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Hoptical Illusion - Blue Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hoptical IllusionHoptical Illusion

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,645 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,645
Reviews: 605
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 13.21%
Wants: 28
Gots: 160 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Blue Point Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Hibernator on 10-03-2004

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,645 | Reviews: 605 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DerekP
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured my bottle into a 20-oz mug.

A few snippets from my full review @ http://thelightonbeer.blogspot.com -

"Hoptical Illusion starts out expressing the usual Indian Pale Ale qualities, but halts right before your anticipation for aromatic hoppy flavor proceeds into the realm of expectation. The aromatic hoppy flavors that I'm used to, and I'm sure that you are used to as well, are no where to be found.

Hoptical Illusion is drinkable, and in some respects, enjoyable, but it lacks the well-known IPA flavor that is to be expected when up against IPA aficionados. And what's up with the stale, funky, caramel after taste at the end of my first beer? I just finished, seriously, as I'm writing this, and a strange Milky Way flavor from 1973 just showed up in my mouth. The aftertaste is even coupled with that odd and abnormal, almost indescribable taste that I'm prone to experiencing when throwing back a light, domestic, American Lager from one of the Big-3. Come to think of it, it may be a byproduct of fermentation in stainless steel conicals. The taste is like the foot odor of the beer world. Maybe my buds are just off. Hell, I'm going to have a few more. I still like the beer, and I'm happy to see Blue Point found its way into my zip code. It's just missing the element I think most Indian Pale Ale drinkers go to the particular style of beer for, and that's why I'm telling you, in case you're one of those folks. Still, it's worth a try. After all, I remember chatting with a guy at Krogers in Ripley, WV that disliked Harpoon's IPA because it was "flowery," obviously referring to the hops."

Photo of Blitzstyle
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a SA glass. Nice thick foamy head, decent retention. Good golden amber color, and some laceing.

A really nice pine scent mixed in with some light citrus notes.

Nice and piney, nice change to the citric way ipas seem to be heading. It does have some citrus notes but dominate pine. Not an overwhelming hop bite some sweet malts sneak in as well.

Solid ipa, smooth and refreshing. Not the biggest ipa out there but quite enjoyable. Medium bodied would buy again.

Photo of beer2day
3.82/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very pale gold with a weak 1/2 finger head. Nothing is retained and not much lacing.

Nose is all pine, but a weak astringent pine. Not inspiring, but not bad.

Starts dry and finishes drier. Very nicely hopped. Lots of pine, a whole lot of pine here. Ever so slightly fruity in the middle, but really just a flash of orange-tangerine.

Feel is dry, but appropriately thick.

Much easier to drink than expected from the aroma. I look forward to the next bottle.

Photo of woosterbill
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Prime 16 into a shaker pint.

A: Clear light amber body supporting a finger of fine white head that settles to a cap fairly directly, but leaves decent sticky lace. Kinda boring.

S: Clean, piney hops, and some smooth biscuity malt. Not much here.

T: Solid hop attack from beginning to end, with dominant pine flavors keeping a niggling bit of citrus almost entirely at bay. Just enough malt to keep things balanced without distracting from the bitterness. Not complex at all, but smooth and tasty.

M: Medium-bodied and smooth, with a good amount of rich carbonation. Very good.

D: Nice crisp finish and enjoyable hoppiness make this a very sessionable IPA with a substantial ABV. Great.

Notes: Solid beer, but gets lost easily in a field packed with so many great IPAs. I don't order it often, and never really miss it, but it's a worthy brew nonetheless. It's always nice to see an east coast IPA that focuses so heavily on hops.


Photo of cleeze
3.74/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this interesting brew while waiting for a pie at La Fiesta in Dover, NH.

Nice golden orangey hue with a small head disappear with little lacing left on the glass. Smell was delicious! Lots of pine mixed with lots of grapefruit. Again lots of grapefruit to be tasted here. Great malty backbone almost gives off a sweetness to this brew. Finishes with some nice pine. I had no problem putting this one back while waiting for my pie. Wish I had time to have another

Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was anxious to try this Blue Point product after having an Ontario same name beer not too long ago. Two finger beige head atop a clear gold brilliant fluid, moderte carbonation and foamy lace. Hoppy smell tends to citrus but I can't pick out anything specific. Taste is hoppy, some grapefruit but more watermelon, green melon, with good bitter affect and balanced malt presence. Refreshing with a very nice dry, cleansing finish. A bit gassy, medium body. Overall, nice IPA and well worth a try.

