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Masala Mama India Pale Ale | Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
96
world-class
675 Reviews
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Minnesota, United States | website

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:
675
Ratings:
1,348
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
12.64%
 
 
Wants:
872
Gots:
85
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
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Reviews: 675 | Ratings: 1,348
Photo of jsanford
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally get to try this one courtesy of THECPJ! Cheers, Shane! Poured into a Pint Glass.

A - Dark reddish-amber with a creamy off-white head that settles to a nice cap and leaves a sheet of sticky lacing. Absolutely beautiful, picture-perfect IPA!
S - Oboy, this smells great! Huge pungent aromas of fresh hops, mainly grapefruit, pine resin, tangerine, and a spot of pineapple. Malt aroma is slightly sweet, with a touch of caramel. Exactly how I like my IPAs, pungent, tropical, and floral.
T - Malt profile is a bit bigger and sweeter then the nose suggest, but that's not saying the hops are playing second fiddle! More pungent flavors of grapefruit, orange peel, pineapple, and pine resin with a lasting bitter finish. Very tasty!
M - Pretty crisp and juicy, with a touch over medium mouth-feel and moderate carbonation. Very drinkable, especially at 6% ABV.
O - Definitely worth the wait, this is one of the best IPAs I've ever had the pleasure of drinking. Thanks again Shane!

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

Received a growler from mcmussel.

Pours a rusty amber with a huge foamy head. Looking fine! Smell is crisp with citrus hops and marmalade.
This tastes great! Lots of hops, but not over the top. Very well balanced. Medium mouthfeel that doesn't linger too long, and maybe fades a little too quick.
I could drink this all day everyday. A very solid beer that doesn't go to the extreme for attitude. I will be drinking this solo.

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Photo of TIMMYJ21
4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Really creamy looking, huge head with a nice cascade down the glass. A light copper haze which. A real nicely made brew

S- i get a real smell of butterscotch and orange and grapefruit, very nice aroma to this one, the cask, being that its a bit warmer really brings out the smell

T- Much better than on regular cask, very creamy mouth feel to it, like as said the hops just come at ya, great malt profile biscuit like.

Overall awesome brew by town hall if your able to get it on cask get a pint and maybe another

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Photo of jcartamdg
3.76/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured in to my surly pint glass out of my growler from theduderules. Pours a bright amber with a two finger head. Aroma of hops and almost a butterscotch malty note. Taste follows the nose very tasty and smooth. If I lived in MN this would be my go-to beer!

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Photo of jampics2
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

64oz growler, traded for at DLD 2011. Thanks to the kind trader who hooked it up, you know who you are! Several pours into my North Peak pint glass while slow cooking a pork shoulder.

Masala Mama looks great in the pint glass, but the copper color with hints of gold and even amber around the edges is a bit darker than I expected. No worries, though – the beer has excellent and attractive color and clarity, plus the steady streams of bubbles rising through the body replenish the bright white one finger head well. Some nice lace is left behind. This is one great looking beer!

This beer has an amazing aroma. I’m starting to see why this is so highly regarded – there are huge hoppy notes that come across as citrus. Orange peel, tangerine, grapefruit and pine are all distinctly represented in the very nice citrus and tropical bouquet. Sure, when compared to the extreme beers in this genre, the smell could be just a bit more expressive, but the hops are perfectly balanced by a touch of toasted sweetness from the malt. This is very enjoyable so far!

The taste is, simply put, delicious. There’s a very nice hop expression from the plethora of juicy hops. I get distinct grapefruit and peach from the Amarillo, as well as that signature Centennial and Cascade grapefruit, orange pith and pine. The hops jump out of the glass and are pretty bitter, but nowhere near off-balanced. There’s a reason for this – a nice malt backbone supports with caramel, bread and toasted notes. There’s absolutely no booze in this at all. This may not be the most extreme, but this is a classic American IPA up there with the big names in the business.

