I have decided that the Flying Monkeys Hoptical Illusion is a good beer (perhaps a really good beer) when you let it get to cellar temperature. Now that it has been decided, let’s move on to something else, like how crazy the packaging for this beer is. As crazy as the label is, the box is even nuttier with its swirling displays of psychedelia. There’s even something on the bottom, as I somehow discovered. It is definitely attention grabbing and, luckily, the beer is good enough to deserve said attention. But I can’t help but wonder a couple of things, mainly whether or not everything associated with this brewery (the Flying Monkeys name, the packaging and labelling) will attract beer drinkers over the long-term or see short lived success as a mere gimmick. Also, do other breweries know that someone in Ontario is using the same name for a beer with somewhat similar packaging? It probably doesn’t matter much now, but anything is possible. I’m eagerly awaiting to see what Flying Monkeys does for its second act.
By now, it probably has become painfully obvious that I do most of my beer drinking at home. One reason is that I’m 24 going on 80 and like to spend my Friday nights (and most other nights) at home playing cribbage. (I’m also poor, but that’s a whole nother story.) I especially like staying home when it’s cold out – I get to bundle up, stay warm and drink something nice and strong, like the Sierra Nevada Bigfoot. Screw you Fall, I’ve got barley wine!
Barley wine is usually hard to find in Ontario (it’s costly to produce and probably isn’t a big seller), which makes it even more precious to me. This is an excellent one, with a lovely reddish-brown colour and lots of raisin and toffee flavours, plus a sizable amount of hops for balance. It’s a hefty 9.6% ABV, which makes it a perfect sipper for a night in when the temperature gets to the single digits. With tastes like these, Winter can’t come soon enough.
Today: 710mL. Year-to-date: 6.77L.