Bridge Burner Special Reserve Ale | Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

very good
167 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 167 | Ratings: 391
Photo of Sammy
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewery. Black with a little white head. Not aroma.Some chocolate malt, some roast. This is what I was getting. Boozy. Less than
average strong, a bit like a malt liquor with some chocolate flavouring.Not so drinkable. WOuld like some more hops which would be more like the style.

 294 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: half finger head with minimal retention on a deep amber head with a lot of floaters in it... likely related to age.

S: dark fruit, mostly apple, raisin and strawberry with tofee and caramel and candy sugar notes.

T: flavor has a sharp, terpentine like note up front quickly moving to a brown sugar, toffee, milk chocolate and toasty malt base. molasses and earthy/resin hops notes round this one out.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: nicely complex. certainly better than I was expecting. Definitely worth trying.

 538 characters

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

22oz bottle, 8.0% ABV. Lots of good stuff about working together, bridging the gap (with fire, apparently), and all that, on the busy label.

This beer pours a dark, murky orange-tinted brown colour, with three fingers of chunky, foamy, and rather bubbly light beige head, which leaves some very nice tight webbed lace around the glass in its short wake.

It smells pretty much like a prototypical DIPA: tart citrus hops, a hint of muddled pine resin, bready caramel and toffee malt, and a sidling nostril-probing booziness. The taste still leads with the sassy hops - blended citrus notes and wet pine, to a lesser degree, with a sturdy backbone of bready, lightly caramelized malt, Toffifay, and some besotted raisin and dark plummy fruitiness.

The carbonation is moderate, with just a wee prickliness, the body a stolid medium weight, and maybe a little thinned out by the booze, but generally smooth. It finishes, as ever was, with resplendent piney, citrus rind hop bitterness, annoyed reactionary citizen malt, and a slightly sneaky and almost ethereal alcohol warming.

If it looks like, smells like, and tastes like a DIPA, then it must be so? No? Two out of three for the win? Ah well, it's got more big-ass hopitude packed into those 45 IBUs than a lot of actual DIPAs I've recently come across. Tasty, American, strong, and ale - got it.

 1,351 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a murky chestnut color with a big head; nice stickage and a willowy pattern of lace

Smell: Stone fruit with a lot of caramel and a bit of resiny, minty hops

Taste: The stone fruit and resinous hops jump out together at the outset, with the hops building further by mid-palate; after the swallow, the sweeter elements prevail, though there is a lingering fruity aspect in the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: As others have pointed out, very similar to Arrogant Bastard, which is not among my favorites; just too sticky for my palate

 591 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dark black color ale with a large dark foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma consists of dry roasted malt with some resin and citrus hops. Taste is a mix between some roasted malt notes with dry notes and some pine and citrus hops punch. Body is quite full with somewhat of a creamy texture and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Well balanced with good hops punch

 411 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This comes off as an Arrogant Bastard clone that surpasses the original.
Bottled: mar wk2 10

Murky orange in a pint glass, strong retention with sticky sheets of lace that last for the whole glass.
Visible chunky sediment, hanging in the reddish orange liquid.

Hops! Fairly fruity and citrusy at first, a little sweet cantaloupe.
Somewhat malty though hop dominant in the nose.

Sticky and full bodied, a fairly big beer that seems like an imperial amber, a la nugget nectar. Sweet sticky specialty malt, resinous hop bitterness, piney and fruity notes. Not too heavy, but still a sipper. Medium to low carbonation, smooth feel to it. Pretty substantial hop character that's well integrated overall. Will pick this up again...

 731 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a dark burgundy color with a small, tan head of bubbly foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled fruity and yeasty with a strong dose of maltiness and booze.

T - It tasted very boozy and had a strong alcohol heat. Very sweet with caramel and a touch of fruitiness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This could use some time to mellow out. A bit too sweet and boozy.

 451 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed at a recent tasting. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pours a fairly-dark brown color with a thin light tan head with pretty good retention. The nose yields a bit of strong malt sweetness along with some dark fruits. There's a bit of light cherry lingering in the background as well. Mild brown sugar. The flavor is fruity and sweet. Not too much complexity, but a nice combination. Mouthfeel is medium with a bit of booze. Overall, pretty good. I wouldn't mind tried this aged out a bit further.

 500 characters

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

A - Pours with one finger of off white foam on top of a hazy, dark brown body with some small chunks floating in it. The foam settles at a moderate pace and leaves excellent lace.

S - Brown, sugary malt with some molasses and smoke in the background.

T - Sweet, alomost tart dark fruit up front with some molasses and brown sugar in the middle. Finishes with dark cherry smoky caramel and a hint of mocha.

M - a moderately thick body, average carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Not bad, better than I expected in fact, especially after seeing the copious amounts of floaters that ended up in the glass. The malt character was relatively complex and well balanced with and it is pretty drinkable for the alcoholic strength.

 737 characters

Photo of oberon
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I havent had many Lakefront beer,the ones I have had have been sorta pedestrian.Poured a medium shade of brown with a decent sized white head atop that left broken lace as it settled in my impy nonic.Aromas are great,a mix of big caramel malt and pine/citrus hops,its American strong ale thru and thru in my mind.Flavors start out great,a smack of resiny hop mixed with some caramel and brown sugar,the finish though is abrupt and lacking.The mouthfeel is a bit thin and takes away from the flavors in my opinion.Its pretty good but could be great,glad I tried it.

 564 characters

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).

 616 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color with a large off- white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is a nice blend of hops, dark fruit, citrus, brown sugar and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out malty with sweet flavors of caramel, brown sugar and dark fruit. Then a strong hops presence comes in and provides a decent balance. The combination of flavors fades out and leaves a dry and slightly bitter after-taste.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this beer but after reading the label and then smelling the beer, I thought I would like it more than I actually did. However, overall, I consider it a pretty good beer that is worth drinking for a while.

 926 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, mahogany-hued body with a teeny tiny, off-white head.

Smell: Blending of butterscotch and light caramel in the aroma with supporting notes of pine, unripened cherry, and toast.

Taste: Toasty, sweet caramel and butterscotch maltiness. Lightly fruity. Earthy, piney hops with an assertive bitterness. A lingering bitterness tries to restrain the otherwise malty finish. Definitely hides its ABV well.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Somewhat sticky mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Not a bad little ASA. Far and away, it's my favorite thing to come out of Lakefront.

 604 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn."

--David Russell

Polished pomegranate that explodes with gemstone-like brilliance when sunlight is added. The pastel gold crown, that is milkshake thick and creamy, looks even better as it melts. Thick sheets of BB-shot lace coat the upper third of the glass, cementing the sky-high appearance score. What a looker!

According to the aroma, Bridge Burner SRA smells like a caramel-malted barleywine with a generous amount of citrusy hops. American strong ale? Pretty much the same thing when you come right down to it. If the alcohol is masked as well on the taste buds, this could be Lakefront's best brew yet.

Since this bottle is at least 6 months of age (and probably older), it doesn't have the kickin' hoppiness that it probably had when fresh. That's really the only thing holding it back from the next highest taste score. What was probably a pretty serious hop punch initially has mellowed into something... well... more mellow.

BBSRA is still delicious beer. It also appears to have aged well, for those of you who prefer more malt and less lupulins, relatively speaking. A brown bread and English-toffee-covered-with-nuts bass line is complemented by candied orange and grapefruit peel top notes. The ABV would have been easy to guess, but the alcohol is almost impossible to appreciate. Kudos to the brewers for that.

As the beer falls with drinking, a gorgeous, lace-crusted pint glass is the visual reward. Although the mouthfeel comes close to keeping pace, it doesn't quite get it done. It's a fraction light for the style and the bubbles don't inject enough creaminess. It sure does make the beer easy to drink, though.

Lakefront is a better brewery than my memory gives them credit for. Holiday Spice Lager, Riverwest Stein Beer, IPA, Cream City Pale Ale and White Beer are all solid. This one is as well. Next time I'll drink it fresh and hoppy. Bottom line: Bridge Burner is a barn burner of an American strong ale.

 2,022 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this at Macadoodles in Jane, MO, bottled Apr 2010

Pours a ruddy chestnut with 2 fingers of fluffed up tan head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit & vanilla

T: Plums, figs, caramel, dryness & woody hops up front. Leafy & slightly piney hops mingle with figs, slight boozeyness, plums & brown sugar as this warms. Finishes dry with brown sugar sweetness, some vanilla & with figgyness & subdued leafy hops

MF: Medium bodied, chewy, warming with subtle carbonation & decent balance

Drinks easy, not a bad take on the style, but doesn't quite gel into greatness

Would love to try a fresher bottle just to see what the diff is. I'm guessing more hops, but also a bit hotter booze-wise...

 712 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark amber and crystal clear. Impressive head that recedes in a rocky fashion, leaving rings of chunky lace on the glass.

Nice blend of crystal malt and fresh hop. There's a mild fruitiness to an attractive way.

Creamy flavor with a small amount of sweetness. This is quickly lost in a hop bomb rush. This continues through the swallow and long into the aftertaste. The body is surprisingly thin, but it does not take away from the powerful flavors. Could be described as a weak-bodied DIPA.

 504 characters

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.

 464 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear darker brown. Nose is alcohol and wood. Flavor is nice. Smooth with cherry, wood, and sweet tones. Not really complex, but it's workin'. Nicer as it warms. Feel is sticky and smooth and a bit silky as well. Nice to drink. This might be interestng on cask.

 269 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a Dogfish Head Ale glass.

A real dark brown mahogany body. Looks like very dark brown coffee, with a hint of red hue but barely on the edges. Head compliments the color with a bit of beige and yellow color. Two fingers off the pour with soapy little retention, and settling slowly.

Nose has a mild sense of grapefruit hop and thick malts. Some light brown sugars, but a very heavy sensing smell. Thick molasses like mild milk chocolate also.

Palate is a bit of a surprise. The first flavor on the mid palate is quite fruity, with a sense of fig like character. Hop bitterness is mellowed out with some sweet caramel finishing, with a hint of roast like character. There's some nice mellow simple instant pot coffee warmth and flavor on the finish with this. Feel is quite light but carries everything nicely.

A very flavorful and drinkable strong ale, really liked this one.

 906 characters

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!

 539 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Murky magenta...medium creamy toned head.

Aroma jumps with hops, fat, plump with apricot, peach,, ...vibrant and lively. Bitter smack attack.

Hop smack returns in the taste...big, biscuity malt meets the hop. Juicy, bright, citrusy...yum...

Good, medium body, full flavor, persistent finish. Delicious.

Probably the best Lakefront Brew I've yet had. Here's to more!

 382 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ouncer, the informative back label tells me this was brewed during the first week of June, 2008. Pours a nice rich shade of dark amber/auburn, under a medium tan head that shows world class retention and then leaves extensive, frothy and well developed lace and sheeting. malty nose, with traces of honey and nuts. Smooth, tasty, bald, complex and thoroughly enjoyable ASA. Lots of nutty malts, some wood/smoke, honey, and dark bread notes. Yum. A very nice, smooth and mellow take on the style. With the 8% well in the rear, this one is well worth trying and enjoying with some chedder, bread and smoky meaty. Nice job here from Lakefront Brewing

 650 characters

Photo of Tone
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark amber color. 2/3 inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of alcohol, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, slight caramel malt, slight dark citrus, hint of yeast, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of an American Strong Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, roasted malt, slight hop, slight alcohol, hint of wheat, hint of dark citrus, and a hint of caramel malt. Overall, good appearance, aroma, blend, complexity, and body.

 526 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a brown color with a short 1/4" head that breaks apart quickly to some large surface bubbles. Some spots of lace develop.

Smell: caramel, brown sugar sweetness, and a bit of alcohol are noticeable but it seems a bit sweet overall.

Taste: big malt presence with caramel, brown sugar, prunes, and a mild bitterness. Alcohol is definitely noticeable here.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp to start, less crisp at the finish. Aftertaste is long on the sweetness.

Drinkability: if you are in the mood for a malt heavy beer this is it, but it comes across a bit to sweet for my liking in a strong ale.

 616 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

No freshness info was apparent on this bottle. Poured in to tulip.

A - Very dark amber/brown, almost completely opaque. One finger of cream coloured head.

S - Piney hop aroma dominates with some citrus, roast and nuttiness.

T - Piney and citrus flavours accompany a moderate bitterness for the style. Roast, nuttiness and a hint of chocolate in the background.

M - Medium body. Creamy with some nice sticky hop oils. Light to moderate carbonation.

 454 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bridge Burner Special Reserve Ale from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
3.86 out of 5 based on 391 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.