Friday, February 01, 2008

VICTORY BREWING’S “GOLDEN MONKEY” TRIPEL

I found this at a Whole Foods in El Segundo, CA – right by the Los Angeles airport – while I was killing some time waiting for traffic on the 405 to clear. That’s some “LA talk” for those of you not from SoCal (I’m not either, but I’ve spent some quality time there in my day). Anyway, I figured I’d have to pick up a bottle of something to stash in my luggage, and given VICTORY BREWING’s stellar reputation – and my love for the bottle of their HOP DEVIL I had last November – I went with their GOLDEN MONKEY TRIPEL, maybe partially because of the little fella on the bottle. Now this beer says it’s “brewed with exotic spices from the East”. Whose east? New Jersey? The Orient? Well, as it turns out, this cloudy, yellowish/orange Belgian-style tripel was a lot less smooth and more astringent than I’d hoped for. Maybe it was those eastern Pennsylvania exotic spices? I didn’t get that warming feeling I like to get when I go for a tripel – just a sort of drab, “ehh” kind of envelopment. Good enough – but sometimes that’s not really good enough, you know what I mean? 6.5/10.

5 comments:

muddball said...

I think you're being too kind. I was sorely disappointed by this beer. I bought a sixer at a local grocery store. Each bottle has had almost no carbonation. I expect a tripel to have a generous head and a continuous stream of bubbles rising up through the glass. This beer didn't even generate enough head to cover the surface of the beer in the glass, and what it did have was gone before the second sip. Where did you get that picture? No way that head came from a bottle of Golden Monkey.

I may be wrong, but I don't think the "exotic spices" are appropriate to style. Do any of the major Belgian tripels add spices? The major flavor character I expect in a tripel comes from the yeast. I think the spices detract from the beer overall.

Finally, you gotta let the bottles settle for a long time and leave an inch in the bottle when you pour it into a glass if you don't want a ton of floaties swimming around in it. Belgian yeasts typically aren't very flocculent, but this seems even less so. The sediment doesn't affect the taste, but I'd knock a point off for appearance. Using your scoring system, I'd give it a 5/10 on a good day.

Kyle said...

I am totally not down with this beer either. Very much of a letdown, given the Hop Devil quality. I have nothing technical to add to this discussion though; I am a beer brute!

Butch said...

I have to be the voice of dissention here. I loved it. But I had it on tap so maybe that was the difference.

Garrett said...

I'm going to side with Butch. I had this beer on Saturday and was relatively pleased with it. I'm probably somewhere in line with Jay's assessment, but I might give it more of a 7.5 or so. I, too, had it on tap, so maybe that makes that much of a difference in this case. Mine had plenty of nice, fizzy carbonation, and was mildly warming, spicy, and smooth.

Dale said...

I have a buddy of mine that is totally crazy about the Monkey but, as a big Victory cheerleader, it's the one I have a hard time getting excited about. I dig a tripel here and there (La Fin du Monde being the choice usually) but I find something off-putting about the way the Monkey is spiced.