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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 317   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 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 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Johnsense (1183) - - 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 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 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
IWillBeLight (9) - Dundas, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 31, 2011 does not count
From bottle. Rusty brown w small white head that quickly fades. Big citrusy hop aroma. Taste is mild fruit and hops-light bodied easy to drink beer. Good for the patio.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
brentfeesh (1208) - Mansfield, Ohio, USA - JAN 12, 2012
Bottle provided by a potential supplier. Hazy amber pour with a wispy head. Light pine and citrus aroma on light grain. Spice meets pine in the flavor but its not particularly strong. Well balanced with the grainy malts. Medium mouth feel with a bit of a creamy finish that tappers its way to semi-dry. Easy drinking and OK.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Neurotek (2) - - JAN 14, 2012 does not count
Had a pint at the Hogtown Vegan. Almost pale ale seems apt. Amber colour with a slight bitterness and clean finish. Went well with the vegan burger I mowed down (too much meat this week, a vegan meal was on the menu). A nice fall/winter/spring beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
solidfunk (6782) - Washington D.C., Washington DC, USA - MAR 18, 2012
Has a hoppy smell with some earthiness. Smells a little of caramel as well, though I can’t detect any sweetness in the taste.Actually promises more in the smell than the taste delivers, though the taste isn’t bad by any means. Hoppy and bitter. Bottle.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
DougShoemaker (3147) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 23, 2009
On tap @ C’est What Spring Fest. Aroma is hoppy orange, orange wearing a small custard head. Flavour is a burst of orange with some nice malt. Medium bodied, very well balanced, resiny. Good example.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DerWeg (1576) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 17, 2009
Dark amber. active head. Starts off a bit rough aroma with grains ans solvent, which seems to dissipate as the glass a few minutes. Taste loads of grassy hop bitterness, which is a bit unbalanced at first, but tastes decent with my Bison Burger. The sweet malts and fruit seem to come through later.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Imperial-John (192) - Mississauga, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 30, 2009
Clear copper with pathetic white head that disappears like a balding man’s hairline. Faint but pleasant hoppy aroma. Bit harsh carbonation but well blended clear, crisp hop taste. Clear aftertaste too.

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