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Masala Mama India Pale Ale - Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

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Masala Mama India Pale Ale
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BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,216 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,216
Reviews: 661
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 829
Gots: 63 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
American style India Pale Ale (IPA) brewed using Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial and Mt. Hood hops. A beer with crisp hop flavor and bitterness well balanced with American malt sweetness.

(Beer added by: Jason on 01-01-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Masala Mama India Pale Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 1,216 | Reviews: 661 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Grapefruit juice with orange smoothie. Balanced for an IPA, not very hoppy or carbonated, which I liked. Maybe lost a bit on the trip down, and it did in the hours and couple days from opening. Was best in first few minutes, with extra head. Loved suctioning that cream on top. A six out of five in drinkability.. Excellent citrus grapefruit aroma. Beautiful appearance of hazy copper.

Many thanks to the unofficial Duke of the Town Hall ,Feloniousmonk, for coordinating a growler and other beers to me on my recent USA trip to Cleveland.

REVISIT AND RERATE: On-tap with Al at the pub 4.5 years later. Its still a very good IPA though did not get the grapefruit juice. The hops: Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, and Mt. Hood. A good bitterness, where is the grapefruit? A significant difference. Having just had it 48 hours before, I must say the Sculpin is now the champ.

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.88/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler shared at FosterJM's birthday celebration courtesy of smarcoly.

Pours a clear dark orange with an orange-tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, and some herbal hops. There is also a faint hint of funk in the aroma. Taste is pretty much the same without any funk in the flavor. There is a medium amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but the slight whiff of funk in the nose is a bit off putting.

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the brewpub in August 2009.

A: Poured a dark orange color with a good amount of off-white head.

S: Very, very nice--the nose has a lot of citrus hops with a little bit of a tropical background. Some caramel type malt in the background.

T: I agree with a few others that there might be a little too much malt here; I'd like to be able to feel a little presence without tasting too much of it. Very, very tasty, but I wish the hops had the opportunity to shine a little bit more here.

M: Light to medium body with a good amount of carbonatino and not much alcohol kick.

D: Quite high. Would have liked to have pint after pint of this.

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours orange/amber with a thin white head.

Nose is orange and carmeled citrus hops; has the smell of cooked pineapple and the nose is integrated and balanced between the hops pineapple and the malty fruit. Nice layered and complex nose.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy with nice carbonation and good balance. This one can't seem to decide in the mouth if it wants to be a big bright and bitter IPA or a fruity, malty and creamy Double. I'd call it more like a decent double than a good IPA.

Flavors are full of oranges, toffee, creamy lemon but also a bitter herbaceous pine hop character. The flavors are not bright and the flavor profile is not quite integrated. Yet, there is an appeal to this beer and, despite the criticism, I kept going back for more. The flavors and all around profile would have one conclude it is far higher in alcohol than stated. Hard to believe it's only 5.9% as it drinks with much more of an alcohol character and profile than 5.9. It also drinks, smells, feels and tastes much more like a complex double than a hoppy, fresh IPA. Drinkable, to be sure, and somewhat appealing.

Respectfully, a good beer. However, I believe that the beer is not worth the hype.

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a hazy amber color and a sturdy head that retains and laces well

Smell: Tangerine citrus and some pith

Taste: No malt appetizer here as we go straight to the grapefruit and pith flavors from start to finish; some underlying hints of caramel try to sneak in from time to time and they are finally able to take a bow at the finish, but this is all about bitter citrus

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A refreshing beer with great bitter character and just enough caramel flavor to keep it honest

Photo of BEERchitect
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

How good do IPA's get (notice I didn't distinguish regular IPA's from Double IPA's), well I'll let you know in just a moment. I have extreme high hopes for this beer.

The beer pours with a very froathy, deep copper/lightly rusty color. The beer doesn't let go of its bubbles easily. Eventually, the foam separates from the beer and reveals a standard hop-hazed liquid with a creamy and stubborn head resting above. Off white creme forums a mousse that linger well beyond the session and lacing as well as any IPA can. Really an ideal look though the haze might be a bit excessive.

