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Judge's Review: 84 Rating - Mango Habanero IPA by Motorworks Brewing

June, 2020
Judges Rating: 
20 / 24
6 / 6
33 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
16 / 20

Mango Habanero IPA by Motorworks Brewing is an IPA (BJCP category 21A), but due to the additions of mango and habanero it shifts to Fruit & Spice Beer, which is BJCP 2015 category 29B. These additions are definitely complementary to the style as IPAs go great with both tropical fruit and spices.

This beer pours a bubbly yellow with a bright, white fluffy head that lasts. There is a slight haze, but it still remains semi-transparent, which is perfectly acceptable for an IPA. The aroma has a strong mango character with some accompanying tropical notes (pineapple, coconut, lime, passion fruit, persimmon) and a bit of spice at the back end (habanero, jasmine). Think of a pina colada with a shot of tabasco sauce in it. It’s not uncommon in an IPA, but the malt is difficult to find with a light honey-like sweetness and subtle graininess all to be found. The flavor is similar with a blend of sweetness and heat.

Tropical sweetness at the start leads into spicy heat, and both linger on the tongue, battling for supremacy. The heat is much more prevalent in the taste than the aroma, though not overwhelming (you won’t need to drink a glass of milk alongside it) and works well with the tropical notes, much like a Jerk Chicken with mango salsa. It would also pair awesomely with some Thai or Jamaican food.  Again, it’s a bit adjunct-forward, but it complements the style well and pairs beautifully with the tropical nature of the hops used. It has a medium-low bitterness with a semi-sweet finish, which are both a bit out of character for the style, but more of a dry/bitter finish would emphasize the heat more, which can be dangerous as it already leaves a light burning sensation on the lips/palate. Overall, I’s well-made and easy to drink, I would just like to see more of the underlying beer present as it gets a little lost.