Bridge Burner Special Reserve Ale - Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bridge Burner Special Reserve AleBridge Burner Special Reserve Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

374 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 374
Reviews: 166
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 12.04%
Wants: 13
Gots: 33 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Lakefront Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cokes on 06-27-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 374 | Reviews: 166
Reviews by thryn:
Photo of thryn
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I remember liking this very much when I first had it, shortly after its release, so when I found a bottle recently I snapped it up. I'm hoping the somewhat elevated ABV and general character of this beer helps it hold up to some age.

It pours a cloudy amber-brown, like dark honey in color. A nice creamy looking off white head forms but quickly recedes, leaving some bubbles around the edge and a bit of film on top.

The nose has a bit of spice to it, reminiscent of rum. There is raisin and alcohol is detectable. The primary scent is of nice, biscuity malt. Sweet.

This is not as good as I recall. I don't know whether to attribute that to age, or just my palate developing. It's a lot like an old ale, but tempered a bit.

The rum and raisin flavors are right there up front; after that, though, it falls off quite a bit. A bit of that biscuitiness comes through, but the flavors don't linger. There's a slight piney hop character that I suspect (and half-recall) was far more prominent at one time. That does assert itself a bit more nicely as the beer warms. I'm giving this half a point based on my earlier recollection of its quality and the assumption that it's quite old.

Mouthfeel is fine, but not great. It has a medium body that is slightly sticky but leaves little residue on the palate.

It's easy to drink and Ill finish the bomber, but I wouldn't recommend picking this one up at this point in the game. It hasn't aged terribly well.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I havent had many Lakefront beer,the ones I have had have been sorta pedestrian.Poured a medium shade of brown with a decent sized white head atop that left broken lace as it settled in my impy nonic.Aromas are great,a mix of big caramel malt and pine/citrus hops,its American strong ale thru and thru in my mind.Flavors start out great,a smack of resiny hop mixed with some caramel and brown sugar,the finish though is abrupt and lacking.The mouthfeel is a bit thin and takes away from the flavors in my opinion.Its pretty good but could be great,glad I tried it.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VIII:

Brewed with a few different hops and a fruit ale yeast, just what a strong ale needs. Good foaming, and the retention shows off with a lot of sticky lace on the glass. Dark brass color, great clarity. Ripe orchard fruit; pear, peaches, apples and plums in the nose. Hint of caramel and toasted malt, and a prominent oil hop in the aroma as well. Extremely smooth with a lush and creamy full body. Hop bitterness prickles the taste buds to start and then slowly unfolds with flavors of wood, blond tobacco and soft pine. Big malt profile here that wields caramel, a hint of burnt sugar and a toasted biscuit flavor. Baked apple fruitiness with a warming alcohol. The finish is semi-dry and full of lingering hop oil and toasted grain.

Big, bold and drinkable. This one grew on us real fast; nothing over the top, but loads of flavor packed into this beer. Balanced and a joy to drink, which makes this a little dangerous at 8-percent abv.

Photo of blackearth
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber almost brown color with a frothy white head. Strong caramel malt and hop aroma. Medium bodied with a great balance between the big hop and malt flavors both of which last until you take that next sip. This would be an excellent session beer except the high alcohol content will put you on your butt if you drink the whole 22 oz. bottle. Best enjoyed with a friend.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a pint glass this beer was a beautiful chestnut brown color. It had a huge tan head that left a lot of lace.

Aroma of brown sugar and caramel, nice and sweet. Some fruit noted.

Mostly a caramel taste. There was also a taste of citrus and tropical fruit.

Mouthfeel was sweet and a little bit funky. Really enjoyed it.

Photo of NWer
4.55/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured dark brown into my tulip at room temperature (room temperature for me is 62 degrees - I like it cool).
Nice milky taffy aroma. Smooth taste. Delicious. Malt forward flavors blend well and make a mockery of those silly little indicators on the side of the label. A very nice smooth milky dark beer that no doubt met the expectations of the brewer.
Nothing to dislike about this beer.
Very enjoyable.
Update on reflection:
Tastes a little similar to a very good Scottish Ale. The more I think about it, the more I realized I liked it - a lot. Would like more of this but haven't seen it around here. Picked it up at John's Market in Portland.

