Northwoods Lager | Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

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Northwoods LagerNorthwoods Lager

Brewed by:
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TastyTaste on 03-02-2002

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Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 82
Photo of NilocRellim
3.19/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a darker, amber colour. Smells like slightly sweet malts and lager yeast, not much to it. Tastes like it smells, sweet malts, lager yeast, and crisp.

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Photo of Squire123
3.65/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Attractive rose gold color with good cap and some lacing.

Aroma of caramel, roasted malt and toffee lightly spiced with hops.

Taste is caramel on entry with darker touches of toffee and roast malt entering mid palate. Hops are there but like a transparent finish on dark wood furniture. There is some hop presence but they have more an aromatic than bittering influence. Aftertaste brings a homemade bread touch and the hops spark a bit before dying out.

Medium body with a slightly fuller feel.

Overall it strikes me as somewhere between an amber and an oktoberfest. This isn't to say it's lacking, just seems to have it's feet on both banks straddling the stream. I find it a pleasant, easy drinking style that should work well with a variety of food. I think I would like it to be just a bit dryer but it's well balanced as is. Reminds me of what beer used to be back in the 60s.

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Photo of beerguy04
3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a golden yellow with a white head. Smell is piney hops.Taste is earthy and grainy. Has a piney aftertaste. Mouthfeel is thin. Overall, a middle of the road beer.

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Photo of mrpoizun
2.53/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is your standard adjunct lager with just a hint of piney hops, ergo the "Northwoods" moniker, I suppose. Otherwise, it's not outstanding in any way. Leinie's original lager is far better.

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Photo of mojohawk21
3.72/5  rDev +18.8%
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 summer evenings and bold winter days...I believe it needs to be reborn.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.57/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: golden yellow with hue of orange, big fluffy head, ok lacing.

S: grainy, citrus, hint of pine.

T/M: hint of sweet grain, citrus, light bread, light/medium body, lots of carbonation.

D: This is an amazing offering from Leinenkugel. This should be their standard lager. One of the best American Pale Lagers out there.

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Photo of kmeves
3.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden with a fluffy white head. Mildly sweet aroma has some lager yeast profile to it. Nice, crisp malty body has a good hoppy balance. Finishes smooth and bittersweet. Typical of leinie's beers. Too plain for the serious beer drinker and too flavorful for the masses.

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Photo of keoki182
2.72/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Leinenkugel's Northwoods is a more flavorful lager than most of the well-known lagers on supermarket shelves. It looks and smells like a normal American lager (read: macro) but has a richer lager flavor. That is, it's grassy and grainy smelling. It's drinkable, but I usually pass when I see it. *Leinie's did recently reintroduce a batch as a limited edition but I was unable to review it.

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Photo of witster18
2.92/5  rDev -6.7%
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 pweis909
3.5/5  rDev +11.8%
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 Greggy
3.1/5  rDev -1%
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 jp32
2.71/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a few shades darker than gold, nearly a copper hue to it. Completeley transparent. Looks thin-bodied with mild carbonation.

The nose is very mild. Smells like an average, every day run of the mill brew.

The taste is very malty and full up front, followed by a very clean finish. Mouthfeel is soft and almost oily. Could definitly use more carbonation.

Drinkability is decent. Not my favorite beer, nothing exciting, but nothing to complain about either. Ive had a lot worse.

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Photo of ommegoose
3.19/5  rDev +1.9%
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 Tilley4
3.78/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Lordsloth for including this one in the Virgin BIF! This would make a terrific summer brew for grilling out or relaxing on the back porch with some friends. Nothing complicated or overdone, just a well crafted brew.

Clear golden color with a weak attempt at a head, decent carbonation... Looks a little darker than most lagers..

Maltier aroma than I would expect from this. It actually smells like an Oktoberfest. Very bready and malty.

Very smooth sweet malty taste with a mild carbonation bite and a nice little hop finish.

Very sessionable, not too heavy. Liked it..

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Photo of demcorhip
3.68/5  rDev +17.6%
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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Photo of Mdog
3.19/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Gold, nice carbonation, big head, good lacing. Very nice looking beer!

Smell: Not much, some sweet grain.

Taste: Follows the smell, a little grainy sweetness, little to no bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp.

Drinkability: Quite easy to have several in a sitting.

