Brewed by Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery
Style: American Pale Ale
Barrie, Canada


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 295   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.37   EST. CALORIES: 150   ABV: 5%
Defying real focus (how unlike us!), we had to call Hoptical Illusion an Almost Pale Ale (5% Alc./Vol. / IBU 17.5 / Colour SRM 3.44). Hoptical Illusion approaches the characteristics of a pale ale, but takes a quick u-turn at the end. At 18 IBUs versus 25 and up for English Pale Ales, we’re hoppier than most commercial beers, but not too crazy. The star of the show is the dizzying aroma of the privately grown Amarillo hop. Beyond the provocative citrus and floral essences that resonate from the Amarillo’s small, tight cone is a subtle but unique maltiness blended from amber kiln and roasted specialty malts. Finishing with a final Amarillo reference, Hoptical Illusion is a beer that doesn’t beat you over the head, steal your wallet, and jack your car. But you still wouldn’t want meet it in a dark alley.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
pushkinwow (2264) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 18, 2011
341ml bottle. Pours a clear amber with a finger biege head, fades to a nice layer of lacing. Nice upfront aroma of hops although not overwhelming, some citrus and must. Unfortunate lager initial taste, little thin and watery, hint of bitterness but very disappointing compared to the aroma.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Tessic (954) - Brantford, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 7, 2011
This ale poured a dark amber colour with a quick living, light tan coloured head. Scents include hopps, grass, citrus and caramel. First taste was nicely carbonated with flavours of tea, malt, hopps, and grass. Finish is slightly hoppy with a little bitter flavor with tea lingering.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
PictouRx (157) - Ontario, CANADA - APR 2, 2011
floral and fruits hits the nose on smelling after pouring into glass. dark amber in color, with noticeable carbonation in glass. Smooth texture and with a bitter finish but not too yowzah! I get from some hoppier beers. This is not a bad beer and is 5% ABV, some of the other IPA’s and hoppier beers I have had are over 6%. This is a surprising beer, pretty good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jgb9348 (5115) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - APR 2, 2011
Amber coloured body with a copper glow and a nice, dense thick tan head. Aroma of a mix of fresh hops with a lot of caramel and malt - nice. Medium-bodied; Pungent hoppy flavour with a nice assertive malt backbone and a good strong hop taste with some light caramel and other sweetness. Aftertaste is quite nice with a lot of residual hoppiness and some good malt notes tucked in with caramel and some very light spices. Overall, a nice APA with a bunch of fresh hoppy flavours and some good malt backbone with a touch of assertive, yet mild sweetness. I sampled this pint on draught at Smokeless Joe in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on 11-October-2009.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
50belair (2967) - Florida, USA - MAR 25, 2011
Bottle thanks to Russ. An almost pale ale is a good description. A little bit watery with bland hop flavors.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Hammy78 (877) - Dundas, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 21, 2011
Bottle purchased at the LCBO. Pours a copper/ gold with very small amount of white head and no real lacing at all. The Aroma is a little hop, maybe subtle berry. Taste is hoppy (but not nearly what I expected), and bitter. Not bad, glad to have something out of Ontario to be a little proud of.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
piscator34 (2152) - Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA - MAR 12, 2011
Bottled sample. Pale amber in colour with medium carbonation. Aromas are of orange, caramel, dried leaves, and black pepper. Flavour wise, it’s a blend of the classic American pale ale combo of pale and caramel malts, along with the citrus and spice of American hops. Maybe a bit of toasted malt in there too. The caramel and black pepper elements seem to dominate, with the spice almost adding a little heat. Medium to heavy bodied, and fairly bitter.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
thepegjett (1260) - Cambridge (via Winnipeg), Cambridgeshire, ENGLAND - MAR 5, 2011
A - Roasted caramel malt with citrus hops. A - Amber in colour, with thin, but lasting creamy head T - Thin opening, slightly sweet, with a bitter finish P - Thinner then expected O - After the first sniff it’s a bit disappointing.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
gilvanblight (819) - Windsor, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 3, 2011
At The Morrissey in London, bottle. Very dark red pour. Light white head. Scent of grapefruit, tangy citrus. Very very hoppy. They say almost pale ale but this tastes more like a cascade pale ale to me. Tangy hops is the majority of the taste. Pretty clean finish without any of the lingering bitterness, maybe that’s where the almost comes from. Rather nice though Pale Ales are most definitely not my favourites.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
FlashParker (85) - Ontario, CANADA - JAN 17, 2011
Amber pour, off-white head. Aroma - plenty of hops! Flowers + caramel. Hoppy taste, slight citrus flavour and some caramel, though I don’t know if I’m just smelling that. A little bitter on the back end, but not unpleasant. My favorite Canadian beer!

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