it now it really doesn’t hold up against the traditional Belgian greats like Duvel, Chimay Blanche and other Trappist ales. I have a huge affinity for Victory brewing and love their American take on a Belgian strong, but ultimately it is the lingering liquor taste of the Golden Monkey that detracts from the overall offering. There are a lot of strong ale options in the beer world and it’s a shame that the high alcohol content has such a substantial impact on the flavor of this beer. There is still a lot to love about this beer, from the aroma to the spicy notes that weave in an out as the beer warms up. I certainly would never shy away from trying one on tap, I guess I’ve just moved on and discovered better Belgian beers.

Beeriety Rating:

3 out of 5: Worth A Try

3 out of 5: Worth A Try

What are you drinking? Try a Golden Monkey this week and tell us what else you’re drinking. Tag your Twitter updates, Tumblr posts and Flickr photos of your Beer of the Week with the #mybeer hashtag to tell us what you’re drinking!

  • I agree with the point about the boozy finish that comes with this beer. Definitely sad to think this one has fallen out of favor. Oh well.

  • Like I mentioned in the review Dan, I was so conflicted because I remember this beer being one of my favorites. I guess it’s fondness has worn off?