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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
96
world-class

1,133 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,133
Reviews: 656
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.2%
Wants: 828
Gots: 54 | FT: 3
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Masala Mama India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,133 | Reviews: 656 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bsuedekum
bsuedekum

Missouri

4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

11-14-2011 09:20:41 | More by bsuedekum
Photo of ZAP
ZAP

Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev -5.7%

---
7-4-03
Hazy, but extremely rich looking copper...nice little frothy head on top...the nose is sweet, fresh and fruity....some citrus but also some sweeter fruits..like a cocktail of grapefruit/strawberry/mango...

The taste is big on the west coast citrus..grapefruit big-time...big juicy hop flavors...very big bitterness...not for the weakhearted...malt is secondary all the way...hops dominate...The mouthfeel is almost slightly unbalanced as the hops overwhelm but what the F#ck, this is an IPA right?? Bitter me up!!

This will be too bitter and hopped up for some..I lvoe it but a little more balance would make this even better..hops heads will love this...good for a pint or two...tough to drink a lot more in one sitting..

07-04-2003 09:25:19 | More by ZAP
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

5/5  rDev +14.9%

Appearance – This was one of the most beautiful beers that I have ever seen. The color is a perfect, dark hazy, mysterious orange. The head is thick, not fluffy. It looks like you could stand a spoon up in it. It showed great retention and left some terrific lacing on the inside of my Ruination glass.

Smell – This is a hop-lover’s dream. The profile is very complex. The floral notes are very pleasant and there is a small hint of citrus. But the big bopper here is the thick pine resin. It jumps across the room with sharpness and distinction.

Taste – Oh, yeah. Forget the hype; this is the real deal. The awesome malt base, which I totally missed at the nose, came out wonderfully on the tongue. The toasted malt, rich toffee, and chewy caramel flavors are so smooth they just melt in your mouth.

Not to be outdone, the hops are large and in charge. They mate perfectly with the malty base. The hop profile is very complex and harmonious. This one has it all.

Mouthfeel – Rich, thick, chewy, and much bigger than medium-bodied but not full, this one has a finishing dryness that will please the IPA lover to death.

Drinkability – I don’t think I’ve ever had a smoother, tastier, more enjoyable IPA than this guy right here. Having said that, I actually am exercising the self-discipline needed to save half this growler for a fellow BA. With that kind of willpower I should be bending spoons.

Comments – I can’t thank feloniousmonk enough for sending me this crown jewel of Minnesota.

07-03-2004 00:26:53 | More by RoyalT
Photo of Duff27
Duff27

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +1.8%

A- Neverending thick frothy head on a crystal clear dark red beer. Lacing is awesome and so is everything else. Step lacing on the sides of the pint glass.

S- Piney. Centennial hops? Great smell.

T- Follows nose. More of a piney IPA than a citrus one. Awesome. This is one of the best IPAS I've ever had.

M- A tad on the watery side if only complaint.

D/O- Soooo drinkable. Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery is doing some incredible things. If this is the reason you go, make sure to try some of their other brews as well, you won't be disappointed!

02-20-2011 16:21:37 | More by Duff27
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

4.43/5  rDev +1.8%

Growler thanks to MeLikeBeer shared at the BA get-together at the Brick Store. Poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a deep clear cooper with a fluffy off-white head that lingers for a long time leaving very good lacing.

S: Smell is very well balance with big pine and grapefruit scents up front balanced by a sizable bready malt aroma in the background with a hint of caramel.

T: Taste is amazingly smooth and balanced with the hops dominating but not overly bitter. The citrus hits up front with grapefruit and gives way to the sweet malts. The finish is a smooth pine hoppiness, very crisp and clean.

M: As stated above, the mouthfeel is super smooth for an IPA and medium bodied with little bitterness on the palate.

D: This is a very balanced and drinkable IPA and big thanks again to Brent for sharing this great brew with me.

06-22-2008 00:34:20 | More by gford217
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

4.18/5  rDev -3.9%

A huge thanks to GregMcQ for sharing this with me and some other BA's.

