Masala Mama India Pale Ale | Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

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BA SCORE
96
world-class
676 Reviews
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Minnesota, United States
townhallbrewery.com

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

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.

Added by Jason on 01-01-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
676
Ratings:
1,351
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
8.97%
 
 
Wants:
873
Gots:
86
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
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Reviews: 676 | Ratings: 1,351
Photo of billab914
4.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to biniek13 for sending me a growler of this and crossing another off my want list. Poured from a growler into my Dogfish shaped pint glass. pours a dark amber color with a off-white half inch head. The head subsided but left a nice covering on top of the beer and left excellent lacing on the glass.

Aroma is dominated by the pine and citrus from the hops. There are notes of Grapefruit and pineapple with a little sweetness. The taste is a lot like the nose only the sweetness is more present. The pine, grapefruit and pineapple all come through along with a moderate bitter finish. I love the sweetness to it, it's not overdone and the bitterness helps balance it out as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is excellent, it's not going to take the two of us long to finish this growler. It's very good tasting and at a pretty decent abv% that makes it even more drinkable. I would drink this beer all the time if it were possible. I was slightly worried that this was a "hype" beer and not worth going out of my way to get a growler, but I am very happy I did. Easily one of my favorite IPA's

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Photo of mdfb79
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Received a growler of this in a trade with cope0021, thanks man! Poured into my SN 30th Anniversary tulip.

a - Pours a reddish amber color with one finger of off white head that has great retention and lacing. Light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus fruits and hops, especially grapefruit. Also smells of smooth caramel malts. Hint of pine.

t - Tastes of citrus and piney hops, grapefruit, and some smooth caramel or bready malts. Nothing is too overpowering and no real bitterness to it. Quite enjoyable.

m - Medium body and light carbonation, very smooth and creamy.

d - This is a great IPA. At 5.9% ABV this is insanely drinkable; I feel like I could drink this all day. The smell and taste is a great combination of hops and malts and several things are notciable, yet nothing overpowers it. This is not a crazy hop bomb and does not have a lot of bitterness to it, but if you like balanced IPA's you'll love this. Would highly suggest checking out.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.97/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First let me thank garymuchow for getting this fine brew to my doorstep served from the Town Hall 1/2 gallon brown growler with a plastic heat sealed layer for protection. Appearance: Pours a deep caramel amber crystal clear hue with an amazing tannish head forms thick leaving heavy intricate patches of lacing, very nice. Aroma: Copiously hopped lines my nostrils with aromatic grapefruit and pine cone scented hops, all topped off with a fortified caramel nut edge completely amazing. Taste: Flavor consists of a lucious juicy hop profile with a malty backbone to balance her out. Talk about hops, man the nut edge evens out a perfect amount of sweetness from the malts but the waves of grapefruit and pine swarm the palate with a rush of bitterness making the finish completely fantastic leaving me, the drinker with hop burps. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied resinously textured what a lucious body even perfect carbonation can't ask for much more, I'm satisfied. Drinkability: Wonderfully flavored with massive hops and a unique malt character holds a spot as the best American IPA I have ever tasted. The sessionability of this brew is unlike any other waxed off a growler with two fellow BAs (beergeek279 and cupbeerman) and wow I was yearning for another to exist.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Matt is turning out to be the growler king. He brought this over to my place a few weeks ago. Review from notes.

A: The beer appears amber/orange, has a decent sized head, and leaves a fair amount of lacing on the glass. It is pretty clear with good effervescence. It looks like it survived the trip.

S: The smell is really fantastic. Fresh hops and citrus.

T: This is a great tasting beer, and really easy to drink. The citrus flavors come forth quite nicely, with a pleasant bitterness in the back of each sip. Yum!

M: The feel is very smooth. A great bitter finish with no astringency.

D: O ya, I could drink a bunch of this. Well worth seeking out. This is one of my favorite IPAs now.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This arrived with a big, fluffy, white head with a lot of bubbles coming to the top. I continued to note a beautifully floral hoppy nose. The mouthfeel was thicker and more effervescent on the palate. The hops were still up front and in your face, but tempered a little bit by the carbonation. The finish had that nice burst of malt that stood in utter juxtaposition to the combination sledgehammer/blind file of hops that slugs you, pulls your tongue out of your head with a pair of pliers, and begins running back and forth like a cheese grater. Waitress, another please.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.91/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

64 oz. growler poured into multiple pint glasses. My wife was supposed to help me drink this, but I ended up with a solid 48 oz. of it!

