Commander - Lift Bridge Brewery
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Ratings: 180 | Reviews: 59 | Display Reviews Only:
4.14/5 rDev +5.3%
2012 release, bottle 5131.
Much lighter than expected for a barleywine. Bourbon is really up front with this one. No hint of the cardamom that seems so polarizing for this beer, but then again, this is a year old, so it may have faded. I have been advised that this beer is hot when young, but it is ever-so-smooth today, if a little sweet.
Drinkability is great, but this is definitely a bottle for sharing. The sweetness gets to be a drag after a couple of hours, which is what it takes to drink this bottle solo. It never stops smelling great, however. Best thing I have had from Lift Bridge so far.
09-19-2013 03:11:36 | More by DaveAnderson
4.15/5 rDev +5.6%
Lift Bridge Brewing Company Commander Bona Fide Barley Wine Ale. 2011 bottle, #3014. Ale brewed with cardamom and aged in bourbon barrels. Alc. 12.5%. Goblet worthy. Brewed & bottled by Lift Bridge Brewing company, Stillwater, Minn.
Beautiful clear, garnet hue, off-white head slims down with a quickness.
Aroma: cherry, vanilla, brown sugar, alcohol…and bourbon. Gorgeous.
Taste: Mmmm, boom! Big malt flavor right off the bat, huge taste, enormous. Maple is here, treacle, rich, warm and delicious. Incredible. Vanilla, sugar, big booze, Amazingly complex, rich, and rewarding. Some chocolate roars in, cocoa, caramel, toffee.
Maybe a little too much,?
but, no, not really…
09-09-2013 09:33:39 | More by feloniousmonk
4/5 rDev +1.8%
2011 vintage shared with friends. Poured into a tulip.
A - Poured a nice clear honey amber hue with a quarter inch head that fades to leave light lacing and a thin cloud.
S - Aromas of sweet malts and light vanilla. Fairly standard.
T - Taste is similar to the nose with nice sweet malts and light vanilla. Good barleywine here very solid as age has done this well.
M - Mouthfeel is nice for a barleywine with the alcohol hidden nicely.
O - Overall not a bad barleywine. Alcohol hidden well could use a hair more age but for all intensive purposes a solid beer.
05-02-2013 00:26:36 | More by rudzud
4.05/5 rDev +3.1%
Deep ruby-brown color, entirely translucent, not much head or lacing (consistent with the style).
Aroma has big-time candy sweetness. Lots of honey, brown sugar, and even some chocolate. A touch of oak and some faint "cheap" bourbon aroma marks the boozy smell. I'm surprised to hear other people comment on how strong the cardamon smell/taste comes through since I find it to be very mild.
The front of the sip is super-sweet with honey, toffee, fig, rum soaked raisin. I only detect the cardamon in the aftertaste, and again I find it very mild. Bourbon flavors seem missing, but other sweet flavors are highly prominent.
Mouthfeel is notably balanced. Less syrupy and cloying than some other big barleywines, yet still has a slickness to it.
Commander is a very fine brew, but the alcohol content and sweetness are almost too much. I poured about 10ozs for myself and I can't even finish it despite my admiration for much of its qualities.
04-24-2013 04:41:21 | More by KBomb
4.24/5 rDev +7.9%
2011 bottling (#3789) split with a mate...my portion into a chalice...
A: Tawny with gold highlights...just a hint of haze...some lace and legs, a decent amount for a big, barreled beer.
S: Big-time sweetness...malty, sugary...dried figs, light spice (really in check here, YES!), honey, oak, earthy, hints of spirit...really a nice nose...
T: ...and the taste is just as good. Super smooth toffee, sugary malt (not cloying though), butterscotch, dried fruits...figs, dates...raisins, some alcohol warmth, earthy spice...caramel, cardamom...hints of cocoa and vanilla as well. Very complex and unique.
Spices unfold more as this warms up, but by no means is the cardamom overwhelming at this age. The barrel character and bourbon are semi-light but definitely there...with the honey-like component I'd guess Jim Beam but apparently these are Heaven Hill BA. Either way, very nice.
MF: Creamy...smooth...light warmth for this big of a beer...viscous too...full bodied...lower carbonation.
O: Really liked this one, and glad I sat on it for a year or so. Really was able to pull out a lot of different components in the nose and palate, which is always a plus. English-Style Barleywines aren't really my thing either, this is just really well done.
Thanks Aaron for shipping me this bad boy!
04-23-2013 13:45:49 | More by Scotchboy
2.78/5 rDev -29.3%
Type: 22oz. Bomber
Glass Southampton Tulip
Pours a light brown mahogany in color w/ a thin white head which produces minimal lacing. Aromas of caramel, toffee, breadiness, light bourbon, spices (guessing Cardamon, but I am not sure exactly what Cardamon should smell like). The flavor was of caramel/toffee up front, transitioning into butterscotch, and finishes w/ strong breadiness and cloying spice (Cardamon). Medium bodied w/ lower end carbonation. One glass was way too much for me as the cloying Cardamon was really getting to me. Ended up drain pouring the remainder of the glass which I rarely do.
Overall, a very unique brew that I can appreciate due to how outside the box and creative it is. However, not my type of barleywine at all and one that made me realize that I don't like Cardamon in beer at all.
04-15-2013 00:41:15 | More by mikeyv35
3.15/5 rDev -19.8%
2012 vintage poured into my gnome tulip.
A: Pours a crimson tinted amber, thin head runs away quickly, leaving little to no trace of bubbles. Nice clarity.
S: Sweet vanilla, caramel, holiday spices, dark fruit, booze
T: Vanilla extract, caramel, estery dark fruit, bourbon presence is thin and reminiscent of cheap whiskey (not all bad), alcohol dominates on the finish. Slightly metallic hint.
M: Moderate viscosity, a hair on the thin side for a big barleywine. Carbonation is acceptable but low. Hot, buttery alcohol starts slow, and keeps on creeping up until my mouth is warm and toasty. Lasting rubbing alcohol flavor is minimal, but off-putting.
O: Seems different than last year, more bourbon? Decent beer, I didn't find the spice overwhelming. More dark fruit than I was expecting. I think I will pass next year.
03-13-2013 01:38:34 | More by doucmehu
Commander from Lift Bridge Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 180 ratings.