Flying Monkeys Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale Ale - Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery
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Ratings: 214 | Reviews: 101 | Display Reviews Only:
4.26/5 rDev +12.4%
Pours a translucent copper colour, topped with a finger of foamy off-white head that dies down within a few minutes, leaving behind a creamy cap and thick collar of lacing around the edge. Aroma is of fresh hops, citrusy and piney, overlaying some roasted caramel malts. This is shaping up to be one of the better APAs I've had lately.
Light hop bitterness, grapefruit and pine sap are the first things to come through. Roasted caramel and sweet nutty malts round out the profile and are a bit more prominent toward the end of the sip. A bit of bitterness lingers briefly in the finish. Silky-smooth mouthfeel; decidedly medium-bodied. Good carbonation for the style.
I enjoyed this immensely, I haven't had an APA this tasty in quite a while. Highly recommended if you are looking for a sessionable, conservatively-hopped pale ale.
[Updated April 12 2014]
Another bottle from a six-pack, bottled Mar. 6 2014. Still one of the best APAs in the Ontario market these days, at least in my opinion. Hoptical Illusion's balanced flavour profile makes it an ideal session option any time of year - this is not a hop bomb which will probably leave some people disappointed, but as far as easy-drinking pale ale or potential gateway beers go, this is still a superior option.
Final Grade: 4.26, an A-.
09-03-2011 03:07:51 | More by thehyperduck
3.6/5 rDev -5%
Presentation: 12 oz. bottle poured into my snifter glass.
Appearance is deep ruby and mahogany with a one finger beige head. Good retention as a nice lacing is present throughout the entire brew. Smell is caramel and pine. The bitterness of each is utilized, but teh sweetness of the malt and the citrus of the hops are underrepresented. Taste is a lot more complex. The first flavor to hit is nice mild malt and citrus hops. Taste becomes more bittering toward the end of each sip. Leaves a nice bitter after taste. Some licorice is even present in small doses. Mouthfeel is light and crisp, a nice combination for this type of beer. Drinkability is good, solid flavors and low ot moderate ABV make this really drinkable.
Overall, a really sessionable brew with some great hop and malt interplay. My biggest criticism is that a beer with this beer should be hoppier.
12-11-2009 01:46:48 | More by Gosox8787
3.45/5 rDev -9%
A - Copper body with a nice creamy beige head. Some lively carbonation can be seen. Decent head retention and pretty good lacing.
S - Pretty solid pine-like hoppiness, with a touch of citrus, and a good malt backbone, with toffee and caramel notes. Smells like a real APA to me. A little bit of spiciness and grassiness can also be noticed.
T - Starts out with a moderate hop bite, with some resinous pine notes and a bit of caramel. The finish, however, is rather bland and watery, with a little bit of bitterness lingering on.
M - Light-to-medium body, but closer to being light. Some effervescence and a hint of peppery spiciness on the tongue.
D - Good, being quite light, this is a decent session APA.
I think of it as a toned-down version of Mill St Tankhouse ale.
02-25-2010 15:58:44 | More by NightINgale
3.35/5 rDev -11.6%
I was looking for a good hoppy beer so I picked this up at the suggestion of some other BA's. It pours a clear light amber with a thin head that doesn't stick around. The aroma is a bit of citrusy hops with some dry, toasted malt aroma. The flavor has the same citrusy hops upfront with a hint of sweetness. The maltiness is dry, with a bit of caramel and some nutty, toasted flavor maybe from a small amount of chocolate malt. Overall this isn't a bad beer, but the hops and malt don't really blend well together.
11-09-2009 02:15:32 | More by ericj551
3.4/5 rDev -10.3%
Bottle- A deep amber pour with a nice foamy cap of froth. Good lace here. Nose is floral and hoppy with the Amarillo really coming forward. Good earthy malts and fruit too. Sweet fruity flavour with caramel malts and good fresh floral hops and marked bitterness. Well balanced and very tasty. Ill be buying more.