Appearance - Deep amber, maybe copper body with a nice, creamy off-white head. The lacing is tremendous. A continuous coat of foam down the sides and all over the top of the beer. Well made, but very dark for an IPA, especially a single IPA.

Smell - I don't get the pungent hop aroma I expected from an IPA rated so well. Sure, it's citrusy and piney in equal measures, but really I get a lot of biscuit malts. The aroma just isn't all that strong, either. When it's cold I don't get much of anything.

Taste - Taste is good, though. Definitely a strong hop flavor up front. Again, equal parts citrus and pine, which pair well with a toasted malt backbone. Lots of malt, though. It reminds me of an amped-up English IPA. The finish is toasty and very bitter, almost unpleasing.

Mouthfeel - That aftertaste takes away a little bit, but otherwise it's easy drinking. Good thing, too, because 48 oz. of this would be tough to put away otherwise.

Overall - A solid IPA. Not something I'd seek out again, but if I was in MN, I'd make the trek to the Town Hall brewery for it. Other MN IPAs definitely stand above this one, though.

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Photo of jwc215
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy reddish amber with a creamy head that descends to a lasting thin layer, leaving a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

The smell is of citrus and pine. A touch of herbal-like spice. Caramel backing it up. Very aromatic.

The taste is citric, piney, resiny. A touch of earthy herb. Sweet caramel backs up the hops, while keeping bitterness in the front.

Full-bodied and very smooth.

Flavorful and very easy-to-drink. It just disappeared, leaving a very nice taste in the mouth. A wonderful IPA with assertive flavors and quite a bit of balance. Nice.

Thanks to WankerWeasel for this treat!

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler received in trade from phisigben, thanks for the opportunity. Shared after a long day with HopasaurusRex. Pours a deep golden color with a decent bubbly white head that displays moderate retention and lace. Smells fantastic. Floral, pine, citrus and tropical fruity hops with hints of sweet bready malt deep underneath. Taste is resinous, fruity, pine, and citrus hops with a bit of sweet bready almost caramel malt. Fairly dry with a medium to light body. Moderate level of carbonation with a resinous mouthfeel. Nice flavorful hopification of a beer. If I lived in MN I would drink this all the time, but since I don't I'm glad I got to try it.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beautiful bronze color, firm white head. Aroma is a bubbling, bristling bouquet of intensely fruity hops, just what I love in an IPA! Great citrus, grapefruit, peach notes, on the palate a huge bite of hops, but mellow thereafter. Tingly and tasty, this should please any hophead. If I was a teaching assistant at the nearby U of M and I just got away from the maddening throng, this would be my solace. If I was an actor at any of the nearby theaters and I got off the boards before bar close, I'd rush here for my relief. Heck, I'm going to make it my business to have more business in this neighborhood, just to enjoy this beer more often.
Did I mention that I liked it?

10-04-03...the above was written in the infancy of my relationship with this beautiful brew, and our affair has only grown stronger. Sure, at times, I try another style on occasion, you know, variety is the spice of life and all, but it's this Bad Mama Jamma I always come back to on every visit, and I'm visiting more often to taste her sweet juiciness, and nearly every night, at home, through the magic of growlers. Consequently, I've tweaked the numbers a tad to reflect how addictive and seductive this gorgeous gal really is!

Over a year later, 1-09-04, I still don't think I've impressed on you all how magnificent this brew is, and I've touched up my ranks even further, for I can find no flaw at all, everytime I drink it, it's perfection! Everytime it touches my lips, happiness ensues, and an incredible case of hop burps begins!

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Photo of MasterSki
4.63/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to a colleague who visits family in the Twin Cities I have a regular hookup for growlers. Anyone in the Chicago area should hit me up for a trade...

A - Off-white creamy two fingered head that takes a while to dissipate, leaving behind a lace that coats the side of the glass. The beer is a golden-amber color, mostly opaque, with slow moving bubbles. This is what an IPA should look like.

S - Floral hops, sweet citrus, pine, and some caramel malt in the background. Smell is a little understated, but that may have to do with the fact that the growler traveled 500 miles. I remember it being more pungent on-tap. Complex and deep.

T - Starts very bitter but mellows into an exquisite blend of orange, lemon, pine, malt, and honey. Leaves a bitter aftertaste in the back of the mouth.

M - A little lighter than I'm used to, but very smooth with the right balance of carbonation. Leaves a sticky resinous quality. If it were a touch more viscous it'd be perfect.

