Masala Mama India Pale Ale - Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
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Ratings: 1,071 | Reviews: 654 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Dantes:
4.63/5 rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
Package: 64 oz. screwtop Town Hall growler. Dated best by 8/23 (7 days from fill date I believe) and consumed 8/20 and 8/21.
Cost: Acquired via trade. Thanks Truthbrew, I still owe you!
Presentation: Shaker pint at ~50º
Appearance: Promised great things. Poured a lovely ruddy, orange-amber. Reminded me quite a bit of Celebration. The 2" ivory head was supertight and sticky. If I hadnt been warned, it would have overflowed the lip. Very fine, active carbonation suffused the body, which was hazy with fine particles in suspension. Fine, heavy lace.
Smell: Begins to fulfill the appearances promise. Strongly piney, with some citrus and floral top notes. Still, not overwhelmingly astringent or sharp. I dont get much malt or toastiness in the nose.
Taste: The long-awaited moment! My first impression is that this beer is remarkably sweet (not in a cloying way) and smooth. Then the hops jump out, tingling the palate and tongue, almost like its mentholated. This seduces first and bites second. The malts, not apparent at first in the nose, make their presence felt here. They provide just the roundness that the hops need to really sing. It's interesting to me that some people think this is super-hoppy and others say it's not as hopped as some monster IPA's. I think this dichotomy comes from the phenomenal balance this beer has. I think this is as hoppy as most West Coasters, but integrates them better than most. As mentioned, theres a caramel sweetness, along with some toastiness and some nutty flavors (and some nice nutskin bitterness). Again, comparisons to Celebration come to mind. This isnt just an IPA, it shares the rare roundness of early Brutal Bitter and Celebration. Theres some British winter warmer lurking here. It blows me away that this is only ~6% ABV. Its not that its alcoholy, but that its more warming and full than that ABV suggests. Finishes with a nice, dry, bitter snap and with medium length.
Mouthfeel: Very smooth and well-carbonated with a medium to full body, especially for an IPA.
Drinkability: Super-drinkability. I could see myself drinking way too much money away if I lived in MN (which I almost did). Right in that sweet-spot for a session-beer.
Backwash: Ill admit it, I had a little schadenfreude with this beer; I almost wanted it to not be as good as advertised. Could anything live up to the hype? Most beers in my experience dont. I was wrong. Although this is not the perfect beer, its pretty close. Still, there are some other more readily available beers that come close: Racer 5, Pipkin Brutal Bitter, and most of all Celebration. To me, while they wouldnt be mistaken for each other side by side, Celebration and MM seem as if they were created by two people shooting for a similar goal. In fact, it seems as if MM were created by a very talented brewer attempting to improve upon Celebration, and has done so. Masala Mama is smoother, more well-balanced, and better drinking. A work of art.
Serving type: on-tap
01-31-2005 19:12:53 | More by Dantes
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Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 1,071 ratings.