Mesabi Red | Lake Superior Brewing Company

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Mesabi RedMesabi Red
52 Ratings
Mesabi RedMesabi Red

Brewed by:
Lake Superior Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by purplehops on 05-30-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 52 |  Reviews: 35
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of ADR
3.44/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy light brown, big head that's creamy and laces to the end (is this stuff bottle-conditioned or did the fermentation get out of hand?)...fruity aroma, but like that Fruit Stripe gum I used to chew when I was a kid. A sense of nutmeg as well. Tangy flavors, malt is subdued but seems tinged with shortbread and ginger-like qualities. Hops are evident in the mid and finishing taste. Wasn't that bad to me, some similarities to Old Dominion, but tending more toward an acidic sourness and too much husky grainy-ness.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
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...

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Photo of dirtylou
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
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

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Photo of BigAl18
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of morimech
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

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Photo of HardWater
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of blackie
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
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

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Photo of Ragingbull
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
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-

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Photo of Gusler
4.55/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The color a nebulous rubicund with the head elephantine in size and the texture creamy, color a dashing light tan, and as it laggardly dissipates the lace forms an obscuring veil. Nice light floral tone at the front that is malt sweet and fresh to the senses, front is ambrosial and profusely malted with the top light to medium in feel. Finish is masterful in its acidity and the hops delectable in their spicy bite, an excellent “Red”, and much like Scottish Ales. Alas ones I rarely see, and mores the pity as I find both styles quite a treat and a wonderful change of pace from the “Over The Top” bad Boyz I seem to drink much to often, need to give my buds a rest from time to time.

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Photo of MN_Beerticker
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of umustdrink
3.81/5  rDev +4.7%
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?

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Photo of marc77
3.91/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ruddy garnet hue with a light haze. Well retained, compact, yellow - beige head leaves respectable lace. The aroma is comprised of toffeeish dark lovibond caramel malt with a roasted edge along with fruity sweet, ripe cassis like esters. Unfortunately a metallic smattering adds a slight astringent note. Stately caramel malt sweetness initially in flavor is complemented by persistent notes of dry biscuit and carob. Becomes agreeably nutty and brittle like mid palate and approaches sweet, but a citrus and earth laced hop presence surfaces to aptly contrast and offset malt sweetness. Full bodied for style, with ample dextrins facilitating a creamy mouthfeel and a firm, malt driven overall impression. Finishes bittersweet and dilatory, with a slowly fading suggestion of honey drizzled grainy cracker balanced with dryish, roasted unmalted barley. Mesabi Red is a flavorful, malt centered, but balanced brew, with rich honeyish and nut like malt undertones contrasted by a judicious hop presence. The aroma is the only detraction from excellence. Overall well above the norm for the ubiquitous and too often insipid "red ale." Thanks to Feloniousmonk for the opportunity!

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Photo of Trexter103
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of gatornation
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of nrmiller
3.76/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of manitouman84
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of PokerGod
3.49/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.54/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of CultureJamMN
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

More of a "maroon" than a red in color, looks nice with a thick tan head on top. Smells of carmel malts and hops sweetness. The packaging does not lie, the flavor would be be described as "robust". A strong earthy flavor that has an acidic aftertaste the goes well with the bitterness of the hops. Mouthfeel is very full and satisfying. All-around great beer. Perfect for any time of the year, IMO.

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Photo of pweis909
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In my experience, bottles from this brewery are inconsistently carbonated. Most recently, the trend has yielded significant spillage on my kitchen floor, accompanied by four-lettered interjections. Consequently, I didn't mind that this bottle produced almost no head and the amber brew was only lightly carbonated. I got to drink the whole bottle, rather than mop it up, and drinking it was a pleasant experience.

I detected mild malt odors -- nothing remarkable or complex.

Nothing complex about the taste either -- nicely sweet at the front end, with a mildy hoppy finish. It goes down smoothly. Not remarkable, but enjoyable.

Re-reviewed this beer, wondering why I find it so damn drinkable. I noted some floral-spice odors that I failed to note last time, but that doesn't explain why I found myself craving another glass of the stuff 24 hours later. I decided the reason is balance. Even though the taste is not complex, it is well-balanced, with a crisp finish that leaves me longing for the sweet front end. I upped it's taste and smell scores accordingly. I really enjoy this stuff.

Most recent update 9/08. Still inconsistent with the carbonation. My palate zeroed in on English breakfast tea as one of those floral notes I mentioned a year or two ago. Still liking this one.

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Photo of KeefD
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
3.13/5  rDev -14%
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.

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Photo of shadow1961
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Mesabi Red from Lake Superior Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.64 out of 5 with 52 ratings