Flying Monkeys The Matador | Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery

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Flying Monkeys The MatadorFlying Monkeys The Matador

Brewed by:
Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery
Ontario, Canada

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Sammy on 02-01-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 72
Photo of tonyf55
4.53/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the big bottle into a footed pockal IPA glass with a narrowed top. Aged for 1 year from purchase.

Appearance (5/5): Perfect copper-orange colour for an IPA, topped by an amazing and lasting 3 finger head of off-white frothy and creamy looking proteins. Carbonation is active and kicking, dancing through the full height of the glass. Head was so persistent, I had to take a bite out of it, just so I could sniff the beer.

Aroma (4.5/5): Well worth it too - the aromas give the first hint of how well the floral, citrus hops dance with the light spicy character of the cedar wood. I can't tell if the 1 year of aging changed the hop character, but I can say that the floral and citrus (grapefruit?) character of the Armarillo hop was intermingled with a lightly musky wood aroma. Despite the 10% on it's label, the booziness only shows very slightly. Amazing balance.

Taste (4.5/5): As with any good Imperial IPA - a bit of light bready malt shows up at the beginning of the sip by quickly disappears behind hints of nutmeg, leather, and other earthy and spicy undertones. The citrus and floral hops may have faded in the aging, as the predominant flavours are ones of spicy hops that really dance well with the woody undertones. Just to be clear - if you were not told this was 'aged on cedar' you would likely think the Amarillo hop was really flexing it's spicy character more than usual.

Mouthfeel (4.5/5): A perfect medium body (great for the style) that washes the pallet in a velvety smoothness of understated carbonation and a bit of a juicy finish. Booze numbness is minimal, which is amazing is a beer boasting a 10% ABV. Again, the name of the game is balance - and they are showing it in all categories.

Overall (4.5/5): A near perfect beer to me, with nice hop flavours and aromas, a decent malt profile that balances the bitterness, and a fantastic little interest piece in the nice woody, leather, and earthy flavours. They manage to take all this and package it up in an amazing looking beer (what a head!) that drinks almost too easily. Flying Monkey's continually impresses me. I will be looking for more of their Limited Edition production in the future.

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Photo of jjmclell
3.26/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Smells like grapefruit and pepper. Initial taste is much the same. Finishes with tastes of booze and wood. Seemed to sweeten up with some caramel notes as my palate adjusted. Cool beer, lots to think about. Wouldn't incorporate it into the regular repertoire though...

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Photo of CanuckRover
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is an interesting one. Probably the first cedar aged beer I've had, and I'm fairly impressed.

Woody nose, cedar certainly gives a distinctive aroma and it comes through clear.

Bit of a war going on in this beer. The Amarillo, the cedar, the sweet malt, and the heat are all wrestling with each other. It's not bad though, unless you don't care for the cedar, in which case you have a problem. Sweet honey malt up front, brief flash of hops and then the cedar takes over. Lingering lovely, to me, aftertaste of wood.

I understand why the reviews are all over the place for this. I enjoy it, but can't begrudge anyone for feeling differently.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - mostly clear copper, big tower of soapy tan head that is a little on the annoying side but its hard to hate on that, plenty of lacing when it finally subsided
S - hints of earthy and leafiness, some cherry, and a healthy dose of woody cedar that is nice but make it smell less like a big DIPA
T - caramel and a bloodlike maltiness, slightly fruity with a noticeable woodiness, mild hints of grapefruit and leafs on the tail end, its tasty but is more like a dobblebock than a DIPA so I have to deduct a smidge
M - mediumish body with a somewhat sticky feel up front, light notes of bitterness late on the finish, fairly full throughout
O - this is a unique and tasty brew for sure, and the cedar aging is a big part of that, but in term of being a DIPA it doesn't really meet the standards, but if you just want a tasty unique brew and don't expect a bid DIPA hop bomb then definitely grab one if you come across it

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.81/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a hazy amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some excellent lacing. Aroma consists of bitter citrus hops with light spicy notes. Taste is also dominated by spicy peppery notes with some citrus heavy notes with some herbal notes as well. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. This is an interesting experiment with cedars which seems to provide the peppery notes. I found that there was maybe a tad too much astringency though.

