Not too long ago, friends of mine went ape over this beer and overindulged themselves. It all started at the Old Town Pour House when my buddy's girlfriend learned that I was into beer. She had ordered something before I arrived and asked me to identify it. The only hint I received was that the beer was from Pennsylvania. One smell was all it took to immediately guess that it was none other than Victory's Golden Monkey. She was so impressed that she went on to drink three more of them that day and then encouraged my friends to order it. Yet to that point I had never tried one, and even on that day of people reveling in it I stayed away from its 9% trappings. I finally did my own research on it the other day.
I was in the perfect setting, Brownstone Cafe sitting outside. They had nothing on tap and only a few bottles of note. So the opportunity was ripe for a Golden Monkey. Plus, 80-degree weather and a patio are that beer's calling cards. Our waitress came through and brought it in an appropriate tulip glass. Its white head poured so thickly I had to wade through it with my nose to find the realized liquid. It's a cloudy, hazy yellow-orange color. During my nose dive, I smelled a lot of Belgian yeast, bananas and spices. Perhaps a bit of clover and coriander was also detectable. It certainly tastes of what you would expect in a Belgian tripel, fruity, floral, yeasty, with moderate carbonation. It has a sticky-sweet mouthfeel slightly north of moderate. It definitely feels substantial on the palate. Golden Monkey is very refreshing and pretty easy to drink. Remain mindful of the alcohol level because it will quickly put you underwater. It's deceptive for such a heavy-hitter.
There's no question I would revisit this one. Nice summer sippers aught to always have this much flavor. They rarely carry as much because they're rarely 9% like this one. I would not classify this in the same realm of New Glarus Imperial Weizen because it lacks that beer's level of complexity brought on by a more impressive hop and spice foundation. That hardly means this isn't worthy of being a go-to in the right setting.
3.9 of 5 stars.