Mamba | Gilgamesh Brewing

very good
23 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Gilgamesh Brewing
Oregon, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Early versions were called "Black Mamba"

Brewer's notes: "A hopless brew with a light, yet slightly sweet, spicy body. Brewed with black tea and a hint of tangerine zest and rye."

Added by msubulldog25 on 05-04-2010

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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 56
Photo of warrenc
4.27/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dense orange, thin head. Nose is lime, malty-sweet tea. Taste of light earthy malt ,citrus is evident, the rye and bergamot are on the edge. Very drinkable on a hot day and tasty for not having any hops.

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Photo of ricke49
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Malty, fruity (sweet) with just a hint of dirty rye. Refreshing when cold, sorta like a shandy (but much heavier). Label says tangerine, tastes very orang-y to me. Would be very interesting as a barrel aged item.

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Photo of beertunes
3.44/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my buddy Chris for this one. an interesting brew containing tea and orange rind, it has a nice orange kick to it and the tea gives it an interesting aspect. The hazy orange-gold color was attractive. The body was smooth and even, with a semi-dry finish. This interesting brew was easy drinking, and I would happily drink more if I ever see it.

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Photo of fizzician
4.23/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A bit on the sweet side for my taste, but not overly so and has some interesting flavors. Couldn't really pick out the tea flavors, though. Overall, enjoyed but probably wouldn't get again.

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Photo of owenwood
4.29/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sour orange that rides the palate longer than expected. Lay off food for a bit and let this taste play out. I don't quite sense the "tea" that's touted on the can, but there's something lemony in there also. Very cloudy and lacing is non-existent. The colder the better (had 3 of these over a long evening).

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Photo of 81tillinfinity
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Taste and color of black tea. Hints of citrus with no discernable spice from the rye. Can says they used bergamot to give an earl gray like quality but I am having trouble picking that out. Average beer to me nice hot weather drinking though. A little more carbonation would make this better.

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Photo of Briken
2.9/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Cloudy orange amber with little head retention of an yellowish foam. Light orange and slight spice aroma. Sweet orange and a very light spice. Thin light body.

Not really much to this beer. If you like a tea consistency and sweet orange then it's a beer to drink. I really don't find anything to revisit from this as even a refreshing, light summer beer but then again I'm not much of a tea drinker either.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Gavroche tulip. Pours a lightly hazy orange amber with a one finger white head that dissipates to a ring around the glass with light lacing. Interesting aroma of orange citrus, light stone fruit, black tea, mild wheat; rose floral. Flavor is slightly bread, mostly neutral malt, tangerine, tea, hints of tannin, mildly earthy; very much like a lightly citrus ice tea. Medium bodied with odd carbonation that is spritzy on the tongue at first and then disappears, leaving the finish seem undercarbonated. This does excel as a tea infused light ale. The tea and citrus are balanced nicely and it's refreshing to taste orange rather than lemon with tea. The malt is subdued, which does allow the tea to shine, but makes this less interesting as an ale. An interesting experiment that worked as advertised. I'm a modest tea drinker, so this had less interest to me than other flavors might have. Absolutely amazingly well covered alcohol, in a blind taste, I would have thought this was as innocent as an iced tea. Enjoyable and quite drinkable as a tasting experiment. I've enjoyed the ales from Gilgamesh so far.

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Photo of mactrail
3.39/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Handsome orangey amber in the DuPont chalice with a modest foam. This actually tastes like tea. A light Earl Grey taste, with the bergamot herbal aroma and flavor. Some citrus flavors that linger in the aftertaste and a slightly acidic mouthfeel.

This is quite flavorful, but a liuttle too much like Snapple lemon iced tea for my taste. It's really more like tea than beer, though plenty strong with alcohol. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Special Brews in Lynwood.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.61/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: lightly murky medium orange-brown body with a thin layer of fizzy foam when poured. The head doesn't stick around long at all, but I like the color.

Smell: the tea aroma definitely gets lost but the tangerine and bergamot really come through. I like the citrusy nature of it.

Taste: nicely floral and herbal without being too bitter or astringent. There's a good sweetness to the underlying beer, and I think there's a bit of rye to it (though my bottle doesn't say anything about rye in the ingredients list). As an herbal beer I think it's relatively successful.

Mouthfeel: this beer has a moderate body but very little carbonation, so it seems nearly flat. Not so great, but who knows? Maybe that's what the brewers wanted.

Overall: a good herby beer. I'm not so hot about the lack of carbonation, but there's enough body to keep it drinkable.

