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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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1,228 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 1,228
Reviews: 662
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 832
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:
Beer added by: Jason on 01-01-2003

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,228 | Reviews: 662 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of maDUECEgunner
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of nhindian
3.6/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

64oz growler poured into a Dogfish Head Signature glass. Growler provided by UMNbeerhunter, thanks Joe!

A - This beer pours a lot darker than expected for an IPA, almost gleaning into amber territory but still has that orange starburst. Dark orange, deep red, like a late sunrise. One finger at most of head, a little disappointing, but has some decent retention. Lacing on the other hand, is great, boasting large strokes of foam covering a ton of the glass.

S - The smell is a bit modest, slightly piney, slightly citrusy, but lots of floral aroma here from the hops. Fresh smelling. However there's also a very strong malt backbone in play here as well. Honestly, it's a bit too strong as I feel it detracts from the hops a bit too much and overall it's not incredibly hoppy smelling at all besides the floral rush at the beginning.

T - After taking my first sip, I was taken aback. This isn't very hoppy at all, much to my surprise. The front end is almost all malt and sweetness, before a slight transition into the grapefruit, orange, and bitter end. The malts just overtake the first half of this beer and I'm getting lots of caramel and toffee, and they only begrudgingly recede to let a bit of hops through near the end.

M - Mouthfeel is light-bodied with low carbonation. I don't know how, with Town Hall's counter-pressure filled growlers, but this seems a bit flat. Creamy, yet disappointing.

D - Drinkability is moderate. While a nicely balanced IPA, if I was looking for hops I'd search elsewhere, this beer has too much malt backbone in my opinion.

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

Poured from growler into Globe glass. Thanks to Jesse for hooking this one up.

A. Pours a 2 finger head. Excellent retention. Almost a permanent centimeter of continuous head. Solid lacing. Color is very dark orange.

S. Smell is about the hop. Tropical citrus aroma, mixed with a little pine. Grapefruit, and a pretty bitter hop aroma.

T. Smooth. Nice dry biscuity malt lies beneath really nice hop flavor. Incredibly easy drinking. Grapefruit and other tropical citrus hop flavors; oranges, apricots. Like the malt base to this beer. Tongue coating bitterness. Not over the top, but definitely present bitterness. This might be what is missing the most from a lot of other IPAs.

M. Great mouthfeel for an IPA. Lingering bitterness.

O. Been waiting a long time to try this one. I would very much consider myself a hop head so this has always been on the radar. The guy that brought me this growler said Masala tastes like marmalade. I think that is an extremely accurate description. Super easy drinking, and very flavorful IPA.

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

I received this from StuBob, thanks buddy.

I stuck the growler in the fridge for about a hour and a half as I plant a crap load of flowers and watered everything. I was parched and came in, washed up, and hit the fridge for a drink. I saw the Mama looking at my and I was sold as I can always drink an IPA. Well being so thirsty the first sip straight from the growler ;) about took my head off, such overwhelming hops it reminded me of the time I sipped at hop extract. Wow, I need to drink some water and eat to enjoy this beer.

Well this beer starts off as a light amber with a head of pure white fluff that last all the way down leaving lots of lace. The nose is a blend of hops from spicy to citrus very little malt coming though. The taste is pure hop and the malt is mostly lost but there is a little crystal poking its head through. As this is balanced to the hops the flavors are layered, there are plenty of deep bittering that lingers from sip to sip, but the flavors of the beer are of pithy citrus with a spicy sweet riptide that fades back to the deep bittering. This could of had a little more of a body and more of a malty character to balance, but I like the presentation of the hops that really make this beer shine and make you not even care about the malt. This makes a great session beer and I already miss her, my Mama.

Photo of hansgruber
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of mtrog313
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of BrewMaster
3.8/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark golden to copper color with a dense tan head. Light carbonation billows from the bottom. Slightly cloudy with slippery lacing sliding down the glass.

Smell: Earthy and vegetable scents from the hops. Some piney and faint floral notes backed by a bit of malty sweetness.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The hop flavor dominates the beer. Sweet malty base that shines only briefly before being overpowered by a very earthy, bark-like hop flavor. The hop flavor is gritty and even sandy in a raw sense. Very green and vegetal. The flavor tastes fresh and oily but a bit out of balance.

Drinkability: This beer is readily drinkable and pairs well with the appetizers at Town Hall, particularly the wings. Tasty and fresh.

Photo of DaveAnderson
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Cyclone8
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of rhinos00
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Jeff (Faro) for sending this my way. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy this, but I may have converted my father to the world of microbrews with this one.

Poured from a growler into a pint glass.

A- Dark, clear amber. Gave a nice orange glow when light hit the glass. Two finger white head formed and dissipated quickly upon consumption.

S- Great aroma. First thing to hit the nose is a nice piney smell. Underneath is a subtle smell of citrus and grapefruits.

T- One of the best IPA's I have tasted so far. Bitter piney hops attack the palate and is finished off with a wonderful citrus sweetness.

M- Perfect. Well carbonated and medium bodied. Many IPA's tend to feel watered down me, no such thing going on here.

D- Highly drinkable...a nearly empty growler after two days is a perfect example of its drinkability.

Overall, very impressed. Usually I tend to like DIPA's because they are bolder and have more complexity. The fact that this is an IPA at 5.90% ABV and draws similarities to many of my favorite DIPA's is a true testament to how great of beer this really is. Highly recommended. Thanks Jeff!

