This beautiful beer doesn’t appear on draft where I live. I’m lucky it’s here at all. The Mongo is a huge West Coast DIPA that has meandered its way to Aleheads’ new Appalachian Command here in the Berkshires (Massachusetts). I snagged this one in a bomber from my local bottle store.
The brewery says they made this prince primarily out of Columbus, Amarillo and Cascade hops, with a side of Centennial and Simcoe. I don’t know shit from shinook but I think the wrong turn this beer took was when they added the Amarillo hops. True to that strain, this beer smells better — or at least bigger — than it tastes. But it’s still awesome.
The Mongo pours a hazy, sediment-filled gold with a huge foamy head. If you’re a dregs-drinker, this is for you. Carbonation is mild, more like an imperial IPA than a double. There’s sparse lacing up and down the glass.
The smell is sublime but it over-sells the taste. It is predominantly citrus, with lots of pine backing it up, and hints of tropical fruit. These are just hops aromas, and you can’t tell from the smell whether the beer will have balance.
And… the Mongo’s weakness is that it doesn’t taste enough like those tropical fruits–and it’s not quite balanced enough. I taste-tested it opposite the Avery Maharaja (also in a bomber) and the Maharaja kicked its ass. Where the Maharaja tastes like a face full of bananas, the Mongo just tastes like hops. Don’t get me wrong; you can still taste a host of flavors, again mostly citrus, with secondary flavors of pine, peaches and pineapple. And it’s a tremendous beer–just not the best in class.
Mongo’s mouthfeel is par for the style: relatively thin, light-to-medium carbonation, alcohol burn.
Rating: One of my 10 favorite DIPAs, but still a 3.0. It’s a great beer; just doesn’t stack up to the competition.