Photo of fragilemacabre
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle alone on this is enough presentation, but it does hold a tasty thing. It is a stunning ochre/amber color, and its head is a pretty pale foam but the lacing disappears quickly. Smells are bright, zingy and flowery, with maybe a touch of an herb or grassy scent. Upon tasting, it feels aggressive-- decent amount of carbonation and a lingering taste and slickness in the mouth after swallowing. The flowery scent doesn't come through, and there is a savory sweetness in the taste next to the earthy hops. You could make a night of a six-pack or bomber of this and could have a pleased palate and a happy buzz.

Photo of farrago
3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Head tops out at near one finger, smaller foam of light tan color, OK lacing for the type, froth dissipates ratherly quickly. Extremely transparent, the zinc orange color barely tints the liquid, more yellow at the rims, widely dispersed miniscule bubbles visible within. Pink grapefruit and tangerine citrus by far the major factor in the nose, wet straw and grass next, close to bitters, pine cones, quiet green apple and apricot fruit scents, somewhat blurred malts, touch of something muffin-like. Light-bodied and what body is there drops off during the mid-palate. The grapefruit and tangerine citrus here large as well and tease out pineapple, nectarine fruit flavors in addition to apricot and pear. The carbonation is about average, not a big plus or minus. Astringency on the finish cancels out any show of florality. Once more, the maltiness lacks distinguishing characteristics. Seems more made by recipe than inspiration.

Photo of NCSUdo
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

A: Clear golden/copper body under a small white head. No lace, some retention.

S: Nice hop character. Right after the pour you get a decent punch of citrus, but after a minute of sitting the hops turn more to pine. Solid, but nothing outstanding.

T: Decent malt sweetness surrounded by a citrus and ultimately pine hoppiness, even a hint of mint. Decent amount of bitterness. Solid taste, maybe slightly off balance.

M/D: Medium bodied, carbonation is a bit prickly and the body does seem to fall apart a little in the mouth. Drinkability is pretty good. Very solid beer, a sessionable IPA.

Photo of deereless
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: An orange to peach color, thinnest layer of foam, crystal clear - 4.00, S: The nose is quite spicy and peppery, a hint of pine and wood, crisp aromas with a sweet dry bread - 3.75, T: Sharp but not overwhelming hop bite, touch of pine, though the alcohol is relatively low at 6.8% it is quite noticeable, though not in character for an IPA I get a taste of roastiness - 3.25, M: Slightly on the side of sticky - 3.75, D: A solid IPA, quite drinkable but nothing that sets it away from the masses - 3.50

Photo of SkunkWorks
3.28/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color with a very thin head that dissipates very quickly. It left a little lacing around the top of the glass but that's all. It seems very lightly carbonated. Aroma wise, mostly grassy with some hop character to the smell. Upon drinking it, one gets the grassy taste of hops for a second or two before yielding to the malt flavors. Like others have said, the hops are very under-pronounced in this one and I was fairly disappointed by this as well. The most redeeming quality is that its very easy to drink and might be a more accessible IPA for those looking to introduce someone into the world of IPAs, but for a more experienced hop head this fails to deliver. I personally will not be getting this one again.


Updating review after not having this beer for a long time, hopefully my palate has improved and I can appreciate this a bit more. 12 oz bottle with no freshness date poured into a pint glass.

Look: slightly hazy copper body with a half finger of white head, not much retention, lots of carbonation bubbles, and leaves some spotty lacing.

Smell: grassy, piney hop aroma stands out with a little bit of caramel malt for balance.

Taste: follows the nose with some piney, grassy hops and a little bit of citrus. Fairly bitter. A little bit of caramel malt. Fairly simple.

Feel: medium, and a little big for an IPA. Bitter. Feels lightly carbonated. Slightly syrupy and a lingering bitter feel in my mouth after swallowing. Relatively easy drinking also.

Overall: good but nothing exceptional about this beer. Nothing really stands out about it but nothing is really bad about it, either but with the abundance of great IPAs on the market, this one is hard to reach for specifically. Cheers.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
3.32/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Coppery, clear, no head at all, even after a fairly aggressive down-the-middle pour. There is also no lacing to speak of. Thus far, I am not impressed.

S: There is a fair hop presence here...hints of pine, but nothing impressive. The malts are the pre-evident character, which does not make me excited.

T: Grassy hops contribute only a touch of bitterness. The backbone is rich caramel, but this isn't what I'm looking for in an IPA. For a beer called "Hoptical Illusion" I was expecting, oh, I don't know...more hops? Yeah, that's it. The hops are faint and fleeting.

M/D: Slightly undercarbonated, but smooth. Medium texture, and is a bit heavier than one might expect for an IPA. The beer is ok, but disappointing. The hops are just not substantial enough. I have had pale wheat ales with a more striking hop character.

Photo of FlyingRabbit
2.76/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not a horrible IPA, but certainly not one that lives up to its very bright label.

