Town Hall 1997 Masala Mama. Re-brewed from the original recipe by John Haggerty in honor of the 2000th batch at Town Hall Brewery.
Clear, pale copper appearance, slim head, drifts down quickly. Leaves a little lace.
Spicy/fruity hop aroma, citric blend, orange and grapefruit, nice, but restrained. Not as out loud as the current crop.
Tasting....Big hop attack right at the front, brisk and bitter. Again, nice mix of fruit and spicy notes, pouncing on the palate. Lean-bodied, light finish, but lingering hop bitterness. Hop flavor never goes away, just fades a bit, after every swallow. Cascade and Centennial, the classic West Coast hops, are the two in this, rather than the larger bouquet of the contemporary recipe (I've forgotten the other hops in the current incarnation....they've got to be around here somewhere...). A bit sweet on the way down.
Not the fierce hop assault of our modern mama, but it was probably good enough for '97. They kept the name of the original IPA, but it got quite a tweaking when Mike Hoops came in the door and got his hands on the mash paddle.
I sort of wish I'd brought home a growler of regular Mama, the one that I fell in love with back in '02 and set me on my long history with this brewery, just to try them side by side. But while it isn't as intense or full-bodied as this year's model, '97 Mama was not bad, not bad at all.
This information is lifted from the world wide web dot com: Darker, sweeter, and far less hoppy than the Masala Mama of today. The malts used in '97 Masala are similar to today's Masala Mama, however the ratios are very different. Hopped with Cascade and Centennial.