Masala Mama India Pale Ale - Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
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Ratings: 1,137 | Reviews: 656 | Display Reviews Only:
3.03/5 rDev -30.3%
Served on-draught into a pilsner glass at the brewery in Minneapolis. Reviewed from notes taken around Thanksgiving.
A: Pours a half finger beige colour head of average thickness and cream, but poor (<10 second) retention. Body colour is a clear copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.
Sm: Clean malts, floral hops, hints of pine, clean hops, a hint of hop bitterness. An average to mild strength aroma.
T: Crisp clean malt build with hints of toasted malts, floral hops, and vague citrus. Balanced decently but actually a bit bland. Quite simple, especially for the style. The bitternss does come through, negatively affecting the balance (a critical mistake in an IPA).
Mf: Smooth and wet. Good thickness. Okay carbonation.
Dr: A lackluster IPA. I expected far better given its current ratings. Needs more body and depth. I might get it again, but it's a bit meh. A huge disappointment from Town Hall.
12-06-2012 18:23:16 | More by kojevergas
3.1/5 rDev -28.7%
On tap at the Town Hall BrewPub, Minneapolis.
Since my family lives in the Twin Cities now and this beer sits so highly near the pinnacle of the BA top 100, of course we stopped to check it out on the way from the airport. This scenario is a set-up for a let-down, as happens whenever hype precedes an experience...what's more, American IPA is not my favorite type of beer. However, I made my best attempt to set preconceived notions aside and evaluate this beer objectively.
Appearance was average for an amber tap beer, nice lacing, not too much head. I appreciate and enjoy the floral aromatics that massive hopping provides to our national hophead style; piney, grapefruity, nice to inhale deeply.
The hop flavors come through in the drinking, walloping one's (hop-)head with overtly strenuous bitterness, endlessly lingering and puckering the tongue. Nice with food. I have admitted that the style isn't my favorite, nevertheless, I think American IPAs succeed more when the hop slam is balanced by careful attenuation with mellowing malt flavors. Anyone can dump hops into a brew at all steps of its creation...it takes skill to harness their intensity. I don't think that was really done here. For me a more successful attempt is found over at Smuttynose in New Hampshire with their Finest Kind IPA. If you are looking for a full-on hop bodyslam, though, you'll find it here.
12-24-2006 16:40:42 | More by kenito799
3.15/5 rDev -27.6%
I've had this twice now at Minneapolis Town Hall on business trips. The first time I had this I had it with a burger after drinking a few other IPAs at a joint down the street. I didn't particularly enjoy it but thought this was due to my lack of palate from earlier IPAs and the food that I had. The next (and last) time I tried this it was my first beer of the day and I drank it without food at the same time; however, it was the same --- I just didn't dig it that much.
Being a West Coast hop head, I thought that maybe something was wrong with me. This is one hoppy beer and very bitter. I could note the pine and citrus in the nose and amber color said tasty IPA. But here's the thing, it was just bitter. No malt backbone at all. It was like drinking liquid hops. My brain kept telling me that this is the good thing --- hop heads like hops. But my taste buds said they didn't like it.
Normally, I'll follow up one good IPA with another. Both times I stopped at Town Hall and had a Masala Mama, I didn't want another.
01-26-2010 18:47:08 | More by BuckeyeOne
3.15/5 rDev -27.6%
Was looking forward to trying this. Thanks Ipafool for sharing your growler.
a) bubbly head that would not go away. Amberish pale color which seems like it will have a large malt backbone. Head looks great.
s) without a doubt the best part of this beer. tropic, floral, citris, pineapple. smells awesome.
t): and it falls apart here. It's not bad but I think it's much more of a pale ale than anything. I tasted some grapefruit and a lot of flowers. I imagine it would taste better with fresh hops as it has that floralness to it. finishes more sweet than dry (like stone) to my palate but there is indeed some lingering bitterness in the aftermath
m): carbonated,coated mouth adequately.
d) we had a growler with four people, but people did not want to drink more than one glass. It's sesionalbe and easy to drink...I was just more, for a lack of better term, bored with it. The growler was in good shape and only 4 days old....overall, the appeal of this beer is a mystery to me. Next time, I visit my sister, I'll have to try it on tap. Glad I tried it though. It was a great smelling beer.
03-05-2010 21:55:23 | More by mykie73
3.15/5 rDev -27.6%
64oz Growler received in a trade with RobertDwight
Serving of it poured into a tulip glass
Deep amber color, very dark.
