Bridge Burner Special Reserve Ale | Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

very good
392 Ratings
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 Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 392 |  Reviews: 167
Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of iatethecloudsfor
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of joe1510
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber
Steve's Madison

Bridge Burner pours a surprisingly dark red bordering on brown until backlit, it then glows a clear mahogany with carbonation bursting to the surface. Two fingers of off white head form on the pour and slowly drop to a thick cap with a thick collar. Sheet lacing is left behind after each sip along with some chunkiness that will take a lot of hot water to get off. This is a damn good looking beer!

The aroma is a little dead compared to my expectations. There's a good amount of caramel maltiness and gooey toffee in the back with noticeable clean alcohol rising through the air. The hops have a slight citric note to them but they do play well off the booziness. Pine needle hoppiness is what really stands out though and is a nice addition.

The flavor follows the aroma fairly closely. The caramel maltiness lays down a firm base while a little bit of a sugar cookie like sweetness comes into play. The growing hoppiness ends up treating the tongue like a second class citizen with all the pine this beer throws at you. The swallow brings along some candied citrus that play well with others. The booze comes across fairly big but is so clean it never gets in the way.

The carbonation on this beer is lively and keeps things moving along. The body leans toward the larger side of medium and the bitterness continues to grow until it peeks with a numbing of the lips.

This bomber is going down pretty fast and this beer continues to grow on me. A few nice piney burps have been popping up here and there.

This is a solid brew from Lakefront. It's nice to see them start bottling some special release type brews and the price tag is nice compared to others within the same alcohol range. I'd pick this up again.

 1,753 characters

Photo of Ri0
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - A rusty red and brown with a 2 finger off white head. Excellent retention and lacing.

S - Some pine hops with a roasted malt and sweet caramel, brown sugar smell. Some dark fruit notes mixed in as well.

T - Up front is malt and roasted grain followed by a hop presence. I was hoping for more of a bold hop presence, but this beer stays on the sweeter side with caramel, brown sugar, biscuit and toffee. Hints of date and fig. Has a pine and spice finish,

M - Nice carbonation and is a somewhat thick and heavy, good for this style.

O - A pretty good offering from LFB, but it leaves me wanting more from it. A bit more assertive and not so safe in the hop/malt combination. LFB doesn't seem to take too many risks, which may be a good thing.

 752 characters

Photo of jaasen64
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber thanks to the bigredone. Poured into a Lawson's tulip.

A- Pours a dark reddish brown mostly opaque but some translucency. About a half finger of light yellowish slightly brown head that leaves some light spotty lacing. Towards the end of the bottle there was definitely some yeast sedimentation. Decent consistently rising carbonation.

S- Caramel, malts, a little bit of evergreen from the hops, a little bit of booze that fits in well, about average aroma strength. Interesting smell, a little bit more hops then I was expecting.

T- Caramel, malts, some piney hops, lightly sweet, finishes with a lightly sweet caramel taste that lingers. Interesting, decently tasty, everything is balanced well and fits together smoothly.

M- Medium bodied, a little bit watery on the finish but nothing that impedes drinkability, nice carbonation, goes down very easily.

O- This was a nice strong ale. Nothing amazing that really stood out, but an easy to drink enjoyable strong ale that I could easily have again. I'd definitely recommend checking it out if you get the chance.

 1,081 characters

Photo of Vonerichs
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. The color is a nice deep amber and the head is thick and creamy. There's a large amount of lacing.

The nose is mostly malt of the toffee and roast varieties. There's also a strong pine hop presence finished by an alcohol astringency.

The taste is a nice blend of caramel malt, toast, and a load of hops. The hops are pine and earthy. The aftertaste is much more bitter than expected. They've acheived a very nice balance of malt and hops.

The mouthfeel is my favorite characteristic. It's thick and creamy and makes me want to swish it around on every sip. It has a very smooth finish to it with a slight puckering effect.

This one is easy to drink... delicious and smooth. There is a slight alcohol astringency but I'm willing to overlook that.

This was a very nice surprise. I've never had anything from this brewery and was going out on a limb to try something new. I wasn't disappointed. At the risk of sounding blasphemous, this kind of reminded me of Arrogant Bastard. Not as robust, maybe AB light?

 1,056 characters

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.

