Northwoods Lager | Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

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Northwoods LagerNorthwoods Lager
93 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 93 |  Reviews: 55
Reviews by JudgeRoughneck:
Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.87/5  rDev +20.2%
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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More User Reviews:
Photo of mojohawk21
3.72/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

 276 characters

Photo of NilocRellim
3.19/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

 155 characters

Photo of ADR
2.21/5  rDev -31.4%
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 -6.8%
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 -27.6%
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 +12.4%
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.

 352 characters

Photo of Jliebert
5/5  rDev +55.3%

Photo of deanis30
2.75/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of Branlott42
3.05/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of enelson
4/5  rDev +24.2%

Photo of scaliasux
2.29/5  rDev -28.9%
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 -14.6%

Photo of bigbeers84
3.75/5  rDev +16.5%

Photo of witster18
2.92/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

 579 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.34/5  rDev +34.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Northwoods Lager has a thick, off-white head, a clear, bubbly, golden appearance, and some glass lacing. Aroma is of sharp, bread crust-like barley malt, and the flavor is of corn-mellowed barley, some hop bitterness, and a touch of white bread. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Northwoods Lager finishes crisp and refreshing. RJT

 331 characters

Photo of jpkoch1962
2.81/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

 583 characters

Photo of ommegoose
3.19/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

 1,819 characters

Photo of holtonwes
3.72/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Look: Poured into pint glass. Clear Dark gold with a soapy 1.5 finger head. Dissipates with some lacing

Smell: malt, light hops, white bread, lemon, grassy, orange peel

Taste: grassy, cilantro, citrus, very white bread on the finish

Feel: a little on the lighter side, a little filmy, but still refreshing

 308 characters

Photo of Zanico
2.87/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Dms844
3.53/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mrpoizun
2.53/5  rDev -21.4%
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 battlekow
3.46/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

 374 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.21/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Happy Post-Apocalyptic New LeinBelStarr Coup de Boule Sunday (Week 667)!

From the bottle: "Brewed with Pride by the Leinenkugel Family since 1867."; "The Pride of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin Since 1867"; "Carefully Brewed by the Leinenkugel Family for Six Generations"; "Northwoods Lager. A Throwback Favorite Offered for a Limited Time. Enjoy!"

Well, once more, I was let down by a screwed-up screw-off cap! Screw it! I am giving it a heavy-handed pour in response. This actually worked out rather well as it puffed up with three-plus fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, bone-white head with decent retention, leaving nice lacing in its wake. Color was a gorgeous solid Amber (SRM = > 7, < 9) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a clean, slightly-sweet honey-like breadiness, all of which are the hallmarks of a good lager. The early days of The CANQuest (tm) saw me drinking a LOT of AALs, so it is nice to have one that is not laden with nonsense. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was very honey-like, but more biscuity than bready. Honey-drizzled biscuits! Mmm. Finish was semi-dry & very refreshing. Why is this only for a limited time?!? CAN they put it in CANs before it goes away?!? Now, I feel sad.

 1,202 characters

Photo of BlackAngus
3.52/5  rDev +9.3%
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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Northwoods Lager from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.22 out of 5 with 93 ratings
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