Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Hop Haus Brewery - Tiki Caliente Chili Mango Ale

Put some pepper on it!
Next to beer, my favorite thing to put in my mouth is... chiles. (What did you think I was going to say?) Hot, hot chiles. Now, first things first: there's some debate about the spelling and pronunciation of the word that represents these spicy lil' fruits. Some folks use "chili" and pronounce it "chilly", like cold weather. Others use the spelling "chile" and pronounce it "chee-lay". I don't think there's really a right or wrong way, but I'm with the latter group. To me, chili is a meaty, spicy stew from the Southwest. Chile is the word they use for hot peppers in the region where the dang things originated. I think I'll stick with old school, thank you very much.

Okay, now that we've got that cleared up, let's talk about BEER. Chile beer to be specific. Truthfully, I've often been disappointed with most beers that are spiced with chiles. They are either tasteless or way too freakin' hot to enjoy. I even tried brewing a batch myself. Fail! Thus, I know how hard it is to do the chile beer thing right.

Tonight, I'm drinking a Tiki Caliente Chili Mango Ale from The Hop Haus Brewery in Gresham, Oregon. You already know that I LOVE chiles. You should also know that I love mangos. This 6.3% ABV beer was brewed with Pasilla, Anaheim, Jalapeno and Habanero chiles. It was also brewed with organic mangos. How was it, you ask?

The beer poured into my snifter a hazy, apricot color with a bubbly, white head. The head made it up to about a 1/4 of an inch high and dissipated quickly. Only a few spots of lacing were left behind.

Aroma was mango, stone fruit, watermelon, sweet malt, and just a tad of chile pungency in the background.

Taste was a wonderful mix of fruit flavors: Light, lemony citrus, mango, pineapple, stone fruit and watermelon. Light, biscuity malt in the mix. Very nice chile pepper flavor--predominately jalapeno and habanero. A spicy bite without being hot. That's what I'm talkin' about! Chile flavor in a VERY drinkable beer.

Medium to thin mouthfeel with appropriate carbonation. Pepper spicy zing with a semi-dry finish. Lots of juicy fruit flavors left rolling around on the palate with tasty malt at the end.

Overall, this is a crisp, clean, refreshing brew that provides just enough complex fruit and chile flavors to keep it interesting throughout the entire drink. My taste buds approve! I'm giving Tiki Caliente a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 1/2 crushed cans out of 4. I highly recommend.

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