Bridge Burner Special Reserve Ale | Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

very good
167 Reviews
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Bridge Burner Special Reserve AleBridge Burner Special Reserve Ale

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

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by cokes on 06-27-2008

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 167 | Ratings: 391
Photo of GuyFawkes
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

Murky dark brown; light only passes through at the edges.

Nice off-white head which dissipates; strong lacing throughout.

Sweet malts in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel, bordering on heavy.

Light maltiness in the flavor, slight booze and hops detectable. Pleasant but frankly a bit boring. Not very exciting.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Looks like a hefty imperial brown ale. 1/3" head, off white. Aroma was boozy, toffee and caramel, brown malt notes. Hops understated.

Hops didn't come through in the aroma or taste really, what was there was for balancing purposes moreso it feels and tastes like.

Eh, its an imperial brown ale in a bomber format for me. Not gonna return.

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Photo of JackieKu
4.29/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 fl.oz. bottle. BB 13 Nov, 2015. Poured into tulip.

A: Copper to brown. Clear. Poured with medium amount of foam with short retention.
S: Hoppy. Caramel. Some roasted aroma.
T: Moderate malty. Slightly sweet. Tropical fruits. Medium bitterness. Dry finish.
M: medium bodied and creamy.
O: Not sure how to classify its category. But it's really flavorful and balanced, quite outstanding.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

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Photo of bushbeer75
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle - bottled 12/19/13 printed on the shoulder of the bottle

Lakefront Bridge Burner a dark red amber color that produced a small 1/4-finger off-white rocky head. The head dissipated quickly to a ring of bubbly foam in my snifter. The nose is dominated by hops, floral and pine are also present. Upfront the taste is dominated by sweet caramel with brown sugar and dark fruits. Hops follow to provide a balance and a dry slightly bitter aftertaste. Alcohol produced a nice warming finish. Mouth feel is medium-full and slightly sticky with moderate carbonation.

Bridge Burner is a flavorful and drinkable strong ale. I'll sure have another!

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Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Starting temperature of about 45F but improved with warming.

Poured dark reddish-brown with a fine, creamy tan head than left exceptional lacing.

Aroma: surprisingly hoppy: More like an APA than an "amber ale". A solid mix of malts is also present. Hints of toffee, white pepper and other spices.

Flavor: about as hoppy as a typical APA, but with a robust medium- and dark-roasted malt base. Well-balanced and mildly spicy (hops).

Feel: light heat from the higher ABV but relatively smooth and soft. Medium+ body.

O: a well-crafted and tasty Imperial BPA (Brown Pale Ale).

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruddy mahogany color with a soapy head and plenty of lace. Aroma is fully malty and has just a kiss if smoke. Reminds me of the smell of a mild aged scotch but of course faintly. In the taste, malty with some piney, resinous hops providing expert balance. Toast, caramel, brown sugar and hops. Disguises the alcohol very well. Full bodied with a soft carbonation, wasnt pouring well but drank just fine. Overall this is a smooth American Strong Ale, can hit with the best of them.

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Photo of thecheapies
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brewer's choice inclusion in the sample case.

Pours very dark. A cloudy copper brown color with a dense clump of evened-out khaki foam. Looks rich. Plus plus.

Red malts with a chocolatey, barleywine vibe. Roasty aromas are prevalent, but want to get lost in the caramel malt sweetness. Moderate earthy hop with a plasticine phenol note. Semi-fruity with hints of red apple and date. Nice.

Mellow spice in the hops with much attention devoted to a burnt sugar, caramel, semi-fruity malt. Earthiness builds in the middle with more hop flavor than bitterness, and enough of it to go around. A little bit more of that chocolate is going a long way. More than smacked by a blanket of kilned barley malt and dark fruit nuances. Pleasant with a subtle sweetness that I adore. Booze is not head-rearing, but steady and somber. It's a great drink for almost 9%. Carbonation is on-key, and the body is buttery and filled-out to great effect. Premium mouthfeel for an Imperial Amber. No points docked for style, either. Would order this over most strong ales and barleywines that meet near the middle of the Venn Diagram. Awesome.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of jtierney89
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprisingly really good, not normally a lake front fan. Nice grapefruit aroma with a bit of pine. Deep russet hue. Medium bodied, a little slick, bright back end hop character with enough sweet caramel malt to balance. Almost bitter sweet. Some dried fruit notes A nice little find. Bitterness is clean and refreshing, alcohol is well hidden, flavors are well blended and concise.

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Photo of jwc215
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours caramel-colored with a thick light tan head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is fruity, spicy and resinous with caramel and some black pepper.

The taste is big on booze - black pepper and caramel. The hop character is big on pine/resin with some citric/tropical fruits. It has a sweet finish with a dry aftertaste.

It is medium bodied and somewhat sticky. Hot.

This is a strong strong ale. Booze is certainly forward. By the name and style, though, it's to be expected. If you're in the mood for a strong sipper, this is a solid choice!

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Photo of faernt
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This one is smooth with a hop malt balance. Smooth means "silky" in the mouthfeel. The flavors are well blended. It poured well and it made a pretty carbonated greeting. it's balanced, but not idiosyncratic. I want to rave, but it's just good.

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Photo of HansumFilly
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep, deep red color with thick, off-white head. Nice lacing. The head appears to want to move into the guest bedroom as it shows no signs of leaving anytime soon.

Smells like a Scottish ale - caramel, dark fruit. There's also some hops there but this one is definitely all about the malt. Those beautiful hops have been dominated.

