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Mosaic Session Ale - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Mosaic Session AleMosaic Session Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

31 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 31
Hads: 149
Avg: 4.12
pDev: 20.87%
Wants: 15
Gots: 45 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: alyssapowers on 04-22-2014

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 31 | Hads: 149
Photo of Trombone69
2.34/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2


Here's a question for all of you dudes who gave high reviews for this: Have you ever attempted to drink 2 or 3 of these?

This beer is is NOT, by any stretch of the imagination a "session beer". My buddy, who is not a big fan of the super-hopped-up beers was looking for a recommendation, and I picked this off of the the beer list for him. BIG mistake. He hated it. So I attempted to drink his 16 ounce draft beer and my own. I could not do it. I know what a session beer is, and this is not it.

Enough of the friggin' hops for the sake of hops. I have no clue how this scored a 91% on this site. This might be nice if I was splitting a 12 oz beer with 2 other guys. Can I drink 2 full beers of these? No chance. NOT A SESSION BEER. The name of this beer totally misrepresents the contents.


If this were named "Hop-o-matic" or "the persuit of hoppiness" or "hoppy valley" or "Karl's Hoppy-ass-bull-crap", then I would know what I was buying, and maybe when I was in the mood, it would be good. But I am quite grumpy about this. Can you tell?

OK, so I'll try to give constructive criticism. The carbonation level is about right. The taste is too bitter and dry. Lots of hops. The head was nice enough when it arrived at our table, and it held up for a pretty long time. (I know, because it took a long time to choke them down.) The color was a bit cloudy and slightly orange. Way too hoppy to EVER be referred to as a session beer. (Have I been clear on that point?)

Did you put the word "session" in the name so someone would buy a full case? Nice call by the marketing department.

Later Karl. I'll be shopping elsewhere.

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Photo of OldSchoolBrewer
3.28/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Drinking this one from a 22oz. bottle. Pours a thick tight head and a bright hue similar to Budweiser. Lots of grapefruit smell but there's something in the aftertaste (kind of a cardboard flavor) that keeps me from wanting to take another sip. This beer is not for me.

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Photo of chinchill
3.47/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the brewpub.

Appearance: lightly hazy golden color with a fine white head that leaves plenty of sticky lacing.

Aroma: fruity Mosaic hops with faint baked bread.

Flavor: moderately strong Mosaic hops with a faint, light malt background.

Feel: light body wih crisp, medium carbonation.

O: strongly flavored, well-crafted session IPA

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Photo of breadwinner
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

First, 5.5% is a session ale now, eh? Hmmm. Also, no bottle dates? C'mon, Karl! This one tasted a touch dated, some honeyed malt coming through, not super unpleasant or anything but not adding to the beer either. Nose hints at something good, some light pineapple goodness. Body is a bit thin/hollow, especially for the ABV. I dunno. Heard good stuff about this, and I feel like lurking beneath the surface there's something going on (there's the faintest hint of an interesting herbal/savory malt finish), but this particular bottle, whether from age or whatever, just never quite got the motor revving.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.74/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap for the 2014 Los Angeles Vegan Beer Festival held in West Hollywood, CA.

Pours a hazy honey orange with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest and berry flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of brentk56
3.86/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a hazy goldenstraw color with a picture-perfect head; plenty of lacing lingers

Smell: White grapefruit and tropical fruit tones

Taste: Rather mild, even for a session IPA, though there are grapefruit and tropical fruit flavors; the hops fade quickly leaving a dry finish

Mouthfeel: Light body with moderate carbonation; rather aqueous

Overall: I have had better session IPAs, though the hop flavors on this one are nice; just a bit too timid and watery

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.91/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Ratings are correct below, but I changed some marks above to make the final rating as close as possible with Beer Advocate's "revamped" system. The 3.91 overall rating is accurate.

Type: Draft
Glass: 10-oz. skinny glass
From: West Coast Barbeque & Brew in La Mesa (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $3.25
Purchased: March 27, 2015
Consumed: March 27, 2015
Misc.: N/A

Poured a golden, pale, clear color with 1-to-2 fingers of white, rocky head when I got it. Some bubble streams coming up from the bottom of the glass. Nice looking layered, foamy lacing. Below average retention. (Sight - 4.00)

Smelled Mosaic, Citra, spicy Simcoe, light grapefruit, tropical, light mango, peach and pineapple. (Smell - 4.25)

The taste wasn’t quite as good as the nose. Got tropical, Mosaic, grapefruit juice, Citra, pineapple, light mango and floral (wishful?). (Taste - 3.75)

Light body. Thin-to-oily texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt, bitter finish. This grew on me somewhat as it went down. (Feel - 4.00)

Not a bad session IPA. I’d have it again for sure. (Overall - 3.88)

3.91 | 88 | B+

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Photo of Vlaminck
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I like Mosaic hops, I've home brewed with them many times and love the flavor and aroma especially when single hopped. But this one did not do it for me. Sure its a session ale but I would have liked more hop flavor. The aroma is nice but the flavor just isnt there for me. Bottle expiration of 7-15 so its somewhat fresh

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Photo of rawfish
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber picked up at the Karl Strauss tasting room. Pours pale gold, a touch towards straw colored. Big fluffy head reaches two and a half finger with excellent retention. Pour carefully. Thick ring of chunky lace but little else after.

