Victory Brewing's Golden Monkey is both the first Tripel and first Victory beer I've reviewed, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. If you are unfamiliar with Tripels, an excellent definition can be found on BeerAdvocate's website. This particular Golden Monkey was bottled on November 18 of 2010. Poured from its 750ml bottle into a glass, it's hazy and straw-colored with a white one-finger head that is soft and fleeting. The aroma is very yeasty with citrus, banana, honey and floral notes. It smells quite sweet and a bit spicy.
Golden Monkey's flavor is a bit less complex than the nose would imply. It tastes strongly of over-ripe banana with hints of lemon and clove. It's spicy with a slightly bitter finish. As it warms, the spiciness intensifies. Overall, the flavor profile of this brew seems very similar to Sierra Nevada's Kellerweis Hefeweizen, though not as bready. At 9.5% ABV, it's warming but not overwhelmingly boozy. With a medium body and moderate carbonation, I wonder if I'd do better to buy a fresher bottle. l doubt I'll ever find out. If I'm in the mood for banana and clove, Kellerweis continues to be my top choice. Rating: B-