Friday, September 6, 2013

Lift Bridge Commander

The Lift Bridge Brewing Company is from Stillwater, Minnesota. This is a 12.5% English-style barley wine that is brewed using cardamom and then aged in bourbon barrels. This is bottle number 3403 from 2012. According to the bottle, it is "goblet worthy" and should be consumed by 2020. It takes its name from the Commander grain elevator in Stillwater.

The beer pours a dark amber in color, veering towards garnet. There is a relatively short head of off-white foam. The aroma is spicy, cardamom at the forefront, sweet, tangy and woody. The taste is dark caramel, cardamom, vanilla, oak, sweet, spicy and woody. The bourbon barely registers, showing up not as bourbon, but as oak and vanilla. The finish is dry and lightly bitter in a woody way, yet the sweetness lingers too. It is full bodied, veering towards syrupy, but staying drinkable.

Alas, I would love to try this without cardamom and with a bit longer in the bourbon barrels. To me, it is unbalanced and overwhelmed by the cardamom spice to the detriment of its other flavors.  Maybe it will be better in 2019.

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