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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Reviews: 167 | Ratings: 391
Photo of KarlHungus
3.14/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a dark amber color. The head is two inches in height, and recede slowly into a sticky ring of lacing. The aroma is a perfect balance of caramel malt and citrus hops. The problem is that it is very faint. The taste is a mirror image of the aroma; nice but faint. Honestly, from what I detect this beer is very simple so even if it were more pronounced I still don't think I'd like it much. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation, and a texture that is a little thin and watery for the style. Overall, this is a beer that is truly lacking. It surely reinforces my previous conclusions that Lakefront brews really good lagers, and really poor ales.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled Jan 30, 2013.

Beer is dark maroon in colour, with a moderate to large sized light tan head. Good retention.

Dark fruit scents (red grape, fig), quite vinous. Alcohol is more noticeable than I would have expected. Bready malt and some grassy scents. A bit spicy.

Taste is lighter than expected- a thin body really affects the flavour for me. The dark fruit is there, with a dry, yeasty flavour. Bitterer than expected- grassy. A bit of booze.

Medium bodied, but feels very thin. Low carbonation. A bit sticky.

Overall, some nice aspects. but the body does not work and the flavours are a bit out of balance.

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Photo of jsh420
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours murky cloudy dark cider color with a 1+ finger head that left lacing all down the glass

smells of pine and brown sugar carmel malts

taste wow has the sugary fruity apple malts of belgain and the pine hops of a west coast ipa

mouthfeel is a medium body beer that is very smooth and creamy

drinkability is good but the might be a little too sweet for me to drink an entire bomber

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

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VIII:

Brewed with a few different hops and a fruit ale yeast, just what a strong ale needs. Good foaming, and the retention shows off with a lot of sticky lace on the glass. Dark brass color, great clarity. Ripe orchard fruit; pear, peaches, apples and plums in the nose. Hint of caramel and toasted malt, and a prominent oil hop in the aroma as well. Extremely smooth with a lush and creamy full body. Hop bitterness prickles the taste buds to start and then slowly unfolds with flavors of wood, blond tobacco and soft pine. Big malt profile here that wields caramel, a hint of burnt sugar and a toasted biscuit flavor. Baked apple fruitiness with a warming alcohol. The finish is semi-dry and full of lingering hop oil and toasted grain.

Big, bold and drinkable. This one grew on us real fast; nothing over the top, but loads of flavor packed into this beer. Balanced and a joy to drink, which makes this a little dangerous at 8-percent abv.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into a Duvel tulip; there are markings to be notched to indicate the bottling date, but no notches.

A: Completely opaque dark brown body under a lovely two inches of creamy, persistent tan foam created by the straight pour. When the head finally does subside, it leaves copious lace. Very attractive, but considerably darker than I was expecting.

S: Pretty nice - it seems like someone is trying to emulate Arrogant Bastard: aggressive balance of spicy, resinous, and grapefruit hops with caramel and treacle. Maybe a hint of chocolate. Big, rich, and bittersweet - I'm a fan.

T: Toffee and caramel malts are up front, providing intense sweetness that carries all the way through, joined on the back side with the double-whammy assault of spicy hop bitterness and harsh alcohol. If it weren't for the serious booze on the finish and aftertaste, this would be really, really good. As it is, it's a little grating.

M: Creamy, medium body; slightly sticky, but nicely carbonated.

O: As I work my way through the bomber, I continue to be enchanted by the aroma but let down by the flavor - it's just too sweet and boozy. The level of hoppiness is somehow too low to counteract the sweetness, but still capable of being painfully bitter. This one's got a lot of good stuff going on, but it's just a little out of whack. I wish I had shared it.


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Photo of Reagan1984
1.88/5  rDev -51.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Picked this up while on holiday in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy maroon/amber color with a thin finger of light tan head. Settles quickly and leaves no lacing.

Aroma was not great. Mostly a thin citrus combined with tea

This tastes like black tea more than beer. Some citrus peel and light pine. Not very good. A one note flavor.