Just when I thought this beer had peaked, I considered that the mouthfeel is perhaps the best part of this beer. This is really nice and creamy with a nice sparkle of carbonation. The body is medium to light. This is close to perfection, especially the way the beer feels soft but the carbonation makes it refreshing. Overall, this is a very, very good beer. Is it one of the best in the world? I have no problem with saying it is certainly elite and one of the best examples of flavor and balance working together. Seriously good beer here!

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Town Hall Tap in south Minneapolis.

A: Deep amber hue with very slight haze. The thick, light eggshell head settles very slowly to a sticky lace on the surface.

S: Not very potent on the nose at first, but as the beer warms, floral, piney hops become dominant, with a malt backbone consisting of caramel notes.

T: Much like the smell, but in reverse. At first, sweet, caramel notes and hints of bread make up the malt profile, followed by an intense hop burst. Floral, with hints of pine and some citrus, and an edgy, bitter finish.

Notes: This has to be one of the most balanced IPAs I have ever tasted. Medium bodied, with light carbonation and a very long finish. Mouthfeel is incredible! I don't know why it took me so long to finally try this beer. It's simply a rock star. One of my new local favorites!

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Photo of cbeer88
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler poured into matching Town Hall pint glass, both courtesy of rebis1bear via n00b BIF #4.

Appearance: Moderately aggressive pour leads to two fingers of big fluffy off-white and creamy head. Pretty. Dark Orange to reddish light brown in color. Head dissipates after a few sips, leaving nice chunky lacing.

Smell: Initial blast of citrus comprised mostly of notes of orange. Followed up with malty (caramel) smell and hints of black pepper.

Taste: Healthy mix of malt, grapefruit, and pine intertwined with hops throughout. Extremely well balanced. Really strong lingering bitter hop flavor that doesn't leave my mouth until my next sip - the aftertaste is my biggest (and only) gripe with this beer.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, medium to full bodied, perfect carbonation.

Drinkability: Incredibly high. This growler probably will not last the night. Goes down very easy, and at only 5.9% this isn't one you need to share.

Overall: Great IPA that doesn't try to be anything special, yet still succeeds better than most. Would definitely be a regular in my lineup if it were local.

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

growler poured into tasting glass - thanks to biglobo

Pours a slightly hazed golden orange, nice fluff of white head. Decent retention and balance, plenty of spotty lacing on the glass.

Strong scents of citrus fruits with blood orange, grapefruit and pulp. Some softer biscuit malts with sweetness; very inviting.

Nice burst of juicy hop flavor up front with a decent wave of citrus bite. Grapefruit and orange, some more biting pine as well on the tongue. Decent malt backbone with a biscuity base, some sweetness with caramel. Finishes bitter and hoppy with little residual sweetness.

Medium body, crisp, refreshing, and drinks really well. The ABV is also at a nice level if you're looking for an IPA without too much of a boozy bite.

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Photo of zrab11
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a nice copper orange color with a 1 finger off hwite head.

S- Has a nice hop aroma followed by some sweet maltiness. Also has come citrus tropical fruit smell.

T-Starts off with a nice malty grainy taste. Then in the middle you get the citrus piney flavors then finish's with a nice hopy orange flavor.

M-Light bodied, very crisp and refreshing.

D- Overall this is a Great IPA. Im more a DIPA fan as i feel there is more going on in those beers than in IPA's but i was plesantly surprized that this had enough going on that i enjoyed this IPA alot. Would love to have this again.

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Photo of jwinship83
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

growler received from mnbears fan this year at DLD. drank the night after back at my place. the glass used was the sierra nevada hop tulip. best by date on the cap reads 5/9.

A- this one pours out a translucent copper colored body with a slight haze to it. there is a finger of neat bright white head on top that has good retention and leaves behind complete rings of lacing. very nice.

S- the initial whiff brings forth a plethora of hops. mostly pine with a lesser amount of grapefruit and just a touch of earth. sweet caramel malts attempt to add some balance.

T- the taste starts out with some of the sweet caramel malts that i could smell and then this beer quickly becomes all about the hops. tons of resiny pine with a far lesser amount of grapefruit and just a touch of earthiness.

M- the body is a solid medium and the carbonation is spot on. nice and bitter. leaves my mouth feeling dry.

