Monday, February 10, 2014

Lift Bridge Commander Review

Name: Lift Bridge Commander
Style: Barleywine
ABV: 12.5%

For this review, I'm looking at a beer from Lift Bridge Brewing that I have been seeing on store shelves for the past couple of years but have never really bothered to pick up until now. I'm talking about Lift Bridge's Commander Barleywine. The name comes from the Commander grain elevator located in downtown Stillwater, MN and there are currently plans to open a restaurant in the said building.

This will be my second "strong beer" from Lift Bridge, with the other being their Silhouette Imperial Stout, which I found to be very good. Needless to say, I'm curious to see how this turned out.

Commander pours a mildly hazy red color with a fizzy head that almost completely fades away after a couple of minutes. The visible carbonation is rather high and there is no lacing left behind to speak of.

At the front of the nose is a nice vanilla and oaky scent, giving it sort of a bourbon barrel-aged like quality to it. Behind that are some caramel malts, hops and some booziness.

The flavor is pretty similar to the aroma with notes of oak, caramel malts, mild citrus hops, bourbon and mild booze. As you can probably tell, the flavor is quite malty but the components that make up the flavor feel incomplete and underwhelming

The body is very light in terms of weight but the carbonation comes off as heavy. For what it is, it isn't exactly what I would call ideal when you consider the flavor and style of this beer.

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine tried to homebrew his own barleywine. After letting it condition for 4-5 months, he gave me and my friends a couple of bottles for us to try out, Upon having it, I didn't think it was bad, and believe me I've had way worse, but it tasted awfully similar to Commander. It's not terrible but this is definitely more of the "okay" barleywines that I've had.

Lift Bridge Commander - 7.5/10

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