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Flying Monkeys Smashbomb Atomic IPA - Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Flying Monkeys Smashbomb Atomic IPAFlying Monkeys Smashbomb Atomic IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

333 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 333
Reviews: 102
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 12.12%
Wants: 23
Gots: 50 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
70 IBU

(Beer added by: Sammy on 05-31-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 333 | Reviews: 102 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jeffo
3.3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a bunch of these from Korguy123 this past summer. Thanks for going to all the trouble to hook me up with these brews. Flying Monkeys is one of my favorite Ontario breweries, so I was much looking forward to this one!

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: One finger, medium looking, off white head with good retention. Burnt orange in color with next to zero carbonation. Head slowly fades to a good wisp and sticks to the sides of the glass. A splotchy wisp and ring remain leaving dots of lacing. Darker than the standard IPA, but we can expect that from these guys. Good looking brew.

SMELL: Pale malts, caramel, and lots of floral hops. Some citrus notes as well, with orange peel, lemon, and pineapple in there. Very floral and fruity, though only medium in strength.

TASTE: Pale malts, biscuit, and some sweet caramel malt. Sweet pineapple and lots of floral hops flavors. This one is 100% citra hop, so there is some soapy qualities in there as well. Not a fan of that. Some citrus orange and lemon peels, but the floral hop and, unfortunately, soap notes get in their way. Bold and lingering aftertaste is soapy, with some nice floral bitterness and sweet caramel balancing each other well. Not my favorite hop, but there are some good things going on here.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Lighter on the palate and only semi-creamy, but goes down nicely smooth and finishes slightly dry on the palate. Ok here.

OVERALL: I really like these guys and appreciate what they’re doing for the Ontario craft beer scene. They belong to a very small number of breweries I actually get excited about when I go home. I like what they’re trying to do with this one, but the citra hop is not my first choice, as I always tend to get some soapy flavors out of it. Since this one is 100% citra, those soapy flavors were a little too present for me to really enjoy this. That said, I shared the other bottles with my two cousins and they finished them off quickly and asked for more! This is a hit in Ontario for a reason, as it is definitely quality, but I would take a Hoptical Illusion nine times out of ten I think. Thanks a lot for the trade Korguy123, and a big cheers for bringing so many of these bottles along!

Jeffo, Aug 17, 2011
Photo of MattyV
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep reddish-amber colour, 1 finger dense off-white head. Aroma is mostly pine/grapefruit, but also with a seemingly hefty sweet caramel malt component. Pleasant, but nothing jumping out at you. Taste is much of the same, but with the citra hops imparting much more tropical fruit. A moderate lingering piney bitterness and sizeable sweet caramel malt backbone. Medium bodied, slightly oily but pleasant. Yet another step in the right direction for Ontario brewers. Definitely the best Ontario AIPA I've tried to date, but still doesn't quite hold a candle to the better stateside options. I'm looking forward to what FM churns out in the future, they haven't let me down thus far!

MattyV, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of GodOfBeer
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a a slightly cloudy amber with a thick white head with tons of lacing. Very beautiful beer.

Citrusy hops is the first scent that fills my nostrils. Some light maltiness and also a bit of soap? Which I noticed someone else mentioned as well, but it's not necessarily a bad thing.

A mouthful of citrusy/grapefruit hops upfront. Followed by another onslaught of hop bitterness in the finish. Not much of malt backbone to speak of, but some crystal and caramel malts become apparent as it warms up. This is definitely a hop dominated beer. The hops add more bitterness than flavour but still a very good beer and nice to see Ontario finally starting to grow some balls in the hop department.

Overall, if you love hops, this beer is for you. This beer lacks certain complexities I enjoy in other American IPA's but still very well done and one of the best in Ontario by far.

GodOfBeer, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of paxkey
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

lcbo manulife centre had some.

pours a copper color with beige head. nice looking head fluffy with lacing. beer is very clear with some bubbles streaming up.

fruity and juicy on the nose. piney, grapefruit galore. red juicy grapefruit.

bitter and creamy followed by juicy and more bitter followed by malt and more bitter with a resiny grapefruit taste in the mouth.

beer is chewy clean lots of body but no oversweetness. very hoppy. damn good.
think this will replace the duggans i've been drinking.

paxkey, Jul 27, 2011
Photo of tbeckett
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from a sixer bought at the Hazledean LCBO in Kanata before the beer was even on the shelf.

