Robert Simpson Confederation Ale | Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery

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Robert Simpson Confederation AleRobert Simpson Confederation Ale

Brewed by:
Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery
Ontario, Canada

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by pootz on 01-31-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 51 | Ratings: 67
Photo of funkengruven
3.82/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a couple cans of this stuff at the LCBO the other day. This poured to a light gold with a quick forming head that quickly dissipates. Very vegetable-like smell to it, not too too bad. Taste is pretty good, a slight sweetness with a clean refreshing finish. That, and a very gentle carbonation makes this pretty easy to drink. This is a pretty good example of a cream ale.

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Photo of TerryW
3.79/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A pretty average looking beer, ginger ale gold with precious little by way of head or lace.

Probably the best thing about this one is the smell. Lots of flowery hops, a little resiny, grapefruit or juniper. Quite appetizing.

Sweet malts up front. Hops are dominant in the taste and give it an almost green character. Lots of grapefruit. Has a tgentle lingering bitterness. A tad too sprity on the palate and can be mildly harsh when it settles in.

I've had several sixes of this beer as I've come to like it as a good work-a-day beer, but I've noticed that it can be a little uneven, probably due to the green bottle.

Worth trying just for the aroma alone, good regular drinkin' beer.

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Photo of Stocean1
3.75/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Note - this is bottled as Flying Monkeys Amber Ale (not Robert Simpson but it appears to be the same brew)

A - 1 finger head with some lacing - slightly cloudy amber/copper colour

S - Malty with some hops coming through (pine)

T - Malt - some sweet notes - hops coming through strong - pine and floral - a little spicy

M - medium body with some carbonation - very smooth

O - a decent brew that was better than I expected and I would certainly grab this again

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.68/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The most drinkable Cream Ale I've ever encountered. Pours out to a frosty yellow color with a respectable head of white foam that remains consistant. No lace, and a medium level of carbonation. Aromas of light husky corn and grains, with some malty sweet notes. Taste is smooth, crisp, simple and enjoyable; light malty sweetness mixes with rich corn grain flavors and oh so subtle hops. Some herby notes as well, but very faint, and almost overshadowed by the smooth malty veggie character that is present. Mouthfeel is good; i've got to say it's quite enjoyable for such a shunned style; crisp, smooth, refreshing, totally quaffable. A great summer, or even year round brew. I like to think of Robert Simpson as the Orville Reddenbacher of beers; they do one thing (Cream Ale), and do it better than anyone else. Highly Recommended. Special thanks to Derek for the sample.

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Photo of hegelec
3.67/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Lightyears ahead of what this beer once was. I think Peter's been running this shit through the Hoppopotamus, because it can easily rival the aromatic, hoppy goodness of his Hoptical Illusion. Glad I gave it another try.

Amber/copper beer; minimal white head which settles quickly. Leaves some lacing.

Smell is sweet caramel, honey, and piney, resiny hop. Def more C-hop than the Amarillo that characterises the Hoptical.

Taste follows smell. Starts, end, and finishes the same ... piney grapefruit and caramel all the way through. Semi-dry, medium mouthfeel. Moderate bitterness. Decent carbonation, refreshing. Stupidly drinkable.

Peter, you took a duffer and made it winner. Not a complex brew, but the essence of a decently hoppy, session ale. Good stuff.

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Photo of DoctorStrangiato
3.62/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 355-ml bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - a hazy, yellow beer with a thin surface bubble head. Decent bubble quality at the top.

Smell - notable barley scents with a roasted-malty characteristic. Smells as though it is travelling the boundary between freshness and mustiness.

Taste - mostly caramelized roasted grainy-hay flavour, with a little astringent zap at the end. Decent taste of malt sweetness at the end. Not bad at all.

Mouthfeel - pretty smooth, all things considered and interesting to taste.

Drinkability - this is good, and I wouldn't be shy about it. Probably it's overpriced for what it is, but the taste is there. I'd like to have it on tap.