A: Pours a copper/orange color. A perfect, frothy, two finger white head forms with excellent retention. Sticky lace is left in rings. Really impressive coming from a growler.
S: Juicy hops up front. Citrus, pine, grapefruit. Some buttery malt balances everything out well.
T: Follows the nose. Tons of juicy hops. Citrus, pine, grapefruit. A substantial bitterness, but it does not overpower. Well balances with some residual sweetness lingering.
M/D: A medium body. Very crisp and dry. Creamy and smooth at the same time. So easy to drink. A relatively low alcohol IPA, and something that is not just bitter. I can put a few away with no problem.

This is an excellent IPA, and I am not a big fan of the style. I really enjoyed this. So much hop flavor going on. That is the key, hop flavor, not bitterness. Highly recommended.

03-22-2010 14:46:19 | More by champ103
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illidurit

California

4.68/5  rDev +7.6%

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.

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

Alaska

4.85/5  rDev +11.5%

This brew is fresh out of a 1/2 gallon grolwer thanks to all-star BA Tavernjef. So, I open the packaged, open the growler, and a loud "swish" sound ensues. This brew pours out of the growler with a medium reddish/orangeish copper colour with an ample head of foam that is as big as the rocky mountains. The aroma of this brew is huge. First there is the huge smell of freshly cut citric and floral hops. Than a lovely, English-like, buttery, biscuity, bready, malty aroma shines through. The taste follows suit. It is big bolshy hops up front, and lovely biscuity malts in the middle. The balance achieved in this brew is excellent. The hops hit first up front. They are bitter, but for a regular IPA, they are not too bitter. The hops are placed in the background when the middle of this brew comes through with the flavors of buttery biscuits, and fresh baked french bread. The hops come back in the finish of this brew, but this time they have been mixed in with the buttery flavor of the malts. The finish of this brew reminds me of the "candy coated" hop flavor in Weyerbachers Hops Infusion. This brew reminds me of what the Hops Infusion would taste like if Weyerbacher did it up right. The mouthfeel is perfectly balanced and reminds me of a pint of freshly pulled cask ale from England. The carbonation is soft, and luxurious, and really makes the flavor of this brew explode on your tongue and in your mouth. The after-taste is dry, but flavorful, and it produces some very heavy hop burps. Nice! The drinkability is perfect, as this brew has just the right abv, aromas, flavors, and textures to make it a reall "all-night-drinker". One hell of a session IPA, they really have to start bottling this stuff. The number one single IPA on BA for a reason, but to me, there are still a few IPAs and 2XIPAs that I like better. Still, if I lived close to this brewery, i'd be a happy camper!

02-13-2004 20:34:35 | More by francisweizen
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

4.7/5  rDev +8%

Presentation: A brown Grolsch like, flip top, EZ Cap brown glass 'mini-Growler'. Simply has the letter ‘M’ in black pen scrawled on the white ceramic top. A present all the way from Minneapolis. Hell Yeah!

Appearance: Gorgeous rustic brown copper body that is perfectly lucid. Carbonation perfect, given that it was rebottled, this is impressive in of itself. A lovely collage of milky tan bubbles swirl 3 inches below the liquid surface as the Mama rises in my Imperial Pint glass, all the timing assisting the formation of a nice 1” thick tan head. Knowing this was rebottled, I kept some Mama back in the bottle for top-ups and to reinitiate any disappearance, but I shouldn’t have worried, head retention was pretty good. Nice slaking expanded ring lacing as I take each sip. Has a remarkable English Yorkshire Bitter appearance to it.

Nose: Lots of deep luscious hoppy aromas, light but inviting Satsuma odors with the zest of freshly squeezed pungent oranges. Slick hop oils, some pine smells and lots of chewy coniferous needles. Deep inhalation reminds me of the sharp wakening smell of Grapefruit on a morning. This will most certainly wake you up!

Taste: Concentrate hard, and at first you can detect biscuit, malts, caramel and some toffee, yet this is quickly consumed by the hoppiness of this one. Bitter at first, but a hoppy pine sharpness with an orange/lemon twist and a biting grapefruit feel in the back end. Lots of hops, hops, hops, hops. Maybe not the bitterest IPA, but it does impress the hell out of you with the resin like hop profile, yep this is certainly hoppy!

