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Masala Mama India Pale Ale - Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

Masala Mama India Pale Ale
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BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,082 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1082
Reviews: 654
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 9.17%


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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Masala Mama India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,082 | Reviews: 654 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ahhh...what could be better to come home to after a long day at work than a fresh growler of the infamous Masala Mama sitting on your doorstep. Pours from the growler a brilliant shade of reddish orange with a fluffly, sticky mountain of head...as it falls it leaves wonderful intricate patchy lacing on the side of my glass. My mouth is watering already. As I pick up my glass and bring it to my nose I'm instantly hit by a wave of ripe, succulent hop aromas. Rich, resiny grapefruit, peach, pineapple, mango and various other citrus fruits mix with a hint of pine sap. Sweet candy caramel maltiness mixes into my make this smell like a big citrusy hop candy. Sit....smell...repeat incessantly.

First sip brings a smooth, rush of lupulin laden hoppiness. Massive citrus tones rush over my tongue along with a hint of herbal pine. A sweet, mellow caramel, bready maltiness seems to have a symbiotic relationship to the hops. The sweetness comes first and finishes off with just the right amount of bitterness on the back of the palate. Incredibly flavorful...I get hints of all the citrus fruits I mentioned above with each sip. Nothing less than a lovingly made IPA...exceptionally balanced and simply a delight to all lovers of the hops.

Silken smooth, creamy mouthfeel that has just enough carbonation...I could nearly mistake this for being off cask. Each sip I take makes me want to take another and so on. Man..I would be drinking this all the time if I had access to it...an all day drinkable IPA. Sometimes I think I get caught up in the double IPA's and pushing the envelope...however then I come across a brew like this that uses elegance, balance and obvious brewing skills to create one of the best IPA's that has yet to touch my lips. I might shed a tear when this growler is empty....you Minnesota folks are quite lucky to have easy access to this brew. Maybe one day they will bottle it...until then I must thank feloniousmonk for the opportunity.

Serving type: growler

05-18-2005 02:57:56 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to tavernjef for this growler!

Appears an amber orange with lots of foamy white head. Plenty of nice lacing on the top as well. Nice carbonation as well. Plenty of hops in the nose. Not a whole lot of maltiness in there but the hop overtones are one to be reckoned with. The smell is actually quite adictive. Lots of citrusy sweet notes. Tastes plenty hoppy. Not too overkill and blended nicely with a bitterness that hits you from the first sip with a bit of an odd linger that isn't too obtrusive from the brew itself. Mouthfeel is pretty nice but it's just missing that hard malt backbone that so many great IPA's and IIPA's have worked into their regiment. This is certainly a drinkable beer. I had a few pints with my friends and we wished that we had more. Oh well, it is what it is. My only complaint is that it could use more malt to back her up. Other than that...

Finger licking good.

Serving type: growler

05-03-2005 18:03:23 | More by weeare138
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meathookjones

Virginia

4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This review is from a growler courtesy of Stubob. Cloudy amber body with tall off white head that stand strong for the life of the pint as it slowly collapses. Huge clumpy rings of lace covered the glass. Wow, the insane hoppiness coming out the glass was evident as I was pouring this. Big citric and floral hops dominate this swallowing up almost all traces of malt. Flavor was very bitter upon the first sip with hops kicking the crap out of my tongue the whole way. Citric and some earthy tone hopes with piney notes were strong from the first sip to the last. Big dry bitter after taste lasted forever and left you feeling like some one dragged a rake across your tongue. Simply wonderful. Solid mouthfeel that was alive with hop prickliness. Very drinkable stuff in that punishingly bitter IPA kind of way. I made the mistake of having the last glass from the growler with some jalapeño pizza and buffalo wings. I don’t think I tasted breakfast the next day. Great stuff and a big thanks to StuBob for the chance to try this.

