Lake Superior Special AleJuly 1, 2001 Duluth, MN
Lake Superior Brewing Co.
Available: MN, WI
This North American interpretation of a British pale ale has been brewed for 22 years but was not made public until late in 1994. This beer normally takes four days to ferment and further clarifying is then done with the addition of unflavored gelatin to the plate and frame filter in order to remove suspended yeast.
Original gravity: 1052
The smooth hop aromatics are very welcome in this well-made American style ale. The beer brings that style home for the enjoyment of all its well-structured elements. The beer’s floral, even citrus, hop character brightens its image and makes it easy to enjoy. A good jalepeño pepper cheese would be a fun accompaniment for this beer.
- Fred Eckhardt
The beer is a pilsner-like deep gold with little carbonation. The aroma is brightly hoppy, resinous, with a touch of fruit in the background. On the palate, it is nearly flat and surprisingly hoppy, with a sharp bitterness up front that flies right through the center into the finish. Biscuity malt peeks out meekly in the aftertaste. This claims to be a “British Style Pale Ale,” but I’ve never encountered anything like it in Britain. It’s pretty flat and uses British hops, but distinctly American in its hop aggression. It grew on me, I must say. Perfect for tiger shrimp in Panang curry sauce.
- Garrett Oliver
Both malt and hop are appetisingly evident on the nose. Body smooth and rounded. In the palate, malt and hop again coming through strongly, the latter more so. Hop bitterness seems dominant throughout, but is never unalloyed. It is always rounded out with other components: restrained fruit, and, I thought, some minerally notes. It did, as I worked on it, remind me of some of the more robust English bitters or pale ales of 20 years ago. Ruddle’s County, perhaps?
- Michael Jackson
Fred Eckhardt lives, writes about and drinks beer in Portland, OR. He is the author of The Essentials of Beer Style and Saké.
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.
Author of Ultimate Beer, the Simon & Schuster Guide to Beer and numerous other works on drinks, Jackson has created legions of converts to fine beer.