Beer Line
Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

Beer LineBeer Line
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American Barleywine
3.74 | pDev: 11.23%
Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Wisconsin, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Beer LineBeer Line
Notes: This was brought back in 2014.

Beer Line is an off-the-rail barley wine style ale: rich, malty, multi-layered, and copper-amber. The off-white head liberates aromas of strawberry, dried-fruit, grapefruit, and papaya. The smooth, malt-forward flavor is equally complex, with undertones of caramel and toffee. Not overly sweet by any means, organic Bravo hops balance the malt syrup sweetness, finishing slightly spicy with a pleasurable alcohol warmth.
We recommend serving Beer Line as an after-dinner digestif. It will pair well with the sharp flavors of an American-style Gorgonzola or a five year cheddar. Beer Line’s dried fruit flavors will rhyme with the nutty, fruity aroma of a rich Stilton.
Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 137 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of LampertLand
3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lakefront Brewery 'Beer Line' an organic barley wine @ 12.5% , served from a 355 ml bottle purchased for $4.70
A-pour is gold from the bottle to a clear amber in the glass with a medium size beige head leaving a fine spotty lace along the snifter
S-malty , with hints of vanilla
T-not so big tasting , yet smooth ,
MF-ok carbonation , fells full bodied
Ov-no wow factor , organic barley wine is kinda blah
prost LampertLand

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Photo of Samlover55
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Libbey Tulip
Bottled 1/13/14, 3 years old
L- pours a light colored brown, but appears dark in the glass with some reddish tinges, and a thin white rim of foam
S- loads of heavy malty aroma, vanilla as well, smells like it was barrel-aged
T- rich and malty, not too sweet, with pleasant hoppy bitterness on the follow and finish
F- medium-bodied, drinks smooth, light carbonation
Overall a well-balanced Barleywine that has aged really nicely

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Photo of kojevergas
2.65/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Hat tip to Duff27 for the bottle. Nabbed her in a trade. Bottled: 12/16/14. This review, then, is of this beer with a year of age.

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served into a half-pint nonic. Cold as poured; warmed o'er consumption.

HEAD: ~1 inch wide. Off-white. Nice consistency and complexion. ~5 minute retention.

BODY: Murky amber-copper. It's an unclear hue, lads. No yeast can be seen, but there's a biteen of sediment floating about.

It's a decent appearance for a barleywine. Far from unique or special.

AROMA: Caramel. Faint toffee. English yeast characteristics, with moderate attenuation. It doesn't seem boozy, but the alcohol isn't really disguised. A kiss of diacetyl, perhaps.

Aroma's all malt (to style). No hop bitterness or biscuity yeast here. Aromatic intensity is above average.

TASTE: Caramel. Toffee. Biscuit malt. English malts. Yeast attenuation is off - this is a bit too sweet (even for a barleywine). Built pretty basically, with no frills.

I'd like to see less sweetness, more toffee, maybe some marshmallow, and a tease of oxidation.

Decently put together for what it is, but ultimately wanting.

TEXTURE: Well-carbonated, but not dialed in. Smooth, wet, unrefreshing, full-bodied, somewhat sticky, slightly syrupy, slightly overcarbonated, and of decent heft on the palate. Overall presence is subpar.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

OVERALL: Not gestalt. There's no harmony of texture and taste. It's a hum-ho offering in its style, and isn't a brew I'd nab again, but I'm glad I tried it. I don't dislike it, but it's fair. I'll finish the glass without much effort, but discerning drinkers will find this ultimately below average.


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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a Lakefront tulip.
12.5% ABV, Bottled 01/13/14

A - Beer Line's rich mahogany hue may be on the darker side but, it's easy to see this one pours with clarity and enough carbonation to keep the otherwise fleeting ivory head afloat.

S - The essence of dark fruits from the warming alcohol is the first thing to enter the nostrils but, make no mistake, Beer Line is far boozy. The subtle notes of dark cherry skin, raisin, and plum meld with rich, semisweet malts that incorporate the essences of melted caramel cube, shaved toffee, and toasted bread crusts for a strong-yet-smooth aroma.

T - Deep malt character pulls the aroma's nuances through into flavor, heavily relying on dense toasted bread crusts as caramel and toffee sweetness fall away into a more balanced, bitter beer. Earthy hops and a touch of rye spice the beer up, overshadowing the alcohol's subtle dark fruit undertones. Slight oxidation on the finish brings some wet cardboard into the mix, already starting to show the beer's age.