O- in a market over saturated with IPAs, i find myself really enjoying this one. the ABV makes it possible to have a couple without risking a terrible next morning. im not taking this one off my gots, im going to need another. thanks again matt for the chance to try this.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery poured into a pint glass (I also had the Masala Mama cask beer - which was very delicious and creamier than the regular IPA)! Pours a hazy reddish/orange amber with a great creamy meringue like head and super sticky lace. Nose of fruity hops both citrus and tropical notes, floral and piney hops as well as a good deal of caramel malt sweetness. The flavor is full of hops, lots of citrus and tropical fruitys, floral and pines, strong caramel malt, somewhat sweet with some residual sugars as well. Light to medium body with a good amount of carbonatinon and not much alcohol kick. Overall, one of the better brewery-only IPAs I ever had especially the cask version!

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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 sliverX
4.06/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a nice rich copper, with a thick foam cap that left great lacing.
smell is sweet malt toffee note backed with a citrus rind note
taste is sweet malt followed by some pine notes with a very sweet orange citrus hoppyness
mouthfeel is medium to full
overall this is a real nice beer that I'll gladly share anytime I can pick one up in a trade

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Photo of Spider889
3.66/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler shared by normyk at the first Central OH Beer Tasting - at his place! Thanks for hosting Rob, and for all the great beer you shared that day.

Poured a dense honey color with a tall white head that had minor tinges of khaki around the edges.

Smelled medicinal - very resinous pine character.

The taste is full of dry pine. The malt was such that I was also getting an oak flavor. I was reminded somewhat of Burton Baton.

Residual dry bitterness. Lots of grassy pine needles.

I don't think I was nearly as psyched as some were to try this offering, and it may well have been better that way, as I wasn't let down very much. A solid beer for sure, but nothing I'd go to any effort to find again.

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

Poured into a pint glass from a growler.

A - Pours a nice copper color with some slight amber hints and a perfectly dense slightly off-white head. The head is about 1 inch tall and is well retained.

S - Malty and sweet chewy grain mixed in with some nice tropical fruit notes. Mangos as well as some nice hints of pine. Slight papaya and pineapple in the nose as well.

T & M - Starts off quite grainy and malty with some good fresh bread hints. This is then transferred to some nice grassy and earthy hop notes. Some fresh herbs and some slight dank pine notes. Tropical citrus notes are also present with some slight papaya and some orange as well. Very well balanced IPA. The finish is nice and bitter and hopy with some great notes of tropical notes and a clean finish. Good light body with a great lower ABV and a very drinkable balanced profile.

O - Spot on American IPA. Well deserved hype. Good toasty malts with some nice strong but delicious hops.

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Photo of billyshears
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

from notes
A: Darker amber with nice frothy head. Good lacing.
S: Sweet caramel (almost toffeeish) malts and citrus hops (lemon, grapefruit); a bit of flowery noticeable hops too.
T: well balanced between aforementioned malts and hops; pleasant strong lingering bitter pine hop finish; ends a bit bready.
M: medium resiny mouthfeel with healthy carbonation.
Really should've taken better notes, but I was enjoying it too much. Really a top notch IPA and worth of the reputation. Seek it out if you can.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to therobot for this growler. Into a DFH Signature Glass.

A: Pours a deep copper in color with an off white head, about half an inch or so that slowly recedes down to a cap of bubbles with excellent rings of lacing. Superb clarity and a fair amount of carbonation moving up from the nucleation point. Very nice.

S: Big tropical fruits, grapefruit, mangos, pineapples, very fruity, with a bit of a malt presence underneath, some notes of caramel, and a bit of a biscuit like smell as well. Not bad.

T: Follows the nose nicely with a decently juicy hop presence, citrus and pine are a bit stronger in the flavor than the nose, which is nice. Pretty decent malt backbone in there as well, not a huge presence but decent. Some of the same lightly toasted malts that were in the nose which is pretty nice. Long bitter finish ties everything together quite nicely. Excellent.

M: Spot on, medium body, perfect carbonation, dry finish that absolutely makes me want to take another drink after I've set the glass down.

