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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

367 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 367
Reviews: 165
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 12.04%
Wants: 13
Gots: 29 | 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: 367 | Reviews: 165 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of woosterbill
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into a Duvel tulip; there are markings to be notched to indicate the bottling date, but no notches.

A: Completely opaque dark brown body under a lovely two inches of creamy, persistent tan foam created by the straight pour. When the head finally does subside, it leaves copious lace. Very attractive, but considerably darker than I was expecting.

S: Pretty nice - it seems like someone is trying to emulate Arrogant Bastard: aggressive balance of spicy, resinous, and grapefruit hops with caramel and treacle. Maybe a hint of chocolate. Big, rich, and bittersweet - I'm a fan.

T: Toffee and caramel malts are up front, providing intense sweetness that carries all the way through, joined on the back side with the double-whammy assault of spicy hop bitterness and harsh alcohol. If it weren't for the serious booze on the finish and aftertaste, this would be really, really good. As it is, it's a little grating.

M: Creamy, medium body; slightly sticky, but nicely carbonated.

O: As I work my way through the bomber, I continue to be enchanted by the aroma but let down by the flavor - it's just too sweet and boozy. The level of hoppiness is somehow too low to counteract the sweetness, but still capable of being painfully bitter. This one's got a lot of good stuff going on, but it's just a little out of whack. I wish I had shared it.


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

A - Opaque brown body topped by a ridiculous three finger khaki head. Love the head on this brew...frothy and dimpled and it seems to last forever. This is about as close as you can get to a perfect score for appearance, but it falls just a tad short. Superior head retention and a beautiful veil of lace.

S - Delicious smelling citrus hops dominate the aroma. Add some hints of caramel malt and you have yourself a yummy smelling brew.

T & M - Resiny citric hops come through in full force, balanced by a biscuity malt. This is a hop heavy little mama, it's hard for me to believe the 45 IBU rating on the bottle. Medium to full bodied, finishing with some lingering hop bitterness. The alcohol is hidden very well.

D - A very well crafted beer by lakefront. I'm proud of this Wisconsin brewery, and this is a brew I would recommend to anybody that appreciates good craft beer.

Photo of FosterJM
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

691st Review on BA
Bottle to Mug
Bottled wk 1 July 2011

Purchased at Total Wine Las Vegas

App- Deep and rich amber with dark shades of brown. Huge three finger head and sticky lace all down the glass.

Smell- Well, it smells good but I think its the kitchen sink the threw at it. Hoppy, malty, caramel, citrus, just a lot going on.

Taste- Very big chewy malts with a tamed and somewhat timid hop bitter. A little sweet with the sugary caramel notes. A leaner towards a hoppy red ale but stays the course with again the myriad of ingredients.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. A little sweet but tasty good. Drank at 55 F. Nice as it warms.

Drink- This was a beer I saw and hey its probably a rare find out of state and didnt tell anyone then went to my Total Wine in Brea and they had and went F**k!! Oh well still tasty.

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

I love the catch all nature of the American strong ale. Bridge Burner looks to be a fine example, with some highlights surrounding the darker base of the beer. Head and foam are tanned with a hint of orange and stick well into the glass.

Aromas of citrus mingle with toffee and toasted malt. Seems a bit light for style, but I like the brightness of the hopping. The flavor profile turns out remarkably similar, with the alcohol notes taking a big backseat to the more upfront hops and solid malt base.

BB is far too light in body to compete objectively with Arrogant Bastard and the rest, but it could easily carve a niche into the drinking repertoire of someone who enjoys a stronger, more assertive brew without sacrificing drinkability. Give this a shot.

Photo of emmasdad
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Ratman (I think?) for sharing a bottle of this one with us a while back. Poured a hazy, rusty amber color with a smallish tan head. Aromas of caramel, toffee, milk chocolate and toasted malt. On the palate, this one was medium bodied, with flavors of caramel, light hops, toasted malt and chocolate.

Photo of corby112
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark chestnut brown color that appears almost black in the glass with a faint mahogany edges and a two finger frothy light beige head. Good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap/ring that coats the glass with large chunks of soapy lacing.

Earthy hop aroma with a strong roasted malt backbone. Lots of resinous, oily hops with hints of pine and soil countered by subtle citrus, caramel, toffee, nut and chocolate.

Medium bodied with a balance of bitter, earthy hops, sweet citrus notes and roasted malt. Dry and bitter up front with hints of grass and pine but this is quickly countered by the fruit notes and sweet malt character. Hints of grapefruit and orange peel along with some other light fruit notes followed by some caramel, toffee, chocolate and hazelnut. Slightly roasty but not enough to overshadow the other notes. Complex with a well masked ABV, resulting in a pretty quaffable beer.