10-29-2009 14:00:49 | More by mrmanning
4.03/5 rDev +6.3%
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.
11-21-2010 20:32:21 | More by ZorPrime
3.74/5 rDev -1.3%
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.
03-21-2014 20:22:11 | More by CalgaryFMC
3.58/5 rDev -5.5%
Big thanks to John, jager68, for throwing me this as a gift this morning.
Pours a darker than pale light brown/amber with red highlights, clear, and carrying a finger of beige head for a moment. Some thin lacicles cling to the glass. Though it clearly isn't in style here, I gave credit for the pleasing appearance.
Not much aroma, hints of citrus and pine, a touch of caramel, a bit of grassy hop, even a touch of tart yeast.
Taste is more lively than aroma. It starts with some sweet and bready, picks up citrus and grass, then pine and citrus bitter play with the sweet into an end of sip that is nicely juicy, nicely dry, quite tasty.
Mouthfeel is good, not great, a bit of resin buildup, a bit too carb.'ed, finish not as clean as one would hope.
All in all a nice beer, refreshing and interesting, from a brewery I'd never heard of before today. Would rate higher if not for so many really fine ales in this style so easily avail.
09-10-2011 17:12:00 | More by cavedave
4.03/5 rDev +6.3%
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.
04-21-2014 03:30:56 | More by DenisKolkin
3.5/5 rDev -7.7%
Pours a clear copper amber with one finger of head that dies down leaving good head retention and lacing.
The aroma is a slight piney hop against a toasty, caramel malt, with hints of fresh cut anjour pear.
The taste follows the aroma, with a crisp Amariillo hop bite--citrus pith and pine--against a nice toasted malt and just the right amount of caramel malt. The flavor of the amarillio is interesting, adding some orange, herbs, pine and almost a medicinal aspect to the beer. There's a slight hint of chocolate in the malt and there's a nice lingering bitterness in the finish.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice crispness from the carbonation.
This is an American Pale Ale that's dialed way, way back. Considering this is brewed in and for a province that seems to have a hop phobia, it's easy to criticize them for it but at the same time kind of hard to blame them.
One area where this beer excels in in the packaging. It's worth picking up for the entertainment value alone, as you scour the box and bottles for all the little details, and fun textual blurbs, and just when you think you're done you crack one open only to realize that the inside of the caps have little sayings like, "Beer & Calculus don't mix. Don't drink and derive" or "If things seem to be going well you've overlooked something."
08-02-2009 20:37:53 | More by MeisterBurger
New Brunswick (Canada)
3.33/5 rDev -12.1%
A: Poured with a small-to-moderate, white head that diminished pretty quickly to a thin film. Body is amber colored and slightly hazy. Not much lacing.
S: Aroma had very slight hop presence... a bit of a soapish smell to it as well, but this may have been due to the glass at the bar.
T: Flavor was mostly malty and slightly caramelly at first, then finished slightly dry with a bit of a hop bite. Not high on the hops for an APA, but maybe that's where their name is coming from.
M: Light-bodied, moderate carbonation, thin texture.
D: Drinkable, but definitely nothing special.
03-26-2010 21:24:46 | More by berley31
3.9/5 rDev +2.9%
Got sucked into a sixer of this one like a magnet at the LCBO, on an end stand no less, by the funkadelic flourescent packaging. If the beer is as good as the package it should be outstanding, let's give it a whirl. Popping the top yields the deliciously classic APA scent of citrus hops. The brew pours to a nice light bronze with a foamy tan head. The taste is also in line with the classic APA, hop bite, ever present but not a chomper some malt backbone, also ever present but as they say "doesn't beat you over the head". Definitely notice the distinction of the Amarillo hops vs. the more common Cascades. The hoppiness is citrusy but much more earthy. The malt base also is crispy and has a honey (or is that maple?) like sweetness following the up front toastiness. Good mouthfeel and finish. Very easy drinker.
05-20-2010 02:21:41 | More by mooseisloose
Flying Monkeys Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale Ale from Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 214 ratings.