The Cheeky Monkeys describe Imperial Monk as “our Autumn Seasonal release, which is designed to gently transition you from summer into Autumn”. This genteel gambit refers to an increasingly refined brute now branded with its Autumn 2018 release date. Batch variance is one thing but, with annual releases that use malts from different years, sometimes different regions, and similarly adjusting hops as a result of availability, trend, quality and experimentation, it’s a wonder this practice isn’t adopted more broadly. Not only is it a clear call out to consumers about freshness – Autumn 2018 in February 2019? Er, no thanks – but it’s also a practice widely used in the wine industry to celebrate seasonal variation. If this trend continues, vertical tastings with the brewery's Silverback Imperial Stout look very promising.
As with last year’s release, Imperial Monk is a scaled up version of Cheeky Monkey’s mid-strength Session Red. A sextet of specialty malts and trio of classic and modern American hops were used in creating a burnt toffee coloured beer with ruby highlights that pulse when caught in the light. The slightly toasted characters of last year’s release have been replaced with a clean, defined journey. Dry and lightly spiced caramel aromas lead to a viscous but not overly cloying beer driven by toffee and malt flavours offset by a balancing grapefruit citrus. Light and tight carbonation creates an almost creamy mouthfeel, sweetness runs in balance with a consistent, firm bitterness and alcohol that flows through from mid palate towards a dry finish.
- Red IPA
Available from the brewery and good WA retailers from March 3, 2018.