Mouthfeel: This is only 5.9%, and whilst it drinks well, personally I find that initially it has a bigger mouthfeel after the swallow, rather than during the preliminary imbibing experience. The lingering hoppy after-taste, mixed with the pine encrusted malts in the background, lend a bigger accent to the next mouthful. Sharp grapefruits induce saliva, all adding to the massive overall mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Easily imbibed, I dearly love the pine-hop-grapefruit flavors and long lingering aftertastes and, pardon the pun, the cascading mouthfeel that builds as you drink this. More, more, more Mama!

Overall: Absolutely superb, and to think that this was rebottled!!!! Wow, this would be a serious kick-ass beer fresh from the Cask - I simply must get to Minneapolis and the Town Hall Brewery!

A very impressive IPA, from an equally impressive BA! What to say, words are simply not enough. A *Serious* “Cheers Mate” to BigHuge for this offering. Top Marks all round. It really is true, wherever you find great beer, you *will* find great people. We must get to share a beer in person one day Joe, and I cannot think of a better place than the Town Hall Brewery when this monster Mama is on Cask. The first Cask is on me!!

05-20-2004 04:11:39 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of popery
popery

California

4.22/5  rDev -3%

Thanks to deliriumfest.

A top tier American IPA. This beer pours a rich amber with orange highlights. It has an excellent head and lots of lacing. The beer looks right at home in my Anchor Christmas pint glass. Also, I'm a sucker for growlers, particularly growlers from afar. While that's not part of the beer's appearance, strictly speaking, the beer would get the same appearance score, no matter the serving type. The aroma is easily my favorite part of this beer. It's a combination of hops, mostly floral and piney. There's a touch of sweet citrus, but it's a minor player compared to many IPAs. Underneath the hop aromas, there's an incredible and surprising maltiness. It has a fruity, nutty aroma and flavor that makes me think of an Amber Ale. Befitting the geographical location of the brewery, this is neither an East coast nor a West coast IPA. It's all Midwest and delicious as hell. I'd like to give the flavor a 4.25. Without the utter success of the aroma, I might give it a 4.5, but it just doesn't live up to the promise of its bouquet. The flavor is a tad dry and yeasty, a bit like a real English IPA. That's not really bad, but it's just not entirely my thing. That said, the bitterness is extremely well-balanced, while maintaining a good hop bite. The malt might be my favorite aspect of the flavor. They really hit a note with me on the subject of the malt. It's an excellent beer and not quite like anything else I've ever tasted. I'd love to have easy access to it. It's always a shame when great beers go unbottled, but I can understand the impetus to keep things simple.

07-18-2009 04:53:40 | More by popery
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -4.6%

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.

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

Indiana

4/5  rDev -8%

05-12-2013 13:25:50 | More by aasher
Photo of cokes
cokes

Wisconsin

4.88/5  rDev +12.2%

There are people up in the Twin Cities that worship this stuff. Not just the normal, sit-around-and-proclaim-how-good-it-is type worship, but full-blown, black mass, hood-cloaked, blood-spilling, chicken-sacrificing worship.

To outsiders, it might seem ridiculous.
But once you've partaken, it all makes sense.

I, in fact, have testified before the alter of Masala Mama. The chamber glowed an orange shade of copper. Overhead the air was filled with dirty white, billowy smoke.

The hall filled with pungent hop incense. Grapefruit and pine with toasty malt backing. I expected this. But I was not ready for the fuzzy tangerine embrace that greeted me next.

Blindfolded now, I was thrown into a chair (or perhaps a barstool). I was already a bit compromised. But that mattered naught, it was now time to pay homage to Her.

They poured it down my throat without a moment for me to even brace myself.

Sudden bound enrapture!

Glorious bitter potion!

Malt and hop enchantment. Toasty witchcraft and orange-peel devilry. The finish lingers. For a minute and for eternity.
Branded by pine-fueled bitterness, tinged with grapefruit and resin, I was changed.
I was converted.

My mind swelled with each additional draught. So...right! Ripe oranges, fuzzy peaches, burnt toast and pine sap. Encased in a medium body that screams for gluttony.

Knowing I had fell sway to Her magic, the blindfold was removed, and I stared into the smiling faces of Bighuge and feloniousmonk. Both grinning because they knew they had won Her another disciple, and would be rewarded appropriately.

