Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale Ale
Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery

Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale AleHoptical Illusion Almost Pale Ale
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Style:
American Pale Ale (APA)
Ranked #1,318
ABV:
5%
Score:
85
Ranked #28,225
Avg:
3.78 | pDev: 11.11%
Reviews:
114
Ratings:
296
From:
Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery
 
Ontario, Canada
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  13
Gots
  66
SCORE
85
Very Good
Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale AleHoptical Illusion Almost Pale Ale
Notes: 32 IBU
Reviews: 114 | Ratings: 296 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of eberesford
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aroma - gentle notes of floral, citrus grapefruit and pine. The flavour too is quite light - bready malts balanced by the floral hops. Overall lighter and lest distinctive than I expected.

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Photo of Jesterr44
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This score may be a touch higher than this beer deserves as an APA, but it's got a special place in my heart as one of my gateway IPAs which led me to discover the truly fabulous IPAs available to me during my North American travels, and even with some places closer to home. Definitely some decent hop flavour, somewhat gentler & more smooth than Smashbomb, but the full complex hop flavours provided by a fine APA/IPA aren't quite there.

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Photo of rapayn01
3.69/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a Canadian tall boy can (473 ml). It was OK, but it was very mild in flavor and lacked a notable hop profile. This makes it a suitable session ale for poker, perhaps, but I wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of swim
3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Translucent deep brown/orange copper colour. A lot or a little bubbly creamy head depending on how it was poured that slowly receded leaving some lacing.

S: Faint, floral, with hints of lightly resiny pine, citrus, and bready malts.

T: Hits with the malts first and then the hops. The malts are sweet, deep, and little roasty. The hops are floral and lightly resiny, piney and citrusy There is also a spicy yeastiness to it. Just a hint of bitterness. Pleasant medium strength lasting aftertaste.

F: Medium/light carbonation. A bit of creamy thickness to it, slightly coating.

O: Well rounded, not overbearing in the hops department. An enjoyable complex flavour to it with a nice feel.

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Photo of MichaelGennings
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale Ale. Made by Flying Monkeys in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. 5% alc. 473 ml can. 32 IBUs.

White head. Copper red colour.

Notes: Faint hops and very faint bready malts.

Taste is slight bitter hops, hints of grapefruit, caramel, malt. Medium bodied. Dry finish.

Very enjoyable. Along with the dry finish there is an almost bitterness but not quite.

I'd buy this again.

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Photo of janubio
3.05/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an amber colour, with a big creamy head that leaves ome lace. Aroma of pine, fruits, caramel. Medium body, OK carbonation. Taste is similar to aroma: Fruits, pine and caramel. OK beer.

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Photo of biker30x
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can into a pint & later into a snifter. This pours a deep and rich amber but failed to deliver any of that richness in taste. It was fairly well balanced (neither hop nor malt nor fruit dominate) but the flavors are all somewhat thin. This isn't a bad beer, it just isn't much more than an adequate beer. I guess a slightly more complex alternative to lager on a hot day?

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Photo of portwood
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Smell: sweet malt & citrus, caramel, somewhat floral. Taste: starts sweet & turns to bitter grapefruit & pine. FInish: balanced finish w/toffee & bitter hops.

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Photo of josanguapo
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From 2d2despuma. In Teku glass. Playing Millenium 2. It has a hop profile that isnt bad but that i dont end up completely liking, like if it had some rancidness. Hasnt BB date

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Photo of Jetulio
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355 ml. bottle poured into a Pint glass Appearance....... Amber beer with foamy head colour white of 2 fingers aprox Aroma............... malt, grass and pine. Malt aroma predominance Taste........ Some citric and caramel notes and then hop , touch of bitterness lasting in mouth all the time. Mouthfeel........... medium/full body and soft carbonation Overall............ a very recomendable pale ale, hops are present at the end in a good balance with malt.

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Photo of mylespetro
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a orangey amber with a hint of gold, a finger and a half of off white head that stays for a long time and good lacing.
S - Malts, gentle hop smell, not in your face like a typical IPA (because it's not an IPA). Caramel, slight citrus and pine.
T - Slightly bitter at first, with some characteristics of a lighter ale mixed with the hoppiness of an IPA. Malts and hops with a bit of tart citrus.
M - Nice carbonation that wakes up the tastebuds, and a nice balance between the dryness of an IPA and the sweetness of an amber ale.
O - An extremely sessionable ("almost") pale ale that won't leave you too bogged down.

