Flying Monkeys Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale Ale | Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery

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109 Reviews
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Flying Monkeys Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale AleFlying Monkeys Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery
Ontario, Canada | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
32 IBU

Added by bobsy on 05-23-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
109
Ratings:
271
Avg:
3.78
pDev:
17.99%
 
 
Wants:
12
Gots:
50
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 109 | Ratings: 271
Photo of ludachris
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep slightly hazy amber with a 1 finger quickly dissipating off-white head that leaves some patchy lace behind.

Piney hops, caramel, buttery malts, and a hint of vegetables in the nose, which is a bit of a turn off. Seems somewhat subdued for the style.

Herbal piney hops meshed with some toasted buttery malts, hints of caramel and a bit of biscuit. Tasty, but not overly so.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and a tad watery. Decent balance and an easy quaffer, but nothing special.

Overall, a decent brew and much better than their Confederation Ale. It's a solid alternative to macros and the generic imports, but not a standout in the style.

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Photo of kjyost
3.57/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Undated bottle. Purchased at the LCBO and poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a rich reddish orange with a light head that does not lace. Aromas are nice, dominated by citrus dryhops. The taste is schizophrenic, with little of the malty sweetness expected from the colour. It is at times very enjoyable hoppy & citrusy, but other times seems bland and thin. Carbonation was enjoyable, but once again sometimes disappeared feeling watery in the mouth. With a little more body this beer would be great.

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Photo of DaPan
3.57/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes. Hoptical pours a nice amber with medium head.

Great hop aroma on the nose.

Taste is great for a low ABV APA or (almost pale ale) as they say, however, carbonation is a bit much for me. Hops are prominent on the nose and in the taste.

Mouthfeel a bit light, though to be expected for a lighter APA.

Sadly, this beer gives me heartburn every time, so although availability has improved through the LCBO, this is not my go to beer.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This new Robert Simpson beer has a very stylized, dayglo label, it reminds me of Boulder Brewing labels a bit. Lets hope the stuff inside is as good as the artwork.

The pour reveals a dark copper liquid with a waifish, patchy head that musters up a respectable amount of lace. Malt and citrus flavors mixing with some herbal notes makes up the taste. Its pretty well balanced and has a nice malt profile. I would have expected some roasty flavors based on the color, but they werent there. Lemony hops are in the back, providing satisfactory balance. The mouthfeel is lightly carbonated and medium bodied. Some bitterness lingers in the finish.

This is a good beer and an easy quaffer, but its a bit lacking in the hop department. A little more bitterness and this would be a great APA.

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Photo of Ralphus
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My first Flying Monkey's brew and it's decent. That's a good sign.

It pours a dark amber brown colour, clear and with a finger and a half of foam which dissipates to a ring. Nice lacing is left down the glass as I drink.

I read that the brewer kept upping the amount of hops in each batch and given that mine is a bit later I think it's probably changed from the earlier reviews. This one has surprisingly pine like smell for an APA - I think I'd probably guess it smelled like an IPA if it was in a blind tasting. There's not much fruit to speak of.

Taste is quite light initially. Some bready malts and it finishes with a crisp hoppy bite. Again, very little fruit which is something that I quite like in a pale ale.

Mouthfeel is fairly light and I think this would aid the drink's sessionability. You could have a bunch of these in a sitting without the taste getting overwhelming.

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Photo of Gosox8787
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle poured into my snifter glass.

Appearance is deep ruby and mahogany with a one finger beige head. Good retention as a nice lacing is present throughout the entire brew. Smell is caramel and pine. The bitterness of each is utilized, but teh sweetness of the malt and the citrus of the hops are underrepresented. Taste is a lot more complex. The first flavor to hit is nice mild malt and citrus hops. Taste becomes more bittering toward the end of each sip. Leaves a nice bitter after taste. Some licorice is even present in small doses. Mouthfeel is light and crisp, a nice combination for this type of beer. Drinkability is good, solid flavors and low ot moderate ABV make this really drinkable.

Overall, a really sessionable brew with some great hop and malt interplay. My biggest criticism is that a beer with this beer should be hoppier.

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Photo of nokes
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

OK...the bottle is just a little overstated. I gotta say I'm skeptical. Let's see how it goes...

Well! Poured very nicely, a clear copper-apricot with a decent head that lasted...and lasted...and lasted. Very nice. It's a pretty beer, no question. Better than I expected, for sure.

The smell is good. Nicely balanced between malty sweetness and hoppy freshness. Good balance. This is much better than expected so far.