Smell is of strong and bitter hops, faint alcohol smell
Taste overall is not bad, This IPA has a very sharp hop bite, there is no getting around it. I think its a tad unbalanced, the hops just start pistol whipping your taste buds and there's no relenting. This is a beer for hop heads, and almost no one else.
12-25-2006 22:25:50 | More by leftmindedrighty
3.2/5 rDev -26.4%
Growler into Sam Adams lager glass, big thanks to MBABJJ (Jason) for the chance to try this! Growler is best-by dated on the 24th and arrived on the 24th, drank today, on the 26th.
Pours a nice clear copper with a creamy one-finger bone-white head that settles into a thin cap, thanks in part to the laser etching.
Nose is kind of light - caramel malt and piny hops are the main stars, but there really isn't that much going on.
Taste is bitter up front, raw, fairly astringent, carrying notes of grapefruit rind, resiny pine, and underpinned by a moderate caramel sweetness. Really hard to pull that sweetness out by the finish, though, as the bitterness stats early and charges hard right through to the long, very bitter finish. Lots of early addition hops in this one; not my style of IPA by a long shot. Would like to try this one both on cask and fresh at the source on tap and see if the bitterness levels are the same.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, lingering bitterness on the finish, carbonation is a bit sharp and big bubbled.
Drinkability is about on part with taste for the same reason; the long bitterness builds and builds and isn't ideal for multiple pints. Yet another IPA where the experience is dominated by bitterness instead of hop flavor; everything a beer like Sculpin or Alesmith IPA is, this one isn't. Rather disappointed.
06-26-2009 18:10:14 | More by JohnQVegas
3.25/5 rDev -25.3%
From my phone, so it is shortened.
Nice head, citrus aroma jumps off the glass before I can pick it up.
Head retention is nice, and lacing is smooth. Taste is citrusy and
piney, but I notice that this is also extremely thin like the coconut
jack frost. It has the consistancy of water. The hops are prevalent, but have a feeling that they wouldn't hold up to a bottling. Can't expect too much, as it is a session beer basically.
06-30-2010 17:57:54 | More by crusian
3.3/5 rDev -24.1%
I was pretty excited about trying this beer. It's a beautiful rusty brown copper, with a nice foamy off-white head, and exceptional lacing. Looks delicious. The nose is just hops, nothing too crazy here. Taste starts out pleasantly with piney hops and some balancing malts, but it's followed by a way over the top syrupy hop finish. This one-note hop taste sticks around in your mouth for a good 45 seconds. Nothing complex to the ending, just hop hop hop.
Mouthfeel is good, but drinkability suffers because of the extreme lingering aftertaste. Overall it's not bad, but I wish the ending on the taste wasn't such a simple hop overload.
08-14-2006 00:47:42 | More by shivtim
3.33/5 rDev -23.4%
Pours copper in color ("like a penny," as noted by bulletrain76 Senior), with moderate wet lacing and minimal retention. "Meh."
Smells quite malty--very bready, with a nice wallop of herbal, pine hops.
Taste is surprisingly malty as well. This ain't your West Coast IPA, pal. Strongly bitter with more pine hops and a bit of mandarin orange/mango flavor. Tasty, but nowhere near a world-class IPA, IMO. There's nothing here that keeps me wanting more--simply a basic IPA that lacks balance and harmony.
Semi creamy and nicely carbonated, but somewhat light in the body. Not bad.
The light body and crisp finish makes this go down easy, but I'm not horribly interested in drinking more.
Far from worth trading for a growler, especially in the land where the Pliny flows in the streets like so much runoff. I hate to sound like an elitist, but I think the homers may have inflated the ratings for this one.
12-07-2009 06:28:44 | More by photomike
3.39/5 rDev -22.1%
On draft at the brewery. Appearance is golden in color, a tad darker than a typical IPA. I don't get much aroma, maybe some pine. Taste is bitter - grapefruit, and spruce. Carbonation is medium-high and it goes down easy despite the bracing bitterness. Overall an enjoyable beer but nothing special.
05-08-2014 22:28:47 | More by gabrielsyme
3.4/5 rDev -21.8%
I've been waiting to try this for a while and a final thanks to mnjeff for this!
The beer poured out darker than I imagined. Straight-up dark amber color. Smell was mainly hoppy. A piney hop scent mixed with a bit of spicyness. The head was normal. Lacing was normal for the style.
The taste had a crisp hop flavor right off the bat. A little bit of caramel malt shined through on the finish. Mouthfeel was nicely carbonated with a little creaminess.
