I visited Route 6 Liquors early in the week and was secretly shown a beer that I have never seen before. It was Firestone Walker Stickee Monkee Barrel – Aged Central Coast Quad. As soon as I saw that it was a quad my eyebrows raised. I didn’t have enough cash to afford what I had already purchased and then pile on another double-sawbuck for another bomber. I kept it in the back of my mind for later.
Later became Friday when I rustled up another twenty and made the 12 mile cruise back to Route 6. I had hoped that Sue (Mike’s sister) had saved the bottle that she said she was holding for me. Yep. She still had it and it was the last one. Just for me. I left the store thanking her profusely as she smiled back like a cute high school cheerleader.
I started fact-finding on the beer and ran across an anomaly. A label jpeg on an image search showed the beer was of a higher ABV and the yeast listed was different. Then I came across an article which explained much of it. The beer in this form was experimented with since 2010. The description on the back of the Stickee Monkee box explained it all.
With quads being one of my favorite styles, I had a bit of tasting experience to compare this new beer to. But somehow, I didn’t think that Stickee Monkee was going to be another St. Bernardus or Westvleteren.
After a big breakfast for supper at IHOP, I was prepared for a big beer. With glass in hand, I plodded out to the Manly Garage and set up shop for a brew review.
The beer poured dark brown into the glass bringing up a mere quarter-inch of brown foam which quickly dissipated. The liquid was difficult to see through holding the glass up to the light. The aroma was familiar and reminded me of sniffing an old ale or something like Dragons Milk. It smelled like a big beer.
The first sip was amazing. The mouth feel was huge as the thick liquid made its way to the back of the palate. Initial remindings (if that is such a word) was of a similar genre of 3Floyds Dark Lord or North Coast’s Old Stock Ale, Surly Darkness or Dragon’s Milk if it was on steroids. This was truly a sippin’ beer. Wisps of bourbon would come and go across the palate.
The flavor was not like a quadrupel but rather one of the other beers or mixture of beers mentioned above. The flavors were as deep as the Mariana Trench and rich in sugar and molasses and very much like it should have its own style category. By the third sip, I could feel the stickiness on my lips.
This is a bomb cleverly disguised as a beer. Every ingredient seems to be over the top, as much as the kettle could hold and then some. Hop flavors are completely disguised by the thick, rich malts and sugars. It must have been one helluva yeast strain to ferment this monster.
The label lists the yeast as Lucha Libre (Ballistica) and I’m quite positive that the yeast is a house strain perfected over a few years. One of the ingredients in this beer is turbinado brown sugar from Mexico. The name nicely fits.
I wondered if I could get through the entire bomber without getting stupid. The last time I wondered about that was during the last Dark Lord review.
There were no underlying roasted malt flavors, just the unrelenting pounding of molasses and sugar coating every surface of the mouth, throat and stomach. One would consider pouring a bit of Stickee Monkee over a stack of pancakes.
This is a beer to be shared and one that would age well in the cellar. Some of the sugars may mellow out after a few years.
If you spot this beer on the shelf, consider the hefty price. Consider that it’s the first time that this beer has been made available in this Proprietor’s Vintage Series. Consider the fact that not many people have sipped a beer like this before (and neither have you.) If you can afford it, buy two. One to share with a friend soon and one to age for a while. Or, grab some of the beer already mentioned earlier and have a taste comparison.
This is one helluva beer.
Style: Mixed. Pick one or all of these: 1, 2, 3, 4.
Taste: Ginormous right from page one.
Smoothness: Not a bite in the bottle.
Drinkability: The sweetness could get overwhelming but one bottle may be just enough or too much.
Bang for the buck: Big beer for some big bucks.
Amount paid: $18.99 per 22-ounce bottle.
Get it again? I’d consider buying another for ageing.
Wife’s all-encompassing opinion: Dark. Like molasses. (sniff) It smells like molasses too. (sip) You get sweet but then, oh… there’s something else. (sip) Yeah. Yick. Second sip was worse. (She’s gone to brush her teeth again.)
(Note: Sticky Monkey is also a flower.)
Firestone Walker Brewery Tour – Basic Brewing [8:38]