Serving type: growler

05-02-2005 20:29:26 | More by meathookjones
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Higravity

Michigan

4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Serving type: growler

04-27-2005 13:05:35 | More by Higravity
Photo of Frozensoul327
Frozensoul327

Michigan

3.8/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

OK, let's get one thing straight before I review this brew. I have NEVER liked IPAs. I strongly stress, NEVER. After a chance meeting with a fellow BA from Minnesota (Fantome), I was presented with a growler of this brought from the brewery, kept cold in a cooler for the entire duration of the trip to Michigan, as a gift for my upcoming wedding. I readily accepted the beer, and was amazed at how beer can bring people together. Incredible. In anycase...On to the beer. As I have stated, I am not a fan of IPA's. Until now. This is the only IPA I have ever really enjoyed. Poured out to a slightly cloudy amber orange color with a respectable head that left a nice lace around the glass. Odors of hops and citrus were present, as were notes of herbs. Medium to low carbonation. Slightly malty presence is outdone by bitterness and hops, which were strongly present. Just a touch of honey or molasses sweetness on the finish, with a bitter-smooth aftertaste. Recommended. And that's coming from me, who doesn't care for IPA's. Damn good stuff considering. Thanks again to my newfound friend from Minnesota Fantome, and Proc for being such an awesome beer ambassador and introducing me.

Serving type: growler

04-22-2005 22:43:29 | More by Frozensoul327
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axisjones

California

4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler, a ruddy reddish orange. The color and clarity and quite captivating. I would paint my car this color if I had enough beer and money. A rocky white head bobs on top and the lacing is oh so pretty all the way down. This is a gorgeous beer, prom quality all the way. Hoptastic smell, bitter grapefruit and dirty flowers. For a standard IPA this is hopped the hell out. Unlike alot of IPAs, the bitterness is straight up and isnt as complex in the way or citric or piney flavors. The malt is initially kidnapped by the pure slam of the hops but makes a cameo in the end lending a faint biscuity flavor. Underline the faint. A bit on the unbalanced side in favor of raw hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is oily and slick, i can almost feel the hop residue's legs dripping down my inner cheeks. Perfect levels of carbonation.
Drinkable to the max, but the bitterness could really use more balance. A great IPA all around and quite the beaut. Thanks feloniousmonk for the growler, my friends aren't coming close to it.

Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2005 04:05:24 | More by axisjones
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tavernjef

Minnesota

4.85/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this so many numberous times from growlers and fresh right at the pub, thought perhaps it was time to do a review for the tapped version as the casked version is different but just as good if not better on-tap.

This is from a fresh growler:
Softly dulled bronze color, with a fine and firm capping of ivory hued foam. Head grows consistent and vigorously to a fine foam of puff. Gets bumby and moon-surfaced as it crumbles down slowly. Keeps a fine hazey skim and a load of thickly set lacing closer to the top of the liquid as the rest from towards the top is placed in light webby strings.

Now I've had a super fresh batch and the aroma first off the tap was awesomely peachy and loaded with hoppy goodness. This time around the aroma has been softened by alot from what I know what its capable of. So for now, I lower my number due to its softer touch. Gotta go with ya got. Still quite pungent though, just not as peachafied as those first tappings. What I do like is its fine crispness, very sharp and lofty with a big toasty malt showing its side of things on this day. The rest is made up of some very fresh pine thats fairly resinous. Tinges of orange sweep up along with a few bits of grapefruit and partailly heated hop dust.

The taste is what I've come to love about this beer. Supurb cleanness, carefully bittered, well balanced, citric and toasty. Those fresher batches tend to bring out the peach tones alot more, as does the cask offering, but this still rocks my world. Lovely toastyness, creamy, soft, caramel is slippery within. Buttery biscuits among the toasted stuff. But those hops really just make a nice accompanyment and entice the buds into a ballet of tongue dancing delight. Well placed and quite pungent pine resin grabs with an intense but evenly handled bite with great nuances of citrus tones leading into heavier orange and slighter grapefruit rinds and juices. This time around - very, very slight hint of peach in the creamier areas in the middle where the toasty stuff floats off. But other times I've had this the peach has really pushed forward as the dominate fruit and I love that even more then what it is now. Still... this....This is quite tasty.

Body is nearly full, great crispyness; clean, toasty, creamy in the middle, bittered with juicy citrus and pine, but not overloaded so as to burn the tonsils out the back of your throat. Its feverant, but mellowingly bittered. And as always, way to drinkable. So much so, this could possible be liquid crack for some folks out there. And as Hugey states, I too have yet to recieve a faultered pint full or growler full of this stuff. The peach tones weren't as present this time around, but when it does, it just adds another wave of magic to this already fantastic IPA.

Notes of difference: Cask body is fuller and more rounded where the edges blurr with hops and warmth. Cask tends to be more set with fruitier juices and bitterly tamed. Tapped body is cleaner and crisper with more edgeyness to the hop profile and with its bitterness it tends to give a sharper return quicker. Where as the cask version is more gradual in the hop profile and warming.

The tapped Mama is always available so when its on-cask, try em both side by side, you'll have lots of fun comparing and contrasting each of their subtlities.

