Victory “Golden Monkey” Belgian Tripel Ale
IBU: irrelevant for this style
I believe this beer is underrated in the beer community. It is not the best one out there, and for a tripel it’s not a rich, robust, thick, sipping-style beer so I guess that’s why it gets dinged a bit by beer snobs. Victory is an extremely respected brewer so perhaps expectations are set high for anything that has their signature “V” on the bottle. But it is a great brew, and it is fantastic for summer, daytime or “party” drinking. For a tripel it has a unique place of appropriateness, and that is quite respectable. Craft brewing is about pushing boundaries and tweaking styles to make new discoveries.
Golden Monkey pours with a dense, thick, resilient head and is slightly foggy and bright golden yellow. It smells sweet, fruity, and a tad phenolic. The beer itself is fairly light tasting but it is complex, which saves it from being forgettable. It is moderately to heavily carbonated but it doesn’t make your chest feel like it’s being expanded from the inside out with a big bubble like a cheap frat party beer. It eases into the belly. The flavor contains some malt, and a delightful combination of sweet and sour citrus. There is even the taste of banana, biscuit and the slight sting of alcohol as well as a spicy chili. For a light tasting, watery tripel this beer has quite a bit going on in the flavor department and is very well balanced. It doesn’t have a strong flavor, but it has a lot of good flavor.
I recommend it for a game day grill-out beer if you want a high quality beer that you don’t have to chew and savor, and with which you can impress the crowd. However, keep in mind it does have a relatively high alcohol content and the moment you don’t respect it, it will knock you on your ass and make a foolish monkey out of you. And it still is a great beer for tasting while relaxing on the couch after work, paring with a high quality dinner or cheese hors d’oeuvres, reading Chaucer, getting a blow-job, or listening to classical music while watching the sun set (you like what I did there?).