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Commander - Lift Bridge Brewery

Not Rated.
CommanderCommander

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

176 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 176
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 16.28%
Wants: 53
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: 176 | Reviews: 59 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SpdKilz
SpdKilz

Illinois

4/5  rDev +1.8%

05-21-2013 02:15:44 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of MacQ32
MacQ32

South Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

01-03-2014 01:47:08 | More by MacQ32
Photo of MattyG85
MattyG85

Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 ml bottle into a Surly Darkness Chalice glass. 2011 Bottle number 3432.

Appearance: Pours a deep and clear brownish amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Not much head as a little bit of off white foam fades quickly into a few thin patches. Lacing is fairly light too. About what one would expect from such a high abv.

Smell: A pretty noticeable aroma of bourbon with some sweet vanilla and oak. Lots of sweet malts with caramel and toffee. Definitely noticing some spicy cardamom. Also some light hints of dark fruit and some alcohol. Smells like a nice blend that is sweet but fairly balanced.

Taste: A pretty tasty blend. Good taste of bourbon upfront with strong notes of sweet vanilla and some wood. Sweet caramel malts with some toffee and hints of dark fruits. Very noticeable cardamom which gives a nice spicy kick. Also picking up a banana like flavor and some earthy hops towards the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Moderately syrupy and somewhat boozy but still pretty smooth for a 12.5 abv.

Overall: A pretty nice take on an English Barleywine. Far from traditional but the spices add a nice flavor.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2012 07:04:59 | More by MattyG85
Photo of Photekut
Photekut

Tennessee

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

05-19-2013 13:39:33 | More by Photekut
Photo of bum732
bum732

Lesotho

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

04-05-2014 19:20:40 | More by bum732
Photo of trxxpaxxs
trxxpaxxs

New York

4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to LaCoursiere for this bottle...

A: Pours a translucent mahogany red/brown with almost no head whatsoever. There is only a thin white ring of white foam around the edges, and even that fades quickly. No lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is sweet like caramel, toffee, and honey. There is also a great spice component to this beer that I'm really enjoying. The booze is there, but it's not overpowering.

T: I get caramel, apples, raisins, honey, cinnamon, and clove. It's sweet to start with the caramel and the fruit, but as it fades on the palate it get's spicy and boozy hot. I'm actually really enjoying the heat from the bourbon.

M: Full bodied beer. It sticks to the palate, coats, and casually moves off. the lingering flavors are bourbon, raisin, and toffee.

O: This is a pretty damn good barleywine, but it's not the best I've ever had. I really enjoyed the apple notes right up front, which I haven't tasted in a barleywine before. I'm extremely happy to have tried this beer, and would to have more again in the future.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2012 20:43:40 | More by trxxpaxxs
Photo of bigbeers84
bigbeers84

Minnesota

4/5  rDev +1.8%

04-21-2013 23:11:04 | More by bigbeers84
Photo of hardy008
hardy008

Minnesota

2.53/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

2013 Release
Bottle number 1789

Pours copper with a small off white head which doesn't last very long before fading. thje aroma has cardamom, brown sugar, spices, and that's about it. I do not pick up any Bourbon, dark fruit, or vanilla. Disappointing. Hopefully this will taste better than it smells.

Has an overly sweet taste with plenty of alcohol heat. Does not taste like Bourbon, just alcohol. There is also cardamom, brown sugar, and a small hint of vanilla. Not impressive at all. There is nothing to balance the cloying sweetness.

On the light side of medium bodied with very little carbonation. Has a boozy aftertaste. Not very well made in my opinion. I will pass on this beer in the future.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2014 03:41:50 | More by hardy008
Photo of mikeincharleston
mikeincharleston

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +1.8%

12-07-2013 19:48:19 | More by mikeincharleston
Photo of jmarsh123
jmarsh123

Indiana

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

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

Minnesota

4.8/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - perfect head retention, rusty copper hue, white head.
S - fruit, bouron, caramel, smoke, oak.
T - sweetness, molasses, bourbon, oak, light hoppiness, sweet malt, dried fruit.
M - medium body, light after burn, very well carbonated.
O - wow, this was a fantastic beer. I would highly recommend it. The bourbon aging went really well with the complexity of the beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-08-2013 00:51:31 | More by josephwa
Photo of coreyfmcdonald
coreyfmcdonald

Georgia

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

03-26-2012 02:31:21 | More by coreyfmcdonald
Photo of DCon
DCon

Missouri

4.8/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed a 1 PINT 9.4 FL. OZ. 750 ML bottle of this w/ ChrisF when he arrived in town. Poured from the Dark Aqua/Orange Labeled bottle w/ a Silhouette of an army man in front of a High Towered Farm House into a 12oz Snifter Glass. Has 2011 BOTTLE NUMBER: 2280 on the side & also sayings like "GOBLET WORTHY" & "Savor In Smaller Portions" scattered.