Serving type: growler

04-16-2005 00:53:08 | More by tavernjef
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brakspear

Wisconsin

3.45/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2005 22:35:24 | More by brakspear
Photo of mentor
mentor

Colorado

4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler provided by tavernjef...thanks so much! Reviewed the same day I received it. Growler opens with a gentle hiss and the beer pours a nice 2 finger creamy tan yellow head over a slightly cloudy amber liquid. It had a hint of the guinness-like carbonation settling to the top. Smells of gentle citrus with some rough grassy cohumulone character, too. Grapefruit and lightly lemony, with something of a cotton candy smell that I associate with Amarillo hops (at least that's how Amarillo comes across in my homebrew). It has a very oily and aromatic flower smell. Noticable apricot and possibly some other fruit smells. Tastes caramel sweet to start then quickly shifting to the hops. Bitter. Very bitter, but then I get distracted by a malt sweetness that emerges and the grapefruit of the hops. Great combination that leaves me chasing it and wanting more. I'd better oblige. The sugar in the middle/end of the swallow is very interesting. It's almost got a crystaline quality about it. The next gulp I catch the combination a bit more clearly and then realize that in my first few gulps, I missed a nice fruity and malty that comes in at the end. It's a dry fruity and is mixed with a grassy feel on my tongue and a great aromatic oily floral. Hey, this is two beers in one! Medium mouthfeel that could be medium-thick...it's hard to tell because the ending is dry and a potent hop bitter hangs around. It's grapefruit-like, but has a flatness to it. Some qualities of oranges, plus the sense that I sunk my feel into orange rind (like when you need a scar in the rind so you can start peeling it). Works well to announce the gulp is over and it's time for another, but I kinda like some dancing malt and fruit to make me ponder each gulp. Okay, deep into my second glass here and a sweet malt is winning over the sharp end as an aftertaste. Plus, pardon me, even the burps taste good. Md to Md-thick mouthfeel and with moderate carbonation. I think the carbonation adds a bit of an acrid that amplifies the hop bitter and a tang that I've just now detected. Hmm, what is that tang? I'd better pour a third glass and see. Please pardon me if my spelling goes awry. That tang is not entirely pleasing, but I can't get a fix on it, so I'm intrigued. Perhaps some green apples and straw? Okay, enough. I'm about three beers to the wind and done with this review. This was definitely a challenging beer to dissect. Even the less desirable characteristics had some features that kept me guessing and wanting more to put my finger on. I guess I have to take that road trip to Minneapolis after all. Maybe they'll let me fill a 5-gallon cornie keg rather than a bunch of growlers.

Edit: They just e-mailed back. Filling my 5-gallon keg would violate state laws/regulations. Oh well, can't hurt to ask.

Serving type: growler

03-20-2005 12:24:36 | More by mentor
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

4.63/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler filled and provided in trade by StuBob. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, a dense, frothy 1" beige head formed over the cloudy, orangey amber brew. Head fades slowly, and leaves nice, heavy lacing. Aroma is a tinge of sweet malts, quickly overpowered by bitrusy hops character. Taste as well starts with sweetness, but overshone promptly by the hoppiness. Had hoped for a tad more citrus over the tongue, and a little less in the bitter department, but that's almost quibbling. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both excellent. I can only imagine what this is like at the source. Maybe someday...

Serving type: growler

03-18-2005 00:46:52 | More by ppoitras
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Southernbrew

Georgia

5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After a thorough palette cleansing, it is time to crack the growler of this legendary ale.

Poured into my trust Arrogant Bastard glass, I see a lovely dark copper color with a nice sized, off white head. I would say this is one of the darker IPAs I've had the pleasure of sampling.

The aroma of this bad boy is pure heaven in a glass. Piney hops run wild and chasing them is a weak, orange-like citrus. Some nice caramel malt acts as a foundation to bring together all the parts of this wonderful scent. They should make cologne that smells like this.

To be honest, I feared the first sip on the chance that it wouldn't be all I dreamed. Fortunately, it was. The body is somewhere between medium and full but is so smooth and so chewy. The flavor begins with a nice big hoppy bitterness that moves its way into the piney region, just like the aroma. As it progresses a bit of grapefruit flavor comes along and then the caramel malt makes an appearance just to keep everything under control, but never takes away from the performance the hops put on. The end of each swallow leaves a wonderful bitter/citrus aftertaste that lasts until the next sip.