A - Pours bright with good carbonation. Dark golden colour with a one finger off white head. Half finger of retention stickin around with a little big of legs and lacing leftover. Not special looking but proper.

S - An initial shot of pine leads straight to underlying rich and juicy fruits. Citra is obvious. I can pick up pineapple, grapefruit, and maybe mango.

T - Pine again leading to bready malts with a little caramel and a serious punch of that citrus again.

M - Good tingly carbonation lifting it off the palate and a medium body. Finish is good and bitter with an interesting sweet citrus flavour along with it.

O/D - Hell that's a solid IPA. After so much hype and delay, it definately was worth the wait. A legit IPA from Ontario, raising the bar for the rest of the OCB. I'd like to try it fresh from the brewery instead of going through the LCBO process, but this helf up well. Good stuff.

tbeckett, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of Swedes21
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - beers pours a gorgeous copper colour, very clear and nice. head is a slight off-white, about 2 fingers and has some very good lasting power. Minimal to no carbonation present.

Smell - Hops, pine, some citrus light caramel. very well balanced smelling beer. reminds me a LOT of Red Racer IPA actually.

Taste - what an amazing beer! taste is light but balanced, comes in with some hops, pine then finish with the caramel/citrus punch. there is a little lasting flavour too.

Mouthfeel - Tremendous levels added here, so good. tones of volume and fullness. the flavour remains the same with a well balanced approach.

Overall - I am in love, this is a solid beer that offers so much. A lot like Red Racer IMO that is such a good beer. This is a great find and hope they continue to stock it at the LCBO! SpinRSX, I have your 3 waiting!

Swedes21, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of mrnobody
3.55/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

355 ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a clear amber with a half finger of beige head; poor retention, minimal lacing.

S: Smells of tropical fruit, citrus, caramel malt. Not all that strong, like past its prime Red Racer.

T: I'm getting a lot of hop bitterness from this but not much hop flavour.

M: Medium mouthfeel with suitable carbonation.

D: Was this the original batch prepared for the lcbo? It tastes like old IPA to me. All the hype and a huge disappointment. Bring on the Red Racer!

mrnobody, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of MeisterBurger
3.48/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a darker copper colour than most aIPAs, with a respectable head of loose bubbles. Laces nicely.

Muted c-hops, bright yellow grapefruit, a hint of butter in the aroma.

The hops are all about brash, pithy bitterness with no real finesse, adding more bitterness than flavour. The good news is it's up against a toasty light, creamy caramel malt. The malt base is nice. Maybe not ideal for a true IPA in its sweetness, but I guess it's sweet enough to balance the bitterness. That said, the hop bite is a little too one-note for me. Something tannic like over-steeped orange pekoe tea lingers in the finish.

Has a good, lightly chewy body with moderate carbonation

Overall this isn't how I remember it on tap, and leans more towards the Duggan's #9, Dead Elephant, recent crappy Beaver River IPeh bottles that were at the LCBO, camp of bitter ambers that anything approaching a true aIPA for me.

Certainly not a bad beer, but an Ontario brewer has yet to hit an American IPA out of the park for me. I much prefer this on tap.

Less important is the fact that the labels are garishly horrible and downright childish. I think I'd feel less embarrassed standing at a check out to buy tampons than I did queuing up to buy this.

MeisterBurger, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of bryehn
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finally, bottles have arrived at the LCBO! Listed as 6.0% on the bottle. Ugliest Flying Monkeys art yet, hope this beer lives up to hype. Going with an oversized wine glass, as I've reviewed Mad Tom, Crazy Canuck and Southern Tier Gemini/IPA/2XIPA in one. Bottled on June 17, 2011.

Pours a fairly dark, rusty amber colour with a moderate-sized tan head that gets retained as a collared film while leaving some mild lacing. A bit dark for an American IPA but I'll let it slide.

Smells like other recent Ontario IPA offerings at first. Very hop-forward with a buttery citrus aroma. A butterscotch-caramel tone provides a sweet backing and a light rose floral accent comes through after warming.

