Special is as special does

I was in Duluth the other night and ordered up a Special Ale at Grandma’s.  This was my first encounter with the Special, though I am a huge fan of the Oatmeal Stout.  The coppery red color and hop aroma were the first things to stand out.  The initial sip was great, finishing with a nice hoppy nudge (weaker than a kick)  and a slightly citrus-y aftertaste.  A smooth beer with decent flavor and a respectable level of carbonation to boot.

I find myself liking the Lake Superior beers more and more with every one I drink.  Visiting their website, I wish that we could get more of the seasonals and special brews down here.  The selction looks fantastic, especially the brown ale and IPA.  Does anyone know of liquor stores down here that may carry the specials?

Sessionable English ale, from Duluth

Haven’t had one of these in a while. Let’s crack a crown and jump right in… Cloudy coppery color, slim off -white head…nice…Aromatic bitterness greets the nose…classic English-style hopping. Green apple tinge to it, with a bit of the pine thing from American hops, mixed with  caramel malt.Tastin’ it…bitter hop smack on the palate, then the apple and a bit of butterscotch,…bitterness reigns, though isn’t overpowering, just right for an English style pale ale. I’m no expert, I can’t say if it’s Fuggles or East Kent Goldings, I just know it tastes British, and fits right in for the style.Though I favor American style pale ales and IPAs these days, I can drink this down without a problem. Just enough hops and flavor to keep my tastebuds occupied.  Haiku #9 (for week 10)…”Lake Superior/ Northern-most of the Great Lakes/ not bad beer, either.” 

I could have one, or five

With the heat wave today Erin and I decided to enjoy our beers on the porch (with the space heater). The Lake Superior Special Ale is a wonderfully drinkable beer. Its a pale ale, I think, but with just enough hops to give a little bitter flavor, but you can totally drink several of these a night.

I ended up buying a six pack of these and I drank the first four quickly so I had to hide the last two in the back of the fridge so we would have two to drink for our review 🙂

Special? More like dependable.

This is a nice friendly pale ale with floral hop aroma and taste and a good malt backbone.  I really like a good sessionable beer.  Sometimes I do not need to have a taste experience, or have my assumptions about beer challenged.  I need a beer that has a good solid malt and hop flavor, and not too much ABV so I can have another. 

The nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever so you can rest medicine

This weekend I’ve been testing the theory that you can beat a cold by drinking alcohol. Despite a valiant effort, I’m still sick, and the worst of it is that I didn’t enjoy a single beer I drank. That is until the sweet nectar of Lake Superior Special Ale made contact with my tongue just minutes ago. Despite my taste buds being all out of whack, I’m enjoying this beer very much. Kinda reminds me of a Summit Pale Ale but a little sweeter. As Ange mentioned, and I’m sure Chuck will be pointing out, the only bummer is the labels. They’re lacking the personality that the beer has.

Week 10 already?! Wow, I AM getting old.

Yep, this beer was good. Crisp, nice strong taste without being overwhelmingly ‘pale ale-ish,’ and refreshing. All that and I only finished half of it because it had been a long night and I had to drive home. But, I would buy it again, probably more than one bottle the next time. However, I have to disagree with Nick that “the bottle is one of the best” . . . it was so plain and nondescript that I nearly missed it in the sea of sweet labels. I don’t mind the “Lake Superior” wordmark – looks a bit 80s vintage (again, we’re old if 80s can be vintage) like something my dad would have been drinking when I was a tot –  I just have an issue with the use of Monotype Corsiva for the “Special Ale.” I mean, it’s special, right? So let’s not use a Mac standard font.

Average Beer

I was expecting a bit more (last time I read the reviews here before tasting).  This is what I’d call a very classic beer.  The hops are strong, but I can’t quite place what kind they are (something I’m trying to do more and more).  The carbonation is a bit low and the malt very very mild.  Classic Ale flavor. P.S. Boo to twist offs again.  But yay that I bought a six pack, good ale. 

Where Did My Beer Go?

The question I asked each time after each beer from my six pack of Lake Superior Special Ale: “Where did my beer go?” Each time I had one, after the first few sips I completely forgot I was supposed to post about it on Brew52. No surprises, no BS, just good beer. Granted, a lot of the ways I’d describe the beer would be middle-of-the-road but really, they pulled off a simple, good beer that’s well balanced and would be good anytime for me. Thanks, Duluth.

Tastes like home.

I may be a little biased on this beer because it’s made across the street from where I work, it’s on tap in practically every bar in my hometown, and I drink it all the time. Here in Duluth, you can hardly go to the dentist without being handed a bottle of LSS. It’s smooth and citrusy, with a tinge of bitter. It pretty much tastes like every badmitton game I’ve ever played, every picnic I’ve ever enjoyed, every beach bonfire I’ve ever warmed myself next to. It tastes like standing on my porch, watching a storm roll in off the big lake. It’s the keg sweating next to the washing machine while the Black-eyed Snakes perform in someone’s basement. It’s the bottle in my hand while I snowshoe down the middle of the street during a blizzard.

Every sip carries a dozen more memories. This tastes like home.

Pretty Good

This beer wasn’t bad.  It had a nice taste and a nice color, but it left me wanting more.  It is a great beer to serve to friends because almost everyone is going to like it enough to drink it.  Of course, the same is true with Premium, so maybe I’ll just stick to that to pawn off on my friends so they stay away from our good beer.

K Love Special Sauce

The folks at Lake Superior Brewing Company can do no wrong.  I’m laughing,  I’ve been a big fan of the Kayak Kolsch for years, and it took the genious behind Brew52 to introduce me to the Special Ale.  Just the right amount of hops, super smooth, the only thing missing is the post big lake paddling fatigue.  Excuse me, gotta go get another. 

Exactly as it Should Be

When I buy an ale in a bar or liquor store this is how I expect the beer to taste. The Lake Superior Special Ale is refreshing and hoppy without being overpowering. The type of beer you could drink all night without getting sick of the taste. It doesn’t wow me with unique or powerful flavors but I don’t want that from every beer.

Wish I had another…

I really like the Lake Superior Special Ale, in fact I forgot how much I like this beer.  I was up at the Lake Superior Brewery a few years ago…might have been for their anniversary…I don’t quite remember.   I do remember that there was some sort of ‘beer can collectors’ gathering out front…strange hobby, strange hobby….Anyway, nice brewery, run by nice people who make really good beer.  Wish I had some more of it!! 

baby bear’s stash

Everything is just right.  Subtle aroma, crisp taste and a clean finish.  I like it.  Now, allow me to geek out and refer to a part of Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – just as Ford Prefect is about to hitch away with Arthur on the Vogon destroyer and he orders a few pints of bitters for the two of them because they’ll need salt in their system when they hitchhike.  Well this is what I imagine that beer tasting like:  i.e. something I could pound a few of in a matter of seconds because my life depended on it. 

It’s Okay

This beer was okay, not really special but okay.  A good balance between sweet and bitter.  I didn’t really mind drinking the whole 6-pack.  There was not too much head on this one after pouring less than 1/4 inch.  I would prefer at least 1/2 inch of head for this type of beer.  I think I would buy this one again  maybe once a year for something different.