O: This is a fantastic IPA at the lower end of the alcohol spectrum that is incredibly hoppy, perfectly bitter, and perfectly dry. My girlfriend and I will have zero issues finishing this growler with dinner and over the course of the evening. Exceptionally well done!

Thanks Dan!

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Photo of mnbrewery
4.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma: (11/12)
Huge grapefruit and orange! Tropical fruit hops dominate. Super enticing.

Appearance: (3/3)
Copper in color. Poured from the tap with a nice fluffy, one-fingered head. Insane lacing, even before I took my first sip.

Flavor: (18/20)
Grapefruit and big hoppy bitterness upfront. Little to no malt present. A west coast style IPA. This beer really reminds me of the Green Flash West Coast IPA. Hops only intensify from the front-end to the back. Wonderful!

Mouthfeel: (5/5)
Light in body with a great hoppy bite.

Overall Impression: (10/10)
I haven't had a better IPA (besides Pliny and Green Flash West Coast IPA). It's crazy that this is available in my backyard. I much prefer this beer to Surly Furious, as it is lighter and the malts take a definite back seat to the hops.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a glass mug.

Big thanks to hannydawg and VDubb86 for hooking me up with some o' this growlered goodness!

Didn't think I'd ever get around to trying this...much props to my unexpected hookups! It pours a hazy sunset amber topped by a light sprig of dirty white foam. (I will note here that I was late to the growler, so the carbonation was decidedly diminished for me. I have adjusted the grading accordingly.) The nose comprises ruby red grapefruit, mandarin orange, lime, caramel, and a slight intimation of onion. The taste holds notes of pine, orange peel, greens, light cedar, and some very light caramel resting in the back. The body is a light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a pretty dry finish. Overall, a very nice IPA. I'm not sure I can rave about it as much as others have, but it is pretty damn good.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.97/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a mug

Thanks to hannydawg for sharing this growler with myself

This beer appears an amber orange color with a thin vale of head on the surface. The aromatics are slight malt barley notes followed by a well balanced grapefruit hop nose. The flavor of this beer is surprisingly not nearly as bittered as I would have anticipated. This beer would have been better had this been fresh so I am extrapolating my thoughts as if this were a cask beer. I'm really pleased with the overall flavors involved here. I rather enjoy. I'm glad to have had the chance to try this beer, but would still relish the chance to have it again.

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Photo of Dspohn
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A large part of the reason I initially joined BA almost 2 years ago was to find new and exciting IPAs, little did I know the great appreciation this site would give me for tons of beer styles and individual beers. When I first joined this site, Masala Mama was the #1 rated IPA. After learning it was only available at one brewery in the entire country I pretty resigned myself to never trying it, yet, here I am with a fresh growler sent from arvjunk to enjoy. Thanks again Ankur.

Pours an amber hue with slight haze topped with an thick beige head which left some spectacular spiderwebs of lacing all over my tulip. Really outstanding especially considering this is coming from a growler filled 1000 miles away.

This beer is quite balanced, not something I usually value being brought up on west coast hop explosions, but this beer is quite tasty. The smell is a little muted in comparison with the taste, but the overall presence is similar. A really well paired combination of truly sweet malts and bitter but not abrasive hops. A delicious and sweet well-balanced IPA, I wish this was more available since it seems like a great gateway beer that's not overly bitter. Notes of warm fresh caramel, earth and flowers, pine and citrus.

Mouthfeel is quite good, soft and creamy even after spending a week in a growler.

Quite a tasty beer, I'm glad I got to try it. Not my all-time favorite IPA, but it's hard to compare with most hop dominated IPAs from California. As far as well-balanced IPA's go, this is the best one I can remember having.

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Photo of GoldenJet
3.65/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've held off on reviewing this for quite some time, as it's kind of my go-to trade bait. That being said, after picking up a growler for hockey tonight, I figured it's time.

And at this time, I still don't get it. It's a good IPA, but I'm not quite sure it's worth all the A's it gets. It has all the standard traits you look for in superior IPA's - nice citrus fruits and hop oil on the nose, a ton of grapefruit and grassy-ness for the taste, and a decent enough kick of hops on the front, middle, and finish.