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

Poured from a bomber into a Sam Adams Pint. Part of a 4-bomber sampler called "88."

A: Pours a clear bronze color with 2 fingers of billowy off-white head. Strong retention and lace.

S: Bright grapefruit hop aromas are quite promising.

T: Stars with a mellow roasted flavor that brightens in the middle before the citrus hops take over for the finish. Some bitter coffee enters mid-sip and also lingers through the finish. There is some underlying sweetness that supports the hops without getting in the way.

M: Mouthfeel is quite smooth and creamy.

O: I enjoyed this very much. I am wondering whether this is a dark DIPA, with all its hoppy goodness. Whatever it is, I like it and look forward to more. Well done, Lakefront!

Photo of 9InchNails
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beige frothy and creamy head; it kind of reminds me of a porter of a stout. Crimson red on the edges with some darker reddish brown in the center. Really a unique and interesting looking brew.

Citrus hops, sweet caramel malt, brown sugar; it smells quite nice.

This is very tasty and complex. Citrus and piney hops meeting a toasted and roasted caramel malt. Some burnt coffee and a toffee flavor I also detect. Some alcohol is noticeable but doesn't ruin the taste at all.

Silky creamy head, medium body and approaching medium carbonation. Some alcohol warmth going down.

I can tell this had a decent ABV on it, usually when I can detect it, it tends to ruin it, not in this case. A nice looking tasty brew. I'm certainly going to try this again in the near future.

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

jan 09 bottle drank yesterday.

appearance - not quite sure what to expect. amber, some sediment, some darkness in there. not a big head.

smell - caramel big time, brown sugar, no hops (age probably got rid of it)

taste - the same. delicious, sweet. almost like an english barley sweet. some dark malts. purdy.

mouthfeel - at 8 percent itd be a very light barleywine. and barleywine is a drinkable enough for me. id enjoy sessions of this but, might hit a little hard. creamy, sugary goodness.

getting some more of these for that price.

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 mdwalsh
3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Huge head, fills up most the nonic pint glass, very aggressive. It's a light caramel brown head with dense bubbles that fall, the top is an almost soda like head. The beer is deep, rich, tootsie roll brown. It seems slightly hazy. This head will not go away.

S: A solid but not overwhelming hoppiness fairly balanced between citrus and pine, with a nice malty backbone. I get a little orange, and a very little bit of caramelized sugars in the background. Really nice.

T: The taste is definately not as good as the smell, the hops are sharp, but not bold. There is a touch of astringency. The more I drink the more it seems ok, the malt comes forward, but that might be the source of the astringency.

M: Not bad, it sits in a good zone of body with appropriate carbonation.

D: Considering the ABV, and that might be coming through a little in the taste, this beer isn't bad, but it's not great.

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 bort11
4.39/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a Grimbergen chalice. A tight light tan colored head does not stand up very high, a quarter inch at the most. It quickly recedes and leaves a few wispy swirls on the surface. Body color is a dense mahogany brown. No light comes through, even around the edges.

Smell has a sticky fruit sweetness. There is a lot of dried figs and dates. A little bit of cherry and a hint of apricot. The smell finishes as orange peel. A nice fruit salad! The taste is also sweet and fruity, but the hops kicks in some citrus. Over all the sweet is balanced.

The mouthfeel has a dense body with a smooth texture. This is filling, in a good way. I want to call this a barleywine. It has all the flavor and body, but the ABV is a little on the low side for a barleywine. I guess you could say it stands in the middle of the bridge between a strong ale and a barleywine.

Photo of PhillyStyle
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Per the 22oz bottle: Brewed during the 2nd week of February; 45IBU, 21 degrees Plato, 30 degrees Lovibond:

Upon pouring, the beer produces a deep, thick, hazy red color with big tan head that seems to be dense yet fluffy, which has excellent retention and some nice lacing.

The beer gave off a nice malty sweet aroma with some hops to balance it out. A hint of alcohol is also noticeable.

The beer's taste is well balanced, perhaps slightly more sweet than hoppy with hint of alcohol. I expected the beer to be a bit more bitter than it actually was.

The beer had a medium body to it. It was smooth and easy enough to drink with a dry finish.

Overall an enjoyable beer, probably not one of my first choices when buying, but definitely worth a go every once in awhile.