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Photo of SebD
3.51/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice yellow/orange/golden color to it. It has a nice thick off-white head that dies down moderately and leaves nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of sweet toasty caramelly malts with earthy, piney and citrusy hops.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice sweet malt character giving out some caramelly notes with some nice citrusy, piney and earthy hops and a slight nuttiness.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good light flavors and aromas.

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Photo of korguy123
3.5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into tumbler.

A- Crystal clear amber pour (makes sense) Finger and a half dense white head that won't quit. Lacing is okay.

S- Definite sweet biscuit. There is a hint of the Saaz hops but it really is faint. There isn't much else happening.

T- Saaz hops, sour dough bread and slight cookie sweetness. Earthy and floral in the finish.

M- Light to medium bodied, good carbonation.

O- There isn't much to say about this. It's good for what it is; a "sit on the deck and bbq with a bunch of these in the cooler" beer.

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Photo of bryehn
3.49/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy, almost pencil yellow colour with a surprisingly frothy and creamy head. Nice lacing and retention here.

I'm getting a very "bright" hoppy aroma here with strong citrus notes as well as some mild earthy tones and a bit of pepper.

There is a nice tang to the initial mouthfeel that transitions to creamy, almost chewy on the way down.

The taste is rather bitter up front and seems to stay dry throughout. Getting a great balance between sweet and sour, like graham cracker and citrus.

There is a very mild sweetness that comes through in the finish and aftertaste. I find the taste a bit of a letdown compared to the aroma, but it's very drinkable to be sure.

Robert Simpson Confederation Ale isn't as exciting as Hoptical Illusion or Netherworld Cascadian Ale from the Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery, but it is definitely a quality brew worth trying.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.48/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on the beach at my old mans place on Lake Superior.

A - Pours a nice amber colour, thin finger of head with solid rentention, leaving a nice shiny island of bubbles after a few minutes, and some fine sticky lacing throughout.

S - Some sweet citrus hops off the top and followed by some caramel malts, though it is a little light and could be a bit stronger.

T - The sweet caramel malts dominate the palette, with some bready malts and citrus hops lingering on the palette. The finish is a little more bitter than I expected.

M - A bit on the watery side, could use a little more carbonation to liven it up a bit, and give it a bit of lift.

D - Overall, a pretty tasty offering and I would easily go through a 6-er of this if it were readily available in Alberta. Recommended to any Amber Ale fan looking for a tasty OCB version of the style.

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Photo of Popsinc
3.47/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: attractive, glossy packaging. 355ml bottle with temp indicator....although it didn't seem to be working. pours a light colour amber. medium white head, nice lacing, moderate carbonation.

Smell: malty sweetness and lots of fruity & citrusy notes. big hint of grapefruit (Pootz hit it right on the head!)

Taste: malts are up front and mid-sip the citrus and fruit notes come plowing through. semi sweetness from the malt and citrus of grapefruit. end of the sip offers up some hop bitterness but at a very subtle level. the finish ends on a rather bland note. most of the flavours disapear and there is little lingering.

Mouhfeel: clean and crisp for the most part. maybe a little too light bodied. very drinkable. not a huge flavor profile which might be a good way to convert macro drinkers.

Drinkability: a nice change from the mainstream macro market. a beer with plenty of potential. as Pootz stated in his earlier review, this beer is a step up from the standard macros and with wide distribution it might get a few people to step into the micro market. again, not the cream of the crop but well worth supporting this new local beer. in any case, a pleasant first brew from Robert Simpson.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle, procured via a trade with Ontario local tbeckett - cheers!

This beer pours a clear, medium golden copper hue, with one finger of soapy pale beige head, which leaves some streaky arched lace as it quickly recedes. It smells of sweet bready, pastry-like malt, some mild wild citrus, and grassy, weedy hops. The taste is malty, to be sure, the breadiness not in question - however, an overriding, if still underwhelming, zingy grassy, earthy hoppiness pervades. The carbonation is on the low side of average, the body equally south of medium weight, but not egregiously so, and a little too edgy to be considered smooth. It finishes off-dry, the breadiness and waning, underachieving hops sticking in.

