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The Beer Circle » Beer, Cellar, Tripel, Victory Brewing Co. » Cellar: Victory Golden Monkey 2011

Cellar: Victory Golden Monkey 2011

Victory Golden Monkey has been a go-to beer for me ever since I turned 21 in good old Central PA. I liked the taste, and the nearly 10% ABV had the desired effects on a college student. Now that I can appreciate the beer a bit more, I decided to put a 750ml bottle in my cellar to see how it holds up. The results were pretty surprising.

Golden Monkey 2012
Appearancewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
I'll start with the fresh version. Its got a semi-clear yellow pour with about a finger of pure white head. Big, frothy white head that sticks around forever and coats the side of the glass with lacing.
Aromawww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The aroma has a spicy character, with big belgian yeasts, candied sugar, and a slight amount of booze. The balance is there, with spice and banana taking the spotlight. Booze is noted, but isn't overwhelming.
Tastewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The spice and banana assault the palate, but they really overcame the alcohol I expected. Belgian yeasts and sugar start the taste off, which transition quickly to the bananas, slight booze, and spice. The finish is sweet with fruit being the most noted flavor.
Mouthfeel/Drinkabilitywww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Light to medium body with an average amount of carbonation. This beer is as drinkable as it gets for 9.5%. Nice twinge of carbonation, great balance to hide the booze, and a really nice finish.
Valuewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
You can typically expect Golden Monkey to run less than $5.00 for a bottle whether you're in a bar or at a bottle shop. I've seen it as low as $2 for 12oz. I grabbed it as part of a mixed six-pack, so I can't exactly say how much it cost. I'll just say it's cheap.
Overallwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
This is one of my go-tos in PA. It's not overly expensive and it tastes great. It's a beer I wish I could drink more often.

Beer Stats
Style: Tripel
Serving: Bottle
Size: 12oz
ABV: 9.50%
BA Score: 84
RB Score: 97
Golden Monkey 2011
Appearancewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
A little bit more hazy yellow pour with the same, big white head. Retention and lacing are top notch. You can't even see through the glass where the head has been.
Aromawww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The booze and sweetness is much more prominent. The spice character has stepped back, but the overall mellowness is a nice addition. If I had to pick one word to describe it, I'd say sweet.
Tastewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The taste is a lot different. WOW, I can't believe these started as the same beers. The freshest version is better, I''ll say right off the bat. This is a little watery at time. But overall is mellow, with the booze, sugar, and banana playing very well together. While the taste is different, and I prefer the 2012...I'm still giving this a four. I think it still tastes great and I like the changes that have occurred over the last year.
Mouthfeel/Drinkabilitywww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Light to medium body with a below average carbonation. It's a bit more smooth on the palate, and the mellowness only helps the drinkability.
Valuewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The larger bottles do run a bit more, but it's the way to go if you want to age it. I'd say the value depends on what you need the beer for. Want to drink a few at the bar or during a game? 12oz might be fine. Want to age or share? 750ml.
Overallwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
I wish I put another bottle down to age. I think this beer has changed over the last year, and is very interesting. I won't, however, say that it's better. I would prefer the freshest version, but I can see it continuously changing over the years. I'd say grab one to drink, grab one to age, and find out for yourself what you think.

Beer Stats
Style: Tripel
Serving: Bottle
Size: 12oz
ABV: 9.50%
BA Score: 84
RB Score: 97

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Written by Russ Beck

Russ can trace his beginnings in craft beer to sitting in Zeno’s Pub in State College drinking various craft beer options from across Pennsylvania. Since then, he has never faltered in finding new brews, whether they’re rare, delicious, or hopefully both. Russ will be writing on a large variety of subjects, including but not limited to: reviews, homebrewing, and how to take labels off of beer bottles. He’ll drink just about anything, but prefers a nice Stout, IPA, or Weizenbock. Find Russ Beck on Google Plus

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