Mesabi Red
Lake Superior Brewing Company

Mesabi RedMesabi Red
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Red Ale - American Amber / Red
3.66 | pDev: 10.93%
Lake Superior Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Mesabi RedMesabi Red
Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 57 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of dnmyrick
dnmyrick from Minnesota

4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I love this beer! A year-round favorite, but best for sitting around the fire pit in the Fall with friends. Substantial amber two-finger head that laces nicely. Honestly, it reminds me of Fat Tire, but with a little more hop bite and maybe a little Northwoods peat. A truly unique ale.

Oct 23, 2019
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mngermanshepherd from Minnesota

4.37/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Growing up in the Duluth area, I did my above-average share of shipwatching, since many of the residents sailed the Lakes. The iron ore color of the US Steel and Interlake boats and the taconite water in the harbor are reflected perfectly in the color of the ale.

Has a faint musty smell that made me do a double take; almost detected a Scotch smell in it. Another sip gives me a very woody smell (and an oak taste)! Very malt forward and the hops settle in nicely. Excellent work!

Sep 30, 2018
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Czequershuus from Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a ruddy amber with a large head. The aroma is sweet and rich with notes of walnut, date, figs, banana bread, and bran muffin. The flavor starts sweet and rich with plenty of sweet bread, dates, and figs, but then dired out to a woodsy, minty hop character, with a raw cinnamon flavor. The mouthfeel is rich an soft with foamy carbonation. Overall this is a really tasty and classic red ale, with rich sweetness upfront but a dry finish.

Jul 21, 2018
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HuskerTornado from Arkansas

3.44/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into sensory glass. Pours a dark red color, with a medium sized tan head which dissipates into a thin layer that sticks around with a bit of lacing left behind.

Smell is very heavy on sweet malt, syrup, molasses, dark fruit, and hops.

Taste is rich with sweet malts up front, more dry bready in the middle, and finishes with some hop bitterness. Well balanced. Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, and medium bodied.

Overall, a nice red ale. Not my favorite style, but this is a good one.

Aug 06, 2014
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gatornation from Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber color with a khaki head. Smell has toffe ,hops malt and barley. Taste follows nose with a fair amount of sweet caramel and dank hops. Medium carbonation with a citrus bitterness, and malty finish.

Jun 21, 2013
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manitouman84 from Wisconsin

3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a translucent distinctive red with a 2 finger head, nice retention, and good lacing throughout. Toffee, caramel base, plum, raisin and fig like fruitiness, dank earthy hops. Aromas have belgian beer like character to them. Body is malt forward, caramel and toffee, strong earthy flavors give this beer a very unique taste, the beer is not too sweet, a light bitterness lingers. Good overall mouth feel and body, slight creaminess, a bit wet in the finish however. Very different and unique, totally worth a try.

Oct 06, 2011
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PokerGod from Minnesota

3.49/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a stemmed tulip.

Appearance- red. Almost too red. Looks like a beer that's been spiked with grenadine.

Smell- has a very nice earthy, hoppy quality, yet I think there's something sweet and rich too. Like molases maybe.

Taste- hoppy and earthy like the smell, but there's a bite of alcohol there I wasn't expecting. At only 6.5% ABV didn't expect it and found it a bit offputing.

Overall- an enjoyable enough beer.

Aug 04, 2011
Photo of nrmiller
nrmiller from Minnesota

3.76/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: poured in a mug, deep amber color, almost light red

smell: an earthy hops aroma with some malt there

taste: sweetness going into rich malts and caramel, then finishing with slight hop bitterness along with earthy flavors. Very well balanced.

mouthfeel: medium bodied, carbonation just right

drinkability: pretty good, the rich malts go down very well, well balanced

Normally i don't care much for this style, but this one surprised me. I didn't expect it to be this good, to be honest. Not a world class Red Ale, but a solid one to choose.

Nov 02, 2010
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blackie from Oregon

3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: shaker pint, deep reddish brown in color, served with a thin head that soon disappears

s: full caramel malt aromas, toasty and sweet, just a little butter, light earthy hop aroma

m: the big malt profile gives a full, almost slick mouthfeel, carbonation light-moderate

t: rich with sweet malts, toasty toffee and caramel, lightly buttery, very mild earthy hop flavors

d: a little sweet, but it's a nice enough red that drinks well, and a satisfying find in the North Woods

consumed with dinner at Gunflint, Grand Marais, MN

Aug 31, 2010
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dirtylou from New York

3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on-tap, The Gun Flint in Grand Marais, MN

cellphone notes

appearance: served in a surly shaker pint - amber-mahogany body, light beige ring

smell: caramel, grain, toffee and malt, rustic

taste: This was a rustic/earthy red with notes of tobacco, leather, caramel and grain. Toasted bread and sweet caramel - a serviceable amber

mouthfeel: light, adequate carbonation

drinkability: good enough

Aug 25, 2010
Photo of KeefD
KeefD from Minnesota

3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber, small head, no lacing. Aroma is lightly spicy with some notes of breadiness, caramel, and some light fruit. Taste is bready, good amount of caramel, average hops bitterness, lightly sweet, dry finish. Medium bodied. This beer is pretty well balanced, but nothing special. It was nice to try one bottle.

