There are many times I am disappointed by beers with really cool labels and names - not this time. This Long Island, NY brewer has put together a great American style IPA. The hops were not overly floral and berry like and there was more emphasis on bitterness.
Hoptical Illusion poured golden with a light amber time. The head was nice and creamy with decent retention.
Its aroma was light and hoppy. The hops were slightly fruity but were not overpowering.
The flavor was dominated by the hops as they added the fruity berry notes I find common in many American IPAs. However, the berry notes were subtle and did not linger. The fruity notes went well with the grainy malts. The hops then became slightly acidic with a hint of grapefruit and finished raw and very bitter. This IPA was bitter to the point where it burned going down. Yet the hops were clean and crisp.
At 6.8% ABV - the alcohol was well masked
This was a light-to-medium body with a medium amount of carbonation. On the tongue the beer was also a bit oily.
Blue Point was nice because the hops did not impart too much sweet fruity notes and was very bitter. I find the bitterness lacking in many American style IPAs and way too much reliance on the floral-berry notes. To me the bitterness is the point of a solid IPA and this Long Islander brewer struck a good balance.