Photo of jackorain
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finnaly got to the brewery. Had the draught after the cask. See my cask review in the previous review.

A-Clear amber. Long lasting head that eventually (7 minutes) fell to a thin coat and tall collar. Showed decent lace.

S-Beautiful hop aromas, grapefruit, complex array of other citrus fruit, bready, biscuit and caramel malts. Nearly the same nost as the cask but not as potent.

T-Again, this close to the cask but not quite as good. Citrus fruits abound, grapefruit and grapefruit pith dominate the hop profile. A bit hoppier than the cask versionThere ia an alcohol zing the belies the fairly low ABV. The malts come out and grow more complex as it warms and consists of all those found in the nose. Never comes up as balanced though.

M-medium body, nice even carbonation, not as creamy as the cask.

D-Very good, lower ABV and fantastic flavor makes this one and all nighter. Supremely hoppy and unbalnced but I knew this going in and appreciated it. Sorry about all the comparisons to the cask, but I thought it appropriate given I drank them back to back and liked the cask a touch better.

Photo of marcobrau
4.69/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap and cask at the brewery as part of a sampler. The hop aroma from this beer made it seem like a grapefruit had been stuffed into the tiny sampling glass. As I sampled the brew I was overwhelmed by the brash tangerine pith and grapefruit flavors awash in a sea of creme brulee-like maltiness. The mouthfeel was very creamy smooth and the body somewhat full. The finish was quite bitter, but not harsh. Not much else to say other than this was quite delicious.

(This review is from notes I took back in June 2008. Can't believe I didn't post these notes back then.)

Photo of Atron67
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- this didnt have the cascading creamy look that the cask ale did, however it was still a heavy foamed, golden amber clear bodied ale with tan head that lasted a long time and left lots of lacing
S- This had a much sharper hop scent than the cask conditioned, however it was just as good, and enjoyable, although the malt is harder to notice under the sharper hops
T- very good, theres the great hop flavor providing a much stronger and crisper flavore, slightly piney. it is harder to notice the malts than in the cask however they are still there and quite delicious
M- this has a much lighter body and a sharper carbonation, but right where you epect and want for an IPA
D- This is a great IPA, however I might like the cask more, but they are both delicious

Photo of Casey10
4.23/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in trade from supercolter was looking forward to trying this one for ahwile and did not disapoint.

A - Red copper hue with a huge head once poured from a growler to the glass.

S - Pine and a small amount of citrus, slight malts.

T - Nice balance smooth fresh hops and earthy tone make this a fantastic beer.

M - Leaves a nice lingering feel that stays with you after drinkng one.

D - I thought that the brew was nice becasue of the fact this would be hard to aquire on a regular basis it lowered the score some but nice none the same.

Photo of Schlais
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Despite my really high marks for this beer, I can't help to feel somewhat underwhelmed by this beer's reputation. Don't get me wrong. This is a great beer. A great IPA. But it's quality, albeit high, has been outstripped by its reputation. Bell's Two Hearted, for example, can easily go toe to toe with this one.

The name for this syndrome is "you can't get this, it is soooo good."

Good amber color. Really nice frothy head. Smell is really good. Piney and grassey hops. American hops I surmise. Taste is like the nose, but clean.

Super mad props to blitheringidiot for sharing this with us folks back in Philly.

Photo of ManekiNeko
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served from a growler named Jamshed, which came to NoVA courtesy of the host with the most: feloniousmonk.

Appearance: Tea-twinged light brown topped by a foamy and rocky tannish head. The head retained a big ol' film of foam and left thick sheets of lacing on the sides of the glass. Impressive.

Smell: A good ol' twang of hops: orange rind, grasses, some pine, grapefruit citrus. A minor hint of toffee-like malts show this won't be hop-tea.

Taste: Solid malt presence with a sh'load of hoppiness. Heavy on the fruity citrus and spruciness. A lingering sting of IBUs. Damn Biatch!

Mouthfeel: Burly and brash like a hoppy elephant dancing on your tongue.

Drinkability: Hell yeah! Little Jamshed was not enuf. I must have more. Too bad I just signed a year-long lease...

Photo of mhenson42
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of metalgdog
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of billhelm
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of dnb128
3.64/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of EJJ1848
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of TooGood
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Soonami
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Rich (phillybeer7779) for sharing this special growler.

Masala Mama is a dark orange amber with a thick sticky head. The beer explodes with piney cascade hops. Malty smoothness on the tongue with a nice burst of grapefruit juice in the end. There is no alcohol harshness. The beer is a little bit lacking in malt body and the low alcohol is probably a signal of this as the botts are a bit too harsh in the finish. Overall this is very good, but I think the hype and lack of dsitribution drives up demand for this beer over what is deserved.

Photo of BierReise
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a Growler Bottled in May 04’. Poured a slightly hazed copper with an orange hue and a huge frappy foamy head that completely resists gravity. I think it’s still growing as I drink. Nice big citrus like hop aroma. Medium smooth body. Flavor is a good balance of hops and malt. Hops providing lots of bitterness and good flavors with malt backing it up nicely. Unsure of the abv however it does have a decent kick to it. Overall a great IPA. Thanks Monk!

Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 1,228 ratings.