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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 Floydster
Floydster

California

4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

64 ounce growler with a taped cap received in a trade from Lordsloth, drank about six or seven hours after receiving it from FedEx, freezed it slightly to get it cold quicker and then spent the rest of the day in the fridge, split with my girlfriend's dad last night who also enjoyed it very much, had about three servings that were poured into an old mug

A-Golden orange with a red tint, big 3/4 inch creamy white head, suprised to see the level of carbonation left in this brew, great retention, some nice lacing at the top of the glass as well

S-Big pine hoppiness, various citrus aromas, acidic scents, bready malt, booze, tropical fruits including pineapple and guava, orange peel, floral accents, and hints of sweetness

T-Piney and grapefruit flavors at the beginning, some tasty caramel malt in between, some floral accents and earthiness, then more citric acid, and big hoppy finish, creamy and incredibly easy to drink, as it warms becomes more sweet but the bitterness in the aftertaste does not go anywhere, also some lemon juice and tangerines later on, tasted better as time went on, would make a great session beer, not sure about the price of these growlers, but it was certainly worth trading for

M-Medium body, aggressive mouthfeel overall that was both dry and creamy at times, taste lingered for several minutes, nice level of carbonation still, surprised with the amount of small bubbles

D-Could have finished this growler by myself no problem, alcohol percentage is low, it is not heavy at all, smooth and goes down too easy, booze are hidden very well, perfect level of hops

When I first saw this as the highest rated india pale ale on the site, I knew I had to try it soon, first beer from Minneapolis Town Hall brewery, also need to try the Czar Jack at some point, surprised the beer kept so well after five days of travel and a week after it was filled, initially expected all the hops would have faded, had a best by date of the last day in February on the cap, great beer and would love to have again someday, one of the best IPAs I have tasted, still no Blind Pig or Furious, highly recommended

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2008 00:19:23 | More by Floydster
Photo of bobsy
bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

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

This beer certainly made for a great refresher after helping Eric move in - cheers for sharing a growler from your epic cross-continent trip.

Pours a radiant orange with a large creamy white head that put down sheets of lace. At first smell the aroma is typical IPA - grapefruit and caramel malt, but as the beer warms mango and pineapple elevate the aroma to a whole new level. I'm not sure what hops they used, but the flavour is great, bursting with citrus and tropical fruit. Again I pick up the mango and sweet pineapple, and this is what helps the beer stand out from the crowd. Another great thing to observe is how well-balanced this beer is. A lot of highly ranked American IPAs are purely an all-out hop assault on the tongue, which isn't exactly a fine example of the craft. The mama has a large sweet malt backbone which reels in the bitterness a touch, and adds a delightful subtlety. Light body and moderate carbonation also combine to make this beer disappear far too quickly.

How does it compare to the other highly-regarded IPAs I've been lucky enough to try? Its definitely up there, and on a par with Surly's Furious and Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye. For once, the beer lives up to the hype.

Serving type: growler

06-10-2009 13:04:30 | More by bobsy
Photo of kmpitz2
kmpitz2

Tennessee

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

Beer pours a deep copper color wit ha finger of head that falls to a half finger over top with a modest lacing as it falls. Nose is sweet sweet citrusy, resinous hops with a very solid deep sweet malty backbone. Flavor is a fine balance between sweet citrusy hop flavor, sweet caramel malt and a very modest peppery bitter that hangs on the finish, but very pleasingly. Feel is moderate to thick with a moderate carbonation of fine bubbles. This beer would be in my fridge every day of the year if I could have it that way. I don't think there is a more balanced American IPA out there. Great beer.

Serving type: growler

11-14-2005 02:00:36 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of NJpadreFan
NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Masala Mama- IPA

On tap at Town Hall Brewery- Minnepolis.

Appearance- dark copper/ hazelnut brown with a thick tan head. Laced down the glass.
Smell- Malt, light pine hops, and fruit.
Taste- immediate malt balanced with fruit, peach/ orange. followed by a light piney/ earthy hop.
Mouthfeel- big chewy flavor. Easy to drink.

Overall- Not as hoppy or bitter/ dry as I like my IPA's but a solid 1. If spotted I'll pick up a 6er.

Serving type: on-tap

07-22-2006 13:59:59 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of flexabull
flexabull

California

4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler courtesy of younger35, thanks again!

Pours a bright and clear amber color with a pretty nice white head.

