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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 344   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.36/5   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, were 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 Amarillos 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 doesnt beat you over the head, steal your wallet, and jack your car. But you still wouldnt want meet it in a dark alley.

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   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
drjoeng (1204) - SINGAPORE - JAN 1, 2017
5%ABV. Pale Ale. Poured out deep amber. 12SRM. Nose is nutty with peanuts, roasted chestnuts, overall the nose is reminiscent of an amber ale. Mouthfeel is light soapy. Palate has bread crusts, wheat toast, water biscuits, pale raw peanuts, Hops are earthy, vegetal, sap, resinous with some oleander sap at the end, lingering. Finish is medium-long with oleander sap at the back of the tongue.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Freaky_tiki (1201) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 19, 2014
Pour at the green room with marina & Janet is chestnut dark with a thin cap. Taste is light coffee, left of centre hopping & stark bitterness. Marina says shes not so much on the finish, that it "falls off like the end of a glacier" & she has a point, dont she? Decent.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Taboada (1184) - Compostela (Galiza), - AUG 25, 2016
Tasted from the tap on the 25/08/2016. Medium orange colour with a frothy off-white head. Earthy and floral aroma with masty and caramel taste. Next one please!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
JesseM (1158) - Margaritaville, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 17, 2009
UPDATED: MAY 15, 2010 On tap at the KW OCB/ribfest. Pours a nice slightly hazy dark amber. Very nice aroma here, ample hoppy goodness matched perfectly with some toffee malts and dry earthy aspects. Flavour is a bit of a mixed bag, a tad watery with some mild malty sweetness, very dry on the finish but in a hoppy way, not earthy. Lacks balance. Palate is light as I was led to expect. Almost seems like a mild ale to me. A bit rough around the edges at this point, but its still extremely sessionable and tasty, and a huge step up IMO from the Roberty Simpson days. I look forward to buying this at the LCBO. In bottle form its just as good, and has a remarkable amount of hop activity without the IBUs being there, which I can appreciate. Very well done. EDIT: Hop activity seems to have been tweaked lately for the better. On tap I get a very pleasant cannabis-like quality. This truly is one of the single best things being made in our otherwise cowardly and boring provincial brewing scene.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
HeistAlmighty (1156) - Saint John, New Brunswick, CANADA - JAN 23, 2013
355ml bottle. Deep red amber colour. Another in a mini series i've been on with red/amber ales hopped like an IPA. Nice balance between the aggressive hop and caramel malt. Overall, a good balance. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
sudomorph (1143) - Barrie, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 8, 2013
UPDATED: FEB 19, 2015 355ml bottle. Pours a clear amber with a creamy, half-finger, off-white head that thins to a ring and film. Solid lacing clings to the glass.Aroma is hoppy with a hint of bread and citrus.Taste is a bit bitter with a short, slightly dry aftertaste. Medium body and carbonation. A touch watery in the mouth but still plenty of texture to hang on to.Not a bad offering. Overall pretty tasty. Bready toasted biscuit, bit of pine and resin, and some citrus.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Tessic (1140) - 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 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
TipsyMcStager (1139) - Calgary, Alberta, CANADA - SEP 29, 2011
Doesnt 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 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
cyrenaica (1126) - Milton, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 2, 2009
355ml bottle
5.0% ABV
I tried this beer on October 14, 2009 afgter purchasing a 6 pack from one of my local LCBO outlets. The beer poured a translucent red into the glass with a huge rocky off-white head that lasted a while. The aroma was weakly hoppy with a definite malt presence. The mouthfeel was weak-bodied, almost watery with a low level of carbonation. The flavour was mildly malty with a good hoppy finish. A hoppier flavour profile would have been nice.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Powertrip (1000) - Calgary, Alberta, CANADA - SEP 25, 2012
Single bottle purchased from Zyn Liquor in Calgary, AB on 09/01/2012. Colour: Medium brown/orange with low white lacing. Nose: Very brown grain dominant with a mix of dirty dish towel. More swirling brings out seashore lake water. Where are the distinct hops? Taste: medium-light sweet, medium bitter, medium-light sour. If not for a slight caramel underlay, this one would have been more hop forward Im sure. That said, the hops are present but not dominant and show a real vegetative earthy character. There is a some more brown grain (rice) late.

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