The taste is mostly well-balanced, but I was hoping for just a bit more punch. The tangy hop bite it quickly enveloped by a syrupy caramel malt flavour. It's quite bitter overall, both on the front and the back of the tongue and I don't get much in the way of subtlety.

A long-lasting collar provides a smooth creaminess. A tea-like taste appears briefly before a rather strong bitterness seizes up the tongue. It does have a noticeable oily quality as well.

Well, after waiting so long to try it, I can't help but be a bit disappointed.

It's certainly not bad at all, in fact it's a good beer and something I'll have again, but doesn't really do anything to stand out over it's peers at all other than being a tad over-bitter. I actually prefer their Cascadian Dark Ale over this because its somewhat unique in my region.

bryehn, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of Digimaika2
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful red-copper hue with a thick inch of puffy and creamy foam. Good lacing down the glass. Very nice blanket of bubble clusters sits atop.

S: Earthy hops, cracker-like malts, caramel, grapefruit, and some toffee. Enticing aromas that blend together quite well.

T: Quite a bit of hop bitterness but actually kept in check with the bready malts. Was anticipating a bit more hop-centric taste (from the label) but regardless, this is still delicious. Hints of grapefruit, a bit of lemony sourness, and caramel/toffee.

M: Slightly oily and viscous with above-average carbonation for the style.

D: Again, another nice offering from Flying Monkeys. In my opinion, still not up there with the Cascadian Ale, but nonetheless a good IPA. It's refreshing to see an Ontario brewery focusing more on out-of-the-box (for Ontario atleast) styles

Digimaika2, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of uno99
4.63/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up from the brewery on bottling day. Served at around 50 degrees into a Stella Artois glass.

A: Huge tan head from a fairly gentle pour. Beer is very deep amber. Retention is amazing and lacing is everywhere. A spectacular looking beer just like all other FM offerings.

S: The name is a little misleading. Not exactly an unbalanced hop wallop. This is a carefully crafted and well balanced beer, but with a huge amount of citrus and other fruit notes. Grapefruit, orange, pineapple, grape, plum, etc are all present. Malt gives a hint of leather and smoke.

T: Superbly balanced sweetness and bitterness. Caramel is actually quite dominate in the finish but with the lingering hop bitterness it is very nice.

M: I could almost consider this "thick"; a very substantial beer indeed. Slightly dry on the edges of the palate. Carbonation is fairly smooth. I'd love to try this on cask though, as I think natural carbonation would really be "da bomb"

Overall: this is the best we have in Ontario. Maybe I'm a hair biased... I don't care.

uno99, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of jrenihan
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Beer is reddish amber in colour. My pint had basically no head whatsoever, just a bit of white froth around the side.

The smell is pleasant but faint- a light scent of hops, slightly floral. Rather nice, but I had really had to search for it.

As for the taste, it is quite bitter. A grapefruity citrus is strongly present, and there is a slight soapy taste to the beer (which sounds awful, but really is not bad). Finish is all bitterness. Not particularly complex, but pretty good.

As for mouthfeel, it is incredibly carbonated, to the point where it is irritating to the mouth and makes it difficult to enjoy the beer. I found it got better as time went by, and started to become a little less intense in the mouth, which was a great improvement. Body is otherwise light bodied, and is quite refreshing.

Overall, a pretty good but not great beer. Frankly, I think it is a little overrated, but is certainly a good American IPA for Ontario.

jrenihan, May 02, 2011
Photo of mintjellie
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep-orange in colour and clear as glass. Moderately retentive off-white foam sticks to the glass in rings. Luscious mango aroma also hints at grapefruit, pine, cat piss, and sparking up a bowl of the sticky-icky. Loads of juicy mango tutti-frutti flavour with tangy citrus undertones, riding on mildly sweet malt. Finishes with an in your face leafy bitterness that lingers long into the aftertaste. Lovely stuff. Medium-bodied with an oily, resinous finish. You know those shitty Labatts radio advertisements? The ones where they tell you to go for the good stuff? This is the REAL good stuff.

mintjellie, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of heebes
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Winking Judge.