Taste...hey. Well, all the components are there to balance reasonably well. There seems to be a battle back and forth with the malts bringing the caramelly sweetness, and the hops fighting back with citrus and spice. In the end, the hops triumph (barely) with a mild bitter finish and I'm glad of it. Hard to describe, but I welcomed them by the time they came on. It's a bit odd, but not bad odd. Just odd, and good...I guess. Yeah. I like it.

Mouthfeel is moderate, and good. I like the carbonation level, bit I find myself thinking they could have made this a bit more buttery and it would have fit better.

Drinkability is quite good. Easy drinking beer.

OK...I was skeptical, and this far exceeded my expectations. If I can handle the kitsch, I'll buy it again. Happy to drink it.

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Photo of WeedKing4
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at a local pub. Its not as terrible as I was expecting. Pours a clear dark amber brown. This actually had a little hop taste to it, with no shitty after taste. It needs more flavour though, but when there is no options of what to drink, you can do worse. Alright beer overall.

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Photo of barleywort
3.64/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a light coppery colour, more orange than red in my opinion: akin to your favourite pumpkin ales. Off-white head that takes on a bit of the orange colour itself; poured a thicker head than expected, but dissipated quickly, leaving only thin cover to shield what was beneath. Impressive staying power for the beer lace.

Smell: Biscuity sweet smell, with slight caramel tones. No real indication of citrusy hops, which is interesting given its "not quite" pale ale status. A bit lacking in this department, and definitely not indicative of the taste (whether that's a good thing or bad thing is open to interpretation).

Taste: Initial buscuity malt taste gives way to a slight citrusy grapefruit hop taste that lingers momentarily and disappears behind a number of other fleeting flavours: grassy tones, sweet licorice tones (typically not a fan, but this taste is inoffensive), even hints of bubblegum at points, a la Karmeliet.

Mouthfeel: thin and crisp are good words to describe this beer. What can only be described as "expertly carbonated" because it gives the impression of high carbonation at first sip, but that is far from the case.

Drinkability: Not something I would session personally, but it offers an interesting take on the typical (and crowded) American pale ale style. That being said,

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Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

C'est What Spring Festival of brewers. Surprisingly good, one of the winners this night. Lightly hop aroma and taste. Orangey colour and lacey. A nice bitterness from the Amarillo. Reasonable pale ale, at only 18 IBU. An underdog crafting achievement.

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Photo of eat
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Eye-catching psychadelic bottle. Pours a clear dark-red/amber and leaves a small amount of head after an initial one-finger pour. Really nice colour.

Minerals, burnt molasses, grain and faint hops - a pretty unique smelling beer.

For a beer called Hoptical Illusion I was sure expecting more hops than this, though it tastes pretty good anyway. Maybe the illusion is that you expect a lot of hops and don't find them. This beer still presents a solid showing of hops and is actually quite balanced. The label made me think it would be a hop bomb but it's not at all. Lots of grain, some bready yeast, a touch of smoky malt and tingly bitter hops on the finish. It's not a very complex beer but it's definitely a tasty beer.

Decent feel, nothing special. Medium-thin body with medium-light carbonation.

Though I'm pretty into the bitterness of this one, it would be more drinkable if it was a little less bitter. I wouldn't be able to session this; the bitterness would get to me after a while - but I'm not saying it's bad. This is my first experience with Flying Monkeys and they make a solid almost pale ale. I think I'll be buying this again.

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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 seand
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a translucent reddish amber with a small amount of off white head. Just a little bit retains, not much lacing.

S: Light hops, somewhat sweet.

T: Light citrus, slightly sweet and finishes slightly hoppy. No real heavy flavors, reasonably well balanced.

M: Medium to light carbonation, medium body.

D: Drinks fairly easily.

Overall a decent beer, but not exactly exceptional.

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Photo of MAB
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had one of these on the weekend and I was happy about it.
I'm marking the appearance down a bit because I had too much head after pouring (carefully). Thick and tan in color, the head eventually calmed down enough that I could drink it easily.
The smell was nice. Slightly malty, some good hop aroma.
The taste was better than I figured it would be. Advertised as "almost Pale Ale", I was worried that the hop bitterness would be downplayed, but I was pleasantly proven incorrect. Tasty!
Things improved once I got drinking, and my score reflects that.
Five more in the six-pack case, and I'm looking forward to them!

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Photo of francisfilion
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'd already had this but never got to sit down and drink it with my notebook. I bought a 6 pack at the LCBO and took the time to review this great APA.
The beer is amber/cooper color that is hazy. The head is a dirty beige that leaves a nice lacing.The hops really come out as fruity and floral, with a hint of pine. The taste starts with the hops but lets the caramelized malts make their way through. It is fairly well balanced between the two and it leaves a nice bitter finish. The beer is medium bodied with good carbonation. Overall a very nice APA with more hops than the average. It is quite an enjoyable beer and I come back to it every once in a while!

