Golden Monkey Belgian Style Tripel Ale with Added Spice

Review Date 8/15/2000  Last Updated 1/12/2020 By John Staradumsky


I have visited the Victory Brewing Company on several occasions, but the most interesting time was the first. This brewery is a Mecca for true beer enthusiasts, but it's a well hidden one. Victory is located in Downington, Pennsylvania, a small town about an hour or so from Philadelphia, in an industrial park that isn't easy to find. The first time I visited I got lost (due to some bad directions from a Victory employee), but I did eventually find it, and was compensated for my trouble with a free beer and personal tour.

Once you have visited Victory, you'll know why it's so well hidden. I'd want to keep beer like this for myself too. The inside of the brewery has the appearance of an aircraft hanger, it's huge and echoes with the din of patrons. I bought a few six-packs of Golden Monkey when I was there a few years ago, and I've kept some for aging as I am wont to do with strong beers.

Golden Monkey is a Belgian style tripel, a rich and yeasty brew with high alcohol and brewed with spices. My bottles indicate an alcohol content of 11% by volume on the label, truly a formidable brew. They feature a thick splotch of yeast on the bottom. When I pop the cap on my bottle, foam immediately begins to rise from the cap until it gushes from the bottle. A second bottle opened produced the same results. I quickly pour the foamy beer into my Golden Monkey pint glass. When it settles, I can see fine particles suspended in the light golden colored brew; thick chunks of yeast have already settled to the bottom. The beer is wonderfully rich, fruity with notes of pineapple, sweet with alcohol, lightly spiced with hints of licorice and yeasty like only a Belgian style ale can be. It is common for the style to have candy sugar and other fermentables used to boost the alcohol content.

This is a potent sipping brew, authentic and delicious. It's a beer that will age quite nicely, but if you do age it, I strongly suggest opening over the sink.

Update 1/12/2020: It's been almost 20 years since I first opined on the Golden Monkey, and it's still amongst my all time favorite brews. This time I'm enjoying from a can and the beer is delightfully malty with clove and banana and the nose and palate, Belgian yeasty funk and warming alcohol and drying but gentle hop bitterness in the finish. The alcohol content is down a little to 9.5% these days, and the beer will run you $11.99 a six-pack at Total Wine here in Georgia. IBUs are 25. My current Golden Monkey was canned on 05 AUG 2019 and is a sheer delight on 1/12/2020.

From the Victory website:

Meet the most curious of all the monkeys. His journey to discover the truth about life lead him to meditate with monks, wrestle with lions and study the stars. Golden Monkey crafts an ale with imported malts, Belgian yeast, and a mix of magical spices resulting in mystical flavors that will enlighten your senses.

malt: Pilsner
hops: Tettnang

Glad I tried it?  T

Would I rebuy it??


*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, Canned