 664 characters

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

I poured this one form a 22oz brown bomber into a nonic pint glass.

A= This ale poured a deep russet / mahogany color with great clarity and a foamy loose head that rose 2" and then collapsed after a minute or two. Huge sheets of sticky lace left behind.

S= Hints of green orchard fruits, rich malty sweetness, and a lot of west coast oily hops round out the nose.

T= Light/medium malty backbone that conveys a fleeting glimpse of caramel (almost toffee) sweetness. I also enjoyed the significant toasted malt flavor present throughout. Midway the toasted notes push into citric and piney hop flavor. Bitterness is there but doesn't feel significant until the finish. Fruity esters dance throughout but remain in check. Finished long, dry, and hoppy.

MF= This could just be my bias showing, but I wanted this to not be as thin in the mouth. The lighter body, I believe, caused there to be a need for lesser carbonation. I'd take it a bit chewier with a tad higher carbonation if it were brewed just for me.

D= Insanely drinkable. Though I wanted it to be this or that as I drank it, at the end of the day this is a really drinkable beer that hides its alcohol and inspires one to drink it down and then look for more.

 1,223 characters

Photo of OregonGrown7
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of polopaul20
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of crossovert
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle.

It pours into my Lakefront pint a dark brown with hints of red. It has a foamy tan head that sticks nicely and slowly dissipates with nice lacing.

The smell has a nice hop presence. IT has a lot of citrus rind. There is a caramel nuttiness that lingers underneath.

The flavor is big It has a lot of sweetness, but also a decent amount of hops. It isn't overly bitter but it gets the job done. It has some melony, limey hops that have a medium bitterness level. The malt is mostly dark sugar. It works very nicely, it would be great aged in oak.

Another solid limited release form Lakefront.

 608 characters

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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

22oz bottle into 25oz snifter. Bottled on January, week 2. The person marking the label forgot to mark the year, with the choices of '08, '09, and '10. Since it can't be 10, and I don't think it's almost two years old, it was bottled in January '09. Unfortunately, we can expect some slightly tamer hops.

A gentle pour yields about a two finger cream-colored head. Most of the beer was poured in, but stopped just as a couple chunks of sediment made it into the glass. The hue is a deep purple, almost like plum.

Even after spending 9 months in a bottle the hops are still sharp, giving off plenty of grapefruit and pineapple. An interesting brown sugar aroma is in the background. There is a little bit of a dark fruit aroma, like sugary plum. The alcohol is well hidden. Overall, it seems like the aroma is on the lighter side, but that might not be the case if it was fresh.

The taste has a strong sweetness to it, like candy sugar, which is highly contrasted by the bitter hops, which linger until the very end. The alcohol is a little more noticeable in the flavor. Plenty of citrus from the hops. Full bodied, high carbonation.

This to me seems like a bit of a Barleywine with the volume turned down. It's still good though, and would be even better fresh. Recommended.

 1,282 characters

Photo of RedAleMan
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Shafaegalo
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of RoryOMoore
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of TastyIsBeer
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of Zachtheporter
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of JVan
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of brewcrew76
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Clear ruby red with a few fingers of off white head that stays for a while before it gives way to sticky lacing.

S - Citrus hops with a caramel toffee background. Like a balanced subdued barleywine.

T - Smooth caramel, bready, toffee maltiness, followed by herbal, citrus hops. Maybe a bit more subdued than the aroma but very well balanced.

M - Creamy, silky smooth. Medium body but velvety light on the tongue.

D - Like a subdued barleywine but very nice and extremely drinkable for a strong ale. Different from the regular lineup of Lakefront beers. Nice to see them venture in a different direction.

 611 characters

Photo of rajendra82
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown (Dubbel like) appearance was not all that attractive, but the head atop was beige, two finger thick and decent looking. The aroma was a lot hopper than I was expecting, as the smell of resinous hops was unmistakable. The taste matched the smell with drying bitter hop taste evident up front. Backing this up were raisin like malts that was not too sweet. The body was soft and viscous and finish very dry and chalky. A nice strong ale I would love revisiting.

 471 characters

Photo of CCutch
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of sneaks2210
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of bismarksays
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of jklecko2
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Bridge Burner Special Reserve Ale from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
3.86 out of 5 based on 392 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.