If you can't tell, I love this beer. This is my second all "5" beer, and I would love to score it higher. The generosity of BA and all around gentleman Feloniousmonk made this sampling possible, so Al, thank you again and again. If I lived in Minnesota, I would be hard pressed to buy anything else.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2005 01:14:30 | More by Southernbrew
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aracauna

Georgia

4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My sister was in Minneapolis for a college activities planning convention and was nice enough to walk down to the brewpub, buy a growler of this, lug it back to her hotel (almost 2 miles one way), and bring home in her backpack. I’m glad she did, it’s a tasty beer that has more malt complexity than you’d expect from an IPA. The brown body is topped off by a medium-sized head. The aroma smacks first of hops, pine tip variety, but is followed up by a solid, sweet caramel and biscuit malt. The flavor is full, the malt thick in the mouth with the tingling carbonation and prickly bitterness lightening the load. Excellent.

Serving type: on-tap

02-27-2005 02:14:13 | More by aracauna
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GIVEMEBACKMYSON

Alaska

4.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sweet smelling nose with a note of honey, and the definitely expected floral behavior.
This pours quite the lively active head, with dimples and lacing galore. The nectar itself has a pale amber color. All things said, she's a looker.
On first sip, my initial reaction was "wow this is a bitter motherfucker". Pine sap is just all over the place. Resinous as all get out. There was a bready yeasty middle ground to this thanks to some malting. But, it's all about hops, boys and girls. And Masala Mamasita lets you know. But what I found most interesting was that this has a hop character and flavor reminiscent of some of my favorite DIPAs, but the body and ABV of a typical pale. It's light in the mouth and all that shit. This makes it easily a double agent...summer quencher/winter blanket. Do what you will.
I had this at the Great Taste of the Midwest in august and thought "not bad, but what's the big deal?" Well, that's why folks shouldn't attempt reviewing at beer fests. This stuff is kick ass.
Thanks to MoeSizlak for arranging this. Good call.

Serving type: growler

02-10-2005 16:25:25 | More by GIVEMEBACKMYSON
Photo of Dantes
Dantes

New Jersey

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 hadn’t 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 appearance’s promise. Strongly piney, with some citrus and floral top notes. Still, not overwhelmingly astringent or sharp. I don’t 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 it’s 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, there’s a caramel sweetness, along with some toastiness and some nutty flavors (and some nice nutskin bitterness). Again, comparisons to Celebration come to mind. This isn’t “just” an IPA, it shares the rare roundness of early Brutal Bitter and Celebration. There’s some British winter warmer lurking here. It blows me away that this is “only” ~6% ABV. It’s not that its “alcoholy,” but that it’s 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: I’ll 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 don’t. I was wrong. Although this is not the perfect beer, it’s 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 wouldn’t 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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putnam

Michigan

3.98/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

"enjoyed by 1-20"
Consumed on 1-12 from a growler.
Red/orange syrup-colored liquid with a molten, buttercream-colored top. Pungent aromas of orange candy, slatey earth and herbs. Sweet, broad, well-toasted sugars are revealed in a lazy rotation with caramel, cedar, toffee, cinnamon jawbreakers and sooty resins.
Forceful and glossy with deep, citric complexity.
Typically I find American IPA intolerable as a steady drink. This one is certainly above average.

Thanks to jenn and -- ultimately -- "stooby" for the drink. I'm still tasting it the next day.

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2005 16:38:10 | More by putnam
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granger10

Wisconsin

3.75/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1/2 gallon growler obtained from the monk and split with tikigodxxx

This beer has a clear auburn color that turns orangish, coppperish, then brown when held to light. Good sized light tan head that holds up for some time then reduces to a layer of lacing across the top and along the glass.

Aroma starts grapefruity but then turns to a strong fruity scent which is candyish. Notes of bubblegum are in there along with some more citrus. Very unique aroma, i didnt know what to think of it at first but the more I enhaled the more I liked.

There's a balance in this beer I wasn't expecting from an IPA. Taste begins with a caramel, sweet potato taste. Might be some toffee in there as well. Lots of fruity flavors come to after the initial malty sweetness. Fruits are citric and tropical. Candy corn comes in. Hops are a bit muddled and have trouble emerging from the malts. There's an earthy/floral hop flavor in there but the hops really come out in the finish. There's a straight hop bitter/piney flavor that lingers on the tongue in the end.

