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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 303   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.38/5   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 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
erickok (4460) - Leuven, BELGIUM - FEB 4, 2015
One of the best looking beers I’ve seen in a while, very stable head, creamy, red glowing. This translates to a great smooth body, mouth feel that is so creamy it’s almost not a pale ale any more. Certainly not pale are the used malts, rather biscuit, toasty and caramel. Very nice indeed. Hop aroma is perhaps somewhat dimmed, helped by the darker hop varieties used which are piney rather than floral, but the taste gets back with a lovely bitterness and long dry ending. Prototypical American fermentation, great and not (too) clean as it’s far from boring. I really enjoyed this beer, very well made and great recipe. Not necessarily extreme, but super smooth and tasty. Yum! (Bottle from Saveur Bičre)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
dedelste (16) - Windsor, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 28, 2010
Gift bottle, LCBO or Beer Store. Small head, nice copper colour. Nice and hoppy, but not overwhelmingly so. Hint of caramel. Feels good on the back of the tongue. Just a nice beer, want more.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
cfrancis (2788) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 1, 2010
It’s so refreshing to finally find a Canadian, nay Ontario beer that is a smooth hoppy ale. Pours a golden brown with a retaining white head. Aroma is hop and caramel. Taste is a great swell of hop bitterness that is smooth with toffee/caramel aftertastes. So well balanced, this will be a staple in my fridge.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Masterkush7 (580) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - JUL 22, 2013
I like this beer. May not be as hoppy as most ipa I drink but overall this is a good beer and definatly worth a try. Appearance is a nice dark haze. Taste is well balanced with both a nice malt background with hints of nuts and Caramel and a good hop finish. Will definatly enjoy again.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Zekada (427) - Helsingborg, SWEDEN - JUL 30, 2014
Tap at Bishops Arms. Nose is bready and malty. Pours Amber with a small white head. Taste is a bit sweet and has notes of caramel. Palate is good and sticks to the tongue. Overall a good beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
MunBro (886) - St. Albert, Alberta, CANADA - JUN 7, 2015
Tried at Edmonton Craft Beerfest 2015. Always enjoy Flying Monkeys. This one is comparable to their other IPAs/ISAs in the fruity, tropical citrus notes; but it also has a distinctive malt profile and a dangerous drinkability with the 5% abv. Delicious!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
AleRider78 (328) - - AUG 31, 2015
"I like that there’s always a clever/funny message under the bottle caps. Mine says "That’s what she said". Ok, not that funny. Well, this one poured a dark amber colour with a thin layer of head, just a bit foamy. Has good lacing. Hops are strong in the aroma but mixed well with the malts. Also a bit of barley, grains, somewhat smokey. Flavours are also very hoppy but not as in your face as their Smashbomb IPA. Much more subdued and actually pretty smooth. Very good."

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Jetulio (119) - Tarragona.SPAIN, SPAIN - OCT 2, 2015
355 ml. bottle poured into a Pint glass Appearance....... Amber  beer with foamy head colour white of 2 fingers aprox Aroma...............   malt, grass and pine.  Malt aroma predominance Taste........ Some citric and caramel notes and then hop , touch of bitterness lasting in mouth all the time. Mouthfeel........... medium/full body and soft carbonation Overall............ a very recomendable pale ale, hops are present at the end in a good balance with malt.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
VeloVampire (625) - Parkdale, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 22, 2009
UPDATED: AUG 24, 2010 Re-rate, from the bottle - aroma much cleaner with more citrus and floral qualities from the Amarillo coming through. Flavour similar to the original, but again, it seems that this batch is fresher and a touch hoppier. Really nice bitterness and a bit of sourness as well, but certainly not off-putting. This one is evolving very nicely and is certainly a beer to keep an eye on, as the brewer has been experimenting with increased hop levels on each batch. I, for one, am happy to be along for the ride. And I’m sure this will warrant a re-rate in a year or so when the recipe is dialled in. Original rating: On tap at C’est What - came a brown/red mix with a good sticky white cap that lasts for a long time. Muted aroma with some woody/piney hop and a touch of chocolate. Flavour much the same - I was hoping for something a bit bolder, but it seems at best to be a muted Tankhouse. Still good, just not great.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
matt7215 (2272) - Cambridge, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 18, 2009
on tap at the KW craft beer and rib fest. many, many samples of this, actually 6 out of my 11 samples were of this. pours amber with an off white head that stays. hoppy nose, man i love amarillo, with some backing malt structure. the flavour is exactly what the nose led me to believe. bursting with hop flavour but not very bitter. best beer of the fest IMO. cant wait to see it hit stores.

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