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Photo of mick303
4.09/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Listed as Matador Barrel Blend at the Toronto Beer Festival.

A - Caramel brown, cloudy with a nice white/tan lace that has great retention.

S - spicy pepper, caramel malt, woody, some bourbon vanilla spice. Raisin.

T - a spicy alcohol start, woody alc with deep caramel resin and pepper, really complex. Raisin, rum, molasses, a thick body.

M - really smooth, slight carbonation but slick hoppy profile with enough balancing malt.

Really solid and intriguing.

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Photo of Mr_Hoptimistic
4.95/5  rDev +36.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This brew was amazing. The aroma of cigars caught me off guard, but it is such a unique twist on a beer, and I loved it. The taste followed the aroma and I was giddy about it.
If you're not a fan of cigars, this may not be your thing, but its worth a try.

As a double IPA, I'd give it a solid 4.5, but because its so unique, I'm giving it a perfect 5. Great beer by a great brewery.

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Photo of kjyost
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Acquired thanks to my sis! Looking forward to having this one. Poured into a tulip at ~5C.

A: Gorgeous looking beer with a load of clingy white head atop a crystal clear light copper beer. Couldn't be more beautiful.
S: An incredibly earthy and musty nose dominated by raw cedar and cigar notes. Hints of fruitiness.
T/M: Sadly it goes off the rails a bit here. Too much cedar in the body lending a tannic finish. Cedar, cedar, cedar. Hints of fruity hoppiness across a dry body with building and bracing bitterness. More cedar gluing itself to the tongue.
O: An interesting offering I'm glad to have had, yet not one worth acquiring more of.

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Photo of biegaman
3.44/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Matador is the red flag equivalent for baiting in beer lovers. While the ubiquity of almost crouton-sized sediment is a bit of a turn-off, the beer's orange-amber glow is enticing and its highlights seem to dangle in the light like tinsel. Its head looks like white AstroTurf and is adhesive as super glue, its lacing baroque-like.

The barrel presence on the nose serves only to supplant hops with a mildewy, musty woodiness; it lacks the fresh, beguiling air of cedar and instead smells like a corroded fence. The hoppiness lacks much tropical or citrus fruit punch (despite Amarillo dry-hopping) and shares an oddly similar earthiness to that of the wood.

Some notes of green mango and peach as well as a trace of lemon are noted on the palate, though they are far from lucid. There's some candied, sugary notes that make into the aftertaste though these could also be attributed to the malts which have a slight toffee-like taste (though here, again, the caramelly flavour, like the fruity one, is far from sharp).

No one expects a 10%, barrel-aged beer to be 'smooth' and 'easy-going' or any of those cliched (frankly empty) adjectives. And while this holds itself better than many others that fit the profile, it still shows some of the (inevitable) alcohol warmth and lacks the depth usually gained in the trade-off between quaffability and complexity.

Although the concept and recipe have potential, this is a beer I'm not sorry will only be brewed just once. It lacked the tropical, uber-hoppy profile I look for in a DIPA and also failed to deliver the intricacy expected from high-alcohol, barrel-aged offering. I found it a very blasé offering that I could take or leave (though frankly wish I had left considering what it costs).

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a bright, hazed, copper-orange coloring with a tall, chunky, foamy, clingy, off-white head that starts a solid 2 inches and slowly settles into a dense, packed, half inch that retains as you drink. Aromas of smooth, sweet caramel notes, some pepper spices, a smooth woody character, rawhide, tobacco, and some subtle fruit sweetness. The nose is subtle overall, but smooth and enticing. Flavors are robust on the forward tongue, with a spicy and woody malt blast that warms quickly. Wow. Intense. Caramel and tropical fruit sweet flavors blend, with a floral and spiced hops presence that cut through and clean. Very light on a smooth body, with a tangy and heavily spiced aftertaste with hints of woody notes. The aftertaste and the ABV provide a warmth that travels throughout the body as you drink. Tangy sweet and bitter finish, with a slight linger that slowly dries.

