Martin House’s Mind On My Money Is Like Sippin’ On Gin And Juice.

Welcome to On Tap! Each week in this recurring feature, we’ll take an in-depth look at one of the many beers now available in the suddenly crowded North Texas brew scene. The goal here is to look at these area beers without our local goggles on and to wonder aloud, “Is this beer good or do I just like it because it’s local?” Should be a fun experiment, no? Cheers to that!

This week, we sipped on Martin House‘s Mind On My Money.

 

Fast Facts on Martin House Mind On My Money.
Style: American Strong Ale.
ABV: 9.3 percent.
International Bitterness Units (IBUs): 41.
Color: Dark gold.
Availability: Limited release, in cans and draft.

Overview.
North Texas can sustain more beers than ever these days — or at least it seems. Because we’re not only seeing more beers, but more beers that push the boundaries and experiment with flavor. Martin House out in Fort Worth started out with a successful pretzel stout, so I can’t sit here and knock it for producing another wacky beer, which it is doing with Mind On My Money, taking a strong ale base and spiking it with some unusual flavors, all the while paying homage to the famous and much-stereotyped gin and juice cocktail. So, is Martin House onto something special with a cocktail-inspired beer?

Background on Strong Ale.
As its name suggests, strong ale is a style that normally lives on the higher ABV spectrum. There are a couple variations on the strong ale style. For a primer on the Belgian/dark strong ale style, check out our review of Deep Ellum Brewing’s Barrel-Aged Four Swords. Mind On My Money is also a strong ale, but most likely characterized as an American strong ale. What’s the difference, you ask? American strong ales are less roasty than other types of strong ale (like British strong ale), and can normally have a higher range of bitterness, too. While not quite on par with a barley wine in terms of grain bill, ABV and residual sweetness, the strong ale style is definitely a full-flavored, big malt style.

 

Appearance.
Mind On My Money (MOMM) sets up nicely in the glass. Its color is deep gold-orange, and it has a fair amount of clarity. The head sticks around for most of the pour, with a super-smooth, pillowy layer of teeny tiny bubbles. The head clings firmly on to the glass, all the way up the sides.

Aroma.
There is a pronounced bitterness on the nose, but not in the way a double IPA smacks you on your nose with a bouquet of delicious hop cones. Rather, it’s a citrusy clean sort of aroma with a sharp, almost peppery sense. Behind this clean sensation is a fair amount of hop aroma, along with sweetness from hints of orange. The aroma on this beer tells you right away that this is a higher-than-average ABV experience. I should also mention the nod to gin with this beer — and by gin, I mean juniper. That’s probably the clean, sharp, peppery thing that’s going on with this beer. Juniper is a strong aromatic, and it definitely shines through in MOMM.

 

Flavor.
The juniper situation continues as I taste the beer. Right away, there’s a sharp, overly clean sort of feeling on my tongue. My first few sips had me thinking that this beer was too sharp, and maybe too boozy. But I’m getting acclimated to this beer by the time I’m half-way through, and I like it a little bit more. What bitterness does not come from the juniper comes from the hop additions in this beer. But don’t get too hung up on how hoppy this beer is — it’s not about the hops. I also get some citrus, but not in a smooth way. It’s a bitter peel sort of thing going on, and it plays nicely with the juniper situation. As I taste this beer, a small burp surprised me, and I feel like I just belched out a tiny, resinous pine tree.

Mouthfeel.
The mouthfeel is fun on this beer. Really! There is a sharp tingle on the tongue, almost as if Martin House over-carbonated this beer. But, let me be clear, it’s not over-carbonated. I get this luscious, velvety sensation on my tongue as I swallow the beer. There isn’t a ton of residual sweetness I get, although the perceived bitterness might be pulling rank here. All in all, the mouthfeel is very nice except for the residual sharpness that I feel on my tongue.

Overall Impression.
Like another Martin House beer, MOMM confuses me. It’s a strong ale. But it’s almost a Spiced, Herb, Vegetable (SHV) beer. MOMM’s high ABV is obfuscated by all of the sharp, resinous bitterness from the juniper and citrus peel flavors. Except for the buzz setting in, my brain interprets this beer as another wacky, fun-flavored beer. If I had a guess, MOMM is either a one-time brew or a super-limited release; I don’t see a substantial market for this beer, regardless of how interesting and novel it may be. Yes, it’s fun to drink. But it’s sort of a slog to get myself through one can of it. There’s just a lot going on here in flavor town, and I’m trying to hold on. All in all, it’s wonderful that a DFW brewery is branching out and experimenting with a mixed flavor profile like juniper and citrus together in a high-alcohol ABV strong ale. Super cool, Martin House!

Score.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give Martin House Mind On My Money a 5.

 

What’s happening in the area brew scene?
• Saturday, April 30. One-Year Anniversary Party at Texas Ale Project.
• Saturday, April 30. Barks ‘ Brews Fundraiser & Adoption Event at Grapevine Craft Brewery.
• Sunday, May, 1. Bugs and Brews at Granada Theater Parking Lot.
• Sunday, May, 15. Brew Riot at Bishop Arts.
• Saturday, May, 21. North Texas Firkin Fest at Globe Life Park.
• Saturday, June 11. Untapped: Fort Worth at Panther Island Pavilion.
• Saturday, June 18. Best Little Brew Fest In Texas at Old Town Lewisville.