I picked up a single of this, it's way better than Leinie's Original but not really a special beer to seek out. A pretty good lager for a change of pace from BMC products. (Yes I know Leinie's is under Miller's umbrella).

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Photo of slyke
2.69/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Northwoods Lager pours a clear golden color with a finger of white head.

The smell is malty, but nothing remarkable jumps out from the beer. Taste is also unremarkable - nothing objectionable, but nothing special either. The same maltiness comes through in the taste.

Mouthfeel is light-bodied with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability for this beer is okay. I have no problem finish one, but I will not seek this beer out.

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Photo of botham
3.18/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner. pours a bright amber color with a couple fingers of tight white head.

aroma is malty, with a bit of a floral character. the malt is lightly sweet with a slight grainy note, creating a solid lager profile. a distant fruitiness is present upon a bit of warming.

taste is malty, with the same floral note from the yeast. an overall grainy profile finishes off the body of flavors, with distant notes of fruit and a bit of caramel malt show up a bit into the bottle.

mouthfeel is light bodied with a smooth texture and a light bite from CO2. finishes clean with only a bit of grain residing.

drinkability is decent. this is a smooth lager that is more flavorful than many more out there, but it still contains a grainy character that borders on the threshold of staleness. overall average for a Leinenkugel's brew.

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Photo of Homerbag
3.38/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Has a light amber body with small highly carbonated head, with low retention.

Smell is of bready malt, some fresh cut grass smell. Nothing complex. Taste is not that bad. It is rather on the maltier end of things, almost approaching Marzen qualities. Lots of toasted malts with some grassy hop tones that come in after the palate is a little more dry. Feel is on the carbonated side. Drier finish.

Good session beer. There is a lot of hype to this release and it doesn't really live up to it. It's not a bad beer, but not really a good one. A nice beer if you don't really want to think about what you are drinking. A good lawn mower beer.

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Photo of jpkoch1962
2.81/5  rDev -10.2%
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 BlackAngus
3.52/5  rDev +12.5%
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 BuckeyeNation
2.58/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Lucent orange-amber, much more the former than the latter. A generous amount of superfine carbonation can be seen rushing up to a pillowy, airy cap of lightest beige that is too soft to last or to lay down much lace. The beer looks okay. The head could use some work.

The nose is aromatic enough, but doesn't take advantage of that fact by smelling like anything worthwhile. I can appreciate slightly sweet, lightly toasted, earthy (Munich?) malt, with a little fruitiness thrown in for good measure. There's also an odd (sour, vegetal) aroma that I can't quite place.

The flavor isn't as expected. Northwoods tastes a little Oktoberfestish due to a 'toasted grain earthiness' that I've always attributed to Munich malt (and that I don't particularly care for). It's odd for an all-malt lager to taste this way, but I suppose the boundaries of the style are pretty wide-ranging.

The slight sourness that I picked up in the nose is still present, as is the fruitiness. Orange is the only fruit that comes to mind. The beer is neither sweet nor bitter, although there's the slightest hint of bitterness on the tail end of the finish. It tastes like the ingredients clash rather than harmonize.

The mouthfeel (slightly) favors medium over light and is sturdy enough not to lose its way throughout any given mouthful or over the course of the bottle. Despite the fact that the beer was well-bubbled immediately after the pour, it doesn't feel busy in the mouth.

I've never had a Leinie's beer that was anything more than fair-to-middlin'. Northwoods Lager struggles to reach even that low threshold. Again, I just don't like the constellation of flavors that are a direct result of the chosen ingredients. Time for a major overhaul or a simple burial. As far as I'm concerned, the brewery's decision to pull the plug was the right one.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.87/5  rDev +23.6%
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 Dogbrick
3.03/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Darkover for the trade. Pours a dark golden color with decent carbonation and a medium thin white head. Thin rings of lacing. Aroma of grassy hops and earthy malt. Light-bodied and clean on the tongue with a sweet malt and honey flavor at first, then more grassy hops shortly after. The finish is clean and lightly sweet but with a hint of hops in the aftertaste. Nothing stands out either good or bad about this Lager, itÂ’s pretty much average all around.

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Photo of scaliasux
2.29/5  rDev -26.8%
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.

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Northwoods Lager from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
3.13 out of 5 based on 82 ratings.
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