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

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Flying Monkeys Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale AleFlying Monkeys Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
85
very good

248 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 248
Reviews: 104
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 10.9%
Wants: 12
Gots: 39 | 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 (39) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 248 | Reviews: 104
Photo of ecoastman
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's better than I expected and I'll look for it in Ontario bars and restaurants. Hoptical Illusion is an overall good "local" hoppy beer.

The colour is a slightly hazy chestnut and provides a silky head which recedes and leaves some nice spotty lace through the drink.

As expected it has a bolder nose with spicy and citric hops with some sweet malt in the balance.

The taste is good and similar to the aroma. A touch grainy and some slight courseness from the good carbonation and citric bitterness in the dry finish. The aftertaste is a nice balance of the spicy hops and sweet molasses.

Photo of a74gent
3.2/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Based on 7/22/10 notes:

This is admittedly an old bottle (6 mos) and I'd love to try this beer fresh. It is quite mellow with some hoppiness which seems nice although hops were too faded at this point I think. Very little aroma, but great mouthfeel.

Photo of BasementBer
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
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

Photo of Matt1516
4.14/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Photo of Roke87
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355 mL bottle, chilled, and poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Poured a decent one and a half finger white head, which slowly dissipates to a thin ring, I got lots of nice sticky lacing throughout the glass all the way down to the end. Has a nice dark amber colour to it

Smell- Pine and hops hit you right away, with some fruity smells coming through as well. As compared to most American hop beers it can seem a little light on the hops and more malty.

Taste- Is floral hops and pine, just like the smell you know what you’re going to get from the taste, some citrus tastes come through in the end as well paired with a nice added sweetness to it.

Mouthfeel- Light to medium body with moderate carbonation, it kind of does feel like it should have a higher ABV from the taste, but alas it’s only 5.2%

Overall- A very solid American pale ale offered here from a very solid Ontario craft brewery. The tastes are all there I just wish it had a higher ABV. All in all a very good, smooth, and easy drinking “almost pale ale” that I would definitely drink again.

Photo of jaz58
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Photo of nokes
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

OK...the bottle is just a little overstated. I gotta say I'm skeptical. Let's see how it goes...

Well! Poured very nicely, a clear copper-apricot with a decent head that lasted...and lasted...and lasted. Very nice. It's a pretty beer, no question. Better than I expected, for sure.

The smell is good. Nicely balanced between malty sweetness and hoppy freshness. Good balance. This is much better than expected so far.

Taste...hey. Well, all the components are there to balance reasonably well. There seems to be a battle back and forth with the malts bringing the caramelly sweetness, and the hops fighting back with citrus and spice. In the end, the hops triumph (barely) with a mild bitter finish and I'm glad of it. Hard to describe, but I welcomed them by the time they came on. It's a bit odd, but not bad odd. Just odd, and good...I guess. Yeah. I like it.

Mouthfeel is moderate, and good. I like the carbonation level, bit I find myself thinking they could have made this a bit more buttery and it would have fit better.

Drinkability is quite good. Easy drinking beer.

OK...I was skeptical, and this far exceeded my expectations. If I can handle the kitsch, I'll buy it again. Happy to drink it.

Photo of djoprahwinfrey
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - A clean copper pour with a 1/4 finger of white head which dissipated moderately quick into a thin ring of lace

S - pleasant aromas of hops, some lemon and a bit of pine, biscuity or bready with a bit of sweetness

T - This starts of strong on hops and some pine, caramel and some mild citrus, lemon, grapefruit. Enjoyable hop bitterness at the end

M - This has some chew but goes down well,velvety ,medium to high carbonation.

O - A really good brew from Flying Monkeys with a solid amount of hops and pleasant overall.

Photo of Dna_Infinity
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
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

Photo of hegelec
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic pint.

Clear, somewhat bleached-out amber with a finger and a bit of off-white head that sticks around for a while. A nice collar and very decent lacing.

Aroma is beautiful. That signature amarillo perfume that screams refinement. Solid caramel there too.

Taste-wise ... well this is why it's the "hoptical illusion". All the insanely spicy and flowery hop off the nose, which sets you up for a bitter-as-fuck, resiny brew, leaves you completely dumbfounded. This is only a lightly bitter, balanced, somewhat lemony ale. What this means is that the beer is *insanely* dry-hopped for aroma only. Genius. I'm still scratching my head over the incongruousness of this. The beer is a showcase for hops, but definitely not in the way you'd expect. A pronounced, tannic-like astringency on the finish is also a surprise, but not all-together a pleasant one.

The beer is thin and metallic in the mouth. However, there is a really nice, spicy carbonation that pricks and melts away.

This one is a real genre-bender. I like and will buy again, not only to revel in its weirdness, but also to snuggle close with Amarillo and take in all of its complex, aromatic qualities. The hops are the centre of attention here, but as I've said, not like you'd expect.

Photo of Shrews
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance
A 1/2 head with a ruby color.

Smell
Citrus and malty with some earthy scents.

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

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

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

Photo of francisfilion
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'd already had this but never got to sit down and drink it with my notebook. I bought a 6 pack at the LCBO and took the time to review this great APA.
The beer is amber/cooper color that is hazy. The head is a dirty beige that leaves a nice lacing.The hops really come out as fruity and floral, with a hint of pine. The taste starts with the hops but lets the caramelized malts make their way through. It is fairly well balanced between the two and it leaves a nice bitter finish. The beer is medium bodied with good carbonation. Overall a very nice APA with more hops than the average. It is quite an enjoyable beer and I come back to it every once in a while!

