Commander | Lift Bridge Brewery

BA SCORE
85
very good
243 Ratings
THE BROS
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CommanderCommander
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lift Bridge Brewery
Minnesota, United States
liftbridgebrewery.com

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.50%

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.

Added by plfahey on 11-19-2011

BEER STATS
Ratings:
243
Reviews:
72
Avg:
3.79
pDev:
15.83%
 
 
Wants:
62
Gots:
93
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 243 |  Reviews: 72
Photo of AnalogErik
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of jarrgal
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of smartassboiler
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of HoistinBrews
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of jacobbocce72
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of dragomni
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of DaveAnderson
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 release, bottle 5131.

Much lighter than expected for a barleywine. Bourbon is really up front with this one. No hint of the cardamom that seems so polarizing for this beer, but then again, this is a year old, so it may have faded. I have been advised that this beer is hot when young, but it is ever-so-smooth today, if a little sweet.

Drinkability is great, but this is definitely a bottle for sharing. The sweetness gets to be a drag after a couple of hours, which is what it takes to drink this bottle solo. It never stops smelling great, however. Best thing I have had from Lift Bridge so far.

 604 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lift Bridge Brewing Company Commander Bona Fide Barley Wine Ale. 2011 bottle, #3014. Ale brewed with cardamom and aged in bourbon barrels. Alc. 12.5%. Goblet worthy. Brewed & bottled by Lift Bridge Brewing company, Stillwater, Minn.

Beautiful clear, garnet hue, off-white head slims down with a quickness.

Aroma: cherry, vanilla, brown sugar, alcohol…and bourbon. Gorgeous.

Taste: Mmmm, boom! Big malt flavor right off the bat, huge taste, enormous. Maple is here, treacle, rich, warm and delicious. Incredible. Vanilla, sugar, big booze, Amazingly complex, rich, and rewarding. Some chocolate roars in, cocoa, caramel, toffee.
So much.
Maybe a little too much,?
but, no, not really…
not quite...

 704 characters

Photo of aswaller
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of JRendon02
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of Wowcoolman
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of DruRho
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of MNBeerGeek
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of jmarsh123
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of GrindFatherBob
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of SpdKilz
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Photekut
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of blindpiggie
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of rudzud
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

2011 vintage shared with friends. Poured into a tulip.

A - Poured a nice clear honey amber hue with a quarter inch head that fades to leave light lacing and a thin cloud.

S - Aromas of sweet malts and light vanilla. Fairly standard.

T - Taste is similar to the nose with nice sweet malts and light vanilla. Good barleywine here very solid as age has done this well.

M - Mouthfeel is nice for a barleywine with the alcohol hidden nicely.

O - Overall not a bad barleywine. Alcohol hidden well could use a hair more age but for all intensive purposes a solid beer.

 566 characters

Photo of KBomb
4.06/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep ruby-brown color, entirely translucent, not much head or lacing (consistent with the style).

Aroma has big-time candy sweetness. Lots of honey, brown sugar, and even some chocolate. A touch of oak and some faint "cheap" bourbon aroma marks the boozy smell. I'm surprised to hear other people comment on how strong the cardamon smell/taste comes through since I find it to be very mild.

The front of the sip is super-sweet with honey, toffee, fig, rum soaked raisin. I only detect the cardamon in the aftertaste, and again I find it very mild. Bourbon flavors seem missing, but other sweet flavors are highly prominent.

Mouthfeel is notably balanced. Less syrupy and cloying than some other big barleywines, yet still has a slickness to it.

Commander is a very fine brew, but the alcohol content and sweetness are almost too much. I poured about 10ozs for myself and I can't even finish it despite my admiration for much of its qualities.

 948 characters

Photo of Scotchboy
4.24/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 bottling (#3789) split with a mate...my portion into a chalice...

A: Tawny with gold highlights...just a hint of haze...some lace and legs, a decent amount for a big, barreled beer.

S: Big-time sweetness...malty, sugary...dried figs, light spice (really in check here, YES!), honey, oak, earthy, hints of spirit...really a nice nose...

T: ...and the taste is just as good. Super smooth toffee, sugary malt (not cloying though), butterscotch, dried fruits...figs, dates...raisins, some alcohol warmth, earthy spice...caramel, cardamom...hints of cocoa and vanilla as well. Very complex and unique.

Spices unfold more as this warms up, but by no means is the cardamom overwhelming at this age. The barrel character and bourbon are semi-light but definitely there...with the honey-like component I'd guess Jim Beam but apparently these are Heaven Hill BA. Either way, very nice.

MF: Creamy...smooth...light warmth for this big of a beer...viscous too...full bodied...lower carbonation.

O: Really liked this one, and glad I sat on it for a year or so. Really was able to pull out a lot of different components in the nose and palate, which is always a plus. English-Style Barleywines aren't really my thing either, this is just really well done.

Thanks Aaron for shipping me this bad boy!

 1,296 characters

Photo of bigbeers84
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of mikeyv35
2.8/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Date: 04/05/2013
Type: 22oz. Bomber
Vintage: 2012
Glass Southampton Tulip

Pours a light brown mahogany in color w/ a thin white head which produces minimal lacing. Aromas of caramel, toffee, breadiness, light bourbon, spices (guessing Cardamon, but I am not sure exactly what Cardamon should smell like). The flavor was of caramel/toffee up front, transitioning into butterscotch, and finishes w/ strong breadiness and cloying spice (Cardamon). Medium bodied w/ lower end carbonation. One glass was way too much for me as the cloying Cardamon was really getting to me. Ended up drain pouring the remainder of the glass which I rarely do.

Overall, a very unique brew that I can appreciate due to how outside the box and creative it is. However, not my type of barleywine at all and one that made me realize that I don't like Cardamon in beer at all.

 850 characters

Photo of derkfromwi
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Commander from Lift Bridge Brewery
3.79 out of 5 based on 243 ratings.
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