Aromas are of mangos, light grapefruit, and some resin. The nose is nice, but a bit faint.

Taste is fairly bitter up front. Some sugar, hard candies, and mildly sweet citrus. Finish is bitter, with notes of pine and grapefruit.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean. With nice carbonation.

Overall, a nice IPA. A bit out of balanced to the bitter side, but still a solid beer. Doesn't quite live up to its high marks on the site in my opinion though.

Serving type: growler

12-22-2012 04:39:57 | More by flexabull
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illidurit

California

4.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours an amber copper color, with a thick and dense head that cascades upwards for several seconds after the pour is completed. The off-white head sticks around forever and the lacing leaves a series of rings around the glass.

Strong pine in the aroma, some citrusy notes, floral hops, caramel.

This beer has a strong malt profile which in most other IPAs would be too much competition for the hops, but here the pine resin barrels right through the caramel sweetness and smacks you around. A little orange/grapefruit in the hop profile as well. Really bold and full but still well balanced.

The carbonation is perfect here. This is a big IPA but it's not too syrupy. You'd think there's more alcohol judging by the big maltiness but it's a very modest 5.9%. If I hadn't split the growler with a friend I'm sure I would have no trouble finishing it solo. Top notch IPA.

Serving type: growler

09-25-2007 19:41:20 | More by illidurit
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from half empty growler into a SN tulip pint glass. A big thanks to thecaptain073 for giving me a chance to try this one. The growler leaked in transit so the carbonation suffered.

A: Pours a rich dark amber with a thin tan head that formed a bubbly collar around the glass leaving no lace. Based on others reviews, had this beer been fresh I believe it would have had a good head and sticky lace. There certainly enough hops oils in the nose for me to believe so. I will rate to these assumptions.
S: Pine and citrus hops with notes of fresh cut grass, grapefruit and pineapple. My favorite kind of hop smell!
T: Follows the nose with pine and grapefruit flavors, but there are sweet caramel undertones that balance out a respectable bitterness. Finish is sweet with a touch of citrus and fruit. Very fresh hop flavor. Delicious.
M: Low carbonation due to the leaky growler, but there is still enough to keep the beer from being flat. Body is medium and slightly oily and viscous. I will rate this as if it had appropriate carb.
D: A straight forward textbook example of what a great IPA should taste like. Great hop taste with the right balance between bitter hops and sweet malt. Very clean and fresh flavors and a refreshing mouthfeel. I would love to try this on tap sometime.

Serving type: growler

07-24-2010 18:10:57 | More by scottfrie
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Hojaminbag

Colorado

4.13/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice copper body that is amber at its core with a big, fluffy white head that dies down to a ring that crowns the body. Lots of thick, sticky lacing stays behind too.

Sweet citrus notes, piney, resiny notes, a touch of apricot. Some lightly toasted caramel malts.

All of the hop characteristics from the aroma make appearances in the flavor also. Big sweet grapefruit flavor that brings with a good blast of bitterness also. Lots of piney, resiny hops and some more sweet, fruity hops that remind me of apricots or peaches. Along with this nice hop profile is a pretty big flavor of toasted caramel malt that makes this a well balanced IPA.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and lively with just a touch of oily feel.

Pretty drinkable IPA here. Honestly, I liked Masala Mama, but it isn't a top IPA for me. Overall, pretty good and well balanced.

Serving type: growler

06-21-2009 04:06:35 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of homebrew311
homebrew311

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to millah for this one! Poured into Chimay glass.

A: pours a deep orange/red, very clear, this is definitely one of the darker IPAs I've had. Thin white head with little retention, some sticky lacing.

S: huge nose of aromatic hops, tons of tropical and citrus notes including mango, grapefruit, and orange, this is all backed by a piney character which brings a little bitterness to the party. The malt profile comes through at the end with some slight caramel and toast character.

T: big hops up front, just like the nose, the taste features more of the piney hops which then gives way to the malt profile. This IPA is expertly balanced and the hops transition into the malt flawlessly. The finish features some biscuit and caramel with a touch of bitterness.

MF: medium carbonation, smooth mouthfeel

D: well this IPA certainly lives up to all of the good things I've heard/read about. Very well balanced with a strong hop profile.

Serving type: growler

06-28-2010 01:04:39 | More by homebrew311
Photo of msubulldog25
msubulldog25

Oregon

4.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After a day of toil, painting the walls/ceilings/trim of my wife's soon-to-be garage/pottery studio, a call for 'beer!' by my trusty buddy Barry was answered with 'Masala Mama!' by me. A first try for both of us. We each had well over two pints apiece while relaxing in the backyard before heeding the dinner bell.

