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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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

165 Reviews
THE BROS
84
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 165
Hads: 377
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 10.34%
Wants: 13
Gots: 36 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bridge Burner Special Reserve Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 165 | Hads: 377
Photo of corby112
3.83/5  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. (923 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bridge Burner looks like liquified rust, its red, orange and brown tones all blending into some kind of murky iron oxide soup. I've got to respect its attempt at highlights but, even directly into the light, this beer is as gloomy and lifeless as a far away galaxy (its lacing, coincidentally enough, takes the shape of an interstellar nebula that would be sure to get NASA's attention).

Despite a treacly malt presence, the aroma is a steady wall of hoppy flavours. It is distinctly earthy, the abundance of pine needles, resin, grass clippings and tree bark making it smell like a wet forest. Simultaneously, sharp citrus notes and aromatic guava, lime, passionfruit, lychee, and even gooseberry make it feel as though spring has finally sprung.

The strong muskiness of hops aside, this is also a malty offering and has layered tastes of toffee and biscuits, dry and roasted cereal grain. The palate experiences dark, almost treacly notes of fig, date and plum, all of which are enlivened by well integrated citrus and a sticky tree sap flavour that blends well with the sweetness of the caramel malt and dried fruitiness.

Thick and chewy, it drinks like a liquified fig newton or oatmeal raisin cookie. The hops, however, do continue long into the aftertaste with whispered notes of spruce resin and tree bark. This ale reinforces the notion that American craft beer must be bold but does so while hardly flashing any alcohol nor an excessive amount of bitterness.

Drinking Bridge Burner you get the impression that with this offering the brewery really wanted to impress; being able to discern where the hops end and the malts start is a task both Herculean and arcane, like knowing all the constellations or differentiating between sub-species of moths. What does it matter? This has plenty of both and that's all you need know. (1,840 characters)

Photo of liamt07
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the LCBO, 650ml into a tulip.

Deep opaque burgundy, khaki head with moderate retention and a good bit of lace. Strong toffee and malt character, hops are there too and have some citrus and spice to them. More malt on the palate, alcohol, toffee, dark fruits and a bit of sweetness. Some roast and hops in the finish, roast and some chocolate bitterness lingers. Some sweetness and alcohol on the back end. Medium full feel, medium carbonation. Interesting, and saw faint comparisons to Arrogant Bastard can be drawn. (529 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
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. (870 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

No freshness info was apparent on this bottle. Poured in to tulip.

A - Very dark amber/brown, almost completely opaque. One finger of cream coloured head.

S - Piney hop aroma dominates with some citrus, roast and nuttiness.

T - Piney and citrus flavours accompany a moderate bitterness for the style. Roast, nuttiness and a hint of chocolate in the background.

M - Medium body. Creamy with some nice sticky hop oils. Light to moderate carbonation. (454 characters)

Photo of Tone
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (526 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Westboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" beige head over the clear dark copper brew. Dense head lasts well, with thick frothy lacing. Aroma is heavily sweet with piney hops. Taste follows the nose, with bitterness overpowering late. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth, cutting the bitter some, and drinkability is good as well. (392 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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. (1,079 characters)

Photo of Derek
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Imperial Amber?

A: Deep amber with a light tan head, great retention & lace.

S: Pine, brown sugar, toffee and cotton candy.

T: Pine, caramel, cocoa, cotton candy, sponge toffee, citrus rind, solid bitterness, alcohol is subtle.

M: Moderate to full body has a light residual sweetness with slightly drying finish.

O: A balanced drinker for its weight. Nicely done. (368 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (402 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky looking crimson brown body. Thin and bubbly beige head. Lace etches my glass in nicely spaced rings. Aroma is piney and sprucy and brings out a spiked punch aspect to it as well, which I like in strong and old ales. I'll tell you what. This beer has got some character. Best beer I've had in a while from Lakefront. It's actually pretty subtle but complex. The pine and spruce are subtle and not overbearing in the least and mix nicely with the tropical fruit tones and underlying toffee/nougat malt base. Alcohol is detectable but only in trace amounts, which ain't too bad for an 8% beer. Body is hitting light-medium at best. And the carbonation is quite reserved. Very enjoyable beverage. (698 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
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. (692 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bottle from the Nepean LCBO for $5.25

Appearance - Brownish-red colour with an average size fizzy/frothy off-white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some goodlacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes.

Smell - Hops, malts, caramel, grapefruit/oranges

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel, malts, and hops. There is also a hint of roasted chocolate and some grapefruit/oranges and something along the lines of strawberries. It ends with a malty/fruity/hoppy aftertaste.

Overall – Lots of flavours going on here. I don't really like the strawberry/guava type fruitiness in there but the rest of it works well. I picked up a few bottles thinking I could age them, but I'm not sure that will work out well. (809 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Snagged this up for $3.50 for the single. Glad to see positive reviews.
A - That is one super carbonated (two inches of mocha head) and one of the dankest red ales (super brown hazy almost barleywine color) I have ever seen. Gonna take a minute for the head to pull back but I see some great lacing forming.
S - Here's where they lost me a bit where is the intense grapefruit hops? Where is the sweet caramel backbone. Any bread? It's really quite mild but I do get some rind bitterness.
T - Ah there is is like wow it's both caramel sweet and grapefruit squeeze hop bitterness clash. Bread malts in he background but simple and balanced.
M - Wow I thought you guys got me with the reviews but your right for 8.5% it's drinks super easy like medium bodied at best. Not too thick as the malt color would suggest.