This beer was insanely easy to drink, and that's what I like most about it. I just see this as an easy drinking IPA and nothing to rave about. It tasted good but I can name a ton of IPAs that I like more, many of which are accessible to me. If this was widely available I could see it getting lost in the shuffle. I'm still glad to have tried it though.
01-10-2010 23:53:41 | More by BearsOnAcid
3.43/5 rDev -21.1%
Growler received in a past trade with a generous MN guy. Shared with kubrick215 and a non-BA friend.
Pours a hazy dark golden orange with burnt orange hues when held to a light and a two finger frothy, pillowy off-white head. Excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the glass with rings, streaks and splotches of soapy lacing.
As soon as the growler was opened you could smell the dank, resinous oily hops from across the room. Very earthy and floral with a lots of pine and sticky kind bud character dominating the nose. There's also a good amount of sweet citrus and tropical fruit. Hints of pineapple, mango, grapefruit and citrus rind. Subtle malts with hints of sweet alcohol and biscuit.
Chewy full body with a blast of dry, bitter hops that linger throughout into a long, dry finish. More one-dimensional than the aroma suggests with an overpowering dry, earthy pine flavor. Slightly floral but mostly just intensely bitter and dry. Kind of like eating a tree. Resinous, sticky and oily with the dryness just coating the tongue in an unpleasant way. This really hurts the mouthfeel and drinkability. Not much in the way of sweetness to balance things out. The tropical and citrus fruit notes from the aroma are minimal if not completely absent. It's hard to pick anything else out underneath the dry, earthy pine needles. Faint malt backbone but again not enough to balance things out much. Subtle hits of caramel, biscuit and graham cracker.
Overall, I'm happy I got to try this beer but it was just too one-dimensional for my liking. I love intense bitter hoppy beers but this beer coats the tongue in an unpleasant way and reminds we of having cotton mouth after smoking low grade weed back in college.
03-07-2011 08:22:25 | More by corby112
3.43/5 rDev -21.1%
I had this on tap on a trip to Minnesota and even brought a growler home. The bartender told me that this is the beer that they hand their collective hats on. While I thought it was good, I was not as impressed as others.
The golden orange color gave a half inch head in the pint glass. It had a rather hoppy aroma, but I did not detect the same citrus hints that others detected. The hops hit you in the initial taste with some citrus notes following. It follows with a bitter hoppy aftertaste that entertains the sides of the tongue for some time.
As far as IPA's go, this is better than most. Still, I was not overly impressed. The citrus hints were well hidden and I could not find a strong note of anything particularly unique.
01-15-2012 20:52:42 | More by JohnnyHopps
3.45/5 rDev -20.7%
A visit with friends led me to the Town Hall Brewery and a chance to sample this frequently shipped beer. Overall the beer was a decent IPA, above average for the Middle West perhaps, but nothing that blows the west coast made versions away.
Came served in a nice pint glass with a decent head that lingered over a clear body. The aroma lets you know it is an IPA, citrusy, piney, with some nice malt sweetness.
The flavor was a bit washed out and one dimensional, the hops overshadow the malt a bit too much even for the style with a rough aftertaste that did not finish well. Not bad but, I have sampled better versions in Seattle and Portland. The beer does have a nice body.
I would order this again if I was at the Town Hall, but I will sample their other beers before I come back to this.
03-31-2005 22:35:24 | More by brakspear
3.48/5 rDev -20%
Appearance: Pours a beautiful amber orange with a decent foamy head that leaves some nice lacing.
Smell: Somewhat sweet and citrusy with some hints of pine.
Taste: Great big hop flavor with the ever-present grapefruit flavor at the end that fades out into a somewhat nutty, hoppy bitter aftertaste. Also has hints of that dreaded cooked vegetable taste at the end, which I have never noticed on tap, only from the growler.
Mouthfeel: Surpringling light for a beer with such big, dense flavor. The aftertaste is somewhat bitter and leaves the mouth somewhat dry.
Drinkability: I could definitely enjoy multiple pints of this brew. Goes down easy and doesn't destroy your tastebuds. It's that weird taste at the end that brings the rating down a bit.
I had the rare opportunity to enjoy this beer twice today: once on tap and then from the growler a few hours later. I went out to Town Hall after work, and came home to find out that my roommates had picked up a growler earlier in the day. The beer from the growler wasn't as full-flavored and it had that cooked vegetable taste at the end that kinda ruined the experience for me. Had I been taking notes at Town Hall tonight, this brew would have garnered higher ratings.
10-11-2005 04:34:08 | More by jamesdergen
Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 1,137 ratings.