Gratitude for the growler goes to fine MN BA joshuaseresse; it was received over a week ago and shows 8-21 (hand-written) on the cap...all my fault if that was a 'drink by', but it's been stored in the fridge since the day it was received.

A: Love the color and clarity! A rich acorn/auburn, orange-ish at one glance, tawny at another, hinting later at a smoldering ruby. Not so much visible carbonation (a victim of added time confined in that growler?) but absolutely gorgeous head and lacing - a thick 1-2 fingers (depending on who's pouring) of sandy meringue, coating in chiffon dollops and seafoam stripes. Sudsy and long-lived.

S: Repressed caramel/candied nuttiness and spice beneath nose-tingling (almost peppery) greens. Cut grass and indistinct citrus rind. Bold, a little muddled.

T: Grains, toasty grains, dry! Nutshells! Big dose of pine-heavy hops, a drape of pithy citrus, a spice most bitter. Takes some time and ample warming before sweeter citrus notes and welcome sugars play a larger role, but when they do, the stars begin to align. Can I ever get over the surliness of that dull bitter back that holds well after each sip? Not really...but I know plenty of hopheads who'd whole-heartedly embrace this.

M: Carbonation may be mellowed, but that doesn't detract from a lovely, though mildly sharp, introduction. Canvasses the tongue without being sticky, though there's just the slightest gumminess on the lips afterward. Medium body that edges toward fullness. Salivation = an unstoppable torrent.

D: A very good IPA, certainly has the strong flavor and nose, plus a sexy look to back up the hype. Easy enough to drink at just a hair below 6%, fine and dandy to polish of the growler with a pal. Worth pursuing (and I'm certainly grateful for the opportunity), although more of a 'like' than a 'love' for me.

Serving type: growler

08-29-2010 05:36:48 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract

Massachusetts

4.34/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours a mostly clear, glowing orange color. Thinner head. It leaves smaller rings of lacing.

S-Big juicy citrus notes. Highly hopped complementary aromas of tropical fruits and grass. Freshly squeezed hoppiness with resinous notes. Lightly balanced by some dough and caramel.

T-A huge duet of tangerines and grass. Light mango and serious, lingering piney bitterness. The bitter aftertaste lasts and lasts. Light breadiness as well as caramel come in but quickly give way to the erupting bitterness.

M-Super drinkable. Agreeable body with softer carbonation. Again, long, seemingly endless bitter aftertaste which I loved.

O/D-A really awesome IPA. Maybe a step below elite but it clearly delivers. A definite winner. Wouldn't complain if I had this again!

Serving type: growler

07-16-2013 00:18:03 | More by VelvetExtract
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Overlord

California

4.53/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Y'all sure this isn't a Double IPA? I mean, really?

Thanks to Todd1 for the BIF trade.

Pours a nice coppery amber with a big frothy white head and a surpringly amount of lacing. Mouthfeel is nice and chewy.

Smells like pineapple, grapefruit, grass (the kind that grows on your lawn), and caramel malt. The taste introduces pine to the equation, but there's a ton of citrus backing, that pineapple spice, and a fantastic malt component that you don't see in IPAs with this sort of hop content very often.

Just delicious.

Serving type: growler

06-11-2008 09:29:12 | More by Overlord
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to THCPJ for sharing this one! Review from notes 12/3/10.

A: Pours a reddish orange/amber with a frothy head with great retention. Lacing is perfect, remains on most of the glass.

S: Nice pine, citrus, grapefruit. Not as strong as I was hoping, but very pleasant nonetheless.

T: Much more pine in the flavor than the aroma. The bitterness attacks right away. Has a very nice sweetness that follows from the malt and ends in a sticky finish with a nice hop aftertaste.

M/D: Slightly lighter than medium bodied with nice carbonation. Finish is sticky. Overall, I was very pleased with this drinkable beer, a very nice IPA, but not one of my favorites.

Edited after having it on tap at Town Hall.

