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Bridge Burner Special Reserve Ale - Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

Bridge Burner Special Reserve AleBridge Burner Special Reserve Ale

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

316 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 316
Reviews: 158
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.55%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: cokes on 06-27-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 316 | Reviews: 158 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2011 19:14:29 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of Tone


3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark amber color. 2/3 inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of alcohol, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, slight caramel malt, slight dark citrus, hint of yeast, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of an American Strong Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, roasted malt, slight hop, slight alcohol, hint of wheat, hint of dark citrus, and a hint of caramel malt. Overall, good appearance, aroma, blend, complexity, and body.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2011 18:19:54 | More by Tone
Photo of shand


3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into an imperial pint.

Pours a muddy red-brown with a tiny head that doesn't last for long. Aroma is a nice piney hop over big caramel malts and dark fruits. Taste kinda reminds me of a less alcoholic barleywine, with a bit more hoppiness than is normal for the style. The mouthfeel is full, and the drinkability is good. Overall, a solid strong ale for a solid price.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2011 16:06:22 | More by shand
Photo of zeff80


3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a dark burgundy color with a small, tan head of bubbly foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled fruity and yeasty with a strong dose of maltiness and booze.

T - It tasted very boozy and had a strong alcohol heat. Very sweet with caramel and a touch of fruitiness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This could use some time to mellow out. A bit too sweet and boozy.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2011 20:41:25 | More by zeff80
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle. Lots of good stuff about working together, and all that, on the busy label.

This beer pours a dark, murky orange-tinted brown colour, with three fingers of chunky, foamy beige head, which leaves some very nice tight webbed lace around the glass in its wake. It smells pretty much like a prototypical IPA: tart citrus hops, and bready caramel malt. The taste still leads with the sassy hops - citrus and pine, to a lesser degree, with a steady backbone of bready, lightly caramelized malt, and mild warming alcohol. The carbonation is moderate, with just a wee prick (heh), the body medium weight, a little thinned by the booze, but generally smooth. It finishes, as ever was, with piney, citrus rind hop bitterness, annoyed workman malt, and a slight, ethereal, sneaky warming.

If it looks like (wait, um...), smells like, and tastes like a DIPA, then it must be so? No? Two out of three? Ah well, it's got more big hopitude packed into those 45 IBUs than a lot of other DIPAs I've recently come across. Tasty, American, Strong, and Ale - got it.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2011 23:57:16 | More by biboergosum
Photo of joemcgrath27

Alberta (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - very swampy deep purple, tall fluffy tan head retained very nicely
S - strong pine dominates big time, mild molasses malt
T - pine and floral hops with a nice toffee malt compliment, light woody and caramel finish, very interesting
M - big body with strong carbonation, somewhat syrupy feel
O - similar to an esb, damn good

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2011 06:23:08 | More by joemcgrath27
Photo of kennylopez

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bottle into my Lafefront Pint glass.

Appearance: A caramel reddish brown color with fine sediment that is the only thing from making it clear brown. Fingers worth of head that left rings of lacing as I drink it

Smells: I get a heavy hop and bread malt front that has the presence of the 8%

Taste: there is a smooth cherry like barley that is backed up with a floral and pine like hop.

Mouthfeel: A strong burn out of this strong ale which is a pleasure to drink. The sticky carbonation left my mouth with a light roasted feeling which I enjoyed.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2011 00:57:28 | More by kennylopez
Photo of cindyjeffsmith


3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance: fairly nondescript.
smell: Not much going on. Smells a little like a strong ale that's gone weak.
taste: more of the same. Not a drain pour by any means but just average.
overall: Not sure if i got a bad bottle or what. i see lots of good reviews from reviewers i respect but this one's not happenin.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 21:14:54 | More by cindyjeffsmith
Photo of meeekyh


3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is really barleywine-like but I was noticing the dried fruit in the nose before I read the suggestion on the Lakefront wabsite; the aggressive malt and distinctive barleywine fruitiness only appeared after the suggestion. I love the idea of an 8% barleywine, just inside the drinkable line and with the fullness of a 10% crusher.

I picked a tall, curvy, pilsner-like glass to receive the ale that has a dark red hand holding an over sized match printed on the paper label affixed to the 220z brown bottle.

The beer within is deep amber and unfiltered-cloudy, proudly displayed in the sedimentary yeast I poured into the glass and no-doubt containing the B vitamins that would be wasted had I not.

There is a great weight of beer contained in this beer. It is fuller than a standard ale and the balance tends toward the hoppy, though the malt is weighty and sweet. Somebody spent some time on this one and likely studied to make it come out right. Strong ale or barleywine I don't care, its good beer.

This was not expensive and has more beer per beer than most I could but for 1.6 times the price. I wouldn't recommend it for the faint of heart but those who enjoy a kick should get some.


Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 04:47:18 | More by meeekyh
Photo of alk3kenny


4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great dark color awesome tan head that sticks to the glass... fruity, hoppy nose really makes me think I'm going to enjoy this... fruity, sweet, not as hoppy as promised by the label and the smell still tasty. Very slight alcohol back to let you know it's 8% ... Mouthfeel is thin, smooth could easily drink a couple of these though I think I'd be over the sweetness at some point. Overall enjoyable beer. Got this in a 4 bomber sampler pack. Looking forward to trying the others

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2011 03:38:56 | More by alk3kenny
Photo of spointon


3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this one form a 22oz brown bomber into a nonic pint glass.

A= This ale poured a deep russet / mahogany color with great clarity and a foamy loose head that rose 2" and then collapsed after a minute or two. Huge sheets of sticky lace left behind.

S= Hints of green orchard fruits, rich malty sweetness, and a lot of west coast oily hops round out the nose.

T= Light/medium malty backbone that conveys a fleeting glimpse of caramel (almost toffee) sweetness. I also enjoyed the significant toasted malt flavor present throughout. Midway the toasted notes push into citric and piney hop flavor. Bitterness is there but doesn't feel significant until the finish. Fruity esters dance throughout but remain in check. Finished long, dry, and hoppy.

MF= This could just be my bias showing, but I wanted this to not be as thin in the mouth. The lighter body, I believe, caused there to be a need for lesser carbonation. I'd take it a bit chewier with a tad higher carbonation if it were brewed just for me.

D= Insanely drinkable. Though I wanted it to be this or that as I drank it, at the end of the day this is a really drinkable beer that hides its alcohol and inspires one to drink it down and then look for more.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2011 05:42:22 | More by spointon
Photo of johnkale


3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

May 2011 bottling, poured into a snifter

A - murky, opaque brown, a finger of tawny foam on top that quickly dissipates to a ring, lacing is good

S - caramel (lot of caramel), a good whiff of grapefruit and some resinous pine, brown bread, a little cocoa, plus a nice licorice note. a lot of stuff going on here, but caramel is the dominant note with grapefruit as counterpoint

T - caramel again, though not to the same extent, bitter orange is prominent with some nice floral undertones, a little bit of peppery spice and anise at the end, alcohol warmth in the finish masks a lot of the hop characteristics that I think would make this beer special if they were more evident, heat dissipates as the beer warms (funny huh?) and more stone fruit flavors shine through, plum and apricot, beer gets super tasty above 55 degrees

M - nothing to write home about, medium full with moderate carbonation, could stand to be a little thicker

O - amazing nose, a little too hot, a little too thin, still delicious and complex

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2011 00:29:18 | More by johnkale
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-07-2011 20:03:31 | More by Sammy
Photo of cjgator3


4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2011 02:09:45 | More by cjgator3
Photo of brdc


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

From notes. Large capped bottle, poured into a tulip. Very good price for a large bottle.

It is dark yellow with a reddish tint, and a nice, large and long lasting off white head.
I dont know why I thought this was an amber ale, or something similar before opening, but the aroma made me read the bottle, as it shows caramel and butterscotch, some fruits, and a generous dose of hops, mostly grassy and piney.
Just about full bodied, it shows relatively well balanced notes of malty caramel, grains, but still heavier on the bitter hoppiness, grassy and fruity. Quite nice, better than expected. For whatever reason, coincidence or not, their large bottles/bombers bring better beers than the small ones.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2011 01:23:35 | More by brdc
Photo of cooler4life

Quebec (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Apr '10 Bottle

A: Medium caramel brown color, slight amber tint with little head, some lacing but not much.

S: Definite hints of fruitiness, twinge of coffee and malt.

T: Sweet hops, fruity, I taste raisin, and finishes with a tart twinge.

M: Smooth, deceiving given the high ABV. I could get in trouble with this one. Creamy and friendly with just a hint of the alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2011 00:44:12 | More by cooler4life
Photo of woosterbill


3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
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.


Serving type: bottle

08-03-2011 00:55:51 | More by woosterbill
Photo of drizzam


4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2011 00:48:04 | More by drizzam
Photo of FosterJM


3.7/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2011 04:55:50 | More by FosterJM
Photo of BretSikkink


3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2011 05:23:26 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of emmasdad


3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2011 05:22:22 | More by emmasdad
Photo of corby112


3.85/5  rDev +1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 05:47:23 | More by corby112
Photo of AmericanGothic


4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
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!

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2011 02:41:42 | More by AmericanGothic
Photo of 9InchNails

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2011 04:59:53 | More by 9InchNails
Photo of claytong


4.38/5  rDev +15%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2011 22:23:27 | More by claytong
Bridge Burner Special Reserve Ale from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 316 ratings.