Photo of colforbin73
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice malty concoction here, good and hearty -- definitely doesn't feel overly processed or refined. a delicious sweet bitter brew.

pours a rich auburn with a little head but adequate carbonation, slides sticky down the glass, good froth. smells of hops -- spicy and fresh. the bitterness is up there but the sweetness shines through making it all work together, a hit of bitter and a nice warm swallow -- sweet & spicy falvors linger on the palate.

this hit the spot -- i would call it a solid beer. tasted fresh and right. i would go for it again if i wanted that IPA/Hop bite on top of a slightly deeper, richer malt base. good stuff.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed at a recent tasting. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pours a fairly-dark brown color with a thin light tan head with pretty good retention. The nose yields a bit of strong malt sweetness along with some dark fruits. There's a bit of light cherry lingering in the background as well. Mild brown sugar. The flavor is fruity and sweet. Not too much complexity, but a nice combination. Mouthfeel is medium with a bit of booze. Overall, pretty good. I wouldn't mind tried this aged out a bit further.

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 BeerLover99
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: deep blackish-brown body, fluffy 1 finger oatmeal head, lovely lacing

S: spices, nut/caramel, malt, hint of citrus/pine from hops

T: spices, big solid malt, firm earthy pine, long bitter finish.

M: medium/heavy body, smooth velvet

D: Very nice, probably the best Lakefront beer I have had so far. Couldn't have more than 1 bomber, the alcohol is well hidden. Worth seeking out and trying.

Photo of tbern007
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reminded me of Arrogant Bastard but lighter, fruitier. Good overall, all around.
A - dark mahogany, slightly ruby around the edges, can see through it a little when held up to the light. Tan, thick head, lasts a while, good lacing.
S - earthy, yeast, malty, slight pine.
T - sweet malt, some roast, very light smoke, cherry and raisin, turns into caramel, mild bitter chocolate.
M & D - starts a bit sweet, finishes dry. Easy to drink. Good overall.

Photo of olmatty
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance-Pours a crimson edged brown beer with a a high tan head that has excellent retention.

Smell-Complex malts, some honey sweetness and a port wine aroma

Taste-Sweet amber caramel malts with lots of malt complexity. Flavors of dates and figs.

Mouthfeel-Full bodied and thick

Drinkability-Smooth and flavorful with some heat of alcohol. Overall quite pleasant.

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...

Photo of BierFan
4.01/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Clear reddish brown body and a light tan head. Great head retention and lacing. Wonderfully mingled combination of piney bitter hops, toasty caramel malts, and some barely there dark fruit flavors. Drinkability is really excellent.

Overall, a really good beer but I would probably reach past it on the shelf to grab another beer if I saw it again. It just didn't have the taste to push it over the top for me.

Photo of crossovert
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle.

It pours into my Lakefront pint a dark brown with hints of red. It has a foamy tan head that sticks nicely and slowly dissipates with nice lacing.

The smell has a nice hop presence. IT has a lot of citrus rind. There is a caramel nuttiness that lingers underneath.

The flavor is big It has a lot of sweetness, but also a decent amount of hops. It isn't overly bitter but it gets the job done. It has some melony, limey hops that have a medium bitterness level. The malt is mostly dark sugar. It works very nicely, it would be great aged in oak.

Another solid limited release form Lakefront.

Photo of Reagan1984
1.88/5  rDev -50.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Picked this up while on holiday in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy maroon/amber color with a thin finger of light tan head. Settles quickly and leaves no lacing.

Aroma was not great. Mostly a thin citrus combined with tea

This tastes like black tea more than beer. Some citrus peel and light pine. Not very good. A one note flavor.

Very light carbonation. Almost tinny

Muddled my way through the glass. Not a good beer

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

A: Dark brazilian cherry with a glass consuming smooth and frothy tan head that was incredibly well lasting. A full film lace adores the glass.

S: Strong hoppy aroma of fresh pine and sweetly toasted grains. Sweet citrus with some woodsy scents with a fade of dry flowers.

T: Malty and dry toasted munich grains combines with a flowery citrus of grapefruit and some pine. Mid-palate sees some malt sweetness creep in, powdery dry toasted malt with a nice bite of dry citrus coming on the finish. Nice fullness. Listed at 45ibu of hop bitterness that seems much higher but perfectly suited per style. (for the record i originally thought this was an american amber)

M: The mouthful is malty and full with a lush creaminess. Dry toasted malts, smooth with a good dry hop bitterness coming on the tongue on the swallow.

D: For drinkability we have a fulfilling red that sits high on the side of flavor with an ample bitternessand body with a dry well being. Great downer and very good example per style,(again drinks like a red) no hesitation for repeat and six pack purchase.

Bridge Burner Special Reserve Ale from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 367 ratings.