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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

224 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 224
Reviews: 102
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 9
Gots: 23 | 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:
32 IBU

(Beer added by: bobsy on 05-23-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 224 | Reviews: 102 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tbeckett
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this a few times and it is often considered the benchmark for Pale Ales in Ontario.

A - Nice cloudy or creamy white head leaving lacing as it slowly goes away. Light brown or reddish colour and transparent. Minimal carbonation.

S - Nice juicy hops. Grapefruit and pine. Some breadiness to it as well.

T - Bready up front until you finish it and then it's all about the hops. Again, what I consider nice, juicy hops that show up half way through and linger nicely. Not as hoppy as I would expect from a beer by this name and a beer in this style but it does the trick nicely. There is balance in it and that's key.

M - Medium bodied with a good, small amount of carbonation. Very pleasant and smooth.

D - Total session beer right here. Good amount of hops to keep things interesting with the balance required and a low ABV.

tbeckett, Sep 18, 2010
Photo of Matt1516
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my brother who trucked this up from Toronto.

Poured into a tulip. Amber colour (not pale), one finger head that lasts 90 seconds. Lacing left on glass.

Lots of hop in smell, strong citrus notes too.

Walloping hop taste, little bit of smokiness with a sour/bitter finish that's nice and dry.

It gives the illusion of a higher ABV. Medium carbonation.

This would pair nicely with spicy Thai, gourmet cheeseburgers or shrimp.

Matt1516, Feb 02, 2011
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.

Kremlock, Apr 03, 2013
Photo of slitherySOB
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

slitherySOB, Jul 18, 2012
Photo of Digimaika2
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful rich copper with a nice frothy head of beige foam. Head dissipates to a fantastic blanket lined with sporadic bubbles, that sticks around.

S: Pine hops deliciously overpowering on the nose, presence of grapefruit, caramel-like malts, and a nutty aroma. Very rich and robust smell.

T: Pine and slightly floral hops strong upfront. Citrus notes that include grapefruit and a slight sourness. Caramel malts balance this out very nicely towards the end.

M: Very good creamy and thick mouthfeel considering the ABV. Moderate carbonation.

D: Another great offering from Flying Monkeys (although I'm still partial to the Netherworld Cascadian). One of the few great Ontario breweries, and perhaps the best in my opinion.

Digimaika2, May 22, 2011
Photo of patre_tim
4.11/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

patre_tim, May 08, 2014
Photo of wordemupg
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
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

wordemupg, Jul 04, 2012
Photo of Brainer74
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%

Brainer74, Oct 01, 2014
Photo of StephenRich
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Do you remember the Robert Simpson Brewery from Barrie Ontario? Yes? No? Well, its irrelevant now, because that brewery has changed its name to The Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery, and not only does the new name reflect a fresh and exciting approach to craft beer, but best of all, their beer does as well! Peter Chiodo, the Chief Executive Shitstirrer, as he so aptly has designated himself, is getting out there testing his beers in the Ontatio market and trying out new recipes to create better, more unique, and more delicious beers.

The Hoptical Illusion is Flying Monkeys' Almost Pale Ale, as they call it, but for the sake of classification, you can call it an Americal-Style Pale Ale. I've been lucky enough to see the Flying Monkeys crew at several beer events around Ontario in the last few weeks, and have been able to try both bottled and cask versions of the Hoptical. It really took very little convincing to get me to drink this beer, and now I might be hooked.

The Hoptical Illusion is 5.0% abv, and comes in 6 packs of 355ml bottles at most LCBOs for just under $12. This beer does fit a very specific niche in the pale ale market in Ontario that has not been properly filled - until now. Yes, there are several Pale Ales, or IPAs to choose from at the LCBO, but some err to far on the crisp hop side of things, and others can get quite expensive. The Hoptical is a freshly hoppy, clean, crisp, but malty Pale Ale that comes in with just the right amount of sweet, bitter, and citrus. This is a true Ontario Craft beer, so grab a 6 pack, throw 'em in the fridge, and enjoy em right away to best appreciate the hop freshness it has to offer.

I opened the Hoptical Illusion up cool at about 8C (45F) and poured it into a stemmed beer glass. The pour was silky smooth building a rich amber brown beer. Only halfway up it began to build foam, but eventually a thick, pillowy pure white inch and a half head built with dense carbonation on top a sturdy beer. It glowed from the inside out - deep golden brown shines dark in the transparent center of the beer, then gently warms to a ruby red and copper orange glimmering at the edges.

Slowly the head faded two about half an inch, but built in density and showed great retention. I brought the glass to my nose and was delighted with the familiar scents of caramel and pale malts, fresh floral and slightly citrus hops, touches of pine and a smooth wash of gentle biscuit and toffee. It is soft and balanced with pronounced aromas without attacking your senses.

With the sun beating down on me, I went for shade by way of the beer. The Hoptical flows gently and easily over your palate brining with it richly distinct flavors of malt and hops. It seemed like a bit of game here - as first I got a fresh citrus bite of hops, but almost instantly after that smooth warm caramel malt came in behind it and filled my mouth. It doesn't stop here though.

