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Flying Monkeys Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale Ale - Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Flying Monkeys Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale AleFlying Monkeys Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

105 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 105
Hads: 257
Avg: 3.79
pDev: 17.41%
Wants: 12
Gots: 43 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: bobsy on 05-23-2009

32 IBU
View: Beers (43) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 105 | Hads: 257
Photo of Jetulio
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355 ml. bottle poured into a Pint glass Appearance....... Amber beer with foamy head colour white of 2 fingers aprox Aroma............... malt, grass and pine. Malt aroma predominance Taste........ Some citric and caramel notes and then hop , touch of bitterness lasting in mouth all the time. Mouthfeel........... medium/full body and soft carbonation Overall............ a very recomendable pale ale, hops are present at the end in a good balance with malt.

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Photo of mylespetro
3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a orangey amber with a hint of gold, a finger and a half of off white head that stays for a long time and good lacing.
S - Malts, gentle hop smell, not in your face like a typical IPA (because it's not an IPA). Caramel, slight citrus and pine.
T - Slightly bitter at first, with some characteristics of a lighter ale mixed with the hoppiness of an IPA. Malts and hops with a bit of tart citrus.
M - Nice carbonation that wakes up the tastebuds, and a nice balance between the dryness of an IPA and the sweetness of an amber ale.
O - An extremely sessionable ("almost") pale ale that won't leave you too bogged down.

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Photo of Shorthillsbrewer
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very well designed session beer with hops up front, malt pokes through in the middle, and finishes soft, great summer beer. A good all around sessionable IPA.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dancing on the line where amber ale meets pale ale, the Flying Monkeys showcase a breadth of hops to balance its rich malt sweetness to even-keel perfection- making this and all occasion beer.

Hoptical Illusion pours with the deep hues of winter's honey- hazy amber and reddish. Its whipped meringue froth sheds juicy hop aromas with a tropical, citrus and orchard blossom type of floralness. Its taste is layered with caramel, honey and biscotti-like to start.

But over the middle palate, the balance is stricken with equal parts malt and hops. Sweet caramel, biscuit and honey coat the mouth ahead of the piquant fruitiness of hops- pink grapefruit, freshly zested orange, pineapple and lemon that rival the plump malty center. As the two flavors intertwine upon the palate, late development of grassy and herbal flavors cast a tea-like sassafras character.

Medium and moderate through and through, the ale's waning moments allow the resinous nature of American hops to peak through the malt barrier and take a slight lead. An aftertaste of honey-kissed citrus and fresh pine shavings extend shortly after the beer's finish.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Purchased at the LCBO as a single. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- 4.0- Opens well and pours a good head that lasts

S- 3.75- Very good. Lots of hops. Carmel and malt.

T- 3.75- Pretty good and not overpowering. Nice refreshing break

M- 3.75- Very good. Light for an IPA.

O- 3.82- This is what I feel this beer is. Would like to try on tap.

Food Pairing

This nice little beer went well with...... Sushi


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Photo of Dna_Infinity
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle to Glass

Appearance - Copper coloured with a white head

Smell - Floral, slight tropical fruits

Taste - Light hop taste, tropical fruits, slight bitterness at the end

Overall - Well made APA that is not too hoppy, sessionable and a great summer beer

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Photo of patre_tim
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Copper amber, filtered with moderate carbonation rising from the center, 5 fingers of moderate tan head with great retention. The head is foamy with large and small bubbles.

S: Floral, pineapple, tropical fruit,

T: Caramel, hard water, metallic, pineapple, tropical punch, floral.

M: Medium bready body, medium low carbonation.

O: A really nice British and American styles. Go Canada! Really loving this one.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle purchased as part of a six pack from LCBO for $13.65 CDN. Served fairly cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - coppery in color, with a crystal clear clarity and bursts of effervescent bubbles rising to the surface. A dense finger and a half of white head and the lacing sticks to the sides of the glass almost as if it were coalescing.

Smell - a solid tropical citrusy smell, namely tangerine and melon. A caramel malt aroma is blended in seamlessly. Really attractive and light smelling yet aromatic.

Taste - light blend of melon and more astringent citrus fruits as with the nose, and a bit of the caramel sweetness comes through especially on the back end. A grapefruit like bitterness in its conclusion yet it is by smooth and subdued.

Mouthfeel - extremely lively carbonation adds to the otherwise medium body and mouthfeel

Overall - a great American pale ale that is one of my favourites in the style. Remarkably drinkable at any time but especially in these spring and summer months yet packs enough of a punch to definitely warrant pacing yourself. A new go to for me just wish it came at a slightly lower price point. Still a definite repeat purchase.

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Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The origin of Flying Monkey's Craft Brewery dates to its foundation in 2005 under the name Robert Simpson. Now doing business as Flying Monkeys, the brewery is known for the use of psychedelic artwork on all its bottles and draft taps.Flying Monkeys is located at 107 Dunlop Street East in Barrie, Ontario. Though I've been wanting to try their Hoptical Illusion ("HI") Almost Pale Ale for quite a while, quite frankly the psychedelic label turned me off. Doing my best to ignore the graphics (after all, it's what's inside that counts), I picked up HI in a brown 341 ml bottle, bottled Jan. 14, 2012 from my local LCBO. Hoptical Illusion is 5.0% alcohol by volume and cost $2.15 per bottle.

