Hoptical Illusion | Blue Point Brewing Company

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Hoptical IllusionHoptical Illusion

Brewed by:
Blue Point Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Hibernator on 10-03-2004

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Reviews: 652 | Ratings: 2,012
Photo of Sammy
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On cask at Pizza Plant Transit it was a unique IPA, and long bitterness gave depth and character to taste. Much more drinkable than bottle review below:

Bottle: An average IPA. Astringent bitter on palate, found it hard to finish bottle which is not true for 95% of IPAs I have had. Some acidic orange flavour but mouth puckered too much, needs more malt. Mouthcleansing and lingering dry taste like a listerene, will not seek out again.

My rating is based on the cask.

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Photo of acurtis
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bluepoint Hoptical Illusion - 6.8%
Had at Lititz cask ale festival 10/29/10
Golden color with off white head. Super fresh hoppy aroma, also notes of citrus and pine. Sweet citrus hoppy flavors with a little carmel and earthiness. Very flavorful and balanced. Crisp mouthfeel, but not as drinkable as your average fresh ipa.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.13/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

My lower than normal rating comes from the water-ed down taste of this IPA. On the broad IPA spectrum this beer is trying to be something it is not. The hop flavor may be apparent to a non-beer drinker but to IPA lovers, it leaves more to be desired. Perhaps that is why it was created however the taste is lacking though the mouthfeel is comfortable unlike many IPAs, likely due to its "lighter" taste.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a different take on an ipa. this one has a very sweet smelling aroma, like raw sugar in the mix. the hops are definitely more of the grassy meadow nose than anything else, although some lighter fruit does come in as well. english style malts, almost smells sweet like an english brown ale, but then the hops hit you too, hard to place really. flavor is good, and the hops are way more in the background than the nose indicated. this syrupy sweetness is there again and i cant seem to move past it. just a totally different flavor in an ipa. feel is not syrupy at all, in fact its quite bright and lively. medium body, excellent carbonation. this is a year round beer i think, but i like it best in summertime. not a hophead ipa, but perhaps a gateway ipa for those still warming up to the style.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a clear looking copper color with a foamy white head on top. The lacing of this beer is pretty good. The smell is nice a hoppy with a decent malts undertone. The taste of the beer is a crisp and bitter. The mouthfeel of the beer is smooth and dry. Overall this beer is a pretty good IPA. I feel that this beer is a pretty good choice if you're looking for something thats a little more hoppy than some regular IPA's out there.

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Photo of metter98
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear golden yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense white head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are light aromas of citrusy hops in the nose.
T: Like the smell, citrus flavors from the hops stand out in the taste, although these aren’t quite as prominent because they are subdued by caramel flavors and hints of sweetness from the underlying malts. There is a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink because there is a good balance between the hops and malts.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pretty disappointed by this IPA. I see it got pretty good reviews but I don't really agree. Way too malty for an IPA and has barely any hop kick to it. It smells and looks okay but the over maltiness makes the taste and drinkability scores get dragged down. I've had much better IPA's than this one and wouldn't try it again unless offered for free.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Blue Point's Hoptical Illusion is a strong flavored IPA that shows a firm malty taste and feel to balance the deeply resiny hop bitterness. Effortless and zesty to taste, the beer carries enough punch to appease the most dire hop head.

While pouring a hazy copper or bronze color, the beer builds a substantial head of ivory white foam with very solid staying power and leaving classic pockets of lace behind.

Deep aromatics of caramel and hops weave together to create a zesty citrus notion of oranges and grapefruit. Bready and somewhat yeasty, the beer also has the scent of freshly mulled grasses and herbs.

Strong flavors of malty caramels and sweet breads balance against the sharp citrus flavors of orange zest, bruised tangerines, and white grapefruit pith and pulp. As the session develops the beer turns hop forward and introduces the earthy and resiny bitterness of grasses, herbs (somewhat oniony an garlicy) until the biting taste of pine resin grips the throat in finish and reducing the malt flavors to a subtle support.