Surprisingly, only a moderate citrus (grapefruit) aroma rises from the glass. Accompanied by an orange zest and grassy note, the grapefruit only hits medium intensity as far as IPA's are concerned. The malt character takes on a very crisp, yet creamy aroma that makes the beer very appealing and inviting.

Flavors of the beer are very balanced from the nose to finish- a very consistent flavor of citrus balanced by malts of bread crust and deep caramel. Neither the malt profile nor the nops appear first or let the other to take precedence until mid-palate when the creamy malts fade to dryness and the hop flavor (citrus) and clean bitterness take hold in true Double IPA fashion. Not a whole lot of esters or varying hop flavors, but this beer remains simple, clean, and focused.

The best part of the beer is in its texture. Where the beer starts out with a subtle malt creaminess, the beer transitions beautifully into a crisp, dry, and fleeting bitterness well into the finish. Where the initial impression makes me think 'balanced', the finish allows the hop bitterness to dominate and to do so without any hint of bite, astringency, or roughness. Absolutely effortless to drink.

In a nutshell, the beer is wonderful. I wish that there were the fragrant and flavorful first impressions of a dry-hop Centennial hop character but it just isn't there. But from mid palate on, the beer is as perfect as I have tasted- absolutely wonderful.

A big, big thanks to Chickdighops for this wonderful beer. I seriously owe you!

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler: Poured a deep orangey color ale with a huge foamy head with great retention and great lacing. Aroma of citrus hops with a nice mix of caramel malt and a nice bitter aftertaste. Taste is also a very well balance mix between some some c-hops citrus notes with some floral undertones and deep caramel malt. Full body with great carbonation. Very well done but I still thinks its lacks the grapefruit punch that I really look for in this style.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Having a fresh growler of Town Hall's Masala Mama in one's beer fridge for five days is either the ultimate example of self-control or is the very definition of insanity. Leaning toward the latter, I've decided that today's the day that I 'stop the madness'. Best by date of June 7.

Hazy, dark orange-amber; tawny to be exact. No visible suspended bits to my eye. The head is somewhere between rich, dark cream and light tan and looks as stiff as softly beaten egg whites. It's falling at a glacial pace and I'm beginning to see gorgeous patterns of intricate lace. Eventually there are thick, chunky rings and small sheets all over the glass. Why won't the appearance button go to 6.0?

The nose is incredible and simply cannot be improved upon. Loads of sweet, fruity, citrusy hops comprise the aroma, one that rivals any in IPA-land. The flavor is exceptional as well. A bittersweet, hoptastic, grapefruit pith-like, sprucey bombshell explodes across the tongue and lingers forever, aided by a full, resiny, sticky mouthfeel.

It may be heresy to some, but I feel that this beer contains a bit too much malt (flavor). The toasted caramel malt backbone is a little too prominent for my liking. It doesn't quite take center stage away from the hops, but it does intrude. Keep in mind that I'm a major hophead and have never had a too-hoppy beer.

Also keep in mind that I'm being extremely picky. This is very, very good beer. It's just that the caramel flavor keeps it out of the upper echelon of my very favorite IPAs. I am enjoying every drop though and this growler is unlikely to last until sundown. Anyone who needs a hop fix need look no further than this beautifully made, well-balanced (so sue me!), delicious beer.

Because MM is (almost) always available at Town Hall, it's going to take every ounce of the self-control that I mentioned above not to jump into my car and head north whenever the Masala Mama jones overtakes me. Given the current price of gasoline, I figure that a fresh pint of this delicious nectar will cost me $53.50. Yeah, that's about right.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Two finger dense head with scattered lacing on a clear deep amber body. Aroma is excellent with floral, toffee, grapefruit and orange peel citrus, earthy hops and subtle pine notes. Flavor also is excellent with strong hop presence with a toasted malt base. Hop character includes tart citrus, floral, pine, earthy and slightly herbal hops. Basically all major hop notes in one but the impressive part is how they are still distinct and well defined making this one very complex. Medium body and moderate carbonation. One of the best IPAs I have had. This one is up there with Pliny the Elder just more on the tart and pine side.

