Blue Point Hoptical Illusion
Review Date 9/28/2011
Technology is an amazing thing, especially if you’re a beer hunter. Gone are the days when one has to walk around with a pad and pen to record tasting notes when sitting at a bar or brewpub (I’ve even been known to scribble them on the odd bar napkin now and again). No, today when one wants to jot down one’s thoughts about a beer, for better or for worse, it’s a simple matter of keying into a phone or other handheld device. You’ll simply look like everybody else that’s texting away.
Thing is, you have to remember that you take the notes, though, or they don’t do anybody much good. Such is the case for me with Blue Point Hoptical Illusion, a beer I sampled a few months ago at Firewaters Bar on Atlantic City’s Boardwalk. It’s not a good start that I hadn’t remembered taking notes on the beer, but there they were safely logged in the memory of my trusty little Zune’s word document app.
Blue Point Brewing is located in Patchogue, New York, and Hoptical Illusion was the first of their beers I had ever sampled. This is their India Pale Ale, a year-round brew of 60 IBUs and 6.8% alcohol by volume. Here’s what they say about the beer:
Today, our classic, American-style India Pale Ale (IPA) features a rare hop grown exclusively on a small farm in Oregon. One taste and you’ll understand why we bought the entire crop. Our Hoptical Illusion IPA is brewed with a generous amount of this select hop that’s added five different ways for maximum hop flavor.
And here’s what I say:
My draft glass of Blue Point Hoptical Illusion arrived a pale golden color with a light creamy head formation and a hint of resiny hops in the nose. Taking a sip, I get a big hit of toasty malt upfront in the palate, followed by waves of resiny, piney hop aroma and flavor, some citric grapefruit, and then a big bitter finish. This wasn’t a bad beer to be sure, but as IPAs go it didn’t really knock my socks off, either.
On the downside, this one was way overpriced at $8 for a pint. Firewaters, of course, is a little pricey, but they have the best beer selection on the Boardwalk and I wasn’t about to drink Bud in the Casino, even if it was free. Knocking a buck off to equalize this would still be expensive at $7; Hoptical Illusion was one of the most expensive beers on the draft list. Given the proximity of Atlantic City to Patchogue, you’d think this beer would have been more reasonable. I might drink this again, and would give it four stars as an average IPA. Half a star off for the high price, however, brings this one down to 3 and a half mugs in my estimation.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.