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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 336   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.37/5   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 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
DeanF (2348) - Alberta, CANADA - MAY 26, 2012
Average looks with a heavily carbonated body and a small darker-than-usual white head on top. Aroma is a lot of hops, softer than an IPA or something similar and very sweet hops at that. Flavour is sweet hoppiness with just a hint of malty goodness underneath. Good for sessioning, good thing I bought a six pack.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
cmc619 (501) - California, USA - MAY 25, 2012
Nice pour from bottle into jar-like glass. Beer is dark bronze--almost light brown. Definitely darker than a normal pale ale (hence the name?). Huge head that sticks for a while. Aroma is deep, rich balance of piney hops and malt. Pretty bitter. Nice beer. You’d expect it to be a lot higher in ABV--impressed that they packed this much flavor into it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
baldric (16) - Ontario, CANADA - MAY 22, 2012
Nice amber to copper colour. Hazy, good head and lacing. Cloudy appearance but doesn’t detract from the flavour. Quite the opposite. It has a palate pleasing character that I love that most crystal clear heavily filtered beers in its category don’t possess. Kudos to Flying Monkeys for not over-filtering it. Easy drinking for a dry hopped beer, a nice session beer for sure. Well done.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
joeycapps (1468) - Waterdown, Ontario, CANADA - APR 27, 2012
Dark orange-amber w/ auburn hue. Pillowy, off-white finger of foam. Fresh, breezy, citrusy aroma w/ an underlying sweetness. Creamy feel, but the alcohol numbs in the finish. Flavour profile has potential--it is sufficiently earthy & bitter--but alcohol dominates the finish, giving the beer slightly unpleasant, medicinal quality. A relatively decent brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
kevinsenn (2021) - Waterloo, Ontario, CANADA - APR 27, 2012
Bottle from LCBO. Pours a beautiful clear dark amber with a long-lasting half-inch white head. Nice mild aroma of tropical fruit. Taste has a little malt, and a lot of hops - orange and slight spice - without the normal IBUs following (as is intended). Pretty tasty stuff, and does a great job delivering exactly what it promises.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Jayseppi (159) - Ontario, CANADA - APR 27, 2012
Bordering between red and amber in colour with a thick foamy cap. Smells of citrus, pine and carmalized sugar. Some roasty malt and piney hop flavour with a good punch of bitterness at the end.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
WheatKing (1328) - Phnom Penh, CAMBODIA - APR 25, 2012
Nice. You want to know what Amarillo tastes like? This is the prototypical Canadian ale to find out. Since Flying Monkeys are known for their hops, it was great to try this out and see that they know what they’re doing on the other side, the malt (yeast is on another plane). If I hadn’t tried this, I couldn’t be certain that they’re one of the best brewers in English Canada. This is proof, to me.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
neongolden (1254) - Linköping, Sweden/Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - APR 23, 2012
(on tap at Grad Club, Kingston ON) Poured cold, a dark hazy amber with a briefly-lived rocky off-white head. Aroma mostly sweet honey and caramel malts, a little hint of the flowery, fruity Amarillo hops peeks through but not much. Flavour of sweetish crystal and roasted malts with a tinny bitterness, not particularly flavourful or hoppy. Mouthfeel relatively moderate, flavours not too concentrated. Disappointing pale ale, seems to be stranded between styles and not great at any.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Svesse (7932) - Hässelby, SWEDEN - APR 9, 2012
(Bottle, Bishop’s Arms Folkungagatan, Stockholm, 12 March 2012) Dark amber colour with brief, beige head. Malty nose with caramel, red fruit, orange and citric hops. Malty, fruity taste with notes of caramel, chocolate, dried fruit and a mild citric bitterness. Medium body, with some sweetness. Tasty and well balanced but nothing extraordinary. Quite nice.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
GT (9982) - Oceanside, California, USA - MAR 26, 2012
355mL thanks to solidfunk. Pours a deep amber with a massive, creamy, rocky, off-white head. Excellent ice cream scoop retention and lace. Nose is sticky malt and honey. Taste is coppery metallic, bland, watery, lightly tannic. Iron, rust finish.

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