Apr 03, 2009
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AdmiralDiaz from Minnesota

3.22/5  rDev -12%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle to pint glass.

A: Pours a semi opaque amber brown with a very small off-white head with poor retention .

S: toffee and malt notes with small amount of hops and earth.

T: Taste is about the same as the smell, very weak but not a bad taste.

Overall: Mouthfeel is good, well carbonated and light. Pretty drinkable but it's boring and I wouldn't want many.

Mar 21, 2009
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Ragingbull from California

3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Red to light brown in color. Faint and wispy head. Mild nose of malt with some nutty tones. Malty attack and flavor. The characteristics are similar to that of a porter or stout but with a lager body. Smooth mouthfeel and creamy character. Almost a caramel like flavor in the finish. A very unique red compared to those that I have tried. I would grade it an A-

Aug 07, 2008
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Texas Longhorns orange with Sunkist colored trim and a wealth of uprushing bubbles. All that carbonation has created a softly creamy crown that is currently filling the upper two-thirds of the glass. Arcing streamers of bubble bath-like lace are beginning to appear. Not a bad looking red.

The nose could use more personality. The spotlight is occupied by English toffee, accented by an earthiness that gives it a much needed second dimension. More hops would be great, but then I always say that.

Mesabi Red is a pretty good version of the style because the brewers didn't skimp when it came time to add ingredients. It tastes like they've added proportionally more of the mid-range malts, which gives the beer a 'toasted bread dipped in melted caramel' kind of vibe. Unfortunately, a finishing fruity tartness isn't entirely welcome.

The mouthfeel keeps thing consistent by being above average, yet less than what I would consider good. A bit more heft and a few fewer bubbles would be good places to start.

The Mesabi Range of Northern Minnesota is the largest deposit of iron ore in the U.S. I'm not sure what that fact has to do with anything, but I always like to know the background on the beers that I drink, including their names. Bottom line: Lake Superior Mesabi Red is a pretty good effort that doesn't rise to the level of a repeat purchase.

May 16, 2008
Photo of DukeofAle
DukeofAle from Iowa

3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, garnet red - as "red" of a beer as I've seen - with a somewhat thin head that dissapates quickly but leaves decent lacing. The scent is of malt. Tastes good - malty - with a mild hop finnish. Not a "big" beer, or a "hoppy" brew - well balanced comes to mind. A beer that will work well if you're planning to have more than one. I did not have any trouble with inconsistent carbonation, off flavors, etc., that others reported. Over all, I like this better than most but wouldn't consider it truely exceptional.

I would buy this beer again.

Feb 20, 2008
Photo of morimech
morimech from Minnesota

3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy red with a small head that builds after the pour then quickly goes away. Just a little lacing is left behind.

The aroma is sweet malt with some floral hops.

An interesting taste to this one. A malty backbone with a sour finish that is completely unexpected. I didn't get much of hops in the taste but I don't expect that is what the brewer was going for in this beer. It seemed a little flat and the sour slows the consumption down. A different take on the American Red Ale but not something I can drink a lot of.

Nov 18, 2007
Photo of Metalmonk
Metalmonk from North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good name for this one, as it's definitely a deep burnt red, but the head was very small. No lace at all.

Aroma leans heavily toward the malt, but it's not a big-ass malt beer...something along the lines of watery chocolate milk, caramel, graham cracker,, watered-down sherry, and cooked apples in the nose. Good, but somehow elusive, it felt kind of timid.

There seems to be a little heat here, despite a fairly low ABV (6.5%). Some apple cider, cocoa, cinnamon, fruit, sherry and lactic sweetness in the flavor. I dig the sour finish; it's not brutal or unattractive, just adds a nice bit of pucker to the sip. Really interesting stuff.

