Sep 16, 2016

Chaos Mountain Cheeky Monkey

While Chaos Mountain’s Squatch Ale was a nice introduction to the company, their Cheeky Monkey seems to be a bit of a miss. I’m not sure whether this bottle sat for too long on the store shelf — I could not find a bottling or “best by” date — or if the recipe was a bit too cheeky, but this is not a Belgian-style golden (or blonde depending on where you look) ale. I picked up this bottle expecting (and fearing) a large dose of banana based on the beer’s moniker and illustrative label artwork. What I encountered instead, was something more akin to an amber ale with a more pronounced malt-forward presence.

Wether a blonde or golden ale, most beers of this style have a decent amount of yeastiness and light flavors. Cheeky Monkey has neither really. In fact, the beer leans quite heavily on its malt bill both in terms of flavor and color. Bread, grain and soft caramel notes lead the way for distant stone fruits, a hint of yeast and a light bit of hop bitterness.

It’s entirely possible that the bottle sat too long, allowing the lighter flavors to fade. Or maybe that’s the cheeky part of this beer — it’s counter to what is typical of the style. Regardless, Cheeky Monkey is still deceptively drinkable and, had I been more in the mood for something maltier, may have been the right beer for the moment. I was, however, looking forward to a lighter bodied and flavored beer. Maybe next time.