04-12-2004 00:25:48 | More by cokes
Photo of whartontallboy
whartontallboy

New York

5/5  rDev +14.9%

11-14-2011 17:39:23 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of pathman
pathman

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

07-14-2013 20:22:46 | More by pathman
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Kentucky

4.18/5  rDev -3.9%

Growler courtesy of markhvizdak into a Duvel tulip.

A: A straight-on pour results in a finger of light tan foam placidly overlooking a nice deep orange-amber body. Decent retention and some delicate lacing. Attractive, and the carbonation is just what I'd expect for a growler that's about two weeks old.

S: Dazzling display of hops complexity. Largely citrusy, with plenty of tangerine, as well as light floral and grassy notes. Some slightly spicy caramel malt on the tail end. Lovely.

T: Starts out with fruity, citrusy hops, then transitions to a smoothly malty middle, and finishes with an appropriately bitter grassy hop aftertaste. Very nice, but not quite as lively as the aroma.

M: Smooth medium body, but distinctly undercarbonated. I suppose I'm partly to blame for keeping the growler for an extra week (so that I could share it), but I'm pretty sure that it was counter-pressure filled and sealed with shrinkwrap, so it's not just me.

D: Very easy drinking IPA, as you'd expect from its very modest ABV.

Notes: Thanks a ton, Mark, for hooking me up with this long-desired beer. It was excellent, but not as transcendent as I'd hoped. I can't wait to try it fresh at the brewery this summer (fingers crossed). I bet it'll be sublime straight from the tap.

Cheers!

06-16-2010 19:03:43 | More by woosterbill
Photo of blackie
blackie

California

4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

a: pint glass, deep honey amber in color, cascading off-white head with good retention and lace, seems like there may or may not be some nitro involved here

s: moderate caramel lurks underneath a rich, piney hop aroma, some sweet citrus, hops not harsh but smoothed and juicy, great start

m: carbonation low, silky medium body, pretty sure I'd prefer this one regularly carbonated, but the smoothness is nice as well

t: deep, fresh pine with an underlay of full, fruity caramel malt, somewhat sweet, rich hop stew, not bittered to puckering levels but more restrained - moderate in level

d: a top-notch ipa for sure, but not the hoppy revelation that the hype would lead one to believe

big pint at the brewpub with my bro dirtylou

08-31-2010 23:49:02 | More by blackie
Photo of enelson
enelson

Illinois

4/5  rDev -8%

11-16-2011 15:50:46 | More by enelson
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

4.1/5  rDev -5.7%

Received this growler from skipanoka2, thanks a lot man I've wanted to try this for years. Split this three ways so I had a good 21 ounces of this stuff. Color is dark orange and the head is billowing and huge, no lack of carbonation here. Smells like caramel and a bit of hops thrown in for good measure. The taste is really chewy caramel with a bit of pine and a very strong bitterness on the finish, very bitter. Overall I liked it.

10-21-2011 15:44:16 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev -9.7%

Received in a trade, pouredinto a Kate the Great tulip. Shared with JLindros.

A - Poured a nice crystal clear amber copper hue with a nice one finger white creamy head that just won't quit! Leaves a nice creamy blanket.

S - Aromas of light citrus hops and tropical fruit notes. Faint pineapple and mango. Wish it was a little brighter.

T - Taste is surprisingly bubblegummy, which I definitely wasn't expecting. Some slightly danker tropical hops with some light bready notes. Finish is lightly bitter with that lingering bubblegum flavour.

M - Mouthfeel is nice and light and drinkable. Enjoyable.

O - Overall this beer kind of threw me a curveball. I know the Growler is fresh, but it has almost an older hop feel to it. Still I respect and enjoy this one.

07-27-2012 21:20:56 | More by rudzud
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM

California

4.15/5  rDev -4.6%

229th review on BA
growler to pint

App- The brew poured into my glass with a hazy light brown/muddled orange with a nice quick fading one finger head.

Smell- A very light and delicate scent on this one. The sweetness is there with some nice piney fruit and I sense some nice malt flavors.

Taste- A nice small ABV drinkable IPA. Citrus is very balanced with the bitter flavors of the hops and the malts.

Mouth- A medium body with a medium/high carb level. Nice aftertaste of a bitter IPA.

