Reviewing my Smashbomb Atomic I.P.A. clone….

attention: A monkey has been caught.

This beer rocks.  Both of them.

I’m happy to say, this first attempt at brewing a Smashbomb Atomic I.P.A. is fantastic. I actually ended up drinking more of it than the original over the weekend. (sorry Peter! we still love Flying Monkeys!) Truth be told, I had a LOT of info to go on with this one. Yes, I did have to actually brew it myself, but, there were a lot of numbers to shoot for, so thank you once again Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery.

I really wish I could just pour you one and have you taste it for yourself and not have to describe it, because it’s just plain delicious. If you like Smashbomb, or citrusy IPA’s, you should definitely brew this and see for yourself. For me, there’s nothing like the Centennial/Citra combo.

I was unsure how my hopping schedule was going to stand up against the original, but it nailed it. Perhaps a tiny addition around 30mins might put a little more in the middle, but it’s not something I missed. My brother in law and I put away a few of these before Easter dinner, and despite trying to, we could only split hairs on the differences.

The Results:

Flying Monkeys Smashbomb Atomic IPA

  • the malt base was a touch sweeter. Could be because I was under on my original gravity.
  • foam was slightly thicker and more creamy

Hoptomology’s Smashbomb Atomic IPA

  • my colour was a tad darker, but not by much
  • aromatics of the hops were way fresher than the original (in all fairness, the sample we had may have been somewhat old, I have had Smashbomb on tap and it’s been much better)
  • the carbonation was just a touch ‘harsher’ than the original. Perhaps they cap fermentation off at some point and capture a portion of CO2 from fermentation which gives a smoother bubble

In all honesty, these are the only differences we could find, and we tried!

Damn this beer is good!

Here’s the recipe if you want to give it a go:

Hoptomology’s Smashbomb Atomic IPA clone – All Grain

Hoptomology’s Smashbomb Atomic IPA clone – Partial Mash

Hoptomology’s Smashbomb Atomic IPA clone – Extract


13 Responses to Reviewing my Smashbomb Atomic I.P.A. clone….

  1. Glad it worked out for you… it’s always an excellent feeling to have a beer turn out at least as well as you expected, but it’s even better when you’re cloning a beer and it comes out like the original!

    I’ve brewed at least 6-7 clone beers now, and they definitely have not all been this successful. Good work!

    • haha, believe me, not all mine have been successful either, clone or otherwise. Just part of the fun and the learning. I have to say though, the dry hopping was perfect. I was in doubt after you mentioned it, but I think if there was more, it would have been too much, especially compared to the original we had. From my experience, Smashbomb’s hop profile varies a bit from bottle to keg, so it depends which one it’s compared to. Definitely a success!! Cheers!

    • Congrats! Is the mash temp really 156?

      Also, how is that Lake Walk drinking?

      • Thanks man! I was really happy with it. I was aiming for 156F for the mash but ended up at 155F, so ya, it looks like that worked because I nailed the F.G. at 1.016. Otherwise I would probably have had to try out some english yeast or something, but I doubt that’s what they use in it.
        As for the Lake Walk, man, I screwed it up, lol.I was 0.004pts short on my O.G. I tried re-pitching some yeast from a previous batch and I think I must have not pitched enough because my F.G. was 1.019 instead of 1.014. (doh!) then on top of it, I TOTALLY forgot to dry hop it! haha, what a mess. I haven’t been dry hopping much lately so I just completely forgot. I also had added some gypsum, which I’m finding works fine in the darker beers like Smashbomb, but for the lighter beers, it just ruins the hop profile. All you get is a generic bitterness and no character of the hops, so I couldn’t even really get the simcoe/Amarillo combo out of it. Needless to say, I’ll be trying it again, this time with proper results. I just got a stash of Weyermann Pale Ale which I would imagine is better than the generic OiO 2 row, so I will probably toast some of that up for the next batch. (and write a post on it) The recipe said to let the toasted grains sit for a few weeks to smooth out, did you do that?

  2. I just brewed an Epic Pale Ale clone today (I’ll be putting the recipe/notes on my website soon), based on the recipe from the CYBI podcasts. Apparently they use all Cascade hops in this beer… the dry-hopping alone is 2 stages of 2 ozs each! Hopefully it’s not too much… I agree with you that too much can definitely be overwhelming. I think Citra would be a hop that would suffer from this.

  3. Pingback: Trying to capture a Monkey… Smashbomb Atomic I.P.A. clone | Hoptomology

  4. Though you may be interested. I just posted a few pictures and review of my Smashbomb Clone that was based on your original recipe, with minor changes.

    My color turned out perfect, aroma was better than the original, taste was right on with just a hint of difference in the clone. Notes, pictures, and recipe at: Overall it got a cloned rating from both me and a brewing buddy. My buddy has a keg of Smashbomb on tap, so I trust his opinion…

    Thank you again for the base recipe as I stared with yours and made a few changes to get the color to difference you had worked out a bit better. Your recipe and tasting notes starting point gave me a starting point to work with and evolve from! This beer turned out great, possibly one of the best IPAs I have done.


    • Thanks Dustin!
      Glad it gave you a good base for it!
      I agree, there’s nothing like the fresh dry hop. In all fairness, like we know, Flying Monkeys filter it, plus it’s dependent on how long it’s been on the shelf.
      I’m glad your buddy with the keg of the original had high praises for it! That says a lot, because I’ve always preferred the keg version over the bottled one.
      I’ll keep your notes bookmarked for when I brew it again, which should be very soon!

  5. Jeff,

    We have recently founded Simcoe Muskoka Homebrewers, a brew club for those of us north of Toronto that do not want to drive into Toronto for club meetings. The club will serve the areas around Barrie, Collingwood, Orillia, and more. We are trying to get members and publicity for the new club. Would you please consider giving a shout out in one of your posts to our new club.

    It is our goal to have enough members for a meeting in July!

    More info at both:


    • Nice to hear you making the effort to build a brewing community up your way!
      If it’s relevant to a post I’m working on, I’ll drop it in. In the meantime, I’ll put a link up to it.


  6. Thank you. The Simcoe Muskoka Homebrewers Facebook page has got enough likes to get a real URL so we are making progress. We have also got enough of a response for a small meeting already!

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