But what the hell is with the after-taste? It's been the one thing that's always bugged me about Masala Mama, as I can't recall an IPA that lingers like this one does, and it's not in a good way. It reminds me of dated DFH 90 Minute IPA - it's just weird. I just can't get away from it, and it really confuses me.

Overall, like I said, it's a good IPA, but not worthy of all the adoration - which is a tough thing to write, as of all the Town Hall beers in my backyard, this is probably my least favorite.

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the brewpub. Pours a very pretty orange amber brown with medium tan head that sticks around for a long time. Nice lacing on this one for sure. Nose is where this rocks for me. Very fresh citrus hop aromas, with some leafy notes that add to the freshness as well. The flavor follows with a solid IPA, big citrus notes, followed by a good deal of bitterness, carried through over a slightly sweet malt bill. Assertive and well-done. A very good beer here. Nice body, and wayyy too easy to drink.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From growler to Bruges hybrid glass on 3/5/11
*From notes

A HUGE thanks goes out to ncmussell for this one. Cheers, Nate!

A: A 2.25 finger head on a careful pour. Amazingly icky, sticky and bubbly lacing. Just a gorgeous shade of dark sunset amber.

S: Citrus! From the moment I removed the growler's cap, it hit me - and hard. Intense pine and fruity resin, with bitter hops and faint, mild malts off in the distance.

T: One word: balance. This is one of the most balanced and delicious beers I've ever had. It's extremely fresh, leading to a massive amount of tropical fruits up front. A run of malt in the middle lays down a track for the bitter yet slightly sweet hoppy finish.

M: The creamiest of IPA's. I can't begin to describe this one - it's like Christmas morning for your mouth. Rich and slightly heavy, the carbonation here is spot-on and simply perfect.

O: If anyone had a timeshare in Minneapolis, lemme know. I could easily see myself going on a week-long bender just killing pints of this heavenly nectar 24/7.

Believe the hype, folks. Masala Mama is worthy of all the praise you've heard and then some. In my opinion, this is the quintessential American IPA.

Two BIG thumbs up. This one should be on your bucket list.

*Paired with a medium-rare, grass fed ribeye and homemade mac & cheese.

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Photo of treyrab
4.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I can remember wanting to try this beer ever since I joined BA over three years ago; this is my first time. I have to thank Nittanybeerfan for shipping a growler of this back home from his trip to Minnesota for the Men's Big Ten Swimming & Diving Championships. There is no way randawakes could tick this beer and not me, so he graciously shipped the growler back and hand bottled me two. As soon as they arrived they were put in the fridge and opened the same night.

A: The cap hissed as some ghostly smoke crept out of the bottleneck. You have to keep in mind that Dan (Nittanybeerfan) is a homebrewer, so he knows how to adequately cap hand bottles. The beer poured from the unmarked brown bottle into my Russian River pint glass. As I pour, I can see nice carbonation forming, yielding a finger to two finger nice eggshell/khaki head that lasts for a few minutes. Given the time it took the head to recede, I can assume this will be a sticky malt/hop experience.

S: Upon first whiff I get a punch of toffee, Werther's Original, and dry orange peel. It smells very nicely balanced, unlike many IPAs that are hops or nothing. But this IPA is different. It doesn't have the old IPA caramel smell like an IPA that has sat on the shelves for a month. It has a nice caramel smell, with simultaneously fresh citrus hops.

T: Truly a perfectly balanced IPA. The sweet, sticky toffee and Werther's Original in the scent come through magnificently in the taste, and then adds a touch of butterscotch. It is very sticky, a tad sweet, and then a blast of citrus hops comes through. This is not a hop bomb. In fact, I'm not sure if it is more hop forward or malt forward, but the hops are there and they let you know it. Citrus, orange peel, and some grapefruit.

M/D: Great.

Overall, a great IPA. Will drink my other bottle very soon. The key to this beer's success is the perfect balance, with the sweet toffee malt and citrus hops.

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Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 675 ratings.
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