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Bridge Burner Special Reserve Ale | Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

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very good
166 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 166 | Ratings: 390
Photo of BoitSansSoif
1.95/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A-Poured a nice amber w/nice head and great retention. Beautiful lacing.
S-Diacetyl. Light malt. I've read several of the other reviews mentioning caramel and toffee, and I don't want to bash this beer, but all I'm getting is diacetyl.
T-Alas, dominated by diacetyl. There are other respectable malt and hop characters, but I can't look past this. I could not finish 25% of the glass.
M-Nice moderate-to-heavy body and good carbonation. Balance would be decent.
D-My friend had no problem putting this down, but I was unable.

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Photo of Pauly2X
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Amber light brown, with a hefty two finger head.

S- Great balance of sweet malt and assertive hops.

T- There's a quick hop slap up front which lends quickly into a very caramelly sweet middle. Finishes quite clean and balanced.

M- Good, smooth and rich.

D- Fairly drinkable for a strong ale.

While this is certainly no Arrogant Bastard, it's still a very good beer in its own right. Dispite the hop/malt profile being a bit confusing at first take, surely one of Lakefronts better beers.

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Photo of bunnyhustle
3.26/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I really couldn't tell from the label what kind of beer this is (unless I missed it!) but after tasting it its definitely a strong ale. Pours deep, dark mahogany, clear with creamy tan head and great retention and massive lacing. Smell was of malt, caramel, and a sweetness, perhaps a slight hops but I didn't notice much. This beer definitely is great if you're a malt lover. The taste was sweet and malty, more of a roasted malt, some sweet ripe fruit and a caramel kick to it as well. I personally hardly noticed the hops. Maybe the first few sips, but eventually the malt took over. Mouthfeel was fuller, but not too thick, very smooth and it leaves a nice slick feeling. Overall a great beer. No complaints really and the ABV is very well hid. I just wish the hops stood out a little more.

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

A - Opaque brown body topped by a ridiculous three finger khaki head. Love the head on this brew...frothy and dimpled and it seems to last forever. This is about as close as you can get to a perfect score for appearance, but it falls just a tad short. Superior head retention and a beautiful veil of lace.

S - Delicious smelling citrus hops dominate the aroma. Add some hints of caramel malt and you have yourself a yummy smelling brew.

T & M - Resiny citric hops come through in full force, balanced by a biscuity malt. This is a hop heavy little mama, it's hard for me to believe the 45 IBU rating on the bottle. Medium to full bodied, finishing with some lingering hop bitterness. The alcohol is hidden very well.

D - A very well crafted beer by lakefront. I'm proud of this Wisconsin brewery, and this is a brew I would recommend to anybody that appreciates good craft beer.

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

poured from 22 oz bottle into Lakefront pint glass

A- Pours a big frothy head, probably about two fingers worth and leaves nice sticky lacing along side the glass. A deep mahogany brown that lets barely any light through. The head is a little bit of an off white color and sticks around for a good long while.

S- The smell is fairly balanced, with some hops and some sweet malt. The alcohol peaks through a bit and there may even be a slight hint of cinnamon and vanilla. There even seems to be a little orange spice in there.

T- The complexity of this beer opens up when it warms up. The big flavor is of toasted malt. There is also some hops in there but is nicely balanced. The alcohol is a little present along the edges but not too bad. Also there is some orange and what I am perceiving to be cucumber, a little weird.

M- A nice smooth beer that is medium bodied. There isn't much bite to speak of but there is a little bit of warmth from the alcohol.

D- A high ABV that is somewhat noticeable when it warms, makes this a one bomber and done beer. A good winter beer and one that I think would age well. Every time I lift my glass to drink the smell says IPA and the taste says something completely different.

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Photo of 9InchNails
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beige frothy and creamy head; it kind of reminds me of a porter of a stout. Crimson red on the edges with some darker reddish brown in the center. Really a unique and interesting looking brew.

Citrus hops, sweet caramel malt, brown sugar; it smells quite nice.

This is very tasty and complex. Citrus and piney hops meeting a toasted and roasted caramel malt. Some burnt coffee and a toffee flavor I also detect. Some alcohol is noticeable but doesn't ruin the taste at all.

Silky creamy head, medium body and approaching medium carbonation. Some alcohol warmth going down.

I can tell this had a decent ABV on it, usually when I can detect it, it tends to ruin it, not in this case. A nice looking tasty brew. I'm certainly going to try this again in the near future.

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

P: Presented in a 651 ML. brown bottle.

A: Pours a dark, tawny amber with a massive, two-finger head that falls to an impressive rimming of foam. Wonderful lacing.

S: Caramel, pineapple and floral hops.