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber pours a slightly hazed copper brown body with a medium sized khaki head. Plenty of sticky lacing.

Aroma of toasted caramel and a boatload of hops. Grapefruit and orange citrusy notes, assertive pine, and a hint of spiciness.

Full medium body has a pleasant creaminess and moderate carbonation. Alcohol is concealed underneath.

Taste evokes thoughts of Arrogant Bastard, as other reviewers have noted. Similar hop profile, I think. Plenty of bitterness of the pine and grapefruit school. Hint of blood orange joins with the brown sugar and caramel maltiness. Finishes hop bitter, with a lasting hop bite.

Nicely done and certainly worth a try if you're a fan of Stone's Arrogant Bastard.

Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ouncer, the informative back label tells me this was brewed during the first week of June, 2008. Pours a nice rich shade of dark amber/auburn, under a medium tan head that shows world class retention and then leaves extensive, frothy and well developed lace and sheeting. malty nose, with traces of honey and nuts. Smooth, tasty, bald, complex and thoroughly enjoyable ASA. Lots of nutty malts, some wood/smoke, honey, and dark bread notes. Yum. A very nice, smooth and mellow take on the style. With the 8% well in the rear, this one is well worth trying and enjoying with some chedder, bread and smoky meaty. Nice job here from Lakefront Brewing

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber from the LCBO, nice to see another brewery crack the shelves. Love the story behind this beers name.

Poured into your standard nonic. Dark amber russet, almost chestnut, with a sturdy head of foam. Great retention, terrific circles of lacing. Nice looking brew.

Nose is west coast citrus hops, caramel, chocolate, brown bread.

Interesting mish mash of flavors the work well together. Nutty, chocolate malt fighting with citrus resin hops for attention. Easy to drink, no trace of alcohol.

Mouthful is thin, a bit watery, which does the brew a real disservice because I find the rest of it so well.

For the price (under 6), it's a solid brew I will come back to while it's here. Nice hoppy ale.

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant mahogany under a 1” cream to light tan colored foam cap, lacy.
S: Fruit, a hint of chocolate.
T: Malty with hints of chocolate and a little bit of Dr. Pepper note.
F: medium full Rich and luscious body, medium high carbonation.
O: This is good fresh and aged 2 years. As it ages it gets more sherry notes.

Photo of BGDrock
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown body with ruby red touches, and a sandy brown head with hints of pink like Himalayan sea salt

Aroma: sweet malts, strawberry, cherry, pine needles

Taste & Mouthfeel: full, smooth mouthfeel, with maple and caramel malt flavour and strong resin hops; this actually feels "Canadian" with the blend of syrupy sweetness and coniferous bitters - well balanced; there is some ripe dark fruit, like prunes or dates, maybe some banana

Overall: a good sessionable ale (if your're looking to get loopy fast), if not particularly special or memorable

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into 34oz mug; warm brown color showing deep ruby/garnet through the sides, with a nice fluffy tan head that doesn't fade at all. Smell is crisp floral and herbal hops, with some slight pineyness, overtop of clean caramel malts. Taste is toasted malt up front, moving into bittersweet hops that add lots of crispness, and finishing out with some sweet fruity flavors from under the malt as hop bitterness lingers. Alcohol is entirely hidden, mouthfeel is clean and medium full.
Overall this is a good strong ale, very clean and tasty flavor. Might not be the most complex thing ever, but it's drinkable and delicious.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.35/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out looking like a standard brown ale, maybe a little sturdier. Aroma was caramel and alcohol. For the gauge on the label saying very hoppy, it certainly was not noticeable in the aroma.

Well, it wasn't big hopped on the tongue either. Yes, it was existent, but when you do a 1-10 scale on the label, and the gauge is on 10, you'd expect more of it. What was there was the typical darker citrus fruit and caramel presence. Substantial bitterness for something with a sturdy malt base.

I love Lakefront brewery, especially their tour, but this one in bomber format and pricing isn't something I see myself returning too. Nice to score something from Milwaukee at Ben's in Reno though.

Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Starting temperature of about 45F but improved with warming.

