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 philipquarles
2.73/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

341ml bottle out of the OCB Discovery Pack. Pours clear gold with a smallish white head. Poor retention and non-existent lacing. Smells like wet grain--not very nice. Somewhat sweet. This carries a bit to the taste, but the malt actually takes on a bit of a toasty character that makes it more pleasant. Light-medium body with medium carbonation. Not offensive, but not much (good) character or flavor.

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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 TheHammer
2.87/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this as part of the OCB discovery pack #2 that I bought at a Burlington LCBO.

Appearance: Pours with a half finger of air filed head that does not sustain at all and barely laces. The beer itself is a cloudy orange tinted yellow. The carbonation on this beer also seems a bit excessive, which leaves me wondering how the heck did the head disappear so fast.

Smell: I'm getting a definite buttery grain and malt scent from this beer, however not much else. There are notes of honey and an almost wood shop kind of smell going on. It's a bit odd, but not unpleasant and not overly subdued.

Taste: Has a taste that is almost too consistent as the taste of grain is apparent throughout the experience. It starts with a bit of a grain and vegetable flavor at the start, then turns to a more malt and grain experience with a slight touch of apricots, and finishes with more grain and a slight touch of bitter bread. However there is an odd mineral taste that accompanies the beer.

Mouthfeel: Well, the aftertaste of the beer is unsurprisingly more grain with that odd mineral taste but it doesn't linger at all. The carbonation is surprisingly good, despite signs of it being overwhelming. Leaves a very clean sensation in the mouth.

Drinkability: This beer is fairly refreshing, goes down smoothly isn't too heavy. However, the odd aftertaste and the fact the beer is a bit gassy once it's in the stomach, takes away from the experience. Fairly average stuff as far as putting it down

Final Thoughts: I dunno, I find this beer a little bit lacking and it's certainly not going to win over anyone used to drinking Macros. All in all, this beer exemplifies that just because it's craft brewed, doesn't make it a work of art. I'm not going to lie, this beer is only worth buying as part of a mix pack. I'd be upset if I got a case of 6.

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Photo of kwjd
2.55/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Review from April 2009:

After pouring into a glass, it was a pale colour, without much head. I don't know exactly to describe this smell... but it was one of the worst things I have ever smelled. I thought it may be a bad bottle, but other reviews here seem to say similar things, so I'm not sure of this. It didn't taste as bad as it smells, but it still tasted bad. I had split this bottle with a friend and I couldn't even finish my half of it.
Note: This says "Amber Ale" on the bottle, but I don't think it is supposed to be an amber since it was completely pale. If I can take off marks for labeling errors, I would.

Grade: F, Scores: 2.5 1.0 1.5 3.0 1.0

Now in August 2010, I tried this again. I was scared to try it again, but I braved through and it was fine. I'm going to move up my score because I don't think my rating was an accurate reflection of the beer now.

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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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Photo of CaptainIPA
1.43/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

P: Thank you to my big sister and her family for turning me onto the Ontario Craft Brewers' Discovery Pack No. 2: 6 assorted bottles. All the way from Toronto. Nice Christmas gift, EH?
#5 in a series.

Note: The bottle reads Confederation Amber Ale, yet the label copy tells me what I hold in my hands is Confederation Ale, so I'll forgo creating an Amber Ale entry and review it under this listing.

A: Pours a pale and sickly straw color with uneven shades of light copper. No real head to speak of.

S: Strong and displeasing smell of dried apricots and fetid vegetal matter.

T: Ack! Unlike any Amber Ale I've ever experienced -- like rancid vegetables on boiled cardboard with notes of apricot. Truly repugnant. This marks the first review I've been forced to escort down the drain pipe.

M: Hard to retain in the mouth.

D: Avoid at all costs.

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Photo of EatsTacos
2.97/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light clear copper with almost no head and no lacing
The aroma is very light some light hops and malts
Taste is a lot the same. Pretty simple and boring I suppose. Good balance. Mouthfeel is medium to low and the carbonation is a little high for me.

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Photo of bobsy
2.6/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This beer was included in a sixer aimed at promoting Ontario craft brews to the local market. So far, its the worst of the 5 I've had. I don't remember this beer being that bad in the past, but considering I've drank a lot of decent stuff since I had it 3 years ago, perhaps things have moved on.

The bottle pours a nice golden liquid which kicks up a beautifully smooth and creamy white head, which gradually fades to film and leaves some lace. The aroma is very grainy and has strong notes of bran to it, as well as sawdust. In its way it smell quite clean and healthy. Grain hits me full on in the flavour, to be rapidly followed by sweet bread and then a hint of plastic and cardboard, which we could do without. The sweetness becomes naggingly cloying and reminds me of corm syrup, although it is thankfully replaced by a clean aftertaste of grain. The sweetness does make the mouth water, which seems to lighten this drink beyond its already medium-light body. The carbonation tingles on the tongue and does help to alleviate the sweetness somewhat.

