So I promised someone yesterday that I would post something last night about my thoughts on Flying Dog’s newest release in their Brewhouse Rarities series, the Mango Habanero IPA. (You can learn about their Brewhouse Rarities series here.)
To make up for it, I’m going to give my real feels about this beer in paragraph form, as opposed to my usual haikus. Gross, I know.
Here’s what Flying Dog says about this beer, in case you were too lazy to click the above link — that’s fine. I love links. So. Much.
The trick to any sweet and spicy combination is balance, which was the goal from the beginning. The malt bill is intentionally light and the yeast a clean ale strain to showcase the fruit, heat, and tropical fruit-forward hops.
This beer looks like unfiltered apple cider. The Habanero starts waving at you through your nose before you can even lift it off the counter, but don’t worry. It isn’t overwhelming when you dive in. In fact, it has what I call the perfect amount of “heat creep” — when the spice isn’t totally evident at first, but then the burn builds in the finish.
The heat is perfectly balanced. The mango, however? Eh, less so.
Had I tried this blind, without knowing what it is, I would never have guessed mango. The blend of hops — Amarillo, Centennial, Citra and Simcoe — definitely do their job, balancing out the heat quite nicely with warm citrus notes that pop. But still, I had to really get my honker in there to catch the mango in the aroma. And with the Habanero hogging the spotlight, it was hard to catch the mango in the taste.
Don’t get me wrong: It is there, once you focus — but it’s really subtle. And since it’s got top-billing in the name, that might come off as a disappointment to some.
Overall though, I dig it. We have a growler of it in the fridge, thanks to my little field trip on Wednesday night to the brewery. And I’m really psyched to break into it because, even though I don’t think they quite nailed the balance they were looking for, it’s awesome. Granted, I get a lady boner for beers that nail the concept of a chili beer with plenty of kick, but whatever. If you like IPAs and you like something a little more on the spicy, experimental side, you’ll like it.
Anyway, there you go. A haiku-free review. Just some words in the form of a sentence. Ew. Boring, right?