Brewery: Founders Brewing Company (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
Style: Fruit Ale
I would like to think I have tried most of what the beer world has to offer, but every now and then I find something new that catches my eye. Last night, I discovered the latest entry in Founders’s Backstage Series, something so off-the-wall that I had to pick up a 22 oz. bomber.
This bizarre beer, Mango Magnifico, is a “mango ale brewed with a hint of habanero.” Although I’m usually not a fan of fruit beers, that combination sounded too intriguing to pass up. The Founders label and 10% ABV were just the icing on the cake.
Unfortunately, this is one brew that might have been better off staying on the drawing board.
When poured into a glass, Mango Magnifico has very little head but has a nice, clear look to it. The smell brings out a bit of the mango sweetness, and the fruitiness is right at the forefront during tasting. However, this is quickly eviscerated by the spiciness of the Michigan-grown habaneros. The “hint” of habanero, as described by the label, is actually quite overwhelming. The heat from the pepper lingers afterward, delivering a very strong aftertaste. Fans of spicy beer may appreciate this, but I was hoping for more flavor rather than just a strong burn.
Mango Magnifico has a suggested retail price of $12.99, but my local shop is selling it at $14.99. Bombers are being distributed through many different states, so it may be available in your area. This could very well be the first Founders beer I didn’t love — Dirty Bastard is still my go-to scotch ale, for example — so this was a bit of a disappointing purchase for me. Still, it might be worth a shot if you have an affinity for spice.
* Also, it should be noted that my beer-snob girlfriend (as she likes to be dubbed) LOVED this. She’s shocked that I didn’t give it a glowing review.