Ding Points: 54.00
Pour: 60.00, Nose: 60.00, Palate: 50.00, Mouth:, 60.00 Global: 50.00
I hold my hand up here and admit that I screwed up.
The thought of Golden Monkey aged in white wine barrels was definitely something that I would be very interested in. I tend to gravitate toward some of the white wine options for barrel aging, and Golden Monkey strikes me as beer that would do well, and be suited to such a treatment. However, I failed to read the label correctly, or do the research properly, and when I found that we were talking about oak here, my heart immediately sank.
Oak in beer I can pretty much universally do without, so I had I been paying closer attention I would have most likely passed on White Monkey. Anyway, I didn’t, and at $7.99 for the 750 mL bottle it’s not exactly the end of the world, so press on we must. Apparently this has spent 3 months adjacent to the oak.
Orange golden body with a medium, one finger head. Retention is not stellar, but there is a little lace and thin film forms on the surface of the beer.
Nose is where the problems begin for me. There is a pretty strong oaky, sweet element that is tinged with alcohol, and the oak immediately lends a non-cleanliness to the beer. To me it seems muddy and ill-defined right out of the box.
Tastes follow suit with the nose.
For a second, upfront the beer tastes like I thought it was going to. A nice, alcohol based vinous touch that has a clean edge and nice acidity. Unfortunately (but predictable once I had read the label), the oak cuts across the beer, giving a sweetness that dulls the sharper edges that I seek. As is its want, the oak lingers too, and the whole beer goes to places that I didn’t want it to.
There’s a not unpleasant, light burn in the back end and the oak never gets too strong, but the fact that it is there is enough for me.
A shame. This would be so much better without the oak IMO, and the blurring of lines takes so much away from what I thought it might be. This could have been SO much better and perhaps one day will be see a white wine, barrel aged version of Golden Monkey that stays well away from any oak.
Other: 9.5% ABV. Tripel.