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Photo of Shorthillsbrewer
4.04/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very well designed session beer with hops up front, malt pokes through in the middle, and finishes soft, great summer beer. A good all around sessionable IPA.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dancing on the line where amber ale meets pale ale, the Flying Monkeys showcase a breadth of hops to balance its rich malt sweetness to even-keel perfection- making this and all occasion beer.

Hoptical Illusion pours with the deep hues of winter's honey- hazy amber and reddish. Its whipped meringue froth sheds juicy hop aromas with a tropical, citrus and orchard blossom type of floralness. Its taste is layered with caramel, honey and biscotti-like to start.

But over the middle palate, the balance is stricken with equal parts malt and hops. Sweet caramel, biscuit and honey coat the mouth ahead of the piquant fruitiness of hops- pink grapefruit, freshly zested orange, pineapple and lemon that rival the plump malty center. As the two flavors intertwine upon the palate, late development of grassy and herbal flavors cast a tea-like sassafras character.

Medium and moderate through and through, the ale's waning moments allow the resinous nature of American hops to peak through the malt barrier and take a slight lead. An aftertaste of honey-kissed citrus and fresh pine shavings extend shortly after the beer's finish.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Purchased at the LCBO as a single. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- 4.0- Opens well and pours a good head that lasts

S- 3.75- Very good. Lots of hops. Carmel and malt.

T- 3.75- Pretty good and not overpowering. Nice refreshing break

M- 3.75- Very good. Light for an IPA.

O- 3.82- This is what I feel this beer is. Would like to try on tap.

Food Pairing

This nice little beer went well with...... Sushi

Enjoy

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Photo of Dna_Infinity
3.96/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle to Glass

Appearance - Copper coloured with a white head

Smell - Floral, slight tropical fruits

Taste - Light hop taste, tropical fruits, slight bitterness at the end

Overall - Well made APA that is not too hoppy, sessionable and a great summer beer

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Photo of patre_tim
4.09/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Copper amber, filtered with moderate carbonation rising from the center, 5 fingers of moderate tan head with great retention. The head is foamy with large and small bubbles.

S: Floral, pineapple, tropical fruit,

T: Caramel, hard water, metallic, pineapple, tropical punch, floral.

M: Medium bready body, medium low carbonation.

O: A really nice British and American styles. Go Canada! Really loving this one.

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Photo of taxandbeerguy
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle purchased as part of a six pack from LCBO for $13.65 CDN. Served fairly cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - coppery in color, with a crystal clear clarity and bursts of effervescent bubbles rising to the surface. A dense finger and a half of white head and the lacing sticks to the sides of the glass almost as if it were coalescing.

Smell - a solid tropical citrusy smell, namely tangerine and melon. A caramel malt aroma is blended in seamlessly. Really attractive and light smelling yet aromatic.

Taste - light blend of melon and more astringent citrus fruits as with the nose, and a bit of the caramel sweetness comes through especially on the back end. A grapefruit like bitterness in its conclusion yet it is by smooth and subdued.

Mouthfeel - extremely lively carbonation adds to the otherwise medium body and mouthfeel

Overall - a great American pale ale that is one of my favourites in the style. Remarkably drinkable at any time but especially in these spring and summer months yet packs enough of a punch to definitely warrant pacing yourself. A new go to for me just wish it came at a slightly lower price point. Still a definite repeat purchase.

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Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The origin of Flying Monkey's Craft Brewery dates to its foundation in 2005 under the name Robert Simpson. Now doing business as Flying Monkeys, the brewery is known for the use of psychedelic artwork on all its bottles and draft taps.Flying Monkeys is located at 107 Dunlop Street East in Barrie, Ontario. Though I've been wanting to try their Hoptical Illusion ("HI") Almost Pale Ale for quite a while, quite frankly the psychedelic label turned me off. Doing my best to ignore the graphics (after all, it's what's inside that counts), I picked up HI in a brown 341 ml bottle, bottled Jan. 14, 2012 from my local LCBO. Hoptical Illusion is 5.0% alcohol by volume and cost $2.15 per bottle.

