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Northwoods Lager | Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

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Northwoods LagerNorthwoods Lager

Brewed by:
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States | website

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TastyTaste on 03-02-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 64
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of mojohawk21
3.72/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4

Had this one many times back in the late 1990s...always appreciated it on the deck by the Mississippi River in St. Cloud, Minnesota...provides me fantastic memories of the special people in my life...cool summer evenings and bold winter days...I believe it needs to be reborn.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.87/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This guy is a brassy color with a thick, spongey, white head that fades fast but leaves a layer. The nose is white bread and floral hops.

It starts appley-sweet with a solid light malt base and has a cidery-sweet finish with notes of hop resin. The mouthfeel is slightly stingy at first but mellows as the beer sits to nice and creamy with big, soft bubbles.

This is one of those rare finds in that it is a tasty, very drinkable, dirt-cheap US lager with some character.

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Photo of ADR
2.21/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear gold with middling head retention but plenty of upcharging carbonation. Very hard to detect much character in the aroma, slightly wintergreen overall. Malt impact is pretty much nothing, some vague sugar candy and short bread. Hops speak mid mouth and to the end, somewhat stinging and medicinal in a witch hazel manner, though not as peppery as the Leinie's Red. This isn't a scouring beer, like a California IPA, but it is too much on the sparkling medicine side for an otherwise light-bodied Lager. I'd say why, if something else was available...

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found this one at the Den, our campuses local record, drug paraphanalia, beer and other things us college kids are into store. I have had Leine's Red and the creamy dark so I decided to give the Northwoods a visit. The label says they use four specialty malts to produce a golden color but I would call this one sunshine orange with a hint of gold there a nice bubbly white head that leaves even rings of lace down my fauceted mug here. The aroma has some slightly floral hop aroma along with a pleasant malt sweetness for the senses. The flavor is a crisp lager with hints of the four specialty malts and two types of hops, but the flavors come off a little bitter and don't flow well together. The beer is still enjoyable and pretty good, I just consider this as they were going for a classic lager and ended up constructing a mediocre one. All in all this is middle of the road lighter to medium body very nice drinkability, smooth and refreshing just missing what it takes to be a great lager.

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Photo of cokes
2.33/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

When compared with macro American lagers, this might pass for decent. Otherwise, pretty uninspired.

Pours yellow (not golden) with a creamy white head that retains well.
Nose is of grassy hops. Ghostly malts may or may not be detected...extremely faint.
Taste starts hoppy and stays hoppy. Virtually zippo malt body to speak of. Odd for the style but it might be okay if the hops were any good. Instead, we get vaguely piney, mostly grassy slop. Finishes bitter and somewhat dry, like a mouthful of hay.

Watery thin, but still not that easy to choke down.

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Photo of bditty187
3.62/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Soapy white head, poor development and, thus, poor retention with no lace; nice amber-gold hue. Semi-sweet nose, rather clean though. Bland palate, again, semi-sweet with a significant bite of hops… prickly. Northwoods Lager is better than any American Lager “brewed” by the “Macros” and if you are a fan of the style, by all means, give it a try.

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Photo of Jliebert
5/5  rDev +58.7%

Photo of deanis30
2.75/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of enelson
4/5  rDev +27%

Photo of scaliasux
2.29/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance - Light carmel brown/yellow. Clear. Not especially fizzy. In fact, the head on my beer appears to have disappeared shortly after pouring. Not bad.

Smell - Sweet and corny. Very faint. Only slightly better than an adjunct.

Taste - Quite sweet. Malt flavor is present but not especially prominent. Finishes with the barest hint of hops. Tastes much lighter than it looks. Crisp and clean. Slightly better than most macros, in my opinion.

Mouthfeel - Light and fizzy.

Drinkability - This is probably about a half notch better than other macros. It is not, however, very distinctive. Nice marketing, but the beer could be better.

