When looking at the construction of this beer, the back of the can says it best.
"WE USED Irresponsible quantities of favorites old & new: our hand selected simcoe, simcoe CRYO, mosaic, mosaic CRYO, Strata & Experimental HBC 586 [HOPS]."
They're not wrong. At a whopping 10.4% ABV, this beer is not an all-day drinker. It is, however, a master's course in building an easy-drinking powerhouse IPA that appeals to both aficionados and newcomers to the style.
The label of this beer is simple and pays homage to both participants. The traditional BlackStack logo is front and center and includes their trademark smokestack flanked by industrial buildings.
The sky above the industrial scene is a clear nod to Texas. In the style of neon signs, we see the outlines of cacti, beer glasses, cowboy boots, and the Lonestar state itself.
The two breweries did an excellent job of capturing the essence of the partnership. Both Minnesota (Northern Lights) and Texas (Southern Nights) are represented well.
Appearance and Aroma
This beer is a bright orange-yellow color. You could almost mistake it for a glass of orange juice. I was half expecting pulp! It's deeply hazy and basically opaque, and there was minimum head on the pour.
The aroma is all Simcoe with an upfront pine smell followed by citrus and passionfruit. There is a slight earthy hint to the nose as well.
The taste is where this beer really shocked me (in a good way). The Mosaic hops definitely take center stage on the pallet. This beer is sweet, juicy, and fruity. The pine comes through a little bit in your mouth, but it's certainly not the main feature. Again, there is a very slight earthy flavor in there as well.
The finish is extremely mild and doesn't hang around too long. This beer is so smooth drinking it's quite easy to forget it's 10.4% ABV, that is until after you've had a couple and try to stand up.
There's really not much to the mouthfeel either. It is a crisp drinker and leaves a very brief spicy tingle, but that too goes away pretty quickly.
I really enjoyed this collaboration beer. I see this as a perfect beer to either sip on at the end of a long day or provide a quick boost to kick off a beautiful summer afternoon.
Let's hope this is not the last North and South collaboration between these two breweries. With an average rating of 4.36 over more than 1,000 ratings on UNTAPPD, I'd say I'm not the only fan.