Very light carbonation. Almost tinny

Muddled my way through the glass. Not a good beer

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

Clear copper bodied with a short, large-bubbled, sand-colored head.
Aromatic of wet spruce and wrought iron, backed with line rind, and a doughy, caramel-sweet sense of pastries, and a touch of Sherry-like booziness.
Sweet at the outset in to the mouth. Sweet bread studded with raisins and glazed with caramel. A pat of butter in the middle, along with a glimpse of grilled plantains. The Sherry note appear here in the middle, then alcohol disappears from the equation. It turns fruitier as the hops bring impressions of oranges and mangoes. There's not a lot of bitterness, only a notion of bitter mint and dead evergreens around the swallow.
The body is a sleek medium, firm, but with very, very low carbonation (almost cask-like...the bottle looked a little roughed up so I wonder about a capping leak issue, but it doesn't taste off and the Sherry notes aren't in the paper-bag/oxidized realm).
There's no clinging or boozy traits to suggest its strength, and this drinks a lot smaller than it is.

It's no face-melter, just a well-stated, balanced big ale with a lot of drinkability. I'll need to track down another to see what the deal is with the CO2...more for curiositiy's sake than redemption, as this works as it is.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

691st Review on BA
Bottle to Mug
Bottled wk 1 July 2011

Purchased at Total Wine Las Vegas

App- Deep and rich amber with dark shades of brown. Huge three finger head and sticky lace all down the glass.

Smell- Well, it smells good but I think its the kitchen sink the threw at it. Hoppy, malty, caramel, citrus, just a lot going on.

Taste- Very big chewy malts with a tamed and somewhat timid hop bitter. A little sweet with the sugary caramel notes. A leaner towards a hoppy red ale but stays the course with again the myriad of ingredients.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. A little sweet but tasty good. Drank at 55 F. Nice as it warms.

Drink- This was a beer I saw and hey its probably a rare find out of state and didnt tell anyone then went to my Total Wine in Brea and they had and went F**k!! Oh well still tasty.

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Photo of peensteen
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Brownish red body, 2 fingers of off white head, good amount of lace and retention here. Smell is fairly hop forward, some citrus, lots of sharp pine, sweet malts and caramel both present, mostly hops though, grapefruit and orange toward the end along with some bready-toffee notes. Taste is sweet and malty, bit of chocolate flavour, piney-dank weedy hops, moderately bitter throughout, some fruits in the mix most noteably cherry, citrus and caramel mid palate, malty and piney finish. Medium carbonation, lightish body and pretty watery at points also. This was pretty solid, lots going on here in terms of flavour, more body and softer carbonation would have gone a long way here but still a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a rich mahogany color with one finger of creamy beige head. Leaves a nice coat of lacing.

I note the aroma of black cherry, spices, candy sugar, caramel malts, brown sugar and a hint of pine.

Tart black cherry, caramel malts, brown sugar, fig, and a hoppy astringency embrace the palate. The 8% alcohol is there but just barely.

Medium bodied and smooth with a moderate carbonation.

I enjoyed this well-balanced American Strong Ale from Lakefront. Easily my favorite from the brewery.

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Photo of tpd975
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice glimmering ruby red hue with a nice towering rocky head. The retention was nice and nice chucks of lace were left down the glass.

S: Nice blast of hops in the nose. The hops are mostly pine but there is a touch of spice in there as well. A nice caramel malt background hides beneath.

T: Nice balance of hops and malt. Starts of a bit piney but the malt cuts thru in the middle. A touch of citrus splashes across the tonuge and lingers in a somewhat bitter finish.

M: Medium in body, slick and smooth.

D: Damn drinkable. The best beer I have ever had from Lakefront.

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Photo of hopdog
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Poured a deeper and clear copper color with a large sized off white head. Aromas of citrus, caramel, some floral hoppiness, and just a tad fruity. Tastes of caramel, citrus, some spicy hops, and some fruitiness. The body was a little on the thinner side. Lacing left on the glass.