HI poured a clear dark amber colour with plenty of visible, fast rising bubbles. Pouring produced 1/2" of yellow/white head that died down within two minutes, leaving behind a collar of foam and thin film that left considerable lacing and some spotting down the glass. As soon as I opened the bottle its strong aroma hit me...a dominant pink grapefruit, with undertones of pine and what I believe is orange. A wonderful aroma. It's taste very much followed the aroma...pink grapefruit up front, followed by pine and a slightly sweet orange flavour, ending with a hop bitterness and a bitter aftertaste that lingered for several seconds. As the beer warmed, it's sweeter elements became a bit more noticeable. Thankfully, this was not the hop bomb that I was half expecting given the beer's name. HI had a smooth mouthfeel, appropriate carbonation for the style and was light/medium bodied. Overall, a fairly complex, hop dominated beer that doesn't go over the top with its bitterness...I very much enjoyed the citrus aromas and flavours, and Hoptical Illusion represents respectable value for money.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Not sure why this ale is dubbed "almost pale", as it is fairly dark for the style: A red amber that belies the name but looks enticing nonetheless, with a considerable quantity of rich beige foam that leaves a nice spidery lacing on a pub glass. Aroma recalls perfumed black tea, orange rind, peppercorn spice, faint pine, and sweetish caramel malts. Smells pleasantly spicy and earthy. Palate is interesting, with a mixed red, white, and green peppercorn spice and pine leading the way, followed by a subdued white grape and citrus rind fruitiness, maybe the barest hint of tropical fruit in there somewhere: This brewery likes Citra hops. A chalky mineral note only amplifies the green, earthy, spicy bitterness. Rather light-bodied and fizzy, with a herbal piney "forest floor" finish. I am somewhat conflicted about this brew. Although the peppercorn spice and pine make for a fairly unique and ultimately gratifying combination, there was a sense that more citrus and floral elements were struggling to come through, never quite making it. The malts are downplayed and perhaps nicely sessionable but the hops are not quite salient enough on the usual American pale ale dimensions of citrus and tropical fruit. Could just be me.

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Photo of ssmack
3.96/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark amber brown with a fine beige head that became a think layer of foam. Great lacing top to bottom.

Both malt and hops in the smell. Biscuit malt. Strong citrus - lemon. As I drank the aroma swung back and forth between malt and hops. Cool.

The hops take over in the taste. Citrus both grapefruit and lemon. Hay and herbs - oregano and pepper. There was a think base of biscuit malt.

A medium feel with a short tingle at the end.

This ale is better than the "almost pale ale" the label claims. Refreshing and complex hops taste.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not a bad pale ale, but nothing special here either. Starts quite bitter, with a surprising hit of earthy hops given its IBUs of just 32. Fairly pleasant biscuity malt plays nicely with the hops, while not adding much sweetness- this beer is quite dry. There is a bit of graininess that not only persists, but grows as the beer warms. The biscuit notes also continue to grow, and hops start to flag. It ends up being a better beer when cold and the ultimate flavors haven't emerged completely. Still, not bad, and nice try something different from the ever expanding Canadian craft beer scene.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Johnny Farina in Ottawa.

Pours a burnished amber, slight red tinge. Head is off-white, dense up top but sparse on the sides. Looks pretty good.

Smells peppery. Lots of hops but also plenty of red and black peppercorns. Notes of some lemongrass and citrus as well. Tangy and a bit spicy. Odd but nice.

Taste starts out peppery with more of those peppercorn flavours. Red/black colour, some slight sour green notes. Hints of citrus on there, lemon with some fragrant dish detergent, but finishes hoppy and pleasant. Light and drinkable.

Decent body, bit of texture that isn't just carbonation. Alright.

Pale ale with all the right notes, and a touch of intriguing difference. I like it.

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Photo of pokerman
4.62/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Such a great beer with lots of late additions. glad i found a good ipa with some malt backbone. What can I say that hasn't been said? classic or a traditional American IPA it is not but maybe more like a started one. but who cares what you call it? kills almost any other local beer hands down.Fantastic- and exceeded expectations.

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Photo of Masterkush7
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I like this beer. May not be as hoppy as most ipa I drink but overall this is a good beer and definatly worth a try. Appearance is a nice dark haze. Taste is well balanced with both a nice malt background with hints of nuts and Caramel and a good hop finish. Will definatly enjoy again

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Photo of Kremlock
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: medium to dark copper. Has an off white head that pours to about 1/2 inch and then settles to a thin film on top of the beer. Beer is clear and not particles are visible.

S: Creamy butter toffee on the nose when swirling the beer. Has a soft citrus aroma from the hops and there is a residual biscuit smell.

T: Some grapefruit, a little bit of soft peach, caramel/tofee present.

M: Malt/hops balanced, carbonation is fantastic. A bit prickly on the tongue but it has a palate cleansing sensation. Soft bitterness in the end with a low sweetness.

O: This is a greatly balanced APA that can be drank as a session by all standards.

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Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale Ale from Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 296 ratings