HI poured a clear dark amber colour with plenty of visible, fast rising bubbles. Pouring produced 1/2" of yellow/white head that died down within two minutes, leaving behind a collar of foam and thin film that left considerable lacing and some spotting down the glass. As soon as I opened the bottle its strong aroma hit me...a dominant pink grapefruit, with undertones of pine and what I believe is orange. A wonderful aroma. It's taste very much followed the aroma...pink grapefruit up front, followed by pine and a slightly sweet orange flavour, ending with a hop bitterness and a bitter aftertaste that lingered for several seconds. As the beer warmed, it's sweeter elements became a bit more noticeable. Thankfully, this was not the hop bomb that I was half expecting given the beer's name. HI had a smooth mouthfeel, appropriate carbonation for the style and was light/medium bodied. Overall, a fairly complex, hop dominated beer that doesn't go over the top with its bitterness...I very much enjoyed the citrus aromas and flavours, and Hoptical Illusion represents respectable value for money.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Not sure why this ale is dubbed "almost pale", as it is fairly dark for the style: A red amber that belies the name but looks enticing nonetheless, with a considerable quantity of rich beige foam that leaves a nice spidery lacing on a pub glass. Aroma recalls perfumed black tea, orange rind, peppercorn spice, faint pine, and sweetish caramel malts. Smells pleasantly spicy and earthy. Palate is interesting, with a mixed red, white, and green peppercorn spice and pine leading the way, followed by a subdued white grape and citrus rind fruitiness, maybe the barest hint of tropical fruit in there somewhere: This brewery likes Citra hops. A chalky mineral note only amplifies the green, earthy, spicy bitterness. Rather light-bodied and fizzy, with a herbal piney "forest floor" finish. I am somewhat conflicted about this brew. Although the peppercorn spice and pine make for a fairly unique and ultimately gratifying combination, there was a sense that more citrus and floral elements were struggling to come through, never quite making it. The malts are downplayed and perhaps nicely sessionable but the hops are not quite salient enough on the usual American pale ale dimensions of citrus and tropical fruit. Could just be me.

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Photo of ssmack
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark amber brown with a fine beige head that became a think layer of foam. Great lacing top to bottom.

Both malt and hops in the smell. Biscuit malt. Strong citrus - lemon. As I drank the aroma swung back and forth between malt and hops. Cool.

The hops take over in the taste. Citrus both grapefruit and lemon. Hay and herbs - oregano and pepper. There was a think base of biscuit malt.

A medium feel with a short tingle at the end.

This ale is better than the "almost pale ale" the label claims. Refreshing and complex hops taste.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not a bad pale ale, but nothing special here either. Starts quite bitter, with a surprising hit of earthy hops given its IBUs of just 32. Fairly pleasant biscuity malt plays nicely with the hops, while not adding much sweetness- this beer is quite dry. There is a bit of graininess that not only persists, but grows as the beer warms. The biscuit notes also continue to grow, and hops start to flag. It ends up being a better beer when cold and the ultimate flavors haven't emerged completely. Still, not bad, and nice try something different from the ever expanding Canadian craft beer scene.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Johnny Farina in Ottawa.

Pours a burnished amber, slight red tinge. Head is off-white, dense up top but sparse on the sides. Looks pretty good.

Smells peppery. Lots of hops but also plenty of red and black peppercorns. Notes of some lemongrass and citrus as well. Tangy and a bit spicy. Odd but nice.

Taste starts out peppery with more of those peppercorn flavours. Red/black colour, some slight sour green notes. Hints of citrus on there, lemon with some fragrant dish detergent, but finishes hoppy and pleasant. Light and drinkable.

Decent body, bit of texture that isn't just carbonation. Alright.

Pale ale with all the right notes, and a touch of intriguing difference. I like it.

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Photo of pokerman
4.62/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Such a great beer with lots of late additions. glad i found a good ipa with some malt backbone. What can I say that hasn't been said? classic or a traditional American IPA it is not but maybe more like a started one. but who cares what you call it? kills almost any other local beer hands down.Fantastic- and exceeded expectations.

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Photo of Masterkush7
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I like this beer. May not be as hoppy as most ipa I drink but overall this is a good beer and definatly worth a try. Appearance is a nice dark haze. Taste is well balanced with both a nice malt background with hints of nuts and Caramel and a good hop finish. Will definatly enjoy again

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Photo of Kremlock
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: medium to dark copper. Has an off white head that pours to about 1/2 inch and then settles to a thin film on top of the beer. Beer is clear and not particles are visible.

S: Creamy butter toffee on the nose when swirling the beer. Has a soft citrus aroma from the hops and there is a residual biscuit smell.