Poued into a pint glass a deep, clear reddish amber. Good amount of fluffy, sticky white head. Retention is high, the lacing sticks to the glass untill the (bitter) end. Nose was resinous hops! Unbelievable, never experienced such a fresh hoppy beer from Ontario. Lots of citrus grapefruit to sweeten the auroma, but alot of pine and oil from hop cones. Taste was a bitter whole cone experiance. Lots of oily pine & citrus hop character, easy drinking though as it tased delicious. Good medium body, with a resiny dry mouthfeel. Overall this is a great beer - unbelievably fresh on tap. A standout American IPA. Dont really care much for the whole marketed "weirdness" and labels but if this was on shelves it would be a staple in my fridge. Impressive. Finally.

heebes, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of dragonofblood
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had to try this one. The other two offerings I've had from Flying Monkeys (Hoptical Illusion and Netherworld) were disappointments, but a friend told me good things about this one.

Appearance: Amber coloured. Unfortunately the bartender gave me a stadium pour. After a good swirl the beer developed a nice thick head that left big sticky rings of lace all down the glass.

Smell: Complex. Citrusy hops, notes of pear, berries, grapefruit. Small amount of pine, and some caramel sweetness. I am loving this.

Taste: Delicious. Big time grapefruit hops, I usually prefer the piney hops to be the dominant flavour but this beer delivers. Grapefruit citrus, small amount of malt sweetness, the pear flavours detected in the nose are definitely there, notes of apple, small amounts of piney hops, big bitterness to the finish and slight alcohol tingle.

Mouthfeel: Very oily, leaves the tongue wanting more.

Overall: This is an absolute home run, and the best Ontario brewed IPA I've had since the Church-Key days of Sgt. Major. It is the closest thing to a true American IPA I've had on tap in years. I love this beer.

dragonofblood, Apr 06, 2011
Photo of biegaman
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Smokeless Joe's and La Palette, in Toronto.

This is an IPA that looks like it was returned to the tandoori oven for an extra 5 minutes. Its toasty amber tone appears sun-scorched but, despite the deeper shade, brandishes a squeaky clean complexion and absolute clarity. Its soapy, glinting white foam leaves its name written indelicately upon the glass. It really doesn't matter what style of beer you like to drink, this is unarguably a good looking pint.

When Flying Monkeys set out to brew an American-style IPA, you can tell they were obviously enthusiastic about the project. This aroma doesn't smell so much as it does stink... like a wonderfully fragrant array of lush tropical fruits. AKA hops. You name the fruit, it's in there. As is a dash of pine. Heck, I might not even drink it but just inhale the stuff. It's a blissful smell; I'd spray some on before a date. Bet it would help my chances.

And if you thought your sense of smell was being spoiled, just wait until you taste the stuff! As you'd hope, the flavour is swimming in hop oils. To my imagination, this is the eccentric 'pineapple and papaya pie' recipe that would win you 'Food Network Challenge'. But there's also lots of lemon, mango, grapefruit and lychee in there too - and the alcohol dryness brings out in them a kind of hyper-real, super-distilled essence.

I gotta love me some kettle hops; I feel like if I breathe on the grass outside little hop vines will begin to sprout. Nevertheless, all this tropical hoppiness is actually tempered by a firm maltiness that leaves sweet - but not too sweet, mind you - overtones, especially in the finish. Still, if the people at, say, Molson or Labatt, tried it, chances are their tongues would curdle up and fall off. Which is probably the reaction the brewery was shooting for.

Smashbomb Atomic IPA is the kind of beer you'd strap to your testicles and run into war with. Even the brewery isn't too shy to admit it themselves: it's totally da' bomb. In fact, I enjoyed it so #$%&in much that it's causing me to have to edit myself in this review! If hoppy, bold beers are your preference then you should really enjoy this. It's only a matter of time before it becomes the darling of hop heads across Canada.

biegaman, Mar 29, 2011
Photo of Weebay
4.83/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On cask at Volo.

A - Orange/copper coloured.

S - Pine and citrus fruits.

T - Big mango/grapefruit start, wonderfully hoppy. The malt backbone is present, but the hops take center stage.

M - Very easy to drink, not an overly viscious feel, which I find with beers that are this hoppy.

D - This is the best IPA I've had out of Ontario. It's very easy to drink.

Weebay, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of WeedKing4
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jeffo for this one. Pours a a clear, dark golden colour with a decent amount of head in the sam adams perfect pint glass. I am really enjoying the crystal malt character in this one. It matches well with the crisp bitterness. Quite the tasty beer. This one would be very sessionable too. I still prefer the 2.0 version I had on tap earlier this spring, but this one isn't too far off from that.