Firm textures of creamy maltiness resists a fade to dryness until late in the taste and keeping the beer a bit more balanced than is usual for IPAs. Alas, the hops prevail in bitterness, dryness, and mild grassy astringency in finish and provide a long resiny bitterness in aftertaste.

Hoptical Illusion is a substantial IPA that balances better than most- problem is that IPAs shouldn't be balanced; they should showcase hops and suppress malt flavor and feel. The hop profile seems muddled as to not show independent and tangible character. A drier beer, less sweet, and simplified hop profile would surely improve.

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Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A really bright amber color provides the base for a two-finger head; plenty of sticky lace action

Smell: Sugar-coated grapefruit esters

Taste: Shortbread malt flavors are quickly shuffled aside by the citrusy hops, with both bitterness and surgary sweetness building by mid-palate; floral and citrusy, after the swallow, with perhaps a hint of apricot

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A very quaffable West Coast style IPA; perhaps a bit to sugary for my palate, but still a good example of the style

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Photo of emerge077
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Label notched "APR" but no corresponding year. I'm guessing it's fresh since it just showed up in the area.

Pours a light gold, hazy with suspended sediment. White foam leaves a little lace as the glass is sipped. Head retention is ok, a ring and bare skim across the bottom 1/3 of the glass.

Floral aroma, with some underlying pale malt. Gently hoppy without getting into punisher territory. Some grapefruit rind or zest comes out as the beer is tasted and smelled again. Mild hops in the taste, bitterness is low to medium. Balanced and malty, it has a supple and ligtly creamy mouthfeel.

Stopped after one, it was a fine IPA, but i'll probably still stick to my local favorites.

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Photo of largadeer
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pale, clear and golden with a dense two finger head with decent retention.

Smell: Predominantly hoppy with overtones of orange and lemon. There's a touch of pale malt present beneath the hops, but it's nothing overbearing.

Taste & mouthfeel: Citrusy hops up front with a nice biting bitterness. Moderate malty sweetness hits the middle of the palate, but it's subtle - the malt profile is pretty clean. Light-bodied, perhaps a bit watery; I'd like more of an oily hop character. Finishes bitter and dry.

Notes: Got this one from wolfsblood - thanks. This is good stuff that I'd bet is better on draft.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a slightly-darkened golden color with a fairly nice white head and some lacing. Nose brings some grapefruit rind and a bit of pine hops along with some sweet caramel malt. Taste leaves the hops back a bit and focuses more on the malt, although there is a restrained bitterness. Feel is light to medium with good carbonation. Pretty good IPA.

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Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 9/1/2015. Pours slightly hazy golden orange color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, citrus rind, pine, light honey, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/piney hops and moderate bready malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, citrus rind, pine, light honey, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/citrus rind bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon/orange peel, citrus rind, pine, light honey/bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice robustness, complexity, and balance of citrus/piney hops and moderate bready malt flavors; with a nice malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Good amount of dryness from bitterness as well. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately crisp/resinous/sticky, and slightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice IPA style. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/piney hops and moderate bready malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of nickfl
4.07/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with half a finger of off-white foam on top of a slightly hazy, copper colored body. The foam settles fairly quickly but leaves decent lacing on the glass.

S - Lots of fresh, green hop aroma with pine and grapefruit notes. Some bready malt in the background with a hint of toast.

T - Toasted grain and some lightly sweet malt with a hint of grapefruit. More hop flavor comes out in the middle as notes of grapefruit are blended with a little bit of pine. The beer finishes with moderately strong bitterness and some dry toasted flavors as well as lingering grapefruit.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - A nice IPA with a very fresh hop aroma and plenty of malt to back it up. Despite finishing quite dry, the toasted character of the malt never becomes acrid and it is drinkable and balanced for its style.

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Photo of oberon
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep burnt orange with big fluffy white heat that leaves nice sheets of lace behind as it settles,fresh hop aromas dominate very piney with an underlying herbal/grassiness made me wanna jump in.True to form this is hop driven very resiny and piney and quite dry and very fresh tasting.A slightly sweet caramel maltiness keeps this somewhat in check but this ale is most definently a hop bomb,a damn good east coast IPA glad to try it.