T: Some grapefruit, a little bit of soft peach, caramel/tofee present.

M: Malt/hops balanced, carbonation is fantastic. A bit prickly on the tongue but it has a palate cleansing sensation. Soft bitterness in the end with a low sweetness.

O: This is a greatly balanced APA that can be drank as a session by all standards.

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Photo of MAB
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had one of these on the weekend and I was happy about it.
I'm marking the appearance down a bit because I had too much head after pouring (carefully). Thick and tan in color, the head eventually calmed down enough that I could drink it easily.
The smell was nice. Slightly malty, some good hop aroma.
The taste was better than I figured it would be. Advertised as "almost Pale Ale", I was worried that the hop bitterness would be downplayed, but I was pleasantly proven incorrect. Tasty!
Things improved once I got drinking, and my score reflects that.
Five more in the six-pack case, and I'm looking forward to them!

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Photo of BigBry
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle, new to the Calgary market.
Poured a deep copper color, solid head that left chunky lacing.
Nice bitter hop aroma, with some floral notes, ctrus and pine. Taste is nice balanced with a good dose of caramel malt balanced against the citrus and bitter hoppiness.
Good, hoppy finish with a slightly hop-oil aftertaste.
Body is medium, but fits the style nicely. Appropriate level of carbonation.
Well done, I have enjoyed everything from Flying Monkeys so far.

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Photo of jaz58
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have tried a few of the brews from FM and this one is my favorite. This beer was served in a pint glass.

A nice thin head, off white in colour.

Nice deep orange colour.

Fresh hops nose with hints of Carmel.

Nice mouthfeel, almost silky.

Lemon, grapefruit beginning followed by a good balance of bitters.

Overall a good brew. Great beer anytime of the year.

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Photo of smakawhat
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A nice dark amber body, pretty text book and a little clear. Head is tan yellow, with small pinhead bubbles and some very good lacing, with ringlets around the glass. Leaves a good thin puck while drinking.

Dry malts, and a good hop forward action but not crazy. Dry and slightly earthy. A small malt backbone seems to be present. Pretty simple but solid.

Palate hits with a good hop richness but nothing crazy. Herbal and a light brown sugar sense comes in the mid palate. Tea like action on the finish with a nice mild hop angle. Sweet sense of malts seem to carry a slightly hop forward brew, but it is mild and subtle. Minimal carbonation with a solid simple body that doesn't detract from the imbibing experience.

A hop forward illusional beer indeed. Nothing crazy, but a good solid simple pale ale for sure.

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Photo of codyhotel
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a good 2 fingers of off-white head, dissapates down pretty quickly. A copper colour, more towards the red end (I think, tough to tell shades of red when you're colourblind).

S - Lots of hops, some citrus notes up front. Caramel and malty sweetness towards the end, with a touch of a yeasty-bread type of thing.

T - Not as hoppy as I expected from the nose, a good amount up front but gives way to the sweeter malts fairly quickly. Caramel and malt flavours grow stronger as the beer warms up. Definitely a bit of subtle spice in there that I can't quite put my finger on. Finishes with a touch of bitterness

M - Medium-moderate body, smooth carbonation. Finish is a touch oily, could be cleaner.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - clear dark random, two fingers of tan head, dissipated slowly leaving random blobs of lacing
S - herbal and resiny hop aromas, mild caramel and raw grain
T - a blend of herbal hop and toasted grain malt flavours, more mild grassy hops with a metallic hint
M - a little thin and light on carbonation, very mild bitterness
O - this almost pale ale is almost good, not bad but nothing outstanding, the IPA's I've tried from Flying Monkeys are a better buy

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Photo of slitherySOB
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark copper with plenty of bubbles that leads to a two fingers worth of head that doesn't leave. Plenty of lacing on the glass. Smells of citrus and faint pine, with a bit of herbal tea. Tastes of caramel, citrus and pine. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit airy. A very good pale ale, but not as good as their Smashbomb IPA.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.11/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle poured into tall pilsner glass 3/7/12

A clear dark copper with lots of big bubbles feeding a two finger beige foam that just gets more dense as it falls and has a peak too it, there's still a thumbs width at the bottom and thick rings all the way down. looks perfect, just perfect

S citrus and faint pine with lots of caramel, just a little herbal aspect as it warms

T not much pine and still lots of caramel, well balanced for sure with both malt and hops in check, earthy finish

M lots of bubbles on the verge of foam but still airy, medium bodied and the aftertaste lingers faintly

O high marks here for how fast a 6 pack got slayed, these just poured down my throat and I didn't get board

A very nice pale for sure but on the same shelf as Smashbomb for the same price I might only slay this 6er

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Photo of Shrews
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 1/2 head with a ruby color.

Citrus and malty with some earthy scents.

Citrus and grapefruit taste with a complex finish. Malty and rich taste.

Pretty hoppy and bitter on the mouth yet still a smooth finish. A great feel.

A wonderful APA with an amazingly complex taste and smell. Had a grand time trying this beer while traveling for work.

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Flying Monkeys Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale Ale from Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.