Funky Monkey
Milk Street: Funky Monkey (England: Bitter: 4% ABV)

Visual: Slightly bronzed brown. Coffee froth coloured thin froth head that leaves suds.

Nose: Caramel. Cinnamon. Light earthy hops. Brambles and jam. Malt chocolate. Grapes. Coriander.

Body: Earthy bitterness. Slight lemon cream behind. Blueberry. Nice grapes. Toffee malt. Choc orange hard sweets.

Finish: Malt chocolate and toffee. Quite dry hop feel. Slight lemon sherbet. Quite bitter.

Conclusion: There’s more to this beer than first indicated. For first impressions the beer was not that funky (also not monkey like, but that was expected), had quite earthy hops and was quite bitter. Not exactly setting the world alight. There was quite a bit of nice play in the aroma but for the most part it was very middle of the road.

As said, there is more to it than that, but it is subtle. The most obvious is the slow build up in sweetness, all malt chocolate and toffee. Not unexpected but it makes another string for the bow. What is nice is a very understated fruitiness, blueberry grapes and brambles. Slightly jammy in style if you hold it on the tongue. The element becomes more evident over time but never becomes the main element.

The main front is kind of dull, but the backing compensates well. Its crying out that just that bit crisper hop up front, the earthiness buries the fruit just where it needs room to open up.

Still, not bad, needs a bit of time to open up, but the backing is soothing and fruity. A bit too understated and so not one I would recommend highly, but hardly terrible, just far too restrained.

Background: Real ale time again, this time I had a spare moment in The Raven while I was waiting for my friend to turn up, so I thought I would take advantage of it to review the pint I had in front of me. I’d seen Funky Monkey a few times before, but couldn’t remember if I had tried it so I thought it was worth giving it a shot. So, yeah, not too many prior expectations on this one.