M - Moderately carbonated, Beer Line is neither flat nor lively. Instead, it's a bit slick on the tongue with a medium-full body that finishes quite dry and thin from the alcohol; it's characteristic heat found in fresh bottles most definitely mellowed out to a soft, warming finish.

O - Lakefront's Beer Line, a spin-off of MyTurn series Chad, is an exceptional beer fresh, albeit with considerable alcohol presence. Having sat dormant in a fridge for nearly a year, this beer is quite different in many regards. The alcohol has mellowed out wonderfully, allowing subtle dark fruit nuances in the aroma but, the flavor is very dry and finishes with a touch of growing oxidation characterized by a bit of wet cardboard taste. It's got the alcohol to keep for some time so I'll be sure to enjoy a few bottles along the tracks but this is one, after a year, I'd consider enjoying closer to it's bottled date.

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Photo of darktronica
4.09/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled February 2014, reviewed October 2015. Pours a hazy dark pumpkin color, with half a finger of large-bubbled, audibly fizzy head that dissipates quickly--modest lacing and some legs indicate a full-bodied barleywine to come. The nose is strong but simple, with aromas of candy gumdrops and Earl Grey tea standing atop brown sugar and lemongrass. Flavors are likewise straightforward but pleasing, all candied ginger chews (without any of the ginger burn), smooth malts, and a moderate citrus hoppiness.

Now having tasted both the unaged and barreled versions, I can say that they are absolutely of a lineage and fairly nice, but this regular version is undoubtedly the better value. Even disregarding the price and format (the regular is sold as a 4-pack versus a more expensive bomber for the aged), this is probably my preferred expression. While not the most complex or decadent of barleywines, it is a comforting, accessible dessert beer that doesn't demand your full engagement to appreciate.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From 08/27/15 notes. 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Pours a murky brown with one inch of tan head and low carbonation evident. Some caramel malts, toffee, lots of dark fruits, candy, sugar, and toasted and burnt malts. Medium body and low carbonation, no head.

A pretty good barleywine that is more on the fruity side.

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Photo of maximum12
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BlackElixir for bottles of both this & the barrel-aged version, which are going down side by side this evening. Always a fun contrast. Split with my wife.

The pour is a slightly brilliant orange with a spare head; far, far lighter than the barrel-aged version, which is interesting. The nose is all malt, all in: sweet malt, sweet sugar, light sweet caramel. Nothing strong, nothing real interesting, OK.

Beer Line Baryleywine is sweeter than Meg Ryan, & that’s saying something. Overbearing malt sweetness that could send a diabetic into shock just from being in the same area code is made even more heavy by a shot of caramel and brown sugar. A surprisingly strong citrus hoppiness emerges in the middle, trying (& failing) to hold the sweetness at bay. Flecks of cinnamon, then the alcohol comes down the tracks (is that a light at the end of the tunnel?). Heavy, but saved from obnoxiousness by the hops. Scary easy to drink.

I’ve been on a barleywine kick & this is a nice, if not remarkable, brew that tastes absolutely nothing like it’s barrel-aged descendant. Good, solid barleywine.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted in a 12 oz snifter from draught at Firkin on April 24, 2015. Look is copper amber, thin off-white head and some lingering lacing. Smell is dried fruit, grapefruit, papaya and a hint a strawberry. Caramel and toffee malt, citrus hop notes and dried fruit. Feel is medium to thick in body with a slightly spicy finish.

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Photo of bound4er
4.04/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Muddy, dark amber appearance with a nice, off white head of two fingers. Leaves a copious amount of lacing. Smells of caramel, booze and brown sugar with a touch of floral hops. Taste follows the nose with more caramel, brown sugar and warming alcohol. Finishes with a touch of nutty astringency and nicely lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium to medium-heavy with low carbonation. Barleywines are not my thing but I did enjoy this beer more than I had expected. Recommended, especially if you're a fan of the style.

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Photo of jwc215
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Three Cellars, Franklin, WI and in bottle (bottled 16 Dec 2014):

Pours deep reddish amber with a thin lasting tan head. Trailing lace sticks.

The smell is of caramel/toffee with subtle fruit and peppery spicing.

The taste is of caramel and brown sugar - very sweet with a hint of floral/fruity balance. Hot peppery alcohol comes through.

While not as full as some other examples, it's full enough to work.

Not the heftiest or complex as some it's still an enjoyable sweet and boozy, warming sipper.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep amber body. Ruby in the light, brown in the dark. Small off-white head. Thin collar.