Taste is caramel, followed by raisins and a nice bitter hop finish. I'm also picking up something spicey as it warms, but i can't quite identify it. Nicely carbonated for the style. Full bodied and smooth. Nice brew to warm up with on a cold winter day. Not too boozy either at 8%.

Overall, this is a solid beer and it's definitely worth a try if you like smooth, malty brews. I don't know that I'd pick it up again, but i'm not disappointed in it either.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

The beer is a hazy, murky brown color just lighter than tootsie roll but darker than caramel? A mocha colored head stays around for a long while, and thick foamy lacing stays on the glass.

The aroma is bourbon barrel, vanilla, chocolate, and marshmallow creme sweetness.

The taste is a little more smokey or burnt than the aroma, but the same oak and vanilla flavors come out. A nice smooth caramel flavor takes over through the finish taking some edge off of the ABV.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a strong burn on the finish.

Overall, not my favorite style but perhaps my favorite beer of this style. Very flavorful and smooth.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into 34oz mug; warm brown color showing deep ruby/garnet through the sides, with a nice fluffy tan head that doesn't fade at all. Smell is crisp floral and herbal hops, with some slight pineyness, overtop of clean caramel malts. Taste is toasted malt up front, moving into bittersweet hops that add lots of crispness, and finishing out with some sweet fruity flavors from under the malt as hop bitterness lingers. Alcohol is entirely hidden, mouthfeel is clean and medium full.
Overall this is a good strong ale, very clean and tasty flavor. Might not be the most complex thing ever, but it's drinkable and delicious.

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Photo of TheSSG
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a huge, dense, tan head that has surprising persistence. Aroma is initially very bright with floral/citrus hops very noticeable but then mellows into a sweet, fruity spiciness. Deep, deep burnt umber is radiant when you can get light through it. Starts out with hop bitterness and wonderful, toasted malt and booziness - almost a raisin like flavor, too. It builds into a medium bitterness as the fruit notes subside and citrus rind hop bitterness pairs against toasted malt. Finish is mostly hop bitterness lingering upon roasted malt. A nice, medium carbonation and body.

Overall, I like this. It's got a good level of complexity, but nothing out of control. Great balance of toasted malt, hops, and sweetness.

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Photo of BGDrock
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown body with ruby red touches, and a sandy brown head with hints of pink like Himalayan sea salt

Aroma: sweet malts, strawberry, cherry, pine needles

Taste & Mouthfeel: full, smooth mouthfeel, with maple and caramel malt flavour and strong resin hops; this actually feels "Canadian" with the blend of syrupy sweetness and coniferous bitters - well balanced; there is some ripe dark fruit, like prunes or dates, maybe some banana

Overall: a good sessionable ale (if your're looking to get loopy fast), if not particularly special or memorable

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Photo of dtivp
3.39/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark reddish brown with a finger and a half tan head that fades slowly into a thick ring with good lacing.

Aroma of dark fruits, earthy hops, musty and hints of alcohol.

Taste of sweet caramel, floral hops,earthy with a boozy after taste.

Mouth Feel was medium body and carbonation, syrupy, sticky with a very boozy ending and after taste.

Overall I believe this would be a better beer if the booze was dialed down, surprising at 8.5% the alcohol was so prevalent. As the beer came to room temperature is was much more enjoyable.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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Photo of ssmack
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A dark tan brown with 1 inch of tan head that quickly dissolves to a thin head. The lacing though is very good.

A strong resin aroma hit me right off. Then the nice aroma of careml and roasted walnuts. Lots of piney hops too. But an alcohol smell is in there too.

The taste of roasted grains and grassy hops. Lots of maltiness too. Again a strong taste of alcohol spoils things.

A medium feel that lacks the bite of carbonation.

This is a rich tasting brew but too much taste from the alcohol. I enjoyed the balance of malt and hops. I wished that I had cellared this one to mellow the alcohol and intentsifed the tasted. I think the potential is there.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.31/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served in a snifter at Firkin.

Now why would you wanna go and burn your bridges? Anyway, this stuff pours a clear topaz topped by a finger of light khaki foam. The nose comprises mild caramel, mixed greens, and very light maple syrup. The taste brings in more of the same, eliciting a flavor of syrup-covered greens. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a decent brew, though nothing to really get excited over.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-brown in the glass, clear two finger head with nice lacing

S- caramel dirt grass good deal of hops

T- some caramel, grass mix of hops no bitterness. Good but nothing stands out

M- medium bodied some carbonation

O- an average tasting brew. Seemed more like a strong amber than strong ale. Nothing to write home about.

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Photo of TerryW
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Good looking beer. Dark walnut colour with a handsome pillowy head. Leaves lots of lace.

Nose is boozy, sweet malt and charcoal, some dark fruit. Quite sweet and boozy to taste, somewhere between malt liquor and a barley wine. I just find it too sweet and too harsh on the palate to enjoy. Notable burned character. Burned, bitter finish.

Every aspect of this one is just too blunt to me. One harsh note after another, but nothing really hangs together. Sorry, but not to my taste.

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Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of leaddog
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours a dark nut brown with a finger width of foamy beige head.

Smell - Malts, dark fruits (plum), earthy/musty hops (just a tad), hint of spice.

Taste - Malts including caramalts, plum and dark fruits, and spiciness from hops. Strong malt backbone. Nice mild bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A little sticky.

Overall - An enjoyable strong ale by Lakefront. I like the stronger malt backbone with the hops playing the supporting role. Nice to find other American craft offerings in Calgary.

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Bridge Burner Special Reserve Ale from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
3.86 out of 5 based on 391 ratings.
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