Jun 18, 2013

New Holland Monkey King

There’s nothing like sipping on a crisp, refreshing Saison on a warm Spring/Summer afternoon. It’s a state I frequently find myself in after slogging through rush hour traffic after a long day of work. And it’s with this mindset the other day that I was looking forward to trying out a bottle of New Holland Monkey King, a 6.6% ABV Saison.

I personally prefer my Saison on the dry side, with a decent bit of farm funk and a crispness that leaves me wanting more. New Holland’s Monkey King is pretty new to the brewery’s rotation and while it presented itself well, it just didn’t satiate my need for a proper saison. Monkey King arrives more like a Tripel blended with a Hefeweizen — it isn’t overly spiced, but it’s too sweet and packs too much banana than what I personally want from this type of beer.


Monkey King pours a light, golden amber in color with a creamy, off-white cap of foam.


Grain, light spices, touch of clove, banana, subtle barnyard, light citrus and white pepper fill the nose with each sniff.


While the nose had a moderate amount of banana, the taste of this beer brings a more pronounce banana presence — probably too much. Fruity easters, hints of spices, hay, grain, honey and a light citrus hop character are also in play, but the banana sits a bit too much in the foreground for my liking. Monkey King is on the syrupy side with a moderate sweetness that’s also a touch too strong. There’s a light bit of farm funkiness in the semi-drying finish and surprisingly warming finish.


Maybe I was looking for something a little too specific when I tried this beer out. Maybe not. I just found Monkey King not fitting too snuggly into the mold of what I want in a Saison. It’s got the warmth and sweetness of a Tripel and the overly banana-like character of a Hefeweizen. The combination of those two just didn’t work out in the way I would have liked. Perhaps I’ll give the beer another chance in the future, but as it stands right now, it’s an OK beer, but not one that I’ll be going out of my way for.

Rating: 3/5

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