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Photo of ericj551
4.02/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Matador pours a crystal clear light orange with a decent head. Cedar aroma mixes with the citrusy, grapefruity hops early on, but as the beer warms the sweet, spicy cedar dominates. More orange and grapefruit hops upfront in the flavor, but both that and the malty sweetness are quickly overwhelmed by the cedar. Despite being heavy on the cedar, I really like this beer. I was surprised how well it mixes with heavy hop bitterness and flavor.

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Photo of IdeaSpeeder
4.43/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type - 750ml bottle partially poured into a snifter

Appearance - Golden orange in colour, a few shades lighter than copper. The beer appears to be fairly cloudy. On top sits a finger and a half of bright white, fluffy looking head, which leaves behind a moderate amount of lacing.

Smell - Some big cedar smells coming through from the barrel aging. I've never had a cedar aged brew before, but it doesn't seem as out of place as I anticipated. It actually compliments the caramel/toffee malt backbone, and the citrus (orange?) hops.

Taste - Lot's of cedar flavour...and it's actually a little over powering. That's not necessarily a bad thing, and I didn't expect this beer to be very balanced in the first place. It's sort of a novelty in that regard. There's also some caramel/toffee malt and citrus hops which is typical for the style. GIven the high ABV there's very little alcohol flavours. But the cedar is really what stands out here, making this brew as delicious as it is unique.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, nothing noteworthy really. Pretty low carbonation, and an exceptionally dry finish.

Overall - 4.25/5 IIPA's are a dime a dozen these days. While this might not be the truest to style, or the best one out there, it's a different take on a style that's being beaten to death. Fantastic!

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Photo of leaddog
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours an amber/copper hue with two fingers of foamy white head.

Smell - Cedarwood/cigar, citrus hops, caramalts, honey.

Taste - Starts with the cedar notes, touch of citrusy hops, caramalts, honey and tangerine. Strong alcohol in the finish, turning into lingering bitterness as it warms.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with light-to-moderate carbonation. Nice creaminess to the body.

Overall - A different twist to the Imperial IPA by aging it with Spanish cedar. Flying Monkeys is known to think outside of the box with their brews, and this one (like many others) showcases this philosophy - kudos.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle, 10% ABV, and packaged in a nice toreador-themed box. Wood-aging an IPA just doesn't seem sane. Over to you, you wild and crazy guys...

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium copper amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, bubbly, and delicately foamy off-white head, which leaves a solid array of bleeding raincloud lace around the glass as it lazily recedes.

It smells of incredibly clear and pungent white grapefruit flesh, robust spicy, peppery wood, cigar wrap, orange crates, a soft apple/pear fruitiness, and floral, slightly perfumed booze notes. The taste is spicy, gritty cedar planks - sans the salmon - pine resin and grapefruit pith duly representin', spunky (it has to be) bready caramel malt, white pepper, black pepper dust, and a rather sedate floral essence, one surprisingly detached from the only ethereally apparent big alcohol.

The bubbles are mostly understated, and frothy at times, but do well within those low expectations, the body an adequate medium weight, and so-so smooth - though more than then I could have hoped for in this particular situation. It finishes well off-dry, the malt eventually getting some due credit, as the still hefty cedar and bitter hops play off elsewhere in a corner together, in a somewhat threatening manner.