An adequate enough offering, especially given the style. I wouldn't be put off if offered this at the proverbial lake, but I wouldn't/won't be seeking it out.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


Appearance - Amber/copper colour with an average size frothy off-white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some good lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for 4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, nuts, light hops

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, a caramel sweetness and a bit of hop bitterness. There is also a touch of a nuttiness. It ends with a malty slightly sweet aftertaste.

Overall – Nothing that will blow you away, but it's a nice drinkable amber. The flavours are subtle which would allow for it to be pretty sessionable. Considering my limited choices for draft beer at the restaurant, it worked well.

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Photo of biegaman
3.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The ale may be more toasty golden than amber, but it's a decent looking beer whatever colour you decide to call it. A tanned complexion and lightly pressing chill haze don't obstruct clarity nor do they restrict visibility of those acrobatic little bubbles. Its head has depleted plenty since the pour although a scrap of it still floats secluded over the center.

Hot damn I smell hops! Forgive the sudden outburst but I really wasn't expecting any. When it was introduced, Robert Simpson Confederation (not yet Amber) Ale was about as toneless and ordinary as beer can get. This newer draft, however, smells of out-of-the-oven cookies baked with rose water and drizzled in a candied fruit reduction. Yum!

It is no surprise, therefore, that the taste is also far improved. Flavours of wafer and graham cracker are complimented by a sweet toffee note and accompanying hints of citrus zest and piths and herbal flowers. Although pleasant, it's a tad faint and unassertive (still it strikes me as something you might find in the south of France in pie form).

So the beer tastes good, we've confirmed that, but why aren't I falling over myself for the next sip? Mostly because this is too light in malt department. Despite that it imparts a sensational fruity/floral bitterness, the beer's mouthfeel is quick to disassemble and, although that makes it infinitely quenching, it takes away from the beer's overall character.

The (seemingly extensive) use of crystal malts pays off as the honey and biscuits combination, in union with the light citric hoppiness, makes for a toothsome aftertaste. That is partly spoiled, however, by a prevailing irony note. Treating the water differently to make it softer, less mineral-rich might benefit the beer's easy-going effervescence.

Before the recipe was re-tweaked and the brewery changed its name to Flying Monkeys, Robert Simpson Confederation Ale was about as lifeless as the late Robert Simpson himself. This revamped version, however, is no longer the beer for dead white guys - it's convivial and contemporary, an excellent quaff for (very much alive) beer geeks anywhere.

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Photo of shamus
3.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I bought this because it was loose on the shelf and has a Flying Monkey cap. I thought this was a different beer, but it's by Flying Monkey Breweries. Pours just fine. It's an amber colour with a nice chill haze. It's not a bad little beer at all. It's got a nice hops definition and a good balance between the malts and hops as well. i'd happily drink this again.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a can of this brew when in Canada. I am pouring a chilled sample into a pint glass. The beer pours a bright clear color with several streams of carbonation rising to the surface. Fluffy bleached white head of 4 cm fades slowly leaving craters as it goes. Aroma is clean caramel malt and some grainy cereal. Fairly mild on the nose overall.
First sip reveals a light body and genlte rolling carbonation. Flavor is a little grainy and some caramel too. Gets a little husky on the finish and then rolls to herbal and drying finish. Nice easy drinker when sitting in the sun poolside.

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Photo of slitherySOB
3.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Their is alot of blurb on the sixpack about this beer. It's been my experience the more the blurb, the badder the beer. Open up the sixpack, and what do I find? Green bottles. Ooh, I'm getting worried. I read the blurb, and what does it say? Their is some special anti-UV light blocking ray in the green glass, so that the beer remains fresh. Yeah, right. Just use a brown bottle. Pour it into my glass. Clear gold colour, with a very small head which disipated quickly into a ring. Very little lacing. Smell, is alright. Honey, pale malts, and a grassy hop presence. No skunk. Hmm... Perhaps their is some UV protection in the bottles? Or, maybe the six pack protected the beer. Now for taste. Hmm. Sweet, with a floral and grassy aftertaste. A hint of honey, just enough to mix with the malt sweetness. Middle has alot of fruit. Apples, citrus, and pear Finishes floral, grassy and citrusy. Mouthfeel is crisp, but a little thin. Very clean, very drinkable beer.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.32/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a golden color ale with a medium light foamy white head with good retention. Aroma of floral hops is mix with grassy malt. Taste is a bit more interesting then expected with grassy feels mix with something quite salty. Without being great this is an above average golden ale with some character.