D - This is the quintessential session beer. If you're looking for something refreshing, light, and inexpensive (if you live near Town Hall, that is) this is the perfect beer. I'd love to have this after a hot summer day.

Wow - $13 for a growler (less if you refill!). I think pints were like $3 or something, and since this is one of their standard brews you can get it every day of the year. Between this and Furious the Twin Cities really set a high bar for the IPA.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4/5  rDev -8%
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.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Part of my trek to Minneapolis was to get this beer and the mango version on draft. Mission successful. Generally speaking, I enjoyed both of these IPAs but especially enjoyed the mango. I think it narrowly edges out the original in flavor.

Beer is amber to orange and mostly clear. Head of small white bubbles leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Looks good.

Aroma is pretty piny with a strong hop presence. Minimal malt aroma.

Beer is medium body and has nearly no malt sweetness up front. It finishes with a medium dryness to it and has some great hop character in the midpalate. The finish is quite bitter and is probably what gives me the mild dry feeling at the back. Very drinkable, I once drank an entire growler of this beer at one sitting -- I wouldn't recommend it, and a great mouthfeel. Carbonation on the palate carries the hop flavors and the accents the bitterness well. A great IPA.

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Photo of tempest
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I don't know about #9 on BA, but then again, I don't seem to think anything deserves to be in the top 10. I guess I'm just stingy. Still, this is an IPA for the ages. If someone needed one example of the great American IPA, Masala Mama could be it. To me it has a deep, rich grapefruit hops flavor complimented by floral hops. There's enough bitterness to catch up with any good hop head. It's a shame this isn't bottled

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice amber/autumn color with a rather large head that chunked up a bit. Good lacing, sticky. Looks great.
Mostly citrus aroma with hints of lemongrass and herbal butteriness (is that a word?). A slight touch of pine as well as some malt biscuit in the end.
Great taste. Smooth, yet very biting. Citrus hops turn more to pine, but not all the way. Biscuit holds up in the end, but the hops are overpowering. Seems a bit thick, not as crisp as I was hoping. An almost great brew.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Exiled for sharing this growler. This has been on my wants for a long time.

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the candy hops, orange citrus, pine and biscuit malt. A very well balanced smelling IPA.

The flavor is similar, but not quite as good as the aroma. I get a lot of orange and brown sugar notes, as well as some toffee. Low to medium bitterness.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of Duff27
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

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Photo of Wasatch
4.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A big thanks to objectivemonkey for this brew.

Pours a nice clean/clear golden orange/amber color, nice carbonation, huge two-finger creamy off-white head that lasts a long time, then leaves some nice sticky lacing. The nose is a big hop bomb, with some grapefruit, pines, and a good dose of caramel. The taste is absolutely delicious, hoppy, nice malt blend, grapefruity, and a good touch of pines/caramel. The finish is slightly dry and bitter. Medium body, a nice well rounded brew. Very drinkable, glad to finally make an effort to get this brew sent my way, why did I wait so long, lol Highly recommended.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.96/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured outta a growler by oglmcdgl by way of some trader, thanks! Into a plain pint glass.

Masala came with a hiss when the cap was pryed, out came a nice bright copper beer with some golden penny edges. A nice thick inch of foam stayed a float with a off white look leaving nice patterns down the glass.

Smell is in the middle and not veering east, a nice bouquet of floral hops and some pine backing with some slight toasted malt profile. Some earthy aroma with some warming but not much caramel which i was waiting for.

And were off, Masala brings the hops and the pine, citrus is there with slight grapefruit, but mama is not citrus laden. This is more geared in the earthy/pine type of IPA that's bold but not aggressive.

A slight bitterness with a dry finish, not overly malty and the ABV is nowhere in site. This won't kill your palate, just a quick smacking and than wha la. Carbed up just fine from a great growler.

It's easy drinking beer, a nice array of flavors, just not wowing me. Low ABV makes for great drinkability but some more ummpphh would of made me come back.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.63/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A few months back Doug was awesome enough to send me a growler of this. I was awesome enough to smash it in a parking lot. I felt shame, etc. Doug was awesome enough to send me a new one. This is 8 days old, split with others and thoroughly enjoyed.