Picked this up at a local store, as part of a "Sixer Mixer".

Poured from bottle to standard beer pint glass.

A: Not much of a head, and whatever there was went down within seconds. Color was golden/orange. Almost an amber color. Looked appetizing.

S: Smelled of citrus and berries.

T: Nice hoppy aftertaste. Loses all character once hits mouth.

M: Carbonation abounded, with a slightly too thin feel.

D: Went down easy, but I'm an IPA fan, so might be a little more easy on it.

Probably not buying this again. It didn't do it for me, and while it went down easy enough, it wasn't really enjoyable.

Photo of TLove
2.96/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle last night in a Iron Hill beer glass.

Pours a thin, goldish-orange tint with a an elusive head. Head comes out a creamy off-white on a more assertive pour. Great scents of caramel malt, lemon, and floral scents of pine and sap. The scent is stronger than the body. The body is pretty thin, and, while flavorful and a relatively high alcohol malt, it doesnt hold as well.

Trying to wrap my mouth around the thinly-veiled, but purveyant hop structure. A little bitter. A little sweet. Nice and crisp on the back end and the flavors do hold well through the finish. Not as balanced as I had hoped, but I suppose thats to be expected from such a light-bodied beer.

Photo of TommyW
3.08/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Golden body with a thin white head.

S- Slight smell of citric hops. Not much else going on.

T- There is a faint malt presence up front, but it doesn't really come through very well. It's just kinda there, and leading into a oily, and citric hop profile that seems kinda weak. Leave a bit of a linger bitterness.

M- Thin to medium body with an ok carbonation.

D- A decent IPA, but nothing to go looking for. Lots of better ones out there.

Photo of Lunch
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, Maryland (10/20/09). Served in a pint glass at the appropriate temperature.

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear shade of golden orange with a one finger off-white head.

Smell: A piney and hoppy bouquet with malty tones in the background.

Taste: Hops up front followed by a slightly unbalanced sweet maltiness that leaves an interesting finish that lingers with a pine/bitter hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium unremarkable body.

Drinkabilty: Slightly above average, but its unbalanced nature does not necessarily leave me wanting more.

Overall there are many better examples of the style, but this is by no means a bad beer at all. Worth a look.

Photo of biegaman
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A honey hued orange that, despite a dusty complexion, sports a distinct clarity that is obscured only by passing bubbles. It's a fine looking beer although, assuming this is a full-bodied IPA, it looks a little light in the colour department. Its head could also use some repairs - it is a shoddy and tattered fixer-upper desperately in need of restorations.

Hoptical Illusion passes the lupullin test - maybe not with flying colours but definitely with a respectable grade. No, it's not top of its class but it does have that certain green aura to it, the certain herbal pungency, the floral balm, the piny resins, the spritz of citrus, the certain 'je ne sais quoi' that makes hops such wonderfully aromatic things.

And the flavour takes those elements and squares them. The light citrusy spritz becomes a heaping mouthful of orange juice and the squeezings of an entire pink grapefruit. The earthy component scratches the tongue with grassy, bitter herbals and the pine-like resins become even more life like. They've certainly done their homework.

And it shows. Especially because they seem to know their malts too. There is a nice honey sweetness that underlines the beer and the toasty, chewy, toffee-like presence of malts bulk up the mouthfeel. This presence adds to the refreshment of the beer. Also, I'm surprised to learn this is almost 7% - it sure doesn't seem like it.

It does, however, seem like something I could drink all night. In my opinion, every American brewery must have a solid, quaffable IPA in their lineup - I think it's safe for Blue Point Brewing to check that off their list. But I also think it's time for them to start trying out a few other styles too. I, for one, am curious to know what more they can come up with.

Photo of kurp001
3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle bought at Shawan Liquors

Pours a bright gold with an ever-so-slight reddish tinge. An aggressive pour yields about one finger of fizzy white head that dies down pretty quickly.

Piney and citrus hops are most assertive in the aroma, along with a rather bold malt presence as well.

Hop bitterness upfront makes for a good start, but an odd, fleeting sort of thin malt sweetness takes over midway. I like balance in an IPA, but the relationship between the bitterness and the sweetness in this one seems a little off.

Mouthfeel is crisp, somewhere between medium and light-bodied. Not bad, but not really as full as I'd like.

In spite of a relative thinness on this one (or maybe because of the relative thinness), this is a very drinkable beer. I could see drinking a few of these, but it's really just not an interesting enough IPA for me to feel compelled to go back and buy more.

Photo of oelergud
3.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tall 12oz brown glass bottle, twist-off cap.
Label shows the dollar pyramid on a red and yellow background.
Transparent straw colored body. Off-white multibubbled head with decent retention and lace.
Hoppy scent. Vegetable, wet grassy mulch. White buttered bread and pepper.
Sweet juicy hopcone flavor, very good. Some bread notes and sharp pine. Aftertaste is long lived and full of citrus pine hops.
Medium body, slick feel and some residual sugars.
Good drinkability.