I have no idea what the brewer is going for with this beer. On one hand it's cool because it seems to sit in its own flavor profile, not really content to be pigeonholed. On the other hand, it's a little messy, hard to get a grasp on. I'll usually take the side of the unknown and progressive, and whether or not they were trying to consciously color outside the lines here, it remains an intruiging beer. Glad I have another waiting, maybe it'll reveal something further...

Aug 16, 2007
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objectivemonkey from Minnesota

3.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a coppery brown with minimal head but pretty decent lacing. Aroma is pretty bland, some good sweet malts, fruits, just isn't getting me hyped up. The taste is decent, but nothing to die for, a sweet helping of malts, fruits, but also sour, which was doing nothing good for me. The body was pretty good, fairly full and good texture, carbonation is a little low perhaps. In all, a funky beer, but not too bad.

May 25, 2007
Photo of shadow1961
shadow1961 from Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lake Superior's Mesabi Red pours out a thin tan head over, yes, a somewhat cloudy
red brew. There's no apparent carbonation, and the nose is molasses. Up front the flavor
is sweetish malt, bitter chocolate in the middle, and a grassy, herbal hop finish. The aftertaste
is of the hops. Mouthfeel is round yet dry and a bit astringent. Their website says it's a red ale,
but it seems a lot like a porter to me. An interesting brew. Good stuff.

Mar 13, 2007
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umustdrink from Minnesota

3.81/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Light cloudy rust color. Head is offwhite that sits at a thick film. Avg Lacing.

S - Dark honey, wheat, creamy light milk chocolate, cream. Very interesting.

T - Light molasses malt, honey, brown sugar, bitter hop finish.

M - A little thinner than I would like to see it, but it is what it is.

D - One complaint I am having with most lake superior brews is that the taste just doesn't match up with the greatness of the smell. This one isn't AS bad as the others but seriously what good is a beer that only smells good?

Feb 12, 2007
Photo of dfried
dfried from Minnesota

3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deeper brown, redish toffee color, thin off white head. The aroma is sweet and malty, some fruity notes, almost a perfume like smell form the mix of hops and malt. The taste is much the same sweet, malty, a little grainy, some fruity hints but not all that strong. Hops are noticeable but far from strong, they bring mainly floral, but some citrus character. Average sweet/dry mouthfeel, pretty easy to drink.

Verdict: it's pretty good, nothing special. Not much to turn you off about it, but not much that impressed me. An average-slightly above average beer.

Jan 11, 2007
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.54/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Okay, for all of you history buffs reading this: What does “Mesabi” refer to? That is/was the over-mined iron range that gave Andrew Carnegie the impetus to start U.S. Steel, with the input of Henry Bessemer. The red is for the color of rust that results when iron ore is exposed to oxygen. It was a very fitting name for a beer.

It came with a medium, light-tan head with little retention. The nose had a light maltiness, coupled with a fruity, cherry-like sourness. The mouthfeel was light to medium with maple sweetness on the tongue. The finish had a maple-syrup sweetness quality that lingered well after the swallow. It was a great red, but for me, it was a one and done simply because of its intense maltiness.

Jan 02, 2007
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a burgandy/reddish color with a small, short-lived head.

S - Smelled of malts and grains.

T - Tasted very malty with a spicy hop bite at the back of the tongue.

M - It was dry and crisp. A light-bodied beer.

D - Not bad for an amber, but nothing too special.

Jan 02, 2007
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CharlesDarwin from Rhode Island

3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Originally reviewed April 2, 2005. 12 Oz Bottle. Sensual burnt red pour, copiously topped with an off-white head, that seems to be fading, leave good lacing. Mixed malt and hop aroma, with some rustic woody notes in the background. Nice brew. Very good malt and even tone. I like the oakeness behind it. Reminisces of a Scotch Ale with some mellow qualities. Finish is lasting and impressionable.

Aug 04, 2006
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CultureJamMN from Minnesota

3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy maroon with bronze edges. Very little head, but very decent lacing, head held consistant throughout. There appeared to be a small amount of particulate in the glass, given that I was using a clean glass, this speaks of the beer. While the color was pleasant, the particulate was not.

The smell is not strong, but malt and caramel are present with fruity and maybe even a little floral in there.

The tast was malty at the top, with fruity notes throughout. The finish had some hoppyness to it, but was not overpowered. I would agree with reviews that said this is typical for the LSBC brand.

The carbonation was solid, and the mouthfeel very comfortable for a red ale.

As for drinkability, this is a very satisfying beer. A good beer if you're having 2 or 3 while watching a sporting event, or hanging out. I would not want to go more than 3 pints with this brew however.

Jan 24, 2006
Mesabi Red from Lake Superior Brewing Company
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 57 ratings