Serving type: growler

02-03-2011 03:41:21 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of grub
grub

Ontario (Canada)

4.88/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(reviewing the cask-conditioned version beside the standard version)

pours a light amber colour with 3/4" of thick, cascading head. the head lingers a long time and doesn't look like it'll ever quit. even when ti does, it leaves tons of lace the whole way down the glass.

again, the aroma is all hops. floral, pine, and grapefruit.

the taste is hoppy but sligthly sweeter than the non-cask version. seems like the balance between the malt and hops is leaning a bit more towards malt than hops. i think the lower carbonation level also helps the malt to come out more.i notice alot more apricot comes through in this one, and the citrus seems less grapefruit and more towards something like a tangerine or blood orange.

the mouthfeel seems a little lighter than the regular MM, most likely due to the lower carbonation. very good.

the drinkability seems just a touch higher than the non-cask version too. really makes me wish that the cask conditioned beers were available in growlers.

overall i think it rates the same as the non-cask masala mama, just a slight variation on it that's neither better or worse, just a little different.

Serving type: cask

05-16-2006 02:52:21 | More by grub
Photo of prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

4.53/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Many, many thanks to csmiley for generously sharing the growler.

Appearance: It's a light golden brown color. It's clear and not hazy at all. The head is vanilla in color and maybe a finger and a half deep. It stuck around longer than I expected and left a nice lacing on the glass. It's a solid looking beer, but nothing about it really dazzles in any way.

Smell: The nose is nothing short of excellence. One could make an argument that it's the standard for what an American IPA nose should be. It's very good, but I'm not ready to go that far. There's loads of citrus sweetness initially. It's the typical gambit of pineapple, grapefruit, and orange. Hops smell pretty aggressive and waste little time taking over the nose. They're very citric and piney smelling and exemplary for the style. I haven't encountered an American IPA that tops this one in the hops department, at least as far as the nose goes. There's some light, sweet caramel malt that emerges and gives me a little pause. It's tough to tell how much effect that will have on the hops. I'm close to awarding a "5," but it's not quite perfect. The malts are just a little too pronounced.

Taste: The flavor is nothing short of excellent as well. This really is an incredibly well built American IPA. It is citrusy and sweet. Grapefruit, pineapple, orange flavors are nice and refreshing. The hops are something else though. They have an excellent citric and piney flavor. It's aggressively bitter, but damn it tastes good. Tastes like there's a mix of caramel and toasted malts. But, they really add a nice dimension to the flavor and do not detract from the strong hop attack at all. I couldn't have asked for any better in an IPA. I was fearful after smelling it that the malts would be a little too much. But, my fears have been relieved. Alcohol is not even close to noticeable. It finishes toasty, bitter, and very dry. There isn't a great deal of depth here. But, what is here is excellent. Not perfect, but excellent.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and has a really nice, smooth feel. Carbonation is active, but doesn't impede its smooth feel in any way. I'm not ready to call it creamy or lush, but it is nicely done. Drinkability is really off the charts. It's extremely tasty and goes down way too easy. At 5.9% abv, it's extremely inviting and not to dangerous. I'm splitting this growler, but would've happily tackled one by myself. Yes, it is that good.

Masala Mama is clearly an excellent IPA. It's easily among my favorites for the style. There really isn't a single flaw that's material enough to warrant a lot of discussion. It really is that solid all the way around. I think the degree of malt flavor really keeps it from being a "perfect" American IPA. It's not exactly a huge fault here, but it's enough to keep it from reaching a perfect flavor score. I guess I could perhaps also criticize Town Hall for not bottling and distributing Masala Mama. The world would be a better place if they would. But, I guess that doesn't really have anything to do with the beer. I'm just bitchin' to bitch obviously. Seek out a growler. You won't be disappointed.

Serving type: growler

03-02-2009 02:05:00 | More by prototypic
Photo of WoodBrew
WoodBrew

Illinois

4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Marsala Mama IPA was quite good. the Appearance was a nice copper color and clear. The beer had a nice white thick head that laced great. The smell was a combination of hop (four hops used - amarillo, cascade, centinnial, and semcoe (I think I have it right) and malt. the malt is used to balance the flavor and bitterness of the hops. The taste was very good, but not as nice as the West Bank. The combo of hops gave pine and citrus notes with some bitterness that was balanced by malt. The mouthfeel was good, but 1-3 per sitting would be sufficient.

Serving type: on-tap

09-21-2011 20:39:54 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of ADR
ADR

Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the brewpub...