Poured dark reddish-brown with a fine, creamy tan head than left exceptional lacing.

Aroma: surprisingly hoppy: More like an APA than an "amber ale". A solid mix of malts is also present. Hints of toffee, white pepper and other spices.

Flavor: about as hoppy as a typical APA, but with a robust medium- and dark-roasted malt base. Well-balanced and mildly spicy (hops).

Feel: light heat from the higher ABV but relatively smooth and soft. Medium+ body.

O: a well-crafted and tasty Imperial BPA (Brown Pale Ale).

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a snifter)
bottled week1/June/08
A- This beer pours a dense warm brown body with a faint red glow. There is a strong carbonation of big bubbles gliding to the surface supporting a thick tan head of foam that last for a good bit.

S- This beer has a green herbal and pine lumber aroma followed by a white grape note. There is a dry toasted grain smell that comes through a bit as the beer warms.

T- This beer has a mellow caramel note with some cardboard and raw grain qualities to it. There is a slight plastic note before the pine hop finish. As the beer warms the hop finish becomes more pungent and minty.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slippery texture and no real alcohol heat at all.

D- This beer has some interesting depth to the hops but the malt flavors are a bit off and not really that big. I don't think age would help this at all.

Photo of richkrull
4.36/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this one on a guest tap at Tyranena Brewery in Lake Mills, WI.

Poured a dark black color with a darker beige head on it. Great lacing as well.

Smell is malty with a hint of spice to it.

Taste is very good. Heavy malt throughout with a bit of alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium or better. Nice drinking beer though. Went down smooth despite the higher alcohol. A dangerously drinkable beer.

Overall a great beer. I liked it quite a bit and would definitely have it again.

Photo of wmtxbb
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this on-tap from the brewery. The owner and brewmaster of Lakefront served me this while on my brew tour. The on-tap version of Bridge Burner he served us was 9%, instead of the 8% seasonal version of this brew. The following is from my notes:

Appearance: Dark brown with a thick head that sticks around.

Smell: Fruit esters, crushed grapes/port like, figs.

Taste: a mixture between port wine and a scottish ale. Sweet, caramel malts and citrus hops. Grapes and figs as well. Very thick body.

Overall, this is an awesome brew. According to the owner, this beer was a seasonal, but it has become so popular they are going to make it year round.

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, 8.0% ABV. Lots of good stuff about working together, bridging the gap (with fire, apparently), and all that, on the busy label.

This beer pours a dark, murky orange-tinted brown colour, with three fingers of chunky, foamy, and rather bubbly light beige head, which leaves some very nice tight webbed lace around the glass in its short wake.

It smells pretty much like a prototypical DIPA: tart citrus hops, a hint of muddled pine resin, bready caramel and toffee malt, and a sidling nostril-probing booziness. The taste still leads with the sassy hops - blended citrus notes and wet pine, to a lesser degree, with a sturdy backbone of bready, lightly caramelized malt, Toffifay, and some besotted raisin and dark plummy fruitiness.

The carbonation is moderate, with just a wee prickliness, the body a stolid medium weight, and maybe a little thinned out by the booze, but generally smooth. It finishes, as ever was, with resplendent piney, citrus rind hop bitterness, annoyed reactionary citizen malt, and a slightly sneaky and almost ethereal alcohol warming.

If it looks like, smells like, and tastes like a DIPA, then it must be so? No? Two out of three for the win? Ah well, it's got more big-ass hopitude packed into those 45 IBUs than a lot of actual DIPAs I've recently come across. Tasty, American, strong, and ale - got it.

Photo of GilGarp
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had to drive a detour tonight to get home from work. The reason? They were taking down an old bridge and replacing it with a new 4 lane wide version. I'm going to pretend they were burning it and drink this in the old bridge's honor.

Served cold and poured into a pint glass. It has a nice redish mahogany brown color with pretty good clarity and great head. The head is thick and sticky leaving lace all down the glass.

Aroma is malty and caramel-y sweet with a nice bit of hops. It's not overly hoppy smelling but it's decent.

Flavor is good classic American strong ale. It has a really solid malt backbone and a healthy dose of hops to keep the sweetness in check. Nice balance overall but still with big flavor. It has a carmel apple sweetness up front that has a good earthy hop bite midway though and finishes somewhat dry from the alcohol.

