Review: Lake of the Woods Nautical Disaster Dry Hopped IPA

Aside from my old First Draught column (RIP 2014-2019) in the Brandon Sun, I haven't reviewed anything by Kenora, Ontario's Lake of the Woods Brewing in a very, very long time. The last time I did a review of Lake of the Woods' beer was back when Manitoba's craft brewery scene was just starting out, with only Barn Hammer being open at the time. It was crazy that for quite a long time, Lake of the Woods was the closest place to Winnipeg where you could get a growler fill and chill at a brewery taproom.. oh how times have changed! Now, Lake of the Woods has a brewery in Minnesota, as well as a brand new taproom (currently closed due to COVID) and a brewery on the way in Winnipeg, just steps away from Bell MTS Place.

Today's review is Nautical Disaster Dry Hopped IPA. I was familiar with LOW's Big Timber IPA but I wasn't too keen on it - I'm someone who likes a bitter IPA but there wasn't much substance to it. So it appears that Nautical Disaster is around now days as the replacement to Big Timber, unless if Lake of the Woods brings the beer back.

From the label: For nearly 100 years, trouble & tragedy claimed many a steamship, sailor & Captain on Lake of the Woods. The still waters were often fraught with unseen mishap & calamity for both passenger and cargo alike. Nautical Disaster Dry Hopped IPA - a unique triple 'C' hop citrus bomb loaded with grapefruit and lifeboats designed for ten... Pairs well with sweet, hot & spicy & big anchors. Navigate responsibility. 6.4% ABV

Appearance: Light amount of cloudiness in this IPA, golden straw body with a good amount of micro-carbonation throughout the beer. The head is pretty thick, to the point that the beer actually overflowed thanks to my careless pouring - The head is thick with a light beige appearance to it, sprinkling of lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Very hop and tropical up front. The first thing I get is a heavy presence of pine, followed by alfalfa, grapefruit and lemon. The beer is fairly grainy with a moderate presence of oats and a bit of toasted barley. There's a bit of a bubble gum sweetness at the very end.

Taste: The oats are what I get the first time around here - it's an oaty cereal flavour to it and a light toasted barley flavour. The beer is decently sweet with notes of caramel, notes of lemon and a nice hop profile - grapefruit, pine, alfalfa and a bit of a grassiness as well.. lots of hop notes here. The mouthfeel is a bit carbonated and dry, while the aftertaste is pretty much pine and oats.. ah, like life on the farm but away from the cows.

Overall Thoughts: Possibly my favourite Lake of the Woods beer, I've been buying this once in a while in recent history but never end up reviewing it as it ends up in my stomach before even thinking of doing a review. Definitely an improvement over Big Timber. This is your typical classic North American IPA - West Coast vibe but more forward on bitterness of hops than citrus/tropical notes.

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