Aroma- Huge scotch and light-medium booziness from the beginning. Raisins and dark fruits come around also.

Appearance- Pours a ton of bubbles but no head at all. Has a dark copper body with good clarity. Leaves suds behind on the glass.

Flavor- Tons of depth and complexity from the start to finish. Can tell it is has been aged in barrels with the amount of bourbon and scotch characteristics. A sweet finish is then present with a light bitterness level. Perfect!

Mouthfeel- Medium-Full Bodied, Moderate Carbonation, Smooth, and subtle on the finish. Has a nice amount of alcohol warmth and just enough to make you want another drink. Not overpowering at all.

Overall Impression- Very rich and perfect amount of character! Enjoyed thoroughly and will be looking for more of this brew at a later date. First time having anything from Lift Bridge and was impressed! Thanks Chris!

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2012 23:30:45 | More by DCon
Photo of kawilliams81
kawilliams81

Illinois

3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage.

A- pours a dark copper with a 1 finger off-white head. Some trails of lacing remain on the glass.

S- sweet honey, some herbs and spices, slight vanilla.

T- sweet buttery caramel, bourbon, vanilla, faint chocolate, roast near finish.

M- full body with medium carbonation. Has a syrupy, buttery feel.

O- not a amazing, overwhelming BA Barleywine, but still has a nice flavor to it. Wouldn't try again though.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2013 02:53:55 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of FreshmanPour77
FreshmanPour77

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

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

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +1.8%

03-25-2014 06:51:10 | More by Localdrinklax
Photo of Hopstout
Hopstout

Minnesota

4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2011 23:43:25 | More by Hopstout
Photo of jjanega08
jjanega08

Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 02:45:44 | More by jjanega08
Photo of DarthGuitarHero
DarthGuitarHero

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

04-04-2012 16:14:30 | More by DarthGuitarHero
Photo of ThatsThatDude
ThatsThatDude

New York

4/5  rDev +1.8%

05-11-2014 12:27:38 | More by ThatsThatDude
Photo of Mdog
Mdog

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

12-18-2011 23:56:30 | More by Mdog
Photo of Dactrius
Dactrius

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +1.8%

12-29-2013 05:54:37 | More by Dactrius
Photo of Etan
Etan

Wisconsin

3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle from the 2011 release, #3510.

A: Copper body, small white head.

S: Heavy cardamom (slightly minty, a bit herbal, but not in a bitter way), some molasses and brown sugar.

T: Tastes better than it smells, with more balance between the cardamom and the base beer. Marshmallow, cardamom, light bourbon, caramel. The spice becomes more pleasant as the palate gets used to it.

M: Medium bodied, light carbonation.

O. This beer was a lot better than I was expecting. Still, the base beer is a bit lacking compared to other top-notch barrel-aged barleywines, and it took a while to get used to the cardamom.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2012 06:16:12 | More by Etan
Photo of doucmehu
doucmehu

Wisconsin

3.15/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2013 01:38:34 | More by doucmehu
Photo of siege06nd
siege06nd

Virginia

2.78/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks, Rhettroactive, for setting up the trade for this.

A: Pours a relatively light, cloudy orange color. Very minimal head, just a dusting of head around the edges of the brew. Faint lacing traces the glass after a hard swirl. Good color, crappy head, retention, and lacing.

S: Some caramel, super sweet grapes and apples that probably represents the cardamom, some ginger and spice. An extremely sweet, fruity nose. Not a lot of malt, barrel depth though. The barrel-aging is undetectable. Meh.

T: I don't know, man. This is just weird. Lots of sweet cherry, apple, grape. Also a ton of herbs, particularly belgian spices. I get absolutely zero barrel aging on this. Just a touch of booze heat on the finish. It's sweet and fruity with a pungent herbal finish. Tastes nothing like any English Barleywine I have had. *Sigh*

M: Medium carbonation, medium to full mouthfeel. Not nearly as thick or cloying as the style should suggest. Saccharine and sweet, I'm not sure about this one. Bitter herbal qualities really clash with the sweetness and result in a mediocre finish.

O: Nowhere near what the early reviews suggested. I understand the "home team" bump, but I can't believe how badly MN locals misrepresented this one. This is nowhere near a memorable English Barleywine. I would expect this is what I would get from the next "Stone plus two random breweries" collaboration barleywine. Overly sweet, way too much residual sugar, herbal knavery. What can I say? It's mediocre. Decidedly mediocre.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2012 03:35:50 | More by siege06nd
Commander from Lift Bridge Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 176 ratings.