Apr 14, 2015

Lickinghole Creek Mango-Habanero Brown Ale

I’m not usually one to get excited about flavor trends in the beers that I buy and drink, but there’s something about all of these products incorporating spicy chili peppers of which I’m particular fond. Whether it be a pale ale or the Mexican hot chocolate fad that’s consuming many companies, the bit of warmth that little chipotle or habanero adds to a beer intrigues me. It is for the reason I picked up this bottle of Lickinghole Creek’s Mango-Habanero Brown Ale.

With an alcohol content of 8.5% ABV, this brew is more an imperial brown ale than anything else, but it’s the hint of fruit and latent tingle of habanero in the finish that is more enticing than the potency. This brew, however, carries no peppery heat so those that aren’t a big can of the spicier side of life need not worry. I was hoping for more of a burn in the finish, but the habanero just teases the taste buds a bit.


It’s hard to tell with the photos here, but Mango-Habanero pours a dark garnet in color with a decent stack of tan foam.

Lickinghole Creek Mango-Habanero Brown Ale photo


A good bit of mango, bready malt, caramel, soft nuttiness and an equally decent amount of habanero pepper fill the nose with a soft tingle.


The mango is the first item to arrive on the tongue, along with caramel, bread, a light nutty trait and more hops than should be in the style, but not habanero. I honestly wasn’t expecting much in the way of firey heat, but I was hoping for more. There’s a touch of a habanero tingle late in the lasting finish, but for the most part, this is a wonderfully hoppy and fruity brown ale — which is actually better than it sounds. A moderate sweetness and medium bitterness (38 IBU) are also present throughout.

Lickinghole Creek Mango-Habanero Brown Ale photo


I would have loved a bit more heat from the peppers, but understand that not everyone has a collection of hot sauces in their refrigerator like myself. Other than the lack of a habanero presence — it does come out a bit more in the background as the beer warms in the glass — this big brown ale is a tasty brew. It’s got a fruit forward character that is unique.

Rating: 4/5

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