To Øl Sur Mosaic

To Øl: Sur Mosaic (Denmark: Sour Ale: 6% ABV)

Visual: Clear gold. Massive lace leaving yellow white head.

Nose: Passion fruit. Tangerine. Crisp hop character. Banana. Wheat. Gherkin like sourness.

Body: Lightly tart. Apples. Passion-fruit. Grapes. Dried banana. Moderate bitterness. Sour grapes. Mild gherkin. More sour as it warms. Quite thick for the style. Custard slices. Apricot. Toffee.

Finish: Mild custard hop character. Mild bitterness. Kiwi. Mild gherkin. Mild vinegar on chips.

Conclusion: Sours in a can? Ok, I’ll take that, especially when they are as hop forward as this sour ale. Cans tend to be good at preserving hop flavours, and you wouldn’t want to lose the big flavours you get with mosaic hops.

Now, I say sours in a can – this isn’t half as sour as I would have expected from the name. Make no doubt, it is a sour beer, but more in a cloying, thick, sour dough, mild gherkin kind of way. A very savoury base, refreshing and cloying in equal measure.

This all provides a base from which to take that mosaic hop style and blow you away. I’m very fond of the mosaic hop and that sour beer platform works far better with it that I would ever have expected. There is lots of bright orange and green fruit, all delivered just slightly tarter than a clearer pale ale base would allow, it just gives a different tweak on the hop.

The hop level makes me think of an IPA base with its soft custard and toffee notes amongst the more cloying and sour elements. If it wasn’t for my hated for the number of {adjective} IPA style names out there I would call this a sour IPA. But I do, so I won’t.

Overall, very good with lovely sweet flavour, soft bitterness and cloying sourness. The cloying element does get a bit heavy towards the end – I think it would work better as a 330ml can, or possibly if I had kept the can chilled and poured top ups regularly from that. Any which way, despite that slight flaw this is a very enjoyable beer. Minor points that get in the way of an extended session with it but generally fan and a different use of hops.

Background: A sour pale ale hopped up with the wonderful mosaic hop, from the reliable To Øl. Yeah, worth a shot. Canned, at a larger can size than the usual for craft beers, which is odd in itself. Anyway I am not 100% sure but by memory I think I grabbed this one from Independent Spirit. I could be wrong. Anyway, not much else to add, just trying to get back into putting regular notes up again.

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