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Robert Simpson Confederation Ale - Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Robert Simpson Confederation AleRobert Simpson Confederation Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
73
okay

66 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 66
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 3.1
pDev: 16.45%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: pootz on 01-31-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 66 | Reviews: 51 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Nice aroma, honeyish though sweet malt. Bit of foamy head in appearance. OK and creamy but on the thin mouthfeel side and plain taste with some honey in backdrop from yeast. There is a drop of hops and can use more of it. Drying bits of material at end. Drinkable.

Sammy, Aug 24, 2005
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a golden color ale with a medium light foamy white head with good retention. Aroma of floral hops is mix with grassy malt. Taste is a bit more interesting then expected with grassy feels mix with something quite salty. Without being great this is an above average golden ale with some character.

Phyl21ca, Jun 09, 2005
Photo of biboergosum
3.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle, procured via a trade with Ontario local tbeckett - cheers!

This beer pours a clear, medium golden copper hue, with one finger of soapy pale beige head, which leaves some streaky arched lace as it quickly recedes. It smells of sweet bready, pastry-like malt, some mild wild citrus, and grassy, weedy hops. The taste is malty, to be sure, the breadiness not in question - however, an overriding, if still underwhelming, zingy grassy, earthy hoppiness pervades. The carbonation is on the low side of average, the body equally south of medium weight, but not egregiously so, and a little too edgy to be considered smooth. It finishes off-dry, the breadiness and waning, underachieving hops sticking in.

An adequate enough offering, especially given the style. I wouldn't be put off if offered this at the proverbial lake, but I wouldn't/won't be seeking it out.

biboergosum, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of biegaman
3.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The ale may be more toasty golden than amber, but it's a decent looking beer whatever colour you decide to call it. A tanned complexion and lightly pressing chill haze don't obstruct clarity nor do they restrict visibility of those acrobatic little bubbles. Its head has depleted plenty since the pour although a scrap of it still floats secluded over the center.

Hot damn I smell hops! Forgive the sudden outburst but I really wasn't expecting any. When it was introduced, Robert Simpson Confederation (not yet Amber) Ale was about as toneless and ordinary as beer can get. This newer draft, however, smells of out-of-the-oven cookies baked with rose water and drizzled in a candied fruit reduction. Yum!

It is no surprise, therefore, that the taste is also far improved. Flavours of wafer and graham cracker are complimented by a sweet toffee note and accompanying hints of citrus zest and piths and herbal flowers. Although pleasant, it's a tad faint and unassertive (still it strikes me as something you might find in the south of France in pie form).

So the beer tastes good, we've confirmed that, but why aren't I falling over myself for the next sip? Mostly because this is too light in malt department. Despite that it imparts a sensational fruity/floral bitterness, the beer's mouthfeel is quick to disassemble and, although that makes it infinitely quenching, it takes away from the beer's overall character.

The (seemingly extensive) use of crystal malts pays off as the honey and biscuits combination, in union with the light citric hoppiness, makes for a toothsome aftertaste. That is partly spoiled, however, by a prevailing irony note. Treating the water differently to make it softer, less mineral-rich might benefit the beer's easy-going effervescence.

Before the recipe was re-tweaked and the brewery changed its name to Flying Monkeys, Robert Simpson Confederation Ale was about as lifeless as the late Robert Simpson himself. This revamped version, however, is no longer the beer for dead white guys - it's convivial and contemporary, an excellent quaff for (very much alive) beer geeks anywhere.

biegaman, Jul 28, 2010
Photo of DrJay
3.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Slightly hazy golden colour topped by a thin off-white head. Grainy malt aroma with a little sweetness, moderate fruity character, and floral hops. Fairly balanced, with sweetness and fruit up front followed by mild citrus at the finish. Light body, moderate carbonation, and just a bit slick.

355 mL green, UV-protected bottle, freshness date stamped into the label on the neck.

DrJay, May 14, 2005
Photo of Derek
3.05/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Crystal clear with a slight yellow hue. Pours with plenty of head, leaves a nice lace, but there's not much retention.

S: Not a lot of nose. Bread & buttery-caramel with slight hints of fresh hops and fruity esters.

T: Slightly sweet, hint of earthy hops, with some buttery/caramel flavour like caramel popcorn (diacetyl?).

M: Light to moderate body is somewhat creamy. Moderate carbonation.

D: Easily approached & initially goes down like water... but it starts to wear on me, and certainly doesn't bring me back for more.

Probably best served ice-cold.