Photo of barleywort
3.64/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a light coppery colour, more orange than red in my opinion: akin to your favourite pumpkin ales. Off-white head that takes on a bit of the orange colour itself; poured a thicker head than expected, but dissipated quickly, leaving only thin cover to shield what was beneath. Impressive staying power for the beer lace.

Smell: Biscuity sweet smell, with slight caramel tones. No real indication of citrusy hops, which is interesting given its "not quite" pale ale status. A bit lacking in this department, and definitely not indicative of the taste (whether that's a good thing or bad thing is open to interpretation).

Taste: Initial buscuity malt taste gives way to a slight citrusy grapefruit hop taste that lingers momentarily and disappears behind a number of other fleeting flavours: grassy tones, sweet licorice tones (typically not a fan, but this taste is inoffensive), even hints of bubblegum at points, a la Karmeliet.

Mouthfeel: thin and crisp are good words to describe this beer. What can only be described as "expertly carbonated" because it gives the impression of high carbonation at first sip, but that is far from the case.

Drinkability: Not something I would session personally, but it offers an interesting take on the typical (and crowded) American pale ale style. That being said,

Photo of clockwerk
3.36/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm breaking form on this review, because this beer really pissed me off. Frankly, it symbolized everything that is wrong with Ontario brewers. Why? Well, because it's a pretty good beer. It's also quite boring in my opinion.

Off the bat, the packaging had me intrigued. Excellent catchy phrases and bright colours adorned the bottle and box. Once, poured, it showed good head formation and was a nice clear copper. It looked quite the winner.

Then it all started to go wrong. I couldn't help it, try as I might, but the smell and taste reminded me of a craft brewed version of Bohemian. That same smell and flavour, just better brewed. There's simply nothing interesting here. Almost Pale Ale? Come on guys. The brewers obviously have skill, and the beer is really quite good, just unexceptional. There's nothing here to capture my interest, or convince me to pay a premium for it. When I can get 6's of DFH or Rogue Dead Guy, why would I choose this? If I'm the type of drinker who is looking for something on the "easy drinking" side, I'm going to save my money and buy a 12 of Bohemian instead. It hurts to say this, because the beer is very well brewed, just boring.

The mouthfeel and drinkability were spot on however.

The bottom line for me, is that despite the flashy packaging, the beer is anything but flashy or interesting. If you're going to talk about illusions and magic, you'd better back it up with something that surprises me.

Photo of grac1970
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Body is a clear, dark/reddish brown in colour. A creamy coloured head - nice head retention with lacing. A bit of bubbles/carbonation are noticeable.

Smell: floral with a hint of citrus, hops are noticeable

Taste: it has a citrus/fruity taste - more than just a hint of pineapple. The hops can be detected. Very enjoyable - refreshing. Just a slight bitter taste.

Mouthfeel: smooth, not too watery. The pineapple taste seems to linger with a slight bitterness evenly present in the mouth

Drinkability: easy to drink, enjoyable! Quite a nice blend of tastes and feeling.

Photo of Beers
3.4/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I like that I see this beer around. I live in Barrie, and it's often around in restaurants etc. It's nice to be able to buy something a little different on tap around here. Barrie is not a huge beer town.

This beer definitely has its merits. Not exactly in the box so to say.

Decent color. Not quite a huge fluffy head. Not a head that sticks around. smells of hops. A bit of malt.

Taste. This beer is covered in hops. I like hops just like the next guy. I also like a little more malt along with them. The hops wait it out and chill with the residual sweetness. This beer is like a shirt that is incorrectly buttoned up. The top and bottom aren't quite aligned correctly, and as a result the whole thing is just a bit uncomfortable. It's still a nice shirt, but it was done up a little hastily and is being worn incorrectly. At least it's not inside out.

Photo of franklioni
4.38/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very surprised by this one and found a very flavourful and easy to drink little beer...

Photo of codyhotel
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Photo of pokerman
4.62/5  rDev +22.9%
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.

Photo of Vebbster17
4.34/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First of all I chose 5.0 for drinkability because I enjoyed this beer very much. I had no idea what to expect when I ordered this beer. The waitress only said it was dark. Upon first tasting this beer I immediately told my friends how delicious and hoppy it was. When the waitresses changed shifts the new girl told me that it was called Hoptical illusion. I could drink this beer all day!

Photo of cheffu
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Lightly cloudy amber, pours just about a finger of head that disappears quick.

S. grassy and a subtle citrus with a nutty malt

T.Grassy and bitter low acid tooth feel

M. lightly carbonated smooth feel

O. Hoptical Illusion is a great entry to the world of APA's. Good flavours and well crafted Beer.

Photo of Masterkush7
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
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

Photo of Strowlands8
3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Found a 6 pack of it at the LCBO and really enjoyed it. Not quite hoppy enough for me but there was a good depth of flavour that made up for it. Also very sessionable, I could really drink it all night. Also just love the packaging a marketing of it, really just makes it a much more intriguing beer to drink.

Flying Monkeys Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale Ale from Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 248 ratings.