Beer Line | Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

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Beer LineBeer Line
136 Ratings
Beer LineBeer Line

Brewed by:
Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-18-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 136 |  Reviews: 56
Reviews by BigMcLargeHuge:
Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.57/5  rDev -4.3%
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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More User Reviews:
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.43/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer Line comes enclosed in a little 6.3oz green bottle and produly declars it is certified organic ale. No freshness dating that I can see, but it does state it's best when aged a year. Pours into my snifter with a nice copper orange hue and only a small ring of white bubbles around the top. Some suspended particles are there when I hold it up to the light. Aromas of sweet malt accentuated by caramel, fruit, raisins, toffee and yeast. Not too much in the way of hops here...a bit bland overall.

First sip brings a big blast of sweet maltiness with plenty of caramel and sweet bread notes. Slighty fruity with some raisin and a small hop drizzle on the way down. Not a bad English style barleywine overall with just a hint of alcohol in the flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slick. A touch syrupy sweet as it rolls down across the tongue. Fairly easy to drink for a barleywine, but a bit too sweet. They should really bottle this is 12oz bottles and sell it in four packs, as I paid $2.49 for this single and I doubt I'd buy it again being that it's such a small bottle and somewhat of a tease. Barleywine or least give me 12oz! :-)

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Photo of nj20de
3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
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 pat61
4.75/5  rDev +27.3%

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 kingjames1
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought this bottle about 6 months ago, and only later noticed the disturbingly large chuncks of godknowswhat at the bottom of the six ounce bottle. I can find no bottled-on date on this one, though it tells me to wait a year. A year from when?

Pours a deep orange-amber with little or no head. I think I'll wait for the massive floaties to sink to the bottom. It does sickeningly remind me of battlekow's morbid description of decaying flesh (sorry). Am I crazy to try this? Apparently other brave BAs have gone before me and lived to tell the tale, so here goes...

Smells odd. Moldering fruits, dark and past their prime. Stale, mild cheddar cheese? Not too terribly pungent, but not terribly appealing either. Dare I continue? I'm wondering...

Here goes...the taste, mercifully, is a massive improvement on the smell. Rich, fruity (raisins and apricots), with a definite alcohol presence. Not a bad barleywine, tastewise. In fact, it really grows on you as you sip it. Fruity and sweet (honey?), yet ends with a satisfying, dry finish.

Mouthfeel is pleasant as well, with a perisistent lacing, there is a good amount of carbonation in this one, nicely complementing the fruit-syrup character of this barleywine.

Drinkability - well, barleywines are by no means session beers. For what it is, I find it a reasonably sippable beer.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.07/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was bottled in 1997. It says on the bottle to age at least a year. We will see how it holds up after 8 years. This beer pours a cloudy golden brown. The head is white, and very thin. What little head there is, fades slowly leaving a good lacing. There is a lot of yeast sediment on the bottom of the glass. It has a malty smell. I cant detect any hope. It smells of alcohol. It slightly reminds me of brandy. It smells very slightly fruity. It tastes strongly of alcohol. It warms my throat as it goes down. It also has a fruity taste, like apricots or raisins. I cant taste any hop bitterness. The bottle says 50 IBU's, but after 8 years, it is understandable that all hop presence is gone. This beer has a sweet taste also. This beer is very thick, almost syrup like. It leaves an alcoholic aftertaste. It goes down smooth. If you could find this beer anymore, it would make a good session beer. It is very good. The alcohol content is probably a little high, but it is worth it. I am slightly sad that the glass is almost gone. Thanks karst for once again hooking me up with a memorable beer.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.07/5  rDev +9.1%
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 richkrull
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of LXIXME
3.42/5  rDev -8.3%
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 acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of JMS1512
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of cokes
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Phallic, 6.3oz mini-magnum bottle. Year unknown, but likely 1997 due to the blurb on the label about Lakefront's 10th anniversary (1987-1997).
Leathery crimson appearance. Zero head. Strange, plastic looking flakes of sediment.
Nose full of dried berries, smoke, toffee, dust and alcohol.
Taste begins with a toasted buttertoffee aspect, which segues into dry fruit. Berries, primarily raspberry, are the key players. Carmelized peaches and mocha notes enter next with some smoky hues. Touches of cauliflower and strange vegetables...not necessarily off, just weird. Spiciness enters along with alcoholic waves. Medicinal at times. Hopping is noticed in just the faintest of tea leaf colorings.
This is one to decant, since the sediment is texturally observed in the mouth (and unpleasant, in a globular, slimy sort of way). Otherwise, sticky yet smooth.
Averages to decent. Some sips are likeable, others are not.