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Photo of MtOrion
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gilgamesh- "Mamba":
Herbed/ Spiced Beer
Look: 4.5
Smell: 4.5
Taste: 4.5
Feel: 4.5
Overall: 4.5
This Spiced brew from Gilgamesh offers a wondrous display of pleasantries for all the senses. It plays tricks on your from the get go. The pour is a carmel amber clarity, that sheens in the light with a subtle head to awaken your nostrils. Your nose is deceived by what is thinks to be a morning citrus black tea, but little does your nose or tongue know, that it is a brew that awaits. No bitter interrupts the pleasantries upon arrival on the pallet, just smooth orange and black tea. It is as it is advertised. No tricks, no gimmicks, simply an extremely well done specialty brew that is unique to what it says Gilgamesh was going for. Well balanced with tangerine, rye, and black tea. This is a great experience from Gilgamesh brewing.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.42/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle split between a pair of snifters. Appears to have 1-6-15 printed on the bottle, no other dates or explanations or codes.

Pours a hazy light brassy color. Medium head that fades fast. Fair amount of carbonation. Smell is funky, odd, herby and musty, vegetable.

Taste is interesting -- definitely get black tea, definitely get some citrus. Something very creamy about it, too, and some vague spiciness that I don't know how to identify.

Mouthfeel is medium and fizzy. Overall, not bad; interesting beer.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thin head on a hazy copper body.
The aroma is grain and lemon.
The taste is mild bitterness, lemon.
The texture is a little thicker.
It's a little interesting.

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Photo of dzni
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Poured from a bottle.

appearance - flat with no head, cloudy orange

smell - orange or lemon, some sourness, and maybe some black tea?

taste - tangerine ... some tannic, black tea aspect

mouthfeel - medium bodied, almost no carbonation

drinkability - interesting with the citrus and black tea notes; mouthfeel is almost too smooth due to lack of carbonation. It's enjoyable enough, but not sure I would reach for it again.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.89/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from my man, rathakem. Enjoyed from a pfriem snifter.

Brew pours a murky and clouded sienna orange with a nice puffy head that eventually vanished leaving a ring on the surface where the beer meets the glass. Nose is soft and pleasant. Big tea notes...not a big tea guy but this definitely reminds me of the green teas I have tried. Soft sweet tangerine finishes the nose. The taste is as advertised and the beer really carries a tea like mouthfeel. Light and enjoyable. The tangerine gives it a lift so it doesn't just taste like a spiked iced tea. light carbonation, interesting but tasty beverage.

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Photo of cbarrett4
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from tap into pint glass at Nano-brew festival PDX.

According to the brewer: "...this beer is a very complex, hopless brew [...] brewed with black tea, a hint of tangerine zest, and rye..."

I found this brew to be very interesting and complex. There is a ripe fruitiness on the nose and palate framed nicely by the rye with subtle nuances from the black tea and a tartness that I assume comes from the tangerine zest.

Unique, but of very good quality. If I had tasted it blindfolded and someone asked me what brewery made this I would have said Dogfish Head! Gilgamesh continues to impress me, I just wish their beers were more available in Portland.

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Photo of EvanEngelstad
4.6/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I first tasted Black Mamba at Venti's in Salem, OR, where the new Gilgamesh Brewing was offering samples of its beers. About a year later, with fond memories of that night, I decided to buy a growler of Mamba at f/stop Fitzgerald's.

-golden deep amber color, only a shadow of your finger is visible through the other side of the glass
-small, bubbly head that dissipates fairly quickly
-strawberry yogurt aroma, sweet and creamy smell at the same time
-no bitterness at beginning, sweet and tangy taste
-medium to low sparkly carbonation, a bit dry mouthfeel
-long finish with the bitterness of orange zest

I enjoyed this beer a lot; it is an intriguing and unique brew. My friends (some beer geeks and some that don't normally like beer) all enjoyed the Mamba as well.

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Photo of jdense
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Belmont Station Fringe Fest OBF week.

Minimal head, no dissipation to speak of with little or no lacing. Deep gold body, a bit of visible carbonation. Nose is fruity and flowery. Taste is pretty sweet up front, but very complex, tangerine zest, rye, no hops, and I didn't pick up the (subtle) black tea. Mouthfeel is a bit sticky, a bit on the thin side of medium. An interesting tasting beer, though I believe the proper classification for this should be a Gruit, though it does fall into this catch-all category.ABV well hidden, I never would have guessed this was 8%. A pretty interesting brew from one of the new breweries on the Oregon scene. Recommended for the adventurous spirit.

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Photo of John_M
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Belmont Station fringe fest. One of the more interesting and unusual beers sampled at the festival yesterday.

The beer pours a rich, viscuous, hazy, tannish orange color with decent head retention, but virtually no lacing. The nose is pretty wild, showcasing jasmine, black tea, tangerine and light wheat. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this rich (not sweet), thick, viscuous beer. Additionally, I get flavors of peach, apple and cherry, coupled with a touch of lemon and lime. Carbonation seemed pretty low in this beer, which enhances the thick, rich mouthfeel. This beer has at most a modest amount of sweetness on the mid palate, but with a pretty long and dry finish. The alcohol is very well disguised in this beer, and I was very surprised to see the 8% abv.