T: Opens with a hoppy bitterness that's held in check by an immediate surge of fruit sweetness that's quickly balanced with caramel malt. Tartness plants itself firmly at the back of the tongue. A spicy hop flavor emerges from the bold, malty foundation. Powder-dry finish with a trace of alcohol that announces itself at the conclusion.

M: Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation.

D: Complex and tasty, Bridge Burner is a special reserve sipper brewed with fierce integrity.

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

Poured from a bomber into a Sam Adams Pint. Part of a 4-bomber sampler called "88."

A: Pours a clear bronze color with 2 fingers of billowy off-white head. Strong retention and lace.

S: Bright grapefruit hop aromas are quite promising.

T: Stars with a mellow roasted flavor that brightens in the middle before the citrus hops take over for the finish. Some bitter coffee enters mid-sip and also lingers through the finish. There is some underlying sweetness that supports the hops without getting in the way.

M: Mouthfeel is quite smooth and creamy.

O: I enjoyed this very much. I am wondering whether this is a dark DIPA, with all its hoppy goodness. Whatever it is, I like it and look forward to more. Well done, Lakefront!

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

Picked this up by random accident, label caught my eye, and picked up a sampler pack before and was pleased. Deep deep amber pour with a big billowy head. Big malts dominate this beer, didn't get that much hop balance, but not a problem. Boozy undertones remind you of the 8%. Overall very good beer and glad I stumbled on it.

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

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the 22oz bottle to a snifter glass. Bottled the first week of January.

Appearance: Pours a deep red mahogany color with a thick, especially for the snifter glass, off-white head that stuck around for a while.

Smell: Fruity malts and grassy hops. Apricot?

Taste: Just as the nose suggests, malty goodness with a nice balance of hop flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and sticky. Good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable brew. Definitely one of the better efforts put out by Lakefront.

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Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle from the brewery poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a 2+ finger foamy beige head. Really nice lacing. Extremely dark brown with red/maroon tones but too cloudy to determine the full color.

S: Big resinous hops with citrus and pine. A little ammonia-like aroma (but not a defect or bad).

T: Malty caramel and slight smoky bitter. Hops carry from the aroma and offers hints of spruce. Bitterness is big, welcome, and unique. Finishes with a syrup/molasses note. Boozy.

M: Good. A little unremarkable except for the syrup touch.

D: Not a session brew but excellent.

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Photo of olmatty
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance-Pours a crimson edged brown beer with a a high tan head that has excellent retention.

Smell-Complex malts, some honey sweetness and a port wine aroma

Taste-Sweet amber caramel malts with lots of malt complexity. Flavors of dates and figs.

Mouthfeel-Full bodied and thick

Drinkability-Smooth and flavorful with some heat of alcohol. Overall quite pleasant.

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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 meeekyh
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is really barleywine-like but I was noticing the dried fruit in the nose before I read the suggestion on the Lakefront wabsite; the aggressive malt and distinctive barleywine fruitiness only appeared after the suggestion. I love the idea of an 8% barleywine, just inside the drinkable line and with the fullness of a 10% crusher.

I picked a tall, curvy, pilsner-like glass to receive the ale that has a dark red hand holding an over sized match printed on the paper label affixed to the 220z brown bottle.

The beer within is deep amber and unfiltered-cloudy, proudly displayed in the sedimentary yeast I poured into the glass and no-doubt containing the B vitamins that would be wasted had I not.

There is a great weight of beer contained in this beer. It is fuller than a standard ale and the balance tends toward the hoppy, though the malt is weighty and sweet. Somebody spent some time on this one and likely studied to make it come out right. Strong ale or barleywine I don't care, its good beer.

This was not expensive and has more beer per beer than most I could but for 1.6 times the price. I wouldn't recommend it for the faint of heart but those who enjoy a kick should get some.


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Photo of RedBrewer83
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip...

A: Dark amber body with hints of darker almost chocolate like hues. Head is a big three fingers, frothy, off white and has some good staying power but eventually falls to a thin foam, good lacing left behind.

S: Big toffee, brown sugar, caramel malt mixed with some dark fruit, hops come through big with pine resin. Big nose, but seems unbalanced.

T: Follows the nose, but added astringency from the hop note, again, flavors are good but need balance, not as smooth as one would hope.

M: Pretty solid mouthfeel, medium light body with good carbonation, not too harsh, just noticeable. Slight booziness comes through.

D: With more balance this beer goes down really smooth, as such it takes a little more effort, but i'm certainly not choking it down. Overall its a pretty solid offering.

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Photo of blackearth
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber almost brown color with a frothy white head. Strong caramel malt and hop aroma. Medium bodied with a great balance between the big hop and malt flavors both of which last until you take that next sip. This would be an excellent session beer except the high alcohol content will put you on your butt if you drink the whole 22 oz. bottle. Best enjoyed with a friend.