Previous On Tap Reviews:
Peticolas’ Royal Scandal: 10.
Community’s Mosaic IPA: 10.
Peticolas’ Velvet Hammer: 10.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Legion: 10.
Community’s Legion: 10.
Deep Ellum’s Barrel Aged Four Swords: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Saint Dymphna: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Lost Epic: 9.5.
Community’s Ascension Porter: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Temptress: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Goatman: 9.5.
Community’s Public Ale: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Thrilla in Brazilla: 9.5.
On Rotation’s Jalapeno Saison: 9.
Woodcreek’s Bourbon Barrel Bock: 9.
Lakewood’s Wild Manimal: 9.
Revolver’s Blood & Honey: 9.
Martin House’s Imperial Texan: 9.
Community’s Trinity Tripel: 9.
Peticolas’ Irish Goodbye: 9.
Four Corners’ Block Party Porter: 9.
Cedar Creek’s Belgian Dubbel: 9.
Peticolas’ Ghost Of Alfred Brown: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Easy Peasy IPA: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Oak Cliff Coffee Ale: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Rock Ryder: 8.5.
Rahr’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Raspberry Temptress: 8.5.
Lakewood’s On Call: 8.
Oak Highlands’ Golden Mustache: 8.
903 Brewers’ Crackin’ Up: 8.
Deep Ellum’s Play Date: 8.
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company’s 11th Anniversary Russian Imperial Stout: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Belgian Tripel: 8.
Noble Rey’s SteamPunk: 8.
903 Brewers’ Citra On Top: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Hissy Fit: 8.
BrainDead’s Gritz: 8.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Inspiration : 8.
Cedar Creek’s Fisticuffs: 8.
Lakewood’s Punkel: 8.
Four Corners’ El Chingon IPA: 8.
Martin House’s Day Break: 8.
Deep Ellum’s GOURDzilla: 8.
Peticolas’ The Duke (Aged 12 Months): 8.
Deep Ellum’s Pale Ale: 8.
Revolver’s Bock: 8.
903 Brewers’ Sasquatch: 8.
Peticolas’ Wintervention: 8.
Armadillo Ale Works’ Brunch Money: 8.
Martin House’s Salsa Verde: 8.
Cedar Creek’s Spinning Mule Robust Porter: 8.
Lakewood’s Holiday Bonus: 8.
Lakewood’s Hop Trapp: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Knock Out: 7.5.
Four Corners’ Notorious O.A.T.: 7.5.
Noble Rey Golden Rey With Raspberries and Ginger: 7.5.
On Rotation Saved By The Belma: 7.5.
True Vine’s Unicorn’s Revenge: 7.5.
Deep Ellum’s Hop Seeker: 7.5.
Four Corners’ El Super Bee: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Hopochondria: 7.5.
Three Nations GPA: 7.5.
Martin House’s Rubberneck Red: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Antigoon’s Revenge: 7.5.
Community’s Texas Pils: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Zomer Pils: 7.5.
Cedar Creek’s Dankosaurus: 7.5.
TUPPS Brewery’ Northbound 75: 7.
Rahr & Sons’ Iron Joe: 7.
BrainDead’s I Like Harvey IPA: 7.
Martin House’s Turtle Power: 7.
Collective’s Petite Golden Sour: 7.
Shannon’s Chocolate Stout: 7.
BrainDead’s Red Ale: 7.
Community’s Razzy Raspberry Witbier: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway Blonde Ale: 7.
Bearded Eel’s Purple Unicorn: 7.
Noble Rey’s Off The Leash: 7.
Shannon Brewing Company’s Irish Red: 7.
Texas Ale Project’s Somethin’ Shady: 7.
Deep Ellum IPA: 7.
Cedar Creek’s The Lawn Ranger: 7.
Martin House Brewing Company’s Cellarman’s Reserve IPA (Amarillo).: 7.
Lakewood’s Till & Toil: 7.
903 Brewers’ The Chosen One: 7.
903 Brewers’ Sugar On Top: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway XPA: 7.
Armadillo Ale Work’s Quakertown Stout: 7.
Revolver’s High Brass: 7.
Community’s Pale Ale: 7.
Oak Highlands’ Chump Change: 7.
Martin House’s River House: 7.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Sir William’s Brown Ale: 7.
Community’s Funnel Cake Ale: 7.
Audacity’s Boss Raptor IPA: 7.
Collective Brewing Project’s Mom Azacca: 6.5.
Four Corners’ La Lechuza: 6.5.
Revolver’s Ironhead IPA: 6.5.
903 Brewers’ Trot Line: 6.5.
Peticolas’ Operation Collaboration: 6.5.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Nightwatch: 6.5.
Peticolas’ The Duke: 6.5.
Deep Ellum’s Double Brown Stout : 6.5.
Nine Bands’ Cactus Cat: 6.
Martin House’s Kafkaesque: 6.
TUPPS’ Cotton Mill Gold: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Tweedleyum: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Off With Your Red: 6.
Cedar Creek’s Elliott’s Phoned Home Pale Ale: 6
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Lakefire: 6
Armadillo Ale Works’ WunderMelon: 6
Deep Ellum Pale Ale: 6
Lakewood’s La Dame Du Lac: 5.5.
903 Brewers’ The Land Of Milk And Honey: 5.
Deep Ellum’s Numb Comfort: 5.
Four Bullets’ Black Jack Brown: 4.5.
Four Corners Heart O’ Texas: 4.
Audacity’s Sunset Boulevard: 4.
Shannon Brewing Company’s IPA: 4.
Grapevine’s Monarch: 4.
Twin Peaks’ Dirty Blonde: 3.
Franconia Wheat: 3.
Miller Lite: 1.

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