Tuesday, April 21, 2015


I've had two bottles of Saint Archer's Mosaic IPA.  I disliked it the first time I tried it, dismissing it as an obscenely over-hopped IPA.  I compared it, mainly, to Culture Brewing's IPA brewed with Mosaic hops, which is an approachable, citrus flavored IPA.  I decided to try Mosaic IPA again, thinking my first impression rash, or more of a personal "frame-of-mind" issue rather than a direct Mosaic IPA issue.  When I bought the second bottle, I actually read the label and the reason for my initial aversion struck me like a ball pin hammer strike to my forehead:  Saint Archer's Mosaic IPA is a double IPA not an IPA!  Its flavor intensity made perfect sense.  The entire time I was drinking the first bottle my brain was telling my taste buds that Mosaic was too robust for an IPA, and my taste buds were agreeing.

My view of Mosaic IPA is completely different now that I know it is a double IPA.  An obnoxious IPA suddenly becomes a wild double IPA.   "Dank" has become the overused descriptor of IPAs over the past year, but if any beer can claim dank, it is Mosaic.  This beer's flavor oozes humid swamp, with its heavy citrus verging on overripe vegetables.  Mosaic's pretty, straw-color and its fluffy white foam give no clue to the thick, bitter, near-cloying beer hiding behind the lovely facade.  I used to listen to a beer podcast that used the term "man candy" to describe sweet, high alcohol double IPAs.  Mosaic is man candy.   Its mouth-coating, sweet resin combines with the bitter taste of grapefruit to produce a formidable beer.  It drinks above its 9.0% abv.

Mosaic is a serious double IPA. I don't know whether Saint Archer is going to make Mosaic a regular release, but in a time when big-hopped, lower abv IPAs and pale ales are becoming the new standard, it's nice to get a beer with some old-fashioned swagger, even if I bumbled upon it.

No comments: