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Commander - Lift Bridge Brewery

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

184 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 184
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 15.99%
Wants: 54
Gots: 75 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Lift Bridge Brewery visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  12.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
The Commander™ is our English-Style Barleywine ale brewed with heavy fists of malts and subtle, sweet Cardamom. Aged in bourbon barrels, its bold, complex flavor reaches heights measured only by the building of its namesake. This 12.5% ABV treat is best enjoyed in smaller portions when you have some time to savor it, between now and 2020.

(Beer added by: plfahey on 11-19-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 184 | Reviews: 60 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jmpizzo
3/5  rDev -23.9%

jmpizzo, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of pmccallum86
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

pmccallum86, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of aliving1
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

aliving1, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of lackenhauser
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%

Very nice, deep bronze color. Not much head wise but a definate nice carbonation level. Malty and slight bourbon aroma. Buttery sweetness. Simply a great flavor overall. Just a huge malt bomb. Massive caramel sweetness. Distinct bourbon flavor but not overwhelming and not massively oakey. The cardomon lends a sublte, mildly anise like spice to it. Huge mouthfeel, extremely sweet and sticky. I would rate it higher as it is what I like but trying to keep it in line overall. A killer UK barleywine in my book. Very sweet and big which may be a turn off to some. At 12.5% there is not a hint of booze for miles. many thanks to mnbearsfan for this Secret Santa sample. Wowzers! Great, great stuff and going on my wants.

lackenhauser, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -23.9%

JAHMUR, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of riverrunt421
5/5  rDev +26.9%

riverrunt421, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of jjanega08
3.9/5  rDev -1%

2011 Vintage Bottle Number: 2494

A= This beer pours what appears to be flat before a nice finger and a half of head rises out of it. The bubbles are tiny and the head is an off white color. The lacing on the side of the glass is about average.

S= The smell is initially a sweet vanilla bourbon. After the beer breathes for a moment however I get a lot more cardamom in it. The barrel smell seems to have faded a bit as it sits and the cardamom plays a more and more serious role in the aroma. The barleywine beneath the additives is somewhat basic. A sweeter barleywine without the hop punch.

T= The taste is again bourbon barrel flavors up front. Tons of wood and whisps of vanilla. The barleywine appears in glimpses here and there. The cardamom comes through more in the mid before falling to some heavy vanilla flavors and a biscuity finish. The alcohol is well hidden and covered by the flavors.

M= This is a thicker sweeter barleywine for sure.

O= This is right about where I would expect it to be from the brewery. A well made barleywine in bourbon barrels. Tastes great and works well. I don't see this having an amazing following and it's not worth freaking out about. A locally made bourbon barrel barleywine it is and I love it for that. Check it out if ya get a chance and I'll surely track down more bottles as well as pick some up as the years go by if they continue to brew it.

jjanega08, Dec 25, 2011
Photo of therobot
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

therobot, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of tempest
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Split a bottle with a friend, but this beer was so big it wouldn't have hurt to have a 3rd. It poured a deep red with a weaker off-white head and larger bubbles that seemed to indicate the higher ABV. Wow, the aroma jumps out of my goblet and is rich and fruity with vanilla coconut and pineapple upfront. The flavor is equally rich, but not over the top, or cloyingly sweet. The strong, but gentle bourbon flavors blend seamlessly with fruity esters, making one of the best barrel and beer collaborations I've tasted. It's hard to tell where the complex beer character ends and the barrel starts. It may have been $18 for a bottle, but it's worth trying at least once.

tempest, Dec 21, 2011
Photo of Buebie
4.72/5  rDev +19.8%

Tatter tot hotdish in the oven. What to do? What to do?
How about open this badass local brew? Sure, why not.

Poured rigorously from the bottle into an oversized merlot glass.
Super pale copper color with redish hues when held to light, very hazy, not much can be seen through the glass.
Head almost forms half an inch, leaving a solid collar and spotty thin streaks of lace.
Aroma is superb, malt driven with sweet brown maple sugar, just snipit of barrel and vanilla. Loads of bready sweet malt. Man this is smelling really wonderful. Mild floral hops with a small amount of resin.
Taste: My reaction literally "Wow, this tastes amazing" My mouth is smiling on the inside. I really like this beer, outfuckingstanding to be exact.
Starting out with just a small amount of heat. So for me, to have such a small amount of well hidden heat and just the right amount of warming, its fairly significant. At 12.5 % thats a well hidden abv. Goose and Maverick would call this thing dangerous.
Sweet delicious malts, vanilla, mild bourbon, toasty wood, maple brown sugar and syrup drenched buttery rolls that melt in your mouth.
Hops warm through the swallow presenting with very floral flavors and mild pine.
Mouthfeel is slick, not heavy, but balanced with a slick mild creaminess and moderate carbonation.
A small amount of earthy peppery flavors through the swallow as well.

This beer has so much flavor and so many terrific attributes. I wish I could afford several more bottles to open over the years. Because this is by far the best beer of this style to come out of MN, and also one of the best beers of this style to ever grace these lips.
Great Job LBB, you guys nailed it!

Buebie, Dec 21, 2011
Photo of LaCoursiere
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

LaCoursiere, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of Shango42
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Shango42, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of Alpar
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Alpar, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of Mdog
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Mdog, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of seeswo
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

seeswo, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of Pitmonkey
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Pitmonkey, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of TCMike
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%

Produced a 1 finger, short lived tan head. The color is a medium amber/orangish.

The aroma is of bourbon, bread, and citrus.

The taste was bolder than I had anticipated. It has low carbonation, and a medium, sticky mouth-feel. Predominate taste is bourbon, followed by dark fruits, and then a hint of citrus.

A definite sipper, and another good beer from a local brewery.

TCMike, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of Hopstout
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%

Appearance - Brownish copper with a hint of orange. Clear. Very little head and low carbonation. The color is uncommon and intriguing.

Aroma - Decent scent of bourbon whiskey and a splash of sweet vanilla. Also, a hint of Oak. Maybe a little raisin as well.

Taste - Very full flavored with multiple layers yet balanced beautifully. Strong taste of warm bourbon whiskey with Vanilla, Sweet malt and Oak.

Mouthfeel - Potent yet calm and smooth with a nice aftertaste that doesn't linger.

Overall - This barleywine takes your whole mouth hostage with a floodgate of flavors that really are uniquely balanced. With the high alcohol content and powerful whiskey zest, this one is made to swig in small tasty sips.
I really enjoy both bourbon and beer so this was right up my alley.
I decided to cellar two bottles of this to try at a later date and I have a feeling that bottle number two will not last a year.

Hopstout, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of mull0263
4/5  rDev +1.5%

mull0263, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of adrock7309
4.68/5  rDev +18.8%

Poured one of my bottles into a cigar city snifter.

There was about a half inch of light tan head with pretty large bubbles present too after an aggressive pour. It lasted only a few seconds before dissapating.

The color was a brownish garnet with a slight orange tint as well.

The smell was glorious and filled with oak, caramel, bourbon, and some holiday spice hints. Almost reminded me of a hot buttered rum or egg nog scent. Totally into it.

The flavor was much of the same and I was surprised how smooth this was for such a big beer. I am really looking forward to trying it again with a couple years on it. I really have to commend Lift Bridge on a stellar brew, This is phenomenal.

adrock7309, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of ChopperSmith
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a clear tulip glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy ruby color with a one finger tan foam head that fades fast and leaves some sticky suds on the side.

Smell: Sweet with the bourbon whiskey right up front, mixed with some good bready malts. Nice.

Taste: Sweet and smooth with that bourbon barrel flavor right there. Mixed with some good roasted malts. The alcohol warming is there right away with the first sip, as to be expected with a barleywine. The bourbon flavor really makes this one shine.

Mouth feel: Sweet and slick with low carbonation, which fits the style well.

Overall: I love good beer, and I love good bourbon whiskey...so this is really the best of both worlds. Full and robust flavors, smooth as silk and strong as hell. An excellent English Barleywine from our own little Minnesota brewery Lift Bridge. Well done, Lift Bridge!

ChopperSmith, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of stpaulsipper07
5/5  rDev +26.9%

stpaulsipper07, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of bigdaddypolite
5/5  rDev +26.9%

bigdaddypolite, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of YogiMN
5/5  rDev +26.9%

YogiMN, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of psychotia
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

psychotia, Nov 29, 2011
Commander from Lift Bridge Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 184 ratings.