 641 characters

Photo of matjack85
2.75/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of bigbeers84
3.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of witster18
2.92/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

one of the better leiny offerings... I'm still stuck wondering why everyone likes Sunset wheat...? Northwoods lager is standard lager fare...pours a gold with a slight tint of copper.. lots of bubbles, minimal head that leaves quite quickly. The nose is a bit of floral rosiness with that earthy corn lager graininess.... taste is like the nose. A bit sweeter than the average American Lager and a bit more distinctive for sure. A bit of malt and Hops can be detected(thankGod)... I wouldn't go out of my way to get this but I wouldn't turn it down like I would the Sunset wheat.

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Photo of jpkoch1962
2.81/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A run of the mill Lager as they come, but still a cut above the Industrial Lagers.

Served a bit cool at 40 deg into Pils galss. Straw colored with a short white spritzy head that left no lacing. Had a beery, bready aroma that I have come to expect in American Lagers. The taste featured a subdued maltiness, some grass notes, and finished with a subdued hop bitterness. Carboination I thought was a bit high. Left a slight metalic aftertaste. Not a bad beer. For a hot summer day I could drink a few of these after working in my backyard. Could be a bit cleaner in the aftertaste.

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Photo of ommegoose
3.19/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Six-pack purchased at Evanston First Liquors. No decipherable dating.

A much deeper gold than most lagers. Plenty of orange to it. I could see where Mmarzen comparisons are being drawn, but it's not quite that dark. Big carbonation bubbles make their way up from the bottom at a pretty rapid clip. Probably a bit more than you'd like to see. Makes up for it with above average head retention and lacing for a lager. Nice job here. I also find the label and packaging quite attractive. Leine's is a solid performer in this regard as well. It was the deciding factor between this and a similarly priced beer, so someone's doing a good job up there.

The nose is pretty much musty grains, which is a bummer since plenty of good stuff went into this beer. The label claims Cascade and Cluster hops, and Caramel, Munich, Carapil, and Pale malts. I'm not getting any hops, and the malt profile comes off as a below average Marzen. Almost smells like corn, which it shouldn't. Some mineral notes.

Yeah, this is about what I expected. An above average tasting lager, but really nothing to get excited about. There's caramel malt sweetness at the beginning, a toasty grainy middle part of the body, and subtle hops in back that mainly show up in the finish. The Cascades show up at the end. Not in a large way, but it's noticeable and pleasant, and balanced by sweetness.

Feels pretty good. The carbonation ends up not being as intrusive as the pour suggests.

Easy drinker. This would make a great summer/BBQ beer. The weather is not quite there yet, but I still had no problem downing four of these in a sitting yesterday. I wrote this review on bottle no. 5. I wish they could ship this out to some of the bars, because I'd way rather drink pitchers of this than settle for 312 or whatever becomes the trendy summer beer.

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Photo of battlekow
3.46/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer magically appeared in my fridge after I cut the grass, so I took it as a sign and opened it up. Looks very pretty, a glowing golden color. Smells like beer. Tastes sweet, with a little sourness and a distinct honey flavor as it warms. Does have a nice and creamy mouthfeel. Just a typical easy-to-forget lager; at least it's better than New Glarus's Totally Naked.

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Photo of BlackAngus
3.52/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance is a very light coppery-orange. Head was very white, but subsided quickly with no lacing whatsoever.

Smell is bready, somewhat hoppy, with very little of the sulphery smell I have come to expect from this style.

Taste is hoppy, clean, little aftertaste. Definite malt flavor, too.

Mouthfeel is light-bodied, with a surprising carbonation given the lack of head.

Drinkability is high. You could drink this on a hot day grilling without feeling guilty about drinking bad beer. Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. Only real complaint is the almost total lack of head.