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

I aged this bottle for about a year before pouring it today.

I poured this bottle into a tulip style glass, and there was about three fingers of foam. This left some really nice lacing on the side of glass.

You get a decent amount of smoke in the nose. There is also some chocolate roast and a decent dose of malt.

The flavor had some decent coffee, malt, and smoke presence. I like the way that these flavors mix together.

This is a pretty good beer. I like what Milwaukee put together in this one.

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

22oz. bomber into tulip on 1/27/10.

A - Emerged from the bomber as a hazy reddish, copper-colored liquid akin to iced tea with a finger's width of bubbly beige head that yielded a fair amount of sticky lace.

S - Slight boozy aroma up front with burnt caramel and sugar notes and a predominant fruity character suggesting citrus and a hint of dark fruit.

T - Opens with a wash of sweet caramel malt and slight dark fruit tang suggesting raisins and dried apricots that lasts well into the middle, then segues into a toffee character in the backend. Finishes with a leafy hop quality and moderate citrus fruit bitterness.

M - Pretty full-bodied and robust with medium carbonation resulting in a creamy mouthfeel overall. Finishes with light bitterness and plenty of residual sweetness on the palate.

D - Bridge Burner is a pretty good... um, I guess a Strong Ale. Since there was nothing on the label indicating the style, I assumed "hoppy amber". Whatever it is, it's a pretty solid, tasty brew with a nice mouthfeel.

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Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber pours a slightly hazed copper brown body with a medium sized khaki head. Plenty of sticky lacing.

Aroma of toasted caramel and a boatload of hops. Grapefruit and orange citrusy notes, assertive pine, and a hint of spiciness.

Full medium body has a pleasant creaminess and moderate carbonation. Alcohol is concealed underneath.

Taste evokes thoughts of Arrogant Bastard, as other reviewers have noted. Similar hop profile, I think. Plenty of bitterness of the pine and grapefruit school. Hint of blood orange joins with the brown sugar and caramel maltiness. Finishes hop bitter, with a lasting hop bite.

Nicely done and certainly worth a try if you're a fan of Stone's Arrogant Bastard.

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

A strong performer from Lakefront - clear and dark mahogany brown in to the Bitburger glass, darn nice froth tan head explodes up and leave nice Brussels lace.

Aroma of a stronge pale ale - lots of spicy hop mixed with a good malt presence. Same with the quaff, with bits of doughy wood resin mixed in for good measure. Nothing strong ale about this one - it's a hop bomber, but a darn tasty one. 8% is well hidden, I'd have no problem recommending this one to try. Glad I got the chance to try it here as it's a new brewery reaching the area.

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Photo of Deuane
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A special offering while taking the tour at the brewery. Served donwstairs, on tap, into our pint glasses! Nice touch!

A-Bright, deep reddish hued copper with a frothy, medium, light tan head. Foam held on for a longtime and left behind heavy lace.

S-Sweet malt with hints of caramel and a bit of dark fruit and spice...kinda like a light fruitcake aroma.

T-Huge malt bomb, with caramel and dark fruit notes. Very chewy and again with the fruitcake reference. Bit of biting spicy hops in the finish. This one is "meaty".

M-Medium-heavy with a very smooth and creamy feel. One to savour.

D-A big, beefy, spicy malt bomb. Lotsa sweet malt but enough spce to keep things from getting carried away with sweetness. A very generous offering while taking the spectacular Lakefront Brewery tour.