WeedKing4, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of hopsolutely
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The best "American pale ale" Ontario has yet to offer. Magnificent! Well balanced and dangerously drinkable - mango, citrus and hops, hops, hops. Only wish it wasn't quite so potent so additonal pints would be possible...

Congratulations, Flying Monkeys - you have made this "beer geek" proud to be Canadian.

hopsolutely, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of mrmanning
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Peter Chiodo, brewmaster at Flying Monkeys,and a pioneer in the Ontario brewing scene, has vision. Vision to see this project come to fruition. Smashbomb Atomic IPA, built around the Citra hop. A hop less traveled if you will. After many samplings of this beer, in many formats, I feel it is time to add my score to this site. A deep and slightly hazed amber pours a frothy and rocky cap. Lots of spiderweb lace happening here. Nose is fresh and inviting. Loads of mango and peach with very much a tropical feel. Piney hops make an appearance and lead to gooseberry, much like fine sauvignon blanc. The flavours match the aromas in every way. I get mango, peach, and apricot, all hovering around a piney hoppiness, with a slightly savoury cattiness that is pleasing. Medium bodied, full on flavour, and absolutely mouth coating. Lenghty finish. Very well done! Bravo!

mrmanning, Nov 23, 2010
Photo of allergictomacros
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear amber with a good creamy head.

S/T - Big grapefruit hop with pine, toasty, husky grain and a light tobacco. Very hoppy. Some apple and light fruitiness as well.

M - A bit too carbonated this one. Hurts a bit to drink.

D - Overall, a big hoppy IPA/DIPA that could benefit from some more depth. Some more sweetness to balance the hops would be nice too.

allergictomacros, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Has this on tap at Volo and had to adjust my ratings to reflect how amazing this beer was on tap. I wish I could get this regularly on tap where I am.

---

Thanks to korguy123 for sending me a fresh bottle of this straight from the brewery!

Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Deep amber colour with one finger of bubbly cream coloured head and some good lacing.

S - Nice balanced nose of bitter hops and sweet caramel malts. The hops have citrus and earthy notes. A nice nose.

T - A very flavourful IPA with a nice mix of sweet caramel malts and bitter hops. The hops have an earthy flavour to them and some citrus, that comes through more and more as the beer warms up, contributing some grapefruit notes. A nicely balanced beer.

M - Medium body, smooth, a nice chew. Lightly carbonated.

D - A nice IPA and impressive for an Ontario craft beer. I would buy again if it ever makes its way to the LCBO.

TheSevenDuffs, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of ritzkiss
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint at Volo. Not had previous versions, having had an aversion to previous Flying Monkeys offerings but with the good reviews I was willing to give it a go.

Nice clear golden color, a finger of soapy head which leaves sheets down the glass. Lovely.

Nose is a nice burst of juicy hops, tropical and grapefruit notes, hint of lemon and a touch of pine. Much like with previous FM offerings, it feels a little weak, not enough 'oomph' to back it up.

This really shines in a hop-scarce Ontario market - an actual West coast styled IPA! Though it still has a hint of Brit styled malt, along with the caramel sweetness. Balanced bitterness, floral, tropical, piney hop profile with enough kick and depth to please. Smooth body.

Originally marketed as a DIPA I believe, there is certainly not enough body to meet those standards. As an IPA it is in the top tier in the province, though still lacks a certain depth and craftsmanship to compete with the best south of the border. Great to see an Ontario brewer who's not afraid of American styled hops.

ritzkiss, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of orsulacp
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap on a trip to Canada, it was v2.0. Nice clear amber body with a light tan head that disappeared quickly. Good smell, earthy piney hops, a little hint of citrus, and some carmel. The taste is what I like in an IPA, slightly sweet to start then a good hit of piney bitterness, a little fruity, and then finishing dry and bitter. The mouthfeel is a little light, which helps to highlight the hops. Some people may not like the bitter dry finish, but I think it makes the beer really enjoyable.

orsulacp, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of StephenRich
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Holding true to the new brand, the Flying Monkeys Brewery is experimenting with new hop varieties and new beer recipes. One of the most recent experiment that made its way around Ontario during Ontario Craft Beer Week was their Smashbomb Atomic IPA; a big IPA brewed with 8 hop additions! Yes, 8 is a lot of hop additions. Are there even that many steps in brewing? Somehow Flying Monkeys made it happen, and they produced a uniquely citrusy and earthy IPA that has thus far not been seen in Ontario.

