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 Duff27
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Short lived off white head. Cap and collar left. A light red orange color. A lot of lacing for an English barleywine.

Different smelling for sure. Not sure what that is and not sure what to think.

Methol, straight up. Mintiness. Sweet. Booze presents itself but not overpowering.

A little syrupy. Low carbonation.

It tastes like a Halls! But still good. Can blow a cool breeze. Not as bad at the BA rating. Thanks mnbearsfan.

 429 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of duceswild
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of buzze40
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of NilocRellim
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to LaCoursiere for this bottle...

A: Pours a translucent mahogany red/brown with almost no head whatsoever. There is only a thin white ring of white foam around the edges, and even that fades quickly. No lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is sweet like caramel, toffee, and honey. There is also a great spice component to this beer that I'm really enjoying. The booze is there, but it's not overpowering.

T: I get caramel, apples, raisins, honey, cinnamon, and clove. It's sweet to start with the caramel and the fruit, but as it fades on the palate it get's spicy and boozy hot. I'm actually really enjoying the heat from the bourbon.

M: Full bodied beer. It sticks to the palate, coats, and casually moves off. the lingering flavors are bourbon, raisin, and toffee.

O: This is a pretty damn good barleywine, but it's not the best I've ever had. I really enjoyed the apple notes right up front, which I haven't tasted in a barleywine before. I'm extremely happy to have tried this beer, and would to have more again in the future.

 1,046 characters

Photo of ObiWanKushnobi
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of ControlledBurn
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Doyle
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of 3Hops
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of mothman
2.39/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Aroma: all cardamom spices. Christmas spice. Winter Warmer.. Little barrel flavor

T: whiskey and vanilla then all spices.  Tastes like christmas. Oaky. 

Mouthfeel: Warming and spiced. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation.

Overall, this was a terrible beer. I won't drink much if this. Just not for me. Sorry LB, but the recipe needs to change.

 361 characters

Photo of MordorMongo
3.34/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review #5, served cellar temp in tulip

A : Transparent dark amber, toffee hues, off-white medium head fades to a lingering cap, legs very persistent and likely this beer's best attribute.

S : Cardamom, still. Had first bottle of this back in March and while the smell has faded noticeably it is still way too over-bearing and dominates completely. Can pick up some traces of bourbon and vanilla from time to time, but damn that cardamom comes right back!

T : Here the cardamom has faded even more-so...sadly not quite enough yet, maybe should have given this another 6-12 months? Some nice caramel notes come through mid-palate, finish is cloying with that lingering cardamom, though it is MUCH improved over ~3 months ago.

M : Sticky, full mouthfeel, honestly close to on-point for the style.

O : Decent BA Barleywine, really wish they had went way lighter on the cardamom as I am not sure what it adds at this level of dominance. That said, it is clearly fading and if I had another I would wait a year or so in hopes the spice notes dissipate further.

 1,060 characters

Photo of afksports
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of lurpy1
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Very curious to try this beer picked up several months ago. It has been interesting to see the boss initial reviews, followed by a run of reviewers hating on it. Going in with an open mind. 750 ml bomber, split with wife. Who, BTW, lasts about 3 sips before announcing Commander doesn't work for her.

Lovely fossilized amber coloration. Slight head, but no retention, not much lacing either.

The smell has booze, oak, sugar,and spice.Lot's of spice.Not so much cardamon to me, but mint and even a little pepper.

I really wanted to love the taste of this beer, but dammit, I cannot profess my love. The spice renders it a sipper at the absolute most. In fact, taking an aggressive gulp was outright uncomfortable. Still, I found a lot of tasty bourbon and sweetness to save the day and bring it up to a passable score.

The body was good, not great, in terms of thickness, but Commander did have an awesome, glazed-donut level of stickiness.Likey.

Lastly, my stomach was a bit upset afterward, and even though I have indefinite tolerance for heat and spice, I blame it on the liberal handfuls of spice thrown into the brew. Gotta ding the score for this. I could do 8 oz of this beer next time. The spice differentiates the beer but doesn't necessarily make it better at all. Without the spice, this could be great, because all the other qualities of a killer barleywine are there. With the spice, it's still drinkable to daring palates, and recommended, but probably just a slightly subpar barleywine. Very happy to see interesting offerings coming out of Stillwater.

 1,571 characters

Photo of motorhed
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of SweJon
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of fuzzcherry
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of drabmuh
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Opened at a recent tasting, thanks to who ever did that!

Beer is brown and hazy with an off white / tan head of small bubbles, some lacing on the glass, low retention.

Aroma is spicy like peppermint or something...later to be revealed by the label as cardamon.

Oh dear this beer is a cardamon bomb, interesting and strong. The spice dominates eclipsing all other flavors and perception. I couldn't finish a bottle myslef or a pint. Not a repeat for me...too much.

 466 characters

Photo of Exiled
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of mdfb79
3.54/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 03/30/12 notes. Shared with a few friends. Thanks to nugganooch for sending this one my way. Bottle 2034.

a - Pours a deep reddish amber color with a few white bubbles, and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells a bit minty, and of cardamom, caramel malts, spices, and coconut. Weird mix, doesn't work very well at all. Not very good.

t - Tastes of bourbon, vanilla, toasted malts, caramel malts, toffee, sweet dark fruits, light alcohol, and light cardamom and spices. MUCH, much better then the nose. As it warmed up it got even better. Really nice taste.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Not much heat at all, actually pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall an interesting beer. A ton of spice and cardamom in the nose that is weird and doesn't work well, but the taste is really nice and is missing most of that. Worth checking out for the taste.

 868 characters

Photo of DarthGuitarHero
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of Thorpe429
2.44/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of mdfb79. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours a clear golden color with a big white head and some spotty lacing as it makes its way down to a thin cap. The nose carries way, way too much spice, and the spice that is there doesn't really work. The spice is so heavy that you can barely pick out a big, malty beer in the background.

Flavor is likewise overwhelmed with spice. Loads of cardamom in this one. Some residual sweetness. The body is better in that there's a bit of alcohol mixing with the spice.

I really did not see where they were going with this and wasn't a fan of the spicing at all.

 618 characters

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