Review: Victory Sour Monkey

Review of Victory Sour Monkey from Victory Brewing Co. in Downingtown, PA.

Beer Type: Sour Tripel  ABV: 9.5%  Tried from bottle.

Their Description: “This electrifying transformation of our famed Golden Monkey may just blow your mind. Tastefully twisted to offer nuances of sweet fruit and a sharp tang of tartness, this exhilarating combination of flavors makes this brew a Monkey all its own. Respect the Monkey and Taste Victory! Aroma is very varied with lemon, sour, and mild brettanomyces notes. Flavor follows with a tart acidity. Not dry as it finishes with a malty grain flavor.”

The Reality: They really nailed the description on this one. The aroma does have a lot of lemon citrus and funk, with a hint of malt. The flavor is tartly acidic, but actually starts with a slight malt taste before getting there. Then, the finish does return to a really smooth malty tone that balances the beer nicely and the aftertaste is pleasant but fleeting.

Final Verdict: For anyone who enjoys Victory Golden Monkey, which is their normal tripel, and thought this might be a slightly funkier twist on it, think again. This is a full-blown sour beer for sour beer lovers. Yes, the base is Golden Monkey, and it comes through a bit in the finish, but it’s the sour, tart, funky flavors that dominate. I love sour beers, and therefore I love this beer, but it shouldn’t be marketed to lovers of the tripel style, and I think Victory has done a good job of clueing people in with the name “Sour Monkey”. The tripel backdrop does add some balancing components and smoothness, as this beer goes down easy and the 9.5% ABV is well-hidden. The more I think about it, I can’t remember a monkey that was this sour since someone told this probiscus monkey he looked like Gerard Depardieu.