One of the keys to this revelation is the use of a relatively new hop variety called Citra. My sources (the internet) seem to explain that Citra is a hybrid of 50% Hallertauer Mittelfruh, 25% U.S. Tettnanger, and a 25% combination of East Kent Goldings, Brewers Gold, and a few other varieties. What has resulted is a relatively bitter hop with aromatic flavors of citrus, peach, apricot, grapefruit, lychee, pineapple, and more tropical fruits. For the beerk geeks out there, the Citra hop has a relatively high alpha acid of 11%. If you don't know what that means, you don't wan't to. So we have a pretty citric, fruit fresh hop going into the Smashbomb during the flavor additions. Awesome.

No, there's no label on this sucker yet because it is still in a pre-production phase. No matter though, labels offer little if any flavor characteristics, and I am sure when it does hit shelves it will have something pretty wild on the front.

As a side note, I have to quote Peter Chiodo, who designed this beer: "Hops are to the Craft Brewer what insanity is to the artist." Thanks for that one Peter, thats going to be a timeless classic.

I had actually had the pleasure of tasting the Smashbomb at two blind tastings run by the Flying Monkeys - the first we tried it at room temperature to best be able to evaluate all the intricacies of the flavor, and the second we tried it cold. So when I opened this bottle, I definitely made sure it was cold. At room temperature the overwhelming tartness and funk of the Citra proved to be uncontrollable, and unpleasant. But when cold, all those sensations where gone, and we were left with a very refreshing, and deliciously unique beer.

I poured the Smashbomb into a tall pint glass and immediately prepared myself to take some deep notes. The pour was smooth and easy for the first quarter, but every milliliter after that brewed a thick and luscious head that eventually lifted a good 2 inches above the beer. It was pure white with dense carbonation towards the bottom, and light airy bubbles to the top. The beer was a bright and rich amber orange with golden browns and shinning sunny yellow beams easing out of it. It was clean and clear and showed a terrific contrast between beer and foam (the haze in the picture is condensation, not the beers opacity).

The nose was quite pungent with a somewhat familiar scent of west coast hops, but was very unique on its own. It brought fast rushes of lemon rind, sweet citrus, bitter grapefruit peel, fresh earth, dried apricots, notes of pine and soft spice. Going back for another sniff and big bitterness was apparent here following the upfront power of citrus and lightly sweet tropical fruits. A hint of malt comes in the back with grain and fresh bread, but is relatively subdued in comparison to the hops.

Along with the Citra, Centennial hops were used, and the combination, and number of additions has created a richly complex array of aromas and flavors. It is immediately obvious when you go in for a taste as well. The first sensation is a cold and bitter wave of smooth hops that show a crisp, and very clean texture and no signs of sweetness. Seconds later though, and more so as the beer warms, big bright citrus fruit flavors make their way in and even show a great deal of lemony sweetness.

Although the hops are dry and crisp, the beer is smooth and creamy overall, which helps the bitter remain delicious and not devastating. Further into the beer earth, pine and a fresh resiny bitter begin to show themselves, and even give way to notes of cereal, and grainy malt. It touches biscuit, with a hint of warmth, but its cleaned away quickly by both a strong bitter swipe, and a powerful aromatic wave of hops. Pale malts do try to break through and show themselves, but this is a hophead's beer, and it shows.

The complexity shown here is very unique to Ontario, and is an amazing step in the right direction. Grapefruit, pineapple, mango, lemon, lime, pine, earth, salt, grass and apricot are all present in this beer, and showcase this big bitter IPA quite well. I will be excited to sample the version that hits shelves, hopefully it is much the same as this. I would like to see a touch more malt flavor here, maybe an addition of Caramel 60 would round it out. But overall this will be an amazing addition to Ontario's Craft Beer Lineup - well gone guys!

StephenRich, Aug 20, 2010
Flying Monkeys Smashbomb Atomic IPA from Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 333 ratings.