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Photo of nicksta
2.16/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I really enjoy Leinenkugel's original so I've started to try the other Leinenkugel siblings. So there I was sitting in the supermarket having narrowed my choice down to and vacillating between Leinenkugel Northwoods Lager and Leinenkugel Creamy Dark. Much to my chagrin I choose the Northwoods. So I took out my special beer drinking glass, which is narrower at a thick glass bottom and gets increasingly wider until the top, and poor it in. It poors a dark gold hue with a thick, white, short head on top. It smelled crisp, a little sweet, and refreshing. I would like to add that at this point I am getting pretty excited. I took a gulp and, well lets put it this way, I believe my expression after was "aw damn". All that happened is a wierd kind of funky sweet/kind of sharp malt taste flooded my mouth. I dislike for the same reasons I dislike Sam Adams Boston Lager. A weird, hince bad, malt taste that is why. I do enjoy complexity but not bad complexity. The mouthfeel is okay being a little thicker, however bad taste ruins the drinkability. It sent a shudder through me when I wasn't ready. That reminds me, the story of me drinking it was kinda funny. It was a little expensive but not drinkable and I got to the 4th and said, "Okay I'll drink this one and pour the last ones out." I reached the 5th and said, "Okay I'll drink this one and pour the last one out." All because the whole "I spent my own money" thing kept on replaying in my head. I reached the sixth and said, "One gulp and I'm dumping the rest". Of course I drank the whole thing. Mind you I was getting pretty drunk by then.

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.38/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark copper colored body, looks like a maibock or a PA more than a lager. No head on this stuff, though. Smell is decidedly grassy and grainy, sweet, with some hints of odd chemicals. Taste is grainy and rounded, leaving a very wheaty flavor in your mouth. Robust in the malt department. and simply noticeable in the hops department. Full carbonation feel to this one. After revisiting this beer, I think it is actually one of the more enjoyable beers in the leinie's unimpressive lineup.

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Photo of pweis909
3.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured a light amber-dark gold color with a medium head. The aroma is lightly malty and the taste has a light sweetness to it. There is little hoppiness to this beer. In the mouth, it is smooth, and it goes down easy. Reasonably drinkable. A decent, if not distinctive, example of American lager.

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Photo of aliving1
3.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Greggy
3.1/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- 1 finger head, orange color, no sediment.

S- Floral apricot, with touch of light orange, light hopiness, and decent balance of malt and hops.

T- Pretty Austere here. w/ just a hint of maltiness.

M- Low carb, slightly smooth

D- This could be sessionable, but it isn't great. Clearly, in my opinion, a beer targeted for BMC drinkers.

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Photo of Redrover
3.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a very nice golden yellow. Decent head and good lacing.

Beer smells of malt and hints of hops. Also a little fresh grass.

Beer seems well balanced with malt slightly in the forefront. Enough hop/pine taste to be noticed. Good carbonation and no appearance of any adjuncts.

Beer is very smooth and easy to drink.

I had this one at the Mecan River Inn which is located in Montello, WI. I was there for the Friday fish fry & this may be the perfect food & setting for this beer. I think this may be the best of Leines family.

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Photo of abcramer
2.5/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of demcorhip
3.68/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Figured i would see what this was about, unfortunately it was the best option available in a liquor store with somewhat poor selection. A pale amber lager poured with a half finger almost white head. Decent retention, especially considering how scant the head was. Somewhat actively carbonated with fine bubbles. Some decent and intricate lace sticks to the inside of my glass.

Bready malts, a hint of more roasted malt is also present, reminding me of roasted peanuts. Scent of cream corn and some grassy hops also present. Note that after catching the floral citrus hop taste it does indeed reveal itself in the nose.

Wow, im pleasantly surprised here. A pleasing floral citrus flavour revealed itself along with the grassy hop finish. Bready malts are predominant, but the mild toasted and nutty flavour adds complexity to this brew. The vegetal qualities in the nose are still present to remind the drinker that this is indeed a lager.

Almost medium bodied, with a medium level of carbonation. Malt forward, and somewhat sweet, yet still a pretty clean and crisp brew. Fairly smooth, almost creamy, yet has a toasty edge.

This lager was made for quaffing, and has just enough flavour and body to hold a drinkers interest while doing so. Definitely a few steps above fizzy yellow water. This is a well made, approachable lager that is easily drinkable and sessionable. Hope it gets brewed during the summer months, as this would be a good brew to start and finish with at family gatherings, or just to enjoy something on a hot day. A pleasant surprise.

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Northwoods Lager from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
75 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.