Sunday, September 22, 2013

South Shore Northern Lights Ale Review

Name: South Shore Northern Lights Ale
Style: Blonde Ale
ABV: 4.3%

Despite Duluth being pretty much the central hub of beer along the shores of Lake Superior, many seem to forget that Northern Wisconsin has it's share of breweries as well. With the exception of Thirsty Pagan located over in Superior, Northern Wisconsin's brewery scene doesn't really get any recognition here in Duluth. South Shore Brewery based out of Ashland, WI is pretty much the only brewery located in Northwestern Wisconsin. The other breweries in the northern part of the state are closer to Rhinelander or situated along Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Today I will be looking at South Shore's Northern Lights Ale, which is their Blonde Ale and the one I most commonly see on the shelves.

Northern Lights pours a hazy yellow color with a surprisingly fizzy head yet no carbonation to speak of that's visible.

Barley, pale malts and yeasts with an encompassing grassiness make up the aroma. There are also some hints of wheat in the nose as well, but it only becomes apparent once it warms up.

The flavor has a surprisingly sweet pale malt and wheat profile, backed up by yeasts and barley. The earthiness that was present in the nose isn't as strong here but it's noticeable. There's also some strange adjunct grainy notes to the taste.

The body is pretty lightweight but the carbonation, contrary to it's seemingly dead appearance, is rather moderate for what it is.

I can't say that Northern Lights Ale blew me away because it certainly didn't. The flavor has a strange and unnecessary adjunct taste to it and could forgo the earthiness; If you remove those, this would've been a great blonde ale but it's an okay blonde ale for right now.

South Shore Northern Lights Ale - 6.5/10

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