Mantra Saffron IPAJanuary 22, 2017
I have to admit, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this golden beauty: Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, so is the addition of this highly prized spice a gimmick? My suspicions were negated by the distinctive grassy, haylike, herbal whiffs of the red threads when I first lifted the glass to my nose. It’s the real deal. Resinous notes of cardamom also play a role in the aromas and flavors of this unusual beer. Lightly carbonated, with a floral finish that rounds up all the flavors into a pretty package. This beer is more of a sipper than most IPAs; you will want to savor every drop.Lisa Morrison has been writing about beer for nearly 20 years. She also owns Belmont Station, a well-known bottle shop and taproom in Portland, Oregon.
It’s hard to ignore the color—an unusually bright hazy orange, topped off with white foam. The nose is a riot—sweet oranges, limey hops, warm saffron and then cardamom, a notoriously difficult spice to dial in, floating serenely over the whole affair. The bitterness comes off sharp at the outset but soon settles in, supported by generous malts. The finish is brusque but not unpleasant. This is a really fun beer, and I’d love to try it with Goan curried crab cakes.Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery, the editor-in-chief of The Oxford Companion to Beer, the author of The Brewmaster's Table and the veteran host of more than 900 beer dinners in 15 countries.