Photo of ygtbsm94
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

64oz Growler poured into several Pint Glasses and shared amongst friends

A - Poured a deep rich dark orange tinted amber with a nice full two fingers of head on the top. Nice clarity as there was not too much haze in this one, but lots of carbonation streaming up toward the top. Very nice retention led to a good amount of side glass lace left over.

S - The aroma was full of deep citrus hops and pine resin. It had a very fresh smell to, it was obviosuly just bottled. The aroma was thick with neverending waves of hoppiness and a slight malty earthen smell way deep in the back trying to round it out.

T - What a wonderful full flavor this had. I was worried whether it could live up to its hype, boy did it ever. This was a fantastically good ipa. From the first sip it was a full on bath of citrus hops. Deep flavors of orange, tangerince and a touch of grapefruit washed over the tongue. As it warmed some more bitterness started to fall into place with hints of sugar and pineapples rounding it out. A very nice earthy backround provided all the neccasary balance in this one.

M - Great smooth creamy feel. This was a nice light to medium bodied ale that was more then adequatly carbonated and really had a nice feel to it. The carbonation stayed till the last drop and the finish was very long and drawn out with a great residula bitterness.

D - Perfect is all I can say about this here. I really enjoyed evry last drop of this and really could have went for some more when it was done. Easily one the better IPA's I have ever had.

Overall this lived upto ever ounce of the hype around it. A superbly crafter IPA it tatsted fresh until the last drop and had a great profile that just would not quit. I would love to have this again one day, especiaally on tap. A wonderful brew.

Photo of womencantsail
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to BigDank for sending me this growler. Shared with my girlfriend's dad before Christmas dinner.

A: Poured from the growler to the glass to reveal a perfectly copper colored beer with a fluffy off-white head.

S: Lots of great grapefruit and pine aromas fill the nose. There is also a hint of sweet tropical fruit, such as pineapple and mango, on the finish.

T: The same great fruits that were present in the aroma are picked up on the tongue as well, but perhaps not quite as intense. There is also a nice bitterness on the finish.

M: Despite the long trip in the growler, this beer was still very well carbonated. A nice medium body on this beer.

D: This is definitely one of the more hoppy and aromatic IPAs that I've had from outside California. A very easy drinking, one, however. And at 5.9% ABV, it's not too tough to have a few glasses of.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of largadeer
4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Crystal clear pale amber with 2 fingers of dense, frothy foam from a gentle pour. The head on this beer is incredibly persisting, I've never seen anything like it. Lace consumes half the glass.

Smell: Biscuity malts and resiny pine in the forefront with undertones of citrus and tropical fruit.

Taste and mouthfeel: A mild bready sweetness appears first, followed by a blast of floral, resiny hop bitterness. The malt backbone perseveres until the very end, lingering on the back of the tongue and lending a necessary balance. Creamy on the tongue but still light-bodied. Hop bitterness comes out even more as the beer warms, with a downright puckering hop smack in the finish.

Notes: Thanks to DontCallMeSurly for hooking me up with this growler.

Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a glass mug.

Big thanks to hannydawg and VDubb86 for hooking me up with some o' this growlered goodness!

Didn't think I'd ever get around to trying this...much props to my unexpected hookups! It pours a hazy sunset amber topped by a light sprig of dirty white foam. (I will note here that I was late to the growler, so the carbonation was decidedly diminished for me. I have adjusted the grading accordingly.) The nose comprises ruby red grapefruit, mandarin orange, lime, caramel, and a slight intimation of onion. The taste holds notes of pine, orange peel, greens, light cedar, and some very light caramel resting in the back. The body is a light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a pretty dry finish. Overall, a very nice IPA. I'm not sure I can rave about it as much as others have, but it is pretty damn good.

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -7.8%

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Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 1,216 ratings.