Smell - It is boozy as all get-out. Lots of fruity aromas. Very nondescript, though. Malty sweet aroma.

Taste - Fruity up front again, but hops kick into gear quickly. Grapefruit. Deep brown sugar. Bitterness builds. The finish has a burnt toast flavor.

Mouthfeel - Big and boozy. Medium body. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - Well, it certainly tastes better than it smells. I'm rather enjoying it, though. We'll see how I feel about it after a few more sugary ounces, though...

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +27%

Nose: alcohol, sweet, fruit, dark caramel malts, nuts.
Brilliant chestnut tinted amber with a thin head. Has some legs.
Palate: Initial sweet, dark dried fruit, plums with bitter alcohol back, a touch of caramel with a lightly spiced, dry aftertaste. A hint of anise and possibly coriander. A touch of malty grain adds character to the hops, alcohol and malt sweetness in the aftertaste.
Medium to medium full body, oily and warming. Very well balanced.

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Photo of zeff80
3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle. Poured a clear amber color with a small, off-white head of foam. Sweet caramel and toffee aromas with a hint of pine. This was really boozy and sweet with strong toffee and caramel flavors.

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Photo of Ri0
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

poured 12oz bottle into chalice.

A - Dark Mahogony with slight haze. The head is a light tan and very thin, but the lacing on the side of the glass is rather apparent.

S - Dark sugars, malts and dark fruits are present. Raisins, plums, brown sugar, toffee and caramel. Pleasant aroma that would really suite a crisp fall evening.

T - Notes of dark fruit, caramel, raisins, toffee, prunes. Sweet, dark sugars in the middle. Finish has a mild bitterness and even a hint of spice. There is also a nice alcohol warming on the finish, but it is still a bit harsh.

M - Medium body and medium level of carbonation, but not as smooth as I would like it to be. A very sticky mouthfeel on the tongue after a few sips.

O - Nice barelywine and I'm glad it is back as a seasonal. I think it was still a bit harsh and I'm excited to see how it smooths out over time.

After aging for a year the taste has really mellowed out it is even better.

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Photo of Akrueg7272
2.88/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

This beer packs a punch, since it is 10-12% abv. Definite sipper that has a good blend of flavor. Appearance is reddish in color with no distinct aroma. Nothing in it is overpowering, except for that distinct alcohol flavor. It is one that I wouldn't order but if offered I would accept.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 1/13/14.

Pours a hazy crimson-orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, biscuit, brown sugar, and candied fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, brown sugar, dark fruit, and alcohol flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a strong alcohol presence that lingers on the palate long after each sip.

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Photo of martyl1000
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

By the way, 12.5% abv.

Sticky two finger creamy head and lacing. Rouge-brown amber fluid.

My least favorite beer aroma hits the nose first: leather. Milky rice pudding and wonder bread make up the malt bill. Brown sugar and vanilla, plus a mild booziness.

In the mouth the leather greets the palette, first, unfortunately. There's a waterlogged driftwood that seems wedded to a chocolate-toffee sweetness and a nice estery burn. Finishes with nice top-soil and hop bitterness.

Medium- to full-bodied. Creamy and slick, a sticky, bitter finish.

This afternoon, I was overly impulsive buying two 4-packs of this brew. Perhaps my judgement was clouded by the memories of two awesome Wisconsin barley wine discoveries: 1) just last month I cellared three four-packs of the enviable Stevens Point Whole Hog BW; and, 2) last month I was floored by Schell's Stag Series BW, on tap at Mason Lounge.

Still, this is a pretty delicious barleywine, more English-style than American, which is my preference. I'm gonna throw the remaining 7 bottles in the cellar, hoping a year or more might do good things.

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Photo of guityler83
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 01/13/14

A: Long sustaining finger of kahki head in my tulip glass. A deep maroon, mahogony colored beer with moderate haze. The lacing on the side of the glass glings on for life and slides slowly.

S: A big stone fruit aroma, warm raisins and plums, candy sugar and some pine under tones. Toasty, toffee and caramel. Overall great aroma everything is very balanced and distinct. Nothing offensive and no alcohol.

T: Flavor is very on par with the aroma. A very english flavored barley wine. Toasty, caramel, raisins, toffee, prunes. Balance is on the malt, comes off sweet. Bitterness is moderate with a floral and slight pine character. Melenoidin flavor is pronounced, the caramel notes are dark and matured.