Pungent and floral aroma. Wild flowers with a underlying pine and generic melon and berry kick. Very balanced and not too hop forward, malt provides sweetness that is not the least bit grainy.

Pale malt provides some nice balance for the Mosaic hop festival that exudes pungent floral characteristics. Passion fruit and berries dominate the palate with some late pungent but bright herbs and pine. Bitterness is subdued as is the alcohol.

Easy to drink body with high carbonation. Alcohol is a non factor, doesn't dry terribly well either.

A nice surprise by Karl Strauss and one of the better session beers out there. Full use of the Mosaic hops really carries through with the berry and melon fruitiness aso is quite pungent and herbal as well. Better when cold.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.04/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours clear, pale and golden with a white head that peaks at a finger's width before dying down fairly to a thin, consistent layer of suds. Lacing is mostly spotty with thin streaks, displaying good stick.

Smell - Tropical, juicy aroma with a plethora of orange, pineapple and mango notes.

Taste - Follows the nose. Big, juicy notes upfront and throughout. Orange, grapefruit and a light pineapple zing. Mild spice, pine and pith bitterness develop mid-taste. Mild mango notes hit near the finish and carries with it a faint trace of banana skin in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Light in body with light, tingly carbonation. Smooth drinker with a semi-dry finish.

Overall - Good beer. Reminds me of a baby version of Fresh Squeezed. At 5.5% it's pushing the boundaries of "session" but it's easy to drink and has a flavor that's interesting enough to do so repeatedly.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden hued with somewhat murky quality that doesn't let much light through. A half inch of off white rests on top. The aroma is amazing mosaic floral hops. I taste a blend of the mosaic floral hops and tropical hops that are reminiscent of overripe pineapple. The mouth is slightly stick and chewy.

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Photo of dannydetox
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this one drinks somewhere between a session ipa and a west coast pale. pale gold in color with crystal clarity, plus a small, but persistent white head and light lacing remain in the glass. aroma is tame, and i would have liked to nose more of that red grapefruit/tropical fruit quality mosaic can lend. i find that i get more of the aromas after swallowing down the beer. clean, crackery malt provides a little more to the mouthfeel than the typical session ipa, but lacks the robustness most pales bring to bear. some might say 5.5% is too high for a session beer, but i think it squeaks by. it certainly is refreshing and easy to drink.

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Photo of mactrail
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I have to go with the believers on this one. Here's a beer to try if you're sceptical of Karl Strauss. It may be a big brewpub chain with a lot of non-craft lovers to please, but their brews are totally professional and many are actually excellent.

LIght blonde color. Watery body, but in a nice way. So fragrant and flowery. The taste is like green mangoes plus piney and fruity notes. Honeysuckle nose.

A great quaff and what I hope is the new trend in lighter IPAs-- long on aromatics and short on bitterness. On tap at 57 Degrees at Washington St.

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Photo of sderenne
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Just came back from the Rocklin brewfest. This beer stood out from all the rest. A 100 degree afternoon this beer is perfect. I love hop bombs but at times you need something a little less bold. This beer is unique and delicious. looking foreward to see this in a bottle in Nor Cal.

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Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

No bottle date

Look - Pours a light straw yellow with fluffy white head. Good retention, clinging, and distribution. 4.25 paws.

Smell - Lots of big fruity mosaic hops. Notes of mango, blackberry, kitty litter, green onion, honey, and grass. Very nice. 4.25 paws.

Taste - Big and fruity up front with a slightly bitter finish. Tastes of mango, papaya, green onion, strawberry, watermelon candy, and honey. 4.25 paws.

Feel - Very light bodied, almost watery. The ABV is a bit high to be called a session ale, but the mouth feel is right. 4.25 paws.

Overall - Not quite sure what to make of this beer since the ABV is a bit high to be called a session. As a session IPA I'd say its the best I've had, as an IPA it's definitely above average, but not quite elite. 4.25 paws.