Drink- Ashame I only have one growler. I want another one.

02-03-2011 03:22:07 | More by FosterJM
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

4.53/5  rDev +4.1%

Split a growler of mama with the wife on our summer vacation the last week of June after the kids went to bed.

Pours a true-blue IPA color, nice head, with a bloom of citrusy hops rising from the open glass. Even my belches smelled good. Nice.

The hops aren't overwhelming on the tongue, but good & sharp. There's a very clean taste to this that I don't always find in an IPA - because of the brewing process, or additional ingredients, or fancy brewer footwork. This is just IPA. Coming through untouched.

The first glass...well, it disappeared in record time. We had no problem finishing off the growler in one sitting. I noted that this is a beer that improves with volume. If you have a ride home, or a growler in the safety of your living room, don't just have one. Have three. Gets better with every glass.

07-13-2008 02:14:37 | More by maximum12
Photo of tpd975
tpd975

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Shipped by my boy objectivemonkey. Man does this guy ship some wonderful Minnesota goodness. Can't wait to try this gem with my drinking buddy fishingnet from ratebeer.

A: Poured a hazy bold amber hue with a nice
creamy one finger off-white head. Nice sheets of lace are left behind. All of this is from a nearly week old growler shipped thru the mail.

S: Wow what wonderful hoppy goodness. A big blast of citrus right from the start. A hint of piney sweetness peeks thru as does a nice amount of caramel malt.

T: We enjoyed two pints, and man is this sessionable. Tons of citrus and pine with just enough malt for balance. A hint of fresh sweet summer fruit as well. Very good and uber sessionable. Glad I have a few more pints to consume from the growler.

M: Medium in body, nice smooth and sweet. One of Minnesota's finest.

D: So drinkable. If I could have one uber drinkable to get me thru the hot Florida summers this just may be it.

Overall: Wonderful brew that is so drinkable. It really rivals Furious as the best Minnesota brew.

05-23-2008 20:43:17 | More by tpd975
Photo of mynie
mynie

Indiana

5/5  rDev +14.9%

Beers which I have given a Perfect Five (in descending order of tastiness)

Breakfast Stout
Gumballhead
The Abyss
Dark Lord
Shakespeare Stout

I've never bought in to the logic that fives should almost never be given out, that no beer is completely perfect and so none should be given a perfect score. Yes, I suppose there is no objectively "perfect" beer, in the philosophical sense, but this is not a philosophy midterm. This is a beer rating website. And there are plenty of beers that are perfect enough, in my opinion, to warrant a perfect score.

But then there's the question of style and that nagging guilt you feel whenever you try to quantify a personal preference in some dramatic way. Weihenstepahner's Hefe is easily the best I've ever tried--why doesn't it get a five? While delicious, Gumballhead is hardly XTreme enough to fit into too many beer geek's definition of a perfect beer (that is, as one that burns your tongue)--so in spite of its poetic pallet, perfect balance, and prodigious potability, does it still deserve a five? What separates Devil Dancer from I2PA, really?

It boils down to context, I suppose. Whoever is drinking it, whatever is happening to that person while he's drinking it, whatever beers he's tried before and whatever tastes they've caused him to develop. There's nothing scientific about it, even if we assign numbers to it. Some people's tastes should rightfully carry more weight than others, of course, and there are plenty of cases in which tastes are so ignorant or offensive that it's perfectly fine to think of them as incorrect or wrong. But there is and always will be a fundamental subjectivity to taste, same as there will always be a subjectivity about beauty or love or happiness. That doesn't mean these things don't exist. That doesn't mean they don't hold any weight.

Masala Mama on cask gets a perfect score because it is the far and away the best American IPA have I ever had. IPAs are a style that I normally enojoy, but do no normally enjoy to give excessively high scores to. This one goes beyond all that, though. I've written about its mindblowing balance before, read those old reviews if you're interested in that kind of stuff. On cask, it's better. It's got the best body of any beer I've ever had, ever. Everything clicks. I would move to Minneapolis just to be closer to this beer.

10-28-2008 16:04:40 | More by mynie
Photo of alexgash
alexgash

Connecticut

5/5  rDev +14.9%

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).

11-30-2004 00:41:09 | More by alexgash
Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 1,133 ratings.