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Photo of chinchill
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice label and name.

Amber colored with coarse carbonation. Crystal clear with nice highlights. A rather thin head lasts longer than expected.

Aroma is very promising, with clear notes of caramel malt, spicy hops, and citrus (hops). Thankfully, the taste largely follows this aroma, although the flavor from the hops is more resiny and pink grapefruit and less orange. There's plenty of sweet malt here too, and the end result seems very much in line with the IBU=60 claimed by the brewer. Lingering hoppy aftertaste with some subtle malt hanging in there too.

O - another well crafted IPA with ample hop flavor and aroma and a moderate hop hit, yet not too challenging to quaff.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.32/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blue Point's Hoptical Illusion (contract brewed at Clipper City in Baltimore, MD) delivers a clear, peachy-gold body beneath a decent-sized head of bright white foam that dwindles to a wide collar and keep a whispy surface covering over most of the surface. Additionally, it leaves lacing with every sip, but it just can't seem to stick. The nose, however, is more impressive with a bounteous amount of sweetly fruity (tangerine, grapefruit, peach ... Simcoe?) and subtly piney hops. It's crisp in the mouth with a fine-bubbled carbonation and medium body. The flavor adds some lightly sweet and subtly biscuity malt to its already impressive hop arsenal; and it's backed by a solid-but-restrained bitterness that dries it in the finish while still retaining a good deal of drinkability. The alcohol never appears until you go to get up from your seat; and some nice spruce-like hop flavor lingers in the aftertaste. Quite nice!!!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.42/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Pitcher’s Pub in Cumberland, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light amber, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The strong aroma is all hops and citrus.

T: The hops are no illusion in this beer. Nice, heavy hops burst grabs you right away, and then you get the citrus sweetness. Then the hops return for a good, bitter, hoppy after-taste.

M: Very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation and a clean finish.

D: It’s tasty, not filling and goes down easy, especially if you’re hop head. This is the type of beer I could drink until closing time.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sparsely speckled kumquat with a handful of slow moving bubble streams leading up to an ivory colored head of semi-rocky foam. Even with indirect lighting, the color is more radiant than most. It's also a good lace maker, as evidenced by several thick bands on the upper portion of the glass. Subsequent pours result in thick sheets at mid-glass.

The nose is nicely hoppy, with an Anglo-American character that is definitely more American than Anglo. The brewery (in keeping with the mystical, mysterious nature of the name and the label) will only say that this beer features 'a rare hop'. Why the secrecy? It smells like a combination of orange and pink grapefruit to me. Whatever it is, I like it just fine.

Hoptical Illusion isn't a tongue destroyer of an IPA, but it is a respectably hoppy, flavorful one. Malt is in the background and features no caramel flavors that I can detect; the better to allow our 'mystery hop' to shine. And shine it does. Each sip brings loads of bittersweet hoppiness in which sweet, juicy orange is slightly more prominent than bitter grapefruit. On the palate, I get no hint of Englishness whatsoever.

This really is a friendly sort of IPA. The hoppy bitterness will satisfy even the most hardened hopheads among us, even as the malty sweetness will allow most others to enjoy it as well. My definition of a balanced IPA is likely to be skewed pretty heavily to the hoppy side of the malt:hop equation, but this, to me, is a balanced beer.

The mouthfeel is a few notches more full than medium thanks to the firm malt backbone. There's a 'just right' amount of stickiness on the finish that allows every nuance of the wonderful flavor to be appreciated long after the beer has gone to points south. Equally impressive is a lively, although still well-behaved, feel to the carbonation.

I've heard very little about Blue Point BC, but if this beer is any indication, these guys know what good craft beer is all about. Hoptical Illusion is a delicious IPA and I've enjoyed every last, mysterious ounce.

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Photo of billab914
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Southern Tier tulip glass. Pours amber in color wit ha small white covering on top.

