Written by Tom Becham
If you have followed my reviews on Professor Good Ales, you know that I’m not generally keen on gimmicky beers. For me, any fruit beer should be, first and foremost, a beer, with the fruit being a contributor rather than the main attraction.
Of course, as with all rules, even personal rules about preference, there are exceptions.
The exception I speak of now is Founders Brewing’s Mango Magnifico con Calor. Roughly translated, that means Magnificent Mango with Heat. And the beer is precisely what its name states. The label describes this as a mango gold ale with habanero peppers. Normally, as I said, I have specific expectations for fruit beers. And I generally regard beers with chilies as either a waste of time and effort, or an abomination to be avoided at all costs. Sometimes both. I was willing to give this one a try, however, as I have had some truly great efforts from Founders.
This beer pours a bright, translucent orangey-gold. The head is tall and fizzy, but short-lived.
The aroma on this one is pure mango. Plus mango. And did I mention mango? Oh, yeah, there’s also a small hint of grain, but you really have to sniff hard to get at it. But mostly mango.
The taste is where things get interesting. The front of the palate is all mango. Sweet, almost to the point of being cloying. (It helps that I love anything that tastes like mango. If you do not, this beer will not be for you. ) But about mid-palate, the habaneros start to kick in. By the time the beer hits the back of your throat, a real heat hits the tongue and throat. Not too much. But enough.
As to finish, it’s what you might expect; residual warmth from the peppers.
This beer could have been all sweet or all heat. Instead, Founders managed to balance it quite nicely. Neither predominates, and the overall effect is of a summer refresher that will leave you wanting more. Is it a beer for purists? Certainly not. But if you don’t mind broadening your horizons, or expanding your definition of beer, it’s worth your time and money. Just be careful, as the 750ml bottle contains a beer of 10% ABV. It may not be the heat from the habaneros that knocks you over.
I heartily recommend Mango Magnifico.
Did I mention the mango?