Founders Brewing Co. is simply to be considered one of the best breweries in existence, and for good reason. They have numerous highly rated beers on RateBeer and BeerAdvocate, and they have been rated in the top four breweries in the last three years. I have been a fan of them for many years now, and still recount my experience with their Canadian Breakfast Stout to be the greatest beer I have had the pleasure to enjoy. This seems like a lot of praise to heap upon them up front, but I am simply setting the stage for this beer, Mango Magnifico. It is a methodically plotted, balanced, and inspired submission of a beer by Founders.
Let me explain.
This is a beer that utilizes hot chili peppers. This is a very dangerous ingredient, and requires some serious forethought, precision, and mastery to use correctly within a beer. If it is used incorrectly, you will end up with a spicy, hot mess, with no balance, and is overall, a failure of a beer. Capsaicin is a temperamental and harsh flavor to tango with, after all. As such, this beer had a large hurdle to surmount, and embrace, to become a great beer.
This beer jumped that hurdle all the way to the god-damn moon.
Mango Magnifico pours out a straw gold, entirely clear of any particles. The head that leaps forth is a brilliant white, and quite vibrant.
A strikingly clean, fruity acetic acid envelopes the nose upon first inspection. This really attempts to drive the point home that there is a crisp, clean fruit acidity that will dominate the aroma. While this fruity acidity settles into taking center stage, bits of dry pepper and spice prick the nose, and lead into a nice dry heat sensation. As these pass by, bits of dry straw floats gently through, and finishes on a sweet apple and pear-drop note. All of this simply prepares the drinker for the first epic sip.
When I took my first sip of Mango Magnifico, I learned that Founders had figured out a way to create a liquid bomb fueled by honeyed mangoes, that erupts into a joyful explosion on the tongue when imbibed. It is a deep, sticky, deliciously resinous rush of honeyed mango that rushes forth with the first sip. I knew in less than a second that this beer was marvelous. While the honey mango continues to conquer the taste buds, a bright and vibrant melange of fruit juices rapidly cycle through the mouth. As the sip evolves through time, a distinct apricot emerges at about the same time you really begin to realize and notice the sexy, sensual, midnight lover kind of heat. To be explicit, this heat, within this beer, is perfect. It does not overpower any other flavor in the beer, and in fact compliments and enhances all of these delightful fruity flavors. Imagine a soft fire lazily licking across your mouth, however these flames simply warm and tickle, instead of burn. Simply superb. The initial honey mango mellows out into a less intense mango experience, and hints of apple and pear-drop appear alongside it. The aftertaste is full of the sensual heat and fades into dry straw with wispy puffs of tobacco. As the beer is continually drunk, the mango goes through a rising and falling pattern of intensity within the mouth, as well as a slowly noticeable taste of woody cinnamon that comes hand in hand with a dryness from the habaneros. There is very little hop bitterness to be found here, and if there is, it may get lost within the heat the beer contains. The beer has a very light, refreshing body, as well as a light mouthfeel, and very little idea of alcohol throughout. It almost makes you believe it is sessionable.
Overall, this beer is an experience anyone who is serious about beer should try. Mango Magnifico is a beer with a clear theme that is executed flawlessly. It is quite straightforward, and simple in experiencing, as every flavor works in unison to create a sum that is greater than its parts. Mangos and the heat are what is on display here, however within that display are a host of complex and nuanced supporting flavors that afford this beer true depth. Further, I cannot emphasize how incredibly well the heat has been handled in this beer. It is simply perfect for what this beer is doing. Finally, the whole experience seems effortless and just flat out enjoyable. As such, I have no reservations about awarding this beer, Mango Magnifico, a 5 out of 5 as well to note that it is a WORLD CLASS BEER. Mango Magnifico is 10% abv. I wish anyone reading this luck in finding this hot mango gem!
Jared Lewinski is obsessed with beer. As such, he has uprooted his life in New Jersey to attend the Brewmastery and Brewery Operations Management program at Niagara College, a program that has, for the past three years, been producing top-tier brewers for Canada and beyond. As a child of the American Craft Movement, Jared has big opinions and a love for big beers. His hope is to bring an outsider’s perspective to a fascinating and tumultuous time for Canadian and Ontario made craft beer, and the culture that it represents…And wishes he had a few more bottles of this to share with his classmates!