Although quite unusual, I found this beer to be enjoyable, with good drinkability. While this beer is unusual, it nevertheless reminded me very much of Saint Somewhere's Saison Du Chene. Regardless, this was another fun, intriguing beer from the folks at Gilgamesh.

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Photo of djbreezy
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap in a pint glass at Breakside Brewery in Portland, OR.

appearance - ultra flat, no head, bright yellow orange, viscous

smell - tangerine and spice

taste - tangerine is dominant, nectar, black tea, spice, sweet

mouthfeel - full bodied, felt like nectar, smooth, little to no carbonation

drinkability - incredibly smooth, refreshing, flavorful

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Photo of kappat30
1.52/5  rDev -59.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Listen folks, I, as much as the next man, appreciate ingenuity in brewing. Having experienced a plethora of unconventional brews courtesy of professional and home brewers alike, my palate has adjusted to many a sharp left turns. This evening while catching the last 3 innings of a baseball game pitting my beloved Philadelphia Phillies against the dreaded New York Yankees, I overheard talk of a beer brewed with black tea and orange zest. No hops, you say? Quite curious. Please, barkeep, serve me a pint of this uncanny brew.
Granted, the bar where I happened upon this beer is a sports bar nestled in the "delightfully modest" North Tabor neighborhood of Portland. By no means is said establishment known for it's beer selection, but it does offer a handful of beers that wander off the beaten path. I could not resist ordering the most intriguing beer on the list.
The nose of the Mamba was fruity and earthy. Tea characteristics were definitely evident but the overall synergy of scents was unfortunately more reminiscent of the powdered Crystal Light mix my mom drank while I was a child. The taste, unfortunately, was not much better. It mirrored the Crystal Light nose, but was more stagnant. It was almost as if someone had spilled a bottle of crystal light on a lukewarm sidewalk, dropped a bag of black tea in it and subsequently crushed a not-yet-smoked, 5 year old cigar in it. Sometime, about three days later, a young boy having just chewed some passion fruit flavored taffy, spit in this puddle, which had since morphed into cesspool. Perhaps an aspiring brewer happened upon this cesspool and saw the image of the virgin in it. This, I figure, is the only plausible explanation for one brewing such a beer. P.S.: It almost made my brother puke.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.01/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A pint poured at the newest kid on the block here in NE Portland, Breakside Brewing.

The People's Choice winner at Portland's Spring Beer & Wine Fest, April 2010.

A: With a (former) name like 'Black Mamba', one might have reasonably expected a dark ebony pour, maybe reptilian. That assumption would have been woefully off-base, which is probably why the recent name-shortening occurred; this is a murky apricot/butterscotch orange, completely hazy and almost entirely lacking a head. Put another way: it's like the cloudiest, deadest-looking hefeweizen I've ever seen.

S: If you're seeking hops then seek elsewhere: the lack of them in Mamba leads to an array of other scents. Certainly the 'tea leaf' aroma and a spicy orange-citrus zest are there; it's got lemongrass and a white grape smell, even a little cherry. High marks for originality.

T: As goofy as the aroma is, flavor exceeds it. Orange blossoms and zest, a zing of earthy spice, nothing *too* sweet or candy-like, but skewing far away from bitterness, at least the typically 'beery' kind of bitterness. At times the citrus flavors veer towards tartness/tanginess, then a sweeter lemon/lime-ade.

M: Low carbonation (as mentioned before, almost 'dead'), but creamy to a fault. Medium body, and only the sneakiest of suspicions that an 8% beast might be lurking in the grass...

D: This one may not be everyone's cup of tea (pun intended), but it sure as hell is an interesting brew and definitely worth a try. I've had a few hopless beers (a couple of pretty good heather ales/gruits and the always intriguing HotD Greg) and would place this at the top of those I've tasted. My first pour from upstart Gilgamesh; I'll be looking for more.

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Photo of Elendinn
4.94/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My first BA review -- I felt it necessary upon drinking this brew. On tap at Venti's Café in Salem. Served in an imperial pint glass.

Appearance -- cloudy orange, like puréed grapefruit. No head, no lacing to speak of.

Smell -- tea immediately dominates the nose, followed by a sweet, citrusy, floral aroma. Very enticing.

Taste -- again, black tea is prominent; sweet tangerine and grapefruit flavors dominate the finish. Alcohol is barely perceptable, but lingers slightly. More like a fruit drink than a beer... in a good way.

Mouthfeel -- very little carbonation, which, admittedly, is often a turn-off, but suits this particular style very well. Dangerously smooth.

Drinkability -- ridiculously drinkable. Might occasionally be too sweet, and will almost certainly not appeal to the orthodox hop fanatics, but is very refreshing and can easily result in the imbibing of more than should realistically be imbibed. In short: Yum!

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Mamba from Gilgamesh Brewing
3.76 out of 5 based on 56 ratings.
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