Aroma is hoppy with citrus and pine with a decent malt presence coming through as well. Taste is similar with a good hoppy flavor with both citrus and pine present. The malt comes through as well with a moderate presence in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, this is a very easy drinking and pleasing IPA. I really enjoyed this beer, it was good tasting and easy drinking. Something I would buy again.

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Photo of russpowell
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I believe I go this from rpohagan, one thanks Ryan!

Pours an effervescent amber with 1 finger of cream colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Piney & grassy with with citrussy hops, plus some honey malt & orange slices as this warms

T: Citrussy hops. oranges, breadyness & leafy hops up front. Jammyness & leafy hops dominate as this warms. finishes with peppery hops, a nice crispness & a bit fruitty

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation & good balance.

Drinks pretty easy, Not wild about how the hops blended together in this one, but not a bad AIPA at all

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

Poored a deep amber, copper, w/ a one finger head wich settled nicely, fine lacing throughout. Smell and taste both lived up to the name! Smell came through strong piney, with citrus overtones, very fresh smelling. Tatsed AWESOME.. Grabbed you right away with the fesh pine taste and lingered for a good bit, almost begging you back for more. Very smooth and highly drinkable, if I had more access to this I could be in trouble! Overall highly recommended, excellent hop bomb!

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Photo of smcolw
4.23/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden color and clear, excellent head with abundant lace on the glass.

Nice hop bouquet...smells fresh. Slight pale malt aroma underneath. I cannot discern any alcohol oiliness here

Lots of hop up front, in the swallow, and in the aftertaste. Good body and carbonation. Malt is not lost, but it sits in the background with the presense of alcohol.

Very nice IPA. I'd love to compare it in a flight with the other top-of-the-line IPA's and see how it does.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.61/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

EDIT see original review below
enjoyed chilled from a bottle in a glass.
The color is dark amber with light haze and thin white head
The smell has a fruity yeast ester and subtle diacetyl with mild pine and strange floral/yeast bready aroma without any citrus or herbal odor. The feel is nicely bittered up front with medium high carbonation and subtle malt which adds sweetness and balance with semi-dry lingering quality after the finish.

The taste is pretty grassy and slightly herbal with light fruity yeast and peppery hop in the mild with mild toastiness from malt and pine in the finish with low alcohol in taste. This is a good IPA but mostly bitter with light diacetyl in the background. Overall I feel it is decent if a little yeasty, it is more piney like an amped up English IPA with Ringwood(?), worth trying

Look -4 Smell -4 Taste 4.5 Feel -4 Overall 4.5
previous review from 4-6-2010
I had this on Easter at Elephant & Castle in New Cumberland -served chilled in a shaker pint.

I don't know if this beer has improved or the keg was fresher than the bottle, but I really enjoyed this. I might have to pick up a case

A - A golden color with amber highlights and clinging lace from a small white head w/ tiny bead

S - The smell first strikes me as piney in hop aroma, but as I begin to consume this it comes of more citrus with a grapefruity aspect and more of a fruity ester possibly just the IPA opening up closer to actual tasting temp since the beer was served cold

M - the feel is moderately carbonated and has med body w/ moderate bitterness -not overly bitter with a bit of malt to balance and finishes semi-dry w/ light sweetness

T - The taste is pleasing with a nice hop flavor up front with some pine and hints of orange rind w/ a mild grapefruit accent and mild toasted malt taste - a nice blend of citrus and gentle malt nuance

D - I finished this one easily and if I wasn't full from the large buffet meal I would have certainly ordered another. As I said before where I liked this IPA before something very satisfying about this particular pint spoke to me -I recommend having this on tap

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Almost clear golden color with off-white head. Aroma has sweet malt and orange marmalade. Taste starts sweet and malty, continues with an interesting fennel note and the aftertaste lingers with a light but abrasive hop bitterness. Medium body and carbonation. My bottle was quite old but the beer held up well.

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Hoptical Illusion from Blue Point Brewing Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 2,012 ratings.
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