M: Big beefy body with medium level of carbonation. A very sticky mouthfeel on the tongue after a few sips. Alcohol warming is moderate.

O: A very tasty English Style BW. Balancing the malt flavors and no harshness, only a small bit of alcohol warming. I'd recommend this to people just getting into the style as a well brewed example. Way to go LF, glad to see it back!

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Photo of nj20de
3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasty barley wine tasted fresh in Milwaukee. A sweet malt barley wine packs a alcohol punch but very little hop presence. Would love to drink a hopped up version considering that the hop presence will fade over time. Might as well over hop so that otherworldly can be reached after a year!

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Photo of LXIXME
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Small off white/tan to light brown head quickly faded to a skimpy lacing if that above a clear caramel orange colored beer.

Alcohol with some caramel malts coming through with maybe some citrus like hops lurking in there somewhere.

Alcohol leads the taste of this for me but once I get past that I can taste both the malts and hops with the malts being on the caramel side things. The aftertaste is similar in that you have this light grainy malt dryish taste left in your mouth, not a bad thing but I just did.

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Photo of joepais
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Stan for bring this to our Friday beer tasting. We have no clue how old this is but it still is carbonated. It poured nice with a good caramel color and a slight cream colored head. The nose had some great sweet caramel aromas' as well. The flavor was great, not much oxidation which was a little bit of a surprise. It has good sweetness to it so age treated it well. No alcohol heat left in it at all I don't think the bottle would get any better so drink them if you got them.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.57/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out of a petit little 6.3oz bottle pours a sediment chunky dull copper with tan head. Boy, that's not much beer. Looks like a couple of quaffs. The aroma is nice with caramel and toffee that give way to dark fruitiness and hints of citrus hard candy. The flavor is nice and smooth with a suitable somewhat thick mouth feel. The flavor starts with pine and citrus sweet hop flavor that slowly build to a mild bitterness that is a little out of place. Along with the hops are mild caramel candy and toffee candy sweetness. The dark fruitiness really takes a back seat to the other flavor notes. Tasty.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a hazy orange-caramel body with big gelatinous lumps falling into the glass throughout the pour. There is a slow carbonation of tiny bubbles that support a thin web of big white bubbles that is the head.

S- There is a nice aroma of sherry and sweet caramel malt with notes of wood, nuts and dry cardboard in the background. There is a nice soft alcohol note at the finish that reminds me of a nice malty port if there were such a thing.

T- There is a clean bourbon flavor with some raw grain notes and some soft sweet caramel malt flavors. The sweetness blends into a cherry note followed by a soft bitter wood note at the finish.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture and a soft alcohol heat finish.

D- This beer has a nice aroma and the flavor starts good but as it warms it gets weaker or more watery. The last few sips were all gelatinous mass that was undrinkable, I tried, so that meant it was about a 5 oz beer. The size was a bit of a let down as I was starting to enjoy the beer when it was over.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.09/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

First off, big-ass thanks to EPseja and family for giving this North Jerseyan the opportunity to sample this. Brought back from the Midwest, I've been saving this tasting for the right moment.

Served in an oversize brandy snifter at cellar temperature with a tasty wedge of English Stilton cheese.

Appearance- No better or worse than expected... the beer pours a clear reddish amber into my glass, and even on an aggressive pour the head settles to a film with a bubbly exterior. There are several small chunks of sediment lurking around in the liquid, and this does not offend me. Shoddy, small patches of lacing stick inside.

Smell- A mature integration of hops and malts are clearly displayed here, with the alcohol strength and some light smoke weaving a tapestry within. Like a fine wood-aged spirit, this has enormous depth.

Taste- A balanced showing of malts and hops, strongly presented individually... however, the aftertaste lingers a bit too long, with its pungency dominating. After swirling in the yeast sediment, a sweetness contributes to the hefty flavors and adds a new dimension. Just too heavy and plodding for my taste, this beer isn't a great example of the style.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- The inkling of carbonation entering the mouth fades fast and the beer becomes a thin, brain-assaulting barleywine of huge proportions. I would love to have experienced some complexities with regard to the malts, or some other aspect here... but this wasn't easy to drink. Not even with that scrumptious wedge of Stilton.

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Photo of Drew966
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer Line pours a caramel color with minimal head and large chunks of yeast floating about from a brown 6.3 ounce bottle. It barely fills almost half of my snifter. It smells like caramel to me. Tastes a bit like caramel too. This is kind of a one note barley wine. It's not bad, it's definitely worth a try.

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Beer Line from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 137 ratings