Have you ever found a beer that seemed to make you feel a little high? I am a self proclaimed Hop-Head and the hops in the 400 Pound Monkey by the Left Hand Brewing Company in Longmont, Colorado made me wonder if I was a little stoned.
I'm not sure if it was from admiring the label, that is tastefully English while still exotically Indian, or maybe they snuck a little wacky Sheesha in with the hops. Name one other beer that can picture a Constable and a monkey touting an umbrella from Marry Poppins as well as another pair wielding a sword and a turban. It all works, and very tastily mind you.
Thankfully, I went about my tasting without being distracted by the label. As usual, I try and get a real good impression of a beer before I'm swayed by the marketing influence on the label. The boys in Longmont found a winner with this IPA.
The 400 Pound Monkey isn't as intense as the name suggests, it packs a huge floral punch with its Magnum, Boadicea and Sovereign hops (if you're a true hop head). What makes this beer really palatable, and caused me to pretty much destroy my attempt and drinking this one slowly, is really the clean malt they chose. I'm told Pale 2-row, Crystal, Munich, and Malted Wheat. The 2-row seems to be spreading faster than anything else in craft beer right now. The rest are often favorites with home brewers.
Left Hand is quickly becoming one of my favorites again. Sadly, I have to admit I started to forget they existed until I found this monkey on my tongue. English-style IPA's? Greatest idea ever!
An English-style IPA that separates itself from the ubiquitous bunch. Cartloads of bitter monkeys flinging wasteful amounts of bananas into the jungle . . .we're so done with that. - Left Hand Brewing
By the way, for our Stout fans, Left Hand is delivering a Milk Stout during the first quarter of 2012!