All aboard the hype train… WOOWOO!!!
I usually end up grabbing the “latest and greatest” beer months after they’ve made their splash; when punters have generally forgotten about them and moved onto their next shiny new toy. But after some lively ‘debate’ in a few beer-related Facebook forums, I decided to take the plunge and purchase a beer that’s been quite divisive amongst the beer geeks, the Pirate Life Mosaic IPA, and judge for myself.
For the record, I enjoy some Pirate Life beers, but I have my reservations on others. I’m one of the few who fail to see the merits of their pale, think the regular IPA outshines their IIPA, and believe their Throwback is a decent session ale. I will happily imbibe one but by no means do I think the sun shines out their posterior or that their God’s/Allah’s/Buddha’s/Cthulhu’s gift to Australian beer. Basically, I’m not a fan boy, but I do see them as a strong Australian brewery.
So, pushing the positive and negative internet commentary to the side, I cracked the tin and poured it into my favourite Spiegelau IPA glass (who am I kidding, they’re all my favourite), took a deep inhale and poured it down the hatch.
And doggonit I thought it was tasty!
The main gripe people seem to have with it is that they were “expecting more” or that it “doesn’t have the same punch as other PL IPA’s”. To that, I say IT’S A F***ING SINGLE HOP IPA!! And that single hop is MOSAIC! Mosaic doesn’t have that same pine, citrus, kick that most Australian palates seem to be accustomed to and thereby expect from an IPA. I find Mosaic to be a bit earthier, like fresh, damp garden soil (pre-fertilization), with just a touch of that tropical fruitiness to keep things interesting. It’s a bit richer and sits heavier in the mouth and fires off much different taste buds than it’s Citra, Cascade, Galaxy, et al brethren.
It’s also the ONLY hop in this beer, and for a beer that lets a single hop shine, it does it well. A simple malt bill of pale and carapils malts, according to the can, gives a light sweetness and a medium body, but is rightly the backup singer to a mighty fine hop. A twinkle of alcohol warmth at the very end seems to round the whole thing off. I put this right up there with the Mosaic IPA from Mornington Peninsula.
I know everyone has the right to their opinion, but as my grandfather always said, “Opinions are like assholes; everyone has them and most of them stink” (myself included). So, when you crack open your next ‘must-have’ beer, have a good think about what the brewer was actually trying to accomplish with the beer. Were they trying to blow your face off with a ridiculous hop bill, or were they trying to showcase the awesomeness that a single hop varietal can produce? Were they brewing up a 19% monster beast with every ingredient under the sun and so complex it takes you 3 years to figure it out, or were they trying to make a sessionable beer that has a good hit of flavour without being overbearing? Just don’t go in, swinging around your personal tastes like a bull in a china shop, expecting everything to have the flavour you expect. And for the love of Science, don’t believe everything you read on the internet.