Overall its a shame I paid so much I do have Vintage Estate which would probably charge around 2 bucks for this. I would easily pay 12 dollars a six pack no questions asked. (986 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
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. (330 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
8.0% ABV, Bottled during missing (summer '12)

A - Pouring a clear dark amber mahogany color, Bridge Burner is topped with a giant three-finger tan head that floats on the surface like a huge wad of ice cream. The dense bubbles leave thick lace caked to the snifter in rings.

S - Bridge Burner overflows with pine and citrus hop aromas, caked with resin. Toasted and caramel malt with hints of fruity esters imply candied red apple draped with gooey caramel. While alcohol isn't pouring fourth with booziness, this beer isn't subtle either.

T - Bold and gripping, Bridge Burner is a strong, hopped-up beer balanced with a solid malt backbone. Light alcohol spiciness toys with the pine resin from hops as while toasted and caramelized malt and mild dark fruit esters add an underlying sweetness for a well rounded strong ale.

M - While Bridge Burner is certainly is a smooth brew, the medium body feels somewhat thin for how potent the beer is in it's other areas. Strong carbonation livens the feel up even more and, though there's plenty of dry bitterness from the hops, this beer seems to end abruptly; no real lingering profile. Tasty, but a bit disappointing in this regard.

O - While a very broad spectrum, Bridge Burner seems to embody an American Strong Ale well; great caramel malt base with sweetness and strong American hoppiness for bold, assertive flavor and character. The body seems a little weak for how potent the beer ends up being in the long run, but a bomber of this will certainly get your fist in the air to viva la revolucion! (1,591 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is strong and rather hoppy, but not fiercely so, with a subtle fruity undertone. It pours a clear dark coppery amber with a fairly thick, slightly yellow beige head. Flavor is hoppy but not too bitter, and has a firm undertone of orange. Texture is thick, smooth and fizzy, leaving a hop-bitter aftertaste. (312 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, shared with a friend. Pours chestnut brown in color, topped with a frothy tan colored head that leaves good lacing on the glass. Aromas are malty with brown sugar and caramel filling the nose. Tastes are malty up-front as well with caramel, chocolate, brown sugar, and molasses followed by some resiny, piny hop and citric notes; good complexity. Medium bodied with ample carbonation. Goes down nicely. Overall, this is a brewery I have not had much from, but this special reserve ale was a good pickup & worth the try. (532 characters)

Photo of tbeckett
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes.

A - Poured with a great deep amber or dark red colour. Bright. Three finger light brown head. Fluffy head. Good drapes of lace with a film of retention.

S - Caramel, earthy hop, really caramelly, dark fruit, gentle hop.

T - Spicy hop, caramel, lot's of caramel, dark fruit.

M - Gentle carbonation, medium to full body. Some spicy hop/caramel finish. A little bitterness.

O/D - Decent strong ale. Tame in the hop department, but tasty enough. Not breaking new ground at all, but tasty enough. (508 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Bottled April, week1, 2010. Thanks to beerwolf77 for this one!

(A)- Pours a clear dark brown sienna color that produced a great foaming tan head with great retention behind it. Left plenty of intricate lacing behind as it slowly dissipated.

(S)- A good piney lemon and lime citrus in front of a light caramel-like sweetness.

(T)- Again, a good piney lemon and lime citrus in front of a good baked-bread like caramel malt backbone.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. A good hop presence with a equally good malty sweetness. A light bitterness up front, but quickly evaporates into a light sweetness.

(D)- A solid to great beer with just an overall good taste and feel. Refreshing, yet a tad rich, fitting for the fall time too. An overall good beer for anytime of the year. A far better drinkable beer in a style that I typically find is not. Well done Lakefront! (920 characters)

Photo of drpimento
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this greedily and a little too cold right out of the fridge with a decent, foamy, frothy, tan head that soon subsided to a light cover and lots of lace. Color is a hazy to cloudy/opaque depending on width of the glass, amber brown. Aroma is an interesting heady mix of malt, yeast, hop, dark ripe fruit, leather, funk, hint of cocoa. Flavor's like nose, very slightly sweet, lots of bitter and good carbonic tang. Body is full, bitterness stands out on back of tongue, carbonation is just right. Finish is like flavor with the bitterness lasting a while along with some boozy warmth. Big beer. (600 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (322 characters)

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
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. (993 characters)

Photo of KarlHungus
3.14/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a dark amber color. The head is two inches in height, and recede slowly into a sticky ring of lacing. The aroma is a perfect balance of caramel malt and citrus hops. The problem is that it is very faint. The taste is a mirror image of the aroma; nice but faint. Honestly, from what I detect this beer is very simple so even if it were more pronounced I still don't think I'd like it much. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation, and a texture that is a little thin and watery for the style. Overall, this is a beer that is truly lacking. It surely reinforces my previous conclusions that Lakefront brews really good lagers, and really poor ales. (679 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
3.6/5  rDev -7%
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.

Cheers! (1,359 characters)

Bridge Burner Special Reserve Ale from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 165 ratings.