Hops bring back some crisp, earthy pine helping quench and refresh your palate. They aren't overly aggressive or super citrus; it is a nice elegant blend of smooth floral bitterness with the mellow touch of grapefruit peel and hints of fresh pine. But again, the malts bring contrast adding a wide biscuit and toffee sweetness which really hits the sides of my tongue and cheeks. It is gentle but really plays perfectly with the hops. A touch of fresh grain and spice lingers everywhere barely in the background adding a layer of complexity to this greatly balanced beer.

The mouthfeel is easy and relaxing with a medium body aiding a richly flavored beer (especially considering that it is only 5%). The finish is bittersweet with the continuous battle between hops and malt leaving you with a refreshed, and also very satisfied palate. This is really a wicked session pale ale, and will pair real well with a big variety of foods. Anything coming off the grill, anything deep fried, and anything meat I can guarantee will work perfectly. Come the football season and the Hoptical could be your right hand man next to chips, nachos and pretzels.

StephenRich, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of kwjd
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper colour with thick white head & lacing. Smells of citrusy hops. The taste has a nice load of hops with a great malt backbone to it. Nice carbonation level for the style and very drinkable.

I haven't had this for a few months and it seems to improve each time I have it. Certainly hoppier than I remember, which is nice. If I had reviewed this a year ago, I probably would have given it about an B-, but now it is certainly improved.

kwjd, Apr 18, 2010
Photo of ZorPrime
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to liamt07 for sending me this brew in a recent trade. Cheers!

The color is amber... somewhat dark with some red notes. Head is timid. The aroma is hoppy (citrus)... Simple but I like it. Any hophead would too. Could be more intense 'tho. On the taste, it is fruity and I get some malts presence that I didn't get in the nose. It is well balanced but no complexity. However, I don't think it presents itself as a complex beer.

It is well done and a good pale ale. Wish I could get more of this brew here. No brewers in Quebec does a good american pale ale like this one.

ZorPrime, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of BasementBer
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Don't know who the demographic is for this marketing design.

A: Head leaves little to be desired. Nothing lasting, no lacing. Surprised frankly. Haven't seen a head of foam drop that fast in a while.

S: Smells great, nutty. Nothing overly hoppy, more malt based.

T: Great nutty taste with a follow up of bitterness. Glad to taste a beer without the metallic overhang.

M: Lingering flavor. And works the tongue quite well.

D: I enjoy this, but not what i would go to for an american IPA. But id drink again.

Serving type: bottle

BasementBer, Apr 06, 2011
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.

DenisKolkin, Apr 21, 2014
Photo of canucklehead
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the Spring 2011 mixed OCB pack. A wild looking bottle especially next to the staid Wellington Pale Ale. The beer gushed all over the counter which was a surprise. The remaining beer was dark brown and almost cloudy. The nose is hops pure and simple. This is full flavoured APA with hops to burn. Great beer considering how many Canadian pales ales lack hops. Smooth finish and big mouthfeel make this a winner. Sounds like this brewery is making some waves in the Ontario craft scene.

canucklehead, Jun 23, 2011
Photo of FadetoBock
4/5  rDev +5.5%

FadetoBock, Oct 09, 2013
Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good Canadian friend brought me a couple of these recently. 12 ounce bottle pours a hazed copper amber body with a two finger beige head. Attractive patchy lacing is left behind.

Rather aggressive hop aromas for an APA, with pine, florals, and grassiness. Soft toasted caramel base.

Clean body is medium with a smooth carbonation.

Taste has a pine and floral hop bitterness that meshes well with the bready caramel malt backbone. Grassy and woodsy hop notes compliment the finish.

Nicely done and highly drinkable.

merlin48, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of Swedes21
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355 ml served in a chilled glass..

Appearance - This beer pours with a nice brown/white head that has a creamy appearance. The beer is a clear auburn and it is hard to tell the carbonation levels. There is a slight amount of lacing that is occurring.

Smell - STRONG hope smell as well a citrus base. Very strong hops present, this beer is a nice smelling beer.

Taste - nice tasting beer with a decent aftertaste that lingers for a short period of time. Citrus in tasting, there may be a hint of caramel in there as well. Not a heavy tasting beer either.

Mouthfeel - Increased levels of carbonation that bring the hops fwd, the citrus is also present near the end. The beer has a nice aftertaste as well once all the carbonation kicks in.

Drinkability - One of my better beers, this is what Craft beers are here for! They are delicious and nice to drink, makes me happy to be trying beers from around the world!

Swedes21, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev +5.5%

mjtiernan, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of jcubz
4/5  rDev +5.5%

jcubz, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of jsnoek
4/5  rDev +5.5%

jsnoek, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of DuffMan32
4/5  rDev +5.5%

DuffMan32, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasting notes from 1/10/11
Poured in to pint glass

A - Amber with a small amount of white head.

S - Floral and citrus hops with a small sweet caramel malt backbone. A nice nose for a pale ale.

T - Follows the nose. Floral citrus hops with a caramel sweetness from the malts.

M - Light to medium body. Moderate carbonation.

TheSevenDuffs, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of ThinkAgain
4/5  rDev +5.5%

ThinkAgain, Jan 06, 2012
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.

smakawhat, Sep 28, 2012
Photo of BrazilianAussie
4/5  rDev +5.5%

BrazilianAussie, Aug 23, 2014
Flying Monkeys Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale Ale from Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 224 ratings.