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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 joemcgrath27
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - very swampy deep purple, tall fluffy tan head retained very nicely
S - strong pine dominates big time, mild molasses malt
T - pine and floral hops with a nice toffee malt compliment, light woody and caramel finish, very interesting
M - big body with strong carbonation, somewhat syrupy feel
O - similar to an esb, damn good

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark mahogany-brown with a finger of frothy off-white head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of rich sweet caramel malts with residual sugars, grapefruit and pine hops, a bit of dark fruit, and a hint of booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of rich sweet caramel with some grapefruit hops, bitterness, and a touch of dark fruit. Through the middle, some pine hops and some more bitterness come through alongside some residual sugars. The finish is a mix of sweet caramel malts, grapefruit hops, bitterness, a touch of brown sugar, and some mild booze.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet, bitter, and lighlty warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice balanced American Strong Ale with a good malty backbone and a nice hop profile.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: deep blackish-brown body, fluffy 1 finger oatmeal head, lovely lacing

S: spices, nut/caramel, malt, hint of citrus/pine from hops

T: spices, big solid malt, firm earthy pine, long bitter finish.

M: medium/heavy body, smooth velvet

D: Very nice, probably the best Lakefront beer I have had so far. Couldn't have more than 1 bomber, the alcohol is well hidden. Worth seeking out and trying.

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Photo of richkrull
4.36/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this one on a guest tap at Tyranena Brewery in Lake Mills, WI.

Poured a dark black color with a darker beige head on it. Great lacing as well.

Smell is malty with a hint of spice to it.

Taste is very good. Heavy malt throughout with a bit of alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium or better. Nice drinking beer though. Went down smooth despite the higher alcohol. A dangerously drinkable beer.

Overall a great beer. I liked it quite a bit and would definitely have it again.

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

Thanks to Ratman (I think?) for sharing a bottle of this one with us a while back. Poured a hazy, rusty amber color with a smallish tan head. Aromas of caramel, toffee, milk chocolate and toasted malt. On the palate, this one was medium bodied, with flavors of caramel, light hops, toasted malt and chocolate.

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Photo of GilGarp
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had to drive a detour tonight to get home from work. The reason? They were taking down an old bridge and replacing it with a new 4 lane wide version. I'm going to pretend they were burning it and drink this in the old bridge's honor.

Served cold and poured into a pint glass. It has a nice redish mahogany brown color with pretty good clarity and great head. The head is thick and sticky leaving lace all down the glass.

Aroma is malty and caramel-y sweet with a nice bit of hops. It's not overly hoppy smelling but it's decent.

Flavor is good classic American strong ale. It has a really solid malt backbone and a healthy dose of hops to keep the sweetness in check. Nice balance overall but still with big flavor. It has a carmel apple sweetness up front that has a good earthy hop bite midway though and finishes somewhat dry from the alcohol.

Nice creamy mouthfeel with big body and low carbonation, just how it should be for this style.

Overall a nice version of the style. If they do it again, I would hope for more hop aroma and a more "fresh hop" flavor instead of this "old IPA" thing. Still not bad at all.

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Photo of Offa
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a good strong, hoopy-malty ale, but not great. It's a lot like a slightly inferior, more boozy and rougher version of Arrogant Bastard or Lagunitas Lucky 13. I love those beers, but not as much as I used to a couple years ago, and the fact is all of these are pretty thick, a little rough, and very strong. This just happens to be another in the same vein and, although characterful and enjoyable, is a bit one-dimensional and overly rough, thick and sweet.

Very deep red-brown, a bit hazy, it has a large, light orangish-tan head, slowly shrinking to a foamy ring and leaving some frothy lace.

The aroma is sweet, flowery grapefruit, caramelised orange peel and candied orange, with a thick, burnt/caramelised raisiny quality and hint of pine.

The taste is similar, malty-syrupy up front with caramelised orange peel, candied orange, dark rummy raisin syrup (for Turks out there, a bit like rum mixed with pekmez). It's quite sweet, almost cloying from the start, but the sweetness does not get worse, thankfully, and the character, plus light hoppy bitterness and the warm alcoholic spiciness moderate this a bit. However, it is still almost cloying, it's a bit rough, very thick and oily, and rather one-dimensional, the character strong and bold but lacking depth or complexity. The oiliness gets worse and becomes too slick and thick as it warms and a rough meatiness soon develops. It is somewhat enjoyable, but only in small amounts and it's very heavy.

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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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