Appearance is perfect for an IPA, a mostly clear, slightly hazed dark chestnut color with a thick, endlessly retentive light tan head. The head also leaves behind thick, clumpy sheets of spiderweb like lacing. Aroma is fresh, thick resiny citrus hop blend with balancing pine and floral hop notes. I'll knock the flavor down .5 from a perfect five for not having the intensity and flavor of a west coast IPA like Sculpin, while acknowledging that I don't really want it to taste like that either. Flavor is extremely balanced and smooth with a medium-thick mouthfeel and moderate carbonation (almost has a creamy texture to it). While there are a fistful of hops present, less dominant on citrus hops than the nose was. Body has a strong caramel and biscuit malt base that seamlessly transitions to a strong pine and citrus rind hop finish. So this wasn't necessarily as flashy or extravagant as some other AIPAs, but IMO you really couldn't construct a better example of the style.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.7/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a great beer! I really loved this one and would like to try more from the same brewery. Thanks for sharing, Lance! Pours orange with nice clarity, a great head and nice lacing. Pretty impressive from a growler. Wonderful floral and pine aromas- big and juicy. For me, the taste is perfectly balanced. Piney and dry with just enough firm malt to support the hops. long, delicious bitterness on the finish. In the mouth it's quite dry- almost asprin-like in its dry astringency. Superb beer.

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Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at the brewpub today.

The beer pours an orange amber color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive in this beer, showcasing considerable orange citrus, a touch of earthiness and a hint of sweet malt. The flavor profile replicates the nose, though I also get some tropical fruit flavor as well in this flavorful, fairly dry IPA. The beer has a fairly long finish, with some moderate, attractive bitterness. The beer has something of a soft mouthfeel, which I attribute to the cask conditioning. Drinkability is pretty good, with the alcohol well integrated into the flavor profile.

I confess I remain a bit puzzled by this beer. While it's certainly a well made, attractive IPA, I could easily name 20 or 30 I like better. Also, as has been noted before, some IPA's benefit from cask conditioning, and some don't. In my humble opinion, this IPA definitely falls into the latter category (sampled this side by side with the CO2 version, and definitely preferred this IPA on the gas). This is a solid IPA, no doubt, but it's hardly anything to get wildly excited about. I just don't get it.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.5/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had the chance to sample a good amount of this from a fresh growler shared generously by BMan1113VR at The Lost Abbey tasting bar on the evening before Christmas in July.

The beer appears orangish amber with a large white head from my vigorous pour.

The nose is caramel malt with some dull citrus hops. Some grapefruit, orange, and lemon are apparent. The citrus is there, but it's pretty muted and doesn't stand out much from the caramel sweetness. Some pine is also evident.

The hops are pretty dull in the flavor as well. I'd like to say the grapefruit and pine really stand out from the lackluster caramel malt sweetness, but that isn't the case. The beer has a nice medium level of bitterness, but the hop flavor is definitely lacking. I'm not impressed; maybe the growler experienced some trauma on its journey from Minnesota.

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Photo of weeare138
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of corby112
3.5/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes:

Growler received in a past trade with a generous MN guy. Shared with kubrick215 and a non-BA friend.

Pours a hazy dark golden orange with burnt orange hues when held to a light and a two finger frothy, pillowy off-white head. Excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the glass with rings, streaks and splotches of soapy lacing.

As soon as the growler was opened you could smell the dank, resinous oily hops from across the room. Very earthy and floral with a lots of pine and sticky kind bud character dominating the nose. There's also a good amount of sweet citrus and tropical fruit. Hints of pineapple, mango, grapefruit and citrus rind. Subtle malts with hints of sweet alcohol and biscuit.

Chewy full body with a blast of dry, bitter hops that linger throughout into a long, dry finish. More one-dimensional than the aroma suggests with an overpowering dry, earthy pine flavor. Slightly floral but mostly just intensely bitter and dry. Kind of like eating a tree. Resinous, sticky and oily with the dryness just coating the tongue in an unpleasant way. This really hurts the mouthfeel and drinkability. Not much in the way of sweetness to balance things out. The tropical and citrus fruit notes from the aroma are minimal if not completely absent. It's hard to pick anything else out underneath the dry, earthy pine needles. Faint malt backbone but again not enough to balance things out much. Subtle hits of caramel, biscuit and graham cracker.

Overall, I'm happy I got to try this beer but it was just too one-dimensional for my liking. I love intense bitter hoppy beers but this beer coats the tongue in an unpleasant way and reminds we of having cotton mouth after smoking low grade weed back in college.

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Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
4.35 out of 5 based on 1,351 ratings.
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