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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 316   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 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 9/20
dudebun (139) - GERMANY - DEC 29, 2011
Another Flying Monkey offering that I was keen to try because of it’s provenance and good ratings but it was kinda unexciting, especially after the great hoppy nose. Wouldn’t buy it again.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
rob6239 (678) - Ontario, CANADA - DEC 25, 2011
An "almost pale ale" has good hop presence and dark gold in colour. Taste has some very mild bitterness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Glouglouburp (6103) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 22, 2011
In short: A sharp grapefruity pale ale with a timid malt bill. Decent
How: Bottle 355ml. Consumed fresh two weeks after purchase
The look: Clear rusty amber body topped by a small beige head
In long: Nose is typical but always pleasant citrusy hops with grapefruits being the dominant fruits. Taste proposes a fragile malt bill with crisp crackery malts, a bit of residual sugar and then a sharp and strong citrusy bitterness (mostly bitter grapefruits). I prefer that kind of razor sharp grapefruity bitterness is better suited in a beer with a more round and caramelized body. So for my personal taste I found there was a mismatch between the malt bill and hop bill. Yet, this type of bitter APA when consumed fresh (as it was the case here) can only be enjoyable. An Hoptical Illusion is when I try to grab a hoppy beer but then the beer disappears and all I can see is only wood and dirt. Ok, ok, I admit, I was drunk and fell flat on my face.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Johnsense (1179) - - NOV 14, 2011
Copper pour, 1 finger of head. Floral nose - some hops, pine, bready malt. Taste is Similar - Floral with some pine and citrus fruit, biscuity malt. Noticable carbonation. Fairly easy drinker. A gateway beer, but a pretty good one. The hopping comes through better when it’s on draft.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
patricks110 (2356) - Alberta, CANADA - OCT 23, 2011
The pour is a bright golden orange with a finger of yeloowish head. Some bubbly carbonation in the body with some light lacing rings. The nose is sweet with a mild malt and light lemon, NW hops, grapefruit and subtle pine notes. The taste is quite hoppy with a fresh taste and a crisp floral hop. Predominant floral hop notes and citrus with light caramel malts. Hoptical Illusion has a medium body and a crisp but slightly thin mouthfeel. overall, a good session Pale Ale with a nice hoppy taste.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jeremytoni (3029) - Swedesboro, New Jersey, USA - OCT 8, 2011
From a tap poured a brown color with a good amount of head. Nice light hoppy flavor with a quick finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
TipsyMcStager (1139) - Calgary, Alberta, CANADA - SEP 29, 2011
Doesn’t really feel like a pale. Pours slightly cloudy copper with thin head. Aroma is caramel malty with marginal hops. Full bodied, caramel and sweetness. Some hops in the finish. Cool bottle - if you look close there looks like some freaky midgets and shit being chased by a sea monster.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
gramity (1586) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - SEP 19, 2011
Slightly hazy amber color. Aroma of piney hops, toasty and citric notes and light grainy hints. Flavor has some malty sweetness but gradually turns drier and bitter with fresh pine-needles hoppiness. Medium-bodied.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Suttree (5844) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - SEP 11, 2011
I can see why they call this an "Almost Pale Ale" - it definitely seems like a hoppy amber as opposed to a pale ale. Caramel, toffee, and a bit resiny, woodsy hop bite at the finish. Not bad. Thanks to jerc for the trade!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
crajun (1138) - , Texas, USA - AUG 28, 2011
Nice pale ale; nice citrus aroma. good mix of malt and hops in flavor - smooth hops at end not bitter. Thanks to robinvboyer for this one..

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