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Tasting – Mosaic IPA



Had I written this tasting a month ago it would have been different – I really couldn’t understand what the all the fuss was all about. To me, my (almost) single hop IPA with Mosaic, the latest”hot” variety of hops to reach our distant north, tasted and smelled just like pretty much any beer with a “modern” American hop. Citrus ( the “chicken” of American hop flavours to quote a blogger with a better nose and command of the English language), pine and perhaps a bit of “fruitiness”, another generic term you throw in when you can’t really put a more accurate name on it. In that sense the hop is very aptly named because that pretty much covers the range of descriptions of the flavours you get from a modern new world hop (not counting “tropical” which is another thing entirely and is really, in a sense, a latecomer to the scene).

But now, as the keg is almost finished and the beer is really much older than what my kegged beers usually are (I “blame” my healthier back which again allows me to train 3 evenings in a week, I simply don’t have time to drink as much as last year) I finally “get it” – blueberry. For the last week, every glass I have poured from the tap smells clearly of blueberry. And I can state that with a degree of certainty, having gathered bucketfuls of the stuff during my life.

I think what is happening here is what I’ve noticed often with beers kegged with hops – as time passes some aromas grow stronger as the level of the beer in the keg goes down and  there is less volume floating around with the bag of hops. I’ve yet to notice a “grassy” smell or taste that everyone on the blogosphere seems to warn people about but towards the end of the kegs live some of the more fragile notes sometimes emerge.This time it was blueberry which some sources stated as the “signature” aroma of Mosaic hops. It’s really interesting to follow the developement of a keg, and sorry, if you don’t brew your own beer, it’s not really something you can experience…

Would I use it again? Not in a single IPA unless I can figure out how to get that signature aroma from it straight out of the fermenter… But, I do think it might be an excellent hop to complement one or two American hop varieties with a significant signature of their own, to sort of “fill in the blanks”. It seems fairly robust and like I said, it does cover a lot of the spectrum of flavours that people expect from an American IPA or an aromatic Pale Ale.

A different set of tasting notes this time but I think that the nature of this particular hop warrants it. I’d be really interested to hear on what are other people’s experiences with this interesting variety.



From → Tastings

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