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Photo of Snow81
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.42/5  rDev -8.3%
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 bditty187
3.04/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours almost clear but there is a slight yeast haze that has been infiltrated by chucks of yeast, the liquid is coppery in color with tawny influences. The color is attractive. The head reached a very modest fourth of a finger in height; it quickly fizzed away to a bubbly residue. There was some subsequent lacing; it was spotty but not very widespread. It is a shame the bottle only held 6.3-ounces of beer because it just doesn’t look right in my glass. I guess the old question has been answered; I’m a glass half empty kind of guy. The nose smells like old, dusty wood. What? Is it supposed to smell like that? This aroma is very strong and I don’t care for it. Oxidation? Maybe, it doesn’t smelly papery it smells dusty? Same difference, maybe. Underneath is a whisper of fruit, some apricots, grapes, and a wine cooler-like berry blend. This aspect of the nose is nice but too soft. Malt sweetness tries to break the surface. Overall, I really don’t like nose. It is not inviting. It is almost offensive. I decide to take a sip, honestly I feared the worst but the palate is okay. The palate is sweet, malty and tasty. It really is. No flaws. Fruitiness is modestly loud with apricots, plums, grapes, oranges drizzled in honey are the most noticeable tastes. Alcohol is warming and very fitting for this beer. In this case, heat is good. Hops are soft and offer only minimal support; this beer is not balanced as it leans to the sweet side of life. Overall the palate is kind of simple but tasty. It could be improved but “as is” I like it. One thing than needs a fixing is hops; more please! Medium-full in body, very low carbonation, the mouthfeel is syrupy and sluggish. The aftertaste does get tacky and dare I say it becomes cloying. The only thing that stops this onslaught is alcohol heat. Interesting. Is this beer drinkable? I don’t know. I really don’t. It is not fun to drink a beer without smelling it as I take a sip. Then there is the mouthfeel; it is a little bulky. There isn’t much enjoyment when I drink it and I guess that is the bottom line. The flavor profile just isn’t right. This will be a one-time beer for me. I don’t know what year this beer was brewed, maybe 1997? It seems to have aged reasonably well, I don’t know if time has hurt the nose or not. I seen this beer crammed in the beer cooler at Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI for $2.49 so I thought I’d give it a shot. Once will be enough.

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Photo of marcobrau
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An amber color barleywine that pours with little head. Aroma of vanilla combined with more earthy smells, perhaps suede? Low carbonation, but that doesn't bother me in this style, because this stuff is almost as strong as wine -- hence the name. The vanilla in the aroma makes itself known on the tastebuds, too. There's a rich malt flavor with strong caramel flavors. A bit of alcoholic bite towards the finish which is long and full of caramel. This beer drinks like liquid creme brulee.

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Photo of jdkitchi
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of tourdot
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of jsh420
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of Hendrick24
3.46/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.23/5  rDev +13.4%
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 Beestin
4.36/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of aschbren
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer was brewed to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Milwaukee's Lakefront Brewery. The name honors the Milwaukee street along which there used to be many breweries. It was last produced in 1997, but there are still plenty of bottles floating around out there. Since it's 2006, the brew was nicely aged prior to drinking -- and, indeed, the bottle recommends aging at least one year prior to consumption. The beer is also certified organic.

The aroma was malty with a wagonload of oranges and just a hint of clove. I appreciated the opaque amber color. It looks red when held up to the light. This beer has virtually no head and no carbonation. Being a novice at decanting beer, I accidentally poured the sediment into the glass.

Your first hint that this is a sipping beer is the fact that it comes in a cute 6.3 ounce bottle -- just enough to fill my wine glass nicely. The taste was pretty typical for an American barleywine. It came on strong with a nearly overpowering bite of American hops which made me shudder slightly with each sip. The hop attack wasn't as strong as other barley wines that I've tasted. The flavor then subsides into a more calm hop-orange flavor that extends for minutes. It plays only a few taste notes, but those flavors that it includes it plays well.

I would drink this beer with any number of strong cheeses that wouldn't be intimidated by the the hop blitzkrieg. A good aged cheddar or manchego come to mind, although the possibilities are likely endless.

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Photo of ddedhed
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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Beer Line from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 136 ratings