Tracy Hensley's picture

Judge's Review: 93 Rating - Mosaic Double IPA by Belching Beaver Brewery

January, 2019
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
39 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Mosaic Double IPA by Belching Beaver Brewery was evaluated as a Double IPA (2015 Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) Category 22A) according to BJCP guidelines. Despite its ‘in your face’ hop flavor and alcohol heat, this is a surprisingly drinkable beer. But. it is not sessionable, mind you. For this style, hop aromas and flavors should dominate others, with a smooth alcohol and existing malt body. But their Mosaic needs more hop aroma and less alcoholic heat to be an excellent example of its type.

The aroma starts out closed with pine sap, pineapple juice, and dried mango notes. As the beer warms, a soft, warm, freshly baked bread character blends into the pine sap and pineapple juice melange. When poured, a creamy, fine off-white head starts out low but is easily risen with scattered bubbles clinging along the sides of the glass.  All this creaminess sits on a lightly hazy, light gold color beer.

The flavor begins as smooth light white bread, pine sap, and pineapple chunks and finishes with a low candied mango and lemon rind mixed-drink aftertaste. The second sip starts with more pine resin, continues to be pine balanced, and finishes with predominately pine hop bitterness wearing a coat of oatmeal creaminess. The dry, crisp finish is balanced with a medium-minus creaminess and an undercurrent of alcoholic heat. The heat seems to be hotter than it is because of the high attenuation and clean finish. The heat starts out slowly and smoothly. As it warms the inside of my mouth, it becomes mildly hot overtime.

For style, hop aroma is slightly subdued rather than the anticipated intense hop experience.  While absurdly high hop bitterness is permissible, thankfully for drinkability, this beer is on the low end of the high hop bitterness spectrum. Unfortunately, the mouthfeel that starts out as smooth and acceptable goes rogue when it starts numbing the back of the lips.