Victory Brewing Company of Downingtown, Pa. has certainly helped the push in craft brewing over the years. They have also been known to push the envelope from time to time. Their Sour Monkey offering, a sour, brettanomyces tripel, certainly does push the envelope.
Any time you get a beer that advertises it being sour you never know what to expect. There are so many ways a beer can be made sour and so many different sour profiles that each offering seems to stand out among their peers. Sour Monkey, according to their can, is a “sour, brettanomyces-fermented tripel [that] puts a tastefully tart twist on Golden Monkey’s sweet, fruity essence with its sharp, citrus-laden tang.”
The beer poured a yellow gold with slight haze but only a half-finger head that was light and bright white. The head dissipated fairly rapidly but a nice ring remained around the glass which let you know you were going to potentially get some good lacing. The aroma is a little sweet with sour notes.
The first sip was very interesting. The carbonation is moderate and the beer feels very light in the mouth. It comes at you sweet at first, albeit subtly, then you get the sour notes. The first sip was really sour but the sour calmed as the beer drank. The beer is dry and crisp and finishes dry, crisp, and sour. It has hard cider-like dry finish but with a little tang from the citrus.
If you don’t like sour you aren’t going to like this beer. This is definitely a sipping beer, unless you’re the type of person that used to put the whole bag of sour patch kids in your mouth as a kid. This beer won’t be for everyone but it does offer some pleasant change of pace flavor if you are doing a longer session. At 9.5% ABV you will definitely want to take your time with this one but it can be a very enjoyable beer.