Smashbomb Atomic IPA from The Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery in Barrie, Ontario is rather dark for an American IPA. It pours a rusty amber colour with a moderate-sized tan head that gets retained as a collared film while leaving some nice lacing. This strong beer is very hop-forward with a buttery citrus aroma. A butterscotch-caramel tone provides a sweet backing and a light rose floral accent comes through after warming.
The of taste Smashbomb Atomic IPA is mostly well-balanced at first, but really goes out of whack. The tangy grapefruit-tangerine citrus bite of the hops is quickly enveloped by a syrupy caramel malt flavour. A tea-like taste appears briefly before a wave of overly strong bitterness seizes up the tongue. It’s very, very bitter overall and I don’t get much in the way of subtlety from this beer, though an oily quality helps ease it down and a long-lasting collar provides a smooth creaminess to the mouthfeel.
The packaging of Smashbomb Atomic IPA is, in a word, garish. A bright rusty orange 1940s horror movie-style font is pasted on a blue and green background with a silhouette of the brewery. The labels and box are bordered by black and yellow hazard sign striping.
There is freshness dating on the bottle neck and declarations that the beer is “Madness Crafted!” and “ruins you for lamer beers” printed on the neck and back label respectively. The box has more phrases like “All Natural–or Supernatural?”, two detailed descriptions of the beer and it’s unique brewing process, as well as a map to the brewery and a completely subjective “Taste-O-Meter”. It all comes off as quite pretentious really.
Smashbomb Atomic IPA certainly isn’t a bad beer. In fact, it is good and one that I’ll certainly have again. However, it does little to stand out from its peers such as Mad Tom IPA or Crazy Canuck Pale Ale aside from being overly bitter. More room for the actual flavour to shine would have helped, because it tastes quite good for a brief moment before the bitterness kills it. It does make a nice compliment to spicy foods and went particularly well with some fresh, juicy cherries.
Type: American IPA
Region: Ontario, Barrie
Brewery: Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery
Format Purchased: 6 x 355 mL
Alcohol Content: 6.0%