The Lappland Blonde | ABV 4.5%
BJCP Style: Blonde Ale
Hops: Columbus, Saaz | Malts: Pale US, Pale European
Brewery: Left Nut Brewing Co.
City: Gainesville, GA – 2100 Atlanta Hwy., Gainesville, GA 30504
Appearance: Clear, light amber. Fluffy, thick white head with compact bubbles. Good head retention.
Aroma: Herbal, grainy.
Flavor & Aftertaste: Spicy hops and grainy malt flavors. Malt forward. Low sweetness. Restrained bitterness.
Palate: Dry with medium carbonation. Short, crisp finish with no bitterness.
Some beers are built for everyday drinking. These beers are not fancy, spectacular or overwhelming. The brewmaster designed them to be easy drinking and pleasant. That is what you get with Left Nut Brewing Co. (LNB)’s The Lappland Blonde. This craft beer is a hybrid American/British Blonde Ale. I describe it that way because it uses English Ale yeast; but incorporates American hops (Columbus) and malts, as well as, Saaz and European malts. The result is a very pleasant, highly drinkable Blonde Ale that performs very similar to a Czech Pilsner.
Like a number of Blonde Ales, Lappland Blonde is a wonderful go to beer for a variety of events and food pairings. It has an attractive clear, light amber appearance with a fluffy, white head showcasing tight compact bubbles with good head retention. Aromas and flavors are uncomplicated – spicy, herbal, bready and grainy. Despite its malt forward design, it is low on the sweetness scale. It is light on the palate with virtually no bitterness. Finish is short and crisp with a note of spices.
The art work on the can label is distinctive. In our current politically correct environment, a handful of breweries have offended some with their monikers and label designs for Blonde Ales. And rightfully so with some of the ones I’ve seen. This particular label showed up in a few articles itself. LNB drew the name and label design from a Finnish poem –
Inspired by the character Aino from the Finnish epic poem, “Kalevala.” As the story goes, Aino – depicted as a lovely golden haired maiden, is promised to be wed to the powerful sage, Vainamoinen. Aino wants nothing to do with Vainamoinen as he is much older than her. Instead of agreeing to marry the powerful sage, Aino chooses to drown herself in the river. However, the spirits of the river turn her into a beautiful fish.”
One day, Vainamonen goes fishing in the lake where Aino disappeared, and catches a beautiful fish. As he goes to grasp it, it slips out of his hand and springs back into the water. As the fish enters the water, it changes into Aino and mocks him before disappearing beneath the waters forever. Vainamoinen obviously did not “hold on to the one he had left…”
I am not here to pass judgement one way or the other. The controversy can be quite interesting. You have one group of people insisting this is art and an expression of mythology. You’ve got another group that is adamant this is sexist and reinforces stereotypes. I think the important thing is, folks can decide for themselves. Feel free to leave comments from either viewpoint.
Bottom line: The Lappland Blonde Ale from LNB is a nice, easy drinking beer. The low ABV (4.5%) and subtleness makes it a great beer for tailgates, picnics and events where you need a versatile beer for food pairings.
Thanks for reading, until next time…Let Us Drink Beer!