The body here is a little goeey almost syrupy. Reminds me somewhat of honey and maple syrup mixed. The flavors are complex but mild. The malts get a little cloying over time though. I liked the mildness and complexity which made this beer really drinkable but the cloying and piney bitterness in the end were a little offputting.

All in all I liked this beer and I liked the second glass better than the first, I don't think the alcohol affected that decision either since its rather low. I think this is an ESB hiding behind an IPA label. Much more in line with what I would consider ESB with its subtler flavors, balance, and fruity esters. I bet it would be great on cask. A good beer and one that I would drink more of if I could but it didn't provide nirvana like it has for some. thanks to al and mike for giving me the chance to try this unique brew.

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2005 15:28:20 | More by granger10
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necoadam

Connecticut

4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1/2 gallon growler.

Poured out a musty orange color with a few hints of very light red mixing in as well. A nice head that also stays with you for quite a while.

Smell was outstanding. The first thing you'll notice is the huge fruit notes in this beer. Big pine aromas as well. And of course, a good hops are also in the nose.

Taste was quite good. This beer has a huge malt backbone to it. A lot of toasted malts with a nice hop and citrus taste on top of the malts. Quite a bit of toffee also in there that mixes in towards the middle and the end. But towards the end it just gets hoppy and more hoppy. Some pine flavors also mix in the aftertaste. Not bad at all.

Mouthfeel was medium and the carbonation was quite good considering it was sitting in the fridge for 2 and a half weeks. This held up quite nicely.

A damn fine IPA. The drinkability is high since it's less than 6%, but the flavors are everywhere and balanced nicely.

Many thanks to the Monk for sending it this way.

Serving type: growler

01-03-2005 15:40:51 | More by necoadam
Photo of skybluewater
skybluewater

Minnesota

4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a growler (best by Dec 12, consumed Dec 7 and 8), pours a nice orange-copper color. Smells of all sorts of fruits, namely peach and citrus. I love the taste. It's fairly bitter, but not so much that it gets in the way of the great taste. There's some caramelly/biscuit-like malt there, and it just explodes with fruity flavors, such as orange and peach.

Overall, this is a delightful IPA. Very flavorful, but not overwhelmingly so. A fine brew all around.

Second day: I couldn't finish the growler, so I'm finishing it the next day. It's actually still very good. There's a nice hiss when I open it, and the beer itself, while having lost a bit of carbonation, is still highly flavorful.
---
3/20/05: Just updating a bit. I had a growler of this last night, and it was much better than the last one. Perhaps my pallete has grown since then, or maybe I got a fresher growler, but whatever it was, I have to conclude that this is one fabulous brew. All the pieces come together perfectly to create a brew that, while it's not the absolute best beer in the world, is one of the most well constructed beers I've had to date.

One final thought: I'm so glad I live in the Twin Cities metropolitan area!

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2004 23:45:22 | More by skybluewater
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garthwaite

Virginia

4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 64 oz growler which came to me so generously from my Secret Santa 2004 (aka STUBOB). Poured a deep copper topped with soft & fading bubbles. Enticing aroma of citrus hops mixed delightfully with pine needles. Driving bitterness clearly takes center stage, but is complimented beautifully by immense amounts of grapefruit & pounds of fresh pine needles. Underlying malt profile present, but subordinate & hints at caramel & a touch of sugar. Amazingly long lasting bitter, citrusy finish. Medium to full bodied for the style, definitely a meaty IPA & one I'd like to drink frequently. In this case, frequently means every 15 minutes.

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2004 04:15:26 | More by garthwaite
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alexgash

Connecticut

5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review from notes.
Had this several times this last summer while in Minnesota and I still cannot get over how perfect it is. I already was a rabid fan of *regular* Masala Mama, but I have found that when it is on cask it is even better. First of all, I think that it just simply looks slightly better. The almost-hazy, soft golden-copper-brown body simply glows at this [cask] temperature. The creamy, off-white head floats effortlessly above, with an unwavering one-inch cushion. The smell and taste are very similar to the on-tap version, which is to say they are perfect. If anything, the cask Mama smells and tastes even more balanced. The malt seems to come out a little more. The mouthfeel loses some carbonation, but gains a little creaminess. Where the cask-conditioning really adds is in the drinkablity. Wow. It's hard to be picky with such a fine ale, but given the choice, I'll take the cask (I mean both).

Serving type: cask

11-30-2004 00:41:09 | More by alexgash
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Gueuzedude

Arizona

4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy full copper color that has some amber notes to it. The beer is well carbonated and forms a giant pale tan head. The aroma is all hops with notes of grapefruit, tangerine, apricot, and pine. Basically this has a proto-typical fruity American hop nose to it, as I sniff some more I might just sense some malt here as well.

