Sweetwater Dank Tank Red Hot Mama
Sweetwater Brewing’s Dank Tank series is a project that allows the company to have a little fun, be silly and push the boundaries of what may or may not be too “hoppy.” Their latest release in the limited line is Red Hot Mama, a 8.6% ABV and 82 IBU Imperial Red Ale. It’s a beer that prescribes to my theory that if one were to throw enough hops at a style, people like me — people that aren’t completely sold on a specific style of beer — will like it that much more.
The only problem with my theory is that the more hops you throw at a brew, the less and less it resembles the original genre. In the case of Sweetwater, that really doesn’t make a difference as the Dank Tank series exists solely for this purpose. And Red Hot Mama still has enough of the red ale traits to remind me of what I’m drinking.
The brew pours a dark garnet in color with a smallish, beige head that fell smoothly to a full ring.
Caramel, lightly roasted malt, grass and grapefruit (and other citrus notes) all combine for what starts out as a rather subdued nose, but eventually opens up as the beer warms.
Red Hot Mama has loads of citrusy, spicy hop flavor that, when combined with the warming alcohol presence, loosely echoes the complimentary pack of Red Hots candy that arrived with the beer. There’s also a good amount of roasty malt, caramel and moderate sweetness to temper the hop profile. The finish is warming, as well, as slightly drying with a lingering bitterness.
For lack of a better description, Red Hot Mama is a fun beer. It doesn’t conform to any style limitations and just lets loose with a flurry of spicy hops and a decent level of bitterness to turn a red ale on it’s ear.
This is a review of a promotional sample from the brewery.