Nice creamy mouthfeel with big body and low carbonation, just how it should be for this style.

Overall a nice version of the style. If they do it again, I would hope for more hop aroma and a more "fresh hop" flavor instead of this "old IPA" thing. Still not bad at all.

Photo of cokes
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear copper bodied with a short, large-bubbled, sand-colored head.
Aromatic of wet spruce and wrought iron, backed with line rind, and a doughy, caramel-sweet sense of pastries, and a touch of Sherry-like booziness.
Sweet at the outset in to the mouth. Sweet bread studded with raisins and glazed with caramel. A pat of butter in the middle, along with a glimpse of grilled plantains. The Sherry note appear here in the middle, then alcohol disappears from the equation. It turns fruitier as the hops bring impressions of oranges and mangoes. There's not a lot of bitterness, only a notion of bitter mint and dead evergreens around the swallow.
The body is a sleek medium, firm, but with very, very low carbonation (almost cask-like...the bottle looked a little roughed up so I wonder about a capping leak issue, but it doesn't taste off and the Sherry notes aren't in the paper-bag/oxidized realm).
There's no clinging or boozy traits to suggest its strength, and this drinks a lot smaller than it is.

It's no face-melter, just a well-stated, balanced big ale with a lot of drinkability. I'll need to track down another to see what the deal is with the CO2...more for curiositiy's sake than redemption, as this works as it is.

Photo of Sammy
3.28/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewery. Black with a little white head. Not aroma.Some chocolate malt, some roast. This is what I was getting. Boozy. Less than
average strong, a bit like a malt liquor with some chocolate flavouring.Not so drinkable. WOuld like some more hops which would be more like the style.

Photo of CanuckRover
4.09/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A very dark red, looks deep brown at first glance. Dense head settles to a ring within a couple minutes. Thick lacings to the finish.

Complex aroma. Bittersweet chocolate, cherries, a hint of piney hops.

Deep malt flavours to start things off. Charcoal and chocolate mingling with dark fruit. Hard to nail down the hops. Bitterness is there, but hard to pick out your American standards. I don't really get much in the way of citrus, but certainly pine. Otherwise the malt and heat is getting in the way... not a bad thing really.

This is a bit of a mess of a beer. A nice mess, but hard to pick apart. Complex malt backbone duking it out with brash hops. I really like this one. Fun to explore.

Photo of cjgator3
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle

A- Pours a dark brown color with a nice off-white head.

S- Fresh citrusy hops stand out in the aroma with some fruity malt and caramel in the background.

T- The taste is malty up front with caramel and a good dose of hops and some alcohol in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, Bridge Burner is a solid beer that is worth a try.

Photo of dbossman
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nearly black with a great, thick and foamy head; the lacing on this beer is good at first but soon they do fade

S: Such a nice citrus and floral hop aroma up front and gradually you get wind of a bit of roasted and sweet grains but the hops--somewhat surprisingly--steal the show

T: A pleasant hop, citrus bitterness up front with a sweet, caramel malt profile at the back end--it does fade a bit quickly and there is something a tad strange (a hint of butter perhaps?) at the end--but all in all this is a balanced and tasty beer

F: Nice creaminess up front and the beer sticks pleasantly to the sides of the mouth

D: This is a nice surprise from Lake Front; nice work, guys

Photo of russpowell
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this at Macadoodles in Jane, MO, bottled Apr 2010

Pours a ruddy chestnut with 2 fingers of fluffed up tan head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit & vanilla

T: Plums, figs, caramel, dryness & woody hops up front. Leafy & slightly piney hops mingle with figs, slight boozeyness, plums & brown sugar as this warms. Finishes dry with brown sugar sweetness, some vanilla & with figgyness & subdued leafy hops

MF: Medium bodied, chewy, warming with subtle carbonation & decent balance

Drinks easy, not a bad take on the style, but doesn't quite gel into greatness

Would love to try a fresher bottle just to see what the diff is. I'm guessing more hops, but also a bit hotter booze-wise...

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Bridge Burner Special Reserve Ale from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 374 ratings.