Well, I came into this with nothing but disdain for the aging practice exhibited herein. So, of course, I've come out of it with a further heightened respect for this brewer, and what they've accomplished here. The IPA (if not actually the DIPA) nature is retained, while the sexy cedar woodiness and spiciness is deftly blended in. Surprised, am I. And rather content all the same.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.17/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

750ml bottle poured into tulip 21/5/13

A slight haze in a orange amber body, only a few visible bubbles but a two finger foam has decent retention leaving some random lace

S green apple, faint rotten peach and some caramel with a hint of pine, lots of cedar and some booze, floral notes but I'm just not grooving on it, why would you cedar age a DIPA?

T even more cedar then the nose but I get a little rind and more pine, cedars strong, too strong really, spicy but it just doesn't work, too woody with sour fruit and the booze is noticeable

M medium-full, a little syrupy, more bubbles then I could see in the glass, a little sticky on the lips, very woody finish with some rind and pine trying to shine through but the DIPA aspects are struggling to get through the barrel

O I'd like to taste this before they barreled it, I wouldn't say it smells and tastes bad but I can't say it tastes or smells good either, its a bit of a mess really, not worth the money

way to woody and I'm just not feeling it, perhaps a DIPA that would improve with age? I'm not going to find out, a little disappointing considering I rather like Flying Monkeys

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Photo of bylerteck
2.32/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2

Bottled 21 Jan 2013. Respect The Hop.

A - Mildly hazy golden pour. Thick, creamy two and a half finger off white head. Good carbonation coming up. Good lace rings and a big ice cream scoop of foam laying in the middle of a half finger of retention. Some booze legs. Nice beer.

S - Spicy woody aroma. Nothing else. Must be a ton of wood invovled here, b/c there's no DIPA character at all.

T - Like the aroma but amped up to 11. Not a good thing. Alcohol, spicy, really spicy, some woodiness, pepperiness too. No hops to speak of.

M - Good carbonation, full chewy body, spicy/peppery bitter finish.

O/D - This isn't all that good. Far too much wood influence, very little hop character for the style, and no malt balance there. They tried, but it just doesn't work. Sadly this seems to be a trend for FM's bigger beers. Won't finish this one.

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Photo of SebD
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of cedar with some citrus, pine and sweet caramelly malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some dominant cedar notes, along with some piny hops, a touch of citrus and some caramelly malts.

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

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with decent flavors and aromas. A bit too strong on the cedar for my liking.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
2.37/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Pours a slightly cloudy orange with decent head, head retention and lacing.

Woody and cedary in the aroma, maybe a little peppery, but very muted for a beer of this style. The alcohol is more and more apparent in the aroma as it warms.

The taste can best be described as harsh. Boozy. A little soapy. Bitter. Definitely some c-hop grapefruit, but more so pine bitterness. No real malt or sweetness to balance that all out. Spicy heat and lots of Pinesol in the finish. The description says Amarillo hops give this an astounding citrus flavour, but I'm getting more pine and bitterness and, again, anything else this beer is trying to be is overpowered by the cedar. Not accented or complimented by it. It's astounding all right. But not in a good way. It's like drinking something brewed by Home Depot.

Low carbonation and a very thin in the mouthfeel for a 10% Imperial IPA in my estimation.

I'd say the base beer here was probably just okay, and aging it on Spanish cedar did more harm than good. This beer is too cedary and unbalanced for my tastes. It is as brash and misguided as the brewery's branding and packaging.

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Photo of peensteen
3.89/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle states ABV of 10%

Hazy amber-ornage colour, over two fingers of fluffy off white head, light lace. Smell is a mix of citrus and pine, woody cigar box like presence that leaves a bit of spice with it, orange and grapefruit are present and a sweet malt is constantly lingering around here as well. Taste is woody and spicy upfront met by a pretty big bitterness, low sweetness and fairly dry, citrus and grapefruit mid palate into the finish, malty and woody aftertaste even leaving a subtle vanilla as well. Lightly carbonate, medium body, oily points though light at times. This was pretty good in the bottle even at 3 1/2 months old and much better than a cask version of this I had tried a while back, im sure a fresh bottle of this would be pretty amazing though.