A dud. It does have some nice characteristics, but it is really let down by the flavour, which is too sweet and perhaps contains adjuncts. I won't buy this again, it just wasn't all that pleasant to drink.

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Photo of atomicbolt
2.97/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a tallboy can at the LCBO, I'd always seen these around and decided I'd finally give it a shot. Nice looking can, complete with brewing information, a map to the brewery and a thermometer on the side (I'd only ever seen these on Coors Light cans, which isn't exactly a positive association for a premium microbrew. The thermometer hadn't turned "blue" yet when I served it - whatever, it was cool enough, I don't need it frozen.)

Poured into my mug looking pretty good - pale-medium gold, bubbly, with a healthy foamy head. Aromas of citrus fruit and honey. My first sip was a little confusing - it was crisp and sweet on the tongue, but when I swallowed it had this lingering metallic, bitter twang. Maybe it's the can? Maybe I really should've waited until the thermometer was blue? At any rate, I kept drinking and I think it improved a bit, or I just got used to the taste. There's a decent hop profile, but there's still a real lager-y, dry aftertaste to it - seems odd for a cream ale, then again based on the wide variety of cream ales I've had I think it's hard to set any uniform standards for the style.

Overall it's a decent beer, not sure if I'd buy it again though.

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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 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 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 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 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 Mandrake
3.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light gold with a decent white head that dissipates reasonably quickly and leaves little lacing. Smell is citrus and big floral hops, very pleasant, if rather unusual for a cream ale. A taste - and the hops go missing in action. Slightly grainy malts and a bit of hay, but nothing particularly interesting. Mouthfeel is decent, if rather watery, and drinkability is distinctly average. Thanks to pootz for this element of the CANBIF2 package.

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Photo of allergictomacros
2.65/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pale straw with a puny, weak head. Bodes poorly.

S - Sweet, corn-like aromas (n.b. label say purity law and whatnot so it shouldn't an adjunct thing). Strong notes of husky grain.

T - Definitely on the sweet side. Slightly tart up front and a teeny weeny bitterness in the aftertaste. Not much else going on here.

M - Light bodied, somewhat fizzy.

D - Falls into the drinkable, but not very exciting category. Would compare favorably to most macros, but singularly unimpressive.

The LCBO wouldn't sell me a single so I had to choose between a sixer of this and 2 others I've never tried... Seems I chose poorly (the box was all shiny and I got distracted...)

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Photo of pootz
3.03/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried this from a can recently....revisiting this ale after tasting on tap at the brewery and getting a case of the first release in bottles.

Gotta say what I tasted from that can was not the beer I tried 11/2 years ago...this was weaker in hop aroma and malt...more fluid mouth feel..very soft nothing pronounced as in the first batches...will re-try in 6 months to see if there is improvement.

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Photo of Derek
3.09/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Crystal clear with a slight yellow hue. Pours with plenty of head, leaves a nice lace, but there's not much retention.

S: Not a lot of nose. Bread & buttery-caramel with slight hints of fresh hops and fruity esters.

T: Slightly sweet, hint of earthy hops, with some buttery/caramel flavour like caramel popcorn (diacetyl?).

M: Light to moderate body is somewhat creamy. Moderate carbonation.

D: Easily approached & initially goes down like water... but it starts to wear on me, and certainly doesn't bring me back for more.

Probably best served ice-cold.

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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 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 Sammy
3.02/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Nice aroma, honeyish though sweet malt. Bit of foamy head in appearance. OK and creamy but on the thin mouthfeel side and plain taste with some honey in backdrop from yeast. There is a drop of hops and can use more of it. Drying bits of material at end. Drinkable.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
2.21/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer is very bland. It reminds me of the terrible Alexander Keith's. It pours a very light bronze with a wispy collar and a bit of lace. The aroma is watery with a wisp of malt and some mineral, very insipid. The taste is a lot like a macro lager. Not much of anything, utterly inoffensive. The hops show up for a flash in the finish. The mouthfeel is quite fizzy and thin. I dont recommend this beer.

The whole image of this brewery is contrived and cheesy. Their booth at the Toronto beer festival was like a Muskoka room crossed with a Canadian souvenir shop.

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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 DrJay
3.12/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Slightly hazy golden colour topped by a thin off-white head. Grainy malt aroma with a little sweetness, moderate fruity character, and floral hops. Fairly balanced, with sweetness and fruit up front followed by mild citrus at the finish. Light body, moderate carbonation, and just a bit slick.

355 mL green, UV-protected bottle, freshness date stamped into the label on the neck.

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