1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Commander - Lift Bridge Brewery

Not Rated.
CommanderCommander

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

180 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 180
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 16.28%
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 180 | Reviews: 59 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HoistinBrews
HoistinBrews

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

10-26-2013 05:42:47 | More by HoistinBrews
Photo of jacobbocce72
jacobbocce72

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

10-05-2013 14:39:52 | More by jacobbocce72
Photo of dragomni
dragomni

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

09-29-2013 22:38:41 | More by dragomni
Photo of DaveAnderson
DaveAnderson

Minnesota

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
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

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.
So much.
Maybe a little too much,?
but, no, not really…
not quite...

09-09-2013 09:33:39 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of aswaller
aswaller

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

09-08-2013 02:49:57 | More by aswaller
Photo of FreshmanPour77
FreshmanPour77

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

08-19-2013 04:02:00 | More by FreshmanPour77
Photo of JRendon02
JRendon02

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

08-17-2013 00:33:37 | More by JRendon02
Photo of Wowcoolman
Wowcoolman

California

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

07-14-2013 21:20:11 | More by Wowcoolman
Photo of DruRho
DruRho

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

07-12-2013 00:16:46 | More by DruRho
Photo of MNBeerGeek
MNBeerGeek

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

06-26-2013 17:25:18 | More by MNBeerGeek
Photo of jmarsh123
jmarsh123

Indiana

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

06-18-2013 13:19:52 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of GrindFatherBob
GrindFatherBob

New York

4.75/5  rDev +20.9%

05-23-2013 18:36:06 | More by GrindFatherBob
Photo of SpdKilz
SpdKilz

Illinois

4/5  rDev +1.8%

05-21-2013 02:15:44 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of Photekut
Photekut

Tennessee

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

05-19-2013 13:39:33 | More by Photekut
Photo of blindpiggie
blindpiggie

Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

05-18-2013 06:43:13 | More by blindpiggie
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

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
Photo of KBomb
KBomb

Minnesota

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
Photo of Scotchboy
Scotchboy

Idaho

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
Photo of bigbeers84
bigbeers84

Minnesota

4/5  rDev +1.8%

04-21-2013 23:11:04 | More by bigbeers84
Photo of mikeyv35
mikeyv35

New York

2.78/5  rDev -29.3%

Date: 04/05/2013
Type: 22oz. Bomber
Vintage: 2012
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
Photo of derkfromwi
derkfromwi

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +1.8%

04-09-2013 03:28:05 | More by derkfromwi
Photo of Ol_Johnny_Skippelwicky
Ol_Johnny_Skippelwicky

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

03-29-2013 01:32:42 | More by Ol_Johnny_Skippelwicky
Photo of roostor07
roostor07

Minnesota

3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

03-24-2013 18:51:28 | More by roostor07
Photo of doucmehu
doucmehu

Wisconsin

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.