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Photo of uno99
3.34/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: As usual from Flying Monkeys, the presentation is awesome here with a groovy box with an amount of text that would make Stephen King envious. Beer is quite bright straw color, but with a hint of red; Almost as if this is a 2xIPA aged on cedar chips!

S: Once warmed from the fridge this gives off an impressive amount of cedar. It's rather sweet, but the ample amarillo hopping is definitely present in a big way.

T: This is a lot of Cedar thats for sure. If you drink it fridge temp, the amount of cedar is manageable, but once it warms up considerably, the Cedar is really dominate -- Be prepared for be reminded of your grade 9 shop class.

M: No complaints here. its medium bodied, and avoids being sticky or super dry.

Overall - despite giving away a sizable sized glass to my wife, I had a hard time getting through this bottle, Once it reaches a certain temp, the cedar is quite overpowering. An interesting beer however.

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Photo of ritzkiss
2.81/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a murky orange, this wispy head - perhaps one of the murkiest beers I've encountered. Citrus hops poke through in the nose, along with a moderate hit of cedar. Flavour is boozy and strong, muddled C hops all over, lots of bitterness, a dry woody backbone that is not instantly cedar, I swear I'm picking wood from my teeth and not in a good way. Not much of a malt profile to hold this one down. Had a couple nice cedar beers before but this one is a mess - muddled, messy booziness. No deftness, no joy.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to korguy123 for this bottle. Bottled on Jan 21/13.
Poured in to tulip.

A - Translucent medium orange with one finger of cream coloured head.

S - Cedar aroma is very prevalent with some citrus and caramel notes.

T - Cedar is noticeable immediately along with a big bitterness. Some pine and caramel flavours are also present with some spice in the finish.

M - Medium body. Creamy. Light carbonation.

O - An interesting beer but a little too much cedar for me. Would have likes more balance and a more bold hop profile.

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Photo of korguy123
3.99/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle into Flying Monkeys tulip.
Special thanks to my brother for telling me this was released today at the brewery.

Crystal clear dark orange pour with a chunky, 3 finger, off white head. Lacing on this is sticky and clumped all over the glass.

Sweet tangerine, slight peppery spice with a smooth and aromatic cedar. Slight pine and a touch of strawberries. Very muddled aromas under the cedar. Thankfully the cedar isn't as potent as other cedar aged beers I've had.

Bitter pine with some mandarin and bitter grapefruit. That transitions to dry woody cedar and than to sweet cookies and leather and tobacco. The cedar is not overpowering and really opens it up to a good beer. Slightly spicy finish with zero hint of alcohol.

Light to medium body, slightly sticky on the lips.

Cedar isn't really my thing. Great to smell, great to burn... great for beer? I think the jury is still out on that one for me. This was good, but I think one might be enough. Maybe one to age later.

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Photo of liamt07
3.41/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Bar Hop's Customer Appreciation Night.

Clear golden orange with good lacing and a light film of retention. Nose is peppery, woody, piney with some mineral water and muted citrus in the finish. Some general 'stinkiness' as well. Taste gets messy, bitter, woody, obscure citrus and pine in a hoppy mess. Almost metallic and dirty water character at times. Medium feel, no alcohol, but bitterness and hops shred my palate. Not a good beer, wasn't able to finish my glass. 425/35/25/25/275

Re-rated after having this bottled. Woody bitterness is still there which I don't dig, but the nose is quite nice. 425/375/325/3/325

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Photo of Sammy
3.81/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Barhop First Anniversary. Orange coloured bodied.The scent of cedar. Very cedar wood taste with IPA starting to come through mid sip and finishing with white pepper. A sipper, interesting enough if they tone down the non IPA elements.Above average mouthfeel.
I had this in a fresh bottle and the wood was more rounded, more IPA character, though still very woody.

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Flying Monkeys The Matador from Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery
3.62 out of 5 based on 72 ratings.
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