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Photo of IpaBeerDrinkers
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a really good session ipa that is stellar showcasing the hop. Lots of citrus grapefruit comes thru. Body is fuller than most session ipas and at 5.5%, it isn't simply hop water. By far the best I've had from Karl Strauss and top 5 in session category

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Photo of Nugganooch
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Bruski Burgers in Mira Mesa
Full pint – 05/23/2014

A: Straw gold with some nice clarity and a slightly burnished look. My pint arrived with a smallish finger high layer of ivory cream. Good retention on it with some light streaky swaths of lace left behind.

S: Brilliant hop medley of peach and mango sherbet on the nose. All flowery and tropical with some lesser notes of pine and melon. No malt coming through here. Just really fragrant and expressive with a nice tropical fruit character.

T: Tastes much the same only not quite as tropical. Albeit still very solid. I get mango and peach mixed with green melon, tangerine citrus, and pine saplings. There is a high amount of hop bitterness there too with a small bready malt tug towards the finish. Has a good amount of dry cracker bits to it. Flavors start to fall off a touch without the excess sticky sugars to carry them through but this is still a great sessions. Nicely done.

M: Super light body and mostly creamy with a dry crisp finish. Moderate to upper amount of perceived bitterness and slightly resinous. A touch watered down feel at times.

D: It is 2014, year of the Sessions IPA and of all the breweries out there Karl Strauss shows up with this gem. Mosaics were a great choice for a sessions IPA. That hop really delivers in all arenas. Definitely worth seeking this one out and getting your crush on!

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Photo of mac31
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Super piney, earthy/woody, danky, tropical nose.

Taste follows nose of pine, wood, tropical/ pineapple, grapefruit, some stone fruit as well. Huge hoppy, fresh flavor, followed by soft bitterness in the finish. Cracker like malts with a touch of sweetness. Malts are clean and give way to the hops. Body is thin, crisp, and refreshing. Easy drinking. Would love to have this on tap. I'm going to have to give this a slight nod over Easy Jack.

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Photo of jjh19
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Bright golden color with with a beautiful, tight bubble head. It just looks good.

Smell: I get a lot of sweet citrus and a touch of sharp hops in the nose.

Taste: This beer hits my tongue with refreshing orange and grapefruit-ish notes and finishes with some hop crispness.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied.

Drinkability: Smooth. Easiest drinking beer I’ve had this year. And tastiest too. Make Mine Mosaic.

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Photo of murphy1ryan
4.46/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours slightly cloudy. Great aroma with tropical notes of pineapple, guava and citrus. Lots of stone fruit going on from the Mosaic hop. Great taste. All that tropical aroma comes through in the flavor. Nice full clean body but with out the malty-ness in too many big IPA's that weigh your tongue down. Makes me want to drink more, especially on a hot day. Love the session style of an IPA that has hit the market lately and this one holds up on the top of my list. I can drink this and not feel it in my head when I've had a few as well. Overall, a great beer that Karl Strauss put out. One of my new favorites.

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Photo of volcom858
4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Mosaic Hops definitely come through in the aroma with bright tropical fruit and citrus notes. The color is straw, with a nice white head. This is an extremely drinkable and flavorful session IPA. You can definitely drink 2-3 without feeling it too much. Overall, this is a solid session IPA. Perfect for the warm summer months. If you live in California, it's definitely worth picking up.

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Photo of largadeer
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Surprisingly phenomenal beer from Strauss. Passionfruit and grapefruit like a motherfucker, juicy as hell and extremely crushable. Best beer they've made, hands down.

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Photo of tprinzing
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow do I love this one!

L: pours a light golden color with a 1 finger head and reasonable lacing.

T: grapefruit comes across very strong without any sweetness. It reminded me a lot of easy jack, except that its grapefruit flavor came across in a really interesting way I can't seem to describe.

F: feels light and refreshing like a session ale should.

O: I wish Karl Strauss was more widely distributed. I no longer live in California, and this one just isn't available to me anymore which is a shame because I really like it!

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Photo of DennisD
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I love this beer. Poured from 22oz bomber, purchased at their tasting room. It poured nicely out of the bottle with a thick head and golden hue. The aroma of the Mosaic hops are amazing. The flavor is just hoppy enough with hints of grapefruit and tropical notes. The mouthfeel is delightful and lingers perfectly. A true session ale without discounting good aroma or flavor. Nice job brewers... I can't wait to get more!

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Photo of djjacobsen
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Easily the best session ipa i've ever had. The mosaic nose produces pineapple, mango, berries, pine, grapefruit. The malt bill on this beer is very clean and stays out of the way of the massive dry-hopping. Drinks very satisfying for a session ale. I love that this is single hop ipa...mosaic delivers something for everyone. Great lawnmower beer here. get it while its fresh and drink lots of it.

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Mosaic Session Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.