Huge hazy peach to dark orange color. Carbonation drops and drops in the pint glass like a dense fog over London...sheets of lace. Tight 1/4 inch of foam at the top. Bright and sweet mandarin orange hoppy aroma. Super flavors, marmalade and peach derived from hoppiness and balanced by a mid mouth sugary malt backbone. Velvety mouthfeel, slight balsamic aftertaste. Outstanding combination of smell, flavor and mouthfeel...silky, but challenging. Wonderful rendition of an IPA here...this is a fine brewpub beer, one of the best local India Pale Ales you can find as a Minnesota resident or visitor...one of the world's finest beers? No, that's pimpin' and the power of an active imagination mainly -- but it is a very good entry and a nice placeholder for Town Hall...

Serving type: cask

04-06-2003 11:26:34 | More by ADR
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

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

Growler thanks to deliriumfest.

A - Deep reddish-amber color with a lasting two-finger off-white head.

S - Great citrusy hop aroma with sweet malt and tropical fruits also present.

T - Sweet caramel malt and pineapple/grapefruit hops. No flaws and very good balance. Not quite a standout (Sculpin-level) in this regard, but still really good.

M - Medium bodied with a crisp finish and some lingering hop bitterness.

D - High for the style.

Serving type: growler

09-08-2009 18:43:41 | More by nickd717
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler poured into a tulip. Huge thanks to beerwolf77 for sharing this one!

(A)- Pours a hazy reddish mahogany color that produced a great off-white head with good retention behind it. Left tons of lacing behind.

(S)- A big dryness with a bigger malt profile. Some good notes of lemon and lime.

(T)- Pretty much just like the smell. A bigger malt profile than most, but is counter acted with a good hop backbone of lemon and lime.

(M)- A good carbonation level. A happy medium between malt and hops. Bitter, but supplemented well with a big malt background and creamy citrus hops.

(D)- A good IPA. Maltier than most, but that does not really bother me when enjoying this one. A happy medium between malt and hop additions. Solid stuff.

Serving type: growler

06-14-2010 17:42:14 | More by sweemzander
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984

Massachusetts

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

From Growler

Special thanks to a co-worker & friend of mine that sent me 2 growlers from Minneapolis. I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to enjoy this excellent beer.

I poured my first serving into a traditional pint glass and was greeted with thin head/slightly off white in color. This IPA is medium copper in color and somewhat cloudy. No visible carbonation.

Aroma of fresh hops.
Pine/grapefruit.... all the usual characteristics of a nice IPA.

There was a very good amount of lacing left behind as the beer was consumed.

As I drank this beer I realized that it looked/tasted and felt (mouth feel) like a cask conditioned beer.

Very little carbonation and almost creamy mouth feel.

I think there is wonderful balance here.
Not too sweet, focused on the fresh hops.
Nice hop finish.

I've seen some other reviews with comments that they believe its more like a DPA. I respectfully disagree and think the mouth feel, consistency and taste are really in the American IPA category.

I believe this beer is very drinkable. It caused me to ask myself: Can an IPA be a session beer? If so, then I'm in and this would be the choice.

Excellent Beer!

Serving type: growler

06-15-2008 12:13:16 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of garymuchow
garymuchow

Minnesota

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

To quote Christopher Walken in his SNL role as the continental,
"Wowwie, wow, wow, wow!"

There are a few hightlights to note, so I don't want to sound too repititious of all the other substantial and worthwhile reviews.
First, the aroma is wonderful in it's complexity, including grassy, sweet, citrus, flowery and a very fresh essence.
Second, the mouthfeel is sublime. Exceptionally soft, especially considering the boldness of the hops. The carbonation is very fine, as in the smallest bubbles one can imagine. At times this is such a noticable feature that it outweighs the favor.
Finally, the absolute highlight is the intial sweetness of the taste. Temperature is vital as it doesn't exist when too chilled. It starts at the lips and continues half-way through the tongue. It's honey sweet, but doesn't taste like honey. Others have mentioned apricot and mango, and those are closer. It's an unbelievably wonderful sensation. Personnally, as much as I like the finish it's the part I want never to leave.
The middle is a confluence of the ending of the malt and the start of hop intensity. From this point to the end many others can do as well, eg. SNCA, but that's not to minimize how good it is. The finish is hop intensity to the fullest, with less complexity than the aroma. The lingering is eternal. I believe this is the point that others have noted a lack of malt foundation, which may be true, but it's of less importance considering how one arrived at the moment.
Very attractice beer in color, a goldish amber with reddish/orange highlights. Fairly firm head with good lacing marking each drink.
Truly unique and enjoyable experience.
I strongly recommend temperature be considered and at least a growler be sampled (more than I pint at the least). The sublties are extremely important and this "wicked mama" really grows on a guy with experience.