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Photo of Bestuurder
3.28/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This came in a sample pack at the LCBO of Ontario Craft Brewers.

Colour is fantastic with a light and fluffy head with a pleasant texture. The colour was a medium amber with heavy carbonation rising. Head remained throughout the experience of consumption.

The aroma was pleasant to the olfactory, but slightly off; possibly a metallic finish is to come. Well-balanced hops and firm roasted malt present.

The taste is good. Not great, but still enjoyable with pork or duck. Carbonation is very high, almost to say soda-like presence.

Definitely too carbonated for my liking, but still smooth in texture.

Sure, I could have another, but I think I would stop there.

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Photo of crwills
3.27/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tallboy can purchased at the LCBO. Relatively light yellow/gold with a small white head that fades a bit. No lacing. Faint aromas of neutral, slightly grassy malts. Flavour is initially really, really metallic - what's up with this can? After that, mild but drinkable, with semi-sweet malts and decent, if subtle, hop flavour (tart and planty, but not citrusy). Would probably be a lot better on tap or cask.

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Photo of heebes
3.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

355 ml bottle.
Now known as Flying Monkey's Amber Ale. New logo to boot.
Bottled Jun 07/2011 (glad to see they are usuing the date right on the neck of all bottles!)

Pours a slightly hazy orange amber, thin head dissipates to nothing quickly....appears to be floating particles (huh?!) all over this beer. Nose is crispy breaded malt, biscuity, spicy yeast, some grain, faint hop presence which is hardly noticeable. Taste is malt, grain, grass/wheat, not much in the way of an amber ale. I think this must be FM reaching out to brew a middle of the road beer for the macro drinkers, it must sell well for them, though I'm not sure craft beer drinkers will find much to enjoy from this beer. Mouthfeel is light bodied, not much carbonation from this bottle. Overall, one of the weaker options from Flying Monkey's, an up and coming brewery trying new things.

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Photo of CrazyMike
3.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is an average golden yellow with a thick head. Smell is grainy with a hint of corn and wet vegetables.

The taste has little hops, but crisp with a creamy body. A bit sweet. Has a moderate body with light carbonation. Aftertaste is bitter and dry.

Overall, not the most complex beer around but refreshing. A fairly average beer but probably good to drink on a hot summer day.

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Photo of Stonepot
3.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The bottle and serving box has changed but the beer is still the same old Robert Simpson I love. This beer has been a part of my family for several years now, like a little brother who is so full of life but has only one leg. It is not the best beer in the world, nor is it the even close to the best in Ontario, but it has been with me through thick and thin. Dog bless you Robert Simpson, dog bless you.

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Photo of JustinBathurst
3.14/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I had quite a few of these last year out of bottles, so I thought I'd try it again this year and rate it. It does not seem to be so similar--last year I was more impressed.

Pours clear pale gold, with floating soap suds 1 cm thick. The head does not last very long at all.

The aroma is somewhat hoppy, with cider, citrus rinds, bread, celery, grass, and a lot of honey. However, most of this was revealed only after letting it warm a bit.

The mouthfeel is watery, but crisp, with decent carbonation.

This ale tastes mostly of honey sweetness, some malty-doughiness, lemon cough drops, aspiring, and a tiny wee smidgen of hoppy bitterness. It was much better last year out of a bottle, I'm sure of it.

While it certainly wasn't bad, it seems to have declined since my last sampling. I hope this is rectified by the next tasting.

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Photo of GodOfBeer
3.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is supposed to be an amber? It pours a golden yellow with a very thin, watery head.

Smells grainy, malty some citrus and bread notes.

Not a bad tasting beer, more like a good lager, nice malt/hop balance, but tastes a bit stale and metallic.

Though I didn't mind this beer, overall it lacks body, colour and hops!

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Robert Simpson Confederation Ale from Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery
3.1 out of 5 based on 67 ratings.
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