This has a very nice flavor to it, it is light on the palate, yet packed with flavor. It is lightly sweet in the middle, which helps to accentuate the citrus-fruit hop notes. This beer is eminently drinkable, it is not too heavy and I could easily drink a few pints of this (for instance 64oz of this, thanks Garymuchow for the growler). This beer has great notes of tangerine, ruby-red-grapefruit, orange, and hints of apricot and lemon. What a simple wonderful beer, this beer is all about the hops, yet it has enough subtle malt notes that this is not just an astringent hop juice. The malt is here it just supports and accentuates the hoppiness. This is certainly eminently drinkable, and though quite hoppy still quite balanced for an IPA. There is nothing new or unique here flavor wise, but that is not the point of this beer. As every IPA should be this is a mouthful of an American hop celebration, that just keeps on rocking from start to lingering finish. This beer is a nice easy drinking, eminently quaffable, hopaliscious beer that I am quite happy to have a growler of. I could definitely see how this beer would grow on me if I had continuous access to it.

Serving type: growler

11-14-2004 20:30:37 | More by Gueuzedude
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fdrich29

Massachusetts

4.83/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1/2 Gallon Growler. Received Friday, Novemeber 5th. Opened Sunday, November 7th. Finished Tuesday, November 9th. "Enjoy By 11-11" sticker on the back of the growler. (Would have been consumed earlier if it wasn't for a little get together the Bro's threw in Boston that Saturday).

Much thanks to Feloniousmonk for the growler and ending my want to try this esteemed brew.

Amber, hints of blood red when held up to the light. Huge, frothy, sticky head that leaves it's lacy trail all the way down the glass.

Smells of oily hops and dandelions.

Huge sweet hops taste. Some pine and caramel flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium body, rich, creamy and a bit chewy. An enjoyable drinking experience.

So smooth and easy to drink, I'm surprised the growler lasted as long as it did. Well deserving of it's rank among the Best of BA. This one exceeded my alreay sky high expectations.

Serving type: growler

11-10-2004 02:24:41 | More by fdrich29
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donnebaby

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thick, sticky off-white cream is thick up the glass and flakes all over. Body is a dark copper. Nose held lots of flavor--sweet and fruity, lots of passionfruit and something that I could only call "candy hops". In the mouth, it's a little on the sweet side, with more of that passionfruit and candy hops--which this time seemed more like "liquid hops"--a full mouth of fresh, liquid hops. Dry and chewy--but very fresh. Sweetness in the mouth reminded a bit of apple cider. Totally smooth and complex IPA. I liked this better than Hop Devil, which was my preferred IPA up til I had this.

Serving type: cask

10-29-2004 16:47:23 | More by donnebaby
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trevorwideman

Manitoba (Canada)

4.83/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was in Minneapolis the other weeekend and had the wonderful opportunity to try this beer, amongst many others from this same pub. This beer poured beautifully, with a gorgeous creamy-looking head and a reddish hue. Complex aroma: many citrus notes and strong hops. The taste nearly knocked me on the floor with its intensity, one of the most dense beers I've ever drank, so many flavours, where to begin? Very strong hop flavour, grapefruit, orange perhaps, very citrusy. Mouthfeel is very spicy yet smooth, making it a very drinkable beer. I wish I'd have been able to take a few growlers of this home, but then i'd have felt guilty about drinking it as it would have had to be a special occasion. No, I'll make this a reason to travel to the Twin Cities more often.

Serving type: on-tap

10-22-2004 17:11:43 | More by trevorwideman
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kmcnair

California

4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a growler courtesy of none other than felonious monk. Thanks for the sample!

Dark copper to amber hue making a thin white head, creates a nice lacing down the glass. Aroma is loaded with west coast hop character and a hint of sweet caramel. Tastes very fresh and loaded with in-your-face hoppiness. Spicy biterness up front and followed by citrusy west coast infused hop attack. As I get closer to the bottom of the glass and my tastebuds are becoming increasingly numb to the huge acidic hop profile a velvety caramel malt character starts to poke through. Smooth on the palate, medium bodied and finishes very dry. This fits the bill for an American IPA, for me it ranks right up there with the west coasters that I consume often.

Serving type: growler

10-10-2004 00:32:27 | More by kmcnair
Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 1,082 ratings.