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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 Rennpferd
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into an old Blatz strong strong ale/lager glass.

It poured a rich dark copper hue with a nice three finger head which retreated and left a nice lacing on the side of the glass. A lite amount of activity could be seen rising up from the base of the glass.

A nice blending of sweet malts and hop bite.

Malty, spicey and hoppy. A nice balance between the three flavors. I found it to be a great taste. Slightly watery initially but it seems build towards the back of the palate into a nice medium body.

Very nice, very drinkable. I am glad I have a bomber.

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Photo of colforbin73
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice malty concoction here, good and hearty -- definitely doesn't feel overly processed or refined. a delicious sweet bitter brew.

pours a rich auburn with a little head but adequate carbonation, slides sticky down the glass, good froth. smells of hops -- spicy and fresh. the bitterness is up there but the sweetness shines through making it all work together, a hit of bitter and a nice warm swallow -- sweet & spicy falvors linger on the palate.

this hit the spot -- i would call it a solid beer. tasted fresh and right. i would go for it again if i wanted that IPA/Hop bite on top of a slightly deeper, richer malt base. good stuff.

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Photo of Groulxsome
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottle into a tulip. The Bridge Burner is dark copper witha thick tan head. The aroma is citrus, a little fresh pine, molasses, sweet dark sugar, and slightly like sweet fruit punch (think about it, it's there). On the palate, a little more roasted barley character is present, with a good hit of lemon and a balanced bitterness. Not a lot of heat - though the alcohol heat is present - and overall a fairly rich, creamy body. Little lingering taste of chocolate, malt, and brown sugar. American Strong Ales are always such a mixed bag, this one comes close to being the American Ale equivalent of a Belgian Dubbel. Very much worth a try.

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Photo of GarrisWH
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a rather hazy, rich reddish amber color with a two-finger, light tan, frothy head. Head settles down to a nice cap moderately quickly, leaving sticky lacing.

S - Nice, hoppy aroma with a mostly spicy, and slight citrus character. Sweet fruitiness and biscuity malt also notable in the background.

T - Hops up front, with the spicy hops coming through strogest. A bit of grapefruit also detectable in the hop character. Fruity yeasts and a big, biscuity malt character balance out the hops. Nice, somewhat bitter finish with a little hint of pine.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Somewhat resinous feel.

D - Smooth-drinking with a very interesting flavor profile. I was pleasantly surprised by this brew and hope I can try some more from Lakefront in the future.

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Photo of tbern007
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reminded me of Arrogant Bastard but lighter, fruitier. Good overall, all around.
A - dark mahogany, slightly ruby around the edges, can see through it a little when held up to the light. Tan, thick head, lasts a while, good lacing.
S - earthy, yeast, malty, slight pine.
T - sweet malt, some roast, very light smoke, cherry and raisin, turns into caramel, mild bitter chocolate.
M & D - starts a bit sweet, finishes dry. Easy to drink. Good overall.

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Photo of thryn
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I remember liking this very much when I first had it, shortly after its release, so when I found a bottle recently I snapped it up. I'm hoping the somewhat elevated ABV and general character of this beer helps it hold up to some age.

It pours a cloudy amber-brown, like dark honey in color. A nice creamy looking off white head forms but quickly recedes, leaving some bubbles around the edge and a bit of film on top.

The nose has a bit of spice to it, reminiscent of rum. There is raisin and alcohol is detectable. The primary scent is of nice, biscuity malt. Sweet.

This is not as good as I recall. I don't know whether to attribute that to age, or just my palate developing. It's a lot like an old ale, but tempered a bit.

The rum and raisin flavors are right there up front; after that, though, it falls off quite a bit. A bit of that biscuitiness comes through, but the flavors don't linger. There's a slight piney hop character that I suspect (and half-recall) was far more prominent at one time. That does assert itself a bit more nicely as the beer warms. I'm giving this half a point based on my earlier recollection of its quality and the assumption that it's quite old.

Mouthfeel is fine, but not great. It has a medium body that is slightly sticky but leaves little residue on the palate.

It's easy to drink and Ill finish the bomber, but I wouldn't recommend picking this one up at this point in the game. It hasn't aged terribly well.

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Photo of cooler4life
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Apr '10 Bottle

A: Medium caramel brown color, slight amber tint with little head, some lacing but not much.

S: Definite hints of fruitiness, twinge of coffee and malt.

T: Sweet hops, fruity, I taste raisin, and finishes with a tart twinge.

M: Smooth, deceiving given the high ABV. I could get in trouble with this one. Creamy and friendly with just a hint of the alcohol.

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Bridge Burner Special Reserve Ale from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
3.86 out of 5 based on 390 ratings.
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