Derek, Apr 25, 2006
Photo of spinrsx
3.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draft

Appearance - Amber/copper colour with an average size frothy off-white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some good lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for 4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, nuts, light hops

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, a caramel sweetness and a bit of hop bitterness. There is also a touch of a nuttiness. It ends with a malty slightly sweet aftertaste.

Overall – Nothing that will blow you away, but it's a nice drinkable amber. The flavours are subtle which would allow for it to be pretty sessionable. Considering my limited choices for draft beer at the restaurant, it worked well.

spinrsx, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of tbeckett
3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Nice golden/light copper colour. Good carbonation streaming up the glass. Bright. Two finger white head leaving good lacing.

S - Really mild. Grassy hops and malty caramel.

T - Mild malty caramel with more mild grassy hops with sort of a lemony aspect too.

M - Lot's of carbonation, light body. Really smooth.

D - 'Mild' just about sums up what this beer is like. I could drink it all day, but why would I want to? Nothing about it is offensive but it's just nothing I would reach for for flavour. That said, it's very easy to drink, but I'm not sure that makes it good.

tbeckett, Jan 29, 2011
Photo of andrenaline
3.48/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on the beach at my old mans place on Lake Superior.

A - Pours a nice amber colour, thin finger of head with solid rentention, leaving a nice shiny island of bubbles after a few minutes, and some fine sticky lacing throughout.

S - Some sweet citrus hops off the top and followed by some caramel malts, though it is a little light and could be a bit stronger.

T - The sweet caramel malts dominate the palette, with some bready malts and citrus hops lingering on the palette. The finish is a little more bitter than I expected.

M - A bit on the watery side, could use a little more carbonation to liven it up a bit, and give it a bit of lift.

D - Overall, a pretty tasty offering and I would easily go through a 6-er of this if it were readily available in Alberta. Recommended to any Amber Ale fan looking for a tasty OCB version of the style.

andrenaline, Aug 27, 2010
Photo of bobsy
2.53/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This beer was included in a sixer aimed at promoting Ontario craft brews to the local market. So far, its the worst of the 5 I've had. I don't remember this beer being that bad in the past, but considering I've drank a lot of decent stuff since I had it 3 years ago, perhaps things have moved on.

The bottle pours a nice golden liquid which kicks up a beautifully smooth and creamy white head, which gradually fades to film and leaves some lace. The aroma is very grainy and has strong notes of bran to it, as well as sawdust. In its way it smell quite clean and healthy. Grain hits me full on in the flavour, to be rapidly followed by sweet bread and then a hint of plastic and cardboard, which we could do without. The sweetness becomes naggingly cloying and reminds me of corm syrup, although it is thankfully replaced by a clean aftertaste of grain. The sweetness does make the mouth water, which seems to lighten this drink beyond its already medium-light body. The carbonation tingles on the tongue and does help to alleviate the sweetness somewhat.

A dud. It does have some nice characteristics, but it is really let down by the flavour, which is too sweet and perhaps contains adjuncts. I won't buy this again, it just wasn't all that pleasant to drink.

bobsy, Nov 25, 2008
Photo of oldp0rt
2/5  rDev -35.5%

oldp0rt, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of kwjd
2.55/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Review from April 2009:

After pouring into a glass, it was a pale colour, without much head. I don't know exactly to describe this smell... but it was one of the worst things I have ever smelled. I thought it may be a bad bottle, but other reviews here seem to say similar things, so I'm not sure of this. It didn't taste as bad as it smells, but it still tasted bad. I had split this bottle with a friend and I couldn't even finish my half of it.
Note: This says "Amber Ale" on the bottle, but I don't think it is supposed to be an amber since it was completely pale. If I can take off marks for labeling errors, I would.

Grade: F, Scores: 2.5 1.0 1.5 3.0 1.0

Now in August 2010, I tried this again. I was scared to try it again, but I braved through and it was fine. I'm going to move up my score because I don't think my rating was an accurate reflection of the beer now.

kwjd, Apr 20, 2009
Photo of sulldaddy
3.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a can of this brew when in Canada. I am pouring a chilled sample into a pint glass. The beer pours a bright clear color with several streams of carbonation rising to the surface. Fluffy bleached white head of 4 cm fades slowly leaving craters as it goes. Aroma is clean caramel malt and some grainy cereal. Fairly mild on the nose overall.
First sip reveals a light body and genlte rolling carbonation. Flavor is a little grainy and some caramel too. Gets a little husky on the finish and then rolls to herbal and drying finish. Nice easy drinker when sitting in the sun poolside.

sulldaddy, Sep 29, 2007
Photo of DaPan
3.25/5  rDev +4.8%

DaPan, Feb 13, 2013
Photo of cfalovo97
2/5  rDev -35.5%

cfalovo97, Nov 06, 2012
Photo of pootz
3.03/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried this from a can recently....revisiting this ale after tasting on tap at the brewery and getting a case of the first release in bottles.