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2004 19:56:21 | More by garymuchow
Photo of Florida9
Florida9

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the brewery, but drinking from a growler I got to go as I write this review.

A: Slightly hazy orange /copper in color. Served at the brewery with a scant 1/8 inch of sticky head, however from the growler I'm able to pour more aggressively, resulting in a good 1/2 inch of head that has decent retention. Good lacing from the growler. Wasn't enough head to generate lacing when poured from the tap.

S: Quite aromatic. Pine. Pine resin. Spicy black pepper.

T: Spicy malt. Almost a characteristically spicy rye malt. Some caramel notes then moves into a moderate to heavy bitterness. Spicy. With a long pine and pine resin finish.

M: Medium in weight with appropriate carbonation. Spicy. Pungent. Tingles on the tongue.

D: A great IPA that focuses on the spicy, peppery characteristic of hops. Very easy to drink for any hop lover. Oddly, I found this one to be better from the growler than on-tap. At first, I was a bit underwhelmed by this beer, but the growler seems to have restored my respect.

Serving type: on-tap

05-23-2010 01:09:18 | More by Florida9
Photo of bditty187
bditty187

Nebraska

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

Mildly hazy, tawny-gold-brown in hue, it was served with a slightly off-white head that was a finger in height. The head retention was very good, after a long while it faded to a frothy cap. The subsequent lacing was sticky and widespread. On cask, this is a beauty of a beer! The nose, on cask, is much softer but much wider. The malt is heard more clearly; still the pine and citrus from the hops are loud but far more balanced, not only in comparison to the malt but also to each other. The nose still says IPA. Inviting. The palate is lovely, the hops are so wonderfully blended, the piney notes are not bright but they are wide. The citrus notes are very sticky which seems to act like a spider’s web that captures (okay, attracts) more malty flavors with hints of caramel and some sweetness. The aftertaste is lighter but, again, the pine is the focal point. This is amazingly tasty on cask; it is very relaxing; I mean what a great pint to chill with. There is ample flavor construction and it is complex for an IPA. Lovely stuff on cask (I’ve I became a broken record?)! Medium in body with a creamy mouthfeel with typical cask condition qualities, it was served at the ideal temperature. This is amazingly drinkable and almost perfect on the palate. This IPA has received a lot of press, some good, and some bad, some utterly insane. Folks, live at the brewpub this beer is great and on cask, it is unparalleled. Highly Recommend (on cask)!

Serving type: cask

06-28-2004 15:23:10 | More by bditty187
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UncleJimbo

Massachusetts

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

Sampled from a growler back filled at the brewpub.

This IPA poured a hazy, orangish-amber color with very tall, creamy, off-white foam that persisted a very long time and clung to the glass leaving lace and clumps. The smell was initially fruity hops with some resinous hops, but as the beer warmed a bit of malt came through. The taste was a rich, bitter hoppy flavor with a touch of underlying sweetness from the malt -- fairly balanced, though with the hops dominating. There was not much in the way of floral hop character, but there was an every so slight taste of papery oxidation not atypical of hoppy IPAs. The mouthfeel was smooth, hoppy, and dry with medium body and moderate carbonation feel. The aftertaste was astringently hoppy and long lasting (with some tannins). This was a very nice, dry, very hopped IPA. The taste was much improved when consumed just below room temperature as opposed to cold from the refrigerator. This is right up there with the best of the American IPAs. Thanks to feloniousmonk for this sample!

Serving type: growler

03-12-2004 06:25:59 | More by UncleJimbo
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Redrover

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The first beer I ordered during my recent visit to Town Hall.

Served in a pint glass, the beer is mahogany with bronze highlights. Nice thick head with ok lacing.

The aroma is an inviting mix of citrus and pine.

The taste is bitter in the most pleasant way. This Momma has a nice oily quality that coats your mouth. In spite of the heavy hopping, the brewer has done a fine job of moderating the beer with a bucket load of malts. This adds an almost molasses based sweetness.

The mouth was fine, but I really expected a bit more heft given the thick qualities of the taste. I can see why this is a very popular beer. It is well made, tasty and worth searching out.

Serving type: on-tap

09-26-2006 20:33:10 | More by Redrover
Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 1,082 ratings.