Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of Beer Fusion, and it may seem appropriate to make this post tomorrow, but I’ll be traveling. Instead, I am at home sitting at the very same desk in which I wrote the Inaugural Post. On November 28th, 2010 my Inaugural Post was a review of Victory Brewing’s Golden Monkey Tripel, and I thought it’d be fun to go back to the very first beer I reviewed, from that initial six-pack. Yes, I have kept one 12oz bottle of Golden Monkey cellared from that initial six-pack.
I decided to start a beer review blog as a way to explore and gain a better knowledge and appreciation for craft beer. I wanted to write reviews that would be captivating and understandable to beer geeks and those new to the beer world. I mean, I did start writing about beer because I wanted to learn more, so I wanted to help those that were in my same shoes. I look back on that Inaugural review and laugh, because I really had no idea what was going on on my palate. I had never had a Belgian style beer, I didn’t know what sours were, blends? what were those, there was a world of craft beer that I knew so little about.
In the last year, I have tried over a thousand unique beers, explored the vast majority of styles, experienced vertical tastings, beer festivals (including GABF), became a Certified Beer Server through the Cicerone program, I have brewed with whole grain, work at a beer shop where I do a bit of everything, and have traveled all around experiencing great beer and great people. It has been a hell of a year for beer, and I have to most importantly thank all of those in the beer community that read this blog and who have been informative, friendly, and excited about beer! There are those snobs out there, but thankfully the craft beer community is much more full nerds that are ecstatic to share everything they know ( I mean nerds in the most endearing way). So, enough of this reflecting, let’s take a look at Victory’s Golden Monkey (you can read my original review here).
Victory writes this about their Golden Monkey on their website:
Strong and sensual, this golden, Belgian-style ale glows. The richness of German malts and Belgian yeast are tempered by a sparkling approach and overall light body. Abundant herbal, fruity notes make Golden Monkey® one to savor.
Golden Monkey has an ABV of 9.5%, and pours a very small white head with a golden yellow color (surprise) and a hazy clarity. The smell is very sweet, honey like, and the Belgian yeast definitely provides some fruitiness (ripe apple and pear) to the aroma. Behind the sweet fruit aroma, are cloves, lemon (citrus), and a bit of spice. Look – 4/5, Smell – 8/10.
The taste is sweet, carbonated, and doughy. The German malts play a strong flavor role, and much of the aroma comes through in the flavor. The lemon, cloves, and pepper pair nicely with the overall doughiness. There is also some banana and pear that comes through, but those flavors weren’t as strong as the ones listed earlier. The hop character is still there, which surprised me, because after a year I thought they might have faded. Saaz hops kept coming to mind at the finish, but, either way, the European hop character is what you would expect – reminded me of a Pilsner in the hop department. There is also a nice burn at the end from the alcohol, which also contributes some ending flavors. Taste – 30/35.
I read my original review before opening the Golden Monkey, and I knew that I was going to be contradicting – or you could say – correcting my first review. There is a lot going on with this beer, and that could be due to its year of aging. Either way, I think this review shows how lucky I’ve been to be able to experience and learn from so many great beers. Once again, I want to thank everyone in the beer community that has been so great to me, and I hope I can pay the hospitality forward. The next review you’ll see on Beer Fusion will be Southern Tier’s Pumking. With all of that said, the Beer Fusion gives Victory’s Golden Monkey…