Photo of Mistofminn
3.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Joe for another cool extra!

Poured into a pint glass. Sort of looks like apple cider. Pour produces a thick billowing head that shrinks to a small cap that leaves minimal lacing. This has an ok look, but for some reason the color doesn't do it for me.

The nose is much maltier than I would have imagined. Strong caramel malt backbone, with hints of citrus and piney hops.

If there was any doubt from the nose that this is an IPA, one taste makes it clear. Very bitter in the aftertaste, leaning towards the earthy and piney as opposed to the citrusy and floral hop varieties. Nice malt balancing it out.

The mouthfeel is medium, with a dry finish that leaves a distinct bitter aftertaste. Slightly overcarbonated also. Drinkability is good, I would gladly have another.

Overall, another solid beer from Blue Point. Nothing spectacular, but a solid beer none the less. Thanks again to JoeyBeerBelly for this beautiful extra!

Photo of tegelaar
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stopped off in unknown parts on Long Island for beer and this was the only craft offering. I am an IPA fan but I expected the worst as I have never heard of this beer before.

A: Poured it pretty vigorously and only a one finger head. Drops down to a white film with a bit of lacing. Color is that of your average pale ale.

S: Smells of table sugar and citrus. Definitely smelling oranges in this one.

T: Not terribly sweet and lots of bitterness. Has a strong earthy background once the bitterness fades. Way more hoppy than I expected - nice!

M: Great amount of carbonation but perhaps a little watery.

D: If you like bitter beers and IPAs you will find it very easy to drink.

Overall a very pleasant surprise. If I am stuck in a crappy gas station and it's this or a macro, I'll happily buy again. Otherwise there is nothing that stands out that makes this a go to beer.

Photo of TimDudley
4.21/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer pours a pale copper with a thick, soapy, sticky white head. Aroma is citrusy, particularly a slight grapefruit.
Obviously, it's all hops up front. A piney, evergreen sweet, followed by a bitter sting on the front of the tongue. Overall, it's more of a harsh bitter than the sweet floral and citrus I'm used to from big hop-bomb IPAs. Malt is there, but it's hard for me to pick out a specific flavor. It's just very well in tune with the hops, providing a balancing sweet bread (not sweetbread) that really rounds out the main bitterness.

Aftertaste is dry and soapy - and much cleaner than that makes it sound. Increasing sweetness as the beer warms, more of a sharp grapefruit and less of the initial spruce.

Light on the mouth. Crisp, very easy to drink. Far less syrupy than your average big IPA, yet it retains the full punch-in-the-face hop flavor of IPAs twice its strength. On the other hand, it's a bit light, weak, and watery once the carbonation dies. The flavor holds, but the feel definitely thins a tad too much at the end.

I really really like this. At first I was kind of skeptical about the "Mystery Hop" gimmick, but I'm honestly impressed enough to conclude that buying the entire supply of a whole variety of hops wasn't just a cheap gimmick. It has the full flavor and hop profile of a 9 or 10% alcohol double IPA, but a thinner body and less than 7% ABV puts Hoptical Illusion comfortably into the session beer category. Not the best IPA ever, but I would happily recommend it.

Full article: http://timdudley.net/beer/?p=132

Photo of donniecuffs
2.73/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a decent amber/orange color, with a thin head that didn't lace well. The smell was imbalanced to the sickeningly sweet citrus side, like a mix between ripe pineapple and blood orange, and the taste confirmed this. The flavor was very imbalanced, and certainly would benefit from some more floral hops. The mouthfeel was thinner than expected, but also more carbonated than expected. I love citrus in my ipa's, but this one was over the top for my taste and way too imbalanced.

Photo of atsprings
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a standard pint-glass a crisp orange with a thin diminishing head. Aroma is a decent balance of crisp hops and sweet malts. The taste is a nice amount of subtle hops and sweet pale malts with a nice lingering hop finish. The beer is on the light side of medium with the alcohol well hidden. This one is a very respecatble IPA.

Photo of mempath
4.17/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

cool label.

ok, the appearance is a beautiful bourbon color, but the head is nearly non-existent...so, it COULD be better.

smells of a classic, albeit, stronger IPA...very malty.

does NOT taste like a classic, albeit stronger IPA...much stronger and hoppier. and less malty. very nice. thick, great chewey mouthfeel. there is a nice afterglow of malt hanging ten from the hops. neither too sweet or too bitter. very well balanced.

Hoptical Illusion from Blue Point Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,645 ratings.