Gotta say what I tasted from that can was not the beer I tried 11/2 years ago...this was weaker in hop aroma and malt...more fluid mouth feel..very soft nothing pronounced as in the first batches...will re-try in 6 months to see if there is improvement.

pootz, May 13, 2006
Photo of allergictomacros
2.65/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pale straw with a puny, weak head. Bodes poorly.

S - Sweet, corn-like aromas (n.b. label say purity law and whatnot so it shouldn't an adjunct thing). Strong notes of husky grain.

T - Definitely on the sweet side. Slightly tart up front and a teeny weeny bitterness in the aftertaste. Not much else going on here.

M - Light bodied, somewhat fizzy.

D - Falls into the drinkable, but not very exciting category. Would compare favorably to most macros, but singularly unimpressive.

The LCBO wouldn't sell me a single so I had to choose between a sixer of this and 2 others I've never tried... Seems I chose poorly (the box was all shiny and I got distracted...)

allergictomacros, Jun 01, 2006
Photo of Frozensoul327
3.68/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The most drinkable Cream Ale I've ever encountered. Pours out to a frosty yellow color with a respectable head of white foam that remains consistant. No lace, and a medium level of carbonation. Aromas of light husky corn and grains, with some malty sweet notes. Taste is smooth, crisp, simple and enjoyable; light malty sweetness mixes with rich corn grain flavors and oh so subtle hops. Some herby notes as well, but very faint, and almost overshadowed by the smooth malty veggie character that is present. Mouthfeel is good; i've got to say it's quite enjoyable for such a shunned style; crisp, smooth, refreshing, totally quaffable. A great summer, or even year round brew. I like to think of Robert Simpson as the Orville Reddenbacher of beers; they do one thing (Cream Ale), and do it better than anyone else. Highly Recommended. Special thanks to Derek for the sample.

Frozensoul327, Aug 16, 2006
Photo of SebD
3.53/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice yellow/orange/golden color to it. It has a nice thick off-white head that dies down moderately and leaves nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of sweet toasty caramelly malts with earthy, piney and citrusy hops.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice sweet malt character giving out some caramelly notes with some nice citrusy, piney and earthy hops and a slight nuttiness.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good light flavors and aromas.

SebD, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
2.17/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer is very bland. It reminds me of the terrible Alexander Keith's. It pours a very light bronze with a wispy collar and a bit of lace. The aroma is watery with a wisp of malt and some mineral, very insipid. The taste is a lot like a macro lager. Not much of anything, utterly inoffensive. The hops show up for a flash in the finish. The mouthfeel is quite fizzy and thin. I dont recommend this beer.

The whole image of this brewery is contrived and cheesy. Their booth at the Toronto beer festival was like a Muskoka room crossed with a Canadian souvenir shop.

CAMRAhardliner, Aug 07, 2005
Photo of hopsolutely
3.5/5  rDev +12.9%

hopsolutely, Jun 24, 2012
Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
3.25/5  rDev +4.8%

Ivanhoes_Backpack, May 18, 2012
Photo of TerryW
3.8/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A pretty average looking beer, ginger ale gold with precious little by way of head or lace.

Probably the best thing about this one is the smell. Lots of flowery hops, a little resiny, grapefruit or juniper. Quite appetizing.

Sweet malts up front. Hops are dominant in the taste and give it an almost green character. Lots of grapefruit. Has a tgentle lingering bitterness. A tad too sprity on the palate and can be mildly harsh when it settles in.

I've had several sixes of this beer as I've come to like it as a good work-a-day beer, but I've noticed that it can be a little uneven, probably due to the green bottle.

Worth trying just for the aroma alone, good regular drinkin' beer.

TerryW, May 04, 2005
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of those beers that truly suffers in bottled form, but is quite drinkable on draft. Had this one on tap at the University of Waterloo Grad House.

Pours a light amber, leaves about 1cm of foam that quickly disappears.

Nose is of apple, spices and a bit of hops. None of the metallic flavour found in the bottle.

Not a bad little pale ale, certainly good for a session with friends. However, there's nothing exciting about it - fairly standard actually - so it won't prove to be an interesting sipper. Get it on draught if you can - the bottle is certainly subpar.

JohnnyBarman, Oct 26, 2009
Photo of kelvarnsen
2.5/5  rDev -19.4%

kelvarnsen, Nov 30, 2011
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Robert Simpson Confederation Ale from Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery
73 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.