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Photo of ecoastman
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's better than I expected and I'll look for it in Ontario bars and restaurants. Hoptical Illusion is an overall good "local" hoppy beer.

The colour is a slightly hazy chestnut and provides a silky head which recedes and leaves some nice spotty lace through the drink.

As expected it has a bolder nose with spicy and citric hops with some sweet malt in the balance.

The taste is good and similar to the aroma. A touch grainy and some slight courseness from the good carbonation and citric bitterness in the dry finish. The aftertaste is a nice balance of the spicy hops and sweet molasses.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a copper color ale with a generous head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of medium bitter hops with some floral notes is actually better then I had hoped. Taste is also a very nice balanced mix between some caramel malt notes with a nice touch of citrus and bitter hoppy notes. Body is just about right with good carbonation. Well done for the style with good quaffing quality.

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Photo of beerpirates
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

33 cl bottel poured into my cantillon glass

A : nice dark copper red with a 1 finger white head, lots of lacing,

S : very hoppy , some toasty grains, caramel malt undertones and some citrus notes to finish it off.

T : Hoppy and malty to begin with, some citrus and pineapple , Nice bitterness . Still a very balanced beer.

M : Nice smooth mouthfeel, aftertaste is to watery , not full of flavour and disappearce fast

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Photo of peensteen
3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper colour, a little more than one finger of white fluffy head, good retention with a fair bit of lace. Smell is of soft biscuity malt, a good amount of hop, citrus, orange and grapefruit, lightly buttery at points as well. Taste is malty with a crisp bitterness, once bitterness subsides, citrus rolls in, grapefruit, mango, fairly tropical, dry finish with some more bready malt in the aftertaste. Medium carbonation, soft and lightly creamy feel, medium body overall. Fairly good stuff here, have had this many times but never reviewed this until now, I probably wont commit to a 6-pack of this too often but a couple singles or a pint at the bar I would welcome often.

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Photo of dgilks
3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear copper colour with a large creamy light tan head. Good head retention.

Deep caramel and toffee aroma with some nice piney notes. Not hoppy enough really.

Smooth, toasted caramel notes with a touch of citrus hops. Some floral character but the hop flavour doesn't really sing.

Medium light body with moderate carbonation. Quite silky.

A nice hoppy pale ale with good flavour. Lacking in a bit of hop character for my tastes.

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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 biegaman
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Illusions, Micheal! Tricks are something a whore does for money."
- GOB Bluth, Arrested Development.

Almost? Hoptical Illusion isn't even close to being pale. It is a classic, toasty mahogany stain that, despite its near flawless clarity, should not be considered anything less than deep-set with reference to colour. This looks as though it should be a most hearty and flavourful beer. And it's quite attractive too, even despite its rather inconsequential capping.

The aura of rank citrus and budding resins is definitely no misconception - that's the smell of Amarillo hops. While it is a more restrained dosage than the often typical administering of this pungent variety, a rather brawny fruitiness still protrudes. The bouquet suits well the caramel malts and naturally fruity strain of ale yeast.

The taste captures a lot more hop character than the aroma (which is funny because I believe it may be dry-hopped). Quite vivid flavours of candied grapefruit, chocolate covered orange peels and brandy-macerated plums give this a deliciously citric persona. The hops also lend a distinctly floral tinge, imparting a slight resemblance to green tea.

Those fruity and floral flavours, as well as the light biscuity and toffee-like ones of the malts, are easily appreciated because of the unusual lack of bitterness. An uncommon sweetness prevails which, along with the appropriately set level of carbonation, makes for an exceptionally sessionable ale. Hell, I'm ready for another one already!

I guess that's why they call it 'Hoptical Illusion' - it seems hoppy but it's only a measly 18 IBUs! I must confess that at first I thought the idea of marketing a beer with artisan level hopping and industrial level bitterness had 'marketing ploy' written all over it (just like the brewery's coinciding name change from 'Robert Simpson Brewery' to 'Flying Monkeys'). Turns out I was wrong - this is surprisingly good and I like it. A lot.

 1,946 characters

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.

 1,232 characters

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

 423 characters

Photo of cheffu
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Lightly cloudy amber, pours just about a finger of head that disappears quick.

S. grassy and a subtle citrus with a nutty malt

T.Grassy and bitter low acid tooth feel

M. lightly carbonated smooth feel

O. Hoptical Illusion is a great entry to the world of APA's. Good flavours and well crafted Beer.

 305 characters

Flying Monkeys Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale Ale from Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.
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